Notebookcheck

MSI GE62 6QD Apache Pro Notebook Review

Oliver Moebel, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 12/29/2015

Two steps forward, one step back. The updated MSI GE62 not only involves a new CPU and USB 3.1 but also a superb FHD screen. However, the review sample's power consumption and battery life are not at all typical Skylake.

For the original German review, see here.

We welcomed two Haswell-based MSI GE62 devices a bit over half a year ago. Only their graphics chips differed - GeForce GTX 965M versus GTX 970M -, which allowed us to put the performance difference into relation with the price. In addition to the CPU and memory configuration, they had the glare-type 4K panel in common. Its low brightness and high color shift did not really convince us.

Now we have the opportunity to closely examine an updated Full HD model. The update does not involve many exterior modifications - apart from a USB 3.1 (Type C) port, the wrapping is identical. The innovations inside are more fundamental: It is now powered by a Core i7-6700HQ from the Skylake lineup rather than the former Core i7-4720HQ. A dedicated GeForce GTX 960M graphics solution is installed in our review sample.

The present GE2 6QD is the "smallest" version in the GE62 lineup and brings it lightly into the mid-range. Only MSI presently sells both Haswell models with a GTX 965M (GE62 2QE) and 970M (GE62 2QF). The GE62 6QF is the new top model. Although it sports a GTX 970M, it is also furnished with an i7-6700HQ Skylake CPU. To make things even more confusing, most models of the lineup are available with either UHD or Full HD screens.

Thus, our review sample also faces some serious in-house competition in the 15-inch sector. It has to prove that it really has an edge on both Haswell GE62 models. "Company-foreign" rivals, based on the same CPU-GPU combination and equal screen resolution, are Nexoc's G515 II and Lenovo's IdeaPad Y700 that we are presently testing. Dell's Inspiron 15 7559 also relies on a Core i7-6700HQ plus GeForce GTX 960M, but has a touchscreen with 4K resolution. Finally, Alienware's 15 R2 represents the luxury class in the mobile-gaming sector with its i7-6700HQ and GTX 980M - it is currently in fifth place in our Top 10 charts as the best 15-inch device.

Since the casing and input devices are quite similar to those of the predecessors, we refer to the in-depth review of MSI's GE62 2QE. Instead, we would like to dedicate ourselves to the aspects that have really been modified.

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MSI GE62-6QD16H11 (GE62 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M - 2048 MB, Core: 1097 MHz, Memory: 2500 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 353.74 (10.18.13.5374), Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4 2133, dual-channel, two memory banks (both filled), max. 32 GB
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, LG Philips LP156WF6, IPS, Full HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM170 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 250 GB, 250 GB 
, M.2 SSD + HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, 1TB HDD @ 7200 RPM, 2.5 inches
Soundcard
Realtek ALC899 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: microphone-in, headphone-out (S/PDIF, gold-plated jacks), Card Reader: SD/SDXC/SDHC
Networking
Qualcomm/Atheros e2400 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.0
Optical drive
HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GUB0N
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 29 x 383 x 260 ( = 1.14 x 15.08 x 10.24 in)
Battery
53 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 1080p
Primary Camera: 2 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: 2.1 (Nahimic Audio Enhancer), Keyboard: chiclet by SteelSeries, Keyboard Light: yes, 120 watt power supply, warranty card, quick start guide, soft case, polishing cloth, software: CyberLink PowerDVD 12, Microsoft Office 365 (trial), Norton Security (trial), 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.4 kg ( = 84.66 oz / 5.29 pounds), Power Supply: 464 g ( = 16.37 oz / 1.02 pounds)
Price
1498 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Connectivity

"Coffee break!"
"Coffee break!"

Admittedly, not many innovations are found here: One of the left-sided USB 3.0 ports has been replaced with a USB 3.1 Type C port. It is connected to a separate host controller by AS Media so that it can accomplish the higher speed of 10 Gbit/s, so it doesn't just provide the new interface type. Nothing has changed otherwise - the interface diversity is on a good average level. The ports are sufficiently spaced for preventing connection conflicts.

The installed card reader only achieves transfer rates on the level of USB 2.0. We measure transfer rates of just 30 MB in the test with our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference card. More should definitely be offered in this price range.

Left
Left
Right
Right

Display

Subpixel arrangement
Subpixel arrangement

The matte IPS FHD screen by LG Philips installed in our review sample (LP156WF6) has convinced us many times before. For example, it is found in both the Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro and Dell Latitude 3550 and turns up twice in the upper half our display charts.

1920x1080 pixels on 15.6-inches: Previously a good standard, it almost seems a bit outdated in view of the increasing number of devices with a UHD panel. However, a scrutinizing glance shows that "more" is not the same as "better". The present screen defeats MSI's own UHD version in all rating categories. The contrast difference is very extreme, but the color shifts of our review sample's screen are also lower than in the GE62 2QE.

Overall, we are dealing with a superb screen with a total quality unmatched by any comparison device here. Single rivals might score better in the one or other partial section, but none of the immediate followers deliver such a good total package.

284
cd/m²
287
cd/m²
303
cd/m²
301
cd/m²
300
cd/m²
310
cd/m²
272
cd/m²
275
cd/m²
286
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
LG Philips LP156WF6
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 310 cd/m² Average: 290.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 300 cd/m²
Contrast: 938:1 (Black: 0.32 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.51 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 2.52 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
86% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 56% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.38
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
LG Philips LP156WF6
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Samsung SDC4852
Nexoc G515 II
LG Philips LP156WF4-SPL1 (LGD044F)
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
LG Philips
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
LG Philips LGD04D9 / 156UD2 / Dell P/N: 53FC4
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Samsung 4NDDJ_156HL (SDC4C48)
Response Times
-11%
1%
-31%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
31 (11, 20, starke Schwankungen)
40.8 (16.4, 24.4)
-32%
32 (13, 19)
-3%
48.8 (15.6, 33.2)
-57%
Response Time Black / White *
27 (8, 19)
24 (4, 20)
11%
26 (9, 17)
4%
28 (6.8, 21.2)
-4%
PWM Frequency
58.14
200 (25)
Screen
-22%
-35%
-45%
-35%
-39%
Brightness middle
300
268
-11%
232
-23%
258.6
-14%
276
-8%
180
-40%
Brightness
291
227
-22%
216
-26%
242
-17%
273
-6%
179
-38%
Brightness Distribution
88
74
-16%
82
-7%
88
0%
85
-3%
83
-6%
Black Level *
0.32
0.39
-22%
0.3
6%
0.277
13%
0.78
-144%
0.19
41%
Contrast
938
687
-27%
773
-18%
934
0%
354
-62%
947
1%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.51
4.12
-17%
6.26
-78%
8.1
-131%
4.05
-15%
6.74
-92%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
8.72
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.52
3.65
-45%
4.98
-98%
7.23
-187%
4.68
-86%
6.44
-156%
Gamma
2.38 92%
2.5 88%
2.25 98%
1.99 111%
2.55 86%
2.29 96%
CCT
6759 96%
6423 101%
6968 93%
6567 99%
6871 95%
6465 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
56
49
-12%
37
-34%
36.5
-35%
58
4%
38
-32%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
86
58
-33%
57.2
-33%
90
5%
60
-30%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-22% / -22%
-35% / -35%
-28% / -39%
-17% / -29%
-35% / -38%

* ... smaller is better

The color gamut coverage in the sRGB space is a high 86% - still too little for serious image editing but more than impressive in the category comparison. AdobeRGB is covered by 56%. The shifts in grayscale and color reproduction were already quite low ex-factory, but calibrating reduced the DeltaE even more and it was ultimately clearly below the critical rate of 3.

MSI provides a range of software-based, pre-defined color profiles for different application purposes. We generated our test results using the "sRGB" profile.

The good rates correspond to the subjective impression: The screen in the GE62 displays rich colors, deep black (void of backlight bleeding), and a generally high dynamic range.

sRGB coverage
sRGB coverage
AdobeRGB coverage
AdobeRGB coverage
CalMAN Grayscale (pre-calibration)
CalMAN Grayscale (pre-calibration)
CalMAN ColorChecker (pre-calibration)
CalMAN ColorChecker (pre-calibration)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (pre-calibration)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (pre-calibration)
CalMAN Grayscale (post-calibration)
CalMAN Grayscale (post-calibration)
CalMAN ColorChecker (post-calibration)
CalMAN ColorChecker (post-calibration)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (post-calibration)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (post-calibration)

The screen's relatively high brightness of 300 cd/m² is also fully available in battery mode. That in conjunction with the good contrast ratio will always allow working with the matte screen comfortably even outdoors. In contrast, using the glare-type UHD models from the GE62 lineup outdoors is only possible to a very limited degree.

Outdoors
Outdoors
Outdoors
Outdoors
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Great: The screen is very legible from all viewing angles. The screen is throughout IPS typical here. The collage does not show extreme color distortions either. We could give the 4K screens that MSI uses a good viewing-angle stability rating at the time. At least this aspect does not discourage opting for the alternatives with a higher resolution screen.

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
27 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 8 ms rise
↘ 19 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 54 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
31 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 11 ms rise
↘ 20 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. » 20 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (39.6 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: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9270 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

As already said, our review sample with a Core i7-6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M and 16 GB of DDR4 RAM is the smallest configuration in the GE62 lineup. It can be expected that games will easily run in the native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels (contingently with reduced details). We will examine to what extent the possible limits can be stretched with a faster GPU further below.

 

Processor

The Core i7-6700HQ is Intel's new mainstream CPU in the premium mobile sector - all present devices in the comparison field are based on it. The Skylake CPU has a base clock of 2.6 GHz that can be accelerated to 3.1 to 3.5 GHz when required (depending on the load of the single cores). The TDP is 45 watts by standard. Beyond that, the Optimus array with Intel's new HD Graphics 530 provides a graphics solution for less demanding tasks. Its performance comes close to that of a dedicated GeForce 820M.

According to the key specs, the new CPU is virtually equal with the Core i7-4720HQ that is used in both former models of our review sample. The base clock of both models is 2.6 GHz, but the Haswell CPU can be accelerated a bit more in Turbo mode at a marginally higher TDP (47 vs. 45 watts). That does not seem to result in measurable differences as a glance at the Cinebench comparison chart illustrates. In any case, the up to 15% higher performance that MSI wanted to achieve with the touted Skylake boost cannot be confirmed on this basis. The "old" GE62 with an i7-4720HQ is just as much on par as all other rivals based on a Core i7-6700HQ.

Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6816 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
26299 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
7083 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6787
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
20299
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5368
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
44.98 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.36 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.62 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
51.01 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
665 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
141 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
141 Points ∼65%
Nexoc G515 II
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
142 Points ∼65% +1%
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
146 Points ∼67% +4%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
129 Points ∼59% -9%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
137 Points ∼63% -3%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
139 Points ∼64% -1%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
146 Points ∼67% +4%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
665 Points ∼15%
Nexoc G515 II
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
676 Points ∼15% +2%
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
673 Points ∼15% +1%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
676 Points ∼15% +2%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
664 Points ∼15% 0%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
642 Points ∼15% -3%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
677 Points ∼15% +2%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.62 Points ∼66%
Nexoc G515 II
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.65 Points ∼68% +2%
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.55 Points ∼64% -4%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.48 Points ∼61% -9%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1.57 Points ∼64% -3%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1.57 Points ∼64% -3%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.67 Points ∼68% +3%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.36 Points ∼17%
Nexoc G515 II
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
6.56 Points ∼15% -11%
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.29 Points ∼17% -1%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.46 Points ∼17% +1%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
7.22 Points ∼16% -2%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
7.1 Points ∼16% -4%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.43 Points ∼17% +1%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
5368 Points ∼50%
Nexoc G515 II
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
5501 Points ∼51% +2%
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
5316 Points ∼49% -1%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
5283 Points ∼49% -2%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
5192 Points ∼48% -3%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
5206 Points ∼48% -3%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
20299 Points ∼31%
Nexoc G515 II
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
20169 Points ∼31% -1%
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
20320 Points ∼31% 0%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
20302 Points ∼31% 0%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
20003 Points ∼31% -1%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
19577 Points ∼30% -4%

System Performance

A quad-core CPU, 16 GB of working memory and a combination of an M.2 SSD and conventional hard drive with 7200 RPM: The configuration of our GE62 ensures for smooth operation at all times. It also becomes clear that the review sample can compete with the rivals in the practical PCMark tests. Nexoc's G515 IIAlienware's 15 R2 and Lenovo's Y700 only have a very slight lead while Dell's Inspiron 15 7559's power-guzzling UHD touchscreen sometimes takes its toll. That is also the case with both predecessors GE62 2QE and 2QF (PCMark 8 Home & Work).

PCMark 7 Score
5839 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3703 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4610 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4797 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 250 GB
5839 Points ∼64%
Nexoc G515 II
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZHPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
6161 Points ∼67% +6%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
5918 Points ∼65% +1%
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SK hynix SC300 M.2
5636 Points ∼62% -3%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD1
5682 Points ∼62% -3%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU
5866 Points ∼64% 0%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
5846 Points ∼64% 0%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 250 GB
4797 Points ∼74%
Nexoc G515 II
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZHPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4964 Points ∼76% +3%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
5011 Points ∼77% +4%
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SK hynix SC300 M.2
3840 Points ∼59% -20%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD1
4607 Points ∼71% -4%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD1
3763 Points ∼58% -22%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU
3678 Points ∼56% -23%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
5011 Points ∼77% +4%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 250 GB
4610 Points ∼44%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
4790 Points ∼45% +4%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD1
4577 Points ∼43% -1%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD1
4312 Points ∼41% -6%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU
4464 Points ∼42% -3%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
4541 Points ∼43% -1%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 250 GB
3703 Points ∼61%
Nexoc G515 II
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZHPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
3793 Points ∼62% +2%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
3845 Points ∼63% +4%
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SK hynix SC300 M.2
2907 Points ∼48% -21%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD1
3701 Points ∼61% 0%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD1
3075 Points ∼50% -17%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU
3061 Points ∼50% -17%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
3822 Points ∼63% +3%

Storage Device

The installed primary storage device could theoretically be a reason for the evident performance plus over the predecessors. The 128 GB M.2 SSD does a decent job - but mainly in write. It is much slower in read access, particularly with small data blocks.

MSI's GE62 still looks good compared with competing products such as Dell's Inspiron 15 7559. However, the Toshiba drive cannot compete with an NVMe storage solution like used in Nexoc's G515 II.

Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 250 GB
Sequential Read: 511.2 MB/s
Sequential Write: 410.4 MB/s
512K Read: 421 MB/s
512K Write: 318.6 MB/s
4K Read: 21.66 MB/s
4K Write: 78.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 330.8 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 134.9 MB/s
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 250 GB
Nexoc G515 II
Samsung SM951 MZHPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
SK hynix SC300 M.2
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD1
AS SSD
103%
12%
-33%
6%
Access Time Write *
0.041
0.041
-0%
0.039
5%
0.116
-183%
0.052
-27%
Access Time Read *
0.168
0.053
68%
0.094
44%
0.106
37%
0.099
41%
4K Write
72.95
92.63
27%
93.97
29%
59.27
-19%
67.72
-7%
4K Read
21.05
39.56
88%
34.29
63%
25.01
19%
33.07
57%
Seq Write
449.12
1174.14
161%
150.96
-66%
201.99
-55%
329.65
-27%
Seq Read
500.05
1862.57
272%
491.97
-2%
508.78
2%
501.81
0%

* ... smaller is better

Graphics Card

The GeForce GTX 960M is virtually the entry to the mobile GPU premium range. It has a core frequency of 1097 to 1176 MHz (in Turbo mode), and the memory is connected via a 128-bit interface. The chip in our review sample can fall back on 2 GB of GDDR5 memory that clocks at 5 GHz.

The next configuration level of the Maxwell architecture would be the GeForce GTX 965M, as found in the GE62 2QE. Its base clock is a bit lower, but it is supported by a considerably higher Shader count (1024 vs. 640 in the GTX 960M). A GE62 2QE with a Skylake update has not yet been released; a GE62 with a GTX 965M might possibly be discontinued soon.

That only leaves the GeForce GTX 970M as a higher performance option within the GE62 lineup. It is not only sold as a part of the GE62 2QF Haswell system but also in conjunction with the Skylake successor (GE62 6QF). The GTX 970M has a 192-bit memory interface in addition to 1280 execution units, and thus it promised considerably more gaming power than the GTX 965M.

The performance differences of the GPUs are especially evident in the results of the "Fire Strike" test of 3DMark 2013. While the review sample is exactly on par with other GTX 960M systems, the advantage of the GTX 965M in the GE62 2QE is already 20%. The distance to the GTX 970M is over 60%, and the GeForce GTX 980M in Alienware's laptop is more than twice as fast as the GTX 960M in our review sample.

3DMark 11 Performance
5865 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
69304 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
17764 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
4018 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5865 Points ∼17%
Nexoc G515 II
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5797 Points ∼17% -1%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5678 Points ∼16% -3%
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5572 Points ∼16% -5%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
7101 Points ∼20% +21%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9080 Points ∼26% +55%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
10623 Points ∼30% +81%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4018 Points ∼15%
Nexoc G515 II
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4123 Points ∼15% +3%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4036 Points ∼15% 0%
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4026 Points ∼15% 0%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
4806 Points ∼18% +20%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
6596 Points ∼25% +64%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8107 Points ∼30% +102%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
17764 Points ∼29%
Nexoc G515 II
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
17689 Points ∼29% 0%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
17554 Points ∼28% -1%
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
16805 Points ∼27% -5%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
17879 Points ∼29% +1%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
15582 Points ∼25% -12%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
22947 Points ∼37% +29%

Gaming Performance

The difference among the different GeForce models is not only seen in the synthetic benchmarks but can also be observed in real-world gaming. The frame rate differences in Tomb Raider are quite identical with the impression above.

On its own, the GeForce GTX 960M has enough power for gaming in the native FHD resolution. It is not quite enough for high settings in newer and graphically demanding games like The Witcher 3 - slight stuttering can be observed in intricate scenes. Users who do not want to use medium settings will have to do some fine tuning in the graphics settings. Apart from games labeled premium graphics, the installed GPU will rarely have problems.

low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 171 156.7 108.9 52.9 fps
Dirt Rally (2015) 213.07 104.65 72.37 34.36 fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 83.6 52.3 27.4 15.2 fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 59.9 59.9 59.6 40.3 fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 98.8 68.6 33.52 25.8 fps
Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
52.9 fps ∼19%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
53.7 fps ∼19% +2%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ
57.9 fps ∼21% +9%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
88.1 fps ∼32% +67%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
110.8 fps ∼40% +109%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
108.9 fps ∼21%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
116.2 fps ∼23% +7%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ
132.4 fps ∼26% +22%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
189.7 fps ∼37% +74%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
243.3 fps ∼48% +123%
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off) (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
27.4 fps ∼11%
Nexoc G515 II
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
26.6 fps ∼11% -3%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
54.9 fps ∼22% +100%
1366x768 Medium Graphics & Postprocessing (sort by value)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
52.3 fps ∼15%
Nexoc G515 II
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
50.7 fps ∼15% -3%

Emissions

System Noise

Everything seems okay at first: Although the Skylake GE62 is a bit louder than its rivals in idle mode, the rates are basically acceptable. It is also slightly louder during load but does not quite reach the noise level of Dell's Inspiron 15 7559 in the stress test. Nexoc's G515 II, based on the same CPU-GPU array, is the quietest in the group. Our review sample proves to be slightly louder in idle mode and a bit quieter during load compared with its Haswell predecessor.

However, our review sample suffers under prominent coil whining. That seems to be connected to the power supply since it only appears in AC mode; there are no problems in battery mode. Coil whining is a funny thing - while some believe that it is mostly imagination, it infuriates others. Fact is: It can get quite annoying depending on the sense of hearing and individual sensitivity to quiet whining noises. In any case, the writer could not miss hearing it. A small comfort: It becomes unimportant as soon as the fan starts up.

Noise Level

Idle
33 / 34 / 38 dB(A)
HDD
34 dB(A)
DVD
39 / dB(A)
Load
42 / 46 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1 (15 cm distance)
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Nexoc G515 II
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 965M
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 980M
Noise
9%
6%
3%
2%
1%
off / environment *
Idle Minimum *
33
29.4
11%
30.4
8%
32.6
1%
29.2
12%
33.6
-2%
Idle Average *
34
30.2
11%
30.5
10%
32.6
4%
32.6
4%
33.8
1%
Idle Maximum *
38
35.6
6%
33.3
12%
32.6
14%
35
8%
34
11%
Load Average *
42
39.8
5%
41.4
1%
40.5
4%
42.6
-1%
39.3
6%
Load Maximum *
46
41.6
10%
47
-2%
49.1
-7%
52.4
-14%
51.4
-12%

* ... smaller is better

Idle noise development
Idle noise development
Load noise development
Load noise development
Pink & white noise (speakers)
Pink & white noise (speakers)

Temperature

The review sample's temperatures are also untypical. It already gets relatively warm in idle. The thermometer records over 40 °C in the touchpad's area where it will tend to be most annoying. That is likely due to the hard drive that never seems to be inactive even in idle mode. 50 °C is surpassed virtually everywhere on the upper side under load, which is quite high. Nexoc's G515 II proves that it could be worse with over 60 °C in some places under full load. In contrast, Lenovo's IdeaPad Y700 shows that the same core hardware can be managed better.

Max. Load
 52.9 °C
127 F
53.3 °C
128 F
50.3 °C
123 F
 
 52.2 °C
126 F
52.6 °C
127 F
50.4 °C
123 F
 
 48.9 °C
120 F
49.5 °C
121 F
38.8 °C
102 F
 
Maximum: 53.3 °C = 128 F
Average: 49.9 °C = 122 F
47.3 °C
117 F
49 °C
120 F
49.3 °C
121 F
38.5 °C
101 F
48.8 °C
120 F
44.4 °C
112 F
32.2 °C
90 F
43.3 °C
110 F
43.3 °C
110 F
Maximum: 49.3 °C = 121 F
Average: 44 °C = 111 F
Power Supply (max.)  51.6 °C = 125 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 49.9 °C / 122 F, compared to the average of 33.2 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 53.3 °C / 128 F, compared to the average of 39.6 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 49.3 °C / 121 F, compared to the average of 42.3 °C / 108 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 36.7 °C / 98 F, compared to the device average of 33.2 °C / 92 F.
(-) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 49.5 °C / 121.1 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.8 °C / 83.8 F (-20.7 °C / -37.3 F).
Stress test
Stress test

Looking at the temperature rates, it is not surprising that throttling is noticed in the stress test via the tools Furmark and Prime95. The clock frequency dropped to just 2.2 GHz after 40 minutes, which is 400 MHz below the base clock. The former GE62-2QF also displayed a similar behavior, but it sports a considerably stronger GeForce GTX 970M. The GE62-2QE with GTX 965M does not throttle at all - despite its somewhat more power-consuming CPU-GPU combination. To be fair, it must be said that no losses in work speed were noticed in real-world (gaming) use.

Note: We performed both the temperature and noise measurements in the "natural" operating mode. The Cooler Boost option that increases the cooling performance in favor of noise development was not used.

MSI GE62-6QD16H11
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Nexoc G515 II
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 965M
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 970M
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 980M
Heat
-6%
22%
10%
6%
8%
9%
Maximum Upper Side *
53.3
56.8
-7%
43.8
18%
54
-1%
49.9
6%
53.4
-0%
48
10%
Maximum Bottom *
49.3
62
-26%
47.8
3%
53.4
-8%
43.7
11%
43.3
12%
57.3
-16%
Idle Upper Side *
41.2
39.6
4%
27.4
33%
30.4
26%
37.1
10%
34.7
16%
31.9
23%
Idle Bottom *
40.8
39.1
4%
26.8
34%
31.3
23%
41.5
-2%
39.6
3%
33.4
18%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

A 2.1 system by Dynaudio like MSI installs in almost all its gaming laptops takes care of audio output. As expected, it delivers a decent sound that lacks a bit of force despite separate subwoofer. External analog speakers can be connected via the gold-plated jack that reduces circuit noise.

Energy Management

The 120-watt power supply is a bit too weak
The 120-watt power supply is a bit too weak

Power Consumption

The consumption rates present yet another nasty surprise. They are clearly higher than the category average. None of the comparison systems consume as much power as our GE62 6QD in idle. Even the former models furnished with screens and CPUs with a higher energy requirement are more frugal. The review sample makes an even worse impression compared with its Skylake rivals: An idle average of 24 versus 14.4 watts in Dell's Inspiron 15 7559 is quite extreme.

It does not look much better under load. Our review sample again guzzles more power than some rivals based on considerably stronger hardware. Alienware's 15 R2 with its GeForce GTX 980M provides almost twice the gaming power at lower energy consumption (despite a very high peak consumption). The "old" GE62 Haswell-based models also achieve more frames per watt. Finally, Nexoc's G515 II proves that Skylake is quite capable of "frugal". With a virtually identical configuration, it consumes a good 20 watts less than the present review sample.

The 120-watt power supply is undersized - the battery slowly depletes even in AC mode, which will prevent prolonged gaming sessions. Apparently, the power supply's efficiency is too low to cover the high average load consumption. This issue is also found in other MSI gaming laptops, such as the GE72.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.6 / 1.2 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 20 / 24 / 30 Watt
Load midlight 97 / 155 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Nexoc G515 II
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 965M
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 970M
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 980M
Power Consumption
29%
32%
14%
12%
16%
Idle Minimum *
20
11.2
44%
9.4
53%
15
25%
14.7
26%
11.4
43%
Idle Average *
24
14.6
39%
14.4
40%
20.8
13%
20.9
13%
16.5
31%
Idle Maximum *
30
21.8
27%
15
50%
25.4
15%
25.6
15%
22
27%
Load Average *
97
78.3
19%
102
-5%
91.8
5%
101
-4%
94.2
3%
Load Maximum *
155
132.6
14%
120
23%
136
12%
138.8
10%
192.2
-24%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

It is thus not surprising that the battery life of the GE62 6QD is relatively short. Its 53 Wh battery achieves 149 minutes in the Internet browsing test and one hour in the load test. That again shows that the former models retrieved more from the available possibilities, i.e. even smaller batteries. The comparison with identically equipped Skylake rivals is not quite fair since they all have a higher capacity. However, a 137% longer Internet browsing time and only almost 10% more battery capacity achieved by the IdeaPad Y700 at least indicate where current Skylake systems should actually range.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 04min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
2h 29min
DVD
2h 04min
Blu-ray
0h 00min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
2h 17min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 00min
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
53 Wh
Nexoc G515 II
62 Wh
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
60 Wh
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
74 Wh
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
51 Wh
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
51 Wh
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
96 Wh
Battery Runtime
79%
140%
123%
20%
15%
210%
Reader / Idle
184
617
235%
709
285%
267
45%
234
27%
769
318%
H.264
137
160
17%
165
20%
456
233%
WiFi v1.3
149
249
67%
353
137%
232
56%
162
9%
446
199%
Load
60
114
90%
88
47%
76
27%
59
-2%
63
5%
114
90%
WiFi
179

Pros

+ first rate screen
+ fast SSD/HDD combo
+ solid overall performance
+ decent input devices

Cons

- coil whining in AC mode
- high temperature development
- relatively high power consumption
- below average battery life

Verdict

In review: MSI GE62 6QD. Review sample courtesy of Cyberport.de
In review: MSI GE62 6QD. Review sample courtesy of Cyberport.de

It actually started nicely. Our review sample does a relatively good job in the "tough" rating categories even if the Skylake update is far from reaching MSI's promised higher performance. However, gamers will find a very important feature:

The main highlight of MSI's GE62 6QD is its Full HD screen that outperforms its rivals in virtually every rating category. The review sample at least is on par with its rivals in terms of gaming power and routine performance. The new USB 3.1 port is certainly not a primary purchase argument, but it definitely contributes to future-proofing the device.

Unfortunately, our test system makes a range of mistakes in the "secondary" ratings. A lot seems to be interconnected: An exorbitant power consumption and above average temperature development as well as short battery runtimes indicate that the cooling components have taken a turn for the worse compared with the Haswell predecessors. Although the noise development is satisfactory, the coil whining can get annoying depending on personal tolerance.

That makes it questionable whether buying MSI's GE62 6QD is at all worthwhile seeing that the predecessors are still in retail. The FHD screen would be the primary argument for the refresh; as far as we know another panel is installed in the FHD version of the Haswell models (by comparison: review of the iBuyPower GE62), which is far from this quality. The new Skylake CPU does not have an advantage in gaming, and the former GE62 models have the lead in terms of battery life and power consumption. Above all, the latter also develop considerably higher gaming performance thanks to faster GPUs.

Only a limited number of the GE62 2QF with GTX 970M are still available, and they also have a higher price tag than the almost 1600-Euro (~$1746) 6QF successor in some cases. The GE62 2QE with GTX 965M is sold for approximately 1450 Euros (~$1583); this offer seems quite attractive in view of 1500 Euros (~$1637) for our review sample. Buyers looking for an up-to-date and balanced system with a Skylake processor might find something among the competition. Nexoc's G515 II in the SSD version is available for a price starting at 1250 Euros (~$1364); Dell's Inspiron 15 7559 already starts at 1100 Euros (~$1201, with SSHD).

MSI GE62-6QD16H11 - 02/16/2016 v5(old)
Oliver Moebel

Chassis
78 / 98 → 80%
Keyboard
79%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
63 / 81 → 78%
Weight
60 / 10-66 → 89%
Battery
65%
Display
89%
Games Performance
82%
Application Performance
86%
Temperature
68 / 95 → 72%
Noise
66 / 90 → 73%
Audio
60%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
71%
79%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GE62 6QD Apache Pro Notebook Review
Oliver Moebel, 2015-12-29 (Update: 2018-05-15)