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booj

MSI GT70 - 680M, 2x128Gb RAID, Killer NIC etc etc

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Hey guys,

 

For many years I have been privileged to play with some fine hardware, usually components most of the time, but this was the first opportunity i've had to look at a flagship gaming laptop, the GT70. This one was really fun.

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MSI have been making a big charge into the gaming notebook market recently, offering models to suit most budgets, from the affordable all AMD GX60 and mid range GE60 models all the way up to the GT70 which is the flagship model with a range of options including this beast, the GT70 0NE.

 

The GT70 series acts as a true desktop replacement. While it is a notebook, most users won't associate portability with a machine of this spec. Nevertheless, it can be moved easily enough thanks to a strong 9 cell battery. The lanners will enjoy showing this one off.

 

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Not bad at all :D

As a gaming laptop, perhaps the most relevant part is the Nvidia GTX 680M.

 

The GTX680M is a 28nm GK104 Kepler GPU, the same as a desktop GTX670 with the exception of reduced clock speeds. Both pack 1344 'Cuda' cores but the mobile counterpart operates at reduced core and memory clock speeds (771/1800MHz vs about 915 to a bit over 1000Mhz for desktop 670 OC models.) It also ships with 4gb of VRAM, so you are free to crank the eye candy to the max. Sticking this class of GPU into the GT70 makes for a potent gaming notebook to say the least. :D

 

Here is a shot of the GPU under load. Unlike the desktop Keplers, the 680M does not feature turbo boost. Also note the voltage is lower at 1.01v vs a desktop variant. It runs a bit hotter than a desktop Kepler, but that is to be expected with limited cooling capacity vs a 670. At idle, clocks and voltages drop right down and the HD4000 IGP kicks in thanks to Nvidia's Optimus power saving technology.

 

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I was quite impressed with the screen. at 17.3 inches, the dot pitch is finer than you would see on typical 24-27" LCDs. It gives the impression of greater clarity and detail. The brightness is uniform with good horizontal viewing angles. Of course, an external monitor or two can be used and easily driven thanks to the GPU grunt on hand.

 

SteelSeries have an exclusive arrangement with MSI to provide keyboards for the G series models. Typing is as comfortable as one can expect from a notebook keyboard. Although not mechanical, the key resistance and solidity is pretty good. The GT70 ships with a piece of software to customize the colors and even patterns of the keyboard. Personally, I prefer a single, uniform color.

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Dynaudio provide the speakers for several models in the G Series range. Dynaudio are a Danish company responsible for some of the most exclusive speakers ever made (up to $125K!!!) The sound is decent, but most users are admittedly more likely to use headphones or connect to an external amplifier.

 

Gamers are always concerned about lag and ping times, so if the rest of your network is up to it, the GT70 has you covered thanks to a E2200 Killer NIC.

 

 

Benchmarks

 

x264 FHD

Although most folks will choose a desktop machine for 2D, CPU benchmarks, a system with the spec of the GT70 is no slouch at x264 encoding. I wanted to focus on the desktop 2600K comparison. The i7 3610QM is quite competitive against the 2600K at less than half the TDP.

 

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SSD Benchmarks

This spec GT70 has a pair of Memoright 128GB SSD's in RAID 0. This allows class leading storage performance, giving faster boot times, game and application loading times, and superior I/O performance not usually seen in a notebook computer. Oh yeah.. >1000MB/s

 

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http://imageshack.us/a/img706/9751/screen004qh.jpg

 

 

The GT70 is built for gaming and these benches will be the most interesting. I really need to get my hands on the latest COD or Medal of Honor.

 

Since everyone runs these benches, they are useful for comparison purposes.

 

3DMark Vantage

http://imageshack.us/a/img849/7467/3dmv.jpg

 

3DMark 11

 

http://img853.imageshack.us/img853/6825/3d11z.jpg

 

Heaven 3.0

 

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/7461/heavena.jpg

 

Stalker: Call of Pripyat is getting long in the tooth, but the Sunshaft test is still a stiff test even for high end systems.

 

http://imageshack.us/a/img198/1999/stalkercopo.jpg

 

 

Crysis 2 looks really good once you add in the high res texture packs and crank the eyecandy up. The GT70 with its 680M GPU has no problem running Crysis 2 at maximum settings.

http://imageshack.us/a/img526/3449/crysis2w.jpg

 

 

BF3

Ahh Battlefield 3. I choose the Going Hunting level because it is very consistent and I have a stack of data from the ~100sec sequence I use. 1080P on ultra setting is no problem with an average FPS of 48.5.

 

Although 3 games is not a large sample size, I am confident in saying that the GT70 with 680M can play any game at maximum settings.

 

The GT70 comes with an easy windows recovery system. Pressing F3 at boot allows for an easy restoration to the shipped state, complete with all software and drivers integrated. Definitely an easy method for the less techy types.

 

Playing with the GT70 was a whole load of fun, not the usual toy I play with. Now all I have to do is convince my Boss to let me keep it haha.. not much chance of that!

 

Depending on the options selected, the GT70 is about as good as it gets from a portable computer. It really does provide high end desktop performance in a portable form factor. It doesn't do anything by half measure and is big, bold and brash!

 

More info at the MSI AU website

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After this blatant ad I can say with some assuredness that I will never buy one

Aside from not being into gaming laptops whatsoever, I agree. What kind of person would buy a laptop after these schenanigans?

 

I mean, OP, at least post in chunks so we think it's happening live and maybe customise the posts to include interaction with forum peeps?

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Wow, serious stuff guys sheesh..

 

Why would you call this shenanigans? These are straight up results. Im not giving it a 10/10 rating (or any rating or goldblowme award) or saying it will invite you up for coffee or comparing it to anything else. Its a very simple showcase with a few benches and rundown of the features. Some people are genuinely interested in actual results, that you don't get in mag style reviews.

 

Regarding the structure, I cannot post too many images in one thread, and the forum will not let me double post without merging..

 

Look, I can understand there's a bit of cynicism, but really, you might be surprised at what passes for an independent forum review these days. At least I am upfront with my affiliation. I am not here for some bs attempt to make you buy MSI. You are free to take it or leave it.. which is kind of obvious i would have thought..

 

I will take on board the interactive part. I don't have the unit on hand but when i get it back i will be happy to run a certain test or game/setting if you like.

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Actually I didn't see you being upfront about who you were at all. I was done with, what felt like, and advert set in the style of a forum post/review, about half way through. A long time before I would have got to your tag line. It doesn't matter if you are saying if it is the best product or not. Some ads don't mention a thing about a product (just look at apple ads). It's more about you giving the product exposure with a positive spin. The thing is that as a rep you can't write up something like this without it leaving a bad taste in the mouth of the reader, and of advertisers who pay for banner ads and the like.

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Jeez lay off guys according to http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?s...t&p=1046640 it's ok with the boss and he does have MSI Australia in his tag.

Although perhaps it's time for the forum to have a custom class of IT Rep or something, like Whirlpool does. Given the demise of the mag we will probably see more of this sort of stuff on the forums so people can get their tech fix.

 

Although the notebook is not for me it's a good read booj. :-)

 

Nice to see MSI are still kicking and stretching the boundaries a bit.

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After this blatant ad I can say with some assuredness that I will never buy one

Aside from not being into gaming laptops whatsoever, I agree. What kind of person would buy a laptop after these schenanigans?

 

I mean, OP, at least post in chunks so we think it's happening live and maybe customise the posts to include interaction with forum peeps?

 

"This is an ad" at the top would be a nice gesture of honesty too.

 

Starting an ad with "Hey guys," doesn't make it less of an ad, despite that being the intention.

 

Or [AD] at the beginning of the thread title, so we can decide whether or not to click on it.

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Its possible he was given the machine to do a community review and was asked to post it anywhere he could.

 

I was given the same option when I reviewed a little ITX case, unfortunately most of the other forums that I am not an active member of took my post the same way you guys are taking this and my reviews were deleted.

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Its possible he was given the machine to do a community review and was asked to post it anywhere he could.

 

I was given the same option when I reviewed a little ITX case, unfortunately most of the other forums that I am not an active member of took my post the same way you guys are taking this and my reviews were deleted.

He's actually an MSI Rep though.

 

I really don't mind if company reps want to share their wares, or come on to forums and offer advice or support, but they need to be upfront and honest about who they are, and what they're doing.

 

Similar posts from those "Super Happy Funtime Video Converter X9 Ultra Pro" type people were promptly deleted as spam, and they were all "OMG hay guise I totally 'found' this video converter software and heres a quick tutorial on using so go buy it, oh heres the link which is also in my sig for some reasons lololololol! XD"

 

I reckon that if instead of this...

 

Hey guys,

 

For many years I have been privileged to play with some fine hardware, usually components most of the time, but this was the first opportunity i've had to look at a flagship gaming laptop, the GT70. This one was really fun.

...the post opened like this...

 

Hey guys,

 

I've worked at MSI for some time, but recently I actually got the chance to take home one of the high end laptops we sell and mess around with it for a bit. I had some real fun with it too, here's some screenies

...then most of us would have been more OK with it.

 

It's a pretty fine line to tread, I think, but one of the things we like on the Atomic forums is honesty. The same way we like NSFW tags, I think an AD tag is in line with that honesty idea.

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Ah fair enough, if hes a Rep then he certainly needs to make himself known, Dino from TeamAU represents Gigabyte and hes always been very good at opening his posts and letting people know who hes posting for.

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Hmm I'm inclined to agree with the custom rank and a prefix of [AD] or whatever else.

 

booj... even though i don't think you are going to return to the forum at all (which i will get to in a minute) but it would be much better if you came in and said I'm from xyz company and here is a new laptop we want to show you.

 

But you probably won't see this again as most of the reps i see in forums jump in post an enormous post in regards to whatever product they are trying to flog and disappear.

 

THB it would be nice if a rep came in and just had a chat in regards to it, to me this laptop actually looks fairly decent.

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Xen i see your point, but keep in mind he has posted a couple of times previously.

 

He may be a rep, but it also seems that he has gone through a considerable amount of trouble to do this review, and he did it quite nicely, I am informed.

 

I whole-heatedly agree that he should have put something on saying that he is a rep, and that this may be interpreted as an add. But i think to go to this much trouble kinda puts him up as an enthusiast, which is what this is all about right? For that reason i'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt. He should know about websites like Logicblueone, that sells incredibly cheap enthusiast range laptops with good service, most of them not MSI, but some of them are.

Again, i agree what everyone is saying about posting some kind of tag. But i actually liked his post... Maybe I'm the only one.

 

I've had a lot of dealings with reps in the past, they know how to target a specific audience, I think he knows he mightn't get much sales out of this forum.

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Wow, I didn't expect to open such a can of worms :o

 

Actually, I am a former professional reviewer, with VRzone most recently, that is what got me my job with MSI.. it pays better than a reviewer :p

I was even considered for a reviewing position with Atomic about 18 months ago, but that would have meant a relocation to Sydney.

 

I totally understand the POV that its an ad, and in the purest sense, it is. But I am an enthusiast first and foremost. I am one of the highest ranked Australians on HWbot, even though I have not been active much in the last 12 months. I am quite well known at places like OCAU and amongst the Australian OC community.

 

Notebooks are a a little different, they are 'as is' so it makes doing a preview/review/showcase/ad whatever you want to call it a little difficult. And this particular one is difficult to frame any other way. BTW.. MSI do pay for advertising with Atomic, although I am not sure of the current status of that.

 

Components have the OC viewpoint or a situation like my next one.. a look at 7850 PE and 7870 Hawk with the 12.11 driver compared to older driver. This means that is is still a MSI themed thread, but of much interest to others interested in the driver improvements. Most focus has been on the 7950/7970.

 

I honestly try to avoid the standard marketing line and present useful information. I know its a fine line to walk.. believe me I know. I just hope that you guys understand that im not giving it a rating or comparing or giving price etc.. its just another thread for the few who are interested in the GT70.. its a low volume product that is of no interest to a big chunk of people, but those who are interested should like to see actual screenshots of games at max settings,even though the sample size is small.

 

I have no problem having a big ass rep or thread tag.. afaik, there are no font options for signatures on this forum, on OCAU it is much more prominent.

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Just as i thought. Again, i did find your post informative, and enjoyed how much attention to detail you put into it, I just think maybe they're upset because of the POV of an advertisement.

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I thought most people knew that booj was an MSI rep... He doesn't give pricing, he doesn't give links to buy it, it's just a review and a bit of a showcase as far as I am concerned..

 

I've got no problem with your posting your reviews here, keep it up, don't mind the "get off my lawn" crowd.

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As everyone else mentioned, I read a few paragraphs and saw no indication who you were - and did not know your name from anywhere else, nor previous posts. To me you seemed just another spambot with a pre-formatted post that you were busily cutting and pasting across the interwebs.

 

Yes you didn't give the laptop a score, but you certainly didn't mention any negatives. You might not be spamming, but you certainly framed the post as a review - scores or no, your words are what matters to most atomicans.

 

If you're really more concerned about sharing information with people who are interested, just ask them in your post. "Please ask anything about this laptop and I'll do my best as an MSI employee to answer!"

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The GT70 comes with an easy windows recovery system. Pressing F3 at boot allows for an easy restoration to the shipped state, complete with all software and drivers integrated. Definitely an easy method for the less techy types.

To ignore all the bullshit in this thread, I'll ask a question about this.

 

Since this laptop has RAID0ed SSDs, where is the recovery partition? Is it on the array or on the 750GB hard drive? Because having RAID0 as your system drive is not a good idea for reliability (twice the chance of failure), it is more likely that a system recovery will have to be used at some point. If it's present on the RAID and that falls over, are you screwed? Or is it 'safe' as a partition on the HDD?

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The GT70 comes with an easy windows recovery system. Pressing F3 at boot allows for an easy restoration to the shipped state, complete with all software and drivers integrated. Definitely an easy method for the less techy types.

To ignore all the bullshit in this thread, I'll ask a question about this.

 

Since this laptop has RAID0ed SSDs, where is the recovery partition? Is it on the array or on the 750GB hard drive? Because having RAID0 as your system drive is not a good idea for reliability (twice the chance of failure), it is more likely that a system recovery will have to be used at some point. If it's present on the RAID and that falls over, are you screwed? Or is it 'safe' as a partition on the HDD?

 

The recovery partition is on the secondary HDD. You also have the option to burn it to DVDs.

 

Cheers

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Not that you'd use an image, there's that many problems with most of them, that you're probably better off doing a fresh install + load drivers. It'd probably run much smoother too.

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