MSI has also updated the FX700, FX400 and GT600 series of notebooks with some Sandy Bridge love and the new models are called FX720, FX420 and GT680, although the GT680 was shown back in January, but thanks to the chipset recall it’s only about to hit retail now.
Beyond the chipset and CPU upgrade the FX720 got a graphics swap from a GeForce GT 425M to a GeForce GT 520M which is an odd thing, as it’s really a downgrade rather than an upgrade as the GeForce GT 425M features more shaders than the GeForce GT 520M, as well as a 128-bit memory interface. As this is a 17.3-inch notebook it comes with a 1600×900 screen as standard, although at the sacrifice of portability.
The FX420 gets pretty much the same treatment as the FX720, although it sports a Radeon HD 6470M graphics card rather than an Nvidia solution. Gone is the eSATA port as well as one USB 2.0 port and in their place are a pair of USB 3.0 ports which is an upgrade as far as we’re concerned.
Finally the GT680 now features a 1920×1080 panel from initially only having been available with a 1366×768 option, although this is still available for some markets. MSI is offering a couple of peculiar configurations, at least in Taiwan. The GT680 comes with a Core i5-2410M dual core CPU and an Intel 120GB SSD plus a 500GB 7,200rpm hard drive and a normal DVD writer whereas the GT680R sports a quad core Core i7-2630QM processor, two 500GB 7,200rpm hard drive and a Blu-ray drive.
We can’t think of a lot of gamers being willing to trade the SSD advantage over a Blu-ray drive, especially as the model with the Blu-ray drive (and quad core CPU) is significantly more expensive. The GT680 is priced at NT$65,900 (S$2,805) and you’ll end up spending no less than NT$79,900 (S$3,400) for the GT680R. The quad core CPU is most likely a significant part of this cost, but even to the notebook manufacturers, a Blu-ray drive is still in the region of US$70-80.
Oh and there was a model showing off all the notebooks at hand as well, let’s not forget about that…