Despite being a bit simple in places, this is a nicely spacious case with extensive cooling and cable management support
- Excellent cooling support
- More than enough fans
- Thin intake vents
- Could do with more storage support
For anyone who prefers a less showy PC case, the MPG Gungnir 100 might be more suitable than most of MSI’s other chassis designs. These include the MAG Vampiric series, which look like some kind of missile silo blast doors, and the MPG Sekira 500X, which is “inspired by the Axe of Perun”.
Here, there’s not even a hint of the highest god of the Slavic pantheon, though it does have some more conventional flair in the form of addressable RGB lighting and a full-size tempered glass side window. It’s something of a mish-mash of different materials: besides the glass, the main chassis is made of steel, while the top and front panels are plain black plastic. It’s not a deal breaker, but there is a bit of flex on the top panel, something to which fully metal cases aren’t as susceptible.
MSI MPG Gungnir 100 review: Specifications
There’s excellent cooling support, especially in terms of what’s included from the off. As well as one 120mm exhaust fan at the rear, three 120mm intake fans come pre-installed at the front. Straight away, then, you’ve got a cyclical airflow that will help spread cold air through the full height of the internal chamber. Even better is the wealth of upgrade options. The front panel can hold up to three 140mm fans instead of the three included 120mm fans, and watercooler radiators up to 420mm will fit, even if it is a tight squeeze. A 360mm radiator (and accompanying fans) will sit with a bit more space. The top, meanwhile, doesn’t have any pre-installed fans but can hold another three 120mm fans, or two 140mm fans. Radiator support follows this, so you can have 360mm or 280mm units up top. Just be aware that, again, using the largest possible radiator will leave little room for routing cables.
Lastly, there’s the single rear fan mount, which can take a 140mm fan and radiator if you ever want to switch out the included fan. All in all, the MPG Gungnir 100 is a lot more accommodating than most mid-towers for stuffing it full of fans and radiators, although some concerns remain about the cooling setup more generally. From a strictly convenience standpoint, it would have been nice to have had some removable dust filters for the front and top fan mounts, but more practically disappointing is how the only intake vents are thin slots cut into the sides. A more open design would have allowed cold air to be sucked in more efficiently.
Luckily, having four fans (instead of one or two) is a big help, and this isn’t the only way in which the case thinks big. It has some enviable component clearances: graphics cards up to 400mm will fit, and CPU coolers can be a relatively towering 170mm tall. It can also hold the three most common motherboard sizes – Mini-ITX, microATX and ATX – as well as EATX boards, but only if they’re 272mm across.
READ NEXT: Best PC speakers
MSI MPG Gungnir 100 review: Design and features
The MPG Gungnir 100 is well equipped for cable management, too. All of the routing holes into the main chamber are adequately sized and fitted with rubber grommets, which helpfully hold wires in place when building and re-fitting components. The main cable channel on the rear of the motherboard tray also uses our preferred fastening tool: Velcro straps, which can be easily re-used. These alone keep things looking tidy, but MSI has gone even further by installing a removable metal cover that hides both the cables and straps.
If this case has a defining feature, it’s how it handles RGB lighting. Not so much in sheer volume: there are only a couple of thin lighting strips at the top and bottom of the front panel, and the rear fan is the only other illuminated component. However, they’re all connected to a dedicated RGB controller hub, so they can all link up to the motherboard at once, and sync with other MSI Mystic Light-compatible hardware in your PC build. You can also add up to five more addressable RGB devices to the same hub, such as additional fans or LED strips. It’s an impressively comprehensive approach that helps prevent mismatched colours and enables deeper personalisation.
If only storage support was given as much focus. It’s fine, just nothing special: there are two 3.5in trays under the PSU shroud, both of which can alternatively hold a 2.5in drive, while two dedicated 2.5in mounts can attach to either the side of the rear chamber or on top of the shroud. This will be fine for most home and gaming PC builds, but if you anticipate needing multiple hard disks, you should get a case with a larger storage cage.
MSI MPG Gungnir 100 review: Verdict
The MPG Gungnir 100 is a mix of premium flourishes and more humdrum specs, but the advantages easily outnumber the annoyances. Even with the small airflow vents and plastic panels, there’s a lot of building potential and extra features here, even for £90.