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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Monday, 23 February 2009 18:21

MSI GX620 Gaming notebook with Turbo Engine tested - 4. Special: Turbo i ECO engine

Written by Sanjin Rados

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Review: Works at 2.7GHz and have the looks


Some MSI’s laptop models come with Turbo Drive Engine technology, providing users with an easy route to overclocking. If you need more juice – a simple click on the Turbo button will do the trick and raise the performance to another level.
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In order for Turbo mode to run, the laptop must be plugged in the wall outlet, meaning AC mode. The Turbo key is located in the center of the Sensor pad, and its size speaks volumes of what this feature means on the GX620X. We must concur, as not many laptops feature such a simple and effective means of overclocking.

Another special feature on the GX620X is the ECO engine. This technology, when used, should provide longer battery life. Power management has 5 profiles – Gaming mode, Movie Mode, Presentation Mode, Office Mode and Turbo Battery Mode.
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In order to switch modes, you’ll need to repeatedly press the ECO quick launch key. Depending on the mode of choice, battery life will be prioritized for certain tasks and for instance in Turbo Battery mode you’ll notice that monitor backlight is down to minimum. Gaming mode, on the other hand, is not quite the power saving mode as the processor runs at max and the panel backlight is at its max.

ECO engine is a nice idea but there’re still a couple of things to polish. Gaming mode, while running on battery, should overclock the GPU to 500MHz, but it stays at 169MHz. We were trying to play and not save battery, and we couldn’t help but wonder what the purpose of Gaming Mode. To cut a long story short – no AC outlet, no gaming.

The Movie Mode enables 130 minutes of video playback, but we measured similar minutes without it. The Turbo Battery mode managed to squeeze out an additional 7 minutes, mostly due to minimum monitor backlight.

ECO engine builds on the three power consumption modes offered by Vista OS. We noticed that while monitoring what happens when turning the ECO modes on.

The Turbo Battery mode should be the best power saver, and upon activating it we noticed that it takes control over the power saving mode offered by Vista (Energiesparmodus in German). This will be clearer after looking at two following pictures.

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The pictures show before and after we turned the Turbo Battery mode on.

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The same goes for the rest of the ECO engine modes. Gaming and Movie mode come in place of high performance (Höchstleistung on German) whereas Presentation and Office modes are Balanced modes (Ausbalanciert on the picture)

The last three modes won’t let the CPU overclock from 1.6GHz which is actually the idle speed of the Core 2 P8400 processor, resulting in lower consumption. Gaming and Movie mode enable the processor to run at its standard speed of 2.26GHz, handy when gaming or watching a movie. We recommend the Turbo mode for gaming, as the CPU additionally overclocks to 2.6GHz.

The following pictures show what we’ve just told you.

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What happens in Turbo mode? In idle mode, the CPU runs at 1596MHz, whereas the Turbo mode, also in idle mode, is 1851MHz (15% overclock) or 1915MHz (20% overclock). We mentioned earlier that BIOS lets you choose whether the Turbo mode will overclock your CPU by 15% or 20%.

The following pictures show the CPU clocks after we turned on the Turbo engine with a 20% overclock, first in idle mode and then during operation.

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The Turbo engine, as we’ve said before, can’t be used without AC power, or else the battery would be depleted in no time. Note that the System Control Manager also has to be installed.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 24 February 2009 12:40
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