MSI GX60 Review: Radeon HD 7970M In A $1,200 Notebook!

Mists Of Pandaria, Skyrim, And Shogun 2

World Of Warcraft: Mist Of Pandaria

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria offers a lush expansion with highly detailed new worlds. One of the most demanding sections of the game is in Honeydew Villiage. Placing a character directly in-between the guards of the entrance to the city when it’s raining in-game, then panning the camera just above the grassy hill beside them brings a very high number of moving objects into view. It is one of the worst-case scenarios that we’ve found in the game.

There are a ton of moving components in our test sequence. The Radeon HD 7970M achieves triple-digit frame rates much of the time, but in this area, performance slows to a still-respectable 40 FPS. In light of the two Core i7-based machines still scaling based on resolution, it's clear that MSI's GX60 is still processor-bound.

Taking the preset down to High provides a bump in frame rates, though with 40 FPS at Ultra, this reduction is not needed on the GX60.

A severe CPU bottleneck helps the Blade's GeForce GTX 660M pass the Radeon HD 7970M. But again, when we're seeing 40 FPS using the Ultra setting, there's really no reason to step back to lower-quality presets.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Benchmark settings for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are the same as those in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: PC Performance, Benchmarked.

At nearly 40 FPS, the GX60 has no problems playing Skyrim with maxed settings. Of course, it's plain to see that the APU in MSI's notebook is holding the system back from better performance.

While dropping down to the High quality preset lightens the load enough for a 10 FPS-higher average, there's really no need to do that in Skyrim. It was playable enough at the Ultra settings.

The same observation is doubly true for the Medium quality preset. Yes, it facilitates better performance, but we'd rather have the nicer-looking graphics, frankly.

Total War: Shogun 2

The Radeon HD 7970M is slightly ahead of the GeForce GTX 680M at 48 FPS. Clearly, you can play Shogun 2 with everything maxed out on the GX60.

Turning off anti-aliasing doubles frame rates on the Nvidia cards.

Running the built-in 720p benchmark yields just under 70 FPS on the GX60.

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
67 comments
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • ASHISH65
    Looks good and helpfull review for laptop gamers!
    10
  • Other Comments
  • patrick47018
    Looks promising
    9
  • yobobjm
    I own an MSI (with some weird number classification that I can't remember) but it has proved to be a dedicated and powerful gaming laptop. It also has had really no problems other than the glossy finish getting scratched (which doesn't even exist on this laptop) so I would recommend MSI products :D
    5
  • flowingbass
    I also own an MSI, a GX660r with a 5870M and a Core i5 480m. The 5870M desktop equivalent is a HD5770. The GPU is quite struggling to play on high in current games, mid-high or sometimes medium (all low on crysis 3 except resolution and textures) is required to maintain playable frame rates.

    I might just upgrade to this and just swap GPU between the two. i5 480m > A10-4600M
    -10
  • JOSHSKORN
    But does it fit a CableCard?
    1
  • ASHISH65
    Looks good and helpfull review for laptop gamers!
    10
  • acktionhank
    Hey Tom's run a few gaming tests again with PScheck forcing the CPU to run at a 2.5-2.7ghz so that it won't throttle itself so much.

    I'd like to see exactly what speeds we'd need to get an A10-4600 running at to reduce these severe bottlenecks.
    8
  • Chewie
    Give this a 4 module APU, and keyboard backlighting, and it would really kick butt!
    5
  • Madn3ss795
    AMD APU ruins the whole thing.
    -13
  • Chairman Ray
    Great build from Msi!
    3
  • silverblue
    Very nice machine. It's a shame that AMD stopped with the A10-4600M and didn't look to produce a higher model as that'd help, however until the HSA initiative really kicks in, the Bulldozer architecture's FPU implementation is always going to be found wanting, and that's without even talking about the sharing issues which Steamroller looks to fix.
    -3
  • Cataclysm_ZA
    No frame latency graphs from FRAPS? Its not difficult to keep a log of them and produce the graphs for those who are interested. I'd like to see the minimum frame dips for a machine like this one.
    0
  • ryude
    The A10-4600M can be overclocked relatively easily, up to 3.6Ghz+. That won't fix the fact that's it's an APU, but it will help a little.
    -5
  • Anonymous
    There's is a GX60 with a10-5750m richland APU...
    Which the improvement is modestly 10-15% CPU powers, it should alleviate some of the CPU bottleneck...
    2
  • DjEaZy
    patrick47018Looks promising

    ... not just that... loooook... there is a windows 7 logo... it looks exscelent...
    0
  • Cryio
    This notebook is a ridiculous concept to me. Its greatest achievements are its price and its performance where it matters: maxed-out directX11 games in 1080p, working as good or BETTER in most of the cases than its Nvidia sibling. Its greatest disadvantage being its gaming ability is limited in anything under 1080p (still talking only about games here).

    One hell of a laptop for me, if I could afford when, when I'll go to college this Octomber.
    3
  • Cryio
    afford one *
    0
  • TheBigTroll
    the apu is the bottleneck. when you compare this to a i7 ivy bridge mobile chip with the same GPU and everything, it performs 50% faster
    -3
  • sanilmahambre
    Now that's what i call a Budget gaming Laptop

    and again a beautiful in depth review
    2
  • mynith
    Interesting heatsink design. Shame really that APUs don't come with L3-cache. If they did, they would show performance not unlike the FX-series. In my mind.
    2
  • ojas
    With respect to handbrake: It's getting QuickSync support too in the coming months (i believe it's in the same beta version you're talking about) so I'm not sure if the OpenCL advantage will last for AMD.
    -1