We have grown to like MSI’s Trident X small gaming desktop even if it didn’t inspire me to give it the same name as the Corsair One Pro a200 did. It’s quick, fits on my crammed desk, has nice lights and silent fans, and hasn’t caused me any trouble from the first bootup. In Flight Simulator at 1440p and Deliver Us the Moon in 4K HDR, even the base configuration has enough power to spiral downward.
Except if you’re Amazon, where you can buy it with either 32GB or 64GB of memory and a huge variety of NVMe or 2.5-inch SSD combinations, along with a single hard disc, there aren’t many prebuilt configurations to pick from. Along with an MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super Ventus or 2080 Ti graphics card, it also includes an 8-core Intel Core i7-10700KF processor.
Theoretically, there is also a Core i9-10900K configuration with 10 cores, however I was unable to locate any current listings for this combination. The line’s starting price is $2,299, but if you like the case and don’t need the power, the similar-but-different MPG Trident 3 with a Core i5-10400F and a GTX 1660 Super starts at $1,049 instead. The MSI Vector GK30 keyboard and Clutch GM11 are included in some bundles, however they feel a little too cheaply made for this machine.
MSI MEG Trident X review: Design & Features
With dimensions of 16.6 inches high, 15.61 inches deep, and only 5.4 inches broad, the Trident X is remarkably trim. To put that into perspective, the PS5 is 15.4 x 10 x 3.6 inches, so it’s somewhat comparable, but the Trident X is much more powerful and has the advantage of having easily replaceable parts.
The Trident X is a rectangular slab with sharp flourishes that rests on a broader base for stability; as a result, you can’t turn it on its side without compromising vital ventilation. It doesn’t actually take up much room on a desk or TV cabinet, so that’s okay. The case comes with a tempered glass panel in the package if you enjoy gazing at your hardware, and it features two side panels that you can easily pop off to gain access to the interior.
There are several ports on the front of the Trident X, including USB Type-C, USB 3.2, and dual audio jacks. Along with RGB on the inside case and cooler lights, which are both programmable in MSI Center, there is a characteristic thunderbolt-shaped RGB light strip as well. With a total of six more USB 3.2 ports, three DisplayPort ports, and one HDMI 2.1 at the back, you’re also well taken care of. This makes it possible to play games at 4K 120Hz on one of the greatest gaming TVs or best gaming monitors, of course. For networking, there is also Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi 6E.
MSI MEG Trident X review: Performance
A polished little performer, the MSI Trident A 11TG. You essentially only need to be aware of that. It’s okay. The 11th-gen Core i7 CPU is powerful enough to provide significant snap to everything that needs it, the 3060 Ti manages graphics perfectly satisfactorily, there is more than enough RAM, and perhaps not quite enough storage. It’s efficient. However, there isn’t much silence about it.
It whimpers loudly. Since there is little room for ventilation in its small case, the fan noise is audible even when the device is idle. It becomes significantly louder when it is working hard; it is still audible in a living room PC, but you will hear it if you are paying attention. Worse yet, the middle section apparently triggers a harmonic resonance that causes the fans to generate a perfect E flat note, as measured by a guitar tuner app.
Additionally, the CPU is only given the most basic stock cooler, which isn’t quite as effective under severe loads, while the GPU receives a standard shroud that is more than capable of keeping it chilly. It clearly proved to be a bottleneck in our benchmark tests, reaching the thermal throttling point, especially when running tests that favour a single core, and occasionally idling at temperatures close to 65 degrees Celsius. In contrast, there are no fans in the case, therefore there is no true exhaust other than the fans that are attached directly to the components. Just sort of floating upward is the heat.
MSI MEG Trident X review: Software
Windows 10 is pre-installed on the MSI MEG Trident X with only a few extra MSI apps and a Norton security package. MSI Dragon Center is an adequate programme for managing the Trident X’s lighting and observing its performance. Additionally, you can choose between profiles designed for particular jobs, such as “Extreme Performance,” “Silent,” or “Creator Mode,” using Dragon Center. It’s alright, however you wouldn’t miss much if you entirely disabled the software.
But it’s Norton that deserves most of my ire. Norton is an incredibly aggressive tool that places a layer of security between you and any website or file you want to access online, turning something as basic as downloading a file that you uploaded yourself into a tangle of notifications. If the software is annoying to you, you can’t even switch it off; you have to totally uninstall it. It’s quite annoying to use, especially since you only get a free trial that constantly reminds you to join up for the full version of the programme. Get rid of it and switch to the integrated Windows Defender, which has improved significantly in recent years.
MSI MEG Trident X review: Gaming performance
It didn’t surprise me that the MSI MEG Trident X can run demanding games at a steady clip because it has an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. But the fact that the system could do it so discreetly did amaze me. The Trident X is almost completely silent for productivity purposes, and it maintains this level of silence for all but the loudest games, thanks to the clever cooling solution MSI devised.
The Trident X performs flawlessly in terms of functionality. Even with the visuals dialled up to their maximum settings, the system easily hovered between 100 and 144 frames per second for every game I tried when I tested it with a 1080p monitor. Performance was seamless and graphics were stunning no matter what I was doing, be it shooting enemies in Doom Eternal, assembling armies in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, constructing decks in Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, or finishing quests in World of Warcraft.
Our benchmarks confirmed the quality of my observations. The Trident X played Grand Theft Auto V at 134 frames per second on 1080p monitor arms, Borderlands 3 at 110 frames per second, Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 120 frames per second, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey at 85 frames per second. T
he Alienware Aurora R10 from last year scored 88 frames per second for Far Cry New Dawn and 80 frames per second for Red Dead Redemption 2, compared to the Trident X’s 109 frames per second and 85 frames per second, respectively. While we haven’t yet reviewed a device that is directly comparable to the Trident X, we can compare and contrast it with it. Hardware advancements during the course of one year can have considerable impact.
MSI MEG Trident X review: Price and availability
For a model featuring an Intel Core i7 processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super GPU, 32 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB HDD, the MSI MEG Trident X starts at $2,300. For $2,800, a mid-range variant is available with an Intel Core i7 processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU, 32 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB SSD. The most expensive model, which we evaluated, has an Intel Core i9 processor, an Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 Ti GPU, 64 GB of RAM, 1 TB of SSD storage, and 1 TB of hard drive space, and it costs $3,200. you can purchase this product from MSI official store.
One of the highlights of my year has been the MSI MPG Trident AS. It scarcely occupies any space on my desk since it just sits there silently performing all the tasks I need it to without making a scene. It regularly exceeded the expectations raised by the 2000s-era console design. The $3000 price tag, which is three times the price of the PlayStation 5 I used as a comparison, cannot be disputed, though.
Yes, for that price you get a device of a comparable size that is capable of playing everything the PS5 can and more. It’s also very challenging to beat if you spend extra money on a faster SSD and RAM. The Trident is a deal and easily outperforms RTX laptops like the Razer Blade 15 or Alienware m17 when compared to their price points. Therefore, if you have the money, this is a terrific compact desk and living room gaming PC to have.