If there’s one thing MSI has been excelling at in recent times, it has to be their gaming laptops division. MSI’s been releasing one amazing laptop after another in the Indian market and we’ve had a great time reviewing the likes of the GT72 Dominator and other heavy duty gaming laptops from MSI in the recent past. The thing with their gaming laptops so far is that they seem to impress on screen quality, seem to pack a great keyboard (by SteelSeries), claim to offer great audio (by DynAudio) and as far as internals go, MSI laptops pack quite a punch, sporting sensible thermal design, too. Dynaudio is one of best speaker manufacturers in the world, used by renowned artists like Katy Perry for professional sound system in her music recording and tour.
But if the GT72 Dominator was great, wait till you hear about the GT80. At least on paper, it has jaw-dropping specs that will make you want to max out your credit card without a second thought.
Just how good are the MSI GT80’s credentials? It’s exactly the kind of exceptional gaming laptop that anyone would expect from MSI and to top it off, it comes with just about everything you’d expect from a gaming laptop. SSDs in RAID? Check. A monstrous GPU? Check. An Intel Core i7 CPU, a backlit keyboard, piles of RAM? Check, check and check. Don’t believe us, just see some of the basic hardware specs:
• The 5th generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor.
• 18.4“ Full HD (1920X1080) , Anti-glare LCD in LED backlight.
• The latest USB 3.0 SuperSpeed+ interface built in (optional).
• Nahimic Sound Technology with immersive 3D sound processing.
• Embedded NVIDIA® GeForce GTX 970M SLI with ultra performance.
• Exclusive Super RAID 3 with 4 SSD (optional).
The laptop also comes with Cherry MX mechanical keyboard for superior typing experience – this is much better than regular membrane keyboards found on most laptops sold in the market. Typing on the GT80 is a much better experience, as a result of the Cherry MX key switches, and it claims to be the only laptop offering this capability in the world. Also, the MSI gaming laptop comes with an extra touchpad on the right, which can be customized into a numpad or an extra input device par excellence. Again, this is something that you don’t find on most laptops out there in the market.
The 18-inch Full HD screen is obviously good, but what’s more exciting about the screen on the MSI GT80 is that it is equipped to reproduce optimum frames from all your beloved games. A quad-core Intel Core i7 chip, up to 32GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD paired with 1TB of 7200rpm hard drive ensures the GT80 is head and shoulders above most laptops sold in the market. What really makes this baby unique is its NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M graphics with pixel-exploding GDDR5 memory – and depending on how deep your pockets are, you can also buy the GT80 equipped with two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M in 6GB SLI. No game will have any chance of beating this beast, we reckon!
What’s more? The laptop also claims to support the latest USB 3.0 SuperSpeed+ interface, which is amazingly fast and a lot lot faster than current USB 3.0 transfer rates. No accessories in market yet that support the USB 3.0 port, but MSI GT80 ensures your laptop is future-proofed whenever the devices wave does hit stores.
Another important aspect of the MSI GT80? Opening it up and upgrading its innards is extremely easy. All you have to do is pop open a single panel of its back, and voila you have access to its storage, Wi-Fi, RAM and other components, which can easily be serviced and upgraded. This is a feature that we don’t easily see across many devices.
You also get a smorgasbord of connectivity options – USB ports, audio jacks and a Blu-Ray combo drive. If that wasn’t enough, you also get some useful software for monitoring the state of your laptop, SteelSeries Engine to customise your keyboard backlight. We really liked the look and feel of the MSI GT72’s keyboard and trackpad, we don’t think the GT80’s keyboard will be any worse than the GT72’s – which means fragging enemies and APMs won’t be an issue here.
Performance? We saw frame-rates in excess of 65 in Bioshock Infinite (at max settings), 56 in Tomb Raider, 60 in GRID Autosport on GT72 and that had inferior graphics compared to the GT80. Having not tested the machine, we will leave it to your imagination, but we have no doubt that the GT80 will pwn games left, right and centre – even at very high settings – because it supports SLI. Graphics options are available as follows on the GT80: GTX980M 8GB SLI and GTX970M 6GB SLI. And that says quite a lot, isn’t it? This machine also comes with Xsplit Gamecaster for broadcasting, recording and sharing of your precious gaming moments. Its Killer Gigabit LAN and Killer 802.11 ac Wi-Fi allows Smart Teaming while you’re engaged in multiplayer games.
Even when you’re not gaming, when you’re booting up the system or installing games, multitasking won’t be an issue on this machine – going by it specs. Battery life will take a hit in the heat of gaming frenzy, but whenever you aren’t stressing the GT80 to its limit, not gaming, it claims to offer 3 hours of battery backup on a single charge. That’s quite good, if you ask us, for a gaming laptop, that too. What’s more? It comes with exclusive SHIFT technology for system’s performance and balance between battery life.
Speaking of beasts, this laptop is a true desktop replacement and definitely not portable. It weighs quite a bit and is chunky for a reason – superior thermal cooling. Cooler Boost 3 does a great job of keeping the heat under control to ensure the user feels only pleasant temps. All that space isn’t wasted though, the cooling system on the GT80 promises to work just as well as it did on the GT72.
We can’t wait to review this new MSI GT80 gaming laptop. It has all the indicators of being one of the best performing laptops (if not the best performing laptops) we test this year. And that’s saying a lot.
Detailed Specs of MSI GT80
• Windows 8.1
• The 5th generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor
• 18.4“ Full HD (1920X1080) , Anti-glare LCD in LED backlight
• The latest USB 3.0 SuperSpeed+ interface built in (optional)
• Nahimic Sound Technology with immersive 3D sound processing
• Embedded NVIDIA® GeForce GTX 970M SLI with ultra performance
• Exclusive SHIFT technology for system’s performance and balance
• Exclusive Super RAID 3 with 4 SSD (option)
• Exclusive Cooler Boost 3 Technology
• Killer DoubleShot Pro (Killer Gb LAN + Killer 802.11 a/c WiFi) with Smart Teaming
• Audio Boost 2 with 3 independent amp for best sound experience
• Evolution of Sound by Dynaudio 2.1 sound system
• SteelSeries Engine to personalize your own style
• XsplitGamcaster for broadcasting, recording and sharing
• Keyboard by Steelseries with full color LED back light
• Matrix display support up to 4 displays
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