MSI Trident X Gaming PC Review
In this review, well check out gaming performance, overclocking, thermals and basically everything else too.. The Trident X is available with different hardware configurations. My unit here has the 8 core: i7 9700K CPU Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics, 32GB of DDR4 2666 memory running in dual channel, a 512GB NVMe M.2 SSD and 2TB hard drive.. Its also got gigabit network connectivity with 802.11ac WiFi and bluetooth 4.2.. You can also get it with RTX, 2070 or 2080 Ti graphics or with an i9 9900K CPU. If you need even more power., The Trident X is smaller than your typical PC too, at just under 40cm high 13cm in width and 38cm in depth, giving it a 10.36L volume and weighing in at around 6.5KG.. The black case is made of metal and plastic. Overall, I thought the design looked pretty nice, but that will of course be subjective.. You can also get it with an optional tempered, glass side panel too, if you prefer more on that later.. The front panel has some lighting, which can be customized using MSIs light. Sync software.: The front IO is found down the bottom towards the left and from the bottom up. Weve got 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks a USB 2.0 Type, A USB 3.1 Gen, 1 Type, A and Type C port.. On top of the case, theres the power button towards the front and some air vents towards the back for the graphics card to exhaust heat. On the back down the bottom theres the power input, although the 450 or 650 Watt power supply is mounted closer to the Front as well see soon.
Next to that theres, the IO from MSIs Z370I Gaming, Pro Carbon AC motherboard from the bottom up, giving us a PS2 port, two USB 2.0 Type, A ports DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4 outputs, although these are only wired to the CPU graphics. A USB 3.1 Gen, 2 Type, A and Type C port, gigabit ethernet and two USB 3.1 Gen, 1 Type. A ports followed by audio outputs. Theres, also a kensington lock above the power input. Up the top weve got the outputs from the graphics card. In my case, the MSI RTX 2080 Ventus, which gives us three DisplayPort, 1.4 outputs, HDMI 2.0b and a USB Type C port., Underneath theres some rubber feet at the bottom of this plastic sort of shroud, which raises it up allowing for air flow through the bottom grill And this is where the power supply exhausts air.. The left side panel can be removed by taking out two screws with a Phillips head screwdriver.. We can see the back of the motherboard here, and this is where the single M.2 slot is with our NVMe drive.. Its got a heat spreader on it, which comes into contact with the side panel, allowing it to dissipate heat through the case. Above this weve got the graphics card, which is mounted vertically, with the power supply towards the front.. Both the power supply and graphics card have air vents in the side of the case for air intake. Theres, also a light strip running along the top on this side.
Again, this can be controlled through MSIs light. Sync, software and customized with different effects. The right hand. Side panel has a vent for the CPU fan, which also has controllable, RGB lighting.. The Trident X is also available with an optional glass side panel and that can be installed by simply screwing in the hinges and putting the panel on.. Its got magnets towards the front to keep it closed, and I did find that there was a gap around all sides of the glass panel, potentially improving air flow.. I put this to the test by running a stress test and found that, with the glass panel on the CPU was running 2 degrees. Cooler, which makes sense as its just blowing air in the glass panel, gives it more space for the hot air to escape.. No difference to the graphics temperatures as thats on the other side, with its own intake.. While I think the glass panel looks better its not really showing off anything extra than without it. As the insides are quite dark, perhaps it would have made sense to either have the lighting strip on this side or a second strip or otherwise have the glass panel on the left to show off the graphics card more.. Unlike many other prebuilt systems, Ive reviewed, the interior of the Trident X, still looks quite nice, in my opinion, theres no green motherboards or ketchup and mustard cables. For instance, the design of the interior matches the exterior.
On the right. Weve got two 2.5 inch drive bays up. The top mine did come with a spare SATA cable for installing a second drive and Ive confirmed. The motherboard does have a free, SATA port to accommodate this., As mentioned its MSIs Z370i Gaming. Pro Carbon AC Mini ITX motherboard. So its black and matches the colour scheme of the system., Its just got two memory slots, so the 32GB that Ive got installed here is as much as it can take. MSIs Command Center software can be used to monitor the system and overclock the CPU. It worked. Alright, but I didnt really end up using it for anything other than modifying CPU fan speed and I used MSI afterburner for overclocking the graphics and adjusting GPU fan speed. Now lets look at the thermals testing was completed with an ambient room temperature of 26 degrees celsius. A bit warm as its summer here at the moment, and the air conditioning has been struggling through a heatwave.. All testing was completed with the glass side panel on so, as shown earlier expect up to a couple of degrees. Difference with the standard metal panel for the CPU. Starting at the bottom of the graph. Ive got the idle temperatures and it was running fairly cool and quiet. No problems there. Going up to the gaming tests Ive tested using Watch Dogs 2, as I find it to use a good combination of processor and graphics and at stock.
The temperatures were perfectly fine., With the CPU overclocked to 5GHz on all 8 cores graphics, overclocked by 150MHz, and the fan maxed out, the CPU temperature rises a bit while the graphics drop back.. The stress test results are from running the Aida64 stress test and Heaven benchmark at the same time in order to try and fully utilize, both the processor and graphics. In a worst case, scenario. Continuing up the graph at stock, both CPU and GPU, are in the low 70s still fine., With the overclocks applied and fan still left at stock. The temperatures rise a little. With the fans maxed out at stock. The temperatures drop back a bit, then the CPU temperature rises back up once overclocked to 5GHz.. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests just shown.. We can see that every time the overclocks were applied, all 8 cores were able to hit the specified 5GHz with no problem at all. There was no thermal throttling, however. I did see intermittent power limit throttling at the defined 95 watt TDP.. I had to boost this to 120 watts, with the overclock applied for full performance., Either way, no problems even with the fan at stock and as we saw previously maxing the fan out did help further.. The 9700K seems to be running perfectly fine, not even reaching 80 degrees celsius worst case in my test with my warm room., It would be interesting to see how the 9900K holds up based on this.
I suspect it would be a bit warmer, but it may actually be alright and if not theres still undervolting. Here are some Cinebench CPU benchmarks, which show the difference in performance at stock and then with the extra performance gained by running all 8 cores at 5GHz. Instead of the stock 4.6GHz all core turbo speed. Again, I also needed to boost the TDP for the overclock to achieve full performance. Otherwise it would power limit throttle at the defined 95 watts. I had it capped at 120 watts for all my overclock testing.. As for the fan noise produced by the system Ill, let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle. It was fairly quite and as we saw before, the temperatures were in the 30s., While gaming and under stress test at stock. It wasnt actually that loud and then with the fans maxed out, it does get pretty loud, but you can of course, customize the fans to get a good mixture of cooling while not being too loud and theres still undervolting, which I found could easily drop the CPU By at least 7 degrees, Celsius. Ive also measured total system power draw from the wall at idle were looking at 43 watts, then 346 watts with the Aida64 stress test and Heaven benchmark running.. This rises by around 60 watts, once we overclock the CPU to 5GHz and graphics by 150MHz, and well see how this helped improve gaming performance. Soon.
. Finally, lets get into some gaming benchmarks. Ive tested these games at stock settings as thats, probably how most people will use the PC. Dont worry well: look at overclocking, after., Ive tested at 1080p, 1440p and 4K resolutions at all setting levels so that we can really see what this hardware can. Do. Lets start out with Battlefield 5. Ive tested with RTX on shown by the green bars and were seeing around half the frame rate compared to RTX off at the higher settings. Although it was still playable at ultra settings with RTX on getting a solid 60 FPS.. Stepping up to 1440p, with RTX off it was still running very well even with ultra settings, but with RTX on medium was needed for a good experience and in my opinion, it both played better and looked nicer at ultra with RTX off. At 4K. Rtx on is basically a write off unless you run low settings, but again it looks better with RTX off and higher settings.. Even ultra settings with RTX off at 4K is still able to average 60 FPS. With this powerful hardware, combination. Far Cry 5 was tested with the built in benchmark and at 1080p the results were quite impressive, scoring over 120 FPS, even with ultra settings.. At 1440p, we dont lose too much performance, still averaging above 100 FPS at ultra settings. In this test. At 4K, we lose a fair bit of performance, but realistically for 4K, with a game like this, the results arent bad still able to average around the 60 FPS mark.
Fortnite was tested using the replay feature and as expected for a well optimized game, Were getting crazy, high frame rates at 1080p, with over 200 FPS at epic settings., Even at 1440p, the frame rate at epic settings would be well matched with a 1440p 144Hz monitor with even higher frame rates possible at lower settings. If you actually need more than this. At 4K, epic settings was still playable with above 60 FPS possible, while medium would go alright. If youve got a 4K 144Hz display. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built in benchmark and again even with max settings at 1080p were seeing very nice frame rates. At 1440p. The frame rates are still great and easily playable. No problems with max settings on this hardware. At 4K youll probably want to go medium settings or lower in order to still get a decent experience, but still definitely usable. CSGO was tested using the Ulletical benchmark and, as expected, were seeing insanely high frame rates with this Game., Even with all settings at maximum, the average frame rate was above 400 FPS with the dips in performance shown by the 1 low still around 140 FPS. At 1440p. The results are still very nice, with 400 FPS, still achievable with medium settings and a 100 FPS 1 low. At 4K. The results drop back a bit comparatively, but realistically still pretty good frame rates and should play pretty well even at this higher resolution.
Rainbow. Six Siege was tested using the built in benchmark and again very high frame rates at 1080p, with over 300 FPS possible at ultra settings and still a very high 200 FPS for the 1 low. 1440p is again getting very nice results in this test, with over 200 Fps possible at ultra settings and still high results for the 1 low. 4K, still scored quite well 125 FPS at ultra settings with the 1 low, still above 100 FPS with higher possible at lower settings. Should you need it., PUBG was tested using the replay feature and there wasnt too much of a difference seen at 1080p with ultra settings giving us a high frame rate. Even the 1 low was at 100 FPS.. The 1440p results arent too bad. Almost no change at the lower settings, while the higher settings should still be very playable on this hardware. 4K, should be playable with lower settings. Although in this particular test, we are still able to average 60 FPS at high settings, which I think is pretty impressive for this unoptimized game. Were seeing really nice performance here from the i7 9700K and RTX 2080. All games at 1080p and 1440p played very well even with higher settings and in many cases 4K was possible with playable frame rates and decent settings depending on the game of course.. As mentioned before, it was possible to improve performance by overclocking, the CPU and graphics. So lets take a look at how these settings helped out.
Ive retested Far Cry 5 and we can see that there is an improvement to frame rates with the overclocks applied.. At 1080p there was a 3.9 improvement to average frame rates once overclocked. At 1440p. There was a larger 8 improvement with the overclocks applied at ultra settings and a 6 improvement to the 1 low.. Finally, at 4K I was seeing a 7.5 improvement to the average frame rate at ultra settings and a 7.8 improvement to the 1 low. So we are able to get some nice improvements with these overclocks, though this will of course, vary between games. Ive used Crystal disk mark to test the storage and my 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD was getting very nice. Read speeds and nice write speeds too, while the 2TB disk was performing about as expected for a 5400RPM hard drive. For up to date, pricing check the links in the description as prices will change over time. At the time of recording in the US. With these specs were looking at around 2300 USD. Here in Australia. The 9700K with RTX 2070 seems to go for 3500 AUD, so youre definitely paying a premium for this nice. Looking pre built machine with high end hardware in such a small and thin case. Its worth. Remembering that the target market for pre built systems like this are generally for people that just want to buy a PC and start gaming straight away, they may not necessarily care about learning how to build one themselves to save money.
So consider that before you comment about the price and how you could just make something yourself for less, that will always be the case.. Now lets talk about upgrade options. Ive left this to the end, as I suspect, most people buying a prebuilt system like this. Just want it to work out of the box, but if you know a bit about what youre doing this information may be useful if youre after some upgrades. In terms of graphics, it should be possible for you to replace the GPU as long as it fits in The given space in the case. Theres only room for a 2 slot card no wider than that.. I measured about 31cm of length, so theres a little room spare and maybe 3 of 4cm of extra height over the MSIs 2080 Ventus card.. The power supply may be a limitation, though the Trident X comes with either a 450 watt or 650 watt unit. Depending on your hardware configuration.. It should be possible to change this, given the motherboard and graphics just use, standard, ATX connections, but Im not sure on what models would fit here and wasnt able to determine the model installed.. The CPU is also upgradeable. The Z370 chipset supports up to the i9 9900K at the moment, but like the one I have, it also comes with the 9700K.. If you have the 9700K model, it should be possible to swap in a 9900K in the future, but again like the graphics change.
This may require a power supply change.. At this point we dont know if future Intel CPUs will work with the Z370 chipset, like the 8th and 9th generation chips so its unclear. If the 9900K is the end of the road granted, that does offer a lot of performance, so you should be set for a while with that.. As mentioned already, the motherboard has two memory slots which support up to 32GB of DDR4 memory.. While I kept mine at DDR4 2666, the motherboard does support overclocks up to 4500, so faster memory should also be possible. Just refer to the motherboards QVL for known working memory. In terms of storage theres, just the single M.2 slot. So you can only mount up to two 2.5 inch drives. Overall MSIs Trident X. Gaming PC is a very capable machine, while being quite small and portable, without sacrificing on cooling.. With this particular hardware configuration even 4K gaming was possible with perfectly acceptable temperatures and youve still got the option of going for even more powerful specs if you need., Unlike most other pre built systems. Even the interior of this one looks quite nice and youve got the option of a glass side panel, although, as discussed it doesnt, really let you see anything extra, an extra light strip would have been nice. I think., Let me know what you guys thought about the Trident X from MSI down in the comments and if youre new here get subscribed for future tech.