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

Software And System Restore


The MSI S-BarThe MSI S-Bar

The main piece of software that controls the GX60 is the MSI S-Bar. The lighter-colored icons on the far left are for configuring function keys, accessing the Windows Accessory programs, Windows Programs, and MSI’s We Care. The darker icons control the display, touchpad, P1 custom launcher, ECO engine, webcam, Wi-Fi, sleep, brightness, and volume.

The ECO engine helps control power usage by allowing the machine to be used in Movie, Game, Presentation, or Office modes. Should you wish, the ECO engine can also be disabled. 

The Killer Network ManagerThe Killer Network Manager

Likewise, the Atheros Killer Network Manager allows network traffic to be prioritized for gaming or video streaming.

MSI GX60 Installed SoftwareMSI GX60 Installed Software

The screenshot above is a full listing of everything installed on the MSI GX60 as it shipped to us. As usual, we uninstalled as much as we could. After all, this is a gaming machine, and in our opinion, the GX60 should have an efficient OS so that its already-anemic APU isn't dragged down by background tasks. 

The THX TruStudio Pro software is excellent if you also use the GX60 for entertainment. We also left the Atheros Killer software running. We left the S-bar installed, but disabled it from running at start-up. 

System Restore

The GX60 comes with one disc that includes drivers and utilities. To get the rest of the discs needed for a full system recovery, you need to burn them yourself using software that comes pre-installed.  

Restoring the system is very straightforward. At boot, just hit F3, tell the GX60 that you are completely sure that you want to restore the system, and then wait 45 minutes for the process to complete. After a couple of reboots, the system is back to its factory state. 

Yes, please recover.Yes, please recover.

Are you sure?Are you sure?

Are you really sure?Are you really sure?

Wait 45 minutes...Wait 45 minutes...

Reboot a couple of times...Reboot a couple of times...

Thankfully, you’re asked which software you want to install once the restore process completes. This lets you start out with a cleaner system than the shipping configuration. We wish that all system builders would include the stock Windows image for this very reason. 

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • ASHISH65
    Looks good and helpfull review for laptop gamers!
  • Other Comments
  • patrick47018
    Looks promising
  • 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
  • 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
    But does it fit a CableCard?
  • ASHISH65
    Looks good and helpfull review for laptop gamers!
  • 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.
  • Chewie
    Give this a 4 module APU, and keyboard backlighting, and it would really kick butt!
  • Madn3ss795
    AMD APU ruins the whole thing.
  • Chairman Ray
    Great build from Msi!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • DjEaZy
    patrick47018Looks promising

    ... not just that... loooook... there is a windows 7 logo... it looks exscelent...
  • 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.
  • Cryio
    afford one *
  • 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
  • sanilmahambre
    Now that's what i call a Budget gaming Laptop

    and again a beautiful in depth review
  • 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.
  • 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.