MSI has provided us with their top-of-the-line GT70 Dragon Edition gaming laptop, which should be a direct competitor to the recently reviewed ASUS ROG G750 notebook. MSI is a well-known name among desktop system builders as they produce excellent motherboards and video cards.
Just how well will their quality and performance transfer over to the laptop side of things? We'll have to put the GT70 system through its paces and evaluate. The GT70 appears to be based off of an ODM design that is also used by the iBUYPOWER Valkyrie, a system we reviewed in the middle of last year. Whether or not this will affect performance remains to be seen.
Specifications, Configurations and Pricing
The MSI GT70 we have in the lab, specifically the GT70 2OD-039US Dragon Edition 2, comes packing the new Intel Haswell-powered i7-4700MQ mobile quad-core processor. This should enable even the most powerful gaming laptops to get a boost in battery life. It features four cores and eight threads and comes clocked at 2.4GHz with TurboBoost 2.0 up to 3.4GHz. It's not clear what the difference between the 4700MQ and 4700HQ, the chip used by the ASUS ROG system recently review, is as they both feature the same clocks and features.
Coupled with the 4700MQ is 32GB of DDR3 SDRAM. 32GB of RAM is pretty much overkill, but there are specialized uses where that much memory could be utilized effectively. For most people, 16GB is more than enough.
Graphics are provided via a discrete NVIDIA GTX 780M with 4GB of vRAM. The GTX 780M is a very capable video card and will perform similarly to the older GTX 680M, as they are both based upon the same chip. It offers a total of 1536 CUDA cores, which is up from the 1344 offered by the older 680M. It also requires less power and is clocked faster.
Despite being equipped with Windows 8, the MSI GT70 Dragon Edition 2 does not feature a touch-enabled screen. It does, however, come with a full HD 1920x1080 panel with a matte surface coating.
The GT70 features three 128GB SSDs in RAID 0. MSI is calling this feature "Super RAID 2" and they claim that it makes the system capable of bandwidths up to 1500MB/s. We'll be putting that claim to the test. Mass storage is provided by a 1TB spinning hard disk.
You can check out the MSI GT70 Dragon Edition 2 packaging in the unboxing video below.