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MSI Takes Bold Step Into Case Design at Computex

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MSI launches new chassis product line at Computex 2019, complete with laminated glass.

MSI’s a company that’s well known for its motherboards, graphics cards, screens, and peripherals. But cases? Well back in the day, those typically always fell on the side of a rebranded chassis from the likes of Cooler Master or NZXT. Fast forward to Computex 2019 however, and we’re finally witness to another fresh batch of the company's very new foray into its own, tried and tested, designed in house, line of chassis complete with a full complement of X570 AMD systems. And boy is MSI swinging for that market share.

MSI MPG Sekira 500X/G

First up is the big daddy, the flagship of MSI’s courageous new lineup, the Sekira 500X. This big beautiful behemoth of a mid tower case comes complete with huge tempered glass and aluminum side panels front and top, three 200mm ARGB fans as standard, support for a ludicrous amount of water-cooling hardware, including a removable top radiator bracket, and stylish side air vents that put the majority of air-cooled chassis manufacturers to shame.

It’s that latter which we’re hoping is going to provide us with some significant performance gains in contrast to a lot of the tempered glass chassis designs out there, especially when it comes to that ever so effervescent cooling. Mesh filters typically hinder non static pressure optimized fans, and so to couple that with tempered glass, it’s easy to see internal case temps skyrocket. Especially if you’re taking advantage of a vertical GPU mount (which this case supports). The mesh gaps running along the sides of both the top and the front of the case are almost 2 inches in diameter, which should hopefully provide enough air even for the most feeble of airflow fans.

On top of that, the removable tempered glass side panels (both front and back) are hinged, with magnets discreetly hidden along the edges to secure it into place. There’s a handle here too, however, no mechanism to lock it. But honestly, that’s not really the end of the world; the magnets do a fine job of securing it into position.

It also comes in three styles in total. The ones showcased to us included the 500X and the 500G (the 500R wasn't on display), both of which feature identical internal layouts, identical front I/O and support for the same level of hardware internally. The difference between the two lies with the styling. In short, the 500G is far more sleeker in its aesthetic, featuring solid brushed aluminum panels front and top, and copper accents, as opposed to the tempered glass and RGB look the X is championing. Credit to MSI here, as offering the same layout, yet catering to both those who are fans of RGB, and those who are not is certainly appreciated.

Overall for a first attempt at a new flagship chassis, these mid-tower cases, at least from our limited time with them, are certainly intriguing and should make for some interesting builds. We’re still waiting on a price and a release date, but for now, it’s definitely on our watch list.

MSI Sekira 500X/G Specifications

Form FactorMid Tower
Motherboard SupportE-ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX, ITX
Radiator SupportUp to 360mm front and roof, 140mm in rear
Dimensions232(W)x545(H)x530(D) mm
Included Fans3x ARGB 200mm, 1x ARGB 120mm
Front I/OPower, RGB LED Control, 4x USB 3.2 Type A, 1x USB 3.2 Type C, 3.5mm audio jacks
PCI Expansion Slots8 Standard, 2 Vertical
Drive Support4x 3.5/2.5", 3x 2.5"
Release DateTBC
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MSI Harpe 300X

Next up on the list of MSI cases comes it's Harpe 300X and 300R chassis. What’s special about the 300X is that the Harpe has been designed with noise reduction in mind first and foremost. The big selling point for this one comes in the fact that instead of tempered glass, MSI is actually employing the use of laminated glass, something typically found in cars and other motor vehicles, not PC cases. This is then designed so it fits perfectly within the side of the chassis, secured from the rear with two thumbscrews, ensuring there's absolutely zero gap between the case and the panel for excess noise to erupt out of.

Moving on round to the front, and you’ll notice a hinged door lies covering an additional mesh covered plastic fan filter. It’s easily removable thanks to a simple clip in the top, and more on that later. Moving up and round to the roof, there’s also an additional two diagonally cut magnetic top fan covers to stop noise escaping from here as well. However, it does completely stop air from escaping, too.

You have to bear in mind that the Harpe cases aren’t designed for optimal cooling solutions at stock. It’s for the working professional, those packing the latest generation of AMD Threadrippers, someone after silence more than cooling performance, for instance, if you work in an acoustic studio, or something with keeping things quiet can provide tangible working benefits. And for those hot days, when you’re rendering out a 30-minute 4K video in Premiere Pro or pulling a four-hour gaming sesh in the Witcher 3 one last time, it may be that you have to open that front panel and pull the top covers off just to get that air flowing again. But then, it's quite similar to the removable front panel on Phantek's P600S, albeit this one's on a hinge.

Whether it all comes together, we’ll have to wait and see, as there are a lot of elements here that may very well introduce more noise than actually reduce it. Fan filters, in particular, can actually harm rather than help in some designs.

Outside of the silence-oriented wizardry, the internal hardware support is very similar to the aforementioned cases. There’s still the same max support for a 360mm rad, still the same motherboard support; however, you get one less hard drive slot, and a slightly different I/O setup, which is somewhat confusing given that this is a case aimed at the professional market. Although perhaps that's more a reflection on our collective enthusiasts steering away from the likes of local hard drives, and more towards NAS and cloud storage instead.

MSI Harpe 300X/R Specifications

Form FactorMid Tower
Motherboard SupportE-ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX, ITX
Radiator SupportUp to 360mm front and roof, 140mm in rear
Dimensions232(W)x480(H)x536(D) mm
Included FansTBC
Front I/OPower, Reset, RGB LED Control, 2x USB 3.2 Type A, 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.2 Type C, 3.5mm audio jacks
PCI Expansion Slots8 Standard, 2 Vertical
Drive Support4x 3.5/2.5", 2x 2.5"
Release DateTBC
Zak Storey

As Associate Editor of Tom's Hardware's prestigous British division, Zak specializes in system building, case reviews and peripherals, and has a particular penchant for liquid-cooling. He's also a lover of all things Viking/Scandinavian (thus the poor attempt at a beard).