Thursday, August 25, 2011

MSI GE620-i748W7P Notebook Review

15-inch multimedia notebooks have always been popular. MSI GE620-i748W7P laptop offers a rich platform technology-based Sandy Bridge. The new portable attract buyers with a quad-core CPU, a map of the middle class and Nvidia video Optimus technology.

Buyers interested in purchasing a multimedia notebook that offers good performance for less than $ 800 can find the GE620 MSI notebook ideal for them. This model of 15-inch MSI is available in a variety of configurations, but in this study, we examine only the first two most important models.

The basic model, GE620-i547W7P, is available for less than 700 a year online stores. For this price, the buyer may be a middle class system: four gigabytes of DDR3 RAM, 500 GB hard drive, DVD player and a modern dual-core processor. 2.3 to 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5-2410M (3 MB L3 cache) provides the average user more than enough performance. GeForce 540M manages the graphics easily and comes with DirectX 11 support.

On the other hand, the GE620-i748W7P, which is around 100 euros more expensive sports a faster processor. The Core i7-2630QM is a high performance quad-core CPU running at 2.0 to 2.9 GHz (6 MB L3 cache). The hard disk capacity increases from 500 to 640 GB.

The display (1366 x 768 pixels), battery (6 cells) and the operating system (Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit) are the same. To determine whether this 15-inch model costs money, read on.

Specifications MSI GE620-i748W7P :
  • Processor : Intel Core i7 2630QM 2 GHz
  • Mainboard : Intel HM65
  • Memory : 4096 MB, 2x 2048 MByte DDR3-RAM (1333 MHz), max. 8 GB, 2 Slots
  • Graphics adapter : NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M - 1024 MB, Core: 672 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, Shader frequency: 1344 MHz, DDR3-VRAM, ForceWare 267.04
  • Display : 15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, Samsung 156AT05-H01 (SEC3651), LED Backlight, glossy: yes
  • Harddisk : WDC WD6400BEVT-22A0RT0, 640GB 5400rpm
  • Soundcard : Realtek ALC892 @ Intel Cougar Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
  • Connections : 1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Headphone/SPDIF-out, Microphone/Line-in, Card Reader: SD, SDXC, SDHC, MMC, MS, MS Pro, xD,
  • Networking : Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Atheros AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (bgn)
  • Optical drive : TSSTcorp CDDVDW TS-L633F
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 38 x 383 x 250
  • Weight : 2.6 kg Power Supply: 0.544 kg
  • Battery : 49 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4400 mAh, 6 cell
  • Price : 730 Euro
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
  • Additional features : Webcam: 30fps@720p (1280 x 720), Power adapter: 120 W, Guarantee card and booklet, Quick Start Guide, Recovery manual, Info booklet for Windows 7, Drivers & Tool-DVD, 24 Months Warranty
The black box and gray do not will delight users. MSI chose the cheaper plastic surface that looks like brushed aluminum, due to the line of fine structure on its surface. Nearby, the case does not seem high quality and design are kept to a minimum: only two bands of money (above the keyboard and touchpad below) adorn the otherwise plain.

We liked the matte finish that prevents the accumulation of fingerprints and dust particles. Only the sensitive areas, such as monitor, keyboard and screen borders are victims of these annoyances. Overall, the case shows good craftsmanship. The chassis is sturdy decent top and bottom yields to pressure little here and there but overall the case is strong.

Like many other phones, the top of the screen is not well designed. He gave much when pressed with both hands. The hinges are another problem. Although they are rigid (changes in laptop when the screen is open), the screen, which is responsible for maintaining tremble when the bottom of the laptop is moved.

Even writing is normal to shake the screen. The laptop measures (38.3 x 25.0 x 3.8 cm) and weight (2.6 kg) are decent and transport your notebook should not be a problem.

Buyers interested in obtaining the best processor for the future generation must choose an Intel quad-core Sandy Bridge past. Core i7-32 2630QM nm is the entry model to the world of quad-core. The processor can be dynamically increased from 2.0 GHz to 2.9 GHz (depending on temperature and load) using the Turbo Boost.

Hyperthreading is another important feature that allows the processor to simulate virtual quad-core. Therefore, the processor can handle up to 8 threads simultaneously (4 + 4 real virtual cores). Unlike the i5 models, Core i7 has a larger L3 cache (6 MB to 3 MB), and i7 transistors are about 60% higher (995 versus 624 million).

Ideal: the Optimus graphics switching technology, the user can switch between integrated graphics HD 3000 graphics chip and a dedicated graphics card. According to Intel, the value TDP of 45 W.

CPU Performance
The performance of the Core i7 CPU 2630QM can leave office is behind in the dust. In single-core Cinebench R10 rendering 64-bit, quad-core delivered a fabulous performance: 4660 points. It is slightly better than Core i5-2410M (dual core with 2.3 to 2.9 GHz - 4537 points) is integrated in the Asus K53SV-SX131V.

In multi-core and dual-core is not a coincidence: 16,202 vs. 9620 points, a difference of 68%. Gap widens again in the Cinebench benchmark 2630QM at R11.5 64Bit Core i7 4.62 points, while Core i5-2410M can manage only 2.48 points (-46%).

Video Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 540
The graphics card for this model is a DirectX 11-ready middle-class model: GeForce GT 540 (GF108-based Nvidia Chip - Fermi Architecture). The card is equipped with 1024 MB VRAM running at 900 MHz. Unfortunately, the memory interface is just 128. Even if VRAM is a fast DDR3 memory interface model limits the performance.

GeForce 540 GT still has 96 shaders running at 1344 MHz. The heart operates at 672 MHz. GeForce GTX 540 also offers a wide range of features such as hardware decoding of HD (PureVideo HD), to deliver HD audio via HDMI and running physics calculations (PhysX).

Graphics chip is manufactured in the last 32 nm form, and the effect of heat loss is about 35 W. Overall, Nvidia offers a well rounded package.

Nvidia Optimus
The most important feature is probably the Nvidia GE620 Optimus. This technology allows the system to automatically change the integrated graphics chip and dedicated video card. When the computer is in the Office programs, or surf the Internet, HD 3000 integrated graphics, but when the game starts, the power GeForce 540M.
This is pure comfort for the user. Nvidia offers users the ability to configure the graphics unit is used to execute a program. Users can right click and run the application with the graphics of the desired unit. Also, the NVIDIA control panel allows users to create a profile tailored for optimum performance.

Users who do not trust their place Optimus can pick up the graphics card to run all applications. The only problem is that there are some 3D applications that refuse to run on the dedicated graphics card.

GPU performance
The performance of the graphics card is far below the level of the processor. In heaven Unigine 2.1 benchmark (1280 x 1024, Up, normal tessellation DirectX 11), the GeForce 540M GT was not fast enough to display an image smoothly. Nvidia GPU is faster than his toughest competition from AMD, the Radeon HD 6650M (Packard Bell LS11-HR-050GE): 13.4 vs 11.9 fps. GPU score of 3DMark 11 (1280 x 720, the performance preset) favors the AMD GPU: 1013 vs 899 points (13%).

HDD performance
As expected, the GE620 is only one hard drive slot. MSI has installed a Seagate 500GB (WD6400BEVT-22A0RT0) laptop. This is a model with a laptop manufacturers actually. Still, no hard drive is set to a new level as 5400 rpm, and the sequential read and write rates are about 77 MB / s - performance that can easily win the 7200 rpm hard drive. 15-inch model really takes the momentum when the SSD (Solid State Drive) is installed to speed up the Windows experience.

System operation
The performance of the entire system has been tested in PCMark Vantage. Portable Multimedia score 7094 points, which are typical for this notebook category. Sony VAIO-F22S1E / B, which is similar to our test model, a higher score can make it faster hard drive and RAM (8 GB vs. 4): 7488 points (6%).

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