In and Around the MSI GX60

I'll say this for MSI: they've kept a pretty uniform aesthetic for their gaming notebooks. I'm actually of the opinion that the slightly smaller 15.6" form factor serves it better than the outsized 17.3", and the cooling system designs between the GX60 and its larger cousin are basically uniform. In fact, almost everything between the two chassis is uniform, making any kind of detailed analysis almost redundant. Just about everything I said about the iBuyPower Valkyrie CZ-17's chassis design applies here.

We're looking at black plastic used for essentially the entirety of the MSI GX60. The touchpad continues to be a sticking point; it was abnormally small on the Valkyrie, CyberPower FangBook, and the GT70 Dragon Edition, and the slightly smaller GX60 has the same issue. The SteelSeries licensed keyboard loses the backlighting (likely sacrificed to bring the price down) but retains both the excellent key action that makes it such a strong choice and the baffling layout that utterly undermines it for American consumers. Even the L-shaped access panel on the bottom is similar.

For reference, this is the internal layout of the CyberPower FangBook, which uses the last generation cooling design for the GT70:

Now, here is the internal layout of the MSI GX60. Remember that the GX60 is a 15.6" notebook and thus a couple pounds lighter than the 17.3" FangBook/GT70:

And, just for reference sake, the interior of the recently reviewed GT70 Dragon Edition:

Apart from very minor differences in the heatpipes on the CPU coldplates, MSI appears to be using essentially identical motherboard layouts and cooling systems between their 15.6" and 17.3" lines. Eyeballing it, I have a hard time believing much, if any, cooling capacity is added moving up in the line. That means that the only reason to buy a 17.3" gaming notebook from MSI would be because you want the larger display. Not higher resolution, just larger. The keyboard size is identical, port layouts are almost identical, cooling systems are almost identical. While there are no stock GT60/GX60 units that sport 32GB of memory, iBuyPower's 15.6" Valkyrie (based off of this chassis) can be configured with up to four 8GB DIMMs.

It's a commodity design and like a lot of MSI's decisions, it seems predominately geared towards being as frugal and cost-effective as possible. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but sacrificing specialization of any kind is damaging. The most brutal thing about the GX60 may be the existence of MSI's own GE60, which trades the APU for an Intel i7-4700MQ and the Radeon HD 7970M for an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M. I'm in the process of testing a notebook that has a 765M, and its performance is almost on par with the outgoing GeForce GTX 675MX. That's still slower than the 7970M, but you gain a boatload of CPU performance.

Introducing the MSI GX60 System and Futuremark Performance
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  • Khenglish - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    He ran some synthetic cpu tests of single vs dual. I expect a bigger cpu performance gain in real tests, and since the games tests are almost completely cpu limited, I expect some performance gain.

    I find synthetic tests not to be very good for comparing how systems perform in real applications, especially futuremark tests.

    Just testing a few games is all I ask.
    Reply
  • FwFred - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    After this review, I still feel we don't know too much about how good the Richland A10 is as a mobile CPU/iGPU. Why would anyone want an A10 in a high end gaming laptop? Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    i think that what msi should have done, is use a 7870m instead of a 7970m, and put it into a 14 inch frame. and lower the price to 700 or 800 bucks. then, it would be a good deal. at this price, the ge40 is a much better deal, as is the ge60 Reply
  • Rontalk - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Yeah, msi gx40 with A10 + 8870M Radeon for $800! Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    I would buy that in an instant. Reply
  • CainKorine - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    Well you could try a HP ENVY 15z-j000 ... with 16GB, Full HD 15'' monitor and backlight keyboard will set you back 749$ (lucky USA all over again, because by the time it gets to Europe, Kaveri will be released!). You could find an external review on notebookreview[dot]com forums (for some reason, I'm not allowed to post the link here, but is easy to find with google). Reply
  • hellermercer - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    hybrid gpu is benificial for battery and power saving efficiency if your not making graphics intensive application with this pc the A10 is good with its igpu u can shutdown the descrete one for battery saving purposes and it still the a10 has more frequency power but it lacks performance when two or more threads are being used with each core//.. Reply
  • landsome - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    My GT663R with an i7-840QM and a 7970M gives the GX60 a solid thrashing, at least in terms of 3DM11 and 3DM13 scores - halfway between the GX60 and the M17x, and sometimes closer to the latter. Reply
  • erple2 - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Sure but this one lasts longer that 60 minutes on battery power idle at the desktop. Reply
  • landsome - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Well, mine lasts 2. Without Enduro and the battery at 80% health and more than 2 years. And the CPU is 4 generations old. Reply

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