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MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US Small Form Factor Gaming Desktop Review
Small form factor gaming desktops are a special breed of computers that just draw attention by just how cute and compact they are. It’s easy to dismiss them as toned down and impossible to upgrade dwarfs, understandably so as manufacturers do have to make a lot of compromises to fit performance components into such a tiny case. However, in the MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US Small Form Factor Gaming Desktop Review we debunk this impossible mentality and show you why you probably should give SFFs a second thought.
The MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US Small Form Factor Gaming Desktop isn’t a dwarf in any manner or form, well apart form the size of course. This tiny gaming beast packs some formidable gaming performance while maintaining the aggressive and in your face design aesthetic that PC gamers love so much – oh it’s a beautifully designed piece (think LED lighting that pulsates in rhythm with your favorite music or in-game audio!).
- Small and compact case
- Beautiful and aggressive gamer centric design
- Powerful components
- VR ready with dedicated VR ports!
- Amazing build quality
- Ample and fast storage
- Amazing MSI gaming peripherals (free gaming keyboard and mouse)
- Not easy to upgrade-needs some skills and patience!
MSI does not disappoint when it comes to making stuff for PC gamers and this MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US is undeniably bonkers in the design department and performance. This is honestly one of the best small form factor gaming rigs you can get your gaming hands on. We love it because it looks so good, performs above expectations and stays reasonably quiet while chugging tasks.
It’s also powered by a powerful Intel Core i7-7700 Quad core (4) 3.6GHz processor and has MSI GeForce GTX 1080 8GB dedicated graphics (NVIDIA chipset). Additionally, it also comes with 32GB DDR4 RAM and a 512GB SSD. You bet it’s a bit mind boggling to imagine all these high-end performance components crammed into the tiny SFF case, but they do. Such a configuration would mean a loud and heat spewing toaster due to space limitations but the MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US is incredibly quiet even when under heavy load.
MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US Specs
|Processor||Intel Core i7-7700 Quad-Core processor|
|Speed||3.6GHz 8M Cache|
|RAM||16GB (8GB x 2) DDR4 SO-DIMM 2133Mhz 2 slots, Max 32GB|
|Internal Storage||512GB SSD|
|Graphics||GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5|
|Connectivity||1 x USB 3.1 Type C, 2 x USB 2.0 (with Super Charger 2),1 x Mic in / 1 x Headphone out, 1 x HDMI out (VR Link), 2 x USB 2.0, 4 x USB 3.1 Type A, 1 x HDMI out, 1 x HDMI in (connect Graphic card and front VR-Link port), 1 x Display Port, 5 x OFC Audio jacks, 1 x S/PDIF, 1 x RJ45 LAN, 1 x Gaming device port(PS/2)|
|Wireless& LAN||Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168, Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows 10 Home|
|Special Features||VR ready | Front Access VR Port | Proprietary Cooling System | Nahimic Sound System|
|Dimensions||14.8 x 6.7 x 17.1 inches|
Design and Features
Saying the MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US is beautifully designed would be a huge understatement. We haven’t really seen something quite like this before. From the aggressive stand upon which the entire PC stands (what’s up with that?!), to the illuminated vents and transparent side panels, to the unique headphone hanger and the bright LED lighting, oh the LED lighting… this tiny PC is quite special to look at.
The whole case has this beautiful brushed metal finish; while the frontal decals have an amazing carbon fiber-like finish that looks and feels nothing short of premium. The whole thing is angled downwards due to the inclination of the stand-it almost looks like an alien object about to take off into outer space.
The MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US takes the concept of aggressive LED lighting to stratospheric levels. It’s adorned with bright LED lighting internally, glowing through the frontal panel decals and transparent side panels.
Customization is where things get a lot more interesting as the pre-installed MSI Gaming Center software allows us to choose between four interesting options; static, gradient, audio, and breathing. You can already tell what each of the options do, but just to ignite your imagination, the audio option makes the lighting pulsate in sync with your music or in-game audio while the breathing option makes the MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US a living, breathing alien object (well not literally, but close).
Size and Features
It measures just 6.69 x 14.81 x 17.05 in and weighs 18.94 lbs., kind of heavy for a PC its size but we understand this is due to the premium components inside. It does have a handle in case you would need to lug it from room to room.
Design, aside we explored the upgrade situation on the MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US and as expected from a tiny and compact SFF, gaining access to the internals and installing or swapping components isn’t a simple task. It’s not easy cramming all those powerful components into the tiny case and still getting the cooling and build quality right.
Also Read: Other MSI desktops:
Getting to the interior requires one to undo a number of screws and unpacking the inside is harder with most components screwed firmly and space being quite limited. That doesn’t mean the MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US is impossible to upgrade, just that it’s a lot harder than you would think. The motherboard does provide a reasonable number of expansion options including space for extra RAM and SSD/SATA storage.
One feature to mention is the proprietary cooling system used on the MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US
. MSI calls it Silent Storm Cooling and I must say it’s the most impressive mechanisms we’ve seen on a pre-built PC. One would expect such a tiny but powerful PC to be loud and have nasty thermals. But the MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US is quite and gentle even with all its cylinders blasting at the highest rates while gaming.
We’ve mentioned the gaming keyboard and mouse before. The MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US comes with an amazing set of MSI gaming peripherals to allow you to jump right into serious PC gaming. The keyboard is a fully LED backlit premium piece complete with a comfortable palm rest (it’s awesome you really have to touch it yourself to believe!).
It’s not a not a fully mechanical piece nor is it a butterfly keyboard, this one lies right between the two. The keys look mechanical at first glance but they have a soft touch and travel that is satisfying especially while gaming. This keyboard is an awesome piece and we loved it. It also carries on the aggressive design with multi-colored backlighting, sharp edges and aggressive contours. The gaming mouse is also high-end, both in design and performance. It has several dedicated buttons that you can configure to do anything you want and has amazing tracking and snappy response times.
This PC comes with a myriad of ports and interfaces to accommodate every possible peripheral you could have including dedicated VR ports at the front! We get a USB Type-C port at the front for easy access together with two USB 3.0 type A ports. There is a VR headset port right at the front and an extra one at the back. The headphone mic jacks are also located at the front. In total we get 10 USB ports in addition to the normal 7.1 channel audio interface, gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, DVI and Display ports.
The MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US has both 802.11ac and gigabit connectivity options in-built.
We played a lot games with the MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US and enjoyed the experience as most if not all modern games run smoothly at over 70 fps at very high settings. This included very demanding titles like PUB-G, GTA5, Witcher 3, Battlefield and Rise of the tomb raider.
The GeForce GTX 1080 8GB graphics unit on the MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US is one of the best dedicated video cards money can buy today only rivalled by the GTX1080 Ti and by a slim margin. It’s also coupled with a flagship Intel Core i7-7700 Quad core processor ensuring this PC has sufficient processing power to handle heavy workloads smoothly. Physical memory is 16GB 2133Mhz DDR4 RAM that is expandable to a 32GB. It is unnecessary unless you want to run heavy applications like premiere and blender in addition to gaming.
For most parts, the MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US deservedly gets 5 star ratings from buyers and reviewers on Amazon thanks to its epic design, quiet fans and epic gaming performance. This baby can handle pretty much anything you throw at smoothly. It does limit you a bit in terms of upgrades, for instance not being able to install an extra GTX 1080 in SLI due to the obvious space constraints. But the MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US gives you all the gaming juice you need in a nice and compact package that looks good as well.
Buy the MSI Aegis 3 VR7RE-057US at Amazon.