Notebookcheck

MSI GE63VR Raider-075 (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1070, Full HD) Laptop Review

Daring to be imperfect. What, a TN panel in an $1800 gaming notebook? Yes, MSI has done it again and prioritized 120-Hz and quick response times. If you can work with this, you will probably be happy to overlook the few problems this otherwise well-made notebook has. Only one of MSI's decisions is rather questionable.

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The new MSI GE63VR Raider-075 is a 15.6-inch gaming notebook that weighs about 2.4 kg (~5.3 lbs). At the time of testing, our test version was available for $1700. It is a successor of the GE62VR 6RF, another model of the affordable GE series that we reviewed in September last year.

The device is powered by a quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ accompanied by 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with 8GB of dedicated VRAM. Its special feature is a 120-Hz TN screen that has chosen Nvidia Optimus technology over G-Sync. Windows 10 Home is preinstalled on the device, which is equipped with a 256-GB SSD and a 1-TB HDD. Of course, it still features a SteelSeries keyboard, with individual key backlighting instead of the successor's zoned backlighting. MSI has also installed the usual Gamer software package including Dragon Center, SteelSeries Engine and MSI True Color etc.

A large-scale Berlin-based price comparison found five alternative devices in the same price range, which are equipped with a GTX 1060 and might have different RAM, storage devices and operating systems. None of these models seem to have an IPS screen. We decided to focus on 15-inch devices with comparable configurations and a GTX 1070 (Max-Q) for this review. The chosen devices are:

MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider (GE63 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop) - 8192 MB, Core: 1480 MHz, Memory: 8000 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 385.41, Nvidia Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, 2x 8 GB SO-DIMM DDR4, 2400 MHz, Dual-Channel, both slots occupied
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, Chi Mei N156HHE-GA1 (CMN15F4), TN LED, 120 Hz, Full-HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM175 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY, 256 GB 
, M.2-SSD + HGST HTS721010A9E630, 1 TB HDD, 7200 rpm
Soundcard
Realtek ALC1220 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: two 3.5 mm jacks (audio-in and audio-out), Card Reader: SD,SDHC,SDXC, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 27.5 x 383 x 260 ( = 1.08 x 15.08 x 10.24 in)
Battery
51 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: 2x 2W speakers + 2x 3W woofer, Keyboard: Chiclet by SteelSeries, Keyboard Light: yes, 230-watt power supply, MS Office Trial, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.422 kg ( = 85.43 oz / 5.34 pounds), Power Supply: 947 g ( = 33.4 oz / 2.09 pounds)
Price
2000 EUR

 

Case

The GE63VR is completely black apart from a few red highlights. This masculine/futuristic look makes the notebook instantly recognizable as an MSI device. The top of the base unit and display cover seem to be made of aluminum and the brushed-metal finish is very receptive to fingerprints. A relief and the striking backlit MSI logo further highlight the rugged-looking device. 

There are three narrow additional keys at the top right, beside the number block. The top key functions as the on/off button while the bottom activates the Cooler-Boost mode. You can turn on backlighting for the USB 3.0 ports, which is quite useful. We took 3% off our overall rating because of the much-too-slippery "feet" which were very annoying.

The base unit can be warped a little under very high pressure and creaks slightly. It took significantly less pressure to warp the display cover, which is not resistant to pressure in all areas. The fact that the base unit lifts up at first when opening the lid with one hand is not acceptable for a gaming notebook. We did not notice any significant deficiencies such as irregular gap dimensions. Overall, the build seems to be stable and appropriate for this price range. 

Our candidates can be divided into two groups. On the one hand, we have our test unit and the even slimmer Asus Zephyrus with their relatively small and almost identical dimensions and weights below 2.5 kg (~5.5 lbs); on the other, we have the larger and noticeably thicker competitors Alienware and Acer, which both weigh over 3.5 kg (~7.7 lbs) and are up to 3.9 cm (~1.5 in) thick.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

Ports

MSI was liberal concerning connectivity and has included every port a gamer might need - except for Thunderbolt 3. There is an HDMI 2.0 port as well as a Mini-Display Port and three USB 3.0 Type-A ports plus one USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port. Gamers do not require VGA, which is not available. There is sufficient space between the ports, although we would have preferred them to be placed further to the back for ergonomic reasons. This area is occupied by ventilation slots.

Left: Kensington, Ethernet, HDMI, Mini-DisplayPort, USB-A 3.0, USB-C 3.1 Gen2, headphone jack, microphone jack
Left: Kensington, Ethernet, HDMI, Mini-DisplayPort, USB-A 3.0, USB-C 3.1 Gen2, headphone jack, microphone jack
Right: SD-card reader, 2x USB-A 3.0, power supply
Right: SD-card reader, 2x USB-A 3.0, power supply

SD-card reader

Thanks to the card-reader's PCIe interface, which we tested with our reference memory card Toshiba Exceria Pro SCXC 64 GB UHS-II, copying files is very fast. The transfer rates are in the top level of all card-readers we have tested until now. Photographers will be very thankful to MSI. The Acer Predator 15 card-reader is connected via USB 3.0, but it is still not even half as fast as that of our test unit.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
178 MB/s ∼100%
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
80 MB/s ∼45% -55%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
200 MB/s ∼100%
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
89 MB/s ∼45% -55%

Communication

The Gigabit-Ethernet-Controller Killer E2500 is currently very common in gaming notebooks and is responsible for the Internet connection via cable in our test unit. Unfortunately, we were not able to open the Killer Control Center, which offers very detailed configuration and network prioritization options. 

The MSI GE63VR Raider-075 is also equipped with the Wi-Fi chip Killer 1435 that wirelessly connects to the network and Internet. The theoretically available gross data transfer rate with the current ac standard and in the 5-GHz band is 867 MBit/s. Subtract the usual overhead of about 200 MBit/s and the device reaches its full potential when receiving data but falls behind the Acer and Alienware when sending data. We measured these transfer rates at one meter from our reference router Linksys EA8500.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
692 MBit/s ∼100% +1%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
685 MBit/s ∼99%
Alienware 15 R3
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
681 MBit/s ∼98% -1%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
652 MBit/s ∼94% -5%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
623 MBit/s ∼100% +15%
Alienware 15 R3
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
560 MBit/s ∼90% +4%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
540 MBit/s ∼87%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
456 MBit/s ∼73% -16%

Security

To our surprise, the GE63VR offers a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0. It might come in handy, after all.

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Accessories

Apart from the 230-watt power supply with a nicely long cable, the device comes with the usual quick-start guide and warranty information. MSI does not offer any accessories that are made specifically for the GE63VR.

Maintenance

Despite the missing maintenance hatch and access to the battery from outside, maintenance should not be too difficult on the MSI GE63VR. You only have to unscrew 11 Phillips screws to release the bottom of the base unit, which was no problem on the (almost) identical 17-inch model GE73VR 7RF Raider. Unfortunately, there was a mishap and we can only show you photos of the insides of the 17-inch model.

Inside the GE73VR 7RF Raider
Inside the GE73VR 7RF Raider

Warranty

MSI offers two years warranty. For more information, click here.

Input Devices

Keyboard

Like all G-series notebooks, the GE63VR Raider is equipped with one of the tried and tested SteelSeries keyboards (not the mechanical version). Its keys can be backlit in RGB colors individually or in zones. The manufacturer has decided not to include separate macro keys. While the main part of the keyboard is about as wide as that of a standard desktop keyboard, the number block is a little narrower than usual. The largest pitfall of the layout is the missing left Windows key. MSI has also given some keys two uses, which is typical for the manufacturer. It did not take long for us to get used to the keyboard. 

The sizes and gaps of the flat keys make them easy to use. The pressure-resistant keyboard has sufficient travel, a nice pressure point and soft stop, making typing a good experience. As particularly the larger keys are quite audible when hit, we would not recommend typing in noise-sensitive surroundings. The backlighting has four levels but can only be changed for all keys at once. The light is even and offers decent brightness. The keys that have small writing on them, such as the INSERT key, are sometimes hard to read while the backlight is turned on.

Touchpad

The classic touchpad is comfortably large but does not respond straight away at the outer edges. It has a smooth surface with very good gliding properties for dry fingers and decent gliding properties for damp fingers. We were not so happy with the touchpad's response as it occasionally ignored a touch, and drag-&-drop with a double click works better on the other laptops as well. It responds well to fast movements, however. 

The replacement mouse keys have very short travel and strong feedback that you can both feel and hear. They do their job well, although feedback varied depending on where we clicked for the right key. You can configure gestures with up to two fingers via the comprehensive Synaptics driver menu. Overall, office users should be happy with the input devices.

Input devices
Input devices

Display

Subpixel
Subpixel

MSI has chosen the road less travelled for the GE63VR Raider-075 and opted for a matte TN display with instable viewing angles, but it has a refresh rate of 120 Hz and very fast response times - sadly without G-Sync. The Full HD resolution (the best resolution for gamers) has a pixel density of 141 ppi on the 15.6-inch screen.

As gaming notebooks are rarely used outdoors, high brightness is not so important. In our comparison field, only the Alienware 15 R3 offers reasonably high brightness while our test unit and the Acer Predator cannot even reach the 300 cd/m² mark. The measured brightness distribution of 84% is below average, but subjectively black images looked rich and uniform with no trace of screen-bleeding. We cannot criticize image sharpness.

MSI mentions another screen alternative on its website:

  • 15.6-inch Full HD (1920x1080), IPS-Level
288
cd/m²
297
cd/m²
278
cd/m²
273
cd/m²
285
cd/m²
270
cd/m²
262
cd/m²
250
cd/m²
256
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 297 cd/m² Average: 273.2 cd/m² Minimum: 5 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 84 %
Center on Battery: 285 cd/m²
Contrast: 1239:1 (Black: 0.23 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.52 | 0.8-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 3.41 | 0.64-98 Ø6.6
100% sRGB (Argyll) 77% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.05
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
Chi Mei N156HHE-GA1 (CMN15F4), 1920x1080, 15.6
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
LG Philips LP156WF6-SPP1 (LGD04D5), 1920x1080, 15.6
Alienware 15 R3
HPJGK_B156HTN (AUO51ED), 1920x1080, 15.6
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
ID: AUO42ED, Name: AU Optronics B156HAN04.2, 1920x1080, 15.6
Response Times
-187%
-114%
-268%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
9.6 (5.2, 4.4)
36 (18, 18)
-275%
25 (12, 13)
-160%
33.2 (18.4, 14.8)
-246%
Response Time Black / White *
7.2 (5, 2.2)
26.4 (15.2, 11.2)
-267%
12 (4, 8)
-67%
28 (15.6, 12.4)
-289%
PWM Frequency
26000 (25)
20830 (90)
-20%
Screen
-26%
-66%
-10%
Brightness middle
285
295
4%
386
35%
307.1
8%
Brightness
273
274
0%
382
40%
309
13%
Brightness Distribution
84
88
5%
93
11%
86
2%
Black Level *
0.23
0.32
-39%
0.39
-70%
0.35
-52%
Contrast
1239
922
-26%
990
-20%
877
-29%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.52
4.59
-30%
10.2
-190%
3.4
3%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.18
11
-112%
15.81
-205%
8.2
-58%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.41
4.03
-18%
11.28
-231%
1.4
59%
Gamma
2.05 117%
2.3 104%
2.23 108%
2.19 110%
CCT
7077 92%
7229 90%
11383 57%
6558 99%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
77
56
-27%
59
-23%
55.6
-28%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
85
-15%
90
-10%
85
-15%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-107% / -63%
-90% / -74%
-139% / -53%

* ... smaller is better

None of our comparison units has a bad black value and MSI actually does a good job with 0.23 cd/m² which means the best contrast ratio of 1239:1 despite its low brightness.

The GE63VR can also offer good color accuracy: Its Delta-E value is only slightly over the ideal (below 3) ex-works. The minimal (!) blue cast can be removed with our color profile (link above). The Asus Zephyrus is even more accurate while the Alienware desperately needs calibrating and profiling with Delta-E values of 10 and 11.

As the small standard color space sRGB is fully covered, the MSI is also suitable for ambitious image-processing - unlike its competitors. But there are some limitations, as we will see later on. We took our measurements in the "sRGB" True Color mode.

CalMAN: grayscales
CalMAN: grayscales
CalMAN: grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN: grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN: color saturation
CalMAN: color saturation
CalMAN: color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
MSI GE63VR vs. sRGB (100%)
MSI GE63VR vs. sRGB (100%)
MSI GE63VR vs. AdobeRGB (77%)
MSI GE63VR vs. AdobeRGB (77%)

We tested the outdoor functionality of the GE63VR Raider-075 on a dark fall day with overcast sky - which was lucky as the screen could be read even when it was directed at the sky (left photo). The right photo shows an ideal position with the house behind us. On bright, sunny days, the matte but not particularly bright screen should still be legible in the shade, provided you do not place it in front of something light. But this quality is not particularly important for a gamer, anyway.

Overcast sky
Overcast sky
Shade
Shade

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
7.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 2.2 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 4 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (26.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
9.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5.2 ms rise
↘ 4.4 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 4 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41.7 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 detected 26000 Hz ≤ 25 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 26000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 25 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 26000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 10570 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 588200) Hz was measured.

MSI has called the display a "Wide-View" display, but this is not the case if you compare it to a typical IPS screen. However, the horizontal viewing angle is quite wide for a TN screen without losing brightness, contrast and colors. But take a look at the screen from above and you will soon see a white film spread over the entire screen. Looking at the screen from below creates a very strong and bothersome inversion of colors.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Processor

Similar to the Intel Core i5-7200U in the office segment, the Hyper-Threading quad-core i7-7700HQ (4x 2.8 - 3.8 GHz, TDP 45 watts) used in our test unit can be considered the "bread-and-butter" chip of gaming. Like its direct predecessor, this chip can be found in many gaming notebooks and no current game has yet brought it to its limits. Therefore, the processor can also handle other everyday software with ease - including strongly parallelized software, thanks to Hyper-Threading. 

The CPU ran the single-thread Cinebench R15 benchmark at 3.4 - 3.8 GHz and the multithread load at a constant 3.4 GHz. The scores only varied slightly and did not seem to drop in the Cinebench loop. However, the Acer's result was 2% better, which indicates that the latter's i7-7700HQ can make slightly better use of the turbo than our MSI. There were no changes on battery.

Singe-core rendering
Singe-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
GPU load
GPU load
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Alienware 15 R3
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼100% 0%
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼100% 0%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼100%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
150 Points ∼94% -6%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
740 Points ∼100% +2%
Alienware 15 R3
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
737 Points ∼100% +1%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
734 Points ∼99% +1%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
729 Points ∼99%
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
729 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
160 Points
Help

System Performance

Although the device is not even equipped with an NVMe SSD, we personally felt that the GE63VR's performance topped that of a typical office notebook with ULV dual-core and SSD, which might be due to its four physical cores and generous working memory. There are hardly any lags, and programs and operating systems boot very quickly.

All laptops in our review are equipped with the same CPU and (except for the Asus) the same graphics card but have different SSDs. The fact that the SSD in our test unit is the slowest of them all only shows in the Home test of PCMark 8.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5426 Points ∼100% +3%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL
5358 Points ∼99% +2%
Alienware 15 R3
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
5299 Points ∼98% +1%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
5270 Points ∼97%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5169 Points ∼100% +17%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL
5009 Points ∼97% +14%
Alienware 15 R3
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
4966 Points ∼96% +13%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
4406 Points ∼85%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4406 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5270 points
Help

Storage Devices

The device has a SATA-III 256-GB SSD from Toshiba and a 1-TB HDD from HGST that runs at 7200 RPM. The SSD has typical sequential read speeds of 500 MB/s but is a little behind the maximum in sequential reading. Its performance with 4K reading (important for starting the operation system and software) was not so good. Nowadays, we would expect a minimum of 30 MB/s.

The competitor's SSDs that are connected via PCIe easily leave the SSD of our GE63VR behind. The comparison devices should be noticeably faster at loading large games and their better 4K-read values might be noticeable a little in day-to-day use. The additional 1-TB HDD has good access rates thanks to its speed of 7200 RPM and performs well.

SSD: AS SSD
SSD: AS SSD
SSD: CrystalDiskMark 3.0
SSD: CrystalDiskMark 3.0
SSD: CrystalDiskMark 5.2
SSD: CrystalDiskMark 5.2
HDD: HD Tune
HDD: HD Tune
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Alienware 15 R3
 
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
146%
64%
Write 4k QD32
190.3
375.3
97%
429.8
126%
Read 4k QD32
368.8
572.9
55%
541.7
47%
Write 4k
88.91
141.9
60%
122.9
38%
Read 4k
21.77
50.76
133%
37.8
74%
Write 512
409.9
1192
191%
428.1
4%
Read 512
411.9
1078
162%
833.2
102%
Write Seq
441.4
1262
186%
429.2
-3%
Read Seq
506.6
1939
283%
1123
122%
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
Sequential Read: 506.6 MB/s
Sequential Write: 441.4 MB/s
512K Read: 411.9 MB/s
512K Write: 409.9 MB/s
4K Read: 21.77 MB/s
4K Write: 88.91 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 368.8 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 190.3 MB/s

Graphics

If you forget the Max-Q version of the GTX 1080 (that does not really make sense), the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 is currently the second-fastest mobile graphics card available after the GTX 1080. The GP104 chip offers 2048 shaders that run at a base clock rate of 1480 MHz and a nominal turbo rate of up to 1695 MHz in this device. The chip is only available with 8 GB of GDDR5 VRAM that has a 256-bit bus. For more information on the changes in Pascal architecture, click here

If you compare the scores of 3DMark 11 and 3DMark 13, the GTX 1070 chips in our test unit and comparison devices offer the expected performance while the Max-Q version in the Asus Zephyrus lags behind a little. With the help of the Unigine Heaven benchmark, we created a graphics load typical for gaming, with which we measured average GPU rates of 1670 MHz. The Render test from GPU-Z even brought 1900 MHz. A second run of the Fire-Strike benchmark on battery resulted in 4472 points - 32% of the result on power supply.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
23246 Points ∼100%
Alienware 15 R3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
22810 Points ∼98% -2%
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
21955 Points ∼94% -6%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
20240 Points ∼87% -13%
3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
17793 Points ∼100%
Alienware 15 R3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
17675 Points ∼99% -1%
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
17106 Points ∼96% -4%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
16165 Points ∼91% -9%
3DMark 11 Performance
16625 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
27629 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
13917 points
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Gaming Performance

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 can display all current games smoothly in Full HD and QHD at the highest settings and even UHD at medium to high settings. Overall, the device performed as expected, if not a little better - except for the relatively (!) low fps in Battlefield 1.

To find out whether frame rates remain the same over a long period of time, we ran the game The Witcher 3 in Full HD resolution and maximum quality settings for 60 minutes. The game character did not move during the entire period. It looks like there is a slight reduction of the GPU turbo under constant GPU load, but this is quite natural.

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The Witcher 3 ultra
The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
62.2 fps ∼100%
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
59.6 fps ∼96% -4%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ
51 fps ∼82% -18%
Rise of the Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
102.5 fps ∼100%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ
85.9 fps ∼84% -16%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
118.8 fps ∼100%
Battlefield 1
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
112.5 fps ∼100% +9%
Alienware 15 R3
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
109 fps ∼97% +6%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
103.2 fps ∼92%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:T
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
123.6 fps ∼100% +12%
Alienware 15 R3
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
121 fps ∼98% +10%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
110.5 fps ∼89%
For Honor
1920x1080 Extreme Preset AA:T AF:16x
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
113 fps ∼100%
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
105.6 fps ∼93% -7%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:T AF:8x
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
144.4 fps ∼100%
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
143.3 fps ∼99% -1%
Ghost Recon Wildlands
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T AF:16x
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
52.2 fps ∼100%
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
51.6 fps ∼99% -1%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:T AF:4x
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
90.8 fps ∼100%
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
84.1 fps ∼93% -7%
low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 62.2fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 118.8102.5fps
Far Cry Primal (2016) 7674fps
Deus Ex Mankind Divided (2016) 83.145.6fps
Battlefield 1 (2016) 110.5103.2fps
For Honor (2017) 144.4113fps
Ghost Recon Wildlands (2017) 90.852.2fps

Emissions

System Noise

The cooling fans are usually silent while idling, although the CPU does turn up for a short time during system startup and under peak loads. If you are close-by, you can occasionally hear the 7200-RPM HDD.

After starting our Prime95 + FurMark stress test, the cooling fan started up within a few seconds and slowly increased its rotation speed until it reached a clearly noticeable noise level that could even be heard from further away. Luckily, users are spared from other annoying noises such as whistling or whining. It is possible to further increase the RPM of the cooler by pressing the Cooler-Boost key. We did our measurements with the cooling mode set to automatic. You do not absolutely need headphones, but they might be more comfortable in the long run.

System noise idle
System noise idle
System noise load
System noise load
System noise speakers
System noise speakers

Noise Level

Idle
33 / 35 / 40 dB(A)
HDD
34 dB(A)
Load
48 / 55 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, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30 dB(A)

Temperature

There are no issues concerning surface temperature when idling, while the area at the back can heat up to a slightly uncomfortable but not yet hot 48 °C (~118.4 °F) under load and when playing graphically demanding games (The Witcher 3). The area around the wrist rest becomes only slightly warmer than body temperature.  

The processor heated up to a maximum of 97 °C (~206.6 °F) during our stress test (Prime95 + FurMark) and clocked between 3.1 and 3.2 GHz, which means there is no throttling. The GTX 1070's results were not as good in this unrealistic scenario. Its clock rate dropped to 1366 MHz after a while, which is just below its base clock rate. The GPU did not reach critical temperatures at a maximum of 97 °C (~206.6 °F).

Stress test
Stress test
Full load top (Optris PI 640)
Full load top (Optris PI 640)
Full load bottom (Optris PI 640)
Full load bottom (Optris PI 640)
Max. Load
 46 °C47 °C48 °C 
 45 °C46 °C44 °C 
 38 °C39 °C36 °C 
Maximum: 48 °C
Average: 43.2 °C
47 °C45 °C46 °C
42 °C45 °C42 °C
34 °C39 °C30 °C
Maximum: 47 °C
Average: 41.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  48 °C | Room Temperature 20 °C | Voltcraft IR-900

Speakers

If you the turn the sound improvement feature of the music preset off (see the screenshot), the two speakers positioned at the bottom of the device sound like a biscuit tin. We reactivated the tweaks and played the usual song to test the sound system. The maximum volume is loud enough for medium-sized rooms and the sound is full, rather natural and quite well-balanced with well-emulated bass frequencies. But the results of the necessary compression (despite relatively large speakers) will be audible to trained ears - it remains a typical FM-radio sound.

Highs can sound a little piercing in some songs and you might notice slight changes in volume at high levels, which come from the system. These problems disappear if you reduce the volume slightly. We did not notice any distortions and the speakers sounded good enough while gaming to not need to use headphones for short sessions.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2043.951.12539.2463131.940.64037.443.95028.841632845.58028.654.210026.168.112523.164.816022.272.220023.274.8250237331519.872.54001975.850017.67363017.877.880017.682.8100017.182.7125017.380.2160017.283.8200016.984250017.582.1315017.981.3400017.877.5500017.476.5630017.681.9800017.479.91000017.775.51250018.873.61600017.368.5SPL29.993N1.3107.1median 17.7MSI GE63VR 7RF Raidermedian 76.5Delta1.64.337.638.233.436.426.529.128.429.924.926.725.22625.527.123.131.12336.721.543.42150.121.353.318.955.619.359.218.662.119.366.419.672.418.275.218.372.618.870.817.774.317.470.91768.917.269.917.368.717.564.117.465.317.36217.455.317.549.730.282.51.452.3median 18.3Alienware 15 R3median 64.11.68.938.237.336.131.329.430.237.236.932.732.527.83828.746.328.252.225.748.224.960.32368.12572.122.271.521.269.220.371.420.276.819.479.119.478.819.480.52076.720.173.120.180.720.680.621.179.221.679.722.380.622.776.123.670.624.266.624.859.533.390.51.991.5median 21.6Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751Xmedian 73.11.96.836.938.736.134.736.134.434.235.233.43333.233.531.831.831.631.729.832.229.537.12846.128.251.127.456.226.459.125.961.225.86224.96524.960.824.859.924.762.724.261.124.162.824.263.923.968.62470.62471.42470.72465.623.966.724.258.836.878.62.842.1median 24.8Asus Zephyrus GX501VSmedian 61.21.96.9hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (93 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 5.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.6% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.1% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (7.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 99% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 99% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Alienware 15 R3 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 19.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.7% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.6% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 69% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 23% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 45% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 47% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (91 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.8% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (13.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 28% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 64% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 11% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 86% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Asus Zephyrus GX501VS audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (71.41 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 18.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 1.2% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.5% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 72% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 23% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 48% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 44% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes can be turned on/off!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The MSI GE63VR is the only notebook in our comparison field that has foregone G-Sync in order to use Nvidia Optimus - which has an effect on the three levels of idle load. Our test unit consumes significantly less power here. The fact that the Acer and Alienware consume up to 14% less power under load might be connected to their conservative clocking. This is obvious in the Asus if you consider the reduced clock rate of the Max-Q version of the GT 1070.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.5 / 0.7 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 11 / 16 / 21 Watt
Load midlight 92 / 224 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Alienware 15 R3
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Power Consumption
-22%
-27%
-6%
Idle Minimum *
11
18
-64%
19
-73%
19.1
-74%
Idle Average *
16
23
-44%
23
-44%
20.8
-30%
Idle Maximum *
21
30
-43%
29
-38%
21.8
-4%
Load Average *
92
89
3%
85
8%
73.7
20%
Load Maximum *
224
213
5%
192
14%
173.1
23%
Witcher 3 ultra *
185
168
9%
130.2
30%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Despite the almost equally dimensioned 50-Wh battery, the runtimes of the Zephyrus are 30% behind those of our MSI in our maximum runtime (idle) tests and our practical Wi-Fi surfing tests at reduced brightness. Things change under load, where the Zephyrus lasts 17% longer with its Max-Q processor.

The capacity of the batteries of the two significantly heavier laptops by Acer and Alienware is 76 - 94% higher than that of our test unit. Their average runtimes show paradoxical results. While the Acer with the smaller 90-Wh battery can run for twice as long as our test unit, the Alienware with the larger 99-Wh battery only manages 64% more than our GE63VR.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 23min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
3h 21min
Load (maximum brightness)
0h 42min
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 51 Wh
Acer Predator 15 G9-593-751X
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 90 Wh
Alienware 15 R3
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 99 Wh
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 50 Wh
Battery Runtime
100%
64%
-13%
Reader / Idle
323
502
55%
382
18%
229
-29%
WiFi v1.3
201
332
65%
264
31%
147
-27%
Load
42
117
179%
102
143%
49
17%
H.264
295
266

Verdict

Pros

+ relatively compact and light-weight
+ solid, well-made case
+ high connectivity
+ fast card-reader
+ very good keyboard
+ 120 Hz, fast response times
+ 100% sRGB
+ good color accuracy
+ Nvidia Optimus

Cons

- case shows fingerprints, difficult to clean
- touchpad has issues
- TN panel with unstable viewing angles
- display could be brighter
- no G-Sync
- SSD does not have PCIe interface
The MSI GE62VR Raider-075 - test unit provided by MSI Germany.
The MSI GE62VR Raider-075 - test unit provided by MSI Germany.

MSI has taken a step away from the general IPS trend and dared to be imperfect. If you do not require too much free space around your notebook and can avoid looking at the display from below, you will appreciate this notebook for its fast response times, accurate color display, 100% sRGB coverage and 120 Hz - although this would have made more sense if MSI had not left out G-Sync in favor of low power consumption.

The well-made MSI GE63VR Raider-075 gave us a great impression during testing - only their decision to forego G-Sync is rather surprising.

The MSI GE63VR Raider-075 is available from $1700 and is a compact, light-weight, well-constructed and high-performing gaming notebook with a headstrong display whose few disadvantages will hardly bother ambitious gamers. We can clearly recommend this device.

MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider - 10/28/2017 v6
Sven Kloevekorn

Chassis
81 / 98 → 83%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
65 / 81 → 80%
Weight
60 / 10-66 → 90%
Battery
71%
Display
88%
Games Performance
96%
Application Performance
93%
Temperature
82 / 95 → 87%
Noise
59 / 90 → 65%
Audio
80%
Camera
50 / 85 → 59%
Average
76%
85%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GE63VR Raider-075 (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1070, Full HD) Laptop Review
Sven Kloevekorn, 2017-11- 3 (Update: 2017-11-14)