Over the next few pages we will be assessing the performance of the MSI GX600 notebook in the following areas:
• Battery Performance
• CPU & Memory Performance
• Hard Disk Performance
• 3D Rendering Performance
• 3D Gaming Performance
For the benefit of comparison the following additional notebooks will also be benchmarked alongside the GX600:
Being one of the first notebook reviews ever conducted here at Overclock3D, we didn't unfortunately have access to any notebooks with similar specifications from other manufacturers. However, despite the glaringly obvious difference between the two notebooks listed above, it will certainly be interesting to see if MSI is worthy of the extra cash.
In addition we will also be conducting the aforementioned benchmarks with the GX600 running in both Normal and Turbo CPU mode. This should give us a good idea of how much extra performance the 200mhz overclock provides, and whether the 8600M GT graphics card poses as a system bottleneck.
UPDATE 12/5/08: MSI have informed us that the retail version of the GX600 will feature a screen with a native resolution of 1680x1050. However as the version sent to us was provided with a screen capable of only 1280x800 all benchmarks will be performed at this resolution.
BIOS & Overclocking
Further to the automatic overclocking of the GX600 via the turbo button, MSI have also provided gamers with the ability to perform their own overclocking of the GPU, CPU and Memory using the BIOS. As we can see below, the available options certainly cannot be compared to that of an MSI desktop motherboard, but it's a great feature none-the-less.
Being the total nutters that we are, we bumped all of the settings straight up to their maximums in hope of quick and easy overclock. However, after several blue screens and a few revisits to the BIOS, we finally settled for a stable overclock of 2.98ghz with the FSB set at 250mhz and the GPU core overclocked to 450mhz.
To test the performance of the battery used on the GX600 and 7720G, both notebooks had all power saving features disabled along with the screen brightness fixed at 100%. Battery Eater Pro
- a battery draining application (duh!) that uses a combination of GPU and CPU stressing - was then installed on each notebook and run until the laptops powered down. Please bear in mind that the results below should not be taken as the life expectancy of the notebook under normal use, but more a worst case scenario of extremely heavy use.
Thanks to the slightly larger capacity 4800mAh battery of the GX600, the Turbobook managed a full extra 10 minutes of gaming before shutting down. However, despite this win for MSI, we cant help but feel that it should have lasted even longer once you take into consideration that the 4000mAh battery inside the Acer Aspire had to power two hard disks, a 17" screen and higher quality sound system.