Thursday, July 12, 2018

Product Review: MSI WT75 8SM Laptop with Intel Xeon E-2176G 3.7GHz Desktop Processor

While at NVIDIA GTC earlier this year, where I presented on Virtual Reality (VR) in the Architecture/Engineering/Construction (AEC) market, I had the opportunity to talk with Maggie Chen at the MSI booth in the exhibit hall. Through this lengthy discussion and follow up emails I was able to test one of their super new workstation-grade laptops for two weeks. This laptop has one thing in particular that is pretty amazing and could not even be mentioned publicly until today!

This laptop has an Intel Xeon E-2176G 3.70GHz Desktop Processor in it!

Wait, what? Not only is this a new processor, it is a desktop processor in a laptop.


Click here for the full details: MSI WT75

Mfr: Micro-Star International Co., Ltd.
Model: WT75 8SM
OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro64-bit
CPU: Intel(R) Xeon(R) E-2176G CPU @ 3.70GHz
Max Clock Speed: 3.701Ghz
Number of Processors: 6
Number of Logical Processors: 12
Total Physical Memory: 64GB @ 2400 2400 2400 2400Mhz
Drive Type: local Disk (NTFS)
Drive Model: Intel Raid 0 Volume
Graphics Card: NVIDIA Quadro P5200
Graphics RAM: 16GB
Driver version:
Screen Resolution: 3840x2160x32bit @ 60Hz


Of course I took a bunch of pictures to share... let's start there.

This laptop is big; thick and heavy. But if you have been carrying around a desktop for important meetings because you could not find an adequate laptop, then this may be the one for you. This unit powered VR, with our large complex architectural models (45 million polygons,) a lot better than any laptop previously.

On the back we have Mini-DP and HDMI connections as one would expect... I am not a big fan of the power connection, as you will notice pins which require the plug be aligned properly before inserting. The power brick as quite large as well, but not that big of a deal, really. Here we also have the one and only USB-C connection.

To me, the aesthetic has the feel of a race car or fighter jet...

Lots of USB posts...

The keyboard layout and back-lit keys are well executed.

Funny thing... when I first opened the lid I was not sure where the power button was for about a minute. The way the light was hitting the computer I could not see the power symbol.  Once on, it has a lit edge, which looks pretty cool.

Comparing my 1.5 year old Alienware laptop with a GeForce GTX 1070, the MSi with the Quadro P5200 performed well creating an animation using Enscape with the quality settings cranked up. The Alienware took about four hours to complete, and the MSI about 3.5 hours. Saving 30 minutes is a good thing!

My 16-year old son got a kick out of comparing his Surface Book with the box the MSI laptop came in... BTW, did you know the Surface Book has an NVIDIA discrete GPU in it?


I previously wrote this post about the RFO Revit benchmark: RFO Benchmark; Revit and Hardware Speed Test. I ran the Full Standard test against Revit 2018. The results are decent and listed below:

RVT 2018 - Full_Standard set - 2018.06.06 @ 06.20.47 on MSI.txt
    RFO Benchmark v3.1 (build 01.09.2017)

All times are in seconds, lower is better.

Run on Revit 2018.3.1

    6.37   update previous version file

Model creation benchmark
    2.26   opening and loading the custom template
   10.40   creating the floors levels and grids
   17.95   creating a group of walls and doors
   31.57   modifying the group by adding a curtain wall
   10.82   creating the exterior curtain wall
   10.06   creating the sections
    3.67   changing the curtain wall panel type
   13.66   creating area plans
    1.90   creating and applying view template
  102.29   TOTAL

Export benchmark
   60.16   export all views as PNGs at 300 dpi
   45.44   export all views as DWFs
   95.12   export all views as DWGs
   60.54   print all views as vector *
   91.60   print all views as raster *

 *  Print Views tests require the 'Microsoft XPS Document Writer' printer be installed.

Render benchmark
   53.51   render

Graphics - Standard View
    3.14   activate View Styles view
    0.41   change view to Wireframe
    0.78   change view to Hidden
    1.00   change view to Shaded
    1.01   change view to Consistent Colors
    1.63   change view to Realistic
    0.81   refresh Wireframe Line view x10
    3.49   refresh Hidden Line view x10
    3.66   refresh Shaded view x10
    3.51   refresh Consistent Colors view x10
    3.85   refresh Realistic view x10
    0.46   activate View Cube view
    3.85   rotate view x1
   27.60   TOTAL

Graphics - Sketchy View
    0.51   activate View Styles - Sketchy view
    1.86   change sketchy view to Wireframe
    1.08   change sketchy view to Hidden
    1.40   change sketchy view to Shaded
    1.38   change sketchy view to Consistent Colors
    1.23   change sketchy view to Realistic
    1.47   refresh sketchy Wireframe Line view x10
    4.19   refresh sketchy Hidden Line view x10
    4.36   refresh sketchy Shaded view x10
    4.19   refresh sketchy Consistent Colors view x10
    4.53   refresh sketchy Realistic view x10
    0.55   activate View Cube - Sketchy view
   16.60   rotate sketchy view x1
   43.35   TOTAL

I couldn't really run any system benchmarks that would report and compare the results online due to the embargo. But here is one that is a little dated but still compares quality hardware. Again, the results are very good.


When Lumion is opened it always displays hardware information. As you can see, it is very happy with the available resources. It had animation process times similar to a well configured desktop.

MSI Dragon Center

The MSI Dragon Center is the "Grand Central Station" to reviewing system stats and adjusting performance related options. It was easy to use, and just looks cool.


This is a quality laptop that will sever anyone needing a serious desktop replacement for things like Virtual Reality on the road. This would also be a nice rig for an architecture student using Revit, Rhino, Encape, Fuzor and/or Lumion. It is impressive to see MSI continue to push the limits with hardware in a laptop.

Thanks to the folks at MSI for letting me check it out.

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1 comment:

  1. Dear Dan, I'm a master of Architecture student at Melbourne School of Design. I am very confused regarding my options for a new system. Over several posts and blogs,I haven't been able to find a decent logic behind finding the right hardware specifications for Architects. I currently use AutoCAD, SketchUp, Photoshop and Lumion as my main tool, how3vho I want to start using and creating designs on Rhino, grasshopper and document them on Revit. I have also taken an elective, which deals with BIM, more specifically Navisworks.

    My initial budget was around AUD 5000, considering a GTX1080, i9 8950HK 512GB SSD and 32GB Ram.

    But I am confused between chopsich a GTX product over Quadro,as many people have repeatedly mentioned that there aren't any real life benefit of buying a Quadro over GTX as most softwares use DirectX and GTX cards over the years have improved OpenGl performance. Therefore with your experience, I would like you to suggest me an option suitable for my needs.


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