Fans? MSI don't need no stinkin' fans, not for Intel's Atom platform, anyway. The motherboard maker just announced its latest 3.5-inch small form factor (SFF) slice of silicon, the I3-945GSE-D.
This new board kicks it old school with an Intel Atom N270 processor slapped onto an Intel 945GSE chipset. It has "onboard power and a fanless design, making it an excellent all-in-one, high-end solution for use in custom enclosures and embedded applications," MSI says.
Feature-wise, the new board supports up to 2GB of DDR2 400/533 SODIMM memory and comes with a single SATA 3Gb/s port, onboard LAN, a mini PCI-E slot, Realtek ALC887 HD audio, CF slot, and "supports onboard watchdog timer for added system redundancy and security."
Futuremark has come up with a fun way to promote the upcoming launch of 3DMark 11, a DirectX 11 benchmark that promises to punish machines not up to the task. It's called the "3DMark 11 Guess the Score" contest, and all you contestants have to do is guess how three gaming systems will score in the new benchmark. Here are the three systems:
Intel G6950 CPU MSI N450GTS Cyclone Power Edition MSI H55N-E33 Motherboard 3DMark 11 Entry Preset
The obvious trend here is all that MSI branded hardware, and that's by design. MSI is sponsoring the contest, and for each system, whoever comes up with the closest guess to the actual score will win the MSI motherboard and videocard from that rig.
The choice of 3D notebooks just became wider with the announcement of the 15.6-inch MSI CX620 3D laptop.It features an Intel Core processor, a 1GB ATi Radeon HD5470 discrete graphics card, up to 8GB of DDR3-1066MHz memory, 320/500/640GB hard drive storage, a DVD writer, a brace of USB 2.0 ports and HDMI / VGA outputs.
Some of the other things onboard this 5.5 lb notebook include a couple of stereo speakers, a 1.3MP camera, 802.11 b/g/n WLAN, Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR, Gigabit LAN and a 6-cell battery. You will need circular polarized glasses to enjoy 3D content on the CX620. Price and availability haven’t been announced yet.
MSI continues to flood its notebook line with new models, the latest being the new FX600MX. Described as "powerfully chic," the FX600MX looks attractive and comes built around Intel's Core i3/i5 platform.
"The FX600MX laptop is proof that MSI continues to insist on the best," MSI said. "Its jet black cover is sheathed in non-peeling raised totem seal coating to prevent scratching and smudging. The center of the cover is graced with MSI's glowing platinum logo and the wrist rest areas with a soft raised diamond coating that not only soothes hands, but adds an extra touch of glass."
MSI's sweet talking aside, it always comes down to the hardware. Towards that end, the 15.6-inch FX600MX comes with up to 8GB of DDR3-1066 memory, Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics, 320/500GB hard drive, DVD burner, a pair of USB ports, eSATA/USB combo port, 4-in-1 card reader, Wireless-N, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium.
We don't want to proclaim Windows 7 as the Rodney Dangerfield of tablet OSes, but seriously, where's the love? Beginning earlier this year, vendors began dropping plans to release Windows-based tablets faster than sponsors kicked Tiger Woods to the curb after his whole ordeal, and we thought both were old news by now. We were wrong.
To be fair, MSI isn't completely scrapping plans to launch a Windows tablet, it's just postponing the release. MSI originally wanted to sell a Windows tablet in the third quarter of this year, but rather than do that, the OEM is focusing on bringing an Android slate to market, which will launch by the end of March 2011.
The Android Wind Pad tablet will come with a 10.1-inch screen and both USB and HDMI ports. Early reports suggest it will carry an MSRP somewhere around $500.
It hasn't always been smooth sailing for motherboard makers in 2010, but at least for the month of September, all the major players managed to increase revenues, most by 25 percent or more.
Pegatron showed the least amount of month-on-month growth of the bunch at 4.6 percent, followed by Asus with 5.79 percent (Asus is up year-over-year 45.42 percent).
ECS recorded the highest month-on-month revenue growth of them all by jumping up 33.27 percent. No other company needed it more, as ECS is also the only one to post a year-on-year loss, with overall revenue down 8.38 percent.
Gigabyte posted September revenues of $152.7 million, up 25.51 percent on month and 0.2 percent on year, while MSI posted $266.2 million in revenue for the month, up 26.22 percent.
MSI just gave birth to a faster breed of its N460GTX Hawk graphics card, which it's calling "Talon Attack" (no joke). The Talon Attack comes equipped with the same Twin Frozr II cooling solution as the original, but underneath the heatsink, MSI swapped the memory for lower-latency 0.4ns RAM chips.
"The newest addition to MSI's Hawk line-up, the N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack graphics card, is quipped with super-fast 0.4ns graphics memory and is overclocked out of the box to 810MHz core, 1620MHz Shader core, and 3900MHz memory clock," MSI said. "This places the MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack above a reference GTX 470 in today's most popular benchmark, 3DMark Vantage."
For the sake of comparison, the original N460GTX Hawk came clocked at 780MHz core, 1560MHz Shader core, and 3600MHz memory. Other than goosing the clockspeeds across the board, the Talon Attack shares the same feature-set as the original, including 1GB of GDDR5 memory, a pair of dual-link DVI connectors, and a mini-HDMI port.
Here we are on Friday and we almost went a whole week without another addition to MSI's Classic series of laptops. Squeaking in just in time is the CX413, the newest addition to the Classic line sporting a 14-inch screen and AMD's new Vision (Danube) platform inside.
Base configuration consists of an AMD Athlon II dual-core P320 processor, up to 8GB of DDR3-1066 memory support (no word on much it ships with), ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 graphics with 512MB of video memory, 250/320/500GB hard drive, DVD burner, a trio of USB 2.0 ports, 4-in-1 card reader, HDMI, VGA, 802.11g/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Gigabit LAN, 1.3MP webcam, and a 6-cell battery.
Like several models that came before it, the CX413 includes MSI's exclusive ECO engine power saving technology, which allows users to select from various power management levels, including Entertainment, Presentation, Word Processing, and Turbo Battery.
MSI today announced it is taking its Wind Top AE2420 3D stateside. According to MSI, this latest Wind Top is the world's first 3D touchscreen all-in-one (AIO) PC, which is also capable of converting 2D content into three dimensions.
"Most people don't realize that MSI has been making the guts of PCs for more than 20 years, and were the first to launch the 10-inch netbook, which is now the most popular form factor on the market," said Andy Tung, vice president of sales, MSI U.S. "By bringing the world's first 3D all-in-one PC to North America, MSI is continuing to introduce people to the future of computing."
The main attraction, of course, is the 23.6-inch LED backlit display where the 3D magic comes to life. In and around the AIO sits some fairly powerful hardware and respectable feature-set, including an Intel Core i7 860 processor clocked at 2.8GHz, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 graphics with 1GB of GDDR3 memory, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 801.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a 1TB SATA hard drive, Blu-ray/DVD burner combo, 1.3MP webcam, 6-in-1 memory card reader, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
In addition to the 3D visuals, MSI is making noise over the AE2420's sound system. Two 5W speakers are flanked by a 10W subwoofer and include Creative's THX TruStudio Pro technology.
The Wind Top AE2420 will be available soon starting at $1,800.
We've been hearing chatter that MSI is getting ready to roll out a line of ruggedized motherboards and videocards, though details beyond that are disappointingly sparse.
We're not entirely sure how you supe-up a mobo or videocard so that it qualifies as rugged, but we're eager to find out. Maybe they'll come encased in rubber or coated in unobtanium.
Either way, MSI is hoping these new products will help spur sales. The company reported August revenues of around $203.72 million, down nearly half a percentage point sequentially. MSI's graphics card business has been especially brutal, with MSI expecting global shipments to drop by 10-15 percent on year in 2010.