MSI G Series GS70 17.3-Inch Laptop Review(1TB HDD, 128GB x 2 SSD Super RAID0, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M)

MSI releases a new gaming laptop that turns a price-performance brand into a brand that offers something different to gamers.

Introduction

MSI has surprised us with a gaming laptop that looks very different from what we’re used to. Their latest gaming laptops have gone from affordable prices, to amazing specs and high prices, which has hurt their reputation with their user base a bit; this model, however, makes up for its price with a much smaller size and a specs that we haven’t seen before in laptops of this brand. The MSI GS70 is undoubtedly an uncommon gaming laptop without an equal in Europe, clearly designed to compete against the 17-inch Razer Blade Pro.

MSI G Series GS70

Technical Specs

The new MSI GS70 is very beautifully-looking, surprisingly thin for a gaming laptop, and also features the latest hardware, something I’d like to especially point out. That’s why I’ll start by telling you what the hardware of this model with the latest components is capable of.

First, we have the quad-core Haswell Core i7-4700HQ with eight threads. It has a 6 MB cache, 2.4GHz frequency and 3.4GHz in turbo mode with a normal consumption of 47w. It also has an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600, supports up to three monitors at the same time and every feature you can expect from a Haswell processor, including the processors of desktop computers like the VT-D.

MSI G Series GS70

It also has a maximum of 16GB of RAM in dual channel, and a very interesting storage system: First, there’s a 1TB mechanical disk for every storage need you have, and also a high-performance mSATA SSD disk in RAID 0.

There are no optical drives -not that it needs one-, but it features a Killer DoubleShot system with Qualcomm’s low latency technology in the Wi-Fi chipset and Ethernet. It has a Gigabit Ethernet chip and features Wi-Fi N technology with dual band of 2.4 and 5GHz; it was able to reach speeds of 300mbps during our tests.

MSI G Series GS70

MSI G Series GS70

It also features Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity that is very low resource consuming and will let you link our mobile devices with the latest and fastest technology. It also has USB 3.0 ports, located at the sides, a multi-format card reader and many additional video outputs.

MSI G Series GS70

Screen and Graphics Card

A good screen and GPU are fundamental for any gaming laptop; the latter will determine what we will and will not be able to play, while the screen will decide how the games will look. The MSI GS70 features a nice screen, without brightness filters, with very nice angles. The response time of these IPS panels, though, isn’t as fast as other models, so speed has been sacrificed over picture quality. The screen also has acceptable backlighting, with a small but not too noticeable loss of brightness in the borders. Its 1920×1080 resolution is the gaming standard nowadays, so it’s more than enough for our games to look great and with constant frame rates.

MSI G Series GS70

This laptop’s GPU is key to its performance; MSI has opted for a high-end graphics card, although not the best one Nvidia has to offer. Not a bad choice, still, since the one it features is the Geforce GTX 765M with 2GB frame buffer. This card has a total of 768 shader engines with a 128-Bit memory bus that provides up to 64GB/s of bandwidth. The same specs as the Geforce GTX 760M, another model we’ve reviewed, but with frequencies of 850MHz, which makes it noticeably more powerful.

The GPU is not only powerful but also very low resource-consuming thanks to Nvidia’s Optimus system that shifts between the integrated or dedicated graphics cards depending on the task at hand. MSI also takes full advantage of both graphical chips to create a multi-screen environment. The laptop features two Displayport 1.2 and one HDMI 1.4ª ports; you can connect up to three HD monitors to it. You can also connect 4k monitors to it, but gaming with that resolution is another story.

MSI G Series GS70

Sound

This laptop features a good sound system, both in hardware and software. It features a 2.1 speakers system with subwoofer, strategically placed to produce powerful surround sound.

MSI G Series GS70

The model also has a good signal amplifier for headphones, something quite uncommon but that more than ore gamer will surely appreciate. The MSI GS70 Stealth features it by default and the result it gives are noticeably better than other alternatives we’ve tested.

Other important details about its sound quality and features are the gold-plated connectors and the possibility of connecting 5.1 analog speaker systems. Frontal digital input/output and microphone plugs are included, gold-plated as well to ensure the best possible quality.

MSI also included Creative Sound Blaster Cinema drivers, the latest you can find in dedicated sound cards, with powerful equalization software so you can get the best sound quality as possible.

MSI G Series GS70

Design and format

I’ve left the best for last because I think MSI deserves special praise for what they’ve done with the design of this laptop. The first thing you notice I show slim it is (21.8 millimeters), I can safely say it’s thrice as slim as similar models from the brand and even from other manufacturers. In fact, there’s only one that can compare, the Razer Blade Pro, and even that one is not as slim with its 22.4 millimeters.

MSI G Series GS70

Let’s not forget it weights 2.66Kg, battery included, while the Razer weights 2,98Kg, which is a remarkable feat for a 17-inch model. It is, therefore, lighter and slimmer, but that doesn’t make it fragile in the slightest. The MSI GS70 Stealth is completely aluminum-made with a completely flat design, without any noticeable detail, it’s made so every component, at least the bigger ones, can fit into the zone the keyboard isn’t in. Thanks to this design, the keyboard is located in the lower case, which reduces the space. MSI’s solution was making room for the main chip next to the screen and putting the cooling system underneath the keyboard and other important components, so the user’s hands are always cool while making room for every component efficiently.

MSI G Series GS70

This leaves little room for your hands, although this isn’t exactly uncomfortable either. There’s plenty space for the touchpad, since we’re talking about a 418×287-millimeter 17-inch model. The aluminum-made design gives the GS70 a matte finish. Only two parts are made of plastic: The zone where the case and the screen meet and the antenna area on the screen, which helps with the Wi-Fi.

MSI G Series GS70

This laptop has an impeccable design. It’s small and light and gives you everything you’ll ever need.

The screen is also covered in the aluminum body, with a nice finish and the MSI logo in the middle. The contrast is good and overall the laptop looks amazing. A nice and slim design, very fitting for an ultra book, with a fantastic connectivity.

MSI G Series GS70

The cooling system of the MSI GS70 Stealth is formed by an air entrance on the rear and two fans at the sides. This way you can install great fans that don’t bother the user thanks to their location; one works for the GPU and the other one for the chipset and processor. This minimizes the revolutions, reduces the noise, and keeps the laptop cooler and the heat away from the user’s hands.

MSI G Series GS70

You can see the air entrances from the lower part of the laptop, as well as the subwoofer in the right and upper parts.

Keyboard and Touchpad.

High quality sound, good screen, powerful GPU, RAID SSD storage system, slim and elegant design… this laptop is only missing a good keyboard and mouse, and maybe it also has them.

MSI G Series GS70

The multi-touch pad and supports the triple functionality Windows 8 requires, as it is included in this OS by default. You can fully customize its functions and has two integrated buttons Its size is just about right to not confuse the buttons and since it’s imbued in the case it will always be available for you where you need it. It’s noticeably different in design than the rest of the model, but doesn’t really look bad either.

MSI G Series GS70

The keyboard is excellent, well-built and with a nice backlighting, the latter divided in different zones according to the keys. However, numeric keyboards have no place in a laptop, and the size of the model has left Little room for keys that despite having antighosting are difficult to use while we’re gaming. A moveable Windows key may be a good idea while playing games, but having an option to simply disable it would have been better.

MSI G Series GS70

Generally speaking, the keyboard is the weakest aspect about this laptop, even with its nice backlighting, obviously designed for gaming.

Performance Analysis:

We’ve put this laptop to test by running some games and other tasks to measure its performance. Let’s start but the storage system: MSI promises speeds of around 1GB/s while transferring data to the disk and this is partially true, because this only while reading, not writing.

The 128 GB SanDisk mSATA disk it features, two of them, use outdated controllers that reach writing speeds of only 128MB/s, practically one tenth of the reading speed, which is simply disappointing, although the laptop kind of makes up for it with a nice performance in AS SSD.

MSI G Series GS70

MSI G Series GS70

Overall, the laptop is pretty balanced in every regard. It can be either a powerful gaming machine or an excellent multimedia center, all of it thanks to its powerful processor, good storage devices and one of the most powerful Nvidia graphics cards.

It got 3800 points in the basic test, and a similar score in more complex ones. Excellent results that confirm this is one powerful and very well balanced laptop.

MSI G Series GS70

It got 3833 points in the basic test, and a similar score in more complex ones. Excellent results that confirm this is one powerful and very well balanced laptop.

MSI G Series GS70

The processor is noticeably powerful, which not only improves the performance in every common task but also help you make the most out of the Nvidia GPU.

The processor is noticeably powerful, which not only improves the performance in every common task but also help you make the most out of the Nvidia GPU.

The graphics, like you can appreciate in the screenshots, indicate that you can play in the native resolution of the screen or in 1080p monitors; you can get stable frame rates in even the latest games. It’s not the fastest gaming laptop on the market, but it is the slimmest, and it does what it needs to do impeccably.

Its two-hour battery life is the standard for laptops with Intel Haswell processors. The PCMark 8 test is pretty fair with several different tests like browsing, multimedia, etc. As you can see, the performance is reduced by half to achieve this one hour and 44 minutes of battery life.

MSI G Series GS70

2190 points, almost half in power saving mode compared to the balanced mode, and a battery life of one hour and 44 minutes.

Conclusion.

MSI has given us the best gaming laptop in the world, in my opinion. There are no screen on the keyboard and it doesn’t have the best processor or GPU available, as well as some other flaws (like the mSATA disks), but this was designed to be the slimmest and lightest 17-inch gaming laptop, and MSI has done just that thanks to its quality, a nice performance and the use of the latest technologies. Its connectivity is excellent, as well as the performance of the network cards, and overall it looks like it’ll be a big hit. This wonderful laptop will cost around 1800 Euros (tax included), much cheaper than the Razer Blade Pro.

MSI G Series GS70

A balanced price, with excellent hardware and design; this laptop can even serve as a work station thanks to its size and weight, which can make it attractive not only to gamers. I love MSI’s new model and I can’t help but praising the manufacturer yet again, while at the same time hoping the little flaws this model has will be corrected with next versions. Still, there’s no doubt every cent will be very well spent if you decide to get your hands on this laptop.

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One thought on “MSI G Series GS70 17.3-Inch Laptop Review(1TB HDD, 128GB x 2 SSD Super RAID0, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M)

  1. I saw another review where the mSATA write speed was much higher, like 486MB/sec for the 128GB Sandisk mSATA SSDs. Could the controller have been updated? Why the difference in write speed?

    Thanks for the detailed review!

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