Proper gaming on a budget?
In case you haven’t seen the specs sheet on the previous page, the MSI GE600 comes with an Intel Core i5-430M (@ 2.26GHz), 4GB DDR 1066MHz RAM, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 1GB Graphics card (clocked at 650Mhz Core and 800MHz Memory speeds) and a WD 500GB HDD (@ 5,400RPM). All of this is displayed on a glossy 16” screen running at a resolution of 1366×768 pixels.
For comparisons I have selected the HP dv6, the Sony VAIO Z11 and the ASUS N61Ja notebooks for review, all of which are similarly specced.
As you can see the MSI GE600 performs exceptionally well compared to its counterparts which are actually priced higher than the GE600. Of course, this performance, especially in games, comes with the caveat that the screen only has a resolution of 1366×768, so the HD 5730 is not trying to outperform its capabilities. That’s not to say that games, movies and general viewing is hindered in any way, the 16” screen is bright and keeps things crisp despite the low resolution.
Speaking of performance, all of these benchmarks immediately turned the fan to full speed, which wasn’t irritating, but in a quiet room it does get to you. However, whatever game you’re playing on the GE600 which is pushing the fan to full speed will be engaging enough that you won’t even notice the sound, so that’s not exactly a big deal. It does get hot near to top right underside (close to the vent), so keeping it on your laps while gaming is not advisable at all.
The price/performance ratio on the GE600 is undeniable, and the whole system is very well balanced in terms of the components used, i.e. the processor, ram and graphics card which all work in perfect harmony. The standard HDD is good enough, but not great. I’m sure that a reasonably priced SSD will significantly improve performance, but then you’ll be losing out on a lot of storage.
Eventually I’ll have to say that the MSI GE600 is a great bargain for what you’re getting out of it, just don’t play games on your lap!