More options are always a good thing, right? We hope so, because the sheer number of competitors jumping into SSDs is definitely starting to saturate the market. It looks like we could be seeing another new entrant before too long: MSI, a company known more for its mobos, graphics cards and gaming notebooks than its storage capabilities.
At a time when most notebook makers have abandoned low profit margin netbooks in favor of pricier Ultrabooks, MSI appears willing to ride at least one more rodeo with the previously uber popular form factor, and the company's inviting you to come "ride with the wind." Specifically, MSI hopes you'll saddle up on either the Wind U180 built around Intel's latest generation Cedar Trail platform, or the Wind U270 with AMD's new Brazos 2.0 processor inside.
MSI tells us they've beefed up some of their top-shelf GT70 gaming laptops with Nvidia's discrete GeForce GTX 675 graphics, touting it as the fastest single-unit laptop GPU on the planet. AMD might have something to say about that with its Radeon HD 7970M chip, but either way, you're looking at a GPU that's head and shoulders above what your Ultrabook-toting friends are wielding.
If someone sent out invitations to Intel's Thunderbolt party, consider MSI as having received one, hence the release of the company's Z77A-GD80 mainboard that was first introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year. Built around Intel's Z77 chipset with support for 22nm (Ivy Bridge) processors, the Z77A-GD80 is one of a handful of Thunderbolt-equipped motherboards making their debut today.
MSI's 'Gamer's Choice Edition GTX 680 Norris Edition' is a high-end gaming PC, but it's not an official Chuck Norris system, because a gaming PC implies eventual obsolescence and Chuck Norris would never allow that to happen. There are millions of PC gamers in the wild, because Chuck Norris allows there to be, and as far as we know, there's only one Norris Edition system, an obvious reference to the martial arts master and Internet sensation.
As you all know, Intel announced the launch of its much anticipated 22nm Ivy Bridge processors earlier today. Intel is counting on these third-generation Core processors for the success of ultrabooks, which it hopes will be able to check the rampant growth of tablets and, in the process, conquer a large chunk of the mobile PC market. But ultrabooks will not be the only products to make use of Ivy Bridge chips; there will also be plenty of all-in-ones, desktops and notebooks. In all, over 570 Ivy Bridge-toting systems are expected to ship in 2012. The MSI GT70 and GT60 are two such products. Hit the jump for more.
It's a fact of life: all of the manufacturer graphics cards are built using the same core GPUs from Nvidia and AMD, so for a card to stand out, it needs to bring a little something special to the table. Some manufacturers go for sky-high overclocks; others go for unique cooling systems. MSI offers both with the newly announced GTX 680 Twin Frozr III OC.
"Finally, now the meat of the systems are starting to come out," Maximum PC reader I Jedi exhaled in the comments of our earlier article about the new Biostar TZ77XE4 Motherboard. If he only knew how right he was: since the Biostar news went live, a bevy of companies have announced new 7-series-supporting mobos of their own, including ASRock, MSI and Gigabyte.
If those spiffy new Kepler-based GTX 680 graphics cards do in fact end up hitting the streets tomorrow, as has been widely rumored, enterprising overclockers will no doubt be looking to tweak their new hardware to even higher levels of performance. Boosting core frequencies should be a cinch for owners of MSI-brand GTX 680s; the company joined forces with Guru3D to release a new Beta version of its Afterburner overclocking utility, complete with support for Kepler GPUs.
Another day, another pair of new AMD Radeon HD graphics cards. Didn't we just say that yesterday? In another fine example of how quickly things move in today's age, several companies unleashed a smorgasbord of new AMD Radeon cards today and made our previous statements obsolete. How many cards constitute a smorgasbord? Seven, by our count, and the good news is that most of the new releases are higher-end models.