GPU, Gaming and Storage Performance
Let’s take a look at how the GS40 Phantom’s GTX 970M performs in a range of benchmarks.
The GS40 Phantom doesn’t surprise with its 3DMark performance, where it scores as expected for this sort of laptop. It does fall five percent slower than the Gigabyte P34W v5 on average, but does this translate into a difference in real-world games?
In short, no, there isn’t a significant difference in gaming performance between Gigabyte and MSI’s 14-inch gaming laptops. The GTX 970M performs exactly as expected across our benchmarks, delivering a great 1080p gaming experience.
In particular, the G40 delivers playable framerates on maximum settings at 1080p across all the games I benchmarked. You don’t necessarily get 60 FPS in every situation, but graphics fiends will find the GTX 970M a perfect companion for 1080p gaming on a laptop. Personally I wouldn’t recommend gaming at a resolution above 1080p through an external display, although the 970M is far from a slouch at 1440p.
The 128 GB SSD in my review unit delivered disappointing performance. MSI claims that an “optional” NVMe M.2 SSD delivers up to 2.2 GB/s transfers, so clearly this system was not equipped with this optional upgrade. 128 GB of storage on the main drive is also a little slim for my liking, and despite the inclusion of an additional 1 TB hard drive, I would have liked to see a larger SSD, perhaps 256 GB, to run apps and some games from.