Right now is a crazy time in the PC gaming space. Rewind around two years and you could easily build a computer by walking into your local Best Buy, Microcenter, or even just visiting Newegg and Amazon. Well, times have changed, but thankfully it’s still possible to get decent deals on preassembled gaming desktops like MSI’s Aegis RS 11. That’s right, I’m calling it preassembled, not prebuilt, and you’ll see why down below. Sporting an 11th Generation i7 processor, an RTX 3080 GPU, and 3TB of total storage, this desktop is a great option for anyone who wants to get started with PC gaming while avoiding scalper-like prices on high-end GPUs. So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at our MSI Aegis RS 11 RTX 3080 Gaming Desktop review.
MSI Aegis RS 11 specs:
- CPU: Intel i7-11700K 8-core 16-thread 3.4GHz – 4.9GHz
- GPU: NVIDIA MSI RTX 3080 Ventus 3x OC
- Memory: 16GB 3000MHz DDR4 RAM
- Storage 1: 1TB NVMe SSD
- Storage 2: 2TB 3.5-inch HDD
- Cooling: 120mm All-in-One Liquid Cooler
- Motherboard: MSI Z590
- Wireless Internet: Wi-Fi 6E
- Wired Internet: 2.5GbE
- Power Supply: 750W 80+ Gold
- Price: $2,549.99
Prebuilt? MSI’s Aegis RS 11 is more like preassembled
If you head over to PCPartPicker and plug in similar specs to what you’ll find above, at MSRP for all parts, you’ll find that sourcing components from various retailers will set you back around $2,319. Well, that’s if you can get things at MSRP. Sure, the processor, motherboard, RAM, storage, and all are easy to get. But the graphics card? It’s not available from any retailer, and a quick eBay search shows that you’ll spend around $1,800 on it, instead of the $1,070 that it’s supposed to retail for.
And here’s the kicker: You’re getting many of the same components from that PCPartPicker in the MSI Aegis RS 11. Sure, the motherboard and cooler might be slightly different, and the case is from a different manufacturer. But, in the end, this high-end desktop still comes with the same i7-11700K processor and MSI Z590 motherboard that you’d buy yourself, along with similar storage, RAM, and power supply. All MSI has done is preassemble the parts for you, and charge a modest $230 for their labor and fact that they warranty everything from failure.
Prebuilt desktops of yesteryear weren’t made with such high-quality parts. Many companies valued profits over quality, and would skimp on power supplies, motherboards, and other areas of builds, but MSI has gone above and beyond here, without charging an arm and a leg like they easily could.
MSI’s Aegis RS 11 provides a quality gaming experience out of the box
As soon as you pull the MSI Aegis RS 11 out of the box and plug it in, it’s ready to go. Setup is simple and easy, and since the computer is fully preassembled, seriously all you have to do is plug it in. MSI also includes a mouse and keyboard in the box should you not have one, but we generally recommend picking up peripherals by themselves if you’re wanting something a bit higher quality in that department. But, including those in the box goes to help with how easy it is to set up, since even the power cable is there, meaning all you need is a monitor and display cable to start using the computer.
Since there’s no assembly required, software-side configuration is just as simple. You’ll find that it’s ready to go as soon as you log in with a few apps preinstalled, but nothing of bloat. While I’m not a huge fan of some of the MSI tuning apps, outside of Afterburner, they work well, generally speaking, for simple tweaks and modifications. Plus, since they’re already preinstalled, it keeps the train going on ease of use.
Once you’re set up, logged in, and have some games installed, just start playing. Built-in Wi-Fi 6E and 2.5GbE networking mean you’ll be able to enjoy faster-than-Gigabit transfer rates both wired and wireless. I only really used the desktop wired, but having built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are always great options if you’re not near a wired networking port.
MSI Aegis RS 11 Review benchmarking results
|Game / Benchmark||Average FPS / Score||Resolution + Settings|
|Forza Horizon 4||209||1080p Medium|
|Forza Horizon 4||198||1080p Ultra|
|Forza Horizon 4||207||1440p Medium|
|Forza Horizon 4||185||1440p Ultra|
|Ghost Recon Breakpoint Vulkan||208||1080p Medium|
|Ghost Recon Breakpoint Vulkan||154||1080p Ultimate|
|Ghost Recon Breakpoint Vulkan||192||1440p Medium|
|Ghost Recon Breakpoint Vulkan||122||1440p Ultimate|
|Middle-Earth: Shadow of War||244||1080p Medium|
|Middle-Earth: Shadow of War||190||1080p Ultra|
|Middle-Earth: Shadow of War||221||1440p Medium|
|Middle-Earth: Shadow of War||155||1440p Ultra|
|3D Mark Fire Strike Ultra||10657|
|3D Mark Port Royal||11167|
|3D Mark Time Spy||15807|
|3D Mark Time Spy Extreme||7881|
|Cinebench R23 Single Core||1496|
|Cinebench R23 Multi Core||14665|
|Unigine Superposition||10715||1080p Extreme|
|Unigen Superposition||14191||4K Optimized|
NVIDIA’s RTX 3080 takes center stage in our MSI Aegis RS 11 Review
The star of the show here is the MSI RTX 3080 Ventus 3x OC. This graphics card features 10GB of VRAM, and of course, support for NVIDIA’s DLSS and RTX technology with second generation Tensor cores. We took a closer look at the specs back in our announcement coverage last year, but now’s our first chance to go hands-on with NVIDIA’s flagship graphics card.
I was absolutely blown away by the performance. I’m used to gaming on either a Vega 64 or a founders edition GTX 1080, and while still decent cards, they’re nothing compared to the RTX 3080. Whenever I game on the Vega or GTX 1080, I generally have to either turn the settings down to not all maxed or bring my resolution down from 1440p. Being that I have two high refresh-rate monitors at my desk, both 1440p, I like pushing things as far as I can, and the RTX 3080 did just that. Nearly every game I threw at it allowed me to crank the settings to ultimate and enjoy 144FPS or better, and those that didn’t were few and far between.
The RTX 3080 truly is a fantastic graphics card made for running most games at 1440p 144FPS or greater, or even 4K 60FPS+ depending on the title, though I wasn’t able to check out the 4K portion quite yet. If you’re looking for a graphics card that can do it all without costing both arms and both legs, opting for the RTX 3080 in MSI’s latest desktop is a great choice.
Intel’s i7-11700K is ready to be overclocked, though you might want to upgrade your cooling solution a bit
MSI went with an interesting option for the processor here with Intel’s i7-11700K. Normally in pre-assembled units, we don’t see the K SKUs paired with proper motherboards, but MSI went all out including a Z590 board here. You’ll find that the i7-11700K is ready to be overclocked out of the box, thanks to the inclusion of the Z590 motherboard and 120mm all-in-one liquid cooler. However, the AiO doesn’t have much headroom to push the system far beyond stock, so do keep that in mind.
It’s great if you’re just getting started with overclocking and want to get a few additional FPS out of your machine, as AiOs provide ample cooling for systems like this. However, if you want to push it to the max, you’ll want to upgrade to a larger liquid cooler, custom loop, or beefy air alternative down the road. Overall though, I was very pleased with the performance the i7-11700K was able to bring to the table and found that the CPU kept up with the GPU in just about every game I played, meaning that it wasn’t a huge bottleneck in the system.
More than enough storage to start, and plenty of room to grow with two open NVMe slot and PCIe 4.0 in tow
If you’re wondering whether or not this system is expandable, wonder no more. There’s plenty of room to expand for new adventures in both the case, PCIe, and storage. You’ll find PCIe 4.0 as part of the Z590 chipset and 11th Generation Intel processor, allowing for faster transfer rates for graphics cards and storage.
Speaking of storage, you’ll find a 1TB NVMe drive installed in the system alongside two more open NVMe slots for future expansion. I love NVMe storage for how fast it is and compact, as you don’t have to plug in any cables to manage for it to work. Alongside that, there’s a 2.5-inch SATA SSD slot open on the bottom of the case if you need to add one, and a total of three unused SATA ports on the motherboard, as one is already taken up by the 3.5-inch 2TB HDD.
16GB of RAM is plenty for starting out, and two spare DIMM slots mean you can expand should the time ever come
As someone who used to have a 64GB RAM desktop, and now games on 16GB with no problems, I can attest to the fact that 16GB is enough for gaming, even at 1440p ultra. It’s kind of mind boggling that the graphics card has nearly as much RAM as the entire system, but it does and honestly they pair well together. You’ll find two sticks of Crucial Ballistix 3000MHz DDR4 RAM in the system populating two of the four available DIMM slots, meaning expansion is quite easy if you ever need to in the future.
In the end, if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution to upgrade your gaming setup, the MSI Aegis RS 11 is a fantastic choice. It has plenty of power, thanks to the RTX 3080 and i7-11700K, with more than enough expandability since it has two additional M.2 SSD slots and both an x16 and x1 PCIe lane open.
I absolutely loved my time with this desktop, and will be recommending it to friends and family who are in the market for a simple RTX 3080 solution, since it sidesteps scalpers and even comes fully preassembled. So, if you’re ready to upgrade from your old and aging gaming desktop, I highly recommend you consider picking up the MSI Aegis RS 11.
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