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MSI GX60 review

MSI's new gaming portable makes pixel pumping the priority

There's no doubting the MSI GX60 makes for a compelling package on paper. Graphics grunt is typically what defines games performance. So why not wind back a little on the CPU in return for lower pricing and better battery life.

That's exactly what MSI did, dropping in an AMD A10 4600M chip. It's essentially a budget processor and sports two of AMD's Piledriver modules and four AMD-style cores.

MSI GX60

We liked

The screen is excellent and delivers just what you want from a gaming portable: rich and vivid colours, great contrast and huge detail thanks to a 1,920 by 1,080 pixel grid.

The battery life is excellent for this class of notebook. Depending on how you use the GX60, you can get as much as five hours or more away from a wall socket. For that you can thank both the big battery and the integrated AMD Radeon HD 7660G graphics core, which kicks in when the system is running on batteries.

The integrated speakers aren't half bad, either. OK, the absolute volume levels aren't exactly kidney pummelling. But the quality and clarity are great. And you do get just a hint of lower bass frequencies.

We disliked

Make no mistake. AMD cores are not like Intel cores. And Intel Core i7 quad-core chip typically delivers at least twice the performance of the AMD A10 processor.

Unfortunately, that makes a difference in games, where the A10 processor prevents the excellent AMD Radeon HD 7970M mobile graphics chip from delivering its best. It ends up twiddling its silicon thumbs waiting for the A10 to catch up.

Similarly unedifying is the performance of the two 64GB mSATA SSDs in RAID0 configuration. You'd be better off with a single conventional SSD.

We're also a little disappointed by the sheer heft of the GX60. Given the low power CPU and even taking into account the powerful graphics chip, 3.5kgs and 55mm thick is not what we were expecting.

Final verdict

That said, it all makes for a very sturdy and robust feeling system. Likewise, the keyboard feels great, too. Engineered by keyboard specialist Steelseries, it's very stable with little to no deflection of the keyboard bed.

MSI GX60

But it's the AMD A10 CPU that's the real sticking point. It's just about tolerable for most current games. But there's absolutely no performance in hand for future games. And it makes the AMD Radeon HD 7970M dedicated graphics chip seem a little futile and the GX60 ultimately a bit off-target.

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