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This review is from: MSI GS70 Stealth Pro-003 Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7 4710HQ (2.50GHz) 16GB Memory 1TB HDD 256 GB SSD(128 GB mSATA SSD x 2 RAID 0)NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M 3GB 17.3" Windows 8.1 64-Bit Multi-language
Pros: Great gaming performance
Beautiful aesthetic design
Relatively cool temperatures under loads
Ample memory for multitasking
Amazingly fast boot and wake times
External expansion galore (my current setup has a single 23" monitor connected, with input for two more)
4 USB 3.0 ports (mouse, keyboard, 360 controller, and headphones if I'm barebones, but I have a 10-port hub, which is a huge advantage)
Great speakers for a notebook
Decently sharp webcam
Along with intense gaming, it's great for workstation and production tasks
Cons: Brushed metal. Always a con. I simply don't touch the lid of the notebook because I don't want any fingerprints on it. It was a horrible idea when it was first used, and it's a horrible idea today.
It uses a slotted power input connector. This is the year 2015. We should have advanced from this type of connector because it has too much risk to break both inside the notebook and on the charging tip itself. But it seems that no manufacturer is addressing this problem except apple. Magnets are not a patent. Certain designs are, but that doesn't mean that a $1800 laptop should have something so volatile as this type of connector. And if MSi wants to become truly awesome, then they'll start manufacturing notebooks that have magnetic breakaway cables, and they'll manufacture adapters that users can put into these power sockets so that they're flush with the body of the notebook, and a replacement cable that goes from the power brick to the notebook that ends in a magnetic tip. It's just absolutely appalling and embarrassing that a $1800 laptop is still using what was used 20 years ago when we've had all that time to try to improve all of our technology. But only apple does this, and no other company considers that people who pay price premiums for notebooks would also want a power connector that provides absolutely no risk of damaging the most important port on the entire notebook. Shame on you, MSi.
And now the reason I'm giving this product a 1-egg rating: MSi support. It is simply terrible.
I'm currently an exchange student in Japan, here until one month after my warranty expires. I've contacted MSi in the US, the UK, and Japan because when I got here, the notebook wouldn't say that it was charging (but was plugged in), and because I have a dead pixel (yes, dead, I've run the tests). I've replaced screens on my own before, and since it's vital that I always have a notebook with me where I live in Japan, I can't send my notebook to MSi to get the screen replaced. But I'd love to converse with them about perhaps livestreaming or making a video, taking responsibility for whatever damages might occur under my replacement skills.
But MSi simply has NOT responded. My only response was from someone running the MSi UK Notebook page on Facebook, and that person contacted US support in the most direct way possible from within the company.
So while the product performs fantastically, know that your 1-year warranty means absolutely nothing. Once you buy this, and you're outside of your 30-day Newegg warranty, you're on your own. MSi doesn't care about anything that may happen to the product, and all repairs/replacements will have to be done by you.
Again, shame on you, MSi. If you want to make this right, send me the panel for the 2QE-003 so I can spend two hours with this in my possession to carefully, professionally replace the screen and send you the defective panel.
And then pay attention to your customers. E-mail them. Don't be office
Other Thoughts: The most important thing to take from this is that when you buy this, you're getting only a 30-day warranty from Newegg. Any defects or issues you have with this will NOT be covered by MSi because you simply cannot get a response from them. Your best shot is to hope that one of the PR people on their facebook or twitter pages will respond to you, but the best that person can do is give you a link to e-mail, which will not receive a reply.
As MSi makes renown components and products, I'm hoping that they see this review and how I'm dissuading people from buying one of their top-tier products for the single reason that MSi doesn't serve its customers after they have our purchase money.
Companies/departments with this poor of a relationship with their customer base simply don't need to exist. And if MSi doesn't reply to me here, then when I'm able to settle and decide to stop traveling, my next desktop will not have any MSi or MSi subsidiary products in it. This notebook will have been the last MSi product that I will ever buy.
Pros: Well-priced, great design for keeping the GPU cool, and this card alone does better than two Sapphire 2GB 6950s in CrossFireX. That said, this card struggles in Unigine Heaven 2.5 when it's close to objects, with settings of high shaders, extreme tessellation, anisotropy of 16, 8x anti-aliasing, at a 1600x900 resolution. That is to say that this card will do everything in its power not to drop below 26fps at the toughest of conditoins. Average at those stats was 46-59fps, limited by my monitor.
It's also wonderfully quiet, even with a load. Or maybe I'm not giving it enough of a load when I max out benchmarks, Burnout Paradise, Bioshock franchise, Dirt 3, Borderlands 2, Portal 2, Dead Island, and other heavy hitters.
Cons: Physical design does cause compromise for other cards beneath it, but I really don't see myself ever planning to shop for anything bigger than a wireless card, or a sound card if I'm getting -really- serious. Still, with slight adjustments, such things can fit beneath this card, depending on the motherboard.
Other Thoughts: As I mentioned, I had two 2GB Sapphire 6950s in CrossFireX, and they were dropping to 16fps at those Heaven 2.5 stats, maxing 44fps. I don't think I've ever seen a 2GB Radeon card perform so well, but my current build is my first AMD/Radeon, just for the sake of having the experience. I do prefer Intel/AMD, but with this card, I'm really not all that intent on building another computer yet.
AMD FX-4100 @ 4.2GHz (7.3)
ASUS M5A97 R2.0
G.Skill 8GB 1600 (2x4GB) (7.6) (RMA with my two 8GB sticks, soon to make 16GB in this rig)
HIS 7870 GHz Edition (7.9, 7.9)
Crucial M4 64GB SSD (7.9)
WD Caviar Green 2TB HDD
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Corsair Carbide 300R windowed (with NZXT Hue for flare. >.o)
Pros: Outperforms two Sapphire 2GB Radeon HD6950s by just the single card itself
Driver software is stable and installs well (from fresh install with no former AMD drivers on the system)
Quiet. Surprisingly quiet. I've pushed the card to the max on Sonic Generations, Borderlands 2, Portal 2, Sega All-Stars Racing, Heaven 2.5, Furmark, and many of those being played on a 20" and 42" monitor at the same time (screens duplicated). Former 6950s in CrossFireX could do that with only one or two games in my library (the lowest-weight ones at that). Speaker volume has been low, and the fan sounds like it's at 30% when the card has a load. Temperatures were stable and efficient.
Comes with CrossFireX bridge
Works in 970 chipsets.
Cons: The fan. Oh yes, but it's not a horrible con. The fan is the most efficient I've seen on Radeon cards, and the fan part itself will take up the next and third slot on your motherboard if you plan to have a long card in there. My motherboard's PCI-E ports are three apart though, so I'm fine.
Long. I could fit one into my system, but I'll likely have to take out my hard drive bays to fit the second one I plan to buy. One is powerful enough to be decent, but two is another layer on a cake.
Other Thoughts: FXfirstname.lastname@example.orgGHz
ASUS M5A97 970 motherboard
8GB (temporary until an RMA gives me 16GB)
64GB Crucial M4 SSD (OS, utilities)
60GB OCZ Agility II (non-Steam games)
2TB Seagate Barracuda (personal data)
Corsair Carbide 300R (windowed)
Windows 7 Ultimate x64