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Customer Review

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic Laptop, 0 Problems., June 14, 2011
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This review is from: MSI GT683R-242US 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black ) (Personal Computers)
This laptop is fantastic. It's a full blown desktop replacement powerhouse of a laptop, yet its still small enough to carry around. If you are reading this you probably already know that the video card and processor are among the best available right now, the impressive part about that is that the laptop is managing over 3 hours of battery life without even lowering the brightness of the screen. The hard drives in raid are notably faster then a solo laptop drive. They are not as snappy as an SSD, but the transfer rate is very good. USB 3.0 is great, I've sustained 180mb a second copying onto the laptop from my external drive, but typically average about 140. The webcam is nice and clear, the wifi is only 150megabits in wireless N mode but that's plenty for me, it holds a great signal and is usually at full speed from my router (you have to enable wide channels in the driver to get it to go over 72mbps). It's nice having a full keyboard, though it is taking some getting used to. The touch sensitive buttons are nice, and the extra features of the turbo mode, full fan button, eco mode, and lighting options are nice.

The audio on this laptop is probably the best sound from a laptop I've ever heard. I was very unimpressed at first, after reading reviews on how good it was supposed to be.....then I turned it up. Unlike a normal laptop where sound starts sounding worse as you turn it up, this laptop it just gets better. You never get distortion, and you can certainly tell there is a subwoofer. You don't hear bass like you would a real sound system, but you have solid mids in all of your music so everything sounds complete. The LEDs dancing the the sound looks sweet, but the sound has to be all the way up for them to react properly, and only the ones of the side of the screen react to the music, the others just blink and are kind of annoying in the "music mode".

I got the 12gb model for 1400 something, I couldn't be any happier. The build of this laptop isn't as professional looking as a dell, but the quality is similar. If this laptop proves to be reliable, I will only buy MSI from now on. Most of the main brands won't even let you spec out a laptop this nice, and if they do it costs 2x as much!

The only cons I can think of are
- fan never turns off, isn't loud at idle but is audible and the 2630 idles at about 50c in my warm bedroom
- no display port
- esata port doesn't work as a usb 3.0 port as well
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 20, 2011 10:28:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 20, 2011 10:29:47 AM PDT
Tom says:
Great Review...I'm wondering if you think the rig is re-configurable? For example, would you be able to remove the raid configuraton and install an SSD as a boot drive and a 1TB HD as the main storage drive?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2011 10:09:48 AM PDT
Prone says:
It will support that configuration. You might want to consider to raid two SSDs to get improved performance. Check intel's articles.

Posted on Jul 6, 2011 5:36:30 PM PDT
B McD says:
Just got off the phone with MSI sales and they told me it supports Nvidia Optimus. Is this true? I've read that it does and that it doesn't. Usually it is all over the marketing material and I didn't see anything on the product page. I know the 560 supports Optimus, and to my knowledge, only the Toshiba x770 supports the 560 + Optimus. Can you confirm that this either does or does not support switchable graphics?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2011 3:10:22 AM PDT
Tim says:
I'm not sure. I had a M11x for a short period of time with switchable graphics and it was real obvious when you made the swtich, but I thought that Optimus was supposed to be basically transparent? There is no manual switching on this laptop so if it has it it's automatic. I'd like to add that after spending more time with this laptop as a desktop replacement I still love it every bit as much as I did when I reviewed, my only gripe is I can't update the video drivers, even using the downloads from the MSI website. They all say my hardware is not compatible when I try to install.

Also you could certainly replace the drives with a non-raid or different set up, but the stock set up is pretty snappy so I can't really see the need.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2011 7:39:12 AM PDT
B McD says:
If you go into the Nvidia control panel, there should be something specific for the Optimus technology. You can even show a little applet in the systray if you wanted. I still haven't been able to get a straight answer so thank you for looking into this.

As far as the drivers go, are you using the standard load from MSI or your own Windows build? Have you tried downloading the generic drivers from Nvidia? Have you visited guru3D? I've found drivers on guru3D that work when the standard drivers do not. IMHO, not being able to update the graphics drivers is a big deal for me. I have an ASUS G73JH with an ATI graphics solution and nothing but the stock drivers work. No updates from ASUS and the generic drivers from ATI crash the laptop. For a gaming laptop I think this is unforgivable. Just my 2 coppers...

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2011 12:43:33 PM PDT
Tim says:
Can't find anything Optimus related. Still using the preloaded windoze from MSI. I'm going to update the bios today, maybe by some crazy chance that will let me load new drivers since I still haven't had any luck.

Posted on Aug 24, 2011 3:52:43 PM PDT
Does it seem like the GPU it is swappable? I emailed them about it and just got a canned response.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2011 4:28:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 29, 2011 4:30:44 PM PDT
Henry says:
Because of the different thermal design in between brands and models, it's highly recommanded not to swap the GPU on your own.
For example, the way to install ASUS Rog GPU is different from how you install the MSI Gaming laptop.
Yet in concept, it's do-able if you know how to work it :)

Oh by the way, this NB only can fit up to GTX570 card, GTX580 will not fit.

Posted on Jan 13, 2012 12:11:14 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2012 12:13:14 PM PST
Tim says:
I thought I'd add to my review now that it's been a little over a half of a year. I've been using this every day sitting on my desk plugged up to use like a desktop, as well as unplugging it and taking it to campus in my bookbag. It's held up great, and I do not at all baby it. The only issues I have noticed with this laptop are:

- It sometimes tries to boot off my USB 3.0 HDD despite me repeatedly fixing the boot order in bios. It doesn't always do it either, it's like it has a mind of it's own...
- While everything has held up great, I have noticed certain areas lacking in quality...such as the hinges and the plastic bezel around the screen.
- The USB 3.0 is picky sometimes and just won't recognize things without me unplugging and plugging them back in a few times...I have the latest drivers/software. I believe it's just a result of them not being "true" 3.0 ports.
- Not sure if it's the included wifi card or the antenna, but I tend to get a little bit worse signal than others around me. Also this card only supports 150mbps instead of N's maximum 300mbps which can be annoying if you are a power user.

Overall I'm still very satisfied with this laptop, and will most likely choose MSI again in the future if this laptop continues to be reliable.
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