Whatever you do, don’t call it a trashcan. That’ll hurt the MSI Vortex’s feelings and considering what it’s packing under the hood; it can kick your current PC’s ass. The obvious dig here has to be the Apple Mac Pro. I had no idea gaming PCs were competing, but it’s nice to see companies borrowing design cues.

What’s in the name? Vortex is referring to the cooling system inside the mini-tower. A ‘360-degree SilentStorm’ cooling system is used in the MSI Vortex. What? It’s CES. If it’s not buzzwordish, someone isn’t doing their job.

The basics of the cooling is a top fan pulls air into the system, swirls it about (aka Vortex) and exhausts out the bottom vents. Quiet and cool. Though, I wouldn’t toss this on plush carpet in your room. Desk or hardwood considering it vents out the bottom.

MSI Vortex Power

Need a bit of horsepower? The MSI Vortex is powered by the latest Intel Skylake i7, DDR4 RAM and two Nvidia GTX 980 mobile GPUs. Whoa, mobile? Stacking two gives you performance parity with a desktop GTX 980.

MSI Vortex Gaming PCs

While the form factor seems to take a dig at the Mac Pro workstations, there are not options to adopt Intel Xeon or Haswell processors. Graphically, it kicks the Mac’s ass with a pair of 980s, but it lacks the six and eight-core CPU options.

MSI is saying consumers will be able to upgrade some of the parts, but I wouldn’t hold your breath on being able to swap motherboards to enjoy Xeon or Haswell CPUs. Look at the case. Whatever magic they pulled off to get a motherboard in that case means we are looking at pure hell to do that at the house.

To give you perspective on the size, the tower holds 6.5L. Unless you have trained your six-year-old nephew on the art of installing motherboards, it’s not happening on the MSI Vortex.

It looks great, has serious horsepower and is upgradeable-ish. What’s the catch? For now, it’s a lack of pricing and firm release date beyond the PR boilerplate of ‘2016.’ Come on fellas, help us out with at least a firm release date window.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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