Print 47 comment(s) - last by omnicronx.. on Jun 12 at 3:10 PM

One press from the "Turbo" button overclocks the Core 2 Duo T7200 by 20%.
MSI GX-600 notebook reintroduces the turbo button

Earlier today MSI demonstrated the new GX600 gaming notebook at Computex 2007. The GX600 packs quite a few features into its welterweight 5.7lb package. But arguably the best feature on the GX600 is the Turbo Drive Engine technology.

When the GX600 is plugged in with AC power, the push of the turbo button automatically turns on Acceleration Mode. Acceleration Mode increases the processor’s front-side bus and raises the overall clock speed by 20%. A quick press of the button a second time returns the processor back to stock clock speeds. 

Intel’s recently announced Santa Rosa platform forms the base of the MSI GX600. The MSI GX600 features Intel’s PM965 Express chipset, a Core 2 Duo processor and 802.11n wireless networking technology.

A GeForce 8600M GT graphics card delivers DirectX 10 compatible graphics. MSI equips the GeForce 8600M GT mobile graphics with 512MB of video memory. MSI pairs the GeForce 8600M GT with a 15.4” WXGA widescreen display. The MSI GX600 also features HDMI and S-video outputs for external display connectivity.

Other notable features of the GX600 include an integrated 1.3 megapixel camera, Gigabit LAN, optional Bluetooth, PCMCIA Type II expansion and a separate NUMPAD on the keyboard.

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By Martimus on 6/6/2007 12:17:51 PM , Rating: 3
Wasn't the original turbo button used to turn on the math co-processor?

RE: Original
By Martimus on 6/6/2007 3:04:39 PM , Rating: 2
Probably about 15 years ago I asked a guy what the "turbo" button on the computer did, and he told me that the 386 had an additional math co-processor on the MB that ran very hot, and the turbo button turned that on or off. Now that I have looked around for this, it seems he was feeding me a line of fooey, since I can't find that anywhere. Most places say the button turned on the cache, or increased the clock speed. Turning it off, they say, was to help old programs that relied on the processor speed for timing.

RE: Original
By Bytre on 6/6/2007 5:03:43 PM , Rating: 5
It was fooey. Pull up a chair and listen to this old geezer reminisce....

The original IBM PC, and subsequent IBM XT, ran 4.77MHz 8088 processors. They did have sockets for an additional math co-processor (the 8087), but they weren't hooked up to the turbo button. None of these chips ran very hot, and didn't have so much as a passive heatsink. They frequently had paper stickers on the top.

Most computer games at the time (this is the time of the Apple ][, TRS-80, Atari 400/800, Commodore Vic-20 / c64) were written with timing loops, as the hardware always had fixed-speed processors.

When XT "clones" hit the market around '83 or '84, they had the added value of higher speed processors - 6MHz, 8MHz, 10MHz... the machines with these faster chips were useless for playing the games (and some less frivolous business or scientific software which also relied on the timing), and thus the need emerged to have an easy way to slow the machine back down to the 4.77MHz speed - and thus the "turbo" button (and accompanying LED) was born.

As the PC platform matured with the IBM AT (286) clones, then the 386, 486, and Pentiums, the turbo button remained - although it was essentially useless. With the later machines' performance, turning turbo OFF did not restore the machine to a 4.77MHz PC/XT equivalent, it just slowed it down. It usually did not slow things down by changing the clock speed, but rather by inserting wait states or other cheap tricks to slow down performance. It was useless for many years before it began vanishing.

RE: Original
By CollegeTechGuy on 6/6/2007 5:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
Its fun to reminisce. I'm only 22, 23 next month, and I remember the Turnbo button. Granted my era was more along the range of 386's and 486s. I had a case that showed you the speed at which you were running. It was either 33 or 66 I believe, don't quote me cause I was just a very young kid that was lucky enough to have his own PC, most of the time a hand me down from my dad. But ya for the most part the Turbo was a useless button except for the ones that slowed down to 4.77Mhz.

I'd like to see a button so I could play some of my old 16bit games though. For some reason they relied upon timing too.

RE: Original
By Nekrik on 6/7/2007 2:28:42 AM , Rating: 3
What you need is the trusty app that allowed everyone to do just that: "MoSlo". It allowed me finish the current Ultima games on my speedy P90 way back when ever that was.

A quick search brought this link up:

I haven't tried that version but it claims to do the same thing.

RE: Original
By Vertigo101 on 6/7/2007 6:04:13 PM , Rating: 2
You savior is here, and infinitely more useful than MoSlo used to be:


You can run those old games from the comfort of XP or Vista, dual core, and SLI to boot. And thanks to some filters, optional of course, those old games look like you remember them.

RE: Original
By tronsr71 on 6/7/2007 6:50:53 PM , Rating: 2
Couldn't one just run VMware server and play their games on a virtual machine running dos?

I currently run ms-dos 7.1 (win98se) in a virtual machine with no problems...

Now I haven't tried running any games under it, but i don't see why it couldn't be done.

RE: Original
By Calin on 6/8/2007 7:59:06 AM , Rating: 2
I've seen even an old Compaq 486 without even a heat sink - true, the processor was really hot at touch. This was at the high time of the Pentium MMX processors

RE: Original
By sxr7171 on 6/8/07, Rating: 0
RE: Original
By JonnyBlaze on 6/6/2007 3:05:50 PM , Rating: 1
No, It boosted the clock frequency.

is it to save battery power?
By noxipoo on 6/6/07, Rating: 0
RE: is it to save battery power?
By FITCamaro on 6/6/2007 11:44:56 AM , Rating: 3
Because if you're working with it plugged in and not gaming, why stress the system more and create more heat and noise?

It makes sense to do this. Personally I like the system where you have two graphics chips on the laptop. An integrated one and a discrete one. You flip a switch to change between them when the laptop is off. That way you can have battery life when not plugged in, and performance when you are.

By blaster5k on 6/6/2007 12:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed (on the two graphics chips). My Sony SZ series laptop has that feature and it's been pretty useful. The battery lasts around a half hour longer with integrated graphics.

RE: is it to save battery power?
By noxipoo on 6/6/2007 2:30:34 PM , Rating: 2
so computers already do that, you don't need a turbo button.

By Christopher1 on 6/7/2007 4:59:04 PM , Rating: 2
Vista already has this function built-in on notebooks. When you click on the power icon in the system tray, it comes up with settings labeled: Balanced (balance between speed and power consumption), Power Saver (Emphasis is on power consumption and slows down the processor a lot) and High Performance (turns everything on full blast and runs at top speeds).

Personally, 99% of the time I keep my computer in "Power Saver" mode. The only time I switch to Balance or High Performance is when I am playing emulated games or regular PC games.

By Anh Huynh on 6/7/2007 2:12:23 AM , Rating: 2
This doesn't conserve power at all. The Turbo button overclocks the processor.

The processor in the notebook is a 2 GHz Core 2 Duo with an 800 MHz front-side bus. When you press the Turbo button, it raises the front-side bus 20% to 960 MHz for 2.4 GHz.

It's not a bad idea if you're on the go a lot, but want a little more CPU power when the system is plugged in. The difference between a Core 2 Duo T7200 (2.0 GHz) and T7600 (2.33 GHz) is $425 (Dell upgrade option on XPS).

I'm not saying it's useless..
By zsouthboy on 6/6/2007 11:28:01 AM , Rating: 4
But other than the marketing usefullness of such a button, why bother?

Just use the higher clockspeeds when plugged in, and slower when unplugged.

Tada! No button needed.

By Jeff7181 on 6/6/2007 11:29:45 AM , Rating: 3
But... it's TURBO... I want one. ;)

RE: I'm not saying it's useless..
By MetaDFF on 6/6/2007 2:10:23 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly what I was thinking.
Besides, modern CPUs already have dynamic clocking based on the work load, so power savings come automagically when you arn't using it for something like gaming but are still plugged in.

Keypad on a 15"
By Nyceis on 6/6/2007 12:48:25 PM , Rating: 2
What I don't understand more than the turbo button is why MSI crams a keypad onto a 15" laptop. Seems to make the keys smaller than normal...

RE: Keypad on a 15"
By nayy on 6/6/2007 1:22:57 PM , Rating: 2
Personally I would love to have keypad in my 15" laptop, even if it means to have slightly smaller keys, but it could be a problem for people with big hands.
I don't think that making this an optional feature would be too hard, but you would end up with an uncentered mouse

RE: Keypad on a 15"
By Aprime on 6/6/2007 4:36:48 PM , Rating: 2
They could use better designers, that's why.

RE: Keypad on a 15"
By jak3676 on 6/7/2007 3:20:07 PM , Rating: 2
I totally disagree. I've been looking for a 15.4 with a numberpad for a while now. LG makes a few models with them now, but they are pretty expensive in the U.S. (limited importers)

TURBO on Batteries
By xxeonn on 6/6/07, Rating: 0
RE: TURBO on Batteries
By ZiggyDeath on 6/6/2007 2:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
have you tried using RMCLOCK? you can gain significant control over your power management: both on AC and battery

RE: TURBO on Batteries
By Christopher1 on 6/7/2007 5:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
Again, that slowdown is only without Vista. Vista (god I'm beginning to sound like a Microsoft fanboy when I say this) has many of these "Turbo" functions built-in.

It can slow down the processor and front-side bus quite dramatically to get better battery life.

In Balanced mode, I get about 3 hours on a charge. In Power Saver mode, I know this sounds outlandish, but I get 7 hours worth of battery life!

I couldn't believe it until I saw myself typing on the internet, saw what time it was and was like "Holy *BLEEP*, I've been typing that long on one charge?!"

Digital Display
By InternetGeek on 6/7/2007 1:57:37 AM , Rating: 2
What's next? The return of the digital displays to show CPU speed?

Yep, there was a time when that was done as well and hitting the turbo button would increase the number displayed.

So a lot of people felt for it because, if you knew how, you could say your 286 was running at 999Mhz...

RE: Digital Display
By Crassus on 6/7/2007 4:15:51 PM , Rating: 2
But it was so painful to set all jumpers on the back the right way to get the numbers turbo on/off right.

By ascian5 on 6/6/2007 12:14:36 PM , Rating: 3
It is neat. Too bad I'll never buy another MSI product again after every piece of equipment I've gotten from them has turned up defective.

The Obvious Answer
By UppityMatt on 6/6/2007 12:43:24 PM , Rating: 3
Why not make 10 a higher setting? Because its 11 its better than 10

By Egglick on 6/6/2007 3:26:57 PM , Rating: 3
I'm bringin turbo back
Them other f**kers don't know how to act

By GoatMonkey on 6/6/2007 11:24:49 AM , Rating: 2
But how much horsepower does it make, and is there a NOS option?

RE: 1320
By Treckin on 6/6/07, Rating: 0
MSI and overclocking
By WetWork on 6/6/2007 12:24:18 PM , Rating: 2
MSI, and OVERCLOCKING? LOL, how about MSI and "get your crappy notebook line to work!"

Marketing Gimmick
By Tyhr on 6/6/2007 2:59:09 PM , Rating: 2
Marketing Gimmick

Essentially a fancy way of saying that they slow down the processor when using batteries.

Physical button
By Hare on 6/6/2007 3:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
So... Now you can use a physical button instead of using software profiles. Wup di duu. Just a marketing gimmick but some people might like it.

I personally would never buy a computer that looked like a tuned -89 Ford Escort. Red tribal paint, carbon fiber/aluminium stickers. All it needs is a huge spoiler and a cut tailpipe.

Hopefully remappable
By mindless1 on 6/6/2007 9:53:14 PM , Rating: 2
As others mentioned, the key is a gimmick for most users since the power profile software is normally used. Hopefully the key can be remapped to serve any function the user desires. Personally I'd like to start seeing an externally accessible button with a series of 5 LEDs showing wifi signal presence & strength while notebook was shut off. I mean make it standard equipment on all notebooks.

By crazydrummer4562 on 6/8/2007 7:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
i remember my first computer had a turbo button on it...don't remember what was in it, hence i was about 5 or 6 years old. I remember the blue turbo button though haha.

What a laptop!
By glitchc on 6/6/2007 11:21:35 AM , Rating: 1

Where can I buy it??!!
By hubajube on 6/6/07, Rating: 0
i remember...
By colonelclaw on 6/6/07, Rating: -1
RE: i remember...
By ND40oz on 6/6/2007 12:18:29 PM , Rating: 5
Turbo button allowed gameplay/usability for games/apps that used clockspeed. If the pc was too fast, the game became unplayable because the game was coded to run in proportion to the clockspeed.

RE: i remember...
By codeThug on 6/6/2007 2:11:04 PM , Rating: 2
So.... The button was more like a "governor" on a lawn mower to keep it from going "too" fast.

That makes more sense than the notion of spraying nitrous oxide into your CPU as MSI would like you to imagine.

RE: i remember...
By Thorburn on 6/6/2007 12:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe thats in the next model.
Kicks it up to 3GHz for those extra FPS but be careful not to hold it down too long or you might crash, awesome.

I'd buy three.

RE: i remember...
By MDE on 6/6/2007 12:21:43 PM , Rating: 2
Back in the old days it wasn't uncommon for programs to sync up with the CPU clock, so when CPUs got faster those programs went into warp speed. The turbo button let you lower the clock speed for those programs and go back to full speed when you wanted it. I may not have it 100% accurate, but that is the general idea.

RE: i remember...
By BMFPitt on 6/6/2007 12:25:53 PM , Rating: 2
The only reason I can see for having "turbo" features are to save power and reduce noise. Most mobile processors have had this feature for years and didn't require the use of a button - they just downscale when the CPU is idle or near idle. Who wants to do this manually in all reality?

RE: i remember...
By omnicronx on 6/12/2007 3:10:05 PM , Rating: 2
as someone said before.. if you want an notebook that speeds up when you plug it in .. this is for you..
dont get this confused with windows vista software or whatever where they decrease and increase the multiplyer to change speeds. this computer increases the fsb by a fair margin.. 2400mhz @ 200mhzfsb (ex.. 200x14) is not as fast as 2400mhz @ 240fsb (240x10) (these are examples). A gamer or someone who needs a power hungry laptop could and probably would use this feature. and to answer why is it not just always on with power plugged in? well.. any oc;er can tell you, you cant raise fsb without increasing heat.. usually visavi cpu vcore.. so would i want this on in a laptop all the time? hell no.. it will only decrease the lifespan of your laptop

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