It's very easy to remove the side panels on the AEGIS; only a few screws stand between you and its internals. You will have to open the unit to install the CPU, memory, storage, and GPU. There are two 3.5" bay-style trays for 3.5" HDDs accessible after you remove the top. A 2.5" bay is also located at the top horizontally. One of the DDR4 SO-DIMMs and the M.2 slot are located on the back of the motherboard.
To access the 3.5" HDD bays, you must first remove the ODD by removing a single screw. The bottom of the unit can also be opened to reveal the HDMI pass through, and it is also where the WIFI and AUX antennas screw into the system. The PSU and motherboard use their own set of connectors, and you will not need to plug in individual power cables to devices (except for the GPU). All power connections are already in place; you only need to install your devices.
Installing the GPU is straightforward. I also removed the riser card, which extends out the PCI-E x16 slot and rotates it 90-degrees. The riser is attached to the blower fan.
The cooling solution on the AEGIS is custom designed by MSI, and it is pretty much overkill for a 65W CPU, so the device should stay relatively cool and quiet. The fan model is Power Logic PLB11020B12H.
The socket is a standard LGA1151 socket, and you need to make sure to use thermal paste before mounting the heat sink cooler. Four spring loaded screws are used to ensure optimum pressure between the IHS and copper part of the heat sink. The PCH also has a tiny little heat sink for itself. The WIFI module comes pre-installed, and installing the SO-DIMMs is very easy.
An ALC1150 (found in many high-end desktops) audio codec is paired with a TPA6132 25-mW DirectPath headphone amplifier with built-in pop suppression. A Realtek RTL8111H provides the 1Gbit NIC at the rear. Wireless AC 2x2 (867Mbps) and Bluetooth 4.2 come from an Intel Wireless-AC 3165 M.2 card, which is pre-installed.
The built in Super Multi DVD Writer is a GUDON from Hitachi-LG Data Storage, and the 350W PSU is from FSP.
The main VRM uses an NCP81203 3+2 phase PWM routed to three phases for the CPU VCore and a single phase for the iGPU. Each phase uses an NCP5369 fully integrated 35A powerstage with a driver, high-side FET, and low-side FET all in a single package. The VRM is more than enough to power 65W Skylake CPUs.
I spotted a few other ICs around the unit. The first is a Genesys Logic GL852G USB hub located on a daughterboard for the front panel ports. The main SuperIO on the device is a nuvoTon NCT6685D.
PRICING: You can find the MSI AEGIS Portable Barebones Gaming Desktop PC for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The MSI AEGIS Portable Barebones Gaming Desktop PC retails for $400 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Physical Overview]
- Page 3 [AEGIS Teardown]
- Page 4 [Software and BIOS]
- Page 5 [System Performance Benchmarks]
- Page 6 [Gaming Performance Benchmarks]
- Page 7 [System IO Performance]
- Page 8 [Thermal Performance and Power Consumption]
- Page 9 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]
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