"This Best Selling MSI Computer Corp. Notebook GT70 0NE-609US;9S7-176215-609 17.3-Inch Laptop Tends to SELL OUT VERY FAST! If this is a MUST HAVE product, be sure to Order Now to avoid disappointment!"
MSI 17.3" Gaming Laptop (Dragon Edition) with Core i7-3630QM, GTX 680M/4GB GDDR5, mSATA SSD RAID, Hybrid Drive, BD Burner and Windows 8 64bit
Armed with the same sleek brushed aluminum exterior and anti-glare screen as its predecessor, it’s more powerful inside. MSI GT70 0NE-609US packs Intel's third-generation Core i7-3630QM quad-core processor and NVIDIA's latest GeForce GTX 680M graphics with 4GB GDDR5 VRAM, much faster than its previous-generation graphics. No need to look back, because no one will catch up.
Intel Core i7-3630QM processor Windows 8 64bit 17.3" Full HD Anti-reflective Display (16:9, 1920 x 1080) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M discrete graphics with 4GB GDDR5 VRAM 16GB (4GBx4) DDR3 1600MHz system memory 128GB mSATA SSD + 128GB mSATA SSD + 750GB HDD (7200RPM) with Super RAID 0 Full-color programmable backlit keyboard by SteelSeries Killer DoubleShot Dynaudio premium sound speakers with subwoofer Blu-ray Disc Burner
BONUS BUNDLE FOR GT70 DRAGON EDITION
The bonus bundle of MSI GT70 0NE-609US (Dragon Edition) comes with MSI Dragon Army Heatset by SteelSeries Siberia V2, MSI Backback and Military Dog Tag of Dragon Edition.
UNPARALLELED GAMING EXPERIENCE WITH NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 680M
Prepare for world domination with the ultimate arsenal for gaming, the MSI GT70 armed with the latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M graphics card. The fastest, most advanced gaming notebook GPU delivers up to 60% more performance than the previous generation1 and the fastest performance of the current generation. Striking the perfect balance with power and performance, the NVIDIA Optimus™ technology intelligently switches between NVIDIA graphics and integrated graphics for prolonged battery life.
SUPER RAID 0
Equipped with dual 128GB Gen3 mSATA SSD’s in RAID 0, experience blazing speeds for instant action and near nullified load times. This extreme storage configuration increases read speeds to over 900 MB/s. With the additional high storage capacity of a 750GB HDD, have the best of all worlds with the speed you want and the storage you crave.
DoubleShot, double kill. The Killer DoubleShot combines Killer Wi-Fi and Ethernet adapters, built for superior speed, intelligence and control for notebook PCs, wired or wireless. Advanced Stream Detect automatically classifies and prioritizes latency-sensitive application traffic for online games, HD video and high-quality audio for better control in your online experience.
FULL COLOR PROGRAMMABLE BACKLIT KEYBOARD
Fully preparing gamers for any situation, MSI’s G-Series notebooks come standard with exclusive SteelSeries gaming keyboards. Immediate response times and accurately handling up to 10 simultaneous key hits; this keyboard is the perfect weapon in the hands of any gamer.
- Great construction. The overall build quality is excellent. Is it too heavy? Not to me. This is not an ultrabook; nor is it supposed to be. The brushed aluminum is not only beautiful, but it’s also essentially FINGERPRINT-PROOF! As is the palm rest
- Trackpad is spacious, with nice accents
- Speaker system is top notch, loud, distortion-free and even pleasantly bassy (due to the subwoofer)
- SteelSeries keyboard is well-sized, has solid feedback and is above average in quality
- Keyboard has nice backlighting which is fully customizable by using the onboard KLM software
- Win8 is pre-loaded onto the spacious SSD, which makes OS functions and bootup lightning fast
- Gold-plated audio jacks make it a breeze to connect this bad boy to external speaker systems
- Fairly quiet to my ears
- The backpack and headset bonus items are a combined value of just under $200, and are both high quality extras
- Gaming performance is as good as it gets, as of this writing
- The wireless module (Killer Wireless) comes with some pretty wicked software. According to some demonstrations on YouTube (which seem legit), it provides better and more consistent latency than competitors
- The display (which thanks to MSI’s engineering, can be easily swapped out by the user if you prefer a different configuration) has a slight grainy texture to it when viewing solid colors under certain conditions. However, it’s big, fairly bright, and glare-free
- Left-side Windows key has been removed (there’s still one on the right) in order to avoid accidents while gaming. Thus, if you used that key a lot, you won’t have it (though you can always map out alternate shortcuts).
- Windows 8 UI blows for desktop users, but this is easily remedied by third-party software, and the OS is speedy and does have some improvements
- Though it has 3 USB 3.0 ports, they’re all on the left side (with 2 USB 2.0 on the right). No big deal though.
This thing flies, is quality construction, and looks awesome. No, it isn’t too big. It’s the perfect size for its purpose. It feels very solid and appropriately weighted when carried (but again, I’m not after ultraportability; this is a desktop replacement). Feels good when used on my lap too. I had to use MSI customer service due to a minor issue, and they were extremely responsive and helpful, which is a good sign. I’ve not used the Alienware, Asus, or any other competitor, but honestly, I don’t need to. My expectations were pretty high and this laptop exceeded them.
This review is a comparison of MSI GT70-0NE (zero NE) 609US dragon edition vs Dell Alienware M18x-R2
I am a non-gamer. I am an adult. I am a casual laptop user. I do not do any cpu (central processing unit) intensive tasks like video editing. I simply surf the internet, watch dvds, watch Netflix, check email, and listen to music. My last computer was a 2002 Gateway desktop running Windows XP. I have no experience with Windows Vista or Windows 7 and it took a lot of effort and patience to learn Windows 8. I wanted the best laptop available by direct purchase from the manufacturer. I wanted a large screen desktop replacement laptop. I wanted to be hassle free in terms of trouble shooting and warranty service and thus I did not want a third party/middle man customized laptop dealer. I initially purchased the Alienware M18x-R2 with Windows 8 (released 10/26/2012) on 11/27/2012. It has an 18.4 inch diagonal glossy screen. The first M18x-R2 I received constantly gave me “display driver stopped responding and has recovered” errors. The case was also scratched. After weeks of telephone tech support, I opted for a full refund rather than switching out video cards and mother boards. I tried 3 more M18x-R2 laptops. However, these 3 all had a new problem. I ordered 16 GB (gigabytes) of RAM (random access memory) at 1866 MHz. Each was set to 1333 MHz out of the box. Tech support had me go into BIOS and change the DIMM profile from default to XMP profile 2. This did force the RAM to operate at 1866 MHz but the system still displayed it as 1333 MHz in Alien Autopsy and in the ePSA pre-boot assessment diagnostics. This issue persisted through 3 purchase and refund cycles. Dell Alienware was unable to ship me a laptop operating at 1866 MHz out of the box. Each time I had to change BIOS settings to achieve the performance I had purchased. Also, these 3 Alienware laptops all arrived with 5 to 10 dead pixels in each new build. The 4th M18x-R2 also kept failing a windows update for Intel Corporation Storage Controller and tech support wanted me to “hide” this update. It also had some keyboard backlighting glitches using Alienware FX. Another of my four iterations had a touch pad button that would get stuck in the down position and squeak when it was working. I was being very picky but this was an expensive laptop and I felt these technical issues were unacceptable. I decided to move on to a different manufacturer. Alienware has the largest screen at 18.4 inches. The next largest is 17.3 inches which is provided by many manufacturers. With all four M18x-R2s I purchased I chose the nebula red case. So, I decided to try the MSI GT70-0NE dragon edition as it is red also and offers excellent hardware.
CONSTRUCTION AND AESTHETICS
The M18x-R2 is sleek. It has a slot load optical drive which has a clean look. The GT70 has a tray load but does have a touch eject button above the keyboard in addition to a mechanical button on the tray in addition to a pinhole emergency release for a jammed dvd. MSI also offers blu ray burning capabilities and Alienware does not. Also, the optical drive in the MSI is much quieter and has less vibration than the M18x-R2. The M18x-R2 seemed to only have 3 construction materials. The palm rest was rubber, the screen was solid glass edge to edge, and the body was red aluminum. The GT70 is ugly. The palm rest is red aluminum with a laser etched dragon. The speaker grills are silver. The webcam is chrome. The keyboard is black, surrounded by a very scratchable high gloss fingerprint magnet plastic, surrounded by dull plastic. With the proper lighting, you will see the high gloss plastic scratches even with a microfiber cloth. The M18x-R2 palm rest did show oily spots from my palms. The M18x-R2 screen touched the keyboard keys when the lid was closed and oils from my fingers would leave an oily outline of the keys on the screen. The M18x-R2 had no writing on the laptop and was elegant. The GT70 is ugly and covered in writing and labels as follows: “mic” next to the microphone, “keyboard by steel series” on palm rest, “sound by dynaudio” on touch area, and “dragon edition” on touch area. The USB 3.0 ports on the M18x-R2 were black and seemed classy but they are blue on the GT70 and all other computers and look bad. The GT70 does taper to the palm rest and is very comfortable to type on. The M18x-R2 did not taper and was not very ergonomic to type on. The M18x-R2 had only the power port in the rear. The GT70 has many rear ports and keeps my desk less cluttered with wires. I wish the GT70 rear esata port was a USB combo port but it is not. My M18x-R2 did not have optimus technology for the video card and used the Nvidia card 100% of the time versus Intel onboard graphics and yet the cooling fan would occasionally turn off and when it did run, it was extremely quiet. The GT70 has optimus technology with the Nvidia 680m graphics card and yet the fan never turns off even though I am on Intel graphics 100% of the time. The fan is loud on the GT70. It is right below the point of being unacceptably loud. The M18x-R2 only had one sticker for Windows 8 on the palm rest. It looked really slick. The GT70 has 3 stickers for Intel, geforce, and THX on the palm rest and looks ugly. The windows 8 sticker is inside the battery compartment. I removed the 3 palm rest stickers by simply peeling them off and using scotch tape to take off residual adhesive. Alienware did feel more solid, metal, and glass although the keyboard did have flex. MSI feels a little more plastic but the keyboard has no flex. While Apple Computer Products are beautiful, sophisticated, organic, and elegant looking, the GT70 is really ugly. There are a lot of seams between build materials, plastics, the keyboard, etc. Dust gets stuck in these seams.
The Dell Alienware Windows 8 OS (operating system) was very clean and stripped down. The MSI Windows 8 OS contains the following bloatware: adera, mahjong, freshpaint, puzzletouch, solitaire, taptiles, wordament, tu, games, pinball fx, evernote, music maker jam, movie maker, Korea media player center, Korea messenger center, taptiles, windows live mail, cookbook, and photo gallery. None of these were on the M18x-R2. I even tried a “remove everything and reinstall windows” but it still contained all these embedded extras. I ran MSI burn recovery to create a backup dvd. It insists on burning 6 dvds. It does not recognize dual layer dvds. It wouldn’t let me burn from the c: drive. I could only burn from the d: drive. The Alienware Alien Autopsy recovery discs only needed 2 dual layer DVDs. The M18x-R2 function control panel was toggle push button but it was backlit 100% of the time so it could be used in the dark. The GT70 function control panel is touch but it is not backlit and cannot be seen in a dark environment. Keyboard backlighting and Alienware FX is excellent and highly customizable on alienware. MSI only offers 3 lighting zones with no speaker grill or touchpad backlighting. The alienware speakers were much louder with and without headphones. MSI has a much lower speaker volume especially with headphones. This must be due to THX or dynaudio software. Occasionally, the laptop speakers randomly crackle with distortion for less than one second even though external speakers or headphones are plugged in. The MSI touchpad has a learning curve due to a raised plastic ridge between the touchpad and the buttons and I constantly press on the ridge and then have to drag my finger lower to the button. The ridge makes me think it is the button. The alienware touchpad was much more intuitive. Cyberlink Power DVD 10 has some screen bleed at the bottom of the screen in cinema mode. The alienware does not. There was an issue with cyberlink playing audio cds and movie dvds but this has been resolved by a patch available from MSI downloads. The error would say “The integrity of CyberLink PowerDVD is at risk.” The audio jacks on MSI are not intuitive. The labeling is simply molded and recessed into the plastic and I cannot see them in a lit room let alone a dark room. Alienware audio jacks were very intuitive. The GT70 headphone jack does not automatically turn off the laptop speakers. The alienware keyboard was intuitive and matched a desktop and number pad. The MSI keyboard is cramped with the right shift key, arrow keys, and number pad requiring a learning curve. The +/- keys on the right of the steel series keyboard number pad do not seem to have any function on this laptop version even though they seem to have keyboard brightness control icons. The power button is a non-customizable bright white and blinks in sleep mode. It is annoying and distracting. In Alienware the sleep mode caused the power button to slowly pulse in a soothing respiration type of blinking or pulsing. The GT70 sleep mode causes the power button to blink in a harsh and jarring rapid blinking or flashing. It is disconcerting and looks more like an error or warning rather than sleeping. The mechanical hard drive in the GT70 does occasionally make a clicking noise about once an hour or less. The M18x-R2 could be set so closing the lid switched to an external monitor and opening the laptop lid turned off the external monitor. The GT70 does not offer this convenience. The GT70 must be manually switched from laptop screen to external monitor. Also, the Alienware touchpad could be permanently disabled when a mouse was plugged in. The MSI touchpad re-activates with every power cycle even though a mouse is attached. The GT70 has indicator lights below the touchpad on the front edge of the laptop and they are annoying and distracting. These lights and the touch button control panel are plain old amber and not as classy as the M18x-R2 lighting. Again, similar to the audio jacks, the lights below the touchpad are labeled by being molded into the plastic and recessed. I cannot see them in a lit room or a dark room. The tip of the laser etched dragon tail on my palm rest has a small gap in it. The headphones, backpack, and dog tags included in this purchase are for children. The backpack is way too large and heavy duty to be convenient or functional. The webcam is less megapixels and more grainy than the M18x-R2. I prefer the MSI anti-glare screen over the M18x-R2 glossy screen. I wish MSI would offer Windows 8 Pro with Media Center so I could play movies in Windows Media Center. I know I can upgrade but I would prefer if MSI offered this configuration standard. Dell offers Absolute Software lojack embedded in the BIOS. MSI does not offer lojack. Alienware had indicator lights for number lock, caps lock, and scroll lock. MSI has indicator lights for number lock and caps lock only. A new laptop can be so much fun. The “user experience” can be really fun. Apple seems very playful and fun with the unboxing experience and initial boot up. Calling tech support is always annoying. Many people buy laptops and never have to call tech support for years. I had to call tech support for each of my Alienware laptops multiple times. This involved navigating touchtone and voice menu options, long hold times on the phone, call backs, emails, etc. I have not called tech support for MSI once yet. This alone is a big plus. I have enjoyed my consumer experience with MSI. Also, Alienware had a pair of quick one touch volume control buttons on the control panel. MSI requires two hands for volume controls. Your left hand has to press and hold the “Function” button and your right hand has to press either volume up or volume down. Sometimes the volume is set too loud and a user would like to quickly lower the volume with a one handed jump from the touchpad or mouse. YouTube gives me random problems with this laptop. When I watch YouTube videos, the menu bar and video progress bar at the bottom of the video change appearance, configuration, disappears, or is only partially visible. It changes week to week or sometimes video to video. This could be due to YouTube, flash player, Internet Explorer, Windows 8, or the GT70. There is a white sticker covering a seam in the bottom panel of the laptop stating the warranty is void if the sticker is broken or removed. I would like to open the bottom panel and just look inside or blow out dust. Alienware allows users to open the bottom panel. I have heard speculation GT70 users are allowed to break this sticker but so far I have not researched this. The sticker is annoying.
TAIWAN COMPANY AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE
A lot of the user’s guides, printed materials, MSI website, and MSI instructional YouTube videos have very bad grammar and spelling. It makes me lose confidence in the product. Alienware and Dell are also based in China but they translate their materials very well.
POSSIBLE WINDOWS 8 COMPLAINTS
The task bar clock cannot be forced to synchronize with internet time. A really minor gripe is the hourglass circle thing jumps to the left of the screen when initially configuring windows. Windows 8 took away the “internet explorer no add ons” feature. Windows 8 took away the “notify me of windows update” option. For awhile I was getting a little black box in the bottom right corner of internet explorer status bar. I turned on the status bar and the zoom information would randomly be black. This issue seems to have resolved itself however. Windows 8 is flawed in that when I run the Windows Experience Index it cannot register or report my graphics card as 680m due to the optimus technology and Intel graphics. My WEI is 7.1 on Windows 8 which grades on a scale of 1.0 to 9.9. I tried to run Windows Memory Diagnostics but it freezes. It runs fine until it hits 21% on pass 1 of 2 and 10% overall. This is a known issue. I hope it is due to the newness of Windows 8 and will be resolved eventually. I decided to download Mem test 86 as a work around for this glitch. It was difficult for me to achieve this. I had to change the BIOS setting UEFI to legacy and boot from USB because I downloaded Mem test 86 to a USB memory stick. Again, I was unable to burn mem test 86 from the c: drive, I could only create an optical disc from the d: drive. Which is why I ended up putting it on a USB stick. My laptop did pass mem test 86. I would love Windows 8 if I could play solitaire and minesweeper while on the desktop screen. This is possible but the games are confined to either the right or left one third or two thirds of your screen. I preferred Windows XP games in normal windows dialogue box type floating re-sizable windows. In XP I could watch YouTube videos and play minesweeper and really control my screen space to my personal liking and move the minesweeper game all around the screen. This is not possible in Windows 8. Another negative in Windows 8 is searching. In XP, my search string or file tree would remain as I double clicked different files looking for whatever I was searching for. In Windows 8, once I double click on a file, it jumps to that file sometimes on desktop or the start screen. When I decide this is not what I was searching for, I have to begin my search all over again. Sometimes, I can’t remember how I got to that previous screen. I had it narrowed down to maybe 3 files and I wanted to do a process of elimination but now I must start over. All the Windows 8 “apps” are lame. The normal desktop versions are always preferable with much more functionality. Thus, all the “apps” are frustrating, constrictive, and lacking in functionality. All the apps seem like a waste of time. I suppose children live inside their cell phones and are more willing to tolerate lack of functionality on a desktop. Older generations were baptized on desktops and are frustrated by “apps” and cell phones. The Windows 8 hot corners and charms bar can be annoying. Especially, the upper right corner where minimize, maximize, and close are located. My cursor often activates the charms bar which then blocks the close button and I have to drag the cursor left to auto hide the charms bar and then approach the close button more cautiously. This also happens in the bottom left corner when trying to open internet explorer but the start screen box appears. Also, the task bar icon tray cannot be customized in regards to Microsoft one note and other icons. My M18x-R2 seemed like a more solid Windows 8 OS than this MSI. MSI is occasionally glitchy in internet explorer especially. It will be blank or encounter errors and close or recover the page. When I delete Internet Explorer browsing history, a yellow message box pops up at the bottom of the screen stating Internet Explorer has completed deleting the browsing history. This box only pops up sporadically. Maybe I’m not waiting long enough for the box to pop up. Alienware offered McAfee anti-virus which was constrictive with some web sites. MSI uses Norton which seems a little looser with websites or at least doesn’t scare me with it’s little warnings or choices in a weird “choose your own adventure” kind of way. While McAfee seemed less intrusive overall, it was more picky with some websites. Norton seems more like a many tentacled monster reaching into every corner of my laptop and yet hasn’t blocked me as much as McAfee in alienware.
I am much more confident in Dells tech support, refund policies, hours of operation, warranty service, etc. MSI laptops must be purchased through retailers like Amazon and the refund policy is a little more vague. Alienware can be purchased directly from Dell.
What is “msi epf usb” in devices and printers?
Windows 8 boots very fast. I can be in my email within 35 seconds of pressing the power button. MSI super raid is pretty awesome. I guess it uses mSATA memory as the hard drive which is similar to current ssd (solid state drive) hard drives. It uses PCIe (PCI express) ports adapted to sata 3. SSD in RAID 0 configuration is fast but is vulnerable to unrecoverable hard drive crashes. However, Windows 8 offers file history which saves music, photos, documents, and more to the 750 GB mechanical rotating platter hard drive in this MSI configuration which is set as the d: drive. Not only does the d: drive offer a backup of data but mechanical hard drives in non-RAID can offer some data recovery in the event they crash. This d: drive uses sata 2 so it maxes out at 3 GB/s data transfer. Also, Norton 360 offers a backup program as well. I love the sata 3 (6 GB/s) hard drive port. I love the Intel I7 ivy bridge cpu. This laptop is very cool to the touch. However, I am on Intel graphics 100% of the time. The fan vents occasionally get hot. The M18x-R2 upper left surface, sides, and rear were very warm and hot. The Alienware laptop was much hotter than this MSI.
I purchased the MSI GT70-0NE from Amazon. I purchased the 4 year square trade warranty from amazon for $400. I also purchased the MSI extended warranty which must be purchased from MSI within 30 days of laptop purchase. I installed Norton 360 on my laptop. MSI includes a trial version of Norton internet security with this laptop. I use external speakers and a mouse. I installed all the MSI downloads for this laptop. I purchased Microsoft Office 2013 non-subscription version.
I feel the GT70-0NE and the M18x-R2 are both equal. Each has its pros and cons. I especially prefer the tapered slope of the GT70 palm rest but I prefer the 18.4 inch alienware screen. Although, I did not like the glossy alienware screen. I prefer slot load optical drive but if I ever get a jammed dvd I will be happy with my current tray load. The 680m graphics card is wasted on me but I like the red aluminum color of this laptop case. I wish the headphones, backpack, and dog tags were optional and this might have saved me money because I would not have purchased them. I preferred the alienware touchpad. There are additional differences between the two laptops but they should be fairly obvious with a little research. Sadly, Dell simply could not ship me a working laptop after 4 tries. MSI succeeded where Dell failed. I have been using this MSI laptop for 6 weeks. I have had this laptop from March 29th, 2013 to May 10th, 2013 as of this review. I worked with Alienware from November 2012 to March 2013. This MSI laptop has been fully functional from a hardware point of view. I have had a lot of software glitches as mentioned above but I am understanding with regards to Windows 8 having only been released for 7 months and still working through its growing pains. I also preferred Alienware’s customizable build options. I gave this laptop 5 stars because it is the most powerful laptop available directly from a manufacturer with amazon as the retailer. Alienware can be purchased by skipping the middle man retailer but Alienware simply could not ship me my order even after 4 attempts. I wanted a stock configuration laptop. I did not want to use a third party custom build retailer. I did not want to complicate the trouble shooting warranty process with a modified build. MSI offers cutting edge, leading edge, bleeding edge hardware and software. I wanted to avoid high gloss finger print magnets. I wanted a desktop replacement laptop. I wanted a red or non-black electronics item. Thus, the 5 star review. Well, I hope this review was helpful and I hope your computer brings you and the world much happiness! Peace!
The SSD drives also enhance performance and the speakers are awesome.
Windows 8 tiles launch as soon as you scroll to right.
Right shift key is too small.
Felt a little underpowered for my needs.