In our benchmark tests, the MSI GS70 performed admirably when compared with bigger, thicker, more traditional gaming laptops, but it was not the top performer. Still, with an Intel Core i7-4710HQ CPU and 16GB of RAM, it's more than powerful enough for even serious multitasking, so you're unlikely to notice much difference outside of the latest games.
Likely because of the space and heat requirements of the thin body, there is a sacrifice to be made when it comes to gaming performance. While the other 17-inch gaming laptops we've tested recently all use Nvidia's GeForce 880M GPU, this model trades down one step to the 870M card.
That means it scored 67.6 frames per second in Bioshock Infinite and 16.0 frames per second in the very challenging Metro: Last Light test, both at 1080p resolutions and very high detail settings. The latest Alienware 17 we tested, with the faster GeForce 880M card scored 80.3 and 25.3 frames per second, respectively, in the same tests.
The MSI GS70 is still a great gaming laptop that ran every game we threw at it at full 1080p resolution and either high or ultra detail settings, so don't let these numbers scare you away from what is otherwise a nearly flawless gaming experience.
One thing to watch out for, however -- because of the small body and the cooling problems that presents, the system ran very hot when we played games for an extended period, making parts of the system uncomfortably warm to the touch, and forcing the internal fans to run frequently and loudly.
A desktop replacement laptop, particularly a gaming one, isn't expected to run particularly long on its battery, but the MSI pleasantly surprised us by lasting 3 hours and 39 minutes on our video playback battery drain test.
Before you get ideas about gaming on the go, however, note that the system only ran for 65 minutes in an anecdotal full-power gaming test -- hitting the CPU and GPU hard predictably runs the battery down quickly.
Especially compared to years of thick, bulky gaming laptops, the MSI GS70 Stealth stands out from the crowd with a slim body that at least won't cause your non-gamer friends to cringe.
You'll pay a premium for the combination of thin design and high-end components, and it's a shame that you'll have to skip the current top-end card, the Nvidia 880M, to make it all work. But despite a handful of compromises, I found myself reaching for the MSI over slightly more powerful systems from other PC makers when it came to PC game testing over the past several weeks.
MSI GS70 Stealth
Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-4710HQ; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 6,144MB Nvidia GeForce GT 870; RAID 0 (3) 128GB SSD, 1TB 7,200rpm HDD
Alienware 17 (2014)
Windows 7 Home Premium (64.bit); 2.9GHz Intel Core i7-4910MQ; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 6,144MB Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M; 256GB SSD, 1TB 5,400rpm HDD
Origin EON17-S (2014)
Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 3.1GHz Intel Core i7-4940MX; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 8,192MB Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M; RAID 0 (2) 120GB SSD, 750GB 7,200rpm HDD
Digital Storm Krypton
Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 3.1GHz Intel Core i7-4810MQ; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 8,192MB Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M; 256GB SSD, 750GB 7,200rpm HDD