Results: 3DMark, PCMark And Sandra
Aorus wanted its two mobile GPUs to go head-to-head against a single desktop GPU, and I’m happy to oblige. Its GTX 970Ms outpace my SBM build’s single Radeon R9 290X quite handily, though the mobile CPU has a hard time keeping up with the big machine’s full-speed version.
A pair of mSATA SSDs in RAID 0 help the Aorus X7 Pro roughly match my SBM desktop build in PCMark, though my faster CPU boosts productivity performance. In the same manner, the MSI machine’s similar CPU performance results in only a slight loss in PCMark’s “Work” test, where its use of a mechanical disk accounts for that small deficiency.
Sandra's Arithmetic module shows that the Aorus X7 Pro’s new CPU is slightly slower than the MSI GT60’s older processor. These two models employ the same core technology and peak Turbo Boost setting, but MSI’s socketed processor has a higher base clock rate than Aorus’s soldered-on CPU.
MSI’s platform loses against the Aorus X7 Pro in Sandra's Cryptography test for reasons that aren’t immediately apparent. A quick scroll to the next chart reveals that memory bandwidth is the cause for this quirk, which makes sense given AES-NI's reliance on fast data transfer to feed instructions quickly.
The most astonishing aspect of MSI’s GT60 isn’t the great hardware choices or low price the firm was offering on this product last spring, but rather that the company would sabotage its own performance story by installing just one memory module on a dual-channel architecture. That mismatch forced us to recommend that you only buy the machine from sellers able to upgrade the memory subsystem.