Notebookcheck

MSI GP72VR 7RFX (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1060) Laptop Review

Deceptively lightweight… MSI’s latest 17.3-inch gaming notebook to reach our labs covers most of the bases just as we’d expect, with a little twist: it’s surprisingly light! How does this $1,600 mid-range gaming notebook stack up against its peers?

As the bigger brother of the MSI GP62 gaming notebook, the GP72-7RFX Leopard Pro unabashedly adopts the same philosophy: no-frills, heavy-duty, function-over-form, affordable gaming. At the same time, though, it manages a very reasonable weight of just 2.836 kg—which is great for a 17.3-inch machine of its class (with an optical drive to boot). The question is: can the performance and other parameters keep up under the circumstances?

Our review unit features a Core i7-7700HQ CPU, GeForce GTX 1060 GPU (3 GB GDDR5), 16 GB RAM, and a 512 GB NVMe SSD. It also sports an attractive FHD 120 Hz display panel, alongside all the other amenities common to MSI gaming notebooks (SteelSeries keyboard with RGB backlighting, Cooler Boost 4, Dragon Center system management app, and so on). Our configuration retails currently for around $1,600 at XOTIC PC. Let’s see how it stacks up against its peers!

MSI GP72VR 7RFX (GP72 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop) - 3072 MB, Core: 1506 - 1708 MHz, Memory: 8000 MHz, GDDR5, 6.14.13.8205 - nVIDIA ForceWare 382.05, yes
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 127 PPI, CMN1747, TN LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM175
Storage
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e, 512 GB 
, 512GB NVMe SSD
Soundcard
Realtek ALC899 @ High Definition Audio-Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5mm, Card Reader: SD, Type-C USB3.1 Gen2
Networking
10/100/1000 LAN Card (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Optical drive
DVD +/- RW Double Layer
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 32 x 419 x 287 ( = 1.26 x 16.5 x 11.3 in)
Battery
41 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6-cell Li-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD ([email protected])
Primary Camera: 1 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo 4x 2W, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.836 kg ( = 100.04 oz / 6.25 pounds), Power Supply: 752 g ( = 26.53 oz / 1.66 pounds)
Price
1600 Euro

 

Case

The GP72VR is primarily constructed of a matte plastic, but its display lid is (as usual) lined with an attractive brushed aluminum. Nearly the entire system is black, with only the MSI Dragon logo adding a splash of (red) color to the lid and the RGB-backlit keys providing a veritable rainbow across the keyboard. It’s a typical MSI gaming notebook in the aesthetics category, which is fine.

Despite its size and surprisingly low weight (2.836 kg), the case stability is still quite good; only a minor amount of flex is preset across the breadth of the base unit, mostly in the center of the keyboard just above the touchpad. The hinges also feel well-tuned, holding the display stably in place and preventing wobble in most situations. However, as a result of their tautness, the lid cannot be opened with one hand alone.

Perhaps the biggest complaint we have here is the proclivity of the surfaces to pick up and retain fingerprints and oils; within the first day, your entire machine will look like it’s been used for a week, and if you’re the obsessive type, you’ll probably want to hang onto the included microfiber cloth for regular swab sessions.

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Connectivity

There’s plenty of room for ports on this case, also, and the GP72 crams a good number of them in, too. Alongside the optical drive (a bit of a lost relic these days), you’ll also find four total USB ports (1x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, and 1x USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2), multiple video output options (HDMI/mini-DisplayPort), separate microphone and headphones ports, and a full-sized card reader. The ports are comfortably-spaced and fully confined to the left and right sides of the device.

Front: No connections
Front: No connections
Rear: No connections
Rear: No connections
Left: Kensington Lock, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, HDMI, mini-DisplayPort, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2, Microphone, Headphones
Left: Kensington Lock, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, HDMI, mini-DisplayPort, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2, Microphone, Headphones
Right: DVD super-multi, USB 2.0, card reader, charging port
Right: DVD super-multi, USB 2.0, card reader, charging port

SD Card Reader

The card reader is very slow, however. We measured just 26.85 / 25.6 MB/s read/write in our transfer tests, which is hardly a third of what some other notebooks muster (and even those aren’t the fastest around). Still, it works fine in a pinch.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Acer Predator Helios 300
79 MB/s ∼100% +209%
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
76 MB/s ∼96% +197%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
73.67 MB/s ∼93% +188%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
25.6 MB/s ∼32%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
19.84 MB/s ∼25% -22%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
90 MB/s ∼100% +235%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
88.21 MB/s ∼98% +229%
Acer Predator Helios 300
84 MB/s ∼93% +213%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
26.85 MB/s ∼30%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
18.73 MB/s ∼21% -30%

Communication

In somewhat more disappointing news, the wireless networking performance of the GP72VR leaves quite a lot to be desired. It’s nowhere nearly as slow as the receive speeds we measured from the GP62, but still, transmit/receive speeds were recorded at just 309 / 330 MB/s respectively. This is nearly half of what most faster clients managed (with superior Killer Wireless LAN adapters and similar). At least there’s the option of Gigabit Ethernet if you’re sitting near the router and want a rock-solid connection.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Predator Helios 300
Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4
696 MBit/s ∼100% +111%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
654 MBit/s ∼94% +98%
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
Realtek 8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
633 MBit/s ∼91% +92%
Alienware 17 R4
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
606 MBit/s ∼87% +84%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
330 MBit/s ∼47%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBN 80WK0042GE
Realtek 8821AE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
285 MBit/s ∼41% -14%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
141 MBit/s ∼20% -57%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
Realtek 8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
613 MBit/s ∼100% +98%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
606 MBit/s ∼99% +96%
Alienware 17 R4
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
589 MBit/s ∼96% +91%
Acer Predator Helios 300
Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4
545 MBit/s ∼89% +76%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBN 80WK0042GE
Realtek 8821AE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
345 MBit/s ∼56% +12%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
316 MBit/s ∼52% +2%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
309 (min: 33) MBit/s ∼50%

Accessories

The GP72VR includes three accessories: a large 180 W AC adapter, a microfiber cloth, and a small mounting bracket (with screws) for a 2.5” storage drive.

Software

The Dragon Center system management package is still front and center in the MSI software department, and we’ve covered it extensively in the past. To briefly summarize, the program allows for easy control over performance parameters, thermal management (and fan speeds), keyboard lighting, and other amenities. For much more detail of how it works, check out one of our recent reviews of other MSI notebooks.

Maintenance

Maintenance has never been all that convenient on recent MSI gaming machines, but most of the time it’s the number of screws and the warranty sticker at the center of our grievances. Unfortunately, with the GP72VR, we actually stopped short of disassembling the machine after removing its 18 screws securing the bottom panel for fear of damaging it. The clips securing the bottom to the right side of the case (when flipped over) were hung to the extent which the internal components were being pulled and stressed as we tried to separate them to remove the panel. Even with myriad plastic scribes, pry tools, spudgers, and other requisite items at our side, we didn’t feel comfortable going any further. That should tell you how maintenance-friendly the machine is: unless we simply lost the construction lottery, the average user will be sweating bullets trying to remove the bottom panel from their $1,600 notebook without damaging it in the process.

Warranty

The MSI GP72VR Leopard Pro ships with a standard 1-year depot warranty. As mentioned above, a warranty sticker sits between the user and one of the screws on the bottom of the machine, so if any upgrades are desired, it would be wise to check with the manufacturer before attempting them.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The SteelSeries keyboard remains excellent as always, with good key travel and feedback and tightly-affixed keys devoid of notable rattle or cheap-feeling wobble. The RGB backlighting is also excellent—both functional and attractive. We like the layout, though the number pad (located off to the right) flows into the full-sized arrow keys, which can get confusing at first when typing by feel. Apart from that, though, we have few complaints: we actually very much prefer this keyboard to the Lenovo Y920’s mechanical keyboard.

Touchpad

The Synaptics-brand touchpad also remains very good, with its large, separate physical buttons and a smooth enough surface. Gestures are also well-implemented as usual.

The SteelSeries keyboard is excellent as usual...
The SteelSeries keyboard is excellent as usual...
...with attractive RGB key backlighting...
...with attractive RGB key backlighting...
...and the touchpad is good with its spacious size and large physical buttons.
...and the touchpad is good with its spacious size and large physical buttons.

Display

The GP72VR features two different display options: a conventional FHD (1920x1080) display, and an FHD 120Hz TN LED display featuring 5 ms response time. Based on our initial impressions alone, we’d say that the upgraded panel is well worth the extra cost—as the refresh rate is immediately noticeable and the response times (if accurately quoted) make all the difference in gaming. That’s not even to mention the “wide view” (TN LED) technology, which is far superior to conventional (cheaper) TN panels. Both panel options feature anti-glare coating, which is also a plus. Backlight bleed was present in a couple of spots on our review unit, but it wasn't terribly noticeable during actual use.

MSI GP72VR subpixel array
MSI GP72VR subpixel array
Backlight bleed
Backlight bleed
271.6
cd/m²
291.4
cd/m²
283.8
cd/m²
280.9
cd/m²
309
cd/m²
283.8
cd/m²
294.4
cd/m²
291.7
cd/m²
304.3
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 309 cd/m² Average: 290.1 cd/m² Minimum: 5.02 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 309 cd/m²
Contrast: 1405:1 (Black: 0.22 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 7.2 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 98 | - Ø
100% sRGB (Argyll) 77% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 1.96
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
CMN1747, TN LED, 17.3, 1920x1080
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
CMN N156HGE-EAL, TN LED, 15.6, 1920x1080
Acer Predator Helios 300
LG LP173WF4-SPF5 (LGD056D), AH-IPS, WLED, 17.3, 1920x1080
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
LP173WF4-SPF5, IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF5 (LGD04E8), IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Alienware 17 R4
TN LED, 17.3, 2560x1440
Response Times
-112%
65%
-67%
55%
-38%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
21.6 (12, 9.6)
34.4 (22.4, 12.4)
-59%
36 (18, 18)
-67%
28.8 (14, 14.8)
-33%
39.2 (20.4, 18.8)
-81%
30 (18.8, 11.2)
-39%
Response Time Black / White *
9.4 (7.6, 1.8)
26 (20, 6)
-177%
20 (8.4, 11.6)
-113%
23.2 (13.6, 9.6)
-147%
22.8 (11.2, 11.6)
-143%
12.8 (10.8, 2)
-36%
PWM Frequency
25000 (20)
200 (99)
-99%
119000 (85)
376%
20000
-20%
122000 (90)
388%
Screen
-28%
5%
-5%
8%
-18%
Brightness
290
243
-16%
373
29%
378
30%
354
22%
372
28%
Brightness Distribution
88
87
-1%
93
6%
81
-8%
89
1%
86
-2%
Black Level *
0.22
0.63
-186%
0.35
-59%
0.48
-118%
0.31
-41%
0.62
-182%
Contrast
1405
422
-70%
1097
-22%
880
-37%
1223
-13%
649
-54%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
7.2
9.6
-33%
4.81
33%
4.4
39%
4.32
40%
5.6
22%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
98
12.7
87%
5.33
95%
2.8
97%
4
96%
4.7
95%
Gamma
1.96 122%
2.01 119%
2.45 98%
2.22 108%
2.47 97%
2.14 112%
CCT
10963 59%
13654 48%
7137 91%
6403 102%
6984 93%
7519 86%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
77
76
-1%
56
-27%
55
-29%
56
-27%
53.7
-30%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
100
0%
86
-14%
84
-16%
85
-15%
82.2
-18%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-70% / -50%
35% / 22%
-36% / -22%
32% / 21%
-28% / -22%

* ... smaller is better

We measured an average brightness of 290.1 cd/m² (max: 309 cd/m²) with a brightness distribution of 88%, both of which are good values (though not stellar). Contrast is a very good 1405:1, made possible by a 0.22 cd/m² black value.

sRGB measurements reveal 100% coverage of the sRGB spectrum, but only 77% of AdobeRGB. That’s still pretty good, though, and subjectively-speaking, colors look great with a bit of calibration.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. Acer Predator Helios
vs. Acer Predator Helios
vs. Lenovo Legion Y920
vs. Lenovo Legion Y920

Speaking of which, calibration is key on the GP72VR. Our CalMAN 5 measurements revealed fairly awful average/max DeltaE ColorChecker values of 7.2 / 12.8 out of the box and a DeltaE Greyscale average of 9.8, all alongside a low Total Gamma of 1.96 and a very high CCT Average of 10963. But post-calibration, the ColorChecker and Greyscale DeltaE averages dropped to just 2.9 and 1.5, and the Total Gamma (2.18) and CCT Average (6408) measurements were close to ideal. MSI does provide some color management presets with their Dragon Center software, but to get the most accurate calibration you’ll probably need to do it on your own.

Color analysis (pre-calibration)
Color analysis (pre-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (pre-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (pre-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (pre-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (pre-calibration)
Color analysis (post-calibration)
Color analysis (post-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (post-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (post-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (post-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (post-calibration)

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
9.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7.6 ms rise
↘ 1.8 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 5 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (26.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
21.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 12 ms rise
↘ 9.6 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. » 6 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (42.4 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 Hz20 % 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 8499 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Our response time measurements weren’t awful, but they weren’t ideal, either. The black to white response time of 9.4 ms is acceptable, but the 50% grey to 80% grey measurement of 21.6 ms is on the slower side for gaming purposes. It’s probably not a deal-breaker, though, when taken in conjunction with the rest of the great statistics managed by this 120 Hz panel. Although we did measure PWM at brightness settings below 20%, it’s a pretty high frequency, so it’s not much of a concern.

Viewing angles were excellent on our review unit thanks to the high quality panel and matte display finish. Outdoors, the machine is absolutely usable as a result of its ample brightness, good contrast ratio, and anti-glare coating.

Wide IPS-like viewing angles
Wide IPS-like viewing angles
Comfortable use in the shade
Comfortable use in the shade
Direct sunlight
Direct sunlight

Performance

The MSI GP72VR can be configured with up to Intel Core i7 quad-core processors, 32 GB of dual-channel RAM (2 total slots), and dual storage (with support for NVMe SSDs). All units include an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 3 GB of GDDR5 VRAM. As we mentioned previously, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to preconfigure your laptop with the actual specs you’re hoping to stick with, as disassembling the machine may prove problematic. Our particular unit packs a Core i7-7700HQ CPU, GTX 1060, 16 GB of dual-channel RAM, and a 512 GB NVMe SSD.

Performance is, as expected, significantly reduced while running unplugged: we recorded a score of just 5144 from 3DMark 11 (down from 12008) during our secondary run on battery power. LatencyMon, meanwhile, revealed no issues streaming real-time audio/video on the machine.

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 RAM SPD
CPU-Z RAM SPD
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
SPECviewperf
SPECviewperf
LatencyMon
LatencyMon

Processor

The Intel Core i7-7700HQ is an extremely popular CPU for this segment thanks to its relatively reasonable cost but blistering performance. In short, it’s a Kaby Lake processor featuring clock rates ranging from 2.8 – 3.8 GHz and operating within the rather generous constraints of a 45 W TDP.

We have many dozens of existing benchmarks from machines powered by this CPU against which to judge the GP72VR’s performance, and overall, the notebook finds itself trailing the pack (or, at least the average) in this department. It’s not a major issue, though; generally speaking, it’s only a couple percentage points of a difference, which will never bare itself out in real-world situations.

As for comparisons to other competing notebooks, it’s mostly the same scenario. In most every multi-core benchmark, the GP72VR is near the back of the pack—though in single-core tests, it’s closer to the middle. Sustained performance as measured by our Cinebench R15 multi-core loop test is good, however, with no performance drop over a long period of repeated runs and only a few dips here and there to the low 700s (from an initial value of 714).

Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Alienware 17 R4
Intel Core i7-7820HK
171 Points ∼86% +8%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
Intel Core i7-7820HK
163 Points ∼82% +3%
Acer Predator Helios 300
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
159 Points ∼80% +1%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
158 Points ∼79%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
147 Points ∼74% -7%
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
AMD Ryzen 7 1700
144 Points ∼72% -9%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
AMD Ryzen 7 1700
1408 Points ∼66% +97%
Alienware 17 R4
Intel Core i7-7820HK
867 Points ∼40% +21%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
Intel Core i7-7820HK
782 Points ∼36% +10%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
Intel Core i7-7820HK
763 Points ∼36% +7%
Acer Predator Helios 300
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
735 Points ∼34% +3%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
714 Points ∼33%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
707 Points ∼33% -1%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
Intel Core i7-7820HK
1.83 Points ∼81% +3%
Acer Predator Helios 300
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.81 Points ∼80% +2%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.77 Points ∼78%
Alienware 17 R4
Intel Core i7-7820HK
1.69 Points ∼74% -5%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.68 Points ∼74% -5%
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
AMD Ryzen 7 1700
1.63 Points ∼72% -8%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
AMD Ryzen 7 1700
15.76 Points ∼7% +97%
Alienware 17 R4
Intel Core i7-7820HK
9.53 Points ∼4% +19%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
Intel Core i7-7820HK
8.43 Points ∼4% +6%
Acer Predator Helios 300
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.14 Points ∼3% +2%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
7.99 Points ∼3%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
7.91 Points ∼3% -1%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
334.351 s * ∼4%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
Intel Core i7-7820HK
330.9 s * ∼4% +1%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
324 s * ∼4% +3%
Alienware 17 R4
Intel Core i7-7820HK
179.449 s * ∼2% +46%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
AMD Ryzen 7 1700
677.2 Seconds * ∼3% -22%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
556 Seconds * ∼2% -1%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
553 Seconds * ∼2%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
Intel Core i7-7820HK
523 Seconds * ∼2% +5%
Alienware 17 R4
Intel Core i7-7820HK
490.548 Seconds * ∼2% +11%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
61.13 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.99 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.77 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
95.14 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
714 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
158 Points
Help
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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

System Performance

The GP72VR is a quick system, and our PCMark scores corroborate this, even if they’re below that of some rivals. PCMark 8 Home and Creative scores of 4075 and 5215 are good, though they are well below those of close competitor Acer Predator Helios 300. The Work Score of 5160, however, is right in line with all the rest of the similarly-equipped machines. Meanwhile, PCMark 10 supplies a result of 4633.

PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5765 Points ∼88% +12%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5160 Points ∼79%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5128GP
5130 Points ∼79% -1%
Acer Predator Helios 300
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
5116 Points ∼79% -1%
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
Radeon RX 580 (Laptop), 1700, SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1002
5110 Points ∼78% -1%
Alienware 17 R4
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, SK Hynix PC300 NVMe 512 GB
5088 Points ∼78% -1%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Alienware 17 R4
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, SK Hynix PC300 NVMe 512 GB
8272 Points ∼89% +59%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
7882 Points ∼85% +51%
Acer Predator Helios 300
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
7411 Points ∼80% +42%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5215 Points ∼56%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5128GP
5054 Points ∼54% -3%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5460 Points ∼91% +34%
Alienware 17 R4
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, SK Hynix PC300 NVMe 512 GB
5064 Points ∼85% +24%
Acer Predator Helios 300
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
4874 Points ∼82% +20%
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
Radeon RX 580 (Laptop), 1700, SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1002
4173 Points ∼70% +2%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4075 Points ∼68%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5128GP
3928 Points ∼66% -4%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4075 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5215 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5160 points
Help

Storage Devices

The Samsung SM961 NVMe SSD powering the Leopard Pro (in our case, the 512 GB iteration) has long been regarded one of the best SSDs around, and none of that changes with today’s benchmarks. AS SSD assigns final read/write scores of 1530/1507, which lead to an overall score of 3783. Factoring into this are blistering sequential read/write speeds of 2507 and 1652 MB/s, as well as 4K-64 R/W speeds of 1231 and 1219 MB/s.

As previously mentioned, the GP72VR also supports the inclusion of a secondary SATA storage drive—but you’ll probably want to have this preconfigured thanks to the struggles we encountered while working to disassemble it.

AS SSD
AS SSD
AS SSD Copy Benchmark
AS SSD Copy Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5128GP
Acer Predator Helios 300
Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Alienware 17 R4
SK Hynix PC300 NVMe 512 GB
AS SSD
-37%
-43%
3%
-45%
Copy Game MB/s
894.23
442.81
-50%
353.91
-60%
1117.38
25%
573.6
-36%
Copy Program MB/s
259.77
326.34
26%
263.86
2%
407.82
57%
446.13
72%
Copy ISO MB/s
1652.76
1128.09
-32%
923.54
-44%
1974.8
19%
1227.03
-26%
Score Total
3783
1829
-52%
1588
-58%
3080
-19%
2072
-45%
Score Write
1507
600
-60%
588
-61%
1506
0%
858
-43%
Score Read
1530
849
-45%
690
-55%
1072
-30%
831
-46%
Access Time Write *
0.03
0.034
-13%
0.032
-7%
0.029
3%
0.123
-310%
Access Time Read *
0.051
0.079
-55%
0.072
-41%
0.044
14%
0.042
18%
4K-64 Write
1219.1
428.18
-65%
421.8
-65%
1219.75
0%
671.01
-45%
4K-64 Read
1231.21
628.03
-49%
505.63
-59%
747.47
-39%
620.48
-50%
4K Write
122.66
112.04
-9%
111.34
-9%
127.09
4%
113.36
-8%
4K Read
47.63
35.84
-25%
29.02
-39%
48.23
1%
35.61
-25%
Seq Write
1652.84
601
-64%
552.35
-67%
1589.49
-4%
734.8
-56%
Seq Read
2507.43
1847.57
-26%
1557.85
-38%
2767.87
10%
1752.03
-30%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
CDM 5 Read Seq Q32T1: 3083 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq Q32T1: 1674 MB/s
CDM 5 Read 4K Q32T1: 556.2 MB/s
CDM 5 Write 4K Q32T1: 493.3 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 999.3 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1599 MB/s
CDM 5 Read 4K: 55.6 MB/s
CDM 5 Write 4K: 186 MB/s

GPU Performance

All GP72VR Leopard Pro notebooks come outfitted with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 3 GB GDDR5 VRAM. This card has long proven itself to be capable of handling most games at high settings / 1080p resolution with acceptable frame rates, so the focus today is whether or not the GP72VR can muster expected performance from its GPU.

The answer is, for the most part, yes. In Fire Strike Graphics, the GP72VR posts an above-average 11870—a good score for the GTX 1060. This compares favorably with the Predator Helios 300’s 12009, which is only a percentage point above it. Most of the rest of the graphical benchmarks were similarly favorable, overall suggesting a system which is not significantly constrained by either thermal or power limits in real-world scenarios.

Our sustained performance Witcher 3 long-term stress test reinforces this conclusion. Though we did witness some fluctuation in frames per second (between 36 and 44 fps), temperatures and clock rates were not affected after consulting with our logs. There is expected to be some variation due to in-game elements such as the day/night cycle and so on; but the average of 40 fps is a good result for the GTX 1060 in this test as well.

3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Alienware 17 R4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
10349 Points ∼59% +41%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
9500 Points ∼54% +29%
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
AMD Radeon RX 580 (Laptop), 1700
8946 Points ∼51% +22%
Acer Predator Helios 300
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
8619 Points ∼49% +17%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
7340 Points ∼42%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
7163 Points ∼41% -2%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBN 80WK0042GE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7300HQ
6406 Points ∼36% -13%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Alienware 17 R4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
26438 Points ∼52% +74%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
21879 Points ∼43% +44%
Acer Predator Helios 300
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
15607 Points ∼31% +3%
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
AMD Radeon RX 580 (Laptop), 1700
15264 Points ∼30% +1%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
15161 Points ∼30%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBN 80WK0042GE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7300HQ
9904 Points ∼19% -35%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
9394 Points ∼18% -38%
3DMark
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Score
Alienware 17 R4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
5082 Points ∼55% +88%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
3810 Points ∼41% +41%
Acer Predator Helios 300
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
2754 Points ∼30% +2%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
2710 Points ∼29%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
1867 Points ∼20% -31%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBN 80WK0042GE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7300HQ
1837 Points ∼20% -32%
Fire Strike Extreme Score
Alienware 17 R4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
9422 Points ∼67% +79%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
6972 Points ∼50% +32%
Acer Predator Helios 300
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
5349 Points ∼38% +1%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
5270 Points ∼38%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
3590 Points ∼26% -32%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBN 80WK0042GE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7300HQ
3450 Points ∼25% -35%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Alienware 17 R4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
21846 Points ∼54% +84%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
16629 Points ∼41% +40%
Acer Predator Helios 300
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
12009 Points ∼30% +1%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
11870 Points ∼29%
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
AMD Radeon RX 580 (Laptop), 1700
11010 Points ∼27% -7%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
7866 Points ∼19% -34%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBN 80WK0042GE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7300HQ
7795 Points ∼19% -34%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Alienware 17 R4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
132575 Points ∼81% +62%
Acer Predator Helios 300
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
82678 Points ∼51% +1%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
81711 Points ∼50%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
70132 Points ∼43% -14%
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
AMD Radeon RX 580 (Laptop), 1700
68629 Points ∼42% -16%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBN 80WK0042GE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7300HQ
51473 Points ∼31% -37%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
51059 Points ∼31% -38%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Alienware 17 R4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
349270 Points ∼48% +102%
Acer Predator Helios 300
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
232383 Points ∼32% +34%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
173140 Points ∼24%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
146956 Points ∼20% -15%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBN 80WK0042GE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7300HQ
140500 Points ∼19% -19%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
84747 Points ∼12% -51%
3DMark 06 Standard
26607 points
3DMark 11 Performance
12008 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
114371 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
25432 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
10001 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
5270 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
3697 points
Help
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The Witcher 3 ultra

Gaming Performance

Results were as expected in the gaming tests. We recorded good performance at highest settings (and 1920x1080 resolution) across the board. While the GTX 1060 is certainly more of a mid-range adapter, it still can handle just about anything practical gaming-wise on a 1080p screen.

Metro: Last Light - 1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
74 fps ∼50%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5128GP
49 fps ∼33% -34%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
117 fps ∼79% +58%
Alienware 17 R4
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, SK Hynix PC300 NVMe 512 GB
132.2 fps ∼89% +79%
Batman: Arkham Knight - 1920x1080 High / On AA:SM AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
81 fps ∼57%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5128GP
36 fps ∼26% -56%
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
85 fps ∼60% +5%
Alienware 17 R4
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, SK Hynix PC300 NVMe 512 GB
93 fps ∼66% +15%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 105fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 74fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 40fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 81fps

Stress Test

We stress tested the Leopard Pro with Cooler Boost both on and off. Our observations revealed that Cooler Boost does delay the onset of thermal events somewhat, but not enough that would be likely to benefit notably in real-world scenarios.

During full CPU stress, we recorded 3.4 GHz consistently across all cores until around five and a half minutes, at which point 95+ degrees C is reached and clock rates begin fluctuating between 3.2 and 3.4 GHz. Full GPU stress, meanwhile, produced clock rates in the 1265 – 1330 MHz range with maximum temperatures of just 68 °C.

Finally, combined synthetic stress results in CPU frequencies of 3.2 – 3.4 GHz and GPU frequencies of 1278 – 1404 MHz. Temperatures are fairly constant at 95 °C (CPU) 75 °C (GPU).

Full CPU stress
Full CPU stress
Full GPU stress
Full GPU stress
Combined CPU + GPU stress
Combined CPU + GPU stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 3.2 - 3.4 - 95 -
FurMark Stress - 1265 - 1330 - 68
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 3.2 - 3.4 1278 - 1404 95 75

Emissions

System Noise

Even with Cooler Boost 4 activated, the GP72VR isn’t among the loudest notebooks we’ve reviewed. However, the noise is definitely loud enough to be obtrusive with both fans firing at maximum—and, especially with regard to CPU stress, they tend to remain on high for extended periods of time regardless of Cooler Boost status. So, as you might expect, this notebook is best operated with a pair of headphones.

Noise Level

Idle
29.2 / 29.2 / 37 dB(A)
Load
43.7 / 46.4 dB(A)
 
 
 
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: 28.3 dB(A)
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5128GP
Acer Predator Helios 300
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Alienware 17 R4
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, SK Hynix PC300 NVMe 512 GB
Noise
-1%
-4%
4%
-10%
off / environment *
28.3
28
1%
31
-10%
28.1
1%
28.2
-0%
Idle Minimum *
29.2
32.2
-10%
31
-6%
29.9
-2%
35.6
-22%
Idle Average *
29.2
32.2
-10%
32
-10%
31.5
-8%
35.6
-22%
Idle Maximum *
37
32.2
13%
33
11%
31.5
15%
35.7
4%
Load Average *
43.7
40.9
6%
44
-1%
33.2
24%
50.2
-15%
Witcher 3 ultra *
45.7
45.4
1%
46
-1%
46.5
-2%
50.2
-10%
Load Maximum *
46.4
48.6
-5%
50
-8%
46.5
-0%
50.2
-8%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Average temperatures on the GP72VR aren’t really out of the ordinary (they’re nowhere nearly as problematic as the 45.1 °C / 43.3 °C on top/bottom of the Acer Predator Helios for instance), but the location of the heat is unfortunately annoying. We measured 41.1 °C / 35.4 °C in those same areas on the GP72VR, for instance, and those temperatures are nothing to be concerned about. But the problem is that most of the heat is detectable across the surface of the input devices: most notably, the center of the keyboard (53.8 °C) and the touchpad (42.8 °C). Although the WASD quadrant isn’t nearly as bad as dead center, this still makes gaming under heavy stress situations uncomfortable even when the notebook is resting on a solid surface away from the user’s legs. It would have been far more preferable to have this heat insulated from the top cover and instead focus it toward the underside of the machine, which likely stays stationary on a surface during most gaming sessions.

Max. Load
 46 °C50.2 °C39.8 °C 
 42.2 °C53.8 °C31.6 °C 
 35.4 °C42.8 °C27.8 °C 
Maximum: 53.8 °C
Average: 41.1 °C
45.4 °C33.6 °C52.2 °C
28.2 °C35.8 °C34.8 °C
28.4 °C30 °C29.8 °C
Maximum: 52.2 °C
Average: 35.4 °C
Power Supply (max.)  42 °C | Room Temperature 23 °C | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
Top (idle)
Top (idle)
Underside (idle)
Underside (idle)
Top (load)
Top (load)
Side (load)
Side (load)
Underside (load)
Underside (load)

Speakers

The GP72VR features four (4) 2 W speakers and can therefore produce a fairly high volume of undistorted audio (85.52 dB). Bass is lacking (absent a subwoofer), but mids and highs are both well-balanced, and linearity isn’t bad, either. Overall, the audio is pretty decent—but given the fact that the fans will work to overpower it in many cases, the user will probably be operating the machine with headphones anyway.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2036.236.836.22534.636.834.63134.434.234.44033.733.133.75033.832.633.86332.130.932.18033.331.333.310033.528.833.512545.528.245.516058.828.858.820059.127.859.12505827.55831558.727.258.740057.726.257.750063.625.263.663069.82569.880066.424.266.410007124.171125075.823.875.8160075.523.475.5200074.523.774.5250073.223.373.2315069.623.269.64000682368500071.82371.8630078.722.878.7800076.62376.61000072.32372.31250070.623.270.61600063.223.163.2SPL85.535.985.5N64.32.664.3median 69.6MSI GP72VR 7RFXmedian 23.8median 69.6Delta7.21.97.235.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
MSI GP72VR 7RFX audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85.52 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 17.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.9% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.7% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 43% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 47% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 18%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 24% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 70% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 20%, worst was 47%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% 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

Only machines with more powerful GPUs and/or higher-resolution displays consume more power than the GP72VR, which seems fairly hungry considering its specs. We measured an idle minimum of 17.3 W and an average of 22.5 W (versus 13W from the Predator Helios and 17.2 W from the GP62), a value which is likely to suggest challenges in the battery runtimes department (which we’ll evaluate in a moment). Meanwhile, the load average of 85.1 W and Witcher 3 Ultra consumption of 141.7 W are also quite a bit higher than the 81 W / 127 W of the Acer. Some of this difference is likely due to the 120 Hz panel and SSD.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.5 / 0.8 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 17.3 / 22.5 / 22.5 Watt
Load midlight 85.1 / 151.3 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e, TN LED, 1920x1080, 17.3
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Toshiba NVMe THNSN5128GP, TN LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
Acer Predator Helios 300
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7, AH-IPS, WLED, 1920x1080, 17.3
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Alienware 17 R4
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), SK Hynix PC300 NVMe 512 GB, TN LED, 2560x1440, 17.3
Power Consumption
17%
20%
-36%
-68%
Idle Minimum *
17.3
14.6
16%
7
60%
29.4
-70%
37.5
-117%
Idle Average *
22.5
17.2
24%
13
42%
30.9
-37%
37.6
-67%
Idle Maximum *
22.5
17.3
23%
20
11%
31.9
-42%
37.6
-67%
Load Average *
85.1
82.7
3%
81
5%
87.4
-3%
122.4
-44%
Load Maximum *
151.3
136.7
10%
162
-7%
201.5
-33%
277.4
-83%
Witcher 3 ultra *
141.7
107
24%
127
10%
182.02
-28%
180.3
-27%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

We were rather surprised to discover that the GP72VR, in spite of its high power consumption, packs just a 41 Wh battery. That’s the smallest of any machine in our test field, and predictably, when coupled with the high power consumption values, it leads to extremely poor runtimes. Still, we were rather shocked at just how poor they were: our Wi-Fi Surfing test (the closest approximation of normal everyday usage for most machines), for instance, ran for just 2 hours and 8 minutes before the machine died. That’s less than half of the 4 hours and 39 minutes of the Acer Predator Helios 300, and its battery is only 7 Wh larger!

Still, there are multiple ways to digest the results in this category. Perhaps the most reasonable interpretation is one of realistic use and the recognition of trade-offs: the GP72VR isn’t a terribly heavy device for its class, and one reason is its smaller battery. And since the machine isn’t intended for use in lengthy periods away from power outlets, it’s arguably a wise decision to only include a smaller battery for those occasions when the notebook is momentarily unplugged for some reason between gaming sessions.

Battery (Reader's Test/Idle)
Battery (Reader's Test/Idle)
Battery (Battery Eater Classic Test)
Battery (Battery Eater Classic Test)
Battery (Surfing with Wi-Fi)
Battery (Surfing with Wi-Fi)
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
0h 39min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
2h 08min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 21min
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 41 Wh
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 41 Wh
Acer Predator Helios 300
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 48 Wh
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 90 Wh
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T
1700, Radeon RX 580 (Laptop), 76 Wh
Alienware 17 R4
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 99 Wh
Battery Runtime
173%
504%
294%
20%
194%
Reader / Idle
39
259
564%
611
1467%
351
800%
103
164%
276
608%
WiFi v1.3
128
174
36%
279
118%
283
121%
90
-30%
181
41%
Load
201
41
-80%
54
-73%
121
-40%
53
-74%
69
-66%

Pros

+ good gaming performance for the price
+ fast storage and general system performance
+ very good 120 Hz display
+ great keyboard
+ lighter than average for its size and class
+ convenient system management software

Cons

- disassembly/maintenance was a challenge on our test unit
- removal of bottom panel likely voids the warranty
- extremely small 41 Wh battery = very short battery life
- keyboard and touchpad heat up appreciably under load

Verdict

In review: MSI GP72VR Leopard Pro. Test model provided by MSI US
In review: MSI GP72VR Leopard Pro. Test model provided by MSI US

With the GP72VR Leopard Pro, we get another big-screened gaming notebook from MSI, alongside all the typical fundamentals we’ve come to expect: a (great) SteelSeries RGB-backlit keyboard, convenient and versatile system management software, sturdy enough black plastic construction, and—most importantly—good gaming performance for the price of admission. It also offers super-fast NVMe storage speeds, an excellent 120 Hz display panel, and reasonably good four-speaker audio.

The roughly $1,600 MSI GP72VR Leopard Pro gets the job done, matching its peers in terms of performance and covering most tall of the critical bases gamers look for in a solid device.

But on top of this, the GP72VR has yet another surprise up its sleeve: it’s surprisingly lightweight for its class. At just 2.836 kg, it’s even lighter than the Acer Predator Helios 300. As far as 17.3-inch machines go, this one is about as tolerable in terms of weight and size as we could expect.

This reduced weight does come with a sacrifice, though: runtimes from the 41 Wh internal battery are some of the shortest around for any modern gaming notebook. Fortunately, that’s of limited importance to most gamers, and they may well value the reduced weight and size over the loss of some life while unplugged. Apart from that, however, we also ran into some unfortunate issues during our attempts to disassemble the machine (issues beyond the usual warranty sticker concerns)—so those looking to purchase and upgrade later might want to heed the warning: either we lost the construction lottery with our test unit, or anyone removing the bottom panel will find it a rather nerve-wracking endeavor. Finally, the distribution of heat under load is also suboptimal to say the least, with quite a lot of it permeating the top cover and exiting through the center of the keyboard and touchpad.

Probably the best alternative to this machine would be the Acer Predator Helios 300, which is easier to disassemble and upgrade, but which offers fewer ports and only a standard 60 Hz screen. Despite the criticisms, however, the roughly $1,600 MSI GP72VR Leopard Pro gets the job done, matching its peers in terms of performance and covering most tall of the critical bases gamers look for in a solid device. 

MSI GP72VR 7RFX - 10/11/2017 v6
Steve Schardein

Chassis
67 / 98 → 68%
Keyboard
90%
Pointing Device
80%
Connectivity
61 / 81 → 75%
Weight
58 / 66 → 86%
Battery
64%
Display
80%
Games Performance
92%
Application Performance
95%
Temperature
81 / 95 → 85%
Noise
78 / 90 → 87%
Audio
60%
Camera
61 / 85 → 72%
Average
74%
82%
Gaming - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GP72VR 7RFX (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1060) Laptop Review
Steve Schardein, 2017-10-11 (Update: 2017-11-30)
Steve Schardein
Steve Schardein - Review Editor - @othersteve
In grade school, my first computer—an Apple IIGS—started it all for me. Later, in the nineties, if I wasn’t repairing computers for family and friends, I was busy cooking up nifty Visual Basic projects and playing PC games like Command & Conquer and Heroes of Might and Magic. Soon, much of my free time was spent moderating popular gaming forums and covering the industry for various websites. All the while, I never stopped repairing computers, and in 2006, I started a technology consulting company in Louisville, KY—Triple-S Computers—which I have been fortunate to nurture to great success by specializing in not only repairs, but also new machine consultations and purchasing, data recovery, and malware/security. And since 2012, I have proudly contributed many dozens of reviews to Notebookcheck, a site which I have long considered to be the ultimate authority on laptops and related technology. Today, I am truly living my dream: still a child at heart, ever-curious, constantly learning, and thankful to you, our readers.