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MSI Nightblade Barebone System Review

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 Final Thoughts



Time to gather up all the information, thoughts and results.

This just my opinion but the case it not a show stopper in looks, but I think it was meant to be that way. It shows that MSI spent a lot of time on the overall design to make it more functional than eye-catching. Now I am sure that are people out there going “Are you kidding that thing is sweet!” and well it is in it’s own way.

A majority of the benchmarks shows that even though the exact same hardware (except the motherboards) was used in both the test system and the MSI Nightblade the Z87I was able to out perform the ASUS Z87 PRO. The Nightblade has plenty to offer with the ability to install 2 SSD’s, 1-HD, 2 mSATA storage devices and a full-size graphic card can be used. The Control Center software is very easy to use and gives you all the information that you could ask for to tweak the system. Being able to overclocking from the desktop was really nice and easy. The Killer LAN connection lets you know that it was meant for gaming. The 7.1 and Audio Boost give you great quality audio for gaming and movies. Hmm this just got me thinking that the Nightblade would make an awesome Steam Box.


The MSI Nightblade Barebone System, for its size, is a powerful and fun PC. How can a PC be fun well first of it is smaller than most and can be picked up and taken where ever you want to go. Unplug it grab the handle and head over to your buddies house or when you take those summer vacation trips to the grand parents house you can take it with you and enjoy your games instead of grandpa’s stories about when TV’s were only in black and white for the 100th time. LAN party, you bet! A kick ass MSI Nightblade system in one hand an your monitor in the other…See you there!

[sc:must_have_award ]

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  1. Your graphs are completely biased! how can you visually represent a .1 FPS difference by a bar twice as large? Even under the premise of testing different mobo response .1 FPS is small enough to call percent error in a scientific test. show the result accurately or at least express how little difference .1 FPS means in any situation. it means every 10 seconds you will have render 1 additional frame on one system versus the other.

  2. Thank you so much for this review, been waiting for something this in depth by someone who knows their stuff.

    I’m planing on getting a new desktop this year and this one caught my eye. I have 3 questions for you I hope you don’t mind.

    This should be perfectly compatible with current top tier nvidia cards right? Their size is a bit similar to amd but the titan is a bit longer.

    This has a 600w psu, which is good but not exactly stellar, when the gtx 790 (or any future nvidia card) I will want to upgrade to that. Will 600w be enough? If not, upgrading the psu is easy enough? Looks too cramped in there and I read somewhere this system uses shorter cables to fit everything better so I’m not sure if the regular cables on a 1000w psu would provide a problem.

    Last question is about the over clock button, how does this work exactly? No matter which CPU I out in there (say a haswell) the button will automatically over clock it? Does it need any configuration? And is it the equivalent to bios over clocking or is it just software oc?


  3. Yes the Nightblade is compatible with the high end graphic cards. Actually the PCI-e slot is a Gen 3 one which means it is ready for the next level. Be sure that you get a full-size card that is within the maximum length of 290mm and 35mm thick.

    The 600w PSU is good for what most people would use. If you throw a Titian in the system you are probably going to be close. The way I look at figuring a power supply is to always take 20% off the “Stated” wattage which would take the 600w psu down to 480w. Then using a fairly descent psu calculator like this one at Enermax http://www.enermax.outervision.com/ you can get a level of wattage your system might pull. This is all guess work but it gives you a good starting point. I don’t think you could even get a 1000w psu into the case.

    The OC button is an OK feature as it did OC my 4770K by a small percentage. I am not sure what it would do with a “non OC ready” CPU. my guess is that it would just push it to the highest speed and keep it there without letting it ramp up and down The Windows GUI by MSI for overclocking was easy to use and did well, but the best way is still the old way and that is within the BIOS.

  4. Thanks for your reply, that may be the dealbeaker for me with this case, the PSU, that affects future compatibility, it’s rumored the gtx 790 may need more than a 600w psu and I am not sure how easy it will be to upgrade the psu in this case!

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