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


View All Comments

  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - link

    Great APU if you want to do 768p gaming on a budget. Great GPU if you want to get a cheap gaming laptop. Horrible combination. :D I wonder how a beefy i3 with a 7970 would stack up to this notebook. On the desktop side, I can get an A10-6800K for 125€ and I can get an i3-3250 for 125€. Should be similar on the laptop side, no? Wonder how much of this is the single threaded and how much is the multi threaded performance. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - link

    multithreaded, the a10 is near identical to mobile i3 chips. any i5 or i7 would handily outperform it though. Reply
  • chadwickhhs - Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - link

    How does this stack up against the PS4? I have a chance to get one this month for about $800. It has 1 upgrade which is that the memory was boosted to 16gb.

    I don't want to get it if it ends up lacking the CPU power to play next gen games on at least medium.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - link

    you cant upgrade the ps4 to 16gb of memory. what you are looking at is a scam, especially since the ps4 is going for $399, not $800 Reply
  • Rontalk - Sunday, September 8, 2013 - link

    This computer all what it need is an 3.6GHz Richland A8-5550M 2185_A1 ES processor. How about re-done the tests with a processor like that? That would have been awesome to see the improvements and stupidity of AMD, lacking out the unlocked CPU multipliers from retail APU. Reply
  • hellermercer - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    the apu still lacks dedicated memory and is not a good choice and it should have been an ssd for gaming with no L3 cache launching games may be slower. Reply
  • htwingnut - Saturday, January 4, 2014 - link

    DDR RAM won't make a lick of difference when it comes to dedicated GPU performance. Just try it yourself. Run a few benchmarks, remove a stick of RAM, and try again. Same result within a few % at least. I did this a while back with the AMD Llano APU's and it made zero difference when it came to the dedicated GPU. Reply
  • htwingnut - Saturday, January 4, 2014 - link

    I meant Dual Channel not DDR.... d'oh! Reply
  • Drittz121 - Friday, February 28, 2014 - link

    Just do yourself a favor. STAY AWAY from this company. Yes they look good. But when it breaks and it WILL. All they do is give you the run around. They have had my system for over 2 months trying to fix the garbage they sell. Worse company out there for support. DONT BUY Reply

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