Although most serious gamers opt for a desktop when it comes to their choice of hardware, some people find that being tethered to a single place in a single room is too constrictive. They like to take their gaming to different parts of the house, different places in their local area, and perhaps even to LAN parties — where they can laugh to themselves as the desktop devotees struggle with their heavy cases and bulky displays.
It’s that group that MSI’s new GS40 Phantom is designed to appeal to, and without sacrificing much in the way of performance. The new gaming notebook comes packing a high-end, i7-6700HQ quad core Skylake CPU. It supports hyper-threading — giving it eight cores in total – and runs up to 3.5GHz when in turbo mode.
That processor is twinned with up to 32GB of DDR4-2133 memory, offering way more bandwidth than your average desktop — if you’re willing to pay for it. Storage options look to combine SSD and HDD technology, offering up to 256GB of the former and up to a terabyte of the latter, according to one reseller’s listing.
The big selling point of this system, though, isn’t any of that other hardware, but the fact that it includes a powerful GTX 970M GPU with 3GB of video memory, which should make it possible to play almost any modern game at full specifications. This helps power the 14-inch matt display, which can be of 1,080P or 4K resolution, depending on your preference and funds.
If you do opt for the 4K display, MSI recommends also going for the more expensive, but slightly more accommodating GTX 970M 6GB graphics chip.
MSI has said that it may offer an even more powerful version of this setup with an i7-6820HK (as per TechReport), which operates at a slightly higher frequency (3.6GHz in Turbo), an extra 2Mb of level-three cache (8MB), and will be unlocked, which opens up the potential for simpler overclocking. However, doing so on a laptop is rarely advised.
Pricing for a ‘base’ model with the original CPU, 3GB GTX 970M, 16GB of RAM, and the 1080p display will set you back $1,700.