Here's the upsides of this device:
- Amazingly quiet: I have it sitting on my desk and cannot hear it even when the fan is running.This is a brilliant design leveraging convection perfectly.I'm amazed how cool this system runs and how infrequently the fan needs to run.
- Small form factor: Really tiny and very cool looking, easily placed close to your monitor.Combining the fan/convection feature with being off the floor it's less likely to suck in dust which is a system killer over time.
- Everything but the kitchen sink:There's no way I could have built such a compact unit with all the features included in the Vortex.Literally it has everything anyone could want (except for an optical drive which are cheap and easy to add via USB).The Bluetooth for example let me sync my phone and also allowed me to replace my wired headset with wireless.The built-in Wi-Fi is great too.
- SSD RAID 0: This thing is a fast booter.Everything is snappy and coming from a traditional hard drive environment I have to say I'm sold on solid state boot drives now.
Here are the potential downsides:
- Proprietary design: As awesome as the Vortex is, upgrading components would be a nightmare.Search YouTube for videos of disassembly and you'll understand. Closely related, if something breaks the entire device will likely need to be sent to the shop versus easily swapping parts as one could do in a more traditional design.
- SSD RAID 0: As long as everything goes well solid state drives in RAID 0 are a huge performance-boosting asset.If something goes wrong however, like the RAID connection between the two SSDs is lost, re-establishing them takes technical skill that will likely be beyond the ability of the average home user. This happened to me but it was my own fault, not some defect with the system.Theoretically the MSI recovery tool should help you restore a system that gets corrupted but in my case it didn't work and I had to spend a lot of time learning how to fix the problem.If you don't monkey around with things this is an unlikely problem, but I'm living proof it can happen.
- MSI Support:MSI Support is only available during normal business hours.If you need help on the weekends you are out of luck.
To be clear about the potential SSD RAID 0 issue noted above it is not a Vortex specific, or Vortex only issue.MSI has integrated and implemented the technology beautifully.The comment simply reflects the nature and relative immaturity of the technology itself.Any PC with the same configuration/components could have the same issues.
I'm really happy with this Vortex system and glad I purchased it.It's an amazing piece of engineering and a massive step-up from my previous 5 year old system.If the price point does not scare you I think you'll be very happy with this computer.