Price: $2499 street Contact: MSI Phone: 02 9748 0070
VERDICT: Lots of features but they don’t readily translate into gaming speed.
Gaming notebooks have been one of those product areas where we tend to wince each time we hear about them. Generally, the models we’ve seen haven’t lived up to the hype that usually precedes them. The new GX660R from MSI firmly plants itself in that gaming market but given the price, its overall performance is fair without being stellar.
The key features are Intel’s 1.6GHz Core i7-720Q processor, a huge 12GB of DDR3-1066 memory and AMD’s Mobility Radeon HD 5870 graphics chip. Throw in a 15.6-inch full-HD (1920×1080-pixel) resolution LED-backlit LCD panel, a 1000GB RAID 0 array for storage and a Blu-ray/DVD combo drive and it looks quite decent. You even get two USB3.0 ports to play with.
The GX660R produced mixed benchmark results, failing to reach 400 on Techlogg Encode but pushing Techlogg Image 2 to over 510, which is a good result. Then we also gave it a run on Aliens v Predators, the new DirectX11 benchmark. Its 47.5fps average result at 1024×768-pixel resolution is playable but at 1920×1080-pixels, the GX660R’s native screen resolution, a score of 21.5fps isn’t.
Now our test unit wasn’t brand new and it may have seen some hard yards but the problem is that with no upgrade option, you’re going to see the value here disappear fairly quickly. Given the price, and what else’s on the market, you’re paying quite a bit for the so-called game-ability here.
The unit weighs in at a touch under 3.5kgs and despite a huge 7800mAh Lithium-ion battery, the GX660R could only manage 1hr58mins run time (that’s with everything cranked up, full brightness, Wi-Fi off).
All up, it’s difficult to see how this notebook is going to stand up for long to future DirectX11 games.