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

Battlefield 3, BioShock Infinite, CoD: Black Ops II, And Crysis 3

Battlefield 3

Benchmark settings for Battlefield 3 are the same as those in Battlefield 3 Performance: 30+ Graphics Cards, Benchmarked.

The single-player component of Battlefield 3 also shows that the MSI GT70 Dragon Edition 2 is capable of excellent frame rates with maxed-out settings. Once again, we see a notable performance advantage over one GeForce GTX 680M in the Alienware system, though the 780M still falls behind two 680Ms in the Eurocom machine. 

Taking the detail settings down to High quality yields a slight increase in average frame rate, though none of these configurations need to run at anything lower than the Ultra preset.

Dropping to Medium quality yields another slight bump. Eurocom's Panther hits the game's 200 FPS ceiling, while the GeForce GTX 780M in MSI's GT70 almost gets there with 190.

BioShock Infinite

Tested at 1920x1080, the GeForce GTX 780M in MSI's machine demonstrates excellent performance gains over the Alienware’s GeForce GTX 680M at all quality levels. While each machine can play BioShock at its highest settings, the 15 FPS bump from 35 to just under 50 shows the advantage of having an overclocked version of Nvidia’s newest card.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Benchmark settings for Call of Duty: Black Ops II are the same as those in Call Of Duty: Black Ops II Graphics Performance, Benchmarked.

The GT70 Dragon Edition 2 has no problems with performance in Black Ops II. The GK104-based 780M is notably faster the 680M, which centers on the same GPU but includes fewer enabled CUDA cores. 

Employing Medium-quality details, the platform starts to impede graphics performance. 

Stepping down to Low details, a processor bottleneck absolutely limits the performance of Nvidia's most modern mobile graphics chips. The Eurocom system's six-core desktop-class processor runs into its wall just over 180 FPS.

Crysis 3

All three of these systems can play Crysis, but some manage it a little better than others. The Eurocom configuration doesn't seem to scale quite as well as we've seen two GK104 GPUs perform in the past, but still manages to drive the highest frame rates with a pair of GeForce GTX 680Ms. In comparison, one GeForce GTX 780M comes very close, averaging almost 40 FPS at 1920x1080.

Dropping back to the High detail preset suggests that these platforms might actually be more processor-bound than we thought. At 1600x900 and 1366x768, the two fastest setups report identical frame rates.

Shifting down another notch, all three machines are completely platform-bound. The Core i7-3940XM and -4930MX are essentially even in this situation, while the six-core desktop processor in the Eurocom Panther allows for almost 30% higher FPS. 

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