A large format version of the first Aegis of the name, the MSI Aegis Ti3 is a desktop PC whose design leaves no room for ambiguity as to its field of predilection. Office automation and surfing the Internet? Yes, for sure! No more jokes, with this device, your favorite games will go full blast and preferably in 1440p and 4K. Because, on board, it embeds not one but two lareview generation Nvidia graphics cards. Exceptional performance, very high price: count 5000 euros for the version we reviewed. Note however that less muscular versions are available from around 2800 euros.
The MSI Aegis Ti3 is one of the new luxury gaming machines from the Taiwanese automaker’s catalog. Its well-defined identity and aerodynamic posture allow it to be identified at first glance. With Ti3, power is galore for 3D and VR, not just a device for Word and Excel.
If you are not completely convinced, press the machine start button. Different parts of the latter then light up in an almost threatening red, like a dragon which is about to spout streams of flame! You don’t like the color? This is not a problem, each light element is customizable thanks to the part Mystic light soft Gaming Center preinstalled in the machine.
The Aegis Ti3, a proven case of situs inversus
Let’s get right to the heart of the matter, the material configuration of this luxurious monster. The internal layout is quite “exotic” since the box allows MSI to separate the “processor” part from the “graphics” or even “power” part, in order to limit the circulation of hot air in the passenger compartment. better cooling.
The processor and graphics “parts” are located inside the case. The third, for its part, is in the foot.
Hodgepodge of powerful components
As a corollary of the internal organization of the case, the motherboard opts for a somewhat special format and embeds both components of desktop PC and laptop.
Thus, it is the Intel Core i7-7700K, high-end processor of last generation, which is at the helm and whose heat is tempered by an imposing water cooling kit, cleverly hidden in this part of the case.
Note, with a simple press on the button struck by a dragon (located on the front), the OC profile of the machine starts, dynamically overclocking the operating frequencies of the Intel chip. On the screen, this results in the appearance of a small window inside which are indicated the current speeds but, also, the other profiles activatable with a simple click of the mouse.
Let’s go back to the belly of the beast. The four DDR4 memory modules, of 16 GB each, are in SO-DIMM format, the same as that of portable PCs. Two are located near the processor and the other two are located on the back of the motherboard. They are nevertheless accessible subject to dismantling the side panel of the machine.
It is also on the back of the motherboard that MSI chooses to place two M.2 SSD modules of 512 GB each, mounted in RAID 0 for even faster read / write speeds. Most observers will not fail to notice in the photo above that an M.2 slot for future Intel Optane SSDs is present on the motherboard. Finally, if you want to add a more standard 2.5-inch SSD or hard drive to the machine, a vacant space is available.
Storage again, with the presence of a 3 TB hard drive delocalized in the base of the machine! There is even an empty location (and the necessary cables) to add a storage unit if the need arises.
Because two GeForce would be better than one
We mentioned in the foreword, the MSI Aegis Ti3 embeds two graphics cards brand NVIDIA, two GeForce GTX 1080 customized by MSI. Understand that the 3D processor and 8 GB of GDDR5X memory are factory overclocked to significantly increase the number of frames per second generated.
Each card is cooled by a MSI device (efficient and silent) with double fan. And to avoid potential heatstroke, the entire compartment is kept at the right temperature by a large 120 mm fan, screwed to the upper wall of the case and responsible for removing heat to the outside.
With all these state-of-the-art components, it is obvious that the games run smoothly. Depending on our review titles, the Aegis Ti3 outputs between 90 to more than 260 frames per second in Full HD and 1440p. For example, in Rise of the Tomb Raider (in DX12), the configuration easily displays more than 162 frames per second, in Full HD with all the game options to the maximum.
In 4K, performance is (finally) sufficient to play with a good level of graphics but do not expect to push all the options of all the lareview 3D guns. The presence of two graphics cards does not mean that you have double the graphics power available and to be used for video games. At best, a significant gain of between 15 and 25% will be on the agenda.
However, combining two graphics cards is not all good. It is common for games to poorly recognize the latter or even not exploit them to the full. So, if stability or display problems appear, it is better to go to the Nvidia drivers and cut one of the two graphics cards. Note, Nvidia offers a complete list of games that support SLI and note that the lareview AAA titles like Mass Effect: Andromeda or Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands are not yet on the menu. Given the significant power of a single GeForce GTX 1080, we have to wonder if it is really useful to continue to bet on multiGPU systems today …
Plenty of connectors for VR (but not only)
After the inside of the monster, the outside! No doubt, MSI has made the package available on the connectors. Both on the front and outside. At the front, located just above the DVD reader / writer, are two USB 3.0 sockets, a USB Type-C, a microphone input and a headphone output directly connected to the miniDAC (ESS SABER HiFi DAC). The latter is integrated into the motherboard and provides better sound in games, music (uncompressed) or movies. An HDMI output is also present to connect a VR headset type Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and this, to avoid having to do caving under the desk.
On the sides of the case are two folding supports, the only role of which is to accommodate your headphones, to prevent them from lounging on the desk. Most connoisseurs probably remember that Acer offered almost the same “service” on its Predator G6 and G1.
We go to the back and there, we find almost the same cast as before … but more provided! The motherboard offers two USB 2.0 sockets, 6 USB 3.0 sockets, an Ethernet network socket, and all the connectors necessary to connect an analog or digital multichannel audio kit (optical output). An ancestral PS / 2 socket is also part of it, for players whose peripherals still use this type of connector.
The two large antennas (quite unsightly) reviewify to the presence of a Wi-Fi card, compatible n / ac and Bluetooth (4.1). In addition, the network part is entrusted to Killer LAN chips which allow, via well thought-out software, to operate the wireless and the wired pair or organize, for example, the network accesses of the apps present on the machine.