MSI GX60 Gaming Notebook

Company: MSI
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: March 10th, 2013


Synthetic Gaming

Despite being a 2010 model, Dell's Studio 1747 features an ATI Radeon HD 550v aka Radeon HD 4650 Mobility. This is a DirectX 10.1 part, and as such modern tests don't run very well if, at all. Here we are going to contrast the APU's Radeon HD 7660G performance to the discrete Radeon HD 7970M GPU. The two GPUs are different in architecture; the Radeon HD 7660G uses the VLIW4 architecture first seen in the Northern Islands series Cayman ASIC, known as VLIW4. The discrete Radeon HD 7970M GPU is based on the Graphics Core Next architecture, debuted in the Southern Islands series Tahiti ASIC. The Radeon HD 7970M is the Pitcairn chip in mobility package form, known as Wimbledon XT and features reduced clocks compared to the desktop card, the core clocks reduced from 1GHz to 850MHz. The discrete GPU package, including 2GB of GDDR5 attached via 256-bit memory bus that runs at 1.2GHz / 4.8Gbps QDR, is rated at 100W TDP and is contained by PowerTune technology.

Image Quality: One of the improvements from Northern Islands to Southern Islands was anisotropic filtering quality, several hardware changes were made to reduce the impact of kernel transistions and prevent shimmer. Below you can see the angle dependence and kernel transition testing results:

7660G Angle Dependence
7970M Angle Dependence
7660G Kernel Transition
7970M Kernel Transition

Click on the above images for a higher resolution image.

AMD's Catalyst driver now supports Enduro, the switchable graphics technology that enables customizable GPU use. The drivers are preset with several popular applications to prefer either the APU GPU or the discrete GPU, but this can be simply managed and changed using the Vision Engine Control Center. For our tests we updated our applications default detections to be based on power source, use the high performance GPU when plugged in and the integrated APU graphics when on internal battery power.


Futuremark's 3DMark 11 Entry, Performance and Extreme presets were used.

Below you can see the percentile differences of the card configurations:

HD 7660G vs. HD 7970M
Entry +304%
Performance +476%
Extreme +682%

As the GPU workload increases, so does the benefit of the discrete GPU.

Below are the per test results broken out: