So! Recently we’ve seen two new reviews on GLJ – the new MSI GT72 Dominator G-1445 and the Gigabyte P55W. Both these laptops share the same price range and basic hardware : Broadwell I7-5700HQ, GTX 970M GPU, 1080p IPS display, so you can say they are competing in the same ecological niche. That’s why I want to make a small comparison of both for people who are considering those
|CPU / GPU||I7-5700HQ / GTX 970M 3GB MXM (replaceable)||I7-5700HQ / GTX 970M 3GB non-MXM (non-replaceable)|
|RAM||16GB default||8GB default, 16GB via ExcaliberPC|
|Storage||1TB 7200RPM HDD + 4xM.2 slots||128GB mSata SSD (Phison) + 1TB 7200RRPM HDD|
|Screen quality and size|
17.3″, LP173WF4-SPF1 IPS, 75HZ
1:620 contrast, 92% sRGB, 69% adobeRGB
15.6″, LP156WF4-SPK1 IPS, 60HZ
1:710 contrast, 90% sRGB, 67% adobeRGB
|Weight||~3.81kg + ~1kg PSU = ~4.3kg||~2.6kg + ~0.7kg PSU = ~3.3kg|
|Keyboard quality||Very good + multicolor||Very good + white backlit|
|Sound||Very good||mediocre at best|
|Wifi card||Killer ac card, issues with pings||Intel 7265 non-ac Wifi card, very good signal and pings|
|Connection ports highlights||4xUSB 3.0 + 2xUSB 3.1, DisplayPort, HDMI, SPDI/F||4xUSB 3.0, HDMI|
Yes, fixable. No TDP/heat problems
Will be fixes with future bios/ec updates probably
|Yes, due to high heat. Cannot be resolved for high loads|
|Battery performance||around 3.5 hours with GTX 970M as main GPU||around 3-3.5 hours|
|Prices and availability||Amazon, $1400-$1500 (MSRP)||Amazon, ExcaliberPC (16GB RAM upgrade), $1400 MSRP|
OK, let’s talk about the disadvantages and advantages of those two in more details. The Gigabyte P55W advantages are lower weight, SSD and better Wifi performance. The MSI GT72 Dominator G-1445 advantages are default 16GB RAM, much better thermals (check the review) with good CPU and GPU temperatures, low case heating, GSync, 4xM.2 slots, MXM GPU and a 75HZ display. The thermals of the GT72 are very good, however the throttling. The throttling is caused probably by the bios/ec and can be resolved with ThrottleStop software fully – I also believe it will be fixed in the future with some bios/ec update. The GT72 also has overclocking room for its GTX 970M.
However, it cannot be fixed with the Gigabyte P55W as the CPU and GPU are overheating under heavy load like Crysis 3. The best you can expect is CPU downclock to 2.5-2.6GHZ (better do it ahead with ThrottleStop). Moreover, the GSync and 75HZ display are big advantages for gaming and cannot be fixed in the P55W (except maybe with future Gamenab hack – check). The MSI GT72 keyboard was also better in my opinion, though both are pretty good for a laptop. The MXM GPU is replaceable and in the future – say, 2-3 GPU generations from now – it can be replaced.
Let’s see the gaming performance comparison
Well, you can see that there isn’t too much difference between the P55W and GT72 in gaming performance (that is, unless you overclock the GPU) – I do suspect that these benchmarks are not long enough in order to get to a point of the CPU and GPU heating up too much and throttling taking place, but it’s there. Check this Crysis 3 gameplay logging:
This is P55W CPU clocks and temps while gaming Crysis 3. You can see that the core clocks fluctuate a lot. It is partially fixable by using ThrottleStop (see), but it’s there, as said before. Anyway, as far as those benchmarks go, the performance is more or less the same.
Let’s go to conclusions. The GT72 is much more fit for gamers with GSync, 75HZ display, very good thermals and good sound. It simply has less problems and stuff you have to keep in mind. The P55W wifi stability is superior, but the GT72 wifi performance is ok too. Both have around the same battery performance.
However, the GT72 main problem is the bulk and weight. So, the question is whether one is bothered by the weight/size. If not, then I’d say the GT72 is the better option, especially thanks to the GSync + 75HZ display + thermals. If weight and size are crucial, there are other options including the P55W, like the much cheaper Clevo P650SE for $1200-$1250 with a better IPS display, better cooling system and more connection ports, so why the P55W really?
What do you think?