Notebookcheck

MSI GS43VR 6RE Phantom Pro Notebook Review

Allen Ngo, 09/05/2016

1080p60 gaming on a 14-incher. Stuff a GTX 1060 into an existing small form factor design and you'll automatically get one of the fastest 14-inch notebooks around. The GS40 series has made the leap to Pascal as the new GS43VR, though fan noise isn't necessarily any quieter.

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a loyal reader of notebookcheck? Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team!

Especially wanted:
Review Editor - 
Details here
News Editor - Details here

Gaming notebooks are becoming more and more popular especially in the 15-inch and 17-inch sizes. The 14-inch segment, however, is still quite small with more limited choices. MSI is one of the first to refresh its 14-inch offering from the GS40 to the GS43VR to be in line with the rest of its VR Ready G Series family.

Unlike the jump from the GS70 to the GS73VR or the GT72 to the GT73VR, the GS43VR is only an internal Pascal update from the GTX 970M in the GS40. The display, chassis, processor, and keyboard all remain identical and we recommend checking out our previous page on the GS40 since much of the review also applies to the GS43VR.

We've already seen the GTX 1060 in action and it has proven itself to be even more powerful than the GTX 980M at more mainstream prices. We'll check out in this review update how the GPU performs in an even smaller form factor than the GS73VR and if temperatures and noise are any different from the GS40. The GS43VR is currently available with a starting price of just under $1500 USD.

MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US (GS43VR Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop) - 6144 MB, Core: 1404 MHz, Memory: 8008 MHz, GDDR5, 368.79
Memory
32768 MB 
, DDR4-2134, 1300 MHz, 15-15-15-36, Dual-Channel, 2x SODIMM
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 157 PPI, IPS, Name: LG Philips LP140WF3-SPD1, ID: LGD046D, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM170 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122, 1024 GB 
, Secondary: 2 TB 5400 RPM Seagate ST2000LM003 HN-M201RAD
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 1x mic-in, 1x Headphone-out (SPDIF), Card Reader: SD (XC/HC), Brightness Sensor
Networking
Qualcomm/Atheros e2400 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter (b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22.8 x 345 x 245 ( = 0.9 x 13.58 x 9.65 in)
Battery
61 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: FHD type ([email protected])
Additional features
Speakers: 2x 2 W, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Cleaning cloth, Quick Start guide, Warranty card, Dragon Center, Nahimic 2, SteelSeries Engine 3, Killer Network Manager, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.887 kg ( = 66.56 oz / 4.16 pounds), Power Supply: 732 g ( = 25.82 oz / 1.61 pounds)
Price
1500 USD

 

Case

We've already described the case and its quality in detail on our previous review of the GS40. The overall workmanship of our unit is excellent with no unintended gaps or creaking when handling the device and the outer lid benefits from the small screen size with less warping down its center. Applying pressure down the center of the keyboard and around the palm rests will result in just minor flexing that shouldn't be a cause for any concern as the base is already resistant to twists. The lid continues to be the weakest part of the notebook as it bends from its two corners easily even when compared to other 14-inch gaming notebooks like the Razer Blade 14. Its inner plastic bezel also appears cheap in contrast to the attractive brushed aluminum surfaces of the outer lid and palm rests.

In terms of size and weight, the MSI is not significantly heavier or lighter than competing 14-inch gaming notebooks since they average pretty tightly around the 2 kg mark. Its overall dimensions are nonetheless slightly larger than its closest competitors including the Gigabyte P34W, Alienware 13, and Razer Blade 14. This can be attributed to the comparatively wider display bezel of the GS43VR at about 1.6 cm from the edge of the screen to the edge of the outer lid.

Connectivity

Available ports are again similar to the GS40 with no updates or changes. The all-important USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3 remains, but the placement of the thick HDMI port is quite close upfront and can potentially take up valuable desk space. In turn, all ports are accessible and easy to reach. We would like to see at least one more USB Type-A port in the future as many 14-inch gaming notebooks tend to carry a total of three.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: USB Type-C + Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, Kensington Lock
Right: USB Type-C + Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, Kensington Lock
Rear: mini-DisplayPort 1.2
Rear: mini-DisplayPort 1.2
Left: Gigabit Ethernet, AC adapter, USB 3.0, SD reader, 3.5 mm microphone and earphones
Left: Gigabit Ethernet, AC adapter, USB 3.0, SD reader, 3.5 mm microphone and earphones

SD Card Reader

The card reader is slow with read rates of just under 26 MB/s according to AS SSD with our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II test card. In comparison, the card reader on the GT72VR returns read rates of over 180 MB/s. Transferring 1 GB worth of images from the SD card to desktop will take roughly 45 seconds.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
78 MB/s ∼100% +245%
MSI GS73VR 6RF
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
23.8 MB/s ∼31% +5%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
22.6 MB/s ∼29%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
87 MB/s ∼100% +241%
MSI GS73VR 6RF
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
27.6 MB/s ∼32% +8%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
25.55 MB/s ∼29%

Communication

The dual-band Killer 1535 M.2 WLAN card employs MU-MIMO, DoubleShot Pro, and Bluetooth 4.1 with a maximum theoretical throughput of 867 Mbps. Our Jperf tests and settings below return very stable transfer rates and a real-world throughput of about 511 MB/s when standing one meter away from our Linksys EA8500 test router.

Jperf (Client)
Jperf (Client)
Jperf (Server)
Jperf (Server)
Networking
iperf Server (receive) TCP 1 m 512KB
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
538.908 MBit/s ∼100%
iperf Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 512KB
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
511.386 MBit/s ∼100%

Accessories

Included extras are a cleaning cloth and the usual Quick Start guide and warranty card. Case covers and other G series branded accessories are sold separately. We recommend taking advantage of the Thunderbolt 3 port for external 4K options and docking stations.

Discussion

Maintenance

The bottom panel can be removed very easily with just a single Philips screwdriver. Unfortunately, removing this panel will automatically break the warranty seal like the GS40 before it. This is a bummer as core components are easily upgradeable including the M.2 SSD, 2.5-inch SATA drive, and both RAM modules. Note that the M.2 WLAN module is underneath the GPU heat pipes, so replacing and upgrading WLAN will be a bit trickier. Both the CPU and GPU are soldered as expected.

Warranty

The manufacturer offers 24-month limited warranty as standard with a dead pixel policy covering at least 5 abnormal pixels. Furthermore, CUKUSA covers any components installed by the reseller for up to three years including RAM and disk drives. Registering the notebook with MSI will extend the base warranty by another three months.

No major changes to the internal design
No major changes to the internal design

Input Devices

Keyboard and Touchpad

The GS43VR uses the same SteelSeries keyboard (28.0 x 10.5 cm) and red-trimmed touchpad (10.5 x 7.0 cm) as on the GS40, so our previous comments also apply here. That is, we find the keyboard keys to offer ample travel and feedback that are held back a bit by the flexible surface of the base surrounding them. Pushing down on the keys will depress the base ever so slightly, which causes the keys to feel softer than they really are. This isn't an issue in the long run as users will simply acclimate to feel of the keyboard over time. We are, however, a bit disappointed that MSI did not update the keyboard keys with translucent white edges and RGB options as found on its larger and higher-end GS/GT series.

We encountered no problems with the integrated touchpad as it is responsive and reliable for both simple cursor movement and multi-touch inputs. Its integrated clickpad keys are shallow in travel and could have been firmer in feedback, so we find it easier and quicker to tap on the surface instead. The force required to push down and input a click makes it difficult to use for long periods without an external mouse.

Keys are firmer and with deeper travel than on most Ultrabooks
Keys are firmer and with deeper travel than on most Ultrabooks
Two levels of red backlighting with no RGB option
Two levels of red backlighting with no RGB option

Display

MSI has not updated the 1080p IPS panel on the GS43VR as it uses the same LG Philips LP140WF3-SPD1 panel as the outgoing GS40. This isn't necessarily bad as we found the display to be good for a 14-inch notebook, but it would have been nice to see 2K or 3K options or even 120 Hz/5 ms options as found on MSI's 17-inch VR Ready systems. Our display and brightness measurements are close to what we measured on the older GS40 save for the lower contrast of about 500:1. The bright matte panel is clean with very minimal graininess when viewed up close.

Our test unit exhibited light-moderate backlight bleeding on the bottom right corner and top edge that is only noticeable during dimly lit scenes or movies with black borders.

Some slight bleeding on the top and bottom edges
Some slight bleeding on the top and bottom edges
RGB subpixel array (157 PPI)
RGB subpixel array (157 PPI)
277.8
cd/m²
310
cd/m²
307.4
cd/m²
270.2
cd/m²
288.4
cd/m²
283.1
cd/m²
256
cd/m²
273
cd/m²
273.9
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 310 cd/m² Average: 282.2 cd/m² Minimum: 5.94 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 288.4 cd/m²
Contrast: 506:1 (Black: 0.57 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.61 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 1.18 | - Ø
86.4% sRGB (Argyll) 56.4% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.24
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Gigabyte P34W v5
IPS, 14, 2560x1440
MSI GS40-6QE16H11
LG Philips LP140WF3-SPD1 (LGD046D), IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Aorus X3 Plus v5
IPS, 13.9, 3200x1800
Razer Blade 14 2015
IPS, 14, 3200x1800
Response Times
-17%
4%
-80%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
31.6
41.2
-30%
31
2%
52.4
-66%
Response Time Black / White *
24.4
25.4
-4%
23
6%
47.2
-93%
PWM Frequency
198
Screen
-4%
-67%
-18%
-43%
Brightness
282
270
-4%
282
0%
370
31%
311
10%
Brightness Distribution
83
83
0%
88
6%
79
-5%
78
-6%
Black Level *
0.57
0.38
33%
0.37
35%
0.293
49%
0.416
27%
Contrast
506
731
44%
822
62%
1347
166%
765
51%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.61
2.71
-4%
7.47
-186%
4.8
-84%
3.67
-41%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.18
2.11
-79%
6.51
-452%
5.04
-327%
5.41
-358%
Gamma
2.24 107%
2.19 110%
3.71 65%
2.26 106%
2.26 106%
CCT
6506 100%
6314 103%
7840 83%
7343 89%
7118 91%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
56.4
48.5
-14%
56
-1%
63.4
12%
64.64
15%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
86.4
76.9
-11%
86
0%
98.1
14%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-11% / -7%
-32% / -53%
-49% / -30%
-43% / -43%

* ... smaller is better

Color coverage is high at about 86 percent of the sRGB standard. Larger gaming notebooks tend to offer panels with 95 percent sRGB or even complete sRGB coverage, though the wide gamut has little impact on gaming and is instead geared more towards digital artists.

vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. Gigabyte P45W v5
vs. Gigabyte P45W v5
vs. Razer Blade 14 2015
vs. Razer Blade 14 2015

Unlike on our GS40 test unit, our GS43VR doesn't require further calibration as grayscale and colors are already accurate out-of-the-box. Colors still become increasingly inaccurate at higher saturation levels due to the panel's imperfect sRGB coverage.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
24.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5.2 ms rise
↘ 19.2 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 33 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (27.4 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
31.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 10.4 ms rise
↘ 21.2 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 17 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (44.5 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 59 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 655 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 28740) Hz was measured.

Viewing angles are excellent as expected from an IPS panel and the ~280 nit backlight works well with the small size and matte screen for good visibility outdoors when under shade. The hinges can open up to about 140 degrees to reduce glare from an overcast or sunny day. Viewing too far off angle should be avoided as apparent brightness will decrease.

Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

Turbo Boost up to 3.5 GHz for only short periods
Turbo Boost up to 3.5 GHz for only short periods

Core components remain identical to the GS40 other than the GPU update from Maxwell to Pascal. Thus, the GS43VR ships with the same Core i7-6700HQ CPU and RAM options of up to 32 GB of DDR4. It's worth noting that the GS43VR uses the same CPU as most larger gaming notebooks, so users are not necessarily sacrificing processor performance for the smaller form factor. Nonetheless, we were able to record inferior Turbo Boost speeds out of the i7-6700HQ in the GS43VR as detailed in the next few sections.

Optimus is still supported for automatic graphics switching to the integrated HD Graphics 530 when appropriate. As a result, G-Sync is unavailable on this series.

Processor

The Skylake i7-6700HQ is very common on newer gaming notebooks and our database shows it to offer only minor raw CPU performance boosts over the Broadwell Core i7-5700HQ. According to CineBench, the processor is slightly slower than expected on the GS43VR since it is unable to sustain its rated maximum Turbo Boost of 3.1 GHz to 3.5 GHz when under extreme loads. We were able to repeat this when subjecting the system to Prime95 stress, its maximum Turbo Boost rate is only temporary. The desktop-class i7-6700K offers a 30 percent raw performance boost in both single- and multi-threaded workloads.

See our dedicated CPU page on the Core i7-6700HQ for more technical details and benchmark comparisons.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
166 Points ∼87% +28%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
Intel Core i7-6820HK
158 Points ∼83% +22%
Gigabyte P55 V4
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
144 Points ∼76% +11%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
130 Points ∼68%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
125 Points ∼66% -4%
CPU Multi 64Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
865 Points ∼52% +28%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
Intel Core i7-6820HK
860 Points ∼52% +27%
Gigabyte P55 V4
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
721 Points ∼44% +7%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
675 Points ∼41%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
490 Points ∼30% -27%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
1.91 Points ∼23% +29%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.78 Points ∼22% +20%
Gigabyte P55 V4
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
1.54 Points ∼19% +4%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.48 Points ∼18%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
1.46 Points ∼18% -1%
CPU Multi 64Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
9.56 Points ∼54% +28%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
Intel Core i7-6820HK
9.53 Points ∼54% +28%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.45 Points ∼42%
Gigabyte P55 V4
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
6.89 Points ∼39% -8%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
5.29 Points ∼30% -29%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
6487 Points ∼88% +31%
Gigabyte P55 V4
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
5516 Points ∼75% +12%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
4999 Points ∼68% +1%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
4937 Points ∼67%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
26150 Points ∼75% +30%
Gigabyte P55 V4
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
20801 Points ∼60% +3%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
20111 Points ∼58%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
14329 Points ∼41% -29%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
323 s * ∼4% -38%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
234.01 s * ∼3%
Gigabyte P55 V4
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
205.34 s * ∼2% +12%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
178.464 s * ∼2% +24%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
651.859 Seconds * ∼3%
Gigabyte P55 V4
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
593.228 Seconds * ∼3% +9%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
569.349 Seconds * ∼3% +13%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
498.33 Seconds * ∼2% +24%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6811
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
20111
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4937
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.45 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
55.05 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.48 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
130 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
81.52 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
675 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks show the MSI to be in the same ballpark as competing 14-inch gaming notebooks. We experienced no recurring hardware or software issues during our time with the test unit. We did, however, experience one Windows crash that we were unable to repeat and the system would sometimes take longer than usual when waking from sleep.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
4796 Points ∼74%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
4649 Points ∼71% -3%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4639 Points ∼71% -3%
Razer Blade 14 2015
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
4074 Points ∼63% -15%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
7517 Points ∼87% +52%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
4954 Points ∼58%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
4813 Points ∼56% -3%
Razer Blade 14 2015
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
4606 Points ∼54% -7%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4578 Points ∼81% +14%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
4016 Points ∼71%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
3706 Points ∼65% -8%
Razer Blade 14 2015
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
3309 Points ∼58% -18%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4016 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4954 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4796 points
Help

Storage Devices

Accessible M.2 and 2.5-inch SATA III bays
Accessible M.2 and 2.5-inch SATA III bays

Two accessible storage bays are available (M.2 and 2.5-inch SATA III) with no RAID options, but the M.2 slot in particular will support NVMe SSDs for very fast transfer rates. Our test unit has been outfitted with a 1 TB SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122 M.2 SATA SSD and a secondary 2 TB Seagate ST2000LM003 HN-M201RAD 2.5-inch HDD for additional storage.

Transfer rates from our SanDisk SSD are average according to both AS SSD and CDM even for a drive limited by the SATA III controller. We recorded sequential read and write rates of 335 MB/s and 299 MB/s, respectively, compared to 497 MB/s and 419 MB/s from the Lite-On SSD in our older Razer Blade 14. Other 14-inch gaming systems with NVMe SSDs easily outperform our SanDisk. Meanwhile, the secondary 5400 RPM Seagate HDD is quite slow with an average transfer rate of just over 60 MB/s according to HD Tune. Most mechanical drives average above 80 Mb/s or closer to 100 MB/s for 7200 RPM drives.

See our comparison table of HDDs and SSDs for more benchmarks.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CDM (Primary SSD)
CDM (Primary SSD)
CDM (Secondary HDD)
CDM (Secondary HDD)
HD Tune (Secondary HDD)
HD Tune (Secondary HDD)
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
 
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
Gigabyte P34W v5
Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
MSI GS40-6QE16H11
Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
Aorus X3 Plus v5
Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Razer Blade 14 2015
Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
338%
196%
307%
66%
Write 4k QD32
156.3
418.9
168%
247.3
58%
421.4
170%
323.2
107%
Read 4k QD32
247.4
621.7
151%
559.4
126%
635.5
157%
357.6
45%
Write 4k
35.31
167.3
374%
138.8
293%
147.2
317%
64.37
82%
Read 4k
17.68
53.83
204%
49.57
180%
51.66
192%
31.25
77%
Write 512
246.7
1483
501%
650.1
164%
1536
523%
392.6
59%
Read 512
223
936.6
320%
935.8
320%
928.5
316%
371
66%
Write Seq
299
1524
410%
686.6
130%
1565
423%
418.6
40%
Read Seq
335.3
2269
577%
1332
297%
1529
356%
496.6
48%
SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
Sequential Read: 335.3 MB/s
Sequential Write: 299 MB/s
512K Read: 223 MB/s
512K Write: 246.7 MB/s
4K Read: 17.68 MB/s
4K Write: 35.31 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 247.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 156.3 MB/s

GPU Performance

We can't stop praising Pascal even after publishing on at least a dozen gaming notebooks equipped with the new generation of Nvidia GPUs. 3DMark benchmarks show the GTX 1060 to be comfortably in between the GTX 980M and the notebook version of the GTX 980 in raw graphics performance. Upgrading from the previous generation GTX 960M to the GTX 1060 will net users a performance increase of about 150 to 200 percent while a jump from the GTX 970M in the older GS40 will be about 60 percent.

See our dedicated overview on the new Pascal series for more technical information and benchmarks.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Unlimited
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Graphics
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
4067 Points ∼40% +58%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
3009 Points ∼30% +17%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
2581 Points ∼26%
Aorus X5S v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
2212 Points ∼22% -14%
HP Pavilion 15 UHD T9Y85AV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
942 Points ∼9% -64%
Fire Strike Extreme Graphics
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
6123 Points ∼45% +11%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
5504 Points ∼41%
Aorus X5S v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
4426 Points ∼33% -20%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
3517 Points ∼26% -36%
HP Pavilion 15 UHD T9Y85AV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
2004 Points ∼15% -64%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
17498 Points ∼45% +49%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
13018 Points ∼33% +11%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
11776 Points ∼30%
Aorus X5S v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
9441 Points ∼24% -20%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
7321 Points ∼19% -38%
HP Pavilion 15 UHD T9Y85AV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
4249 Points ∼11% -64%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
10000 Points ∼81% +25%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
9017 Points ∼73% +13%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
7977 Points ∼65%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
7952 Points ∼64% 0%
Aorus X5S v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
5960 Points ∼48% -25%
HP Pavilion 15 UHD T9Y85AV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
5472 Points ∼44% -31%
1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
23586 Points ∼46% +57%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
16946 Points ∼33% +13%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
14977 Points ∼29%
Aorus X5S v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
12197 Points ∼24% -19%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
9824 Points ∼19% -34%
HP Pavilion 15 UHD T9Y85AV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
5452 Points ∼11% -64%
3DMark 11 Performance
12462 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
83301 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
23391 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
9814 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
5170 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Nearly all tested games can play at 1080p60 on the highest graphical settings whereas the last generation GTX 960M or GTX 970M was more fit for 1080p30 gaming on Medium to Ultra settings. The GTX 1060 was designed to be a balanced card for enthusiast 1080p gamers, so pairing a GTX 1070 or 1080 with a 60 Hz 1080p display can be considered overkill for even the latest titles.

See our dedicated GPU page on the GTX 1060 for more comparisons and gaming benchmarks.

BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
137.1 (min: 34.5) fps ∼100% +34%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
106.2 fps ∼77% +4%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
102.1 fps ∼74%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
86.4 fps ∼63% -15%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
69.5 fps ∼51% -32%
HP Pavilion 15 UHD T9Y85AV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G
45.8 fps ∼33% -55%
Metro: Last Light - 1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
88.3 fps ∼100% +12%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
78.6 fps ∼89%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
50.5 fps ∼57% -36%
HP Pavilion 15 UHD T9Y85AV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G
31.4 fps ∼36% -60%
Thief - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
101.6 (min: 73.9) fps ∼100% +55%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
67.9 fps ∼67% +4%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
65.6 fps ∼65%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
58.6 fps ∼58% -11%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
47.5 fps ∼47% -28%
HP Pavilion 15 UHD T9Y85AV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G
28.2 fps ∼28% -57%
Batman: Arkham Knight - 1920x1080 High / On AA:SM AF:16x
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
117 fps ∼100% +102%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
63 fps ∼54% +9%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
58 fps ∼50%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
36 fps ∼31% -38%
HP Pavilion 15 UHD T9Y85AV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G
22 fps ∼19% -62%
Fallout 4 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T AF:16x
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
79.3 fps ∼100% +16%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
68.5 fps ∼86%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
57.9 fps ∼73% -15%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
43.5 fps ∼55% -36%
HP Pavilion 15 UHD T9Y85AV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G
24.1 fps ∼30% -65%
Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
92.8 (min: 80) fps ∼100% +39%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
66.8 fps ∼72%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
60.4 fps ∼65% -10%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
55 fps ∼59% -18%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
42.8 fps ∼46% -36%
HP Pavilion 15 UHD T9Y85AV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G
23.5 fps ∼25% -65%
Doom - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:SM
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
84.3 fps ∼100% +8%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
77.8 fps ∼92%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
56 fps ∼66% -28%
Overwatch - 1920x1080 Epic (Render Scale 100 %) AA:SM AF:16x
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
118.2 fps ∼100% +11%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
106.7 fps ∼90%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
87.3 fps ∼74% -18%
HP Pavilion 15 UHD T9Y85AV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G
40.2 fps ∼34% -62%
low med. high ultra
Guild Wars 2 (2012) 50.1fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 102.1fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 78.6fps
Thief (2014) 65.6fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 8058fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 60fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 68.5fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 66.8fps
Doom (2016) 77.8fps
Overwatch (2016) 106.7fps

Stress Test

We subject the system to extreme stress levels to test for potential throttling or stability issues. When under Prime95 load, the CPU would plateau in the 2.8 to 2.9 GHz clock range and a core temperature of 76 C. Note that the CPU itself is rated for a multi-thread maximum of 3.1 GHz, so the GS43VR is unable to maintain its maximum CPU Turbo Boost. Running FurMark stresses the GPU to a maximum core temperature of 80 C and running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously will bring both cores to 88 C. The GPU throttles just slightly as expected, but the CPU remains slightly above its base clock rate at all times.

Running Unigine Valley is more representative of gaming loads. Both the CPU and GPU are able to maintain their respective Boost clock rates with CPU and GPU temperatures stabilizing at around 70 C and 80 C, respectively. These are very warm temperatures for those who are accustomed to desktop setups, but the high 70s to 80s is a standard range for small or super-thin gaming notebooks. Larger gaming systems that can afford more powerful cooling solutions like the GT72VR or ROG G752VS will run at cooler core temperatures. Nonetheless, users need not worry about CPU or GPU throttling when gaming on the 14-inch MSI.

Running on battery power will throttle GPU performance while the CPU is relatively unaffected. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 8231 points and 5661 points, respectively, compared to 8509 points and 14977 points when on mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Unigine Valley stress
Unigine Valley stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 2.8 - 2.9 -- 76 55
FurMark Stress -- 1367 - 1380 61 80
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 2.7 - 2.8 1304 - 1367 88 88
Unigine Valley Stress 3.2+ 1658 69 81

Emissions

System Noise

Loud fan noise when gaming (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Valley, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Loud fan noise when gaming (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Valley, Green: Prime95+FurMark)

The cooling solution remains identical to the one employed on the previous GS40 with twin ~45 mm fans and five heat pipes across the CPU, GPU, and VRAM modules. The fans run independently each with their own control options via the Dragon Center utility not unlike on the GT72VR.

The CPU fan on the GS43VR is always active no matter the workload or system settings. The GPU fan, however, will periodically pulsate between idle and active, so overall fan noise during low loads is in the 32 to 33.5 dB(A) range. Bump the notebook to High performance with the dGPU selected and the system will pulsate more frequently. Overall fan noise is fortunately not loud enough to be bothersome in office or classroom environments, though it is audible nonetheless. We recommend the lowest power settings if using the notebook in noise-sensitive environments.

Gaming load will bump fan noise up considerably to a stable 50 dB(A). This is uncomfortably loud if gaming without earphones and is louder than many other super-thin gaming notebooks as illustrated in the table below. Games where footsteps and ambient sounds are crucial to gameplay, like in MGS V, can be difficult to play. The difference in fan noise between gaming and maximum load with Prime95 and FurMark is only 1 to 2 dB(A), so the fans are already close to their maximum speeds when gaming.

Two heat pipes for the CPU...
Two heat pipes for the CPU...
... and three more for the GPU
... and three more for the GPU

Noise Level

Idle
32 / 32 / 33.5 dB(A)
Load
50 / 51.5 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29.1 dB(A)
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
MSI GS40-6QE16H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
Aorus X3 Plus v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Razer Blade 14 2015
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
Noise
2%
-2%
3%
5%
Idle Minimum *
32
31.6
1%
33
-3%
32.1
-0%
29.7
7%
Idle Average *
32
31.6
1%
34
-6%
32.4
-1%
29.9
7%
Idle Maximum *
33.5
32.5
3%
38
-13%
32.5
3%
30
10%
Load Average *
50
46.5
7%
44
12%
40.1
20%
42.1
16%
Load Maximum *
51.5
52.5
-2%
52
-1%
54.6
-6%
59
-15%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Surface temperatures when idling are cool on both sides with some warm spots on the bottom. In particular, surfaces that are closer to the storage drives, RAM modules, and processors can be as warm as 37 C even during very low workloads.

The tight positioning of the heat pipes and processors on the rear center of the unit means a very steep temperature gradient when under heavy and extreme loads. We were able to record maximum surface temperatures as high as 56 C on top and 63 C on the bottom. Fortunately, these hot surfaces are above the very top row of keys and on the rear of the notebook, respectively, to draw heat away from the frontal quadrants. The temperature gradient behaves like a point source, so the center of the keyboard will be much warmer than the left- and right-hand sides when gaming.

When compared to other 14-inch gaming notebooks, both the older GS40 and Gigabyte P34W run warmer slightly warmer under extreme loads while the Aorus X3 Plus v5 is much cooler at under 50 C on its warmest spots.

Maximum load (Top)
Maximum load (Top)
Maximum load (Bottom)
Maximum load (Bottom)
Max. Load
 46.2 °C55.6 °C49.2 °C 
 41.8 °C51.4 °C43.6 °C 
 29.2 °C28.6 °C32.2 °C 
Maximum: 55.6 °C
Average: 42 °C
48 °C62.4 °C48 °C
35.8 °C49 °C33.6 °C
34.6 °C28.2 °C26.4 °C
Maximum: 62.4 °C
Average: 40.7 °C
Power Supply (max.)  49.4 °C | Room Temperature 22 °C | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer

Speakers

(Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
(Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)

The front-facing 2 W stereo speakers are sufficiently loud with acceptable sound quality considering the small size. Its lack of a dedicated subwoofer is apparent during music playback and our microphone measurements show two distinct peaks to suggest an unbalanced sound experience at maximum volume. The case does not reverberate from its internal speakers.

Like its larger siblings in the G series, the GS43VR integrates the same Sabre audio DAC to support high quality external studio headphones or speakers - a feature that is uncommon in this screen size.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2036.433.72536.4353137.133.84034.834.15034.634.16332.532.68032.433.11003231.212530.63116029.137.420028.745.925028.750.531527.353.440026.955.250026.165.463025.167.980027.265.8100025.262.7125024.958.1160024.459.4200023.859250023.557.5315023.360.9400023.564.3500023.369.5630023.166.8800023.169.11000023.367.11250023.252.51600023.437.2SPL36.676.7N2.838.9median 24.9MSI GS43VR 6RE-006USmedian 59Delta2.69.435.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76.7 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 17.5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.9% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (8.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (26.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 92% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 4% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 17%, worst was 29%
Compared to all devices tested
» 73% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 21% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 3% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 95% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)
Graph 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Graph 2: Audio off

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The GS43VR demands just over 12 W of power when idling on Power Saver and 19 W when idling on High Performance and on the maximum screen brightness. Gaming will draw about 107 W to be roughly comparable to the 17-inch Acer Predator 17 with GTX 980M graphics. The system here appears to be slightly more demanding than the GS40 when under high loads.

We were able to record a maximum draw of just under 160 W when running both Prime95 and FurMark against a power adapter (~16 x 7.5 x 3 cm) rated for 180 W. The overhead of about 10 percent is satisfactory, albeit narrow.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.68 / 1.4 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 12.1 / 19 / 19.5 Watt
Load midlight 106.7 / 159 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
MSI GS40-6QE16H11
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 970M, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Acer Predator 17 G9-792-71EF
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 980M, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH, IPS, 3840x2160, 17.3
HP Pavilion 15 UHD T9Y85AV
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Power Consumption
-51%
6%
-22%
25%
Idle Minimum *
12.1
22.3
-84%
10
17%
14
-16%
8.3
31%
Idle Average *
19
27.3
-44%
14
26%
24
-26%
14.8
22%
Idle Maximum *
19.5
30
-54%
24
-23%
32
-64%
16.8
14%
Load Average *
106.7
152.2
-43%
90
16%
108
-1%
71
33%
Load Maximum *
159
204.2
-28%
172
-8%
164
-3%
119.2
25%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Runtimes are not significantly better or worse than the outgoing GS40 and is more or less in the same ballpark as other 14-inch gaming notebooks under similar WLAN conditions. Thus, users can expect around 4.5 hours of real-world use out of the GS43VR. The system can last for a surprisingly long time when idling on the minimum brightness setting at over 9 hours, so users who are very conservative with power settings can stretch out the battery for quite a bit.

Charging from near empty to full capacity will take roughly 2.5 to 3 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
9h 37min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
4h 21min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 18min
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 61 Wh
Gigabyte P34W v5
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 970M, 61 Wh
MSI GS40-6QE16H11
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 970M, 61 Wh
Aorus X3 Plus v5
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 970M, 73 Wh
Razer Blade 14 2015
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 970M, 71 Wh
Battery Runtime
-28%
-18%
-10%
-21%
Reader / Idle
577
392
-32%
313
-46%
481
-17%
380
-34%
Load
78
47
-40%
60
-23%
55
-29%
66
-15%
WiFi
WiFi v1.3
261
232
-11%
297
14%
305
17%
222
-15%

Pro

+ accessible internals; upgradeable storage and RAM
+ 1080p60 gaming on Ultra or maximum settings
+ high quality IPS panel; bright backlight
+ USB Type-C + Thunderbolt 3
+ small, compact, portable

Cons

- removing bottom panel will break warranty seal
- no resolution options higher than 1080p
- system fans always active; may pulsate
- loud fan noise under gaming loads
- no G-Sync or 120 Hz/5 ms options
- Lid and base could be more rigid
- no RGB backlight options
- slow SD reader

Verdict

In review: MSI GS43VR 6RE Phantom Pro-006. Test model provided by CUKUSA.com
In review: MSI GS43VR 6RE Phantom Pro-006. Test model provided by CUKUSA.com

We concluded that the GS40 was a "good compromise between performance and compact dimensions", but the introduction of Pascal means users no longer need to sacrifice nearly as much performance for a smaller design. It was insane to think that gaming on maximum 1080p60 settings would be possible on a 14-inch form factor even a year ago, yet here we are with a notebook that is quite literally half the size of previous generation Maxwell gaming notebooks with graphics performance surpassing that of the GTX 980M.

Drawbacks continue to be the usual for small and thin form factors: Loud fan noise, less features, and higher operating temperatures. In this regard, the GS43VR provides no significant upgrades over the GS40 as it does not run significantly cooler, quieter, or even longer than the outgoing model. In fact, our measurements show the GS43VR to be just as loud if not louder under gaming loads with core GPU temperatures hovering in the low 80 C range.

We would like to see a revised cooling system for future revisions of the 14-inch GS series. While the keyboard is good as is, a stiffer base would make it even better. We realize that G-Sync isn't currently possible with Optimus, but having the option with higher resolution panels or even support for external G-Sync displays could increase the versatility of the system both at home and on-the-go.

The GS43VR is only recommended if you value its portability above all else. Otherwise, larger and tougher systems like the GT72VR or GE62VR with the same GPU are both cooler and quieter and carry more features in the same price range.

MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US - 09/08/2016 v5.1
Allen Ngo

Chassis
75 / 98 → 77%
Keyboard
75%
Pointing Device
78%
Connectivity
65 / 81 → 80%
Weight
64 / 66 → 96%
Battery
77%
Display
88%
Games Performance
94%
Application Performance
87%
Temperature
82 / 95 → 86%
Noise
70 / 90 → 78%
Audio
77%
Camera
63 / 85 → 74%
Average
77%
84%
Gaming - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

Read all 3 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment this article:
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GS43VR 6RE Phantom Pro Notebook Review
Allen Ngo, 2016-09- 5 (Update: 2016-09- 7)