MSI has announced the MSI MAG Trident S 5M Mini Gaming PC, which is designed as a cloud-based gaming console replacement for your living room. Unlike some of the best gaming PCs, this configuration would not only ship without one of the best graphics cards, but without a dedicated GPU to speak of at all.
That’s right, there is no available option that includes a discrete graphics card, such as the RTX 3060 or the RTX 3070. Instead, the MSI MAG Trident S 5M is based solely on the popular AMD Ryzen 5700G APU. MSI appears to have high hopes for the system, with a press release claiming it is “reimagining the gaming experience”. That’s a bold claim for sure, so here’s what we can discern from the news about what could be a new wave of gaming PCs without graphics cards in its wake.
Is MSI MAG Trident S 5M a Controller Replacement?
While the MSI MAG Trident S 5M may be about the same size and weight as the likes of the Xbox Series One X, at least from what we can see, the ideology of this system is quite different. The Trident S 5M won’t replace PS5 or Xbox Series X games — instead, it’s more busy bringing a powerful streaming box to your living room. Think of this device as the enhanced Nvidia Shield TV or Apple TV streaming box that powers the traditional PC inside. This is our best look at this device, and we’ll talk about why below.
MSI MAG Trident S 5M: Hardware
The MSI MAG Trident S 5M is primarily marketed as a “machine dedicated to cloud and mobile gaming,” MSI reports. This manta opens up a fair amount of possibilities for what a gaming PC could be for the living room in 2022, and could succeed where others have failed if the price is right. Unfortunately, that’s the one thing we don’t have an official word on yet.
From what we can find in online prices for the MAG Trident S 5M, German retailer Computer Universe sells a configuration for €808 (that’s about $890). This is a little on the steep side in our opinion. We’ve seen many cheap gaming PCs at this price point that run dedicated graphics cards, like the RTX 3050, which are more capable (on paper at least).
However, we will make a judgment once the official US pricing is officially revealed.
What we do know is the MAG Trident S 5M’s specs, which are more than respectable. From what the official press release tells us, there will be three entry-level system versions available at launch that run a different SOC (System on a Chip). The Ryzen 5000G series gets the honor in this case, and that’s important because of the advances that have been made in terms of a fast CPU – think of it as a combination of both graphics and central processing working together in tandem. The options range from the Ryzen 3 5300G, the Ryzen 5 5600G, or the Ryzen 7 5700G, which will undoubtedly expand in performance and price in ascending order.
A deep dive into the MAG Trident S 5M hardware also reveals some interesting things about its power potential. For a start, there is support for 2x NVMe SSDs, as well as 1x SATA III SSD. Furthermore, each unit will be equipped with a dual-channel DDR4 RAM array clocked at 3200MHz, which isn’t bad either.
However, the two extreme values to our eyes, especially in relation to a computer marketed to the living room, are in the low PSU (120W adapter) and Wi-Fi 5. Ideally, it would have been Wi-Fi 6 Much more powerful, more stable and wireless performance, especially in a box that lives near your TV without the need for Ethernet. While a massive amount of power isn’t strictly required, a little under the hood means the integrated graphics processor can be pushed that far a bit too.
What does MAG Trident S 5M mean for cloud gaming?
We touched on the MAG Trident S 5M that powers Wi-Fi 5, rather than the newer Wi-Fi 6, and that’s the only major point of interest for a system that focuses primarily on cloud gaming. If you want to stream titles from Xbox Game Pass, Nvidia GeForce Now, Amazon Luna, Google Stadia, or other services, one thing is important above all else – you’ll need a great internet connection.
Wi-Fi 6 has been the standard within many of the best gaming PCs and best gaming laptops since its inception in 2019. Really, it wasn’t until 2020, that widespread adoption of 802.11ax to support 802.11ax makes AG Trident S certified. 5m on old questionable technology.
In terms of comparing Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6, there is a maximum throughput of 9.6 Gbps with Wi-Fi 6 compared to Wi-Fi 5’s 3.5 Gbps. That’s exactly the difference in material speed, and while it’s unlikely that separate leagues can stream games in the real world, you’ll always need more bandwidth to reduce the likes of lag, ghosting, and input lag in the game.
However, as long as you have a stable internet connection of around 35MB/s or higher, you won’t have many problems when streaming in Full HD from popular streaming services. We always recommend plugging in if possible, just to prevent any signal interference.
How good are Ryzen 5000 Series APUs for gaming?
Let’s say you want to ditch the likes of cloud gaming or play Android games on your TV, MSI Ads advise. How efficient are the likes of the Ryzen 7 5800G (highest spec available) for running PC games natively? The performance may surprise you.
Although it’s unlikely to be affected by benchmarks from a prime numbers perspective, the numbers fit decently in some graphically demanding titles. For example, we’ve seen benchmarks setting playable numbers in the likes of Grand Theft Auto V at 1080p (averaging 65 fps) as well as Doom Eternal (running at 48 fps). You’re unlikely to run above average sliders (game dependent of course), but the fact that 30+ frame rates are playable in visually great games is still definitely commendable.
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