- Build quality, Case and design and looks
- Keyboard and Trackpad
- Sound and Speakers
- General subjective performance experience
- Gaming Performance
- Test methods and drivers
- Synthetic 3D benchmarks
- Summarized gaming performance
- Crysis 3
- Bioshock Infinite
- Civilization : Beyond Earth
- Total War : Rome II
- Total War : Attila
- Metro : Last Light
- Battlefield 4 Campaign
- Alien : Isolation
- World of Tanks
- Elite : Dangerous
- Cities : Skylines
- Shadow Of Mordor
- Dragon Age : Inquisition
- Dota 2 Reborn
- Thermals, Throttling & Noise handling
- Screen / Screen quality
- Competing gaming laptops / alternatives
++ Main reason to consider:
Really, if lower weight and a bit smaller frame is a must, then you might want to consider it.
-- Main reason to avoid:
Not very good performance/price and value/price ratio. Competition is too hard in almost every aspect and for lower price, especially if the 0.5kg in weight are not that important. Keyboard, or screen and more, are all not exceptional, nor the combination, while the price is around $1200-$1300.
MSI PX60 2QD (GTX 950M GDDR5, 16GB RAM)
+ Good 1080p IPS display
+ Good gaming performance with Broadwell I7 and the GTX 950M GDDR5, though not the fastest
+ Backlit Keyboard is relatively good and comfortable with good spacing, keys feedback, nice textures and travel depth
+ Relatively low weight for a 15.6" gaming laptop, at around 0.5kg less than others
+ Touchpad surface is pleasant to the fingers.
+ Relatively low weight of around 2.1kg
+ DisplayPort connection, alongside HDMI
+ 4.0 speakers with a somewhat pleasant sound
+ Rather modern looks
+ M.2 connection port
+ Defaults with 16GB RAM
- Build quality is average. Not a con by itself, but I'm trying to negate the "prestige" marketing
- Bad touchpad positioning/implementation results in annoying typing experience as the left hand touches the pad
- CPU might hit 96C under full load (Prime95 + Furmark), but it's solvable with ThrottleStop
- The speakers, although not bad, don't sound great either
- Keyboard has issues - keys 'stiffness', unequal experience across keys, resistance in some parts is lacking or behaving strangely (but the keyboard is rather good overall)
- Some keyboard areas get rather hot to a point of being unpleasant, under high load (like gaming)
- No USB 3.1 (some laptops has it and more will have it soon)
- Bad battery performance, topping 3 hours more or less, probably some bios/EC thing, like it was in the MSI GE40
- Plasticy looks and finish is not high end
- Maintenance is not easy with RAM access being rather hard
|Model||MSI Prestige PX60 2QD|
|Price||Basic version: ~$1200|
|CPU||I7-5700HQ (2.7GHZ-3.5GHZ, 47W)|
|GPU||Nvidia Geforce GTX 950M 2GB GDDR5, GM107 (Maxwell I), 640 shaders, core@915-928MHZ, GDDR5@1252MHZ, 128-bit bus
In my unit - revision A2
|Motherboard & Chipset||MS-16H6, Intel HM97|
|RAM||Kingston 2x8GB DDR3@1600MHZ
2 banks of memory available, totally
|Storage||HDD : 1TB HGST HTS721010A9E630 (non SSHD), 7200RPM, 32MB cache
|LCD Panel||In review: 1080p IPS Samsung Display 15.6" 156HL01-102 / SAMSUNG SDC324C|
|Weight / Dimensions||2.1kg (~4.63 Lbs.), PSU around 500-600 grams
390 x 266 x 20.5 mm
15.35" x 10.47" x 0.81" (highest)
(w x d x h)
|Keyboard||White backlit (4 levels including off)|
|Connection Ports||right side: RJ-45, mini DisplayPort, HDMI 1.4, card reader, 1xUSB 3.0
Left: 1xLexington key, power-in, 2XUSB 3.0, microphone, headphone
|WiFi / Ethernet||WiFi: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 AC 2x2 HMC WiFi Adapter (802.11ac)
Ethernet: Qualcomm/Atheros e2200 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller
|Speakers / Audio||4.0 DynaAudio speakers|
|Bios / EC version (test unit)||E16H6IMS.10E (05/28/2015) /|
MSI Prestige PX60 Review. The PX60 is MSI’s high end and high style multimedia/gaming laptop. It incorporates several qualities like a very good 1080p IPS display, good keyboard, low weight, small frame, mDP connection port and 4.0 Dynaudio speakers. The Prestige line is supposed to deliver the feeling of professionality alongside high 3D power, as I see it.
This specific Prestige model, PX60, comes with a Broadwell I7-5700HQ, Nvidia GTX 950M GDDR5, 16GB RAM, 1080p IPS display, 1TB 7200RPM, relatively low weight for a 15.6″ gaming laptop (only around 2.1kg) and less than 20mm in height. The PX60 also has an eDP connection as mentioned before, and two M.2 connection ports. Please note, that the GTX 950M is the GDDR5 version and not the DDR3 version which is much slower, like the one found in the Asus K501LX, HP Envy 15t, MSI’s own GP60 and more and difference can be around 25-35% in 3D performance easily.
The GTX 950M GDDR5, however, is nothing new. It’s the same GTX 850M GDDR5 that was in use in older models, like the MSI GE40 (that disappeared mysteriously). The expected performance is close to the GTX 860M from below (around 10-15% below). So, for $1200 it’s a hard sale for gamers obviously. The PX60 is aimed more towards those who appreciate the lower weight, lower frame and (supposedly) high end features.
We’ll see in this review if indeed the PX60 can live up for its name!
Build quality is common for a $1000 gaming laptop. Parts of the cassis will yield under pressure, like th bottom and the front edges and generally, the cassis isn’t very firm, but it’s not like it will break or something. Hinges are also average and seem ok to me. Screen’s outer lid is not firm enough in my opinion, but again – on the same level as some other laptops like the Lenovo Y50. The cassis is all made of plastic.
The MSI PX60 tries to look stylish and has a mild success only. It still looks too plasticy and not too sophisticated for my taste. I wouldn’t ditch a laptop for that, but that’s hardly “prestige”, yet again.
Maintenance and inner parts
Opening the back panel requires removing something like 10 screws and using some card or knife to pull the bottom plate as it’s not easy with just bare hands. You’ll have to be careful and disconnect some cable upon opening the back panel. Discovered are two fans and the 2.5″ bay with the 1TB HDD. The M.2 slot is located at the motherboard corner, more or less in the middle of the laptop but on the other side of the motherboard. Accessing the RAM and M.2 slot requires to unscrew some internal screws and disconnecting some ore cables to pull the motherboard out. The RAM slots are located under some kind of cooling plate and the M.2 slot at the corner.
Two fans are taking care of the heat, taking air from below and blowing to the left and right. The two heatpipes are shared between the CPU and the GPU. This cooling system is inferior to the much better GT72 system, for example, that has more heatpipes but also smarter configuration with dedicated and shared heatpipes.
Connection ports 3xUSB 3.0, HDMI and DisplayPort are the best highlights here. This is a bit lacking set of ports for a high end gaming laptop really.
Keyboard. Keyboard. I’ve been using it for few days now and it’s not bad at all. The keys has generally good resistance, feedback, surface texture and clear pressure points. Travel depth is also good. However, they feel a little “stiff” as in resisting too much until the feedback point. Afterwards, strangely the resistance decreases and it confuses and not too comfortable. Also, the typing experience is not equal for all parts of the keyboard. But, it is not something you can’t get used to, so I wouldn’t say that it makes the keyboard uncomfortable.
Touchpad. Gentle surface texture, nice to touch, in this large touchpad. The buttons are integrated under the pad which is not comfortable for those who want to click both buttons at the same time. However, it doesn’t happen a lot and each button is easily clicked. I found myself mistakenly touching the touchpad with my left hand which is very very annoying and really hurts the productivity (which is already very low in my case), maybe it should been positioned more to the right.
Undecided. Which really means I cannot convince myself these are really higher end speakers or more precisely, that the listening experience is that good. Yes, the speakers have some strengths. The four speakers produce rich sound in some aspects which subjectively sound to me like the mids or mid-lows are the strong part and generally, they sound pleasant for many kinds of music. However, the speakers don’t sound accurate to me and the lows (bass) sometimes sound strange – I couldn’t pin point what I feel. At all times, the sound is “boxy” and although it can be expected from speakers that are housed in a plastic shell, some other speakers do not sound like that.
Also, the sound sounded to me muffled or “squashed” in the sense that it was hard to separate the different sounds one from each other, so the result was annoying in many instances.
I’m sorry, but the speakers are probably something like average+ at most, only because most other laptop speakers are not as good, but I didn’t feel the prestige. Maybe I am decided.
The PX60 comes with 1TB 7200RPM HDD, the same one that is used in many other laptops – the HGST HTS721010A9E630. Common everyday operations feel ok, like with other machines with a 7200RPM HDD, but an SSHD + small SSD would be better.
Here are GPU-Z and CPU-Z screenshots
OS is Windows 8.1 fully updated and drivers in use are the Nvidia 353.62. All games were tested on 1080p resolution and I’m sorry for no more than 1080p tests, I just don’t have suitable external monitor. GPU throttled somewhat while running Furmark, but under gaming situation it was only throttled a bit, not reaching it’s boost clocks (927MHZ). Throttling is a little issue for gaming performance because of heat.
We already know the performance of the GTX 860M/960M in Crysis 3 and the GTX 950M GDDR5 is the same with very similar results. On highest settings with SMAAx2TX, the average is around 19FPS.
The Bioshock Infinite benchmark shows a little advantage for the GTX 860M which has around 45FPS in this built-in benchmark.
The new iteration of Total War : Rome II, Attila is a much more demanding game and FPSs are much lower.
Metro : Last Light is a very demanding game with AO and tessellation taking a lot of the GPU juice. It might be a matter of optimization too.
World of Tanks runs smoothly on highest settings. Lately, the WoT team added two new AA modes – TSSAA-LQ and TSSAA-HQ. The LQ looks better than the FXAA, but the HQ differences are more subtle and I can’t say I felt anything just from playing.
Added here is a comparison between these modes. TSSAA-LQ requires a lot more than the FXAA, but it might look nice in your opinion. Just try it.
The benchmark consisted on a traveling inside and out the Cleve Hub space port which is a taxing graphical environment compared to this game.
This is a new “sim” game only new and much more fancy (link to steam) with vastly positive reviews from people (10/10 on Steam, for example). I run the Los Angeles premade city (download here) and run with the camera from the airport to the hills with almost maximal zoom.
Finally, the FPSs are not limited (like in my previous benchmarks). Don’t know if it’s a game thing or something with Nvidia. Gameplay was very smooth. This is version 1.1.0b.
Not more than “High” graphics preset in Shadow of Mordor. However, disabling Tessellation and AO will add a lot to the FPSs.
The new version of Dota 2, still in beta stage. Dota 2 Reborn is built on the new Source 2 3D Engine which also compatible with the Vulkan API (OpenGL DX12 alternative).
Performance is very good.
Stress tests and throttling behavior
As described before, the GPU and CPU cooling consists of two dedicated heatpipes and one shared with the GPU having one dedicated. Cool air sucked from the bottom of the machine (hence, it’s important to keep its bottom above the sitting surface) and is thrown from th rear ventilation holes.
1. Idle, power saver mode
2. Gaming : Crysis 3 gameplay. “Very High” settings with SMAAx2 For Crysis 3, “High performance” power mode.
3. Prime95 torture test. “High performance” power mode.
4. Prime95 + Furmark on 1366×768 test, AAx2. “High performance” power mode.
As you can see, the MSI PX60 cooling system doesn’t handle the heat well, at least with Prime95 on. The CPU cooling part doesn’t work well. It seems to me like the fans should have higher speed limit. It also seems like the engineering target clocks were lower (or they simply didn’t think about it). Disabling Turbo Boost (via ThrottleStop 8.00), which means clocks are on 2.7GHZ more or less, results in much much lower temperatures. I guess you could use ThrottleStop 8.00 to set the clocks to a little higher frequency.
Under Furmark + Prime95 load, the MSI PX60 does throttle a bit but not by a lot. However, the CPU does get really hot. Disabling the Turbo boost will cost only 300MHZ (~10%) compared to the clocks under lengthy high load, but will result in much lower temperatures.
When running Furmark + Prime95, the GPU does throttle to around 780MHZ which is around 11-12% less than its maximal performance. Don’t worry, however, because it didn’t occur in games, for me.
Under light load, the shell remains at the reasonable range of temperatures, but as soon as the system is loaded considerably (like in gaming), the cassis start warming significantly until a point when it becomes unpleasant in some areas, including the keyboard left part. It’s far from being optimal for gamers and although it’s not that bad either, the keyboard and palm rests temperatures is annoying under load. That’s with a cooling pad.
Under light/common load (browsing the web and stuff), the PX60 is quite quiet but with “high performance” power mode the fans is audible. Under high load, if you set the fans speed to “gaming”, it will be audible but not too annoying.
The SAMSUNG 156HL01-102 IPS display is a good 15.6″ IPS matte display with good measurements in other reviews too : very good viewing angles (though not perfect) and good colors.
subjectively, the colors and contrast are good and I never hit the maximal brightness level while sitting in my room which has good sunlight access. Outdoors use might be more problematic in terms of brightness, but in a non-direct sunlight it should be ok.
I’m not sure my Spyder4Elite measurements are good, as it seems like I get lower results than other sites consistently, so till I figure it out, take it with a grain of salt.
Strange. Battery performance is not good and power consumption is high even with “power saver” power mode on. Something is wrong here, like it was with the MSI GE40 (check). Maybe the update to windows 10 will change stuff, but I haven’t checked it yet.
- Mostly, the touchpad positioning or implementation result in a lot of annoying problems when working/typing. The cursor jumps from place to place and tabs are changing. That’s because the left hand touches part of the touchpad. If it was possible to configure the touchpad active zone it would be great
- Battery performance under Windows 8.1 seems to suffer from some kind of a bug or bad implementation, just like the MSI GE40
Well, given the fact that the current pricing is $1200-$1300 at the lowest, many laptops are more powerful than the PX60 for gaming. The Clevo P650SE with a GTX 970M has twice the gaming performance and has better feature/quality sets that, really, what can be said. Laptops with the same gaming performance like the Y50 and VN7-591G are selling sometimes for $800-$900 new with a GTX 960M, Haswell I7 and an IPS and something like 0.5kg more.
Just as an example, the previous generation Gigabyte P34Gv2 with a GTX 860M, 1080p AHVA display, SSD + HDD, 1.5-1.6kg was selling for $1000-$1100 not long ago (not available anymore). And there are more options.
Well. The new MSI Prestige PX60 is aimed at a very specific and narrow audience – people who are looking for a more stylish or “prestigious” gaming/multimedia laptop with higher quality features but also slimmer and more light weight. The PX60 delivers that with some good features like good 3D performance (GTX 950M GDDR5, Broadwell I7), good 1080p IPS display, 16GB RAM, not bad 4.0 speakers, relatively good keyboard and lower weight and frame size.
But, the sting is the price. For $1200-$1300, the PX60 isn’t exceptional and doesn’t really offer anything too tempting. The 3D performance, while being good, is half of what can be bought for such a price or $300-$400 more than other laptops like the Lenovo Y50 and Acer VN7-591G – and these are previous generation laptops. Moreover, the laptop is not really prestigious. The looks aren’t that great, the keyboard is nice but certainly not excellent with some issues, the touchpad positioning and implementation sometimes interfere with the typing, the speakers aren’t top notch and build quality is average. Add to that bad battery performance, at least in Windows 8.1, and the fact that under high load, some keyboard areas and the palm rests temperature reach such a level that it becomes unpleasant.
A variety of options is available if you are willing to carry another 0.5kg in weight or if you are willing to go with a smaller laptop like the Clevo W230SD or Gigabyte P34Gv2/v3/v4 (upcoming). And that’s previous generation talk. With the release of Skylake, we’ll probably see the refresh of many models, like the Y50 and VN7-591G.
So, bottom line, it’s hard to justify the MSI PX60 for such a price. $900? yes, maybe it’s worth considering, but for it’s current price, there are no good justifications to buy it or significant advantages over the competition.