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MSI CX640 Sandy Bridge notebook review

by Tarinder Sandhu on 24 June 2011, 09:08 3.0

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), MSI

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa6gp

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How we test

We're stacking the MSI laptop up against seven other notebooks featuring 13.3in to 15.6in screen sizes. There are four models with Intel's Core 2010 chips, and three feature discrete graphics. AMD's latest Llano technology is also included, to give you an insight into Core i5 vs. Llano A8 performance.

 

Comparison systems
Laptop MSI CX640 AMD Llano A8-3500M Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 15 (AMD) Acer Timeline 3810T ASUS U35JC HP Envy 14-1050EA Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 15 (Intel) Acer Aspire 5745DG
Processor Intel Core i5 2410M (2.30GHz, 3MB cache, dual-core) AMD A8-3500M (1.5GHz, 4MB L2 cache, quad-core) AMD Phenom II P820 (1.8GHz, 1.5MB L2 cache, triple-core) Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400 (1.40GHz, 3MB L2 cache, dual-core) Intel Core i3 370M (2.4GHz, 3MB L3 cache, dual-core) Intel Core i5 450M (2.4GHz, 3MB L3 cache, dual-core) Intel Core i5 430M (2.26GHz, 3MB L3 cache, dual-core) Intel Core i5 450M (2.4GHz, 3MB L3 cache, dual-core)
Memory 4GB DDR3 4GB DDR3 4GB DDR3 2GB DDR3 4GB DDR3 4GB DDR3 4GB DDR3 4GB DDR3
Graphics Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M 1GB AMD Radeon 6620G + Mobility Radeon 6630 1GB AMD Mobility Radeon HD 4250 1GB Intel GMA 4500MHD Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce 310M 1GB Intel HD Graphics + AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5650 1GB Intel HD Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 425M 1GB
Graphics driver Intel 8.15.10.2266 + NVIDIA Verde 266.39 AMD Catalyst 11.5 AMD Catalyst 10.7 Intel 7.15.10.1666 Intel 8.15.10.2182 + NVIDIA Verde 258.96 Intel 8.15.10.2182 + AMD Catalyst 10.9 Intel 8.15.10.2057 NVIDIA Verde 259.12
Display 15.6in - 1,366x768 14in - 1,366x768 15.6in - 1,366x768 13.3in - 1,366x768 13.3in - 1,366x768 14.5in - 1,366x768 15.6in - 1,366x768 15.6in - 1,366x768
Battery 6 cell, 47Whr 6 cell, 58Whr 6 cell, 48Whr 6 cell, 56Whr 8 cell, 84Whr 8 cell, 59Whr 6 cell, 48Whr 12 cell, 99Whr
Weight (inc. battery) 2,554g 2,179g 2,560g 1,645g 1,816g 2,589g 2,476g 2,839g
Wireless Atheros WLAN (802.11bgn) Realtek WLAN (802.11bgn) and Bluetooth 2.1 Realtek WLAN (802.11bgn) and Bluetooth 2.1 Intel WiFi 5100 (802.11bgn) and Bluetooth Intel WiFi 5100 (802.11bgn) and Bluetooth Broadcom 43224AG (802.11bgn) and Bluetooth Intel WiFi Link 1000 (802.11bgn) and Bluetooth Broadcom WLAN (802.11bgn) and Bluetooth
Disk drive Hitachi 500GB HDD, 5,400RPM, 8MB cache Hitachi 250GB HDD, 7,200RPM, 8MB cache Seagate Momentus 320GB HDD, 7,200RPM, 8MB cache Hitachi 500GB HDD, 5,400RPM, 8MB cache Seagate Momentus 320GB HDD, 5,400RPM, 8MB cache Seagate Momentus 500GB HDD, 7,200RPM, 16MB cache Seagate Momentus 320GB HDD, 7,200RPM, 8MB cache Hitachi Travelstar 500GB HDD, 5,400RPM, 8MB cache
Optical drive DVD-RW Blu-ray/DVD RW combo DVD-RW None None DVD-RW DVD-RW Blu-ray/DVD RW combo
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, 64-bit
Approx. price as configured £600 TBC £600 £500 £635 £800 £650 £750
Benchmarks
Geekbench 2.1.6 A cross-platform benchmark used to measure memory and processor performance. Run using high-performance mode.
Cinebench 11.5 Using Cinebench's multi-CPU render, this cross-platform benchmark stresses as many cores as possible. Run using high-performance mode.
3DMark06 A PC benchmark used to test the DirectX 9 performance of a system's graphics card. Run using high-performance mode.
Power consumption Using balanced power settings, we record mains power draw whilst playing back a 720p movie trailer.
Battery test In order to measure battery life, we run the notebook on balanced power settings and loop a 720p movie trailer, measuring the time taken to hibernate.