Notebookcheck

Face Off: Asus GL552JX vs. Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7 vs. MSI GP62 2QE

Mainstream gaming. Is the GTX 960M too much of an investment? These lower-end enthusiast GTX 950M gaming notebooks may fit the bill instead. Which one comes out on top?

Comparing three very high-end gaming notebooks is admittedly fun, but not everyone is willing to drop down two grand or more for such systems. Less expensive systems can run modern titles just fine and are more realistic to own for a wider audience.

This week's comparison is between three 17.3-inch systems sporting the upper-mainstream Nvidia GTX 950M GPU. Generally speaking, these are the most affordable high-end gaming systems with enough extras and features thrown in to justify the large sizes. The recent launch of the refreshed GTX 965M should also make these GTX 950M systems cheaper as well.

We encourage users to check out our dedicated review pages below for more data and detailed analyses of each of the three models. This comparison is by no means a replacement, but a condensed aid for those on the fence. We have numerous Aspire V15 and V17 Nitro review pages in particular that are worth a look for a better take on the series as a whole.

Asus GL552JX
Asus GL552JX
Acer Aspire V15
Acer Aspire V15
MSI GP62
MSI GP62

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team! Especially English native speakers welcome!

Currently wanted: 
News and Editorial Editor - Details here

Case

All three models exhibit above average quality, so none are poorly built or have glaring flaws. When compared to each other, however, there are some differences. The GL552 shows the most creaking and teetering of the base and lid, respectively, and its use of plastic is simply not as rigid as the higher-end ROG G751 or G752 series that the GL552 takes inspiration from. The Asus is also the heavier and thicker notebook of the bunch, so we were expecting it to have the better rigidity. The MSI is more stable around its base with no major complaints in this area while its lid is weaker and more susceptible to warping and twisting than the other two notebooks.

Meanwhile, the Acer notebook had almost everything going against it before launch. The manufacturer isn't exactly known for offering top quality products and the fact that the V15 Nitro is so much thinner than both the Asus and MSI had us worried. However, its use of aluminum, metal plates, and an uncommon disassembly procedure at this price range have made for a surprisingly rigid system. The lid and hinges are relatively stiff as well and the system's total weight is about equal to the much thicker GP62.

Winner: Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7

388 mm / 15.3 inch 260 mm / 10.2 inch 30.6 mm / 1.205 inch 2.3 kg5.07 lbs385 mm / 15.2 inch 255 mm / 10 inch 33 mm / 1.299 inch 2.6 kg5.73 lbs390 mm / 15.4 inch 262 mm / 10.3 inch 23.9 mm / 0.941 inch 2.4 kg5.22 lbs

Ports in Comparison

Asus GL552JX
Asus GL552JX
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7
MSI GP62
MSI GP62

Connectivity

There are a few key differences in port selection between the notebooks. First, the Acer notebook is the only one with USB Type-C, though it offers only Gen. 1 speeds and no Thunderbolt 3 support. The notebook also offers just one video-out port compared to two on the Asus and MSI. In short, each notebook is carrying at least one more port than the others are lacking, so there is no definitive victor.

The notebooks also each have an additional 2.5-inch SATA bay, though we are not listing it as such since the slot is occupied by an optical drive. The optical bay on the GP62 in particular is easier to remove and replace if needed.

Ports and Connections

Asus GL552JX Acer Aspire V15 Nitro MSI GP62
USB 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x USB Type-C 3x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
Video-out 1x HDMI, 1x VGA 1x HDMI 1x HDMI, 1x mDP
Other SD reader, optical drive, 1x 3.5 mm earphones, 1x 3.5 mm microphone, Gigabit Ethernet, Kensington Lock SD reader, optical drive, 1x 3.5 mm audio, Gigabit Ethernet, Kensington Lock SD reader, optical drive, 1x 3.5 mm earphones, 1x 3.5 mm microphone, Gigabit Ethernet, Kensington Lock
Storage Bays 1x M.2, 1x 2.5-inch SATA III 1x M.2, 1x 2.5-inch SATA III 1x M.2, 1x 2.5-inch SATA III

Input Devices

Asus offers the quieter keyboard at the cost of tactility. Thus, its keys are the softest of the three with adequate travel. The Acer notebook includes keys that are slightly concave for a better feel and accuracy with firm feedback and average travel overall. MSI offers a quiet and similar feel, though only with flat keys and the surprising lack of a backlight option. None have auxiliary keys that are common on higher-end gaming systems.

The matte touchpads are comfortable to use across the three systems. The surface on the Asus is not touch-sensitive in its peripheral areas, however, while the MSI is the only system using dedicated mouse keys. This makes the GP62 a bit easier to use should an external mouse be unavailable. 

Winner: Keyboard -- Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7

              Touchpad -- MSI GP62

Asus GL552JX
Asus GL552JX
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7
MSI GP62
MSI GP62

Display

Our MSI system exhibits inferior colors and contrast overall. Its TN panel is no match against the IPS panels of the Asus and Acer and its weaker backlight does it no favors. Thus, it's a close battle between the Asus and Acer as the Asus shows wider and more accurate colors and a weaker grayscale, while the opposite is true for the Acer. The backlight brightness and contrast between the two are otherwise essentially identical.

Winner: Tie -- Asus GL552JX

                        Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7

Asus GL552JX
Asus GL552JX
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro
MSI GP62
MSI GP62
Displays at a Glance

Asus GL552JX Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7 MSI GP62
Size 15.6-inch IPS 15.6-inch IPS 15.6-inch TN
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080
Pixel Density 141 PPI 141 PPI 141 PPI
Panel ID Samsung 156HL01-102 LG Display LP156WF6-SPB1 Chi Mei N156HGE-EA1
Panel Matte Matte Matte
Asus GL552JX-CN154HAcer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
50 (15, 35, Plateau)
Response Time Black / White *
17 (4, 13)
PWM Frequency
Screen
Brightness middle
326
328
274.8
Brightness
317
310
265
Brightness Distribution
91
86
74
Black Level *
0.31
0.33
0.69
Contrast
1052
994
398
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.14
4.74
11.78
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.46
3.15
13.81
Gamma
2.44 90%
2.51 88%
2.19 100%
CCT
7574 86%
6336 103%
15314 42%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
64
54
47.8
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
97
82
73.5
Total Average (Program / Settings)

* ... smaller is better

Asus GL552JX color profile
Asus GL552JX color profile
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro
MSI GP62
MSI GP62

Performance

CPU Performance

Asus, Acer, and MSI all offer multiple CPU options beyond what we have here, so this comparison is only between the configurations on hand.

The differences in processor performance should prove interesting as each of the last three Intel generations (Haswell, Broadwell, and Skylake) are represented. Can the newer ultra-low voltage Skylake i7-6500U stand toe-to-toe with the older standard voltage offerings? According to CineBench, the ULV Skylake in the Acer holds up very well in single-threaded operations, but will still fall behind significantly in multi-threaded operations.

See our dedicated CPU page on the Core i7-4720HQ, i7-6500U, and i7-5700HQ for more technical information and benchmarks.

Hardware at a Glance

Asus GL552JX Acer Aspire V15 Nitro MSI GP62
CPU 2.6 GHz Core i7-4720HQ 2.5 GHz Core i7-6500U 2.7 GHz Core i7-5700HQ
TDP 47 W 15 W 47 W
RAM 8 GB DDR3 1600 MHz, Dual-channel, 2x SODIMM slots 8 GB DDR4 1066 MHz, Dual-channel, 2x SODIMM slots 16 GB DDR3L 1866 MHz, Dual-channel, 2x SODIMM slots
GPU Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M (Optimus) Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M (Optimus) Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M (Optimus)
Asus GL552JX
Asus GL552JX
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro
MSI GP62
MSI GP62
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
133 Points ∼61%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
132 Points ∼61%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
143 Points ∼66%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
669 Points ∼15%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
329 Points ∼8%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
682 Points ∼16%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
1.54 Points ∼63%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
1.49 Points ∼61%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
1.66 Points ∼68%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
7.35 Points ∼17%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
3.63 Points ∼8%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
7.53 Points ∼17%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
7216 Points ∼70%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
26738 Points ∼35%
wPrime 2.0x
1024m (sort by value)
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
476 s * ∼6%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
210.067 s * ∼2%
32m (sort by value)
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
15 s * ∼3%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
7.744 s * ∼2%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - --- (sort by value)
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
615 Seconds * ∼3%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
561.953 Seconds * ∼2%
3DMark
Fire Strike Extreme Physics (sort by value)
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
11387 Points ∼40%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Physics (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
9301 Points ∼29%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
4825 Points ∼15%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
11440 Points ∼35%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Physics (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
6700 Points ∼17%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
3410 Points ∼9%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
8125 Points ∼21%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
57446 Points ∼66%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
54233 Points ∼65%
PCMark 7
System Storage (sort by value)
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
5224 Points ∼73%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
5453 Points ∼76%
Computation (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
19272 Points ∼68%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
17209 Points ∼61%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
21912 Points ∼77%
Creativity (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
10382 Points ∼72%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
9659 Points ∼67%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
11607 Points ∼80%
Entertainment (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
4289 Points ∼40%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
1895 Points ∼18%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
4766 Points ∼44%
Productivity (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
5180 Points ∼48%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
4303 Points ∼40%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
5727 Points ∼53%
Lightweight (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
5889 Points ∼80%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
5126 Points ∼70%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
6422 Points ∼88%
Score (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
5829 Points ∼64%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
3624 Points ∼40%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
6411 Points ∼70%
PCMark 8
Storage Score (sort by value)
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
4949 Points ∼97%
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
4972 Points ∼76%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
4435 Points ∼68%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
4999 Points ∼77%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
4870 Points ∼46%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
3637 Points ∼60%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
3447 Points ∼57%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
3920 Points ∼64%
X264 HD Benchmark 4.0
Pass 2 (sort by value)
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
42.23 fps ∼1%
Pass 1 (sort by value)
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
171.01 fps ∼63%

* ... smaller is better

GPU Performance

The MSI notebook edges ahead of the Asus and Acer in all 3DMark benchmarks despite them carrying the same GTX 950M GPU. This can be due to a number of factors including the slightly faster CPU and higher RAM capacity. Our supplier of the GP62 test model was Xotic PC, who will typically overclock their systems before shipping to customers.

We don't have a direct comparison between the notebooks in real-world gaming benchmarks as no identical titles were run on all three notebooks. Nonetheless, our higher-specced MSI system should be more likely to pump out a few extra frames per second if the synthetic benchmark results are to be believed.

See our dedicated GTX 950M GPU page for more technical information and comparisons between systems sporting the same graphics card.

3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
3473 Points ∼15%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
3502 Points ∼15%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
3907 Points ∼17%
1280x720 Performance Physics (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
7718 Points ∼40%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
4523 Points ∼23%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
9024 Points ∼46%
1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
4296 Points ∼8%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
4198 Points ∼8%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
4624 Points ∼9%
1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
4488 Points ∼13%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
4160 Points ∼12%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
4892 Points ∼14%
3DMark
Fire Strike Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
1585 Points ∼8%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
3017 Points ∼7%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
3147 Points ∼8%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
3330 Points ∼8%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
2726 Points ∼10%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
2722 Points ∼10%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
3026 Points ∼11%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
20550 Points ∼11%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
20049 Points ∼11%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
22869 Points ∼12%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
14081 Points ∼23%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
9618 Points ∼16%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
16297 Points ∼26%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
198867 Points ∼37%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
120877 Points ∼17%
Cinebench R11.5 - OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
38.73 fps ∼23%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
43.32 fps ∼25%
Cinebench R15 - OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
45.86 fps ∼18%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
50.98 fps ∼20%

Stress Test

To test system stability, we run both Prime95 and FurMark to simulate maximum stress. These unrealistic conditions do not represent daily workloads, but are instead meant to put both the CPU and GPU at 100 percent capacity.

With three different CPUs inside the three competing notebooks, the stress test results are still quite similar between them. The ULV processor in the Acer is the only one that faces no throttling when under extreme stress and will instead stabilize at its base 2.5 GHz clock rate. This is compared to the i7-4720HQ and the i7-5700HQ in the Asus and MSI, respectively, which will both throttle down by 300 - 400 MHz below their base clocks. Perhaps more notably, the GPU in the MSI will stabilize with a consistent GPU Boost at 1124 MHz. Core temperatures are nonetheless very high across all notebooks at well over 80 C each.

Core GPU data are not provided for the Asus and Acer due to their respective reviewers skipping the data.

Asus GL552JX
Asus GL552JX
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro
MSI GP62
MSI GP62
CPU and GPU Clock Rates Under Stress

Asus GL552JX Acer Aspire V15 Nitro MSI GP62
Rated GPU Core Clock (MHz) 993 993 993
Stable GPU Core Clock on FurMark (MHz) -- 997 1124
Rated CPU Core Clock (GHz) 2.6 2.5 2.7
Stable CPU Core Clock on Prime95 (GHz) 2.1 - 2.2 2.5 2.3 - 2.4
Average CPU temperature 85 C 90 C 90 C
Average GPU temperature -- C -- C 87 C

Emissions

System Noise & Temperature

Fan noise is low on the Asus and Acer during low loads. The HDD on our Acer unit is a bit on the loud side, however, and can be heard when the system fan is idling. The MSI notebook is the loudest and will pulsate more frequently during low-medium loads.

When gaming, system noise will hover in the low 40 dB(A) range for all notebooks. The MSI can be as loud as 52 dB(A) if under extreme stress with both Prime95 and FurMark active. It is also the warmer notebook on average, which is unexpected since the MSI is neither the quietest nor the thinnest of the bunch. The consequences of the factory overclock from Xotic PC can be heard and felt in this regard. We prefer the lower fan noise of the Asus when gaming despite the very close battle between it and the Acer.

Average Fan Noise and Surface Temperature

Asus GL552JX Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7 MSI GP62
Fan Noise when idling 31.3 dB(A) 29.6 - 32.8 dB(A) 33.3 - 37 dB(A)
Fan Noise under high loads 36.9 - 44.7 dB(A) 41.4 - 48.4 dB(A) 40.7 - 52.5 dB(A)
Average surface temperature when idling 30.0 C 24.8 C 32.4 C
Average surface temperature under high loads 34.8 C 32.3 C 39.1 C
Ambient temperature 25 C 22 C 24 C

Battery Life

Acer wins this round without much of a contest at a recorded 359 minutes of runtime under our looping WiFi conditions. The Asus and MSI will shutdown much sooner by a couple of hours or even more under the same testing conditions. There's no doubt that the ULV processor in the Acer is playing a large part in the extended runtimes.

The battery modules are not easily removable in all cases. The bottom panel must first be removed for direct access to the battery and other internals.

Winner: Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7

Asus GL552JX-CN154H
48 Wh
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
53 Wh
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
42 Wh
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
223
761
131
WiFi v1.3
221
359
96
Load
100
118
66

Verdict

Thinner and without any major compromises to quality or gaming performance. The Acer offers a more balanced take for both gaming and word processing.
Thinner and without any major compromises to quality or gaming performance. The Acer offers a more balanced take for both gaming and word processing.

The inferior TN panel and battery life of the GP62 coupled with the louder fan noise make it a tougher recommendation over the Acer and Asus. We do, however, give MSI credit for the easy maintenance and accessibility, which seem to be a theme across newer MSI shells. Our scores show the system to be slightly higher in CPU and GPU benchmarks due to higher specifications and factory overclocking at the cost of the aforementioned issues.

It's a closer matchup between the Asus GL552 and Acer Aspire V15 Nitro. Both systems are more complicated to upgrade and service, especially since the Asus ROG series in general is quite locked to end-user tinkering. The size advantage of the Acer may suggest higher temperatures, weaker quality, and louder fan noise to compensate, but we find this to not be the case at all.

The wild card is the ULV processor in the Acer. Does this put the notebook significantly behind the Asus? Pure CPU performance is much lower according to benchmarks, but overall gaming performance barely takes a hit as more games are becoming GPU bound. Acer has proven that mainstream gaming systems with ULV processors can work and we feel that the pairing of an i7-6500U and GTX 950M makes for a more balanced system.

Asus GL552JXAcer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7MSI GP62 2QE

+ Lower fan noise

+ Higher quality IPS panel; Bright backlight

+ VGA

Lower fan noise

+ Aluminum chassis

+ Thinner; More portable

+ Bright backlight

+ Longer runtimes

+ USB Type-C Gen. 1

+ Easier accessibility

+ Dedicated mouse keys

+ Faster multi-core processor performance

+ Rigid base

+ Mini DisplayPort

- Slightly weaker base

- More difficult accessibility

- Heavier and thicker

- Softer keys

- Slower multi-core processor performance (ULV CPU)

- More difficult accessibility

- Dimmer display backlight

- No keyboard backlight

- Less accurate colors from TN panel

- Shorter runtimes

- Slightly weaker lid

- Fans pulsate more frequently

- Higher surface temperatures

Asus GL552

Pricecompare

Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7

Pricecompare

MSI GP62 2QE

Pricecompare

See more quick comparisons in our Face Off series:

Read all 1 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Face Off: Asus GL552JX vs. Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7 vs. MSI GP62 2QE
Allen Ngo, 2016-01-16 (Update: 2018-05-15)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.