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MSI GT80 2QD Titan Notebook Review

Larger than life. Where else can you find an 18.4-inch notebook with integrated mechanical Cherry keys? We revisit the GT80 with upgraded Broadwell specifications.

The GT80 series is MSI's capstone in its lineup of gaming notebooks. Whereas manufacturers like Aorus revel in thinner and thinner designs, the GT80 remorselessly looks the other way to offer something equally unique at a gargantuan size.

We've encountered the GT80 earlier this year with Haswell and GTX 980M SLI GPUs, so we encourage users to check out our previous full review for more details and pictures on case quality, features, connectivity, and display. Instead, our model today carries Broadwell with GTX 970M SLI GPUs and we'll be touching on overclocking potential that was omitted in our last review. Do the newer CPU and GPUs allow for more breathing room and even faster performance?

MSI GT80 Review (Haswell)

MSI GT80 Titan SLI (GT80 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI - 6144 MB, Core: 914 MHz, Memory: 5110 MHz, 353.62
Memory
32768 MB 
, DDR3-1867, PC3-14900, 10-10-10-32
Display
18.4 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, ID: Samsung SDC4C48, Name: XJY7J_184HL, Wide View, Super PLS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM87 (Lynx Point)
Storage
4x Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2 (RAID 0), 2048 GB 
, Secondary: HGST HTS721010A9E630, 1 TB 7200 RPM
Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
5 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Card Reader: SD,SDXC,SDHC
Networking
Qualcomm Killer e2200 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1525 Wireless Network Adapter (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.1
Optical drive
HL-DT-ST BD-RE BU20N
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 49 x 456 x 331 ( = 1.93 x 17.95 x 13.03 in)
Battery
75 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: FHD (30 fps @1080p)
Additional features
Speakers: 4.1 Dynaudio (Sound Blaster Cinema 2), Keyboard: Mechanical from SteelSeries (Cherry MX Brown), Keyboard Light: yes, Power adaptor: 330 Watts, cleaning cloth, driver DVDs, warranty card, warranty manual, security information, quick-start guide, recovery information, special accessories: backpack, metal WASD keys, mouse pad, mouse, key chain, palm rest, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
4.86 kg ( = 171.43 oz / 10.71 pounds), Power Supply: 1.254 kg ( = 44.23 oz / 2.76 pounds)
Price
4000 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Case quality is very good from top to bottom as the hard plastic and brushed aluminum surfaces feel thick and do not warp from applied pressure. The lid in particular is very sturdy and is much thicker compared to other consumer notebooks. Our first reviewer did not like the quality of the lid, but its resistance to twists and depressions are definitely above average. Its hinges could use improvement as the display can still rock back and forth when adjusting angles. We were expecting better hinges especially for a notebook of this class.

As for size, there are not many other current 18-inch gaming notebooks to compare to. The Alienware 18 and Eurocom X8 are both notably thicker than the GT80, while the GT80 is heavier than the Eurocom by about 500 grams and lighter than the Alienware by over 700 grams. It's impressive that MSI is able to integrate a mechanical keyboard without needing to be even thicker or heavier than existing 18-inch gaming notebooks.

457 mm / 18 inch 328 mm / 12.9 inch 58 mm / 2.28 inch 5.5 kg12.1 lbs456 mm / 18 inch 331 mm / 13 inch 49 mm / 1.929 inch 4.9 kg10.7 lbs428 mm / 16.9 inch 294 mm / 11.6 inch 48 mm / 1.89 inch 3.7 kg8.2 lbs416 mm / 16.4 inch 318 mm / 12.5 inch 53 mm / 2.09 inch 4.2 kg9.22 lbs418 mm / 16.5 inch 282 mm / 11.1 inch 38 mm / 1.496 inch 3.9 kg8.49 lbs427 mm / 16.8 inch 277 mm / 10.9 inch 22.4 mm / 0.882 inch 3.1 kg6.77 lbs

Connectivity

Port placement is biased towards right-handed users as noted in our first review. The left-hand ports are close to the front and can clutter quickly. The notebook is also missing Thunderbolt and support for external desktop GPUs as found on newer Alienware notebooks and the recent MSI GS30. An HDMI-in port would also be an excellent addition.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Left: Optical drive, Kensington Lock, SD reader, 3x USB 3.0, S/PDIF, 3.5 mm headphones, 3.5 mm microphone
Left: Optical drive, Kensington Lock, SD reader, 3x USB 3.0, S/PDIF, 3.5 mm headphones, 3.5 mm microphone
Rear: 2x, Mini-DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, AC adapter, Gigabit Ethernet
Rear: 2x, Mini-DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, AC adapter, Gigabit Ethernet
Right: 2x USB 3.0
Right: 2x USB 3.0

Communication

WLAN and Bluetooth are provided by the gaming-class Killer Wireless-AC 1525 M.2 (NGFF) module. The dual-band card is a common find on high-end gaming notebooks and from resellers such as Eurocom and Maingear. Its manufacturer promises reduced latency compared to non-gaming 802.11ac solutions. Despite this, this is not a gigabit WLAN card as maximum theoretical transfer rate is a bit less at 867 Mbps. 

There are no options for GPS or WWAN as is usual for gaming notebooks.

Maintenance

The bottom cover can be easily removed via a standard Philips head screwdriver. It's not as quick to remove as on Clevo barebones, however, as there are many more screws and notches around the edges. Nonetheless, users have plenty of space to work with and easy access to core components. Note that the CPU is soldered while the GPUs use standard MXM 3.0b slots.

Accessories

Plenty of accessories are included such as the dragon keychain (as seen above), warranty brochure, Quick Start guide, mouse pad, golden metal WASD keys, palm rest, driver DVDs, and a USB mouse. Notably absent is a pair of headphones, which even the recent Asus ROG G501 includes for free. The included mouse is a good backup as owners are likely to have an existing and superior gaming mouse.

Warranty

Limited warranty is 24 months from date of purchase whereas most other notebook manufacturers offer only 12 months in the U.S.. Buyers can get a free year of accidental damage coverage if they register their purchases with MSI. The manufacturer does not cover dead pixels, so Xotic PC offers its own coverage for an additional $35 USD.

Easy accessibility with plenty of space
Easy accessibility with plenty of space

Input Devices

Keyboard

To some users and especially gamers, jumping from membrane-type keyboards to mechanical keyboards can feel like moving up from dial-up modem to DSL. The integrated MX Brown Cherry keyboard (34 x 12 cm) is what defines the GT80 -- not its size, weight, or SLI graphics as there are other gaming notebooks with these features.

As noted in our previous review, these keys provide firm and very precise feedback. They are very light and require minimum force to push, which make typing both easier and quicker. For gamers, the four WASD keys are able to be registered simultaneously if needed and can also be replaced with the golden metal keys for extra visual flare.

While the mechanical keyboard easily trumps the Chiclet keyboards on other gaming notebooks, it isn't perfect on the GT80. Longer keys tend to rock in place and don't feel as solid, such as the Shift, Back Space, and Space Bar keys. Otherwise, the main QWERTY keys are fantastic to use.

Overtly missing keys include dedicated volume and multimedia and Macro keys. There only two auxiliary keys are to toggle between the dGPU and iGPU and the maximum fan speed.

Touchpad

The integrated touchpad is just 6 x 9 cm (excluding the dedicated mouse keys) and looks tiny compared to the hulking surface area that surrounds it. The smooth surface responds swiftly with no jumping cursor issues and even supports three-finger multi-touch via the Synaptics software. Its size and shape, however, is of course not ideal for the large widescreen.

The touch-Numpad overlay replaces the standard Numpad on a full-size keyboard. While the idea looks neat, the lack of feedback is a detriment to its usability. We would like to see haptic feedback if MSI continues to include the touch Numpad on future GT80 revisions. Of course, the touchpad and mouse keys are inactive when the Numpad is activated.

Unlike the loud mechanical keys, the mouse keys offer shallow travel and are actually quite quiet. Feedback is also uneven between the two keys as the left click feels softer than the right click. Users are expected to use the integrated touchpad only when an external mouse is not available.

Display

The matte Super PLS panel is a high quality panel with no major screen-door effects, backlight bleeding, or grains on the screen. A quick search for its XJY7J_184HL panel name shows that the Alienware 18 sports an identical panel albeit with a glossy surface. Display brightness is more than enough for indoor use and contrast is as good as competing high-end gaming notebooks like the 17.3-inch Asus G751 and Eurocom P7 Pro. Brightness distribution, however, could be a bit better on this large screen.

315.3
cd/m²
334.8
cd/m²
335.7
cd/m²
326.3
cd/m²
365
cd/m²
326.1
cd/m²
316.8
cd/m²
350.3
cd/m²
321.8
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
ID: Samsung SDC4C48, Name: XJY7J_184HL
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 365 cd/m² Average: 332.5 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 365 cd/m²
Contrast: 971:1 (Black: 0.376 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.4 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 4.33 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
88% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 57% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.06
MSI GT80 Titan SLIAlienware 18MSI GT72-2QE16SR21BWAsus G751JYEurocom P7 Pro
Screen
-10%
-14%
1%
-5%
Brightness middle
365
342
-6%
285
-22%
329
-10%
335.4
-8%
Brightness
332
315
-5%
278
-16%
320
-4%
319
-4%
Brightness Distribution
86
87
1%
87
1%
92
7%
88
2%
Black Level *
0.376
0.38
-1%
0.45
-20%
0.34
10%
0.384
-2%
Contrast
971
900
-7%
633
-35%
968
0%
873
-10%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.4
5.85
-33%
5.1
-16%
4.13
6%
5.14
-17%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.33
5.6
-29%
5.23
-21%
3.72
14%
4.44
-3%
Gamma
2.06 107%
2.04 108%
2.32 95%
2.36 93%
1.98 111%
CCT
7199 90%
6645 98%
7565 86%
6352 102%
6464 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
57
59
4%
57
0%
55
-4%
56.1
-2%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
88
87
-1%
83
-6%
85.3
-3%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
8.01

* ... smaller is better

Color coverage is roughly 57 percent and 88 percent of AdobeRGB and sRGB spectra, respectively. These are higher than our previously recorded measurements due to corrections in our method for comparisons, but still lower than the claimed 100 percent sRGB coverage by MSI. Cheaper and more mainstream displays typically cover less than 40 percent and 60 percent of AdobeRGB and sRGB, respectively. While this is more than sufficient for games, the Asus G501 and UX501 are closer to 100 percent sRGB coverage to better appeal to graphics designers.

vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. Alienware 18
vs. Alienware 18
vs. Asus G501
vs. Asus G501
vs. Aorus X5
vs. Aorus X5

Further color analyses with an X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal accurate colors and grayscale out-of-the-box. A quick calibration will result in an even more accurate display, though Orange and Yellow colors remain slightly more inaccurate than the others. Accuracy decreases as color saturation increases due to the imperfect sRGB coverage.

Grayscale pre-calibration
Grayscale pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration

Viewing angles are wide and the large screen size makes it very easy to share with nearby viewers. Outdoor visibility is average at best as the backlight will have to be much more powerful for this large of a display to overcome direct sunlight.

Outdoors on overcast day
Outdoors on overcast day
Wide PLS viewing angles
Wide PLS viewing angles

Performance

Turbo Boost up to 3.5 GHz for all cores
Turbo Boost up to 3.5 GHz for all cores

The GT80 hardware update includes a move from the already high-end Core i7-4980HQ on our original model to the newer Core i7-5700HQ. This Broadwell core can run up to 3.5 GHz on all cores with Turbo Boost, but will otherwise run at 800 MHz if on the Power Saver profile. This is compared to the i7-4980HQ, which can go up to 4.0 GHz for a single active core. Our GPU configuration is different as well with dual GTX 970M GPUs. Both GPUs will run at 135/162 MHz core/memory each when on the Power Saver profile.

Our system RAM is at its maximum 32 GB capacity with all four SODIMM slots occupied. Latencymon shows no latency spikes when on desktop with wireless active.

 

Processor

The Core i7-5700HQ isn't necessarily a vertical upgrade compared to the i7-4980HQ in our first GT80. Multi-threaded benchmark scores for the i7-5700HQ are just a few percentage points above the Haswell core, while Single-threaded benchmark scores favor the Haswell core instead. This is expected since the i7-4980HQ has the faster Turbo Boost for single-threaded operations. Meanwhile, the i7-5700HQ is better able to maintain consistent multi-core Turbo Boost and so it gains a slight lead in multi-threaded operations.

The even faster and more power-hungry desktop Core i7-4790K in the Eurocom P5 Pro is still roughly 20 percent faster in either case.

More technical data and benchmarks on the Core i7-5700HQ can be found on our dedicated CPU page here.

CineBench R10 64-bit
CineBench R10 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15 64-bit
CineBench R15 64-bit
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6804 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
27464 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
7253 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6823
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
21755
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5550
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
66.79 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.94 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.67 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
117.2 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
724 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
143 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
143 Points ∼66%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
171 Points ∼78% +20%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI PL
154 Points ∼71% +8%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
135 Points ∼62% -6%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
137 Points ∼63% -4%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
125 Points ∼57% -13%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
724 Points ∼17%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
873 Points ∼20% +21%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI PL
693 Points ∼16% -4%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
608 Points ∼14% -16%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
579 Points ∼13% -20%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
490 Points ∼11% -32%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
1.67 Points ∼68%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
2.07 Points ∼85% +24%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI PL
1.74 Points ∼71% +4%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
1.55 Points ∼64% -7%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
1.54 Points ∼63% -8%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
1.46 Points ∼60% -13%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
7.94 Points ∼24%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
9.4 Points ∼28% +18%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI PL
7.53 Points ∼23% -5%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
6.73 Points ∼20% -15%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
6.44 Points ∼19% -19%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
5.29 Points ∼16% -33%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
7253 Points ∼70%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
8911 Points ∼86% +23%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI PL
7603 Points ∼73% +5%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
6610 Points ∼64% -9%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
6679 Points ∼65% -8%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
6493 Points ∼63% -10%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
27464 Points ∼36%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
33974 Points ∼45% +24%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI PL
27949 Points ∼37% +2%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
24459 Points ∼32% -11%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
24104 Points ∼32% -12%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
18887 Points ∼25% -31%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m (sort by value)
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
174.76 s * ∼2%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI PL
223.62 s * ∼3%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
246.038 s * ∼3%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
271.517 s * ∼3%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
323 s * ∼4%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - --- (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
565.334 Seconds * ∼3%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
437 Seconds * ∼2% +23%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI PL
481.306 Seconds * ∼2% +15%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
575.629 Seconds * ∼3% -2%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
570 Seconds * ∼3% -1%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
569.349 Seconds * ∼3% -1%
3DMark
Fire Strike Extreme Physics (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
11466 Points ∼40%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
12395 Points ∼43% +8%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
8881 Points ∼31% -23%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
6706 Points ∼23% -42%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Physics (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
10793 Points ∼38%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
12382 Points ∼43% +15%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI PL
10441 Points ∼36% -3%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
8871 Points ∼31% -18%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
7728 Points ∼27% -28%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
6713 Points ∼23% -38%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Physics (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
8131 Points ∼21%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
8811 Points ∼22% +8%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI PL
7150 Points ∼18% -12%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
5982 Points ∼15% -26%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
5562 Points ∼14% -32%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
4710 Points ∼12% -42%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
54017 Points ∼62%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
58919 Points ∼68% +9%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
44331 Points ∼51% -18%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
55953 Points ∼67%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
59800 Points ∼71% +7%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
42771 Points ∼51% -24%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Physics (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
56489 Points ∼36%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
59430 Points ∼38% +5%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI PL
51283 Points ∼33% -9%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
42849 Points ∼28% -24%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
38189 Points ∼25% -32%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
31331 Points ∼20% -45%

Legend

 
MSI GT80 Titan SLI Intel Core i7-5700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 4x Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2 (RAID 0)
 
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme Intel Core i7-4790K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 2x Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF (RAID 0)
 
MSI GT80 Titan SLI PL Intel Core i7-4980HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU (RAID 0)
 
Aorus X3 Plus v3 Intel Core i7-4710HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 2x Lite-On LMT-256L9M (RAID 0)
 
Asus UX501JW-DS71T Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
 
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50 Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

PCMark 7 places our GT80 2QD just a couple hundred points ahead of our first GT80 (6841 vs. 6624 points). Our current record holder is the Eurocom P7 Pro Extreme at just over 7200 points. This makes the GT80 one of the fastest notebooks in our database according to PCMark.

Subjectively, the system experiences no major latency or bugs during regular use. Toggling SLI can feel a bit clunky as the screen would sometimes remain in its blank state for extended periods of time.

PCMark 7
PCMark 7
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 7 Score
6841 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4483 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
6585 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5014 points
Help

Storage Devices

Speakers and storage bays on top
Speakers and storage bays on top

The top panel slides off without any screws to reveal 4x M.2 slots, a 2.5-inch SATA III bay, 2x. SODIMM slots, front-facing speakers, and an optical drive. The M.2 slots are RAID compatible while the SATA III bay can be used for additional storage space. The optical drive can also be replaced with a traditional 7 mm SATA drive. Our configuration utilizes 4x Lite-On SSDs in RAID 0 with a secondary 1 TB HGST HDD.

With sequential read and write speeds of 1507 MB/s and 1218 MB/s, respectively, our GT80 is a top performer in our growing list of HDDs and SSDs. The next fastest SSD is our 4x Kingston RBU drives in RAID 0 with sequential read and write rates of 1346 MB/s and 1105 MB/s, respectively, according to CrystalDiskMark. It's worth keeping in mind that a single PCIe x4 SSD, such as the one in our Asus G501, can achieve read and write rates of 1348 MB/s and 1402 MB/s, respectively.

The lone 1 TB 7200 RPM HDD is fast for its class as well with a recorded transfer rate of 106.3 MB/s.

CDM primary SSD
CDM primary SSD
CDM secondary HDD
CDM secondary HDD
AS SSD
AS SSD
HD Tune Primary SSD
HD Tune Primary SSD
HD Tune secondary HDD
HD Tune secondary HDD
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
4x Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2 (RAID 0)
Transfer Rate Minimum: 1328.3 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 1562.4 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 1556.3 MB/s
Access Time:
Burst Rate: 1994.5 MB/s
CPU Usage: 8.7 %

GPU Performance

3DMark Fire Strike ranks our GTX 970M SLI roughly 20 percent slower than the GTX 980M SLI configuration in our first GT80. When compared to a single GTX 970M in our Aorus X3 Plus, our newer GT80 is more than twice as fast in raw performance and is about 60 to 80 percent faster than a single GTX 980M.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm
Ice Storm
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Unlimited
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark 06 Standard
29186 points
3DMark 11 Performance
15300 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
149799 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
28674 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
11358 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
6299 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
20447 Points ∼40%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
21901 Points ∼43% +7%
Aorus X5
14428 Points ∼28% -29%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
11209 Points ∼22% -45%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
9862 Points ∼19% -52%
Asus G501JW-CN168H
5014 Points ∼10% -75%
3DMark
Fire Strike Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
7088 Points ∼36%
Aorus X5
4892 Points ∼25% -31%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
4336 Points ∼22% -39%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
3432 Points ∼17% -52%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
15354 Points ∼38%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
19121 Points ∼47% +25%
Aorus X5
10207 Points ∼25% -34%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
9358 Points ∼23% -39%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
7463 Points ∼18% -51%
Asus G501JW-CN168H
4092 Points ∼10% -73%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
103095 Points ∼56%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
127465 Points ∼69% +24%
Aorus X5
51182 Points ∼28% -50%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
57597 Points ∼31% -44%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
42859 Points ∼23% -58%
Asus G501JW-CN168H
25952 Points ∼14% -75%

Legend

 
MSI GT80 Titan SLI Intel Core i7-5700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 4x Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2 (RAID 0)
 
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW Intel Core i7-4980HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU (RAID 0)
 
Aorus X5 Intel Core i7-5700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
 
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme Intel Core i7-4790K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 2x Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF (RAID 0)
 
Aorus X3 Plus v3 Intel Core i7-4710HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 2x Lite-On LMT-256L9M (RAID 0)
 
Asus G501JW-CN168H Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M,

Gaming Performance

All tested games below are able to run on maximum settings at 1080p60 with the sole exception of Arkham Knight. The exclusive Nvidia GameWorks effects here are quite taxing even on the most powerful of systems. Otherwise, the GT80 blows everything out of the water when running at its native resolution. 2K or 3K options are not yet available at this screen size for notebooks as of this writing. The performance scaling versus the single GTX 970M in our Aorus X3 is very good on most games.

More technical data and benchmarks on the GTX 970M SLI can be found on our dedicated GPU page here.

Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome
Batman: Arkham Knight
Batman: Arkham Knight
Metro: Last Light
Metro: Last Light
low med. high ultra
Sleeping Dogs (2012) 182.892.5fps
Guild Wars 2 (2012) 66.462.5fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 363.7175.1fps
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013) 138.185.9fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 206.9132fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 120.682.6fps
Thief (2014) 98.583.8fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014) 133.5106.5fps
Ryse: Son of Rome (2014) 68.768fps
F1 2014 (2014) 118105fps
Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014) 100.370fps
Battlefield Hardline (2015) 102.5101.3fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 6244fps
Thief
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
83.8 fps ∼59%
Eurocom X8
87 fps ∼61% +4%
Aorus X5
60.1 fps ∼42% -28%
Eurocom P7 Pro
49.8 fps ∼35% -41%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
47.4 fps ∼33% -43%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
28.3 fps ∼20% -66%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FXAA & Low SS AF:4x (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
98.5 fps ∼68%
Eurocom X8
93 fps ∼64% -6%
Aorus X5
84.7 fps ∼58% -14%
Eurocom P7 Pro
78.8 fps ∼54% -20%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
67.9 fps ∼47% -31%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
54.1 fps ∼37% -45%
Metro: Last Light
1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
82.6 fps ∼48%
Eurocom X8
95 fps ∼55% +15%
Aorus X5
56.9 fps ∼33% -31%
Eurocom P7 Pro
67.9 fps ∼39% -18%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
52.6 fps ∼31% -36%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
32.2 fps ∼19% -61%
1366x768 High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
120.6 fps ∼63%
Eurocom X8
125 fps ∼65% +4%
Aorus X5
85.8 fps ∼45% -29%
Eurocom P7 Pro
124.2 fps ∼64% +3%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
93.6 fps ∼49% -22%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
61.9 fps ∼32% -49%
Sleeping Dogs
1920x1080 Extreme Preset AA:Extreme (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
92.5 fps ∼63%
Eurocom X8
109 fps ∼74% +18%
Aorus X5
62.8 fps ∼42% -32%
Eurocom P7 Pro
58.4 fps ∼40% -37%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
45.1 fps ∼31% -51%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
24.3 fps ∼16% -74%
1366x768 High Preset AA:High (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
182.8 fps ∼68%
Eurocom X8
178 fps ∼67% -3%
Aorus X5
159.9 fps ∼60% -13%
Eurocom P7 Pro
171.8 fps ∼64% -6%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
133.2 fps ∼50% -27%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
93.1 fps ∼35% -49%
Guild Wars 2
1920x1080 All Maximum / On AA:FX (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
62.5 fps ∼68%
Eurocom X8
64 fps ∼70% +2%
Aorus X5
57.3 fps ∼62% -8%
Eurocom P7 Pro
70.6 fps ∼77% +13%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
51.7 fps ∼56% -17%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
36 fps ∼39% -42%
1366x768 Best Appearance Preset AA:FX (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
66.4 fps ∼72%
Eurocom X8
69 fps ∼75% +4%
Aorus X5
64.5 fps ∼70% -3%
Eurocom P7 Pro
75.8 fps ∼83% +14%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
60.6 fps ∼66% -9%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
62.6 fps ∼68% -6%
Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
175.1 fps ∼63%
Eurocom X8
198 fps ∼72% +13%
Aorus X5
117.6 fps ∼42% -33%
Eurocom P7 Pro
104.3 fps ∼38% -40%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
79.3 fps ∼29% -55%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
50.8 fps ∼18% -71%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
363.7 fps ∼72%
Eurocom X8
435 fps ∼86% +20%
Aorus X5
244.5 fps ∼48% -33%
Eurocom P7 Pro
248.4 fps ∼49% -32%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
186.1 fps ∼37% -49%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
113.2 fps ∼22% -69%
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
1920x1080 Ultra / Extreme AA:on (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
85.9 fps ∼39%
Eurocom X8
92 fps ∼42% +7%
Aorus X5
76.2 fps ∼35% -11%
Eurocom P7 Pro
111.8 fps ∼51% +30%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
79.3 fps ∼36% -8%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
55.1 fps ∼25% -36%
1366x768 High AA:on (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
138.1 fps ∼47%
Eurocom X8
141 fps ∼48% +2%
Aorus X5
145 fps ∼49% +5%
Eurocom P7 Pro
171.5 fps ∼58% +24%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
116.6 fps ∼39% -16%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
127.8 fps ∼43% -7%
BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
132 fps ∼50%
Eurocom X8
145 fps ∼55% +10%
Aorus X5
93.1 fps ∼35% -29%
Eurocom P7 Pro
94.5 fps ∼36% -28%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
72 fps ∼27% -45%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
46.8 fps ∼18% -65%
1366x768 High Preset (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
206.9 fps ∼59%
Eurocom X8
212 fps ∼61% +2%
Aorus X5
165.3 fps ∼48% -20%
Eurocom P7 Pro
217.1 fps ∼62% +5%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
154.7 fps ∼44% -25%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
120 fps ∼34% -42%
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
1920x1080 Ultra Preset (HD Package) (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
106.5 fps ∼66%
Aorus X5
69.2 fps ∼43% -35%
Eurocom P7 Pro
69.7 fps ∼43% -35%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
52.5 fps ∼33% -51%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
31 fps ∼19% -71%
1920x1080 High Preset (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
133.5 fps ∼72%
Aorus X5
89.5 fps ∼48% -33%
Eurocom P7 Pro
89.9 fps ∼48% -33%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
65.7 fps ∼35% -51%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
40.1 fps ∼22% -70%
Ryse: Son of Rome
1920x1080 Very High Texture Res. + High Graphics Quality (Motion Blur & Temporal AA On, Rest Off/Disabled) AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
68 fps ∼66%
Eurocom X8
103 fps ∼100% +51%
Aorus X5
58.8 fps ∼57% -14%
Eurocom P7 Pro
62.6 fps ∼61% -8%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
45.3 fps ∼44% -33%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
28.2 fps ∼27% -59%
1920x1080 High Texture Res. + High Graphics Quality (Rest Off/Disabled) AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
68.7 fps ∼62%
Eurocom X8
111 fps ∼100% +62%
Aorus X5
61.2 fps ∼55% -11%
Eurocom P7 Pro
68.6 fps ∼62% 0%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
48.8 fps ∼44% -29%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
30.5 fps ∼27% -56%
F1 2014
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
105 fps ∼88%
Eurocom X8
102 fps ∼85% -3%
Aorus X5
90 fps ∼75% -14%
Eurocom P7 Pro
120 fps ∼100% +14%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
97 fps ∼81% -8%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
94 fps ∼78% -10%
1920x1080 High Preset (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
118 fps ∼89%
Eurocom X8
117 fps ∼88% -1%
Aorus X5
115 fps ∼86% -3%
Eurocom P7 Pro
120 fps ∼90% +2%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
111 fps ∼83% -6%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
113 fps ∼85% -4%
Dragon Age: Inquisition
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics Quality AA:2x MS (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
70 fps ∼41%
Eurocom X8
85 fps ∼50% +21%
Aorus X5
49.8 fps ∼29% -29%
Eurocom P7 Pro
46.5 fps ∼27% -34%
1920x1080 High Graphics Quality (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
100.3 fps ∼58%
Eurocom X8
119 fps ∼68% +19%
Aorus X5
72 fps ∼41% -28%
Eurocom P7 Pro
69.1 fps ∼40% -31%
Battlefield Hardline
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics Quality (DX11) AA:4x MS (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
101.3 fps ∼58%
Aorus X5
71.9 fps ∼41% -29%
Eurocom P7 Pro
71.8 fps ∼41% -29%
1920x1080 High Graphics Quality (DX11) (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
102.5 fps ∼52%
Aorus X5
105.2 fps ∼54% +3%
Eurocom P7 Pro
98 fps ∼50% -4%
Batman: Arkham Knight
1920x1080 High / On AA:SM AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
44 fps ∼31%
Aorus X5
27 fps ∼19% -39%
1920x1080 High / On (Interactive Smoke & Paper Debris Off) AA:SM AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
62 fps ∼39%
Aorus X5
40 fps ∼25% -35%

Legend

 
MSI GT80 Titan SLI Intel Core i7-5700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 4x Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2 (RAID 0)
 
Eurocom X8 Intel Core i7-4940MX, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 120GB mSATA
 
Aorus X5 Intel Core i7-5700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
 
Eurocom P7 Pro Intel Core i7-5775C, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
 
Aorus X3 Plus v3 Intel Core i7-4710HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 2x Lite-On LMT-256L9M (RAID 0)
 
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015 Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, Samsung PM851 Series MZMTE256HMHP

Stress Test

We stress the notebook with synthetic benchmarks to test for stability and potential throttling issues. Our results are shown in the table below.

When running Unigine Heaven, both the CPU and GPU are able to maintain their respective maximum Turbo clock rates. Thus, users should expect no throttling issues when gaming. Perhaps more noteworthy are the low core temperatures when under stress. The large fans remain quiet (for a gaming notebook) when running Prime95 and FurMark individually, and will only go to near-maximum when both programs are running simultaneously.

Activating Turbo Fan will drop core temperatures even further by up to 10 C at its best. Performance remains the same, however, so the feature is not necessary when gaming unless if core temperatures are a concern.

Note that running on battery power will not only limit CPU and GPU core clocks, but will also drop GPU memory clock to just 799.2 MHz compared to its normal speed of 1277.1 MHz according to GPU-Z.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Maximum stress
Maximum stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Unigine Heaven stress (Turbo fan mode)
Unigine Heaven stress (Turbo fan mode)
 
Stable CPU Speed (GHz) Stable GPU Speed (MHz) CPU Temperature (C) GPU 1 Temperature (C) GPU 2 Temperature (C)
Prime95 active 3.3 -- 80 -- --
FurMark active -- 734.1 - 746.7 -- 68 76
Prime95 + FurMark active 3.1 - 3.2 734.1 - 746.7 85 - 90 61 64
Unigine Heaven 3.5 1072.6 75 - 80 65 75
Unigine Heaven (Turbo Fan on) 3.5 1072.6 65 - 70 56 60
Unigine Heaven (Battery Power) 2.7 - 3.5 860.8 - 872.2 60 - 65 55 50

Overclocking

GPU temperatures remain relatively low even when overclocking
GPU temperatures remain relatively low even when overclocking

The built-in MSI Afterburner allows for easy overclocking via signed values for the GPU core and memory. The GPU and VRAM are limited to +135 MHz and +1000 MHz, respectively, for maximum clock rates of about 1172 MHz and 3502 MHz. The low limit on the GPU core can be lifted through unofficial means and is beyond the scope of this review.

At factory settings, our GT80 scores 7088 points on Fire Strike Extreme Graphics. At +135/+500 MHz core/memory, the system scores 7709 points on the same benchmark for about a 10 percent increase. We chose to stop here as the system would begin showing signs of instability at the >600 MHz and higher memory range. GPU temperatures increase by only a few degrees compared to its stock settings when running Unigine Heaven.

We repeated a handful of games on Ultra 1080p settings as seen in our table below. Our overclocking efforts don't quite match up against a standard GTX 980M SLI. Nonetheless, improvements are still tangible.

FPS Comparison on 1080p Ultra Settings
GTX 970M SLI (Factory Settings) GTX 970M SLI (+135/+500 Core/Memory Overclock) GTX 980M SLI (Factory Settings)
Sleeping Dogs 92.5 101.9 109.0
Tomb Raider 175.1 197.8 200.8
Metro: Last Light 82.6 89.1 98.9
Thief 83.8 88.6 103.6
Batman: Arkham Knight 44 47 --

Emissions

System Noise

Dual 60 mm fans
Dual 60 mm fans

The cooling system consists of two thick 60 mm fans and nine heat pipes. As if the cooling on the Eurocom P7 Pro Extreme isn't ludicrous enough, the GT80 takes it a step further. Note that the heat pipes are of different thicknesses and are not symmetrical -- this may account for some of the temperature differences between the GPUs when under load as detailed in our Stress Test section above. Unlike on Aorus or newer Eurocom Clevo models, the GT80 includes no built-in precision fan controls -- users can only toggle on and off the Turbo fan mode.

Fan noise and fan characteristics are identical to that of our first GT80. The system has the potential to be very loud when the Turbo Fan mode is active, which ups fan noise to a blistering 63 dB(A) in an instant. Otherwise, the system settles in the mid 40 dB(A) range when gaming similar to the Asus G751 series. In comparison, ultrathin gaming notebooks like the Aorus X5 or Razer Blade 14 will regularly run upwards of 50 dB(A) under similar conditions. The fans do pulsate during low use such as browsing or text processing, but this thankfully occurs infrequently when on Power Saver mode and on integrated graphics. Unfortunately, the fans are always audible no matter the workload as there is no "silent" mode.

Noise Level

Idle
34.2 / 36.2 / 37.8 dB(A)
DVD
36.8 / dB(A)
Load
47.6 / 59.8 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Surface temperatures when idling and with SLI enabled are generally flat and not significantly different from our original GT90 with Haswell and dual GTX 980M GPUs. When under load, however, our newer model with Broadwell and GTX 970M SLI GPUs is much cooler by almost 10 C on average. Whereas the hottest spot on original GT80 was as high as 63 C, we only recorded a high of 47 C on our newer configuration.

The unique build of the notebook allows the entire keyboard to avoid essentially all waste heat from the processors when gaming or under high loads. This is compared to most every gaming notebook out there where at least parts of the keyboard will become much warmer and sometimes uncomfortably so during gameplay.

Max. Load
 37.8 °C
100 F
38.4 °C
101 F
35.8 °C
96 F
 
 36.4 °C
98 F
37.2 °C
99 F
35.2 °C
95 F
 
 27.8 °C
82 F
26 °C
79 F
26 °C
79 F
 
Maximum: 38.4 °C = 101 F
Average: 33.4 °C = 92 F
43.2 °C
110 F
35.8 °C
96 F
46.6 °C
116 F
29.4 °C
85 F
31.2 °C
88 F
37.6 °C
100 F
26.2 °C
79 F
26.4 °C
80 F
28.2 °C
83 F
Maximum: 46.6 °C = 116 F
Average: 33.8 °C = 93 F
Power Supply (max.)  50 °C = 122 F | Room Temperature 24 °C = 75 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 33.4 °C / 92 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 38.4 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 39.5 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 46.6 °C / 116 F, compared to the average of 42.1 °C / 108 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 30.5 °C / 87 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 27.8 °C / 82 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.8 °C / 83.8 F (+1 °C / 1.8 F).

Speakers

Dedicated subwoofer underneath
Dedicated subwoofer underneath

The four top speakers and single subwoofer underneath the notebook provide very good sound quality despite their small sizes. Music playback feels balanced with acceptable bass. Given the girth of the notebook, however, we do feel that the bass could have been even better. Otherwise, maximum volume is very loud to the point where most users will find that even the 30 percent mark can be enough for everyday use. Hardcore gamers will definitely appreciate the high volume where honing in on small sounds can be crucial.

We should note that the Sound Blaster Cinema 2 software that was in our Windows 8 GT80 is not present in our current GT80 running Windows 10. Luckily, a workaround exists for Windows 10 users to install the audio software successfully.

Battery Life

Honestly, nobody is expecting an 18.4-inch SLI gaming notebook to have shockingly long runtimes, so expectations are of course low. Nonetheless, we are a bit surprised by our results. Maximum load on the highest display brightness setting with SLI enabled still clocks in at an hour or less. However, WiFi surfing on the Balanced profile with integrated graphics enabled and at 150 nit brightness (setting 5/10) clocks in just shy of four hours. This is a huge improvement over our original GT80 under the same test conditions.

At its best, we were able to squeeze out a little over 6 hours from the integrated battery by running on Power Saver mode at minimum display brightness and sitting idly on the desktop. Not bad for a notebook over 10 pounds (4.86 kg) and with a massive power adapter measuring 20 x 10 x 4.5 cm.

Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
WLAN runtime
WLAN runtime
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
6h 10min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
3h 51min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 00min
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
75 Wh
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
75 Wh
Alienware 18
86 Wh
MSI GT72-2QE16SR21BW
87 Wh
Asus G751JY-T7009H
88 Wh
Eurocom X8
89 Wh
Aorus X7 Pro
73 Wh
Battery Runtime
-34%
-19%
-2%
8%
-24%
-5%
Reader / Idle
370
191
-48%
203
-45%
225
-39%
272
-26%
148
-60%
178
-52%
WiFi v1.3
231
Load
60
48
-20%
64
7%
81
35%
85
42%
68
13%
86
43%
WiFi
146
146
220
88

Pros

+ Mechanical Cherry MX Brown keyboard
+ 6x storage bays total
+ Relatively low core temperatures; Strong cooling system
+ Acceptable fan noise when gaming
+ Overclocking headroom
+ High quality and bright matte display
+ Rigid, high quality construction
+ Good sound quality, loud speakers
+ Upgradeable GPUs
+ Long battery life for its size

Cons

- No tactile Numpad; No Macro keys
- No external desktop GPU support
- No comprehensive fan controls
- No Thunderbolt; No HDMI-in
- No 2K/3K/4K options
- No PCIe x4 slots
- No G-Sync
- Fans are always audible
- GPU switch requires restart
- Soldered CPU

Verdict

In Review: MSI GT80 2QD Titan. Test model provided by Xotic PC.
In Review: MSI GT80 2QD Titan. Test model provided by Xotic PC.

The bottom line is if you're going to get an 18.4-inch gaming notebook, then make it the MSI GT80.

With that said, there are a few drawbacks to keep in mind. Its titanic size may imply a wealth of features, but this is not exactly the case. While its half dozen storage bays, 4x speakers plus subwoofer, 3x video-out ports and mechanical keyboard are all very welcoming, we would have liked to see PCIe x4 slots, Thunderbolt, upgradeable CPU, G-Sync display, a full-size keyboard, and higher native resolution options.

Many of these missing features are likely to make it for the inevitable GT80 refresh. The 15.6-inch Eurocom P5 Pro, for example, utilizes a desktop processor and the GT80 successor may do the same. What's more irksome instead are the system's lack of in-depth fan control options and dedicated Macro keys for gaming. The hardware and cooling system are especially well-made, yet even Aorus and Gigabyte with their thin-and-light gaming notebooks can provide better manual fan controls and a handful of Macro keys.

Our configuration allows for plenty of GPU overclocking headroom should users choose to go that route as core temperatures are quite low for a gaming notebook. Official overclocking of mobile Intel CPUs, however, will not be officially supported until the launch of Skylake. Until then, this is as close as you can get to an all-in-one gaming rig.

MSI GT80 Titan SLI - 08/23/2015 v4(old)
Allen Ngo

Chassis
83 / 98 → 85%
Keyboard
87%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
76 / 81 → 94%
Weight
39 / 10-66 → 52%
Battery
78%
Display
86%
Games Performance
100%
Application Performance
100%
Temperature
88 / 95 → 93%
Noise
50 / 90 → 56%
Audio
90%
Average
80%
87%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > MSI GT80 2QD Titan Notebook Review
Allen Ngo, 2015-08-24 (Update: 2015-08-28)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.