Building a system by yourself can be a mammoth task. For most people inexperienced with selecting components and understanding the general complexity of computer building pre-builds are a perfect solution. The problem I have with pre-builds is that they lack features beyond a standard PC that I could build myself. Quite simply, pre-builds come with a pricer tag, a “comfy” warranty and perhaps some peace of mind.
Although in recent years pre-builds have gotten more competitive against the DIY market and ostensibly cheaper they still lack that extra “POW” that would tempt me to buy one. Sure you might get a pretty glowing logo, but where really is the incentive? I’ve held this opinion for some time and nothing has quite tempted me to change that until I laid my eyes on the MSI Gaming 27 6QE ( a mouthful I know).
For the first time in a long time I think a pre-build has finally swayed me. That is a little misleading because the 6QE is no ordinary pre-build, it is an all-in-one gaming PC. MSI have, in my opinion, created a system that, despite its high price tag, could be worth the purchase. The 6QE has an extensive array of features: high caliber specifications and a gorgeous anti-glare screen that will appeal to students, people on the go and LAN enthusiasts across the board.
The biggest feature of the 6QE is exactly what it is, an all-in-one. I know what you’re thinking, that sentence was really stupid and you sir (or ma’am) would be outstandingly correct. But the simple complexity of an all-in-one is really what makes it such a winner. Luckily, being at the technologically advanced stage we are at, you no longer have to sacrifice power, performance and features in order to have a complete system. We are talking about a machine that packs a I7 6700 amongst other impressive feats, not some simple “Look how many Google chrome tabs I can have open mom” domestic PC.
Its portability is what makes it so striking. Admittedly, it was on the slightly heavier side of things, but this system can be packed away into its original box (with space for a keyboard and mouse) in next to no time. It is significantly easier than lugging around a PC, a plethora of accessories and then a monitor on top of that. Just out of interest, I recorded exactly how long it took me to go from fully set-up to in the box. It was just under a minute and a half in total before It was all packed away safely and securely on the Styrofoam supports provided in the packaging. Even a micro-atx PC would be less efficient in terms of movement. As someone who has attended the Insomnia LAN festival here in the UK, a powerful PC with such manoeuvrability is wonderful. For those students out there backing between home and university, this too is right up your alley. Unlike most (but not all) laptops for gaming, the 6QE doesn’t compromise on power and comes with a large 27″ display to boot.
First and foremost I think we can safely agree that the 6QE is a good looking machine. It comes with MSI’s traditional red and black colour scheme with the dragon badge slap bang under the screen. On either side of the badge is a mesh screening which covers the speakers built into the system which offer more than an adequate sound solution. The bottom is finished off with a dense, transparent plastic. Along the back we have a DVD writer slot, and the numerous input and output ports (detailed in the specifications below). It comes with a contrasted MSI dragon which when caught under decent lighting conditions looks great. There are of course various venting slots out the back too.
There is finally another dense piece of plastic. This, however, is the stand that holds the system upright on the desk/surface. This is arguably my only criticism of the design. The stand, whilst looking good, somewhat bothers me. I much would have preferred an anchor like piece of metal that I could fold out. The plastic certainly isn’t flimsy, but a retractable metal stand would have given me much greater peace of mind. The stand isn’t particularly wide either, and I imagine a somewhat sizeable knock could cause the machine to topple, which is the last thing you want.
On a slightly brighter note, there are four mounting screws should you choose to mount the system on a wall which although not particularly practical for a maneuverable PC, it is a good to have the option. It is also worth noting that the 6QE is quite a slim build, It certainly didn’t feel uncomfortably bulky. For your enjoyment, have an extensive array of product photos:
Out of the box you get a tonne of guides, a start-up CD and the power supply brick which powers the entire system.
The specs of this machine are quite impressive. It comes with an admirable 16GBs of DDR4 RAM. a 980M GPU and two impressive 128GB M.2 SSD’s in Super RAID 4 configuration which is capable of achieving speeds of 3000Mb/s to 3300Mb/s.
Intel® Core™ i7-6700 (3.4GHz, Turbo 4GHz)
Windows 10 Home
Intel® H170 Chipset
16GB DDR4 2133 SO-DIMM, 4 slots, Up to 32GB Expandable
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 980M 8GB GDDR5
27” LED Backlight 1920 x 1080 with MSI Anti-Flicker & Reduced Blue Light Technology
2TB HDD 3.5” 7200RPM SATAIII x 1
M.2 PCI-E SSD 2x 128GB (RAID0)
Tray-in DVD Super Multi / Blu-ray Writer (optional)
ESS SABRE HiFi audio DAC technology
Nahimic Audio Enhancer
Killer E2400 Game Networking
Killer Wireless-AC 1535
USB 3.1 port
1 (Type C) Gen2, 3 (1 with Super Charger) Gen1
3 in 1 (SD, MMC, MS)
2M-pixel Full HD
M.2. x 3: (1)WiFi x1 (2)SSD x2 , Mini-PCI-E x 2
672.23mm * 66mm * 482.9mm
There is some serious hardware under the hood here. I want to list a few personal favorites. The “HDMI in” slot is really sweet. This gives you the ability to hook up a console (which is a cardinal sin considering this beastly system) or other HDMI devices. It makes this system more appealing to those constantly on the move as they can utilize the PC as a full blown TV-style output.
MSI’s anti-flicker technology and reduced blue light certainly was evident in practice. I could play quite a few rounds of Battlefield without feeling much in the way of eye-strain/tiredness, especially in comparison to some of my other displays. The tech doesn’t effect the final image quality which looks fantastic might I add. The 6QE also has two HDMI outputs for a triple display set-up should you choose to, making full use of the 8GB 980M. The final nice touch was the MSI Super charger that allows you to charge your phone even when your PC is off. I was even able to achieve “fast charging” on my S6 (however results vary for other users).
So the specs all sound very good and make for a convincing high-end system. But how does it stack up in the real world usage? Well, below is an extensive list of everything from boot times to Benchmarking scores and FPS averages in game. These were all performed at stock settings straight out of the box, so you can be the judge of performance. I also wanted to mention temperatures, because if you are like me, they damn well matter. The 6QE never pushed beyond the high 70C’s under full load which was good to see. I personally consider a comfortable temperature at the max 70s and low 80s. It is safe to say MSI were very cautious, and their engineers seemingly have come up with a high-end all-in-one that doesn’t temperature throttle or cause any concern in the overall temperature category.
I do have one rather small complaint though. Out of the box, the MSI 6QE, whilst cooling the system well, appears to have a slight noise problem. The system isn’t loud by any means, but when games and software start pushing it, the fans ramp up in a very audible, noticeable manner. I feel as though a less rapid fan curve could solve this issue which is something you can edit yourself in the BIOS. It just would have been nice for it to be sorted out of the box (seeing as this system has a target audience of those who perhaps aren’t so tech savy).
Power Consumption (In Watts, measured via a socket monitor – Lower is Better)
Boot Time (In Seconds, from the power button press to fully operating – Lower is Better)
Higher is Better from this point forward.
Unigine Heaven 4.0 Score – 2XAA, Moderate Tesselation & High Quality
PCMark 8 Creative Suite Score
FireMark 1.1 Score
Cinebench OpenGL and CPU Scores
With a 980M (which performs just below a 970 Desktop GPU) and an i7 6700 it is safe to say you can expect good game performance from the system. Other features such as the 16GBs of RAM are very much needed (expandable to 32GB). The twin SSDs are also a very welcomed performance addition for games. Titles such as Battlefield 4 booted incredibly quickly and loaded maps in next to no time. Unfortunately 2x128GB SSDs aren’t massive in size so you will have to prioritize a little, but they certainly add an extra kick. The 6QE performed well overall. However, considering you can’t upgrade the system’s graphics card, it isn’t exactly 100% future proof. I’m sure DX12 will solve most of that concern though. For LAN enthusiasts who simply care about League of Legends or CSGO, graphics will hardly be an issue.
Witcher 3 (Ultra)
Battlefield 4 (High)
The MSI Gaming 27 6QE Is a fantastic machine. It runs games well, it is compact and manoeuvrable and has an extensive array of features from HDMI in slots and anti-glare, to Super RAID 4 SSDs. This system is without a doubt a great choice for people on-the-go or those of you out there looking for a sleek, compact and powerful all-in-one. No compromises have been made on performance and the 6QE’s repertoire of bonuses make it a perfect choice for those out there looking for a pre-build as opposed to building a PC themselves.
As always you get the service and warranty of the commendable MSI company too which will put a lot of minds at ease. The only real question is the price tag. MSI have an MSRP of £1799 incl. VAT. Considering the spec of the system, the warranty and service provided by MSI and the benefits of an all-in-one system, I’d say that is a reasonable price. Of course, it will always be cheaper to build your own PC’s (a bit more challenging for All-in-ones) but without question, those buying a pre-build or system for moving around have a perfect find in the 6QE.
The product was sent by MSI for review purposes.