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  • Aegrum - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Great article - I'm really happy to see some benches from these behemoth systems.

    I will say, though, comparing a $150 APU to a $400 CPU isn't exactly a fair assessment. I'd rather see the GX60 compared to a system in its price range, something with a GTX770m or GTX765m on board, like an MSI GE60 or Sager NP8230.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    See concluding comments on pricing. I know it's not "fair", but however you slice it the MSI GX60 isn't delivering on all fronts as a gaming notebook -- unless games like StarCraft II and Skyrim simply don't matter? Reply
  • Samus - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    AMD driver issues? Shocking. Reply
  • huaxshin - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    Try to be more precise Jarred:
    Its not the notebook that isn`t delivering, its the 4600M APU.
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    Let's see...MSI has performance issues on their Dragon laptop. This AMD system is also from MSI. Could there be a correlation? I would say yes. Trinity isn't blazing fast by any means, but in single-threaded performance it's usually no worse than half the speed of single-threaded Core i7. We're seeing cases where it's much less than that, which suggests drivers, platform, and/or laptop are also a factor. My guess is Enduro requires more CPU performance than discrete-only, and it would potentially dirty some of the cache thus making misses more common and thus reducing performance more on some platforms than others. Reply
  • huaxshin - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    Dragon Edition 2 review: Cooling problems > hot temperatures > throttling > CPU performance go down > CPU bottleneck > GPU performance go down > Poor gaming performance

    GX60: Good cooling
    GX60 saw NO CPU throttling nor high temperatures. Since the high end GPUs require a high end CPU, and A10-4600M score half of the 3610QM in single and 1/4th in Multi Cinebench, you don`t have to be a genious to understand that the APU is just too weak. Heck, even look at the lowest end i5, 3210M and its over 50% better in Multi.

    I have seen what you guys are trying to do. You are trying to blame MSI for it. Like they can control the very poor APU performance. They are the only OEM that pair up the high end GPU with AMD APU. The notebook is pretty cheap, but its a gamble: it can outrun the GTX 660M in some games, while its the other way around in other.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    Are you seriously still here? Reply
  • huaxshin - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    Yes because you two cannot answer critique and I am able to see right through your recent reviews.

    Since the PSU is 180W, the cooling is way overbuilt for the APU since it is the exact same design that house hotter Intel CPUs, I am looking for an answer from one of you two about what caused the 7970M performance in the GX60 to go down when it is not the APU itself.

    Jarred blame MSI, which is laughable, since all MSI does is include support through BIOS, make sure the cooling is efficient and make sure the components get all the power.

    Drivers? AMD make them

    Platform? AMD

    Laptop? Please enlight us what exactly is wrong with the laptop. I think I covered pretty much everything

    Enduro? Perhaps it can count for -some- of the performance decrease. But not 50% decrease or whatever it is. Once again you two cannot look past the fact that the i7 with 7970M and Enduro does far better than 4600M and 7970M with Enduro. That means, the APU is weak...
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    "They are the only OEM that pair [sic] up the high end GPU with AMD APU." Exactly. Why do you think that is? If MSI is selling a laptop which performs far worse than most would expect, that is their problem. If Dell were to make a notebook and stick in an Atom CPU with a high-end GPU, it's not Intel's fault that Dell made a bad design decision.

    It's nice of MSI to try selling a less expensive gaming laptop, but they should know as well as anyone whether the APU is sufficient to handle the task at hand. And yet, they started shipping the GX60 and now there's an updated version. I blame AMD plenty for their drivers, but MSI does not get off scott free for creating the design in the first place, especially if it doesn't work well.

    I am going to see about simulating performance of the 7970M and A10-4600M on the desktop side, using a 7870 and A10-5800K and then underclocking both to the same level as the MSI GX60 is running at. That will remove Enduro from the equation in the process, and I can almost guarantee that performance will be far better than what we're seeing on the GX60. However, that doesn't mean it's only Enduro -- look at the M17x and how the Enduro penalty tapers off at higher resolutions and settings. That's not happening with GX60. And even under gaming loads the CPU cores are at less than 75%, so there's a whole core sitting idle somewhere.

    Is it really just a case of the APU and Enduro using so much CPU computational power than performance falls flat, or is it something else like issues with the firmware and BIOS coming into play? The latest BIOS from MSI for the GX60 improved performance by as much as 10%, so there could be a lot of room left for improvement. Even if the problem is completely with AMD's APU performance, again, go back to point number one: if you sell a system that has a poorly matched CPU and GPU, it is your fault as the system manufacturer, because you put the two together.

    As for you and your fanboy rantings, you're not helping anything here. Your comments on the NVIDIA GTX 780M article were worthless, as you tried to absolve both NVIDIA and MSI from responsibility. Well, NVIDIA isn't to blame for MSI's bad QA, certainly. And if it's just a bad sample from MSI, sent to a review site that gets major traffic? Shame on MSI yet again. I actually have an MSI GE40 that's mostly good and doesn't have any real issues other than an outdated industrial design and a crappy LCD, which means yet again that it misses the mark. Who do I blame next time, the LCD manufacturer for daring to sell a low contrast LCD?
  • vlad42 - Sunday, June 23, 2013 - link

    Hey Jarred,

    I was actual going to recommend simulating the A10-4600m and HD 7970m in discrete mode, but I get you beat me to it.

    Also, I would recommend contacting AMD’s driver team and share these results with them. It is quite possible that they are unaware of the performance issues that the HD 7970m has in Enduro mode on sub-1080p resolutions (similar to how they were unaware of the micro stuttering issues with their cards). If you think about it, AMD might simply be assuming that any laptop that would have an HD 7970m would also have at least a 1080p display. Thus, they might only be testing Enduro’s performance at 1080p, which, incidentally, is where you found that the performance difference between Enduro and discrete modes on the Alienware M17x R4 was only about 3%.

    You might even want to suggest fixing the Enduro performance problems because the ultra high resolution laptops/displays that are coming out, such as Samsung’s ATIV Book 9 with 3200x1800 display, will likely cause gamers to run games at ¼ the native resolution of the display (in the case of the ATIV Book 9 that would be 1600x900) due to how hard it is for any desktop gpu to drive these kinds of resolutions. While you are in contact with them (assuming you do contact them of course) you could try to get an update regarding the DX 9 rendering fix.
  • huaxshin - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Once again you guys at Anandtech come out as pretty clueless about the mobile hardware.

    First of all, thank you for confirming that its the APU that is the real culprint in the sometime bad performance in the GX60 system. That was all I wanted.

    However what you are trying to do next, BLAME an OEM for this is just pathetic. You`re not seeing the big picture in this at all. Yes the GX60 may sometimes be as low as a system with i7 and a GTX 660M. But I can name many games where the 7970M+APU is miles ahead of the GTX 660M: Far Cry 3, Hitman, Black Ops 2, Sleeping Dogs, DarkSiders 2, World of Tanks etc.

    MSI offer the GX60 way lower than a system with GTX 680M+i7. In fact its pretty much priced to where a GTX 660M is. So for those who are informed, its a no brainer to pick the GX60 system there. Now, you may be excused to not know this since you have never put 660M and GX60 against each other, but please try to be a little more humble next time.
    Its quite sad that you attack MSI for being the only OEM to offer a cheap notebook with a performance like this. They should be rewarded, not criticized.

    And please don`t dig yourself further down by calling people a fanboy. As a reviewer who post news and reviews on this site, you should know better than that. I thoroughly enjoy all your articles about new technology and how they work, and you guys are one of the leaders here, among the hundreds of reviewer sites. I own both Asus, MSI and Alienware notebooks thank you, so I`m no fanboy. I just react when I see reviews that are based on faulty devices, represented as the truth, when you and me both know that you guys recieved a melon from MSI. Is MSI at fault here for not doing better quality control on the paste job? Absolutely. But don`t write a review representing that as something that is perfectly normal. Anyone knows that 98C on the CPU is very wrong, even in one of those cramped up systems that is extremely thin that features a GTX GPU.

    I had a pretty bad paste job on my GT70 too. In my GT70 they went pretty overboard with the pasting on the GTX 680M. :P
    But repasting it was a 5 minute job.)
  • APassingMe - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I think the point being made here is that users are assuming that they will get the full benefit of the higher end gpu while in actuality they won't as a side affect of the cpu platform.

    And the actual issue is that MSI should be open about this or they should drop a lower end gpu in the laptop that is paired for the slower cpu speeds and reduce the end user's price while providing similar performance or they should offer a recommended cpu upgrade to remove/lessen the bottleneck while keeping the consumer informed...

    Disclaimer... I am to some degree a fan of MSI, mainly due to their pricing so.... please take this as it is.
  • Bob Todd - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Pretty succinct summary. The GX60 basically needs a big sticker on the box that says "If you aren't GPU bound you are screwed!" The price point is great for a 7970m. However I think I'd rather take a chance of SLI not working for a particular game until drivers catch up with the Lenovo Y500 (IVB quad) for the same money, rather than worry about CPU potentially bottlenecking me in every single game. I won't even get into the horrendous abortion of design and material choices that MSI brings to the table with every laptop. When even Acer is cranking out nicer designs than you, something has gone horribly wrong. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Sorry, but you're clearly the one that's clueless. No one is talking about i7+680M levels of performance here; I have numbers and the GX60 loses to the GE40 in many performance tests. Where it doesn't lose we're already often at non-playable frame rates (<30). Bioshock and Tomb Raider are the best showings for the GX60, and both are known for being very light on the CPU. Sleeping Dogs is marginally faster (32FPS vs. 26FPS), but at our High settings the GE40 ends up being nearly twice as fast. StarCraft II and Skyrim basically don't reach playable frame rates on the GX60, but on the GE40 at our max detail settings we get 42FPS and 44FPS (vs. 25 and 24FPS). So sure, any game that only requires GPU and hardly touches the APU may do well enough, but that's not exactly a large market.

    What's more damning to MSI is that the GX60 can't run four of our seven games at High settings at more than 40FPS (which is really what we want, as 30FPS average means dips into the low 20s and even teens), and at our Ultra settings it doesn't average more than 40FPS in a single title that we tested. The same GPU in the M17x only fails to break 40FPS at our max settings in two games: Metro: Last Light and Tomb Raider (and it's very close in TR).

    On the other hand, thanks for confirming that you own an MSI laptop and apparently anyone dissing the company needs to be taken to task by you. Care to take pictures of your ASUS, MSI, and Alienware laptops all next to each other? The only one digging holes here is you, and you still don't understand that MSI's GX60 is not a good pairing of CPU/APU and dGPU. Funny that you seem to think a bunch of games run better on the GX60 than on other comparably priced alternatives, but to show that you turn to... GTX 660M, which really isn't worthy of the GTX name and we've said as much.

    It's not that we received one melon from MSI, it's that they have a habit of delivering questionable hardware/designs on their laptops. Every single one has at least a few red flags for me -- keyboard, build quality, cooling, LCD, styling, etc. Even if the GT70 were performing up to par, the design is still woefully outdated. The fact that they ship out lemons to reviewers on the other hand is enough to sully their QA department to the point where we are far more comfortable recommending people not buy the GT70 from them.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    By the way, Cloudfire from the NotebookReview forums, it's nice of you to criticize our review and suggest others do the same when you actually own a GT70 with Ivy Bridge and GTX 680M. Hmmmm.... Way to try and start something when you don't actually have any personal experience with the product. But hey, feel free to reapply thermal paste to your CPU/GPU in your notebook every six months, because that's what everyone should do!

    I've taken the time to look around and see what I can find on comparable gaming tests for the Haswell GT70 Dragon Edition. Oddly enough, I can't find anyone that has results that are directly in contrast to our review. One site has WoW Ultra figures with the Haswell system, and an M17x R4 with GTX 680M beats it by 40% at 1080p. They also measured 38.7 using the Tomb Raider Ultimate 1080p setting, which is actually WORSE than our result (which was already lower than GTX 680M).

    Even Engadget, which isn't known for digging into performance all that much, has at least some numbers that go along with our results. Skyrim at 75FPS is still slower than the 77FPS we got with 680M, and our test in Skyrim tends to be far more demanding than what most others use (since it's FRAPS-based). Another site shows 58FPS in GRID 2 as well, thought potentially at 8xMSAA that might be part of the bottleneck.

    And beyond those sites, I'm failing to find any real reviews of the Haswell GT70 Dragon right now. So you tell me, Cloudfire: is our unit truly a lemon, or did MSI screw up and not account for differences in cooling requirements from Haswell? Or maybe it's just BIOS and firmware stuff again. Whatever the case, I have no doubt that other GTX 780M notebooks will perform better, but without BIOS updates (or tearing it apart to apply better thermal grease and maybe put in a higher power fan?) I will be surprised to see the GT70 actually reach its full performance potential.
  • huaxshin - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    There so many things here to respond to, which are plain wrong.

    Seriously stop quoting laptopmag and engadget. They dont offer any real analysis in any of their reviews other than scratching the surface.
    Like I said many times now JarredWalton, go read the GT70 review on NotebookCheck. Its the -exact- same notebook as you "reviewed", with the exact same hardware.
    They found zero performace issues with the CPU or the GPU compared to their GTX 780M review. They had MAX 92C on the CPU when running Furnark, far more demanding than the 3 hour gaming test you guys did. Yet it ran cooler.
    So their review is in direct contrast to your review which couldn't be further from the truth. Notebookcheck found NO game where the GTX 680M beat GTX 780M.

    This is exactly why Im saying you should try to act a little more humble when critique is presented. Your review is just wrong.

    I see you have been visiting my profile at NBR. I see you read my recent tip about repasting. Any real gaming enthusiast knows that a repasting every 6 months along with blowing out the dust is only good for your system. Thats a given no matter what system you own. So yeah, since you didnt know: that is what everyone should do ;)

    And yes I compared a system with GTX 660M against GX60. Because in average over 18 games from the GX60 review on Notebookcheck, those two systems actually perfom equally. Price wise they should also be compared because there are no system with higher end that is as cheap as the GX60. Which is what the notebook is all about: performance/price.

    Go read the review Jarred. Don't look at 900p with high settings where the CPU is more at play. Look at the 1080p with settings vramped up. There you will see that its a good choice to pick GX60 ahead of a system with GTX 660M or pick GX60 instead of a higher end GPU since the GX60 is cheap and it will shine in the games I mentioned earlier.
  • huaxshin - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    You should keep an eye out for the recent thread "calling all GT70 OD owners" on the MSI subforum. Hopefully we will see some data there from real owners soon ;)
    I cant link to the thread here but since you apparantly like to stalk me, Im sure you will find it
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Sure, they're using the "exact same notebook", except it was done with the non-Dragon version, which means likely a different assembly line (optimized to just produce that one SKU), possibly a different BIOS, possibly different thermal paste.... The reality is that we don't know exactly what they tested vs. what we tested, but go ahead and assume all you want since you're good at that. We know the MSI GT70 Dragon we tested performed poorly, and the only two other sites I can find that definitely tested the new Dragon Haswell model corroborate at least some of our results. But you discount Engadget because "they don't do any real analysis" -- how hard is it to run the built-in benchmark from GRID 2 at Ultra settings?

    You might want to grab a dictionary. A stalker is someone that harasses or persecutes someone with unwanted and obsessive attention. I work for AnandTech, so I "live" here while you're coming here as a guest and obsessing over a review that was not favorable. Why wasn't it favorable? Because the CPU throttled and killed performance. It doesn't really matter what the precise cause of that problem is; the fact it that it happened, and that's not acceptable, and we said as much in the review.

    In response, you created a new user account to post inflammatory comments, and you have posted about 20 comments in two articles all of a similar nature, not to mention asking others to come to your aid and add to the harassment. (What was wrong with the Cloudfire or Cloudfire777 names?) Anyway, sorry to tell you but you're the perfect description of a troll and an online stalker.

    As for your quest to prove us "wrong", so far you've got one person saying, "I applied better thermal paste and it helped temperatures." That basically just confirms that MSI is not testing/QA'ing their products well, or they would have switched internally already. Tell you what, though: let me pay you a flat fee for reviewing a product, then tell you to go back and put on new thermal paste and retest everything without getting paid any extra. Sound like a good deal for Dustin to do the QA for notebooks, or shall we just take what they send and see how it performs?

    Now, to try to feel better about yourself, you again bring up GTX 660M. That's just a GK107 part at slightly higher clocks, and no one really cares. GTX 760M is a completely different beast and you can get that for $100 more than the GX60. It's only faster in two games at Ultra settings, but the GX60 only handles about half of the games at Ultra settings to begin with. So you drop down to High settings and the GE40 is faster in four of the seven games and tied in one. But then there's also the GE60 that has the same size LCD and a GTX 765M for the same $1200. 765M is clocked almost 30% higher on the cores, meaning the performance difference is likely to be even more in favor of the NVIDIA card. That's of course assuming none of these parts have crappy thermal paste I suppose.

    So far, I think we can agree that:
    1) The GX60 is only good for certain games, because of APU/driver/Enduro/other bottlenecks.
    2) The GT70 Dragon (Haswell + 780M) appears to have a bad factory thermal paste application.
    3) Build quality and design on both of the above laptops is, at best, lacking.
    4) We wouldn't recommend either laptop without serious qualifiers (e.g. be willing to replace thermal paste on the GT70 -- hey, it's only a $2800 notebook; what did you expect?)

    Did I miss anything in that summary? Is any of the above not made clear in the text of the articles?
  • huaxshin - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    Now we are getting somewhere.

    1. Time to stop with the silly excuses. The only reason why GX60 doesn`t perform, is because of the APU. Enduro only counts for maybe 5% like you posted in this review. Not 34% less than 7970M systems. That is as clear as the sun, and this is what I have been trying to drag out of you from the moment this discussion began. Its not the notebook or silly things like drivers, because ANY notebook with 4600M and 7970M would have acted equally poorly.

    2. YOUR GT70 Dragon have bad paste. I can`t comment on the other ones since I haven`t seen any other good tests with temperature measurements on the CPU or GPU. Just a IR meter measurement on the top of the keyboard and thats it. Like I said, just scratched the surface.

    3. Build Quality is at best lacking? Lets see here: Dynaudio, best speakers on the market for notebooks. Semi mechanical keyboard with way better feedback than the majority of keyboards out there. Raid0 card that can take 3 mSATA SSDs and Raid them together. Only OEM that offer it. Programmable fan speed through access editing the firmware. Again, pretty much the only OEM that have this opportunity. Aluminum on lid and palm rest, while most OEMs have plastic fantastic. Again, its sad to see you guys jump on MSI just because you recieved one notebook with bad paste job.

    4. GT70 is $1999 thank you. And why do you assume ALL GT70 have bad paste job Notebookcheck didn`t. Sweclockers didnt...

    Additional point:
    5. The cooling system inside your Dragon Editon is identical with the one Notebookcheck used. Same amount of heatsinks, same heat pipes, both have heatsink between CPU and GPU.
    So what does that mean when Notebookcheck got much better temperatures than you guys?
    They didn`t get a lemon with bad paste job.
    There is no point trying to find excuses. Thats the only explanation.

    6. So you guys wouldn`t redo the review because you aren`t paid enough? I crave for technology like this. I wouldn`t mind to redo a few benchmarks with a new paste job. The repaste itself takes like 5 minutes to do. You wouldn`t have to redo all the game tests either, you could have just done the 3 hour gaming session, logged the temperature, and if it was better, edited the review you posted.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    Build quality is different than features. Three mSATA drives in RAID 0? Why? A single good SSD is better in most cases, or if you need more performance than do RAID 0 of two drives and use M.2, not the now-deprecated mSATA. This is purely marketing gee-whiz stuff. Programmable fan controller is something every system has, but they don't expose it to the end users in most cases. If the cooling works properly, there's no need to do so. Aluminum veneers on the palm rests is not the same as a solid non-plastic construction, and black aluminum is getting old -- it shows fingerprints and grease far too much. Straight silver (like the ASUS UX series or Apple) is so much better long-term.

    Now, I don't think Clevo units are built all that well, but they're comparable in most regards to the MSI. The Alienware M17x on the other hand is definitely built better -- not necessarily perfect by any means, but I do prefer it. Not sure if the new 17 is any different -- I would change the display hinge at the very least, and give it a matte panel. And please no touchscreens! Ugh... fingerprints on 17" displays suck to clean off. But I digress....

    You're still missing the point on the thermal paste/testing. Just because all of the components are the same in the various new GT70 models doesn't mean they all come off the same assembly line. The Dragon SKU is likely a special line where there are no custom options: it's all the same parts, every time. Maybe the problem is in that particular line, and they don't apply the TIM properly. The $2000 models don't have all the extras that the Dragon has, so basically they have unused expansion options for the future.

    We are going to see if we can get a second unit for retesting (or if Dustin still has this one, either he or I will investigate the TIM question). If problems persist, then we will definitely request a new notebook.

    Finally, regarding the Enduro question, it's obvious that there's some overhead with Enduro, and very possibly it's CPU overhead as well as other aspects. The drivers have to do more work to transfer frames to the iGPU framebuffer, if nothing else. Just because the M17x doesn't have lower Enduro performance at max detail settings doesn't mean the same is true of the GX60. We are going to see about simulating the A10-4600M at 2.7GHz with an 850MHz/4800MHz HD 7870 desktop setup, which will remove Enduro from the equation. Want to make a wager that performance is at least 20% higher than on the GX60? It won't be happening today or tomorrow, as we need to get all the proper parts with one reviewer, but we'll be investigating this in the future.
  • kogunniyi - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    The question of liability is not that simple.

    I assume that most people who buy the GX60 expect a CPU bottleneck within certain limits. Imagine that the A10-4600m cuts performance in half for every application. If the 7970m is performing at 10% of its potential, the APU is probably not the only problem. Even Enduro does not account for such a performance hit. Most people would define "getting money's worth" as taking the 50% hit in every game. In the case given, they are not getting their money's worth, and the locked-down overclocking does not help.

    On the other hand, MSI does not advertise a certain performance. You could argue that the benchmarks it posted for the GX60 are misleading, but that's marketing fluff and should not be taken seriously. Because MSI does not promise anything, it isn't legally responsible, but it can be held ethically accountable: the very act of offering the APU + 7970m suggests that it is a stable and consistent platform. I assume that Jarred simply wants to tell readers that the MSI GX60 may not perform up to standard.
  • kallogan - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    7970M is da best considering its lower price. I didn't think the A10 would be such a bottleneck even at 1080p. Reply
  • Wreckage - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Waste of money. Lower price because of lower quality. Reply
  • Xinn3r - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    You can't get away with low quality just by lowering your price
  • Meaker10 - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    2.7ghz is the maximum turbo speed for more than 2 threads on the 4600M APU. 3.2ghz is mostly for single thread only. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    True. I guess I was expecting some of the games to not hit the second thread hard enough to trigger that limit. Let me edit text a bit.... Reply
  • Meaker10 - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Engineering cpus are unlocked, if amd had allowed overclocking on platforms like the msi and could be run around 3.5ghz performance would be far more acceptable imo. Reply
  • Khenglish - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    Yeah I agree. I don't understand why the top end APU is completely locked. AMD is going for performance/cost, and allowing overclocking would have helped that. 2.7ghz is OK for intel, but for AMD's lower IPC it's a problem. They don't even let you overclock trinity's GPU on laptops.

    As for the argument that it's to make sure people don't kill their hardware, on the APU laptop I played around with it was possible to disable thermal throttling, thermal shutdown (only possible due to BIOS bug, but still), and the cpu fan though PCI config space options... but overclocking was locked down tight!
  • Roland00Address - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    Furthermore you if you are using more than 2 threads you are using both cores and cmt simultaneously, thus you will use the cmt tax and only get 80% performance. Reply
  • Bob Todd - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    While the end result for the Enduro drivers on older systems is exactly the weak sauce I expected, I have to say I'm disappointed in how they handled it from a product management perspective. They should have only included systems they absolutely knew they would support (IVB/Trinity), and actually been realistic about previous gen platforms and said something like "We are evaluating the potential for SB/Llano support and we'll have an answer for you in 6 months" (or whatever a realistic timeline would have been). Instead they basically strung along their customers of the older platforms for months with 'a future driver will support your system' pipe dream. Middle finger to you for that one PMs or marketing folks. Who I feel even worse for than Sandy Bridge/(rebadged) 7XXX owners are folks in the same boat with Llano. Those are customers who invested in an ALL AMD solution and these jokers can't even invest in a solution for them? That's bush league AMD. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Actually, there aren't many Llano + dGPU laptops that got sold I don't think, so I imagine people that own SNB + AMD dGPU are a larger audience (think HP Envy 15 owners). I still think it could happen, but it's a question of whether or not AMD even wants to try. Given the continued driver issues with Enduro, I'm guessing not. Reply
  • Bob Todd - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    Yeah, unfortunately I'm the Envy 15 owner from the other Enduro articles :). On a side note before I bitch some more, thanks for keeping us updated on the progress of the driver updates. A bit tangential, but I think this issue also highlights one of the many reasons the rebadging done by both AMD and Nvidia is so anti-consumer. I'm a geek and I read sites like Anandtech, and I go look up mobile GPUs on Notebookcheck before purchasing anything to make sure I know what lies beneath some shiny new part number. But only some tiny percentage of consumers will do that. The overwhelming majority will just see "Radeon 7690M" and assume it's a new part, and that it will be supported like a new part (i.e. readily available driver updates). They shouldn't have to scour the web to find out that only 77XX and above parts are actually "new" stuff, and that they are boned for driver updates with anything below that magical line that someone in marketing decided was the right thing to do. It's intentionally deceptive, and I wish they'd both cut that crap out. I'm sure the revenue forecasts from their financial analysts would make them disagree. Reply
  • billus - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Am I the only one who is amazed at how ugly these laptops are? I find it difficult to be enthused about a laptop that looks like it was made from Chinese moss. And I'm the target audience, having paid between $4K and $5K for most of my laptops. Reply
  • silenceisgolden - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    These laptops don't have a target audience, so design really doesn't matter. If these companies wanted their laptops to be bought in any great quantity they would think about design. Reply
  • Wreckage - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    At the end of the day AMD's drivers are still an anchor dragging them down. Reply
  • transphasic - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    This is not surprising to me, as I had expected this to be the case by now- 9 months later. AMD has, for the gazillionth time, dropped the ball on FIXING Enduro, which they have had all the time in world to do so these last 14 months, but haven't.
    It's a pretty safe guess that they never will, and as for me from now on- it's Nvidia all the way, and I am never looking back.
    Good-bye AMD...
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    I guess Dell got sick of dealing with the Enduro issues as well. The new Alienware 17 comes with Nvidia cards. :-) Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    The 780M results here are *seriously* not reflective of the 780M's performance, just the crippled MSI GT70. I have my old Alienware M17x R3 being retrofitted with a 780M courtesy of NVIDIA as we speak and should be able to post more realistic 780M performance numbers before the month is out.

    On any benchmark graph where the 680M performs faster than the 780M, you can safely assume the 780M is being limited by the GT70 and will perform at *least* as well as the 680M in a Clevo or Alienware chassis.
  • Meaker10 - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    When I get my msi gt60 3k edition (2880x1620 ips panel) im going to enjoy showing you what it can really do and how much it will tear your m17x into tiny pieces. ;) Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    How's your e-peen? Reply
  • Meaker10 - Sunday, June 23, 2013 - link

    Epeen? Still costs less than a standard screen alienware ;) Reply
  • kogunniyi - Sunday, June 23, 2013 - link

    Until, of course, you realize that you can haggle and get the Alienware for cheaper than a (branded) MSI would ever be. Reply
  • Meaker10 - Sunday, June 23, 2013 - link

    Branded maybe, but not the barebone ;) Reply
  • manno - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    I own an HP dv6t-6b00 which has an AMD 7660/6660 re-brand I'm exactly sure. I just wanted to say thank you so much for posting the info about Leshcat Labs! I just added an SSD to the laptop re-installed Windows 7 and couldn't get the damn thing to work with switchable graphics. You're a life saver, sadly my next laptop will have nVidia or just stock Intel graphics, after looking at how the Intel 4xxx series performs, I'm assuming by the time the 5xxxx comes out and I'm looking for an upgrade it should be enough for what I need. It's sad, some 20 something kid is doing a better job than AMD in supporting their own product. Reply
  • zifuxyx - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    amd的cpu可以安心的去了.......... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    "the amd cpu can feel at ease to go"? Google isn't helping me much there. Reply
  • Sleepingforest - Sunday, June 23, 2013 - link

    I believe it's something like "AMD's CPU should feel free to leave now". The unwritten part that doesn't get translated is that the CPU should feel free to leave because it is so shamefully bad. Reply
  • silverblue - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    As stated, it's not actually all the CPU's fault for the poor performance. Reply
  • maba - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    AMD's Enduro results may not be that bad compared to discrete mode IF(?) Enduro causes less power consumption / heat dissipation. The penalty on "enthusiast" settings is rather low and the other settings show a very playable > 60 FPS.
    So my thought is that it might be a good trade to have lower power consumption versus high FPS that [at least nearly] everyone does not benefit from.
    That is of course neglecting the GX60 results and driver problems as with DX9. The effects on other FPS measurements (aka "frame rating", min. FPS etc.) could though be another story, too..
  • ShieTar - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    My thoughts exactly. It almost looks to me like Enduro leads to something of a reasonable Adaptive V-Sync situation, refusing to waste power on >60fps, rather than just causing a performance decrease. In reality, most of these games should be played with V-Sync on anyways if you know that your hardware is capable of hitting 100fps or more. Reply
  • junky77 - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    thanks Jarred

    did you happen to check if the integrated 7660G is loaded in the GX60? Maybe there is some problem with the dual GPU thing

    Any comment from AMD?
  • huaxshin - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    Sigh. Please tell me Anandtech, what is the purpose with including a broken system with the GTX 780M, on a article that investigates 7970M?

    You could have easily have ditched the GTX 780M results, and only presented the GX60 vs the Enduro vs the Non Enduro enabled system.
  • huaxshin - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    Its pretty much well known all over the internet now that the whole Dragon Edition 2 review you done, was BS. Including the GTX 780M benches. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    It's pointed out in the Dragon review text that it performs poorly, far worse than expected, and it's pointed out again here, numerous times. Why include it, then? There are cases where the GTX 780M actually shows some of its potential, and interestingly it's in those same cases that the APU + 7970M does best as well. Even if the Dragon is CPU throttling, whether due to a BIOS issue or a QA issue isn't really important -- MSI is to blame in either case. This review is tagged MSI as well, so perhaps people looking at an MSI laptop might like to read about both systems? Sorry if you work for MSI and that concerns you, but then if you work for MSI you should be even more concerned about systems like this ending up in the hands of paying customers. That's what we're concerned about at least. Reply
  • dwade123 - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    Awful touch pad position. Reply
  • Hrobertgar - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I viewed the flicker vdeo, and I sometimes get a similar problem on my 3 year old Dell Inspiron1501 - i5-560M + 420M dGPU. When I switch beteen WoW (a Blizz product which you mnetioned ) and desktop/internet it will sometimes induce a flicker that also reduces the computer's ability to recieve input. (This seems to occurr if I am doing a lot of alt-Tabbing while I am checking on something. Sometimes it affects only Windows first and then later also impacts the game) The only solution I have found is a full shutdown and reboot - but that ALWAYS takes care of it.

    Sometimes I also get an issue where my keyboard will be partially remapped and again a full shutdown is the only soloution. I encounter the flicker about once every month or so, and the keyboard issue sometimes more than once per week. Hopefully my next system/games will behave better.
  • wow&wow - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    What is the point comparing a ~$1K product with a ~$2K one? Can we spend time in somethimg more practical and useful? Reply
  • Wolfpup - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    There's no way you could be overstating driver issues. This is messed up, and there aren't enough people in the press going to bat for us, the people actually buying these systems.

    Also messed up that the newer drivers don't even support something as recent as Llano. Nvidia's drivers support their first gen Direct X 10 parts, if not earlier, and AMD's is dumping support for something still sold LAST YEAR?

    I REALLY want AMD to do well, as we need them, and I've got an AMD Bobcat system right now, but geez, their drivers need to get it together, and there have been problems since...the 90s, frankly.

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