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MSI Unveils Multiple Gaming Notebooks With Intel Skylake Processors

MSI released a new wave of laptops based on Intel's Skylake chips across its Gaming and Prestige product series.

The highest end of the new laptops from MSI is the GT72 Dominator (which we've written about recently), utilizing an Intel Skylake Core i7-6820HK and listed an Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M on its specification info. MSI claimed that this is the first laptop on the market that will use a mobile Skylake CPU capable of overclocking. The system also takes advantage of MSI's Super RAID 4, which pairs a 256 GB SSD drive in a RAID-like configuration with a 1 TB HDD, and will contain up to 64 GB of DDR4 clocked at 2133 MHz.

With these specs, the GT72 Dominator is well-suited for high-end gaming at 2K resolutions, which brings up the greatest flaw in this system: the display. The 17.3" system uses an Anti-Glare IPS 1080p display. Although this is what we would want to see on many mid-range gaming laptops, a system with such high settings as this would really be better suited with a 2K display.

Stealth And Apache

MSI released two new laptops in the Stealth and Apache which all feature similar specs. These systems use an Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ paired with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M and 16 GB of DDR4 2133 MHz.

The display issue is still present here, as these systems could at times make better use of a 2K display instead of a more conventional 1080p display. Only one of the systems, the GS60 Stealth, packs in a display above 1080p, featuring a 3840x2160 IPS panel. This is somewhat surprising, as this display would be far more helpful on the GT72 Dominator, but it instead shows up on a lower-end laptop.

"We've perfectly complemented Intel's newest processor with cutting-edge components that will delight even the most hardcore gamer," said Andy Tung, president of MSI Pan America. "Our new notebooks now have even more power, impressive battery life, and superb features for longer gaming and work sessions on the go."

These laptops lack the Super RAID 4 technology but maintain two storage devices inside of each system. The GS60 Stealth uses a 256 GB M.2 SATA SSD, while the other gaming laptops rely on smaller 128 GB SSDs. All of these systems also contain a 1 TB 7200 RPM HDD for additional storage.

Another surprising move that MSI made was to include USB 3.1 support only on the GS70 Stealth. It seems that MSI is trying a tactic of spreading high-end features out across its products, but not putting all of these new high-end features on a single system.

MSI stated that select gaming notebooks would also support an ESS Sabre HiFi Audio DAC and a "SuperPort" (a USB Type-C connector capable of doubling as a USB 3.1 port, data transfers up to 1,000 MB/s, and dual-4K video output.) However, it appears that this will be available only on the GS70 Stealth, as it is the only one listed with USB 3.1 support.

Prestige

The Prestige laptops are similar to the Gaming series laptops, being built around an Intel Core i7-6700HQ. These laptops differ from the Gaming laptops primarily in the GPU used, which is either an Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M or GTX 960M. These systems also lack an SSD, while two systems contain less RAM relative to the gaming series laptops. MSI uses 1080p displays on these laptops as well, but on these systems, that is the perfect display to pair with the rest of the internal hardware.

All of MSI's new laptops also feature SteelSeries proprietary Silver-Lining Print technology, which can reduce eye strain when using the system for long periods, as well as regulating the illumination of the keyboard on systems that feature LED keyboards.

These systems are available now at multiple online retailers.

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  • amk-aka-Phantom
    "Non-reflection", "anti-glare"... it's called MATTE. "Non" and "anti" imply that there's something extra added to reduce reflections (like an anti-glare film you can buy for your smartphone), which isn't the case: instead, something (glass or plastic) is MISSING.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    Looks good. It's about time we've gone to 2k resolutions. the GTX 980M is nearly overkill for 1080P by now. Especially when we have the new GTX 980 coming to laptops soon.
    Reply
  • jasonelmore
    i would recommend everyone wait less than one year for nvidia's pascal. Your gonna get waaay more performance, with waayy less power since it uses 16nm
    Reply
  • joex444
    MSI's Super RAID 4 is a pair of PCIe 3.0 SSDs in RAID0. This must mean a pair of 128GB mSATA drives for 3 drives total, including the 1TB HDD which must show up as a separate logical drive.
    Reply
  • firefoxx04
    Maybe the 1080p display is there to make long gaming sessions smooth. Sure it can do 2k but can it do it for hours after the heat sets in and the system throttles?

    I honestly find high res much more useful for productivity than gaming. I'm hard pressed to see the difference between 1080p and 2k on a small 17 inch display when strictly gaming.
    Reply
  • flowingbass
    I would take 1080p anyday on a gaming laptop. For the practical people, 1080p with a gtx 980m would net you two or more years of gaming at ultra settings. Rather than a laptop with 2k or 4k screens and "hoping" to run upcoming games on ultra without lowering settings. I guess people just dont get that you get more mileage for your 1500$++ investment with a 1080p screen.
    Reply
  • cvaughn
    I'm convinced a 17.3" or 19.5" touch panel in QHD or 4K does NOT exist.

    All they've got are 15" panels in touch, everything else is non-touch with that stupid "digitizer touch glass" stuck on top ... which makes horrible picture quality (angles, fuzzy, dusty).
    Reply
  • hst101rox
    Per the table, no 2TB hard drive option? I guess MSI doesn't like Samsung's M9T hard drive.
    And, despite the 9/22/2015 Tomshardware article "MSI Updates GT72 Dominator With GTX 980, Announces Special Edition" , I don't believe this laptop has a desktop 980 in it. It just has the 980m mobile GPU, which is a fantastic performer. I don't know where you guys got the idea that they'd use a desktop version of the GPU. They've been using the 980mobile GPU for quite a while now.
    Reply
  • Mortis Angelus
    You have incorrect information here. According to the specs on MSI.com, the new GS60 6QE Ghost pro (http://gaming.msi.com/products/notebook/gs-series?id=3539) has "2x USB 3.0 and 1x USB 3.1 Type-C SuperPort" while the GS70 6QE DO NOT have a SuperPort, but has "2x 3.0 ports + 2x 3.1 Type-A" ports (http://gaming.msi.com/products/notebook/gs-series?id=3545)

    In your previous article from 2 Sep 2015 you had this all correct (http://www.tomshardware.com/news/msi-gaming-notebook-skylake-update,30000.html)

    And I'm pretty sure that the GS60 is called "Ghost Pro", while the GS70 is called "Stealth Pro" (http://gaming.msi.com/products/notebook/gs-series).

    I didn't bother to check the info about the other models, as the GS-series is the only one to appeal to me, but please double check the information on those as well.

    Then a question to anyone: Is there a modernized GTX 970M-chip coming out along with these laptops? Engadget writes this in their article: "Elsewhere, the graphics cards have been bumped to the newer GeForce GTX 980M or 970M." (http://www.engadget.com/2015/09/02/msi-skylake/)



    Reply
  • Mortis Angelus
    16699602 said:
    And, despite the 9/22/2015 Tomshardware article "MSI Updates GT72 Dominator With GTX 980, Announces Special Edition" , I don't believe this laptop has a desktop 980 in it. It just has the 980m mobile GPU, which is a fantastic performer. I don't know where you guys got the idea that they'd use a desktop version of the GPU..

    Here: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/Noob-Ensemble/discussions/0/517142253880741788/
    and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9P-ihThT-A
    and: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu9ql6oARZo
    and: http://www.pcgamer.com/nvidia-is-putting-desktop-caliber-gtx-980-gpus-in-laptops/

    and so on... Among those models: The MSI GT72 Dominator

    The launch of full GTX 980 in laptops has been one of the more hot-topics in PC the past weeks.
    Reply