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

Hitman: Absolution, DiRT, And Batman: Arkham City

Hitman: Absolution

Hitman: Absolution is the opposite of Sniper Elite V2 when it comes to resource utilization. In the game's built-in benchmark, thousands of NPCs are animated throughout the scene. The overhead needed to animate these non-player characters means that the GPU may end up waiting for the CPU to finish.

In the Ultra quality benchmark, we see that the GX60’s APU is definitely holding the machine back. However, 21 FPS is still playable, and the game itself is never as demanding as this benchmark. In normal play, you can easily run Hitman: Absolution at max settings on the GX60 without issues. Still, you can see that frame rates double on the GTX 680M-based system, with its $1,100 Core i7-3940XM.

Taking the quality down a notch does not help the GX60; the bottleneck is still the thousands of NPCs moving around on-screen.

At Medium Quality, there is slight bump in performance, but the CPU-bound GX60 still trails both Intel-based comparison machines.

DiRT: Showdown

DiRT: Showdown's built-in benchmark is very tough on both the CPU and GPU.

With everything maxed out, the GX60’s Radeon 7970M gets a very solid 40 FPS. In comparison, the GeForce GTX 680M also achieves about 40 FPS at 1920x1080. At lower resolutions, it scales, though. The GX60 does not, indicating a processor bottleneck.

Dropping the settings down to High quality, we see excellent scaling from the two Nvidia-based machines as the load on the GPU is lightened. The GX60 picks up an additional 5 FPS on average, again pointing to an elephant in the room: a processor bottleneck that prevents the GX60 from going any faster.

At the Medium quality setting, all three systems exhibit symptoms of a processor bottleneck.

Batman: Arkham City

At Ultra quality settings, the GeForce GTX 680M offers about 10% more performance than the Radeon HD 7970M. Both high-end cards breeze through the testing, though, while the Blade's GTX 660M also delivers a borderline-playable 25 FPS.

At High quality, there is a small bump in performance. The two Nvidia/Intel machines seem to get a more significant boost at 1366x768 than the GX60.

Only the slower GTX 660M sees any real increase in speed after moving down to the Medium quality preset.