MSI GT680 Sandy Bridge Gaming Laptop Review

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In our custom LAME 3.97b MP3 encoding test, we convert a large WAV file to the MP3 format, which is a popular scenario that many end users work with on a day-to-day basis to provide portability and storage of their digital audio content.  LAME is an open-source mid to high bit-rate and VBR (variable bit rate) MP3 audio encoder that is used widely around the world in a multitude of third party applications. 

 

LAME 3.97b
Audio Encoding

In this test, we created our own 223MB WAV file and converted it to the MP3 format using the multi-thread capable LAME application in single and multi-thread modes. Processing times are recorded below, listed in seconds. Shorter times equate to better performance.


In our review of the Intel Core i7-2820QM processor, we mentioned Sandy Bridge was about 42% faster than the next fastest processor in our test, the Core i5 540M in multi-threaded performance. Although the Core i7 2630QM found in the MSI GT680R isn't quite as fast as the Core i7-2820QM in multi-threaded performance, it still puts up very good numbers and comes in #2 just behind the Core i7-2820QM.

Battery Life
Power Performance

To complete our testing, we ran Battery Eater Pro to get a feel for the GT680R's battery performance. During the test, the screen brightness was set to 50%, Wi-Fi was disabled, and all other applications were closed.

Generally speaking, we don't expect a high-end gaming notebook to offer a very long battery life. After all, there's generally a tradeoff between top-end performance and long battery life. Not surprisingly, the GT680R managed just 75 minutes of runtime before it ran out during the Battery Eater Pro test.

We would expect any user who intends to use this system to its full capacity to be near a power outlet most of the time. For times when you simply want to perform basic tasks and don't need the notebook's full potential, MSI also provides an Eco Engine Power Management System which is designed to extend the notebook's battery life while performing in different modes. The Eco mode can also turn off some of the notebook's unused components in order to conserve energy when you're away from power.


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