• Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-6700
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX970
  • Memory: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB PCIE SSD, 1 TB HDD
  • Others: Bluetooth 4.1, Full HD webcam, Gigabit LAN, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, SD card reader
  • Dimensions: 433.18mm x 376.11mm x 169.92mm mm
  • Weight: 4kg
  • Pros:
  • Compact size
  • Convenient carry handle
  • Cons:
  • Limited USB ports
  • Benchmark Results
  • PCMark Home: 4,151 points
  • PCMark Creative: 3,916 points
  • PCMark Work: 3,662 points
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme: 5,094 points
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra: 2,656 points

Compact Wonder

This month is certainly an exciting one for us and you readers, because we have three desktop gaming PCs to review. One of it is a very fancy, highly compact and somewhat portable entry from our friends at MSI – the MSI Aegis.

The Aegis is a surprisingly compact gaming PC that can easily fit in most places. While not as small as the Vortex, it’s still pretty impressive. It has an elongated and angular body, with removable side panels and a useful handle for easy transport. Its right side panel has a small grill that offers a peek at the Nvidia GTX 970 inside, while the front features multiple ‘segments’ with cut outs that have mesh grills revealing the glowing RGB LEDS within. You’ll find the usual I/O ports at the back but not much more in terms of exhaust vents for heat; most of the heat exhausts via the side panel.

Speaking of IO ports, MSI has managed to include a good number of options across the board here. First, at the front you’ll find an optical drive, Gen-1 USB 3.1 port, USB 2.0 port, a mic-in and audio-out, as well as the power button to turn this beast on. At the back, there are more USB ports – two USB 2.0 and four Gen-1 USB 3.1 – for you to plug your various peripherals and devices to. There’s even a PS/2 port for peripherals that do need it, as well as a HDMI, two DisplayPorts, two DVI-D ports, and the usual 6-in-1 audio combo.

With a GTX970 and an Intel Core i7-, the performance of the Aegis is about as expected. The Witcher 3 is playable on High settings and with Nvidia Hairworks active, running at over 40fps consistently but dipping to 30fps at times. We benchmarked it with Ashes of the Singularity as well, just to see how it will perform on DirectX 12 games. It managed an average of 42 fps, which is more than fair considering that the settings were set to high. It’s possible to add more RAM and or upgrade the parts inside if you want to, but removing the side panel voids the warranty.

Acoustically, it’s also quiet; all you’ll hear from the Aegis is a soft hum when the cooling solution is working at its hardest, which didn’t bother us at all. Since the fans don’t make much noise while under automated control, the RPM can be increased for more cooling, which in turn means some extra overhead for overclocking.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Considering its form factor, acoustics, cooling, and performance levels, the MSI Aegis is definitely a great gaming PC to consider.

(previously published in issue June 2016)

MSI Aegis