I’m locked, loaded and ready for some SERIOUS gaming action. MSI has provided X-cite with their top-of-the-line GT70 Dragon Edition gaming laptop. Straight out of the box, that “new” smell smacks me right across the face… I love it. MSI is a well-known name among desktop system builders as they produce excellent motherboards and video cards. What am I blabbing on about; I’m sure you all know who MSI are, and exactly what they do.
- Lean Mean Gaming Machine
Specs and Graphics – The Goodies:
The MSI GT70 I have with me today, specifically the GT70 2OD-039US Dragon Edition 2, comes packing the new Intel Haswell-powered i7-4700MQ mobile quad-core processor. This should enable even the most powerful gaming laptops to get a boost in battery life. It features four cores and eight threads and comes clocked at 2.4GHz with TurboBoost 2.0 up to 3.4GHz.
Coupled with the 4700MQ is 32GB of DDR3 SDRAM. 32GB of RAM is pretty much overkill, but there are specialized uses where that much memory could be utilized effectively. For me, 16GB is more than enough.
Graphics are provided via a discrete NVIDIA GTX 780M with 4GB of vRAM. The GTX 780M is a very capable video card and will perform similarly to the older GTX 680M, as they are both based upon the same chip. Despite being equipped with Windows 8, the MSI GT70 Dragon Edition 2 does not feature a touch-enabled screen. It does, however, come with a full HD 1920×1080 panel with a matte surface coating.
MSI Dragon Edition 2 Specs
Temperatures – As hot as it looks:
The MSI GT70 is a huge laptop. As such, it should keep temperatures and noise to a minimum. Even with all of the hardware stuffed into this laptop, the palm rests should remain cool to the touch.
As you can see (images above), on the front of the system, we logged a maximum temperature of 91.5 degrees Fahrenheit. This high temperature was located right underneath the WSAD keys, which is bad news for gamers. Moving around to the backside, temperatures were higher. The maximum observed temperature was 112 degrees Fahrenheit. The high temperature was located right over the heatsink, which explains why the heat was concentrated there. Using the loaded system on your laptop would likely be uncomfortable.
Thanks to Hardware Haven for providing this shot
Keyboard, Touchpad and Screen:
The GT70 comes with the now-standard island style keyboard. The keyboard is definitely comfortable to use and feels more like a desktop keyboard than a laptop keyboard, something I count as a big plus. This could be due to MSI using a SteelSeries keyboard. The GT70′s keyboard comes with a multi-color backlight, a feature that I love on any system. The GT70 provides varying brightness options and colors, which adds a premium feel to the system.
The touchpad is made from three pieces of material, with a larger piece being the touch-enabled portion of the touchpad. The left and right click buttons are mirror images of each other. The touch-enabled portion of the touchpad could be a bit larger. The touchpad is recessed down into the palm rest of the machine, making it easy to detect whether or not you’re on the touchpad. The touchpad surface has a slightly rough surface, but it overall provides an excellent experience, albeit a bit small.
The MSI GT70 features a massive 17.3-inch display with a full HD 1920x1080p resolution. The surface features a matte coating, which helps reduce glare. Despite running Windows 8, the panel is not touch-enabled. Color reproduction on the GT70 isn’t as good as an IPS display. It appears to make use of a TN panel, though color reproduction doesn’t suffer nearly at all when looking at the display from an off angle.
Steelseries Backlit Keyboard
We’ll start with some of the things that I found disappointing. For starters, the fact that it uses a third-party design is somewhat disappointing, especially considering just how much MSI is asking for this machine. I’d much rather see a custom design rather than just some aluminum plates with a cool dragon design. MSI has equipped the Dragon Edition 2 with a SteelSeries keyboard. SteelSeries is well known for their keyboards, so you’d expect it to be an above par laptop keyboard. Unfortunately, I found the typing experience was average. Moving on to the good, the Dragon Edition is simply gorgeous looking. A 17-inch touchscreen keeps you in the action. Quick, responsive and portable. Every gamer’s wish.
What a Beauty
Ahmad Shahroor is a self-proclaimed ‘techspert’; though he has proved it to be the case on countless occasions, his title is currently being challenged by Ahmad Taha; a battle no one cares for. A devoted Real Madrid CF fan, Ahmad thinks that electronics and football should not mix. His irrefutable love for all that is PC technology goes unquestioned. He is currently on his 35th attempt at trying to use his soccer ball as a router…