Notebookcheck

MSI GE72 (GTX 960M) Notebook Review

Sascha Mölck, Tanja Hinum (translated by Vinay Pradhan), 05/29/2015

Successful. The MSI GE72 is a 17.3-inch gaming notebook with great performance and a strong panel with 94% sRGB coverage. Overall, MSI offers a good package for gamers.

For the original German review, see here.

The MSI GE72 is a 17.3-inch gaming notebook powered by a Core i7 quad-core CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M GPU. In this review, we will find out how the notebook performs in comparison to the competition.

We have recently tested gaming notebooks like the Asus GL771JW and the Acer Aspire VN7-791G which we will use for our comparison. However, readers can consider any one of the notebooks of the Top 10 list of mobile gaming laptops to be rivals of our test model.

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MSI GE72-2QDi716H11 (GE72 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M - 2048 MB, Core: 1097-1176 MHz, Memory: 2500 MHz, GDDR5, 128 bit interface, ForceWare 345.05 (9.18.13.4505), Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR3-1600, Dual-Channel, two RAM slots (both occupied)
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, Chi Mei N173HGE-E11, TN LED, Full HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM87 (Lynx Point)
Storage
Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD, 128 GB 
, + HGST HTS721010A9E630 (1 TB, 7,200 rpm). Slots: 1x 2.5 inch & 3x M.2
Soundcard
Realtek ALC892 @ Intel Lynx Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Headphones, Microphone Jack, Card Reader: SD, SDHC, SDXC, Sensors: Brightness sensor
Networking
Qualcomm Killer e2200 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160 (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 419 x 280 ( = 1.14 x 16.5 x 11.02 in)
Battery
51 Wh, 6 cell
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD (720p @ 30 fps)
Additional features
Speakers: 2.1 Dynaudio, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Power adapter: 120 W, Cyberlink PowerDVD 10, Magix MX Suite, MS Office (trial), Windows Essentials 2012, various manufacturer tools, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.948 kg ( = 103.99 oz / 6.5 pounds), Power Supply: 433 g ( = 15.27 oz / 0.95 pounds)
Price
1429 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The MSI GE72 is the 17.3-inch sister model of the 15.6-inch MSI GE62 laptop, which we have reviewed recently. As such, both the GE62 and the GE72 look the same (shape, colors and materials). The entire case is black and a few red elements add some style. The display cover and the base of the unit are made of brushed aluminum, but these metal surfaces attract fingerprints and smudges. The rest of the case is composed of synthetic material. MSI has not provided a maintenance hatch for the GE72. To access the insides, the user will have to remove the bottom panel of the notebook.

The workmanship of this model is good and leaves little room for complaint. Although there is a red bar on the front lip of the case, there are no sharp corners to worry about. The notebook displays the typical weak points: the area around the optical drive can be pushed in easily. Like the panel of the GE62, the panel of the GE72 is too easy to bend, which, in turn, incites deviations in the display picture. The hinges are very solid and hold the panel securely in position. However, it is not easy to open the laptop with one hand.

Connectivity

Ports

The MSI GE72 and GE62 have identical ports: three of the four USB ports in our test model are of the USB 3.0 standard. MSI has provided two video output interfaces for this laptop.

Left side: Kensington Lock slot, USB 3.0, HDMI, Mini Displayport, 2x USB 3.0, Microphone and headphone jacks
Left side: Kensington Lock slot, USB 3.0, HDMI, Mini Displayport, 2x USB 3.0, Microphone and headphone jacks
Right side: DVD burner, USB 2.0, Card reader, Power outlet
Right side: DVD burner, USB 2.0, Card reader, Power outlet

Communication

The WLAN module of the GE72 is the Intel Wireless-AC 3160, which supports the 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WLAN standards. The module also includes Bluetooth 4.0 and always maintains a stable connection between the router and the laptop. The laptop also houses the Qualcomm Killer-E2200 Gigabit Ethernet chip, which prioritizes the data packets of games, providing a smoother online gaming experience.

Accessories

The notebook is delivered with the usual accessories: documentation, battery and adapter.

Operating System

The GE72 comes with pre-installed Windows 8.1 (64-bit), but the manufacturer has not included a Recovery DVD in the delivery. Thankfully, the pre-installed "Burn Recovery" tool will allow you to create a Recovery DVD. An alternative would be purchasing the DVD from the MSI shop for 49 Euros (~$54).

Maintenance

To access the innards of the GE72, we had to remove the bottom panel of the laptop. It is a simple procedure: remove the optical drive and then proceed to remove all screws from the bottom panel. Once finished, you can separate the panel from the laptop with a little force.

Warranty

The GE72 comes with a 24-month warranty, including the pick-up service. This period can be extended to 3 years for a sum of 70 Euros (~$77).

Input Devices

Keyboard

The GE62 and GE72 have very similar input devices. The SteelSeries keyboard in our test model can be found in many other notebooks. As is usual for MSI, the layout requires some getting used to. For example, the Windows key is not in its usual position. The chiclet keyboard has multi-colored lighting and the flat, smooth keys offer medium stroke distance and a clear pressure point. We like the resistance of the keys. While typing, the keyboard bends very easily under the fingers, but this did not cause any problems. Overall, the keyboard provides a good typing experience.

Touchpad

The GE72 is equipped with a multi-touch touchpad, which measures 10.9 x 6.1 cm (~4.3 x 2.4 in). The surface is made of brushed aluminum (with tangible grooves), which allows the touchpad to blend in with the palm-rest area. Thankfully, the texture of the material does not prevent our finger from sliding over it, but it does not provide great precision. The various multi-touch gestures can be configured and de-/activated in the settings. Two separate mouse keys can be found below the touchpad. These offer a short stroke distance with an audible and tangible pressure point.

Input devices of the GE72
Input devices of the GE72

Display

The GE72 is equipped with a matte 17.3-inch panel from the manufacturer, Chi Mei. It offers a native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and a brightness of 246.2 cd/m² (average). The brightness is far too low, considering the price of the laptop (see Asus GL771JW - 333.4 cd/m²).

231
cd/m²
239
cd/m²
265
cd/m²
213
cd/m²
255
cd/m²
234
cd/m²
258
cd/m²
262
cd/m²
259
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Chi Mei N173HGE-E11
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 265 cd/m² Average: 246.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 80 %
Center on Battery: 255 cd/m²
Contrast: 1275:1 (Black: 0.2 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 10.01 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 10.5 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
94% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 62% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.25
GE72 vs. sRGB
GE72 vs. sRGB
GE72 vs. AdobeRGB
GE72 vs. AdobeRGB

The contrast (1275:1) and black value (0.2 cd/m²) of the Chi Mei panel are very good. In fact, they surpass the values of the Asus GL771JW panel (903:1; 0.38 cd/m²). We love the color coverage: 94% of sRGB and 62% of AdobeRGB.

Out-of-the-box, the display has a DeltaE 2000 deviation of 10.5, which is far too high considering the price. Furthermore, values between 10 and 12 are usually found in cheap notebooks. A value below 3 would be optimal. The display has a clear blue tinge, which can be improved considerably with calibration. The color deviation drops to 1.54, which is great. The blue tinge disappears and the gray levels become more balanced.

CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - Grey Levels
CalMAN - Grey Levels
CalMAN - Saturation
CalMAN - Saturation
CalMAN - Color Checker (calibrated)
CalMAN - Color Checker (calibrated)
CalMAN - Grey Levels (calibrated)
CalMAN - Grey Levels (calibrated)
CalMAN - Saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN - Saturation (calibrated)

MSI has equipped the GE72 with a TN panel with great viewing angles. The panel is legible from all angles, but this is the exception amongst TN panels. IPS panels, like the one in Asus GL771JW, offer far better viewing angles. The MSI notebook can be used outdoors, provided the sun is not too bright.

Viewing angles of the GE72
Viewing angles of the GE72
The GE72 outdoors.
The GE72 outdoors.
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Chi Mei N173HGE-E11
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPD1
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
LG Philips LGD0469 ÖP173WF4-SPF1
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
LG LP173WF4-SPF1
Gigabyte P37X
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF1, ID: LGD0469
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Samsung SDC4852
Screen
6%
-0%
9%
-11%
-6%
Brightness middle
255
343
35%
347
36%
329.5
29%
361.7
42%
268
5%
Brightness
246
333
35%
326
33%
325
32%
347
41%
227
-8%
Brightness Distribution
80
92
15%
90
13%
91
14%
91
14%
74
-7%
Black Level *
0.2
0.38
-90%
0.409
-105%
0.381
-91%
0.734
-267%
0.39
-95%
Contrast
1275
903
-29%
848
-33%
865
-32%
493
-61%
687
-46%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
10.01
7
30%
6.81
32%
4.45
56%
2.81
72%
4.12
59%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
10.5
4.33
59%
7.27
31%
3.45
67%
1.92
82%
3.65
65%
Gamma
2.25 98%
2.12 104%
2.4 92%
2.03 108%
2.21 100%
2.5 88%
CCT
12631 51%
6111 106%
7546 86%
6623 98%
6384 102%
6423 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
62
59
-5%
57
-8%
57.81
-7%
57.95
-7%
49
-21%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
94

* ... smaller is better

Performance

The MSI GE72 is a 17.3-inch gaming laptop that can run the latest games smoothly. Our test model is available for 1429 Euros (~$1566), but there is another configuration available, which offers a GeForce GTX 965M.

 

Processor

Like many of the gaming notebooks we test, the GE72 uses the Core i7-4720HQ quad-core processor from Intel. This CPU from the Haswell generation offers a good balance between price, performance and power consumption. Intel offers stronger models, but they are too expensive and/or require stronger cooling. The processor has sufficient performance for any plausible scenario. The CPU operates at a base clock speed of 2.6 GHz and, using Turbo, we can increase the clock speed up to 3.4 GHz (all cores), 3.5 GHz (2 cores) and 3.6 GHz (one core). The full CPU performance is available while the laptop is plugged in and when it is running on battery.

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6758
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
19986
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5185
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
60.06 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.31 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.58 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
103.86 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
659 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
137 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
137 Points ∼63%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
141 Points ∼65% +3%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
133 Points ∼61% -3%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
Intel Core i7-4710HQ
132 Points ∼61% -4%
Gigabyte P37X
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
133 Points ∼61% -3%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
139 Points ∼64% +1%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
659 Points ∼15%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
634 Points ∼14% -4%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
643 Points ∼15% -2%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
Intel Core i7-4710HQ
508 Points ∼12% -23%
Gigabyte P37X
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
662 Points ∼15% 0%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
642 Points ∼15% -3%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1.58 Points ∼64%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1.58 Points ∼64% 0%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1.13 Points ∼46% -28%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
Intel Core i7-4710HQ
1.45 Points ∼59% -8%
Gigabyte P37X
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1.52 Points ∼62% -4%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1.57 Points ∼64% -1%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
7.31 Points ∼17%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
6.24 Points ∼14% -15%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
7.03 Points ∼16% -4%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
Intel Core i7-4710HQ
5.44 Points ∼12% -26%
Gigabyte P37X
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
7.2 Points ∼16% -2%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
7.1 Points ∼16% -3%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
5185 Points ∼48%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
5145 Points ∼47% -1%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
5200 Points ∼48% 0%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
Intel Core i7-4710HQ
5040 Points ∼47% -3%
Gigabyte P37X
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
5078 Points ∼47% -2%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
5206 Points ∼48% 0%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
19986 Points ∼31%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
18250 Points ∼28% -9%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
19788 Points ∼30% -1%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
Intel Core i7-4710HQ
14856 Points ∼23% -26%
Gigabyte P37X
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
19901 Points ∼30% 0%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
19577 Points ∼30% -2%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
12654 Points ∼16%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
12431 Points ∼15% -2%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
12160 Points ∼15% -4%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
3353 Points ∼69%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
3393 Points ∼70% +1%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
3262 Points ∼67% -3%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
12956 Points ∼34%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
13151 Points ∼35%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
3541 Points ∼72%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
3503 Points ∼71%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
83 ms * ∼1%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
83.1 ms * ∼1% -0%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
96.8 ms * ∼1% -17%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
Intel Core i7-4710HQ
154.7 ms * ∼2% -86%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
82.1 ms * ∼1% +1%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1953 ms * ∼3%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1939.6 ms * ∼3% +1%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
Intel Core i7-4710HQ
1274.3 ms * ∼2% +35%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1955.1 ms * ∼3% -0%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
16851 Points ∼32%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
17048 Points ∼33% +1%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
Intel Core i7-4710HQ
29193 Points ∼56% +73%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
16518 Points ∼32% -2%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
3063 Points ∼49%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
3072 Points ∼50% 0%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
3000 Points ∼48% -2%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

The system runs smoothly without major issues. The results of the PC Mark benchmarks are quite good and on par with similarly equipped notebooks, like the Asus GL771JW. In fact, our test model is about as fast as it gets. The user could tweak a few things: add faster RAM or install a faster SSD.

PCMark 7 Score
5895 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3705 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4512 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4982 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
5895 Points ∼64%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU256HCGL
6058 Points ∼66% +3%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
5669 Points ∼62% -4%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
3496 Points ∼38% -41%
Gigabyte P37X
GeForce GTX 980M, 4720HQ, 2x Lite-On LMT-128L9M (RAID 0)
6302 Points ∼69% +7%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU
5866 Points ∼64% 0%
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
3705 Points ∼61%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU256HCGL
3758 Points ∼62% +1%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
3096 Points ∼51% -16%
Gigabyte P37X
GeForce GTX 980M, 4720HQ, 2x Lite-On LMT-128L9M (RAID 0)
4070 Points ∼67% +10%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU
3061 Points ∼50% -17%

Storage Devices

The GE72 is equipped with an SSD-HDD combo. The SSD is the system drive and comes from Kingston. It is a M.2 model and has a capacity of 128 GB. The transfer speeds are quite good, but there are faster models available. In fact, thanks to the 2 empty M.2 slots in the GE72, the user can install up to 3 SSDs and use them in RAID for super-fast speeds. The traditional 2.5-inch HDD is from HGST and offers a capacity of 1 TB. Furthermore, it operates at 7200 rpm.

Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
Sequential Read: 502.3 MB/s
Sequential Write: 334.6 MB/s
512K Read: 341.6 MB/s
512K Write: 330.7 MB/s
4K Read: 29.03 MB/s
4K Write: 76.37 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 177.1 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 247.3 MB/s

Graphics Card

MSI has installed a GeForce GTX 960M in our test model. This is the lowest of the high-end GPUs. As the name suggests, this is the successor to the GeForce GTX 860M of the previous generation. Sadly, the difference in performance is not awe-inspiring. The GTX 960M operates at a slightly higher speed and delivers marginally better scores in the 3D Mark benchmarks.

Optimus allows the GeForce GPU to work in tandem with the Intel HD Graphics 4600 IGP. If the user requires graphics power, the Nvidia GPU is automatically selected. However, if the user needs to save on battery or carry out everyday tasks, such as surfing the web or using office programs, the Intel IGP kicks in. The transition is automatic, but the user can always manually select one or the other.

3DMark 11 Performance
5577 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
87539 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
17136 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
4078 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5577 Points ∼16%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5308 Points ∼15% -5%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5410 Points ∼15% -3%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
5081 Points ∼15% -9%
Gigabyte P37X
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
10864 Points ∼31% +95%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9080 Points ∼26% +63%
Asus G771JM-T7025H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
5046 Points ∼14% -10%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
5210 Points ∼15% -7%
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
5178 Points ∼15% -7%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4078 Points ∼14%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
3897 Points ∼14% -4%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
3974 Points ∼14% -3%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
3518 Points ∼12% -14%
Gigabyte P37X
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8304 Points ∼29% +104%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
6596 Points ∼23% +62%
Asus G771JM-T7025H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
3635 Points ∼13% -11%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
3733 Points ∼13% -8%
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
3633 Points ∼13% -11%
1280x720 Sky Diver Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
12954 Points ∼19%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
11285 Points ∼17% -13%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
17334 Points ∼26% +34%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
11750 Points ∼18% -9%
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
11716 Points ∼18% -10%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
17136 Points ∼26%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
13646 Points ∼21% -20%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
15434 Points ∼23% -10%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
13488 Points ∼20% -21%
Gigabyte P37X
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
20603 Points ∼31% +20%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
15582 Points ∼23% -9%
Asus G771JM-T7025H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
15202 Points ∼23% -11%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
15550 Points ∼23% -9%
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
16299 Points ∼24% -5%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
87539 Points ∼8%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
78051 Points ∼7% -11%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
108304 Points ∼10% +24%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
82166 Points ∼7% -6%
Gigabyte P37X
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
124208 Points ∼11% +42%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
46514 Points ∼4% -47%
Asus G771JM-T7025H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
101282 Points ∼9% +16%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
82813 Points ∼7% -5%

Gaming Performance

The GE72 runs all modern games smoothly. In fact, most can be run at the native FHD resolution with high or very high settings. The user needs to reduce the settings with demanding games, like “Assassin's Creed Unity”, “Ryse: Son of Rome” or “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”. In comparison to the GTX 860M, our GPU can offer slightly higher frames. As mentioned before, the difference in performance between the GTX 860M and the GTX 960M is marginal at best. If the performance of the GE72 is not strong enough for you, we recommend a notebook which has at least a GeForce GTX 970M.

low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 351 179.6 113.4 50.4 fps
Splinter Cell: Blacklist (2013) 106.5 120.3 58.3 27.4 fps
Thief (2014) 80.6 63.4 54.2 28.4 fps
GRID: Autosport (2014) 217.3 111.9 87.1 50.5 fps
Battlefield Hardline (2015) 141.2 110.2 51.4 32.3 fps
GTA V (2015) 124.3 114.3 44.1 18.3 fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 69.3 43.7 23.5 13.3 fps
Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
50.4 fps ∼18%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
48.9 fps ∼18% -3%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
49.1 fps ∼18% -3%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ
44 fps ∼16% -13%
Gigabyte P37X
GeForce GTX 980M, 4720HQ
103.7 fps ∼37% +106%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
88.1 fps ∼32% +75%
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q)
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ
44.7 fps ∼16% -11%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
113.4 fps ∼22%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
112.2 fps ∼22% -1%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
111.4 fps ∼22% -2%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ
97 fps ∼19% -14%
Gigabyte P37X
GeForce GTX 980M, 4720HQ
243.6 fps ∼48% +115%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
189.7 fps ∼37% +67%
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q)
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ
97.5 fps ∼19% -14%
Thief
1366x768 High Preset AA:FXAA & Low SS AF:4x (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
54.2 fps ∼37%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
47.4 fps ∼33% -13%
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ
43 fps ∼30% -21%
Gigabyte P37X
GeForce GTX 980M, 4720HQ
81.6 fps ∼56% +51%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
69.9 fps ∼48% +29%
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q)
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ
45.5 fps ∼31% -16%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
63.4 fps ∼43%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
50.1 fps ∼34% -21%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
71.3 fps ∼48% +12%
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q)
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ
50.4 fps ∼34% -21%
GRID: Autosport
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
50.5 fps ∼34%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
47.6 fps ∼32% -6%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
49.02 fps ∼33% -3%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
83.9 fps ∼56% +66%
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q)
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ
42.49 fps ∼28% -16%
1920x1080 High Preset (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
87.1 fps ∼43%
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
65.8 fps ∼33% -24%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
83.64 fps ∼42% -4%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
92.9 fps ∼46% +7%
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro (VN7-791G-759Q)
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ
71.91 fps ∼36% -17%
Splinter Cell: Blacklist
1366x768 DX11, High / On, Field AO & SSAO AA:FX AF:4x (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
58.3 fps ∼59%
1366x768 DX11, Medium / Off (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
120.3 fps ∼89%
Battlefield Hardline
1920x1080 High Graphics Quality (DX11) (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
51.4 fps ∼26%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
48.6 fps ∼25% -5%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
87.4 fps ∼45% +70%
1366x768 Medium Graphics Quality (DX11) (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
110.2 fps ∼56%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
104 fps ∼53% -6%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
143 fps ∼72% +30%
GTA V
1920x1080 High/On (Advanced Graphics Off) AA:2xMSAA + FX AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
44.1 fps ∼26%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
43 fps ∼26% -2%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
68 fps ∼40% +54%
1366x768 Normal/Off AF:4x (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
114.3 fps ∼65%
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
92 fps ∼52% -20%
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
115.4 fps ∼66% +1%
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off) (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
23.5 fps ∼9%
1366x768 Medium Graphics & Postprocessing (sort by value)
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
43.7 fps ∼12%

Emissions

System Noise

The GE72 has two fans, which run even while idling. Although the Asus GL771JW has similar hardware, it is quieter. However, during load, all gaming notebooks tend to get loud. During the stress test, the noise emission hit 47 dB(A). The Asus laptop emitted 41.4 dB(A). We found the reason quickly: the CPU of the GL771JW is throttled far more than that of the GE72. In everyday gaming sessions, the GE72 will hit a noise emission of around 44.4 dB(A). Once again, the GL771JW is quieter (39.4 dB(A)). On the other hand, the GE72 offers higher frame rates.

Noise Level

Idle
29.4 / 34 / 36 dB(A)
HDD
32 dB(A)
DVD
38 / dB(A)
Load
44.4 / 47 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 GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ
Gigabyte P37X
GeForce GTX 980M, 4720HQ
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
Noise
6%
-0%
7%
-9%
-2%
off / environment *
Idle Minimum *
29.4
30.6
-4%
29.6
-1%
29.1
1%
36.3
-23%
29.4
-0%
Idle Average *
34
32.6
4%
32.1
6%
30.8
9%
36.4
-7%
31.8
6%
Idle Maximum *
36
33.2
8%
35.4
2%
31.2
13%
36.5
-1%
36
-0%
Load Average *
44.4
39.4
11%
47.3
-7%
39.1
12%
47
-6%
46
-4%
Load Maximum *
47
41.4
12%
48.1
-2%
46.5
1%
51.1
-9%
51.8
-10%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Stress test.
Stress test.

The stress test (Prime95 and FurMark run for at least an hour) causes the CPU and GPU to operate at 2.0 to 2.3 GHz and 1097 MHz respectively. The hardware remains at these speeds for a long time. After around 40 minutes, the GPU clock speed drops down to 900 to 930 MHz. At the same time, the processor is boosted to a constant 2.6 GHz. We could only run the stress test with the laptop plugged in. If we try to run it on battery, the laptop shuts off by itself. Considering the high speeds that the CPU and GPU operate at, we find the hardware temperatures acceptable. The case exceeded the 50 degrees Celsius (~122 °F) mark at two points during full load.

Max. Load
 49.2 °C
121 F
56 °C
133 F
51.2 °C
124 F
 
 49.4 °C
121 F
52.9 °C
127 F
48.1 °C
119 F
 
 42.8 °C
109 F
43 °C
109 F
32.4 °C
90 F
 
Maximum: 56 °C = 133 F
Average: 47.2 °C = 117 F
46.8 °C
116 F
42.5 °C
109 F
43.9 °C
111 F
36 °C
97 F
43.5 °C
110 F
40.5 °C
105 F
27.5 °C
82 F
38.8 °C
102 F
37.4 °C
99 F
Maximum: 46.8 °C = 116 F
Average: 39.7 °C = 103 F
Power Supply (max.)  67.2 °C = 153 F | Room Temperature 24 °C = 75 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 47.2 °C / 117 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 56 °C / 133 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 46.8 °C / 116 F, compared to the average of 42.3 °C / 108 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 33.5 °C / 92 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 43 °C / 109.4 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.8 °C / 83.8 F (-14.2 °C / -25.6 F).
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ
Gigabyte P37X
GeForce GTX 980M, 4720HQ
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
Heat
17%
11%
8%
-9%
6%
Maximum Upper Side *
56
44
21%
49.6
11%
52.2
7%
50
11%
53.4
5%
Maximum Bottom *
46.8
53.4
-14%
51.7
-10%
50.4
-8%
66.8
-43%
43.3
7%
Idle Upper Side *
38.3
27.8
27%
29.5
23%
34
11%
36.2
5%
34.7
9%
Idle Bottom *
41.1
27.3
34%
33
20%
32.4
21%
45.2
-10%
39.6
4%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

In addition to the two speakers on the front of the GE72, the laptop offers a subwoofer, placed on the bottom of the laptop. The 2.1 sound system produces decent sound, but the subwoofer by itself does not add much, when compared to stereo laptops.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The GE72 consumes more power while idling than the Asus GL771JW. This behavior continues even at full load: the test model consumes more than the Asus competitor does at 118 W. Although the 120-watt power adapter of our model should provide sufficient power, the laptop battery slowly bleeds out during the stress test. Within an hour, the charge drops from 94% to 30%. While gaming, the GE72 requires 93 to 114 W (average 102 W), which is higher than the consumption of the GL771JW (average 88.8 W). Once again, we would like to remind the reader that our test model trades the higher consumption for higher performance.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.1 / 0.4 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 16 / 21.8 / 28.5 Watt
Load midlight 102 / 118 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
Power Consumption
22%
34%
1%
Idle Minimum *
16
8.8
45%
5.8
64%
14.7
8%
Idle Average *
21.8
14.8
32%
13.1
40%
20.9
4%
Idle Maximum *
28.5
24.3
15%
14.5
49%
25.6
10%
Load Average *
102
88.8
13%
98
4%
101
1%
Load Maximum *
118
111.2
6%
104.9
11%
138.8
-18%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The GE72 offers a maximum run time of 8:18 h, which is exceeded by the Asus GL771JW (10:01 h). The battery life while idling is measured using the Battery Eater Reader’s test, which lowers the brightness to minimum, activates the "Power Saver" profile on and turns all wireless modules off. Under load, the GE72 stops after 1:02 h, whereas the GL771JW can survive a little longer (1:18 h). The run time under load is calculated using the Battery Eater Classic test. During this test, the panel operates at maximum brightness with the power profile "High Performance" and all wireless modules turned on. 

In our practical WLAN test, we measured a run time of 3:30 h for our test model, which is once again exceeded by the Asus notebook (4:31 h). In this test, we run a simple script, which loads a new website every 40 seconds. The power profile is set to "Balanced" and the brightness is regulated to 150 cd/m². The battery life while playing movies is tested using a looping video (Big Buck Bunny, H.264 coding, 1920x1080 pixels). The wireless modules are turned off and brightness is set to 150 cd/m². The GE72 lasts 2:52 h, whereas the GL771JW survives longer (3:58 h).

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
8h 18min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (IE 11)
3h 30min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
2h 52min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 02min
MSI GE72-2QDi716H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Asus GL771JW-T7082H
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-70TW
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Lenovo Y70 DU004HUS
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ
Gigabyte P37X
GeForce GTX 980M, 4720HQ
MSI GE62-2QFUi716H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
Battery Runtime
29%
-3%
18%
19%
-20%
Reader / Idle
498
601
21%
438
-12%
332
-33%
234
-53%
H.264
172
238
38%
165
-4%
WiFi v1.3
210
271
29%
204
-3%
237
13%
162
-23%
Load
62
78
26%
92
48%
110
77%
63
2%
WiFi
218

Pros

+ Matte FHD panel with strong contrast
+ 2 storage devices (SSD + HDD)
+ Good input devices
+ 2 free M.2 slots
+ High performance

Cons

- Average brightness
- Not an IPS panel

Verdict

The MSI GE72-2QDi716H11. Test model provided by Cyberport.de
The MSI GE72-2QDi716H11. Test model provided by Cyberport.de

The MSI GE72 is a well-designed 17.3-inch gaming notebook. The laptop can run all modern games at medium to high details in its native FHD resolution. It produces higher frame rates than similarly equipped competitors, like the Asus GL771JW. However, the latter does not operate at maximum performance and offers lower power consumption and emissions. The GE72 is not very quiet but it is not excessively loud. The hardware of the model is great: a fast SSD serves as the system drive and the traditional HDD offers significant storage space. The keyboard is particularly good and provides an enjoyable typing experience.

The panel does have some flaws: MSI has chosen a TN panel with great viewing angles, but average brightness. The laptop would have benefited from an IPS panel, which is not unrealistic, considering the price of the test model.

MSI GE72-2QDi716H11 - 05/23/2015 v4(old)
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
78 / 98 → 80%
Keyboard
79%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
75 / 81 → 93%
Weight
57 / 10-66 → 84%
Battery
77%
Display
82%
Games Performance
94%
Application Performance
93%
Temperature
72 / 95 → 76%
Noise
72 / 90 → 80%
Audio
60%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
74%
82%
Gaming - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > MSI GE72 (GTX 960M) Notebook Review
Sascha Mölck, 2015-05-29 (Update: 2015-05-29)