MSI GT663R notebook � The powerhouse; the wannabe Review

By Vishal Mathur | Updated Feb 18 2011
MSI GT663R notebook � The powerhouse; the wannabe Review
DIGIT RATING
60 /100
  • design

    60

  • performance

    70

  • value for money

    50

  • feature

    70

  • PROS
  • Superb performance
  • Has the �I mean business� looks
  • Great sound
  • CONS
  • Build quality feels cheap and rough

Verdict

For a machine which is trying to compete with the Alienware series of machines, the GT663R does have all the performance and punch. However, it does not feel as expensive as it actually is and does have some rough edges in terms of build quality. Iif you are willing to overlook this, it is a very good option if you are out to buy a gaming laptop. However, at this price, you may not be able to overlook it!

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MSI GT663R notebook � The powerhouse; the wannabe detailed review

When you think of gaming notebooks, it is almost automatic to think of the Alienware series of machines from the Dell stable, and not without good reason. They have set the performance bar very high, along with the dollops of reliability. No wonder the brand has a huge fan following. This makes the lives of rival brands a lot more difficult, particularly when they are fighting Alienware on two fronts - performance and price.


 

MSI has their own GT series of gaming laptops. Performance has never been a problem with the GT series. What they lack however is the look and build quality to match the Alienware machines. With the new GT663R, MSI seems to have dealt with one part of the problem. This one has the serious look, which works well in its favour. However, has MSI got the rest of the package right? Let's find out...

 
First Impression: Killer looks; build flatters to deceive

[RELATED_ARTICLE]Take the GT663R out of the box pack, and what immediately grabs your attention is the fact that you need both hands (and probably a leg!) to get it out of the box. This monster of a machine weighs 3.5 kg. The lid has the glossy black coloured finish, and we would advice you to leave the protective skin layer on it as long as possible, to prevent it from getting scratched instantly. Also on the lid, just below the MSI logo is an orange LED. Open the lid to reveal the keyboard in black colour, the touchpad in one shade of grey, the palm-rest in another shade of grey colour a bit of chrome thrown in. The speakers have been dressed with a red ring, which somehow does not go well with the entire theme. The 15.6 inch screen is flanked by the HD webcam, which is placed just above it.

The dedicated control options are well laid out here - and there are even controls for starting and stopping the internal cooling fan, apart from controls for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Turbo mode and Eco mode. For volume and screen brightness controls, users are dependent on the keyboard shortcuts.

This machine is huge, and not without reason. Powerful hardware has been fitted inside the machine, and that needs its own big form factor to work in. There are 3 USB ports on the left panel along with the memory card reader and a huge vent for cooling. The right side has the optical drive, a USB port and the audio-out jacks. The power input, eSATA and HDMI are placed on the rear panel. A tad bit inconvenient to access, and would’ve been better had they been placed on the front or the side. 

The looks of the GT663R are aggressive and matter of fact. However, the build quality leaves a sour taste. The plasticky build is a disappointment, particularly when the Alienware machines are being targeted. The keyboard had a slight, but visible, dip in certain places. Not expected from such an expensive machine.

 

Read on to know about the performance, our verdict and the price...

 
 
Performance: This one is a monster

[RELATED_ARTICLE]There is absolutely no other way of saying this - the GT663R is a monster. Powered by Intel’s Core i7-740QM processor clocking at 1.73GHz and paired with a humungous 8GB of system memory, the GT663R is no slouch. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX460M finds its way on board, with 1.5GB of dedicated graphics memory. Two 500GB hard drives provide more than enough storage space. The 15.6 inch HD screen has a resolution of 1366x768, and in our opinion, the notebook deserved more. A full HD resolution screen of 1920x1080 would have been ideal to match the superb configuration. The potential on paper is quickly translated into performance. The PCMark Vantage benchmark which tests the complete system performance returned with a score of 6679, which puts this machine squarely in the superfast category. And since this a gaming machine, the 3D Mark benchmark score is very crucial. A score of 13353 can only be deciphered in one way - blazing fast.

 

MSI offers this notebook with an optional Blu-ray drive as well. In terms of usability, this machine is best used placed on a table or a flat surface. The power package does tend to heat up quite a bit, and will get uncomfortable in the lap after a while. The machine comes with DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC capability, which translates into much better sound output from the speakers and any externally connected source. However, the laptop’s built-in speakers can only offer so much performance, and give up the ghost beyond that.

While we had criticized the keyboard for the shoddy build quality, we have to admit that it is extremely comfortable to use. The divided keys have a nice clicky response to every press, and the travel is comfortable. The key size is quite big as well, and still fits in the dedicated number-pad. The touchpad, however, is not very good. The sensitivity is not consistent, which results in inconsistent tracking and lack of precision. An external mouse is recommended here. The display is pretty much on the money. It is not as glossy as some of the notebooks we have seen recently, which reduces eye strain in scenarios when the screen can possibly reflect a lot of background light.

The battery life of the GT663R is extremely disappointing. The battery will run out of juice, from a full charge state, in just over an hour. But then again, this is an ultra-powerful gaming laptop and a bit of a desktop replacement.
 
Verdict: Meant for the niche

The MSI GT663R will not disappoint when it comes to sheer performance and the ‘I am out to get you’ looks. However, this machine has its share of rough edges, and if you are willing to overlook those niggles, this is a very good option if you are out to buy a gaming laptop. However, at this price, you may not be able to overlook them!

 
Read on to know about the specifications, price, and our ratings...
 
 
 
Specs
Intel Core i7-740QM @ 1.73GHz
8GB RAM
15.6 inch LED display (1366x768 resolutions)
Nvidia GeForce GTX460M
1.5GB dedicated graphics memory
1TB hard drive space (500GB x 2)
Wi-Fi/Bluetooth
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
 
 
Ratings
Features: 7
Performance: 7
Build: 6
Value: 5
Overall: 6
 
Contact: MSI India
Phone: 18002000004
Email: technicalindia@msi-in.com
Website: http://in.msi.com
 
Brand
MSI
Model
GT663R
Features
 

Component Specifications

 
Processor Model No

Intel Core i7 Q740

Processor Speed
1.73GHz
RAM
7.98GB
RAM Type
DDR3
Memory Speed (MHz)
1333MHz
Chipset

Intel PM55

Graphics Solution

Nvidia GTX440M

Dedicated Video Memory (Y / N)
Y
Dedicated Video Memory Size
1.5GB
Audio Chipset

Realtek HD audio

Storage size (in GB)

1TB (500GBx2)

Drive type (HDD/SSD/other)
HDD
Optical Drive Type / Speed

Super Multi DVD

Bundled OS

Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

Characteristics
 
Screen Size (Inches)
15.6
Type of LCD
LED
Screen Resolution (Native)
1366X768
Weight (Kg)
3.5
No. of Ports (USB / FireWire)
Y/N
USB 3.0 (Y/N)
Y

Connectivity (LAN / Bluetooth / Wi-Fi)

Y/Y/Y
E-Sata (Y/N)
Y

Display output (VGA/DVI/HDMI/Display Port)

VGA/HDMI
Memory Card Reader (Y/N)
Y
Type of Memory Cards Supported
XD/SD/MMC/MS
Inbuilt Webcam (Y/N)
Y
Webcamera resolution (in megapixels)
                                                                                                   1.3MP

Build (So 10)

 
Body
8
Keypad
6
Lid, movables
8

Ergonomics and Usability

 
Keypad Tactile Feedback (So 10)
7

Key Layout, bevelling, spacing & Usability (So 10)

6
Shortcut Keys/Switches (So 10)
6

Trackpad ergonomics, size, position (So 10)

6
Trackpad accuracy (So 10)
4

Biometrics (fingerprint/face) login (Y/N)

N/N
Wi-Fi On/Off Switch or Button (Y/N)
Y

Dedicated Bluetooth On/Off Switch or Button (Y/N)

Y

Dedicated TouchPad On/Off Switch or Button (Y/N)

N
Performance
 

Synthetic Scores

 
PC Mark Vantage
 
PC Mark Score
6679
Memories Score
4720
TV and Movies Score
4386
Gaming Score
6792
Music Score
6197
Communications Score
4579
Productivity Score
6315
HDD Score
4361
   
3D Mark 2006
 
CPU Score
3371
Graphics score
5605
Overall Score
13353
Maxxon CineBench R11.5 (CPU score)
3.21pts

Display Mate Colour Accuracy Test (So 10)

Score not available

Battery Life Test (in minutes)
1:07:17
Wi-Fi Signal Strength Test (Zone 2)
20%

Real World Tests

 

Speaker Quality (at 50% volume) (So 10)

8
HD Movie Viewing (using VLC) (So 10)
8

DivX Encode 7.0 (.VOB to .Divx, default mode)

42.69 sec

WinRAR 3.9 (Compression / Decompression benchmark)

2.274

File transfer Test (4 GB test file-sequential) (Sec)

53.94

File transfer Test (4 GB test file-assorted) (Sec)

01:24.8

PassMark Wireless Mon 3.0 Signal Strength

(-) 74dBm

PassMark Wireless Mon 3.0 bandwidth
54Mbits

Crysis (1280 x 1024, medium details, no AA)

45.33
   
Warranty (Years)
 
Price (Rupees)
 
 
 
Price: Rs 1,49,999

 

 

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Vishal Mathur

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107637899696060330891/posts

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MSI GT663R notebook � The powerhouse; the wannabe

Price : ₹149999

MSI GT663R notebook � The powerhouse; the wannabe

Price : ₹149999

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