Overclocking the processor in a gaming laptop is impressive, even if it doesn’t have such a major effect on gaming performance.
The graphics card is invariably the bottleneck for achieving high frame rates in an already powerful system, but that doesn’t stop the manufacturers from overclocking the CPU as an exercise in vanity.
MSI claims that the latest Core i7 Extreme Edition-equipped GT780DX is the first laptop with a 4,16GHz clock speed, which may be correct. That makes it 160 MHz faster than the factory overclocked version of the Alienware M18x, but 340 MHz slower than the overclocked EON 17-S from Origin PC.
It doesn’t really matter though, because at these speeds the only thing you need worry about is what the GPU is capable of. In this case it’s (oddly enough) a GeForce GTX 570M, instead of the faster GTX 580M, which is also available in other configurations of this laptop (the GT783).
According to MSI’s press release the GTX 570M gets 12,300 points in 3DMark Vantage, which is still slower than the 15,097 points we got out of a GTX 580M in combination with a slower CPU.
The high CPU clock speed in the GT780DX has been achieved by using an Core i7-2920XM Extreme Edition–an extremely expensive processor and one of few that’s unlocked and (easily) overclockable. MSI also draws attention to the cooling system and its own “Cooler Boost” feature that increased the fan speed to allow the system to stay at manageable temperatures. As a consequence it is likely very loud.
But all this is not to say that the GT780DX is not an attractive machine, because it certainly is. The standard configuration that ships with a Core i7-2670QM and a GTX 570M looks like a great machine at a very reasonable price point.