MSI's Vortex is the Mac Pro for PC gamers

MSI Vortex

Gaming desktops have taken on some odd shapes in recent history including the triangular Alienware Area 51 to the Base Star-esque Deepcool Tristellar. However, the MSI Vortex might be the most practical and smallest gaming desktop yet.

First seen at CES 2016, MSI new desktop could easily be described as a gaming Mac Pro, but there's more to the Vortex Gaming Tower. The cylindrical PC comes paired up with some serious hardware, including up to two Nvidia GTX 980 graphics cards and an Intel Skylake Core i7-6700K processor.

Inside there's also room for two solid-state drives and four RAM slots for a total of 64GB of memory.

MSI Vortex

A borrowed (but proven) cooling method

The entire system is designed to work like a chimney, as heat is pulled into a central column of heat sinks. All the while, an underside fan sucks cool air from the bottom to exhaust that heat upwards.

The unorthodox shape also allows the Vortex to pack that much more hardware into a confined space. In fact, the gaming desktop only has a footprint of 7.61 x 7.01 x 10.55 inches (W x H x D), much smaller than your everyday desktop PC.

The Vortex is available now for a steep starting price of $2,199 (about £1,559, AU$2,956) for a dual Nvidia GTX 960 configuration and $3,999 (about £2,834, AU$5,375) for the dual GTX 980 model. Both models come with an Intel Core i7-6700K processor, 265GB of flash storage and an additional 1TB hard drive.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.