System and Futuremark Performance

There's a lot of information that we can cull from our standard suite of system benchmarks when it comes to the MSI GX60 in its stock configuration. We can place its performance against the last generation GX60, featuring an almost identical configuration save a theoretically slower APU, we can determine how much of a performance hit there is from only having single-channel memory operation, and we can get an idea of how much performance is getting left on the table by using an AMD A-series APU instead of an Intel i7 quad core CPU.

PCMark 7 (2013)

PCMark 7 will always favor systems with SSDs, so there's not a whole lot to learn here unless you compare the GX60 with the 7970M to the IGP and dual-channel memory (listed as the A10-5750M + HD 8650G). On the CPU side there's either almost nothing lost, or the 7970M is picking up slack.

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD 5.x

x264 HD 5.x

MSI was right in that the single-channel memory operation doesn't really impact the GX60 in CPU-isolated tasks. It's consistently slower, but just barely so. Unfortunately we also get to see just how rough the drop down to an A10-5750M from an entry-level Ivy Bridge quad core really is; the i7-3630QM is never less than twice as fast as the A10. It's true that the i7 is rated to draw ~30% more power, but it gets at least 100% more performance.

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Even when trying to isolate GPU performance with 3DMark, it's pretty clear the AMD APU is holding back the Radeon HD 7970M. The newer generation GX60 is able to eke out a fairly consistent, measurable lead over its predecessor, but a substantial amount of the 7970M's performance is clearly being left on the table. I'd say the 7970M is just too much GPU for the A10-5750M, but unfortunately AMD doesn't have any good substitutes for the 7970M/8970M; the 7870M and 8870M are both based on Cape Verde, which has half the GCN cores and memory bus width the Pitcairn-based 7970M/8970M does. And there's no 7950M/8950M based on the cut-down Pitcairn used for the desktop 7850, nor even any mobile chips based on Bonaire (HD 7790).

This highlights a glaring hole in AMD's mobile lineup; NVIDIA's only using the GK104 in their top end chips (GTX 680M and 780M), but they have the beefy GK106 to fall back on. Bonaire needs to make its mobile debut in a hurry.

In and Around the MSI GX60 Gaming Performance
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  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - link

    "Because the GPU IS discrete it heavily depends on the RAM as there is no "dedicated memory" for the GPU."
    Discrete GPU means that there is an extra GPU connected with the mainboard that has its own RAM supply, like a normal, PCIe desktop graphics card (dGPU). Integrated GPU (iGPU) means there is a GPU on the same package or die as the CPU (it used to mean that there is a GPU on the motherboard, but not anymore since a few years). That GPU has to use the system memory (RAM) in order to operate. You seem to be confusing the two.
    Reply
  • eanazag - Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - link

    The 1866 RAM really helps the iGPU in AMD APUs. The performance bump adding it to this specific machine is going to be less than we would hope. The reality is that if I were purchasing it I would be adding an SSD and RAM. I would go for the 1866 because the CPU supports is, but I wouldn't expect it to compete with Intel. I would just be hoping to eliminate those odd cases where the Trinity version was beating it. Reply
  • CNP-Keythai - Sunday, June 30, 2013 - link

    Thats right. Its surprising to see only one slot for RAM. Also the PC can take only 8 GB, I afraid. None of these make any sense to me. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, June 30, 2013 - link

    There are two SO-DIMM slots on the GX60; only one is populated on this particular model, but as shown the benefits of dual-channel RAM (especially with DDR3-1600 memory) are almost entirely targeted at iGPU usage. Reply
  • eanazag - Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - link

    This laptop supports 4 DDR3 slots for a total of 32GB and the A10-5705M supports 1866 RAM. In looking at the part 1 article numbers, they opted to put two sticks in and performance was better in relation to the previous Trinity generation. I believe including a total of two or four sticks of 1866 RAM should give this machine a boost. That is a question for the customer as the model they received ships with only 1 stick of 8GB @ 1600.

    The concept of this whole notebook is to ship something the end user can upgrade; like the RAM and storage.

    Specs from MSI:
    http://www.msi.com/product/nb/GX60-Hitman-Edition....
    Reply
  • tincmulc - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Is it possible that cpu issues will be mitigated by the fact than both next generation consoles use 8 relatively slow cores? The Achilles' heel of the apu is single thread performance and since new console games will be optimized to run on more slower cores, the cpu part of the apu could finally be used to it's full potential. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    I'd like to believe that. however, this part is only quad core, and the mobile i7s are quad core with eight thread...they might benefit more. what amd really needs to do is release a 45w part. intel's quad cores are all 45 watt, with the exception of the 3612m. if amd upped the tdp, they could push the cpu clock to something like 3.0/3.9 GHz, which might help make up the distance. or better yet, release the 45 watt model with the a4's gpu, since it would probably only be used in laptops like this. that would give the cpu even more power to work with. Reply
  • Rontalk - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Yes, future games will run better with slow CPU cores but fast GPU. 1-2 years and MSI GX60 gonna be good gaming machine. Reply
  • Khenglish - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Dustin how about putting in another memory stick and seeing how much of an improvement there is? This thing needs more CPU power and an extra $35 on memory might make the laptop acceptable. Reply
  • JMC2000 - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    The results with dual-channel mode are in the article, sadly, it doesn't help much. Reply

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