PROS / MSI’s all-in-one has the best graphics card and one of the fastest processors of the computers we reviewed.
CONS / The system’s base configuration only has a 1080p display and Windows 8.1.
VERDICT / If you want to play games and conserve desk space, MSI’s gaming line is your best option. Its graphics card and processor offer the most power you’ll find in an all-in-one.
When you picture a gaming computer, you probably don’t envision an all-in-one desktop. All-in-ones usually make poor gaming systems because high-quality graphics cards take up space, and in a flat-screen monitor, space is at a premium. The MSI Gaming 24GE doesn’t really buck this trend – it’s still restricted to a mobile graphics card, which limits its capability somewhat – but it’s the best you can find among all-in-one computers.
The guts of MSI’s system are built in to a 23.6-inch monitor with 1080p resolution. Neither of these numbers are particularly impressive – bigger monitors and higher resolutions are usually better, after all – but in MSI’s case, it’s a sensible decision. Higher resolutions demand more graphics power, and lower resolutions don’t look at great on bigger screens. By keeping the screen size down and sticking to 1080p resolution, MSI is able to get the most from its CPU and graphics card.
The CPU itself is a fourth-generation Intel Core i7-4720HQ. Intel may be making its sixth-generation chips right now, but don’t be fooled; the i7-4720HQ was a high performer of its generation and offers tremendous performance. PassMark, an independent compiler of CPU benchmarks, gives the chip a score of 8,090 – a huge leap up from the next-fastest CPU in our lineup.
The heart of any gaming computer is its graphics card, and among all-in-one computers, MSI offers the best base-model option. The system runs an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M. The M on the end signifies the mobile version of a card, which is never as powerful or efficient as its full-size counterpart, but the 960M is still a quality card that easily bests the competition.
If you’re not particularly interested in playing games on your all-in-one, the MSI Gaming 24GE probably isn’t for you. The system uses a wired keyboard and mouse instead of wireless ones – critical for gaming when every twitch matters but not as convenient for most people. Being stuck with Windows 8.1 is also unfortunate, and while you can upgrade to Windows 10 for free if you buy before the end of July 2016, it’s still better to have Windows 10 on the system by default.
MSI’s gaming-centric computer is a different take on the all-in-one PC, and for gamers looking to save some space on or underneath their desks, it can be a blessing. But it’s neither the best gaming computer you can buy nor the best all-in-one. MSI is straddling two different segments of the PC market, and while there are bound to be people out there who will jump on the 24GE, most will probably want to look a little higher on our lineup.