Notebookcheck

MSI GE72 6QF Apache Pro Notebook Review

Oliver Moebel (translated by Martina Osztovits), 11/13/2015

Ready for games with Skylake. Fallout 4, Black Ops 3, Battlefront – autumn brings a lot of challenge for gamers. MSI has refreshed its line-up for the gaming festival and improved the GE72 a lot: Apart of an up-to-date Intel quad-core CPU, the 17-inch fireball got an IPS panel and a USB 3.1 port. However, the price went up quite a bit, too. Is this justified?

For the original German review, see here.

The generation change from Haswell to Skylake is well underway. MSI has taken the opportunity to revamp its gaming notebook line-up. In the following article, we will scrutinize the new GE 72 "Apache Pro". We have the 6QF8H11 model under review, which is an upgrade of the already reviewed MSI GE72 2QD. While the exterior remained the same, its performance is significantly better than its predecessor (i7-4720HQ, TN, GTX 960M) thanks to its Core i7-6700HQ, IPS display from LG and GeForce GTX 970M.

Our comparison will show whether the GE72 Pro can take the "Desktop Replacements" crown. The closest competitor stems from the same manufacturer: The MSI GS70 6QE Stealth Pro features the same CPU GPU combination and also a 17.3-inch display. The Schenker XMG A706 comes with the same display size and CPU, but uses the well-tried GTX 960M. The 17-inch Medion Erazer X7615 is powered by a Haswell quad-core and comes with a GeForce GTX 965M. The outrageously expensive Schenker XMG U726 has to prove how far the performance can be pushed if price does not matter. Finally, the comparison with the "old" GE72 will show whether a 250-Euro (~$269) higher price is fair in view of the performance gain.

MSI GE72-6QF8H11 (GE72 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M - 3.072 MB, Core: 924-1038 MHz, Memory: 2500 MHz, GDDR5, 192 bit interface, ForceWare 353.74 (10.18.13.5374), Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4-2133, dual channel, two RAM slots (one used), max. 32 GB
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, LG Phillips LP173WF4-SPF1, IPS, Full HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM170 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU, 128 GB 
, SSD + HGST HTS721010A9E630 (1 TB, 7200 rpm). Slots: 1x 2.5 inch ll & 1x M.2 (PCIe/NVMe)
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: headphones, microphone, Card Reader: SD, SDHC, SDXC, Sensors: brightness sensor, USB 3.1 Type C
Networking
Qualcomm/Atheros e2400 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Optical drive
HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GUB0N
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 32 x 420 x 288 ( = 1.26 x 16.54 x 11.34 in)
Battery
51 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6-cell battery, fixed
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: FHD (1080p @ 30 fps)
Additional features
Speakers: 2.1 Dynaudio (Nahimic Audio Enhancer), Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, power adapter: 150 Watt, Cyberlink PowerDVD 12, MS Office (trial version), various proprietary tools, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.93 kg ( = 103.35 oz / 6.46 pounds), Power Supply: 514 g ( = 18.13 oz / 1.13 pounds)
Price
1700 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The case hardly changed since the previous generation. In consideration of the elegant design and the high-end build quality, this is definitely not a reason to complain. Quite the contrary: The "Ferrari look" goes well with the claim of the system and makes it appear slightly less bulky than you might expect in view of almost 3 kg. However, the light construction is at the expense of low torsional stiffness.

Connectivity

Interfaces

There is only a small change here, which makes the GE72 Pro more future-proof: one of the three USB 3.0 ports was updated to USB 3.1 type C. This not only means less frustration when connecting a USB stick (reversible plug) but also double the performance compared to USB 3.0.

Left side: Kensington lock, RJ45-LAN, USB 3.0, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Type C, microphone, headphones
Left side: Kensington lock, RJ45-LAN, USB 3.0, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Type C, microphone, headphones
Right side: DVD burner, USB 2.0, memory-card reader, power-in
Right side: DVD burner, USB 2.0, memory-card reader, power-in

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Communication

Replacing Intel's Wireless-AC 3160 with Wireless-AC 3165 makes as much difference as the names imply - it is almost zero in everyday Wi-Fi usage. In the 2.4 and the 5 GHz bands, Intel's Wi-Fi module works well in the GE72 Pro, too. However, the upgrade also brings a change from Bluetooth 4.0 to Bluetooth 4.2. This could be more important in practice due to higher transfer rates, lower energy demand and higher data security (according to the developer consortium). A GBit Ethernet chip from Qualcomm's Killer series is responsible for wired networking.

Accessories

Apart from a quick-start guide and a few warranty sheets, there is no more information included. The only highlight is a black fabric bag, which should protect the notebook from dirt.

Operating System

Our GE72 Pro test model came with preinstalled Windows 10 64-bit (Home Edition). A recovery DVD is not included. You have to create one with a system tool instead. While it was still possible to order recovery media in MSI's online shop for the Windows 8.1 predecessor, this option is currently not available for Windows 10 systems. However, this appears to be acceptable in consideration of a charge of just under 50 Euros (~$53).

Warranty

By default MSI includes a 2-year warranty (pickup and return), which is granted after online registration of the device. A few dealers offer an upgrade by 12 months for about 100 Euros (~$107). Currently, MSI does not directly offer such to consumers.

Underside
Underside

Maintenance

You have to loosen many screws to get to the innards of the GE72 Pro. The complete underside and then the optical drive have to be removed before you'll finally reach the fans, RAM and M.2 slots as well as the SATA drive slot. This is relatively easy. After having taken out the optical drive and loosened all screws on the underside, the underside can be removed with a thin spatula or putty knife.

Input Devices

Please refer to our review of the predecessor here – layout, haptics and functionality hint on no changes at all. Not much could have been improved anyway: Most gamers might be satisfied with the input devices of the GE72 Pro. The multi-touch capable pad is comfortable to the touch. Furthermore, the colored LED backlight looks simply great.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

While display size and resolution remained unchanged with 17.3-inches and 1920x1080 pixels, MSI now uses modern IPS technology in a display from LG Philips. The average brightness of 296 cd/m² is significantly higher than the TN panel's of the predecessor (246 cd/m²). The brightness distribution of 88% is quite even. While the black value of 0.3 cd/m² is slightly higher, the contrast fell to 1050:1 (the "old" GE72 achieved 1275:1). While IPS competitors like the Schenker XMG A706 might perform slightly better in brightness and contrast, the GE72 Pro's display appeared to be very good in practice.

302
cd/m²
294
cd/m²
313
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
315
cd/m²
301
cd/m²
288
cd/m²
276
cd/m²
281
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 315 cd/m² Average: 296.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 315 cd/m²
Contrast: 1050:1 (Black: 0.3 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.34 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 2.87 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
85% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 56% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.46
MSI GE72 vs. sRGB
MSI GE72 vs. sRGB
MSI GE72 vs. AdobeRGB
MSI GE72 vs. AdobeRGB

While the test model seemed to be interesting for image editing and video professionals in view of its performance (video rendering is fast at low energy demand), the display, unfortunately, proves to be the limiting factor here. Its color coverage of sRGB and AdobeRGB is not sufficient with 85% and 56%, respectively. Those who require more, have to spend more money. For example, the 17-inch 4K panel of the Schenker XMG U726 covers sRGB completely and 88% of AdobeRGB. However, you have to spend a hefty 4000 Euros (~$4306) for this (as well as a GeForce GTX 980).

MSI GE72-6QF8H11
LG Phillips LP173WF4-SPF1
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Chi Mei N173HGE-E11 (CMN1735)
Schenker XMG A706
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPD1
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
CMN N173HGE-E11 (CMN1735)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Chi Mei N173HGE-E11
Schenker XMG U726
AU B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B)
Response Times
PWM Frequency
Screen
-3%
-7%
-58%
-41%
5%
Brightness middle
315
172
-45%
344
9%
263
-17%
255
-19%
330
5%
Brightness
297
161
-46%
322
8%
244
-18%
246
-17%
327
10%
Brightness Distribution
88
85
-3%
88
0%
83
-6%
80
-9%
86
-2%
Black Level *
0.3
0.26
13%
0.3
-0%
0.27
10%
0.2
33%
0.38
-27%
Contrast
1050
662
-37%
1147
9%
974
-7%
1275
21%
868
-17%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.34
2.06
53%
4.8
-11%
12.24
-182%
10.01
-131%
3
31%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.87
2.42
16%
4.91
-71%
12.17
-324%
10.5
-266%
3.81
-33%
Gamma
2.46 89%
2.45 90%
2.37 93%
3.55 62%
2.25 98%
2.52 87%
CCT
6969 93%
6855 95%
6796 96%
15589 42%
12631 51%
6306 103%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
56
62
11%
55
-2%
62
11%
62
11%
88
57%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
85
97
14%
84
-1%
96
13%
94
11%
100
18%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.3
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-3% / -3%
-7% / -7%
-58% / -58%
-41% / -41%
5% / 5%

* ... smaller is better

By the way, MSI offers a handy, small app called True Color: It allows quickly switching from neutral to more vivid, yet slightly distorted colors for good-looking videos and games. We recorded our results with the preset "sRGB".

no PWM
no PWM
Response time - black-white-time (rise)
Response time - black-white-time (rise)
Response time - black-white-time (fall)
Response time - black-white-time (fall)
Response time - gray-to-gray (rise)
Response time - gray-to-gray (rise)
Response time - gray-to-gray (fall)
Response time - gray-to-gray (fall)

Furthermore, we were pleased by the color deviation, which is already decent out-of-the-box. Average values of 2.87 for the gray levels and 4.34 for the colors delight the eyes. But, it can still be improved: After calibration the average DeltaE is 0.88 (gray levels) and 2.91 (colors), respectively. Values smaller than three can be called good.

CalMAN gray levels
CalMAN gray levels
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN gray levels (after calibration)
CalMAN gray levels (after calibration)
CalMAN saturation (after calibration)
CalMAN saturation (after calibration)
CalMAN ColorChecker (after calibration)
CalMAN ColorChecker (after calibration)

Viewing-angle stability is a big advantage of IPS displays compared to TN panels. The GE72 can completely convince here. As long as there are no light reflections caused by direct sunlight, the legibility is great even from the sides. Regarding outdoor capability, the device even performs well under the open sky.

As is usual for IPS panels, the viewing-angle stability is excellent.
As is usual for IPS panels, the viewing-angle stability is excellent.
Also convincing in the sun: the display of the GE72 Pro.
Also convincing in the sun: the display of the GE72 Pro.
The display even remains well legible from the sides.
The display even remains well legible from the sides.

Performance

Desktop performance on-the-move. Alike in the predecessor, MSI created a balanced bundle to make gamers happy. The up-to-date Skylake CPU and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 970M run even demanding games smoothly. The combination of M.2 SSD and 1 TB HDD make working without delays possible.

Processor

The GE72 Pro houses a Core i7-6700HQ. The quad-core CPU supports Hyper-Threading and works at a base clock of 2.6 GHz (max. 3.5 GHz in single-core use with Turbo). Alike the popular i7-4720HQ, which works in the predecessor, the processor has a very good price-performance ratio. As our tests prove, migrating from Haswell to Skylake brings hardly any performance gain. Thus, the sticker on the display attributing a performance gain of 20% compared to the i7-4720HQ is questionable. However, the 14 nm process probably means lower energy demand with the same performance. We will show whether at least this promise is delivered.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5231
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
19889
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6816
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
6825 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
26193 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6832 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
41.58 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.37 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.57 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
137 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
667 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
61.14 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
137 Points ∼63%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
144 Points ∼66% +5%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
149 Points ∼68% +9%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
139 Points ∼64% +1%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
137 Points ∼63% 0%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
171 Points ∼78% +25%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
667 Points ∼15%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
633 Points ∼14% -5%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
619 Points ∼14% -7%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
617 Points ∼14% -7%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
659 Points ∼15% -1%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
813 Points ∼19% +22%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.57 Points ∼64%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.64 Points ∼67% +4%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.66 Points ∼68% +6%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1.57 Points ∼64% 0%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1.58 Points ∼65% +1%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
1.91 Points ∼78% +22%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.37 Points ∼27%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.01 Points ∼26% -5%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
6.81 Points ∼25% -8%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
6.9 Points ∼25% -6%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
7.31 Points ∼27% -1%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
8.94 Points ∼33% +21%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
5231 Points ∼48%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
5239 Points ∼48% 0%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
5516 Points ∼51% +5%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
5185 Points ∼48% -1%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
6371 Points ∼59% +22%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
19889 Points ∼40%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
19902 Points ∼40% 0%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
20508 Points ∼41% +3%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
19986 Points ∼40% 0%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
24372 Points ∼49% +23%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
11969 Points ∼38%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
12910 Points ∼41% +8%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
12934 Points ∼42% +8%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
12654 Points ∼41% +6%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
15038 Points ∼48% +26%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
3143 Points ∼65%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
3598 Points ∼75% +14%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
3577 Points ∼74% +14%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
3353 Points ∼69% +7%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
4039 Points ∼84% +29%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
12510 Points ∼33%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
15812 Points ∼42% +26%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
3291 Points ∼67%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
4233 Points ∼86% +29%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
77.8 ms * ∼1%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
95 ms * ∼1% -22%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
79.2 ms * ∼1% -2%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
83 ms * ∼1% -7%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
67.9 ms * ∼1% +13%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1005.1 ms * ∼2%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
964.2 ms * ∼2% +4%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
950.4 ms * ∼2% +5%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1953 ms * ∼3% -94%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
812.4 ms * ∼1% +19%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
33865 Points ∼68%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
37038 Points ∼74% +9%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
38692 Points ∼78% +14%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
16851 Points ∼34% -50%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
44474 Points ∼89% +31%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
3299 Points ∼53%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
3398 Points ∼55% +3%
Schenker XMG A706
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
2489 Points ∼40% -25%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
3063 Points ∼49% -7%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
4002 Points ∼65% +21%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

Overall, the GE72 Pro left a very good impression. Although some results are slightly below average compared to the competition, this is likely due to the RAM configuration. Our test model comes with a single 8 GB module and therefore does not have the small performance advantage of dual-channel operation. In the medium term, an upgrade to 16 GB appears recommendable and can be easily done by the user.

PCMark 7 Score
5431 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3633 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4371 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5009 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU
5431 Points ∼63%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
5912 Points ∼69% +9%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 250 GB
6052 Points ∼70% +11%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 128 GB MZMTE128HMGR
5788 Points ∼67% +7%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
5895 Points ∼69% +9%
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
7093 Points ∼83% +31%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU
5009 Points ∼77%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
5043 Points ∼77% +1%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 250 GB
4971 Points ∼76% -1%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
4982 Points ∼76% -1%
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4623 Points ∼71% -8%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU
4371 Points ∼46%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
4873 Points ∼51% +11%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 250 GB
4633 Points ∼49% +6%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
4512 Points ∼47% +3%
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
7134 Points ∼75% +63%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU
3633 Points ∼60%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
4002 Points ∼66% +10%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 250 GB
3894 Points ∼64% +7%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
3705 Points ∼61% +2%
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4343 Points ∼71% +20%

Storage Devices

The GE72 Pro uses the combination typical in the high-end segment: a Solid State Drive as system drive and a conventional HDD for data are under the hood. The SSD is a 128 GB M.2 model from Toshiba, which performs very well in the AS SSD benchmark. The 2.5-inch hard drive (also from Toshiba) rotates at 7200 rpm and is a good compromise between capacity and performance: Above 130 MB/s in sequential reading and writing (recorded with CrystalDiskMark) is decent for a mechanical 1 TB drive.

Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU
Sequential Read: 508.7MB/s
Sequential Write: 458.1MB/s
4K Read: 21MB/s
4K Write: 70.8MB/s
4K-64 Read: 352MB/s
4K-64 Write: 161MB/s
Access Time Read: 0.17ms
Access Time Write: 0.06ms
Copy ISO: 315.3MB/s
Copy Program: 163.4MB/s
Copy Game: 267.3MB/s
Score Read: 424Points
Score Write: 262Points
Score Total: 892Points

Graphics Card

For gamers, the GTX 970M might be most interesting. As an upper-class model, the chip with a core clock of 924-1038 MHz and 3072 MB VRAM promises high 3D performance. Actually, the GTX 970M in our test model performs more or less significantly better than its smaller siblings. In this respect, the upgrade to the more powerful graphics solution makes sense. You have to pay much more for even more frames per second: the GTX 980 in the Schenker XMG U726 brings a further significant performance gain, albeit for a worse fps per Euro ratio.

As usual for mobile Nvidia graphics solutions, the GTX 970M system uses the Optimus technology. It uses the HD Graphics 530 integrated in the CPU for solid, energy-saving performance in everyday tasks, while the dedicated graphics card automatically runs demanding tasks.

3DMark 11 Performance
8533 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
66314 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
20172 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
6487 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
8533 Points ∼27%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9421 Points ∼30% +10%
Schenker XMG A706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5602 Points ∼18% -34%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
7099 Points ∼23% -17%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5577 Points ∼18% -35%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
14925 Points ∼48% +75%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
6487 Points ∼24%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
6555 Points ∼25% +1%
Schenker XMG A706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4038 Points ∼15% -38%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
4795 Points ∼18% -26%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4078 Points ∼15% -37%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
11096 Points ∼41% +71%
1280x720 Sky Diver Score (sort by value)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
18354 Points ∼31%
Schenker XMG A706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
13084 Points ∼22%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
14227 Points ∼24%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
12954 Points ∼22%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
27219 Points ∼47%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
20172 Points ∼34%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
20408 Points ∼34% +1%
Schenker XMG A706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
15941 Points ∼27% -21%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
16577 Points ∼28% -18%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
17136 Points ∼29% -15%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
27629 Points ∼47% +37%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
66314 Points ∼6%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
74841 Points ∼7% +13%
Schenker XMG A706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
68944 Points ∼6% +4%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
88510 Points ∼8% +33%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
87539 Points ∼8% +32%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
155037 Points ∼14% +134%

Gaming Performance

Benchmark results are an aspect, but the performance in practice is more important to users. The GE72 Pro shows its best side here: Current titles like Metal Gear Solid V or Battlefield Hardline remain playable up to ultra settings in native resolution. Thus, the test model appears to be future-proof overall. Even upcoming games might run with medium details at least. However, 8 GB of RAM might turn out to be a bottleneck, but this cannot be experienced yet. Anyway, the performance gain compared to the predecessor is mostly significant. The GE72 Pro is about on par with the GS70 with the same GPU and CPU.

low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 30626218287.8fps
GRID: Autosport (2014) 183.2124.2299.271.5fps
Battlefield Hardline (2015) 171.6138.383.558.7fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 98.486.245.226.2fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 60606059.9fps
GRID: Autosport
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
71.5 fps ∼48%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
78.4 fps ∼52% +10%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
57.2 fps ∼38% -20%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ
59.2 fps ∼39% -17%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
50.5 fps ∼34% -29%
Clevo P870DM
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
130.7 fps ∼87% +83%
1920x1080 High Preset (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
99.2 fps ∼49%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
99.3 fps ∼50% 0%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
101.2 fps ∼50% +2%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ
85.7 fps ∼43% -14%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
87.1 fps ∼43% -12%
Clevo P870DM
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
154.2 fps ∼77% +55%
Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
87.8 fps ∼32%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
86.7 fps ∼31% -1%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
52.9 fps ∼19% -40%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
50.4 fps ∼18% -43%
Clevo P870DM
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
162.4 fps ∼59% +85%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
182 fps ∼36%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
189 fps ∼37% +4%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
114.6 fps ∼23% -37%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
113.4 fps ∼22% -38%
Clevo P870DM
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
338.7 fps ∼67% +86%
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+) (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
26.2 fps ∼20%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
25.4 fps ∼20% -3%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ
16.8 fps ∼13% -36%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
13.3 fps ∼10% -49%
Clevo P870DM
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
43.8 fps ∼34% +67%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off) (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
45.2 fps ∼21%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
46.7 fps ∼22% +3%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ
29.2 fps ∼14% -35%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
23.5 fps ∼11% -48%
Clevo P870DM
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
83 fps ∼39% +84%
Metal Gear Solid V
1920x1080 Extra High / On (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
59.9 fps ∼100%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
60 fps ∼100% 0%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
37.6 fps ∼63% -37%
Clevo P870DM
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
59.9 fps ∼100% 0%
1920x1080 High / On (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
60 fps ∼100%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
60 fps ∼100% 0%
Schenker XMG A706
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
56.3 fps ∼94% -6%
Clevo P870DM
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
59.9 fps ∼100% 0%
Battlefield Hardline
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics Quality (DX11) AA:4x MS (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
58.7 fps ∼33%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ
39.1 fps ∼22% -33%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
32.3 fps ∼18% -45%
Clevo P870DM
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
98.9 fps ∼56% +68%
1920x1080 High Graphics Quality (DX11) (sort by value)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
83.5 fps ∼43%
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ
61 fps ∼31% -27%
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
51.4 fps ∼26% -38%
Clevo P870DM
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
151.5 fps ∼78% +81%

Emissions

System Noise

Chassis and cooling solution remained the same despite a better GPU. Thus, it is slightly surprising that the GE72 Pro works quieter than its predecessor: We measure about 3 dB less while idle and it is at least 1 dB less under load. The test model also proves to be a rather quiet gaming notebook compared to the competition.

Noise Level

Idle
30 / 30.2 / 33 dB(A)
HDD
30.2 dB(A)
Load
40.4 / 46.2 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 970M
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 970M
Schenker XMG A706
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 965M
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Schenker XMG U726
6700, GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
Noise
-7%
-0%
-12%
-6%
-7%
off / environment *
Idle Minimum *
30
30.8
-3%
29.2
3%
29.5
2%
29.4
2%
33
-10%
Idle Average *
30.2
31.2
-3%
30.4
-1%
31
-3%
34
-13%
34
-13%
Idle Maximum *
33
36.6
-11%
37.3
-13%
40.8
-24%
36
-9%
35
-6%
Load Average *
40.4
41.8
-3%
39.8
1%
47.6
-18%
44.4
-10%
42
-4%
Load Maximum *
46.2
53
-15%
42.2
9%
54.4
-18%
47
-2%
46
-0%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

MSI also slightly improved the temperature emissions. Nevertheless, the case still dissipates a large portion of the temperature. Under load it reaches just under 50 °C at some spots. Although these results stem from our unrealistic stress scenario (Prime95 and Furmark for one hour), we cannot exclude that the WASD part might get uncomfortably hot during longer gaming sessions. However, the GE72 is on par with its competition overall.

Max. Load
 49.4 °C
121 F
50.3 °C
123 F
46 °C
115 F
 
 49 °C
120 F
49.7 °C
121 F
45.4 °C
114 F
 
 44.9 °C
113 F
44.6 °C
112 F
31.9 °C
89 F
 
Maximum: 50.3 °C = 123 F
Average: 45.7 °C = 114 F
43.1 °C
110 F
47.3 °C
117 F
49.9 °C
122 F
35.4 °C
96 F
46 °C
115 F
41.6 °C
107 F
26.5 °C
80 F
35.9 °C
97 F
40.8 °C
105 F
Maximum: 49.9 °C = 122 F
Average: 40.7 °C = 105 F
Power Supply (max.)  56.3 °C = 133 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 45.7 °C / 114 F, compared to the average of 32.9 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 50.3 °C / 123 F, compared to the average of 39.3 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 49.9 °C / 122 F, compared to the average of 41.7 °C / 107 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 36.8 °C / 98 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(-) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 44.9 °C / 112.8 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.7 °C / 83.7 F (-16.2 °C / -29.1 F).
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 970M
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 970M
Schenker XMG A706
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 965M
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Schenker XMG U726
6700, GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
Heat
-3%
-1%
-7%
1%
0%
Maximum Upper Side *
50.3
53.8
-7%
53.7
-7%
58.8
-17%
56
-11%
46.9
7%
Maximum Bottom *
49.9
65.4
-31%
61.1
-22%
69.2
-39%
46.8
6%
61
-22%
Idle Upper Side *
40.9
36.3
11%
37.5
8%
35.2
14%
38.3
6%
36.3
11%
Idle Bottom *
42.8
36.3
15%
35.5
17%
36.5
15%
41.1
4%
40.8
5%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The speakers remained the same, too. The 2.1 system of the GE72 ensures an acceptable, yet by no means extraordinary sound. It appears justified to point the latter out, since MSI emphasizes the speaker quality a lot in its advertisement. In view of the sound, the separate "subwoofer" on the underside appears to be a normal speaker with a slight bass boost, which otherwise produces the complete frequency range. It hardly adds more.

As in the predecessor, the front speakers of the GE72 Pro sit towards the front on the underside.
As in the predecessor, the front speakers of the GE72 Pro sit towards the front on the underside.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The GE72 Pro is very power-hungry, but it does not demand much more than the GS70-6QE16H21 with the same CPU GPU combination. Under full load, the power consumption is above 140 Watt despite light CPU throttling and reaches the limits of the 150 Watt power adapter. Unfortunately, the battery also bleeds out in mains operation. This not only happens in artificial extreme scenarios but also during demanding games (but a bit less pronounced). The charge falls by about 10% per "gaming" hour, which periodically forces enthusiastic gamers to take a break of 90 minutes (=time it takes for fully charging the battery).

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.1 / 0.2 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 16.7 / 23 / 31.7 Watt
Load midlight 97.4 / 141.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 970M
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 970M
Schenker XMG A706
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 965M
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Schenker XMG U726
6700, GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
Power Consumption
3%
38%
17%
6%
-88%
Idle Minimum *
16.7
16.5
1%
5.4
68%
9
46%
16
4%
36
-116%
Idle Average *
23
23.1
-0%
11
52%
15.2
34%
21.8
5%
45
-96%
Idle Maximum *
31.7
26.1
18%
16.5
48%
26.6
16%
28.5
10%
53
-67%
Load Average *
97.4
95.8
2%
77.8
20%
99
-2%
102
-5%
139
-43%
Load Maximum *
141.4
146.4
-4%
137.7
3%
155.8
-10%
118
17%
306
-116%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The results of our battery runtime tests are somewhat surprising. It was to be expected that the battery life is slightly lower than the "old" GE72's under load because of the more powerful and more power-hungry GTX 970M (both devices come with a fixed 51 Wh battery). However, the difference is also significant while idle and without use of the dedicated GPU. This might hint on the fact that the more frugal CPU cannot compensate for the higher energy demand of the new display. The results of the battery runtime tests confirm that the GE72 Pro has not been made for primary mobile use. Those requiring such should probably consider the long-lasting XMG A706 from Schenker.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
6h 43min
WiFi Surfing
0h 00min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (20.10240.16384.0)
2h 34min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
2h 19min
Load (maximum brightness)
0h 49min
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 970M
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 970M
Schenker XMG A706
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 965M
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
4720HQ, GeForce GTX 960M
Schenker XMG U726
6700, GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
Battery Runtime
5%
107%
11%
28%
17%
Reader / Idle
403
238
-41%
709
76%
339
-16%
498
24%
170
-58%
H.264
139
154
11%
281
102%
172
24%
WiFi v1.3
154
180
17%
327
112%
198
29%
210
36%
Load
49
64
31%
116
137%
59
20%
62
27%
94
92%

Pros

+ high gaming performance
+ contrast-rich IPS display
+ fast combination from M.2-SSD and HDD
+ good input devices
+ relatively quiet
+ well-done refresh overall

Cons

- 8 GB RAM and 3 GB VRAM might be limiting factors in the future
- high temperature increase under load
- barely sufficient power adapter
- poor battery life

Verdict

In review: MSI GE72 6QF Apache Pro. Test model provided by notebooksbilliger.de
In review: MSI GE72 6QF Apache Pro. Test model provided by notebooksbilliger.de

Regarding its core disciplines, the GE72 Pro is a well-made update. Thanks to the GTX 970M, gamers can appreciate significantly higher frame rates. Notable performance gains are in particular possible with a native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and high settings. In addition, the new IPS panel delivers more precise colors than the TN display of the predecessor.

The migration from Haswell to Skylake does not bring big advantages - neither in performance nor in energy efficiency. In this regard, the GE72 Pro performs even partly worse than its predecessor. The battery life is anything but overwhelming and even more classifies the test model as desktop replacement.

The sum of all costs for an equally fast PC plus peripherals (display, keyboard, mouse, speaker, etc.) is almost 1700 Euros (~$1831), which is also due for our GE72 Pro configuration. Furthermore, the competition also does not offer significantly cheaper mobile 17-inch solutions.

Overall, the GE72 Pro brings a significant added value compared to its cheaper predecessor. Those who are looking for a powerful gaming system and do not consider mobility very important, will find an attractive bundle in it. By adding a second RAM module and/or a PCIe or NVMe-SSD, the performance can be further increased.

MSI GE72-6QF8H11 - 02/23/2016 v5
Oliver Moebel

Chassis
78 / 98 → 80%
Keyboard
79%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
59 / 81 → 73%
Weight
57 / 10-66 → 84%
Battery
65%
Display
89%
Games Performance
88%
Application Performance
91%
Temperature
70 / 95 → 74%
Noise
80 / 90 → 89%
Audio
65%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
72%
81%
Gaming - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > MSI GE72 6QF Apache Pro Notebook Review
Oliver Moebel, 2015-11-13 (Update: 2015-11-14)