MSI infuses its gaming laptops with Skylake CPUs

— 12:00 AM on September 2, 2015

MSI is stepping up its game by adding Skylake CPUs to its gaming-oriented notebooks. The refreshed MSI gaming notebook lineup has Skylake Core i7 CPUs, DDR4 memory, Geforce GTX GPUs, and a host of other interesting features.

All the machines come with SteelSeries RGB LED-backlit keyboards with "silver lining print," which is supposed to let the backlight shine while reducing eye strain during long gaming sessions. Surround-sound virtualization is handled by Nahimic's Audio Enhancer software, and the main noisemakers in these systems are a set of Dynaudio speakers. MSI also bundles an XSplit Gamecaster license with these machines for the live streamers out there.

The updated lineup starts with the mainstream GE62 and GE72 Apache Pro models. These notebooks pack Core i7-6700HQ CPUs and GeForce GTX 960M or GTX 970M GPUs. Regular SATA storage need not apply here, as the GE series offers a PCIe SSD instead. A Killer Ethernet adapter is standard, and the company's Shield network traffic manager is supposed to preserve your precious ping times under heavy client networking loads.

For gamers looking for something portable, MSI offers the GS60 Ghost and the GS70 Stealth models. The company calls these metal-clad beauties thin-and-light PCs. These systems pack the same i7-6700HQ CPUs and GTX 960M and 970M GPUs as the GE series. However, the GS series adds some extra niceties. The Killer Ethernet adapter gets paired with one of the company's Wi-Fi adapters to form the DoubleShot hardware suite, and the audio circuitry includes an ESS Sabre DAC—something which sings to my heart, as these DACs are well-regarded in the pro audio world. I/O connectivity is also beefed up with a USB "Super Port," which MSI says supports display daisy-chaining. This port can also supply up to 3A of current for charging purposes.

The big daddy in this family is the GT72 Dominator Pro G. The base model's CPU is a Core i7-6700HQ, but discerning gamers can opt for a Core i7-6820HK instead. Buyers also get a choice of Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M or 980M graphics cards, which reside in an MXM slot for easy upgrades. The GT72 also has not one, but two NVMe PCIe SSDs in a RAID 0 setup. The onboard sound also gets another upgrade with a "true 2.1" set of Dynaudio speakers. ESS' Sabre DAC and Killer's DoubleShot Pro network adapters are also present and accounted for. But I've saved the best for last—arguably the best feature in this model is support for Nvidia's Mobile G-Sync variable-refresh-rate tech.

All these mean machines will be available on September 27, though there's no word on pricing yet.

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