This is one of the more interesting pieces of hardware to keep an eye on if you're looking at a reasonably priced gaming notebook. I've toyed around with MSI's GX60 notebook a bit, and while I won't have a full review (it's too late to be useful), I will be posting benchmarks in the near future. Well, GX60 is about to become the old news, as the MSI GX70 3BE specs are now posted at MSI's website. Here's the quick overview:

MSI GX70 3BE Specifications
Processor AMD A10-5750M (aka Richland)
(Quad-core 2.50-3.50GHz, 4MB L2, 32nm, 35W)
Chipset Bolton M3
Memory Up to DDR3L-1600, 2 SO-DIMM Slots, Up to 32GB
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 8970M 2GB GDDR5 (aka Neptune)

AMD Radeon HD 8650G iGPU (Enduro Enabled)
384 cores at up to 720MHz
Display 17.3" Anti-Glare 16:9 1080p (1920x1080)
Storage Up to 1TB 7200RPM HDD
Likely two 2.5" drive bays available
Optical Drive BD Combo/DVD Super Multi
Networking 802.11bgn WiFi
Killer Gigabit NIC
Bluetooth 4.0
Audio Realtek ALC275
Stereo Speakers + Subwoofer
Headphone, Microphone, Line-In
Battery/Power 9-cell, 7800mAH
180W AC Adapter
I/O Ports 3 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
HDMI (Full size)
VGA (D-Sub)
HDMI (Full size)
Gigabit Ethernet
Headphone, Microphone, Line-In
Operating System Windows 8
Dimensions 16.85" x 11.33" x 2.17" (WxDxH)
(428mm x 288mm x 55mm)
Weight 8.58 lbs (3.9kg)
Extras HD Webcam
103-Key Backlit Keyboard
SDXC/SDHC Card Reader

So, first the good news: this will be the fastest possible AMD APU and AMD dGPU for the next generation of notebooks. We can't share the specifications of the 8970M right now, but all appearances are that it is basically a clock speed increase from 7970M. As for the APU, Richland is likewise a higher clocked version of Trinity, only in this case we have raw numbers: its base clock is 200MHz higher than the A10-4600M while the maximum Turbo Core speed is 300MHz higher. In general that means the A10-5750M should be around 10% faster than A10-4600M, which will certainly help in CPU limited situations.

The bad news then is that a 10% clock speed increase from Trinity isn't going to be enough to close the gap in many titles, depending on the resolution and quality settings. Looking at Trinity vs. Ivy Bridge with 7970M, I've seen Intel outperform AMD by 50% or more, particularly in titles that pound the CPU (e.g. Skyrim and StarCraft II); on other games, however, it's basically a wash at high quality 1080p settings, so as a more budget-friendly gaming notebook the GX70 has potential.

The other bad news is that my continuing experience with Enduro is that it's not all that it's cracked up to be, but going pure AMD helps quite a bit. Getting updated drivers with an AMD APU and dGPU is easier, and AMD dGPUs simply cooperate with AMD iGPUs better it seems. I've done some testing with the latest 13.5 Beta2 mobile drivers issue on several other laptops (including the MSI GX60), and for most mainstream applications and games they have been fine. However, there are still times when everything doesn't work quite as smoothly as I'd like.

We don't have an MSRP on the MSI GX70 3BE yet, and there will be a variety of models for the various markets. At the lower end of the spectrum, I expect we'll see pure HDD models with 8GB RAM sell in the neighborhood of $1200-$1300, while higher end models with SSDs, Blu-Ray, and 16GB may push into the $1500+ range. The chassis design appears unchanged from the existing GX70, which isn't too surprising, so basically we're getting faster hardware. ETA for the MSI GX70 3BE is June 2013.

Source: MSI Product Pages

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  • Meaker10 - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    Note:

    GX60 = 15.6"
    GX70 = 17.3"
    Reply
  • Bob Todd - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Any chance of reviewing a SLI equipped Lenovo Y500? It's in the same budget range, but judging from Dustin's comment from your CES post about it I'm guessing the answer is no :(. It's too bad, because the older 650M SLI versions seem like a decently powerful bit of gaming kit for $999. I'm on a bit of a Lenovo kick lately since they seem to be the only one supporting mSATA (and now NGFF) across most of their lineup. Reply
  • Raniz - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    I currently own a MSI gaming laptop and I won't be getting another one when it's time to upgrade.

    The build feels very plastic, the touchpad is useless (no multitouch and scrolling is done by touching the corners) and to actually get any performance out of it I have to use MSIs power profiles.

    I've only ever benchmarked it in 3DMark, but I get around 1.5x the score when I turn on 'gaming' mode. This switches the power profile in Windows to something predefined by MSI which means that any changes I've made to the power profile is lost.

    I regularly hook up the laptop to my TV to watch movies or play some games, if I switch to the gaming profile, hook it up to the TV and then close the lid it goes into sleep mode. I have to change the power settings in the advanced profile settings to not sleep when I close the lid and if I restart the laptop or switch power profiles I have to do it all over again since the power profiles are hard-coded in some MSI application and are loaded and then removed again when you switch. The only power profile I can control is the standard one which has gimped performance.
    Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    That pricing is way too high. To consider a laptop with that CPU and it then be above $1k, you'd have to be brain dead. If you go above $1k, you shouldn't be considering an AMD CPU of any kind unless you are just a diehard fanboy who can't imagine a world where you bought an Intel CPU.

    And even then you should be reconsidering.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, May 19, 2013 - link

    You'd have to be braindead to declare such a fact without the full review. I'd bet there aren't any 17" gaming laptops out there at this price that can outperform it... in games. Reply
  • Laststop311 - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - link

    I highly discourage anyone from getting a mobile radeon card. I have an m18x r1 and I have done a TON of experimenting with 6990m's and 7970m's single and crossfire. One story I will tell is how AMD did not have a driver that supported crossfire 7970m's for almost 6 months after its release. Crossfire barely could even function for almost 6 months then when it finally somewhat functioned it micro stutters WAY more than sli gtx 680m's. This will essentially be a crossfire if it combines the 8650 integrated with the 8970m discrete which means terrible god awful driver support for 2 connected amd gpu's and terrible micro stuttering and frame lag spikes.

    Do yourself a favor and save all the driver headaches and stutters and go with a mobile nvidia card. Nvidia just has smoother gameplay. If this comment saves even 1 person from buying a radeon gpu it was worth it. Yes you will pay more for the nvidia gtx 680m/780m over the 7970m/8970m but as the ole saying goes you get what you pay for. Nvidia spends much more money and labor hours on developing top of the line drivers. AMD cuts corners and employees for driver development to cut costs and push their gpu's out cheaper and you suffer for that.

    After the hell i went through with 7970m's in crossfire and how much smoother and more enjoyable gameplay became when i put in sli gtx 680m I will NEVER EVER EVER EVERRRR use Radeon products again.
    Reply
  • just4U - Friday, May 17, 2013 - link

    hmm.. I will NEVER EVER EVER EVERRRR understand people like you. I've worked with and used 100s of video cards by both companies and both have had their fair share of issues thru the years. What happens when (not if..) you have a bad experience with Nvidia? Will you only use Intel? When that doesn't work out so well.. than what? Virge, Cirrus, Matrox, are not really in the game any longer so hmmm.. Reply
  • just4U - Friday, May 17, 2013 - link

    edit cyrix (gahh.. its been so long..) Via should have been mentioned as well.. their still kickin. Reply
  • Bothai - Sunday, May 19, 2013 - link

    gLM56q3whK Reply
  • Bothai - Sunday, May 19, 2013 - link

    Would a GX60 be okay for a Uni student wanting to play some games like SWTOR on the go at above 40FPS?

    Or am i asking too much with that Bottleneck?
    Reply

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