Notebooks Guide

MSI GE40 2OC Dragon Eyes review

MSI GE40 2OC Dragon Eyes - Affordable, Svelte & Powerful

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Launch SRP S$2099

Overall rating 8.5/10
Design:
7.5
Features:
8.5
Performance:
8.5
Value:
9
Mobility:
8.5
THE GOOD
Good performance
Awesome battery life
Relatively compact and lightweight
THE BAD
Build quality not fantastic
No Full HD IPS display


Features & Test Setup

Features

Apart from its slim and lightweight design, the other key features of MSI's GE40 lie in its specifications. We have already talked about its new fourth generation Intel Core processor, but apart from that, it has NVIDIA’s new GeForce GTX 760M GPU and a blazing fast storage configuration: dual 64GB mSATA SSDs in RAID 0.

The GeForce GTX 760M was only recent launched and it uses NVIDIA’s new Kepler architecture - not a rebadged Fermi GPU. The new GeForce 760M fills the gap between the old GeForce GTX 660M and 670MX and it packs 768 CUDA cores, which makes it one of NVIDIA’s more powerful mobile GPUs. Additionally, it also has NVIDIA’s new GPU Boost 2.0 technology, which automatically raises the GPU’s clock speeds based on its power draw and thermal conditions to ensure maximum gaming performance.

That aside, users would be most excited about its storage configuration. As if having an SSD alone is not enough, MSI has gone out and given the MSI GE40 two mSATA SSDs in RAID 0 configuration. Although 128GB is not a lot, it should be sufficient for most users to install their OS and performance-sensitive applications. On top of that, the MSI GE40 also packs an additional 750GB HDD for storing other content such as music, videos and photos. This combo should be more than sufficient for most users.

Despite the slim form factor, the MSI GE40 2OC Dragon Eyes has a healthy selection of output connectivity in the form of two USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 2.0 ports, the aforementioned HDMI and VGA outputs, an Ethernet jack, audio jacks and a memory card reader. Thanks to its Matrix Display technology, the notebook is able to output via its HDMI and VGA ports simultaneously, which means users can run a total of three displays (including its own) all at once.

Audio-wise, the MSI GE40 features MSI’s own Audio Boost technology which claims to enhance sound detail and sound stage. Additionally, the notebook also comes with Sound Blaster Cinema technology and gold-plated headphones jack. The notebook speakers sound decent enough, but suffer from the same problems that plague most other notebook speakers, namely lack of bass and crackling at high volumes.

 

Test Setup

To test the MSI GE40, we will be putting it through our usual benchmarks. You will find the full list below. As for comparison, the MSI GE40 will be pitted against the gaming notebooks that we have tested recently, namely the Lenovo IdeaPad Y500, Razer Blade, Alienware M17X R4 and MSI GT70 0NE.

This is the full list of benchmarks used:

  • SYSmark 2012
  • PCMark 7
  • PCMark 8
  • 3DMark 11
  • 3DMark 2013
  • Far Cry 2
  • Crysis 2

Test Notebooks Compared
  MSI GE40 2OC Dragon Eyes Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 HP Pavilion dv6-7009TX Razer Blade (2012) Dell Alienware M17XR4 MSI GT70 0NE
Processor and Chipset
  • Intel Core i7-4702MQ 2.2GHz
  • Intel HM87
  • Ivy Bridge Intel Core i7-3630QM (2.4 GHz)
  • HM77
  • Intel Core i7-3610QM Processor (2.3 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache)
  • Intel HM77
  • Intel Core i7-3632QM (2.2GHz)
  • Intel HM77
  • Intel Core i7-3820QM (2.7GHz)
  • Intel HM77
  • Intel Core i7-3610QM (2.3GHz)
  • Intel HM77
Operating System
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 7
System Memory
  • 8GB DDR3
  • 8GB RAM
  • 4GB DDR3-1333MHz (1 DIMM) with Dual Channel Memory Support – up to 8GB max supported
  • 16GB
  • 16GB
  • 16GB
Video & Display
  • 14-inch, 1600 x 900 display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M 2GB GDDR5
  • 15.6-inch Full HD 1920 x 1080 display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT650M 2GB (option for SLI configuration with interchangeable drive bay)
  • 15.6-inch Full HD anti-glare display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 2GB VRAM
  • 17.3-inch Full HD
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
  • 17.3-inch Full HD
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
  • 17.3-inch Full HD
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX680M
Storage
  • 128GB SSD + 750GB HDD (Super RAID)
  • 1TB HDD (5400 rpm)
  • 750GB Hard Drive
  • 500GB HDD
  • 64GB SSD
  • 2 x 1TB HDD
  • 750GB HDD
Connectivity
  • Wireless 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • RJ-45 Ethernet
  • 802.11 bg/bgn WiFi
  • 10/100/1000M Ethernet
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet Port
  • Wireless 802.11b/g/n WLAN + Bluetooth
  • Intel Wireless Display Support
  • RJ-45 Ethernet Port
  • 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • RJ-45 Ethernet Port
  • 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • RJ-45
Audio
  • Stereo speakers (Sound Blaster Cinema)
  • 2.1 speakers (with built-in subwoofer)
  • 1 x Headphone jack
  • 1 x Microphone jack
  • Beats Audio, Quad Speakers with HP Triple Bass Reflex Subwoofer
  • 2 x speakers
  • 1 x headphone port
  • 2 x headphone port
  • 1 x microphone port
  • 1 x S/PDIF/headphone
  • 2.1 Speakers (with built-in subwoofer)
I/O Ports
  • 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
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x VGA
  • 2 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 1 x USB 2.0 port
  • 1 x 6-in-1 card reader (SD, SD-Pro, MMC, MS, MS-Pro, XD)
  • 3 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x VGA
  • 1 x RJ-45
  • 2 x Headphones out
  • 1 x Microphone in
  • 3 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 4 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x eSata/USB 2.0
  • 1 x HDMI input
  • 1 x HDMI output
  • 1 x VGA
  • 1 x Mini DisplayPort
  • 1 x Multi-card reader
  • 3 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • eSATA/USB combo
  • D-Sub (VGA)
  • HDMI
  • Mic/Headphone
  • SD(XC/HC)/MMC/MS(PRO)/xD Card Reader
Battery Type
  • 6-cell Lithium ion
  • 6-cell
  • 6-cell Lithium Ion
  • 6-cell
  • 6-cell
  • 9-cell battery
Dimensions
  • 339 x 239.4 x 22 mm
  • 387 x 259 x 15.5 - 36 mm
  • 378 x 247 x 29.4 - 32.5mm
  • 427 x 277 x 22mm
  • 405 x 321 x 51-53 mm
  • 428 x 288 x 55mm
Weight
  • 1.9kg
  • 2.7kg
  • 2.57kg
  • 2.99kg
  • 5.3kg
  • 3.9kg
Optical Drive
  • DVD-RW
  • Blu-ray player and SuperMulti DVD burner
  • None
  • DVD-RW
  • Blu-Ray
Miscellaneous
  • Full-sized island-style keyboard with integrated numeric keypad
  • TouchPad supporting Multi-Touch gestures with On/Off button
  • HP SimplePass Fingerprint Reader
  • HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
  • Kensington MicroSaver lock slot
  • Razer Switchblade touchscreen UI
  • HD Webcam