MSI China Tour 2007 - Day 1

Tim Roper travels from Texas to China in order to get a better look at Micro-Star International's newest production facilities outside of Shanghai. MSI builds an incredible amount of motherboards, video cards, and now laptops that are shipped worldwide.

Greetings from Shanghai

HardOCP was fortunate enough to be the sole United States media outlet to attend MSIآ’s 2007 Media Tour in Shanghai, China. Here are our thoughts from Day 1 of the extravaganza.

Company Overview

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Founded in 1986, Micro-Star Internationalآ’s (MSI) status as one of the worldآ’s premiere OEM hardware manufacturers is well known. They have impressed us with their gamer-friendly motherboards and video cards in the past, and now that theyآ’ve gotten their notebook biz up and running, weآ’re curious to see what MSI has in store for the mobile market as well.

آ”PC2008آ”

The focus of the morning session was MSIآ’s آ“Ready for PC2008آ” marketing initiative. Basically, PC2008 centers on nine key technology components that MSI has identified as essential to cutting edge computing in 2008. Namely, support for the following: Windows Vista, HDMI, DX10, 1333 MHz FSB, 45nm CPU, DDR3, Quad Core, Robson Tech (a flash memory-based instant startup feature), and 802.11n wireless.

With this in mind, MSI unveiled their new flagship gaming notebook, the Intel PM965 based GX600, which sports the آ“worldآ’s first push-button processor overclocking.آ”

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This feature is made possible by the "world's first multi-speed FSB." Engaging the آ“Turboآ” button boosts the bus speed from 200Mhz to 240Mhz, which effectively pushes the Centrino processorآ’s operating frequency from 2.0GHz to 2.4GHz without, MSI representatives tell us, significantly decreasing battery life. Combined with the 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 3D graphics solution onboard, this mobile unit has the makings of a formidable gaming laptop. Just keep in mind that the "Turbo" button only overclocks the CPU, not the GPU. We didnآ’t get a chance to play around with it by ourselves, but MSIآ’s framerates for Half Life 2 indicated a boost from fps in the upper 50آ’s to fps in the lower 70آ’s with the Turbo switch engaged (system settings unknown).

MSI was kind enough to remove the back panel from their display unit to let us take a look at the guts.

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Here it is with the cooler removed:

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Also, note the HDMI and E-SATA connections on the side of the GX600.

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There is also a Swarovski crystal encrusted model available, for those compelled to bring the bling.

Unfortunately, we didnآ’t really get a chance for substantial Q&A today, but weآ’re expecting to get some tomorrow.