Is the MSI GT660R worth the money?
The GT660R has an Intel Core i7-740QM CPU running at 1.73GHz. The screen is 16-inch with a resolution of 1366 x 768. The GPU inside the notebook is the GeForce GTX285M with 1GB of DDR3 RAM. The machine has a subwoofer and 6GB of RAM. Storage is to a pair of 500GB HDDs and the machine has a Blu-ray drive. The MSRP for the notebook is $1849.99.
To test the GT660R I will use my iTunes encoding test, movie encoding test, and Battery Eater Pro. The first test up is iTunes encoding where I take my Stone Temple Pilots Core album in MP3 format and use iTunes to turn the tracks into AAC format. The GT660R took 2 minutes and 28 seconds to encode my test album. That performance puts the machine a bit under the middle of the pack for notebooks I have tested so far, I expected a better showing here. The next test was my movie encoding test where I take the Magic of Flight HD video and encode it to 1080p XviD with LameMP3 audio. The MSI GT660R took 204 seconds to encode the movie putting it in about fourth place for movie encoding out of the machines I have tested.
The final test for the GT660R is Battery Eater Pro. This test is very hard on the battery and your real world mileage will vary. With the notebook in high performance mode, the battery lasted 87 minutes. That isn't a bad result at all for a gaming machine.
With the benchmarks out of the way, I started using the notebook to do the normal tasks you would use a machine like this for. The discrete NVIDIA GPU offers enough performance to play any video game you want, albeit you have to finagle the settings for good frame rates. The GPU is also well suited for media streaming and Blu-ray movies.
I was able to stream video from Hulu with no stuttering, tearing, or issues with playback. The notebook also played back Blu-ray video with no issues at all. Colors are realistic and skin tones are lifelike. The sound system of the machine has two speakers along with a small subwoofer, but when listening with a group the volume was too low to hear comfortably.
The keyboard on the notebook is comfortable to type on with decent tactile feel and feedback. The keyboard lacks backlighting which is getting to be common on many gaming notebooks today. The trackpad it situated when're you expect it to be and is accurate. The buttons are easy to press and have good feel to them. I did find the sensitivity of the trackpad to be a bit lacking, I had to pick my hand up and move it back to the top of the track pad a few times while scrolling and the cursor seems to move slower than other notebooks I have tested recently.
In the end, the GT660R is a nice notebook that has good performance in most aspects that I test. The machine is heavy and the battery life, while good for a gaming machine, isn’t that great if you are looking for a notebook to take on the road or use in class at school. Overall, this moderately priced gaming notebook is a nice choice that gamers will enjoy.
The MSI GT660R is a nice gaming notebook that can pull duty as a multimedia machine with ease. Just don't expect to carry the heavy machine too far from an outlet and you will be fine.
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Leading our review center, Shane McGlaun (Google) knows technology inside out. His extensive experience in testing computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
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