MSI Debuts AIO Gaming PC With External Desktop Graphics Enclosure

MSI announced its first AIO gaming PC featuring a specially-designed external graphics card enclosure, becoming one of the first gaming AIOs to support full-sized GPUs such as an Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan. It’s called the MSI Gaming 27XT.

All-in-one (AIO) gaming PCs seem to be popping up all over the place lately, and MSI’s version takes a somewhat different approach than some of the other brands (such as Origin PC) who are tackling the thermal and power challenge of making an AIO machine a high-performance gaming rig. Instead of putting the graphics under the same hood as the screen, MSI has designed an external enclosure for a graphics card that allows enthusiast gamers to access the GPU at any time, instead of having to take the whole machine apart in order to upgrade.

MSI’s Gaming 27XT was designed to resolve what the company described as a “long-standing AIO PC problem” of being unable to support external graphics cards. MSI said the external graphics enclosure supports “most commonly-sized graphics cards” and cited the GTX Titan and 980 Ti as examples. The device can also provide up to 330 watts of power to the GPU, so it seems most high-end graphics cards will make the grade, so long as it physically fits.

This concept sort-of takes a page from Alienware’s graphics amplifier, and MSI even tried its own hand at it with an external enclosure meant for the GS30 Shadow gaming laptop. However, both of these designs were massive and clunky (leaving most of us wondering why it couldn't fit two graphics cards in them, since the enclosures took up plenty of space), but MSI's new take on the idea is much more elegant than its predecessors.

MSI has aimed this new external desktop graphics concept at a completely different market segment (AIOs), one that seems to be relatively untapped. The size has been significantly reduced, making integration of such an interface less obtrusive to the device's intended user experience (plugging a laptop into a giant graphics box can seem contradictory to the intended user experience of a laptop). It fits right on the back of the display without any overhang, and it also appears to be thoroughly ventilated and easily accessible.

The MSI Gaming 27XT AIO also seems to offer what gamers crave with its display, which can come configured with either an FHD (1920 x 1080) or a QHD (2560 x 1440) panel that operates at 144 Hz, or even a 4K (3840 x 2160) display that runs at 60 Hz.

In addition, the Gaming 27XT ditches traditional SATA-based storage and offers two M.2 interfaces, a feat the company claimed is an industry first for AIO PCs. Thus, the 27XT can be configured as a RAID 0 setup with two M.2 PCI-e SSDs for blazing fast storage speeds reaching as high as 3.3 GB/s, according to MSI.

There’s no word yet on pricing or availability for MSI’s Gaming 27XT, but this year seems to signify the advent of AIO gaming PCs, with MSI seemingly taking a unique approach to the emerging market with an external graphics solution and a gaming-oriented display selection.

Derek Forrest is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware and Tom’s IT Pro. Follow Derek Forrest on Twitter. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.

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  • darkbreeze
    Now THAT, is kind of interesting.
  • War Gasm
    This looks great. Not a fan of red but I would buy this if the Panel is IPS or IPSLIKE. Can't go back to a dull TN
  • Gam3r01
    Sure does look unique, but I would still rather have a desktop.
    I can see this making some sales.