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  • kishorshack - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Again an amazing gaming notebook from MSI
    Overall Gaming Experience Amazing
    but
    LCD should have been a bit better
    Specially in gaming notebook
    Where what you see forms the basis of your overall experience
    Reply
  • Meaker10 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    There are not that many good 17.3" panels out there if any. The 15.6" version ships with a PLS screen though. Reply
  • phdchristmas - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    I bought last years G70 with the GTX 770M. I needed a laptop to play FFXIV:ARR as my ole dependable Z575 wasn't going to cut it.

    I agree the LCD is poor at best. very uncomfortable viewing angles.

    came with CAS 11 memory and 5400 rpm hdd's in a raid0.

    And they threw in windows 8, without the bios update to fix a S3 wake error which complicated a lot of things, because the bios update from the MSI website would say "THIS BIOS IS NOT FOR THIS DEVICE" then shutdown. I took it back to the store and they just ended up giving a replacement with the same problems. The way transactions work in this country i couldn't return for a full refund, only store credit.

    Ended up gutting it and installing win7 to make it work. Warranty voided, but that was going to happen anyways. The point is that i shouldn't have to apply my technical skills and spend 12+hours to get a damn $1600 gaming laptop to work as intended.

    I'll be sure to avoid MSI in the future
    Reply
  • kosmokenny - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    They announced that the GS70 will be available with the 870m, is there any word yet on when that will be arriving? Reply
  • rxzlmn - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    You can already buy that, depending on where you live. Both GS60 and GS70 with 870M are avalaible (albeit at limited stock) here in Singapore. Reply
  • willis936 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Heavy and loud but that's a lot of hardware. Please review the P34G v2. Reply
  • highbrow - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Or maybe Jarrod could finish the full review he promised of the P34G v1? It's only been 6 months. Reply
  • willis936 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    I would agree with you but I'm not considering buying a P34G v1 this summer. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    The P34G review had to be canceled -- basically, something died on my test unit during stress testing. Sorry for the lack of an update, but I didn't want to make a big deal about it and it was basically at the point where by the time I could get a replacement it would be too old to worry much about the review. I'm going to try and get one of the newer 800M Gigabyte laptops at some point, but no promises! Reply
  • HaloTechnology - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    The cooling and the Display of the Alienware 17 is Superior Reply
  • danwat1234 - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    The MSI GT70 and GT60 laptops has a 12 volt cooling fan that moves about 25CFM of air according to tomshardware! The alienware uses multiple 5V fans. I think the MSI implementation is better. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    A 4K panel would be a nice pairing with this hardware! Or 880M SLI...

    Toshiba is bringing out the $1499 P55t April 22:
    15.6-inch 3,840 x 2,160
    Intel Core i7
    AMD Radeon R9 M265X 2 GB GDDR5
    16 GB DDR3L
    1 TB HDD
    Blu-ray

    Sub out some of those parts and features to offset the cost of the 880M and it might still be around $2,000 total to get a 4K panel... in theory.
    Reply
  • emarston - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    They do sell versions with 3K screens in 15.6" form factor Reply
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    1K short. ;-) Reply
  • Khenglish - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    I do not understand why MSI uses a single fan for a 17" notebook with a top end GPU. They have a fake fan exhaust vent where the 2nd fan should be. Hell even Apple uses 2 fans on their tiny laptops with a dGPU. Reply
  • Meaker10 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Number of fans is less important than total CFM and heatsink area. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    You're right. and this fan doesnt have nearly the CFM required to properly cool this beast. thus, there should really be a second fan. Reply
  • danwat1234 - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    25CFM or so. 6 watts or so. Reply
  • danwat1234 - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    Because it is a larger 12V fan, they don't need a second fan. All other laptops use 5V fans. Reply
  • Hrel - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    I've always wondered why laptop GPU's include so much extra GPU RAM. I've never seen a GTX660 with 4GB of RAM, much less 8. Yet I saw GTX460M's configured with 4GB of RAM years ago. What gives? Reply
  • Gunbuster - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    It's a check box feature. That RAM is not that expensive and makes the system sound more impressive. It's not like they can stick a huge gaudy yellow three fan MSI cooler on the prefab graphics module they buy from Nvidia... Reply
  • ssiu - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    And I always thought the 4GB on mobile GPUs are typos, since even desktop cards like 780Ti doesn't have 4GB. So they really have 4GB (and 8GB for this one)?? *mind blown* Reply
  • Batmeat - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    I have the GE70. The machine is amazing. IMO save yourself the money and put your own SSD in. That's what I did. Reply
  • emarston - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    Same here, I popped in 2 SSDs in my GE70 and it's awesome. Reply
  • Harmattan - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Let's call this like it is... this is a 3 year-old laptop using a 1 1/2 year-old GPU. The 880m is the same exact chip as last year's 780m (which provides the same or better performance when overclocked) -- it's as if, in the desktop space, NVDA was to increase the GTX 780's core speed a bit and call it a "GTX 880". Further, the 880m is same chip as a 680m albeit with another shader block enabled. My issue is not the performance the 880m/780m provides, which is very good -- it's the fact that NVDA is sitting on tech and dribbling it out -- with virtually no cost improvement -- since there is no competition whatsoever at the high end. We need a high-end Maxwell mobile solution toute suite.

    Also, just a note on the pricing points you make at several points: this GT70 as configured is actually $50-100 more expensive than an NP8278/P170SM (which actually had some cosmetic changes since the last version, and has much better cooling) with the same hardware depending on the reseller -- not sure where you're pricing these machines...
    Reply
  • Meaker10 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Still has a much worse speaker setup and keyboard however. Reply
  • godlyatheist - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Where can you buy the i7-4700MQ 3 years ago? Oh wait, you can't.

    It's not a crime to use existing design and update them. They are faster (even if marginally) and not more expensive compared to the release price of the old gen equivalent. I don't get the problem here. It's not like they marketed the 680M laptop for $1000 and 880M ones for $2000.

    "The 780m (which provides the same or better performance when overclocked)" That statement says the 880m improved because it is able to reach higher clock at same power envelope. You may think it's nothing, but you can't deny it's an improvement.

    You said it yourself, there is no competition at the high end. Is it Nvidia's fault that AMD can't compete? Why should they do anything when refreshing existing design let's them reign with ease?

    MSI has traditionally been weak in the cooling department, because they make budget gaming laptops. They are going to save the $$$ somewhere and cooling is what MSI chose. If you only care about specs, sure go with Sager/Clevo. All the other stuff surely aren't worth $50-100 right?

    I have the P150HM/NP8150 with 2nd gen i7 + 680M and it runs any game I need comfortably. It has a dual fan design yet the cooling is crap unless you mod the casing. The reason is thin heatpipe and lack of air intake. Clevo has improved since then but it's the same as any other company. Oh yea, the keyboard is junk on it.
    Reply
  • danwat1234 - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    The MSI has a very high flow 12V cooling fan. If you crank the fan to full speed, temps will stay nice even at full load on all processors. Unless it's needs a repaste. Reply
  • pmpysz - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    "ASUS is now using an IPS panel in their competing G750 series"

    What model? I've been looking at them all and haven't seen a single IPS panel in any of the G750s. Even the new ones with the 800 series GPUs.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Crap... I could have sworn it had an IPS panel. Edited text, as you're right -- still TN. Does any 17.3" gaming notebook with PLS/IPS/AHVA exist right now? I've seen good displays in stuff like the EliteBook series, but those are apparently very expensive. Reply
  • pmpysz - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    There's some new MSI notebooks with 3K screens. I think those are all versions of the GS60 and GT60s. There's also a 13.3 or 14" Eurocom model with a 1080p and 3k option. Then I saw a couple Gigabyte models with 1080p IPS in both 13" and 15" models. I think the 13" (P34G maybe) has newer 800 series, while the 15" doesn't, but will come out with a 800 series version soon. This is all off the top of my head though, so it might not be perfectly accurate. I personally really wanted an IPS ans the response time isn't as important to me as the image quality. I looked at the G750 at Best Buy and the TN panels look like garbage compared with everything I own. I really like the notebook, but no IPS really kills it for me. Reply
  • pmpysz - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    *just to clarify, the 3Ks are all IPS AFIAK. Reply
  • rolla94 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    It is worth noting that the GT60 version uses what seems to be a Samsung PLS panel. I would be curious to see how the two panels compare. This is what I'm seeing on my GT60 Dominator 424 "SAMSUNG 156HL01-102" Reply
  • pmpysz - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Do all the GT60s use PLS? I've been curious as to what eDP wide angle means on some of the model descriptions. A quick google wrote it off as the same as TN, but I don't see how they can call TN wide anything. Reply
  • anactoraaron - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    You guys going to get anything from a custom builder boutique based on the clevo w370ss chassis? That seems to hit a good price/performance point. Most boutique places are offering a free i7-4810 upgrade and I'm really wanting to see the 860m in some real world numbers. Reply
  • Hrel - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    I don't think SSD's are as dramatic of a difference as you guys like to keep stating. Everything at work still uses hard drives. You launch everything and then just leave the computer on, with everything open, for weeks at a time. Once the programs are launched there's little/no difference between mechanical disks and SSD's. It's really not that bad.

    With that said when I power on the machine Monday morning I go make coffee cause I know it won't be usable for a few minutes. I think it's important to make that distinction, SSD is still just the difference between a "premium" experience and a normal one. The way most people use computers it's not a big deal. For anyone on a budget it's certainly not worth giving up meals over.
    Reply
  • purerice - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    I agree with you in the case of desktops. For laptops, however, the extra speed "can" increase battery life as well, or at least improve that portion of battery life where you are actually working. SSDs also weigh minutely less. Is that worth decreased capacity and extra cost?

    For you and for me, no, not really. For enough other people out there, yes.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    I haven't really seen a major improvement in battery life thanks to SSDs (though it might happen in some cases). But the speed difference for launching apps, installing software, booting Windows, resuming from hibernate, etc. is very, VERY noticeable to me. Perhaps it's that I'm now used to having an SSD, so when I load Chrome and open my 30+ default tabs and it doesn't take a minute or two for everything to come up, I'm happy. Could I live without an SSD? Yes, but for the cost I'd much rather have a system with a good SSD and drop the CPU or GPU down a notch as opposed to having a maxed out CPU/GPU and no SSD. Reply
  • emarston - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    I disagree, if you require encrypted drives as my job does and SSD makes all the difference. Believe me I notice it on my work machine everyday. Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    I have to disagree. The faster startup is nice; but it's the smoother response in ordinary use that's really sold me. Moving my OS/Apps to an SSD a few years ago did more to improve general system responsiveness than any upgrade I've made other than my initial move from a single to a dual core CPU. Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    I get chest-pains waiting on mechanical hard disks when used as a boot disk...

    My mother, and two of my brothers have switched over to SSDs, (at great effort by me), and they say they could never go back / transformed their machine etc. The third brother is too cheap to do so.

    Now if you have the premium of time on your side, sure hitting the power button, and fetching coffee is fine.

    But as a network engineer under the gun, when you have strict site-access periods, and it takes 2 weeks to get your access, and during your line-up testing, your in-house application crashes, and you've got only 30 mins before your escorted access ends, it is a God-send to be able to reboot quickly, start the database, and get your application up again, and continue to work with the other end of the link... I've known Core 2 Duo laptops, with mechanical disks, take 8 to 10 mins to do that task I just described. One minute thereabouts (honestly) with SSD. Marvelous. Surprised me too.

    You can hear the deep breaths from the other end when you say 'sorry I have to reboot', but not a problem for me for a few years now...

    So sorry, cannot agree there is little difference.
    Reply
  • jak3676 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Am I the only one that read the headline and was wondering why in the world someone would put an 8 year old 8800 GTX in a laptop? Reply
  • huaxshin - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    @JarredWalton:
    From the summary, you wrote GK110 instead of GK104.

    "As far as NVIDIA’s new GTX 880M, performance is pretty much what you’d expect from a slightly higher clocked GK110"

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Also did you notice that this particular model did much better than your previous GT70 review in terms of thermals? With the Dragon Edition you and me had a little discussion regarding the temperatures. You got 98C with that one while here you get 82C.

    Any thoughts to why?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Possibly just a difference in components -- some 780M may run hotter (and with higher voltages) than this 880M. I pushed the system as hard as I could, just to see if it would throttle. Anyway, Dustin tested the earlier Dragon, so I don't know if he just had a poor unit or what. And I'll go edit that GK110 error. LOL -- GK110 in a notebook, I wish! Reply
  • shatteredx - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    No 120hz display kills it for me. Does MSI even have any models with a 120hz display? Reply
  • Antronman - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Why would they?
    It's not like an 880m will reach 120fps in any games.
    Reply
  • shatteredx - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    Any FPS above 60 will be smoother on a 120hz display.

    Also, I play many older games that hit 120 fps even on my 680M.
    Reply
  • erple2 - Friday, April 18, 2014 - link

    You need a couple of qualifiers on that. If you play with vsync on, it won't be any smoother. If you play with triple buffering, it will. Personally, I play with vsync on as I dislike tearing more than frame drops (though with proper triple buffering, you don't get the integer scaling in fps with no lag like d3d buffering offers). Though this seems like a great case for the highly proprietary g-sync.. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    Maybe not with all eye-candy maxed out, but that's not really the point of 120fps gaming. Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    My M18x R2 laptop regularly hits the 200fps cap in Black Ops 2, all graphic options maxed out...

    And I'm sure as sh1t the 880M GTXs are faster than my 7970M's...

    I'd almost kill for a 120fps display, like the M17x's have...
    Reply
  • smitty123 - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    Good review but i gotta say this, i've just had to deal with MSI customer service for my laptop i bought 2 years ago, so its out of warranty.

    Msi customer service, what a joke. They wanted money $$ to tell me my machine was broken. i know it is and i know what is broken, i sent them the pictures, the screen cover broke where the hinges screw into it.

    Money to tell me what i need fixing ? They think people are idiots.

    They wanted 50$ to tell me i'll need a new plastic cover that would probably go for 250$, can you believe that ?

    I replied asking them for an estimate, its been weeks and still no reply, no mention of how much $$ to actually fix it, just "give us 50$ to open a case file". What a joke.

    Here you have a loyal customer who's bought their hardware for years and instead of actually being helpful they play this money grubbing game.

    Not cool MSI !

    You don't mess with customers that way. it's a surefire way to not get repeat business !

    So i said screw that, i went with ebay. And after that i'm selling the laptop, getting rid of that pos.

    it's a horrible noisy laptop, the GT70 aren't any better, the fan and heatsink need a complete overhaul and to be quiet. it's like they don't learn from their past versions. lol

    i'm never buying msi again. Their customer service sucks plain and simple.
    Reply
  • Henry H. - Friday, April 18, 2014 - link

    Dear Customer,
    We are very sorry about this and believe there must have been a miscommunication regarding the diagnostic fee for the OOW RMA service. We do not charge this fee which is $49.00 upfront at all we do take CC info but there is no charge for the OOW RMA number to be released all you have to do is agree to the diagnostic agreement. The only time that the diagnostic fee is charged is if the repairs are declined after the laptop has come in and has been fully diagnosed and a complete repair quote is sent out to the customer. And if the customer agrees to the repairs then the $49.00 diagnostic fee is not charged at all only the repair charges apply the diagnostic fee is waived at that point. We do believe in providing the best customer service experience to all our customers and we are sorry that you feel this way. We hope that you would reconsider and let us provide this OOW RMA if needed. But again we take pride is providing all our customers with the best customer service experience so that that they are fully satisfied and happy. So please do contact us at USUsersupport@msi.com and we will follow up with you ASAP.
    Thank you,
    MSI SSD,
    Reply
  • Communism - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    Anyone who's not mentally retarded buys a Clevo if they're a gamer anyways.

    Everything else is pure crap in comparison.
    Reply
  • Bully303 - Friday, April 18, 2014 - link

    Well educated comment there..not Reply
  • erple2 - Friday, April 18, 2014 - link

    You also need to add "... buys a Clevo with an external keyboard.." I have yet to type on a clevo keyboard that had more structural integrity than a plate of overcooked noodles. Reply
  • sf101 - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    I agree with some things the Reviewer says.

    I personally Own a GT70-2OC with the 770m gpu in it instead of the 780m. a few reasons i went that route .

    Price over all on the 770m versions were much much lower by a large margine and the packages available were more flexible too.
    I got my version for 1300$

    I immediately bought a 64gb Adata SSD and installed it "voiding warranty" and enabled Cache mode which alleviated the 5400 rpm driver performance problems for cheap "50ish$"

    Reviews also said the 770m used far less power then the 780m and by everyone's complaints about fan noise with the 780m and 880m i would have to agree as i can game on the 770m gpu without having to turn on the higher fan performance button and not experience any throttling.

    so that said this laptop even when gaming seems to be fairly quiet when running overclocks on the gpu it does require the turbo fan mode to be on which i agree that is fairly loud.

    As far as higher resolultions on a 17" screen? i dont know if that would be worth the extra cost to me personally any smaller and i think it would feel uncomfortable to read.. and the resolution seems fine for gaming on such a small screen at this resolution. also with these gpu's im not sure your going to maintain fps very well at 1440+ resolutions.

    i also agree with the op that turning down some gfx in the name of heat / power use and noise may be a good option.

    and i also agree that msi is retarded with their memory configurations. they dont seem to want to keep dual channel kits involved. their 8gb models come with a single stick of memory instead of 2x4gb am i missing something here? wouldn't 2x4gb in dual channel provide supurior performance and the notebook would also still have 2 more expansion memory slots available so its not like your hindering expansion by using up two slots in the name of performance considering you void warranty upgrading as it is.

    Overall Ive had a really good experiance with this laptop from msi but as the reviewer said im not sure why they dont change a few cheap options in the name of performance.

    7200rpm drives for instance in the units that come with just a HDD would be a good start.
    and dual memory configurations that work not breaking them with either single stick or miss matched memory sticks "8gb +4gb??????".

    dual fan cooling would really help with noise on the larger units but how about just unlocking the bios for us or letting us configure a fan profile that doesn't require just 100% speed or auto ?

    So while i really like the laptop i own i feel it could be vastly improved if msi just used their noggins a bit.

    I like the looks of the GS models alot more even though it uses a slightly lesser GPU then the flagships it should perform well enough for desktop replacement and mobile use.
    Reply
  • danwat1234 - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    MSI, PLEASE find a way to ship the GT60 and GT70 2OD and 2PE and other 780m/880m MSI laptops with 240W AC adapters because 180W is not enough. "NOS" is a joke, a crutch. Why does the laptop have to suck power from the battery when the GPU and CPU are fully utilized when a slightly larger AC adapter would stop this?
    Asus uses a 240w AC adapter for good reason in their G750 and MSI should as well. I thought MSI would probably have learned their lesson after the tomshardware review blasting NOS back in July of last year;; http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gt70-dragon-ed...

    This is especially important if an Extreme CPU is in the laptop. Having that being fully utilized along with the GPU, NOS will engage and whatever you are trying to do cannot be done forever because the battery will eventually drain to 30%!
    Reply
  • Ethos Evoss - Sunday, April 27, 2014 - link

    Hate when manuf. making hdmi upside down it is tacky n horrible and + chrome hphone mic etc jakcs .. looks so cheap ..bleee Reply
  • HappyHubris - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - link

    I recently purchased a GS60 Pro from MSI. It's not directly comparable (4.3lbs vs 8.6 lbs), but I am enjoying the general build quality and recommend the model to anyone who is looking for a slim and light gaming notebook.

    Pros:
    -Solid build quality
    -Excellent Keyboard
    -Gorgeous *matte* screen
    -1080P resolution saves expense and allows you to side-step app resolution scaling issues
    -You're not paying for a super high-rez screen that has little utility on a laptop unit
    -Slim and light
    -Excellent performance
    -Ships with a SSD + HDD; you can replace the HDD with another SSD without voiding the warranty
    -I haven't noticed any thermal throttling so far (the bane of ultraportable gaming units)
    -Numberpad for those of us who use them

    Cons:
    -Giant "GAMING EDITION" logo on the cover prevents me from using this laptop in client-facing environments, because MSI still hasn't figured out that gamers are also normal members of society. My biggest con.
    -Battery life is less than stellar
    -The underside of this laptop gets groin-searingly hot when gaming
    -Screen bezel is plastic and feels flimsy

    Feel free to toss me any questions you have. Isn't it crazy to think that "Desktop Replacement" gaming laptops were 8-10 lbs just 2-3 years ago?
    Reply

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