MSI GT72 Dominator Pro General Performance

General performance isn’t nearly so exciting, as mostly we’re gated by the performance of the CPU and/or SSD. The GT72 is still plenty fast, but there haven’t been any major jumps in CPU performance for quite some time, especially when speaking of notebooks. Perhaps Broadwell will shake things up a bit next year, but for now the Haswell Core i7 processors continue to be plenty fast for all but the most demanding of users. Here’s a quick look at our standard CPU and system benchmarks, along with 3DMark for reference. Also note that we have WiFi performance at the bottom of the page.

PCMark 8 - Home

PCMark 8 - Creative

PCMark 8 - Work

PCMark 8 - Storage

PCMark 7 (2013)

Starting with PCMark, I ran the GT72 with both the GTX 980M and the HD 4600 Graphics. With Optimus laptops, you generally get the best of both worlds in that some tests use the discrete GPU while others use the Intel GPU (and the Computation and to a lesser extent Creativity subtests in PCMark 7 benefit greatly from Quick Sync). What's interesting is that where Intel's Processor Graphics were typically more than sufficient to post good results in PCMark 7, with PCMark 8 and the support of OpenCL acceleration the difference between the two GPUs suddenly becomes far more apparent.

The quad SSD RAID 0 array does prove potent as well, pushing our PCMark results about as high as we’ve ever seen on a notebook, but again it’s a case of diminishing returns. While PCMark 7's Storage test showed more of a difference between the various SSDs, in PCMark 8 all of the SSD-equipped laptops are basically tied.

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD 5.x

x264 HD 5.x

There are no real surprises in our CPU tests: the GT72 with a Core i7-4710HQ is fast, though there are times where other notebooks with faster CPUs take the lead. The upgraded model with i7-4980HQ should improve performance by another 12-15%, but I’m not sure it would be worth the additional cost. Interestingly, the GT72 places at the top of the x264 HD second pass; it's possible the storage subsystem is a contributing factor, but the GT70 only has a hard drive so whatever the cause MSI 17.3" gaming notebooks do well in that test.

WiFi Performance - UDP

As for wireless performance, the dual-band Killer 1525 802.11ac solution worked well during testing. I didn’t notice any unusual drops or loss of connectivity, which is actually better than what I’ve experienced with many laptops using Intel’s 802.11ac solutions. (Many of those laptops need to have WiFi disabled/enabled every week or so in order to stay on a 5GHz connection, at least in my experience.) I can’t say much as to WiFi performance in crowded wireless locations, though; all I can report is that within the confines of my home and a few trips to public WiFi access didn’t create any issues. The raw throughput is also higher than any other WiFi solution we’ve tested in recent times, though as always there’s plenty of variance between runs.

As a side note, the GT72 also supports Killer Double Shot Pro with Smart Teaming (TM!), which basically allows the system to load balance between two connections. One example given is using the Gigabit Ethernet for gaming while you stream the video via Twitch over WiFi (or vice versa).

As for 3DMark, I include these charts mostly as a point of reference; it's far more useful to look at the performance of games you actually care about, but the results from 3DMark are more or less in agreement with our gaming scores.

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark 11

MSI GT72 Dominator Pro Gaming Performance MSI GT72 Dominator Pro Battery Life
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  • darkich - Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - link missed to add the ugliest part - the stone age screen with a resolution lower than on some 200$ 10" tablets!!
    They have a high quality 1440p IPS screens yet this thing somehow gets by with less?!?
    Disgusting, unacceptable atrocity
  • frozentundra123456 - Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - link

    So does that mean everyone that is using a 1080p desktop in a 23 or so inch size is also living with an "unacceptable atrocity"?

    Personally I think anything over 1080p on a tablet is basically for snob appeal.
  • darkich - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    Yes, such desktops are now also a big dated POS.

    1080p is enough for 8" tablet, but it looks horrible on 17" laptop and 23" desktop.

    When you actually browse and read Web pages after doing so on a high PPI screen that fact simply becomes glaringly obvious for anyone that isn't half blind.
  • darkich - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    Heck, I have an 1280x800 8" tablet, (170ppi) and compared to a iPad mini retina its lower resolution is strikingly obvious even when I hold it on my lap.
    Only when you get to compare low ppi with a high ppi you realize what a really highly defined image is.
    And on a $3000 laptop with the best GPU available, high definition screen should be an absolute must.

    I find it baffling how some people can still deny that.
  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    I think there's something of a point to crazy high resolution screens on tablets...namely for reading, whether books or magazines or graphic novels, it's nice to have it look more print-like when you're holding it up close. That's really the ONLY benefit to me though.

    For a PC or game console, I think higher resolutions aren't as beneficial. I can't see pixels even on a 27" 1080p monitor from a few feet away, so who cares?

    Plus of course PCs actually have the power to drive 1080p, which no tablet does when displaying anything more complex than a web browser or whatever.
  • NA1NSXR - Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - link

    These are childish arguments, literally. Adults often have to move or travel. If they need desktop-like performance, these kinds of systems are still incredibly portable compared to any alternative. I can fly with these systems. I can't with a desktop. My heavily overclocked Alienware M17X (IvyBridge i7 @ 4GHz, 680M OC'ed over 260MHz on the core) has been back and forth with me between Asia and the US constantly over the last 2+ years as well as back and forth from work every day. When it was new it offered upper-midrange desktop performance. It still offers midrange desktop performance today. It has been an incredible VALUE as a machine for both work and play. Trust me, I'd rather be on a desktop. I've gone through so many mental hoops to try and justify one, including small ITX's that might be able to fit in carry on luggage, etc. But realistically, these kinds of laptops are just so much better overall as a compromise.
  • ImKuya - Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - link

    Well, there's a reason they're called "Notebook" rather than "Laptop" haha. This costs x4 as much with one big reason being the x4 128GB ssds in RAID 0.
  • Braincruser - Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - link

    Anyone that travels even a little, a notebook is a no question investment. For me personally a desktop system would be useless. I wouldn't be able to use it more than 10% of the time I am able to use my laptop.
    Also, I can game in my bed. You can't beat that :)
  • behrangsa - Friday, November 14, 2014 - link

    You don't buy this notebook to put on your laptop in the same way you won't buy a trailer to go to office with everyday from home.

    But if you need a portable laptop with 32GB of RAM, all options are more or less like this.
  • MDX - Saturday, November 15, 2014 - link

    There is absolutely no way or reason to compare a laptop to a desktop. Move along.

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