MSI introduces notebook with turbo button

COMPUTEX — MSI is mostly known to the enthusiast community for its motherboards, but the firm also makes notebooks. One of those is the GX600, which boasts an unusual throwback feature:

By pressing a “Turbo” button on the top right of the unit near the keyboard, the user activates an automatic overclocking feature that bumps the front-side bus speed from 200MHz to 240MHz (800MHz to 960MHz “effective”). The system is based on Intel’s new Santa Rosa platform, and it features a 15.4″ wide-screen display with a mobile GeForce 8600M GT 512MB graphics processor. There’s also a built-in 1.3-megapixel camera and external Serial ATA (eSATA) support.

Turbo laptops aside, MSI also had some interesting motherboards and graphics cards on display. Two upcoming motherboards based on Intel X38 and AMD RD790 chipsets were shown side by side:

Both feature four physical PCI Express x16 slots. MSI tells us that’s in preparation for a possible quad-CrossFire setup from AMD, although nothing seems to be definite just yet. MSI’s RD790 boards will also have a Serial Attached SCSI controller with support for either two SAS or SATA drives. Cooling on these boards isn’t final, by the way—both will have “big heat pipes” when they hit stores.

MSI’s graphics showcase featured a dual-Radeon HD 2600 XT CrossFire setup squeezed onto a single (and rather large) board.

But don’t expect to see this product in stores. MSI says performance is lackluster and that it’s “not a good solution.” Instead, AMD fans will want MSI’s upcoming Radeon HD 2600 XT:

This model is passively cooled, and MSI says performance will be a little lower than that of Nvidia’s GeForce 8600 GTS. However, pricing will be 20-25% lower—in fact, MSI says sub-$150 price tags are a certainty for 2600 XT offerings.

For those who want something even cheaper, MSI will also have Radeon HD 2600 Pro offerings. These will be slightly slower than Nvidia’s GeForce 8600 GT, but again, prices will also be lower. MSI will release models in both PCI Express and AGP flavors, both with passive cooling.

Comments closed
    • odizzido
    • 13 years ago

    If they made it so you could lower the FSB to 100, that would be more interesting…

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 13 years ago

      Or user defined fsb.

    • Hattig
    • 13 years ago

    I know it is a gaming laptop, but dayum is that one ugly device!

    Never mind that the touchpad is EXACTLY where your wrist will be resting when you’re on the WASD keys, so you can only game with an external mouse plugged in. I use my right hand for touchpad actions on my laptop, so moving the touchpad left is rather ridiculous actually.

    And what is going on around the power button? 80s style stripes, giant ring power light, … sheesh.

    And that power connector is going to break.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 13 years ago

    My first pentium had a turbo button. I actually had to use it in order to play older games.

    • maroon1
    • 13 years ago

    HD2600XT is slower than 8600GTS !!!
    HD2600Pro is slower than 8600GT

    It seems that both ATI high-end and mainstream graphics are horrible !!!

    And overclocked 8600GTS currently cost $168 only
    §[<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127284<]§ And there is another one that cost only $159 after MIR And 8600GT overclocked cost only $124 §[<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127286<]§ I doubt that HD2600 are going to be priced lower than those

      • SPOOFE
      • 13 years ago

      MSI states the 2600XT will be sub-$150. It may wind up competitive… lodged between the 8600 GT and GTS, perhaps? Sub-$150 also means that it’ll probably drop close to the $100 mark inside a month, as well.

      But I dunno. I’ll wait until the thing’s actually out to give too much of a damn.

    • willyolio
    • 13 years ago

    passive cooling on a 2600? if performance is good enough, i think we have a winner…

      • snowdog
      • 13 years ago

      Winner? ATI’s entire line is late and slow. You did catch the part about slower than the 8600. The 8600 was hardly fast, it was getting nailed for being slower than the 1950 pro, so where does this leave the 2600?

      This leaves us with top end that has improved in speed(8800/2900), while so far in this generation the midrange has not gained at all.

        • Nullvoid
        • 13 years ago

        Stop generalizing quite so much please. Yes the 8600gts is a poorly conceived card, overpriced considerably for what it offers (although it does beat the x1950pro and 7900gs on occasion), but the 8600gt stomps all over the 7600gt and x1650xt while costing roughly the same (in the UK at least), which makes it a success for the budget consumer.

        If ATI can slot their two versions of the 2600 in at decent price points then yes, they potentially have a winner on their hands.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 13 years ago

    My current server has a turbo button. it’s a old school dual Pentium Pro crammed into a AT case.

    Anyhow, I hope more motherboard companies start to put a SAS controller onboard. It would be nice to use a SAS drive for OS and apps and SATA for storage.

    • PetMiceRnice
    • 13 years ago

    I love the idea of a Turbo button, it conjures up memories of my old 386SX and 486SX and DX4 systems of years gone by. But on a laptop, that is a really good feature to have. I mostly use my laptop for Internet and don’t need the amount of processing power it has 99% of the time.

      • Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman
      • 13 years ago

      And not to mention the good old days of 4.77Mhz IBM PC-XT compatible, eh?

    • albundy
    • 13 years ago

    ooooh, SAS! I’d like to see benchies vs. regular SATA on the board.

      • Krogoth
      • 13 years ago

      SAS is essentially SATA with a higher voltage signal = it can handle greater cable lengths.

        • Xylker
        • 13 years ago

        Not so fast. SAS does use a higher signaling voltage, but it is SCSI, not ATA like a SATA drive.
        §[<http://www.scsita.org/aboutscsi/sas/faq.html<]§ #10 SAS complements SATA by adding dual porting, full duplex and device addressing, plus it offers higher reliability, performance and data availability services, as well as logical SCSI compatibility. STA will continue to enhance these metrics as the specification evolves, including increased device support and longer cabling distances. Most importantly, SAS and SATA are complementary technologies based on a universal interconnect, where SAS customers can choose to deploy cost-effective SATA drives in a SAS storage environment.

          • Krogoth
          • 13 years ago

          Not really, the difference between SAS and SATA is very minimal. The boundries between ATA and SCSI have gradutely blurred. It is market segimention at best.

          SAS drives/controllers = professional grade, better QA

          SATA drives/controllers = consumer-grade.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 13 years ago

    Are you sure that’s a 15.4″ I’ve never seen a 15.4 that had the numpad, only 17″ models.

      • Firestarter
      • 13 years ago

      15.4″ laptops with full numpads have been done before

      • evermore
      • 13 years ago

      The keyboard part is a small one. My Toshiba 15.4 has huge unused space on the sides of the keyboard that they could have fit a numpad into easily. They just used the same old small keyboard from a non-widescreen or smaller screen laptop.

      Of course, this design means the alphanumeric keys are offset to the left, which would be rather annoying if I was trying to type on that thing. I replaced the keyboard try on my desk at home in order to make more space for a large keyboard AND a mousepad, and so that I could sit with the keyboard and screen properly centered on each other.

      Other than the poor keyboard placement (which I guess wouldn’t matter in gaming but that’s not ALL one would buy it for I hope), I actually like the looks, except the flames could be done without. The red accents above the keys fit in well with the gold. Actually the texture makes me think of Klingon clothing from the original Star Trek.

      The big ring power light is unnecessary as well. Shiny is good, projecting the shiny outward actively is bad.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 13 years ago

    I like the idea of the “turbo” button, espicially when the laptop is plugged in. However, does anyone else think that’s an ugly looking laptop?

      • Mithent
      • 13 years ago

      Very ugly, with the flame decals and red grilles and all.. the success of Apple’s products have made it abundantly clear that the simpler the design, the better for current tastes.

      • Thrashdog
      • 13 years ago

      Hear hear. I’m in the market for anew laptop, and so far the only one with the specs I’m looking for in the price-range I’m looking at is the ASUS G1S. You know, with the “Game Intensity” lights on the side of the screen? >.< Why can’t somebody come out with a decent-specced laptop that doesn’t look like it got attacked by a horde of decal-wielding ricers and won’t light up like a Christmas tree when I’m playing on it?

        • hellokitty
        • 13 years ago

        Just turn the lights off. It is the best laptop under 2K after all.

        By the way, this MSI is a copy of G1S, from specs to red w,a,s,d keys.
        ( green on G1s )

    • Firestarter
    • 13 years ago

    Hmm I’d like to at least *try* overclocking my laptop

    • Anonymous Hamster
    • 13 years ago

    The MSI x38 Diamond looks like it has 6 RAM slots. Does it also support both DDR2 & DDR3 memory types?

      • moose17145
      • 13 years ago

      Yes, it does. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you can read the card that says what the board all has / supports.

    • Shinare
    • 13 years ago

    Woohoo! My 286-16MHz had a turbo button!!! Non-turbo just cut the 16 to 8MHz… go figure. I dont think there was a second of its life that the turbo button wasn’t pressed in.

      • moose17145
      • 13 years ago

      HAHA!!! I KNOW! I remember back when our family got our 486… it was running at a blazing 33MHz and was so fast that we didn’t even need the turbo button hooked up! (even though the case still had one) Ah those were the days! This feature definitely makes me want to buy one of these laptops… clever marketing bastards! Too bad it doesn’t just double the cpu speed like the turbo buttons used to do.

        • fishmahn
        • 13 years ago

        I remember getting an Orchid TinyTurbo for my PC/XT and inserting the 4.77mhz 8088 into the socket on the board so you could toggle the 80286 off and play games at sane speeds… First time I tried to play Centipede on it with the ‘286 engaged it was insane! That’s why there was a turbo button.

        The original reason for the turbo button was because the first faster PCs had 8 or 10 mhz 8088/8086 CPUs and many games (centipede was one) used the system clock for timing. Talk about twitching… :)))

        Mike

          • bhtooefr
          • 13 years ago

          So in other words, the turbo button should reduce the clock speed to 4.77 MHz? 😉

            • fishmahn
            • 13 years ago

            Umm, well, on a C2D-based system, it would probably be 1MHz or less. 😉 (roughly – I didn’t do the math) That way those old DOS games would work at the right speed… (ok, I must be old)

            The 80286 was much more efficient (IPC-wise) than the 8088 (somewhere in the order of 3-4x), 80386 was about the same as 80286, 80486 got about double efficiency over 80386, then Pentium did it again… (and so on).

            Mike.

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