MSI GX60 review

MSI's new gaming portable makes pixel pumping the priority

Low-end CPU plus high-end graphics makes the MSI GX60 an intriguing mix

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Cinebench 10:8,080pts
Battery Eater 05:131 minutes

Even more for the MSI GX60 than most power portables, performance is going to make or break this laptop.

Inevitably, raw CPU performance is unimpressive. The A10 CPU's AMD Piledriver cores don't have a reputation for immense performance. And with only four of them running at relatively modest clocks, the result is a mediocre score of around 8,000 in Cinebench 10.


To put that into context, a quad-core Intel Core-i7 desktop processor is roughly four times faster. Yikes.

Performance of those two 64GB mSATA solid-state drives in RAID0 is a little patchy, too. A peak sequential read speed of nearly 600MB/s is undoubtedly spectacular. Writes of just 52MB/s are pretty poor, however.

The random access performance isn't too hot either, clocking in at 7.3MB/s for reads and 13.3MB/s for writes. Frankly, the GX60 would be better off with a single conventional 2.5-inch SSD. The sequential reads would be a little slower. But everything else would be much, much quicker.

If that doesn't make for a terribly appealing mix, it's hardly catastrophic, either. In fact, it's just fine if the GX60 can deliver where it counts in games.


Sadly, it doesn't. A perfect example of where it falls short is provided by arcade-style racer Dirt Showdown. Hardly renown for being a CPU hog, Dirt Showdown runs at pretty much the same frame rates regardless of the graphical settings.

Whether you're running at 1,280 by 768 pixels and no anti-aliasing or 1,920 by 1,080 and all the eye-candy shovelled on it's the same. Unfortunately, that same is low to mid 20s in terms of frames per second.

That's not quite good enough and it's undoubtedly a function of the CPU holding back performance. Admittedly, most console port games will run just fine. But anything a bit more demanding and purpose built for modern CPUs is going to chug a bit.


That's a shame because games look absolutely, positively stunning on the GX60's 15.6-inch LCD panel. The 1,920 by 1,080 resolution makes for a super-tight pixel pitch and in turn razor-sharp visuals.

Add in vivid colours and decent pixel response and you have a gaming lappie that makes games look awesome. Well, the ones that run smoothly, at least.

The final part of the puzzle in battery life. Over two hours in Battery Eater 05 is a decent result for this type of portable. Even better, in a light web browsing scenario with Wi-Fi enabled, you'll get at least four hours and perhaps as much as five or more depending on screen brightness.

That's much better than you'll achieve with most gaming-centric laptops.


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