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MSI GS70 Stealth vs. Razer Blade Pro - Battle of the Slim 17-inch Gaming Notebooks

Perfomance Benchmarking

Test Setup

To test the two notebooks, we will be putting it through our slightly revised benchmarks. We have removed older benchmarks such as PCMark 7, 3DMark 11 and Far Cry 2 and have added in a new game in the form of Tomb Raider. You can see the full list below. New also to our evaluation of gaming notebooks is a temperature test, where we take readings from three spots on the notebook and also from GPU-Z. As for comparison, apart from each other, the MSI and Razer notebooks will be compared against recently reviewed ultra-portable gaming notebooks such as the Aftershock XG13 and Razer Blade.

This is the full list of benchmarks used:

  • PCMark 8
  • 3DMark 2013
  • Crysis 2
  • Tomb Raider

Here is how the MSI and Razer notebooks stack up against comparable notebooks.

Test Notebooks Compared
  MSI GS70 Stealth Razer Blade Pro 17-inch (2013) Aftershock XG13 Razer Blade 14-inch (2013) MSI GE40 2OC Dragon Eyes
Processor and Chipset
  • Intel Core i7 Processor (4th gen)
  • Intel HM87 Chipset
  • Intel Core i7-4700HQ Quad Core Processor with Hyper Threading (2.4GHz base / 3.4GHz turbo)
  • Mobile Intel PCHM 8 series chipset, HM87
  • Intel Core i7-4700MQ 2.4GHz
  • Intel HM87 chipset
  • Intel Core i7-4702HQ Quad-core Processor with Hyper Threading (2.2GHz base / 3.2GHz turbo)
  • Mobile Intel PCHM 8 series chipset, HM87
  • Intel Core i7-4702MQ 2.2GHz
  • Intel HM87
Operating System
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8 (64-bit)
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8 (64-bit)
  • Windows 8
System Memory
  • max. 16GB DDR3L (up to 1600MHz)
  • 8GB Dual Channel DDR3
  • 8GB DDR3L (Up to 16GB)
  • 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz
  • 8GB DDR3
Video & Display
  • 17-inch, 1920 x 1080, Anti-glare
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M graphics (2GB GDDR5)
  • 17-inch
  • Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Integrated Intel HD4600 Graphics / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M (2GB GDDR5, Optimus Technology)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M 2GB GDDR5
  • 13.3-inch Full-HD IPS display
  • 14-inch
  • Native Resolution: 1600 x 900
  • Integrated Intel HD4600 Graphics / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M (2GB GDDR5 VRAM, Optimus Technology)
  • 14-inch, 1600 x 900 display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M 2GB GDDR5
Storage
  • Up to 256GB Super RAID + 750GB HDD 7200rpm
  • 128GB / 256GB / 512GB SATA III SSD
  • 256GB SSD
  • 128GB / 256GB / 512GB SATA III SSD
  • 128GB SSD + 750GB HDD (Super RAID)
Connectivity
  • Killer Doubleshot LAN, Bluetooth v4.0
  • Killer Wireless-N 1202 (802.11a/b/g/n + Bluetooth v4.0)
  • Bluetooth
  • Wireless 802.11 b/g/n
  • Killer Wireless-N 1202 (802.11a/b/g/n + Bluetooth v4.0)
  • Wireless 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
I/O Ports
  • 4 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x miniDisplayPort
  • Mic in/Headphone out
  • Line in
  • HDMI v1.4
  • D-Sub (VGA)
  • SD/XD/MMC card reader
  • 3 x USB 3.0 ports, Built-in microphone, 3.5mm microphone/headphone combo port, HDMI 1.4a audio and video output
  • 3 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 1 x USB 2.0 port
  • 9-in-1 memory card reader
  • 1 x Ethernet jack
  • 1 x HDMI output
  • 1 x VGA output
  • 3 x USB 3.0 ports, Array microphone, 3.5mm microphone/headphone combo port, HDMI 1.4a audio and video output
  • 2 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 1 x USB 2.0 port
  • 1 x Ethernet
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x VGA
  • 1 x SD card reader
Miscellaneous
  • Webcam
  • Built-in 2-megapixel webcam
  • Razer Switchblade UI
  • Razer Synapse 2.0 Enabled
  • Backlit anti-ghosting keyboard
  • 7.1 Codec support (via HDMI)
  • Built-in 1.3-megapixel webcam
  • Razer Synapse 2.0 Enabled
  • Backlit anti-ghosting keyboard
  • 7.1 Codec support (via HDMI)
Battery Type
  • 6-Cell Li-Ion
  • Built-in 74Wh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery
  • 6 cells, 62.16Wh
  • Built-in 70Wh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery
  • 6-cell Lithium ion
Dimensions
  • 418.5 x 287 x 21.8mm
  • 427 x 277 x 22.4mm
  • 330 x 227 x 31.9mm
  • 345 x 235 x 16.8mm
  • 339 x 239.4 x 22 mm
Weight
  • 2.66kg
  • 2.98kg
  • 2kg
  • 1.88kg
  • 1.9kg
Audio
  • Dolby Home Theater v4
  • Built-in Onkyo speakers (2 x 2W)
  • 1 x headphones jack
  • 1 x microphones jack
  • Dolby Home Theater v4
  • Stereo speakers (Sound Blaster Cinema)
Optical Drive
  • None

 

PCMark 8

PCMark 8 is the latest benchmarking utility from Futuremark and was designed to measure the performance of Windows 8 systems. We will be testing the system using four different scenarios, Home, Creative, Work and Storage, which simulates different workloads that a user might subject the system to.

Bearing in the mind that both the MSI GS70 Stealth and Razer Blade Pro have nearly identical specifications, it was not surprising to see that their scores on PCMark 8 were nearly identical. Clearly, the additional 8GB of RAM did not have any obvious benefits insofar as PCMark 8 is concerned. Overall, the scores of the two notebooks were also pretty comparable with the recent bunch of 14-inch ultra-portable gaming notebooks we have reviewed, although the Aftershock XG13 did manage to garner an amazing lead on both the Microsoft Office and Adobe apps workloads.

 

3DMark 2013

Scores between the MSI and Razer notebooks were once again very close, which is no surprise because they have identical GPUs. However, we noticed that their scores on "Cloud Gate" were around 15% poorer than that of the Aftershock XG13 and Razer Blade. This was not expected considering they all depend on the same NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M GPU for graphics processing. We will be investigating this further. Scores on "Fire Storm" were within our expectations.

 

 

Crysis 2

With the exception of the MSI GE40, which has a GeForce GTX 760M GPU, the rest of the notebooks are powered by the GeForce GTX 765M (same cores as the GeForce GTX 760M, but higher clock speeds). Unsurprisingly, their recorded frame rates were all closely matches and it was impossible to pick a winner. 

 

 

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider is a new game that we are introducing to our notebook testing. The game utilizes Crystal Dynamics’ Crystal Engine and also introduces a new effect called TressFX which is used to render Lara Croft’s ultra-realistic hair.

Scores were once again very comparable, considering both the MSI and Razer notebooks are powered by the same GPU. Also, as far as our benchmarks are concerned, it is clear that the MSI’s extra RAM does not produce a measurable increase in performance.

 

Temperature

In our temperature test, we let the notebooks run Tomb Raider for 30 minutes so that they get sufficiently warm and then take a couple of readings. We measured the temperature using an infrared thermometer at the palm rests area and also the top two corners of the notebooks - the areas that get the warmest. We also recorded the temperature of the GPU using GPU-Z.

Looking at our results, we can see that the Blade Pro is significantly warmer. GPU-Z indicates that its GPU was around seven degrees Celsius warmer and the palm rests were around 5 degrees Celsius warmer. We concur with these findings as we could feel the difference too just by touching the two notebooks, the Blade Pro felt warmer to touch. The top right corner was particularly hot.