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Trying out the MSI Codex R Gaming Desktop, Black (2024)

My thoughts on the MSI Codex R: strong gaming performance, cooling efficiency, upgrade possibilities, and support services.
Sid Metcalfe

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


December 26, 2023


I recently got my hands on the MSI Codex R Gaming Desktop, and I’ve spent quite some time putting it through its paces. Given its mix of high-end components like the 13th Gen Intel Core i5 and RTX 4060, I had some expectations regarding performance.


Property Value Property Value
Specific Uses For Product Multimedia, Everyday Use, Gaming Brand MSI
Personal computer design type Computer Tower Operating System Windows 11 Pro
Memory Storage Capacity 2 TB Ram Memory Installed Size 32 GB
Model Name Codex R 13NUC5-068US Included Components Mouse, Keybord
CPU Model Core i5 Color Black


Click on photos to enlarge them:

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Performance and Gaming Experience with the MSI Codex R

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My experience with the MSI Codex R Gaming Desktop has been a journey of highs and lows. As a dedicated gamer, I’ve always looked for a system that can deliver top-tier performance without breaking the bank, and the Codex R almost perfectly fits the bill. Let’s break down what has stood out to me:

  • Supercharged Performance: With the 13th Gen Intel Core i5 processor and the RTX 4060, my games have never run smoother. Titles like Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War and Minecraft are enjoyable, with FPS rates that are through the roof compared to my previous rig.

  • Memory and Storage: The 32GB DDR5 RAM and 2TB M.2 NVMe Gen3 SSD are a huge leap forward in terms of speed. The DDR5 memory, in particular, is a game-changer, giving me a noticeable performance boost.

  • Windows 11 Pro: Having Windows 11 Pro makes multitasking a breeze, and the personalization options are a great plus for both gaming and productivity tasks.

  • RGB Fan Cooling System: The system runs incredibly cool without sounding like a jet engine, which is honestly a relief after dealing with louder setups in the past.

However, the Codex R isn’t without a few drawbacks. While I’m generally happy with my purchase, I noticed that the system arrived with outdated graphics drivers. Sure, updating them with GeForce Experience was a quick fix, but it’s something to keep in mind, especially for those who might not be as tech-savvy. Additionally, it’s a bit disconcerting to find out about price drops shortly after purchase—but such is the nature of tech shopping.

I also want to give a heads-up about its size; the Codex R is definitely substantial, so make sure you have ample space set up for your gaming haven.

Importantly, while the overall system delivers powerful performance, I have heard of others facing hardware issues not long after purchase. Thankfully, my experience has been different so far. Despite these concerns, my personal take is that the pros do outweigh the cons, significantly so, if you’re mainly focused on having a robust gaming experience without needing to tinker too much under the hood.

In terms of playing high-demand games, the Codex R doesn’t disappoint. From ray-traced titles to sprawling open worlds, I’ve tested a range of games and the system has handled them with ease. The graphics capabilities are especially notable, as even with ray tracing enabled, I’m getting smooth frame rates.

Understanding potential issues helps set realistic expectations, and despite a few hiccups, the MSI Codex R has mostly lived up to its promise, providing a solid gaming experience that’s up there with the best.

System Cooling and Acoustic Management

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When it comes to the MSI Codex R Gaming Desktop, there’s no doubt that its system cooling and acoustic management have been carefully considered, aiming to strike a balance between performance and user comfort. Right off the bat, the cooling system is robust, featuring a trio of 120mm fans—two pulling in air from the front and one pushing it out the back. This design ensures a steady flow of cool air and the dissipation of heat, which is critical for maintaining optimal performance during long gaming sessions.

Here’s a quick rundown of the cooling system’s benefits and potential drawbacks:


  • Efficient airflow design with multiple fans.

  • The GPU remains cool under load, not exceeding 60 degrees Celsius.

  • Acoustic management is top-notch, with fan noise seemingly under 35 decibels.


  • The size of the case might be an issue for users with limited space.

  • The non-DIY friendly aspects could be a downside for users looking to make internal upgrades, including possibly reconfiguring cooling solutions.

My experience aligns with this system’s intended purpose: a plug-and-play solution for gamers who don’t want to tinker too much. I appreciate the fact that despite backend complexity, the acoustic profile is impressive. The fans are quiet enough that they don’t intrude on my gameplay or multimedia experiences. It’s been refreshing to game without needing to crank the volume to mask fan noise.

However, the MSI Codex R’s size isn’t trivial—it has a considerable footprint, so be sure you’ve got the desk space. While this isn’t directly related to cooling, the space for airflow and the physical size of the case are interdependent. A smaller case might not provide such efficient cooling, or could potentially be noisier due to fans working harder in a more cramped environment.

Moreover, while the fans and the inbuilt layout do their job well for a stock system, there’s a hint of concern looking to the future. The default CPU cooling solution, as mentioned on forums, does cover a RAM slot, and the placement of the SSD might raise eyebrows for those looking into serious upgrades or customization. This isn’t too much of an issue for me right now, but it’s something to be mindful of.

In summing up this aspect of the MSI Codex R, cooling and acoustic management receive high marks for out-of-the-box usability and effective design. It keeps things cool and quiet, which is exactly what you want when you’re deep into a gaming marathon. However, the size and some layout choices within the case may limit those who have space constraints or wish to extensively customize their setup. Overall, for those looking for a system that strikes a good balance between powerful cooling and low acoustics, the Codex R delivers.

Upgrade Potential and Internal Layout

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When sizing up the MSI Codex R for its upgrade potential and internal layout, there’s definitely a mix of pros and cons to consider. Starting with the positives:

  • Ease of RAM Upgrades: The system comes with 32GB of DDR5 RAM, which is a solid amount for gaming and productivity tasks. Plus, the fact that MSI used two sticks of 16GB RAM is a win for dual-channel support and leaves room for further memory expansion if needed.

  • GPU Swap Simplicity: Upgrading the graphics card seems straightforward, and with the inclusion of the RTX 4060, you’ll be set for a while, but when the time comes, it looks like an easy swap.

  • Future-Proofing with DDR5: The support for DDR5 is ahead of the curve and guarantees some future-proofing in terms of memory speed and performance.

However, the Codex R is not without its negatives:

  • Limited SSD Swap-ability: The primary SSD is an NVMe stick attached to the motherboard; while lightning-fast, it’s not a traditional 2.5-inch drive, which could limit your upgrade path or replacements.

  • Bulky CPU Fan: The pre-installed CPU fan obstructing one of the RAM slots is a bit disappointing. While not a deal-breaker thanks to the existing 32GB, it does limit your maximum upgrade capacity unless you opt for a different cooling solution.

  • PSU Accessibility: Replacing the PSU might not be so user-friendly due to its tight fit in the case’s “basement” and hardwired connections, making significant power supply upgrades a bit more daunting.

In terms of the internal layout, here’s what stood out:

  • The overall design is clean, and cable management appears to be handled well out of the box.

  • Good airflow is ensured with the pre-installed fan setup, which is crucial for maintaining optimal temperatures during heavy gaming sessions.

  • The Codex R’s DIY claims are perhaps overstated, especially when it comes to modifying or replacing some of the key components like the SSD and PSU.

As someone who prefers not to get too deep into the intricacies of PC building anymore, I appreciate the balance MSI has struck with the Codex R. It’s a system that works exceptionally well out of the box, yet still offers some room for customization and upgrades down the line.

In conclusion, if you’re planning to upgrade components frequently, be prepared for a few challenges with this system. Yet, if you’re content with the powerhouse specs for the near future and prefer minimal tweaks, the MSI Codex R offers a satisfying, high-performance experience from day one.

Customer Support and Reliability Concerns

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After thoroughly testing out the MSI Codex R Gaming Desktop, my overall impressions are quite strong, leaning toward the positive. However, as with any tech product, there are vital factors like customer support and reliability that can heavily influence a user’s long-term satisfaction.

Here’s a quick list of what’s been notable:

  • Impressive specs and performance out of the box.

  • Packaging and shipping precautions show attention to detail.

  • Thermal and noise levels are well-managed.

  • Some concerns about long-term reliability with several reports of hardware failure.

  • Frustrations with potentially out-of-date drivers on arrival.

  • Mixed experiences with the ease of upgrading components.

From a personal standpoint, when investing in a high-end gaming rig like the Codex R, I place a lot of emphasis on the after-purchase support I can expect. MSI’s reputation is a mixed bag, with some users raving about their experiences, while others have been left wanting better support with hardware failures or complications post-purchase.

Let’s face it, no product is perfect, and in my history of dealing with gaming PCs, I’ve seen that even the most reliable systems can have mishaps. What matters to me is how the company supports its customers through these hiccups. Some users have experienced excellent response times and solutions, but others highlight the inconvenience of covering shipping costs for repairs or receiving incorrect hardware—a critical point companies like MSI need to address.

Regarding the MSI Codex R, the reliability concerns that some users reported give me pause. Specifically, issues with core components such as the graphics card and SSD suggest that while the system performs admirably, there’s a chance you might encounter obstacles. This is not uncommon in the realm of high-performance machines, where pushing the envelope sometimes leads to teething problems down the line. However, it’s reassuring to see that many users report smooth operations and strong performances over time, indicating that these concerns don’t paint the whole picture.

In conclusion, the MSI Codex R is a powerhouse, capable of delivering an unsurpassed gaming experience for its price range. Its impressive out-the-box performance, thoughtful design, and included peripherals make it a solid buy. My recommendation, based on the balance of positive and occasional negative feedback, is to keep informed about your purchase. Ensure you’re up to speed with the warranty terms, understand your support options, and stay proactive about system updates. With those considerations in mind, the Codex R remains an excellent contender in its class, promising to deliver many hours of gaming joy.