After introducing the Kaby Lake processors and, in particular, the Pascal video card, manufacturers have been able to release thin gaming laptops with high performance in gaming and long battery life. One such MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro laptop has just arrived at our testing lab. It features an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, 8/16 GB DDR4 memory, and a combination of high-speed SSDs and conventional magnetic HDDs. It will be interesting to see what a similar laptop is capable of in practice.
According to the case, MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro can not be called a novelty. In September of last year we conducted tests of the GS60 laptop . Then it was equipped with the previous generation Skylake processor, but it was a very powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. The biggest drawback was the noise level. His Taiwanese company has just promised to improve, which is due to both the more efficient Kaby Lake processor and the less powerful GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card . The video card works with less performance, but consumes less power. But its performance should be enough to smooth the frame rate in the latest games. Otherwise there are not so many changes.
We note a decent amount of RAM, a fast SSD for the operating system, and a traditional magnetic HDD for storing games and applications. There are also MSI game features that you can expect from expensive high-end models. Namely, the RGB backlight of the SteelSeries keyboards, a high-quality Nahimic Audio Enhancer audio chip, a high-end display panel and a simple but high-quality case made of a mixture of plastic and aluminum. We’ll mention modern interfaces like USB Type C with Thunderbolt 3 support, the Killer Network for WiFi, and the Gigabit Ethernet port as well as the DisplayPort video output.
Compared to the GS-series model tested last year , MSI switched to Intel ‘s new Kaby Lake processors , which were introduced at the beginning of the year. As for video cards, the NVIDIA lineup has been expanded “down” with new GeForce GTX 1050 (Ti) models in addition to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 on the GP10 GPU. MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro laptops are equipped with a 15.6-inch screen, and the GS73 is already larger by 17.3 “. There are also more compact GS43 laptops with a 14-inch display, but the display type (IPS) and resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) are always the same Except that higher-end displays can be set up with higher-resolution displays or 120-gigabyte panels, while GeForce GTX 1060 or GTX 1050 Ti graphics cards are equipped with 3, 4 or 6 Gb of GDDR5 memory, although for even 4K resolution, even two Such a video card will not be enough.
MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro laptop comes to our test lab. It relies on the Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card with 4GB of video memory. The laptop is equipped with 16 GB of DDR4 memory at 2.400 MHz, for the operating system and applications there is a 256-GB SSD format M.2, supplemented by a traditional 1-TB hard drive in 2 , 5-inch format. In Russia, a laptop will cost from 1,750 euros.
Compared to a laptop on the Skylake processor , which we tested last year, there are not many changes. The dragon emblem on the display cover MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro points to a gaming notebook, otherwise the design can be called simple. The display cover is made of textured aluminum, and the main body is made of plastic. In general, the case leaves the impression of high quality. Cover durable and cold to the touch.
We have not detected any defects in the quality of the MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro. The cover of the display can be opened with one hand, but the loops could be even more tight – the lid is easily laced and shaken, for example, in a train or car. We did not find the sharp or untreated edges, but the main body was slightly bent in the lower part next to the paddle. However, we do not see anything terrible in this.
But the simplicity of the appearance ends, it is worth opening the display cover and turning on the laptop. The game model immediately manifests itself. The SteelSeries keyboard with RGB backlight can glow with all the colors of the rainbow. The backlight can be configured using the utility. Moreover, you can change the color not only for the whole backlight as a whole, but also to adjust the shade of each key separately. Different effects are also available. For example, you can activate the LED pulsation in addition to constant illumination.
MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro displays a diagonal of 15.6″, but MSI also has models with a larger diagonal of 17.3″ or less than 14. “In all cases, MSI uses the IPS panel with Full-HD resolution, that is, 1.920 x 1.080 pixels. Other options include G-Sync support, high-speed 120-gz panel and high-resolution 4K, but they are only available at more expensive options.
The dimensions of the notebook are 380 x 249 x 17.7 mm, the weight is about 1.8 kg. Of course, the market has more compact and light gaming laptops, not to mention the first models in the energy-efficient design of Max-Q . By the way, MSI has already announced the upcoming release of its own models Max-Q on the market. In any case, the MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro laptop can be used for mobile work, as well as carry on with a LAN party.
Despite the relatively compact dimensions, MSI was able to fit a digital block on the keyboard of MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro. Although its keys are less than the main block.Keyboard dimensions are decent 16 x 16 mm, the spacing between the keys is 4 mm.The stroke of the keys is quite comfortable, the tactile recoil is good, the noise is moderate. However, there is nothing surprising here, since MSI has installed the SteelSeries corporate keyboards. But the layout will have to get used to, since some of the MSI keys did less than usual.
The finger slides on the touchpad well, even if its surface is rough – in this it is almost the same as the surface of the main body. Multi-touch gestures are recognized correctly, touches are properly executed on edges and corners. There are no dedicated mouse buttons, they are integrated into the surface of the touchpad. But in order for them to work, the touchpad will have to be pressed quite a bit.
The dimensions of the touchpad are 106×70 mm larger than the average, even larger than the touchpad of some 17-inch laptops, the same as the Alienware 17. There are no other functions like the fingerprint scanner.
With a thickness of 17.7 mm, MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro laptop is compact enough. There are no special functions or interfaces behind, except for the ventilation openings for cooling the components. An external power supply with a power of 180 W is connected to the side.
Most of the interfaces are displayed on the left panel. Our test notebook included two 3.5mm gold-plated headphone audio jacks, three USB 3.1 Type A ports, a memory card slot and a Gigabit Ethernet port with Killer functionality. We note the Kensington lock to protect against theft. All interfaces are shifted to the front of the sidewall, but ports with non-flexible cables, like the same Ethernet, are located behind other connectors. Which facilitates the laying of cables on the desktop.
On the opposite side of the front you can see the power button, which is not quite common, since most gaming laptops have a power button located on the top of the main body adjacent to the keyboard. There is also a modern Type C port with Thunderbolt 3 support, an HDMI output and an optional USB Type A interface, but it works in accordance with the old standard 2.0. In addition to the ventilation holes, note the power connector of the power supply.
The total thickness of 17.7 mm in MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro laptop is very small for the gaming model, but we did not get any problems with the cooling system and the noise level. The precursor on the Skylake processor did not see any problems with cooling, but low temperatures were achieved due to high noise levels. MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro is all different.The test laptop is equipped with a more efficient Kaby Lake processor and a more efficient video card, with less heat being allocated, so the noise level is lower.
The external power supply has a power of 180 W, the battery is installed inside the notebook with a capacity of 65 Watts. There is a special function: the bottom of the laptop has a coating that resembles a cloth, so that it does not slip over the surface, even when it is not leaning against the legs.
As can be seen on the previous page, MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro laptop has a positive impact on the quality of materials and materials. Below, we will look at the performance of the notebook and the cooling system in more detail.
Like most modern gaming laptops, MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro relies on the Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor. It relates to the architecture of Kaby Lake and, like other contemporary Intel models, is produced on a 14-nm process technology. Four physical cores can run on two threads each with SMT support, as a result, the processor can handle up to eight streams. The clock frequency is from 2.9 GHz (base) to 3.9 GHz (Turbo). Compared to the predecessor of Skylake, we received a gain of up to 300 MHz.In the rest we will note 6 MB of L3 cache and 2 MB of L2 cache in total. Each kernel contains 32 kB of cache of instructions and data, like the predecessor.
Despite its increased clock speeds, Intel’s TDP heat pack has remained at 45 watts.
Intel Core i7-7700HQ memory controller works with DDR4, MSI has installed 2.400 MHz bands. However, only one module was installed in our test laptop, which worked in single-channel mode. However, this approach makes it easier to upgrade in the future, simply install another DIMM bar. But the single-channel mode in the normal configuration limits the bandwidth, which is noticeable in some tests. Most modern gaming laptops provide bandwidths over 20 GB / s, in the case of the MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro had to content less than 15 GB / s.
The performance of the Intel Core i7-7700HQ proved to be quite customary. In two Cinebench tests, the Kaby Lake CPU scored 627 and 7.84 points. In the 7-Zip compression test, the test laptop showed a performance of 19.875 MIPS, despite single-channel memory, the result is slightly lower than other models of this class of price and performance, which show over 20,000 MIPS.
In theory, the MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro notebook can be equipped with a high-speed SSD with PCI Express interface, but it is only available as an option, as the SATA model in M.2 is standard. As a result, the data transfer rate is limited to 504 MB / s. However, such a speed is quite enough: the operating system starts in a matter of seconds, programs and games are launched almost instantly. An additional 2.5 “hard disk is provided for storing user data. In our tests, it showed a bandwidth of just over 90 MB / s.
Last year’s MSI gaming models with Skylake processors were equipped exclusively with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, in the case of new laptops with Kaby Lake processors we get a less powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti . However, the graphics card is still closer to the GTX 1060 than the “junior” GTX 1050. One of the reasons lies in the number of stream processors. GPU GP107 contains 786 stream processors on a 3.3 billion transistor crystal, which is 512 smaller than the GeForce GTX 1060. The GPU clock speed is 1.493 MHz or at least 1.620 MHz in Boost mode. In our tests, the GPU worked at the Boost frequency even after a long load. The computing blocks are organized into two GPC clusters and SMM streaming multiprocessors. Six multiprocessors contain 128 stream processors, which gives 786 stream processors in total. Eight texture blocks are connected to each SMM, as a result of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, we get 48 texture blocks.
For some victims NVIDIA has gone through the subsystem memory. If the GeForce GTX 1060 used a 192-bit memory bus, it now lost its 64-bit controller. But NVIDIA still relies on the fast GDDR5 memory of 1.752 MHz, with a bandwidth of approximately 112 GB / s.We note the usual eight bitmap pipelines for each of the four remaining memory controllers, which gives 32 ROPs in total.
The crystal is made no longer on the 16-nm FinFET process technology at TSMC factories, and by 14-nm technology by Samsung. As we noted earlier, such a step did not affect the power consumption. NVIDIA points out that the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti consumes only 75 watts, that is, the graphics card works more economically than the “older” model.
With state-of-the-art and up-to-date games such as Grand Theft Auto 5, DiRt Rally, The Witcher 3, and Shadow of Mordor, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card can handle without problems, especially if you have a decent resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. The games of GTA V and DiRt Rally, like the Tomb Raider, went with high frame rates on the IPS panel and very smoothly, although at The Witcher 3 and Total War: Attila we received only about 40 fps. But for the mid-class gaming notebook, the result is acceptable.
Compared to a laptop on the Skylake processor, MSI did not change the software. We get the old good Dragon Center, which is the starting point for launching games and applications, but also provides rich system monitoring capabilities. In the utility you can see the load on the processor and video card, current clock speeds and temperatures.You can also read fan speeds and control them. You can see the speed of transmission through Killer WiFi and Ethernet. Finally, you can see through the Dragon Center the available space on the SSD and the hard drive.
Through other utilities, you can adjust the RGB backlight of the SteelSeries keyboard or create a recovery disk for MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro. There are also Killer Network Controller Configuration Utilities and Nahimic Audio Controller.
Some gamers will benefit from an annual license for the XSplit Gamecaster Streaming Utility, as well as trial versions of Microsoft Office 365, Norton Security, Magix Music and Magix Photo Maker. So the laptop can not be considered completely free of demonstration and advertising programs.
As in the case of the Skylake generation, MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro has no problems with the cooling of the new Kaby Lake processor. Trottling is not observed, the processor and video card always work at full clock speeds. But the temperature of the CPU under a load of up to 92 ° C can not be called low, the same applies to the surface temperatures in some places – we got temperatures up to 51 ° C. However, such high temperatures were observed only in the second square of the lower panel of the main body, just between the processor and the video card. The temperatures in other places were noticeably lower, on average about 34 ° C and 36 ° C. In the mode of inactivity of the temperature a little more decreased. So under the office load you can work with a laptop on your lap, but in games it is better to think twice.
MSI was able to reduce the noise level compared to the Skylake laptop, but the test model is still not a quiet one. Under the full load we simulated with Prime95 and Furmark, three fans showed a noise level of 49.8 dB (A). Under the office load, the notebook worked often silently, but when the fans unfastened, the noise level increased to 39.1 dB (A).
Batteries of 65 Watts were enough for battery life for 67 to 178 minutes, that is, from an hour to three. Honestly, given the low power consumption of the Kaby Lake processor and the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, we expected more. But under the office load, a laptop with a fully charged battery consumed about 14 Watts, under load – more than 140 Watts. Too much compared to other models of this class of performance.
The display of the MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro could be even more contrast, we got 893: 1, but it is fairly evenly lit. The difference between the brightest and darkest areas was only 29 cd / m², which corresponds to a very good uniformity of the illumination of 91%.The maximum brightness was 328 cd / m², which allows you to work and play in fairly bright environments.
The color temperature turned out to be almost perfect. We got an average of about 6.400K, which is pretty close to the optimum of 6.500K. Many modern gaming laptops give the color blue, but the MSI with the IPS LG-Philips panel is all right. Unfortunately, the laptop does not support gaming technology G-Sync or high frequency update 120 Hz.I’ll have to settle for the native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.
MSI continues to redesign its popular MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro lineup. Instead of the Skylake processor, the slim gaming notebook received the Kaby Lake new generation model; instead of the GeForce GTX 1060, the system is equipped with a more economical GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, albeit with slightly lower performance. But it is still enough for most modern games, especially with the full-HD resolution of the native resolution. However, the laptop itself can not be called more economical or long-lived.Due to the relatively high power consumption in idle mode and under load, we did not get the longest battery life. The level of fan noise has somewhat decreased compared to the predecessor, but the quiet laptop is still not called. In our tests, we received a noise level of up to 49.8 dB (A). At least in idle mode, fans often stop, then the MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro laptop works absolutely silently.
The advantages, besides compact dimensions, include light weight and simple but stylish design. It is also pleasing to the display: it gives a high level of brightness and good uniformity of the backlight. Also, the color temperature is almost perfect, unlike many gaming competitors, colors do not give the blue. But here the contrast could be even higher. The new MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro features a number of more expensive gaming models.Namely a high-quality SteelSeries keyboard with RGB backlighting and the Nahimic Audio Enhancer sound controller. Unless ambitious gamers will like the lack of 120Hz update frequency and G-Sync support.
On the temperature impressions are ambiguous. The processor and video card have always worked without trottling, at the nominal level of performance, but the bottom panel of the laptop under full load noticeably heats up. Therefore, playing with a laptop on your knees is unlikely to succeed. The advantages include compact dimensions and good quality of the body.
In Russia, a laptop will cost from 1750 euros , so we have a rather expensive model of the middle class.