Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Acer G55VW or MSI GX60 (1AC-021US)

Tags:
  • Acer
  • MSI
  • Laptops
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
Share
November 18, 2012 3:52:19 PM

Help!

I am shopping in the $1200 price range, and I am down to two machines, both monsters in their own right. I need a dual purpose machine - one side for Linux, studying for CEH and pentesting so I need it powerful and able to do packet injection - and the other side for a brute of a gaming machine. Both will benefit from a better graphics card as long as driver support is there, as BackTrack Linux can use GPGPU for bruteforcing, greatly speeding it up. Anyway, onward (personal notes are in [] by me):

MSI GX60: http://www.msimobile.com/level3_productpage.aspx?cid=6&...
Windows® 8 64bit
AMD Trinity A10
15.6" Full HD Anti-Reflective Display (16:9; 1920 x 1080)
AMD Radeon™ HD 7970M 2GB GDDR5
Exclusive TDE Technology (GPU Overclocking)
Keyboard by SteelSeries [unsure if backlit]
Killer™ Game Networking (Killer 1102, as far as I read, can do packet injection)
MSI Cooler Boost Technology
THX TruStudio PRO™ [unsure if subwoofer]
750GB Hard Drive (7200RPM)
8GB DDR3 1600MHz System Memory [says max 16GB but would like 32GB, can buy 4x8GB G.SKILL for $140]
Blu-ray Disc Reader
USB 3.0 x 3; USB 2.0 x 1; HDMI Output
Built-in 720p HD webcam
Audio Boost Technology
802.11 b/g/n Wireless LAN with Bluetooth


Asus G55VW (no specific submodel, just no bluray): http://www.asus.com/Notebooks/Gaming_Powerhouse/G55VW/
Genuine Windows® 7 Ultimate or other editions available
Intel® 3rd generation Core™ i7 -3610QM processors [with Intel HM77 chipset]
NVIDIA® GeForce GTX 660M [kepler core]
Intelligent cooling with dual rear venting system [MASSIVE, and gives RAVE reviews for cooling]
Superior ergonomic design for effortless gaming
SonicMaster Lite powerful audio with built-in subwoofer
Intel® Thunderbolt™ technology grant lightning-fast transfers (optional) [pretty sure mine wont have]


Some questions about the MSI that I know about the Asus:
Does the MSI have an mSATA III port on the board to put a "second" mSATA drive into?
Can I bring the MSI up to 32GB RAM even though they say max 16 (is that a "configurable from MSI" max or a "hard/chipset limit" max)?
Is the cooling on the MSI comparable to the Asus? The Asus lets the CPU get to 95C with the hottest spot on the case being about 42C.
Is the Keyboard backlit (I don't care about color, just low light visibility)
Does it have a subwoofer? (the MSI my roommate has sounds good, not an issue either way)
Are the hinges plastic or metal? (I'm a ThinkPad guy looking for cheaper power, rugged is important to me, perhaps most of all)
How is Linux support for the AMD A10-4600M and Radeon 7970M (I know they can't crossfire, but the 7970M overclocked is more powerful than the 680M, so the 660M gets crushed there)
How does the A10-4600M with a Radeon 7970 compare to an i7-3610QM with nVidia 660M CPU-intensive-task wise, is it as bad as I hear?

I answered most of my remaining questions between my roommates MSI GT780DXR (intel) and the Asus Republic of Gamers laptops at best buy.

And as for the need for so much RAM - virtual machines. Lots and lots of virtual machines (upwards of 4 virtual servers and anywhere from 2-8 virtual clients)

Help guys! I am a pretty technical person, and my understanding is the A10 CPU side is much slower than the i7, but the 660M gets walked all over by the 7970M, but any answers are appreciated. Thanks!

More about : acer g55vw msi gx60 1ac 021us

a b D Laptop
November 19, 2012 1:04:36 PM

The Asus is better. The i7 is designed specifically to handle gaming. If you have a 3rd gen core i7 and put in an average GPU, you can manage just fine as opposed to having an average/lower processor and a really good GPU. In both cases the RAM is good enough. So going by that, the i7 + 660M (which is pretty good card in any case) will give you a better aggregate performance than the A10 + 7970.
I have the G55VW and can vouch for it's quality and performance.
m
0
l
November 19, 2012 1:13:57 PM

you would be better off with something from a Clevo reseller.
m
0
l
Related resources
a b D Laptop
November 19, 2012 1:38:01 PM

Why buy a used laptop and risk problems when you can get a brand new one without any?
m
0
l

Best solution

November 19, 2012 5:27:38 PM

At $1200, the GX60 is an impressive piece of hardware EXCEPT the A10. The GX60 is a sacrifice in CPU for massive gains in GPU. (the other hardware is similar or better in the GX60 than the ASUS)

This doesn't mean the ASUS is a bad laptop. It is simply outgunned by the GX60 in terms of the GPU. (The 7970m is more than twice as potent as the 660m, but the A10 bottlenecks it)

In most games the 7970m will absolutely bury the 660m in the ASUS... even with the A10 behind it.

It is absolutely true that the i7 in the ASUS is superior to the A10 in the MSI... but the fact of the matter is that most games are GPU-limited and not CPU-limited.

For a comparison:
The ASUS scores around 2500P score in 3dmark11. (reaches to 3100 or so if you choose to OC)
The GX60 scores around 4200P score in 3dmark11. (reaches to 4800 or so if you choose to OC)

3dmark11 P score is medium weighted on CPU so consider this difference in the middle.

Some games will see an even larger gap between these two laptops. Some will see a lesser one due to the a10 bottle necking the 7970m. In either case, I think the GX60 comes out on top on average due to the brute force difference between 7970m and 660m.

At this price range, I really think you should look at clevo or MSI whitebox laptops with 675m/670mx/675mx as well as those are much better competitors for the GX60.
(675mx is a bit pricey, but may be possible with a discount or deal)
Share
November 20, 2012 1:59:04 AM

That's the biggest thing today, most games are GPU limited.

As far as off-brand, for me, reliability is key. I've bought the unbranded, bought the whitebox stuff. NEVER again, cyberpower PC un-branded the MSi "megabook" years ago and the screen hinges are shot, plastic pieces are popping off all over, it overheats and shuts off, etc.

As for Sager, it is $1800 for an i7 with a 680M which is graphically "on par" with the 7970M. And even more $$$ when you add on the cost of everything the GX60 has ($30 matte screen, $50 dead pixel guarantee, $55 blu-ray, etc), which puts it far and above out of my $1200 budget.

I'm doing a little bit of digging on linux support for the GPGPU features of the 7970M to see if it can be used with BackTrack Linux - and I'll be honest, if so, the i7/660M combo will be buried with it comes to CPU and CUDA performance by the 7970M alone when it comes to the one thing that is process intensive in BackTrack. So really, again if compatible, I think the GX60 is the better buy for work and play. I do have trouble believing that any 3+ GHz quad core will be a slouch, yeah it may be half as fast as an i7 but still not slow.

Some things I did find out:
Can I bring the MSI up to 32GB RAM even though they say max 16 (is that a "configurable from MSI" max or a "hard/chipset limit" max)? - this seems to be a system maximum

Is the cooling on the MSI comparable to the Asus? The Asus lets the CPU get to 95C with the hottest spot on the case being about 42C. - Cooling is a bit louder but adequate

Is the Keyboard backlit (I don't care about color, just low light visibility) - NO, the keyboard is NOT backlit

Does it have a subwoofer? (the MSI my roommate has sounds good, not an issue either way) - YES, integrated 2.1 sound, with subwoofer.

How does the A10-4600M with a Radeon 7970 compare to an i7-3610QM with nVidia 660M CPU-intensive-task wise, is it as bad as I hear? - barring compatibility issues, the GPU is going to do most of the work both in games and in BackTrack, so the only relevancy is the number of virtual machines it can power, which if it is anything like my old Phenom 955BE, I'll run out of hard drive and RAM before I run out of processor for that.



Still trying to find:
Does the MSI have an mSATA III port on the board to put a "second" mSATA drive into?
Are the hinges plastic or metal? (I'm a ThinkPad guy looking for cheaper power, rugged is important to me, perhaps most of all)
How is Linux support for the AMD A10-4600M and Radeon 7970M (I know they can't crossfire, but the 7970M overclocked is more powerful than the 680M, so the 660M gets crushed there)
m
0
l
November 29, 2012 11:37:13 PM

Best answer selected by Sublime865.
m
0
l
March 25, 2013 7:25:15 AM

Sublime865 said:
Help!


I have this laptop and I love it.

Quote:
Some questions about the MSI that I know about the Asus:
Does the MSI have an mSATA III port on the board to put a "second" mSATA drive into?

It as a second 2.5" SATA bay (not 6GB as I understand). I'm contemplating adding a 2.5" SSD to the primary bay and moving the 750GB HDD to the secondary since it doesn't really need the speed. What I'd really like is the SuperRaid configuration that is optional with the system, but I can't get MSI to sell me the adapter. I've seen it elsewhere (http://www.tecs.com.au/shop/msi-super-raid-adapter-to-s...) but by the time you buy that and a couple of good sized mSATA drives to go in it, you've spend almost as much as the original system. I'll probably wait a bit for SSD prices to drop some more.

Quote:
Can I bring the MSI up to 32GB RAM even though they say max 16 (is that a "configurable from MSI" max or a "hard/chipset limit" max)?

I'm pretty sure the answer to this one is "no". There are only two RAM slots that can utilize up to 8 GB DDR3 1600MHz modules.
I just ordered 2 8 GB Crucial modules from NewEgg. I hope they will work.

Quote:
Is the cooling on the MSI comparable to the Asus? The Asus lets the CPU get to 95C with the hottest spot on the case being about 42C.

Cooling is not a problem. On the integrated GPU, You can barely hear the fan at all. Using the 7970M with a high demand game (I've been doing DeadSpace 3) you feel a bit of heat blowing but not even then does it break a sweat. In fact, the integrated GPU is good enough for many games (Civ V for instance).

Quote:
Is the Keyboard backlit (I don't care about color, just low light visibility)

The keyboard is not backlit. :( 

Quote:
Does it have a subwoofer? (the MSI my roommate has sounds good, not an issue either way)

Yes, and the sound is awesome. I've had no need for external speakers. The only gripe I have on sound is that volume control uses the Fn key with the arrow keys on opposite sides of the keyboard requiring two hands.

Quote:
Are the hinges plastic or metal? (I'm a ThinkPad guy looking for cheaper power, rugged is important to me, perhaps most of all)

The hinges appear to be plastic-coated steel. It feels very solid and I've hauled it on multiple trips without incident.

Quote:
How is Linux support for the AMD A10-4600M and Radeon 7970M (I know they can't crossfire, but the 7970M overclocked is more powerful than the 680M, so the 660M gets crushed there)

I'm curious on this as well. I was holding off loading Linux until I get the SSD.
BTW, Win8 is a PITA.

Quote:
How does the A10-4600M with a Radeon 7970 compare to an i7-3610QM with nVidia 660M CPU-intensive-task wise, is it as bad as I hear?

The raw numbers show that the CPU is a bottle-neck but I've not been disappointed with anything I've asked it to do.
The integrated GPU blows the Intel 4000HD out of the water, though. It is definitely optimized for gaming. I considered an Ivy Bridge system, but what you get for $1200 with this system is well worth it.

Quote:
And as for the need for so much RAM - virtual machines. Lots and lots of virtual machines (upwards of 4 virtual servers and anywhere from 2-8 virtual clients)

I'm running two VMs on it (WinXP & Ubuntu 12.10) as I write this on the Win8 host and that's with 8GB. I shut them down for games, of course.


m
0
l
!