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MSI GX60 review

MSI's new gaming portable makes pixel pumping the priority

Benchmarks
3DMark06:12,766
Cinebench 10:8,080pts
Battery Eater 05:131 minutes

Even more for the MSI GX60 than most power portables, performance is going to make or break this laptop.

Inevitably, raw CPU performance is unimpressive. The A10 CPU's AMD Piledriver cores don't have a reputation for immense performance. And with only four of them running at relatively modest clocks, the result is a mediocre score of around 8,000 in Cinebench 10.

MSI GX60

To put that into context, a quad-core Intel Core-i7 desktop processor is roughly four times faster. Yikes.

Performance of those two 64GB mSATA solid-state drives in RAID0 is a little patchy, too. A peak sequential read speed of nearly 600MB/s is undoubtedly spectacular. Writes of just 52MB/s are pretty poor, however.

The random access performance isn't too hot either, clocking in at 7.3MB/s for reads and 13.3MB/s for writes. Frankly, the GX60 would be better off with a single conventional 2.5-inch SSD. The sequential reads would be a little slower. But everything else would be much, much quicker.

If that doesn't make for a terribly appealing mix, it's hardly catastrophic, either. In fact, it's just fine if the GX60 can deliver where it counts in games.

MSI GX60

Sadly, it doesn't. A perfect example of where it falls short is provided by arcade-style racer Dirt Showdown. Hardly renown for being a CPU hog, Dirt Showdown runs at pretty much the same frame rates regardless of the graphical settings.

Whether you're running at 1,280 by 768 pixels and no anti-aliasing or 1,920 by 1,080 and all the eye-candy shovelled on it's the same. Unfortunately, that same is low to mid 20s in terms of frames per second.

That's not quite good enough and it's undoubtedly a function of the CPU holding back performance. Admittedly, most console port games will run just fine. But anything a bit more demanding and purpose built for modern CPUs is going to chug a bit.

MSI GX60

That's a shame because games look absolutely, positively stunning on the GX60's 15.6-inch LCD panel. The 1,920 by 1,080 resolution makes for a super-tight pixel pitch and in turn razor-sharp visuals.

Add in vivid colours and decent pixel response and you have a gaming lappie that makes games look awesome. Well, the ones that run smoothly, at least.

The final part of the puzzle in battery life. Over two hours in Battery Eater 05 is a decent result for this type of portable. Even better, in a light web browsing scenario with Wi-Fi enabled, you'll get at least four hours and perhaps as much as five or more depending on screen brightness.

That's much better than you'll achieve with most gaming-centric laptops.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity750 GB
Processor ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ModelRadeon HD 7970M
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeBlu-ray Reader
Graphics Memory AccessibilityDedicated
eSATAYes
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
eSATA/USB ComboNo
Product FamilyGX60
ColourBrush Aluminum Black
Operating SystemWindows 8
Brand NameMSI
Processor TypeA-Series
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Number of Cells9-cell
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Standard Memory8 GB
Weight (Approximate)3.90 kg
Cache6 MB
Chipset ManufacturerAMD
Chipset ModelA70M
Optical Media SupportedBD-ROM
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 2 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Memory StandardDDR3-1600/PC3-12800
Height55.1 mm
Width428 mm
Depth288 mm
Screen ModeFull HD
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesGX60
ManufacturerMicro-Star International Co., Ltd
Product ModelGX60 1AC-021US
Product NameGX60 1AC-021US Notebook
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number9S7-16FK11-021
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.msicomputer.com
Marketing Information

AMD Eyefinity Multi-Display Technology Support

The MSI GX60 supports AMD Eyefinity Technology which features innovative three-screen display capabilities, allowing you to output to three displays simultaneously using HDMI, VGA, and mini-DisplayPort. You can show one picture (i.e., videos, graphics) on multiple displays or different pictures on multiple displays.

THX TruStudio Pro Provides Excellent Surround Sound Effect

THX TruStudio Pro is specially designed to bring the same great audio experience found in live performances, films, and recording studios- to the PC. THX TruStudio Pro provides the latest groundbreaking technologies that are products of years of collective experience and research by Creative and THX. Together, these technologies deliver the fullest audio experience for music, movies and games, while remaining true to the source and intention of the artists who created it.

Maximum Memory16 GB
Limited Warranty2 Year