Gaming Performance

Given that the AMD Radeon HD 7970M is the fastest mobile GPU that AMD offers, I'd ordinarily eschew including our "Value" benchmark results for the MSI GX60. Under the circumstances, though, those numbers might be enlightening. When a system is heavily CPU-limited, gaming benchmark results will often be flat or show very little performance loss as you move up in resolution and settings. It's reasonable to assume we'll see that kind of phenomenon here.

Bioshock Infinite - Value

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Value

GRID 2 - Value

Metro: Last Light - Value

Sleeping Dogs - Value

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Value

Tomb Raider - Value

At our "Value" settings, it's clear Richland is giving the 7970M at least a little more performance headroom, but the gulf is massive compared to the way Ivy lets it stretch its legs. Metro: Last Light seems to be a bit of a bizarre outlier, though. Metro 2033 used to hammer the GPU almost exclusively, but times seem to have changed with the new release.

Bioshock Infinite - Mainstream

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Mainstream

GRID 2 - Mainstream

Metro: Last Light - Mainstream

Sleeping Dogs - Mainstream

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Mainstream

Tomb Raider - Mainstream

Mainstream performance actually demonstrates the same kind of weird wash between Trinity and Richland that I experienced testing using the IGP. It's only Tomb Raider that takes a bath with Richland, though, and even then it's still very playable. While our settings here help close the gap between the Alienware M17x R4's 7970M and the MSI GX60's, we're still obviously leaving a lot of performance on the table. Metro: Last Light in particular continues to be unplayable.

Bioshock Infinite - Enthusiast

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Enthusiast

GRID 2 - Enthusiast

Metro: Last Light - Enthusiast

Sleeping Dogs - Enthusiast

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Enthusiast

Tomb Raider - Enthusiast

In some cases, enthusiast settings allow the GX60's 7970M to come within striking distance of the M17x R4's. Generally speaking, though, we still have a lot of performance left on the table, and it's sometimes even the difference between a game being playable and not. In situations where we're severely GPU limited (Tomb Raider with TressFX, for example), the GX60 makes a very strong case for itself. The problem is that in other situations, the GTX 675MX (and by extrapolation, the slightly slower GTX 765M) winds up producing a better experience because the CPU isn't bogging it down.

System and Futuremark Performance Display, Battery, and Heat


View All Comments

  • 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.
  • Alexvrb - Monday, July 1, 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.
  • 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.
  • Darksurf - Monday, July 1, 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.
  • relztes - Monday, July 1, 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.

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