TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Hardcore PC gamers and builders won't be caught fragging with a typical all-in-one, because you can't upgrade it and because it doesn't have the same powerful components as a full-fledged gaming desktop. MSI's new AX24 all-in-one flips the script, employing a full-powered desktop CPU and giving you access to install your own desktop video card, RAM and SSDs.
The 24-inch AX24 has a fairly conservative design that's mostly black plastic with a few red accents on the front-facing speakers. It lacks some of the flashier aesthetics of MSI's other all-in-ones, which have the company's dragon logo and a lot more red on their chassis. The webcam has a slide cover, providing an additional layer of security and privacy.
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The glossy touch screen is probably the weak point of this system as it sports a modest 1920 x 1080 resolution. Considering that some of MSI's gaming all-in-ones now have 3K and 4K displays, the AX24's full HD panel seems pedestrian by comparison.
The backside of the AX24 is where all its unique features lie. The left side has a large rectangular box with a screw on each of its four corners. Undo these screws and you can insert the desktop video card of your choice. A second power plug connects directly to the video card box in order to provide a dedicated stream of juice straight to the GPU. MSI says that the system will have two power supplies, each capable of delivering 180 watts. The company says that it is considering building a version of the AX24 with dual video card support.
There's also a panel on the backside that unscrews to reveals the memory slots. If users want to go further and replace the CPU or the two M.2 SSDs, they can remove the entire back panel to get to the motherboard. We don't know for sure whether the system will come with a fifth generation or sixth generation Intel processor, but considering the time frame, it may well have support for Intel's next-generation Skylake platform.
The MSI AX24 will probably launch by the end of 2015. There's no word yet on pricing or available specs. However, if it's a success, this groundbreaking computer could herald a new age of upgradeable all-in-ones.