11 Things to Consider Before Buying an MSI Gaming PC
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sAs the saying goes, you can’t always have it all — and finding an inexpensive gaming PC that performs like a high-end computer can be impossible to find. So you shouldn’t expect to have a PC under $1,000 perform like a $4,000 computer.
Many gamers looking for a gaming PC turn to the internet to find a good machine at an affordable price. It can be difficult to find one that is prebuilt for under $1,000. Building a PC with a high-end graphics card, enough SSD memory, and a CPU that can handle high-processing games in this price range is virtually unheard of. Still, companies like MSI work hard to meet this basic need.
The problem is that once gamers buy these inexpensive computers, they often find that they don't meet all of their gaming requirements. It is this frustration that causes mixed feelings about a well-known computer component company like MSI.
MSI is a company that has dedicated more than 20 years to building gaming components, gaming laptops, and prebuilt computers. For years, consumers have bought MSI computer products to build or upgrade their desktop systems. Over the years, the company has specialized in developing an array of gaming components, and now the company has a global presence in more than 100 countries. MSI is a trendsetter in the tech industry, making waves with its latest lineup of graphic cards, motherboards, laptops, monitors, peripherals, servers, and robotic appliances. The company is committed to its customers and advancing computer technology and quality. MSI is a leader in the future of technology.
Which Is Better, an MSI Gaming Laptop or PC?
The type of computer you choose, whether it is a laptop or gaming PC, is a matter of personal preference. However, it also depends on the gaming experience you prefer and whether you use games that don’t require a lot of PC power or others like Halo Infinite or HorizonZero. Gaming laptops give you mobility and power, but desktop computers offer performance and a nicer gaming experience. In this article, we are going to focus solely on the prebuilt MSI gaming PC for a standard gaming station.
The Best MSI Gaming PC Option
MSI makes many different types of prebuilt gaming computers, and they range from the budget computer to the high-end PC for gamers who really make their computers work hard.
You should select the PC system based on the type of gamer you are. The MSI website suggests different models for different types of gameplay.
An avid gamer who loves all the newest high-end games would want a PC that falls under the “Extreme Gaming Machine” on the MSI website. For average gamers, the “Enthusiast Gaming Machine” would be the right choice. Beginner gamers could also select something from the “Enthusiast” category. Each category offers different options for CPU, RAM, SSD storage, CPU cooling systems, and case size. MSI also offers other choices for motherboards and other components. While you can't buy a gaming computer directly from MSI, you can look at the specs and better understand the different prebuilt gaming computers.
Mathew Buzzi, Senior Analyst and hardware expert for PC Mag, recommends the MSI MEG Aegis Ti5. He says that "it pushes 4K frame rates with ease, but its massive, cyborg design might send members of your household, not your enemies, running for cover." However, this MSI gaming PC has a $3,600 price tag, which doesn’t make it all that affordable for the novice gamer. In this case, a budget-friendly MSI gaming computer like the MSI Aegis RS might be best.
What Are the Features to Consider in an MSI Gaming PC?
Because MSI makes so many different models of prebuilt gaming computers, it is important to consider the specs of each PC. Here are 11 things to consider before buying an MSI prebuilt gaming PC.
1. The PC Case
For starters, size matters. MSI gaming PC cases come in all sizes, so while a smaller case size may seem convenient, a larger case may be more appropriate. We know! A smaller case looks better, and you can move it around the room easily, but it may not offer the CPU and other components proper ventilation. When air can’t circulate well in a computer case, it can cause overheating, which can result in the "blue screen of death." It is better to choose a mid-size or large-size case so the heat can dissipate faster.
2. Power Supply
Some of the more budget-friendly MSI gaming computers have smaller power supplies of 400 watts. However, this is not enough power for constant gaming activity. Instead, a power supply should be at least 500 watts. You can always check the power supply wattage in the description, on the spec sheet, or on the back of the PC box at the top or bottom. Note that the power supply has a rear ventilator and a sticker that will tell you the wattage.
The processor (CPU) is the most important integrated component of your computer and it performs the logic and arithmetic operations and allocates information and processes to the other components.
MSI uses different types of CPUs in its prebuilt computers. These processors can be a range of Intel or AMD chips. When choosing a gaming PC, you want to choose at least an Intel core i5 or an AMD R series CPU to support your gaming needs. However, if you can afford an Intel core i7 to i9 or an AMD R7, you will have a much better computer and prevent fewer lags, processing errors, or blue screens.
4. Mother Board
Lately, there have been a lot of discrepancies on the motherboards used in the MSI PC. Some MSI models have motherboards that are small, so you cannot upgrade the core processor and the graphics cards. This is especially true in budget-friendly MSI computers. These smaller motherboards can sometimes cause the "blue screen of death" error when using games that require a lot of processing power. That huge blue screen obliterates everything, even your operating system, as you are working or playing on the PC. You can't get rid of it by pressing any button or clicking any command. You will see only a long error message that doesn't give you much insight into the problem. Your only immediate solution is to restart your PC. Unfortunately, even a hard restart doesn't always work. Sometimes, that horrible blue screen never goes away, not until you take your PC in to be repaired. The only solution to preventing the dreaded blue screen is to find an MSI gaming machine with a larger motherboard, even though the PC price might increase slightly. A good MSI option might be the MAG META 5 5E.
5. Random Access Memory (RAM)
Another factor influencing the value of an MSI prebuilt PC is its amount of RAM. A basic PC system might have a smaller 8GB RAM module. Because RAM influences the speed of your PC, the load times for games, and the speed of web page loads, the lower the RAM module, the slower the PC will run and the more stress the processor will have. As a gamer, you should use at least 16GB of RAM.
For gamers who play older games, or games with less demanding requirements, 8GB may be enough, but players running modern games need at least 16GB RAM. This usually gives you enough RAM for the operating system, your apps, and your gaming performance without slowdowns.
However, if you enjoy the latest highly graphic games and like to run them at their highest setting, 32GB of RAM can make those games run more smoothly. Games that need 32GB of RAM will recommend this amount as the ideal setting. Gamers who have upgraded the processor may want to add as much as 64GB of RAM. Upgrading RAM on an older MSI gaming PC or even a basic new model ensures you won't have low memory problems in the future.
Budget MSI computers are equipped with DDR 4 memory, the latest standard memory module for computers. They operate on 1.2V compared to the 1.5V of older DDR 3s. The higher-end MSI computers use DDR 5 memory which is the new standard, and its benefit lies in its 64GB per memory module (chip on the memory module). Without getting too techie, let's just say it increases the performance by fourfold compared to DDR 4.
6. Graphics Card
The graphics card handles the visual output for the visual elements of your software. Because video games have a lot of moving graphics, the processing speed of the graphics card needs to be bigger. It handles the frames per second (FPS) and rendering resolution for video, an element that games depend on. The graphics card is a major component of your gaming system, and a more powerful one means your computer games will run better, be more vivid, and offer more realistic gameplay, so the better your MSI graphics card is, the higher the frame rate.
The newest technology is the Nvidia GeForce RTX series cards, and while the older GeForce GTX cards can still get the job done, they aren't made for the complex, vivid graphics of today's games. MSI uses the new GeForce RTX series cards. An MSI equipped with the Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card sits on the low end of the spectrum. So gamers with this component might have some lagging and slowdowns when running high-end games, whereas a prebuilt gaming PC with the Nvidia RTX 3090 is top of the line. Of course, there is a huge price difference as well. The RTX 2060 has an estimated value of $200, and the RTX 3090 is upwards of $1000.
7. Hard Drive
Like gaming laptops, the MSI gaming PC uses solid-state drives to save space and offer improved file access. The SSD is small, compact, and based on flash memory chip technology. It provides quicker access and loading of files. However, SSD is more expensive than standard HD systems.
Newer MSI prebuilt PCs use the M.2 SSD modules, which are shaped like a small ruler. This newer type of drive is faster but somewhat expensive. Higher-end MSI computers have three modules of M.2 SSD hard drive, which offer a lot more space for gamers. Let's take a look at the specifics of SSD and the updated M.2 SSD.
SSD Hard Drive: Gaming computers need solid-state drives (SSD) because the flash memory modules work faster. This type of memory is the preferred option to the standard hard disk drive (HDD). The SSD drive is like a thumb drive for your PC, so it is much smaller than the HDD and offers manufacturers more flexibility when designing a PC. These models are often installed in the new PCIe slots. Modern computers use many different types of SSD, the newest being the M.2 SSD, which is the latest in the technology and is used for high-performance storage needs in constrained spaces.
M.2 SSD: These hard drives are the latest in SSD technology. They have high-performance storage in a small, thin, ruler-shaped device. In prior years they were used in laptops and tablets because of their smaller size. These drives are either single-sided or double-sided, offering more storage space than the standard SSD. Newer PCs and gaming laptops are being fitted with the new M.2 SSD.
8. CPU Cooling System
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) creates a lot of heat while working, especially when you play power-intensive games. The solution IT engineers have come up with for this heating problem is a cooling system. Every CPU needs to be cooled to maintain its performance level and prevent the dreaded blue screen. MSI uses one of two cooling methods in its gaming computers.
Air ventilation: In this cooling method, the heat created by the processor is distributed to a metal lid on top of the CPU, transferred to the cooler's baseplate, and distributed out of the case through one or more air cooling fans.
Liquid cooling: In liquid cooling, the component hooks into the CPU baseplate with a layer of thermal paste. The coolant absorbs the heat as it moves through the water block and the system to a radiator, cooled with air and fans, and then reenters the CPU again. Liquid cooling systems, although more expensive than ventilation methods, are more efficient at cooling high-powered CPUs.
MSI gaming PCs use both types of cooling systems.Inexpensive PCs use the less expensive air cooling system while more powerful PCs that require more cooling use the liquid cooling systems.
MSI PCs usually have additional slots so you can add SSD hard drive space, or PCIe slots to add a different peripheral card like another graphics card, a TV card, or a video capture card. There are also memory slots to add more memory as RAM tends to slow as a computer gets older.
What are the types of slots available on MSI gaming PCs?
HDD – slots to add hard drive modules
PCIe – slots for peripheral cards
Memory – slots for memory modules
Inexpensive MSI PCs don't have large motherboards that can accept many different slots, so there is less room to upgrade these PC systems. When buying an MSI gaming computer be sure to check if there are at least a few slots so you can upgrade it later on.
10. RGB LED
Gaming PCs have long been known for the RGB LED lighting options, and this type of LED lighting now reflects the relationship between gamers and their computer. For gamers, their custom gaming machine is like a custom car. It is a labor of love and an expression of the gamer culture. So having a prebuilt gaming computer with LED lights might be a feature you want.
RGBs are customizable to varying colors and fit different room decor or machine aesthetics. However, you should note that flexible RGB-colored LEDs are more expensive than single RGB color.
MSI uses different styles of RGB lighting. In some PC models, the RGB lighting is a focal point and lights up the entire see-through interior of the computer case. On other computers, the lights only accent the design, giving the case a more minimalistic style.
11. MSI Models
MSI has hundreds of different prebuilt gaming machines, and they have different price tags which range from $1,000 to more than $3,000. Models that are budget-friendly include the Aegis RS or the Infinite RS. Mid-range models include the MPG Trident, or the MPG Trident 3. For expert gamers, a more appropriate model might be the MSI MEG Trident X
What Consumers Say
If you look for MSI PC reviews on Reddit or YouTube, you'll often see gamers giving MSI prebuilt computers a bad rap. However, you have to consider the price point of the computers they are reviewing. A gaming PC under $1,000 will not have the same components as a more expensive one. So the durability, use, and reliability will also not be the same. You will not get the same gaming capabilities in a low-end MSI PC that you do from a top-of-the-line MSI computer.
MSI offers many different gaming PC options with different gaming needs in mind. What you need depends on your gaming abilities. If you prefer robust modern games, you need a higher processor, more RAM, and a better cooling system. In this case, an Intel i3 or an Intel Core i5 may not do the job. Instead, you may want to choose an MSI prebuilt with an i7 processor, 36 GB of RAM, a nice motherboard, and an RTX 3070 graphics card. Computers with these specs can perform your daily tasks more smoothly and handle all gaming activities.
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