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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  • TheinsanegamerN - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    2 minutes? pretty good for that generation Reply
  • coolhardware - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Thank you for including SC2 gaming benchmarks! As I am trying to decide on an ideal system for SC2 (without being overkill), your results are very helpful to me in determining how important CPU performance is versus GPU performance. Thanks again :-) Reply
  • sheh - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    When will i5-4xxxM start coming the market?

    The Intel Haswell announcement at the beginning month had me thinking it's out any day, but so far there are only i7s and U series CPUs, and no real info anywhere on the i5 Ms.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    I expect we won't see the dual-core standard voltage Haswell chips for at least another month or two -- same thing happened with Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge, except we got SV before we got ULV. Now Intel is pushing ULV hard, so they launched those chips at the same time as the QC SV and desktop QC parts. Reply
  • sheh - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Thanks. Well, that's a crying shame. Looks I'll have to settle for an Ivy Bridge. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Sunday, June 30, 2013 - link

    No shame in that, Ivy is still a damn fine chip. Haswell is incremental. Reply
  • FwFred - Sunday, June 30, 2013 - link

    Incremental for laptops? Do you carry your power cord everywhere? Reply
  • silverblue - Sunday, June 30, 2013 - link

    I'd argue that Haswell is far more important in the mobile arena than it ever would be on the desktop. Still, is the difference actually that dramatic? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, June 30, 2013 - link

    It's a big difference if you need, say, 8-10 hours of battery life instead of 6-8. Otherwise, it's not that big of a deal. I rarely go unplugged for more than a few hours, so I can easily live with the lower battery life of IVB. Reply
  • sheh - Sunday, June 30, 2013 - link

    HD 4600 is no 5xxx, but still a noticeable update from 4000. And battery time does matter to me. I suppose it'll also go easier on the battery recharge cycles. Reply

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