Notebookcheck

MSI GF72VR 7RF (7700HQ, GTX 1060, 120 Hz) Laptop Review

Blown away? MSI is once again introducing another line of gaming notebooks aimed at the consumer market. The new GF72VR brings a high refresh rate display and sheds the optical drive but changes little else. Do these changes leave us breathless, or is the GF72VR full of hot air.

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MSI as a manufacturer is certainly not averse to options. Outside of their PC hardware business, the Taiwanese company currently has five distinct lines of gaming notebooks, each with an almost innumerable amount of devices, as well as a VR-capable backpack PC and several pre-built desktops. Actually, make that six distinct lines of gaming notebooks now. The new GF series represents MSI's latest efforts to capture more of the mid-range gaming market. More of an evolution of the GE line than a brand new sub-brand, the GF gaming notebooks bring much of the same as other MSI laptops: high-end Intel CPUs, powerful Nvidia GPUs based on the Pascal architecture, and an excellent RGB keyboard bearing the SteelSeries moniker. It also reuses the same shell as other MSI laptops, notably the GE72VR and GP72VR. The GF72VR differs only in color options and the removal of the optical disc tray.

The GF72VR we have under review today is a 17-inch hulk. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-7700HQ and an Nvidia GTX 1060, the GF72VR packs VR-capable specs that should allow for gaming at high settings at Full HD. To complement the GPU is a high refresh rate display. The TN panel boasts an impressive 120 Hz refresh rate, which should make for buttery smooth visuals (if sufficient frame rates can be hit). To keep temperatures under control, the GF72VR also implements MSI's Cooler Boost 4 thermal design with a dedicated button that can be used to push fan speeds to their maximum. We take special interest into examining whether or not the sacrifice of increased noise output results in any tangible benefit to performance or temperatures. We'll also take a look at some of the small tweaks in case design as well as overall system performance to see whether the GF72VR is standing on its own legs or merely upon the shoulders of the giants that came before it.

As the GF72VR has a mid-range GPU to match its mid-range price (about USD $1400), we'll compare it against similarly specced and priced notebooks. MSI's own GE72VR and GS73VR are excellent candidates, as are Asus's ROG GL702VM, Acer's Aspire 7 and Aspire V17 Nitro, and HP's Omen 17. We will also look at the Nexoc G739 (a slightly cheaper 17.3-inch notebook with a GTX 1050 Ti) and the Asus ROG GL702VS (a more expensive notebook with a GTX 1070) to see how Nvidia's GPUs that bookend the GTX 1060 compare. Let's take a look.

MSI GF72VR 7RF
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop) - 6144 MB, Core: 1405 MHz, Memory: 2002 MHz, GeForce Game Ready Driver 387.92, NVIDIA Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, 1x16 GB, DDR4-2400
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 127 PPI, No, Chi Mei CMN1747, TN LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM175 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 256 GB 
, 256 PCIe NVMe SSD + 1 TB 5400 RPM HDD, 1145 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 0 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 1x microphone in, 1x headphone out (S/PDIF), Card Reader: SD/SDXC/SDHC Card Reader
Networking
Qualcomm/Atheros e2400 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth v4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 32 x 419 x 287 ( = 1.26 x 16.5 x 11.3 in)
Battery
43 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6-Cell
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD (720p/30fps)
Additional features
Speakers: 4x2W, Keyboard: SteelSeries, RGB, Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, MSI Dragon Center, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.698 kg ( = 95.17 oz / 5.95 pounds), Power Supply: 585 g ( = 20.64 oz / 1.29 pounds)
Price
1400 USD

 

Case

The GF72VR is a essentially a carbon copy of the MSI GE72VR. Aggressive lines adorn the black aluminum lid, giving the entire device a decidedly “gamer” feel. The bright red MSI logo sits proudly in the center of the lid, as will any fingerprints; the aluminum lid is a fingerprint magnet. The body of the notebook contrasts the premium materials of the lid; the keyboard deck and internal components are encased in plastic. While the faux-brushed metal finish across the dull gray chassis tries to lend a more premium aesthetic to the body, it falls short.

The structure of the plastic case echoes its look. The keyboard deck and underside flex a considerable amount when direct pressure is applied, though the upper deck stays firm under normal use. The display hinge is stiff, which makes one-handed opening difficult. On the positive, the hinge remains set and solid in its position under normal use, so screen wobble is not a concern. The lid can twists under pressure, and the center (underneath the backlit MSI logo) can be depressed. The hinges can open to about 170º; some users will find this useful, but the TN display limits viewing angles along the vertical axis. Overall, the GF72VR’s case is reflective of its mid-tier price. While definitely not premium, the chassis is decent and meets expectations for a middle-of-the-road gaming notebook. 

The GF72VR is an average size compared to other 17-inch gaming laptops on the market. In fact, its dimensions are practically identical to the GE72VR upon which it is based while weighing in 300 grams lighter. At 32 mm deep, the GF72VR is fairly thick and isn't backpack-friendly. Overall, the machine is bulky but manageable. Those in need of a more portable notebook should look at MSI's GS73VR, a much thinner (but more expensive) machine. 

Connectivity

Connectivity options are fairly good. There are three USB Type-A ports, and the notebook offers both HDMI and Mini-DisplayPort for external displays. A single USB Type-C is present, although it’s limited to USB 3 and sadly lacks Thunderbolt compatibility. There are also dedicated microphone in and audio out jacks. The headphone supports HiFi hardware, which has become an MSI staple. While the lack of Thunderbolt 3 is a disappointment, users should be satisfied with connection options.

Left: USB 2.0, SD card reader
Left: USB 2.0, SD card reader
Right: Kensington lock, ethernet, USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-C, microphone out, S/PDIF HiFi DAC
Right: Kensington lock, ethernet, USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-C, microphone out, S/PDIF HiFi DAC
Front: activity LEDs
Front: activity LEDs
Rear: exhaust vents
Rear: exhaust vents

SD Card Reader

MSI is somewhat known for its poor SD card slot performance, and the GF72VR doesn’t improve that story. Using our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II, we measure speeds around 26 MB/s, a far cry from the 70-80 MB/s of other notebooks. Professionals that rely on SD cards for file transfers will be sorely disappointed.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Nexoc G739
 
78 MB/s ∼100% +197%
HP Omen 17-w100ng
 
73 MB/s ∼94% +178%
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
 
72.6 MB/s ∼93% +176%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
 
64 MB/s ∼82% +143%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
 
63.6 MB/s ∼82% +142%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
 
26.3 MB/s ∼34%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
 
25.9 MB/s ∼33% -2%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
 
23 MB/s ∼29% -13%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
 
20 MB/s ∼26% -24%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
HP Omen 17-w100ng
 
87 MB/s ∼100% +221%
Nexoc G739
 
87 MB/s ∼100% +221%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
 
86.1 MB/s ∼99% +218%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
 
86 MB/s ∼99% +217%
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
 
84.6 MB/s ∼97% +212%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
 
27.1 MB/s ∼31% 0%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
 
27.1 MB/s ∼31%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
 
23.3 MB/s ∼27% -14%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
 
20 MB/s ∼23% -26%

Communication

Wireless speeds are excellent thanks to the device's Killer network card. Transmit and receive speeds hit about 550 and 650 MBit/s, respectively. These lie at the higher end of the spectrum and should be more than enough for all but the most demanding users. Gamers won't have to worry much about lag or network interference. During our testing period, we experienced nothing but reliable connections with no drops or interruptions.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP Omen 17-w100ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
674 MBit/s ∼100% +4%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
650 MBit/s ∼96% 0%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
649 MBit/s ∼96%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
640 MBit/s ∼95% -1%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
Qualcomm/Atheros QCA6174
638 MBit/s ∼95% -2%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
522 MBit/s ∼77% -20%
Nexoc G739
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
443 MBit/s ∼66% -32%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
308 MBit/s ∼46% -53%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
Qualcomm/Atheros QCA6174
626 MBit/s ∼100% +13%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
563 MBit/s ∼90% +1%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
555 MBit/s ∼89%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
526 MBit/s ∼84% -5%
HP Omen 17-w100ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
524 MBit/s ∼84% -6%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
424 MBit/s ∼68% -24%
Nexoc G739
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
388 MBit/s ∼62% -30%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
299 MBit/s ∼48% -46%

Maintenance

Upgrade options are plentiful, although access to the machine's internals can be quite annoying. 20 screws require removal before the bottom panel can be popped off. Thankfully, all screws are standard #00 Phillips Heads and are all the same size. The plastic clips holding the bottom panel are also fairly easy to disengage and shouldn't present much of a hindrance. Once inside, users will be able to access to two RAM slots, the PCIe SSD, the 2.5-inch SATA drive, and even the GPU and CPU (should they want to reapply new thermal compound). The fans are also easily accessible and easy to clean. 

It is here that we can take a closer look at MSI's relatively new Cooler Boost 4 thermal design. Six copper pipes carry excess heat to one of two fairly large fans. As we examine in our stress testing below, thermals are fairly well managed due to this aggressive approach. MSI has done a good job with the heat dissipation system.

We do have to note that the removal of the optical drive has left quite a bit of empty space in the bottom corner of the chassis. We would have like to see this space better utilized, but as this is essentially the GE72VR sans a disc drive, this empty space makes sense.

20 screws need to be removed to access the internals.
20 screws need to be removed to access the internals.
Revamped Cooler Boost 4 thermal design.
Revamped Cooler Boost 4 thermal design.
RAM, PCIe SSD, and SATA HDD.
RAM, PCIe SSD, and SATA HDD.
The optical drive found in other MSI devices has been removed.
The optical drive found in other MSI devices has been removed.

Warranty

MSI offers a paltry 12-month warranty with the GF72VR. Depending on the retailer from whom the device is purchased, the warranty may be extended to 24 or 36 months.

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Input Devices

Keyboard

The GF72VR sees the return of MSI's venerable partnership with SteelSeries. The keyboard retains the high quality we've come to expect from the SteelSeries brand; feedback is firm, drop is well-defined, and size and spacing are perfectly tuned. The keyboard is also very soft and will go unnoticed in most environments while remaining more than responsive enough for gaming. All said, the keyboard is, once again, excellent.

The keyboard's backlight is powered by the SteelSeries Engine 3, which enables 3-zone RGB illumination. Each zone is fully customizable with over 16 million colors and various lighting effects. For those that invest the time, there is a nearly limitless number of options to make the keyboard unique.

Touchpad

The touchpad is nearly flush with the palm rests and coated with the same faux-brushed plastic. As such, it is smooth and firm but lacks a feeling of quality. The GF72VR uses Elan drivers (typical of MSI notebooks), which results in fairly accurate tracking that falls short of Window's own Precision drivers. Tracking is responsive, but we notice intermittent skips and jumps. These are rare but are frustrating when they occur. 

The dedicated mouse buttons are a welcome feature. The clicking mechanism is firm and offers a deep, precise drop. However, there is a noticeably hollow thump when a button is pressed. This may be annoying to some users. Overall, the touchpad and buttons are adequate for everyday tasks, but users wanting precise input will definitely want an external mouse.

Keyboard and trackpad.
Keyboard and trackpad.
3-zone RGB backlight
3-zone RGB backlight

Display

Subpixel array.
Subpixel array.

One of the selling points of the GF72VR lies in the 120 Hz display boasting a response time of 5 milliseconds. The FHD screen uses a TN panel to achieve this fast response time; as such, there are some notable sacrifices. However, as we will see, the Chi Mei panel used is one of the highest quality TN displays we've tested and offers excellent color reproduction and decent viewing angles (for a TN screen). The screen also gets bright enough for indoor use and, thanks to its semi-matte finish, can be used outdoors as well. The backlight is also very even with no noticeable backlight bleed.

As noted, response times are lightning fast. Black/white response, in particular, is about twice as fast as many competitors' IPS panels at about 12.6 milliseconds. The result is a buttery smooth display that really shines in gaming. Keen eyes will notice the smoother animations at high framerates (above 60 fps). However, it must be noted that the GTX 1060 demands  settings or resolution be reduced in order to push framerates far enough to take advantage of the high refresh rate. 

There is PWM present up to 20% brightness, but at 25,000 Hz, it will only be noticed by the most sensitive of users. Contrast is a bit on the lower side at about 688:1, but calibration greatly improves this.

312.1
cd/m²
322.9
cd/m²
308.5
cd/m²
324
cd/m²
329.2
cd/m²
302.8
cd/m²
320.1
cd/m²
330.2
cd/m²
316.6
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 330.2 cd/m² Average: 318.5 cd/m² Minimum: 6.76 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 329.2 cd/m²
Contrast: 823:1 (Black: 0.4 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.4 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 9.2 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
92% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 76% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.18
MSI GF72VR 7RF
Chi Mei CMN1747, TN LED, 17.3, 1920x1080
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), TN LED, 17.3, 1920x1080
MSI GS73VR 7RF
AU Optronics AUO109B, IPS, 17.3, 3840x2160
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF3, IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
LG Philips LGD056D / LP173WF4-SPF5, IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0, IPS, 17.3, 3840x2160
HP Omen 17-w100ng
LG Philips LGD046E, IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Nexoc G739
CMN1738, IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Asus Strix GL702VSK
AU Optronics AUO119D, IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Response Times
11%
-81%
-70%
78%
-67%
-71%
-101%
-47%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
24.4 (15.2, 9.2)
28 (12, 16)
-15%
38 (19.6, 18.4)
-56%
38 (12, 26)
-56%
41 (22, 19)
-68%
29 (14, 15)
-19%
35 (14, 21)
-43%
45 (20, 25)
-84%
21.2 (9.6, 11.6)
13%
Response Time Black / White *
12.6 (11.2, 1.4)
8 (5, 3)
37%
26 (16, 10)
-106%
23 (5, 18)
-83%
25 (15, 10)
-98%
27 (16, 11)
-114%
25 (4, 21)
-98%
28 (7, 21)
-122%
26 (13.6, 12.4)
-106%
PWM Frequency
25000 (20)
125000 (90)
400%
450 (90)
-98%
Screen
18%
11%
-7%
1%
20%
13%
19%
22%
Brightness middle
329.2
270
-18%
371.1
13%
326
-1%
382
16%
380
15%
342
4%
312
-5%
316.5
-4%
Brightness
318
254
-20%
343
8%
312
-2%
357
12%
336
6%
331
4%
304
-4%
306
-4%
Brightness Distribution
92
86
-7%
86
-7%
91
-1%
86
-7%
81
-12%
84
-9%
85
-8%
93
1%
Black Level *
0.4
0.26
35%
0.42
-5%
0.5
-25%
0.38
5%
0.32
20%
0.32
20%
0.23
42%
0.21
47%
Contrast
823
1038
26%
884
7%
652
-21%
1005
22%
1188
44%
1069
30%
1357
65%
1507
83%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.4
3.33
48%
4.5
30%
6.3
2%
6.9
-8%
5.32
17%
4.35
32%
4.19
35%
4.2
34%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
11.7
6.07
48%
9.7
17%
11.69
-0%
13.14
-12%
7.63
35%
9.24
21%
8.7
26%
7.1
39%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
9.2
3.46
62%
3.1
66%
7.37
20%
8.22
11%
4.9
47%
3.73
59%
3.72
60%
3.9
58%
Gamma
2.18 110%
2.13 113%
2.17 111%
2.37 101%
2.39 100%
2.61 92%
2.23 108%
2.29 105%
2.19 110%
CCT
10484 62%
7419 88%
7120 91%
7116 91%
7580 86%
6558 99%
6801 96%
7104 91%
7242 90%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
76
75
-1%
61
-20%
55
-28%
56
-26%
87.2
15%
57
-25%
59
-22%
56
-26%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
92
100
9%
97
5%
83
-10%
85
-8%
100
9%
86
-7%
91
-1%
86
-7%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
15% / 17%
-35% / -4%
-39% / -17%
40% / 18%
-24% / 5%
-29% / -1%
-41% / -9%
-13% / 11%

* ... smaller is better

Out of the box, the panel offers mediocre color accuracy; the average DeltaE for colors sits at 6.4, while the DeltaE for grays hovers around 9. However, with calibration, these numbers are vastly improved to 2.8 and 1.3, respectively. This makes the display adequate for professional color work (DeltaE lower than 3). Colors and blacks blend very well, and dark scenes in games or movies do not have any blocky artifacts present. Color space is also surprisingly large at 92% of sRGB and 76% of AdobeRGB. These measurements best those of the IPS displays found in competing notebooks and sit among the best gaming notebook displays. This display should meet the needs of most professionals.

CalMAN Greyscale
CalMAN Greyscale
CalMAN Greyscale (calibrated)
CalMAN Greyscale (calibrated)
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN ColorChecker (calibrated)
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
vs. sRGB: 92%
vs. sRGB: 92%
vs. AdobeRGB: 76%
vs. AdobeRGB: 76%

The display is usable outside. The semi-matte finish does a good job in reducing distracting reflections. In direct sunlight, the screen is still somewhat visible, but shade is recommended for outdoor use.

The display remains legible outdoors.
The display remains legible outdoors.

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
12.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 11.2 ms rise
↘ 1.4 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 9 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
24.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 15.2 ms rise
↘ 9.2 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 9 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41.4 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 25000 Hz ≤ 20 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 25000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 20 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 25000 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 8882 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

As the screen uses a TN panel, viewing angles leave much to be desired. Colors tend to invert when viewing the display off angle along the vertical access, and images wash out along the horizontal. However, viewing angles are surprisingly good compared to other TN screens but unsurprisingly fall short of the excellent viewing angles of IPS panels.

Performance

At this point, we've seen dozens of notebooks sporting the Intel Core i7-7700HQ and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1060, and for good reason: these components complement each other well and tend to make for a well-balanced and competent gaming machine. The GF72VR does little to stand out from the crowd in this regard and tends to fall in the middle of the pack, which is a blessing and a curse; while not as anemic as other gaming machines we've reviewed, it's also nothing special and may be doomed to become white noise in an increasingly saturated market.

CPU-Z: CPU
CPU-Z: CPU
CPU-Z: Caches
CPU-Z: Caches
CPU-Z: Mainboard
CPU-Z: Mainboard
CPU-Z: Memory
CPU-Z: Memory
CPU-Z: SPD
CPU-Z: SPD
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWiNFO64
HWiNFO64

Processor

What more can be said about the Intel Core i7-7700HQ? Quite possibly the most popular CPU found in gaming machines since its introduction earlier this year, the 7700HQ has proven time and time again to be one of the most powerful and efficient quad-core CPUs to ever grace the notebook market. With a base clock of 2.8 GHz, a Turbo Boost up to 3.8 GHz, and 6 MB of L3 cache, the 7700HQ is an excellent choice for gaming and content creation. The hyperthreaded CPU chews through multi-core driven tasks and can handle demanding workloads. 

We do note that the GF72VR consistently hits lower scores in Cinebench than its competition and sits between last generation Skylake-based machines and modern gaming notebooks with Kaby Lake CPUs. This is curious and may be due to some thermal throttling. As we will see in our stress testing, the CPU runs very hot when taxed and may be held back in Cinebench testing to keep temperatures in check. On the plus side, our long-term Cinebench R15 test reaffirms the processor's stability; even after 50 consecutive iterations of the CPU benchmark, the 7700HQ puts up consistent scores with no noticeable dips.

For more information about the Kaby Lake Intel Core i7-7700HQ, please visit our dedicated CPU page here.

Cinebench R10
Cinebench R10
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Nexoc G739
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
161 Points ∼78% +10%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
161 Points ∼78% +10%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼77% +10%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
159 Points ∼77% +9%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
158 Points ∼76% +8%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
146 Points ∼71%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
140 Points ∼68% -4%
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
134 Points ∼65% -8%
HP Omen 17-w100ng
Intel Core i5-6300HQ
132 Points ∼64% -10%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Nexoc G739
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
743 Points ∼25% +5%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
736 Points ∼25% +4%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
734 Points ∼25% +4%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
732 Points ∼25% +3%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
726 Points ∼25% +3%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
708 Points ∼24%
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
678 Points ∼23% -4%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
676 Points ∼23% -5%
HP Omen 17-w100ng
Intel Core i5-6300HQ
464 Points ∼16% -34%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Nexoc G739
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.82 Points ∼78% 0%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.82 Points ∼78% 0%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.82 Points ∼78%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.8 Points ∼77% -1%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.55 Points ∼66% -15%
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.5 Points ∼64% -18%
HP Omen 17-w100ng
Intel Core i5-6300HQ
1.49 Points ∼64% -18%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GS73VR 7RF
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.18 Points ∼34% +1%
Nexoc G739
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.15 Points ∼34% +1%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.1 Points ∼34% 0%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.09 Points ∼34%
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.47 Points ∼31% -8%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.39 Points ∼31% -9%
HP Omen 17-w100ng
Intel Core i5-6300HQ
5.32 Points ∼22% -34%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
MSI GF72VR 7RF
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
7214 Points ∼67%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
5930 Points ∼55% -18%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
5929 Points ∼55% -18%
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
5126 Points ∼47% -29%
HP Omen 17-w100ng
Intel Core i5-6300HQ
4815 Points ∼44% -33%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
4720 Points ∼44% -35%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
MSI GF72VR 7RF
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
29209 Points ∼59%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
22323 Points ∼45% -24%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
21997 Points ∼44% -25%
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
20111 Points ∼40% -31%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
19720 Points ∼40% -32%
HP Omen 17-w100ng
Intel Core i5-6300HQ
16456 Points ∼33% -44%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
MSI GS73VR 7RF
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
304.65 s * ∼4%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
226 s * ∼3%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
MSI GS73VR 7RF
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
757.7 Seconds * ∼3% -37%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
590 Seconds * ∼3% -7%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
553.64 Seconds * ∼2%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
9803
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
29209
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
7214
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
8.09 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
63.3 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.82 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
146 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
89.5 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
708 Points
Help

System Performance

The combination of a Core i7 processor, the GTX 1060, and a lightning-fast NVMe SSD make for a snappy and responsive system. Using PCMark 8 to measure overall system performance, the GF72VR sits about in the middle of the pack and should handle most workloads with alacrity.

PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 work
PCMark 8 work
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
HP Omen 17-w100ng
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6300HQ, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G
5252 Points ∼81% +5%
Nexoc G739
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5243 Points ∼80% +5%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5015 Points ∼77%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
4831 Points ∼74% -4%
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
4809 Points ∼74% -4%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
4782 Points ∼73% -5%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
4636 Points ∼71% -8%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4259 Points ∼65% -15%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
4207 Points ∼65% -16%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
HP Omen 17-w100ng
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6300HQ, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G
6858 Points ∼72% +34%
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
6361 Points ∼67% +24%
Nexoc G739
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5420 Points ∼57% +6%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5225 Points ∼55% +2%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5117 Points ∼54%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
5002 Points ∼52% -2%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
4933 Points ∼52% -4%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus Strix GL702VSK
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
4787 Points ∼79% +20%
HP Omen 17-w100ng
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6300HQ, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G
4711 Points ∼77% +18%
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
4670 Points ∼77% +17%
Nexoc G739
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4270 Points ∼70% +7%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4002 Points ∼66%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
3985 Points ∼65% 0%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
3687 Points ∼61% -8%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
3581 Points ∼59% -11%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
3444 Points ∼57% -14%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4002 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5117 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5015 points
Help

Storage Devices

The GF72VR sports a combination of a blazing fast 256 PCIe NVMe SSD and a large 1 TB HDD. This hardware strikes a nice balance between an insanely fast primary drive and a generously large mass storage drive, which should satisfy most users. The primary drive is a bit sparse, so gamer with a large library will need to routinely offload lesser played titles to the mass storage drive.

The primary Samsung PM961 SSD is lightning quick. Read and write speeds are incredibly high, routinely hitting between 2500-3000 MB/s and 900-1200 MB/s, respectively. This is noticeably quicker than competing devices, save for the similarly equipped Nexoc G739. Games and other large programs installed on the primary drive start almost instantaneously, and load times during gameplay are very short. Software also installs very quickly and is more likely to be limited by other factors, like a home network or USB drive. The secondary HDD is a fair bit slower, managing about 140-150 MB/s in reads and writes, but is suitable for large amounts of media like a photo or movie collection. 

AS SSD
AS SSD
CrystalDiskMark 5.0 (SSD)
CrystalDiskMark 5.0 (SSD)
CrystalDiskMark 5.0 (HDD)
CrystalDiskMark 5.0 (HDD)
HD Tune
HD Tune
MSI GF72VR 7RF
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
MSI GS73VR 7RF
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
HP Omen 17-w100ng
SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G
Nexoc G739
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
AS SSD
-77%
-743%
-24%
-113%
15%
Copy Game MB/s
361.48
816.45
159.81
1083.94
Copy Program MB/s
193.42
336.04
80.63
474.02
Copy ISO MB/s
392.9
1091.58
233.38
1612.72
Score Total
2635
826
-69%
1852
-30%
1678
-36%
537
-80%
3031
15%
Score Write
575
249
-57%
104
-82%
677
18%
236
-59%
651
13%
Score Read
1405
380
-73%
1232
-12%
692
-51%
206
-85%
1619
15%
Access Time Write *
0.03
0.044
-47%
2.38
-7833%
0.035
-17%
0.162
-440%
0.023
23%
Access Time Read *
0.053
0.177
-234%
0.04
25%
0.075
-42%
0.14
-164%
0.042
21%
4K-64 Write
359.71
132.66
-63%
67.9
-81%
516.1
43%
154.97
-57%
386.22
7%
4K-64 Read
1122.3
310.88
-72%
901
-20%
502.8
-55%
137.44
-88%
1309
17%
4K Write
126.05
72.4
-43%
1.6
-99%
104.77
-17%
64.2
-49%
148.48
18%
4K Read
48.49
19.64
-59%
47.9
-1%
29.75
-39%
17.76
-63%
47.68
-2%
Seq Write
897.34
444
-51%
349.6
-61%
565.92
-37%
166.71
-81%
1163.97
30%
Seq Read
2337.33
491.42
-79%
2826.3
21%
1590
-32%
507.43
-78%
2628.16
12%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Transfer Rate Minimum: 68.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 152.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 114.3 MB/s
Access Time: 15.3 ms
Burst Rate: 296 MB/s
CPU Usage: 2.4 %

GPU Performance

Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1060 has proven time and again to be the choice for mid-tier gaming notebooks. With a core clock of 1405 MHz and a boost clock up to 1671 MHz, the VR-capable machine is well-tuned to push most AAA titles up to or past 60 FPS at High or Ultra settings at Full HD. Demanding graphical workloads, tested using 3DMark's Fire Strike benchmark, are also no problem for the 1060. It is interesting, however, that the 1060 in the GF72VR seems to face limits similar to the 7700HQ and falls slightly behind its competitors. The discrepancy is minimal (5% or less) but should be noted. Users that need more power should look at the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, which offers between 40-50% better performance in 3D-oriented workloads.

Since the GF72VR has a dedicated Fan Boost button that pushes fan speeds to their maximums, we are curious as to what benefits this may bring. Overall performance is Fire Strike is about the same, with a 0.7% increase that falls within margin of error. GPU and CPU performance are also largely unaffected, as both components are able to hit their full boosts during the benchmark with or without the Fan Boost engaged. The only notable difference lies in CPU and GPU temperature, which both see a slight decrease of about 2-3° C over the entire benchmark. This isn't too surprising as the fans ramp up aggressively even whether the Fan Boost is on or not.

For more information about the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, please visit our dedicated GPU page here.

Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike w/out Fan Boost
Fire Strike w/out Fan Boost
Fire Strike temperatures and clock speeds
Fire Strike temperatures and clock speeds
Fire Strike w/ Fan Boost
Fire Strike w/ Fan Boost
Fire Strike temperatures and clock speeds w/ Fan Boost
Fire Strike temperatures and clock speeds w/ Fan Boost
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
8802 Points ∼50% +20%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
8687 Points ∼49% +19%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
8102 Points ∼46% +11%
Nexoc G739
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
7928 Points ∼45% +8%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
7516 Points ∼43% +3%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
7310 Points ∼42%
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
6525 Points ∼37% -11%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
6389 Points ∼36% -13%
HP Omen 17-w100ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6300HQ
6017 Points ∼34% -18%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus Strix GL702VSK
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
22825 Points ∼45% +57%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
15019 Points ∼29% +3%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
14846 Points ∼29% +2%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
14666 Points ∼29% +1%
HP Omen 17-w100ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6300HQ
14642 Points ∼29% +1%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
14556 Points ∼29% 0%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
14518 Points ∼28%
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
14317 Points ∼28% -1%
Nexoc G739
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
10008 Points ∼20% -31%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Asus Strix GL702VSK
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
17131 Points ∼42% +56%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
11617 Points ∼29% +6%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
11546 Points ∼28% +5%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
11502 Points ∼28% +4%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
11384 Points ∼28% +3%
HP Omen 17-w100ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6300HQ
11326 Points ∼28% +3%
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
11311 Points ∼28% +3%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
11011 Points ∼27%
Nexoc G739
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
8027 Points ∼20% -27%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
79107 Points ∼43% +7%
HP Omen 17-w100ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6300HQ
74982 Points ∼41% +1%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
74227 Points ∼40%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
73454 Points ∼40% -1%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
68143 Points ∼37% -8%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
66406 Points ∼36% -11%
Nexoc G739
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
51987 Points ∼28% -30%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
46269 Points ∼25% -38%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
185998 Points ∼25% +21%
HP Omen 17-w100ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6300HQ
185637 Points ∼25% +21%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
153811 Points ∼21%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
141599 Points ∼19% -8%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
109703 Points ∼15% -29%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
35571 Points ∼5% -77%
3DMark 06 Standard
25625 points
3DMark 11 Performance
11656 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
105718 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
24325 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
9356 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
4905 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The GTX 1060 is a nice fit for Full HD gaming. Most AA titles will hit between 40 and 60 FPS at ultra details, which will make for an enjoyable gaming experience. More demanding or poorly optimized titles will need reduced graphics settings but should still be able to hit playable frame rates. Once again, we see that the GF72VR falls behind its competitors in performance. In most titles, our test unit sits noticeably behind other GTX 1060-equipped devices, which is something to consider when making a purchase. 

In order to fully take advantage of the high refresh rate display, though, some users may want to opt for even lower settings to push the FPS counter into triple digits. Keen-eyed gamers may appreciate the smoother animations granted by the 120 Hz monitor, but these will only be achievable through the lowest graphics settings or by reducing the resolution to 1366x768. Gamers will need to choose for themselves whether the sacrifice in graphical detail is worth the increased fluidity.

Long-term testing shows how stable the GTX 1060 can be. Playing The Witcher 3 over an hour-long session, we see rock solid frame rates with no noticeable dips or stutters. The GF72VR may limit the GPU, but framerates will remain consistent over long play sessions.

The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+) (sort by value)
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
37 fps ∼32%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
37.2 (min: 25, max: 45) fps ∼32% +1%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
41 fps ∼36% +11%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
38.5 fps ∼33% +4%
Nexoc G739
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
27.6 fps ∼24% -25%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
58 fps ∼50% +57%
Rocket League - 1920x1080 High Quality AA:High FX (sort by value)
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
181 fps ∼72%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
169.4 fps ∼68% -6%
Dirt 4 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4xMS AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
67 fps ∼46%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
51.8 fps ∼35% -23%
F1 2017 - 1920x1080 Ultra High Preset AA:T AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
76 fps ∼53%
Ark Survival Evolved - 1920x1080 Epic Preset (100 % Resolution Scale) (sort by value)
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
30 fps ∼47%
Metro: Last Light - 1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
71 fps ∼41%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
76 fps ∼44% +7%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
89 fps ∼52% +25%
Batman: Arkham Knight - 1920x1080 High / On AA:SM AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
53 fps ∼38%
Ashes of the Singularity - 1920x1080 high (sort by value)
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
43 fps ∼43%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
54 fps ∼54% +26%
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
47.5 fps ∼47% +10%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
49 fps ∼49% +14%
BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
82 fps ∼31%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
98 (min: 11.6, max: 188.3) fps ∼37% +20%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
134 fps ∼50% +63%
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
98.9 fps ∼37% +21%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
108 fps ∼41% +32%
HP Omen 17-w100ng
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6300HQ, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G
99.1 fps ∼37% +21%
Nexoc G739
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
72.5 fps ∼27% -12%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
121 fps ∼46% +48%
Thief - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
67 fps ∼47%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
60 fps ∼42% -10%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
80 fps ∼56% +19%
Fallout 4 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
66 fps ∼39%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
71 fps ∼42% +8%
Asus Strix GL702VSK
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
105 fps ∼63% +59%
Hitman 2016 - 1920x1080 Ultra / On AA:SM AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
46 fps ∼44%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
57 fps ∼54% +24%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 82fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 71fps
Thief (2014) 67fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 37fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 53fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 66fps
Hitman 2016 (2016) 46fps
Ashes of the Singularity (2016) 43fps
Rocket League (2017) 181fps
Dirt 4 (2017) 67fps
F1 2017 (2017) 76fps
Ark Survival Evolved (2017) 30fps
012345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra

Stress Test

Due to the dedicated Fan Boost mode, we are particularly interested in how the system performs under synthetic and real-world stress. Running Prime95 for an hour to tax the CPU, we see the Core i7-7700HQ intermittently reach its boost clock before settling in at a near-consistent 3.35 GHz. CPU temperatures reach 77° C, which is conservative; there's plenty of headroom to push the CPU further, but MSI may be playing it safe here. Running FurMark, the GTX 1060 sets in comfortably at about 1215 MHz, which is about 14% below its standard clock speed of 1405 MHz. Temperatures are well managed about 73° C. Again, this is curious as there is plenty of headroom to push the GPU a bit further.

Running FurMark and Prime95 together to fully tax the entire system sees much of the same performance as before. However, temperatures start to climb to 90° C on the CPU and 81° C on the GPU. While approaching acceptable thresholds, these temperatures are still within limits, especially on the GPU. Again, there is room for increased performance here, although not as much as when running the benchmarks separately.

An hour-long run of The Witcher 3 gives us a good real-world stress test. We leave the game running with Geralt remaining stationary on his horse in an open field with lots of vegetation blowing in the wind. After an hour, CPU clock speeds averaged about 3.45 GHz, while the GPU was able to maintain an impressive boost clock of 1618 MHz. Temperatures are again well managed at 71° C and 73° C, respectively. Running the same scene with the notebook's Fan Boost enabled, the GPU is able to push a bit further to 1631 MHz. The CPU surprisingly throttles back to 2.5 GHz; while this is a stark drop, The Witcher 3 doesn't rely on the CPU nearly as much as the GPU, so performance is unaffected. Average temperatures also take a noticeable drop to 60° C on the CPU and 68° C on the GPU. We'll leave it to users to decide whether this small drop in the already well-managed internal temperature is worth the added noise from the fans.

Prime95
Prime95
FurMark
FurMark
Prime95 + FurMark
Prime95 + FurMark
The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3 (w/ Fan Boost)
The Witcher 3 (w/ Fan Boost)
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 3.35 - 77 -
FurMark Stress 3.55 1239 64 73
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 3.34 1215 90 81
Witcher 3 Stress 3.45 1618 71 73
Witcher 3 Stress (w/ Fan Boost) 2.5 1631 60 68

Emissions

System Noise

Fan noise profile (normal)
Fan noise profile (normal)

Fan noise is a weakness of the GF72VR. Under low loads, the fans are fairly quiet but will spin slowly every once in a while. However, the fans will quickly and aggressively ramp up even under medium load. Average noise under workloads more demanding than light web browsing sit at about 40 dB(A), and noise while gaming or a heavy workload averages 45 dB(A). If the Fan Boost is engaged, the fans are pushed to their absolute limits, and noise hits a loud 52 dB(A). The fans are also high-pitched and have a distinct shrill whir to them. On the plus side, there is no coil whine to be heard, although it may be lurking under the near-omnipresent fan noise. 

Noise Level

Idle
31.4 / 31.4 / 32.6 dB(A)
Load
39.4 / 52 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.1 dB(A)
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
MSI GS73VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
HP Omen 17-w100ng
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6300HQ, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G
Nexoc G739
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Asus Strix GL702VSK
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
Noise
-7%
2%
0%
5%
2%
-11%
-6%
3%
off / environment *
28.1
31
-10%
28.1
-0%
30.5
-9%
30.1
-7%
30.8
-10%
31
-10%
30
-7%
28.6
-2%
Idle Minimum *
31.4
34
-8%
30.8
2%
31.4
-0%
31.4
-0%
31.4
-0%
35
-11%
31
1%
30.6
3%
Idle Average *
31.4
35
-11%
30.8
2%
31.4
-0%
31.4
-0%
31.4
-0%
36
-15%
32
-2%
30.6
3%
Idle Maximum *
32.6
36
-10%
30.9
5%
31.5
3%
31.7
3%
31.4
4%
37
-13%
38
-17%
30.6
6%
Load Average *
39.4
40
-2%
42.2
-7%
40.9
-4%
35.2
11%
38.6
2%
44
-12%
44
-12%
39.8
-1%
Witcher 3 ultra *
45.3
44.4
2%
39.9
12%
Load Maximum *
52
51
2%
48.6
7%
46.2
11%
43.5
16%
44.3
15%
54
-4%
50
4%
48
8%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Due to the aggressive fan profile, external temperatures are fairly well managed. When the system is idle, the chassis and keyboard remain cool. During extended periods of stress (such as a long gaming session), the keyboard warms up a bit; most users won't pay much heed to the slight increase in temperature, although some may find their palms clammy after a few hours. Under synthetic load, the keyboard and surrounding chassis grow noticeably warm. Keep in mind that these synthetic workloads are a worst case scenario; in real-world use, the body of the device is fairly well cooled.

Heat map (keyboard, idle)
Heat map (keyboard, idle)
Heat map (underside, idle)
Heat map (underside, idle)
Heat map (keyboard, load)
Heat map (keyboard, load)
Heat map (underside, load)
Heat map (underside, load)
Max. Load
 42 °C
108 F
52.2 °C
126 F
33 °C
91 F
 
 36.8 °C
98 F
48.2 °C
119 F
29.6 °C
85 F
 
 35.2 °C
95 F
43 °C
109 F
28.2 °C
83 F
 
Maximum: 52.2 °C = 126 F
Average: 38.7 °C = 102 F
44 °C
111 F
34 °C
93 F
50 °C
122 F
27.2 °C
81 F
30.8 °C
87 F
37.4 °C
99 F
26.4 °C
80 F
30.8 °C
87 F
37.6 °C
100 F
Maximum: 50 °C = 122 F
Average: 35.4 °C = 96 F
Power Supply (max.)  48 °C = 118 F | Room Temperature 23 °C = 73 F | Fluke 62 Mini

Speakers

The four 2 Watt speakers along the bottom front of the notebook chassis are impressively loud, hitting about 90 decibels. While the GF72VR is one of the loudest notebooks we've reviewed, the speakers unfortunately don't have much else going for them. Bass is almost completely absent with all sound overbalanced in upper registers. The result is a very tinny and thin overall sound profile that doesn't distort at high volumes but lacks body. Users will definitely want to invest in a quality pair of headphones; the GF72VR does support HiFi audio hardware via its excellent onboard DAC.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2036.535.42535.435.83135.236.84033.733.95033.134.66333.934.58031.733.210030.534.812530.843.516029.555.22003055.925028.155.331527.556.540026.856.55002663.263025.669.580025.373100025.176.1125025.582.8160026.782.4200024.682.4250024.181.731502479.5400023.975500023.770.4630023.671.2800023.6711000023.669.91250023.666.31600023.564.6SPL3790.7N2.976.4median 25.3MSI GF72VR 7RFmedian 69.9Delta2.110.542.636.242.640.432.240.443.931.743.945.22945.246.428.846.45030.85051.428.351.453.428.953.454.824.554.857.62457.658.724.658.761.222.161.265.32265.363.720.863.765.820.365.870.819.370.870.118.670.168.517.968.570.317.770.371.81771.86417.16466.116.966.163.31763.360.616.960.657.616.957.663.11763.168.617.268.66717.16754.717.254.751.317.451.379.53079.5481.448median 63.7Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738Jmedian 17.7median 63.75.425.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
MSI GF72VR 7RF audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (90.7 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 19.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8.5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 78% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 18% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 53% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 39% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (72 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 5.7% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (10.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 6% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 87% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 3% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 95% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)
Graph 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Graph 2: Audio off

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Power consumption is on par with other similarly specced notebooks. At idle, the GF72VR draws about 21 Watts, which is about average for the category. Under full load, the machine pulls roughly 160 Watts from the wall, well below the rated 180 Watts of the power supply. Under a more realistic gaming load (specifically, playing The Witcher 3 at ultra details), the notebook only draws about 130 Watts, or about 72% of the rated maximum power draw of the power supply. This is well within acceptable limits.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.48 / 0.8 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 15.7 / 21.4 / 21.9 Watt
Load midlight 83.9 / 159.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI GF72VR 7RF
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, TN LED, 1920x1080, 17.3
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY, TN LED, 1920x1080, 17.3
MSI GS73VR 7RF
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e, IPS, 3840x2160, 17.3
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Toshiba MQ01ABD100, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7, IPS, 3840x2160, 17.3
HP Omen 17-w100ng
6300HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Nexoc G739
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Asus Strix GL702VSK
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Power Consumption
0%
-2%
2%
26%
6%
-3%
17%
-28%
Idle Minimum *
15.7
13
17%
14.2
10%
15.6
1%
7
55%
10.5
33%
17
-8%
7
55%
20.9
-33%
Idle Average *
21.4
20
7%
23.5
-10%
20.2
6%
12.3
43%
20.5
4%
22
-3%
14
35%
22.9
-7%
Idle Maximum *
21.9
26
-19%
23.8
-9%
21.4
2%
14.2
35%
22
-0%
29
-32%
23
-5%
23.1
-5%
Load Average *
83.9
83
1%
90.9
-8%
90
-7%
72.6
13%
91
-8%
72
14%
82
2%
147.2
-75%
Load Maximum *
159.6
169
-6%
171.6
-8%
147
8%
153
4%
155
3%
141
12%
163
-2%
188.1
-18%
Witcher 3 ultra *
130.2
116
11%
125
4%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The paltry 43 Wh battery is good for little more than quick jaunts between wall outlets. During our WiFi v1.3 test (Balanced power setting, screen set to 150 nits, loading a new webpage every 30-40 seconds), the GF72VR only managed to last 140 minutes, well below the already low average for gaming notebooks. Most other gaming machines offer runtimes between 1 and 3 hours, which is more in line with expectations. Users will need to pack the power supply when working or gaming away from home.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 21min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
2h 22min
Load (maximum brightness)
0h 41min
MSI GF72VR 7RF
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 43 Wh
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 51 Wh
MSI GS73VR 7RF
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 65 Wh
Asus GL702VM-GC102D
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 76 Wh
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 48 Wh
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 69 Wh
HP Omen 17-w100ng
6300HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 95.8 Wh
Nexoc G739
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 62 Wh
Asus Strix GL702VSK
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 76 Wh
Battery Runtime
-1%
33%
88%
131%
95%
193%
173%
64%
Reader / Idle
201
196
-2%
301
50%
353
76%
552
175%
543
170%
613
205%
306
52%
WiFi v1.3
142
142
0%
163
15%
250
76%
336
137%
277
95%
363
156%
288
103%
203
43%
Load
41
40
-2%
55
34%
87
112%
74
80%
145
254%
128
212%
81
98%

Pros

+ excellent keyboard
+ color accurate display (with calibration)
+ wide color space
+ 120 Hz refresh rate display
+ loud, distortion-free speakers
+ internal components are well cooled

Cons

- fans are very loud and shrill
- thick, bulky chassis
- sub-par performance, possibly from intentional throttling
- terrible battery life

Verdict

In review: MSI GF72VR 7RF. Test model provided by Computer Upgrade King
In review: MSI GF72VR 7RF. Test model provided by Computer Upgrade King

The GF72VR is the latest effort by MSI to offer yet another option for consumers in search of an affordable but powerful gaming machine. Unfortunately, the notebook misses more than it hits. While the keyboard is excellent, the display is colorful and rich, and the inclusion of a high refresh rate is very welcome, there are several other shortcomings that hold the laptop back.

The main problem lies in thermal management. The robust cooling solution results in fans that are noisy and annoying. Internal components are kept relatively cool at the expense of high levels of noise, a trade off some may be unwilling to make. Even the dedicated Fan Boost doesn't amount to much; while the increase in fan noise is drastic, improvements in temperature and performance are small. The speakers are also anemic, but sound quality can be easily corrected with a pair of quality headphones. 

All said, the GF72VR further solidifies MSI's "spaghetti" approach to gaming laptops; the manufacturer seems to be throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks. While not an outright bad notebook, the GF72VR makes too many compromises when compared to MSI's other consumer offerings, the GP72VR and GE72VR.

The introduction of the GF72VR further confuses MSI's already muddled product catalog and may just create more internal competition for the company. The device does little to stand out from the crowd and is likely to be overlooked in favor of notebooks with broader feature sets, many of which are made by MSI itself.

MSI GF72VR 7RF - 10/20/2017 v6
Sam Medley

Chassis
71 / 98 → 73%
Keyboard
90%
Pointing Device
76%
Connectivity
60 / 81 → 74%
Weight
59 / 10-66 → 87%
Battery
65%
Display
83%
Games Performance
91%
Application Performance
93%
Temperature
86 / 95 → 91%
Noise
78 / 90 → 87%
Audio
50%
Camera
44 / 85 → 52%
Average
73%
82%
Gaming - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GF72VR 7RF (7700HQ, GTX 1060, 120 Hz) Laptop Review
Sam Medley, 2017-10-20 (Update: 2017-10-20)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.