Notebookcheck

MSI GT80S 6QF Titan SLI Notebook Review

Florian Glaser (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 01/07/2016

Fighter jet. The new top model of MSI's GT80 series is one of the most expensive and powerful high-end notebooks in the world. However, not only the performance can set new records, but the noise development as well. Read on to find out whether the SLI configuration with two GTX 980 chips can justify the exorbitant price.

For the original German review, see here.

Five months after the review of the GT80 2QD (Core i7-5700HQ), MSI has launched the successor to the throne, which is just as exclusive. Instead of a CPU from Intel’s Broadwell generation, you now get the modern Skylake architecture. Depending on the model, the device uses a Core i7-6700HQ (2.6 to 3.5 GHz), a Core i7-6920HQ (2.9 to 3.8 GHz) or a Core i7-6820HK (2.7 to 3.6 GHz). The latter does not have the highest clocks, but a free multiplier in return, which improves overclocking.

The graphics cards are also different: While the model for 3000 Euros (~$3255) is equipped with two GTX 970M, the configurations for more than 4000 Euros (~$4340) get a combination of two GTX 980M chips. The top model GT80S 6QF, which is also our review configuration, even gets two GTX 980 chips in an SLI configuration. The situation is similarly luxurious in terms of RAM. 32 GB DDR4 memory should not become a bottleneck any time soon. The same applies to the storage devices. Our model uses two 256 GB SSD in a RAID-0 array, which is accompanied by a 1 TB HDD.

The display cannot quite meet the leading role. Despite the large screen size, MSI only integrates a Full HD panel with 1920x1080 pixels. The reason: According to the manufacturer, there is currently no suitable 18-inch 4K panel. At least you get a wide-view display with Super-PLS technology (variety of IPS).

MSI GT80S 6QF
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop) - 2x 8192 MB, Core: 1064 MHz, Memory: 3500 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 359.23
Memory
32768 MB 
, 4x 8 GB DDR4-2133, all slots occupied, up to 64 GB
Display
18.4 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, Samsung 184HL (SDC4C48), Super PLS, Full HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Sunrise Point CM236
Storage
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0), 512 GB 
, M.2-SSDs + HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, 1000 GB HDD @ 7200 rpm
Soundcard
Realtek ALC899 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
5 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Headphones, Microphone, S/PDIF, Card Reader: SD, SDHC, SDXC, Hi-Fi
Networking
Killer e2400 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter (b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Optical drive
HL-DT-ST BD-RE BU20N
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 49 x 456 x 330 ( = 1.93 x 17.95 x 12.99 in)
Battery
75 Wh, 5225 mAh Lithium-Ion, 8 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 1080p @30 fps
Primary Camera: 2 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: 4.1 Dynaudio (Nahimic Audio Enhancer), Keyboard: mechanical (SteelSeries, Cherry MX Brown), Keyboard Light: yes, PSU: 330 Watts, Accessories: Quick-start guide, drivers DVD, warranty information, recovery information, cleaning cloth, SteelSeries Siberia v2 Headset, Software: CyberLink PowerDVD 12, MS Office 365 Trial, Norton Security Trial, several manufacturer tools, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
5.03 kg ( = 177.43 oz / 11.09 pounds), Power Supply: 1.27 kg ( = 44.8 oz / 2.8 pounds)
Price
5500 Euro

 

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New Features

Performance card reader
Performance card reader

Even though at a first glance the GT80S looks a lot like its predecessor, there are actually many updated details. We start with the ports: To make sure that the 18-inch device is fit for the future, MSI has replaced one of the two Mini-DisplayPorts with a so called Super Port, which combines USB 3.1 Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 for additional connectivity options.

MSI is particularly proud about the sound quality of the GT80S. Thanks to a new Hi-Fi output and the huge audio chip (ESS Sabre Hi-Res Audio), external sound systems and headphones are supposed to get a perfect sound signal. The storage device has also been updated. Instead of four SATA-III SSDs, the new model gets only two solid-state drives. This may look like a downgrade, but we think it makes sense. MSI now uses M.2 SSDs based on the PCIe and NVMe technology, respectively, which are not limited by the SATA-III interface (500 to 550 MB/s) anymore and can manage much higher transfer rates in a RAID array.

Dragon Gaming Center - System Monitor
Dragon Gaming Center - System Monitor
Dragon Gaming Center - Utility
Dragon Gaming Center - Utility
Dragon Gaming Center - Instant Play
Dragon Gaming Center - Instant Play
Dragon Gaming Center - Device Setting
Dragon Gaming Center - Device Setting
System Control Manager
System Control Manager
True Color
True Color
Nahimic Sound
Nahimic Sound
Killer Network Manager
Killer Network Manager

The software has improved as well: The True-Color technology optimizes the color reproduction of the display. MSI has also implemented new functions for the Dragon Gaming Center. If you select the Shift mode "Sport", you can increase the CPU multiplier from 37x to 41x (3.7 vs. 4.1 GHz). The benchmarks and all the other 3D tests (system noise, power consumption) were performed in the Sport mode with full overclocking and activated SLI. However, the Cooler Boost feature, which increases the fan speed in favor of the temperatures, has been deactivated.

More information about the sections CaseConnectivity and Input Devices is available in the review of the GT80 2QE.

Display

As expected, the GT80S is equipped with the same FHD panel as its predecessors. The Samsung 184HL does not have to hide behind the 17-inch competition with a contrast ratio of around 850:1 and a black value of 0.35 cd/m².

260
cd/m²
271
cd/m²
272
cd/m²
262
cd/m²
298
cd/m²
256
cd/m²
252
cd/m²
279
cd/m²
232
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 298 cd/m² Average: 264.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 78 %
Center on Battery: 298 cd/m²
Contrast: 851:1 (Black: 0.35 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.72 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 3 | - Ø
89% sRGB (Argyll) 58% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.36
MSI GT80S 6QF
Samsung 184HL (SDC4C48), 1920x1080
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
XJY7J_184HL (SDC4C48), 1920x1080
MSI GT72S 6QF
Name: LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF1, ID: LGD0469, 1920x1080
Asus GX700
LP173WF4-SPF3 (LGD04E8), 1920x1080
Schenker XMG U726
AU B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), 3840x2160
Schenker XMG U716
AU B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), 3840x2160
Response Times
-34%
-8%
-35%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
35 (14, 21)
43 (18, 24.8)
-23%
37 (14, 23)
-6%
45 (17, 28)
-29%
Response Time Black / White *
20 (5, 15)
29 (6, 22.8)
-45%
22 (4, 18)
-10%
28 (6, 22)
-40%
PWM Frequency
250 (80)
Screen
-25%
7%
-20%
7%
-4%
Brightness
265
305
15%
326
23%
319
20%
327
23%
356
34%
Brightness Distribution
78
77
-1%
85
9%
93
19%
86
10%
88
13%
Black Level *
0.35
0.34
3%
0.282
19%
0.34
3%
0.38
-9%
0.4
-14%
Contrast
851
1003
18%
1265
49%
976
15%
868
2%
935
10%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.72
5.15
-89%
4.16
-53%
5.35
-97%
3
-10%
4.23
-56%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3
6.34
-111%
2.47
18%
6.45
-115%
3.81
-27%
5.48
-83%
Gamma
2.36 102%
2.35 102%
2.29 105%
2.34 103%
2.52 95%
2.35 102%
CCT
6995 93%
6895 94%
6860 95%
7048 92%
6306 103%
6686 97%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
58
53
-9%
56
-3%
56
-3%
88
52%
88
52%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
89
85
-4%
85
-4%
100
12%
100
12%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-25% / -25%
-14% / -1%
-14% / -18%
7% / 7%
-20% / -10%

* ... smaller is better

If anyone asks why the luminance is lower compared to the GT80 2QD or 2QE, respectively: The adjustments to the True Color software result in a significantly lower brightness, but the new device impresses with much more accurate colors. Neither the DeltaE2000 value for the grayscale (3 vs. 6.34) or the colors (2.72 vs. 5.15) no longer give cause for criticism.

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
MSI GT80S vs. sRGB
MSI GT80S vs. sRGB
MSI GT80S vs. AdobeRGB
MSI GT80S vs. AdobeRGB

Viewing angles and brightness distribution have not changed compared to the previous generation. The picture looks very homogenous and still quite natural even from wider angles. The color space coverage is also decent for a high-end notebook. 89% sRGB and 58% AdobeRGB ensure an accurate presentation for games.

Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Subpixel
Subpixel
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

The Samsung 184HL performs better than most IPS panels in terms of reaction times. 20 ms (black-white) and 35 ms (gray-to-gray) might be high on paper, but we could not determine tearing in our tests. Panel flickering at a reduced brightness level (0 to 80%) is a drawback. This is probably caused by PWM and might scare off sensitive users.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
20 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 15 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 13 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (26.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
35 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14 ms rise
↘ 21 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 24 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (42.8 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 250 Hz80 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 250 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 80 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 250 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 57 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 6262 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

The MSI GT80 6QD is the perfect device for wealthy gamers that are looking for the maximum performance, but do not want a desktop or mini PC. It does not matter if you look at the memory, hard drive, CPU or GPU performance: The 18-inch system aims to be the fastest device in every category. Our benchmarks will show if this is true.

Processor

The processor is a quad-core chip from Intel’s Skylake generation. The Core i7-6820HK of our review unit has a nominal clock of 2.7 GHz, but can reach up to 3.6 GHz via Turbo Boost. MSI even goes a step further and allows overclocking to 4.1 GHz via Sport mode. This means that the GT80S even beats the GX700 from Asus, which reached 4.0 GHz with the water-cooling.

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
CPU & GPU load
CPU & GPU load

The CPU benchmarks determine an excellent performance for the 18-inch notebook that is on par with desktop systems. 888 points in the Multi-Core test of Cinebench R15 is just as huge as the 174 points in the Single-Core test (875 & 173 @Asus GX 700). A Core i7-6820HK without additional overclocking falls behind by 20%. The MSI GT72S 6QF, for example, managed only 703 and 138 points. The Core i7-4980HQ of the GT80 2QE is also up to 20% slower.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.98 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
9.81 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
79.2 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
174 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
888 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
117.93 fps
Help

The GTX 980 rivals Schenker XMG U726 and XMG U716, which were equipped with a Core i7-6700, cannot keep up with the GT80S, either (see table). However, subjectively, there is not a big difference – at least in terms of gaming performance.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
174 Points ∼89%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
Intel Core i7-4980HQ
151 Points ∼77% -13%
MSI GT72S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
138 Points ∼71% -21%
Asus GX700
Intel Core i7-6820HK
173 Points ∼89% -1%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
171 Points ∼88% -2%
Schenker XMG U716
Intel Core i7-6700
171 Points ∼88% -2%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
888 Points ∼41%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
Intel Core i7-4980HQ
699 Points ∼33% -21%
MSI GT72S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
703 Points ∼33% -21%
Asus GX700
Intel Core i7-6820HK
875 Points ∼41% -1%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
813 Points ∼38% -8%
Schenker XMG U716
Intel Core i7-6700
791 Points ∼37% -11%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.98 Points ∼90%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
Intel Core i7-4980HQ
1.72 Points ∼78% -13%
MSI GT72S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.58 Points ∼71% -20%
Asus GX700
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.95 Points ∼88% -2%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
1.91 Points ∼86% -4%
Schenker XMG U716
Intel Core i7-6700
1.94 Points ∼88% -2%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
9.81 Points ∼41%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
Intel Core i7-4980HQ
7.7 Points ∼32% -22%
MSI GT72S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
7.74 Points ∼32% -21%
Asus GX700
Intel Core i7-6820HK
9.55 Points ∼40% -3%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
8.94 Points ∼37% -9%
Schenker XMG U716
Intel Core i7-6700
8.77 Points ∼37% -11%

System Performance

It is not really surprising that the 18-inch notebook manages top results in the system benchmarks. 7386 points in PCMark 7 only result in the second place behind the Asus GX700 (7933 points), but the GT80S can beat all the other rivals.

PCMark 7 Score
7386 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
7386 Points ∼92%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ, 4x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU (RAID 0)
6624 Points ∼82% -10%
MSI GT72S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF NVMe (RAID 0)
7163 Points ∼89% -3%
Asus GX700
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
7933 Points ∼99% +7%
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
7093 Points ∼88% -4%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
7159 Points ∼89% -3%

Storage Devices

We also want to praise the switch to PCIe and NVMe, respectively. While typical SATA-III SSDs – as mentioned previously – are restricted to around 500 to 550 MB/s, modern solid-state drives can manage sequential speeds of more than 1000 MB/s even without RAID arrays.

MSI is still not satisfied with just one drive and has equipped the GT80S with two M.2 models from Samsung (SM951), which manage up to 2891 MB/s (read) and 2408 MB/s (write) in the AS SSD benchmark. These values are not just excellent, they are among the best we have ever come across. Only the much larger RAID array of the Asus GX700 (total capacity of 1024 instead of 512 GB) is slightly ahead. The SSD interface is not that important for smaller files, so the normal Windows operation does not always benefit from PCIe.

MSI has also integrated a conventional HDD to ensure sufficient storage capacity for the user. The 1000 GB version of the HGST Travelstar 7K1000 manages around 140 MB/s according to the sequential test of CrystalDiskMark – a great result for a 7200 rpm drive.

2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
Sequential Read: 3259 MB/s
Sequential Write: 2556 MB/s
512K Read: 1767 MB/s
512K Write: 2412 MB/s
4K Read: 49.38 MB/s
4K Write: 130.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 748.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 637.7 MB/s
MSI GT80S 6QF
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
4x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU (RAID 0)
MSI GT72S 6QF
2x Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF NVMe (RAID 0)
Asus GX700
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
Schenker XMG U726
Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Schenker XMG U716
Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
AS SSD
-46%
-19%
6%
-26%
-26%
Score Total
3336
2109
-37%
2568
-23%
3655
10%
1930
-42%
1910
-43%
4K Write
109.9
64.11
-42%
97.82
-11%
119.63
9%
103.57
-6%
102.76
-6%
4K Read
44.96
21.09
-53%
42.98
-4%
46.43
3%
40.45
-10%
40.86
-9%
Seq Write
2408.14
1142.02
-53%
1279.19
-47%
2524.75
5%
1500.24
-38%
1515.63
-37%
Seq Read
2891.62
1529.39
-47%
2543.81
-12%
2963.6
2%
1943.45
-33%
1941.51
-33%

Graphics Card

This is not the first time that we have reviewed the GeForce GTX 980, so we will just focus on the most important aspects at this point. 2048 shaders and a memory clock of 3500 MHz surpass the old top model GeForce GTX 980M (1536 shaders, 2500 MHz). Great: Thanks to the MXM technology, the GPUs can be replaced if necessary.

GPU information
GPU information
GeForce Experience
GeForce Experience
SLI
SLI

The amount of memory deserves respect as well: 2x 8GB GDDR5-VRAM (256-bit interface) ensure that even demanding games are not a problem. The dual-GPU operation on the other hand is not without its flaws. Micro stutters are not usually an issue for the GT80S due to the massive performance, but the second GPU has a big negative impact on the temperatures, the power consumption and the noise development. It is no accident that MSI puts the hardware in a 5 kg (~11 lb) chassis that is almost 5 centimeters (~2 in) high.

3DMark 06 Standard
35639 points
3DMark Vantage P Result
47704 points
3DMark 11 Performance
20055 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
184803 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
32522 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
17165 points
Help

The performance of the SLI system is very impressive. 17165 points in the 3DMark 13 Fire Strike test is 50 to 60% ahead of a single GTX 980. Two GTX 980M, like in the GT80 2QE, are 20% slower. Unlike the predecessor, you cannot use the integrated GPU of the processor in the case of the GT80S 6QF. The previous GPU button is now used to turn off the display. There is no support for Optimus and Nvidia's G-Sync, either.

3DMark
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Score (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
5212 Points ∼56%
Asus GX700
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
3221 Points ∼35% -38%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
3098 Points ∼33% -41%
Schenker XMG U716
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
3027 Points ∼33% -42%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
17165 Points ∼73%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI
13703 Points ∼59% -20%
MSI GT72S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
11066 Points ∼47% -36%
Asus GX700
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
11440 Points ∼49% -33%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
11096 Points ∼47% -35%
Schenker XMG U716
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
10734 Points ∼46% -37%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
20055 Points ∼70%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI
17081 Points ∼60% -15%
MSI GT72S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
12645 Points ∼44% -37%
Asus GX700
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
15462 Points ∼54% -23%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
14925 Points ∼52% -26%
Schenker XMG U716
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
14477 Points ∼50% -28%
Unigine Heaven 4.0 - Extreme Preset DX11 (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
129.5 fps ∼72%
Asus GX700
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
78.3 fps ∼43% -40%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
78.7 fps ∼44% -39%
Schenker XMG U716
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
78.1 fps ∼43% -40%

Gaming Performance

Even though the GT80S can take the gaming crown, we were a bit disappointed with the overall results. Yes, the performance can be 50 to 90% better compared to a single GTX 980 (“Battlefield 4BF Hardline”, “Fallout 4”, “Call of Duty Black Ops 3”, “Mad Max”, “The Witcher 3”, “Dragon Age Inquisition”, “Evolve”, “Shadow of Mordor”, “Tomb Raider”, “Crysis 3”), but there are also games where the second chip does not help at all. These include “Rainbow Six Siege”, “Anno 2205”, “The Sims 4”, “GRID Autosport” or “Watch Dogs”. It is either the fault of the GPU driver (no suitable SLI profile yet) or the game cannot handle a secondary GPU very well.

Some games (“Just Cause 3”, “Batman Arkham Knight” & “FIFA 16”) even perform worse compared to a single GTX 980 notebook. Settings lower than 1920x1080 and (Ultra) High settings are not listed in the comparison table, because the CPU is often the limiting factor in these cases.

Battlefield 4
3840x2160 High Preset (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
91.6 fps ∼54%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
52.5 fps ∼31% -43%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
35.2 (min: 30) fps ∼21% -62%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
27.1 (min: 23) fps ∼16% -70%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
176.8 fps ∼88%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
124.8 fps ∼62% -29%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
99.6 fps ∼50% -44%
MSI GT72-2QE32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 4710HQ
72.9 fps ∼36% -59%
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ
54.8 fps ∼27% -69%
Just Cause 3 - 1920x1080 Very High / On AA:SM AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
79.3 fps ∼60%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
59.7 (min: 50) fps ∼45% -25%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
50.7 (min: 46) fps ∼38% -36%
Rainbow Six Siege
3840x2160 High Preset AA:T AF:4x (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
50.2 fps ∼46%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
35.9 (min: 28) fps ∼33% -28%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
27.5 (min: 12) fps ∼25% -45%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
136.4 fps ∼55%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
80.3 (min: 26) fps ∼33% -41%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
63.5 (min: 22) fps ∼26% -53%
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
3840x2160 High Preset AA:FX (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
37.7 fps ∼51%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
28.2 fps ∼38% -25%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
20.7 (min: 18) fps ∼28% -45%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
16.2 (min: 14) fps ∼22% -57%
1920x1080 Ultra High Preset AA:4x MSAA + FX (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
34.8 fps ∼44%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
32.3 fps ∼40% -7%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
24.2 (min: 19) fps ∼30% -30%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
18.9 (min: 15) fps ∼24% -46%
Star Wars Battlefront
3840x2160 High Preset AA:FX (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
62.6 fps ∼47%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
39.6 fps ∼30% -37%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
27.9 (min: 23) fps ∼21% -55%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
21.9 (min: 18) fps ∼17% -65%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
110.4 fps ∼56%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
102.1 fps ∼52% -8%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
73.1 (min: 61) fps ∼37% -34%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
59 (min: 50) fps ∼30% -47%
Fallout 4
3840x2160 High Preset AA:T AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
55.6 fps ∼60%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
33.7 fps ∼37% -39%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
24 (min: 18) fps ∼26% -57%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
18 (min: 9) fps ∼20% -68%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
129.9 fps ∼87%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
78 fps ∼52% -40%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
55 (min: 42) fps ∼37% -58%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
43.4 (min: 33) fps ∼29% -67%
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
3840x2160 High / On AA:FX (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
60.8 fps ∼58%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
34.2 fps ∼33% -44%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
24.8 (min: 10) fps ∼24% -59%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
19.2 (min: 9) fps ∼18% -68%
1920x1080 Extra / On AA:T2x SM (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
152.7 fps ∼100%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
88.3 fps ∼58% -42%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
66.7 (min: 52) fps ∼44% -56%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
53 (min: 43) fps ∼35% -65%
Anno 2205
3840x2160 High Preset AA:4x (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
35.4 fps ∼40%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
34.1 fps ∼39% -4%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
23.8 (min: 20) fps ∼27% -33%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
18.6 (min: 17) fps ∼21% -47%
1920x1080 Ultra High Preset AA:8x (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
31.5 fps ∼41%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
30.7 fps ∼40% -3%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
22.7 (min: 19) fps ∼30% -28%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
16.8 (min: 14) fps ∼22% -47%
FIFA 16
3840x2160 High Preset AA:2x MS (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
118.6 fps ∼44%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
124.4 fps ∼46% +5%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
88.2 (min: 35) fps ∼33% -26%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
68.4 (min: 23) fps ∼25% -42%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
266.4 fps ∼87%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
287.1 fps ∼94% +8%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
192.2 (min: 101) fps ∼63% -28%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
170.9 (min: 160) fps ∼56% -36%
Mad Max - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AF:12x (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
230.8 fps ∼88%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
136.6 fps ∼52% -41%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
97.9 (min: 75) fps ∼37% -58%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
77.9 (min: 64) fps ∼30% -66%
Batman: Arkham Knight
3840x2160 High / On (Interactive Smoke & Paper Debris Off) AA:SM AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
32 fps ∼55%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
34 fps ∼59% +6%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
22 (min: 15) fps ∼38% -31%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
18 (min: 13) fps ∼31% -44%
1920x1080 High / On AA:SM AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
64 fps ∼45%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 5700HQ
44 fps ∼31% -31%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
67 fps ∼48% +5%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
44 (min: 28) fps ∼31% -31%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
33 (min: 22) fps ∼23% -48%
The Witcher 3
3840x2160 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off) (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
51.2 fps ∼57%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
30.1 fps ∼34% -41%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
22.8 (min: 19) fps ∼26% -55%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
17.6 (min: 15) fps ∼20% -66%
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+) (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
74 fps ∼64%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
44.3 fps ∼39% -40%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
32.6 (min: 25) fps ∼28% -56%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
25.8 (min: 19) fps ∼22% -65%
Dirt Rally
3840x2160 High Preset (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
85.6 fps ∼53%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
84.2 fps ∼52% -2%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
58.6 (min: 45) fps ∼36% -32%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
45.5 (min: 25) fps ∼28% -47%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
124.4 fps ∼74%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
97 fps ∼58% -22%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
72 (min: 54) fps ∼43% -42%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
56.5 (min: 38) fps ∼34% -55%
Battlefield Hardline - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics Quality (DX11) AA:4x MS (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
176.1 fps ∼100%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 5700HQ
101.3 fps ∼58% -42%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
99 fps ∼56% -44%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
67 (min: 60) fps ∼38% -62%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
51.4 (min: 45) fps ∼29% -71%
Evolve - 1920x1080 Very High Graphics Quality AA:1TX SM (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
177.8 fps ∼100%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
101.5 fps ∼57% -43%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
61.9 (min: 44) fps ∼35% -65%
Schenker W504
GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
51.4 (min: 41) fps ∼29% -71%
Dragon Age: Inquisition - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics Quality AA:2x MS (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
123.5 fps ∼73%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
86.5 fps ∼51% -30%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 5700HQ
70 fps ∼41% -43%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
65.4 fps ∼38% -47%
Far Cry 4 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics Quality AA:SM (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
113.6 fps ∼100%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
113.3 fps ∼100% 0%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
82.6 fps ∼73% -27%
Alien: Isolation - 1920x1080 Ultra, On, Shadow Map 2048, HDAO AA:2x SM AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
185.4 fps ∼79%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
140.1 fps ∼60% -24%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
134.4 fps ∼57% -28%
MSI GT72-2QE32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 4710HQ
96.1 fps ∼41% -48%
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ
75.7 fps ∼32% -59%
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset (HD Package) (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
160.9 fps ∼100%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
116.4 fps ∼72% -28%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 5700HQ
106.5 fps ∼66% -34%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
91.4 fps ∼57% -43%
MSI GT72-2QE32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 4710HQ
65 fps ∼40% -60%
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ
51.2 fps ∼32% -68%
Sims 4 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
138.4 fps ∼87%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
127.2 fps ∼80% -8%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
117.2 fps ∼73% -15%
MSI GT72-2QE32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 4710HQ
97 fps ∼61% -30%
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ
93.8 fps ∼59% -32%
GRID: Autosport - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
142.9 fps ∼95%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
146.7 fps ∼98% +3%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
128.1 fps ∼85% -10%
MSI GT72-2QE32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 4710HQ
107.1 fps ∼71% -25%
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ
82.3 fps ∼55% -42%
Watch Dogs - 1920x1080 Ultra Overall Quality, Ultra Textures AA:4x MS (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
69.3 fps ∼93%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
52.4 fps ∼70% -24%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
59.4 fps ∼80% -14%
MSI GT72-2QE32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 4710HQ
45.9 fps ∼62% -34%
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ
34.4 fps ∼46% -50%
Thief - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
113.8 fps ∼91%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
103.6 fps ∼83% -9%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 5700HQ
83.8 fps ∼67% -26%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
84.8 fps ∼68% -25%
MSI GT72-2QE32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 4710HQ
62.1 fps ∼49% -45%
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ
47.9 fps ∼38% -58%
Metro: Last Light - 1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
111.9 fps ∼75%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
98.9 fps ∼66% -12%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 5700HQ
82.6 fps ∼55% -26%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
92.3 fps ∼62% -18%
MSI GT72-2QE32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 4710HQ
66.8 fps ∼45% -40%
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ
53.3 fps ∼36% -52%
BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
178.1 fps ∼83%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
149.3 fps ∼69% -16%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 5700HQ
132 fps ∼61% -26%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
121.4 fps ∼56% -32%
MSI GT72-2QE32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 4710HQ
91.2 fps ∼42% -49%
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ
72.5 fps ∼34% -59%
Tomb Raider - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
276.9 fps ∼100%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
200.8 fps ∼73% -27%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 5700HQ
175.1 fps ∼63% -37%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
159 fps ∼57% -43%
MSI GT72-2QE32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 4710HQ
104.5 fps ∼38% -62%
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ
80.3 fps ∼29% -71%
Crysis 3 - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:2xSM AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
91.7 fps ∼75%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
72.3 fps ∼59% -21%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
60.7 fps ∼50% -34%
MSI GT72-2QE32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 4710HQ
43.3 fps ∼35% -53%
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ
33.4 fps ∼27% -64%

Unfortunately, we encountered several issues over the course of the tests. Despite the updated driver (ForceWare 358.87 has been replaced by ForceWare 359.23 on request from MSI), some games had issues in the 4K benchmarks. “Just Cause 3” (loading problems), “Mad Max” (crashed) and “Dirt rally” (fps-drops) did not really work on the external display Asus PB287Q.

The fact that the picture sometimes freezes for a fraction of a second (independent of the game, no micro stutters) is also annoying. Speaking of freezes: We cannot explain why, but the desktop background is sometimes temporarily burnt into the display. We had already noticed this problem during several notebook reviews in the past and the problem was usually fixed by a driver update.

Taking all FHD and 4K benchmarks into account, you get the following ranking:

GPU

Overall performance

GeForce GTX 980 SLI

Base

GeForce GTX 980M SLI

-17%

GeForce GTX 980

-26%

GeForce GTX 970M SLI

-33%

GeForce GTX 980M

-46%

GeForce GTX 970M

-57%

low med. high ultra4K
Crysis 3 (2013) 163.7147.912891.7fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 548520.8506.9276.9fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 293.3259.7241.6178.1fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 155.9151.2143.8111.9fps
Battlefield 4 (2013) 199.6199.5198.9176.891.6fps
Thief (2014) 131.9130.8130.3113.8fps
Watch Dogs (2014) 10694.378.569.3fps
GRID: Autosport (2014) 342191.3155.2142.9fps
Sims 4 (2014) 191.7172.7144.3138.4fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014) 227.8203186.1160.9fps
Alien: Isolation (2014) 284.6269.1238.7185.4fps
Far Cry 4 (2014) 137.9136.9120.4113.6fps
Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014) 197.8187.7159.2123.5fps
Evolve (2015) 274.8225.7199177.8fps
Battlefield Hardline (2015) 198.4197.9195.4176.1fps
Dirt Rally (2015) 394178.9137.3124.485.6fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 270.3203.4131.97451.2fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 160148966432fps
Mad Max (2015) 277244.9230.8fps
FIFA 16 (2015) 357.3319.8266.4118.6fps
Anno 2205 (2015) 170.1157.18831.535.4fps
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (2015) 175.3169.2152.8152.760.8fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 189.2183.8149.4129.955.6fps
Star Wars Battlefront (2015) 161.7150.6114.4110.462.6fps
Assassin's Creed Syndicate (2015) 94.993.485.334.837.7fps
Rainbow Six Siege (2015) 279.8232.2150.9136.450.2fps
Just Cause 3 (2015) 158147.792.779.3fps

Emissions

System Noise

One of the biggest issues of the GT80S is the noise development. While idle values of 34 to 36 dB(A) (short speed increase towards 40 dB(A)) are still perfectly reasonable, we can measure 46 to 53 dB(A) with an average of 51 dB(A) in 3D scenarios. This means that the 18-inch notebook is one of the loudest notebooks in general. Even powerful single GPU laptops like the MSI GT72S 6QF, the Asus GX700, the Schenker XMG U716 or the Schenker XMG U726 usually remain below 50 dB(A). If this mark is exceeded, it is only under maximum load.

Noise development idle
Noise development idle
Noise development load
Noise development load
Pink & White Noise (speakers)
Pink & White Noise (speakers)

The pre-predecessor GT80 2QE was also much quieter in some situations. The two 18-inch systems are only similarly loud in the stress test with the tools FurMark and Prime95. 60 dB(A) is deafeningly loud for a notebook and can hardly be tolerated without a headset. Note: Our review unit suffers from some kind of coil whining, which would annoy many users.

Noise Level

Idle
34 / 36 / 40 dB(A)
DVD
36 / dB(A)
Load
51 / 60 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1 (15 cm distance)
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
MSI GT72S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
Asus GX700
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
Noise
2%
11%
6%
12%
9%
off / environment *
Idle Minimum *
34
34.2
-1%
33.1
3%
33
3%
33
3%
33
3%
Idle Average *
36
36.2
-1%
33.3
7%
35
3%
34
6%
35
3%
Idle Maximum *
40
37.8
5%
37
7%
42
-5%
35
12%
38
5%
Load Average *
51
47.6
7%
39
24%
46
10%
42
18%
45
12%
Load Maximum *
60
59.8
-0%
52.2
13%
48
20%
46
23%
48
20%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

We have to criticize the temperatures as well. The palm rest is always conveniently cool at 27 °C (~81 °F), but we can measure up to 61 °C (~140 °F) under maximum load at the bottom. However, hardly any user will ever use the 5 kg (~11 lb) monster on their lap. The temperature development while idling reminds us of the Schenker XMG U716 and XMG U726, respectively. Average results of 32 to 33 °C (~90 to ~91 °F) are decent.

The adjective extraordinary describes the components pretty well. The CPU does not throttle in the stress test, but up to 97 °C (~207 °F; according to HWMonitor) are pretty high. The GPUs start to sweat as well: One chip is decent at 75 °C (~167 °F), but the other GTX 980 reaches – despite throttling to 400 to 600 MHz – up to 88 °C (~190 °F).

Max. Load
 45.7 °C45.6 °C42.6 °C 
 43.4 °C44.1 °C41.7 °C 
 26.1 °C26.2 °C26.2 °C 
Maximum: 45.7 °C
Average: 38 °C
56.3 °C41.4 °C61 °C
47.4 °C36.5 °C51.8 °C
27.1 °C28.6 °C26.6 °C
Maximum: 61 °C
Average: 41.9 °C
Power Supply (max.)  63.9 °C | Room Temperature 24 °C | Voltcraft IR-900
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
MSI GT72S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
Asus GX700
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
Heat
11%
23%
3%
-2%
2%
Maximum Upper Side *
45.7
43.8
4%
39.8
13%
48.7
-7%
46.9
-3%
48.8
-7%
Maximum Bottom *
61
63
-3%
49
20%
61
-0%
55.8
9%
Idle Upper Side *
36.4
29.6
19%
27.8
24%
32
12%
36.3
-0%
36.7
-1%
Idle Bottom *
39.2
30.4
22%
26
34%
40.8
-4%
37.3
5%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The 4.1 system from Dynaudio has a new software. The sound is now handled by the Nahimic Audio Enhancer instead of the Sound Blaster Cinema 2 (GT80 2QE). Subjectively, there is no difference between the two, so we refrain from any further comments at this point and refer to the old review instead.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Users that want to save power should stay well clear of the GT80S. With 44 to 62 watts, the 18-inch device consumes around 10 to 25% more power than the competition from Asus and Schenker while idling, although those devices are equipped with only one GPU (34 to 49 watts @MSI GT80 2QE). The differences are similar in 3D scenarios.

We are worried about the maximum consumption in particular. More than 400 watts suggest either a bad efficiency of the power adapter or that it is not powerful enough. 330 watts are borderline for such a fast system, especially since the battery discharges under higher loads, and even single GTX 980 notebooks are shipped with a 330-watt module. In short: in our opinion 400 watts would be better for the GT80S 6QF.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.6 / 4.4 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 44 / 53 / 62 Watt
Load midlight 163 / 411 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
MSI GT72S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
Asus GX700
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
Power Consumption
19%
15%
18%
20%
Idle Minimum *
44
34.3
22%
40
9%
36
18%
35
20%
Idle Average *
53
41.9
21%
45
15%
45
15%
44
17%
Idle Maximum *
62
49.3
20%
51
18%
53
15%
51
18%
Load Average *
163
140.2
14%
149
9%
139
15%
134
18%
Load Maximum *
411
328.6
20%
313
24%
306
26%
298
27%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

If you plan to use the 18-inch device on battery power: More than 2.5 hours are not possible with the activated SLI. However, we should mention that the competition also does not sell any runtime wonders. The two Schenker notebooks XMG U716 and XMG U726 do not last three hours, either. Only MSI's own GT72S 6QF is an option for longer road trips (up to 6.5 hours).

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
2h 28min
Load (maximum brightness)
0h 58min
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
MSI GT72S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
Asus GX700
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
Battery Runtime
6%
107%
44%
39%
30%
Reader / Idle
148
191
29%
387
161%
201
36%
170
15%
158
7%
Load
58
48
-17%
89
53%
88
52%
94
62%
88
52%

Pros

+ Core i7-6820HK can be overclocked to 4.1 GHz
+ currently most powerful gaming notebook
+ touchpad with numpad function
+ good FHD display with accurate colors
+ good upgradeability
+ customer-friendly maintenance
+ a lot of ports
+ mechanical keyboard
+ GPUs can be replaced
+ PCIe/NVMe SSDs
+ Blu-ray burner
+ powerful sound
+ nice tools

Cons

- typical dual-GPU problems (driver dependency etc.)
- components can get pretty hot
- extremely bulky and heavy chassis
- power adapter could be more powerful
- very high noise development
- coil whining while idling
- battery not directly accessible
- enormous power consumption
- short battery runtime
- no 4K option
- GPU soldered
- no G-Sync
- price

Verdict

In review: MSI GT80S 6QF Titan SLI. Test model courtesy of MSI Taiwan.
In review: MSI GT80S 6QF Titan SLI. Test model courtesy of MSI Taiwan.

5500 Euros (~$5968): What sounds like the price of a used car, is MSI's answer to the mobile gaming reference notebook. The implementation of two GTX 980 chips in an SLI configuration is not only extremely expensive, but also pretty bold.

Because of the heavy weight and the enormous temperature development, the GT80S 6QF is not suitable for frequent travellers or noise-sensitive users.

50-60 dB(A) in 3D scenarios prevents a "very good" rating for the high-end device, which was possible considering the brilliant gaming performance.

Smaller and bigger bugs associated with SLI or the driver (like a heavy stutter in “Star Wars Battlefront” & display flickering in “Evolve”) also affect the overall impression slightly. MSI should also fix the coil whining while idling.

Otherwise, there is not much to criticize: Build quality, touchpad, ports, picture and sound quality do not leave anything to be desired. The typing experience of the mechanical keyboard is currently not beaten by any competitor.

MSI GT80S 6QF - 02/24/2016 v5
Florian Glaser

Chassis
82 / 98 → 84%
Keyboard
87%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
73 / 81 → 90%
Weight
37 / 66 → 48%
Battery
62%
Display
88%
Games Performance
100%
Application Performance
100%
Temperature
78 / 95 → 82%
Noise
46 / 90 → 51%
Audio
90%
Average
77%
86%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GT80S 6QF Titan SLI Notebook Review
Florian Glaser, 2016-01- 7 (Update: 2016-01- 7)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.