The Infinite X Review – a Gaming Desktop from MSI
The Infinite X Review – a Gaming Desktop from MSI. The Infinite X is a Gaming Desktop from MSI offering some seriously powerful hardware. In this review you’ll see what the system’s got to offer, as well as how well it performs through various gaming benchmarks while overclocked, to help you decide if it’s a computer you should consider.
Let’s first cover the specs we’re dealing with in this system, as it’s available with different hardware, and most of it can also be upgraded, as we’ll discuss later. For the CPU there’s an Intel 8700K, currently the top end CPU from Intel’s Coffee Lake line up which has 6 cores and 12 threads, boosting right up to 4.7GHz out of the box but can be overclocked further. There’s 32GB of dual channel DDR4 memory running at 2,400MHz, and for the storage there’s an Intel 256GB M.2 NVMe SSD and 2TB 7,200RPM Seagate hard drive installed here. As for the graphics, I’ve got an Nvidia 1080 here, but it’s also available with a 1070 or 1080Ti instead, and we’ll see how this performs later in the gaming benchmarks.
For network connectivity there’s both gigabit ethernet, and 802.11ac WiFi with optional Bluetooth 4.2 support. The whole system is listed as weighing 15kg, and it comes in at 21cm in width, 45cm in depth and and 48.8cm in height, so it’s not really that big. The case is a matte black with some RGB lighting, and overall I thought it looked pretty nice for a prebuilt system. The front has this interesting shape with a brushed finish, and there’s RGB lighting towards the left which shines through this pattern. Up higher there’s the red power button, and front IO which includes 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C and Type-A port, and a USB 2.0 Type-A port. Just above the front IO there’s also an optical drive.
On the top there’s an air exhaust vent and handle towards the back which is useful for moving it around. The graphics card is mounted vertically and there are holes in the side panel of the case allowing it to get air, however you can also install the included glass panel if you prefer which comes with this model. Unfortunately it seems like a previous reviewer may have misplaced the screws, so I wasn’t able to mount the glass panel myself, however from the pictures I’ve seen there is about a centimeter gap between the case and the panel, so the graphics card should be able to still get some air. Over on the back we’ve got all the rear IO which includes a HDMI and DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C and A port, 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, gigabit ethernet, 5 audio connectors and SPDIF out.
On the MSI Gaming X 1080 graphics card there are 3 DisplayPort 1.4 outputs, a HDMI 2.0 port, and a DVI port. Towards the bottom is the 550 watt bronze rated power supply. Underneath the case there’s some rubber feet which help prevent it from easily moving, and intake for the power supply fan. Taking a look inside the case there’s some more RGB lighting from the strip running along the top, and this can also be controlled in addition to the front lighting with MSI’s Mystic Light software. Inside we can also see that there’s a fair bit of custom plastic going on, and this is what MSI call their silent storm cooling 3, where basically they’ve split the interior of the case up into three separate areas.
Each area contains heat generating hardware, such as the CPU, graphics card, and power supply, which are separated into their own chambers and in theory shouldn’t affect the other components as much, I mean it’s not air tight so not perfect, so it’s difficult to say how much this really helps, I like the concept though, and we’ll see the temperatures later in the benchmarks. As mentioned the graphics card pulls in its own air from the side, there’s a small 90mm fan towards the front of the case which brings air in too, and space for a larger 120mm fan to be installed above if you want.
The CPU cooler is an all in one liquid cooler with a 120mm radiator that exhausts air out the back, and there’s another 120mm fan just above this which exhausts air out the top. The motherboard in use here is the MSI Z370M Gaming Pro AC, so the case at least supports a standard Micro-ATX motherboard. This gives us a fair amount of upgradeability, for example we’re only using two of the four memory slots, so we can upgrade to 64gb of memory.
The board also supports two M.2 slots, so you could add in another. Due to the vertical graphics card, most of the PCIe slots probably aren’t really useable here unless you’re adding in something fairly small, and you may be limited in what graphics cards you can upgrade to in the future as they’d need to fit into the provided space, however the mount is very sturdy, I mean it was shipped like this to me and there are were no issues, but I suppose if it came down to it you could always remove the plastic and just install the graphics card in regularly. You could also swap out the CPU if you want, however as currently the 8700K is the best option for the 1151 socket there’s no real reason to do that here, however you can buy the system with lower end i5 or i7 CPUs, so if you did that upgrading to something better in the future would be a possible upgrade path.
As a Z370 board it also supports overclocking, and I was able to overclock the 8700K to 5GHz on all cores very easily using MSI’s command center software, so even if you don’t know what you’re doing you can boost performance with just a few clicks. I also overclocked the memory to 2,666MHz, and I was able to apply a 220MHz core overclock to the 1080 which equated in it running at around 2,100MHz. With all of that in mind let’s take a look at some benchmarks, I’ve run these with both the CPU and GPU overclocked, as I’m assuming if you’re buying a system with this high end hardware you’ll probably be doing that to get the most out of it, though of course your overclocks may vary slightly based on the silicon lottery.
As this is a fairly powerful system, I’ve also tested with 4K, 1440p, and 1080p resolutions. To start things off I’ve tested PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds using the replay feature, so keep in mind that the frame rate will differ a lot based on what’s going on in the game at the time. At 1080p even at ultra settings in my test we’re able to average above 100 FPS. Stepping up to 1440p and we’re still averaging above 60 FPS with ultra settings and the 1% lows weren’t too far behind. At 4k we start to struggle a bit, requiring minimum settings now to maintain that 60 FPS average. I’ve tested Rise of the Tomb Raider using Directx 12 with the built in benchmark tool, and even at max settings we’re averaging 144 FPS, so perfect if you’ve got a high refresh rate monitor. Moving to 1440p we drop down a bit, but we’re still averaging almost 100 FPS even at max settings, while at 4K high or lower settings were needed to maintain above 60 FPS.
Watchdogs 2 is a fairly resource intensive game, I can personally play this game happily at 40 FPS or above, it really doesn’t need a good frame rate to enjoy, so at 1080p even at max settings it ran really well. Even at 1440p it still ran well, I had no issues playing at ultra settings for an extended period. 4K actually wasn’t too bad, I only noticed some slight issues at ultra settings, any lower than that and the game was still definitely playable. Ghost Recon is another fairly resource intensive game, and I’ve tested it with the built in benchmark. At 1080p we’re able to average above 60 FPS even at max settings, but if you’ve got a higher refresh rate display you can drop down to high or lower to average around 120. At 1440p the results are still pretty good, just a little dip down to what we saw earlier, while at 4K you’ll likely need to play on lower settings if you still want any half decent frame rate.
Shadow of war with the built in benchmark tool at 1080p is averaging above 100 FPS at max settings, at 1440p we’re still getting pretty good results regardless of the setting level used, while at 4K you’ll probably want to run at medium or lower settings if you want to average 60 FPS. I’ve also tested CS:GO, as a well optimized eSports title it’s getting extremely high frame rates at 1080p, even the 1% lows at minimum settings are above many high refresh rate monitors. 1440p still has ridiculously high average frame rates, and the 1% lows are still fairly high. I’d argue no one would really play this game at 4K competitively, and although the averages are quite good the 1% lows dip down quite a bit more here compared to the other resolutions.
Now let’s check out some benchmarking tools. We’ll start with the Unigine benchmarks, and I’ll just quickly go through the results for Heaven, Valley, and the Superposition benchmarks, just pause the video if you’re interested in any specific results. Finally I’ve also tested Firestrike and Timespy from 3DMark as well as VRMark and we got some pretty nice results.
During testing I did notice a little coil whine from the graphics card, but that sort of thing will vary between hardware. These are the system temperatures while overclocked with an ambient room temperature of 25 degrees celsius, and I was testing with both Aida64 and the Heaven benchmark running at the same time. No thermal throttling was observed, and it’s doing quite well.
Even with the fans on their default speeds the temperatures are acceptable, but if you want even cooler results you can boost the fan speed, however that will add more noise. The fans on the graphics card don’t even spin up until it reaches 60 degrees celsius. As for overall system volume, I thought it sounded alright both at idle and even while gaming it was still quieter than many gaming laptops I’ve tested, but I’ll let you listen for yourself. Overall I thought the temps were pretty good, and as mentioned I wasn’t able to test with the glass panel, so that might change things a little.
In Crystal Disk Mark the 256GB M.2 NVMe SSD performed around 1550 MB/s in sequential reads and 570 MB/s in sequential writes, so fairly decent but a little lower on the write speeds in comparison to the reads. The 2TB 7,200RPM hard drive gets around 195 MB/s in sequential reads and 180 MB/s for the writes, which is excellent for a 7,200RPM drive. At the time of recording with these exact specs the MSI Infinite X gaming desktop comes in at $2,999 Australian dollars here in Australia, or about $2,100 USD at Newegg for my international viewers.
Overall I don’t think that’s too bad, just quickly speccing up a similar system with the same MSI components here in Australia roughly comes out to just over $2,700 AUD, so if you’re after a powerful gaming PC but would prefer someone else to put it together for you and get some support on the whole build then this could be worth considering.
I can hear the enthusiasts watching laughing at that, but there are loads of people who just want to buy a computer and play games without worrying about the details.
So what did you guys think of the Infinite X gaming desktop from MSI? Overall it’s quite a powerful gaming system, the 8700K gives you Intel’s best mainstream CPU, and the Nvidia 1080 is quite powerful too, able to smash games at 1080p, 1440p, and depending on the game 4K, however for the best 4K experience you’ll probably want to look at the version with a 1080Ti.
It was good to see that a number of the components can also be upgraded in the future, and that the cooling performance was great too.
Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments!