MSI GX660R review

Not only a great gaming rig, but one of the first to offer a decent dedicated speaker system and a number of innovative features

MSI's latest gaming laptop offers some great performance for the money

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

As you'd expect for a top-of-the-range gaming machine, there's plenty of power on offer for you to play with.

The quad-core Intel Core i7-720QM is fast becoming the chip of choice for manufacturers building gaming rigs, and MSI has employed it here, alongside an impressive 8GB of DDR3 memory.

Performance is scintillating, largely thanks to Intel's Turbo Boost and hyperthreading technologies. The former senses when you're carrying out a resource intensive tasks and automatically increases the processor's clock speed, giving you a squeeze of power just when you need it. Once you've finished the task, it'll drop down to a battery-friendly speed of 1.6GHz.

Hyperthreading technology basically offers greater multitasking, enabling you to run various programs and applications without noticing any lag.

MSI gx660r

As a result of the above, the GX660R can run resource-intensive multimedia software, such as video editing suites, alongside more mundane office applications without issue.

But the GX660R has a trick up it sleeve in the form of MSI's Turbo Drive Engine (TDE). When activated by a hotkey above the keyboard, we found this to overclock the Core i7 processor by an impressive 4.8 per cent over its highest clock speed – effectively overclocking the already-overclocked.

This gives you further performance just when you need it – be it rendering an HD movie you're making or during intense gaming, and makes the GX660R an even more powerful machine.

The GX660R runs a single AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5870 – with 1GB of dedicated video memory – and we found performance to be impressive. It can't match the likes of the Alienware M17x, which runs two AMD Radeon HD 4870 GPUs at once, but in our experience the GX660R will run the latest games with all settings up high without problems, and represents some of the best value for money we've seen.

Impressively, MSI has included 1TB of hard drive space in a RAID configuration, which provides comprehensive storage for your multimedia files, games and work. The discs spin at 7200rpm, the fastest currently available in a laptop, which decreases the time it takes for the processor to access your content, therefore increasing performance.

MSI gx660r

As mentioned above, the GX660R features a Blu-ray drive for watching the latest HD movies, but you can only write to DVDs and CDs.

With the number of powerful components onboard, we'd expect the GX660R to offer poor portability – but it doesn't. The 3.5kg isn't the heaviest gaming machine we've ever come across – that dubious honour goes to Asus' 6.1kg W90 – and the 118-minute battery life isn't too bad, all things considered.