Joined on 09/14/10
Pros: ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! Sorry I couldn't hear you over the sound of how AWESOME this laptop is! This is hands down the fastest COMPUTER I have ever used, and yes this includes my desktop running a i7 4770K permaclocked at 4.0 GHz with 16GB 2400MHz DDR3 & a SSD. The 3 SSD RAID plus the ridiculously powerful 4930MX make slow loading times a thing of the 90s. When I power on my computer, I'm booted to windows before I even finish getting my headphones situated. It runs Final Fantasy 14 at maximum settings without skipping a beat.
Cons: -- The price made me die a little inside when I purchased it, but overall I would say it is worth it. -- Heat generation: this thing gets HOT running at full speed. When you are doing basic stuff like web browsing or watching videos, it's as cool as can be, but when it ramps into full speed for video gaming it gets so hot that I wouldn't let a child touch it. Highly recommend a -GOOD- laptop cooling pad to go with this. -- Battery life Most would say that with the unit plugged in, battery life isn't an issue. I must say I wish that were true. When I'm running full-on gaming sessions over several hours, the battery slowly drains as I'm playing even with the charging cord plugged in. The CPU drains a stunning 60W when at full power (which is a LOT for a laptop CPU), and even with turning the brightness down all the way and shutting down all non-essential systems for the gaming sessions, I still see the battery dropping. Still, I've gamed for 8-10 hrs straight (with breaks for food/restroom/smokes/stretching, though I left the game turned on for breaks) and was left with ~40% battery life but still it's a bit of a concern when your laptop is draining battery power when it's plugged in.
Overall Review: It may seems overpriced at first but actually there is great value to it: -- A mobile CPU that puts out the perfomance of a top line i7 Desktop CPU -- Tons of RAM to multitask like a champ -- Tons of vRAM to push video to multiple monitors -- 3 SSDs in RAID0 + 1TB of storage on an HDD -- Bluray burner (WOW! EPIC!) -- A huge 17" bright & beautiful screen to do all of the things on -- The keyboard is solid & the buttons are completely programmable with the included MSI software. Also you can make them light up any color you want. Cool! -- Speakers sound pretty decent, although for a laptop you probably want a quality headset -- Speaking of quality headsets, they are currently offering one for free and it's awesome -- Touchpad doesn't feel flimsy at all and was really easy to use. Still recommend a mouse though -- Bro, this thing dominates everything I throw at it Also more other thoughts: -- The MSI Steelseries headset is one of the best headsets I've ever used -- MSI is one of the best brands I've ever used and have given me a quality experience across the board -- They gave me a backpack (such MSI!) and I totally dig it
Pros: -- Unlocked Unlocking potential depends on your motherboard, cooling, and how good of a bin you got on the CPU. -- Smoking fast even at stock I have limited OCing experience and don't have the patience to push this past 4.0GHz. That being said it performs very well even at stock. -- Integrated graphics Most power users have dedicated graphics cards but what a lot of people don't know is that you can use the integrated graphics to run additional monitors without putting any strain on your R9 290X while you're gaming. -- Fairly inexpensive
Cons: My overall feel of this processor is that it performs almost exactly like my AMD FX8350 performed except cost a bit more for the CPU and (in general) has more expensive motherboards. In all honestly I think I should have gotten the i7 4770 (non-k) instead; it's only a little more in price but has hyperthreading (which actually is super useful for multithreaded activities) and a faster clock speed. It doesn't have an unlocked CPU ratio but seeing as I really don't like to overclock much anyway it ends up being a moot point.
Overall Review: For reference I compared average usage on this CPU to a i7 4930MX. I used Final Fantasy 14 on both systems to get a generalized feel for the overall strength of the CPU. On the 4670K and ultra settings, FFXIV was utilizing around 60-70% CPU. On the 4930MX it was sitting closer to 30-40% CPU. I know it's not completely a fair comparison since the 4930MX is an extreme cpu but my point was to show that hyperthreading has a pretty sizable impact on CPU usage even in gaming. For all you overclockers out there, would recommend a i5 3570K over this as it clocks much better than its Haswell counterpart from what I've been able to glean from online reviews. If you're not overclocking at all this thing works like a dream.
bang for your buck
Pros: Bought this as a gift for my sister, she couldn't be happier. The Trinity APU, while not as powerful of a CPU as the i5 or the i7 in terms of IPC, still packs enough of a wallop for what people use their computers for in the everyday sense. She doesn't need the power to do high end gaming or high level video rendering. Also, the built in GPU is much better than the HD4000 that Intel currently has. The RAM is 1x4GB of 1600MHZ DDR3 - great for ensuring that APU has enough memory bandwidth to be properly fed, though having another stick for Dual Channel mode would be optimal - easily remedied. Having a built-in DVD drive is a plus as more and more laptops are shipping without one. In short, as long as you don't expect this laptop to be comparable to a full-sized desktop gaming laptop, it will definitely exceed your expectations!
Cons: Not too many cons here. Windows 8 would probably be the biggest, but honestly you can't judge a laptop by its OS. Also, Win8 isn't all that bad once you learn how to work around the Metro part of it. Microsoft is releasing "Blue" in the near future, hopefully the fixes will be well received. The HDD is only 500GB and on 5400RPMs, but i'm not expecting a SSD for the price point and usually people put their big ticket items on an external anyway so I don't see 500GB being too much of a limitation. It would be nice if there were 2 sticks of RAM to enable dual channel mode, but I would rather have 1x4GB than 2x2GB - they honestly made the right choice there.
Overall Review: For the price you can't get better. I was trying to stay away from the ultra low powered CPUs such as the Atom and the E series APUs, and those run in a similar price range to this. Some might suggest spending a little more to get the i5, but I would rather take this - sometimes I would like to be able to play Minecraft on it :)