Different versions of m290x ... one rocks, the other sucks... why?

Hello Tek,

I recently bought a laptop that was rocking an m290x inside (MSI Gx60). I was all excited since I looked up some benchmarks, and saw that it was capable of running Fallout 4 (A prerequisite of mine). I have it now, and it can barely run the damn game :|.

What the heck is going on? What is wrong with the machine. So... I decide to troubleshoot, and I come across Device Manager. I have a 8790m / m290x. :|. 8790m??? That's not even the top tier! Why does the name 8790m associate with m290x?

I looked at the benchmarks again, and saw that my m290x actually runs about the same as a 660m. >:(

Can someone explain why they have 2 different tier cards with the same name? I feel ripped off. I need closure D':

Could also run speccy


Otherwise reinstall your drivers possibly, could just be that they sent you the wrong laptop

That's what I thought at first, But I look at this website and search 'm290x'. I get 2 hits. One gets a score of around 2500, the other around 1300. They are different cards with different profiles according to this source. I am certain that mine is the lesser one.


I am concerned that people are buying this laptop thinking that it's AMD's top tier R9 200 series mobile gpu, when it's not at all. That's what happened to me anyways...

Might have just been mislabeled, the 8790m is from like 2012


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I wasn't aware there were any GT series with AMD graphics, only the GX series has ever had it. That said, the GX60-3CC87FD with the Radeon R9 M90X has an A10-5750M. This APU has the Radeon HD 8650G IGP that matches the core configuration (384:24:8) of the Radeon HD 8790M. It is possible Windows is reporting both GPUs in the laptop, one incorrectly as the 8790M, and one correctly as the M290X.

There are a few things that could be the matter here:

  1. The IGP is being used for primary graphics acceleration, lowering the performance
  2. The dGPU is being used for primary graphics acceleration, but is not boosting out of 2D/ULP mode, lowering the performance.
  3. Drivers are not completely utilizing either GPU, negatively impacting performance.

The problem could persist with multiple variables, i.e. the IGP is being used, and isn't boosting. Not likely, but still possible. I would get the latest drivers downloaded (Radeon Crimson 15.12) and start from there. Programs such as GPU-Z, HWMoniter64 and Speccy should show both GPUs independently, and give you info on which is being used.

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You are VERY astute sir

  • It is Gx. Not Gt. Will update.
  • So... The cores match. Does that mean... I can Xfire? XD that would be good news!
  • IGP was an issue at first. But I got to the bottom of it. The dGPU is utilized.
  • the 8650g does come up in device manager as well. The dGPU is shown as 8790m. I will get my hands on some of that software and see what they say. I will also look up what 2D/ULP means xD

I have determined that laptops with the 8970m are being advertised as m290x 2gb. My sticker says m290x. The website says m290x. And when I look at some benchmark websites, they show cards labelled 8790m/m290x as one card, and m290x as another.
If what you said about the dies matching enables me to use Xfire, then I could see why they would argue to use this label. M290x 'like' performance I suppose? I still think it's cheating though

2D / Ultra Low Power - This is the card's performance level when you aren't playing games. The GPU will drop its clocks to something like 150MHz, since it's all it needs to run desktop functions and browsing. Sometimes the card can get stuck in this configuration if the drivers don't give the GPU a wake up call essentially.

This is just dirty. The M290X is based on PItcairn, has a 1280:80:32 configuration, 4GB GDDR5 and a 900MHz boost clock. Even with the 8790M / 8650G Crossfire you'll have a total hardware count that is only 60% of the M290X (768:48:16) and after that the clockrates are going to hold back performance to under 50% (8790M - 900MHz, 8650G - 720MHz). Not to mention half the vRAM...

MSI is straight up lying.


This is why I came here. I just had to hear here that from somebody else. To get closure. THANK YOU SO MUCH

Looking at some listings for the GX60 3CC-280US, it's basically in the title that they are lying to you:

3CC-280US 15.6 Full HD AMD A10-5750 - 2GB R9-M290X- 8GB - 1TB - DVDRW - Win8.1

A real M290X will always be 4GB. The only time it would be a 2GB card and still match the specs of the M290X is if it's a Radeon HD 7970M, which the M290X is an update of.

If you paid $700+ for this laptop, I recommend getting a return and buying something worth your money, like this ASUS GL551JW for $800.

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Yeah, I noticed the 2gb. But I easily dismissed it. They got me bad. Real bad. There isn't a lot of information out there about this. I hope people who are thinking about getting these machines (likely second hand now) run into this forum and learn about what they might be getting their hands on