MSI once again updates its lineup, installing the latest components in its notebooks. Also, MSI made small changes to the case, improved the software and a set of functions. Our test lab received a new model in the GE62-7RE line, the last time we tested the 6QF version in the fall of 2015 on the Skylake processor with the Maxwell graphics card. The new model MSI GE62 7RE Apache Pro is equipped with an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, it will be interesting to evaluate it in practice.
In early January, at CES 2017, MSI introduced several new products. In addition to the updated cylindrical gaming computer MSI Vortex G65VR , in the assortment of the company there appeared updated gaming laptops , which in the mass passed to the processors of the generation of Intel Kaby Lake. This also affected the MSI GE62 line, which received a slightly modified chassis and a new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card . However, compared with the previous model of change is not so much. The set of interfaces remained the same, equipping the laptop is identical, except for switching to a new generation of “hardware”. MSI slightly improved the display. The display cover is still adorned with the dragon of the Gaming line, but the panel is now covered with Corning Gorilla Glass, which provides protection from scratches.
In general, MSI GE62 7RE Apache Pro can be called a well-equipped laptop. The buyer will receive a modern set of interfaces, including USB 3.1 Type C, a high-quality sound subsystem with a separate subwoofer, a SteelSeries game keyboard with RGB illumination, a Killer game controller with game data prioritization, a Cooler Boost 4 cooling system with quiet operation, high-speed SSD and an optional HDD To store user data. The diagonal of the display is 15.6 “, the IPS panel provides wide viewing angles, the resolution is 1.920 x 1.080 pixels.
The hardware configuration is represented by the Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor of the Kaby Lake generation, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card with 4 GB of GDDR5 video memory and 16 GB of DDR4 RAM at 2.400 MHz. The operating system is installed on 256 GB SSD format M.2 (in Russia – 128 GB), games and user data can be stored on an additional 2.5-inch hard disk capacity of 1 TB. Slot M.2 supports NVMe, but the standard laptop comes with a drive connected via SATA. The laptop has a WLAN module supporting 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, an SD card slot, an HD web camera with a screen edge and an optical drive.
But for high-end equipment will have to pay. MSI for our configuration GE62 7RE-088 Apache Pro asks for almost 1,500 euros.
In recent years, MSI has significantly improved the quality of its notebooks. And the GE62 7RE Apache Pro was no exception. The case is made on conscience. It consists of high-quality aluminum, which gives the 15-inch laptop not only a stylish appearance, but also durability. The body does not bend and does not crack even with strong pressure, sharp edges and corners we did not find, all the gaps are uniform. Is that the display hinges could be more rigid. Dimensions of the test device are 383 x 260 x 29 mm, weight – about 2.4 kg. Completely worthy indicators for the gaming device of this class of price and performance. Unless recently tested Gigabyte Aero 15 was smaller and thinner, but it costs much more, almost 2.100 euros.
The design does not differ from the previous model, for a gaming laptop it can be called simple. The display cover and the main body are completely black, they are made of textured aluminum. Two small indentations on the lid add a visual accent, like the red strips on the side. And, of course, the dragon’s emblem on the display lid. However, the strips and the emblem are not illuminated during operation.
After opening the cover, the simple forms MSI GE62 7RE Apache Pro are saved. The upper part of the main body is decorated with a few stickers besides a keyboard and a touch pad. The latter indicate not only the high-speed internal components, but also the high-quality audio subsystem from Dynaudio, a game keyboard developed in cooperation with SteelSeries.
After turning on the laptop, the simplicity is lost. The keyboard shines with all the colors of the rainbow. By default, RGB-backlight is set to rainbow mode, but it can be switched to a single-color mode with any shade of your choice. Numerous effects are also available.
The keys have a mean stroke, the trigger point is probed well, it’s nice to type. Dimensions of the keys are 15 x 15 mm, the distance between them is about 3 mm. We tested a laptop with a German layout, in Russia they come with a Russian-language layout. 15.6-inch panel MSI GE62 7RE allowed to add to the keyboard a digital panel, although the keys it is slightly smaller.
Touchpad has dimensions of 109 x 62 mm and supports all popular multi-touch gestures, in practice they worked. But in the test sometimes there were small mistakes and jerks. Yes, and the convenience of sliding over a rough surface could be higher. The right and left mouse buttons are separated, but are pressed too easily.
The Intel Core i7 processor and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card provide an adequate level of performance in games, especially considering the native resolution of Full-HD. Unfortunately, the laptop does not have a PCI Express SSD high-speed module: NVMe is supported only by optional installation of a custom M.2 SSD.
On interfaces, MSI GE62 7RE Apache Pro has everything a gamer needs. In the right panel is an SD card slot, a USB 3.1 Type A port and an optical drive, which in our case could read and write CD / DVD. At the back of the laptop is a connector for connecting a power supply with a power of 150 watts.
The left panel contains most of the interfaces: a Gigabit Ethernet port with Killer support, two additional USB 3.1 Type A ports, two gold-plated 3.5mm headset audio jacks, DisplayPort and HDMI ports for connecting a monitor / projector. The MSI laptop also offers a modern Type C port, but without the support of Thunderbolt 3.
The processor Intel Core i7-7700HQ and, especially, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card are inferior in performance compared to other gaming laptops, and therefore they have less load on the cooling system. All this is visible on the laptop, ventilation holes are not so many. Separate coolers with thick copper heat pipes are responsible for cooling the video card and processor. The ventilation holes are located mainly at the bottom of the laptop, but they can also be seen on the back panel to the left and to the right under the hinges of the cover.
MSI chose a battery with 6 cells with a capacity of 4.730 mAh, which can not easily be replaced – it is not removable. As we mentioned above, an external power supply of 150 W is connected to the laptop.
The quality of manufacturing the case MSI GE62 7RE Apache Pro to make any compromises will not work. It will be interesting to look at the performance tests and the operation of the cooling system.
The heart of the MSI GE62 7RE Apache Pro is the Intel Core i7-7700HQ, which Intel officially unveiled in early 2017, replacing the previous Skylake flagship. The processor is equipped with four cores, the frequency is from 2.8 GHz (base) to 3.8 GHz (Turbo), thanks to the support of Hyper-Threading or SMT, each core can process two streams simultaneously. Compared to the predecessor Core i7-6700HQ, we got a pleasant increase in the frequency by 200 and 300 MHz, respectively. The maximum power consumption, according to Intel, is 45 watts. The processor is equipped with 6 MB of L3 cache and 1 MB of L2 cache, 256 KB of L2 cache per core. The cache of instructions and data of the first level is 32 KB. Processors Kaby Lake are made on a 14-nm process technology.
The processor memory controller in the MSI laptop works with DDR4 memory, which is installed by a SODIMM strap with a frequency of 2.400 MHz. The memory bandwidth was only 14.52 GB / s, which is less than other gaming notebooks of this class of price and performance. As a rule, some game competitors give twice as high a level. The performance of the Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, on the other hand, remained at the usual level. In two Cinebench tests, we get 8.18 or 733 points. In the compression test, the 7-Zip system almost reached the mark of 20,000 MIPS, having dialed 19.995 MIPS.
SSD in a compact format M.2 has a capacity of 256 GB, but it is connected only through SATA. This reduces the average reading speed to below 530 MB / s. However, for everyday work SSD is still fast enough. The operating system is loaded in seconds, programs and games start almost instantly. If you are more interested in connecting PCI Express, then upgrade the SSD will have to perform independently.
MSI GE62 7RE Apache Pro is one of the first notebooks in our test lab, which is based on the Ti version of the mobile video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 . So far, we have tested, mainly, the “junior” GeForce GTX 1050, for example, in the ASUS laptop . Unlike the base version, the Ti video card has one more streaming multiprocessor, so the number of stream processors is increased to 768. The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti video card is based on the GP106 GPU with two GPC clusters and six stream multiprocessors. Each of the six SMMs has eight texture units connected, which gives 48 TMUs. Here the mobile video card theoretically corresponds to the desktop version. But we get differences in clock speeds in favor of the mobile version. The base video card GeForce GTX 1050 Ti has a base frequency of 1.290 MHz, in Boost mode the minimum bar is declared at 1.392 MHz, the mobile GPU has 1.493 MHz base frequency, in Boost mode the video card works at least 1.620 MHz, that is, somewhat faster.
The memory subsystem of all four variants of chips is the same. The GDDR5 memory is connected via a 128-bit interface and operates at 1.752 MHz. Unlike the desktop version, the mobile GPU is only available with 4 GB of video memory. The GPUz utility does not display all the information about the test video card, the performance of the GPU with 3.3 billion transistors is underestimated by some parameters.
With the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, the user can play all the latest and up-to-date games, including Grand Theft Auto 5, DiRt Rally, The Witcher 3 and Shadow of Mordor, especially since the maximum display resolution is limited to 1.920 x 1.080 pixels. Depending on the game, in the Full-HD resolution, we get at least 45 fps, and in the same Tomb Raider the frame rate is expressed in a three-digit number. Overall, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is much closer to the “older” GeForce GTX 1060 than the “regular” model on the GP106, which is sure to appeal to gamers.
As in the case of all the latest gaming laptops, MSI installed the clean version of Window 10 on the GE62 7RE Apache Pro without any extra demo and advertising applications. Is that a 30-day trial version of Microsoft Office 365 and a demo version of the anti-virus scanner are preinstalled. But otherwise everything is clean. The proprietary Dragon Center utility is very functional. It can not only read important operating parameters of the laptop, including the load on the processor, graphics card and network, but also component temperatures and fan speeds. You can control the illumination of the SteelSeries keyboard and the fan controllers, and also select energy saving profiles. Also installed utility network chip Killer and audio subsystem Nahimic Audio Enhancer. We note an annual license for the utility XSplit Gamecaster, which facilitates streaming.
In our tests, we did not encounter cooling problems. Although the Intel Core i7-7700HQ under the stress load Furmark and Prime95 was heated to a maximum temperature of 92 ° C, it did not reset the clock speeds. All four cores worked at maximum performance. With CPU load, the processor worked at 2.9 GHz, slightly above the base frequency. The video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti worked with much lower temperatures. We got a maximum level of 74 ° C, the Boost frequency was always at least 1.240 MHz.
The average surface temperatures were about 29.6 ° C and 30.9 ° C on top and bottom of the MSI GE62 7RE Apache Pro, the highest value of 34.7 ° C we got in the seventh square from the bottom. So with a laptop it’s possible to work and play on your lap. Under normal office load, the body temperature remains significantly lower, the maximum is already 32.6 ° C, but most of the temperatures did not exceed 27 ° C.
For the gaming laptop MSI GE62 7RE Apache Pro worked nicely quietly. Under the normal Windows load, we got a noise level of 33.6 dB (A), under the gaming load it increased to 48.3 dB (A). Other gaming laptops often exceed the bar of 50 dB (A), but they and video cards are much more powerful.
Power on the MSI GE62 7RE Apache Pro is fed through an external unit at 150 watts, the laptop has a built-in 47Wh battery. Thanks to the economical Pascal video card and the Kaby Lake processor, the system with a fully charged battery in idle mode consumed only about 15.5 watts, under the game load, the power consumption increased to 123.6 watts. As a result, in 2D mode we got 239 minutes of battery life. But if you load a graphics card, the battery life will be less than an hour. The laptop lasted only 55 minutes from the outlet. The result is: a good battery life under Windows, below the average in game mode.
The MSI GE62 7RE Apache Pro display has a diagonal of 15.6 “and a resolution of 1.920 x 1.080 pixels.GPS Sync is not provided.The IPS panel provides wide viewing angles, and we liked the uniform backlighting.Within the lightest and darkest areas the difference was 34 cd / M², with a maximum brightness of 333 cd / m² is quite high, it allows you to work comfortably and play even in bright environments.The uniformity of the backlight has exceeded 90% .The contrast of 972: 1 can also be called good.
Most gaming laptops have cool display tones, but the LG Philips panel in the MSI test laptop works with a color temperature of about 6.700 K, which is pretty close to the 6.500 K optimum.
MSI GE62 7RE Apache Pro is a decent mid-level gaming laptop with modern hardware stuffing. Many notebook manufacturers of this class of price and performance usually save on the chassis, keyboard and audio subsystem, but not MSI. The quality of the aluminum case is on a high level, the keyboard with RGB-illumination attracts attention, and it is pleasant to play or to type on it. Is that the touch pad in our tests did not always work reliably. The performance of the laptop is sufficient for native Full-HD resolution. The integrated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory is approaching the “older” GeForce GTX 1060 in performance, due to higher clock speeds compared to the desktop version. Still, mobile video cards on the GP106 look much better than desktop models. In general, gamers without special requirements will get a great option for their money.
For work applications, the laptop is also excellent thanks to the Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor and the M.2 SSD drive, although the latter is connected via SATA. Unfortunately, MSI did not install the drive with PCI Express interface, but the user can do the upgrade himself. In the mode of inactivity, the laptop works quietly, but under load the noise level increases, although it does not reach the high level of some gaming models. The temperatures did not exceed the critical level, the battery life in the idle mode was pleasantly pleased, but under the game load it would be necessary to count for about an hour.
MSI GE62 7RE Apache Pro – a decent gaming laptop with a good set of functions. Of course, in the market you can buy more powerful models for the same money, but with a less quality body, keyboard, acoustics and battery.