MSI GT660 Review
Seems like MSI has put a lot of effort with the GT660 — not just with the hardware specifications but with the design and the audio system as well. Check out the full review of the MSI GT660 after the jump and see if it’s worth the Php110,000 price tag.
The GT660 is just huge and for a 16-inch notebook, it’s just heavy (7.7lbs) and is like a beast of a laptop. It may not be as cool-looking as an Alienware M17x but it’s got some design inspiration from the latter with all that chiseled corners. Even the lid cover reminded me of the Mazda 3’s hood.
Open up the lid and you’d be greeted with an extended keyboard that includes an alpha-numeric keypad on the right side. It’s a nice addition but if you’re a regular laptop-user, the orientation is confusing that you always tend to hit the wrong keys when typing. One needs some time to get used to the extra keys and learn to familiarize where the Enter button is.
The chiclet-type keys are appropriately sized with special color labels on the gaming keys (asdw) and the arrow keys.
And while it’s glossy black on the outside, it’s rough and textured in the inside — the palm rest has this honeycomb finish and the trackpad feels like sand-paper and is somewhat flushed to the left. The left and right click buttons are not separated but shaped accordingly to differentiate the two.
Above the keyboard are light indicators with the power button in the center. On both sides are two huge stereo speakers powered by Dynaudio. The speakers are impressive, offering good sound volume to appreciate movie playback even at a distance. The audio quality is somewhere between good to great with a strong, deep bass and probably is the best laptop speakers I’ve tried so far.
The 16-inch display is bright and crisp with a maximum resolution of 1366×768 pixels (I was actually expecting it could be higher, somewhere in the 1600×1200 range, because of the large real estate). The glossy display is also prone to glare in the outdoors and against bright light sources.
The MSI GT660 is powered by Intel’s Core i7 720QM with 4 cores and 8 threads that runs at a base clock speed of 1.6GHz for each core but can boost up to 2.8GHz. This chip is among the most powerful processors to be fitted in a laptop.
Couple that with an nVidia GeForce GTX 285M with 1GB GDDR3 VRAM, 6GB of DDR3 memory and you get a beast of a gaming machine. The GT660 is also the very first notebook I’ve seen that sports two (2) hard disk drives — it has two 500GB HDD for a total of 1 terabyte (would be interesting if it can do Raid 0/1 here). Full laptop specs are posted here.
Windows Experience Index gives it a base score of 5.9 due to the HDD but the CPU got a sub-score of 7.0 and the graphics got a 6.9 sub-score. Posted PassMark performance test here but the WEI should be enough to compare with your own rig.
As expected, battery life suffers from all the power requirements. Even with a high-capacity 9-cell (7800mAh) Li-Ion battery, the notebook only lasts just over 2 hours on a single full charge (as indicated by BatteryBar in the screenshot above).
As a desktop replacement and gaming rig, I reckon you’d always be plugging this notebook to a power outlet so battery life isn’t a big issue for a laptop in this category although I can appreciate MSI’s effort to put in a 9-cell battery here.
To make it more interesting, MSI retrofitted several red lights around the notebook to make it look meaner (front and side as well as the edges of the lid) but forgot to include a backlit keyboard.
The MSI GT660 has a premium price tag of Php109,990 but the specs of this gaming rig is very impressive to somewhat justify that. It’s not your regular multimedia notebook and this kind of combination is hard to come by.