MSI GS70-2PEi71611 Notebook Review

Sven Kloevekorn, 06/30/2014

Wickedly hot. Most gaming machines are fast, but also heavy and bulky. MSI thinks that unnecessary, and presents us the thinnest and lightest 17-inch laptop in the world, according to its advertisement. A quick look at the specs nurtures doubts: Has the manufacturer managed to keep temperature and noise development under control?

Gaming laptops are a focus of MSI.
Gaming laptops are a focus of MSI.

For the original German review, see here.

When seeing the approximately 2.7 kilogram (~6.0 pound) and only 2.2 centimeter (~0.87 inch) slim MSI GS70-2PEi71611 for the first time, it is hard to believe that it is not a common office or multimedia laptop, but a gaming machine with Intel's Core i7-4700HQ (4x 2.4 - 3.4 GHz, Hyperthreading, TDP: 47 Wh) and ultra-fast Nvidia GeForce GTX 870M. Space-consuming, heavy casings with a height of at least 4 centimeters (~1.57 inches) and a weight rarely under four kilograms (~8.8 pounds) are common in this category. Thus, the "only" 3.135 kilogram heavy Nexoc G728II (6.9 pounds, Clevo W370SS) that we selected as one of the two comparison devices for this test is an exception. However, MSI's slim gaming machine faces a maximum height of 4.4 centimeters (~1.73 inches). That is surpassed by the fourth comparison laptop Asus G750JS-T4064H (4.08 kilograms; 9.0 pounds) with a height of up to 5 centimeters (~1.97 inches). The screens of the three test devices are all based on TN displays with a Full HD resolution.

We made sure that all three comparison devices were roughly within the same hardware range when we chose the laptops. Asus also relies on the new GTX 870M with a dedicated GDDR5 RAM and also uses the same, not exactly economical and cool, CPU as the review sample. In return, Nexoc's G728II sports a virtually identical Intel Core i7-4700MQ (4x 2.4 - 3.4 GHz, Hyperthreading, TDP: 47W), and has to be satisfied with a slightly weaker GTX 860M with 2 GB of dedicated memory.

Besides the build, MSI touts the colorfully backlit, specifically designed for gaming needs and largely configurable, macro-capable keyboard, and the Dynaudio sound system as further unique selling points.

Case

MSI states that the casing is aluminum, but the tester had the feeling that it was plastic. Only a little effort is needed to warp it marginally, and it produces a quiet noise. The surfaces feature a matte, charcoal-black color that is not exceptionally sensitive to fingerprints. The build does not give much reason for complaint. We did not notice irregular gaps, or sharp and protruding edges. There was one exception: The touchpad's silver rim was spaced unevenly, and the construction looks a bit lopsided, which should be apparent in the screenshots on the right. The hinge occasionally produced a creaking noise when opening and closing the lid. The lid can be opened with one hand, but wobbles for quite a while when opened jerkily. The lid's back surface in a brushed-metal look makes a somewhat cheap impression. A matte lip is mounted at the display's upper edge, and sets a nice highlight alongside the illuminated MSI gaming logo.

Connectivity

MSI makes use of the available space and installs four USB 3.0 ports. That is just as appropriate for a device that will likely be used stationary despite its heralded portability as the Ethernet port. The buyer does not get VGA, but receives the more future-ready DisplayPort in a double pack. Since HDMI is also installed, up to three external monitors can be connected at the same time - alongside the installed screen according to MSI. The ports have been moved to the middle to front areas where connected peripherals and cords might be in the way because the vents are located on the back sides. Particularly the power socket positioning in the center right is unusually unfavorable.

Right: 2x USB 3.0, SD card, power, Kensington
Right: 2x USB 3.0, SD card, power, Kensington
Left: Ethernet, HDMI, 2x DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.0, 3x audio
Left: Ethernet, HDMI, 2x DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.0, 3x audio

Communication

A module dubbed Killer e2200 from Qualcomm is responsible for wired LAN. It is made for gaming, and is to contribute to a particularly low latency (ping). Besides that, it is possible to assign services and programs, such as games, to fixed network priorities, and create profiles. The review sample features Intel's ac-capable Gigabit Wi-Fi dual-band module. Its reception performance proved to be slightly above average in the tester's personal test setup.

Accessories

In addition to warranty documents, a quick start guide, a driver DVD with the user's manual, and a brochure named "Hot Key F3 Recovery Function", an appealing sleeve in fabric-look is found in the box - great.

Maintenance

The review sample's non-existent maintenance options are an ecological concern and customer-unfriendly. Not even the battery can be replaced without removing the base plate secured with screws, and risk the retailer's warranty and guaranty. Only the manufacturer benefits from this since it can demand an overpriced service fee for small things like cleaning the fan.

Warranty

MSI includes a 24-month pick-up and return warranty that can be upgraded up to four years at some retailers. MSI lists warranty upgrades on a corresponding page on its website, but the user will not immediately find a concrete offer.

Input Devices

Keyboard

MSI clearly deviates from the standard keyboard layout in some places. For example, the Windows key is omitted to prevent the problem of opening the desktop when hitting it accidentally, which allegedly frequently occurs during gaming sessions. We painfully missed this key during the test. The key for "<" and ">" is now found on the space bar's right, but the left shift key is agreeably wide in return. The number pad is too small in our opinion, and prevents inputting numbers quickly. The keys are spaced sufficiently, feature a medium drop, a well palpable pressure point, and a soft and very quiet stroke. The even surface has a velvety feel owing to the non-slip rubber coat. The tester subjectively had problems with the typing feel. The keyboard will unlikely yield in real-life usage though. The keyboard's highlight is doubtlessly its individually configurable, colorful three-zone back light besides the many personalization and profile options via hot keys and macros.

Touchpad

The ClickPad's roughened surface, which is touch-sensitive almost up to the edges and does not have dedicated, physical keys, provides good feedback. Drag and drop via double clicking was no problem, and we did not notice anything unfavorable about responsiveness or accuracy either. In the tester's opinion, the clickable areas have somewhat too high a resistance, but feature a crisp pressure point and good audible feedback. The ClickPad detects gestures with up to three fingers, and the configuration options in the ELAN driver should satisfy most requirements.

Display

MSI relies on a matte screen that offers a gaming-suitable resolution of 1920x1080 pixels (16:9). It is based on TN technology that involves a few drawbacks compared with IPS. However, it usually provides faster switching times than IPS, which will likely be more important for gamers than, for example, a high viewing angle stability. Not for nothing do most gaming laptops from the 2000 Euro (~$2736) price range feature a TN screen. Knowing this, alternative screens do not make much sense and are not available either.

The brightness of 306 cd/m² is very good, and is located between both comparison laptops, which also look comparatively impressive. We did not ascertain screen bleeding. An illumination of 81% is not awe-inspiring, but quite acceptable.

MSI GS70-2PEi71611
Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
Asus G750JS-T4064H
Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, SanDisk SD5SE2256G1002E
Nexoc G728II
Intel Core i7-4700MQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, Mushkin Atlas mSATA MKNSSDAT240GB
Screen
-6%
4%
Brightness Center306276
-10%
324
6%
Black Level *0.330.48
-45%
0.35
-6%
Contrast927575
-38%
926
0%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *11.258.24
27%
9.81
13%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *11.378.83
22%
10.29
9%
Gamma *2.642.512.62
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)5459
9%
55
2%

* ... smaller is better

296
cd/m²
275
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
306
cd/m²
280
cd/m²
340
cd/m²
341
cd/m²
324
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 341 cd/m²
Average: 303.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 81 %
Center on Battery: 306 cd/m²
Black: 0.33 cd/m²
Contrast: 927:1

The contrast of 927:1 is pleasantly high for a TN screen, and the black level of 0.33 cd/m² is also impressive. These two rates and the maximum brightness are proportional. Our Nexoc G728II is on par while the Asus G750JS is at the back with only 575:1. Black looks quite saturated on bright image sections. However, this impression naturally deteriorates when looking at an absolutely black picture in a dark room using maximum brightness. 

The image sharpness is top notch. That, however, definitely does not apply to the color accuracy. A DeltaE rate of 11 in a non-calibrated state is much too high and causes the bluish cast only too well known from most TN screens. Although the contenders achieved a 9 - 27% better rate in the test, it cannot be called an ideal reproduction either. All three screens cover between 54 and 59% of the large AdobeRGB color space that is usually only significant for professional image editors. That is nevertheless very impressive for TN conditions.

CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Color Management
CalMAN Color Management
MSI GS70-2PEi71611 vs. AdobeRGB
MSI GS70-2PEi71611 vs. AdobeRGB
MSI GS70-2PEi71611 vs. sRGB
MSI GS70-2PEi71611 vs. sRGB

MSI's GS70-2PEi71611 does a good job outdoors owing to its bright, matte screen. It should usually be possible to find a seating position where unaffected working is no problem even under sunny skies. Of course, very bright backgrounds or direct sunlight should be avoided, as can be seen on the right screenshot below this paragraph. 

Clear view in the shade,...
Clear view in the shade,...
...but hazy in unfavorable positions.
...but hazy in unfavorable positions.

The screen's viewing angle stability is acceptable for TN technology. Although the contrast and brightness lessen when looking only from the right or left, the color reproduction remains fairly accurate. Even the milky image impression that occurs in TN-based screens when looking down stays within pleasant limits. In return, it gets more adverse when looking up because the usual inverting effect affects the view.

The screen still fares quite well when looking from the side.
The screen still fares quite well when looking from the side.

Performance

MSI's GS70-2PEi71611 sports the swift, yet also energy-devouring and high waste heat producing for today's standards, Intel Core i7-4700HQ. It can fall back on a whole 16 GB of DDR3 RAM. The new premium range Nvidia GeForce GTX 870M graphics chip with a speedy 3 GB of dedicated GDDR5 RAM is responsible for 3D rendering. Commercially available software, including highly parallelized programs like 3ds Max or even current, high-requirement games, rarely push the system to its limits. Users who are satisfied with a bit less graphics power will find GS70 configurations with the slower GTX 860M or GPUs from the former GTX 7xxM generation on MSI's corresponding page.

System information: MSI GS70-2PEi71611

Processor

Due to the high TDP of 47 watts, the Core i7-4700HQ CPU (4x 2.4 - 3.4 GHz, Hyperthreading, 22 nm process) from Intel's current Haswell processor generation is actually only suitable for larger notebooks of 15 inches or more. That, however, did not stop Gigabyte from installing the chip in its new 14-inch P34G (review coming soon). Up to eight simultaneous threads and the high clock rates ensure smooth multitasking when high performance is more important than compact build, light weight, and low power consumption. The Turbo levels are specified as follows: four cores: 3.2 GHz; two cores: 3.3 GHz; one core: 3.4 GHz.

Cinebench 11.5, that assesses the pure processor performance, shows that the CPU does not always achieve the specified Turbo clock rates during load. They fluctuate between the base clock of 2.4 to 3.2 GHz. It is a stable 2.4 GHz when only the stress test via Prime95 runs. Though this behavior does not yet indicate throttling, the CPU remains behind its (theoretical) potential, which is also due to the faulty thermal management that we will deal with later. While the three test laptops all with equally strong processors compute just as fast as MSI's G70 when only one core is loaded, the multi-CPU test records a deficit of 7 to 10% for the review sample, which exactly fits in the picture. Of all laptops tested with this CPU to date, the review sample calculates the slowest by up to 12%.

Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GS70-2PEi71611
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
6.25 Points ∼36%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD5SE2256G1002E
6.94 Points ∼39% +11%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD5SE2256G1002E
6.94 Points ∼39% +11%
Nexoc G728II
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ, Mushkin Atlas mSATA MKNSSDAT240GB
6.71 Points ∼38% +7%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GS70-2PEi71611
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
1.49 Points ∼81%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD5SE2256G1002E
1.49 Points ∼81% 0%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD5SE2256G1002E
1.49 Points ∼81% 0%
Nexoc G728II
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ, Mushkin Atlas mSATA MKNSSDAT240GB
1.5 Points ∼81% +1%
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.49 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
6.25 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
57.58 fps
Help

System Performance

We use the latest PCMark 7 and 8 to ascertain the system's total performance. They simulate different application scenarios, such as "Home" or "Creative", each with a different weighting of CPU, graphics, and storage device performance. There are no significant differences to both other laptops, and the performance is throughout on the expected level. Possibly, the minor weaknesses of MSI's laptop in the multi-core performance are balanced by the SSD's partly somewhat superior performance. Subjectively, we would describe the performance as swift, and excessive multitasking could not change that either.

MSI GS70-2PEi71611
Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
Asus G750JS-T4064H
Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, SanDisk SD5SE2256G1002E
Nexoc G728II
Intel Core i7-4700MQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, Mushkin Atlas mSATA MKNSSDAT240GB
PCMark 7
-10%
-3%
Score57405348
-7%
5664
-1%
Entertainment45673946
-14%
4425
-3%
Creativity99449150
-8%
9426
-5%
PCMark 8
-6%
3%
Home Score Accelerated v234653195
-8%
3581
3%
Creative Score Accelerated v249564775
-4%
5054
2%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-8% / -8%
0% / -1%
PC Mark
PCMark 75740 points
PCMark 8 Home v23465 points
PCMark 8 Creative v24956 points
PCMark 8 Work v24286 points
Help

Storage Devices

The dedicated AS SSD solid-state drive benchmark recorded very high data throughput for the review sample in sequential read and places the review sample clearly before both contenders. However, the benchmarks also confirmmiddling performance in read of small, random data blocks (4k). That is also the only test where the otherwise hopelessly inferior mSSD in Nexoc's G728II can be considered above average. The results of MSI's GS70 in the 4k-64 Read and 4k QD 32 are strikingly good. The tests simulate system and program starts. The additionally installed, one GB hard drive fares excellently.

MSI GS70-2PEi71611
Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
Asus G750JS-T4064H
Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, SanDisk SD5SE2256G1002E
Nexoc G728II
Intel Core i7-4700MQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, Mushkin Atlas mSATA MKNSSDAT240GB
AS SSD
5%
-49%
Seq Read507.73437.05
-14%
198.91
-61%
4K Read19.8628.81
45%
17.57
-12%
4K-64 Read362.42302.79
-16%
96.59
-73%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
11%
-28%
Read Seq521.2502.3
-4%
208.3
-60%
Read 4k20.7531.32
51%
31.27
51%
Read 4k QD32377.1326.3
-13%
93.78
-75%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
8% / 8%
-39% / -38%
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
Sequential Read: 521.2 MB/s
Sequential Write: 468 MB/s
512K Read: 419.2 MB/s
512K Write: 440.4 MB/s
4K Read: 20.75 MB/s
4K Write: 70.5 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 377.1 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 209.9 MB/s

Graphics Card

With the Nvidia GeForce GTX 870M launched in early 2014, MSI's GS70 sports one of the currently fastest laptop graphics cards. The 1344 shader units of the DirectX 11 chip oppose the 1536 of the even faster GTX 880M, and the width of the memory bus has been reduced from 256 to 192 bits. The power should actually be enough to render all current and graphically intricate tracks smoothly even in maximum settings.

There is no doubt that extreme GPU throttling occurs during load (see Temperature), but it cannot be proved based on the 3DMark 2013 scores. The rates were all on a top level, and even the much larger Asus G750JS only achieved a 5% higher score in the single, graphic-heavy benchmarks. Nexoc's G728II lags behind slightly due to its weaker GTX 860M. 3DMark 11 recorded an advantage of as high as 48% for Asus' device over MSI's. Throttling apparently had a much stronger effect here. The 3D performance dropped massively in battery mode.

MSI GS70-2PEi71611
Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
Asus G750JS-T4064H
Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, SanDisk SD5SE2256G1002E
Nexoc G728II
Intel Core i7-4700MQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, Mushkin Atlas mSATA MKNSSDAT240GB
3DMark (2013)
3%
-8%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score1699415914
-6%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics3215128353
-12%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Physics64136277
-2%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Standard Score41984384
4%
3685
-12%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Standard Graphics45584802
5%
3947
-13%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Standard Physics89448841
-1%
8728
-2%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance48317151
48%
5257
9%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
26% / 14%
1% / -5%
3D Mark
3DMark 114831 points
3DMark Cloud Gate16994 points
3DMark Fire Strike4198 points
Help

Gaming Performance

As the chart below shows, the 3D performance is enough to play most current games smoothly with maximum settings. The comparison with other laptops based on the same GPU and comparable CPU has proven, however, that more would have been possible without the extreme GPU throttling - depending on the game and settings by up to 68%. To what extent throttling occurs naturally depends on how long the laptop has been under full load at the time of the measurement, and the ambient temperature. We, for example, achieved considerably better results after idle periods than the ones listed here. However, no one will play for only a few minutes so that these rates are based on realistic conditions. It is strange that Crysis 3 was not affected. The idle periods between the benchmarks in different settings were obviously enough to cool down the device. We attached a comparison under the verdict that shows the dilemma based on a few games. The marginally faster CPU of the listed comparison laptops does not explain the big differences.

low med.high ultra
Total War: Shogun 2 (2011) 220.298.944.95fps
Batman: Arkham City (2011) 21019912956fps
Dishonored (2012) 129.7127.5128.597.4fps
Medal of Honor: Warfighter (2012) 180.694.974.429.6fps
Crysis 3 (2013) 129966525fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 310121.885.936.2fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 186.49120.1399.9434.77fps
Battlefield 4 (2013) 134.189.26424fps
Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014) 606057.242fps

Emissions

System Noise

We questioned whether MSI keeps control over the noise considering the unusually slim build for a gaming laptop in the intro. The GS70 does not do an exceptionally bad job, although both comparison laptops produce up to 13% less noise particularly during full load. The laptop usually remains silent when idling. In a YouTube video we hear that the fans are still very reserved, and can barely be distinguished from normal ambient noise. This changes when Prime95 and FurMark are run. Full load causes a loud noise that fortunately is not accompanied by annoying side noises. However, we occasionally had problems with a kind of high-pitched whistling and pulsating sound in medium, consistent speeds.

Noise Level

Idle 29.2 / 34.2 / 36.2 dB(A)
HDD 32 dB(A)
Load 49.6 / 50.8 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Temperatures out of control
Temperatures out of control

MSI cannot invalidate the laws of physics when it comes to thermal issues; the installed fans are definitely too small. The only area of the laptop that still has tolerable temperatures when playing demanding games is in front of the keyboard. Both the laptop's back area and underside reach such a high temperature that no one will want to pick it up anymore. Use on the lap is only possible during medium load.

Consequently, the stress test comprised of Prime95 and FurMark showed the expected: While the CPU cores (max. 98 °C; 208.4 °F) remained stable at their base clock of 2.4 GHz, the GeForce GTX 870M could no longer surpass 405 MHz with up to 93 °C (199.4 °F). Its clock rate even occasionally dropped to 202.5 MHz. This proves that we are dealing with extreme throttling that will also limit the GPU's performance in real-life use.

Max. Load
 51.8 °C52.2 °C49.9 °C 
 46.4 °C50.3 °C49.0 °C 
 42.2 °C43.6 °C42.9 °C 
Maximum: 52.2 °C
Average: 47.6 °C
61.4 °C63.4 °C59.3 °C
54.2 °C57.2 °C57.8 °C
46.5 °C47.6 °C45.9 °C
Maximum: 63.4 °C
Average: 54.8 °C
Power Supply (max.)  65.8 °C | Room Temperature 24 °C | Voltcraft IR-900

Speakers

Though the built-in Dynaudio Soundbar achieves a decent maximum volume, it barely convinces otherwise. The sound rendered in both music and games is mid-heavy and flat; the speakers sometimes struggle with distortions. Consequently, (singing) voices sound unnaturally present, and often penetrating in high volumes. Low pitches cannot be rendered 1:1 despite the subwoofer because it lacks the necessary richness; nor can we speak of a real surround sound, but at least we can confirm that the sound system has viable dynamics. Speech is well intelligible. We used the default setting "Music", which makes use of various software tweaks for alleged sound enhancement.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Both the Asus G750JS and Nexoc G728II are sometimes considerably more frugal in low to medium load than the review sample. This changes during average load. The undersized 150-Watt power supply limits the power consumption of MSI's laptop during full load. The 0.4 Watts in standby are too high. The average idle and full load consumption is below that for the mentioned reasons in the category comparison (gaming, 17.3 inches).

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.4 Watt
Idle 6.2 / 15.8 / 27.3 Watt
Load 123.5 / 158.3 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

No one expects exceptionally long battery runtimes from a gaming laptop - although MSI particularly touts better mobility for its relatively slim and light GS70. It is possible to play a game on the go for approximately one and a half hours. The review sample achieved 235 minutes in the practical Wi-Fi test, where the screen's brightness is reduced to approximately 150 cd/m² in the energy-saving profile, and selected, representative Internet sites are opened at regular intervals via a script. That is an average time in the category comparison. Asus' G750JS surpasses that with a better 323 minutes.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
7h 12min
WiFi Surfing
3h 55min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 30min

Verdict

MSI GS70-2PEi71611
MSI GS70-2PEi71611

The experiment failed. MSI's new GS70-2PEi71611 can only be recommended to gamers who willingly give up decisive fps for a lower weight and slim build, and are satisfied with lower settings in many games than other comparably configured laptops would render smoothly.

The total score shows that it is not at all a bad laptop. Its appealing looks, an application performance beyond any doubt, the included sleeve, and the first-rate gaming keyboard are only some of the qualities on the pro side that add up to a good rating. The sharp screen is also very impressive.

The limited performance, particularly its cause, i.e. the completely messed up thermal management, has a negative impact on the rating. Users looking for a powerful and reasonably designed gaming laptop should not make compromises with a device like MSI's GS70 but rather consider, for example, the Asus G750JS. Though it is big and heavy, the G750JS fulfills its purpose perfectly. Should less power be enough, and a lower price is also wanted, it would be worthwhile to look at laptops with Nvidia's GeForce GTX 860M.

Crysis 3
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GS70-2PEi71611
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
65 fps ∼61%
MSI GT60-2PC81B
GeForce GTX 870M, 4800MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
65.6 fps ∼61% +1%
One K73-4N
GeForce GTX 870M, 4800MQ, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB
66.1 fps ∼62% +2%
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:2xSM AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GS70-2PEi71611
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
25 fps ∼41%
MSI GT60-2PC81B
GeForce GTX 870M, 4800MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
27.1 fps ∼45% +8%
One K73-4N
GeForce GTX 870M, 4800MQ, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB
26.7 fps ∼44% +7%
BioShock Infinite
1366x768 High Preset (sort by value)
MSI GS70-2PEi71611
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
99.94 fps ∼46%
MSI GT60-2PC81B
GeForce GTX 870M, 4800MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
124 fps ∼57% +24%
One K73-4N
GeForce GTX 870M, 4800MQ, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB
131.7 fps ∼60% +32%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
MSI GS70-2PEi71611
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
34.77 fps ∼30%
MSI GT60-2PC81B
GeForce GTX 870M, 4800MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
52.5 fps ∼45% +51%
One K73-4N
GeForce GTX 870M, 4800MQ, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB
52.2 fps ∼45% +50%
Tomb Raider
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GS70-2PEi71611
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
85.9 fps ∼28%
MSI GT60-2PC81B
GeForce GTX 870M, 4800MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
133.3 fps ∼43% +55%
One K73-4N
GeForce GTX 870M, 4800MQ, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB
129.3 fps ∼42% +51%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GS70-2PEi71611
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
36.2 fps ∼24%
MSI GT60-2PC81B
GeForce GTX 870M, 4800MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
60.9 fps ∼41% +68%
One K73-4N
GeForce GTX 870M, 4800MQ, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB
59.8 fps ∼40% +65%
Battlefield 4
1366x768 High Preset (sort by value)
MSI GS70-2PEi71611
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
64 fps ∼41%
MSI GT60-2PC81B
GeForce GTX 870M, 4800MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
93.4 fps ∼60% +46%
One K73-4N
GeForce GTX 870M, 4800MQ, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB
90.8 fps ∼58% +42%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
MSI GS70-2PEi71611
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
24 fps ∼27%
MSI GT60-2PC81B
GeForce GTX 870M, 4800MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
37.3 fps ∼42% +55%
One K73-4N
GeForce GTX 870M, 4800MQ, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB
36.2 fps ∼41% +51%
Wolfenstein: The New Order
1920x1080 High Preset (sort by value)
MSI GS70-2PEi71611
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
57.2 fps ∼95%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
60 (min: 59) fps ∼100% +5%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset (sort by value)
MSI GS70-2PEi71611
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU
42 fps ∼70%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
48.7 (min: 38) fps ∼81% +16%

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In Review: MSI GS70-2PEi71611. Test model courtesy of MSI Germany.
In Review: MSI GS70-2PEi71611. Test model courtesy of MSI Germany.

Specifications

MSI GS70-2PEi71611

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel HM87 (Lynx Point)
:: Memory
16384 MB, DDR3, 1600 MHz, dual-channel, 2 memory banks, both filled
:: Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M - 3072 MB, Core: 941-967 MHz, Memory: 5000 MHz, GDDR5, 9.18.13.3238, Nvidia Optimus
:: Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, Chi Mei 173HGE, TN LED, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128GMCU, 128 GB + 1 x HGST HTS721010A9E630 1 TB
:: Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
4 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: audio-out/headphone, audio-in/mic, subwoofer, analog, 3.5 mm jack, Card Reader: SD/SDHC/SDXC,
:: Networking
Qualcomm Killer e2200 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Wireless-AC 7260 (a b g n ac), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 21.8 x 418.5 x 287
:: Weight
2.72 kg Power Supply: 0.528 kg
:: Battery
60 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cells, 5500 mAh
Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 5 h
:: Price
1600 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: HD, Speakers: Dyna SoundBar: 4 speakers + subwoofer, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, MSI software bundle (with MSI System Control Manager, BurnRecovery and Keyboard LED Manager), 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
Not often do...
Not often do...
...we find accessories worth mentioning.
...we find accessories worth mentioning.
Brushed metal surface,...
Brushed metal surface,...
...and lip...
...and lip...
...set highlights.
...set highlights.
It is hard not to see that ...
It is hard not to see that ...
... the casing is completely made of plastic.
... the casing is completely made of plastic.
The upper side of the base has a light purplish color.
The upper side of the base has a light purplish color.
The hinges allow opening...
The hinges allow opening...
...up to 140°.
...up to 140°.
A closeup
A closeup
The keyboard is submerged, ...
The keyboard is submerged, ...
...and an eye-catching, perforated grille is above it.
...and an eye-catching, perforated grille is above it.
An overview of the keyboard.
An overview of the keyboard.
Only one sticker? Wait a minute...
Only one sticker? Wait a minute...
A medium drop,...
A medium drop,...
...and a soft stroke characterize the keyboard.
...and a soft stroke characterize the keyboard.
The ClickPad...
The ClickPad...
...and the minor construction flaws mentioned in the text.
...and the minor construction flaws mentioned in the text.
The numerous status LEDs...
The numerous status LEDs...
...have been positioned sensibly.
...have been positioned sensibly.
Keyboard by steelseries
Keyboard by steelseries
On/Off
On/Off
Webcam, stereo microphones
Webcam, stereo microphones
A part of the underside is covered with a kind of felt for no obvious reason.
A part of the underside is covered with a kind of felt for no obvious reason.
The other showroom stickers are found here.
The other showroom stickers are found here.
Model number plate
Model number plate
A stopper in the felt
A stopper in the felt

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Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

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Pro

+Lightweight for a gaming laptop...
+...and thin
+Pleasing design
+Decent build
+Many interfaces
+Spectacular keyboard back light
+Keyboard's extensive configuration options
+Good touchpad
+Sharp, bright screen
+Good contrast
+Fast enough for all games in high settings
+Laptop sleeve included
 

Cons

-Not perfectly stiff plastic casing
-Power socket's very unfavorable position
-Viewing angle unstable screen
-Incorrect color reproduction, bluish cast
-Loud...
-...and much too hot during load
-GPU throttling
-CPU Turbos are not fully used
-Only middling sound despite Dynaudio Soundbar
-Battery is secured with screws
-No recovery media

Shortcut

What we like

The keyboard lets gamers' hearts leap for joy.

What we'd like to see

A sound that matches the price range would be nice.

What surprises us

A few degrees centigrade more, and the laptop could be used for cooking.

The competition

One K56-4N (Clevo P150SM)

MSI GX70H-A108972811B

One K73-4N (Clevo P170SM-A)

Rating

MSI GS70-2PEi71611
06/26/2014 v4
Sven Kloevekorn

Chassis
70 / 98 → 71%
Keyboard
87%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
69 / 91 → 76%
Weight
58 / 66 → 86%
Battery
78%
Display
81%
Games Performance
85%
Application Performance
91%
Temperature
55 / 95 → 58%
Noise
62 / 90 → 69%
Audio
72%
Add Points
-3%
Average
69%
77%
Gaming *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GS70-2PEi71611 Notebook Review
Author: Sven Kloevekorn, 2014-06-30 (Update: 2014-07- 2)