MSI GT70 DOMINATOR PRO Gaming Laptop Review (GTX 880M)


MSI GT70 is a laptop without compromises on the performance level. As you could have imagined, this affects heavily portability and handiness, making it more of a desktop replacement solution rather than a product to use in mobility. Thanks to the Intel Sharkbay i7 processor and to the 880M GXT, on the GT70 nimbly run all of the titles currently out on the market, but this will unlikely be enough to justify the price of 2500+ dollars. Whoever, though, has this kind of economic means and is looking for a top solution with captivating design, will find in the MSI something to sink their teeth into.

Well-finished Appearance

Just a look is enough to understand that the MSI GT70 2PE Dominator Pro is not a laptop like any other. A computer, from hardware to excellent performances, must have a captivating design and a strong appearance. The squared shapes and the opaque black chassis make it at the same time gutsy and sophisticated, avoiding the competition’s sparkling LEDs and colors too flashy and unscrupulous. The material choice, mostly plastic, returns a great feeling of solidity and allows an efficient heat dissipation from the rear grills, avoiding the under keyboard hardware from overheating. The LCD display with a diagonal of 17.3 inches is enough to give you an idea of the MSI laptop majestic dimensions.


The power button is located at the center of the notebook, in the middle of a touchscreen pad, which ensures direct access to a variety of convenient functions to be immediately activated, like for example, the Wi-Fi connection or the cooling fans management. On the sides there are two speakers of decent quality with clean and clear sounds, while below the space bar there is a specific button to turn off the touchpad in case you decided to use an external mouse, nearly obligated choice when it comes to video games. The backlit keyboard was developed by SteelSeries: the island keys are very convenient to use both in a gaming and work environment, there is the numerical keypad and the feedback is excellent as the sense of solidity. The backlighting is managed directly form the owner software developed by SteelSeries and gives access to infinite possibilities in terms of chromatic combinations. You can use up to three different colors simultaneously for a total of five preset layouts. It is also possible to program macros for both games and text for the chats and personalize the keyboard in every single detail managing the hotkeys as you want. The keyboard supports simultaneous pressure of multiple keys and also the windows key has been moved to the right to avoid pressing it during the wildest actions.


Excellent Performances

The notebook we had available for this test is the top of the range offered by the Taiwanese manufacturer. We are talking about Intel Sharkbay CPU i7-4800MQ and Super Raid 2 system with three hard disks of 128 GB put next to a 7200 rpm 1TB hard disk. The price of more than $2500 makes this notebook more like a whim for those who can afford it than a real necessity in terms of video gaming: at the moment the 32GB of memory would be excessive even on a desktop solution merely intended for gaming.

SSD Speed Test

On the performance side, MSI puts on the field as much power as possible with the pairing of CPU GPU providing excellent performances. The quad core i7-4800MQ processor has a standard frequency of 2.7 GHz, able to reach 3.7 GHz thanks to the Intel’s Turbo Boost technology. Although it is under stress with multiple applications in background, it never gave any sign of concession or slowing, verifying the goodness of choice and absolute versatility of the processor. Regarding the graphic aspects, the NVIDIA solution is the most performing one offered today by the legend of Santa Clara in the notebook sector. The GeForce GTX 880M is a video card with Maxwell architecture equipped with a 1536 CUDA core and a frequency of 954 MHz, bearing a GDDR 5 memory with 8 GB, just enough to play smoothly every title out on the market. Moreover, it is guaranteed full compatibility with all the technologies developed by the Californian manufacturer, like PhysX, FXAA and TXAA filters and 3D Vision, in addition to all the functionalities made available from the GeForce Experience software package, like the one click performance optimization, the automatic download of updated drivers and Shadowplay, with which you can videotape HD gameplays up to 20 minutes length ready to be uploaded on the most famous video sharing platforms, like YouTube or Twitch.

The games we tried on to test it were always running at a 1920 x 1080p resolution at the max of the graphic options, occasionally intervening on the v-sync to avoid sudden frame rate drops. With Battlefield 4, the last chapter of the fps series developed by Dice using the portentous Frostbite 3, the 800M GTX did not have any problem to constantly stay above 30 frames per second both in single and multiplayer mode, giving us a fluid and stable game experience even in the wildest situations. The only small imperfection about the GT70 appeared to be the cooling system, really too noisy when, with similar titles, high temperatures around 176ºF are reached, which require fans at full speed. Clearly better results with Batman Arkham Origins, a Rocksteady title that passed clearly the 60 fps also using the PhysX option to the max level. Same thing for Bioshock Infinite, last effort by Kevin Lavine, with very accessible requisites. Columbia is living and pulsing city, with one of a kind design and chromatic palette, which does not need particular powerful machines. The optimized to perfection game engine does not seem to be a barrier for the GT70, which brings the title over 80 fps with no struggles. Metro Last Light, instead, gave us some worries. Playing it with all the setting to the max was impossible given that the title bounces constantly between the 20 and 25 fps, but disabling the PhysX and keeping the antialiasing filter set on 2X SSAA, the calculation of the frames skyrocketed firmly over 40. Finally, for the MOBA fanatic that do not disdain a gameplay as soon as they have a little of free time independently from where they are at, we have tried DOTA 2, title developed by Valve, able to gain proselytes since its beta release. Also in this case the requirements in terms of hardware are pretty limited and the title runs without any errors barely touching 90 fps on average, guaranteeing maximum fluidity and stability, two very important aspects for such title. So if you’re looking for a laptop to carry to LAN parties and if you have the economic means to afford it, this is surely an option to keep into consideration.

When it comes to gaming laptops, MSI makes the ones with the most power. Although, you will have to pay more money to purchase them, but they are is worth buying. (Read more: Best Gaming Laptop)

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There are a variety of new models of MSI GT70 Dominator Pro to satisfy people’s difference need, here we will list them:

MSI GT70 Dominator Pro comparison:

Rank MSI GT70 Dominator Pro-1039 MSI GT70 Dominator Pro-888 MSI GT70 Dominator Pro-889 MSI GT70 Dominator Pro-893
Screen Size
17.3 inches
Display Resolution
1920 x 1080
Dimensions (LxWxH )
16.85 x 11.34 x 2.17
8.6 pounds
Processor i7-4930MX i7-4800MQ i7-4800MQ i7-4800MQ
Hard Drive 1TB 7200RPM + 384GB SSD 1TB 7200RPM + 384GB SSD 1TB 7200RPM + 128GB SSD 1TB 7200RPM + 128GB SSD
Ram 32 GB 32 GB 16 GB 16 GB
Graphic Card GeForce GTX 880M 8GB GDDR5 GeForce GTX 880M 8GB GDDR5 GeForce GTX 880M 8GB GDDR5 GeForce GTX 870M
Backlit gaming keyboard
3 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
1 x HDMI Bluetooth 4.0
Battery life
9-Cell Li-Ion(7800mAh 87Wh)
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