122 of 126 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2013
After several days of getting to know the laptop, I decided to write a review. I apologize for the lengthy review, but there was no way I could just put in a few sentences for a large purchase such as this.
First of all, I'd like to say that the price point for this laptop is amazingly good. Sure, it could have been cheaper, but you'd lose all of the features it had!
Performance wise, it's a great laptop. It dynamically adjusts the clock speeds depending on the load, meaning you'll save a lot of battery. I've seen it run as low as 700 MHz, and I've seen it go all the way up to 3400 MHz The Haswell processor handles it very well, resulting in a very little loss of performance even when you leave it idling and decide to start opening up programs.
When you need the performance, you can expect it with this laptop.
Now moving on to the graphics part - The included NVIDIA GTX 765M is nothing to scoff at. Granted, it's a laptop, so you shouldn't expect it to perform as well as a gaming desktop. For all intents and purposes, this card will run everything you need at 1080p in medium to high settings, or sometimes ultra settings! I was able to play several games in 1080p ranging from medium to ultra settings with an absolute minimum of 60 fps.
NVIDIA Optimus is another cool thing on this laptop, it will automatically determine which graphics processor to use. When you want battery life, you can set it so that it'll run on Intel's integrated graphics unit. However, when you want the performance, it'll switch over to the NVIDIA GTX 765M. You can actually see which mode the laptop is running on based on the color of the power button's LED. Blue for integrated, Orange for NVIDIA.
Of course, you can always override this and set it to permanently use integrated graphics or NVIDIA graphics. If needed, you can also configure each program individually to run on integrated graphics or NVIDIA graphics.
I have to comment about the keyboard. When I looked at the pictures, I was concerned that some buttons were cut short (Such as Right Shift, Enter, and Backspace buttons), but after handling the laptop, it proved that it was of no issue. The backlighting, while it didn't look anything like in the pictures, was still decent. It was sufficiently bright, and there was 3 modes. The first 2 modes being on/off, and the third being half lit. Apparently the purpose of this was to illuminate only the keys you'd use during gaming.
The keyboard itself was a pleasure to type on, sharp enough to receive feedback, but soft enough to have that cushioned feel. Also as an added bonus, the wrist area (the space below the keyboard) stays very cool even while playing games!
The display is perfect, there was no dead pixels. Excellent quality and color. The viewing angles are wide enough for me, so I don't have anything to complain here.
The battery life on this laptop is good, but not amazing. I haven't really tested it in different scenarios though. However, at full brightness, I was able to watch a 2 hour long movie before it died. However, I would expect the battery life to dramatically increase when you reduce the brightness and do less intensive tasks.
The temperatures are decent, idling at around 40-45c for the processor and the graphics card. I did run a prime95 stress test, as I wanted to see how hot the processor could get. The CPU did go up to 93c, but did not go beyond that. I don't expect the CPU to get this hot with normal usage or even gaming for that matter. The GPU ran considerably cooler than the CPU though. The hottest temperature I've ever seen it reach was at around 75c.
Now, moving on to the cons:
- Even though I know that this is a gaming laptop, the battery life could have been better. I'm really surprised that they only put a 6-Cell battery in this laptop. It was probably to maintain the slim form factor, but still, I feel like this is something they could have improved on.
- The USB 3.0 ports are finicky. On the first USB 3.0 port, it would only perform at USB 2.0 speeds, on the other port, it'll perform at USB 3.0 speeds, but disconnect constantly (USB 2.0 devices doesn't disconnect however). A firmware update fixed the USB 2.0 speeds, but it also switched ports I was having issues with, so the first port is now having the disconnections, while the second one works flawlessly. I suspect that this is a firmware issue, and might be fixed at a later date. However, it's not a big issue. It seems like a common problem, not with MSI products, but with USB 3.0 in general.
Also, on Amazon's product description page, it said that there was 3 USB 3.0 ports and 2 USB 2.0 ports. This is incorrect, there are only *2* USB 3.0 ports.
- The "Cooler Boost" function on this laptop barely did anything. It might have knocked the temperatures down by 1 or 2 degrees, but nothing to be amazed about.
- This thing attracts a lot of fingerprints. The area below the keyboard, and on the sides of the keyboard, and the lid all attract fingerprints.
Considering the positive aspects of this laptop, coupled with few (very) minor annoyances, this is a great laptop for the money. I would suggest this notebook to anyone who's looking for a laptop that has the performance of a desktop, and the portability of a laptop.
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2013
This laptop is amazing! Super fast, looks great, solid build. I have been using 17" HD laptops for years and this is the best I have ever used. I bought an miniPCI-E SSD card and used Acronis to move the system image over to it and now it boots SUPER-FAST! The only issues I originally had were figuring out how to scroll with the touch pad. It's like a Macbook, you use two fingers and drag in the reverse direction you want to scroll. Took me forever to figure it out, but it works great. I also couldn't figure out how to force the video card to be the Geforce versus the Intel HD one, so the Windows Experience Index was pretty low (comparatively) until I went in to the Nvidia control panel and changed the 3D default settings. Then, it was zooming (though, no real need for it to always use discrete graphics, so I switched it back).
In the end, everything is great. I love the separate button for the illuminated keyboard and another for the "cooling down mode" which amps up the fans and lowers the laptop temp by 10 or so degrees.
The keyboard feels great. The touchpad is huge and works well (after getting used to it) and there is VERY little bloatware. The MSI utility for creating boot discs also works great (I created a USB key and 4xDVDs).
If you're in the market for a 1200.00-1300.00 performance laptop this is the one.
The screen is beautiful as is the chassis. All around, the best laptop I've ever had.
45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2013
(Updated at Bottom: 08/07/2013)
What can I say, the price you pay for the amount of features, specs and overall quality that you get out of this laptop is just unbeatable. Its no wonder I couldn't find this laptop at Microcenter, Bestbuy, or anywhere else; and they were selling like hotcakes online. Its amazing.
I'll go through the pros and cons (very few) of this beauty.
- 17.3 Inch Screen running Natively at 1920x1080 (1080P). The Anti-Glare and Anti-Reflective work as advertised.
- i7 Generation 4 Technology, boy its fast.
- SteelSeries Mechanical Keyboard BUILT-IN to this laptop (with light-up keys) (Detection speed is amazing. Also has a Turbo-Fan button which pushes heat out quickly from the inner-workings.
- 2 USB 3.0 ports for your fast external drives & 2 more USB 2.0 ports for other devices.
- Quallcomm Killer Network Manager included with this laptop (keeps you lag and Packet-loss free)
- 12 Gigs of RAM (Multitasking galore) + Adobe Premiere Pro and Cinema 4D work without any lag
- Discrete Graphics (GTX 765M) (Plays everything on high with great frame-rates (60+), plays a few games on Ultra with 60+ frames, but most with acceptable frames (30~45FPS))
- VGA & HDMI out for multiple TVs, resolutions and devices.
- Bluetooth Syncing with Mobile Devices and Storage
- 750Gigs of space (Partitioned into 500Gigs for System and 250 for a data partition) (@7200 RPM vs 5800RPM). Included with IntelRapidStorage Technology which actually makes the drive perform closer to a 10,000RPM level than 7200.
- Cools well, even without a Cooling Pad (though I'm still getting one)
- No bloatware (Useless or advertising programs that take up space, memory and are annoying)
- BluRay Combo Drive (How could they do this at $1,300?)
- No Solid State Drive; SSD. (Would improve performance greatly). If you are proficient at computers, I would suggest purchasing a 128GB SSD and installing it into this laptop, then cloning the system partition to it. It will make this laptop blazingly fast. I'm thinking of doing this myself soon. If you don't know how to do it, and you'd really like the performance out of an SSD, ask your local tech at one of the big stores to do it for you. Its worth the cost.
- Windows 8 64-Bit (I'm getting used to it, but still prefer 7)
- Low Battery Life (2.5 Hours). Its a gaming laptop though, so its to be expected. Tip: If you want your battery to maintain its maximum performance, disconnect it after its fully charged if you don't have to go anywhere with your laptop. The laptop runs fine without a battery if its plugged in.
The battery is fine for around the house and a short trip somewhere. Otherwise, if you want to go out and game, bring your charger. If you have the need for long battery life and mobile gaming on-the-go, go ahead and get a Razer Edge Pro.
For this price, there are surprisingly few cons with some very high quality parts and software included. MSI did a great job bringing together one of the best multi-manufacturer laptop builds I have ever seen. It looks sleek, it feels sleek and it runs quick and light (software wise and literally). I'd say build a desktop if you don't really need everything to be all-in-one, but the fact remains that its a very tempting buy. You could build only a little better desktop for the same amount of money ($1,300).
Before you take this update harshly, let me say that I still think this laptop is very well made, works well, and is extremely high quality for an attractive price. If I could, I would buy it again. There are just a few issues that need to be addressed to make it perfect.
After a few days with this laptop, figuring out all the little nuances, there are a few minor things that you should do to have it running optimally for games. Because of this, I have lowered my rating to four stars. This takes away from the ease-of-use, which otherwise would make it 5 stars.
MSI should update their system image for their Killer E2200 drivers.
#1: Be sure that you always have the Power Options set to High Performance. Otherwise, this laptop WILL throttle the graphics card. I can't tell you how many times I've thought that something was wrong with the graphics card because of laggy games, only to discover that I had the Power Options on Power Saver. Also, make sure that the laptop is PLUGGED IN with the charger. The graphics card will throttle heavily otherwise. This makes high-end mobile gaming on the battery impossible.
#2: When you first get the laptop, uninstall the Qualcomm Killer E2200 Software, and get an official update for "Embedded Ethernet" for Windows 8 64-Bit from their official website: [...] This is simple and easy. The current driver that shipped with this image causes a blue screen at times. This will fix that issue.
#3: Buy a Laptop Cooling Pad. I'm not fully sure that its necessary, but I think it would contribute to the overall health and longevity of this system. It DOES have a high-end, heat producing card and processor in it, and at times it does seem to get pretty hot. The cooling pad I use (Cooler Master NotePal X-Slim Ultra-Slim Laptop Cooling Pad) has helped keep the heat just coming out of the vents where its supposed to.
Because of the blue-screen and having to have the laptop plugged in to play any high end games, and a possibility of needing a cooling pad, I've lowered my rating to 4 stars. That isn't to say those 3 things took away from this laptop, I don't mind plugging it in to play high end games or having a cooling pad, or even fixing a bluescreen issue, but for others understanding of this product that its not quite a mobile gaming laptop and it does have an issue with a driver that causes system failure, and that it could overheat, I must lower the rating.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2013
This is my first Gaming Laptop. I am an avid gamer but never had the big bucks to spend on a real Gaming Laptop. So keep in mind while reading this review, that this will help you if you are planning to buy an entry level Gaming Laptop. I was planning to buy Alienware during the Black Friday sale. However the config offered by Alienware was no where close to MSI GE70 ( which I bought for $1,100) and to top that, Alienware 17" laptop was priced at 1350 (Black Friday Sale). So that's the price part.
I was very excited to play COD Ghosts, Assassins Creed, Battlefield and other FPS (First person shooter) games on it. The moment I started playing COD Ghosts and all the graphics option turned to its highest, it still gave me an impressive 55 fps (frames per second). With Battlefield 4, it gave a little over 45 fps with all the graphics options running to its top and same with Assassins Creed Black Flag. Just in order to check the capacity of the RAM along with the CPU and GPU, I started COD Ghosts with Battlefield 4 and Max Payne 3 running in the background and the FPS dropped only a slight from 55 fps to 43 fps. And thats still very impressive. Usually Max Payne 3 wont even start or will take a hell of a time to start with other 2 games already running.
The data transfer speed between the drives is about 40MBps and that's a lot. The one I used to get on my earlier HP with 4GB RAM and AMD A6 was about 20-25 MBps.
The Backlit keyboard is also really awesome. At night when I am watching movies with lights off, these are such a help.
There is a Turbo Cooling fan which you can switch On/Off while playing games. You won't need it during your other activities (non-gaming softwares).
The in-built speakers are really cool, the audio is loud and the bass is good (considering a laptop speaker) and can be adjusted with the driver's equalizer.
The screen is really and truly Anti-Glare. Unless you sit directly opposite to a strong afternoon sun (where the Anti-glare will still be better than regular screens), the screen will not reflect anything.
Since its an i7 with 4th Gen, the processor is seriously up to the mark to handle anything you throw at it and the 12GB just adds to the smoothness.
The Windows startup is very quick and takes about 30-45 seconds (My earlier HP laptop with 4GB and AMD A6 had Win 7 and it used to take about 1.5 min to start)
The Hard Disk is considerably fast compared to a 5400 rpm. There is a slight discrepancy between Amazon's USB Port Description and MSI's USB Port Description on their website. This laptop does not have 3 USB 3.0 Ports (as mentioned by Amazon) but only has 2 of those. Nevertheless, I had never used a 3.0 port before but I also bought a Portable Hard Drive from Walmart which is a 3.0 USB and the data transfer speed gives a feeling like the Portable is not an external but a part of the in-built hard drive (which is tremendous).
I had read a few review which said the laptop is too heavy but I did not feel it heavy at all. ofcourse, if you compare the weight of this with Mac Book, it will definitely feel heavy but if you compare it with a regular Dell or HP or Lenovo, its about the same (give or take half a pound).
Now for the fun part --- Cons:
It was difficult for me to jot down all the Cons since there are not that many that I have noticed but....
1. Even with Turbo Cooler, the laptop gets really hot and you will definitely need a Pillow or a Table to keep the laptop if you are playing Games and overclocking your CPU. The Additional Fan helps, but its definitely heats a lot.
2. On such an awesome laptop, Win 8 is really a waste (Its good for touch screen laptops but not for non-touch one's). I had to do a dual boot after I installed Win 7 (which I love) and I installed Fedora 19 as well. Fedora responds really well on this laptop.
Other than this, I haven't found a single con in it since I have started using it (Dec. 3rd).
If you are looking for an entry level gaming laptop with as much features as you can get, this is the one fro you.
Go for it!!!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2013
I have been an HP patron for years. Buying printers, touchsmart, touchpad, many many laptops, I felt it was time for a change. Why? Well, the ONLY reason I changed was this caught my eye. For a little bit more then the new Envy Haswell setup, this had everything that one had, except made for gamers by gamers.
I never really played PC games, in fact not a lot of games at all. The reason I wanted to buy a gaming laptop was because the hardware used in them are pretty much the top of the line. After researching the specs at the local store, I noticed this had many more options that the Envy line just didn't offer. And, it looked much nicer and much lighter!
To have a steelseries keyboard, ability to add 2 msata drives and use their proprietary SuperRAID, Killer network, 1080p, Matrix display (ability to have two external monitors and built in screen at the same time) just seemed to scratch the surface. I upgraded the wifi card to the new Intel 7260 AC/Combo card and noticed a huge bump in strength and speed swapping files with my home cloud system. It went from a wireless transfer speed of 5mb/s to over 30mb/s. Now that's crazy difference. Plus it picked up about 5 more signals and now is full dual band. (pick up an AC wireless router, it's worth the extra money if you stream any kind of video)
Let's talk games for a minute. I decided to buy a bunch of PC games to see what this thing can really do. After much research, I decided to replace the thermo compound on the GPU and CPU, add 2 120GB MSata Drives, and replace the hdd with my Samsung 830 256gb ssd. The thermo compound used was IC Diamond. The best of the best. Actual diamond particles to disperse heat better. I must mention the keyboard takes a little getting used to but remember it's designed for gamers. The subtle blue backlit is PERFECT!
The games I decided to buy were Splinter Cell Blacklist, Crysis 2, COD - Black Ops, Hitman Absolution, Assassin's Creed III, Arma 3, Crysis 3, and Metro Last Light. Not a single glitch using any of these games. The graphics are amazingly clear, the sound is amazing, and the portability of this (weighing less then 6lbs) was very good! Lightest in it's class for a 17". This still get's pretty hot but it's because the graphics are throttled to the max. Also, there is a supercooler button that allows you to turn it on. Also, my PS3 remote works perfect with these games. I have an XBOX 360 wireless remote and adaptor on the way for better mobility.
Some hate Windows 8, other's love it. I tend to agree with the later group. Bottom line is you won't regret buying this laptop. I was hesitant on investing $1300 on a laptop then an additional $300 for the msata/wifi card but now I wish I would have bought larger msata drives, and maybe the GT series. I'm just can't explain how good this laptop actually is. Buy it. Buy it, and just buy it.
Get one for your college bound kid (they will appreciate the gaming capabilities and still better then most to get the school work done), treat yourself to something very nice. You deserve it after working hard in life.
Job well done MSI. You made me a believer.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2013
1. SSD: it has a mSATA SSD slot inside, but you need to break the warranty sticker to unscrew it. I put in a Crucial m4 128GB SSD. Then, I first use a program "MSI BurnRecovery"preinstalled in this laptop (you should see its icon on the desktop) to burn 4 recovery DVDs; then I remove the hard drive, and use the recovery DVDs to install the win8 system on the SSD; then I put back the hard drive and format it. It's done.
2. Graphic: This high-definition screen shows every detail. The NVIDIA gpu turns on when I play World of Tanks (power button led turns orange). I could set the graphic feature of this game to the highest, but when playing, there are tiny pauses from time to time. Also, the left hand side of the laptop becomes very hot, even after switching on the extra fan.
3. Sound: The sound is great! but the building microphone is not loud enough (it's to the left of the build-in camera).
4. External devices: since the touch pad is really inconvenient, I tried to pair my blue-tooth logitech V470 mouse with this laptop, it seems to be ok, but after using it for about 20min, the mouse will suddenly get out of function, and several mins later, win8 system will show blue screen with "DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE". I don't know if other blue-tooth devices will have this issue too. So I bought a logitech M545 mouse, and it works well by now.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2014
Adding my review because many here are focused on gaming. I do not game, but use some intensive graphics and demanding programs for work. I tried a slightly less expensive solution (Asus X750JB) as a mobile desktop but was dissatisfied and went with this machine as an upgrade.
It solved two of three dissatisfactions from the lesser ASUS, namely having a backlit keyboard and reliable graphics (the previous 740M failed me). The third is Windows 8, and I am stuck with that, but had learned on the ASUS to live with the excellent Start8 interface.
Went on to add an mSATA SSD boot drive, and the migration was a terrible headache despite installing SSDs successfully four other times. The UEFI standard and Windows Boot Manager is to blame for the difficulties. Ultimately, got it working with 6 hours lost. I did notice that the stock 7200 drive gave a faster boot than the ASUS 5400, but compared to an SSD, it's really nothing. There are 2 mSATA expansion slots, a treat, and the 7200 remains.
Now my GE70 SSD machine blazes almost as fast as my hand built power PC tower. Because I do not game and am not currently overclocking, have not seen the extreme temperatures referenced in lower ratings. The display is very nice, rich and detailed, and I have no problem running dual 1080 monitors and/or the screen with an additional monitor. This machine advertises running three displays and no trouble believing that, but I was shooting for and found ultimate reliability on two (again the 740M in the ASUS crash-froze on me repeatedly).
The Steel Series keyboard has a better feel, response and reach compared to the ASUS, nice legible characters on keys, but the windows key is annoyingly on the right side and the often-used Delete and Alt keys are a misplaced and still having problems adjusting to both after 15 hours of use. Touch pad is standard as any other.
I suspect gamers might find this laptop very understated, it is not stylish by any measure and the glossy hard plastic top shows every smudge and has me concerned about scratches and even breaks; moreover, it has a sharp plastic edge seam. As a business desktop replacement I do not mind the understated nature... looks like an engineer's machine really.
Other plusses: this laptop is very light in weight for its specs, having opened the machine, it appears good quality components are in place here, arrived with a useable $1 dust slip cover which is more than I can say about many other laptops. Bloatware was typical and manageable. 12Gb is excessive but allows me to comfortably dedicate 4Gb to Ubuntu VM.
Other minuses: the battery life is pitiful, but I do not use the laptop on battery for any length of time, so not concerned. The BIOS is not great, seems perhaps it's interface was not created with English as a first language and BIOS update not as clean as other new generation machines.
Verdict: I found the laptop I was looking for. With the SSD ($79), the total package is a bit more expensive for what you get, and there are apparently many competitors in this range. MSI does not tout it's display enough, but it should, this is a top notch quality 17.3" display. If the machine remains reliable, I will be satisfied.
27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2013
Its an amazing system for those who want a reasonably price gaming laptop. Outstanding video, especially through HDMI to my 27" monitor and its own LCD has a great picture as well. I haven't had any problems playing Civilization V or Empire/Shogun Total War on this system either, temps haven't gone over 80C on the CPU. Yet, I am a little worried about the current temp levels to add in any other more graphics intensive games to the system. I have been seeing as high so far as 98C on the CPU while running handbrake, although the cooler boost keeps it under the 100C point. Makes me a little worried on the life expectancy of this system.
Once you get past the temps, though. This is a great portable gaming system for a lot of my strategy games. It will serve well as a secondary system as well, although I am pulling handbrake of it and will let my media server do all that work as the i3-3225 and the i7-4770MQ run similar run times. Of course, I have only had this system for a day and I will continue to test and update as I continue to play with it....Windows 8 is a royal PITA though! I wonder how well she will run with a 500GB Samsung 840 to replace to 750GB HD in the system. Oh, if you check MSI's website they do have drivers for Windows 7 on this system. Which is nice to know.
Alright, ran Windows Update...after finally finding the bloody thing. Once I did that the Intel video kicked in. Apparently, the system had the 765M running at all time and that increased the temps considerably. Now it idles between 50C and 60C unless you use certain programs and then the 765M kicks in. Much nicer, doesn't worry me as much now. Removed a lot of the trial software (Norton Virus, WinZip, PowerDVD), and installed my preferred software (Malwarebytes, MSE, 7-Zip, and TotalMedia Theatre). Winzip/PowerDVD are a PITA to uninstall, need to work through that. Played some Sims3, Empire Total War, and Civ V, the 765M will kick in for those games and keeps the CPU in 80's, while the GPU will rarely get over 75C. Good cooling on the GPU, CPU still needs a lot of work.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2013
I've upgraded from a 5 year old Asus gaming laptop that I was sharing with my 3 kids. As you can imagine, it was bursting with various games, scrapbooking software, pictures and videos, not to mention the stuff my kids download without realizing it. I've never heard of MSI but it came highly recommended, so I took a chance. I've only had it for a couple of days but so far so good. This laptop handles my online MMO perfectly. I had Photoshop Elements 10, Final Fantasy IV, plus Internet Explorer going at the same time and this laptop handled it like a champ.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2014
Wifi card started to fail after less than a week. Final stopped working almost completely. Contacted MSI and after having me waste time installing drivers to no avail, told me I had to ship the computer back to MSI at MY EXPENSE. They would replace with RECERTIFIED PARTS, i.e. used parts. This is for a brand new computer. Totally unacceptable.