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MSI Trident X (i7-9700K & RTX 2080) System Review

The last system I reviewed from MSI was the Aegis 3, and although competent, it really didn’t have a wow factor. The Trident X, on the other hand, is an all-round impressive machine I would be very happy to own myself.

Starting with the look and design of the machine, it’s very compact considering the hardware used inside, with a total volume of just over 10 litres. If you’re pressed for space, this will sort you out without any compromises when it comes to the hardware used inside.

That’s because it still packs in an Intel i7-9700K and Nvidia RTX 2080. Yes, the CPU isn’t overclocked, but it still operates at 4.6GHz across all cores – and if you look at our gaming benchmarks on the second page, you can see that this system can really shift. I’d say it is best suited to 1440p gaming with a high refresh-rate monitor, but you will still average over 40FPS at 4K.

Considering the fast hardware used inside this diminutive chassis, it is very impressive that the Trident X stays as cool and quiet as it does – if you stick this under your desk when gaming, you will hardly be able to hear the fans spin. Coming from the Aegis 3 which proved a bit whiny, the Trident X is overall very easy on the ears – which is again impressive considering the small nature of the machine.

For me, this machine ticks all the boxes – it is good-looking, very compact, fast, while it also runs cool and quiet. If I were to nitpick, yes it is a strange decision to have the tempered glass panel mounted to the right hand side of the case, while I would have also preferred the RAM to have some kind of heatspreader instead of the plain green PCB DIMMs used here – though that is very minor as the RAM is all but obscured by the CPU cooler.

The biggest drawback, however, is the pricing. At £2699 the Trident X is not ridiculously overpriced, but according to my calculations it is around £700 more expensive than building a similar system yourself. We can usually expect a premium of maybe £300 to be added to a pre-built system, considering it is built, shipped and covered by warranty for you. I also appreciate you are paying for the smaller form factor with the Trident X, but even so – a mark up of £700 is a bit steep.

That being said, the MSI Trident X is still a mighty fine machine – like I said, it ticks all the boxes for me. If you are looking for a compact and all-round impressive system, this will do you very nicely. You will just have to accept the fact that you are paying a fair bit more than the total cost of the components.

You can pre-order the Trident X, with 9700K and RTX 2080, for £2699 from Curry’s HERE.

Pros

  • Very compact.
  • Fast hardware inside.
  • Thermal performance is not a problem despite the small size of the machine.
  • Very quiet for a gaming PC.
  • Off the shelf hardware so no difficulty to upgrade down the line.

Cons

  • Tempered glass panel on the right hand side of the machine seems odd.
  • Plain green PCB memory.
  • A fair bit more expensive than the total cost of all the components.

KitGuru says: The MSI Trident X is an excellent machine with good all-round performance and very low noise levels. It doesn’t come cheap, but this one of the best compact pre-built systems I have reviewed.

Rating: 8.5.

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