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

Black Ops II, Battlefield 3, And Sniper Elite V2

Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Benchmark settings for Call of Duty: Black Ops II are the same as those in Call Of Duty: Black Ops II Graphics Performance, Benchmarked.

The GX60 has no problems with frame rates in Black Ops II, aside from a fairly obvious platform bottleneck. Even at the highest settings, the Radeon HD 7970M doesn’t appear to have any problems keeping up with the GeForce GTX 680M, though.

Knocking the details down a bit doesn’t increase this platform's frame rates. At least in our benchmark, too-slow of an APU keeps us from enjoying frame rates that exceed an average of 43 FPS.

Stepping down to low details alleviates the bottleneck somewhat, though not as much as on the two comparison machines with Nvidia GPUs in them. But because we get more than 40 FPS in one of the most demanding parts of the game with all settings maxed out, we don’t see any reason to worry about playing Black Ops II on the GX60.

Battlefield 3

Benchmark settings for Battlefield 3 are the same as those in Battlefield 3 Performance: 30+ Graphics Cards, Benchmarked.

Battlefield 3 also shows the GX60’s Radeon HD 7970M capable of handling maximum detail settings without an issue. It holds a slight edge over the GeForce GTX 680M at higher resolutions, while it more than doubles the performance of the GeForce GTX 660M often found in similarly-priced machines.

Taking the details down to High quality yields a slight increase in average frame rate, though the Nvidia-based solutions get more of a speed-up.

Dropping to Medium quality yields another slight bump. We again see evidence of a platform bottleneck, though, as the M18x is now quite a bit faster at every tested resolution. Fortunately, most folks are going to want to game at this machine's native resolution. And with frame rates that look plenty playable using Ultra quality settings, the GX60 maintains its advantage. 

Sniper Elite V2

The built-in benchmark for Sniper Elite V2 places a lighter-than-usual load on a system’s CPU, but delivers a punishing GPU workload. These benchmarks demonstrate the raw GPU processing power the GX60’s Radeon HD 7970M possesses.

With settings maxed-out at Ultra quality, AMD's Radeon HD 7970M crushes the two Nvidia cards. The GX60 will obviously play Sniper Elite V2 at any setting.

Throttling down to the High quality preset changes very little about the placing of these three mobile platforms.

Dropping to Medium quality settings allows each configuration to continue speeding up. So far, the loss of fidelity doesn't seem to be shifting the workload balance to any of the host processors.

Finally, all cards scale up at the Low quality preset. It’s interesting to note that at 1920x1080, the Radeon HD 7970M is faster with Ultra settings than the GeForce GTX 680M at Low.

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    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
  • Tee-Kheang Ng
    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