The MSI GT725 is a laptop with a ATI Mobility Radeon 4850 inside. How unusual. It seems odd to us that so many manufacturers have stuck with Nvidia's mobile GPUs since this chipset was launched, because this AMD chip really is a remarkable piece of silicon.
It's easily the best single graphics option for a laptop, and barely distinguishable performance-wise from some multi-processor offerings from AMD's rivals.
On top of which, it's extremely power efficient too – combined with the Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, MSI's marvellous little machine is not only near silent all the time, it has a battery life approaching three hours too. That's a pretty darn good result for a 17-incher.
In fact, this seemingly simple choice has enabled MSI to create one of the best laptops we've seen in a long time, or, in fact, dare we say ever.
We've been gradually worn down by the weight of the gigantic Clevo chassis that have passed through the labs recently, and yet the MSI GT725 throws out perfectly playable frame rates in a case that's half the depth and just as cool as most of the high-end notebooks out there.
What's more, it's finished in classy brushed aluminium and is a far cry from the sometimes garish go-faster stripe look of MSI's last generation of laptops. Yes, there's still a turbo button on the touch sensitive top pad, but it's a discrete nod towards the built-in overclocking abilities, rather than a boorish shout about its gaming prowess.
The GT725 has also got just about every mod con you can think of too. Blu-ray, e-SATA and HDMI are all present and correct, and about the only thing we'd add to round it off is an optical audio link, although it does do 7.1 surround sound through four analogue jacks.
If there is a downside to this particular machine, it's that the screen is a mere 1,680 x 1,050 affair. It's bright and clear, and of a high enough quality that you won't notice when the frames are flying, but high definition purists will certainly find that reason enough to look elsewhere.
On the flip side, it means hitting the native resolution is easy enough when you're gaming and that you'll enjoy eminently playable frame rates as seen from our benchmarks.
Benchmarks: As you can see GRID performs very well, pushing close to 70fps
There's really very little to fault with this machine. It's got the power and the impressive battery life. If you're looking for a laptop for gaming, you've just found it.
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