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Face Off: Gigabyte P57W vs. MSI GE72 6QF vs. Acer Predator 17

Similar hardware, different sizes. How do three gaming systems with the same CPU, GPU, and even display panel compare to one another? We check to find the smallest nuances and disadvantages of each.
Allen Ngo, 🇩🇪

Comparing systems with very different specifications can oftentimes lead to obvious or clear-cut advantages and disadvantages of each. This time, we want to compare three similar 17.3-inch gaming notebooks each equipped with the same Core i7-6700HQ CPU, GTX 970M GPU, and 1080p display. Factors such as battery life, system noise, and temperatures should theoretically benefit the physically bigger notebook if the core variables are held constant. Is this the case for the Gigabyte P57W, MSI GE72, and Acer Predator 17?

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.

Gigabyte P57W
Gigabyte P57W
MSI GE72 6QF
MSI GE72 6QF
Acer Predator 17
Acer Predator 17

Case

The chassis of each notebook is largely made of plastic while the MSI utilizes brushed aluminum surfaces for the palm rests and outer lid. The base portion of each model is very rigid and resistant to twists. As usual, surfaces directly above the optical drive are notably weaker and more easily warped with pressure. No single notebook feels stronger than the other despite the size differences.

As for the display lids, they are much weaker compared to the base portions as expected. The Gigabyte and Acer displays in particular have a tendency to creak when attempting to twist them. While we're not expecting the lids to be perfectly rigid, we're disappointed that the Acer display is not any better than the Gigabyte or MSI despite the larger build.

In terms of sizes, the Gigabyte and MSI are very close and differ mostly in thickness. The Acer is larger in all dimensions especially in width due in part to its larger heat sinks and FrostCore feature. The workmanship and build quality of the three notebooks are not notably better or worse than the others.

Winner: Tie

423 mm / 16.7 inch 322 mm / 12.7 inch 40 mm / 1.575 inch 4.1 kg9.04 lbs420 mm / 16.5 inch 288 mm / 11.3 inch 32 mm / 1.26 inch 2.9 kg6.46 lbs421 mm / 16.6 inch 290 mm / 11.4 inch 25 mm / 0.984 inch 3.2 kg6.97 lbs

Ports in Comparison

Gigabyte P57W
Gigabyte P57W
MSI GE72 6QF
MSI GE72 6QF
Acer Predator 17
Acer Predator 17

Connectivity

Available ports differ widely between each model. While all the notebooks sport USB Type-C, only the Predator 17 integrates Thunderbolt 3 support. MSI does not specify whether or not the USB Type-C port on the GE72 6QF is gen. 1 or gen. 2, though it is likely gen. 2 and identical to the Gigabyte P57W.

Other differences include the number and types of video-out ports. The Gigabyte is notable for its legacy VGA port while the Acer includes both full-size HDMI and DisplayPort ports alongside the versatile USB Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 3. The FrostCore feature on the Predator 17 is unfortunately nothing more than a gimmick and adds little to the overall value of the system.

All systems include the same number of internal storage options with the exception of the Predator 17, which includes two NVMe M.2 slots instead of one NVMe M.2 slot as found on the P57W and GE72 6QF. Note that the older GE62 2QD includes three standard M.2 2280 slots with no NVMe support.

There is no objective winner in this category due to the many non-overlapping advantages one notebook may have over the other. Nonetheless, the versatility of the USB Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 3 port on the Acer is better future-proofing than what the Gigabyte and MSI each offer.

Winner: Tie

Ports and Connections

Gigabyte P57W MSI GE72 6QF Acer Predator 17
USB 3x USB 3.0, 1x USB Type-C gen. 2 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x USB Type-C 4x USB 3.0, 1x USB Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 3
Video-out 1x HDMI, mDP, VGA 1x HDMI, 1x mDP 1x HDMI, DisplayPort
Audio 1x 3.5 mm earphones, 3.5 mm microphone 1x 3.5 mm earphones, 3.5 mm microphone 1x 3.5 mm earphones, 3.5 mm microphone
Other SD reader, Optical drive, Gigabit Ethernet, Kensington Lock SD reader, Optical drive, Gigabit Ethernet, Kensington Lock SD reader, FrostCore/Optical drive Gigabit Ethernet, Kensington Lock
Storage Bays 1x M.2, 1x 2.5-inch SATA III 1x M.2, 1x 2.5-inch SATA III 2x M.2, 1x 2.5-inch SATA III

Input Devices

We found no major complaints about the typing experiences on each of the three notebooks. The feedback and pressure points are all decent with ample space between keys due to the large screen size. Thus, no notebook is uncomfortable to use.

Instead, the differences lie in the layout, features, and keyboard lighting options, almost all of which are superficial. More notable, however, is that the Acer notebook is the only one of the three with dedicated Macro keys for potentially increased productivity and better gaming experiences. Nonetheless, the backlight supports only one brightness level, which is very strange especially for a gaming notebook of this size and caliber.

As for the touchpads, the sizes between them are not significantly different at 10.5 x 8 cm, 10.9 x 6.1 cm, and 10.5 x 6.5 cm for the Gigabyte, MSI, and Acer, respectively. The Gigabyte touchpad feels the least comfortable to use due to inconsistent cursor movements and lack of any dedicated mouse keys. The GE72 and Predator 17 are at a tie with improved gliding properties over the Gigabyte and dedicated mouse keys for more precise controls. The latter unfortunately carries no dedicated touchpad software, so its multi-touch options are more limited.

Winner: Keyboard -- Tie

              Touchpad -- MSI GE72 6QF & Acer Predator 17

Gigabyte P57W
Gigabyte P57W
MSI GE72 2QE
MSI GE72 2QE
Acer Predator 17
Acer Predator 17

Display

Perhaps by consequence, the Gigabyte, MSI, and Acer share the same 17.3-inch LG Philips matte panel. This naturally gives way to similar color coverage and contrast levels between the three notebooks. Brightness, however, is independent on the panel used, and the Acer comes out ahead in this regard with its slightly brighter backlight.

Interestingly, the MSI is comparatively better calibrated out of the box. Otherwise, all three displays are roughly the same in terms of grayscale and color accuracy after a quick calibration. The very slight edge goes to Acer for its brighter backlight despite the fact that all notebooks are still sufficiently bright for comfortable indoor use.

Winner: Acer Predator 17

Gigabyte P57W
Gigabyte P57W
MSI GE72 6QF
MSI GE72 6QF
Acer Predator 17
Acer Predator 17
Displays at a Glance

Gigabyte P57W MSI GE72 6QF Acer Predator 17
Size 17.3-inch IPS 17.3-inch IPS 17.3-inch IPS
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080
Pixel Density 127 PPI 127 PPI 127 PPI
Panel ID LG LP173WF4-SPF1 LG LP173WF4-SPF1 LG LP173WF4-SPF1
Gigabyte P57WMSI GE72-6QF8H11Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
37 (13, 24)
37 (14, 23)
Response Time Black / White *
24 (5, 19)
20 (4, 16)
PWM Frequency
Screen
Brightness middle
286
315
337
Brightness
274
297
303
Brightness Distribution
87
88
85
Black Level *
0.31
0.3
0.26
Contrast
923
1050
1296
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.49
4.34
5.92
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.83
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.76
2.87
7.55
Gamma
2.47 89%
2.46 89%
2.42 91%
CCT
6843 95%
6969 93%
7270 89%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
55
56
56
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
84
85
85
Total Average (Program / Settings)

* ... smaller is better

Gigabyte P57W
Gigabyte P57W
MSI GE72 6QF
MSI GE72 6QF
Acer Predator 17
Acer Predator 17

Performance

CPU Performance

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

The identical CPUs and GPUs between the notebooks should make for much closer comparisons regarding battery life, surface temperatures, and other performance factors. Raw CPU performances according to CineBench benchmarks are about the same, so no one system is artificially throttling the CPU to improve battery life or maintain hardware stability.

Our Predator 17 author was unwilling to remove the bottom panel off of the notebook, but Laptopmedia thankfully provides some basic hardware details that our author failed to mention including the fact that the system supports two different M.2 drives.

See our dedicated CPU pages on the Core i7-6700HQ for more benchmarks and comparisons.

Hardware at a Glance

Gigabyte P57W MSI GE72 6QF Acer Predator 17
CPU 2.6 GHz Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz Core i7-6700HQ
TDP 45 W 45 W 45 W
RAM 16 GB DDR4-2133, Dual-channel, 2x SODIMM slots 8 GB DDR4-2133, Dual-channel, 2x SODIMM slots 16 GB DDR4-2133, Dual-channel, 4x SODIMM slots
GPU Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M w/ Optimus Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M w/ Optimus Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M w/ Optimus
Gigabyte P57W
Gigabyte P57W
MSI GE72 6QF
MSI GE72 6QF
Acer Predator 17 (Source: Laptopmedia.com)
Acer Predator 17 (Source: Laptopmedia.com)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
140 Points ∼61%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
137 Points ∼60%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
137 Points ∼60%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
675 Points ∼15%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
667 Points ∼15%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
654 Points ∼15%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
1.67 Points ∼65%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
1.57 Points ∼61%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
1.58 Points ∼62%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
7.46 Points ∼17%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
7.37 Points ∼17%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
7.24 Points ∼16%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
26193 Points ∼30%
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
6825 Points ∼60%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Physics (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
9803 Points ∼30%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
8459 Points ∼26%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
9848 Points ∼30%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Physics (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
6984 Points ∼18%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
6839 Points ∼17%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
7120 Points ∼18%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
46437 Points ∼54%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
42481 Points ∼51%
PCMark 7
System Storage (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
5262 Points ∼74%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
5303 Points ∼74%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
5351 Points ∼75%
Computation (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
16537 Points ∼58%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
15904 Points ∼56%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
16228 Points ∼57%
Creativity (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
9829 Points ∼68%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
9156 Points ∼63%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
10831 Points ∼75%
Entertainment (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
4360 Points ∼41%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
4148 Points ∼39%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
4528 Points ∼42%
Productivity (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
5129 Points ∼47%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
4927 Points ∼45%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
5004 Points ∼46%
Lightweight (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
5819 Points ∼79%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
5479 Points ∼75%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
5807 Points ∼79%
Score (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
5955 Points ∼65%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
5431 Points ∼59%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
5991 Points ∼65%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
4935 Points ∼72%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
5009 Points ∼73%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
4754 Points ∼44%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
4371 Points ∼40%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
4810 Points ∼44%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
3946 Points ∼65%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
3633 Points ∼60%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
3880 Points ∼64%

GPU Performance

Similarly, GPU performances are nearly identical between the three notebooks with no imposed throttling according to CineBench, 3DMark 11, and 3DMark Fire Strike.

See our dedicated GPU pages on the GTX 970M for more benchmarks and comparisons.

Cinebench R15 - OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
63.35 fps ∼25%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
61.14 fps ∼24%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
59.61 fps ∼23%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
9713 Points ∼17%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
9889 Points ∼17%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
9902 Points ∼17%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
7489 Points ∼17%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
7450 Points ∼17%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
7594 Points ∼17%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Gigabyte P57W
52634 Points ∼27%
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
45543 Points ∼23%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
51939 Points ∼27%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
265020 Points ∼49%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
70459 Points ∼10%

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.

Results are slightly different for each notebook. The Acer unit is the only one that will throttle its GPU to just below its base clock rate of 924 MHz while the CPU operates just slightly above its base clock rate of 2.6 GHz. The opposite is true for the MSI when subjected to the same Prime95+FurMark stress. The Gigabyte is impressively able to keep both processors at or above their respective base clock rates.

The ability of the Gigabyte to maintain higher clock rates translates to warmer core temperatures than both the MSI and Acer. It also doesn't help that the system is the thinnest of the three whereas the much thicker Acer notebook runs cooler compared to the rest. Gigabyte takes the round from a performance standpoint when under extreme stress.

Winner: Gigabyte P57W

Gigabyte P57W
Gigabyte P57W
MSI GE72 6QF
MSI GE72 6QF
Acer Predator 17
Acer Predator 17
CPU and GPU Clock Rates Under Stress

Gigabyte P57W MSI GE72 6QF Acer Predator 17
Rated GPU Core Clock (MHz) 924 924 924
Stable GPU Core Clock on FurMark (MHz) 924 975 886
Rated CPU Core Clock (GHz) 2.6 2.6 2.6
Stable CPU Core Clock on Prime95 (GHz) 2.9 - 3.0 2.5 2.7 - 2.8
Average CPU temperature 90 C 86 C 84 C
Average GPU temperature 78 C 76 C 69 C
Gigabyte P57W
Gigabyte P57W
MSI GE72 6QF
MSI GE72 6QF
Acer Predator 17
Acer Predator 17

Emissions

System Noise & Temperature

No one system is completely silent when idling. Nonetheless, the Gigabyte and MSI systems run quieter than the Acer when idling on desktop as the latter notebook has a tendency to pulsate its fans more frequently. Gaming loads will have each system in the mid 40 dB(A) range with few variations between them. We were expecting the Gigabyte to come out louder based on its thinner form factor, but this does not appear to be the case. Instead, the P57W simply runs warmer than the rest with higher surface temperatures reaching over 55 C.

The MSI system runs unusually warm when idling with surface temperatures well over 30 C on average. On the other hand, the Predator is again the cooler machine due in part to its thickness and the fact that the chassis was designed to handle up to the more powerful GTX 980M.

Winner: System Noise -- Gigabyte P57W & MSI GE72 6QF

               Temperature -- Acer Predator 17

Average Fan Noise and Surface Temperature

Gigabyte P57W MSI GE72 6QF Acer Predator 17
Fan Noise when idling 32 dB(A) 30 - 33 dB(A) 32 - 37 dB(A)
Fan Noise under high loads 37 - 47 dB(A) 40 - 46 dB(A) 44 - 49 dB(A)
Average surface temperature when idling 26.5 C 37.8 C 25.3 C
Average surface temperature under high loads 43.4 C 43.2 C 34.4 C
Ambient temperature 22.0 C 22.0 C 22.0 C

Battery Life

Runtimes are shortest on the MSI, which correlates well with its warmer running temperatures and lower capacity battery compared to the Gigabyte and Acer. The Acer impressively comes out ahead in all tested categories and manages to be much more energy efficient when the system is idling or running low loads.

All batteries are non-removable and not made to be easily swapped.

Winner: Acer Predator 17

Gigabyte P57W
76 Wh
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
51 Wh
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
90 Wh
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
460
403
702
WiFi v1.3
334
154
358
Load
99
49
109

Verdict

With build quality and core hardware being very similar, the choice will largely come down to user preferences. The Predator 17 offers more features and expandability options at the cost of size and weight.
With build quality and core hardware being very similar, the choice will largely come down to user preferences. The Predator 17 offers more features and expandability options at the cost of size and weight.

Based solely on the sizes of the notebooks, we were expecting the Predator 17 to run cooler, quieter, and perhaps even slightly faster than both the thinner Gigabyte and MSI models. Instead, we find that the Acer model runs about as loudly as the other two with no statistically significant performance advantages. It does run noticeably cooler, however, and this looks to be one of its main advantages alongside its native Thunderbolt 3 support, longer battery life, dedicated Macro keys, and two M.2 slots. The heavier weight and wider girth would be much easier to justify for its higher-end SKU with the more powerful GTX 980M instead of the GTX 970M.

Looking at the P57W and GE72 reveals disadvantages on both sides. Whereas the GE72 has the much shorter battery life and warmer temperatures, the Gigabyte carries the poorer touchpad and no dedicated subwoofer. The pros and cons of each notebook don't overlap enough for us to objectively recommend one model over the other.

Gigabyte P57WMSI GE72 6QFAcer Predator 17

+ Strong base

+ Thinner design

+ VGA port

+ Comfortable keyboard

+ No CPU or GPU throttling even under extreme loads

+ Easier serviceability

+ Strong base; Brushed aluminum surfaces

+ Lighter weight

+ Comfortable keyboard

+ More accurate display out of the box

+ Easier serviceability

+ Strong base

+ USB Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 3 support

+ 2x M.2 slots, 4x SODIMM slots

+ Comfortable keyboard w/ dedicated Macro keys

+ Brighter display backlight

+ Higher battery capacity; Longer runtimes

+ Cooler CPU and GPU temperatures

+ Cooler surface temperatures

- Weak lid

- Dimmer display backlight

- Inconsistent touchpad; No dedicated mouse keys

- Warmer CPU and GPU temperatures under load

- Warmer surface temperatures

- Weak lid

- Only 2 USB 3.0 Type-A ports

- Smaller battery capacity; Shorter runtimes

- Warmer surface temperatures when idling

- Very slight CPU throttling under extreme loads

- Weak lid

- Heavier, thicker, and larger dimensions

- FrostCore adds little value

- More difficult serviceability

- Only one keyboard backlight option

- Very slight GPU throttling under extreme loads

- System fans are more sensitive to pulsing

Gigabyte P57W

Pricecompare

MSI GE72 6QF

Pricecompare

Acer Predator 17

Pricecompare

See more quick comparisons in our Face Off series:

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Face Off: Gigabyte P57W vs. MSI GE72 6QF vs. Acer Predator 17
Allen Ngo, 2016-04-30 (Update: 2020-06- 8)
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.