MSI GT60 2PC Dominator Review: A Fast Notebook With Battery Boost

Around the GT60 2PC Dominator

The GT60 chassis doesn't change much for the current generation of hardware. In fact, it doesn't change at all if you're comparing the Dominator version of the previous model. Buyers still get a bunch of black-anodized aluminum to gaze upon.

The big change came with last year’s Dominator update, which, like today’s Dominator-based build, adds two mini-DisplayPort connectors. In conjunction with on-board HDMI and two adapters, we were able to run our benchmarks across three HDMI/VGA-equipped monitors using Nvidia's Surround technology.

If not for the brushed-aluminum top panel and a few stickers on the palm rest, it would even be tough to tell the GT60 chassis apart from the previously-reviewed GX60. We did get a lighted image of its SteelSeries keyboard this time, though.

Other main features include three USB 3.0 ports and a card slot on the left edge, plus a USB 2.0 port and four audio jacks on the right edge. Audio line-in and line-out, plus headphones and an external microphone, are all supported simultaneously.

The included optical drive on this unit is an 8x DVD burner by HLDS, though MSI doesn’t specify the manufacturer in its product literature.

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
35 comments
    Your comment
  • blackmagnum
    Cue the " I can build a faster desktop at half the price " argument...
    4
  • HT
    what about the noise ? This article needs a noise evaluation. The old GT780DX's fan was terrible.

    Once burned, twice shy MSI.
    0
  • danwat1234
    Does Battery Booster allow you have a set FPS goal, like instead of cutting back when the GPU is crunching more than 60FPS, have it cut back once FPS goes beyond 30FPS?

    The fan in this laptop is awesome. MSI is the only company I know of that puts a 12 volt fan in their laptop. This single fan can move about 25cfm of air (source; http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gt70-dragon-edition-2-core-i7-4930mx-laptop,3545-5.html)
    which may be more air flow than the Asus G750 can supply, who knows.

    The CPU in this laptop is socketed and fully supports all the way up to a 4940MX Extreme CPU 3.1/4GHZ and supports overclocking via Intel XTU.
    The CPU in the G750 cannot be upgraded so it is just a gaming laptop whereas this can be a workstation laptop.

    The screen can tilt back significantly more than the G750 (both the GT60 and GT70 MSI laptops) and weighs less with the same computing hardware.

    The 180w AC adapter limitation and the NOS crutch can be annoying if you are fully taxing the extreme CPU and the GPU for long periods of time, it may dip into the battery. Once the battery goes down to 30%, it'll stop sucking from the battery and throttle.
    Luckily I don't think NOS ever really activates unless you have an extreme CPU in it and everything fully taxed and may be quite hard to activate since this model isn't the -2PE model with the 880m.

    The new MSI GT72 has a 220w AC adapter so I guess they've figured that they need more power headroom).
    1
  • Plusthinking Iq
    msi still have issues with cooling and noise, a laptop must be silent and cool or its pointless....
    -3
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    what about the noise ? This article needs a noise evaluation. The old GT780DX's fan was terrible.

    Once burned, twice shy MSI.
    The noise wasn't bad but the room was cool so I was concerned that it might not be realistic for normal users

    Anonymous said:
    Does Battery Booster allow you have a set FPS goal, like instead of cutting back when the GPU is crunching more than 60FPS, have it cut back once FPS goes beyond 30FPS?
    You can set other FPS targets but I left it at the 30FPS default to get the best battery benefit.
    Anonymous said:
    msi still have issues with cooling and noise, a laptop must be silent and cool or its pointless....
    Then you're not going to find a notebook you can game on...anywhere.
    2
  • danwat1234
    Quote:
    msi still have issues with cooling and noise, a laptop must be silent and cool or its pointless....

    The only issues I've seen are bad paste jobs from the factory. If it's done right the cooling systems work fine, from my research. What other cooling issues does it have? Thanks
    1
  • hex2bit
    Why the continued use of mechanical drives? Would not a SSD help with power, speed and cooling?
    2
  • Plusthinking Iq
    number of fans and heatpipes are a problem
    0
  • wtfxxxgp
    "Then you're not going to find a notebook you can game on...anywhere."

    I LOL'd at this. Well-said Crashman. I don't know how anyone that has ever used a laptop even for light gaming (I'm referring to something as simple as League Of Legends) could say something like "a laptop must be silent and cool or its pointless". The fact is: performance = heat = adequate cooling = noise. The amount of each of these is dependent on the other...as well as the build (obviously), but the confined space in MOBILE COMPUTERS (aka notebooks/laptops) will always be a challenge until technology can convert the effects of energy used into cold, instead of heat.
    1
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    "Then you're not going to find a notebook you can game on...anywhere."

    I LOL'd at this. Well-said Crashman. I don't know how anyone that has ever used a laptop even for light gaming (I'm referring to something as simple as League Of Legends) could say something like "a laptop must be silent and cool or its pointless". The fact is: performance = heat = adequate cooling = noise. The amount of each of these is dependent on the other...as well as the build (obviously), but the confined space in MOBILE COMPUTERS (aka notebooks/laptops) will always be a challenge until technology can convert the effects of energy used into cold, instead of heat.

    BTW, I came up with 40-50db at full load. Your mileage may vary.
    0
  • xenol
    Call me vain, but could they at least design these things so they aren't so fugly? Like those ports on the back how the ethernet and DP ports are offset slightly.

    I don't know, I just feel like they gave the design job to a freshman intern.
    1
  • xenol
    [Double post]
    -1
  • Amdlova
    too heavy to call notebook. maybe mechbook...
    0
  • gxpbecker
    very nice, my wife has a 1.5 year old MSI GT60 with the 670MX vid card. It runs amazingly cool but the fan can get a bit noisy (like a desktop). It still runs fantastic and she consistently plays ESO with me (high settings low shadows). Lil brother has the GX60? (with the AMD10 and 7890M) that is also a fantastic machine.
    0
  • HT
    Thanks crashman for the db info, tho 40-50 is a long gap and for my money it's not even close to being quiet at idle when sitting close to it for 8-12hours a day. i've had my gt780 for 2 years and i decided to buy a cheaper lappy just to get some quiet for work/vid/internet. Tinnitus is a real thing, my ears would ring after using it for a while. Protect those ears, they're the only pair you've got !


    it's been 3months since i last gamed on it, and i don't miss it. My desktop tower keeps my big cpu & video card super quiet compared to that laptop. all i can say is its been a slice but now i'm looking to get rid of it. i'll miss the backlit keyboard its really usefull in the dark but i'll make due.

    Going back to desktop for gaming and using a cheapo lappy for work makes more sense and is much quieter, that's kind of a biggie since i'm on it more than 12hrs a day.

    cheers and thanks for a good article,
    Smitty
    1
  • Wisecracker
    It's always good to see new stuff like "battery-boost" but sadly it screams, "We need new battery tech!"

    Or, maybe 18-cell batteries.
    1
  • cobrax5
    The single stick of memory and rotational drive are inexcusable. If they allowed people to upgrade, I'd say it's a great idea as it lets people put in more memory and an SSD for a lower price than the manufacturer would charge. However, it voids your warranty!!

    Like many MSI notebooks, this one will only be good if you get it rebranded by a manufacturer who allows upgrades or equips it properly.
    0
  • danwat1234
    You can upgrade the RAM and hard drive without voiding the warranty. Their aren't any warranty-void sticker to tear off to replace those items, at leas the DIMM slots on the bottom side of the laptop & hard drives/mSATA. You have to break a warranty-void sticker to mess with the CPU though but I have heard in the forums that that doesn't necessarily void the warranty if you check with MSI first, for the purpose of repasting.
    2
  • dilbert
    I have last year's GT60 2OC 24US, a more balanced option. It has a mSATA SSD + the 1TB HDD, and 12GB of RAM (8+4). It also has a Blu-ray drive. The rest of the specs are the same. It's a fantastic machine, I have nothing to complain about. When I have time to play games for several hours, noise is not an issue, nor temperatures.
    0
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    You can upgrade the RAM and hard drive without voiding the warranty. Their aren't any warranty-void sticker to tear off to replace those items, at leas the DIMM slots on the bottom side of the laptop & hard drives/mSATA. You have to break a warranty-void sticker to mess with the CPU though but I have heard in the forums that that doesn't necessarily void the warranty if you check with MSI first, for the purpose of repasting.
    Take another look at the photos and description, the sticker covers a screw that needs to be removed to get into the notebook from either side.
    1