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Gaming notebooks may well be the luxury sedans of the notebook world, but with its Apache Pro, MSI aims to ensure its latest could be just as easily likened to a Ferrari without the hefty pricetag.

For any gaming notebooks hoping to compete for a PC gamer on the gos hard earned cash – and even more highly taxed attention, the machine better have serious power under its hood.

The good news is that the GE70 Apache Pro does, boasting the latest 4th generation (Haswell) Intel Core i7-4700HQ processor (up to 3.4 GHz) and GeForce GTX 860M, which should make short order of even the most demanding of games (yes, Crysis 3, or anything from Crytek for that matter). The Haswell gains don’t stop performance; the architecture is also admirably energy efficient, which thus has a positive knock on effect on that other important consideration for mobile gamers, namely battery life and a machine’s staying power.

On the bleeding edge

Additionally, depending on how much you are willing to spend, MSI’s offering comes laden either with 8 GB or a make your LAN-buddies go green with envy 16 GB RAM. Either way, the graphics solution is no slouch on the 17.3” behemoth, as a GeForce GTX 860M matches the cutting edge delivered by the CPU.

Indeed, Geforce (a company that knows a thing or ten about graphics cards) asserts that its Maxwell architecture similarly offers the fine ratio between terrific performance (a 20% increase versus previous iterations), and balances this with better power consumption and less heat. As for the screen, gamers can anticipate playing their latest titles in full HD (1920x1080), or alternatively, connecting up to three monitors simultaneously and diving into the virtual world.

No ticket required for this light show

To its credit, and obviating the need to connect an external keyboard, the GE70 Apache Pro further boasts a SteelSeries gaming keyboard. Naturally, a gaming keyboard wouldn’t be quite the same without the option to light the rig up in a light show to rival the Las Vegas strip at night, as the multi-colour, backlit (of course) keys can be customised to the user’s content, with in excess of 1 000 colour combinations.

Furthermore, the SteelSeries Engine will automatically recognise the game running and load the saved, appropriate keyboard profile. Another feature worth mentioning is the inclusion of XSplit Gamecaster, which enables players to record their gaming moments and broadcast their live gameplay sessions to the likes of Twitch, YouTube and UStream.

Finally, the GE70 Apache Pro also boasts hefty available storage – and storage features. Along with 1 TB of storage space, there is also the option to include a RAID setup inside the machine’s chassis on the high-end GE70 Apache PRO 2PE-212 iteration, which also accommodates a 128 GB SSD.

The GE70 Apache Pro comes in two versions; the 2PE-213, which sports 8 GB of memory and costs R18 000, and then the GE70 Apache PRO 2PE-212, which doubles the amount of memory (16 GB), adds a 128 GB SSD in RAID and will cost serious gamers R20 400. Both notebooks are available from Evetech’s website (www.evetech.co.za) or by calling them on 010-786-0044.

Article first appeared in TechSmart 129, June 2014 available here

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