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Computex 2018: MSI’s small form factor Trident A packs a full-sized GPU

MSI is no stranger to small form factor PCs, with its Trident line offering high-end hardware in a compact console-like package. MSI’s newly introduced Trident A is over two times bigger than previous entries, but with it comes its first full-sized GPU and an SFX PSU.

The previous Trident 3 proved to be quite popular among small form factor enthusiasts, spawning numerous refreshes from last year’s limited edition Trident 3 Arctic, shipping with an i7-7700 and a trimmed GTX 1070, and this year’s update to Coffee Lake processors and M.2 NVMe storage. While there’s still no word on a true successor, the Trident A helps to diversify MSI’s small form factor line-up.

Despite being over twice the size with a 12 litre capacity over the Trident 3’s 4.7 litres, MSI retains its compact design, incorporating an SFX PSU, a full-length graphics card and a significantly better Silent Storm cooling system.

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Addressing the common problem of airflow within a compact chassis, each component exhausts directly out of the casing, ensuring that the hot air from each section has no chance to mix. General cooling is pulled in through the front by a near-silent 80mm fan, while the GPU benefits from dual 120mm fans.

Buyers of MSI’s Trident A have the choice of any non-K variant Coffee Lake i5 or i7 processor up to the Intel Core i7-8700, as well as any Nvidia GTX 10 Series graphics card. This will be paired with up to 32GB DDR4 RAM at 2666MHz, two 2.5-inch SSD or HDD, as well as the option to include two M.2 2280 SSD with Intel Optane Memory support for one channel.

These components can be showcased through the Trident A’s newly introduced glass side panel, while users customise the improved RGB front panel with MSI’s Mystic Light. Unfortunately, aesthetic has its limits, however, as the Trident A is supposedly limited to its vertical stand and cannot be laid down.

The MSI Trident A will be in stores for Q4, ranging from $1,299 to $1,699 depending on processor and GPU choice. The standard warranty in the UK will be two years, with an option to extend it to a third upon purchase.

KitGuru Says: I can see the appeal of small form factor PCs, but aside from LAN events, the Trident A will struggle with its inability to act as a traditional HTPC without the ability to lie horizontal. Pricing is also a continued issue, paying a premium on the shrinking of components. Still, a judgement can’t be made until MSI offers a hands-on with the device. Does the MSI Trident A interest you?

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