In the lab: MSI's Aegis 3 gaming desktop

We were pretty impressed with Optane memory when we got to test it in the system provided by Intel. Now, MSI has sent over one of its little Decepticon-like Aegis 3 gaming PCs, and it too has come equipped with an Optane memory module. Besides the 16GB cache drive, this mini-machine has a Core i7-7700 CPU, 16 GB of DDR4 memory, and a GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB graphics card. That means it's kitted out rather similarly to the Trident 3 I reviewed before.

The 16 GB Optane cache acts as a go-between for a 2 TB hard drive. MSI didn't include a solid-state drive with this machine, so we'll be relying on the Optane cache for responsive storage. It'll be interesting to see how that shakes out in comparison to the SSD-equipped Zotac Zbox Magnus I'm finishing up. Of course, the graphics hardware in the Aegis is two-and-a-half steps down from the Zbox, so we won't be doing a head-to-head comparison on gaming performance.

Of particular interest in the Aegis 3 will be the performance of its Silent Storm cooling system, both in terms of noise and thermals. The similarly-fitted Trident 3 was very, very quiet. Unfortunately, it also ran a tad on the hot side. This stand-up machine is a fair bit larger than that lay-down box, so hopefully it'll keep things a bit cooler. Look forward to the full review soon.

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