Notebookcheck

MSI GS70 6QE Stealth Pro Notebook Review

Sascha Mölck (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 11/07/2015

Up to date. Intel's quad-core Skylake processor only has a slight lead over its Haswell predecessor. However, its small boost in performance is accompanied by lower energy consumption. After the release of the GS70 Haswell model, MSI also fiddled with its successor's connectivity options: Two USB 3.1 ports and an NVMe M.2 slot are now on board.

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For the original German review, see here.

The MSI GS70-6QE16H21 is a thin gaming notebook with a 17.3-inch display. Above all, the configuration set before us is an upgrade from Haswell to Skylake. We reviewed the Haswell model earlier this year. Does MSI make an attractive offer with this new device? Read on to find out.

The GS70's competition includes computers like the Schenker XMG A706, the Medion Erazer X7615, the Acer Aspire VN7-791G and the Lenovo Y70.

Because the two MSI GS70 models are structurally identical, we won't cover the case, connectivity features, input devices, display or speakers in detail. We will, of course, expound on any differences between the two notebooks. Comprehensive information on the aforementioned subjects is available in our review of the MSI GS70-2QE16SR51.

MSI GS70-6QE16H21 (GS70 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M - 3072 MB, Core: 924-1038 MHz, Memory: 1253 MHz, GDDR5, 192-Bit, ForceWare 358.50 (10.18.13.5850), Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2133, Dual-channel, Two memory banks (both occupied), max. 32 GB
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, Chi Mei N173HGE-E11 (CMN1735), TN LED, Full HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM170 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU, 256 GB 
, M.2 SSD + HGST HTS721010A9E630 (1 TB HDD @7200 rpm)
Soundcard
Realtek ALC899 @ Intel Skylake PCH-H - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Headphone, Microphone, Line-in, Card Reader: SD, SDHC, SDXC, 2 USB 3.1 Type-A
Networking
Qualcomm/Atheros e2400 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1525 Wireless Network Adapter (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22 x 419 x 287 ( = 0.87 x 16.5 x 11.3 in)
Battery
56 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: FHD (1080p @30 fps)
Primary Camera: 2 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: 4 speakers + subwoofer (Dynaudio), Keyboard: Chiclet (SteelSeries), Keyboard Light: yes, Power supply: 150 Watts, Driver DVD, MS Office (trial version), 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.74 kg ( = 96.65 oz / 6.04 pounds), Power Supply: 514 g ( = 18.13 oz / 1.13 pounds)
Price
1999 Euro

 

Changes

The new Skylake processor isn't the only innovation to have found its way into the new GS70. The Haswell GS70 we reviewed had two mSATA SSD slots. When filled, the two SSDs could be used together as a RAID system. The Skylake GS70 comes without mSATA slots. Instead, there is just one M.2 slot connected via PCI Express x4 (NVMe). If the slot is filled with an SSD that supports PCIe, the transfer rates reach the same level as the RAID 0 system in the Haswell GS70. The SSD installed in our test device doesn't support this quick data transfer.

MSI also made some changes to the notebook's external connections: Two of the Haswell GS70's four USB 3.0 ports have been replaced by USB 3.1 ports. However, the company has yet to adopt the new Type-C format; the ports are still the familiar Type-A.

Recently, we started testing memory card readers on laptops. As a result, we have some new information about the GS70's performance: When copying large blocks of data, the device reaches a maximum transfer rate of 188 MB/s. The notebook transferred 250 .jpg image files (each around 5 MB) at a speed of about 161 MB/s. Our reference SD card for transfer rate tests is always the Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II.

Display

The GS70 is outfitted with the same 17.3-inch display as the Haswell model we reviewed in January. Even so, the Skylake GS70's contrast and brightness prove to be considerably worse. The preinstalled color profile is responsible for this discrepancy. A brightness value of 161 cd/m² and contrast ratio of 662:1 are too low for a notebook that costs 2000 Euros (~$2148).

150
cd/m²
163
cd/m²
159
cd/m²
149
cd/m²
172
cd/m²
149
cd/m²
176
cd/m²
175
cd/m²
157
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 176 cd/m² Average: 161.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 172 cd/m²
Contrast: 662:1 (Black: 0.26 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.06 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 2.42 | - Ø
97% sRGB (Argyll) 62% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.45

The display is incapable of reproducing the AdobeRGB color space. In regards to the sRGB color space, it fails only by a few percent. The coverage rates come to 62% (AdobeRGB) and 97% (sRGB). The display's color representation is good, even straight out of the factory. The panel shows a fully acceptable color deviation of just 2.06 (Delta E 2000 < 3). The grayscale is also well-balanced. The screen isn't plagued with a blue cast. When calibrated, the monitor's results only improve marginally.

GS70 vs. sRGB
GS70 vs. sRGB
GS70 vs. AdobeRGB
GS70 vs. AdobeRGB
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Color saturation
CalMAN - Color saturation
CalMAN - ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN - ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN - Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN - Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN - Color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN - Color saturation (calibrated)
black-white-time (rise)
black-white-time (rise)
black-white-time (fall)
black-white-time (fall)
gray-to-gray (rise)
gray-to-gray (rise)
gray-to-gray (fall)
gray-to-gray (fall)

The panel's brightness is regulated via pulse-width modulation (PWM). Only at full brightness does the measurement diagram lack evidence of PWM - at all lower brightness levels, PWM is clearly recognizable. The frequency lies at 1000 kHz. As a result, the display image doesn't flicker.

Lowest brightness setting
Lowest brightness setting
80% brightness
80% brightness
Full brightness
Full brightness

MSI equipped their GS70 with a TN display that keeps the screen content fairly undistorted from a variety of angles. This is one of the better models of its kind; it offers wider viewing angles than most TN panels we've seen. Of course, in the realm of viewing-angle stability, it has no chance against a good IPS panel. The MSI computer is essentially unusable outdoors. The display's low maximum brightness renders it functional in shadowy environments at best.

Viewing angles GS70
Viewing angles GS70
The GS70 outdoors (sun from behind)
The GS70 outdoors (sun from behind)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Chi Mei N173HGE-E11 (CMN1735)
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
CMN N173HGE-E11
Schenker XMG A706
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPD1
Schenker XMG P706
LG LP173WF4-SPD1
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
CMN N173HGE-E11 (CMN1735)
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
LG Philips LGD0469 ÖP173WF4-SPF1
Screen
-66%
-12%
-19%
-101%
-51%
Brightness
161
249
55%
322
100%
302
88%
244
52%
326
102%
Brightness Distribution
85
84
-1%
88
4%
90
6%
83
-2%
90
6%
Black Level *
0.26
0.28
-8%
0.3
-15%
0.34
-31%
0.27
-4%
0.409
-57%
Contrast
662
896
35%
1147
73%
900
36%
974
47%
848
28%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.06
11.19
-443%
4.8
-133%
5.49
-167%
12.24
-494%
6.81
-231%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.42
4.57
-89%
4.91
-103%
3.97
-64%
12.17
-403%
7.27
-200%
Gamma
2.45 98%
2.38 101%
2.37 101%
2.15 112%
3.55 68%
2.4 100%
CCT
6855 95%
14550 45%
6796 96%
6163 105%
15589 42%
7546 86%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
62
55
-11%
55
-11%
55.5
-10%
62
0%
57
-8%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
97
84
-13%
84.5
-13%
96
-1%

* ... smaller is better

Performance

MSI's GS70 is a very thin gaming notebook with a 17.3-inch display. The computer can fluidly render every game currently on the market. Our test device has a 2000-Euro price tag (~$2148). Prospective buyers can keep some green in their pocket if they purchase the Haswell GS70 instead. At the time of writing, similarly equipped models are available for about 1500 Euros (~$1611). Including the extra cost of an SSD, customers can still save a good 400 Euros (~$429) compared to our current test device.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWInfo
HWInfo
LatencyMon
 

Processor

The inner life of the GS70 incorporates Intel's Core i7-6700HQ (Skylake) quad-core processor. The 14 nm model runs at a base clock speed of 2.6 GHz. Using turbo, the clock rate can be increased to 3.1 GHz (four cores), 3.3 GHz (two cores), or 2.5 GHz (one core). The CPU has a TDP of 45 Watts. The processor runs single-thread applications at 3.1 to 3.5 GHz in both AC power mode and battery mode. Multithread applications are processed at 2.1 to 2.2 GHz (battery mode) or 2.8 to 2.9 GHz (AC power mode). Given these results, we see that the processor doesn't attain to its full computational potential in this notebook.

In the beginning of January 2015, we reviewed a sister model of the GS70 that was outfitted with the predecessor to the predecessor of the CPU in our current test device - the Core i7-4720HQ (Haswell). The results of our CPU tests reveal that the two versions of the GS70 are usually on par with each other. Only in the single-thread applications test does the Skylake processor have a modest advantage. Here we see clearly that the Skylake CPU is unable to fully utilize its turbo in multithread applications. It is, however, noteworthy that the Skylake processor needs less energy to achieve slightly better results than its predecessor's predecessor.

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6838
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
19902
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5239
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
54.88 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.01 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.64 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
62 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
633 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
144 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
144 Points ∼65%
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
140 Points ∼63% -3%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
149 Points ∼67% +3%
Schenker XMG P706
Intel Core i7-6820HK
151 Points ∼68% +5%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
139 Points ∼62% -3%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
133 Points ∼60% -8%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
633 Points ∼34%
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
639 Points ∼34% +1%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
619 Points ∼33% -2%
Schenker XMG P706
Intel Core i7-6820HK
709 Points ∼38% +12%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
617 Points ∼33% -3%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
643 Points ∼35% +2%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.64 Points ∼75%
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1.57 Points ∼71% -4%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.66 Points ∼75% +1%
Schenker XMG P706
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.73 Points ∼79% +5%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1.57 Points ∼71% -4%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1.13 Points ∼51% -31%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.01 Points ∼35%
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
6.99 Points ∼35% 0%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
6.81 Points ∼34% -3%
Schenker XMG P706
Intel Core i7-6820HK
7.78 Points ∼39% +11%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
6.9 Points ∼35% -2%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
7.03 Points ∼35% 0%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
5239 Points ∼69%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
5516 Points ∼72% +5%
Schenker XMG P706
Intel Core i7-6820HK
5624 Points ∼74% +7%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
5200 Points ∼68% -1%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
19902 Points ∼49%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
20508 Points ∼51% +3%
Schenker XMG P706
Intel Core i7-6820HK
21165 Points ∼52% +6%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
19788 Points ∼49% -1%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
12910 Points ∼41%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
12934 Points ∼42% 0%
Schenker XMG P706
Intel Core i7-6820HK
13486 Points ∼43% +4%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
3598 Points ∼77%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
3577 Points ∼77% -1%
Schenker XMG P706
Intel Core i7-6820HK
3819 Points ∼82% +6%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ (Edge 20.10240.16384.0)
95 ms * ∼2%
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
119.2 ms * ∼3% -25%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ (Edge 20.10240.16384.0)
79.2 ms * ∼2% +17%
Schenker XMG P706
Intel Core i7-6820HK (Edge 20)
95.8 ms * ∼2% -1%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
96.8 ms * ∼2% -2%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ (Edge 20.10240.16384.0)
964.2 ms * ∼2%
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
2654.6 ms * ∼4% -175%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ (Edge 20.10240.16384.0)
950.4 ms * ∼2% +1%
Schenker XMG P706
Intel Core i7-6820HK (Edge 20)
923.2 ms * ∼2% +4%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ (Edge 20.10240.16384.0)
37038 Points ∼75%
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
12288 Points ∼25% -67%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ (Edge 20.10240.16384.0)
38692 Points ∼78% +4%
Schenker XMG P706
Intel Core i7-6820HK (Edge 20)
36702 Points ∼74% -1%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ (Edge 20.10240.16384.0)
3398 Points ∼55%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ (Edge 20.10240.16384.0)
2489 Points ∼40% -27%
Schenker XMG P706
Intel Core i7-6820HK (Edge 20)
3372 Points ∼54% -1%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

The system runs quickly and fluidly. We didn't run into any problems. As we therefore would expect, the results in the PCMark benchmarks are very good. The Haswell model's results are on the same level as our test device's. In terms of system performance, the Haswell GS70's RAID system doesn't prove to be of any advantage. A RAID-0 configuration, on the other hand, is most certainly advantageous in a gaming notebook, as it shortens game load times. The MSI computer's Skylake model is only equipped with one M.2 slot. As a result, it's not possible to create a RAID system. However, the M.2 slot is connected via PCI Express x4 (NVMe). When a corresponding SSD is in the slot, the system reaches the same transfer rates as the predecessor's RAID 0 system. The SSD installed in our test device doesn't support this technology.

PCMark 7 Score
5912 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4002 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4873 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5043 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
5912 Points ∼73%
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
5968 Points ∼74% +1%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 250 GB
6052 Points ∼75% +2%
Schenker XMG P706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
6054 Points ∼75% +2%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 128 GB MZMTE128HMGR
5788 Points ∼72% -2%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
5669 Points ∼70% -4%
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
4002 Points ∼67%
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
3969 Points ∼66% -1%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 250 GB
3894 Points ∼65% -3%
Schenker XMG P706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
3961 Points ∼66% -1%

Storage Devices

Even though its case is so thin, the MSI computer contains two mass storage devices. A solid state drive manufactured by Toshiba serves as the system drive. This is an M.2 model that offers a total capacity of 256 GB. About 200 GB remains available to the user. The remaining storage space is occupied by the Windows installation and the recovery partition. The SSD's read speeds can be described as very good overall. The write speeds, on the other hand, are unusually low. Because we've tested this same SSD model in other notebooks, we know that the write rates should be about three to four times higher (Acer Aspire VN7-591GDell Latitude 13, etc.). In order to provide the storage space imperative in a gaming notebook, MSI chose to install a 2.5-inch conventional hard drive from HGST. This drive comprises 1 TB of storage and runs at 7200 rpm.

Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
Sequential Read: 518.4 MB/s
Sequential Write: 149.1 MB/s
512K Read: 436 MB/s
512K Write: 304.6 MB/s
4K Read: 23.01 MB/s
4K Write: 32.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 307.6 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 103.2 MB/s
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
Schenker XMG A706
Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 250 GB
Schenker XMG P706
Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
Samsung SSD PM851 128 GB MZMTE128HMGR
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
AS SSD
147%
107%
290%
37%
51%
Access Time Write *
0.075
0.05
33%
0.046
39%
0.042
44%
0.04
47%
0.055
27%
Access Time Read *
0.139
0.12
14%
0.087
37%
0.05
64%
0.076
45%
0.089
36%
4K-64 Write
60.38
314
420%
266.98
342%
392.06
549%
99.4
65%
151.48
151%
4K-64 Read
329.49
605
84%
337.01
2%
888.95
170%
325.74
-1%
192.33
-42%
4K Write
54.98
72
31%
77.68
41%
95.25
73%
90.67
65%
61.72
12%
4K Read
20.85
21
1%
35.54
70%
39.93
92%
32.6
56%
28.33
36%
Seq Write
109.69
643
486%
469.68
328%
1272.66
1060%
132.95
21%
320.32
192%
Seq Read
501.48
1024
104%
503.7
0%
1862.83
271%
479.29
-4%
474.21
-5%

* ... smaller is better

Graphics Card

The new GS70 is outfitted with the same graphics card as its Haswell sister model. Both computers graphics tasks are handled by a GeForce GTX 970M. The core supports DirectX 11 and runs at a base clock frequency of 924 MHz. Using turbo, this frequency can be increased to up to 1038 MHz. The chip has access to 3072 MB of GDDR5 memory. The results in the 3DMark benchmarks are in the normal range for this GPU. The new GS70 is unable to surpass its Haswell counterpart in these tests; the two devices are on par with each other.

The GeForce GPU and the Intel HD Graphics 530 (integrated into the CPU) band together to create a switchable graphics solution (Optimus). Intel's core uses energy very sparingly and is therefore responsible for everyday tasks and graphics performance in battery mode. The GeForce steps up to the plate for applications that demand high performance, like computer games. The switching occurs automatically, though the user can always intervene.

3DMark 06 Standard
25361 points
3DMark 11 Performance
9421 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
74841 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
20408 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
6555 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9421 Points ∼33%
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9206 Points ∼32% -2%
Schenker XMG A706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5602 Points ∼20% -41%
Schenker XMG P706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
11514 Points ∼40% +22%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
7099 Points ∼25% -25%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5410 Points ∼19% -43%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
6555 Points ∼28%
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
6603 Points ∼28% +1%
Schenker XMG A706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4038 Points ∼17% -38%
Schenker XMG P706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8380 Points ∼36% +28%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
4795 Points ∼21% -27%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
3974 Points ∼17% -39%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
20408 Points ∼41%
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
20633 Points ∼42% +1%
Schenker XMG A706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
15941 Points ∼32% -22%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
16577 Points ∼34% -19%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
15434 Points ∼31% -24%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
74841 Points ∼38%
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
118713 Points ∼60% +59%
Schenker XMG A706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
68944 Points ∼35% -8%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
88510 Points ∼45% +18%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
108304 Points ∼55% +45%

Gaming Performance

The GTX 970M and the Skylake quad-core processor form a strapping team that fluidly renders every computer game on the market. As a general rule, the user can select both maximum quality settings and the full screen resolution (Full HD). There are only a handful of titles in which the player is forced to be content to run the game at “just” high quality settings. While the GS70 and its Haswell sister model are neck-and-neck in the 3DMark benchmarks, the new Skylake GS70 achieves somewhat higher frame rates in computer games. The Skylake processor's somewhat higher single-thread performance and the newer driver are responsible for this modest advantage. The difference between a synthetic benchmark and real-life gaming scenarios is clearly visible here.

low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 273.418986.7fps
Thief (2014) 8076.147.8fps
GRID: Autosport (2014) 123.999.378.4fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 8346.725.4fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 995251fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 606060fps
Mad Max (2015) 160.281.675.3fps
World of Warships (2015) 112.593.681fps
Tomb Raider - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
86.7 fps ∼31%
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
80 fps ∼29% -8%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
52.9 fps ∼19% -39%
Schenker XMG P706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
109.9 fps ∼40% +27%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
49.1 fps ∼18% -43%
Thief - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
47.8 fps ∼38%
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
39 fps ∼31% -18%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
27.9 fps ∼22% -42%
Schenker XMG P706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
62.6 fps ∼50% +31%
GRID: Autosport - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
78.4 fps ∼52%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
57.2 fps ∼38% -27%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ
59.2 fps ∼39% -24%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
49.02 fps ∼33% -37%
The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off) (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
46.7 fps ∼26%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ
29.2 fps ∼16% -37%
Batman: Arkham Knight - 1920x1080 High / On AA:SM AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
51 fps ∼36%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
19 fps ∼13% -63%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ
23 fps ∼16% -55%
Metal Gear Solid V - 1920x1080 Extra High / On (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
60 fps ∼100%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
37.6 fps ∼63% -37%
Mad Max - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AF:12x (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
75.3 fps ∼29%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
44.9 fps ∼17% -40%
World of Warships - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:High FX AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
81 fps ∼49%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
69 fps ∼42% -15%
Schenker XMG P706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
112.1 fps ∼68% +38%

Emissions

System Noise

The GS70 is equipped with two fans that often stand still in idle mode. When the fans are stationary, the only audible sound is the whirring of the conventional hard drive. The fans usually run at low speeds in this scenario. Every now and then, they accelerate momentarily. With such high-performance hardware in a slim case, it's unsurprising that they gear up under load. In our stress test, the sound pressure level increased to 53 dB. During gaming, the noise level varied between 37 and 44 dB (average: 41.8 dB). For a notebook in this performance class, these are reasonable numbers.

Noise Level

Idle
30.8 / 31.2 / 36.6 dB(A)
HDD
31 dB(A)
Load
41.8 / 53 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 970M
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 970M
Schenker XMG A706
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Schenker XMG P706
6820HK, GeForce GTX 980M
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 965M
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Noise
-6%
6%
6%
-5%
0%
Idle Minimum *
30.8
29.6
4%
29.2
5%
30.9
-0%
29.5
4%
29.6
4%
Idle Average *
31.2
34.4
-10%
30.4
3%
31.2
-0%
31
1%
32.1
-3%
Idle Maximum *
36.6
39.4
-8%
37.3
-2%
31.2
15%
40.8
-11%
35.4
3%
Load Average *
41.8
47.2
-13%
39.8
5%
40.5
3%
47.6
-14%
47.3
-13%
Load Maximum *
53
55.8
-5%
42.2
20%
47
11%
54.4
-3%
48.1
9%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

The MSI GS70 completed the stress test (Prime95 and Furmark running simultaneously for at least an hour) differently in AC power mode and battery mode. The processor performed its duty at 1.6 to 1.7 GHz (battery mode) and 2.0 to 2.5 GHz (AC power mode). The dedicated graphics core went about its work at about 600 to 800 MHz (battery mode) and 900 to 1000 MHz (AC power mode). The hardware certainly heated up in the stress test -- in the truest sense of the word. We measured temperatures above 50 °C (> 122 °F) in many spots. In everyday use, however, the computer won't reach these sizzling temperatures. The stress test is an extreme scenario.

Max. Load
 53.8 °C53.7 °C51.6 °C 
 48.3 °C51.7 °C48.2 °C 
 42.3 °C45.1 °C44.2 °C 
Maximum: 53.8 °C
Average: 48.8 °C
58.1 °C65.4 °C55.8 °C
54.6 °C59.6 °C52.5 °C
46.3 °C46.8 °C44 °C
Maximum: 65.4 °C
Average: 53.7 °C
Power Supply (max.)  57.1 °C | Room Temperature 20 °C | Voltcraft IR-900
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 970M
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 970M
Schenker XMG A706
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Schenker XMG P706
6820HK, GeForce GTX 980M
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 965M
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Heat
-6%
2%
21%
-3%
14%
Maximum Upper Side *
53.8
56.3
-5%
53.7
-0%
44
18%
58.8
-9%
49.6
8%
Maximum Bottom *
65.4
68.6
-5%
61.1
7%
42.3
35%
69.2
-6%
51.7
21%
Idle Upper Side *
36.3
37.9
-4%
37.5
-3%
31.7
13%
35.2
3%
29.5
19%
Idle Bottom *
36.3
39.8
-10%
35.5
2%
29.9
18%
36.5
-1%
33
9%

* ... smaller is better

Energy Management

Power Consumption

One of the Skylake architecture's most touted strengths is its higher energy efficiency. There is no evidence of this in idle mode. Here the GS70 lies on par with its Haswell sister model, at an energy consumption rate of up to 26.1 Watts. This is surprising, as other Skylake notebooks, like the Schenker XMG A706, prove to require less power than their Haswell counterparts. Under load, the GS70 begins to show its superiority to its Haswell predecessor. During the stress test, the computer needed just over 20 Watts less energy (166.9 vs. 146.4 Watts); in everyday gaming situations, the consumption rate is about 13 Watts lower (108.7 vs. 95.8 Watts). The power supply is rated at a capacity of 150 Watts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.1 / 0.3 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 16.5 / 23.1 / 26.1 Watt
Load midlight 95.8 / 146.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 970M
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 970M
Schenker XMG A706
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Schenker XMG P706
6820HK, GeForce GTX 980M
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 965M
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Power Consumption
-3%
36%
6%
14%
36%
Idle Minimum *
16.5
15.7
5%
5.4
67%
12
27%
9
45%
5.8
65%
Idle Average *
23.1
21.7
6%
11
52%
17.9
23%
15.2
34%
13.1
43%
Idle Maximum *
26.1
26.3
-1%
16.5
37%
19.3
26%
26.6
-2%
14.5
44%
Load Average *
95.8
108.7
-13%
77.8
19%
97.7
-2%
99
-3%
98
-2%
Load Maximum *
146.4
166.9
-14%
137.7
6%
213
-45%
155.8
-6%
104.9
28%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The higher energy consumption rate in idle mode, combined with the somewhat smaller battery (56 Wh), leaves our test device with a significantly shorter battery life compared to its Haswell sister model. The Skylake GS70 gave up the ghost about 30 minutes earlier in our WLAN test. This test is designed to simulate a normal level of load as a computer loads websites. The “balanced” profile is active, and the display brightness is set to about 150 cd/m². The new computer's battery life during video playback is a full 80 minutes shorter. We test a device's battery life during video playback by running the short film Big Buck Bunny (H.264 encoding, 1920x1080 pixels) in a loop. Here the wireless modules are deactivated, and the display brightness is set to about 150 cd/m². All in all, the GS70's battery life is poor. This is, however, an admissible weakness, as the battery often serves merely as an emergency power source in gaming notebooks.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 58min
WiFi Surfing v1.3 (Edge 20.10240.16384.0)
3h 00min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
2h 34min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 04min
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
56 Wh
MSI GS70-2QE16SR51
60 Wh
Schenker XMG A706
62 Wh
Schenker XMG P706
60 Wh
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
56 Wh
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
53 Wh
Battery Runtime
25%
111%
36%
15%
13%
Reader / Idle
238
308
29%
709
198%
297
25%
339
42%
Load
64
61
-5%
116
81%
97
52%
59
-8%
WiFi
211
WiFi v1.3
180
327
82%
220
22%
198
10%
204
13%
H.264
154
234
52%
281
82%
220
43%

Pros

+ high system performance
+ very good gaming performance
+ stylish metal case
+ matte FHD display
+ many display ports
+ SSD + HDD
+ slim and comparatively lightweight

Cons

- very hot under load
- mediocre sound system
- limited access to internal components

Verdict

In review: MSI GS70 6QE Stealth Pro. Test device courtesy of notebooksbillger.de
In review: MSI GS70 6QE Stealth Pro. Test device courtesy of notebooksbillger.de

The MSI GS70 offers a powerful processor and a high-performance GPU. Together, these hardware components turn the computer into a gaming notebook that can tackle any title on today's market. The whole array of potent technology is contained in a slim case. It's not surprising, then, that the notebook isn't one of the quietest models around - the hardware has to be properly cooled. A solid state drive ensures that the system runs quickly. This drive could be replaced by a considerably faster model, as the computer's M.2 slot is connected via PCI Express x4. In order to give the user plenty of storage space, MSI also installed a 2.5-inch HDD.

The notebook's display is a TN panel that keeps the display content undistorted from a reasonably broad range of angles. When it comes to TN panels, this is one of the better models; we don't normally see such wide viewing angles with this kind of display. The panel's contrast ratio is acceptable, but its maximum brightness level is very low. Fault for the latter lies with the preinstalled color profile.

Finally, we'd like to take a short look at the Skylake processor. Compared to its Haswell predecessor, it only offers a minimal increase in CPU performance (less than 5%). More noteworthy is the Skylake GS70's lower energy consumption under load. As a result, the fans don't need to turn quite so rapidly. Surprisingly, the energy usage rates in idle mode aren't any lower. Indeed, the new GS70's decidedly worse battery life also shows that the computer required more energy than its Haswell sibling in our battery life tests. The differences in battery life can't be fully explained by the Skylake GS70's smaller battery capacity (56 Wh vs. 60 Wh).

All in all, the Skylake processor in the new GS70 provides some advantages, while also creating some drawbacks. But in the realm of gaming notebooks, ergonomic improvements hold more weight than a decline in battery life. Because the Skylake GS70's energy consumption rates and noise levels under load are both lower, the new computer will leave some customers with calmer nerves...and a lighter wallet.

MSI GS70-6QE16H21 - 03/08/2016 v5
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
74 / 98 → 76%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
78%
Connectivity
63 / 81 → 78%
Weight
58 / 66 → 86%
Battery
67%
Display
83%
Games Performance
88%
Application Performance
87%
Temperature
66 / 95 → 69%
Noise
68 / 90 → 76%
Audio
70%
Average
74%
80%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > MSI GS70 6QE Stealth Pro Notebook Review
Sascha Mölck, 2015-11- 7 (Update: 2015-11- 7)