MSI Aegis 3 (2018) overview

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The MSI Aegis Three is a gaming PC that proves you don’t must hog a whole desk to be a formidable – in each appears to be like and {hardware} – machine. Whereas different gaming desktops that embrace innovative parts wish to tower menacingly above us when positioned on a desk (together with the Aegis 3’s larger brother, the MSI Aegis Ti3), the Aegis Three is a extra wise affair.

That’s to not say it’s missing within the appears to be like and parts division, nonetheless. It encompasses a comparable aggressive design to the Ti3 (which reminded us of a decapitated robotic), however in a smaller type issue which is able to make it extra handy for many individuals, particularly for those who’re on the lookout for a gaming PC that you would be able to lug round with you to occasions and LAN events.

With a smaller footprint comes a smaller price ticket as nicely. Does the MSI Aegis Three do sufficient to warrant a spot in your desk? Let’s discover out.

Spec sheet

Right here is the MSI Aegis Three configuration despatched to TechRadar for overview: 

CPU: 3.2 GHz Intel Core i7-8700 (six-core, 12MB cache, as much as 4.6 GHz with Turbo Enhance)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti (8GB GDDR5 RAM)
RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM (2400 MHz)
Storage: 256GB M.2 SSD, 2TB HDD (7,200RPM)
Optical drive: Tray-load super-multi DVD
Ports: 1 x USB 3.1 Kind C, 2 x USB 2.0 (with Tremendous Charger 2),1 x Mic in / 1 x Headphone out, 2 x USB 2.0, Four x USB 3.1 Kind A, 1 x HDMI out, 1 x Show Port, 5 x OFC Audio jacks, 1 x S/PDIF, 1 x RJ45 LAN, 1 x Gaming machine port(PS/2)
Connectivity: Intel Twin Band Wi-fi-AC 3168, Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet
Weight: 17.75 lbs. / 24.7 lbs.(8.05KG / 11.2KG)
Dimension: 6.7 x 14.Eight x 17 inches (170 x 376 x 433 mm) (W x D x H)

Worth and availability

The MSI Aegis Three is available in quite a lot of configurations and costs to match.

Within the UK, the Aegis Three with an eighth technology Intel Core i7 8700 processor, 8GB RAM, 16GB Intel Optane, 1TB HDD, 128GB SSD and GTX 1070 graphics card prices £1,799.99.

The identical setup (however with a 2TB exhausting drive) will set you again $1,568 within the US, in the meantime. We don’t at present have a worth for Australia, however because the UK and US costs are very near final yr’s mannequin, we’d hazard a guess that it is going to be round AU$2,599.

Whereas these are actually not low costs, they evaluate favorably to final yr’s mannequin, with improved parts for not a lot of a worth premium. It’s actually a extra compelling worth proposition than the Aegis Ti3, which prices nearly 4 occasions the worth of the Aegis 3, although it comes with much more highly effective parts.

Design

As we talked about earlier, the Aegis Three is available in a novel (to the Aegis vary) chassis that appears impressively alien, and even within the smaller design of the Aegis 3, its nonetheless eye-catching sufficient to garner a couple of feedback as individuals noticed it on our desk.

LED lights (that may be configured by MSI’s bundled software program) glow from inside, giving it an impressively intimidating look, and small arms on both facet of the chassis not solely assist make the Aegis Three look much more alien, however they can be utilized to hold your gaming headphones from.

As with the earlier mannequin, the footprint is impressively small, and at 14.Eight inches deep, the desktop’s footprint is on-par with the Alienware Aurora and the Corsair One.

The smaller measurement of the chassis does make it more durable to improve the parts afterward, with diminished house to get in and fiddle round with the {hardware}, and in contrast to the Alienware Aurora you want instruments (nicely, a screwdriver) to open up the case. This received’t be an enormous downside for individuals who usually open up their PCs to tweak, nevertheless it’s not fairly the user-friendly improve expertise that the Alienware affords.

As with earlier fashions, the Aegis Three has a sturdy deal with on the again, enabling it to be carried round. The chassis is tad heavy although, coming in between 17.75 and 25 kilos, relying on its configuration.

Loads o’ ports

Across the again you’ve bought a wide array of ports, together with various USB ports, Ethernet and audio. Relying on the GPU you get, you’ll even have a good quantity of video ports as nicely. 

Nonetheless, the devoted digital actuality HDMI ports of final years mannequin are not any extra. That is possible a mirrored image of the dearth of curiosity in VR, and for those who do have a VR headset, there’s nonetheless loads of ports to plug it in, they’re simply not fairly as handy.

The MSI Aegis Three mannequin we have been despatched additionally has an optical DVD drive, which is one thing of a rarity in machines today, even desktop PCs. Whereas operating video games or putting in applications from a disc appears fairly archaic, it’s good to have the choice, particularly for those who dwell someplace with poor web connectivity.

Benchmarks

Right here’s how the MSI Aegis 3 (2018) carried out in our suite of benchmark checks:

3DMark: Sky Diver: 41,334; Hearth Strike: 17,575; Time Spy: 6,777
Cinebench CPU: 1,153 factors; Graphics: 1244.71 fps
GeekBench: 5,372 (single-core); 24,365 (multi-core)
PCMark 8 (House Check): 5,054 factors
Complete Struggle: Warhammer II (1080p, Extremely): 72 fps; (1080p, Low): 149 fps
Center-Earth: Shadow of Struggle (1080p, Extremely): 90 fps; (1080p, Low): 169 fps

Efficiency

The mannequin we have been despatched of the MSI Aegis Three is a little bit of an odd one, and isn’t simply accessible in some markets. It contains an Intel Core i7-8700 operating at 3.20GHz, a really succesful trendy processor. It additionally comes with an Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti graphics card with 8GB of reminiscence, which is a good improve over the GTX 1070 you get in some configurations. Whereas it’s not the highest-end GPU by any means, particularly with Nvidia’s RTX 20-series playing cards now accessible, it’s greater than succesful sufficient to play trendy video games at 1080p, and even 1440p resolutions.

In day-to-day use the MSI Aegis Three felt quick and responsive in Home windows 10, with the stable state drive serving to it boot and cargo apps and video games rapidly.

In fact, you received’t be shopping for the MSI Aegis Three simply to whip up some spreadsheets in Excel, and in our time enjoying video games on the machine, we have been very impressed, particularly when enjoying at 1080p. We paired the MSI Aegis Three with the MSI Optix MPG27C gaming monitor, which is a 1080p display with help for top refresh charges of 144Hz.

This combo of 1080p decision and excessive refresh charge is the perfect stability for a machine just like the MSI Aegis 3, because the 1080p decision doesn’t tax the 1070 Ti, so you possibly can simply play trendy video games at excessive or extremely graphical settings. In the meantime, the facility isn’t going to waste, as you’re getting body charges nicely above 60 frames per second, one thing video games consoles just like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 can solely dream of.

Take the outcomes we’ve seen with Center Earth: Shadow of Struggle. It is a graphically-demanding recreation, however the MSI Aegis Three managed a really respectable 90 frames per second on extremely settings. Should you’re trying to make use of the Aegis Three with larger resolutions, resembling 1440p (2,560 x 1,440), you then’ll nonetheless see superb efficiency at excessive settings, although the framerates received’t be as excessive. 

For individuals who see 60fps because the gold customary of gaming, then they are going to be very pleased with the Aegis 3, although it’d battle with 4K decision in some video games at their highest settings.

A look on the benchmark outcomes present a formidable enchancment over final yr’s Aegis 3, which scored 5,740 on the demanding Time Spy 3DMark benchmark, in comparison with this yr’s 6,777. 

Outcomes throughout the board are enhancements over final yr’s mannequin. Though that is to be anticipated, the truth that MSI is pitching this yr’s mannequin at across the similar worth as final years, is a really welcome transfer, which suggests you get a formidable efficiency bump in your money.

Verdict

This yr’s MSI Aegis Three is a wonderful replace that brings some glorious {hardware} revisions, whereas preserving the eye-catching smaller type issue. The design is exclusive, with some good touches for PC avid gamers, and there’s loads of ports and improve potential, regardless of its (comparatively) small measurement.

Gaming at 1080p is great, with even the newest video games operating fantastically at extremely graphical settings. It’s not essentially the most highly effective gaming PC available on the market, nonetheless, and for those who’re on the lookout for a killer gaming PC that may deal with 4K resolutions, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Contemplating the efficiency and design, we expect MSI has pitched the worth of the MSI Aegis Three good, particularly as it may be had for across the similar worth as final yr’s mannequin. Nonetheless, there are a selection of configurations, and never all can be found in each market, which makes getting maintain of a selected construct a bit extra difficult. It’s not solely clear the place you should buy the precise specs MSI despatched us, for instance.

General, the MSI Aegis Three is an excellent replace to an already spectacular gaming PC. Don’t be deceived by its smaller stature, this can be a gaming PC that may problem the massive boys.



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