World-class gamers demand fast, high-powered computers, and computer makers have responded to that need with innovative, high-performance machines. But the gaming community isn’t alone in its need for such advanced equipment.
When photographer and digital artist Robbie Crawford first ventured into video editing, he worked on computers his engineer mom built for him. For years, digital-effects artist Colie Wertz turned to a gaming hardware manufacturer to make the custom-designed computers he relied on for his work. Unusual solutions such as these became the norm for content creators to realize their visions. “Early in my career, I worked with people who were customizing their graphic cards and hand-picking the components that would be better for the kind of work we were doing,” Wertz says. “I started to see that I had to learn how to work on my own machine to get the computer I wanted.”
As editing software has become more advanced and sophisticated, content creators require high-powered computers to create stunning visuals, special effects, and audio creations. However, their needs are often more than what most Mac or PC rigs can handle. Plus, many creatives sought options that were more customizable and affordable than those on the market.
MSI recognized this need—and understood that it was growing. That’s how a computer brand known for catering to the gaming crowd came to develop machines specifically designed for content creators. The result? Computers that blend powerful specs with a form that fits seamlessly into a creative professional’s mobile work setting.
THE NAME OF THE GAME IS CONTENT
MSI realized a tremendous opportunity in the lack of adequate high-end computers for the professional creative class. “Our research showed that content creators were replacing their hardware every couple of years,” says Eric Kuo, MSI’s executive vice president. “As content becomes more and more immersive and lifelike, the applications and software they’re using require more and more power to operate.”
Not only were content creators’ needs increasing, but the field itself was growing. Content creation is no longer limited to a small sector of professional artists and technicians working in a handful of industries. The rise of technology has led to a vast number of creators that’s increasing all the time. In recent years, the wild surge in popularity for social sharing platforms such as YouTube has added legions of new content creators—MSI researchers estimate the number of content creators around the globe to be 130 million.
Other laptops, such as Ultrabooks, tried to offer some of the features creators in this segment were looking for—high performance and easy portability. But they lacked discrete graphics cards and fell far short for projects with rigorous technical requirements such as virtual reality, architectural renderings, and 360-degree video.
THE CREATIVE EDGE
Entering a new scene meant MSI, a household name among recreational and professional gamers, had to get the attention—and approval—of content creators. It had long ago solidified its place as a fixture of the gaming industry; could it do the same among artists?
MSI observed and listened to the world’s best gamers and learned from them, allowing gamers’ expertise to elevate MSI’s product development and attain new performance levels. MSI has taken the same approach with content creators. By listening to creative professionals such as Wertz and Crawford and addressing their needs, the company realized it could expand its high-powered tools to a new audience.
MSI research showed that while the needs of many gamers and creators overlap, they vary in some important ways. Gamers often look for laptops with aggressive styling, such as colored, backlit keyboards and glowing LED icons on the lid. Creatives, however, want a cleaner, sleeker design that looks professional and won’t look out of place in client meetings.
When it comes to panel display, the two user groups also diverge. Where gamers seek a panel with a high refresh rate, content creators demand accurate color display. On MSI’s P65 Creator laptop, each panel is closely examined and goes through an extensive calibration process in the factory to ensure that colors are displayed with high precision and fine detail. MSI is also addressing creator-specific needs through software called Creator Center, a central-control system designed to improve the user’s work experience. The software includes tools aimed at increasing productivity, efficiency, and user comfort.
A high-powered, lightweight laptop that can be easily taken anywhere isn’t just convenient, it’s a necessity for many workers who can’t be tied to their desktop setup. Portability is critical for creators who need to edit high-resolution video on location, or who need to interrupt a road trip to touch up a 3-D rendering for a movie producer. “Most people who need to work on laptops carry the device with them wherever they go,” MSI’s Kuo says. “So weight is a big concern.”
Battery life is another high priority for creative professionals who frequently travel or work away from an office. To accommodate this need, MSI enhanced the battery life of its laptops—its newest PS63 Modern model offers up to 16 hours—giving users the freedom to work anywhere for long periods, whether or not they’re near a power outlet.
All this adds up to a tool that is increasingly becoming the gold standard for the creative community, much as it did for gamers. Colie Wertz, the digital effects artist who once had his computers specially built for him, says he’s found the perfect solution in MSI. “It’s been a breath of fresh air,” he says.
This article was created for and commissioned by MSI.