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MSI AEGIS Portable Barebones Gaming Desktop PC Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Gaming Desktop PCs in Computer Systems | Posted: Jul 15, 2016 2:10 am
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: MSI

Here are key points about the AEGIS.


What's Hot


Custom Compact: While the final product is always the sum of its parts, the way it is put together can have a huge impact as well. The AEGIS uses a mini-ITX motherboard and other compact technologies, but it has some advantages over your typical mini-ITX system. The desktop is very slim, and that is because of all the customization MSI has done to ensure maximum use of all available space.


The small flex ATX PSU in the base, PCI-E riser card allowing a full-sized GPU to rotate 90-degrees, the very slim custom cooling solution, and custom motherboard combine to form a very different mini-ITX based gaming PC. You can also fit an enormous amount of storage through multiple slots and containers, allowing you to take advantage of every cubic inch of space.



Unique Aesthetics: I haven't seen anything quite like the AEGIS. It looks very impressive in person. The RGB LEDs built into the front look neat, especially when they cast a shadow through the venting. The lit up MSI Dragon logo also adds to the aesthetic appeal of the system. I would personally buy a graphics card with a nice looking cooler since you will be able to see it through the side vent.


Barebones: There are numerous combinations of CPU, memory, storage, and graphics that you can choose to build the AEGIS. By purchasing these parts on your own and installing them, you are effectively still building a computer, and for less than if it came fully built. Since the AEGIS isn't a full system, but rather a barebone system, you won't be charged a premium for the CPU, memory, GPU, or storage.


Cool and Quiet: The AEGIS's fans are optimized to reduce noise, even at full load. The GPU will draw air directly from outside of the case, which will greatly reduce GPU temperatures compared to drawing air from inside the case. The CPU is cooled by a large blower fan, which effectively pushes all of the air outside the rear of the case. Since the AEGIS is a barebone system, MSI was able to optimize their cooling solution, and the results are quite good.


Carry Handle: The highest point on the AEGIS is home to a handle which is connected to the main body of the chassis. The handle allows you to carry around the AEGIS with a single hand, making the AEGIS more mobile than many other PCs.


What's Not


The Downside of a Custom Solution: The downside of a custom solution becomes apparent if and when something breaks down. One example is if the PSU needs to be replaced you might have trouble finding a flex ATX PSU with the same wiring used in the AEGIS.



Final Thoughts


The AEGIS sports a unique look, supple room for storage, and a design aimed to reduce temperatures and unused space. I have never been one for full sized ATX barebone systems, but when it comes to mini-ITX based systems, they do make a lot of sense. The purpose of mini-ITX systems is to be compact, and compatibility and compactness do not always go hand in hand as form factors get smaller. MSI's custom motherboard also does a nice job to helping take advantage of space. MSI was able to position connectors optimally to enhance usability and help cleanly route wiring.




I am a big fan of the way the GPU is positioned so it can draw fresh air from outside of the case and exhaust directly out the back. The GPU cooling method helps thermally isolate it from the rest of the system. The AEGIS is a fine looking little beast, I don't care for external facing RGB LEDs, but MSI did a very tasteful job with them. I was impressed with the AEGIS barebones from MSI. If you are in the market for a barebones portable gaming desktop PC, it is definitely worth a look.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Quality including Design and Build92%
General Features93%
Bundle and Packaging85%
Value for Money90%
Overall TweakTown Rating90%

The Bottom Line: MSI's AEGIS barebones gaming system offers gamers the ability to maintain full-sized desktop performance in a small yet stylish gaming PC.

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