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First look: MSI Z87I Gaming and GTX 760 Gaming ITX

by Parm Mann on 22 November 2013, 17:50

Tags: MSI

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All signs suggest that 2014 will be a big year for small-form-factor gaming PCs. HEXUS has spoken to a range of manufacturers who have mini-ITX hardware in the pipeline, and MSI is eager to join the party with a tantalising motherboard and graphics-card combination.

The upcoming Z87I Gaming motherboard, pictured above, is yet to be announced but will launch in the coming weeks priced under $200.

Introduced as a high-end alternative to the existing Z87I, MSI's Gaming derivative will up the ante with integrated Intel Wireless AC networking, Killer LAN, isolated audio circuitry and most of the features you'd expect to find on its bigger brother, the Z87M.

Of course, you do lose SLI and CrossFire capabilities, as well as OC Genie and dedicated power/reset buttons, but trade-offs typically have to be made when moving to mini-ITX. Though, with an Intel Haswell processor allied to one of today's latest GPUs, this little board will still deliver gaming performance in spades.

And if downsizing is of the utmost importance, MSI has a graphics card up its sleeves, too.

Dubbed the GTX 760 Gaming ITX, this little beastie is designed to be the perfect accompaniment to the aforementioned motherboard and provides GeForce GTX 760 goodness in a more compact 170mm x 120mm x 35mm form factor.

MSI has made use of a custom 'Radax' fan that claims to provide the benefits of both radial and axial fan types, resulting, says the manufacturer, in low temperatures and low noise.

Pricing is yet to be determined, but the graphics card should also be available soon and we like the fact that MSI equips the 760 Gaming ITX with a sturdy backplate. Better yet, the card's also overclocked, with the GK104 core given a healthy base clock of 1,033MHz (up from 980MHz) and a specified boost of 1,098MHz (up from 1,033MHz).

The 2GB frame buffer is, sadly, stock-clocked at an effective 6,008MHz, but it's good to see a manufacturers making use of the short GTX 760 PCB.

Certainly has the makings of a potent living-room PC, wouldn't you say?

HEXUS Forums :: 14 Comments

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Looking at the graphic card, my mind lept straight to Asus' DirectCUII Mini. Nice to see more manufacturers making shorter cards and mITX boards to accommodate SFF builds. A head to head is in order, in particular I'm interested to see who has the better cooling solution for temps and noise. MSI's Radax or Asus' CoolTech.
Still not a big fan of “south-bridge north ended”.
Looks about the right direction for MSI. Consumers want smaller and there are better cases now than previously for ITX builds.
“2014 will be a big year for small-form-factor gaming PCs” - what ????

At first I was going to moan as I have a thing for big motherboards, but then I thought how many of the features of my motherboard do I actually use ? Then, I had a look at MSI's offering again and I must say I am sold !

My only concern is the lack of PCI slots. What if I wanted firewire or a TV tuner card ?

I hope there are affordable cheapo Mini ITX cases by the likes of Casecom and such cheapo brands. And, there are affordable PSUs by Seasonic as well.
Firewire ? This is 2013 dude :P

And TV Tuner, simple USB tuner. Its not like you need the bandwidth of a PCIe slot for TV.