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

Storage And Audio Performance

Storage Performance

Our GT70 review unit came configured by Xotic PC with three SanDisk 128 GB mSATA SSDs in RAID 0 serving as the primary system drive. It also included a Western Digital 1 TB disk spinning at 5400 RPM for user storage.

CrystalDiskMark shows us that the RAID 0 array delivers sequential read and write speeds in excess of what one 2.5” SSD can do over a SATA 6Gb/s link.

Running the same test on Western Digital's 1 TB mechanical disk yields results in line with what we'd expect from a 5400 RPM drive.

The GT70 Dragon Edition 2 boots quickly, and is generally very responsive. The primary drive's 384 GB of capacity is more than enough to install our complete benchmark suite and games. If you need even more room, there's always the option of installing apps to the 1 TB repository, too. 

Audio Performance

Audio fed to external amplifiers via the analog headphone jack sounds good. Additionally, we had no issues hooking up to a receiver via HDMI. And we didn't hear any buzz or popping when we played music through the analog connectors.

The built-in Dynaudio speakers are excellent. In fact, they're among the best we’ve heard on a notebook. They offer excellent stereo imaging and tonal range, adding to the GT70's adeptness at gaming.

While the subwoofer on the bottom of MSI's GT70 is small, it certainly contributes to filling in lower frequencies. Playing back music on the system's speakers, we added a little EQ to bring out the highs. In games, we left the EQ flat.

We also listened to music via the headphone jack with several sets of IEM headphones. Through the very sensitive Etymotic HF3 in-ear earphones, we heard no unwanted noise; music playback sounded good. The sound was also good from the slightly bass-heavy Bowers and Wilkins C5 in-ear earphones. We also enjoyed listening with the very detailed and slightly bass-shy Shure SE425 in-ear earphones.

Additionally, we auditioned a couple of pairs of traditional over-the-ear headphones. The 32-ohm Grado SR125s sounded good, and the GT70 drove them without a problem. With Sennheiser's HD 600s plugged in, the headphone output drove the difficult 300-ohm load to decent listening levels. Sound through the HD 600s was neutral, but not as dynamic or detailed as a dedicated headphone amp.