In one of the most "interesting" moves I've seen in the mobile market, MSI has equipped their GX60 gaming notebook with an HD 7970M...paired with an AMD A10-4600M APU. Curious to see how the combination would stack up against the Intel i7-3720QM + HD 7970M combination used in AVADirect's Clevo P170EM, I ran some quick benchmarks and put together a video of Batman: Arkham City showing the systems running side by side. First, here's the video link:

Not surprisingly, the Ivy Bridge solution walks away from the Trinity laptop when we turn down the details a bit, but at maximum quality the two solutions appear relatively close. The issue is that while average frame rates may be close in some cases, minimum frame rates often tell the real story. There are points in the above video where Trinity falls to sub-30 FPS for a second or two at a time, which can be very noticeable in gameplay.

Anyway, I'm curious: are you interested in more videos like this? It takes a lot more time than a simple reporting of a benchmark number, but if there's enough demand for it I'll be happy to oblige. I should also note that there are some titles where the Trinity and Ivy Bridge notebooks are fairly close in performance (at maximum detail at least), while other titles are even more in favor of a faster CPU (e.g. Skyrim). Regardless, the full review of the MSI GX60 will be forthcoming.

Pricing for the GX60 is the one area where MSI looks to beat Intel HD 7970M offerings. The base model comes with a 750GB hard drive, 8GB RAM, A10-4600M, and of course the HD 7970M. Right now (if it's in stock), you can get that configuration for around $1200. Our particular unit takes yet another odd approach by including a 128GB RAID 0 SSD set for the OS and apps, which might sound appealing until you realize they're using SanDisk U100 drives (not exactly the fastest SSDs around); we're not sure what pricing is for this particular configuration. AVADirect's P170EM by contrast is priced at $1519, with a $100 off coupon available at the time of writing. That will get you an i7-3630QM and the 7970M, so for about $150 to $200 extra, for gaming purposes we recommend most users go that route.

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  • Rontalk - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    Cinebench is a big bull, wonder why so many sites use that crap if cannot even utilize Trinity Cores. Other than that what is Cinebench do for us? Run some x264 video encoding and see if Quad Core A10 with minor difference as fast as Intel i5.
    If Core i5 + GT 640M really available for $600, that is actually a good deal and certainly faster than A10. Unfortunately power consumption and heat generation, fan noise will double which might not so welcome for many of us.
    If I remember well Civ5 was one of anandtech's only test where Trinity could show it's huge advantage over Ivy Bridge?
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    Here's one laptop that's pretty close to what I suggested:

    Granted, GT 630M isn't as good as GT 640M, but then if you want GT 640M there's this option that give you both an i7 quad-core with GT 640M for $770:

    That second is pretty darn close to what we reviewed a few months back with the V3 ( but with a different CPU that's 35W instead of 45W TDP.
  • Rontalk - Monday, December 17, 2012 - link

    Here is a more quality A10 laptop than your Acer for $460:

    Similar CPU performance as i5, but in Quad Core arrangement and as fast GPU as 630M:
    And no extra 35W TDP during gaming!
    Do you also see these tests, just need to turn up the details in gaming and difference between HD4000 and HD7660G is immediately double?
    You saying AMD has better GPU, but much worse CPU. And I see the CPU performance similar, but AMD IGP much better in the same price range! Because your I7+640M was $770. And than again I7+640M = 45W+45W TDP, while A10+7660G= 35W TDP
  • Techmanforever - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    I admit that the intel configuration was posting higher framerates but there were way more glitches in both tests.Watch the video for yourself the system with the amd apu ran smoother.What does higher frame rates matter if it looks like crap?
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    I'm curious: at which point(s) in the video are you seeing "way more glitches in both tests"? Give me time points to look at, because in most cases I thought there was more stuttering on the APU than on the CPU.
  • asliarun - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    Jarred this is a great idea. I have one important suggestion to make - can you please spell out the results of your findings upfront? As someone who is interested but not always up to date, I would love to read the first paragraph that quickly sets up the background of your experiment and the second paragraph that summarizes your findings and recommendations.

    I'm also going to nitpick here - you talk about the Intel GPU walking away obviously. Unfortunately, it was not obvious to me at all and furthermore, I was even sure what you meant by the phrase walking away.

    I love reading content that is structured pyramid style. Give me the most important bit upfront, then the next level of detail, and then the backing data and videos. I'm reading your articles because I already trust you, not because I want all the evidence upfront as proof.

    Finally, I love the fact that you are focusing on the quality of the video and not just numbers and graphs.

    Sorry if I came across as too prescriptive. I love the quality of content and level of detail, but the way you structure your content has a lot of scope for improvement.
  • YukaKun - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    You just discovered the same thing happens in the laptop space, as well as in the desktop space!


  • JarredWalton - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    On the desktop, where people are running GPUs that are roughly twice as fast, CPU bottlenecks are a lot more apparent. Here we're dealing with a down-clocked HD 7870, more or less, plus there are very few laptops shipping HD 7970M, let alone 7970M with Trinity. So basically I wanted to see how Trinity would compare to Ivy Bridge with this particular GPU.
  • YukaKun - Monday, December 17, 2012 - link

    Yes, you also just validated my point by saying that.

    Trinity and IB/SB parts in notebooks are also down-clocked versions of their DT counterparts. Some have cache differences and IMC differences, of course.

    So, you just proved something obvious to most folks that actually know stuff.

    Good thing on helping those who might fall under that stupid scheme, though. I'll give you that at least.
  • CaioRearte - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    This is great. But please, do a similar-priced comparison between the A10 and the Intel "equivalent" using only the IGP.

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