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MSI CX640 Laptop Review (Core i5/Nvidia)

The MSI machine has a fairly slow boot up time and we were concerned initially that something was actually wrong with the unit.


On first boot up, you are presented with a menu which allows some adjustment of the default software installation. After a few reboots we noticed that the machine is backing up data via the Time Stamp switch, which can add around 10-25 seconds to the start up time. Its not a major issue, but noticeable. For the security protection perhaps it will be worth the delay.

Above is a complete list of all software that can be installed. There are some programs we wouldn’t want to see, such as the bloated Norton Internet Security, but generally it isn’t a bad install.

The Windows Experience Index isn’t a particularly detailed system test, but we include it just for the sake of being thorough. We can see that the system is limited to 5.7 by the graphics score.

By default, the 500GB hard drive is configured into two separate partitions, one for the operating system install and the other for data and backups.

CPUz and GPUZ highlight the system components. Our CX640 is using the Intel Core i5 2410M which is rated at 2.3ghz, built on a 32nm architecture with a 3MB level 3 cache. The memory is running at 1333mhz with 9-9-9-24 1T timings. The motherboard is tagged with ‘PEGATRON CORPORATION’ with an American Megatrends bios. The Nvidia GT520M has 1GB of GDDR3 onboard and is connected to a 128 bit memory interface. 16 ROP’s and 48 unified shaders round out the specifications. It is clocked at 600mhz core with memory running at 900mhz.

This system retails for £576.95 on Amazon.

Comparison Systems (for specific synthetic test compares):
ASRock Ion3D – Atom D525 @ 1.8ghz
MSI GT680 – Intel Core i7 2630QM
MSI FX623 – Intel Core i5 460M
MSI FX600 – Intel Core i3 330M

Software:
3DMark 11
PCMark 11
Cinebench 11.5 64 bit
FRAPS Professional
Unigine Heaven Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark
HD Tach
Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra 11
Cyberlink MediaEspresso
HQV Benchmark V2
Alien V Predator
Total War Shogun 2
Dead Space 2
Dirt 3
The Witcher 2

Technical Monitoring and Test Equipment:
Asus BluRay Drive
Lacie 730 Monitor (Image Quality testing)
Thermal Diodes
Raytek Laser Temp Gun 3i LSRC/MT4 Mini Temp
Extech digital sound level meter & SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter
Kill A Watt Meter
Nikon D300S SLR with R1C1 Kit (4 flashes)
Panasonic Lumix TZ10

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