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MSI Aegis X Mini-ITX Barebones Gaming PC Review

Inside The Aegis X

Once again we must remind everyone that MSI sent this barebones filled with additional components that it wanted to see displayed in our photos. Rather than show a buildup, we’ll show a tear-down as we remove the graphics, drives, RAM, and CPU that aren’t included in the Aegis X-001BUS base model.

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Because the right side-panel is secured with a screw under the top panel, removing the top panel is the first step in building (or disassembling) the Aegis X. A single 2.5” tray is found here. Two empty 3.5” drive trays are located under the (included) Hitachi/LG model GUD0N 8x DVD burner.

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Two screws hold a clamping bracket to secure a graphics card. Removing these allows the user’s graphics card to slide out of the Aegis X PCIe 3.0 x16 riser card.

Removing two screws atop and two screws aback the riser bracket gives builders easy access to the closed-loop liquid cooler (CLLC), a DDR4 SO-DIMM slot, and a PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot. Both the DRAM and M.2 slots are empty in the stock configuration.

The other DDR4-SODIMM and M.2 slots are found on the back of the Aegis X motherboard. MSI delivered this system as they would like their buyers to build it, with dual-channel memory and dual M.2 cards in RAID 0.

Other than a couple front-panel features, the 92mm liquid CPU cooler is the closest thing MSI’s Aegis X has to a proprietary part. It’s interchangeable with the $85 Asetek 545LC, if you know where to find one.

Though we haven’t found a documented form factor, several manufacturers label their 100mm x 40.5mm power supplies 1U, with various lengths ranging from 190mm to 250mm. At 220mm long, the Fortron Source model FSP600-40UGSBE included by MSI is 80 PLUS Silver rated to 600W. Open-market replacements up to 500W are readily found at that length, and the base of the Aegis X has a little extra space at the front for those who’d like to try cramming in a longer unit. On the other hand, the included 600W part appears a little overkill. We can’t think of an easy way to cram more than 500W of components into a system this small.

  • shrapnel_indie
    I know this is a bare-bones unit. However, what I don't know is is that FSP PSU one of their good designs or one that is lacking? even if the PSU is a 1U unit, it's important not to go too cheap (as in poor - bad quality) as is usually the case with a bundled PSU and case.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    18754217 said:
    even if the PSU is a 1U unit, it's important not to go too cheap (as in poor - bad quality) as is usually the case with a bundled PSU and case.
    If I was paying $500 for a "barebones" PC (case, PSU, motherboard), I would definitely expect a decent PSU.

    We're quite far from the $40 case with 'free' PSU category here.
    Reply
  • bloodroses
    18754308 said:
    18754217 said:
    even if the PSU is a 1U unit, it's important not to go too cheap (as in poor - bad quality) as is usually the case with a bundled PSU and case.
    If I was paying $500 for a "barebones" PC (case, PSU, motherboard), I would definitely expect a decent PSU.

    We're quite far from the $40 case with 'free' PSU category here.

    MSI is also a large name company. They would be rather foolish to use a cheap power supply in this case as it would hurt their reputation.
    Reply
  • thundervore
    Where are the dust filters?
    Reply
  • angrypat
    Alright, got the helmet, but where is the rest of the costume? Happy Halloween!
    Reply
  • Findecanor
    The trend is going for small size, stylish design, silence and dust filters. This has neither.
    Reply
  • DoomFace
    overall for a barebones, this looks like a good little unit to build around. definitely very niche product, but seems like it does what its supposed to very well.
    Reply