Introduction and First Impressions
The MSI GT72 Dominator Pro G gaming laptop is a beast of a portable, with a GeForce GTX 980M graphics card and a 5th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor within its massive frame. And this iteration of the GT72 features NVIDIA's G-SYNC technology, which should help provide smooth gameplay on its 75 Hz IPS display.
The gaming laptop market is filled with options at just about any price you can imagine (as long as your imagination starts at around $1000), and there are seemingly limitless combinations of specs and minute configuration differences even within a particular brand’s offering. A few names stand out in this market, and MSI has created a product meant to stand tall against the likes of Alienware and ASUS ROG. And it doesn’t just stand tall, it stands wide - and deep for that matter. Running about the size of home plate on a regulation baseball diamond (well, approximately anyway), this is nearly 8 ½ lbs of PC gaming goodness.
Not everyone needs a 17-inch notebook, but there’s something awesome about these giant things when you see them in person. The design of this GT72 series is reminiscent of an exotic sports car (gaming laptops in general seem to have fully embraced the sports car theme), and if you’re considering completely replacing a desktop for gaming and all of your other computing the extra space it takes up is more than worth it if you value a large display and full keyboard. Doubtless there are some who would simply be augmenting a desktop experience with a supremely powerful notebook like this, but for most people laptops like this are a major investment that generally replaces the need for a dedicated PC tower.
What about the cost? It certainly isn’t “cheap” considering the top-of-the-line specs, and price is clearly the biggest barrier to entry with a product like this - far beyond the gargantuan size. Right off the bat I’ll bring up this laptop’s $2099 retail price - and not because I think it’s high. It’s actually very competitive as equipped. And in addition to competitive pricing MSI is also ahead of the curve a bit with its adoption of the 5th-Gen Core i7 Broadwell mobile processors, while most gaming laptops are still on Haswell. Broadwell’s improved efficiency should help with battery life a bit, but your time away from a power plug is always going to be limited with gaming laptops!
Subject: General Tech | June 25, 2015 - 01:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, rumour
In response to the news yesterday that ECS would be withdrawing from the DIY motherboard market, Sunny Yang, President of ECS released a statement denying any accuracy to that rumour. He cites their participation in Computex where they showed off some of their new LEET gaming motherboard in addition to the LIVA mini-PC which received far more attention from the press. They will still have a lot of struggling to do to take market from ASRock, Gigabyte and ASUS, not to mention MSI. Here is to hoping their new products stand out and that their Dragon gaming Ethernet solution really does help with latency.
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD: We're not splitting our gfx and servers biz, ignore all the rumours @ The Register
- Tinba malware that can update itself uncovered by Malwarebytes @ The Inquirer
- Whoops, there goes my data! Hold onto your privates in the Dropbox era @ The Register
- Android accounts for 97 percent of all mobile malware @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft releases free Office apps for half of all Android phones @ The Register
- NVIDIA Starts Supplying Open-Source Hardware Reference Headers @ Phoronix
- Red Hat brings PaaS Linux Docker Containers with OpenShift Enterprise 3 @ The Inquirer
- New Manufacturing Technique Halves Cost of Lithium-Ion Batteries @ Slashdot
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 19, 2015 - 01:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: TwinFrozr V, r9 390x, msi, GAMING 8G, factory overclocked, amd
For their R9 390X GAMING 8G card, MSI has introduced the TwinFrozr V cooling solution and built the card using high-c solid capacitors along with a custom PCB. This particular model is factory overclocked by 50MHz on the GPU and 100MHz on the VRAM bring the clocks to 1.1GHz and 6.1GHz. [H]ard|OCP tested the new card out and proclaimed it to be great for 1440p gaming but not so much for 4K, at least on its own. In a Crossfire configuration the horsepower will be enough to push 4K and the 8GB of memory will truly show off its use, something it does not have a chance to do at 1440p. They will be revisiting this card in the near future to provide overclocking results, which could prove to be very interesting if power consumption and heat production can be kept to reasonable levels.
Also, we have been informed than nobody does FCAT testing anymore so any evidence contrary to that opinion you see in Ryan's review must therefore be an hallucination.
"We've got an MSI R9 390X GAMING video card with 8GB of VRAM to put up against a Radeon R9 290X and GeForce GTX 980. Find out what the new AMD Radeon R9 390X is made of, and if the MSI R9 390X GAMING 8G video card can compete with GeForce GTX 980 performance, you might be surprised."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- MSI R9 390X Gaming 8 GB @ techPowerUp
- Radeon R9 380 @ HardwareHeaven
- MSI R9 380 Gaming 2G Review @ OCC
- MSI R9-390 Gaming 8G – AMD 300 series with a custom kick from MSI @ Bjorn3d
- EVGA GTX 980Ti SC ACX 2.0 + Review, Titan X has a Son @ Bjorn3d
Subject: Motherboards | June 16, 2015 - 01:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, X99, X99A MPower
MSI's X99A MPower board sports the new USB 3.1 but not the new plugs if you were hoping for USB ports that do not have an orientation. Depending on the CPU installed, he four PCIe 16x slots can support up to three GPUs at once if you use the M.2 port, otherwise four cards can be run. The Realtek ALC1150 7.1 codec is compatible with S/PDIF and provides optical out as well as 5 mini-jacks for speakers. [H]ard|OCP preferred manually overclocking to the use of the OC Genie or the Command Center software and two of the reviewers experience some quirky behaviour which prevented the board from winning an award but once the settings were tweaked the board performed admirably.
"MSI’s X99A MPower promises to deliver a ton of features at a reasonable price. SATA Express, full speed M.2 support, and USB 3.1 compatibility are all examples of what this motherboard has to offer. The MSI MPower series has never disappointed us before, so we have high hopes for this motherboard."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte X99-Gaming 5P @ Kitguru
- ASUS TUF X99 Sabertooth @ eeTeknix
- ASRock X99E-ITX/ac Mini-ITX @ Kitguru
- ASRock Fatal1ty Z97M Killer µATX Mainbord @ HardwareOverclock
- ASRock USB 3.1: A Quick Hands-on Test @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | June 4, 2015 - 02:22 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: zotac, video, titan x, thunderbolt 3, SSD 750, podcast, ocz, nvidia, msi, micron, Intel, hbm, g-sync, Fiji, computex, amd, acer, 980 Ti
PC Perspective Podcast #352 - 06/04/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the GTX 980 Ti, News from Computex, AMD Fiji Leaks and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 2:02:45
Week in Review:
News item of interest:
1:57:20 Steam Allows Refunds
Subject: Motherboards | June 3, 2015 - 05:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, z97, h97, LGA1150, broadcom
If you had any worries about being able to use the new Broadwell processors on your LGA 1150 board you can feel much better after this press release from MSI. They have announce full support for Intel's new processors when they arrive on the market, after applying an update to your motherboards Click BIOS 4.
MSI, leading in motherboard design, is proud to announce that our Z97 & H97 motherboards fully support the 5th Generation Intel® Core™ processors! With the latest BIOS update, current MSI Z97 & H97 motherboards are completely compatible with the 5th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, and able to unleash your system’s full performance. Committed to ensuring compatibility and performance, the MSI R&D team is making sure you never have to worry about your MSI Z97 & H97 motherboard supporting the latest generation of Intel® Core™ processors. If you want to fully enjoy all the advantages of the 5th Generation Intel® Core™ processors, MSI Z97 & H97 motherboards are definitely your best choice.
Click BIOS 4, the highly-awarded UEFI design
MSI Click BIOS 4 is optimized for the 5th Generation Intel® Core™ processors. The highly awarded design is reliable, easy to use, and able to unleash your system’s performance. Besides providing great performance and stability, MSI Click BIOS 4 is recognized as an extraordinary piece of kit which allows you to fully customize your PCs setup.
Subject: Networking, Shows and Expos | June 2, 2015 - 12:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: msi, killer nic, killer, computex 2015, computex, 802.11ac
Killer Networking has developed several networking solutions, focused on gamers, over the last decade or so. Ryan reviewed their first product way back in 2006, and he found it had some merit but struggled when quantifying it, especially to the price tag that it bore. Many years later, Qualcomm picked them up and their technology found a few design wins, especially with Gigabyte motherboards. They also branched out into wireless networking, a segment that undeniably could benefit from innovation. They are also, now, under the Rivet Networks brand, which is listed as an “Authorized Design Center” for Qualcomm.
Today, they are announcing the Killer Wireless-AC 1535 Networking Adapter. This brings their technology to the 802.11ac standard. It includes features like DoubleShow Pro, which allows Windows to balance network traffic between wireless and wired networks. It also allows the user to monitor their wireless traffic, even providing an interface to throttle or outright disable certain applications from using the internet. They are mostly promoting their “ExtremeRange” technology, which uses the MU-MIMO standard of 802.11ac, along with beamforming and two signal amplifiers, to provide high bandwidth at longer ranges.
The Killer Wireless-AC 1535 has received a few design wins, this time with MSI. It will be available in the MSI GT72 and MSI GT80 gaming laptops, as well as the MSI X99A GODLIKE GAMING motherboard. Thankfully, they are not adopting MSI's love of uppercase letters.
Subject: Motherboards | June 2, 2015 - 09:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: X99A GODLIKE GAMING, RGB, msi, motherboard, Intel X99, gaming, computex 2015, computex
In the spirit of being un-subtle (and writing things in all-caps) MSI has introduced its new ultra high-end X99 platform motherboard, the X99A GODLIKE GAMING.
MSI says the X99A GODLIKE GAMING is the “world’s first RGB LED motherboard, supporting more than 2000 colors and many style presets such as breathing, flashing and waving”. Flashing and waving? Two things my motherboard has always needed. And breathing? Well, we all have to do that.
In all seriousness however (that name notwithstanding) the X99A GODLIKE GAMING looks like a really interesting product for a gaming market permeated by RGB-adorned peripherals and enclosures.
“The X99A GODLIKE GAMING employs the latest Audio Boost 3 PRO technology to deliver crystal clear sound quality and lossless audio compression. For efficient data transfer, Turbo M.2, SATA Express and USB 3.1 are supported. The X99A GODLIKE GAMING also adopts the latest Killer DoubleShot-X3 PRO. Smart teaming with two Killer Ethernet chips and Killer 1535 Wi-Fi module, X99A GODLIKE GAMING can provide up to 2.867Gbps of network bandwidth for hardcore gamers. The Mystic Light, another special feature, lets users easily control the LED light effects with the MSI Gaming APP on OS and the Mystic Light APP on Android mobile devices.”
No details yet on pricing or availability for this “god-like” motherboard just yet.
Subject: Mobile | June 2, 2015 - 09:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: notebook, msi, Intel Core i7, gaming notebook, computex 2015, computex, Broadwell
MSI has unveiled a refreshed notebook lineup featuring the new quad-core Intel Broadwell mobile processors.
Broadwell launched as a dual-core only option, which resulted in some high-performance notebooks opting to stay with Haswell CPUs. With the introduction of quad-core versions of the new Broadwell chips for mobile, MSI has jumped on the bandwagon to offer a few different options. Of the 20 new notebooks offered by MSI, 18 of them are powered by Intel Core i7 chips.
Intel’s 5th Generation Core i7 processor powers 18 MSI laptop models, including the GT80 Titan SLI, GT72 Dominator, GS70 Stealth, GS60 Ghost, GE72 Apache, GE62 Apache, GP72 Leopard, GP62 Leopard, and the newly announced PX60 Prestige. Available immediately, all gaming notebook models come with an array of superior technologies, including Killer DoubleShot Pro for lag-less gaming, SteelSeries Gaming Keyboard for exceptional customization and feel, and more.
The flagship GT80 Titan SLI has these impressive specs, including an Intel Core i7-5950HQ processor:
GT80 Titan SLI
- Screen: 18.4” 1920x1080 WideView Non-Reflection
- CPU: Intel Core i7-5950HQ, 2.9 - 3.7 GHz
- Chipset: HM87
- Graphics: Dual GTX 980M SLI, 8GB GDDR5 VRAM each
- Memory: 24GB (8GB x3) DDR3L 1600MHz (4 SoDIMM slots, max 32GB)
- Storage: 256GB Super RAID (128GB M.2 SATA x2, RAID 0) + 1TB 7200 RPM HDD
- Optical: BD Burner
- LAN: Killer Gaming Network
- Wireless: Killer N1525 Combo (2x2 ac), BT 4.1
- Card Reader: SDXC
- Video Output: HDMI 1.4, mDP v1.2 x2
- MSRP: $3799.99
The GT80 Titan SLI gaming notebook
1920x1080 with this model seems low, especially considering the obscene amount of VRAM (8GB per card on a laptop? Really?). Still, this notebook has excellent external monitor support with dual mini-DisplayPort outputs, though HDMI is limited to version 1.4.
MSI has also introduced a refreshed GT72 Dominator with NVIDIA G-Sync (covered here), and this new version also features USB 3.1. And for the more business-minded there is the premium PX60 Prestige, now refreshed with Broadwell Core i7 as well.
These refreshed notebook models will be “available immediately” from MSI’s retail partners.
Subject: Mobile | June 2, 2015 - 09:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Tobii Technology, msi, GTX 980M, gt72, gaming notebook, g-sync, eye-tracking, computex 2015, computex
MSI has announced a new version of the GT72 gaming notebook featuring NVIDIA G-SYNC technology.
Like the current GT72 Dominator Pro G, this features NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M graphics, though this announced version has 8GB of GDDR5 (vs. the previous 4GB) powering its 17.3” display. The G-SYNC implementation with this notebook will allow for variable refresh between 30 - 75 Hz, and as the existing G72 is a 1920x1080 notebook also featuring a GTX 980M it might seem unnecessary to implement G-SYNC, though this would ensure a smoother experience with the newest games at very high detail settings.
Based on the current GT72 Dominator Pro G we can also expect an Intel Broadwell Core i7 mobile processor (the i7-5700HQ in the current model), and these notebooks support up to 32GB of DDR3L 1600MHz memory, as well as up to 4 M.2 SSDs in RAID 0.
MSI is also announcing development, in partnership with eye-tracking company Tobii Technology, of a “fully integrated eye-tracking notebook” for gamers, and MSI will have prototype notebooks at Computex to demonstrate the technology.
We’ll post additional details when available. Right now full specs, as well as pricing and availability, have not been revealed.