Under The Hood: MSI’s Massive GT80 Titan SLI Gaming Laptop With Mechanical Keyboard

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Vlad Razvan

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Mar 14, 2013
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2 980m GPUs in SLI and only a FHD panel?! I sure hope there is an upgrade option to justify that graphics horsepower.
You do realise that the GTX 980m has nothing to do with the desktop version of the GTX 980 right?

Performance-wise, the 980 mobile is someware around the GTX 780 (non-ti version), witch makes it good for playing most games at 1920x1080 + high to ultra details depending on the game. While two GTX 980s for the desktop could drve most games at 4k, two GTX 980m s will not be able to do so.

The 980m has 1536 cuda cores, while the GTX 970 (desktop) has 1664, and the GTX 980 (desktop) has 2048 - witch puts the GTX 980m in between the GTX 780 and the GTX 970 - performance whise.

Please don't be fooled by the names of mobile GPUs. For example the R9m 290x is basicly a HD 7870 - it has nothing in common with the desktop version of the 290 witch is about 3 times faster.

Also, please STOP REQUESTING ludicrous resolutions on laptops. Scaling down the resolution makes the image quality blurry and pixelated. Also, 30fps is not an acceptable framerate for gaming. I'd rather game on 1080p @ 60-80fps then on 4k at 30fps.
 

dwatterworth

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Thanks, I fully understand the mobile nomenclature. No need to get snarky. If the 980m is near the 780 performance as you so kindly pointed out, 2 in SLI are just unneeded for 1080 gaming! I'm just trying to understand the point of the product.

The balance of the product just seems off. I'm not requesting a 4k panel, but that graphics hardware would drive a 1440 panel nicely. There are many resolutions of very good use to people who would consider products such as this for more professional work with gaming on the side. If the panel would support variable framerate, even better.

If the products were more optimized to take advantage of the current technologies rather than just throwing huge amounts of horsepower at the situation, it would make even better use of the increased efficiencies of the hardware itself.
 

bluestar2k11

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That huge system, that likely costs a good 3,500+, and only a laptop grade CPU? Why not a desktop CPU?

And why a TN panel on such a high end laptop? Wouldn't an IPS panel be a lot better option for higher end gamers on the go? If they care enough about fidelity to want SLI'd 980's, wouldn't they also want a better visual display?

MSI makes some nice laptops, I've been wanting to get one and drop my Asus easy-bake oven, but it feels like they sometimes focus too little on elements that can improve the experience they're trying to offer.
 

Quixit

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Why not just buy a desktop? For the $3,200+ asking price I'd build a desktop and buy an Ultrabook for when I'm not at home. I can see this being a very limited market and most of those people will regret buying it (I've found this is often the case when people buy huge laptops).

Actually, I own an Alienware 14 and a desktop computer. They cost less than this and the desktop is massively more powerful and the notebook is massively more portable. A notebook that weights 10lbs kinda defeats the purpose of it being a notebook and then you're just stuck paying the premium for notebook components and living with the decreased performance.
 

TechyInAZ

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Cool!! However you can buy an i7 4790K two gtx 980s 2400mhz 32GB RAM and mechanical keyboard and three monitors for cheaper than $3200.

I would only buy this laptop if it was gona be my work machine for 8 years or I was a millionaire.
 

SylentVyper

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Vlad Razvan,

A single 980m is more than enough for 1080p. You're saying it's comparable to a 780, which is only good for high-ultra at 1080p? I have a desktop 760 and 970m in my laptop, and I run pretty much everything at Ultra with AA at 60 FPS. There are only a couple of games where I don't get 50 FPS or more. The 780 by itself will handle High/Ultra at 1440p.

Here's the 780 running Far Cry 3 at 1440p in Ultra averaging 55 FPS:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6973/nvidia-geforce-gtx-780-review/12

1440p would have been a perfect resolution for the laptop - for gaming.
 

TechyInAZ

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Agree that 1080P is too small.

But since there is two gtx 980ms in there, a 4k or 144hz 1440P monitor would be better.
 

g-unit1111

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Yeah seriously the price of that thing is insane. I had a huge laptop like that and hated it. I think my next laptop however will be a MSI GS60, I love the Steel Series keyboard on that thing.
 

BulkZerker

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Wow Vlad's catching so much flack right now. Peeps chill!this laptop has enough to drove TODAY'S games at 1440p, yes. But what about in 2 years? This sli setup would work just fine then at ultra as well. I liked gamin lappies when the GPU was overkill and had an upgrade path so you could run it with decient settings till it died. And bravo to MSI for making one like that again.
 

RedJaron

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Um, it's actually the opposite. Large resolutions at smaller sizes shrinks pixels, making it more difficult to pick out individual dots so lines and edges look less jagged. It makes an image look sharper. Unless you think a 720p TV looks better than a 1080p TV of the same size . . .

If you're talking about text legibility at high resolutions, that's up to font scaling with the OS and other software, not the display itself.



They used a mobile CPU for the same reason they used mobile GPUs. Even with a little extra space they don't have the power to run full desktop hardware. The power brick was already massive. Any bigger and you'd be hauling around a full ATX PSU. And even with the bigger chassis you still have very limited cooling.

I do agree that this panel is rather underwhelming. It should've been IPS, higher refresh rate, and/or a 1440 or 1600 resolution.



With reasoning like that, why would any of us bother buying any mobile device except the absolute most expensive top-end model? Did you not read the full article? The laptop is designed to be upgraded so you can swap out the GPUs in the future. But five years from now you'll still be limited to a mediocre display.
 

soldier44

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With only 1080p res, talk about overkill. Battery life about 20-30 min. but hey if you want to game on the road...Make sure an outlet is nearby.
 

Christopher1

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Not true about the "Down-resolution'd, these things get blurry!" Not if you are going from 4K to 1080p resolution. Now, 1080p to 720p? Yes, THAT makes things blurry.
 

mf Red

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Going from 2560x1440 to 1080p looks fuzy on my 27". Not sure how this would apply to smaller screens. But with the 2 980s in SLI couldn't you just run DSR to force the games to run at 1440 or 4k? Laptop still seems peculiar to me.
 

RedJaron

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Let's say this thing had a 1440 or 1600 display. With dual 980m cards, why would you ever need to play at any resolution other than the native one? So no, it wouldn't be blurry or fuzzy at all.
 

g-unit1111

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1440P? 1600P? 2560x1080UW? None of those count? :heink:

With reasoning like that, why would any of us bother buying any mobile device except the absolute most expensive top-end model? Did you not read the full article? The laptop is designed to be upgraded so you can swap out the GPUs in the future. But five years from now you'll still be limited to a mediocre display.
Not to mention these things would depreciate incredibly quickly in value. They'd be worth less than half in a year, and probably around the $1200 mark at the end of its' useful life, so when you go to sell it, unless you've got deep pockets, you will take a huge hit on your wallet every time. Not a solid investment, IMO.
 

Ashley McGovern

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Clearly designed to be a desktop replacement, it's really too big to be a practical laptop on top. Quite silly when you can make a tiny rig in an ITX or Micro ATX case with better graphics (& processing) for much less in terms of being practical. Might be a bit better for people who frequent Lans but, then a tiny ITX case & monitor wouldn't be hard to carry about either.
 

Vlad Razvan

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I apologise for being snarky. For me, anything smaller then 24" is fine @ 1080p. The thing is, I'd rather have the machine output 120fps @ 1080p then 30-40fps @ 4k .

I own a Asus ROG G751JY with a GTX 980m, and while fast, it's just not fast enough. The thing plays most games @ 1080p / max details, but there are games like Far Cry 4 that just won't run as well as I'd like even with reduced graphical settings ( I played it at 1080p - medium/high so that min FPS would not go under 30).
 

dwatterworth

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Thats where I was talking about other technologies. There are gsync and freesync laptop monitors nearing market which would greatly reduce the horsepower needed to display a more fluid picture. For mobile these techs make the most sense to provide a better experience, reduce power consumption or some balance of the two. The same frame rates powered by the battery for even an extra 30 minutes would be incredible. Keep the sme size chassis, drop a gpu and add extra battery capacity. Any combo if the right tech was used would make a better laptop at the same or lower cost.
 

RedJaron

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I think most people will agree with you on this point. However a lot of people here are trying to point out that you have resolutions available between 1080 and 4K, notably 2560x1440 and 2560x1600. This laptop may not have the power for full 4K, but it could certainly play well at the other two. And since the GPUs can be upgraded, you can ensure playability at those resolutions for many years without buying a whole new machine.
 

Othelious

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one problem with the statements " i can buy x y z desktop and blow this away".. is problematic at best. There is not a desktop board available that has 4 m.2x4 slots on it ( most I have found is 1 m.2x4 slot on a mobo ). sooo.. To get the performance capability of the primary drive you can get in this laptop, in a desktop, you have to buy the PCIe cards that host two m.2x4 slots, and eat up two of your x16 slots for hard drives, and raid them ( like you can on this beaut ) and then see the 3-4GB/sec transfer for read/write on your primary drive.. last I checked.. those cards are not very inexpensive.

Second, the display.. From the answers to my inquiries.. the issue is.. Higher resolution laptop panels are not currently available in the 18.4 in size, its not like you can just take a panel out of a monitor and put in a laptop... SO.. later.. when those panels are available, they will have a new listing ( probably a titan pro by looking at the other times they have done this ) and sell it with a higher resolution display.
 
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