Sunday, October 26, 2014

MSI GT72 (GTX 980M) Notebook Review

Small update, big effect. MSI reintegrates in the GT72 from now on the brand new first grade models from Nvidia's Maxwell generation. We will be explaining in details how the GeForce GTX 980M can make itself stand out compared to his predecessor in terms of temperature, the energy consumption and the sound intensity.

To think big was probably the slogan while making these updates for the MSI GT72. If we take for example our test device. While the processor still turns out conventionally (Core i7-4710HQ), are 32 GByte DDR3-RAM and two TByte data storage more than lavish. MSI combines more than four M.2-SSDs into one RAID-0-compound who is accompanied by a classic HDD. A Blu-ray burner and a mat full HD panel are of course also on board.

Market leader Maxwell architecture from Nvidia takes care of games and other 3D applications. What we have seen from testing, it is very fast and efficient. In combination with the rich accessories the MSI has a high price tag. 

Although the measured values are somewhat worse than by the last test device, the panel types are identical. The CMN N173HGE-E11 (with the Chi most N173HGE-L11 related) despite some weaknesses belongs to the better TN representatives. Next to the attractive black even the contrast convinces. 910:1 are respectable and guarantee an excellent playback of movies and games.

 Point of View MSI GT72


In spite the high price of this notebook MSI integrates only the "basic model" of the COre i7 series. With 2.5-3.5 GHz the Core i7-4710HQ stays behind the i7-4810MQ (2,8-3,8 GHz). While the MQ-CPU can be exchanged if required, the HQ models are firmly connected with the main board.
Apart from that there is no reason for objection. Intel's Haswell generation (22m) is still up to date and notable more efficient than his competition from AMD.

Graphic Card

Probably the most important adaptation concerns the dedicated graphic chip. Instead of the GeForce GTX 880M (GK104 on Kepler basis) the GTX 980M (GM204) does the work. Nvidias latest high level model, that origins from the Maxwell generation, possesses again over a 1536 shader units and a 4-8 GByte big GDDR5 video storage, who is been tied through a 256 bit connection.

Advantage number 1 of our tested product is that depending on the load this 28 nm device can reach up to 1127 MHz (standard: 1038 MHz). While at the same time the GTX 880M only reaches ~954 MHz, what results in a loss of 10%. Further performance increases arise by the improved architecture. Compared to Kepler Maxwell works much more efficiently. 

Gaming Performance 

In the game environment the difference isn't really big compared to the competition, at least not as much as it is with the synthetic Benchmarks. Starting from our ultra setting (1920 x 1080, max. details, edge smoothing) our test device can put a difference of 30 % to the GTX 880M and 55-65% to the GTX 870M respectively R9 M290X. With the GeForce GTX 970M passionate gamer won't make anything wrong.

GT72 offers enough performance to play nearly any game at max. settings. Only Risen 3 that behaves very strangely with numerous notebooks, didn't want to go over 40 fps. Otherwise the GTX 980M can handle demanding titles like Battlefield 4, Metro: Last Light, Crysis 3, Watch Dogs, Far Cry 3 und Ryse: Son of Rome without any problems.


MSI keeps working with its proved concept. Understandable, if we consider that you had to search really hard to find any big mistakes with the first GT72. Of course we can argue about certain details (batteries not accessible, no optimus touchpad with "rubber surface", limited Wi-Fi). Yet, these things can't have a big influence on the excellent overall presentation of this high end notebook.

MSI created a classic top level notebook whose dual fan system takes care of stress free gaming marathons. The whole project is supported by a great sound combo and a high contrast TN panel. Other highlights are the richly equipment. No matter if connections, upgrades or extension possibilities: The GT72 present itself very customer oriented. The volume and the temperatures are also passable.

Optically the 17 inches power horse presents itself as a rough diamond. The aluminum cover and the illuminated keyboard increase the quality impression. Altogether we can pronounce a clear purchase recommendation.

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