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Battle of the notebooks

18 พฤศจิกายน 2557, 23:00 น.
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Playing on extremely fast hardware is the dream of any gamer. Now, we have two of the top-tier gaming notebooks (available in Thailand) fighting to show who's the boss in today's gaming notebook realm.

I've been a gamer since I was about five. I started with a crappy black and white screen Nintendo Game Boy and about ten years later equipped my second Windows computer with a 12,000 baht graphics card just to make sure that the games at that time ran flawlessly. Now aged 36, I still play games mainly on my Nintendo 3DS and PC. I game every day, it is part of my life (and is becoming part of my daughters' lives too, it seems). So I know a thing or two about games, computers and technology in general.

In the red corner, we have the MSI GT72 2PC Dominator, a 61,589 baht gaming notebook from MSI. MSI has long been well known for its game-friendly graphics. And in the blue corner is Lenovo Y50-70AMB, a 39,000 baht gaming notebook. Lenovo is a very well-rounded manufacturer that makes all sorts of technology gadgets and PCs.

They are both packed with pretty much everything that their companies can stuff into the technology (look at the full specifications below for more nerdy info). None of them sport a touch screen, though serious gamers would pick a mouse and keyboard anytime over an intuitive-but-not-precise touch screen. They both come with Intel Core i7 CPUs, 16GB of RAM and NVidia GeForce GTX graphics cards (though MSI has a slight edge by using NVidia 870M over Lenovo's 860M).

They both have backlit keyboards, which is an excellent feature for most gamers who mostly play in dim (or even pitch dark) places. Both are equipped with built-in surround speakers, and very large high-resolution screens.

Lenovo is a bit lighter at 2.4kg, compared to MSI's 3.78kg. Both of them can easily be considered heavy compared to Apple's MacBook Air. If you carry any of these two notebooks around town, you won't be able to walk very far, especially with the MSI, which is both heavy and huge in size.

Now, specs usually mean very little if they don't do what you want them to do. I assure you that both these gaming notebooks run all current generation PC games with ease. For instance, Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor, Diablo 3, Final Fantasy 13 and many other graphic intensive games I'd tested can be set to their maximum graphics glory and see no stagger in their presentations at all. Apart from the visual, the sound on these computers is also great because they both can produce loud and bass-rich audio, which makes games a lot more enjoyable than using tinny speakers.

They both have large cooling systems underneath to ensure that your crazy gaming sessions will not make your computer overheat, catch fire and cause major panic to your roommate.

Oddly, when I tested these two computers with a popular benchmark programme, like 3DMark 11 and Shadow Of Mordor, the Lenovo did slightly better than the MSI notebook, which has better specs on paper. Lenovo got 1,609 and minimum 19.93 frames per second, while MSI got 1,403 points and minimum 16.04 frames per second for 3DMark 11 and Shadow Of Mordor respectively.

Please be aware that the numbers above will be leaving any office PCs and Macs in clouds of dust. This also means that using Photoshop and video editing software on these beasts will be much more pleasant and snappier than your current computer. Strangely, even though the benchmark scores say that Lenovo is in the lead, my overall experience with MSI has been faster. I found that the MSI notebook starts up and becomes ready to rock and roll or to shut down a lot faster (it takes around seven seconds on MSI as supposed to about a minute on the Lenovo notebook).

All in all, if I would recommend a gaming notebook to my friends from these two, I would pick the Lenovo Y50-70AMB because it is easier to carry around, has better audio sound, comes with a better laid out keyboard and touchpad, has longer battery life and is also cheaper. But, if someone wants a gaming PC replacement, I would point them to the MSI GT72 2PC Dominator due to its larger, brighter and more vivid screen, having way more ports and connections and faster experience overall.

Get yourself a nice gaming PC and you'll see why being a gamer is such a wonderful thing.



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