MSI GX60 Gaming Notebook: Powerful mobile GPU without breaking the bank?

By on January 29, 2013, 2:33 AM

Most people can’t afford to spend a few thousand on a notebook computer, even if it's on a solid gaming machine that doubles as a desktop replacement. To that end, today we'll be checking out a portable from MSI that aims to deliver a solid gaming experience without without the excessive cost.

The MSI GX60 is the latest entry in the company's Gaming Series of notebooks. The unit we tested arrived with a quad-core AMD A10-4600M CPU clocked at 2.3GHz alongside AMD Radeon HD 7970M discrete graphics with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, a 15.6-inch non-glare display operating at 1920x1080, 8GB of DDR3 memory in a 4GBx2 configuration, 128GB of flash storage used as the OS drive and a 750GB 7200RPM disk drive for storage.

It doesn’t stop there, however, as MSI has implemented a couple of gamer-specific features designed to boost the system’s overall appeal. It starts with an upgraded keyboard provided by SteelSeries that’s said to offer a number of benefits such as simultaneous multi-key presses and a secure tactical feel. MSI even includes a wired gaming mouse as part of the package.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 29

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misor misor said:

Wow, nice price point, nice performance, nice display..

..at the same price level as my Acer with Intel core duo > 6 years ago

However, I prefer an Intel ivy bridge processor over AMD A10.

I agree with Julio's statement:

"sort of potential the GX60 could have had with the right processor."

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Yeah I agree. It's a nice machine even if the A10 processor is a little weak kneed but doing the whole Intel thing is going to make it more expensive. It looks like they are striving for a certain price point & if they achieve that then it's a success.

Arris Arris said:

SC2 at 1024x768, Medium Quality 31.7 fps, and 48fps for Farcry 2 isn't very good for a 7970M system. Not going to stay current very long for a portable gaming computer unless they are using discrete daughter board/GPU modules that can be upgraded. Think a larger investment for a higher powered system(read : better processor for gaming) would work out better in the long run. Nice for those that are happy to play at lower quality settings and definitely nice specs at the price point.

Don't think I've ever seen a 640M LE system beating a 7970M regardless of CPU its paired with :eek:

havok585 havok585 said:

@Arris, Acer has a much lower screen resolution, look it up, + the speed improvement of intel cpu and SC2 being very CPU taxing !

Get Alienware = problem solved !

Twixtea said:

That CPU bottlenecks the system.

I think it's cool though MSI is offering different gaming solutions, I mean you can always lay out all your cash and grab the laptop with the 680M + i7 CPU.

Jbucko said:

@Arris, Acer has a much lower screen resolution, look it up, + the speed improvement of intel cpu and SC2 being very CPU taxing !

Get Alienware = problem solved !

Alienware is not what it use to be.......

Arceles said:

That review is plain wrong, the user didn't deactivated crossfire nor set the application to performance mode (this must be done on the catalyst control center, which he didn't mention) those numbers are simply not realistic for a 7970m, considering I get even better results with my 6750m with an A6-3410M.

WaveZero said:

There are other MSI gaming notebooks, you guys should check out the GE or GT series. The GE series are way more portable and lightweight while offering a massive performance punch. Check out GentechPC very reputable and good service.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

...a number of benefits such as simultaneous multi-key presses...

I didn't know there were keyboards that didn't allow it. Sounds ridiculous.

misor misor said:

That review is plain wrong, the user didn't deactivated crossfire nor set the application to performance mode (this must be done on the catalyst control center, which he didn't mention) those numbers are simply not realistic for a 7970m, considering I get even better results with my 6750m with an A6-3410M.

Can you provide the details of your own benchmarking?

I usually read techspot, anandtech, and tomshardware for some benchmarks.

(it's nice to know or be informed of some latest results from amd/intel/nvidia)

2 people like this | 9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

...a number of benefits such as simultaneous multi-key presses...

I didn't know there were keyboards that didn't allow it. Sounds ridiculous.

[link]

Some keyboards have limitations on how many keys can be pressed at one time. Any additional key presses are not registered, this is often referred to as "Ghosting". Some gamers I know are "clickers" and only use WASD for movement, spacebar to jump, and their mouse for most functions. They often don't notice a problem. Others who use both hands on the keyboard may run into ghosting problems. The website above explains this in greater detail.

veLa veLa said:

I wouldn't buy this laptop because my current laptop already has a Core i7 and a good enough video card. I just can justify the use of an AMD CPU in a laptop (although I do love them in desktops)

VitalyT VitalyT said:

I wouldn't buy this laptop because my current laptop already has a Core i7 and a good enough video card. I just can justify the use of an AMD CPU in a laptop (although I do love them in desktops)

They seem to come up with their new APU-s fairly quick in the recent times, and they are quite good. And when it comes to the embedded graphics, Intel is miles behind with their HD4000. Even the new HD4600 will still be miles behind AMD alternative.

So, I wouldn't be hasty there

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

That review is plain wrong, the user didn't deactivated crossfire nor set the application to performance mode (this must be done on the catalyst control center, which he didn't mention) those numbers are simply not realistic for a 7970m, considering I get even better results with my 6750m with an A6-3410M.

@Arceles, @misor

FYI, we have retested to make sure we got things right. We had already tweaked the drivers prior to publishing the review and it all looks solid. That's what we score on the MSI system which is not bad at all, but the 7970M could evidently do better with a more powerful CPU.

2 people like this | Heihachi1337 said:

Alienware is certainly not what it used to be and a better alternative, go Clevo/Sager.

MSI certainly gives much more bang for your buck over Alienware.

Additionally, the article is a bit incorrect in calling the MSI GX60 a "barebones". Go check out some of the reseller websites that offer the "PowerPro" or "Force" laptops, those are your "barebones" laptops. Barebones is essentially the non-branded, stripped down version of the MSI branded laptop.

This article only covers the GX60, if you want more performance check out the GT60 or GT70 series which offers the GTX 680M graphics card and Intel chipset. Same package as the GX series but it packs more of a punch in performance.

misor misor said:

@Julio, I didn't question your methods/testing results.

since arceles doubts the results, I asked him to provide his own benchmarking results.

I am not versed in testing methodologies nor qualified to cast judgments so I always read the results/conclusions...

(hence my opening remarks and the first post of this thread: "Wow, nice price point, nice performance, nice display.."

GeforcerFX GeforcerFX said:

Wow, a $1400 laptop from late 2012 that scores the same scores in 3dmark vantage and 3dmark06 as my precision m6500 from 2009, that I paid $1200. How does weighing 7.7lbs and only having a 15.6" screen is beyond me.

misor misor said:

@geforcefx, I can't find the display resolution for your precision m6500 from dell.

from another site [link] :

The Precision M6500 is particularly designed for CAD and CAM users, who need a big desktop. So, Dell offers three different display models in WUXGA resolution and only one WXGA+ screen with a resolution of 1440x900 pixel as alternative.

perhaps, the difference in pricing could be attributed to native resolution of 1920x1080 for msi gx60.

GeforcerFX GeforcerFX said:

@geforcefx, I can't find the display resolution for your precision m6500 from dell.

from another site [link] :

The Precision M6500 is particularly designed for CAD and CAM users, who need a big desktop. So, Dell offers three different display models in WUXGA resolution and only one WXGA+ screen with a resolution of 1440x900 pixel as alternative.

perhaps, the difference in pricing could be attributed to native resolution of 1920x1080 for msi gx60.

the precision m6400, m6500 and m6600 all were 16:10 and offered a 1440x900 screen and two different 1920 x 1200 screens (one being ultra awesome or something) I did start with the 1440 x 900 screen back then, but bought a 1920 x 1200 screen last summer for $120. but I did have 2 hard drives( one being a 64gb SSD) a core i7 and only the quadro FX 2800m, if I had gone with the mid level screen at 1920 x 1200 back then I would have paid around $1400-$1500, but shouldn't a computer from 2012 beat a computer from 2009 at the same price point? that's all I was implying, 3 years difference and same scores in benchmarks, guess there's just no value in the MSI for me, but others looking for a decent 15" gaming rig might like it.

Arris Arris said:

Alienware is certainly not what it used to be and a better alternative, go Clevo/Sager.

MSI certainly gives much more bang for your buck over Alienware.

Additionally, the article is a bit incorrect in calling the MSI GX60 a "barebones". Go check out some of the reseller websites that offer the "PowerPro" or "Force" laptops, those are your "barebones" laptops. Barebones is essentially the non-branded, stripped down version of the MSI branded laptop.

This article only covers the GX60, if you want more performance check out the GT60 or GT70 series which offers the GTX 680M graphics card and Intel chipset. Same package as the GX series but it packs more of a punch in performance.

Yup, Clevo based laptop is the way I went, but in the end not with a 7970M, but the benchmarks with that and an i5/7 were far beyond the results of that MSI unit. AMD are stuck with great "APU" products for general use and great GPUs, but not reaping the benefits of the GPUs when pairing them with the APUs.

misor misor said:

Alienware is certainly not what it used to be and a better alternative, go Clevo/Sager.

MSI certainly gives much more bang for your buck over Alienware.

Additionally, the article is a bit incorrect in calling the MSI GX60 a "barebones". Go check out some of the reseller websites that offer the "PowerPro" or "Force" laptops, those are your "barebones" laptops. Barebones is essentially the non-branded, stripped down version of the MSI branded laptop.

This article only covers the GX60, if you want more performance check out the GT60 or GT70 series which offers the GTX 680M graphics card and Intel chipset. Same package as the GX series but it packs more of a punch in performance.

Yup, Clevo based laptop is the way I went, but in the end not with a 7970M, but the benchmarks with that and an i5/7 were far beyond the results of that MSI unit. AMD are stuck with great "APU" products for general use and great GPUs, but not reaping the benefits of the GPUs when pairing them with the APUs.

@Arris, can you clarify the statement "not reaping the benefits of the GPUs when pairing them with the APUs"?

I thought amd processors can do hybrid crossfire if paired with amd discrete gpus?

1 person liked this | Arris Arris said:

@Arris, can you clarify the statement "not reaping the benefits of the GPUs when pairing them with the APUs"?

I thought amd processors can do hybrid crossfire if paired with amd discrete gpus?

Possibly but even so, desktop CPU/APUs from AMD are shown to perform poorer than Intel i5/7s paired with AMD or Nvidia cards. I wouldn't think that would be any different for mobile processors. Haven't seen any benchmarks of the hybrid crossfire (although crossfire used to run the GPUs at the lower spec GPUs level so if that is still the case I'm not sure how beneficial that would be to a system with a 7970M in it). Might give lesser non gaming focussed models a boost though.

2 people like this | GeforcerFX GeforcerFX said:

@Arris, can you clarify the statement "not reaping the benefits of the GPUs when pairing them with the APUs"?

I thought amd processors can do hybrid crossfire if paired with amd discrete gpus?

If I remember correctly the highest end card that can be crossfired with the APU's is the 7670m, which also seems to be the only card that most companies put in with the APU's. But Crossfiring a APU with a discrete card is hybrid crossfire and not just normal crossfire, hybrid crossfire is supposed to be asymmetrical so the performance (if drivers are working well) is just supposed to improve, so basically the 7670m uses the APU's graphics to help it but without hurting it's baseline performance.

veLa veLa said:

So, I wouldn't be hasty there

My laptop doesn't use integrated graphics, it has dedicated and high powered GeForce.

Guest said:

I've had a gx60 for about a month. Mine is the basic model with no SSD. It came preloaded with windows 8, not too happy about that but its ok. Anyway, two things worth mentioning:

As someone pointed out earlier in the thread games don't automatically use the 7970, there is a control panel that lets you set which profile to use. After installing the game and running for the first time the system will probably pick the integrated card. After that the machine has to be told to use 'high performance' for that game.

It is very important to install the latest catalyst drivers for this system. The ones it ships with have serious problems and give very poor performance in games. I feel the numbers in some of the earlier reviews reflect the earlier drivers. New drivers are released regularly (I've upgraded twice in the month I've had it) and have fixed issues such as under-use of the 7970, and problems where the system wouldn't always switch to the 7970 in games.

I am very happy with this machine. I have no major complaints, except perhaps that the thickness of the machine makes it difficult to find a neoprene sleeve that will fit it. The processor is no i7, but I have not encountered a situation where the cpu caused a problem. I should mention that the most modern game I use on it is Skyrim.

Guest said:

"I noticed there is no Windows key to the left side of the spacebar like normal, I imagine to save space and fit the numpad cleanly."

As stated on MSI's website as well, the win key has been purposefully removed to avoid accidental presses while playing.

Heihachi1337 said:

"I noticed there is no Windows key to the left side of the spacebar like normal, I imagine to save space and fit the numpad cleanly."

As stated on MSI's website as well, the win key has been purposefully removed to avoid accidental presses while playing.

Actually if you paid closer attention the Windows key is to the right side of the spacebar. This is because a REAL gamer uses WASD and there are other buttons around that area that need to be hit quickly in FPS (Ctrl for crouch). Hitting the Windows key would disconnect us from game or windows us to desktop at a critical moment when we want that frag (kill).

The keyboard on these laptops is made for SteelSeries/MSI and it is for gaming. You people that have to mention a Windows key or lack there of are by no means gamers though.

Jessica Smith said:

HORRIBLE! I bought an MSI brand computer, and it was a huge mistake. The specs look nice, but the computers are horrible quality. I've owned my MSI computer for 6 months and already the screen has discolorations and blown pixels (and no, I haven't dropped it or damaged it in anyway), I've been given a battery replacement warning, the keyboard sticks on several letters, and the webcam was broken right out of the box. All this in only 6 months! Not only is their quality completely crap, but when I contacted them for assistance, they completely ignored me. Apparently this is common for them, as they have a 3/10 customer service rating and 55 complaints (with only 3 positive comments): http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/MSI. BUYER BEWARE!

Guest said:

I have the MSI GT780 the model before this one with the nVidia 560M and you needed to have the Star program because it ran this Turboexpress program which overclocked the graphics card and launched it from the special button.

I don't know if the AMD card here has this turbo facility on this model.

The Star program enabled some of the buttons and could be customized. I hated the star on the top of your screen and I made mine start manually.

I haven't noticed any real advantage with Turboexpress.

From memory, the manual fan and CD eject buttons are hardwired, the rest needed the star program. I'm on a different screen to the review because of the registration process and I couldn't remember the exact name of the star program.

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