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In one of the most "interesting" moves I've seen in the mobile market, MSI has equipped their GX60 gaming notebook with an HD 7970M...paired with an AMD A10-4600M APU. Curious to see how the combination would stack up against the Intel i7-3720QM + HD 7970M combination used in AVADirect's Clevo P170EM, I ran some quick benchmarks and put together a video of Batman: Arkham City showing the systems running side by side. First, here's the video link:

Not surprisingly, the Ivy Bridge solution walks away from the Trinity laptop when we turn down the details a bit, but at maximum quality the two solutions appear relatively close. The issue is that while average frame rates may be close in some cases, minimum frame rates often tell the real story. There are points in the above video where Trinity falls to sub-30 FPS for a second or two at a time, which can be very noticeable in gameplay.

Anyway, I'm curious: are you interested in more videos like this? It takes a lot more time than a simple reporting of a benchmark number, but if there's enough demand for it I'll be happy to oblige. I should also note that there are some titles where the Trinity and Ivy Bridge notebooks are fairly close in performance (at maximum detail at least), while other titles are even more in favor of a faster CPU (e.g. Skyrim). Regardless, the full review of the MSI GX60 will be forthcoming.

Pricing for the GX60 is the one area where MSI looks to beat Intel HD 7970M offerings. The base model comes with a 750GB hard drive, 8GB RAM, A10-4600M, and of course the HD 7970M. Right now (if it's in stock), you can get that configuration for around $1200. Our particular unit takes yet another odd approach by including a 128GB RAID 0 SSD set for the OS and apps, which might sound appealing until you realize they're using SanDisk U100 drives (not exactly the fastest SSDs around); we're not sure what pricing is for this particular configuration. AVADirect's P170EM by contrast is priced at $1519, with a $100 off coupon available at the time of writing. That will get you an i7-3630QM and the 7970M, so for about $150 to $200 extra, for gaming purposes we recommend most users go that route.

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  • Medallish - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    I like the fact that MSI atleast gave us the option, although it's clear they should have probably gone for a Desktop A10-5700, or give some OC possibilities in the bios, does it have any options there?

    But really there's enough Intel based gamer laptops that it would be nice to just have one choice besides them, and this is just one game, not to mention you mention you have some pretty sluggish SSD's running them which imo is more likely causing the very slow loading times. I'd like to see how it runs BF3 as it's one of the few cores that actually take advantage of 4 cores.

    I've seen this in Norway only with the 750GB but it comes at a decent price, but obviously it could use a little bump in the CPU.

    But yes, it was a nice little video, would like to see more shots of the product, but I guess we'll see that in the full review.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    Mobile 2-3 module graphics-free Trinity chips would be nice too, priced right. Unfortunetely, there is such a small market for it, that AMD is unlikely to bother. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Saturday, December 29, 2012 - link

    Don't complain, nor tell them what they should have done.
    They slapped in the cheapo amd fanboy route chip, and thus, a few more amd fanboys can enjoy 7970M gaming without their extreme Intel hatred ruining their laptop gaming experience.

    Thank you amd (and MSI) for thinking about the poor, hate filled, amd fan boys.
    Reply
  • stimudent - Saturday, December 29, 2012 - link

    Sometimes a person needs to look into the mirror to see the hateful people he's talking about. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, December 30, 2012 - link

    Not at all, this is perfect, and is well deserved.
    It should wake up the haters, time for them to face reality.

    What we really need is the same test but the Intel cpu coupled with the 680M, so we can see amd get severely spanked again. Then we can really hear the idiots raging - but that's not the point at all.

    The point is, BANG for the Buck - that is always the point here, and when it sheds a dour and sad gloom upon AMD, it should be known ANYWAY.

    Obviously, things are so touchy with that fanbase, things did not work out with the nVidia top chip in the Intel laptop. One may say that is coincidence or the reviewers opportunities, but nonetheless, that is the way it works out, else the outcry would be unbearable.

    It's really sad how true that is, how the pressure from the real problem, the amd hardcores, causes the truth to be hidden, and when this lesser truth is shown that only half hammers amd where it needs to be hammered, it's a "real problem" for them anyway.
    Reply
  • lmcd - Sunday, April 14, 2013 - link

    A10s in both desktop and laptop are positioned against i5s and i3s, but with better graphics.

    What? Bang for the buck would easily vindicate AMD as an A10 on its own is the best low-end option, an A10 + 7670 one of the best midrange (especially for power consumption).

    So, where does your bang-for-the-buck complaint come in? At the high-end? Whoops.
    Reply
  • frogger4 - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    You know, for $1200, I would say that is probably the best gaming performance for you buck, so I am happy to see a choice like that.
    I actually really like the idea of an apu + dedicated gpu in a laptop. That gives you actually very good integrated graphics, so the dedicated graphics aren't quite as necessary. As an example, you could play Minecraft on just integrated graphics - meaning you could do that realistically on battery power. (Even a simple game like minecraft is not enjoyable on HD4000, but works very nicely with A10 graphics). Anyway, I like that option.

    Curious to see, does battery life compare?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    I haven't had a chance to test battery power yet, so that's still on the to do list. Reply
  • RU482 - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    is's like Kia vs Dodge Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    I've got an M17x R4 as well, now -- what's that count as? :-) Reply

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