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MSI CX61. Good or bad?

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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December 14, 2012 2:08:44 PM

So I'm buying a laptop around christmas and I had this model in mind...
http://www.xoticpc.com/msi-cx61-0nf258us-preorder-p-539...
I want it to be able to play the following:
Sims 3 (All expansions)
SWTOR
World of Warcraft
The Secret World
Guild Wars 2


Will it be able to handle these games or should i upgrade a few things on it?
Or am i better off buying something else?

More about : msi cx61 good bad

a b D Laptop
December 15, 2012 7:36:33 PM

I couldn't really recommend the MSI CX61. The reason is that there is conflicting information about what type of display it comes with. Some sites list the display as 15.6" 1920x1080, and other sites list the display as 15.6" 1366x768.

1366x768 resolution in a 15.6 inch display make things onscreen large, and 15.6 inch displays that have 1366x768 resolution tend to be low-grade LCD panels with very poor image quality due to low contrast. You should make a point to avoid displays like this when it is reasonable to do so, unless you require the larger text for eyesight related reasons.

If this laptop does come with 1920x1080, then it's a great choice, but I can't recommend it until there is definite confirmation on this. If the laptop comes with 1366x768, then it isn't a particularly good choice.

-------------------

You can get an even faster GPU, and a confirmed decent display, for $749, with the HP DV6 in the following configuration:

HP DV6t (NVIDIA GT 650M, 15.6" 1920x1080 display) - $749 + tax
- Saved Configuration: http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/load_configu...
- Apply coupon code NB7453
- Don't downgrade the GPU to the GT 630M or to Intel HD 4000 graphics. The GT 650M is considerably faster than either, and if one of the lower GPU options would work just as well for you then I would probably suggest getting an entirely different laptop.
- Don't downgrade the display to 1366x768. The 1366x768 display makes things onscreen large, and is a low-grade LCD panel with very poor image quality due to low contrast. The availability of the upgraded 1920x1080 display is part of why I'm recommending this laptop; I wouldn't be recommending this laptop if it didn't offer it.

-------------------

Keep in mind that it should not be a priority for you to get a Core i7 processor. Game performance depends far more on the GPU than it depends on the processor, and basic usage is unaffected by the differences between the vast majority of currently-available processors. Don't let the fact that the CX60-258US comes with a Core i7 be a reason to choose it over this DV6. The i5-3210M in the DV6 should already be faster than you need. You shouldn't trade-out for a slower GPU and a substantially worse display just to get one that's even faster.
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December 16, 2012 10:35:06 PM

Pretty nice price for that configuration! I'm currently shopping for a notebook too with about 800$ budget. edit1754, do you know any models that would come with the NVIDIA GT 660M or better instead?
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a b D Laptop
December 17, 2012 5:30:16 AM

With an $800 budget, you shouldn't be setting your GPU standards so high. The DV6t is by a fair margin one of the best deals you can get for $800. That, and keep in mind that the GTX 660M isn't worlds faster than the GT 650M. The GTX 660M should only be around 10-15% faster than the GT 650M; it's the same chip just clocked a little higher.

Options that may net you a GTX 660M for close to $800 will generally come with displays such as 15.6" 1366x768. Keep in mind that a GT 650M is not a "terrible" GPU, a Core i5 is not a "terrible" processor, but a 15.6" 1366x768 display is a "terrible" display. You need to be concerned with improving a display that's pretty bad before you start trying to improve performance that's already pretty good.
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December 17, 2012 5:15:03 PM

Okay thanks bud!
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December 18, 2012 4:16:16 AM

I have one and tell you what, it is awesome! This thing caught my eye at the very first glance. Build quality is flawless, and although it may not be visible in images but actually it has some sort of classy cool looks and is built entirely from brushed metal. Speakers are really loud and clear and most importantly, the screen is well above average. Not the best of HDs but still very good. Mine is 3610QM and GT 640 but yours will be even better with a FHD display, 3630QM and GT 645. I'd say go for it!
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September 4, 2013 10:45:54 AM

I got the MSI CX61 and the performance is not what it should be. Doom 3 and Doom 3 BFG won't run because of a OGL error related to optimus, and Skyrim runs slow EVEN on low settings. This is all because of optimus, which is software that chooses which GPU will process graphics, the Nvidia or the onboard Intel HD 4000. But even when the Nvidia is being used, the performance takes a huge hit. There is no way to disable optimus in the BIOS, and the Nvidia card is outputting graphics *through* the Intel card, which means optimus cannot be disabled in any way, otherwise the Nvidia card will not be recognized. I am going to return my MSI and get something else, something that allows diabling of optimus in the BIOS. I suggest you do the same. Optimus is cancer. And there are tons of other games that don't work with optimus, and the Nvidia GPU will not output desktop, chrome, or VLC media player graphics. So all those things will be slow. Sigh... *rolleyes*

I've tried disabling the Intel GPU in device manager (and uninstalling it). Both ways, the Nvidia GPU stops being recognized. Sigh...
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October 15, 2013 3:11:47 AM

edit1754 said:
I couldn't really recommend the MSI CX61. The reason is that there is conflicting information about what type of display it comes with. Some sites list the display as 15.6" 1920x1080, and other sites list the display as 15.6" 1366x768.

1366x768 resolution in a 15.6 inch display make things onscreen large, and 15.6 inch displays that have 1366x768 resolution tend to be low-grade LCD panels with very poor image quality due to low contrast. You should make a point to avoid displays like this when it is reasonable to do so, unless you require the larger text for eyesight related reasons.

If this laptop does come with 1920x1080, then it's a great choice, but I can't recommend it until there is definite confirmation on this. If the laptop comes with 1366x768, then it isn't a particularly good choice.

-------------------

You can get an even faster GPU, and a confirmed decent display, for $749, with the HP DV6 in the following configuration:

HP DV6t (NVIDIA GT 650M, 15.6" 1920x1080 display) - $749 + tax
- Saved Configuration: http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/load_configu...
- Apply coupon code NB7453
- Don't downgrade the GPU to the GT 630M or to Intel HD 4000 graphics. The GT 650M is considerably faster than either, and if one of the lower GPU options would work just as well for you then I would probably suggest getting an entirely different laptop.
- Don't downgrade the display to 1366x768. The 1366x768 display makes things onscreen large, and is a low-grade LCD panel with very poor image quality due to low contrast. The availability of the upgraded 1920x1080 display is part of why I'm recommending this laptop; I wouldn't be recommending this laptop if it didn't offer it.

-------------------

Keep in mind that it should not be a priority for you to get a Core i7 processor. Game performance depends far more on the GPU than it depends on the processor, and basic usage is unaffected by the differences between the vast majority of currently-available processors. Don't let the fact that the CX60-258US comes with a Core i7 be a reason to choose it over this DV6. The i5-3210M in the DV6 should already be faster than you need. You shouldn't trade-out for a slower GPU and a substantially worse display just to get one that's even faster.


brunch said:
I got the MSI CX61 and the performance is not what it should be. Doom 3 and Doom 3 BFG won't run because of a OGL error related to optimus, and Skyrim runs slow EVEN on low settings. This is all because of optimus, which is software that chooses which GPU will process graphics, the Nvidia or the onboard Intel HD 4000. But even when the Nvidia is being used, the performance takes a huge hit. There is no way to disable optimus in the BIOS, and the Nvidia card is outputting graphics *through* the Intel card, which means optimus cannot be disabled in any way, otherwise the Nvidia card will not be recognized. I am going to return my MSI and get something else, something that allows diabling of optimus in the BIOS. I suggest you do the same. Optimus is cancer. And there are tons of other games that don't work with optimus, and the Nvidia GPU will not output desktop, chrome, or VLC media player graphics. So all those things will be slow. Sigh... *rolleyes*

I've tried disabling the Intel GPU in device manager (and uninstalling it). Both ways, the Nvidia GPU stops being recognized. Sigh...


I have an MSI CX61, Yes optimus is an issue but it is easily rectified. Using the Nvidia control panel (You should have this by default if not download the latest drivers from the Nvidia website they will come with the control panel) This is accessed by right clicking on the desktop and from there you can configure what programs use the dedicated GPU and which use your IGP or you can set it so everything will by defaut use your DGPU. Finnaly you can also use Nvidia control panel to add the option "Run with graphics processor" to the right click context menu so you can run any programs you need with your DGPU.

You will also want to modify your power config settings to disable CPU core parking while gaming, this will be a massive help when playing games like Skyrim and will remove 90% of the hang time on loading screens

Also the reason there is conflicting information about the specs of the MSI CX61 is because there are mulitiple versions of the CX61 available in different countried. the two currently available for the UK both have i7-4702 Haswell quad core, Nvidia GT740m and 8 GB of RAM. They only differ on the following, The cheaper model has a 1366x768 resolution in a 15.6 inch display and a generic DVD-R optical drive the other 1920x1080 display with a BD-ROM optical drive the former 1366x768 isn't worth your time.
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