Although MSI's GX780 received a lot of positive attention when it was unveiled in April, many would-be customers criticized its 1GB GeForce GT 555M graphics chip. The discrete solution is undoubtedly a step up from Sandy Bridge's integrated engine, but it can only deliver modest frames when playing modern games on high or ultra quality (~30 frames per second or lower in most titles tested by Notebookcheck).
Quelling those concerns, the company has introduced an updated version of the machine with a speedier GPU. The GT780DX sheds Nvidia's GT 555M in favor of the new GTX 570M, which carries over triple the CUDA cores, has a higher graphics clock, a broader memory bus and more VRAM. According to Nvidia's published 3DMark Vantage scores, the GTX 570M effectively doubles the GT 555M's performance.
Additionally, it seems MSI has streamlined the machine's storage options. Instead of an array of mechanical drives, systems will come with a 500GB or 750GB 7200RPM HDD alongside a 120GB Intel SSD. Other core specifications remain unchanged, including the Core i7-2630QM processor, 17.3-inch 1600x900 or 1920x1080 display, a DVD or Blu-ray drive, a 720p webcam and the usual cornucopia of connectivity.
The recycled specs also include SteelSeries' gaming-oriented keyboard, which includes LED lighting that can be configured in various color schemes. Beyond the eye candy, the keyboard offers improved tactile feedback, an ergonomic "golden triangle" gaming cluster, support for 10 simultaneous key presses (presumably limited to gaming-specific keys), and a durable design in case you're prone to rage-induced tantrums.