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MSI's new notebooks both start at $1,999

MSI has announced that it will be rolling out a pair of new gaming notebooks soon including the GS60 Ghost Pro and GS70 Stealth Pro. Both of the machines are aimed at mobile gamers and feature GeForce graphics, 4th gen Core i7 processors, and plenty of features to keep you busy.
MSI says that the 4.36-lb GS60 Ghost Pro 3K gaming notebook is its lightest 15-inch notebook (thanks to the use of Mg-Li alloy) and the first with a 3k display (native resolution: 2880x1620).

The 5.73-lb GS70 on the other hand uses a 17.3-inch 1080p display.

Both of these notebooks have a dual fan cooling system and both come equipped with GeForce GTX 870M graphics. However, the GS70’s GPU features 6GB of memory, while the GS60 makes do with just 3GB.
Both machines come standard with 16GB of RAM and an SSD + HDD storage setup. In the case of the GS60, the base configuration is a 128GB SSD paired with a 1TB HDD. For the GS70, you get a two 128GB SSDs in RAID-0 partnered up with a 1TB HDD.
Both machines start at $1999 and are available now.

Source: MSI

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By inperfectdarkness on 5/6/2014 6:22:43 PM , Rating: 3
The GT60-20D-261 is the first 15" with a 3k display. The GS60 is MSI's 2nd with a 3k display.

As to the price? LOL! This is barely a hair slower than the GT60, still with a 3k screen & all the rest of the bells and whistles--and lighter to boot. MSI's 15" 3k offerings are THE BEST bang for the buck in this sector--bar none. Nothing else comes close. Not Apple, not Dell, nothing.

As to the MSI hatred? I've had a GX660R for 3+ years without issue. I upgraded to a GT60 and still have nothing but praise for MSI. This brand is seriously underrated.

RE: Incorrect
By HostileEffect on 5/6/2014 7:34:29 PM , Rating: 2
There is no hatred. When my MSI smoked out due to a DC pin failure, I tore the computer down and found the brittle plastic construction to be unacceptable. I still recommend them as an option to other people but I also inform them of the poor construction materials and that they shouldn't expect them to last long.
Here ya go.

Aside from the screen, I can get better from Sager for the same price, that would be my preferred choice. MSI is but one in a long list of competing brands, from Asus to XoticPC.

RE: Incorrect
By inperfectdarkness on 5/7/2014 1:39:29 AM , Rating: 2
My Sager 8662 likes to run extremely hot and both Sager & Nvidia gave me the middle finger when the GTX 260M died. I paid out of pocket for a replacement...and only because it was the last of the WUXGA laptops at that time (the rest went extinct).

I rarely hear stories about MSI, but it's never 2 of the same issues. The "plastic" construction doesn't bother me like it does with some people. My GT60 sits plugged in 99.99% of the time. All I really care about is a resolution that's above piss-awful 1080p, gaming performance that can mow through practically any game I throw at it, and fast OS operation. The Steel-Series keyboard and above-average DynAudio speakers are just gravy.

Sager COULD have tried wooing me back...despite my horribad experience, but they (or perhaps more specifically/correctly Clevo) didn't see fit to offer anything above 1080p--and so they didn't get my business. Dell tried, but the video card isn't even close to the same level.

MSI isn't for everyone. If you are like me however, and you care primarily for power, video resolution and speed--MSI is really the best bang for the buck. Especially at 15" where Alienware doesn't even compete any longer. And if MSI offered 16:10 WQXGA or better 15", there wouldn't even be a discussion about what's the best.

Bottom line: Any brand can fail. I don't think MSI is any less reliable than any other brand--and don't show me that BS survey they did with MSI reliability at 1% and Apple at 19%--that's a load of hogwash.

RE: Incorrect
By godlyatheist on 5/7/2014 4:24:16 AM , Rating: 2
MSI is not bad on quality. However, they do cheap out on the construction, a lot. I had a MSI (GX620 or something, from the C2D days) that is still used by my parents. I never enjoyed it though cause they put the exhaust went on the right side where my hand is. The CPU and GPU shared a single heatpipe and they would get way too hot unless the CPU was undervolted(luckily I was able to run mine at 0.875V vs 1.05V). The screen bezel has minor cracks from the factory.

Sager isn't much better, I have one now. Both of these brands make budget gaming laptop and the construction shows they skimped on the materials. What can you do though? You will pay a lot more going with another brand(Alienware, which has almost always had superior cooling and construction).

RE: Incorrect
By inperfectdarkness on 5/7/2014 7:22:54 AM , Rating: 2
That was a while ago. I never had issues with voltage or cracks on my GX660R. Heat was confined to the rear left corner of the chassis (exhaust port). My Clevo/Sager 8662 would regularly superheat the palm-rest--never had that problem with MSI.

I agree that Alienware would be great...but 15" have been dead for a while now--and that's usually the minimum form-factor for the highest-tier single-GPU mobile solution.

RE: Incorrect
By HostileEffect on 5/7/2014 1:06:00 PM , Rating: 2
I have touched Alienware with a ten foot poll in years. The last one I saw, the owner claimed constant cooling issues.

My Sager does get pretty warm, but its has SLI, 6 Core I7, 24GB RAM and RAID-0... I use it mainly for Photoshop but games run like butter too. I can't blame a laptop this big for getting a little warm, my MSI got warm and it has an I7(4)/8GB/285GTX Raid-0.

I never got a palm rest for my Sager... I just wore down the brushed aluminum next to the mouse pad after a few months of heavy use.

I'm hard on my electronics, they need to be able to handle being dragged through all manner of environments, jungle, mountains, me sleeping on top of them. My Razr Maxx passed that test for a few years, along with being bounded between me and a sapi plate, squished, among other abuses.

My Wacom has held up to hard use rather well, so did my MSI until their corner cutting caught up. I still like this laptop and I'm trying to find an expert solderer to fix it.

One product I WILL NOT recommend is power guerrilla. That $200 some odd piece of trash died from humidity in Japan before I even got a chance to use it! pure garbage.

RE: Incorrect
By Motoman on 5/7/2014 8:53:56 PM , Rating: 2
I bought an MSI gaming laptop back in the day when a tricore Phenom and a Radeon 3650 made a "gaming laptop." That machine is still is use today...with zero problems. And the build quality is excellent...and the onboard sound is freaking amazing.

A Sager/Compal gaming laptop I set someone else up with with a quad-core Core i7 and a MXM Radeon video card has been an utter POS. A very expensive, ridiculously heavy, horrifically unreliable POS. Right after the 1-year warranty expired, so did the MXM card. And Xotic PC, the distributor of the Sager/Compal unit, charged us $600 for a new card. And forced us to ship it to Sager to get it done...couldn't just send us the card. The card came with a 6 month warranty too...which is good, because it failed again within that time frame.

And now that that 6 month warranty is gone, something else seems to be going wrong.

Last time ever I am having anything to do with a Sager and/or Compal laptop. When I need a bonafide gaming laptop again, I'm going to get MSIs.

By bug77 on 5/6/2014 1:03:08 PM , Rating: 2
Only 128GB SSD for two grand? Who do they think they are, Apple?

RE: Really?
By Flunk on 5/6/2014 2:48:03 PM , Rating: 1
Apple wouldn't give you high end graphics and a powerful processor for that price. And they certainly wouldn't throw in a hard drive. This isn't cheap, but it's fair enough for the hardware they've got in there.

RE: Really?
By ritualm on 5/6/2014 6:02:55 PM , Rating: 2
870M immediately implies this is a gaming notebook with a 100W+ PSU, with most of the output going towards the GPU and display. Apple can't fit such a potent GPU into their laptops without substantially changing thermals, power and construction.

RE: Really?
By bug77 on 5/7/2014 5:27:33 AM , Rating: 2
Yet that doesn't stop a 15" MBP from starting at $2k.

RE: Really?
By ritualm on 5/7/2014 8:03:35 AM , Rating: 1
I'm sure the MSI laptops here don't use Iris Pro with Crystalwell at all - there's no point when they have a beefy discrete GPU on tap. Further cost savings come from using a HDD and a mSATA SSD instead of proprietary PCIe, lack of Thunderbolt, use of crappy touchpads, and less chassis area consumed by a battery.

On older MSI laptops, they even skimp on critical system cooling, such that they throttle as soon as they're running any kind of load.

As a gamer I'm not putting up with these sorts of gotchas to save money, especially the cooling part, which is most inexcusable.

RE: Really?
By bug77 on 5/7/2014 8:27:29 AM , Rating: 2
Obviously. As a (non biased) gamer, you'll only put up with a GPU that's average at best, instead.

RE: Really?
By Solandri on 5/7/2014 10:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure the MSI laptops here don't use Iris Pro with Crystalwell at all - there's no point when they have a beefy discrete GPU on tap. Further cost savings come from using a HDD and a mSATA SSD instead of proprietary PCIe, lack of Thunderbolt, use of crappy touchpads, and less chassis area consumed by a battery.

It's just the base config which is mSATA + HDD. It has two standard M.2 SATA ports. That's right, if you want you can configure it with two SSDs in RAID-0 that'll outperform any current single PCIe SSD solution. If you really want you can also put an SSD in the HDD slot. Outfit the 12 GB model ($1600) with two 128 GB M.2 drives and you're still below the price of a Crystalwell Macbook Pro 15", but with 4 more GB RAM, a HDD (and the option to make it 16 GB total in the future), and a GPU which will obliterate the MBP.

Yes, the memory and M.2 SSDs are upgradeable (though rather difficult to reach). As best as I can tell, MSI bent over backwards to make as many components on this upgradeable as possible (i.e. opposite of everyone else making an ultra-thin laptop, and completely the opposite of Apple and Microsoft who seem he!!-bent on gluing everything together). Consequently the case is rather large for a 15.6" laptop (it's just very thin). They had to use magnesium alloy instead of aluminum to keep the weight down despite the larger case. The only part which isn't metal is the bezel around the display. (For those who don't know, magnesium alloy is what aerospace uses when they want something lighter than aluminum, but not as expensive as titanium. I've held screws made of the stuff and would've sworn they were plastic.)

The display is a beaut too. It's covers close to 100% sRGB (reviews put it between 95%-103%), and 78% Adobe RGB (i.e. more than the retina Macbooks). Plus it's matte rather than glossy with a semi-effective anti-reflective coatings like the Macs. Aside from ppi (which is detrimental to gaming anyway), I much prefer it to the over any glossy screen I've used, including the retina Macbook screens. HDMI + mini-Displayport are a nice touch too, if you want to drive two external monitors with this simultaneously.

The only people who really care about Thunderbolt are those who need high-speed access to a massive external storage array (i.e. video editors).

I've heard people complain about the trackpad, but I seem to be blessed with good-capacitance fingers. It works fine for me. (Only stupid part is they made it a click-pad. You can't simultaneously left and right click those in a game. But if you're gaming you're probably using a mouse anyway.)
On older MSI laptops, they even skimp on critical system cooling, such that they throttle as soon as they're running any kind of load.

The cooling on this is really good. CPU under load hits the low 80s C max. People who've repasted the heat sink report low to mid 70s C. The GPU (for the 860m version) hits the mid 70s C. Low 70s after a repaste. There is no throttling.

There's some slight throttling (clock fluctuates between max and one step down) reported on the 870m version (GPU hits low 90s on those). One owner hacked the fan bios to ramp it up more evenly, and undervolted the GPU, and it doesn't throttle anymore.

By XZerg on 5/6/2014 12:34:00 PM , Rating: 2
2880x1620 = 1440x810 x 2x2.

I am having a growing concern with these laptop makers coming out with resolution that are high dpi on specs but in reality lower dpi for in real as most will have to reset the resolution to avoid next to impossible to read text or whacky text that appears somewhat distorted due to not a whole number ratio down-scaling.

I much rather just have a 1080p screen over this 3k screen as at least i will have higher usable work space.

RE: resolution?!?!?!
By Dug on 5/6/2014 2:42:08 PM , Rating: 2
I agree 100%

RE: resolution?!?!?!
By Solandri on 5/7/2014 4:23:23 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure why the article only mentions the 3k display version. Their 1080p versions are already shipping (I have one downstairs for a "trial run"). The GS60 Ghost is 1080p with an nVidia 860m. The GS60 Ghost Pro is 1080p with an nVidia 870m. The 3k version isn't even shipping yet. Pick your poison.

It's a sweet system. The 1080p screen is the first one I've seen outside the Macbook Pros and graphics workstation laptops whose colors look nearly as good as my almost-Adobe RGB Sony Z1 screen. My only gripes are middling battery life (2.5-3 hours for movie playback, 4-4.5 hours with light use), and a high noise floor (can always hear the drone of the fan even at idle). It's also really big for a 15.6" laptop, but you forget all that once you see the screen and feel the weight. Nice magnesium-alloy construction, very lightweight. Here are a few video reviews of it.

It may go back to the store though. I'm waiting to see how the reviews for the Gigabyte P35G/P35W v2 turn out. That one's a bit heavier (4.7-5 lbs depending on config), and uses plastic/aluminum construction. But it's also advertised as a 72% NTSC (i.e. 100% sRGB) screen. More importantly, they done right and put a 75 Wh battery in it, vs. 52 Wh for the GS60. (The 14" P34G is an option too, except they're only shipping the 47 Wh version, no word on when the 63 Wh version will be available outside of Australia.)

Yes nobody plans to game with these things on battery. But those of us with real lives need to use it for other things besides gaming, and 3-4.5 hours is really limiting. Especially considering the size of the 150 Watt power brick. Ideal case would be to leave the brick at home for gaming and charging, and take the laptop with you to use for work all day on battery.

RE: resolution?!?!?!
By flyingpants1 on 5/6/2014 7:41:18 PM , Rating: 2
The higher-res, the better, IMO.

RE: resolution?!?!?!
By bennyg on 5/7/2014 7:24:55 AM , Rating: 2
To a point, yeah, but here, with the increasing res (this 3K = 4.66 megapixel vs 1080p which is 2.0MP), I don't think the 870M will be able to drive it at acceptable gfx settings AND fps in most current titles, it might even struggle to maintain smoothness at High settings @ native in some CURRENT titles let alone future (take 870M benchmarks for 1080p, divide by 2 as a best case scenario, you'll see my point). I'd wait for real benches before buying this.

Top brands
By HostileEffect on 5/6/2014 12:52:25 PM , Rating: 2
MSI can make some good laptops but the DC jacks have a habit of burning out on you, as mine did, only three years at that. I broke it down and its absolutely disgusting how much of the construction is plastic.

I went with a different brand, 17" 1080P, and I was rather surprised and disappointed when the screen displayed richer color and more detail than my Sony Bravia...

Powerful laptops, but in my experience the build quality blows. Don't forget 3K will eat up more resources than a 1080P screen.

By boeush on 5/8/2014 7:23:16 PM , Rating: 2
Why is it that only Apple makes anything with 2560x1600 resolution??

If vendors can't offer 1920x1200 any longer because it's not hi-DPI enough for the marketing clowns, fine -- make 2560x1600 and I'll happily scale it down to run at 1920x1200.

The last laptop I bought was a 2008 Precision from Dell, main reason being that it had a 17" screen with 16:10 aspect ratio (oh, and a full-size, full-featured keyboard to match.) Since I use my laptop to read, write, code, watch movies, and play games -- in that order -- there's no way I'll ever be buying anything widescreen and/or with a stupid miniaturized cut-down/mangled-layout chiclet keyboard with a pathetic to non-existent key travel. Thin and light are NOT important to me when I'm looking for a desktop replacement machine. Design and style can go die if they start to encroach on functionality, usability, or performance. I very much doubt I'm alone in all these priorities.

Whoever these idiots are that decided the market doesn't need non-widescreen displays or decent keyboards that take full advantage of the 17" form factor, they definitely won't be getting any of my money. I'll revert to a desktop before I buy any of the mobile toys they're pushing...

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