Performance – Processor, General, Hard Drive

The GT60’s Core i7-4700MQ CPU is no joke. Having said that, however, the overall performance as indicated by our benchmarks is not that much higher than the Lenovo IdeaPad Y500’s i7-3630QM (which was, of course, an Ivy Bridge model). Still, faster than fast is really fast, and there’s no question that the i7-4700MQ delivers on that front. Needless to say, we’ll also be revisiting (and testing further) the GTX 780M’s performance in the GT60, as well as comparing it to some other gaming PCs for context.

Speaking of which, our competition includes the recently-reviewed Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 (decked out with not one but two NVIDIA GT 650 discrete GPUs configured in SLI) and the Origin EON17-S (which features an NVIDIA GT 675 and an i7-3920XM CPU). We also threw in the ASUS G75V when possible.  Any of these machines can handle even the most demanding games—but the question is, how does the $2,000 MSI GT60 stack up?

Performance – Processor

First, let’s take a look at the synthetic CPU benchmark results. We subjected the GT60 to our newly-revamped standardized selection of benchmarks, which includes four different targeted CPU tests. Here, the Core i7-4700MQ scores an excellent 107.53 GIPS in SiSoft Sandra’s Dhrystone and 82.34 GFLOPS in Whetstone, as well as a 6.84 and 1.47 in Cinebench R11.5’s xCPU and 1CPU respectively. In short, it’s more than enough to handle any gaming you throw at it, and practically anything else, too.

Here’s how the results look/compare:

Sandra’s results peg the i7-4700MQ most closely in line with the Lenovo Y500’s i7-3630QM—just ever-so-slightly faster. Meanwhile, the Origin EON17-S smokes them both by a margin of about 10%, but then again, its expensive and power-hungry i7-3920XM Ivy Bridge CPU (boasting 8 W TDP higher than even the i7-4700MQ) should be expected to dominate.

Next up, Cinebench:

Second verse, same as the first with Cinebench R11.5. Here, thanks to our recently-updated testing template, we’ve got just one comparison in our database (the recent Lenovo Y500). Still, things once again look pretty consistent, with an overall difference of 10-11% on the CPU-centric tests. OpenGL performance leaps ahead by a wider margin, but that’s a GPU-centric measurement by contrast.

Rounding out the bunch is Peacekeeper, which seems to reaffirm our other findings:

Application Performance

Our new test template utilizes PCMark 7 for our application performance testing.

It’s well-known that this benchmark heavily favors systems equipped with a solid state drive for primary storage—and so it should be no surprise that, when compared with the Lenovo Y500’s hybrid SSD configuration (which involves a mechanical drive paired with an SSD for transparent caching), the GT60 shines.

Performance – Storage Devices

Again, the GT60’s storage combo of a SanDisk SD5SF212 128 GB SSD and a Western Digital WD10JPVX-22J 1 TB HDD is considerably more useful than any variety of mere SSD-caching (as in the case of the Lenovo Y500). The SSD posts speeds of 441 MB/s and 254 MB/s sequential read and write in AS SSD, respectively. This yields a total score of 766, which is very good.

ATTO Disk Benchmark also reports excellent values, with 4K read/write speeds of just over 200,000 MB/s and 4 MB read/write speeds of 318,806 and 450,611 MB/s, respectively.

Meanwhile, the 1 TB Western Digital hard drive fares much more unremarkably, posting results which solidify its status as a storage-only drive in comparison.

Here's how these results stack up against the competition:

Finally, there’s CrystalDiskMark. Once again, the SSD yields great scores, with 438 and 326 MB/s sequential read/write and acceptable 4K/4K QD32 scores as well. It’s not the fastest we’ve seen, but it’s certainly more than adequate for great system performance.

And again, finally, the WD 1 TB hard drive:

Rounding out the bunch is the WD10JPVX-22J’s performance in HDTune:

Overall, a pretty strong showing. The concept of a speedy SSD for application/operating system files paired with a large-capacity mechanical drive for storage has always been a best-of-both-worlds approach, and it works well here. If you run out of space on your SSD, there's always the option of swapping it out for a larger model or adding another—just be prepared to go through the warranty sticker if you plan to.

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