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

Comparing MSI's GT60 Using Tom's Hardware's Benchmarks

Test Hardware Configurations
 MSI GT60-2PC-424USMSI GT60-2OC-022USSBM $750 Gaming PC
ProcessorIntel Core i7-4800MQ, 2.7 - 3.7 GHzIntel Core i7-4700MQ, 2.4 - 3.4 GHzIntel Core i3-4130: 3.40 GHz, Two Physical Cores
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 870M: 941-967 MHz, 3 GB GDDR5-5000Nvidia GeForce GTX 770M: 706-797 MHz, 3 GB GDDR5-4008Nvidia GeForce GTX 770: 1098 MHz, GDDR5-7010
(O/C: 1283 MHz, GDDR5-7610)
Memory8 GB Kingston DDR3-1600 CAS 11-11-11-28 (single-channel)8 GB Kingston DDR3-1600 CAS 11-11-11-28 (single-channel)8 GB Adata DDR3-1600 CAS 9-9-9-24 (dual-channel)
MotherboardMS-16F4: Intel FCPGA946, HM87 ExpressMS-16F4: Intel FCPGA946, HM87 ExpressAsus H81M-K: LGA 1150, Intel H81 Express
CaseMSI GT60MSI GT60Rosewill Line-M
CPU CoolerMSI GT60MSI GT60Intel Core i3 boxed cooler
Hard DriveHGST HTS721010A9E630: 1 TB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB cacheHGST HTS721010A9E630: 1 TB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB cacheWestern Digital WD10EZEX: 1 TB, 7200 RPM, 64 MB cache
PowerDelta ADP-180NB: 180 W ExternalDelta ADP-180NB: 180 W ExternalRosewill Capstone-450-M: 450 W Semi-Modular, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 8 Pro x64Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64
GraphicsNvidia ForceWare 337.5 WHQLNvidia ForceWare 337.5 WHQLNvidia ForceWare 332.21 WHQL
ChipsetIntel INF 9.4.0.1023Intel INF 9.4.0.1023Intel INF 9.4.0.1017

We're comparing the GT60-2PC Dominator to its most closely-matched predecessor in both hardware and price. Intel’s Core i7-4800MQ replaces its earlier Core i7-4700MQ, and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 870M replaces the GeForce GTX 770M. Both models use the same power supply, and both are equipped with the same storage and memory.

Since these are gaming-oriented notebooks, we decided to throw in some tougher titles compared to previous models. But the relatively high-end CPUs also open these up to desktop-like work environments, allowing owners to work and play from the same machine. Our System Builder Marathon benchmark suite targets the same kind of performance flexibility, and using it allows me to include one of our previously-tested machines as another point of reference.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Battlefield 4Version 1.0.0.1, DirectX 11, 100-sec. Fraps "Tashgar"
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA, 4X AF, SSAO
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset,  4X MSAA, 16X AF, HBAO
Grid 2Steam Version, In-Game Test
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Metro: Last LightSteam version, Built-In Benchmark, "Frontline" Scene
Test Set 1: DX11, Med Quality, 4x AF, Low Blur, No SSAA, No Tesselation, No PhysX
Test Set 2: DX11, High Quality, 16x AF, Normal Blur, SSAA, Tesselation Normal, No PhysX
Far Cry 3V. 1.04, DirectX 11, 50-sec. FRAPS "Amanaki Outpost"
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA, Standard ATC., SSAO
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 4x MSAA, Enhanced ATC, HDAO
Adobe Creative Suite
Adobe After Effects CCVersion 12.0.0.404: Create Video which includes 3 Streams, 210 Frames, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneosly
Adobe Photoshop CCVersion 14.0 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Adobe Premeire Pro CCVersion 7.0.0 (342), 6.61 GB MXF Project to H.264 to H.264 Blu-ray, Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion 11.0.4.4 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format 
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.99: Video from Canon Eos 7D (1920x1080, 25 FPS) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds
Audio: PCM-S16, 48,000 Hz, two-channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)
TotalCode Studio 2.5Version: 2.5.0.10677: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, two-channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Productivity
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.95: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Adobe Acrobat 11Version 11.0.0.379: Print PDF from 115 Page PowerPoint, 128-bit RC4 Encryption
Autodesk 3ds Max 2013Version 15.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
BlenderVersion: 2.68A, Cycles Engine, Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, 1920x1080, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Render THG.blend frame 1
Visual Studio 2010Version 10.0, Compile Google Chrome, Scripted
File Compression
WinZipVersion 18.0 Pro: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 5.0: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.30 alpha (64-bit): THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.5.0, Benchmark Only
3DMark ProfessionalVersion: 1.2.250.0 (64-bit), Fire Strike Benchmark
PCMark 8Version: 1.0.0 x64, Full Test
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2014.02.20.10, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / Multimedia / Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth Benchmarks
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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