MSI GX620X is advertised as a gaming laptop, so we decided to test its graphics power by running a couple of Vantage tests first.
The scores show that the Turbo Engine mode does a good job of increasing the CPU performance. However, Vantage calculates results based on both the CPU and the GPU scores, and although CPU performance benefited from overclocking, the GPU results stayed the same and such a scenario resulted in minimum total score increase. The pictures speak more than words, so you can see for yourself.
MSI’s Turbo engine doesn’t affect the graphics card’s GPU.
A 20% CPU overclock increases its score by 8%, but total Vantage test scores increase by less than 1%.
The following picture shows Vantage scores in Presentation mode, where the processor stays at 1596MHz. Let us remind you that the CPU, when in gaming mode, runs at 2.26GHz, whereas turning the Turbo mode results in a 15% or 20% overclock, overclocking the CPU to 2.6GHz or 2.7GHz respectively.
3D Mark 06
3DMark tests scores a bit higher than 5K, which would be a great result a couple of years ago, but today it’s not quite impressive. Still, it shows that the 9600M GT packs some gaming potential, and you’ll probably comfortably play some older titles. The Gaming mode scores less than the Turbo mode, which is again due to lower CPU clock in Gaming mode.
Before we see how the GX620X handles FarCry 2 in DX10 and DX9, we’ll see how PC Vantage rated our system.
Far Cry 2
We only played Far Cry 2 at 1280x1024, since 1680x1050, although supported by the GX620X, is too tough cookie for the Geforce 9600M GT. As we’ve said so far, if the laptop isn’t plugged into the wall outlet, the performance is so low that gaming at 1280x1024 and low detail settings will still be an impossible task.
Even at 1024x760, we managed to squeeze out less than 20fps, whereas 800x600 resulted in a framerate of 20-23 fps.
In Vista DX10 mode, on AC mode, performance is a couple of fps lower than in DX9 mode. At 1280x1024 and high settings, we managed to muster about 22fps, whereas medium graphics settings resulted in average 33fps – of course, we’re talking about DX9. The Turbo option helped a bit, and resulted in 1-3fps more depending on the location within the level.
Call of Duty - World at War
Just like Far Cry 2, you won’t be playing this game at higher than 1280x1024. With no antialiasing and aniso filters, performance averaged at 23.74 ps in Gaming mode and 24.58 in Turbo mode. Still, you can game nicely despite the low framecount. All the options, such as shadows, dynamic leaves, and such were on.
HDD Test - We tested MSI GX620X notebook with the OCZ SSD disk here.
GPU temperatures were kept in check, and we didn’t measure higher than 71 degrees Celsius. Again, note that the laptop can get quite hot on the right side, where the CPU and the graphics card are located.
Riva Tuner obviously didn’t read the graphics card’s memory clocks correctly, which overclock to 800MHz in 3D mode (1600MHz effectively). GPUZ did a better job, and it’s evident from the following picture.
Processor temperatures under maximum workload (we used the prime 95 test) went up to 68 degrees, again acceptable levels.
Today, we’ve seen how MSI’s GX620X laptop handles gaming, and we must admit that with a nearby power outlet, it does quite a job. You’ll need power to start the Turbo engine, that can overclock your CPU by 15% or 20% as the choice is yours. Turbo engine is MSI’s unique feature but it will be of better use during CPU intensive operations rather than gaming.
The overclock applies for the CPU only and not the graphics card, so it only brings minor in-game benefits. However, if Turbo was to apply for graphics cards too, it would’ve been an instant hit, but it would probably additionally boost temperatures as well so MSI didn’t opt for such a move.
Gaming at 1280x1024 is not a problem, and you’ll be playing newer titles as well but with lowered detail settings.
Looks-wise, the GX620X looks nice and sturdy, as well as its 15.4in monitor supporting the 1680x1050 resolution. We found a couple of cons to be certain key's size, but that's about it. One of the most appealing features are the sensor keys, where you'll find the on-the-fly Turbo key, which overclocks the CPU from 2.26 to 2.7GHz.
Priced at about €950, and with such nice technical characteristics, MSI GX620X rightfully deserves our award, but we wouldn't go and say it's a real gaming laptop. We hope that the future version will get a bit graphics and this will probably happen sooner rather than later.
Reviewers: Sanjin Radoš and Edita Radoš