MSI unveils refreshed lineup with Intel Skylake
Now that the 6th generation of Intel cores have been officially revealed, it is time for notebook vendors to follow suit with a slew of Skylake announcements. Let's start with MSI and its refreshed lineup:
- GS60-6QE Ghost Pro and GS60-6QC Ghost
- GE62-6QF Apache Pro and GE62-6QD Apache
- GT72S-6QE Dominator Pro G and GT72-6QD Dominator G
- GS70-6QE Stealth Pro and GS70-6QC Stealth
- GE72-6QF Apache Pro and GE72-6QD Apache
MSI will still be offering a few 5th generation Broadwell options alongside its Skylake configurations. According to their preliminary tests, however, the new Core i7-6700HQ should be around 20 percent faster than the Core i7-4720HQ currently used for many gaming notebooks.
In addition to the powerful i7-6700HQ and i7-6820HK SKUs, MSI will support DDR4, FHD, Cooler Boost 3 cooling, Dynaudio, high-quality DAC playback, Killer wireless, multicolored SteelSeries keyboards, and a USB 3.1 interface.
All new models will ship with Windows 10 Home preinstalled. The GeForce 960M, 970M, and 980M will be standard options to ensure high performance in games. The GT72 will also feature G-Sync and MSI claims that its MXM card will be compatible with future Nvidia releases.
Aside from M.2 slots, the new MSI notebooks will have the option for Express Drive via PCIe 3.0 x4 slots for data rates of up to 2.2 GB/s. The NVMe controller is partly responsible for the high speeds over conventional SSD systems with AHCI-based interfaces.
Furthermore, the GT72S Dominator will have PCIe in RAID formation, or what MSI calls "Super RAID 4". Two M.2 SSDs in RAID 0 can reach theoretical transfer rates of up to 3.3 GB/s.
The GT72 Dominator and GS60 Ghost will provide what MSI calls the "Super Port". This is a Type-C connector with USB 3.0 transfer speeds. The port also doubles as a video-out port for daisy chaining dual external 4K displays and can charge mobile devices at up to 3 Amperes.
Meanwhile, the GT and GS series will have dedicated ESS Sabre Digital-to-Analog converter (DAC) with 122 dBA signal-to-noise ratio. The converter module is intended to boost low-noise sounds across audio outputs. The Nahimic Audio Enhancer will power surround sound for more immersive gaming experiences. In-game communication is also enhanced by suppressing noise and unwanted sounds.
The Killer network chips will see improvements as network jitter will be reduced to avoid packet loss. The SteelSeries keyboard has been optimized as well to better resist wear and tear due to a new printing technique. The brighter backlight can be controlled via the built-in SteelSeries software.