New generation ultra-thin gaming notebook-MSI GS702PE Stealth all around review
Recent years, MSI really focus on Gaming market of their Notebook product line,
MSI Gaming series notebook already launched 5 type of products, the GT series comes with Top Level performance and gaming features,
the Ultra-thin but powerful gaming notebook is GS series, the only pure AMD platform gaming notebook is GX series,
good cost/performance value of GE series, and entry gaming of GP series.
MSI offered more different level of Gaming product line for more consumers to choose.
This time I want to share MSI latest mechanical design product, it belongs to Ultra-thin style GS series.
High-end Gaming Notebook always gives people feel its heavy on both performance and weight,
but thats because of Highest CPU and Graphics makes these notebook needs higher thermal solution capability, so the size always bigger and much heavier.
This time MSI brought high level Gaming hardware into Ultra-thin style become GSseries, that brings different choice to the gaming notebook market.
First we take a look on GS70 box design, its real different from GT and GE series box design.
Used gift box case style with black cover, the gaming feeling red line across the box, that gives fine works quality.
Inside the box the GS70 and accessories placement is good, use cotton cover and foam rubber to enhance the protection.
Obviously we could see the foam rubber inside the top case to protect GS70 as well.
The gray color type of GS70 notebook backpack comes with different style compared with GT/GE series backpack.
This backpack looks more simple style, metallic material is more high quality, and comes with 1 more interior bag for easier to carry and protection.
GS702PE Stealth Pro notebook
The dimension of GS70 is 418.5x287x21.8mm, weight is around 2.66Kg,
Intel ruled the Ultrabook should be under 21mm, GS70 17.3 notebook only got 21.8mm, the weight is 46% lighter than GT70 which is around 3.9Kg,
these 2 points are the biggest advantage of GS70 dimensions.
A side and whole cover comes with matte black color, the black will change to metallic gray with lights,
and with a little purple under sunshine. The shield used Mg-Al metallic design,its 50% lighter and 10% more solid.
The Logo design looks better than before, with a dragon tattoo inside the red shield, come out white light when power on.
D side bottom design
The 2 parts of exhaust holes for airflow out designed for CPU anGPU cooling, the holes aside the sticker designed with subwoofer.
The Driver DVD, Quick manual, product feature intro, optical gaming mouse and 2 years warranty license.
Slim type adaptor made by Delta, its stable good quality traditional brand. Supports up to 150W power, 25mm thin.
GS70 built in battery is non-changeable, the spec. is 5400mAh60Wh.
C side is the most touched place with keyboard, the size is same as other 17 notebooks,
did not make it bigger because of the slim type design, the square measure is similar as Alienware 17.
SteelSeries slim type full color gaming keyboard got new features, will introduce this later.
7 type of signal light on the down left side, will have white light when works.
The touch pad got bigger size, right side it the black label by Intel Core i7.
GS70 also used the sound by Dynaudio speakers design,
its 2 channel but 4 speakers to make the sound with higher level. The speakers is in the hinge parts, very special design.
The holes on the top of keyboard is for airflow in, its not for speakers.
The 17.3 inch non-touch matte panel with Full HD 1920x1080 resolution.
Used better TN panel, the brightness and contrast is about 20% better than regular TN panel,
the viewing angle close to 85 degree, so its similar as IPS panel quality, but not so vivid as IPS panels color style.
WebCam with fixed lens by Full HD 1920x1080 resolution and 30FPS recording.
The screen angle could open up to 130 degree.
Right side of the notebook
From left to right, its CPU exhaust holes, Kensington lock, AC in, SDHC/XC reader, USB3.0x2
GS70 comes with many stand pads in the bottom, the 3 pad on the top side supports the GS70 stands higher with better heat spread capability,
the big piece of the dark cotton pad could prevent heat to have direct contact with users.
Headphone-out\Line in\Line out
Right side of notebook
From left to right, GPU exhaust holes, RJ45 LAN port, HDMI, Mini DisplayPortx2, USB3.0x2, Headphone Out, Line in, Line out.
MSI GS702PE Stealth Pro built in Intel Haswell platform.
CPU is Intel Core i7-4700HQ, 100x24=>2.4GHz, L36MB, Quad Core with HT technology, 22nm process, TurboBoost could overclock up to 3.4GHz, chipset is HM87.
Used the latest Windows 8.1 OS
With MSI style DRAGON GAMING CENTER software
Could see the real time Hardware status.
Could apply many applications for quick launch.
Gamecaster is the unique Live Stream software for MSI only, supports up to 1080p recording or live streaming upload to twitch channel.
Enable the Gamecaster for recording or live streaming will only reduce 2~3 in game FPS rate, its light loading.
Setup the mouse function page.
System performance tests
CrystalMark2004R3 => 338137
Nuclearus Multi Core => 22867
Fritz Chess Benchmark => 25.45/12214
OpenGL => 51.04 fps
CPU => 6.89 pts
CPU (Single Core) => 1.47 pts
CPU => 634 cb
CPU(Single Core) => 132 cb
PCMARK7 - 6268
For the notebooks, with slim architecture with limited space, the thermal capability is very critical part design.
In before we saw Ultrabook or slim type notebooks, usually designed with Core i7but 2C4T low voltage U version.
But GS70 comes with slim design and powerful Intel Core i74700HQ, we could believe the thermal design did enhanced a lot.
Intel Core i7-4700HQ is high performance in notebook CPU field, it comes with 4C/8T architecture with TurboBoost.
In many benchmarks above, for single core or multi cores performance scores, Core i7-7400HQ is capable to working great with many heavy loading calculations.
It got high scores on system performance as well, this also because ofGS70 built in with SSDs and GTX870Menthusiast graphics.
GS70 designed with new generation Super RAID 2, supports 3 SSD by RAID 0 combinations.
GS702PE Stealth Pro built in 3 mSATA3SSDRAID0 architecture to become Drive C: for system usage,
Drive D: is a SATA2 interface 1TB HDD at 7200rpm for data storage, this design combined with faster access performance and better storage capacities.
The type of SSD is TOSHIBA THNSNJ128GMCU, HDD is HGSTHTS721010A9E630, Drive C: is 384GB capacities for system storage.
ATTO Disk Benchmark over 16k tests could up to 1635MB/s reading speed, and 1290MB/s writing speed.
Seq Read - 1509 MB/s Write - 989 MB/s
AS SSD Benchmark - 1928
Seq Read - 1504.78 MB/s Write - 1097.97 MB/s
4K - 64Thrd Read - 661.81 MB/s Write - 538.09 MB/s
Time to Logon 4 seconds
Time to Desktop 17 seconds
Boot Result 21.687 seconds
In recent 2 years, TOSHIBA SSDs often brings high performance and stable images for end users.
The price range is a bit higher in the market, but GS70 built in with this good SSD will brings faster storage performance.
The SSDs is really good performance on reading, writing and 4K-64Thrd access, really reduced the time for open up programs.
With lots of software in the tray icons, the boot up time to OS is about 22 seconds, this is quick.
D: drive is data storage at 1TB capacity, a 2.5 HDD with 7200rpm.
ATTO DISK Benchmark over 8k tests could reach to 133.5MB/s. the writing is 132.6MB/s.
Seq Read - 132.6 MB/s Write - 127.6 MB/s
This 1TB7200rpm HDD is good performance as well as a big capacity storage.
Although HDD could get highest score about 130MB/s from top, but to the lowest speed will be lower,
and SSD is much faster on 4K access and seek time over 100x, so its still the best solution to use SSDs for drive C:.
GS702PE Stealth Pro comes with 2 type of Graphics.
One is the HD4600 Graphics built in Intel Core i7-4700HQ.
The other one is NVIDIA GeForce GTX870M3GBGDDR5.
We saw lots of GS70 information of GS702PE with GTX870M since April, MSI is really fast on the graphics refresh this time.
3DMARK => 4171 / 16351 / 108705
Heaven Benchmark 4.0
DX11 1920 X 1080 => FPS 42.5
Monster Hunter => 11081
Metro Last Light
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX870M got higher improvement than previous version of GTX770M.
GTX870M is 33.6% faster on 3DMark11, the 3 iteams is 21.3% / 5% / 64.9% improvement.
Heaven Benchmark 4.0 also got 18.4% faster then.
GTX870M is more than enough to play most of heavy loading 3D games, its really smooth on Full HD resolution.
There were only seldom games critical on GPU force demands, that might let gamers not to set to the highest detail to play games smoother.
On the 3D gaming fileld, MSI GS702PE Stealth Pro already got outstanding 3D performance
Temperature presents (ambient 25 degree C )
System Idle - 36~41
Full CPU loading with LinX - 84~89.
GS70 designed with now thermal technology of Cooler Boost 2, the mechanical design also totally different from GT or GE series.
It separately designed of CPU cooling and GPU cooling, with better heat pipes and thermal modules, with better air flow input and exhaust design.
So the higher interior temperature problem did not happened on GS70 with this slim metallic design, and it even presents better than previous GE or GT series.
This is the outstanding presents on GS70 thermal solution, and hope the new GT series could use this kinds of design.
SteelSeries Engine SSE application
Its good software for programmable with Macro keys,
it supported over 85% more of the keyboard keys, support Keypress macro, Text macro, Launch program key and Disable keys.
KLM keyboard backlit management, could set keyboard lights with 3 zones, that change colors easily.
FN plus number keys 1~4 could switch the Layer 1~4 keyboards, not only change the backlit colors but also set different Macro keys users preset on different layers.
SteelSeries keyboard backlit effects
The anti-ghost keys could make input faster and smoother, move the Windows button to right side could prevent the touch when user are playing games.
The power button light also means something, it will be white light when use UMA HD4600 graphics, and with orange light when use GTX870M graphics.
Power consumption tests
With Windows desktop idle mode - 12W
CPU full loading with LinX - 77W
Running FurMarkXtreme Burning Mode, make NVIDIA GeForce GTX870M full loading - 112W
The power setup in control panel set to balanced, the idle more power is really low with only 12W.
i7-4700HQ with full loading only used of 77W power consumption, it improved a lot compare with previous version of Core i7 architecture.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX870M graphics was Kepler core architecture,
same process as last generation graphics, so the power consumption did not improve, but 112W is acceptable with a higher 150W adaptor, also the 3D performance improved a lot as well.
Battery life for video playback, it left 10% after 2 hours and 28 minutes. Its not a really good presents,
might because of the slim type design and dual fan thermal solution. It will be better if its over 4 hours.
Sound effect with Sound Blaster Cinema 2
It comes with 5 functions for better surround and sound stage, each audio scenario setup also comes with 5 different functions to enable as well. Below are the setups.
We could enable human vocal setup with songs.
GS70 speakers still co-brand with Dynaudio, the high-end speakers brand from Denmark.
Below is the sound experience, its more about independent personal feeling, compared with notebooks built in speakers.
When adjust the volume to maxima its loud, dont need to think about if the volume is small or not.
High Frequency - No overload noise, detail is good above average.
Mid Frequency - Very clear sound stage, and rich sound detail with voice.
Low Frequency - Its better than expected, not strong but very clear.
I tried more than 10 Ultrabooksbefore, the sound quality always was weakness and worse than traditional notebooks, might because of the real slim design space limitation.
When first time saw GS70 also worry about the sound quality will get big gap compared with previous review on GT70.
But after listening the sound quality is really amazing,
especially it presents really good on mid-high level frequency to over my expected. Maybe subwoofer and overall sound was still weaker than GT70,
but GS70 already breakthrough the limitation and make the sound quality as good as possible, this is really hard and took lots of efforts in the back.
Summary on GS702PE Stealth Pro
1.Gaming notebook with Ultrabook concept is not easy, 3 side with metallic design and very high quality material and design looks.
2.Internet comes with Killer Gaming LAN,Audio Boost with AMP supports better headset sound quality with gold jack.
3.3 mSATASSDs become Super RAID 2 with 1 2.5 1TB HDD make this platform very fast and good storage capacity with balance.
4.With Full HD matted monitor, its good quality and comfortable for eyes for long time watching.
5.Designed with SteelSeries slim type keyboards, SteelSeries Engine software could manage KLM and macro keys with 4 layer keyboard is really useful.
6.Cooler Boost 2 dual cooling design, this makes the slim notebook with good thermal quality.
7.2 channel audio with 4 speakers with 1 subwoofer did brings better sound quality and better sound stage.
8.Matrix Display supports 3 monitors output, HDMI and Mini DisplayPort all supports 4K output.
1.The single plate touch pad sometimes will zoom or enlarge, its not convenient.
2.Accessories comes with a gaming mouse, got the compatibility issue with right side USB port.
3.User is not able to switch battery themselves, and the battery life still have some room to improve.
4.GS70sacrificedthe upgrade or DIY possibility compared with GT70.
Performance ★★★★★★★★★☆ 88/100
Materials ★★★★★★★★★☆ 89/100
Specifications ★★★★★★★★★☆ 90/100
ID Design ★★★★★★★★★☆ 92/100
Cost/Value ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 75/100
GS series comes with 2 types with different size, GS70 comes with 17.3 monitor,
and GS60 comes with 15.6 monitor, and GS70 got 2 version, higher version with NVIDIA GeForce GTX870M is 2PE Stealth Pro,
lower version withGTX860M is 2PC Stealth. And Super RAID 2 supports 1~3 mSATASSDs for optional models.
MSI GS70 is a gaming notebook designed with high quality ID and better performance,
its different with traditional Gaming notebook design, more close to the concept of Ultrabook with slim and lighter design.
For the users who need to bring notebook out often or business trip but still need high gaming performance, its really better choice.
But every product comes with advantage and weakness, GS70 is less expansion and upgrade possibility, its the most advantage from GT70.
In the end personally prefer more about the slim design and stylish ID of GS series, its very good advantage on high end gaming notebook market.
If you are interested with high level Gaming Notebook, this article from windwithme should be good reference for you.
If you are interested in MSI GS70, I believe you could know lots of detail in this article about GS70.
At last, I attached the color correction file with Spyder kit, share to the GS70 users. This article also post on my personal blog, welcome to take a look and encourage it.
windwithme - MSI GS702PE Stealth Pro
I've never understood this "thin" fad with laptop computers. Who cares how thin or thick it is? What practical difference does it make? It seems to be a style-based decision, putting fashion design as top priority. Thin means poor thermal performance and jet engine loud fans. No thanks! The world's thinnest gaming laptop is like the world's tallest midget.