PROS / The available combination of four separate hard disk and solid-state drives is a major bonus.
CONS / You can’t customize or upgrade these models.
VERDICT / The hard drive options, customizable keyboard and performance features make this laptop one of the more powerful gaming machines.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Gaming Laptops here.
Even though the GT70 20D series of laptops are not fully customizable, the technical specs and features MSI installs on the models are the very latest in gaming and computing technology. You won’t miss the option to upgrade because you already get the best of the best inside this top 10 gaming laptop. The number of hard drives, the long-lasting battery and the fully customizable color keyboard are just a few of the treasures inside this hardcore gaming system.
For cutting edge gaming, the GT70 series has only the latest and best performance specs. The graphics card for one model is a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M, and other models offer the 780M, which is top of the line. On the GT70 20D Dragon Edition 2 laptop that we tested, the graphics and animation were vibrant and flawless inside our game’s visual environments. You can choose a model with the Intel Core i7-3630QM processor or the i7-4700MQ. Both provide exceptionally fast performance. With either choice, you can multitask and keep multiple programs open without interruption or long loading times. Battery life is also excellent and can last up to five hours.
The highlight of the MSI GT70 20D series is the number of hard drive options. You can get four hard drives within this series – three 128GB solid-state drives and a 1TB hard drive disk. No other top gaming laptop we looked at had four hard drives. Other models in the series offer different combinations and sizes of hard drive and solid-state drives as well. Hard disk drives have moving parts and are more likely to malfunction, but they are cheaper. Solid-state drives are more expensive but have no moving parts, which makes them more durable and faster.
Processing & Storage
The GT70 series laptops are only available in a 17-inch screen size, which is great for a good gaming laptop. At 8.6 pounds, this laptop is a little on the hefty side, but it is not as heavy as some other models we reviewed. Another handy design feature is the illuminated keyboard. Only a few laptops we looked at have customizable color options, and the GT70 20D has one of the best gaming laptop keyboards. In our testing, the laptop did heat up only a half hour into game time, but it wasn’t as loud as other laptops.
The MSI GT70 beats out the competition by offering five USB ports, one to two more than the competition. This top laptop also has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as well as a webcam, mic, memory card reader and HDMI port. A pre-installed Blu-ray player is also a bonus since you don’t have to upgrade, so feel free to watch movies in high-def. Not many series have a standard Blu-ray player, so the GT70 laptops are ahead of many of the best gaming laptops in that aspect.
Design & Connectivity
Help and support on the MSI website is separated into 10 different pages, which makes it a little difficult to find information. You can find phone numbers, email addresses, a user forum and driver downloads for easy support solutions. We would also like to see an online chat feature on the website. However, in our experience MSI representatives do respond very quickly. MSI also offers a two year warranty, which is more than most gaming laptop companies.
The MSI GT70 20D laptops are your best bet when you upgrade your portable gaming system. The system we tested has 16GB of RAM, a GeForce GTX 680M graphics card with 4GB of video memory and the newest generation of Intel processors. All of this hardware comes together to create lag-free performance when you play games or work on multimedia projects.