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MSI GT70 Dragon Edition 2 By Xotic PC: Haswell Goes Mobile

DiRT: Showdown, Hitman: Absolution, And Sniper Elite V2

DiRT: Showdown

DiRT: Showdown's built-in benchmark is very tough on both the CPU and GPU.

With all quality settings maxed out, each notebook delivers playable average frame rates. The Eurocom's two GeForce GTX 680Ms in SLI maintain the top position, but again the benefit of two cards isn't as pronounced next to the 780M's compelling performance. In fact, the GeForce GTX 780M enjoys a nice 20% improvement over a single GeForce GTX 680M.

We know DiRT to be both CPU- and memory-bound, so as we start relaxing the graphics load, those bottlenecks begin showing up. 

At Medium quality settings, Eurocom's machine is completely platform-bound. MSI's GT70 also exhibits the same symptoms, but still manages to stay a few FPS ahead of Alienware's system on average.

Hitman: Absolution

Hitman: Absolution is the opposite of Sniper Elite V2 when it comes to resource utilization. In the game's built-in benchmark, thousands of NPCs are animated throughout the scene. The overhead needed to animate these non-player characters means that the GPU may end up waiting for the CPU to finish.

In the Ultra quality benchmark, both the MSI and Eurocom machines are CPU-limited. Alienware's sample trails behind, but is able to pull slightly ahead of MSI at 1366x768.

Taking the quality down a notch improves scores, but not as much for MSI's GT70. The Alienware system, with its single GeForce GTX 680M and Core i7-3940XM, manages to pull ahead of both comparison machines at 1366x768. 

At Medium quality, the Alienware pulls ahead of the MSI in all screen resolutions, and ahead of the Eurocom in two of them. This is largely academic since no one with any of these systems would be playing at the medium setting, or at a resolution of 1366x768. All of these machines can run Hitman with max settings.

Sniper Elite V2

The built-in benchmark for Sniper Elite V2 places a light load on our CPUs, but serves up a punishing GPU workload. These benchmarks are a good way to demonstrate the graphics capabilities of each machine.

With the game maxed-out at the Ultra quality preset, each card is able to deliver playable frame rates at every setting.

Throttling down to the High quality preset changes very little about the placing of these three mobile platforms.

Dropping to Medium quality settings allows each configuration to continue speeding up.

Although the benchmark results at Low quality settings are higher, the GT70 was playable at the Ultra preset, and that's probably where you'd find us playing the game.

  • cobra5000
    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!
    Reply
  • sha7bot
    Forbes magazine posted a great article on this system, as well. Seems like Alienware, ASUS, and Clevo have some serious competition.
    Reply
  • lunyone
    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.
    Reply
  • Ducktor
    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
    Reply
  • danwat1234
    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?
    Reply
  • luckiest charm
    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
    Reply
  • custodian-1
    With the problem with cell phones being stolen I would not take something out of the case.
    Reply
  • boro169
    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...
    Reply
  • adgjlsfhk
    "Plus, there's the warranty coverage on the tuned hardware, which is a plus."
    Reply
  • warezme
    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.
    Reply