Gaming Performance

I had been hoping the MSI GT70 Dragon Edition would be an able demonstration of the performance of Intel's Haswell and NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 780M. While we can isolate the CPU performance easily enough, isolating GPU performance is much trickier. NVIDIA is using boost clocks on the GTX 780M, which means it's able to turbo up depending on thermal and power headroom, and there's actually a healthy enough variation in clocks that different chassis will be able to produce different levels of performance.

There's also the cooling system of the MSI GT70 Dragon Edition, which either doesn't have or just barely has the capacity to handle a combined 150W of heat.

Entry-level gaming results are in Bench, but suffice to say the GTX 780M is more than adequate for those settings, and so for the review I'm going to stick to Mainstream and Enthusiast level benchmarks.

Bioshock Infinite - Mainstream

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Mainstream

GRID 2 - Mainstream

Metro: Last Light - Mainstream

Sleeping Dogs - Mainstream

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Mainstream

Tomb Raider - Mainstream

In situations where the CPU is not a limiting factor, the 780M is able to boast a healthy lead on the 680M. But you'll notice that the GT70 Dragon is actually underperforming in certain cases; the CPU is getting throttled due to heat. The superior cooling system of the Alienware M17x is able to dissipate far more heat than the GT70's is.

Bioshock Infinite - Enthusiast

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Enthusiast

GRID 2 - Enthusiast

Metro: Last Light - Enthusiast

Sleeping Dogs - Enthusiast

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Enthusiast

Tomb Raider - Enthusiast

Situations that stress the GPU more exclusively can result in healthy gains over the 680M, but overall stress on the CPU stemming from processor-intensive games like Skyrim and StarCraft II, as well as the hit from TressFX in Tomb Raider, effectively keeps the 780M from really stretching its legs.

Remember that on paper, at stock clocks, the 780M has at least 22% more shader power than the 680M and 39% more memory bandwidth. That means that, bare minimum, the 780M should be roughly 15%-20% faster than its predecessor. We're getting that in the traditionally GPU intensive Sleeping Dogs and Metro: Last Light, and most of it in BioShock: Infinite. But other games see lower gains, or are even slower on the GT70 Dragon Edition despite it having directly superior hardware.

System Performance Build Quality, Heat, and Noise
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  • skiboysteve - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    I got excited at your comment but I looked, there is nothing. Not a single laptop from Lenovo, Dell, or HP with Haswell and no discrete graphics. Reply
  • peterfares - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    Haswell JUST came out. Give it a month or two. Business machines usually take a little longer than the consumer ones to refresh. Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    Ane one might argue for good reason too.... I have yet to see a proper ThinkPad, Latitude or Precision machine overheat... Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    system 67 has a laptop with the 4750hq and iris pro graphics. Reply
  • SirGCal - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    This would be a laptop I would enjoy. Something I could take with me to my trips to the hospital crossed country when I have to go, but still let me game in the evenings. Granted have to be plugged in for any length of time but... My problem is just the costs. For that type of money I can build one hell of another desktop or even lanbox... I really wish that the 'build your own laptops' would take off to make that market more price competitive instead of this 'gotcha' market it is now... Reply
  • SirGCal - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    Well, that would be in theory ofcorse... if it could keep itself cool... Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    check out rjtech. plenty of choices there Reply
  • alexvoda - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    I would like if someone at Anandtech could test the Gigabyte P27K
    http://www.gigabyte.eu/products/product-page.aspx?...

    AFAIK it is the only notebook that has one feature I like very much: the combo USB3.0/eSATAp port.
    Reply
  • Bob Todd - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the review. Any chance there are some new 14" gaming laptop reviews in the pipeline? Specifically the Alienware 14 and Razer Blade 14? I've been travelling quite a bit lately and am contemplating something like one of those to help pass the time on the long international flights. Hell I'm even curious to see if the new 13" MBA can play some current games at 900p or 800p @ medium settings with GT3 graphics. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    Trying to secure them. Thankfully we have pretty good relationships with both vendors, so it shouldn't be a question of "if," but "when." Reply

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