MSI is borrowing heavily from both Asus’ Republic of Gamers series and Alienware with the manufacturer’s latest 17-inch desktop replacement. The “Combat” design is reminiscent of Asus’ gaming machines, while the multi-color illuminated keyboard gets some inspiration from Alienware’s “AlienFX” back-lighting scheme. MSI has apparently also thrown in a few extra LEDs here and there around the chassis for good measure.
On the inside there are also quite a few similarities that are less surprising–the new GT780 and GX780 are both powered by the latest 2nd-gen “Sandy Bridge” Core i7 CPUs and Nvidia GPUs. The GX780 (product page) is powered by an Nvidia GeForce GT 555M–the very same as in the new Alienware M14x as well as high-end configurations of Dell’s XPS 17. However, unlike these two, the GT 555M in the GX780 is equipped with GDDR5 instead of DDR3 video memory, making it slightly faster.
The more elusive GT780 (still not on display on MSI’s website) is faster still in the graphics department; it is said to come with the brand new Nvidia GTX 560M, which is faster than its predecessor GTX 460M thanks to higher clocks. When MSI demoed the model at IDF in Beijing recently it went flying past 20,000 points in PCMark Vantage. This would – according to MSI – make it the fastest laptop on the planet. We have heard that one before.
Although the Vantage score is very impressive, I would personally like to see it compared to the new 4GHz, CrossFireX-equipped M18x and see how that title holds up. It is nevertheless a cool-looking and powerful laptop, and if it comes at a reasonable price point it will definitely be a laptop to watch. Just like MSI’s other gaming laptops, it also includes the TDE (Turbo Drive Engine) feature that overclocks the laptop with the push of a button.