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New laptops expected to approach Ivy Bridge performance, but come up a bit shy of it

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) is still struggling to compete with the "double-whammy" of ARM chipmakers like Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (KSC:A005930) and Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), as well as perennial x86 rival Intel Corp. (INTC).

Even as AMD plots a precarious shift to the ARM architecture amid this troubled run, it is still seeing strong sales of its "Fusion" accelerated processing units (APU) which pair AMD CPU cores with on-die GPU cores.

Its latest design win comes courtesy of Micro-Star International Comp. Ltd. (TPE:2377) (MSI), who announced a pair of Richland (A10) based laptops in its Gaming G Series.
MSI GX70
MSI GX70
MSI GX70
First -- a quick recap on what Richland is; Richland (in this case the quad-core AMD A10-5750M) is AMD's second generation 32 nanometer APU design. Like its predecessor Trinity, it is based on the Piledriver core design.  AMD's experience with the 32 nm node has allowed it to bump clock speeds roughly 10 percent.  Richland also gets a new Neptune on-die graphics processing unit (dGPU) -- Radeon HD 8970M.

Like the new "Iris" dGPUs set to launch shortly, the Radeon HD 8970M has its own dedicated memory -- 2 GB of GDDR5, to be precise.  However, the memory in the AMD Neptune GPUs is likely slightly slower as it's in an MXM module, versus directly on-die with Iris.

Unfortunately, it's not a true Graphics Core Next GPU like its HD 8000 series counterparts.  Instead it uses a reduced version of HD 7000 series core designs (not true GCN), with a bumped clock.

Here are the full specs on MSI's pair of G Series models:
 
 

GX70 3BE-007US

GX60 3AE-216US

Processor

AMD A10-5750 (2.5-3.5 GHZ)

Operation System

Windows 8

Chipset

A76M FCH

A70M FCH

Display

17.3" Full HD Non Reflection

15.6" Full HD Non Reflection

Resolution

1920x1080 (16:9)

Graphic

AMD Radeon™ HD 8970M (2G GDDR5)

AMD Radeon™ HD 7970M (2G GDDR5)

Hard Disk Drive

750GB (7200 RPM)

Memory

8GB  DDR3 1600MHz

Optical Drive

Blu-ray Disc Reader

LAN / Bluetooth

Killer™ E2200 Game Networking

Wireless

AW-NB114H Combo (b/g/n)+BT4.0

AW-NB100H (802.11 b/g/n)

Card Reader

SD (XC/HC)

Audio Ports

Headset AMP + Gold Flash jacks

USB

USB 3.0 x 3
USB 2.0 x 2

USB 3.0 x 3
USB 2.0 x 1

HDMI

HDMI 1.4 / mDP v1.2

Webcam

720P HD Webcam

Speaker

THX Speakers x 2 + Subwooferx1

Battery

9 cell

Keyboard

SteelSeries Gaming Backlit

SteelSeries (Chiclet)

Touchpad

Multi Touch

Dimension (WxDxH)

16.85"x11.34"x2.17"

14.97"x10.24"x1.77"

Weight (w battery)

8.6 lbs.

7.7 lbs.

MSRP

$1,399.99

$1,299.99

Don't expect the performance gaming-wise to match Ivy Bridge. Trinity trailed Ivy Bridge; Richland is expected to close that gap, but not all the way.  And with Haswell around the corner AMD looks to continue to compete with Intel for customers and design wins in much the way it did in the Trinity vs. Ivy Bridge era -- on a price basis (Intel's chips, while outperforming AMD's, are significantly more expensive leading to higher laptop price points).


Source: MSI



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RE: MSI 4 LIFE
By BRB29 on 5/23/2013 7:59:05 AM , Rating: 2
If you don't care about case design aesthetic then Sager builds better laptops. They will actually upgrade any soldered parts for you too. Sager is the best gaming laptop maker but they spend nothing on marketing.


RE: MSI 4 LIFE
By GreenEnvt on 5/23/2013 8:53:43 AM , Rating: 2
Oh man I forgot about Sager. I had a sager back maybe 15 years ago. At the time sager actually built many of the name-brand laptops, not sure if that's the case anymore.


RE: MSI 4 LIFE
By Motoman on 5/23/2013 11:16:38 AM , Rating: 2
I have to disagree on that.

Although naturally it's anecdata...

I bought exactly one Sager gaming laptop for a customer about a year and a half ago.

A week after the 1-year warranty expired, the MXM card died. Sager charged $600 for the replacement card.

Which died again about 4 months later. Thankfully, the new MXM card came with a 6-month warranty...so the 2nd replacement card was free.

But I have no confidence in the machine anymore, and i expect that the MXM card will probably burn out again soon, and we'll wind up throwing the thing away and maybe buying one of these units. There is something else wrong with that Sager unit...probably on the motherboard I'm guessing, but they don't want to do anything else about it. When the current MXM card dies, we sure as hell aren't giving them another $600.


RE: MSI 4 LIFE
By inperfectdarkness on 5/23/2013 2:38:09 PM , Rating: 2
I had a sager. the only reason i spent $800 on replacing goddamn video card was because it was 16:10 matte display, wuxga.

sager may look cool and all, but my experience has left me with a very bitter taste in my mouth.


RE: MSI 4 LIFE
By Motoman on 5/23/2013 4:13:03 PM , Rating: 2
Wow...apparently I was getting a bargain at only $600...


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