Power, Battery Life And Efficiency
The X7 Pro has both of its GPUs soldered-on, and parasitic power loss on the disabled GPU is likely the reason for high idle power consumption in the single-GPU configuration. Fully-loaded, it draws less total energy than the previous-generation GT60 from MSI.
The X7 Pro bumps up against input power limits when both GPUs are enabled. We were able to test maximum CPU load and maximum GPU load, but any attempt to fully load all three components resulted in pronounced throttling.
The X7 Pro almost matches the GT60 Dominator in battery life with a single GPU driving our game test. We’re willing to believe that the two-minute difference might have been due to parasitic power loss to the second GPU. SLI imposes reduced performance and lower battery life from the unplugged system. That technology should only be enabled when the system is plugged in.
A single GeForce GTX 970M appears to be most efficient, but that’s only because games were limited to 40% of the overall performance ranking. A game-only comparison would have dropped the X7 Pro’s efficiency lead to 37% with one GPU enabled, while allowing an SLI configuration to climb 58% over MSI’s older 870M comparison system.