MSI GT76 Titan and MSI Mystic Light

LAPTOPS 101: SELECTING SOFTWARE FEATURES THAT GIVE GAMERS A COMPETITIVE EDGE

 By Notebookcheck | October 08 2019
The following article is provided by Notebookcheck.
When gamers set out to buy a gaming laptop, they tend to look out for features that can help them edge out their rivals, be it a responsive keyboard, ability to customize lighting that can give real-time indications, audio cues, or even the ability to instantly tune their laptops on the fly based on the game being played. In this article, we will look into how these features can put gamers at a competitive advantage by discussing their implementation in MSI gaming laptops. (Sponsored article.)

MSI GT76 Titan


INTRODUCTION MSI Mystic Light
MSI Mystic Light brings the same level of RGB customization to the GT76 that you find in the company's desktop PC motherboards. In combination with the SteelSeries Engine 3 (more on this later), Mystic Light offers an array of customization options that allow you to truly personalize your laptop. Mystic Light controls several zones on the GT76 including the keyboard, chassis underglow, the side lights, and the back of the laptop, of which the keyboard, chassis underglow and side lights can be configured via the SteelSeries Engine 3 software.

Mystic Light RGB lighting
Red accent lights on the back.

KEYSTROKES THAT MAKE A BIG IMPACT
A good, responsive keyboard not only helps with comfortable typing but is also an essential component of any gaming notebook. Gamers are often particular about certain important aspects of the keyboard such as responsiveness, key travel, and anti-ghosting features. The ability to customize RGB lighting and the clarity with which the keys are seen in dark environments also matter. MSI's implementation of the SteelSeries keyboard with the SteelSeries Engine 3 takes due cognizance of these requirements and provides gamers with what is arguably the best keyboard on any gaming laptop in the market.

SteelSeries keyboard


SSE3 also supports apps that can interact with all of your SteelSeries devices. Apps such as Discord and Spotify can use SSE3 to show custom illumination effects when you get new messages or play a song. SSE3 also comes with features such as Audio Visualizer that can turn your keyboard and chassis underglow into a cool visualization effect that dances to your tune.

The customization possibilities with SSE3 are nearly endless. You can also sync these settings with other SteelSeries devices via PrismSync for a uniform RGB lighting effect.

SSE3
SSE3 allows customizing the light bar and per-key RGB lighting.

SSE3 integrates with popular apps and games.
SSE3 integrates with popular apps and games.

Per-key RGB backlighting can be fully customized and saved for specific games
Per-key RGB backlighting can be fully customized and saved for specific games

Each key can be assigned for macro control.
Each key can be assigned for macro control.

HEAR EVERYTHING — INCLUDING A PIN DROP
Audio plays a pivotal role in elevating the gaming experience. Modern AAA games come with support for surround sound that enables gamers to have spatial awareness of what's going on around them. However, not all gaming laptops are built to take advantage of a game's multi-channel audio. With hardware like powerful speakers and software enhancements such as Nahimic 3, audio quality truly sets apart MSI gaming laptops from the competition to put you right into the middle of the action.


Nahimic 3
Nahimic is a software audio enhancement feature that allows for an immersive aural experience whether you are gaming, watching a movie, or listening to music. Nahimic 3 also offers enhanced voice clarity and background noise suppression for online conferencing. A cool feature of Nahimic 3 is the Sound Tracker that accurately pinpoints the direction from which sound is emanating so that you have a tactical advantage over your opponents.

For further information about Nahimic 3 and other audio enhancements in MSI gaming laptops, refer to our article Designing a capable laptop audio subsystem.

Nahimic 3 allows for virtual surround effects from a traditional stereo setup.
Nahimic 3 allows for virtual surround effects from a traditional stereo setup.


ON-THE-FLY SYSTEM TUNING — EXTRACT EVERY LAST BIT OF CPU AND GPU POWER
Competitive gaming is about the performance of the gaming laptop as much as it is about the skill of the player. Gamers would want to ensure that they are able to eke out every bit of power that their hardware can afford while not getting distracted in the middle of a crunch multiplayer death-match. Gamers prefer an easy way to switch between system performance modes without having to wade through the multitude of BIOS settings and confusing apps. MSI Dragon Center takes the guesswork out of system tuning and lets gamers concentrate on what they do best — gaming.

MSI Dragon Center


User interface
The interface of Dragon Center is presented in an easy-to-understand manner. When you first open the app, you will find real-time readouts of the CPU, GPU, RAM, and disk usage status along with information about the current power plan, fan speeds and LAN/Wi-Fi status.

User interface
MSI Dragon Center UI.MSI Dragon Center UI.

System Tuner
Up next is the System Tuner tab that offers several pre-configured profiles for various use cases. From here, you can adjust the CPU and GPU clocks, fan speeds, and even directly set Nahimic and MSI True Color settings without having to open the respective apps. You also get the option of configuring up to two custom profiles that you can invoke with just a click.

System Tuner
Dragon Center System TunerDragon Center System Tuner

System monitor overlay
Prefer having all system information at your fingertips? Dragon Center now allows you to collapse the UI into an always-on-top floating window that shows your real-time system information. You can also directly change various tuning profiles on the fly without having to open the main Dragon Center app.

System monitor overlay
Dragon Center System monitor overlay.

Battery Master
Dragon Center offers a Battery Master tool to help manage your laptop's battery. You can choose among three battery health options — "Best for Mobility" that allows the battery to fully charge, "Balanced" that charges up to 80% when the battery level drops to 70%, and "Best for Battery" that charges up to 60% when the battery level drops below 50%. If you are using the charger for the most part, it makes sense to select the "Best for Battery" option to maximize the life of the battery. You can also start the battery calibration procedure from this interface to ensure battery life is maintained well and that Windows reports the charge correctly. MSI recommends performing battery calibration once every three months.

Battery Master
Dragon Center Battery Master

Gaming Mode
When you have a bunch of games installed, adjusting system performance and RGB lighting effects for each game can be a chore. Dragon Center offers a Gaming Mode feature that lists some of the most popular games and allows you to automatically optimize system performance, free-up memory, and invoke custom lighting effects when you play the game.
Gaming Mode
Dragon Center Gaming Mode.

Gaming Mode
Gaming Mode automatically chooses the best settings for your games.

VoiceBoost
In the cacophony of in-game sounds, player voice can often get dampened, hampering team communication. Dragon Center's VoiceBoost allows gamers to manage the proportion of VoIP and in-game volume while using VoIP apps such as Skype, Discord, TeamSpeak, and Raidcall. With Voice Wizard, team members can communicate much more clearly, even in the heat of the action.

VoiceBoost
Dragon Center VoiceBoost

Mobile Center
Dragon Center's Mobile Center allows you to relay real-time system information directly to the Dragon Dashboard app on your Android or iOS-powered smartphone. Simply scan the QR code on the Dragon Dashboard app to see system monitoring data and select system tuning profiles. Do note that the MSI gaming laptop and the smartphone running the Dragon Dashboard app should be on the same domain for the app to work.

Mobile Center

Mobile Center in MSI Dragon Center.


Tools & Help
The Tools & Help tab provides shortcuts to several tools that you may find useful. These include shortcuts to access the User Manual and Product Registration pages, Battery Calibration tool, and the option to burn the recovery image to external media. You can also add other utilities such as the SteelSeries Engine 3 and MSI TrueColor apps for each access.

Tools & Help

Dragon Center Tools & Help


GIVING MOBILE GAMING A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Smartphones are becoming more powerful by the day and gaming has been one of the catalysts in driving this change. However, smartphone gaming has limitations in terms of control accuracy and touch response, which can put you at a disadvantage when you are up against the world. While it is possible to emulate Android apps on a PC, the experience has been far from ideal — until now. MSI App Player is built for enabling a seamless gaming experience for mobile gamers by elevating their gaming experience to be on par with that of a native PC game.

MSI App Player

There is a vast selection of games of all kinds available for Android users, but why play on a phone when you can do it royal-style on an MSI gaming notebook? MSI has partnered with popular Android emulator developer Bluestacks Systems, Inc. to offer a customized version of Bluestacks called the MSI App Player. With MSI App Player, you can now play almost all popular Android games such as PUBG: Mobile, Asphalt 9: Legends, and more directly on your MSI gaming notebook. What's more, Android games played via MSI App Player can take advantage of MSI gaming notebook features such as high-refresh rate screens, mouse and keyboard support, and custom RGB lighting settings.