Notebookcheck

MSI GT72S 6QE Dominator Pro G Notebook Review

Florian Glaser (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 10/12/2015

King of Features. MSI refreshes its gaming laptops with new hardware and exciting features within the framework of the release of Intel's Skylake generation. Read here how the GT72S top model fares against its high-end rivals.

For the original German review, see here.

Unlike the predecessors that were furnished with a CPU from the Haswell or Broadwell platform, MSI now relies on the brand new Skylake architecture in its latest GT72. Although it did not exactly stand out with higher performance in prior tests, its considerably lower power consumption was striking (e.g. in this review).

We opted for the 2700 Euro (~$3075) top model GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW for this report. In contrast to most family members, it does not sport a Core i7-6700HQ (2.6-3.5 GHz, 6 MB L3 cache), but a Core Core i7-6820HK (2.7-3.6 GHz, 8 MB L3 cache instead. A 16 GB working memory (2 of 4 slots filled) and a 1000 GB, 7200 rpm HDD accompany that. The 64-bit version of Windows 10 is, however, installed on a 256 GB solid-state drive. The highlight: Thanks to NVMe technology, the M.2 model scores much better than conventional SATA III SSDs.

Another highlight is the matte, Full HD screen that can boast very high viewing angle stability. Buyers on a tighter budget and limited to spend at most 2000 Euros (~$2278) on a laptop will find a match in the GT72-6QD. The lower priced model features a GeForce GTX 970M rather than GTX 980M.

MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
Processor
Intel Core i7-6820HK 2.7 GHz @ 3.7 GHz (Intel Core i7)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M - 8192 MB, Core: 1038 MHz, Memory: 2500 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 353.96, Manual switch to HD Graphics 530
Memory
16384 MB 
, 2x 8 GB SO-DIMM DDR4-RAM (2133 MHz), 2 of 4 slots filled, max. 64 GB
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF1 (LGD0469), IPS, Full HD, 30-75 Hz, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Sunrise Point CM236
Storage
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7, 256 GB 
, SSD + HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, 1000 GB HDD @ 7200 rpm; slots: 2x M.2 SATA III, 2x M.2 PCIe/NVMe & 1x 2.5 inches
Soundcard
Realtek ALC899 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
6 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphone, microphone, line-in, line-out (7.1 analog + S/PDIF), Card Reader: SD,SDHC,SDXC, USB 3.1 Type C (SuperPort)
Networking
Killer e2400 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter (b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Optical drive
HL-DT-ST BD-RE BU20N
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 48 x 428 x 294 ( = 1.89 x 16.85 x 11.57 in)
Battery
83 Wh Lithium-Ion, 7500 mAh, 9 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: FHD (1080p @ 30 fps)
Additional features
Speakers: 2.1 Dynaudio (Nahimic Audio Enhancer), Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, power supply: 230 watts, polishing cloth, warranty card, recovery information, quick start guide, driver DVD, XSplit Gamecaster Trial, Norton Security (trial), MS Office 365 (trial), CyberLink PowerDVD 12, diverse manufacturer tools, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
3.79 kg ( = 133.69 oz / 8.36 pounds), Power Supply: 774 g ( = 27.3 oz / 1.71 pounds)
Price
2700 Euro

 

System Control Manager
System Control Manager
Dragon Gaming Center
Dragon Gaming Center
SteelSeries Engine
SteelSeries Engine
MSI True Color
MSI True Color
Killer Network Manager
Killer Network Manager
Nahimic Sound
Nahimic Sound

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Innovations

The GT72S-6QE is nearly identical to the GT72-2QE that we tested not quite four months ago. With the exception of the slightly reworked interfaces, both laptops look similar and thus we will not reassess the chassis, connectivity, input devices or speakers. Major modifications are only found in technology and features:

  • The GT72 now supports Nvidia's G-Sync, which prevents screen tearing and ensures a smoother image
  • A CM236 chipset is now the motherboard (previously HM87)
  • The GDDR5 video memory of the GeForce GTX 980M has twice the capacity with 8 GB rather than 4 GB
  • The Core i7-6820HK Skylake processor has a free multiplier that facilitates overclocking
  • The CPU's clock is permanently boosted to 3.7 GHz in Sport Mode (Fn + F7)
  • Two of the four M.2 slots support PCIe respectively NVMe for particularly swift solid-state drives
  • A DDR4 rather than DDR3 RAM working memory is installed
  • MSI supplements the GT72 with a high-quality audio DAC converter (ESS SABRE Hi-Fi) that is to improve the sound quality of headsets

Interface fanatics will be pleased about the "SuperPort". The USB 3.1 port is also compatible with Thunderbolt and DisplayPort (two 4K monitors via Daisy Chain).

The LP173WF4-SPF1 screen from LG Philips again takes care of image output. Some of the rates have improved compared with the last test, which is likely due to production variances. 

317
cd/m²
311
cd/m²
327
cd/m²
318
cd/m²
322
cd/m²
323
cd/m²
312
cd/m²
293
cd/m²
309
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 327 cd/m² Average: 314.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 322 cd/m²
Contrast: 1073:1 (Black: 0.3 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.78 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 2.43 | - Ø
85% sRGB (Argyll) 56% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.54

The average brightness of over 300 cd/m² and a contrast higher than 1000:1 places the GT72S in the first league. The black level is also compelling: 0.3 cd/m² are good for an IPS panel. We are not as satisfied with the illumination. Although the screen achieves 90% on paper, minor screen bleeding is noticed at the edges of the review sample. However, that is often the case in many laptops and will not annoy every user.

MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF1 (LGD0469)
MSI GT72-2QE16SR21BW
LP173WF4-SPF1 (LGD0469)
Asus G751JY
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPD1 (LGD046C)
Alienware 17 R2
LG Philips LGD0459 / 173WF4 (Dell P/N: CV69H)
Schenker XMG U706
LG LP173WF4-SPD1
Screen
-32%
-11%
-11%
-8%
Brightness315278
-12%
320
2%
307
-3%
287
-9%
Brightness Distribution9087
-3%
92
2%
84
-7%
91
1%
Black Level *0.30.45
-50%
0.34
-13%
0.3
-0%
0.305
-2%
Contrast1073633
-41%
968
-10%
1103
3%
977
-9%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *3.785.1
-35%
4.13
-9%
4.88
-29%
4.16
-10%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *2.435.23
-115%
3.72
-53%
3.63
-49%
3.13
-29%
Gamma *2.542.322.362.172.26
CCT6706 97%7565 86%6352 102%6325 103%6213 105%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)5657
2%
55
-2%
55
-2%
55.5
-1%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)8587
2%
83
-2%
84.2
-1%
84.5
-1%

* ... smaller is better

Plus points are especially awarded for the True Color software that allows setting the screen to different scenarios, such as Designer, Office or Movie. The GT72S performed the color assessments using the default sRGB profile. The screenshots below illustrate that the balance is quite good, and that post calibration barely leads to improvements.

CalMan: Grayscale
CalMan: Grayscale
CalMan: Grayscale (post calibration)
CalMan: Grayscale (post calibration)
CalMan: Saturation Sweeps
CalMan: Saturation Sweeps
CalMan: Saturation Sweeps (post calibration)
CalMan: Saturation Sweeps (post calibration)
CalMan: ColorChecker
CalMan: ColorChecker
CalMan: ColorChecker (post calibration)
CalMan: ColorChecker (post calibration)
MSI GT72S vs. sRGB
MSI GT72S vs. sRGB
MSI GT72S vs. AdobeRGB
MSI GT72S vs. AdobeRGB
Response time - black-white-time (rise)
Response time - black-white-time (rise)
Response time - black-white-time (fall)
Response time - black-white-time (fall)
Response time - gray-to-gray (rise)
Response time - gray-to-gray (rise)
Response time - gray-to-gray (fall)
Response time - gray-to-gray (fall)

Speaking of screenshots: We recently expanded the test with a number of new measurements. The subpixel structure and response time for switching from black to white or gray to gray are among that. We also test whether a pulse width modulation occurs (some users perceive PWM as flickering), which is fortunately not the case in the GT72S. The screen does not have to accept criticism in terms of color space coverage, either. 85% sRGB and 56% AdobeRGB are decent.

Subpixel
Subpixel
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Only high-end components are found under the hood. 16 GB of RAM and a total of 1.25 terabyte hard drive capacity mark the luxury claim just as much as a quad-core processor. MSI installs Nvidia's currently strongest graphics chip, although the GeForce GTX 980M will soon find a rival in the GTX 980.

Processor

While the CPUs from the Haswell platform were still built in the 22 nm process, the architectures of both the Broadwell and Skylake are based on 14 nm. To improve the processor's performance, MSI uses the Core i7-6820HK that has an additional 2 MB of L3 cache, a somewhat lower TDP (45 vs. 47 watts) and a marginally better clock rate (2.7-3.6 vs. 2.7-3.5 GHz) than the Core i7-5700HQ.

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
CPU & GPU load
CPU & GPU load

However, the Core i7-6820HK runs at 3.7 GHz when the Sport Mode is active, as mentioned above. That also explains a major part of the difference. Great: The 3.7 GHz were maintained stably in the test with the Cinebench R15 and Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmarks. The clock rate only dropped to 3.3 or 2.7 GHz after a while in the stress test, based on relatively unrealistic conditions. Throttling, i.e. speeds below the base rate, were never observed.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.8 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
8.88 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
75.16 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
159 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
807 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
110.96 fps
Help

Thanks to the high clock, the Core i7-6820HK outruns the popular laptop Core i7-4720HQ from the Haswell generation by over 10% in the single-CPU tests and almost 20% in the multi-CPU tests. The Core i7-5700HQ in the GT72-2QE is also defeated, although the difference is not as great. A desktop processor, such as Schenker installs in its XMG U706, would be needed to retrieve even more power (the Core i7-6700K calculates almost 10% faster).

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
Intel Core i7-6820HK
159 Points ∼86%
MSI GT72-2QE16SR21BW
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
145 Points ∼78% -9%
Asus G751JY
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
141 Points ∼76% -11%
Alienware 17 R2
Intel Core i7-4980HQ
155 Points ∼84% -3%
Schenker XMG U706
Intel Core i7-6700K
173 Points ∼94% +9%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
Intel Core i7-6820HK
807 Points ∼52%
MSI GT72-2QE16SR21BW
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
723 Points ∼47% -10%
Asus G751JY
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
673 Points ∼43% -17%
Alienware 17 R2
Intel Core i7-4980HQ
670 Points ∼43% -17%
Schenker XMG U706
Intel Core i7-6700K
875 Points ∼56% +8%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.8 Points ∼7%
MSI GT72-2QE16SR21BW
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
1.62 Points ∼6% -10%
Asus G751JY
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1.57 Points ∼6% -13%
Alienware 17 R2
Intel Core i7-4980HQ
1.74 Points ∼6% -3%
Schenker XMG U706
Intel Core i7-6700K
1.97 Points ∼7% +9%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
Intel Core i7-6820HK
8.88 Points ∼12%
MSI GT72-2QE16SR21BW
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
7.97 Points ∼11% -10%
Asus G751JY
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
7.33 Points ∼10% -17%
Alienware 17 R2
Intel Core i7-4980HQ
7.28 Points ∼10% -18%
Schenker XMG U706
Intel Core i7-6700K
9.6 Points ∼13% +8%
Discussion

System Performance

Unsurprisingly, the system performance is on a very high level. The total score in PCMark 7 is in line with the 17-inch rivals. MSI's GT72S, like Asus' G751JYAlienware's 17 R2 and Schenker's XMG U706, all achieve over 6000 points.

PCMark 7 Score
6439 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
6439 Points ∼80%
MSI GT72-2QE16SR21BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 5700HQ, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
5796 Points ∼72% -10%
Asus G751JY
GeForce GTX 980M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU256HCGL
6073 Points ∼75% -6%
Alienware 17 R2
GeForce GTX 980M, 4980HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
6622 Points ∼82% +3%
Schenker XMG U706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
6582 Points ∼82% +2%

Storage Device

The cutting edge NVMe SSD is one of the biggest unique selling points. The 256 GB model, THNSN5256GPU7, delivers an impressive presentation in CrystalDiskMark. Only a RAID array composed of multiple SSDs - if at all - outperform 1602 MB/s in sequential read and 1062 MB/s in sequential write. Even the 512 GB model of Samsung's SM951 (PCIe x4) has a hard time competing against the NVMe drive. Note: The AS SSD benchmark still currently records much too low write rates.

A conventional hard drive rounds off the package. The combination of high storage capacity (1000 GB) and swift speed (7200 rpm) ensure good performance. Only few HDDs achieve sequential rates of over 130 MB/s. Respect: According to MSI, up to five storage devices are possible (4x M.2 & 1x 2.5 inches).

Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
Sequential Read: 1602 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1062 MB/s
512K Read: 1110 MB/s
512K Write: 1095 MB/s
4K Read: 44.74 MB/s
4K Write: 162.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 682.2 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 459.5 MB/s

Graphics Card

G-Sync
G-Sync

Despite the exorbitant price, we would say that the GeForce GTX 980M is the first choice for demanding gamers. Nvidia's top model is strong enough to render most games smoothly even using maximum details and multiple anti-aliasing. As long as the user does not overdo it with the settings, the performance is even sufficient for 4K, i.e. 3840x2160 pixels. Only hardware-guzzlers like "Batman: Arkham Knight" scream for a desktop GPU.

3DMark 11 Performance
11488 points
3DMark (2013) Ice Storm Standard Score
148970 points
3DMark (2013) Cloud Gate Standard Score
25411 points
3DMark (2013) Fire Strike Standard Score
8414 points
Help

The performance, unsurprisingly, is in line with other 980M laptops in the synthetic graphic benchmarks. With 8414 points in the Fire Strike test of 3DMark 2013, the GT72S is situated between Alienware's 17 R2 and Asus' G751JY that achieve 8185 respectively 8559 points. Smaller deviations are normal here since the graphics driver and CPU clock are not identical.

3DMark (2013)
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Score (sort by value)
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
2312 Points ∼44%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Standard Score (sort by value)
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8414 Points ∼36%
MSI GT72-2QE16SR21BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8429 Points ∼36% 0%
Asus G751JY
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8559 Points ∼37% +2%
Alienware 17 R2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8185 Points ∼35% -3%
Schenker XMG U706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8741 Points ∼37% +4%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
11488 Points ∼51%
MSI GT72-2QE16SR21BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
11325 Points ∼50% -1%
Asus G751JY
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
11329 Points ∼50% -1%
Alienware 17 R2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
11122 Points ∼49% -3%
Schenker XMG U706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
12326 Points ∼54% +7%

Gaming Performance

The GeForce GTX 980M looks outstanding when only using the GT72S's native resolution. The Maxwell chip easily copes with 1920x1080 pixels, as our chart illustrates. All eight games we tested ran at over 40 fps in the Ultra setting. That was not always the case with the GeForce GTX 970M. However, buyers on a tighter budget should nevertheless opt for the cheaper model. The surcharge is hardly worthwhile depending on the game.

The CPU's influence is very limited. A certain advantage of the quad-core models that are not additionally overclocked is first noticed in low settings.

low med. high ultra4K
Battlefield 4 (2013) 199.6198.6157.470.136.9fps
Watch Dogs (2014) 116104.962.447.4fps
Sims 4 (2014) 191.9151.6121.8111.2fps
Far Cry 4 (2014) 134.51277661.1fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 133119755123fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 59.959.959.959.936fps
Mad Max (2015) 204.5103.296.433.7fps
FIFA 16 (2015) 334.3274.9197.688.6fps

Emissions

Note: All following assessments were performed in Nvidia Mode. Theoretically, it would be possible to activate the processor's graphics chip by pressing the GPU hot key. That would result in lower power consumption and increase the battery life accordingly. However, barely any gamer will use this feature excessively since the laptop has to be rebooted for that. That is similarly true for the Cooler Boost button that speeds up the fan in favor of the temperatures, and which we believe involves more disadvantages than advantages (the system gets too loud).

System Noise

Good news in terms of system noise: Although the Broadwell edition of the GT72 already belonged to the quietest gamers on the market, MSI has managed to reduce the noise development even more. In contrast to 39.3 dB(A), the GT72S now only reaches an average of 35 dB(A) in 3DMark 06, and closes in on the previous silent runner Asus G751JY (34.6 dB(A)) and is on an audibly lower level than Schenker's XMG U706 (42.1 dB(A)) or Alienware's 17 R2 (43.4 dB(A)).

However, MSI's laptop is extremely tall with a height of 4.8 centimeters (~1.9 in), which allows installing a stronger cooling system. 3.8 kilograms (~8.4 lb) also speak for more stationary use. But back to topic: The GT72S is only really loud when under full load. 46 dB(A) is very similar to the maximum rate of the GT72-2QE.

The 17-incher is agreeably quiet in idle mode. Although both casing fans are always active, a subtle noise of 30 - 31 dB(A) is not distracting. We only criticize the temporary speed increases. The fans speed up to 50 dB(A) for a moment right after booting and changing the Shift Mode, which gets very  annoying after a while. MSI should certainly take care of this issue.

Noise Level

Idle
30.6 / 31 / 50.4 dB(A)
DVD
33.8 / dB(A)
Load
35 / 46 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
MSI GT72-2QE16SR21BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 5700HQ
Asus G751JY
GeForce GTX 980M, 4720HQ
Alienware 17 R2
GeForce GTX 980M, 4980HQ
Schenker XMG U706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700K
Noise
1%
7%
0%
6%
Idle Minimum *30.633.2
-8%
31.2
-2%
29.4
4%
29
5%
Idle Average *3133.6
-8%
33
-6%
30.8
1%
30.8
1%
Idle Maximum *50.434.4
32%
34.2
32%
35
31%
30.8
39%
Load Average *3539.3
-12%
34.6
1%
43.4
-24%
42.1
-20%
Load Maximum *4646.4
-1%
41.4
10%
51.6
-12%
43.5
5%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Stress test: Phase I
Stress test: Phase I
Stress test: Phase II
Stress test: Phase II

We cannot confirm that Intel's Skylake architecture generally produces less waste heat and consequently noise than Broadwell or Haswell. MSI has modified fan management so that the components may reach a somewhat higher temperature.

Both the upper side and the underside of the base unit achieved roughly the same temperatures as the predecessor in the stress test and while idling - despite a cooler environment (22 vs. 25 °C / 71.6 vs. 77 °F). However, the temperatures are not above average when all results are totaled. Subjectively, the casing never feels unpleasant when placed on a table. We could only measure 31 °C (87.8 °F) on the wrist rest even during full load.

The situation is not quite as carefree inside the casing. The processor reached approximately 90 °C (194 °F) (~80 °C/176 °F  with disabled Turbo) after our one-hour stress test using the tools FurMark and Prime95. According to GPU-z, the graphics chip reached a maximum of 85 °C (185 °F), but with minor throttling. However, neither critical temperatures nor throttling developed in gaming operation.

Max. Load
 44.1 °C45.2 °C41.6 °C 
 42.5 °C42.9 °C38.8 °C 
 31.1 °C31.1 °C27.8 °C 
Maximum: 45.2 °C
Average: 38.3 °C
56.9 °C53.3 °C55.3 °C
39.8 °C43.8 °C30.3 °C
27.4 °C27.6 °C28.4 °C
Maximum: 56.9 °C
Average: 40.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  54.4 °C | Room Temperature 22 °C | Voltcraft IR-900
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
MSI GT72-2QE16SR21BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 5700HQ
Asus G751JY
GeForce GTX 980M, 4720HQ
Alienware 17 R2
GeForce GTX 980M, 4980HQ
Schenker XMG U706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700K
Heat
-1%
2%
0%
-5%
Maximum Upper Side *45.245
-0%
46.8
-4%
50.8
-12%
45.6
-1%
Maximum Bottom *56.954.9
4%
51.9
9%
48.7
14%
52.4
8%
Idle Upper Side *30.732.4
-6%
30.7
-0%
30.9
-1%
34.9
-14%
Idle Bottom *31.832.4
-2%
30.5
4%
31.7
-0%
36.3
-14%

* ... smaller is better

Energy Management

Power Consumption

At least the idle power consumption is lower than in the last review sample. 21.3 - 32.9 rather than 28.0 - 35.7 watts ensure somewhat longer runtimes. The main reason is likely the new Skylake CPU that is more frugal in basic applications. On the other hand, the new model consumes more power under load. Our instrument recorded an average of 110.2 rather than 101 watts in the first scene of 3DMark 06. The maximum consumption was also higher (230.8 vs. 212.2 watts).

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.4 / 0.6 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 21.3 / 26.3 / 32.9 Watt
Load midlight 110.2 / 230.8 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
MSI GT72-2QE16SR21BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 5700HQ
Asus G751JY
GeForce GTX 980M, 4720HQ
Alienware 17 R2
GeForce GTX 980M, 4980HQ
Schenker XMG U706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700K
Power Consumption
-10%
0%
26%
-6%
Idle Minimum *21.328
-31%
24.2
-14%
8.9
58%
22
-3%
Idle Average *26.333.3
-27%
29.4
-12%
16
39%
28.9
-10%
Idle Maximum *32.935.7
-9%
33.9
-3%
26.6
19%
29.8
9%
Load Average *110.2101
8%
93.4
15%
124
-13%
126.8
-15%
Load Maximum *230.8212.2
8%
196.8
15%
165.8
28%
261.6
-13%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The GT72S runs for around 1 - 4.5 hours without its power adapter when the GeForce GTX 980M is enabled. Gaming laptops that do not feature graphics switching (e.g. Schenker's XMG U706) settle to similar rates. Laptops with Nvidia's Optimus technology (automatic graphics switching) usually last longer. Alienware's 17 R2 was  depleted only after 12 hours in the idle test. When preferred - as said - Intel's HD Graphics 530 chip can be activated, which should massively increase the runtime.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
4h 21min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 11min
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
MSI GT72-2QE16SR21BW
GeForce GTX 980M, 5700HQ
Asus G751JY
GeForce GTX 980M, 4720HQ
Alienware 17 R2
GeForce GTX 980M, 4980HQ
Schenker XMG U706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700K
Battery Runtime
0%
-5%
110%
-5%
Reader / Idle261225
-14%
210
-20%
729
179%
245
-6%
Load7181
14%
79
11%
100
41%
69
-3%

Pro

+ Core i7 6820HK with optional overclocking
+ bright and high-contrast IPS panel
+ GTX 980M with 8 GByte GDDR5 VRAM
+ many and well-distributed interfaces
+ moderate emissions
+ Blu-ray burner
+ superb sound
+ DDR4 RAM
+ NVMe SSD
+ USB 3.1
+ G-Sync

Cons

- fan temporarily gets loud when switching the shift mode
- touchpad's surface is a matter of taste
- manual graphics switching requires rebooting
- unusual keyboard layout
- heavy and extremely thick chassis
- rather moderate Wi-Fi range
- lid could be stiffer
- inaccessible battery

Verdict

In review: MSI GT72S 6QE Dominator Pro G. Test mopdel courtesy of MSI Germany.
In review: MSI GT72S 6QE Dominator Pro G. Test mopdel courtesy of MSI Germany.

MSI has tuned its successful 17-inch GT72 flagship in the right places. More CPU power, twice the video memory, DDR4 RAM, NVMe SSD, and Nvidia's G-Sync technology are definitely welcome. Although the chassis is still relatively heavy and big, the gaming platform is perfectly suitable as a full-fledged desktop replacement.

No matter whether connectivity, screen or input devices: MSI delivers a good to very good job in almost every aspect. After getting used to the unusual keyboard layout and the rubberized wrist rest, nothing stands in the way of extensive gaming sessions. Temperature and noise development are mostly moderate, and the multitude of interfaces and upgrade options as well as the superb sound quality also have to be lauded.

MSI could improve the cover's stiffness, the Wi-Fi range and battery's accessibility, though.

MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW - 01/20/2016 v5
Florian Glaser

Chassis
80 / 98 → 82%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
80 / 81 → 99%
Weight
51 / 66 → 73%
Battery
75%
Display
89%
Games Performance
100%
Application Performance
100%
Temperature
80 / 95 → 84%
Noise
72 / 90 → 80%
Audio
90%
Average
82%
89%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GT72S 6QE Dominator Pro G Notebook Review
Florian Glaser, 2015-10-12 (Update: 2016-03-13)