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MSI AG2712A review - Hands on with AMD gaming monster

Seth Barton
4 Jun 2013
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An AIO PC may not be the obvious for gaming but MSI has certainly thought this one through

Serious gamers like to chop-and-change their kit on a regular basis, so an easily upgradable desktop PC makes the most sense. However, given that gaming laptops are still with us, there must be someone out there who likes to splash wadges of cash on such devices, and for them this gaming all-in-one PC from MSI may well appeal.

MSI AG2712A

The MSI AG2712A has the fast graphics hardware, a flicker-free screen and HDMI input and output. An Nvidia-based version (the AG2712) was announced recently, but this is the first outing for this AMD-based variant.

It may not be portable like a gaming laptop, but the MSI AG2712A is still far neater and more compact than a PC, plus it has a huge 27in display. This only supports the usual Full HD resolution, but that’s probably no bad thing given that the graphics hardware is only mobile class. Although having said that, it’s arguably the fastest mobile GPU you can buy today.

MSI AG2712A

This is the cooler from inside the AG2712A

The AMD Radeon HD 8970M has 1,280 stream processors and comes with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. Admittedly it’s essentially a rebranded and clocked up (to 900MHz) version of last year’s 7970M, but it’s still a very capable chip. For more details read our AMD Radeon HD 8970M launched article. In our experience with its predecessor, this GPU can maintain acceptable frame rates at the highest detail settings in Crysis 2, though you’ll need to sacrifice detail if you want to hit high frame rates.

The display is well worth a mention as it includes Flicker-Free technology, probably courtesy of BenQ. Such monitors don’t use the usual technique of flickering the backlight on-and-off very quickly to set the brightness level. Instead the backlight remains constant at the desired level. In theory this makes for a monitor that should reduce eye fatigue at the very least ad arguably improves image quality as a whole. In our brief time with it, it certainly impressed us, with fast action rendered quickly without any problems. 10-point touch control will be an optional extra.

MSI AG2712A

If the 27in monitor doesn’t prove big enough for you, then there’s a HDMI output so you can hook the system up to an even bigger TV or projector. It will mirror the onscreen image out of the port so you can even run both at once, or extend your desktop onto a second display. The HDMI input allows you to hook up a games console, and you don’t have to boot up the whole PC for this to work, saving on power and keeping noise to a minimum.

MSI AG2712A

This AMD version hasn’t yet had its full spec confirmed, but there will be an Intel Core i7 processor of some variety and probably 12GB or RAM on board, so it will be powerful in applications too. MSI has tarted up some gaming peripherals to match the look of the system, but these will likely sell as optional extras, given how fussy gamers can be about their input devices.

It all adds up to a pretty impressive piece of kit, there’s no pricing yet, but we’d expect it to set you back serious money. We look forward to giving it a full review in the not-too-distant future.

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