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GT70 Size Comparison And Included Software

MSI GT70 Dragon Edition 2 By Xotic PC: Haswell Goes Mobile
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Size Compared To The Alienware R17x

We have access to several other 17” notebooks for comparison. One of our favorites is the original Alienware R17x. The R17x family has gone through several iterations, and is consequently widely-used. It is a prime example of a large notebook built exclusively for high-end gaming. 

The Alienware is roughly the same width as MSI's GT70, though it has more depth in its footprint.

Thickness in the back is almost the same. Up front, though, the MSI is noticeably thinner. This difference means that the R17x's palm rest raises your hands more than the GT70's, though at less of an angle.

Keyboard and trackpad layouts are similar, though the Alienware does have a larger palm rest. Each machine is striking in its own way. However, the Dragon inset on the GT70 really stands out to us. 

Having the speakers near the GT70's screen yields a better stereo image than the front-mounted transducers on Alienware's machine.

Included Software

MSI and Xotic PC keep bloatware on the Dragon Edition 2 to a minimum.

With the exception of CyberLink's Media Suite, all of the installed software is required for the notebook’s hardware to function properly. While there were some leftover benchmarking apps, we wouldn't expect them to show up on Xotic PC's shipping systems.

Overclocking the GeForce GTX 780M is accomplished through MSI’s Afterburner software.

The KLM keyboard control software allows you to change backlight colors and effects.

The Realtek manager gives complete control over audio connections as well as speaker controls. From here, users can also apply digital sound effects.

The microphone also benefits from digital processing to maximize performance.

The P1 utility lets you launch the program of your choice by hitting the P1 key just above the keyboard.

Multimedia playback, along with optical disc burning, is managed by the CyberLink Media Suite. The suite also includes the company’s near-ubiquitous PowerDVD playback software. 

The GT70 Dragon Edition 2 shipped from Xotic PC with reinstallation discs for drivers and utilities. By default, you'll need to create your own Windows 8 recovery DVDs. If you want, Xotic will also provide the Windows 8 recovery disc as a set of DVDs or on a 32 GB USB thumb drive.

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  • 0 Hide
    cobra5000 , July 15, 2013 9:24 PM
    My A10 laptop w/7660g may not have the specs but it plays great and only cost me $505.99.
    How about that for bragging rights!
  • 1 Hide
    sha7bot , July 15, 2013 9:27 PM
    Forbes magazine posted a great article on this system, as well. Seems like Alienware, ASUS, and Clevo have some serious competition.
  • -1 Hide
    lunyone , July 15, 2013 10:21 PM
    I have an AMD a6 quad core CPU w/7670 dGPU that cost me <$400 and it will game okay for most things. Of coarse it's no screamer unit, but for 95% of what I do it works just fine. Yes I would have loved to had a better system for light gaming, but my laptop fit my budget. I wish that we got off this 1366 x 768 resolution and started out at 1600 x 900 for 11-15" laptops as a minimum, but that is just me.
  • 3 Hide
    Ducktor , July 15, 2013 10:24 PM
    Please remove the term W/h from the text as well as "Watt per hour" from the graph on page 14. This unit is meaningless! 1W = 1J/s which is already a rate of power consumption. Dividing this unit by an hour yields 1W/h = 1J/3600s^2 which actually implies an acceleration in power consumption! Such mistakes are really hard to accept on a technical site like Tom's
  • 1 Hide
    danwat1234 , July 15, 2013 10:33 PM
    Yea, the 180w ac adapter in this laptop, and also in the Gt60-2od laptop (the 15" version of this laptop) should really come with a ~240w AC adapter like what the Asus G750 has, but it doesn't. So they made NOS to adapt.
    It is unfortunate. What if I want to crunch on the high-end CPU and the GPU 24/7 for some reason? Can't do it with a 180w AC adapter.

    To those thinking that the built in single fan isn't good enough, it is a 12V fan! I have never seen a 12V fan in a laptop before but this one has it. The Coolerboost feature ramps up the fan RPM to maximum and really keeps the temperatures down.

    There are some reports of bad paste jobs so if you are having high temps, that may be the reason. Call up MSI to verify that your warranty will not be void and then repaste it. MSI is cool in that they'll usually allow you to take off the heatsink whereas Asus won't.


    Thanks Tom's for making a much better review than what Anand did!

    So on page 14, the max power draw from the battery when the laptop is unplugged and you are gaming is only 85 watts? That must mean that the dedicated graphics is shut down and the HD4600 is only on? Can you have the 780m when on only battery power?
  • -1 Hide
    luckiest charm , July 16, 2013 4:11 AM
    I would feel awkward using this machine in trains, at relative's places, or anywhere else I can be spotted on so I don't become a laughing stock. :p 
  • -1 Hide
    custodian-1 , July 16, 2013 6:30 AM
    With the problem with cell phones being stolen I would not take something out of the case.
  • -1 Hide
    boro169 , July 16, 2013 7:54 AM
    I think it should be noted that derived notebooks from this like deviltechs are much cheaper. the starting point of msi is 2400 euros in my country and deviltechs modified msi cost me 2050 with a 250gb samsung 840 and a 1 tb 5400 hdd and the 780m.. yeah it doesn't have the steelseries keyboard it has de gt60 blue blaclight one but...
    for those talking about its not for hardcore gamers... I think they are wrong because i can't take my cosmos II tower with the 3930x and my titan on my back when i visit my girlfriend on train a 300km away from my home... and not everybody can have two of those beasts.. the desktop is always better but you can't drag it always with you to trips...
    for the one talking about being scared of being robbed... I don't know why he walks on the streets wearing a wallet you COULD be robbed... or a plane could crash on your head.... ¬¬ then nobody would buy an smartphone. because to use it indoor and using outdoors and old nokia because if it is robbed its not an expensive lose....
    if you at least talked about the processing power lose when not wall plugged or so that would be a reasonable comentary...
  • -1 Hide
    adgjlsfhk , July 16, 2013 8:19 AM
    "Plus, there's the warranty coverage on the tuned hardware, which is a plus."
  • -1 Hide
    warezme , July 16, 2013 10:57 AM
    You know the new Haswell GTX780m Alienware models have been out for awhile. You should have done your comparison with one of those. LIkely more expensive but more direct comparison.
  • -1 Hide
    Wisecracker , July 16, 2013 2:29 PM

    For all those bucks, it needs a 120Hz refresh

    :D 

  • 0 Hide
    ajcroteau , July 17, 2013 5:52 AM
    Those dragon decals are very sexy :) 
  • -2 Hide
    dalauder , July 17, 2013 6:21 AM
    The multi-colored keyboard is stupid.

    If you have multi-colors, use them to some utility. Make the Numpad blue, and numbers and function buttons green with the rest red or something useful. Ideally, alternating number colors would be great. Or maybe the whole keyboard red except for green AWSD and Shift keys.
  • 0 Hide
    bokeh , July 17, 2013 7:24 AM
    Quote:
    Those dragon decals are very sexy :) 


    Not decals. The graphics are etched into the red anodized metal. I tried to capture them in the photos, but they still look better in person.
  • 0 Hide
    OleTrondheim , July 17, 2013 9:09 AM
    wow, awesome review. You guys covered pretty much all bases.
    And it looks like you put Anandtech`s review to shame.

    Good job guys :) 
  • -1 Hide
    Sakkura , July 17, 2013 1:00 PM
    There's an error on the first page. You say the Geforce GTX 780M normally has memory running at 2.5 GT/s, but it's actually 5 GT/s. GDDR5 effectively runs at a quad data rate, so 1250 MHz = 5000 MT/s.
  • 2 Hide
    cats_Paw , July 18, 2013 1:34 AM
    I actually have a model that looks exactly the same (GT780DX), but has lower specs so i might be able to point out a few key points:
    First, lets get rid of the CONS:

    -The screen is too heavy for the plastic covering it, this can cause a lot of problems. In reality, if you dont open and close the lid with both hads carefully each time, you are almost guaranteed to break the union point of the plastic surrounding the screen.

    -Loud. The fan is good and quite eficient but its loud. I dont know why they decided to use 1 fan instead of 2 (one for gpu other for CPU), but i guess its for more features.

    -Thin plastic covers. Some parts of this laptop feel weak, especially the botton part of it. Ive iopened the laptop around 3 times for mods and thermal paste change and each time i was SURE id braek that cover. It hols dor now thou.

    -Keyboard. While the keyboard is definitly above average. However, you need to press quite hard to make sure it registers. This is ok with the keyboard as its quite sturdy (1.5 years in, no issue whatsowever ), but bare in mind you will need strong actuation force to use this keyboard correctly.

    -Touchpanel( i dont mean the one used as mice, but the one at top for turn on, etc): The touchpanel is usefull, however it can become unresponsive at times (lucky they aded a Blue ray open button). The worst part is that it feels very fragile and cheap. It will do its job, but since the rest of the laptop is build very well, this feels out of place.

    -Trackpanel (the one used as mice): At laeast in my laptop its fairly unaccurate. Its not a problem for me as i would not game with it, but at times it is bothering.

    -Um, oh and... yeah, this thing is heavy. If you get the laptop+the charger+some mice+some cds.... you can end up carring around 8-10 KG :D .

    Now to The PRos:

    -The screen is amazingly good (dont expect to use it outdoors, but its quality is some of the best in the market).

    -The sound is decent (I am an amateur audiophile and this thing sounds awsome for a laptop, and its totally pasable for regular use).

    -The performance and temperatures are great. Granted my verion is not so packed as it runs a i5-2340M//GTX670M, but my temps after changeing thermal paste to arctic silver 5 at 30 C ambient never surpased 70 C at load (thou this was a short test to check if i applied the thermal paste correctly, so it will vary im sure).

    -The gimiks are fairly cool. The MSI logo is not too chessy, the beyboard lighting system is feirly nice and usefull, and in general it does not seem that they added this just to justify the price.

    -Button to instantly turn off trackpanel. This is just nice.

    -Good overall conectivity (many usb) and also a decent webcam.

    Now the only thing that could be a deal breaker for me is the fact that this is a machine you need to be very carefull with.
    I highly recommend this laptop chasis (MSI actually sold the patent to a few competitores on the chasis, so its very good), and any model using it, but i STRONGLY suggest to anyone that buys it to use a very good carring case.

    The laptop dosent lay well in bags. Allow me to explain: Most bags dont carry laptops in horizontal but in vertical. In most cases, the thiner part of the laptop goes down, and the wider up. This will make the pressure of each step you make impact the screen, as the screen gets all the pressure if you put the laptop downwards that way.
    In other words, without a carring case that will keep the laptop well safe, sooner or alter the screen will suffer, and also most likely the conectors between the screen and the rest of the laptop.
  • 0 Hide
    g-unit1111 , July 18, 2013 2:32 PM
    The look of this laptop is sweet, but the price tag will make me think twice about buying one. Especially when you consider that it's basically a rebaged Sager NP9570 with a crazy RAID SSD setup.
  • 0 Hide
    yobobjm , July 18, 2013 8:23 PM
    I owned an MSI for a while, I had it for about 2 years and never have any problems. Now I want one of their new GS70s
  • 0 Hide
    richfloors , July 21, 2013 8:52 PM
    I think using an old Alienware to make this machine look good is very wrong,still, I bet my m17x with dual 5870's would blow it away though!
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