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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  • Darksurf - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    I can already see one reason why you had poor benchmarks. You are only using one stick of DDR3?! WHY? AMD APUs depend heavily upon dual channel. Reply
  • Bull Dog - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Clearly, you didn't read the article. Reply
  • Samus - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Darksurf, even if they ran the tests with one DIMM, why would discrete graphics be impacted by a single memory channel? Reply
  • popej - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    As I understand, video data form discrete GPU is transferred over PCIe to internal video buffer of APU, eating some memory bandwidth.

    Pity there is no comparison with dual channels configuration.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Monday, July 01, 2013 - link

    Not only are they only using a single channel, they're using DDR3-1600. The 5750M is unique in AMD's mobile lineup in that it supports DDR3-1866 out of the box - none of the Trinity mobile chips (or lesser Richland models) can claim this. Now granted, when relying on the discrete graphics this isn't going to make as big of a difference. But there will be some improvement running dual channel 1866. I also have to wonder if Enduro is causing issues as well.

    I know they're trying to keep costs down, but I can't help but wonder if they'd be better off with a significantly cheaper model using a slower discrete GPU, perhaps even dual graphics.
    Reply
  • thesavvymage - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    this laptop only HAS one slot for ddr3. Read the article before commenting Reply
  • thesavvymage - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    edit: has one ddr3 in it by stock Reply
  • perse - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    actually that depends where you buy it from. The one i bought has 2x4GB besides that i must say while alot of people are bashing this pc, i love it. Design of the case, ease of access to all parts, heat management are best i have ever seen in any laptop. Performance is bottlenecked by the cpu ofc but not as much as everyone are saying. My friend bought i5+nvidia 7xx series card, not sure which exactly and performance in most games is very similar, while he paid 150€ more for his.

    I think benchmarks are also heavily influenced by drivers and switchable graphics compatibility.
    Reply
  • Darksurf - Monday, July 01, 2013 - link

    I did read the article. I was baffled by the poor results and went back to the front to see if I missed something and I saw " 1x8GB A-Data DDR3-1600 ". Thats when it immediately realized a problem. If this laptop only has one slot for DDR3 then this design was hampered from the beginning and ready to limp to the starting lines.

    Latest APUs have been given a boost to support up to 1866mhz. Because the GPU IS discrete it heavily depends on the RAM as there is no "dedicated memory" for the GPU. I'll wait to buy a laptop, and get one when AMD lightning bolt is released and I can buy a laptop with a richland APU and 1866mhz memory.
    Reply
  • relztes - Monday, July 01, 2013 - link

    That's incorrect. The 7970M has 2 GB of GDDR5 on a 256-bit memory interface. So the single channel memory is dedicated to the CPU only, and shouldn't hurt the 7970M performance.

    Still, I don't really understand the point of pairing an APU with discrete graphics. I think as a combination of CPU + low end GPU, AMD's APUs are a great value. It makes a lot of sense in a laptop where you don't want the extra heat and power requirements of a discrete GPU to trade a little CPU performance for superior integrated graphics. But if you add a 7970M, then it makes sense to prioritize the CPU over the integrated graphics. Save Richland for where you need the integrated graphics.
    Reply

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