MSI GS70 Stealth Pro Review - GS70 2QE (Featuring GTX 970M - Maxwell GPU) - HardwareHeaven.comHardwareHeaven.com
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MSI GS70 Stealth Pro Review – GS70 2QE (Featuring GTX 970M – Maxwell GPU)

MSI GS70 Stealth Pro Review – GS70 2QE (Featuring GTX 970M – Maxwell GPU)

Last week NVIDIA launched their latest mobile GPU, based on their Maxwell architecture which powers the likes of their high end GTX 980. Today in our MSI GS70 Stealth Pro Review (GS70 2QE) we take a look at a laptop which uses the new GTX 970M in games such as Alien Isolation and The Enemy Within.

MSI GS70 Stealth Pro Review – Packaging and Bundle

msi-gs70-stealth-pro-review-box msi-gs70-stealth-pro-review-box2

The GS70 2QE, or Stealth Pro to give it the more friendly product name, arrives in a stylish box which splits open to reveal the laptop suspended above the bundled items and wrapped in a few protective layers.

MSI GS70 Stealth Pro Review – Packaging and Bundle

msi-gs70-stealth-pro-review-bundlemsi-gs70-stealth-pro-review-bundle2msi-gs70-stealth-pro-review-psu

Bundled with the GS70 Stealth Pro we get a selection of product information, a soft case and the PSU/mains cable. This is a 150w slimline unit, manufactured by Delta electronics.

MSI GS70 Stealth Pro Review – External

msi-gs70-stealth-pro-review-lid msi-gs70-stealth-pro-review-base

The GS70 Stealth Pro uses a brushed metal lid with matt finish on the base. As is common for this style of chassis we get a pad towards the back which adds a barrier between the metal chassis and our legs/surface with various air intakes visible. Also on the base are various rubber feet which ensure stability on a desk as well as raising it to promote airflow. Turning back to the top of the laptop we find a MSI gaming logo in the centre.

In terms of dimensions the system 390x256x19.9mm and weighs 2.66KG.

msi-gs70-stealth-pro-review-right msi-gs70-stealth-pro-review-left

Turning to the right side of the laptop we find two USB 3.0 ports, SD card reader, power input and kensington lock slot. Also worthy of note is the exhaust location here, something which is mirrored on the left side providing the exit for the air from our two cooling fans. Also on the left is a GB LAN port (Killer E2200), HDMI, 2x mini-DisplayPort (allowing 3 display configs), 2x USB 3.0 and three 3.5mm audio connectors.

MSI GS70 Stealth Pro Review – Lid Up

msi-gs70-stealth-pro-review-keyboard msi-gs70-stealth-pro-review-screen

Upon opening the GS70 Stealth Pro we find a set of icons which tell us what the front side status LEDs mean. Just left of centre is our touch pad which integrates the left and right click and just beneath the screen we have our speaker grill (speakers by Dynaudio) and power button. For the keyboard, MSI again use a SteelSeries design and it is fully backlit. For our screen we have a 1920×1080 17.3″ full HD display with anti-glare coating. Our webcam sits above this and is a 1080p capable model.

MSI GS70 Stealth Pro Review – Specifications

spec

Looking inside the GS70 2QE we have a set of main components which begin with the Haswell based i7-4710HQ CPU which is rated for 2.5-3.5GHz and features four cores with hyperthreading enabled. Built in to this is an Intel 4600 based integrated GPU which handles our desktop/productivity use and then for more advanced tasks, such as gaming, the system automatically switches to the NVIDIA GTX 970M. This is a Maxwell based GPU (GM204) and is built on the 28nm process. Here we have a 3GB GDDR5 configuration using a 192bit bus and our core config is 1280/80/48 (10SMM). The reference specification for the GTX 970M is 924Mhz core, with 1250MHz memory (5000MHz) and our boost clock is 1038MHz.

Elsewhere we have two Toshiba m.2 SSDs in RAID0 for our OS/App drive and a 1TB, 7200RPM drive for storage. Wireless ac (Killer) and Bluetooth 4.0 are supported and our memory is 16GB of Adata DDR3-1600. Finally our battery is a 6cell, Li-Polymer model with 4840mAh/52Wh rating.

MSI GS70 Stealth Pro Review – Software

win updates

MSI install Windows 8.1 on the GS70 Stealth Pro and it is good to see that it has also had a number of updates added as part of the standard build.

installed

Also present a selection of extra software which includes Microsoft Office, Magix MX Suite (multimedia software) and Norton Internet Security.

soft keyboard

In terms of more MSI specific software we start with Dragon Gaming Centre which allows us to monitor key system aspects, launch apps and configure profiles. Then we have SteelSeries engine which allows us full control of our keyboard configuration, including lighting and profiles.

soft1 soft2

We can also configure our audio through the Sound Blaster Cinema 2 control panel and the final key application is X-Split. MSI provide us with a limited licence for this so that we can get up and running.

MSI GS70 Stealth Pro Review – User Experience and Conclusion

msi-gs70-2qe-stealth-pro-reviews-lights

**FULL PERFORMANCE RESULTS AFTER THE CONCLUSION**

Starting with the design and build quality of the GS70 2QE, or Stealth pro, we have a system which uses a familiar design. The all metal casing feels good quality, something which is enhanced by the brushed lid and we like that the branding is minimal. At less than 2cm thick it also means that despite this being a large 17.3″ system it is very portable (helped by the weight) and so it is nice that MSI offer the protective case. Upon opening the lid we also find that the quality finish continues and really it is only the display bezel which has a notable amount of plastic.

Looking at the components used we start with a good quality keyboard, one of the best in a laptop if not the best, and the audio is pretty good too. We have to say that for gaming systems (or most systems) the touchpad with integrated click is nowhere near as good as discrete buttons but it is accurate/sensitive. The screen used here has good viewing angles, though it does drop off a little in quality at extreme angles however it is plenty bright and crisp. We also get quality branded NIC, memory and drives which is great. The choice of CPU is interesting. In the last year or so the go to CPU for this class of system is the i7-4800MQ however MSI use the i7-4710HQ here. In theory it is a lower spec CPU however in our use it compared very well while having a lower power draw which is ideal. So that brings us to the GTX 970M which, essentially, is one of the best mobile GPUs available at the time of writing. It supports the latest DirectX and specs to appeal to mobile gamers, just as its impressive power draw does.

So what about actual performance? Well the graphs can be found below however the key findings were that the CPU used here offers very similar performance to the i7-4800MQ. Memory performance has not changed since the last generation of gaming laptops and MSI have a decent choice of drives which offer excellent read speeds on the RAID SSDs, decent writes and industry standard speeds on the mechanical drive. Gaming? Well on that front things are very good. 3DMark shows a significant improvement over the 780M and 880M GTX cards but real world gaming is what we care about. In that scenario the only disappointment was The Evil Within. Brand new, interesting but horribly optimised by the developer and so we had to run at low detail/resolution. At the opposite end of the spectrum are games like Alien Isolation and Grid Autosport which run exceptionally well with 1920×1080 and maximum detail. Total War: Rome 2 required very high but by the time we moved to DOTA 2 we were back up at maximum detail, meaning this could be the ideal system for LAN/eSports gamers.

So that brings us to value where the quality of build, components used and 2-year warranty mean we have a well balanced offering which has an RRP of £1499.

Summary: A great gaming laptop which offers high end specifications in a compact quality chassis.

Gold Award

Available from Scan.

MSI GS70 Stealth Pro Review – Performance

CPU/Platform Performance

Cinebench R15
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Music Conversion (2CD lossless to MP3)
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Video Conversion 4K to 720p
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Memory Bandwidth DDR3-1600
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SATA/usb3
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Temps (Gaming)
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GTX 970M Gaming

3DMark FireStrike Extreme
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Alien Isolation 1920×1080 Ultra
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DOTA2 1920×1080 Max
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The Evil Within 800×600 Low
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Grid AutoSport 1920×1080 Ultra
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Total War: Rome 2 1920×1080 Very High
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MSI GS70 2QE Screenshot Selection

gs70-screens (1) gs70-screens (2) gs70-screens (3) gs70-screens (4)

About Author

Stuart Davidson

19 Comments

  1. wsitumn

    Under what % load for the temp?

    • HI, clarification added. It was taken during a 30m gaming session. Often in the past we have gone for 100% however now feel it is more useful, as with the fps themselves, to give a real world example.

      • Vince

        I wonder if this temp is with the stock thermal paste? Because I heard you could get a lot of improvement with IC diamond.
        I’m going to buy this laptop soon, by looking at the temp it has improved a lot from the 870M generation.

  2. rakute

    Sorry i overlooked the temps chart. Thanks for that.
    But what about fan noise during internet surfing and gaming usage? How is the fan spin characteristic in idle time? This was a huge problem with the old gs70 with GTX 870m due to the thin case and lots heat. Thanks for any insights on this.

    • Hi, I would say its a little quieter, no doubt assisted by the alternate CPU and new maxwell GPU. Can it get loud, yes. That tends to be only when gaming though. Other than the odd spin up here and there, normal use was very quiet.

  3. rakute

    Thanks. I will just wait for an review of the ASUS G751 with the GTX970M before buying into the new generation of those gaming machines. The ASUS will probably be more silent when gaming in comparsion. But i like the case of the GS70 more. Tough one 🙂

  4. frea74

    Hi Stuart, thanks for the helpful review!
    Just one question: did you get the chance to perform any battery run-time checks?
    I’m mainly interested in its max battery time for everyday tasks (e.g. browsing under Wifi, Office tasks etc), not any CPU/GPU-intensive tasks. (No-one would ever dare game on battery I suppose, anyhow! 😉
    Thanks in advance!

  5. frea74

    Many thanks for the prompt answer! I was about to invest in a high-end Aspire VN7 Nitro, but I confess I’m thoroughly impressed by the 970M and this MSI laptop in particular, given its quite slim form (for its specs). Once more, thanks and have nice evening! 🙂

  6. m. Stuart

    Nice review. I’m tempted by this notebook since it’s the closest I’ve found to what I want. The drawback is the SSD Raid which doesn’t really make sense imho, and that adds a lot to the cost of the notebook for little benefit.

    • You could always buy it then take out the RAID drives, sell them and put a standard SSD config in… and the spare money in your pocket. Win win 🙂

      • m. Stuart

        Thanks for your answer, not a bad idea. I’ve also seen now that MSI is also selling a version with 1x128GB SSD for £1399 which is not too bad. Ideally, I’d get it with just the 1TB HDD and replace it with a SATA SSD 256GB that I’ve already got, but it’s an imperfect world 🙂

    • Ethos Evoss

      Why Raid 0 is useless? It is faster..
      Am planning to make Quad RAID 0
      That will fly then !

  7. I don’t know if it would work with any other laptop, but I may as well ask. Would an external video capturing device work with this by plugging it to the hdmi out of this laptop while also plugging a monitor to the laptop through the dp? So that you play watching the dp monitor while the device captures the signal through the hdmi out?

  8. Mathias Thorp

    Did you registrer the surface and bottom temperatures during gaming?

  9. heeeb

    i have the GS 60 4K, when i play Black Ops III at 1080p the Gpu reach 86 °C…

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