Print 20 comment(s) - last by troysavary.. on Dec 12 at 1:56 AM

MSI outs the industry's first 3K resolution notebooks

MSI has announced two new high-resolution display notebooks, including the industry's first gaming notebook supporting 3K resolution. Both notebooks have a 15.6-inch display with a native resolution of 2880x1620.
The GT60 20D-261US is the gaming version of the notebook, while the GT60 20KWS-278US is the workstation version. Both machines have the same features with the only difference being the OS and graphics used. The gaming version of the notebook runs Windows 8 and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M. The workstation version runs Windows 7 and uses an NVIDIA Quadro K3100M GPU.

Both versions of the notebook have a 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD for storage. Both have an Intel Core i7-4700MQ processor, 16GB of RAM and integrated Blu-ray burners. The notebooks also have Killer E2200 networking and Killer N1202 Wi-Fi. The battery for the machines is a 9-cell unit and MSI integrates a 720p webcam on the front. Both machines. The notebooks also have SteelSeries backlit keyboards for working and gaming in the dark.

The dimensions of the notebooks are the same at 14.97" x 10.24" x 1.77" and both weigh 7.7 pounds.
One big difference between the two notebooks is price. The gaming version sells for $2,199.99, while the workstation version sells for $2,799.99.

Source: MSI Mobile

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By Captain Awesome on 12/5/2013 12:42:03 PM , Rating: 2
Why does it bother with a 2880x1620 resolution on a little 15.6" screen? It's a gaming laptop, it should go all out with a 21-24" screen and a full size keyboard.

RE: why?
By chµck on 12/5/2013 1:02:37 PM , Rating: 1
I agree. While some people may have need for such high resolutions on a mobile workstation, that's a very small group of people.

I have a 1080P screen on a 15.6" laptop and while it's great for graphics, text just looks too small. I currently run it at 1600x900. Pushing more pixels will also just reduce battery life.

I purchased a 24" 1080P IPS display on cybermonday and I think it's perfect (for the distance I work with it at).

RE: why?
By ritualm on 12/5/2013 4:17:38 PM , Rating: 2
I can play a Blu-ray movie at full size and still have ample screen real estate to post comments on DT, amongst other activities not necessarily productivity-oriented.

As the display remains one of the biggest power consumers on laptops, dialing down the display resolution to anything under native won't do you any good.

RE: why?
By chµck on 12/5/2013 7:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
A bigger screen will help you there a lot more than higher pixel density.

RE: why?
By ritualm on 12/5/2013 9:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
A bigger screen will help you there a lot more than higher pixel density.

I don't think so.

As it stands to me right now, 1080p on any display larger than 13" is worthless. It's like the proliferation of craptastic 1366x768 displays over the past half decade: it's cheap to make, so OEMs can keep manufacturing costs low - and that's really the only advantage about it.

You're happy with your cheap 24" 1080p displays and 15" 1080p laptops. The problem with that reasoning is, you are not me. 1080p is great for consuming content, not creating content. Laptops and desktop monitors are not the same as TVs, yet they're stuck at 1080p for years - just because those 1080p screens are cheap. The most disgusting part is that workstation notebooks also went from 1200v to 1080p, losing 120 pixels of vertical screen real estate in the process - because 1080p is cheaper.

Even if Dell prices their latest 24" UltraSharp UHD over the $1399 list price, I have no problems shelling out that amount of money for several of them.

RE: why?
By purerice on 12/6/2013 1:03:39 PM , Rating: 2
I will agree with you on the unfortunate switch from 1200 to 1080. I used to play with a pair of 20” 1600x1200 CRTs at work. That was in the 90s. 2560x1600 briefly appeared before going down to 1440p. Does it really require 15 years to jump up in resolution more than 20%?

As for 3k on a 15" laptop I kindly disagree. First, the GPU alone is 100W+ TDP. So really you have to use it in desktop mode most of the time.
I have spent over $2000 on a laptop that got less than 2 hours battery life at full throttle. A friend with the same budget put together a rig for $800, got an $800 laptop, and saved several hundred dollars. At home/work he had a more powerful machine and on the road he had a longer lasting machine. Lesson learned.

RE: why?
By ritualm on 12/6/2013 5:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
As for 3k on a 15" laptop I kindly disagree.

Only because the MSI GT60 is widely known for being a high-temperature oven for computer chips. All of that potential gaming performance hamstrung by an underspec'ed cooling system. It keeps getting throttled, even on desktop mode, because the laptop is generating more heat than the cooling system's designed to handle. Razer learned its lesson after the first Blade; MSI still didn't get it.

Most gaming laptops last only 2-3 hours firing on all cylinders. That's fine, because most phones don't last over 6 hours gaming, without a very large battery (which also directly increases size and weight). It's also a considerable improvement from several years ago, where 2-3 hours was battery life while idle and less than 30 minutes full throttle.
I have spent over $2000 on a laptop that got less than 2 hours battery life at full throttle. A friend with the same budget put together a rig for $800, got an $800 laptop, and saved several hundred dollars.

I take it you have buyer's remorse over buying that $2k laptop. Look at this the other way, however: your friend cannot use his $800 desktop and all the usual fixings on the road or plane without something/someone complaining of too much power draw, and he can't game on his $800 laptop because it's too underpowered. All of these in order to save $400-500.

I have spent double your amount on last year's rMBP - and it's every penny well spent.

RE: why?
By inperfectdarkness on 12/6/2013 1:15:29 AM , Rating: 2
So it's you and yours I can direct the hatemail towards. Good to know.

It's WAY, WAY, WAY past time that we've had > 1080p on a 15" laptop. WUXGA used to be the standard...and for the past several years we've had to put up with LOWER than that, just because. Meanwhile, every sort of phone and tablet kept getting better resolutions. This isn't a bad thing, it's high-past due.

Secondly, for those individuals like yourself who complain about a 3k screen in a 15" laptop; NO ONE IS MAKING YOU BUY IT. There's plenty of other lackluster 15" laptops out there with poor-resolution screens. You're welcome to buy one of those. I myself don't give a gigantic flip about battery life, since my laptop is plugged in 99% of the time anyway; I just need the portability for the numerous trips I'm sent on.

This isn't really news anymore. The GT-60 3k was announced back in late spring, and they've been available for sale for around a month or more (US market). Be VERY careful about ordering one, because it appears that these come in both Matte and Glossy screens--and not every retailer shares that detail.

RE: why?
By ritualm on 12/5/2013 4:03:14 PM , Rating: 2
It's a gaming laptop, it should go all out with a 21-24" screen and a full size keyboard.

You gotta be kidding, right? Oh wait, it's been done before.

Dell made a 20" gaming notebook called the XPS M2010 in 2006:
(summarizing the key, salient details)


Dell XPS M2010

20.1" 1680x1050, integrated display hinge/carrying handle combo
Intel Core Duo
ATI Mobility Radeon X1800 GPU
8.1 sound system
full size, detachable Bluetooth keyboard
gyro remote
DVD drive
dual HDDs

starting price (2006): US$3500
weight: 18.3 pounds

This isn't 2006.

RE: why?
By boeush on 12/5/2013 10:05:18 PM , Rating: 2
Personally, I'll never buy a 15.6" laptop. When I want portability, I'll use my phablet, thank you very much. But in actual PC use cases, a full-blown PC is what's called for.

I have my DELL 17" Precision laptop -- 1920x1200 screen, full-size keyboard (and NVIDIA Quadro graphics) -- I'll never go to anything smaller or more cramped. 1920x1200 is already bordering on too high-res even on a 17" screen, and the keyboard if already bordering on barely large enough to be comfortable...

RE: why?
By The Von Matrices on 12/5/2013 8:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have a 15.6" laptop? It's basically the borderline for as to what compromises "portable."

I've seen only a handful of people actually take 17" laptops out of their houses. >17" laptops have their place, but the mass market is not using them for gaming. The three people I know with 17" laptops use them in their house only to watch DVDs and browse the internet; they never leave the house with their 17" laptops.

A >17" laptop for gaming is not much more portable than a SFF desktop system, and the latter is a much more powerful, easy to use, and less expensive choice if you want that large of a screen.

On another note, the problem with this laptop's screen is not badly scaled UI elements or power consumption, it's that it's not a good choice for gaming. Mobile GPUs are at least two generations behind in performance compared to desktop GPUs, so driving a 3MP display at a reasonable frame rate is basically impossible with a mobile GPU at the moment.

RE: why?
By ritualm on 12/5/2013 9:19:58 PM , Rating: 2
Mobile GPUs are at least two generations behind in performance compared to desktop GPUs, so driving a 3MP display at a reasonable frame rate is basically impossible with a mobile GPU at the moment.

That's not 3 megapixels; 2880x1620 is closer to 4.67 megapixels (4,665,600).

While what you said is true by and large, it is also directly dependent on the game itself and the quality settings used. Anti-aliasing is an unnecessary performance expense at that resolution. Low-complexity games can run full size at over 30 fps, while turn-based strategy and other older-generation games can usually get by at 15 and still be very playable.

RE: why?
By troysavary on 12/12/2013 1:56:41 AM , Rating: 2
A small form factor case, separate keyboard, and separate monitor are just as portable as a 17 in laptop? Seriously? Can you easily throw those into a backpack? Will they stay powered up and be ready to go as soon as you sit down at your new location? Sure, battery life is low on a gaming laptop, and you'll most likely plug it in once you get there, but short battery life leads to better portability than no batter life.

Great GPU and screen... if it can handle the heat
By Harmattan on 12/5/2013 12:31:32 PM , Rating: 2
It's high time above-1080p was offered in a gaming laptop so kudos there, but this looks like same GT60 chassis that has the single fan 80mm fan pulling double duty for the CPS and GPU. From experience with a GT60 and a 780m, this config runs at red-line temps and throttles periodically under stress.

If this screen was available in a Sager/Clevo or Alienware (or a revised MSI chassis), I'd be all over it.

By mcnabney on 12/5/2013 8:27:47 PM , Rating: 2
I really doubt the mobile GPU in this thing can run ANY game in the past three years at even medium settings at this resolution. Certainly not BF4 or Crysis 3.

By purerice on 12/6/2013 1:25:51 PM , Rating: 2
Properly cooled? Maybe. Yet I see this thing throttling all the time.

(data from techpowerup)
TDP: 122 W
Pixel Rate: 24.7 GPixel/s
Texture Rate: 98.7 GTexel/s
Floating-point performance: 2,369 GFLOPS
Bandwidth: 160 GB/s

That is similar performance to the R9 270X or GTX 760 when not throttled and both can kind of handle 1440p. However, in that small of a case with 47W TDP CPU and just DDR3L (not LPDDR3) the machine is going to overheat and throttle. The "One Touch" single fan cooling system is worrisome.

This is going to have hardly better performance than a $500 Steam Machine, especially when throttled. If you need games for the road, get a Steam machine, copy of Windows, and a portable USB monitor. $800 out the door, usable at your nearest outlet, kind of like this MSI with a $1200 discount.

By Flunk on 12/8/2013 2:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
That's the problem with the 780m in this system, it's basically the same as the desktop 760 if cooled properly. The 760 is good for max settings at 1080p and will be for a while but push much higher and you're going to hit the performance wall.

So, best case scenario you can't use the screen anyway. You are right, however, MSI tends to screw up the cooling on these so the situation could be even worse.

By Rob94hawk on 12/5/2013 7:45:45 PM , Rating: 2
My 27" monitor runs 2560x1440 and it looks and plays awesome with my 4770k/GTX 780 but I don't see the point for a 3k in anything smaller than 30". I'm sure it looks incredible, if your gpu can keep up with the frame rates, but will you notice the difference between a 3k and 1080p during intense action?

no standards
By Philippine Mango on 12/5/2013 9:33:01 PM , Rating: 2
what is being defined as 3K and 4K is being stretched quite a bit and it sucks there is no agreed standard resolution.

By BillyBatson on 12/5/2013 7:22:16 PM , Rating: 1
Not sure why people aren't all happy to see a 3k screen on this machine, who cares if it is only 15" some of us care about the extra real-estate and even if you drop the resolution the screen will still have high PPI which improves the overall quality of the image.
What I don't get is why the main SSD is only 128gb it should be at least 256gb. Both gaming and workstation systems have very large install files to deal with which eat up that tiny drive rather quickly. It would suck to have to uninstall a game so that you can install another one, or worse yet to have to install something onto the 1tb storage drive.

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