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MSI CX61 2PC-499US Review

The Good: A solid processor, the intel i5 at 2.5 GHz has more than sufficient gaming performance. A great graphics card, the NVIDIA Geforce GT820M, for this price range. The combination of these two will allow you to play most of the latest games on low to medium settings. 

The Bad: At nearly 3.5 inch thick and weighing in at 8.1 pounds, this is a big boy. The graphics card is noticeably less capable than the one in its premium brother, the CP60 and winner of our comparison. Also, at 1366x768 pixels, it doesn’t have a Full HD screen. 

The Verdict: The MSI GX61 is a very good gaming laptop under 800 dollars. Sadly, it’s weight makes it sacrifice a lot of mobility while its performance doesn’t make up for the added weight. Unless you’re on a budget, we would advice the MSI GP60. 

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Why is the MSI GX61 one of the top gaming laptop under $800?

The MSI GX61 carries a great amount of performance for a small amount of money. Combining the  Intel Core i5-4200M 2.5 GHz with NVIDIA Geforce GT820M, might not guarantee fireworks but is sufficient to play most of the latest games on low to medium settings. An acceptable amount of performance for good gaming laptops under 800 dollars.


Weighing 8.1 pounds in its 12 by 17 by 3.3 inch chassis, makes the MSI GX61 a heavyweight. And that might even be an understatement for a 15.6 inch laptop at medium performance. At the same time it does offer sufficient amount of gaming power to play games such as The Elder Scrolls Online, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Total War: Rome II on medium settings at more than 30 frames per second.

The gaming power is thanks due to the dedicated gaming setup we are used from MSI. Where some of the competition opts for the more expensive i7 processor over the i5, the engineers at MSI have chosen to use the extra money to get an extra powerful i5 for the extra performance. Combine this with the popular graphics card, the NVIDIA Geforce GT820M, and you are sure of a system able to play practically all the latest and greatest.


Although the MSI GX61 is definitely not a lightweight, it packs the performance required to play the latest games on low to medium settings. That makes is without a doubt part of the best gaming laptops for under 800 dollars. At the same time, we would advice to consider the both lighter and more powerful MSI GP60 and Acer Aspire V5-561G. The #1 and #2 in our comparison.

Technical Specifications

  • Processor / CPU: 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 4200M
  • Graphics Card / GPU: NVIDIA Geforce GT820M
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR3
  • Hard Drive / HD: 750 GB
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Screen Resolution: 1366x768 pixels
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Weight: 8.1 pounds
  • Number of USB 2.0 Ports: 1
  • Number of USD 3.0 Ports: 2
  • Battery: Lithium ion
  • Dimensions: 17 x 12 x 3.3 inches


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MSI CX61 2PC-499US