MSI GX780 - An entertainment powerhouse, not a gaming delight Review

By Vinod Yalburgi | Updated Aug 04 2011
MSI GX780 - An entertainment powerhouse, not a gaming delight Review
  • PROS
  • Customizable backlit LED keyboard
  • Full 1080p HD display
  • Supports USB 3.0, E-SATA and HDMI ports
  • CONS
  • Expensive
  • Poor battery life
  • Average gaming performance

Verdict

The GX780 is a well-built notebook, and obviously an attempt at the upmarket audience. However, it is let down by a mediocre GPU - the GT555M isn't a hardcore gamers' GPU, and at a price of Rs. 1,19,999, it doesn't satisfy us. Especially when we�ve tested the ASUS G74SX, which has a GT560M GPU, a stereoscopic display; and is a significantly better performer for just Rs. 5,000 more.

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MSI GX780 - An entertainment powerhouse, not a gaming delight detailed review

MSI aims to address the needs of gamers with the release of GX780 gaming laptop, that is designed and developed by Team Fnatic - the world's popular professional gaming team in association with SteelSeries - a leading gaming keyboard manufacturer in Europe. The completely customizable backlit LED keyboard with about 5 different LED scenario modes is an interesting feature for the enthusiasts and gamers. Let us find out if the laptop can truly perform up to the expectations, apart from its exquisitely impressive set of features including customizable LED keyboard, full HD display, and DirectX 11 texture rendering. Its GPU also supports Nvidia 3D Vision - but there's no stereoscopic display onboard however.


Look and Feel
The GX780 is well built with Aluminium brushed metal finish on the lid, rubberized finish on the sides of the keypad and the palmrest. The palm-rest itself is well crafted with matte-textured finish to give it a classic look. The two shiny, rectangular-shaped grilled speakers above the keypad on either side it, attract ones attention. The hot function keys gives access to movie mode, adjusting fan speed, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and optical drive eject. The display's glossy finish makes it glaring when exposed to direct sunlight or a brightly lit room. The sharp-cut edges on the corners of the lid and chassis stand out along with the delicately cut edges of the trackpad. However, its exterior design is too simplistic in comparison with the Alienware laptops that have contours and such other designs that make them that much more pleasing to the eye.

Meanwhile, the Windows key is shifted to the right to provide bigger 'left ctrl' and 'alt' keys for the gamers. The isolated keypad design enhances keyboard usability and navigation by providing sufficient key-spacing that is particularly important for making those vital combo moves in hack and slash games. With due credit to SteelSeries, the keyboard design gets a makeover, which has vastly improved the keyboard ergonomics and responsiveness. The gamers would love the flexibility of pressing up to 10 keys simultaneously during those close combats for making quick second special moves!

Features

[RELATED_ARTICLE]The GX780 has a 17.3-inch display that runs at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, making it an ideal entertainment device too. Adding support for the NVIDIA 3D Vision and DirectX 11 gives you the advantage of stereoscopic 3D experience, as well as run the latest games on optimized settings for better texture rendering. In addition, by including a 720p HD webcam and USB 3.0 interface, the GX780 strengthens its claim to be a complete multimedia laptop. If you are a hardcore gamer who likes customizing the rig to its limits, then you would love the idea of choosing between several LED colour combinations split across five scenario modes for tweaking your keyboard's backlight LED through the Keyboard LED Manager. Depending on your taste and usage purpose, you could choose between Normal mode, Gaming mode, Breathing mode, Wave mode and Dual colour mode for the keyboard backlight LED. Other interesting feature includes a set of hotkeys sandwiched between the two grilled speakers at the top of the keyboard. Among them the noteworthy ones are the turbo button that allows you to overclock the processor to its limits, while the cooler boost button revs up the fan speed to keep the laptop from overheating at peak loads.

Performance
The GX780 delivers comparatively much better performance than the ASUS G53Jw across most of the synthetic benchmarks including the PC Mark Vantage and Maxxon CineBench R11.5 CPU score, wherein the GX780 holds the scores of 8233 and 4.88, as against the G53Jw's scores of 6980 and 2.91.

This difference in scores might be attributed to GX780’s superior 2nd generation Core i7 processor. However, its gaming score of 54.6 fps across S.T.A.L.K.E.R Call of Pripyat at medium settings with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, is just marginally better than the ASUS G53Jw that scored 47.12fps. Also, its performance across Dirt 3 and Aliens Vs Predator is ordinary at medium settings, with scores of 41.07 and 44.2 frames per second respectively. However, good sound reproduction and impressive HD video playback performance sans stuttering and pixilation are its desirable traits. The low battery-life doesn’t come as a surprise for such a powerful configuration.


Verdict
The GX780 is a well-built notebook, and obviously an attempt at the upmarket audience. However, it is let down by a mediocre GPU – the GT555M isn’t a hardcore gamers' GPU, and at a price of Rs. 1,19,999, it doesn’t satisfy us. Especially when we’ve tested the ASUS G74SX for a mere 5,000 bucks more that has a GT560M and is a significantly better performer.

Specifications
 Processor: Intel Core i7 2630QM (2 GHz); Memory: 16GB DDR3 1333 MHz; Chipset: Intel Cougar Point HM67; Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M; Hard drive: 500GB; Display: 17.3-inch LED backlit, Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080; Weight: 3.9 Kilograms;

Ratings
Features: 7.5
Performance: 6.5
Build Quality: 7
Value for money: 6
Overall: 6.5
Price: Rs. 1,19,999

Model
GX780
Price (Rupees)
Rs. 1,19,999
Features
 
Component Specifications
 
Processor Model No
Intel Core i7-2630QM
Processor Speed (MHz)
2000
RAM (MB)
16384
RAM Type
DDR3
Memory Speed (MHz)
1333
Chipset
Intel Cougar Point HM67
Graphics Solution
NVIDIA GeForce GT555M
Dedicated Video Memory (Y / N)
Y
Dedicated Video Memory Size (in MB)
1024
Audio Chipset
Realtek High Definition Audio
Storage size (in GB)
1.5TB (750 GB x 2)
Drive type (HDD/SSD/other)
HDD
Optical Drive Type / Speed
DVD-RW / Super-multi
Bundled OS
Windows 7 Ultimate
Characteristics
 
Screen Size (Inches)
17.3-inch
Type of LCD
LED Backlight
Screen Resolution (Native)
1920 x 1080
Weight (Kg)
3.9 Kg
No. of Ports (USB / FireWire)
5 / None
USB 3.0 (Y/N)
Y
Connectivity (LAN / Bluetooth / Wi-Fi)
Y/Y/Y
E-Sata (Y/N)
Y
Display output (VGA/DVI/HDMI/Display Port)
Y/N/Y/N
Memory Card Reader (Y/N)
Y
Type of Memory Cards Supported
SDXC, SDHC, MMC, MS, MSPRO, xD
Inbuilt Webcam (Y/N)
Y
Webcamera resolution (in megapixels)
1MP
Battery Capacity
7800mAh
Build (So 10)
 
Body
7.5
Keypad
7.25
Lid, movables
7.5
Ergonomics and Usability
 
Keypad Tactile Feedback (So 10)
6
Key Layout, bevelling, spacing & Usability (So 10)
6.75
Shortcut Keys/Switches (So 10)
7
Trackpad ergonomics, size, position (So 10)
6.75
Trackpad accuracy (So 10)
6.75
Biometrics (fingerprint/face) login (Y/N)
N
Wi-Fi On/Off Switch or Button (Y/N)
Y
Dedicated Bluetooth On/Off Switch or Button (Y/N)
Y
Dedicated TouchPad On/Off Switch or Button (Y/N)
Y
Performance
 
Synthetic Scores
 
PC Mark Vantage
 
PCMark Score
8233
Memory Score
5160
TV and Movies Score
5400
Gaming Score
6624
Music Score
6945
Communications Score
6768
Productivity Score
6861
HDD Score
3604
3DMark 11
 
Graphics Score
1157
Physics Score
6092
Combined Score
1156
Unigine Heaven 2.5 (avg fps)
19.5
Unigine Heaven 2.5 (min fps)
11.9
Unigine Heaven 2.5 (max fps)
43.8
Unigine Heaven 2.5 (Score)
491
Maxxon CineBench R11.5 (CPU score)
4.88
Maxxon CineBench R11.5 (OpenGL) (fps)
36.89
Battery Life Test (in minutes)
55
 
 
Real World Tests
 
Speaker Quality (at 50% volume) (So 10)
7
HD Movie Viewing (using VLC) (So 10)
7.5
File transfer Test (4 GB test file-sequential) (Sec)
84
File transfer Test (4 GB test file-assorted) (Sec)
268
Far Cry 2 (1920 x 1080, high quality, DX 10)
32.1
Far Cry 2 (1366 x 768, high quality, DX 10)
44.48
Far Cry 2 (1366 x 768, medium quality)
87.81
STALKER Call Of Pripyat (1920 x 1080, maximum)
14
STALKER Call of Pripyat (fps) (1366 x 768, maximum)
24.8
STALKER Call of Pripyat (fps) (1366 x 768, medium)
54.6
Dirt 3 (1920 x 1080, maximum settings, 4x MSAA)
12.68
Dirt 3 (1366 x 768, maximum settings, 4x MSAA)
12.69
Dirt 3 (1366 x 768, medium settings, MSAA off)
41.07
Aliens Vs Predator (1920 x 1080, maximum settings, 4x AF, 4x MSAA)
10.8
Aliens Vs Predator (1366 x 768, maximum settings, 4x AF, 4x MSAA)
18.4
Aliens Vs Predator (1366 x 768, medium settings, AF off, MSAA off)
44.2
Warranty (Years)
2 year

Contact: MSI Computer India Pvt. Ltd.
Website: www.msi.com
E-mail: technicalindia@msi.com
Phone: 011-42701424/41758808/41758809; Ext. - Support:30 ; Technical : 43;

MSI GX780 - An entertainment powerhouse, not a gaming delight Key Specs, Price and Launch Date

Price:
Release Date: 04 Aug 2011
Market Status: Launched

Key Specs

  • OS OS
    NA
  • Display Display
    NA
  • Processor Processor
    NA

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Vinod Yalburgi

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MSI GX780 - An entertainment powerhouse, not a gaming delight

MSI GX780 - An entertainment powerhouse, not a gaming delight

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