An all AMD powered beast.
MSI’s gaming laptops have been making quite a buzz in the enthusiast market space over the last few years. And while their GT series is known to carry some of the best offerings from Intel and Nvidia, the GX series is sure to please any hardcore gamer who likes AMD.
The MSI GX60 is completely built around AMD, with a Trinity processor and Radeon graphics card powering the system. While the chassis is similar to other GT series, with pretty much the exact same shape and body layout, the GX60 is a different machine at heart.
An AMD A10-4600M quad-core APU running at 2.30GHz (turbo up to 3.20GHz) plus a Radeon HD 7970M graphics cards with 2GB of GDDR5 memory for the basis of the GX60. Complimented by a 750GB (7200RPM) HDD with 2x64GB LiteOn SSD in SuperRAID, 8GB-DDR3 1600MHz memory and a Killer Gaming Network card, the MSI GX60 is armed to the teeth.
Of course, there a few more things that make your gaming experience even better. The 1080p 15.6-inch screen with matt finish, with a solidly built keyboard designed by Steel Series and an impressive 2.1 speaker system with THX TruStudio Pro surround sound completes this very impressive package.
With its 9-cell battery, the MSI GX60 weighs in at a hefty 3.5kg, although not much when you consider the amount of impressive hardware packed inside the decently sized chassis. The overall finish and feel of the MSI GX60 is very good, with an easily removable rear panel allowing you to upgrade your HDD or RAM. My only complaint is that the bezel surrounding the screen is glossy black; an irritatingly stark contrast to the beautiful anti-glare screen.
Another little pet peeve is that despite the satisfying feel of the chiclet keyboard from Steel Series, there’s no backlight. MSI have multi-colored backlit keyboards in their other GT series, so the only reason I think of not having the same in this AMD based system is to cut the cost.
So let’s get on with the benchmarks and see how the MSI GX60 stacks against other gaming laptops.
As you can see above that while the MSI GX60 is arguably more powerful than all the other laptops, in terms of pure horsepower, it’s the lowest priced among them all.
Noise & Temperature
Considering the beast of a graphics card inside, I was surprised to find out how cool and relatively quiet the MSI GX60 runs. When benchmarking the GX60 its underside did get very warm, but not so much that I had to take it off my laps. The palmrest area was completely cool, while the fan stays quiet for the most part, kicking in under load. Still, even at full speed the fan isn’t as annoying as I thought.
The AMD A10 Trinity is certainly much cooler than Intel’s i7 processor in terms of heat.
So the MSI GX60 is not only an impressive laptop on paper, but also in practice. While some may consider the AMD A10 Trinity APU to be a bit of a bottleneck, the quad-core processor is more than capable of handling daily tasks and gaming in general. Games like Battlefield 3 and Guild Wars 2 which are heavily dependent on the CPU do show the limitations of the Trinity APU, however.
The screen is extremely crisp and a joy to use, with any game looking great on it without the need for anti-aliasing. The speakers are actually pretty good, for games, music and movies. Typing is a joy on the Steel Series keyboard, it’s a shame there’s no backlight.
I needn’t remind you dear reader that the AMD Radeon HD 7970M performs on par with the Nvidia GTX 680M and is literally one of the fastest mobile GPU’s on the planet right now, to the point that the performance is double what anything lower (from both AMD and nvidia) can offer. And at this price point, you simply cannot do better than the MSI GX60.