Notebookcheck

MSI GL62 6QF Notebook Review

Florian Glaser (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 07/06/2016

Problems with the competition. The MSI GL62 is supposed to be an attractively priced entry-level gaming device. Customers get a quad-core processor and a decent Nvidia GPU for 1100 Euros (~$1218). The 15-inch notebook still has a hard time against the rivals due to some money-saving measures. We will find out if you should buy the device.

For the original German review, see here.

"Gaming starts here”  is MSI’s slogan to advertise the pretty inexpensive GL62. Compared to other models from the GE or GS series, however, the manufacturer has cut some corners. For example, the 15-inch model lacks a keyboard illumination as well as an IPS display. 

The other features are also pretty mediocre. If you look at the models listed by the Internet shop notebooksbilliger.de, which provided the test sample, you only get 8 GB DDR4 RAM, a DVD burner (no Blu-ray drive) and a TN panel with 1920x1080 pixels. You do not get a high-end GPU, either. After the launch of the Nvidia GTX 980, the GTX 960M is more of an upper mainstream chip. Depending on the model, the processor is either a Core i5-6300HQ or the Core i7-6700HQ. MSI uses solid-state drives, conventional hard drives or a combination of both as storage solutions.

The biggest advantage of the GL62 is the fair price. Not every manufacturer offers gaming devices priced between 900 and 1100 Euros (~$997 and ~$1218). The competition is still pretty tough for the 15-inch notebook. Whether it is the Asus G501VW or the Acer V15 Nitro, comparable configurations are hardly more expensive. Our review sample, priced at 1100 Euros (~$1218) is based on the model GL62-6QFi78H11 and competes directly with the recently launched HP Omen.

MSI GL62-6QFi781H11 (GL62 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M - 2048 MB, Core: 1097 MHz, Memory: 2500 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 359.00 (368.39 for Games), Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
, 1x 8 DDR4-2133 SO-DIMM, Single-Channel, 1 of 2 slots free, up to 32 GB
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 141 PPI, CMN N156HGE-EAL (CMN15D2), TN LED, Full HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM170 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NY, 128 GB 
, SSD + HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, 1000 GB HDD @ 7200 rpm. Slots: 1x M.2 Type 2280 (NVMe/PCIe) & 1 x 2.5-inch
Soundcard
Realtek ALC899 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - 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: Headphones, Microphone, Card Reader: SD,SDHC,SDXC, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Qualcomm Atheros AR8171/8175 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Optical drive
TSSTcorp CDDVDW SU-208GB
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 29 x 383 x 260 ( = 1.14 x 15.08 x 10.24 in)
Battery
41.4 Wh, 3834 mAh Lithium-Ion, 6 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD (720p @ 30 fps)
Additional features
Speakers: 4.0 (Nahimic Audio Enhancer), Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Power adapter: 120 Watts, Accessories: Quick Start Guide, warranty book, additional brochures, Software: Norton Security Trial, MS Office 365 Trial, CyberLink PowerDVD 12, several manufacturer tools, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.348 kg ( = 82.82 oz / 5.18 pounds), Power Supply: 464 g ( = 16.37 oz / 1.02 pounds)
Price
1100 Euro

 

Case

Both the design and the port selection of the GL62 are reminiscent of the 15-inch sibling GE62. We have already mentioned that there is no keyboard illumination for the cheaper model. Another difference is the materials used. While some parts of the GE62 are made of metal, the GL62 is made entirely of plastic and as a result does not appear quite as sophisticated.

Otherwise, the case leaves a decent impression. The stability could be better here and there (wobbly lid, the area around the optical drive can be pushed in), but the build quality meets the price. Thanks to a moderate weight of 2.3 kilograms (~5.1 lb) and the comparatively slim construction (2.9 cm/~1.14 in), it is not hard to transport. The hinges are also good, but you can notice some bounces caused by vibrations.

Unlike some other MSI notebooks, the design is surprisingly subtle. The manufacturer mainly uses the color black, and we can only find some red elements on the lid and the bottom. Our overall rating for the case is  “Satisfactory”.

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Connectivity

Ports

There is hardly any criticism for MSI in terms of the port selection. Except for the somewhat impractical layout (many ports are at the left front), the connectivity is satisfactory. While RJ45-Ethernet, Kensington Lock, two audio jacks and two video ports are essential for a gaming notebook, four USB ports are hardly a matter of course, especially since MSI has implemented two USB 3.0 Type-C ports (but no USB 3.1 Gen. 2!).

Card Reader

We are disappointed by the performance of the card reader. A mere 27 to 30 MB/s in the sequential AS SSD Benchmark test and 25 MB/s when we copy 250 jpg files are pretty low. Most gaming notebooks manage more than 70 MB/s. Our reference card (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II) could manage up to 260 MB/s.

Left side: Kensington Lock, RJ45-LAN, USB 3.0, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB 3.0, USB 3.0 Type-C, microphone, headphones
Left side: Kensington Lock, RJ45-LAN, USB 3.0, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB 3.0, USB 3.0 Type-C, microphone, headphones
Right side: Optical drive, USB 2.0, card reader, power
Right side: Optical drive, USB 2.0, card reader, power

Communication

MSI uses the WLAN module Wireless-AC 3165 from Intel. As befits a modern gaming notebook, the module supports WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n as well as the ac standard (2.4 & 5 GHz, up to 433 Mbps) besides Bluetooth. The range was average during our test. At a distance of 10 meters (~33 ft) to the router and through several walls, Windows indicated 70 Mbps (4/5 bars).

Maintenance

The maintenance of the GL62 leaves mixed impressions. It is a pity that MSI does not implement a corresponding hatch. If you want to tinker a little or upgrade parts, you can still remove the whole bottom panel. A damaged warranty seal should not be a problem in Germany, as long as the maintenance work was performed by experienced personnel. As you can see on the pictures of the GL72 (link), you can access the battery, cooling system, both RAM slots, the 2.5-inch slot and the M.2 slot. Processor and graphics card are soldered, which is normal by now.

Software

MSI has equipped the GL62 with various applications and tools. Below, we have included screenshots from three examples. In addition to the System Control Manager, the Dragon Gaming Center is interesting. The latter includes several monitoring and special functions such as the Shift mode, which adjusts the clock behavior of the CPU and the GPU depending on the setting (Green, Comfort & Sport). The sound can be optimized via Nahimic Sound Enhancer. Office 365 and Norton Security are included as trial versions. Movie enthusiasts will be happy about CyberLink Power DVD 12.

Preloaded software
Preloaded software
System Control Manager
System Control Manager
Dragon Gaming Center
Dragon Gaming Center
Nahimic Audio Enhancer
Nahimic Audio Enhancer

Accessories

The accessories are limited to a quick-start guide, a warranty manual and some service brochures. MSI has included a 120-watt power adapter (14.5 x 7.5 x 2.5 cm/~5.7 x 2.9 x 1 in), weighting at 464 grams (~1 lb).

Warranty

The warranty period is 24 months (Collect & Return Service).

Input Devices

Keyboard

The keyboard is a matter of taste. Once again, MSI is using a very unconventional layout. The German version also gets a single-line Return key, so the #-key has been shifted. Because of the oversized Shift key, <|> is moved right next to the space bar. This means that users of classic layouts will have to get used to the keyboard.

The typing experience is as good as the GE62; pressure point and stroke will be satisfactory for most users. The same applies for the typing noise, which is not very loud in the case of the GL62 – quite the contrary. The key size varies between a generous (15 x 15 mm @main keys/~0.6 x 0.6 mm) and a rather narrow (12 x 15 mm @numbers pad/~0.47 x 0.6 in). The F-keys are also smaller, which is typical for notebooks. Great: MSI uses the arrow keys for the volume and brightness control, which results in a more comfortable and simple use. Speaking of comfort: The keyboard is located pretty far at the top, so users get a decently-sized palm rest.

Touchpad

We would call the mouse replacement convenient. MSI has implemented a conventional touchpad with precise, but very loud buttons. Considering a width of 10.5 and a height of 6 cm (~4.1 and 2.4 in respectively), the size is okay. The surface is slightly textured, which is visible in the close-ups. It improves the feedback and the precision without affecting the gliding capabilities significantly.

Obviously, the touchpad supports several gestures starting with zooming up to turning gestures. Attention: For some reason, scrolling with two fingers is deactivated by default and has to be enabled in the Synaptics software first (touchpad icon in the notification area). Gestures work great except for the rather tricky zoom.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

To put it mildly: The picture quality cannot meet our expectations. Many competitors offer IPS displays, but MSI only implements a TN-panel, CMN N156HGE-EAL. The latter offers wide color gamut (100% sRGB, 75% AdobeRGB), but disappoints in the other areas.

195
cd/m²
200
cd/m²
201
cd/m²
192
cd/m²
216
cd/m²
190
cd/m²
196
cd/m²
229
cd/m²
199
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 229 cd/m² Average: 202 cd/m² Minimum: 11 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 216 cd/m²
Contrast: 450:1 (Black: 0.48 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 9.98 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 10.91 | - Ø
100% sRGB (Argyll) 75% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.31
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
CMN N156HGE-EAL (CMN15D2)
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
Sharp LQ156D1JW02D
Asus G501VW-FY081T
Samsung 156HL01-104
Gigabyte P55K v5
Name: AU Optronics B156HAN01.2, ID: AUO12ED
Schenker XMG A516
LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD046F)
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
LGD0519
Response Times
-8%
-55%
-7%
1%
-32%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
43 (21, 22)
49 (24, 25)
-14%
50 (22, 28)
-16%
37.2 (16, 21.2)
13%
41 (15, 26)
5%
55 (22, 33)
-28%
Response Time Black / White *
23 (7, 16)
25 (7, 18)
-9%
39 (10, 29)
-70%
29.2 (12, 17.2)
-27%
24 (5, 19)
-4%
31 (8, 23)
-35%
PWM Frequency
1000 (80)
1000 (10)
0%
200 (90)
-80%
Screen
59%
40%
25%
37%
13%
Brightness
202
291
44%
312
54%
259
28%
303
50%
203
0%
Brightness Distribution
83
83
0%
83
0%
72
-13%
92
11%
79
-5%
Black Level *
0.48
0.22
54%
0.32
33%
0.367
24%
0.3
37%
0.28
42%
Contrast
450
1377
206%
1066
137%
749
66%
1040
131%
764
70%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
9.98
3.47
65%
4.23
58%
3.39
66%
5.11
49%
6.04
39%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
10.91
1.17
89%
4.69
57%
4.21
61%
4.41
60%
5.91
46%
Gamma
2.31 104%
2.35 102%
2.53 95%
2.18 110%
2.5 96%
2.44 98%
CCT
13185 49%
6658 98%
7549 86%
6069 107%
6789 96%
7362 88%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
75
86
15%
63
-16%
59.2
-21%
55
-27%
38
-49%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
100
0%
97
-3%
90.9
-9%
83
-17%
60
-40%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
26% / 41%
-8% / 14%
9% / 19%
19% / 30%
-10% / 4%

* ... smaller is better

This starts with the luminance, which is just 202 cd/m² on average. This might be sufficient indoors, but it is a problem when you go outside. The limited viewing angles are even more annoying. The picture does not appear very uniform, even when you are sitting perfectly – independent of the brightness distribution. Another drawback is the black value: 0.48 cd/m² will let dark movie and gaming sequences appear grayish.

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
MSI GL62 vs. sRGB (100%)
MSI GL62 vs. sRGB (100%)
MSI GL62 vs. AdobeRGB (75%)
MSI GL62 vs. AdobeRGB (75%)

The contrast ratio is therefore just 450:1 – very low compared to other gaming notebooks. The table above clearly shows the differences. The Asus G501VW as well as the Schenker XMG A516 and the Acer V15 Nitro manage contrasts of at least 1000:1.

Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Subpixel array
Subpixel array
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

It would be better if we do not talk about the color accuracy and the color balance. The picture is not even close to a natural presentation without calibrations. In short: MSI has definitely saved money in the wrong place; you should be able to expect a high-quality panel for a price of more than 1000 Euros (~$1107).

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
23 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7 ms rise
↘ 16 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. » 22 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (26.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
43 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21 ms rise
↘ 22 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 58 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (42.8 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 1000 Hz80 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 1000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 80 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 1000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 57 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 6577 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

Mainstream gamers who do not necessarily  desire to play every game at the highest settings should be satisfied with the GL62. Thanks to the solid-state disk, our test model 6QFi781H11 boots up quickly and the system is generally fast. 8 GB DDR4 RAM is no longer a highlight, but should still be okay in the next one or two years. It will be hard to bring the quad-core processor to its limits, because games are usually limited by the GPU.

Processor

The quad-core CPU from Intel's Skylake generation matches the gaming expectations. The Core i7-6700HQ can reach up to 3.5 GHz under load and up to 3.1 GHz when an application utilizes all four cores.

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
CPU & GPU load
CPU & GPU load

Cinebench R15 shows that the Turbo Boost is fully utilized most of the time. However, single-core scenarios cannot utilize the maximum, which is also supported by the results (slightly lower than the rivals).

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.58 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.46 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
42.87 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
139 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
673 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
48.43 fps
Help

The technical specifications of the Skylake chip are up to date. While Hyper-Threading is a familiar feature (eight instead of four threads simultaneously), since 2015 Intel chips are only manufactured in a 14 nm process. The TDP specified by the manufacturer is 45 watts.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Asus G501VW-FY081T
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
149 Points ∼100% +7%
Schenker XMG A516
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
148 Points ∼99% +6%
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
147 Points ∼99% +6%
Gigabyte P55K v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
139 Points ∼93% 0%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
139 Points ∼93%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
134 Points ∼90% -4%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker XMG A516
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
680 Points ∼100% +1%
Gigabyte P55K v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
680 Points ∼100% +1%
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
678 Points ∼100% +1%
Asus G501VW-FY081T
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
674 Points ∼99% 0%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
673 Points ∼99%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
672 Points ∼99% 0%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG A516
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.68 Points ∼100% +6%
Asus G501VW-FY081T
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.68 Points ∼100% +6%
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.68 Points ∼100% +6%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.58 Points ∼94% 0%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.58 Points ∼94%
Gigabyte P55K v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.56 Points ∼93% -1%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Gigabyte P55K v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.48 Points ∼100% 0%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.46 Points ∼100%
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.45 Points ∼100% 0%
Schenker XMG A516
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.44 Points ∼99% 0%
Asus G501VW-FY081T
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.42 Points ∼99% -1%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.4 Points ∼99% -1%

System Performance

The system performance is inconspicuous. 5666 points in PCMark 7 are typical for a gaming notebook from the upper mainstream or the lower high-end segment, respectively. The Acer V17 Nitro with a Core i7-4720HQ, GeForce GTX 960M and 256 GB SSD manages a very similar score.

PCMark 7 Score
5666 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3603 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4375 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4951 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score
Schenker XMG A516
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 256GB m.2 NVMe
6085 Points ∼100% +7%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B512 M.2 512 GB
5861 Points ∼96% +3%
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ, Adata IM2S3138E-128GM-B
5821 Points ∼96% +3%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NY
5666 Points ∼93%
Asus G501VW-FY081T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
5020 Points ∼82% -11%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ, Adata IM2S3138E-128GM-B
5003 Points ∼100% +1%
Gigabyte P55K v5
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
4964 Points ∼99% 0%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NY
4951 Points ∼99%
Asus G501VW-FY081T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
4599 Points ∼92% -7%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B512 M.2 512 GB
3964 Points ∼79% -20%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ, Adata IM2S3138E-128GM-B
4992 Points ∼100% +14%
Gigabyte P55K v5
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
4621 Points ∼93% +6%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B512 M.2 512 GB
4449 Points ∼89% +2%
Asus G501VW-FY081T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
4445 Points ∼89% +2%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NY
4375 Points ∼88%
Home Score Accelerated v2
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ, Adata IM2S3138E-128GM-B
3946 Points ∼100% +10%
Gigabyte P55K v5
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
3845 Points ∼97% +7%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NY
3603 Points ∼91%
Asus G501VW-FY081T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
3495 Points ∼89% -3%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B512 M.2 512 GB
3154 Points ∼80% -12%

Storage Devices

The storage solution caused some headaches during the review. The reason: Both AS SSD as well as CrystalDiskMark fluctuated heavily when they evaluated the performance of the 128 GB solid-state disk (Toshiba HG6). The best result for sequential writes was 430 to 440 MB/s, but around 100 to 200 MB/s in the worst case. We did not find the cause for this issue. Windows updates were not active during the benchmarks. There were no problems for the reading speeds. Up to 530 MB/s are similar to other SSDs with the SATA-III interface. You have to use solid-state disks based on the PCIe or NVMe technology, respectively, to increase the performance, but these drives are also more expensive.

MSI also includes a conventional hard drive to avoid space problems. The 1 TB drive from HGST (Travelstar 7K1000) performs pretty well. This is not surprising though, since it works at 7200 rpm.

Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NY
Sequential Read: 530.2 MB/s
Sequential Write: 442.7 MB/s
512K Read: 409.1 MB/s
512K Write: 417.3 MB/s
4K Read: 21.81 MB/s
4K Write: 93.03 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 257 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 168.3 MB/s
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NY
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
Lite-On CV1-8B512 M.2 512 GB
Asus G501VW-FY081T
Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
Gigabyte P55K v5
SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
Schenker XMG A516
Samsung SSD 950 Pro 256GB m.2 NVMe
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
Adata IM2S3138E-128GM-B
AS SSD
1%
-46%
-5%
166%
-8%
Score Total
742
859
16%
269
-64%
868
17%
2356
218%
704
-5%
4K Write
82.94
67.89
-18%
30.66
-63%
46.73
-44%
136.79
65%
73.34
-12%
4K Read
20.31
21.75
7%
13.87
-32%
25.09
24%
48.47
139%
29.31
44%
Seq Write
429.56
424.79
-1%
126.93
-70%
360.4
-16%
915.91
113%
161.04
-63%
Seq Read
509.09
513.87
1%
503.89
-1%
467.56
-8%
2004.93
294%
478.33
-6%

GPU Performance

Gaming notebooks priced between 1000 and 1500 Euros (~$1107 and ~$1661) are primarily equipped with one of three graphics cards. While the GeForce GTX 965M has 1024 shaders, the less expensive siblings GTX 960M and GTX 950M  get only 640 shaders. There are no differences in terms of memory interface, which is 128-bit in each case.

The amount of VRAM varies from notebook to notebook. Once again, MSI tries to save some money and has implemented the GTX 960M with 2 instead of 4 GB GDDR5-VRAM. This means that you cannot use the maximum settings in all games (like Hitman) or at least it is not recommended. However, the GTX 960M will have problems with higher details in general, and it does not matter if you have the 2 or 4 GB version.

3DMark 11 Performance
5178 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
64476 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
16887 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
3954 points
Help

On the other hand, the GL62 can utilize the Turbo perfectly. According to GPU-Z even maximum load is handled with a core clock of 1189 instead of the normal 1097 MHz. Note: Nvidia's Maxwell generation will be replaced by Pascal soon. It might be worthwhile to wait for discounts on the GL62 or even a new model. Thanks to the architectural upgrade, the manufacturing process drops from 28 to 16 nm, which promises higher power efficiency.

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Schenker XMG A516
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
6001 Points ∼100% +42%
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
5904 Points ∼98% +39%
Gigabyte P55K v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
5323 Points ∼89% +26%
Asus G501VW-FY081T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4348 Points ∼72% +3%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4314 Points ∼72% +2%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4239 Points ∼71%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score
Schenker XMG A516
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
5261 Points ∼100% +33%
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
5179 Points ∼98% +31%
Gigabyte P55K v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
4760 Points ∼90% +20%
Asus G501VW-FY081T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4028 Points ∼77% +2%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4008 Points ∼76% +1%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
3954 Points ∼75%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU
Schenker XMG A516
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
8064 Points ∼100% +63%
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
7919 Points ∼98% +60%
Gigabyte P55K v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
7128 Points ∼88% +44%
Asus G501VW-FY081T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5440 Points ∼67% +10%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5304 Points ∼66% +7%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4938 Points ∼61%
1280x720 Performance
Schenker XMG A516
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
8006 Points ∼100% +55%
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
7926 Points ∼99% +53%
Gigabyte P55K v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
7269 Points ∼91% +40%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5635 Points ∼70% +9%
Asus G501VW-FY081T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5533 Points ∼69% +7%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5178 Points ∼65%
Unigine Heaven 4.0 - Extreme Preset DX11
Schenker XMG A516
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
32 fps ∼100% +30%
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
31.8 fps ∼99% +29%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
24.6 fps ∼77%

Gaming Performance

We have already mentioned that the GTX 960M is not a high-end GPU, which can handle all games at maximum details. If you do not want to reduce the resolution and want to play in the native 1920x1080 pixels, you will often have to choose medium settings without anti-aliasing.

This is the case for some of the tested games including “Anno 2205”, “Assassin's Creed Syndicate”, “XCOM 2” and “Mirror's Edge Catalyst”. We would even recommend low details for “Doom” in FHD. “Need for Speed”, “Overwatch”,  “FIFA 16” and “Rainbow Six Siege” can even be played with high details. However, the limitations would be much lower with the GTX 965M. The latter is – at least the 2016 model – about 30% faster on average.

We updated the GPU driver via GeForce Experience from version 359.00 to the brand-new ForceWare 368.39 for our gaming benchmarks.

low med. high ultra
FIFA 16 (2015) 177.8145103fps
Anno 2205 (2015) 100.762.528.711.2fps
Assassin's Creed Syndicate (2015) 50.646.829.65.2fps
Rainbow Six Siege (2015) 162.711157.545.7fps
XCOM 2 (2016) 66.132.120.18.7fps
Hitman 2016 (2016) 46.54628.227.4fps
Need for Speed 2016 (2016) 70.767.44028.4fps
Doom (2016) 69.457.233.628.4fps
Overwatch (2016) 184.9142.369.139.7fps
Mirror's Edge Catalyst (2016) 96.261.83024.3fps

Emissions

System Noise

Noise-sensitive users should avoid the GL62. The system is not too loud with 41 dB(A) while gaming and up to 46 dB(A) in the stress test, but the idle noise is unnecessarily high at 35 to 37 dB(A). Most gaming notebooks level off – if there is no pulsating – at around 32 dB(A).

System noise idle
System noise idle
System noise load
System noise load
Pink & White Noise (Speakers)
Pink & White Noise (Speakers)

The constant fan noise also hides the murmur of the hard drive. You can expect about 39 dB(A) when you watch a DVD movie. We would not advise the use the fan button, which will improve the cooling, but it gets really loud and annoying at 55 dB(A).

Noise Level

Idle
35 / 36 / 37 dB(A)
DVD
39 / dB(A)
Load
41 / 46 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30 dB(A)
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
Asus G501VW-FY081T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P55K v5
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG A516
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
Noise
2%
4%
4%
5%
1%
off / environment *
30
31.3
-4%
31.2
-4%
29
3%
30
-0%
Idle Minimum *
35
31.2
11%
32.1
8%
32
9%
31
11%
32
9%
Idle Average *
36
31.2
13%
32.1
11%
33
8%
32
11%
33
8%
Idle Maximum *
37
36.2
2%
32.1
13%
33
11%
38
-3%
36
3%
Load Average *
41
45.3
-10%
43.3
-6%
41
-0%
40
2%
43
-5%
Load Maximum *
46
47.3
-3%
44.3
4%
50
-9%
45
2%
49
-7%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

A good description for the temperature development is average. The chassis is surprisingly cool while idling with 24 to 30 °C (~75 to 86 °F), while many areas exceed 40 °C (~104 °F; also the palm rest) under higher loads. However, the  GL62 does not get extremely warm. Some of the rivals reached temperatures of more than 50 °C (~122 °F).

Stress test (without throttling)
Stress test (without throttling)
Stress test (with throttling)
Stress test (with throttling)
Case maximum load (top)
Case maximum load (top)
Case maximum load (bottom)
Case maximum load (bottom)

The hardware temperatures under maximum load (one hour FurMark & Prime95) hardly give any cause for criticism. The CPU clock will drop from 3.0 to 2.5 GHz as soon as the CPU gets close to 90 °C (~194 °F), so there is some minor throttling. It does not matter how much you stress the CPU, but the GPU never exceeds 80 °C (~176 °F).

Max. Load
 48.9 °C49.1 °C47.7 °C 
 46.3 °C47.9 °C46 °C 
 42.7 °C42.9 °C32.5 °C 
Maximum: 49.1 °C
Average: 44.9 °C
41.4 °C42.6 °C43.4 °C
35.2 °C43.4 °C41.5 °C
29.9 °C37 °C37.3 °C
Maximum: 43.4 °C
Average: 39.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  47.4 °C | Room Temperature 24 °C | Voltcraft IR-900
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
Asus G501VW-FY081T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P55K v5
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG A516
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
Heat
-8%
6%
5%
-24%
-5%
Maximum Upper Side *
49.1
50.1
-2%
41
16%
52.6
-7%
52.4
-7%
48.5
1%
Maximum Bottom *
43.4
56.2
-29%
48.2
-11%
50.2
-16%
53.1
-22%
59
-36%
Idle Upper Side *
29.2
28.3
3%
26.4
10%
22.6
23%
39.3
-35%
28.7
2%
Idle Bottom *
29.6
31.1
-5%
26.7
10%
23.4
21%
39.5
-33%
25.7
13%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

Even though MSI has equipped the GL62 with audio software and several presets (Music, Gaming & Movie), the sound is a big disappointment. The 4.0 system sounds pretty muddy, tinny, and unbalanced. This is often the verdict in our notebook reviews, but some rivals perform better (like the Acer V15 Nitro). We would recommend headphones or external speakers for prolonged sessions.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The 3D consumption is on par with other GTX 960M notebooks. 82 watts during the first 3DMark 06 scene could also be from the Asus G501VW. Maximum load will draw up to 118 watts from the socket, so the GL62 is similar to the Acer V15 Nitro. Curious: Even though the power adapter is rated at 120 watts, the battery will be drained (on mains) in extreme scenarios. The 15-inch device consumes between 10 to19 watts only, while idling.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.5 / 0.9 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 10 / 14 / 19 Watt
Load midlight 82 / 118 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
Asus G501VW-FY081T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P55K v5
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG A516
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
Power Consumption
4%
21%
2%
-12%
11%
Idle Minimum *
10
8.9
11%
6.9
31%
10.1
-1%
11
-10%
7
30%
Idle Average *
14
13.9
1%
10.7
24%
13.3
5%
15
-7%
11
21%
Idle Maximum *
19
15.6
18%
13.2
31%
15.4
19%
22
-16%
19
-0%
Load Average *
82
89
-9%
82
-0%
75.8
8%
75
9%
79
4%
Load Maximum *
118
118
-0%
94
20%
144
-22%
160
-36%
119
-1%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Nvidia's Optimus technology, which – depending on the application –uses either the GeForce GTX 960M or the integrated GPU of the processor (HD Graphics 530), has a big effect on the battery runtimes in particular. However, MSI is not very generous in this category. A battery capacity of 41 watts is pretty low, and the competition is usually equipped with 60-Wh modules. This will affect the mobility. 71 minutes under load at the highest luminance and 5.5 hours while idling at the lowest luminance are not great. A browsing session via WLAN is possible for 2.5 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 39min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
2h 38min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 11min
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
41.4 Wh
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE VN7-592G-79DV
52 Wh
Asus G501VW-FY081T
60 Wh
Gigabyte P55K v5
63 Wh
Schenker XMG A516
62 Wh
HP Omen 15-ax007ng
61.5 Wh
Battery Runtime
33%
60%
49%
44%
47%
Reader / Idle
339
530
56%
610
80%
502
48%
390
15%
467
38%
WiFi v1.3
158
218
38%
330
109%
295
87%
272
72%
Load
71
75
6%
64
-10%
79
11%
123
73%
93
31%
H.264
231
303
262
244

Pros

+ high application performance
+ compact dimensions
+ switchable graphics
+ low weight
+ subtle design
+ good touchpad

Cons

- unnecessary system noise while idling
- SSD with performance fluctuations
- no keyboard illumination
- no USB 3.1 Gen. 2
- wobbly lid
- weak battery
- only 2 GB VRAM
- mediocre sound
- TN display

Verdict

In review: MSI GL62 6QF. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.
In review: MSI GL62 6QF. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.

At a first glance, the GL62-6QFi781H11 might appear to be a cheaper alternative to MSI's more expensive gaming notebooks. And there is actually not much to criticize in terms of performance. Quad-core CPU, GTX 960M and solid-state disk: Quite a lot for a price of 1100 Euros (~$1218).

However, the 15-inch device hardly stands a chance against the GE62. MSI does not only dispenses with a USB 3.1 Gen. 2 port, but also metal elements as well as the keyboard illumination. The biggest drawback is the dark TN panel with a low contrast ratio. The latter prevents a recommendation for the GL62.

Price-conscious gamers should have a look at the similarly equipped Omen 15 (79%). The rival from HP does not offer a USB 3.1 port either, but you get an IPS display, which is superior in many respects. Both the Asus G501VW and Acer V15 Nitro manage even better ratings with 84 and 85%, respectively.

MSI GL62-6QFi781H11 - 06/26/2016 v5.1
Florian Glaser

Chassis
70 / 98 → 71%
Keyboard
75%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
57 / 81 → 70%
Weight
61 / 66 → 91%
Battery
67%
Display
74%
Games Performance
83%
Application Performance
89%
Temperature
82 / 95 → 86%
Noise
64 / 90 → 71%
Audio
60%
Average
72%
75%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GL62 6QF Notebook Review
Florian Glaser, 2016-07- 6 (Update: 2016-07- 6)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.