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MSI Aegis 3 (2017)

Constructing a private gaming pc is a ceremony of passage for any PC gamer, however typically it's simply simpler to have another person do all of the work. The MSI Aegis three is considered one of these pre-built methods that has the to fulfill any PC gamer's wants, dwelling and respiration inside an aggressively styled, small form-factor chassis that hardly takes up any area. 

In the event you're seeking to dive head-first into the fantastic world of PC gaming, the Aegis three is a good place to begin.

Worth and availability

There are fairly a couple of variations on the Aegis three, with the one we examined coming in at $1,549 (£1,799, AU$2,999). That’s proper consistent with the $1,524 (£1,604, AU$2,599) Alienware Aurora and significantly cheaper than a comparably geared up $1,799 (£1,799 / AU$2,639) Corsair One as properly.

There are additionally cheaper variations of the Aegis three with an Intel Core i5-7400 processor and a 6GB GTX 1060 graphics card. A model with the i7-7700, 8GB GTX 1080 graphics card, 32GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and 2TB HDD is simply $400 greater than the model we examined. It’s an actual discount, particularly while you issue within the respectable gaming mouse and keyboard MSI packs within the field.


The Aegis three seems extra alien than its up to date, the . Vented home windows on either side allow you to peer into the machinations of the PC, whereas LED lights illuminate and draw consideration to its varied elements and design accents. The entrance of the Aegis additionally lights up, simply in case you overlook for even a second it is a gamer's pc.

The entire thing seems like some robotic xenomorph hybrid, as if at any time a mouth will pop open and taunt you with one other, smaller mouth. There are two folding headphone holders on both aspect. They appear like the horns on Genji's (from Overwatch) head, including additional to its robotic look.

Lighting is customizable utilizing the pre-installed MSI Gaming Heart software program. The choices are static, gradient, audio, and respiration, and all of them are superior. The audio setting is arguably the good one, because the totally different zones pulse and dance alongside together with your favourite tunes. It's value turning down the room lights and bumping your favourite music simply to observe the present. 

Did we point out there are LEDs in every single place? As a result of it bears repeating. Regardless of of the prevalence of all of the lights, they match so properly into the general type that it provides to the look with out being ostentatious, and the totally different configurations are enjoyable to mess around with. 

It's additionally smaller than it appears attainable, given its specs. At 14.eight inches deep, the desktop’s footprint is on-par with the Alienware Aurora and the equally area environment friendly Corsair One.

MSI touts the benefit at which the Aegis might be upgraded, however that’s extremely subjective. It comes all the way down to what your definition of "straightforward" is. This isn’t a tool-less pc case. There's not a thumbscrew to be discovered, that means you want a medium Philips head to crack it open and scoop out the candy, candy elements inside.

Fumbling round for a screwdriver isn't the tip of the world, however there are far too many screws that must be eliminated earlier than the case might be opened up. Then the graphics card is held in place by an extra four screws, and so they're all tiny and straightforward to lose. 

It's the exact opposite of the Alienware Aurora improve course of, which is totally toolless. Placing the items again collectively is irritating as a result of they simply don't appear to wish to line up, and we ended up having to backtrack a couple of steps in the course of the reassembly course of as a result of the tabs within the again hadn't mated with the slots correctly. 

Frustration is the secret.

The Aegis three has a sturdy deal with on the again, growing its portability. The rugged, steel deal with is a pleasant function as a result of the Aegis three is surprisingly heavy, coming in between 17.75 and 25 kilos, relying on its configuration. The supporting steel of the handles runs hidden beneath a bit of plastic trim, and it's held in by a number of thick screws, giving it a very stable really feel.

Ports for days

Despite its small kind issue, the Aegis has loads of ports, with a USB Sort-C and a couple of USB ports proper on the entrance for straightforward entry. There are additionally 2 VR ports, one on the entrance and one on the again, for plugging in a VR headset. Headphone and microphone jacks are equally doubled-up, masking the bases of your peripheral wants.

Recreation gear

Sure configurations of the Aegis three embrace a free gaming mouse and keyboard. Each are backlit, with the keyboard's colours spanning the complete seen spectrum and the mouse glowing purple.

Neither the keyboard nor the mouse are significantly high-quality, however that's to not say they're unhealthy. The keys on the keyboard have a mushy really feel to them, someplace between a membrane and a full-on mechanical keyboard. The mouse is a contact on the small aspect, however is comfy to make use of total.


Among the finest options of the MSI Aegis three is how quietly it runs. There's quite a lot of math occurring in that small, crowded case, however the Aegis three barely cries above a uninteresting roar. The truth is, the fan noise disappears utterly over the sounds of video games even at low volumes. We by no means observed a trade-off in extra warmth from the low-noise followers, in order that they cool simply in addition to they keep quiet.

The Aegis three is ready to maintain its personal, simply eking out a victory over the Alienware Aurora in some assessments whereas falling barely brief in others. It doesn't fare as properly towards the Corsair One, however the model with the GTX 1080 and 32GB of RAM would most likely don’t have any downside topping its numbers.

We performed a great deal of NieR: Automata at its highest settings with VSync turned on, and the Aegis didn't bat an eye fixed. NieR isn't probably the most demanding sport on the market, nevertheless it depends so closely on quick motion that it begs for a pc that may dole out a stable framerate, and the Aegis three delivered. 

VR Trooper

In the event you hadn't already guessed from the labeled VR ports on the back and front, the Aegis three is a succesful digital actuality machine. The most recent technology i7 and the GTX 1070 greater than meet the necessities for each Vive and Oculus. Its small form-factor and easy-carry deal with make it a snap to maneuver. So if you wish to arrange your expertise in one other room, you possibly can carry the pc in a single hand and your headset within the different.

The Aegis three we examined got here bundled with VR-ready software program, together with a shortcut to SteamVR, Fruit Ninja VR, and Tilt Brush, Google's 3D portray software program. Whereas we didn't have a headset on-hand in the course of the testing course of, each Fruit Ninja VR and Tilt Brush are enjoyable introductions into VR and together with them with the Aegis three is a pleasant gesture.

Remaining verdict

PC gaming conjures pictures of beastly rigs operating impossibly complicated lighting and cooling set-ups. The Aegis three manages to catch that aggressiveness in a small form-factor whereas retaining the perspective of a customized constructed system in each type and performance. The very fact it runs nearly impossibly quiet is superb given its stable specs and efficiency.

That stated, an enormous a part of PC gaming is having full area over the elements in your pc, and whereas the Aegis three is customizable, accessing its innards are a ache. The case suits collectively so properly that the tiny screws makes getting inside a fumbling mess. 

There's loads of energy, and the actual fact elements might be swapped out makes it quasi-future proof, though stepping into the machine isn't practically as straightforward as MSI needs you to imagine. You'll most likely need to seek for a tutorial the primary time you open it up, as a result of it's not an intuitive course of within the slightest.

Small, quiet, cool and succesful, the Aegis three is an effective selection to start your ascension to the realm of PC gaming. On prime of being highly effective, the Aegis three simply seems superior. The lighting schemes are rather well completed and make the small pc appear larger than life. With ports galore, Kaby Lake processors and 10-series graphics, the Aegis three is the little pc that might at an amazing worth level.

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