First look at my MSI GE40 (plus windows 8)

Lights up "eyes" as aesthetics

So I finally put my old laptop to rest after 2 year (Lenovo Y470). It served me well but it was slowly becoming too weak to run the new games. I do hope this new laptop I bought will be able to last another 2 years. I waited a few days of using this laptop before making a post as I wanted to use it for a bit to get a better idea of what it can do.

First, some background on what I look for in a laptop. There are 2 main things, a powerful video card and 14" screen. You would think this is easy, but it really isn't. In the past few years, they have been building more powerful 14" laptops, but it is hard since it is too small to dissipate all the heat. This puts a cap on what kind of video card can go in. Also, gaming usually only associate with the larger screens, so less options.

Build wise it is slightly thinner than my old laptop, but not by much. I think the more noticeable build difference is the weight. I think it is a good 1lb less which is a big difference (almost 20% difference). The keyboard is also slightly better for typing but they added a "\" key beside the alt key and I keep pressing it instead of the alt.

Specs wise, this computer is new, way too new (partially why i bought it). It is using the 4th generation i7 cores as well as a GTX 760m which are both so new that drivers don't even exist on the Nvidia site. Both of these were only announced on June 3 along with the new laptop. I am having a bit of issues with the graphics drivers, hoping they roll out with a new version soon. It was perfect as I got accepted to the FF14 beta this weekend and could stress test the machine (I'll make a separate post for my thoughts on FF14). Overall, it was able to play things on highest settings without much difficulty, the main issue, the trouble with all 14" machines, overheating.

It was very clear from the first day of use of this laptop it was overheating a bit. I went out and bought a better cooling pad for it, since then, it has been working perfectly. Just look at the amount of vents it has, inside you can see 2 giant heat sinks too. I had to clean out the dust in the heat sink in my old laptop every 3-4 months or so. I wonder how often I will have to do for this one.

One issue I have with this computer is the sound. I had to tweak it a bit to make it sound "ok". Coming from my other laptop, those speakers were definitely better. Everything sounds very "hollow" and flat right now. There is a bay area for an optical drive, but there is nothing there. I think that is where my extra SSD is right now. Not like optical drives are needed anymore, I am glad they are starting to take these out.

Overall I am quite satisfied with this machine, the power and mobility I am looking for.

Part of this new laptop was I had to use Windows 8. This is due to a lack of drivers as the computer is too new. I figured I heard some decent things about Windows 8 so I would give it a shot. Boot time is as fast as they say. I takes me 3 seconds to hit the BIOS password and another 8 seconds to fully boot.

My only real complaint is the stupid Metro UI. I tried getting used to it, but it just doesn't work with a PC. I instead classic shell to put my start button back in and effectively semi disabling metro. When installing something like Skype, why would I want some full screen client on a computer? Isn't the purpose of a laptop to be able to multi task and tab between things easily? All these "apps" effectively turned my powerhouse computer into a phone. I even went to delete all the apps so it doesn't show up on my program list. No more accidentally using the stupid apps.

Sound, why would they have an automatic option to adjust my volumes for me? I thought it was a problem with my sound driver to realize it was Windows 8 doing it. I can manually adjust my sound to what I want fine thanks, windows 8 just made it worse.

Another huge upgrade is the task manager. They included many more items within it to be a more robust tool. That was a nice touch, no more do I have to go through msconfig to edit my boot items and services. There are many other small things but those are my biggest concerns I found with Windows 8. Once I finished "customizing" my Windows 8 to more my liking, it seems to be going well.

Overall, quite satisfied with my new laptop, hopefully my heavy use won't destroy the machine too quickly.

Side Note: When did Utorrent become so bloated? I had to pull old installation from my laptop because I couldn't handle that add spammyness of the newest version.