MSI Updates Gaming Notebooks With Intel Skylake CPUs

MSI GS60 GhostMSI GS60 Ghost

As part of the update to Skylake, MSI is bringing the new CPUs from Intel to five of its gaming-series laptops. At press time, not all the information is available, but MSI did send us some information telling us what we can expect to see from the notebooks.

The notebooks in question are the GT72 Dominator Pro G, the GS70 Stealth, the GS60 Ghost Series, the GE62 Apache Pro Series, and the GE72 Apache Pro Series. All of these notebooks will come with Intel Core i7 6700HQ CPUs, except the GT72 Dominator Pro G, which comes with an additional i7-6820HK option – an unlocked Skylake processor on which you can use the CPU multiplier to overclock.

The GT72 Dominator Pro G will have the most powerful graphics options, allowing you to choose from a GTX 980M and a GTX 970M. The display panel will feature mobile Nvidia G-Sync support, and the graphic card will be upgradeable because it uses the standardized MXM format.

The remainder of the notebooks will come packed with either a GTX 970M or a GTX 960M.MSI GT72 DominatorMSI GT72 Dominator

On the storage front, all of the notebooks will come with DDR4 memory, and all will have PCI-Express SSDs capable of accessing the system through four PCI-Express 3.0 lanes for 32 Gb/s of bandwidth. Additionally, the top-of-the-line GT 72 Dominator Pro G will have two of these NMVe capable SSDs, which can be configured in a RAID 0 array for some serious data throughput – MSI claimed "over 3300 MB/s."

GT72 Dominator Pro GGS70 Stealth/GS60 Ghost SeriesGE62/72 Apache Pro Series
Cooler Boost 3Cooler Boost 3Cooler Boost 3
Super PortSuper Port-
Silver Lining PrintSilver Lining PrintSilver Lining Print
Keyboard by SteelSeriesKeyboard by SteelSeriesKeyboard by SteelSeries
SteelSeries Engine 3SteelSeries Engine 3
SteelSeries Engine 3
ESS SABRE HiFi Audio DACESS SABRE HiFi Audio DAC-
Nahimic Audio EnhancerNahimic Audio EnhancerNahimic Audio Enhancer
SOUND by DYNAUDIOSOUND by DYNAUDIOSOUND by DYNAUDIO
True Color TechnologyTrue Color TechnologyTrue Color Technology
Killer DoubleShot ProKiller DoubleShot ProKiller Gaming Lan
Killer ShieldKiller ShieldKiller Shield
XSplit GamecasterXSplit GamecasterXSplit Gamecaster

As far as nitty-gritty specifications go, that's all the information we have at this time, but MSI also detailed some of its own unique features: All the notebooks will come with SteelSeries RGB-backlit keyboards, a Nahimic Audio enhancer, sound by Dynaudio, Killer networking, Killer Shield, and support for XSplit Gamecaster, all of which you can see in the table above.

Finally, MSI mentioned that the GT72 Dominator Pro G, GS70 Stealth and GS60 Ghost series notebooks will come with a "Super Port," which, based on the description provided, we can only assume is a USB Type-C port. Even so, that doesn't tell us much about what the port can do; Type-C is capable of multiple speeds and supports numerous protocols, including DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 3, depending on the Alt Mode implementation.

At this time, MSI isn't shipping the notebooks yet. The entire feature set hasn't been finalized, and a couple of changes may still be made before the units ship. MSI expects to start selling the gaming laptops with the new Skylake CPUs starting September 27. Until that time, stay tuned for more details.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • Gutiari
    The main one we are concerned about is the GT80 Titan. Please let us know if/when they will refresh this laptop with Skylake, and what processor will they use.

    For those of you who are are up to date with the Intel's mobile processors, the GT80 Titan is currently equipped with the Broadwell i7-5950HQ. If MSI will replace that processor with the Skylake i7-6700HQ, then it would be questionable refresh. The i7-5950HQ is superior to the Skylake i7-6700HQ in speed (300 MHz more Base & 200-600 MHz more Turbo Clock), but the i7-5950HQ is inferior in that it does not support DDR4, and consumes SLIGHTY more power, exactly 2 watts more (which is peanuts).

    In my professional opinion, it would be a bad decision to refresh the GT80 Titan with the latest Skylake mobile processor, and they should continue to use the Broadwell mobile processor and sacrifice the support for DDR4. Everyone has their own opinions, however I feel that the increased processor speed that the Broadwell i7-5950HQ has over it's Sylake successor to be more significant, and it's not worth sacrificing that processor speed just to gain DDR4 support.

    If you agree with me, like this comment. If you disagree, feel free to dislike this comment.

    For a full comparison of the processors, you can view it here:
    http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/7/Intel_Core_i7_Mobile_i7-5950HQ_vs_Intel_Core_i7_Mobile_i7-6700HQ.html
  • twoc
    I believe that the reason they will stop using the 5950hq is due to quality control issues. There are many other MSI laptops that were supposed to offer the 5950hq (as seen on the MSI website), such as the GS30 and GS60, but they never got sold due to what I believe are supply issues. If Intel is releasing a more reliable manufacturing process for the new chip, and it's similar in price and performance, MSI will have no choice but to select the CPU that is actually obtainable.
  • hst101rox
    They could ship new GT80s with a 6820K unlocked Skylake chip, but also have less expensive trims that have a locked CPU.
    I hope the MSI laptop(s) that can come with the 6820K will have an AC adapter that can handle the power requirements of an overclocked CPU and the GPU fully taxed. 240w at least.
    Back a few years ago, MSI thought 180w was enough... and Alienware recently now (early 2015 laptops) but they've fixed their ways I think.