MSI GS70 Stealth review

Is this the perfect gaming notebook?

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3DMark Fire Strike: 2,211
Cinebench 11.5: CPU performance, 5.99pts
PC Mark 8 battery Life (Home test): 1hr 56mins

The MSI GS70's quad-core processor rattled through our Cinebench test to a score of 5.99. It's a good result that beats machines with Ivy Bridge hardware - the Gigabyte scored 4.7.

It's unable to match the beefier Schenker XMG P703, though, which scored a mighty 7.21. The Schenker is the best laptop here for pure processing power, but don't discount the MSI GS70 - it's got more than enough grunt to handle work applications and intensive office software - and the processor's Hyper-Threading makes it a great multi-tasker, too.

The GTX 760M graphics core is no slouch, either. Its 3DMark Fire Strike score of 2,211 easily beats the 1,525 result from the Gigabyte machine, and it's able to handle modern games without breaking much of a sweat: it sauntered through Bioshock Infinite's top graphics settings at 1,920 x 1,080 at a smooth 42fps. In Battlefield 3, at its high-quality options, the MSI GS70 averaged 47fps.

It's not quite able to match the GTX 770M inside the XMG P703, though. The more powerful chip inside the Schenker laptop averaged 21.2fps in the demanding Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark - almost three frames ahead of the MSI GS70, which scored 18.4fps.

It can't outpace the XMG P703, but the MSI GS70 is still one of the swiftest gaming machines we've tested - it can handle most modern games without too much compromise in terms of quality settings and resolution.

There are downsides to packing high performance levels inside such a small chassis - heat and noise.

The processor and graphics core hit peak temperatures of 82°C and 87°C, with hot air noticeably being pumped out of the vents on either side of the system. The two fans inside produced a high-pitched whine when tasked with tough games, although the speakers easily drown this out.

The SSD array isn't exactly sluggish. Its sequential read speed of 826MB/sec is almost twice as fast as one SSD can manage, and its write pace of 374MB/sec is impressive too.

The GS70's 17-inch panel didn't let the side down, either. We used an X-Rite i1Display Pro and measured the screen's brightness at 318cd/m2. That's better than most laptops, and it's enough to ensure vibrant, punchy images in games and movies. The measured contrast ratio of 1,096:1 is just as impressive, and it's enough to deliver searing whites and deep blacks.

MSI GS70 Stealth review

The MSI GS70 uses a TN screen, which means viewing angles are great, and our only minor issues concern colour accuracy. The Delta E of 7.6 is average, which means colour accuracy isn't quite good enough for advanced imaging work. The screen can render 83.4% of the Adobe RGB colour gamut coverage, which is good, but it's not quite as adept at handling the most intense red and purple tones.

There's one area where this machine can't really compete - battery life. The sealed unit inside the MSI GS70 lasted for 1hr 56mins when tested using its high-performance mode - and it only improved by around half an hour when we user power-saving mode.