Notebookcheck

MSI GT72VR 6RD Dominator Pro Notebook Review

Faster performance, cooler temperatures. If size and weight aren't concerns, then the GT72VR is your best bet with GTX 1060 graphics. Surface temperatures and fan noise are both low for a gaming notebook.

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The MSI GT series is the manufacturer's premier lineup in its family of gaming notebooks, so it's only natural that we cover multiple SKUs of the same chassis. This time, we check out the GT72VR 6RD equipped with the GTX 1060 GPU whereas our previous GT72VR 6RE shipped with the GTX 1070. We recommend reading up on our full review of the GT72VR 6RE and even our older GT72 pages for more details on the chassis and its features.

The GT72VR with GTX 1060 starts at around $1600 USD while the GT72VR with GTX 1070 starts at $2000 USD. The GT72 series has been succeeded by the recent GT73VR, but MSI is keeping the GT72 series alive with Pascal and new display options ranging from 120 Hz 1080p panels to 4K UHD with full sRGB coverage. Does this lesser-equipped configuration run any cooler or quieter than its GTX 1070 SKU?

MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US (GT72VR Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop) - 6144 MB, Core: 1404 MHz, Memory: 8008 MHz, GDDR5, 372.70
Memory
32768 MB 
, DDR4-2134, 1300 MHz, 15-15-15-36, Dual-Channel
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 127 PPI, LG Philips LGD046E, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM170 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122, 1024 GB 
, Secondary: 2 TB Seagate ST2000LM003 HN-M201RAD
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
7 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphone, microphone, line-in, line-out (7.1 analog + S/PDIF), Card Reader: SD reader
Networking
Qualcomm/Atheros e2400 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Optical drive
HT-DT-ST DVDRAM GUD0N
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 48 x 428 x 294 ( = 1.89 x 16.85 x 11.57 in)
Battery
83 Wh, 7500 mAh, 9 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Primary Camera: 2 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: 2.1 Dynaudio (Nahimic Audio Enhancer) , Keyboard: Steelseries Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Velvet cloth, warranty card, Recovery information, Quick start guide, Dragon Center, MSI True Color, SCM, Killer Network Manager, Nahimic 2, SteelSeries Engine 3, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
3.794 kg ( = 133.83 oz / 8.36 pounds), Power Supply: 1.09 kg ( = 38.45 oz / 2.4 pounds)
Price
1600 USD

 

Case

The tried-and-true GT72 chassis makes its return unscathed as the GT72VR. Workmanship is excellent on our test unit from top to bottom as can notice no unintended gaps between edges and corners and there is only minimal creaking and flexing when applying pressure around the base. Perhaps more importantly, the inner display bezel sits properly and evenly against the edge of the screen unlike on our previous GT72VR test unit. The weakest part of the chassis relative to the rigid base continues to be the lid, which naturally bends more easily around its center and front corners. The display is slightly more susceptible to twists than on the Asus G752 series.

Connectivity

The system has a healthy number of connectivity features including a total of six USB Type-A ports, four dedicated audio ports, and two video-out ports. Other gaming notebooks may include Thunderbolt 3 and/or HDMI 2.0, both of which are missing on the GT72VR. MSI has confirmed with us that external monitors with G-Sync are supported via the HDMI and mDP ports.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: Optical drive, 2x USB 3.0
Right: Optical drive, 2x USB 3.0
Rear: Mini DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.1 Type-C Gen. 1, HDMI 1.4, Gigabit Ethernet, AC adapter
Rear: Mini DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.1 Type-C Gen. 1, HDMI 1.4, Gigabit Ethernet, AC adapter
Left: 4x USB 3.0, Mic-in, SPDIF, Line-in, Line-out
Left: 4x USB 3.0, Mic-in, SPDIF, Line-in, Line-out

SD Card Reader

Transfer rates are very fast on the GT72 series at nearly 200 MB/s according to AS SSD compared to 90 MB/s on most high-end notebooks and Ultrabooks or even 30 MB/s on some other MSI notebooks like the GS43VR.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
136.5 MB/s ∼100%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
78 MB/s ∼57% -43%
MSI GS73VR 6RF
23.8 MB/s ∼17% -83%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
195.2 MB/s ∼100%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
88 MB/s ∼45% -55%
MSI GS73VR 6RF
27.6 MB/s ∼14% -86%

Communication

WLAN is provided by an Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174 M.2 module capable of transfer rates of up to 867 Mbps on an 802.11ac network. A real-world test using Jperf settings as shown below reveal an average transfer rate of about 530 Mbps when connected to our Linksys EA8500 test router. We experienced no connectivity issues during our time with the test unit.

Jperf (Client)
Jperf (Client)
Jperf (Server)
Jperf (Server)
Networking
iperf Server (receive) TCP 1 m 512KB
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
538.908 MBit/s ∼100% +1%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
530.963 MBit/s ∼99%
iperf Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 512KB
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
549.653 MBit/s ∼100%
MSI GS43VR 6RE-006US
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
511.386 MBit/s ∼93% -7%

Maintenance

MSI has a habit of making its G series of gaming notebooks easily serviceable and the GT72 series is no different. The bottom panel comes off easily with just a Philips screwdriver to reveal the cooling solution and most other upgradeable components including the removable GPU. Additional disassembly is required to access the last two SODIMM slots.

Note that removing the panel may void the manufacturer warranty. The configuration of the heat pipes are different than on the GT72VR 6RE with the faster GTX 1070 GPU.

Warranty

MSI offers the a two-year limited warranty as standard with three additional months for users who choose to register their notebooks with the manufacturer. CUKUSA covers any hardware installed by the reseller for up to three years including storage drives and RAM modules.

Input Devices

Keyboard & Touchpad

The SteelSeries chiclet keyboard and touchpad are consistent across MSI's 15-inch and 17-inch gaming notebooks with RGB backlighting and a firm but surprisingly quiet stroke. Key layout is spacious and agreeable, but the G series as a whole continues to lack dedicated Macro keys that many competitors have including the Asus G752 or Aorus X7 and individually-lit keys like on the Lenovo Y900. The touchpad is completely flushed with the palm rests for a smoother look, but some users may not like that there is no tactile separation between where the edges of the touchpad begin or end.

Display

Our GT72VR 6RD uses the same 1080p LG Philips LGD046E panel as the GT72VR 6RE, so our measurements between them are similar with the usual small deviations. The screen is comparable to the new Asus G752VS and the Acer Predator 17 G9 in terms of response times and color accuracy with the Acer edging out both in contrast ratio.

Unfortunately, our test unit suffers from major backlight bleeding especially on the bottom right corner. The uneven lighting here is severe enough that it is noticeable on the Windows taskbar during regular use. We encountered backlight bleeding on some of other MSI notebooks as well, though this is the most critical we've seen it.

Major backlight bleeding around edges and corners
Major backlight bleeding around edges and corners
Subpixel array (127 PPI)
Subpixel array (127 PPI)
337.5
cd/m²
355.1
cd/m²
349
cd/m²
340.5
cd/m²
351.7
cd/m²
337.8
cd/m²
323.3
cd/m²
325.8
cd/m²
325.9
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 355.1 cd/m² Average: 338.5 cd/m² Minimum: 17.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 351.7 cd/m²
Contrast: 951:1 (Black: 0.37 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.71 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 2.46 | - Ø
86.1% sRGB (Argyll) 56.6% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.29
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
LG Philips LGD046E, IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), IPS, 17.3, 3840x2160
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), TN, 17.3, 1920x1080
Asus G752VS-XB78K
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF3 (LGD04E8), IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Asus G701VO-CS74K
IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Response Times
1%
49%
4%
8%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
34.4 (14.8, 19.6)
37 (13, 24)
-8%
26 (12, 14)
24%
38 (14, 24)
-10%
29.2 (11.6, 17.6)
15%
Response Time Black / White *
26.4 (4.4, 22)
24 (5, 19)
9%
6.8 (4.2, 2.6)
74%
22 (4, 18)
17%
26.4 (5.2, 21.2)
-0%
PWM Frequency
Screen
6%
-42%
2%
-8%
Brightness
339
320
-6%
294
-13%
317
-6%
349
3%
Brightness Distribution
91
88
-3%
89
-2%
88
-3%
86
-5%
Black Level *
0.37
0.25
32%
0.23
38%
0.3
19%
0.365
1%
Contrast
951
1344
41%
1365
44%
1093
15%
1008
6%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.71
3.61
3%
9.74
-163%
3.74
-1%
4.16
-12%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.46
4.78
-94%
9.58
-289%
2.67
-9%
3.86
-57%
Gamma
2.29 105%
2.32 103%
2.5 96%
2.41 100%
2.19 110%
CCT
6849 95%
6185 105%
11854 55%
6861 95%
6892 94%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
56.6
88
55%
76
34%
56
-1%
57.6
2%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
86.1
100
16%
100
16%
85
-1%
87.6
2%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
4% / 5%
4% / -24%
3% / 2%
0% / -5%

* ... smaller is better

Color space is very good at approximately 86 percent and 57 percent of the sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, respectively. In comparison, cheaper panels on budget notebooks may cover only 60 percent of sRGB or less than 40 percent of AdobeRGB. For gaming purposes, however, accurate colors and wide gamuts are not imperative.

vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. MSI GT73VR
vs. MSI GT73VR
vs. Acer Predator 17 G9
vs. Acer Predator 17 G9

Colors and grayscale are accurate without any calibration needed when set to sRGB mode using the MSI True Color utility. This is different from what we've experienced on our other GS73VR and GT73VR test units, both of which have the same True Color software but with different panels. We performed a quick calibration on the GT72VR anyway and saw slight improvements to both RGB balance and grayscale.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after 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
26.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4.4 ms rise
↘ 22 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 50 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (26.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
34.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14.8 ms rise
↘ 19.6 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. » 23 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than 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 not detected

In comparison: 57 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 6262 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is acceptable when under shade, but anything brighter and onscreen content becomes washed out. The wide IPS viewing angles, matte panel, and 180-degree hinges all help to reduce glare as much as possible.

Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

The GT72 chassis is very versatile due to its accessibility, large cooling system, and MXM 3.0 slot for GPU upgradeability. Nonetheless, configurations for the GT72VR are narrow in terms of CPU and GPU options with the Core i7-6700HQ and either the GTX 1060 or GTX 1070. Display options have expanded to include 120 Hz 1080p panels with 5 ms response times and 4K UHD panels with wider color coverage, so users should pick wisely as these panels will impact the gaming experience just as much as the choice of GPU.

Processor

Raw CPU performance from the Skylake Core i7-6700HQ is not significantly higher than the previous generation Broadwell i7-5700HQ or the Haswell i7-4720HQ according to CineBench benchmarks. Results are otherwise exactly where we expect the MSI to perform based on the average i7-6700HQ according to our database. Moving up to the desktop-class i7-6700K will bring a 20 to 30 percent performance boost for single-threaded and multi-threaded workloads.

See our dedicated CPU page on the Core i7-6700HQ for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
166 Points ∼85% +19%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
149 Points ∼76% +7%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
144 Points ∼74% +4%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
139 Points ∼71%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
125 Points ∼64% -10%
CPU Multi 64Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
865 Points ∼40% +29%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
719 Points ∼33% +7%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
707 Points ∼33% +6%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
669 Points ∼31%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
490 Points ∼23% -27%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
1.91 Points ∼86% +20%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.7 Points ∼77% +7%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
1.68 Points ∼76% +6%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.59 Points ∼72%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
1.46 Points ∼66% -8%
CPU Multi 64Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
9.56 Points ∼40% +29%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
7.96 Points ∼33% +8%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
7.76 Points ∼32% +5%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.4 Points ∼31%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
5.29 Points ∼22% -29%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
6487 Points ∼73% +28%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
5671 Points ∼64% +12%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
5567 Points ∼63% +10%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
5055 Points ∼57%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
4999 Points ∼56% -1%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
26150 Points ∼53% +30%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
21681 Points ∼44% +8%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
21022 Points ∼42% +5%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
20059 Points ∼40%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
14329 Points ∼29% -29%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
323 s * ∼4% -39%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
233.067 s * ∼3%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
224.57 s * ∼3% +4%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
206.294 s * ∼2% +11%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
178.464 s * ∼2% +23%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
635.934 Seconds * ∼3%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
573.691 Seconds * ∼3% +10%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
569.349 Seconds * ∼3% +10%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
558.605 Seconds * ∼2% +12%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
498.33 Seconds * ∼2% +22%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
9497
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
20059
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5055
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
61.57 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.4 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.59 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
89.82 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
669 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
139 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks rank our MSI just slightly below the GT73VR and G752VS with faster GTX 1070 GPUs and NVMe SSDs. We experienced no abnormal system behavior during our time with the GT72VR.

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
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5778 Points ∼89% +18%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
5186 Points ∼80% +6%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
4906 Points ∼75%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
8531 Points ∼92% +24%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
6871 Points ∼74%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
2303 Points ∼25% -66%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5575 Points ∼93% +23%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
5034 Points ∼84% +11%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
4551 Points ∼76%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
4060 Points ∼68% -11%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4551 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
6871 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4906 points
Help

Storage Devices

2x internal drive bays
2x internal drive bays

While our previous GT72VR 6RE test unit carried a 256 GB SanDisk M.2 SSD, our GT72VR 6RD houses the 1 TB version of the same SanDisk SSD series. Sequential read and write rates average in the mid 400 MB/s range not unlike most other SSDs limited by the SATA III interface. Unlike some GT72 SKUs or competing flagship gaming systems, however, the GT72VR does not support NVMe or RAID.

Average transfer rate from the secondary 2 TB Seagate ST2000LM003 HDD is below average at just 77.6 MB/s according to HD Tune. Most 5400 RPM Hitachi HDDs average in the 80 or 90 MB/s range according to our benchmark comparison table of HDDs and SSDs.

AS SSD (Primary SSD)
AS SSD (Primary SSD)
CDM (Primary SSD)
CDM (Primary SSD)
CDM (Secondary HDD)
CDM (Secondary HDD)
HD Tune (Secondary HDD)
HD Tune (Secondary HDD)
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
 
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
Asus G701VO-CS74K
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-4%
319%
194%
283%
Write 4k QD32
225.6
236.9
5%
526.9
134%
578
156%
463.3
105%
Read 4k QD32
339.7
147.5
-57%
627.4
85%
743.9
119%
583.8
72%
Write 4k
59.04
99.36
68%
153.1
159%
154.4
162%
110.7
88%
Read 4k
28.21
23.1
-18%
52.15
85%
44.42
57%
47.25
67%
Write 512
367.3
319.2
-13%
2327
534%
1438
292%
2255
514%
Read 512
312.6
288.9
-8%
1775
468%
1250
300%
1582
406%
Write Seq
435.2
338.5
-22%
2560
488%
1305
200%
2434
459%
Read Seq
469.8
529
13%
3285
599%
1718
266%
3067
553%
SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
Sequential Read: 469.8 MB/s
Sequential Write: 435.2 MB/s
512K Read: 312.6 MB/s
512K Write: 367.3 MB/s
4K Read: 28.21 MB/s
4K Write: 59.04 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 339.7 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 225.6 MB/s

GPU Performance

3DMark Fire Strike shows the GTX 1060 consistently outperforming the GTX 980M by about 20 percent while the GTX 1070 is another 60 to 70 percent over the GTX 1060. The previous generation Maxwell GTX 960M and 970M pale in comparison to the GTX 1060.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Graphics
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
4067 Points ∼40% +57%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
2592 Points ∼26%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
2299 Points ∼23% -11%
HP Pavilion 17 FHD V3A33AV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
989 Points ∼10% -62%
Fire Strike Extreme Graphics
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
5541 Points ∼34%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
4623 Points ∼28% -17%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
3517 Points ∼21% -37%
HP Pavilion 17 FHD V3A33AV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
2038 Points ∼12% -63%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
17498 Points ∼43% +46%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 6820HK
14231 Points ∼35% +19%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
11957 Points ∼29%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
9608 Points ∼24% -20%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
7321 Points ∼18% -39%
HP Pavilion 17 FHD V3A33AV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
4361 Points ∼11% -64%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
10000 Points ∼63% +20%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 6820HK
8622 Points ∼54% +3%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
8343 Points ∼52% 0%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
8338 Points ∼52%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
7952 Points ∼50% -5%
HP Pavilion 17 FHD V3A33AV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
5515 Points ∼35% -34%
1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
23586 Points ∼46% +85%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 6820HK
19252 Points ∼38% +51%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
12731 Points ∼25%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
12472 Points ∼24% -2%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
9824 Points ∼19% -23%
HP Pavilion 17 FHD V3A33AV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
5289 Points ∼10% -58%
3DMark 11 Performance
11371 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
118421 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
24051 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
9878 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
5206 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Users can expect GTX 980M-level graphics or even faster depending on the title from the GTX 1060. We were able to play all tested games below on maximum settings at the native 1080p resolution with the exception of Guild Wars 2 and its Supersampling option. Screen tears are kept to a minimum if titles dip below 60 FPS due to G-Sync, though this comes at the cost of integrated Optimus for automatic graphics switching.

See our dedicated GPU page on the GTX 1060 for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

low med. high ultra
Guild Wars 2 (2012) 52.9fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 105.5fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 82.1fps
Thief (2014) 72.4fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 8562fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 60fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 71.6fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 63.5fps
Doom (2016) 96.5fps
Overwatch (2016) 106.3fps

Stress Test

Unsurprisingly, the MSI system performs very well when subjected to extreme loads as both the CPU and GPU never throttle and are able to maintain their respective Turbo Boost speeds. Core temperatures are lower across the board compared to the MSI GT72VR 6RE and its GTX 1070 by at least a few degrees C, so users shouldn't expect a dramatically cooler system out of the GT72VR 6RD. The ultra-thin GS73VR uses the same GTX 1060 GPU and runs warmer under gaming loads at about 83 C versus just 71 C here.

Running on battery power will not throttle the system on its default settings. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 8518 and 13784 points, respectively, compared top 8428 and 14904 points when on mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Unigine Valley stress
Unigine Valley stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 2.9 - 3.0 -- 65 43
FurMark Stress -- 1569 - 1645 47 68
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 3.1 1544 - 1709 77 72
Unigine Valley Stress 3.1+ 1645 - 1658 58 71

Emissions

System Noise

The cooling solution for the GT72VR 6RD is unchanged from the GT72VR 6RE, so we essentially have a chassis designed for GPUs with higher TDPs than our equipped GTX 1060. Is fan noise any quieter as a result?

Our measurements show fan noise to be just slightly quieter under all tested loads from idling to maximum stress. The fans pulsate during low loads from about 31 to 32 dB(A), but this happens extremely infrequently and is largely unnoticeable. Fan noise when gaming ranges from 37 to 38 dB(A) compared to the low-to-mid 40 dB(A) range on most enthusiast gaming notebooks or the high 40 dB(A) range on very thin designs. As shown by our fan noise data, the Loudness graph has a very broad peak at lower frequency ranges for a lower-pitched and less distracting hum. This is compared to thinner systems with higher-pitched fans like on the GS73VR.

MSI GT72VR 6RD (Gray: Background, Red: System idle, Yellow: Turbo Fan mode)
MSI GT72VR 6RD (Gray: Background, Red: System idle, Yellow: Turbo Fan mode)
MSI GS73VR
MSI GS73VR
HP Pavilion 17 (GTX 960M)
HP Pavilion 17 (GTX 960M)

Noise Level

Idle
30.8 / 30.8 / 32 dB(A)
Load
37.2 / 51.5 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: 28.6 dB(A)
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
Noise
-3%
-2%
-2%
-3%
off / environment *
28.6
28.9
-1%
30
-5%
30
-5%
29.1
-2%
Idle Minimum *
30.8
32.4
-5%
32
-4%
31
-1%
29.1
6%
Idle Average *
30.8
32.4
-5%
33
-7%
32
-4%
31.9
-4%
Idle Maximum *
32
32.4
-1%
35
-9%
33
-3%
31.9
-0%
Load Average *
37.2
39.4
-6%
35
6%
40
-8%
46
-24%
Load Maximum *
51.5
52
-1%
49
5%
47
9%
47.5
8%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Surface temperatures are cooler than on the GT72VR with GTX 1070 as a direct consequence of the lower running temperatures as described on our Stress Test section above. The warmest spots on the GT72VR 6RD, for example, are 37.4 C and 54.4 C compared to 40.4 C and 59.4 C on the GT72VR 6RE. The keyboard and palm rests will never reach uncomfortable temperatures even when subjected to unrealistically high loads to make this one of the cooler gaming notebooks in its size category with the same or equivalent GPU.

Maximum load (Top)
Maximum load (Top)
Maximum load (Bottom)
Maximum load (Bottom)
Max. Load
 32 °C37.4 °C30.4 °C 
 29 °C35 °C28.2 °C 
 24.6 °C23.6 °C24.6 °C 
Maximum: 37.4 °C
Average: 29.4 °C
52 °C39.4 °C54 °C
24 °C26.6 °C27.2 °C
23.4 °C24.4 °C24.8 °C
Maximum: 54 °C
Average: 32.9 °C
Power Supply (max.)  42.2 °C | Room Temperature 20 °C | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer

Speakers

Sound quality is very good from the stereo 3 W speakers and 5 W subwoofer with a great balance between treble and bass frequencies across the entire volume range. We can notice no static or major reverberations when set to its maximum volume. Like on other MSI VR models, the GT72VR uses the same Nahimic 2 software for configuring audio settings. The GT72VR model is lacking the HiFi Sabre DAC, but it at least carries dedicated 3.5 mm ports for microphone, earphones, line-in, and line-out.

Dedicated subwoofer upfront
Dedicated subwoofer upfront
consistent reproduction across a wider frequency range (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
consistent reproduction across a wider frequency range (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2040.138.82536.935.33135.334.74035.133.35033.236.46333.536.58033.838.6100314912529.955.716029.261.720028.858.925028.357.231527.159.540026.562.650025.365.46302561.580024.558.9100024.154125023.655.8160024.455.8200023.762.7250023.561.8315022.961.7400022.860.150002361.1630022.962.8800022.963.81000022.856.71250022.952.41600022.940.6SPL3672.9N2.634.2median 24.1MSI GT72VR 6RD-063USmedian 59.5Delta2.13.735.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (72.93 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(+) | good bass - only 3.2% away from median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.5% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (11.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 10% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 87% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 18%, worst was 34%
Compared to all devices tested
» 4% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 94% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, 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
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 19%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

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

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The system demands just over 24 W when set to its low-power idling state and almost 120 W when under gaming loads. This is compared to 152 W on the GT72VR 6RE, so it's a 30 W to 40 W increase for a raw GPU performance boost of about 50 to 70 percent when moving up to the more powerful SKU. Maximum load with both Prime95 and FurMark demands about 163 W against a power adapter rated for 230 W.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.52 / 1.47 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 24.4 / 26.6 / 36.4 Watt
Load midlight 117 / 163.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0), TN, 1920x1080, 17.3
Asus G752VS-XB78K
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Asus G701VO-CS74K
6820HK, GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0), IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Power Consumption
-6%
-19%
-4%
-14%
Idle Minimum *
24.4
22.3
9%
31
-27%
24
2%
28.2
-16%
Idle Average *
26.6
27.3
-3%
35
-32%
31
-17%
32
-20%
Idle Maximum *
36.4
30
18%
40
-10%
36
1%
32.6
10%
Load Average *
117
152.2
-30%
106
9%
94
20%
162.2
-39%
Load Maximum *
163.6
204.2
-25%
218
-33%
204
-25%
173.5
-6%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Runtimes are nearly identical to our previous GT72VR 6RE at about 3.5 hours of real-world WLAN use. This is also similar to other 17-inch gaming notebooks like the Asus G752VS or the G701VO. Thus, users expecting longer battery life from the GTX 1060 version of the GT72VR will be disappointed.

Charging from near empty to full capacity will take roughly 2.5 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 23min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
3h 41min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 33min
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 83 Wh
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 83 Wh
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 75.2 Wh
Asus G752VS-XB78K
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 90 Wh
Asus G701VO-CS74K
6820HK, GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 93 Wh
Battery Runtime
-2%
-13%
-6%
-13%
Reader / Idle
323
322
0%
290
-10%
311
-4%
242
-25%
WiFi v1.3
221
224
1%
206
-7%
210
-5%
202
-9%
Load
93
86
-8%
72
-23%
84
-10%
89
-4%

Pros

+ decent surface and core temperatures when gaming
+ comfortable and quiet SteelSeries backlit keyboard
+ easy serviceability; upgradeable GPU
+ relatively quiet fans when gaming
+ strong chassis

Cons

- no graphics switching, Thunderbolt 3, or NVMe
- major backlight bleeding on our test unit
- relatively short battery life
- no dedicated Macro keys
- fans always active

Verdict

In review: MSI GT72VR Dominator 6RD. Test model provided by CUKUSA
In review: MSI GT72VR Dominator 6RD. Test model provided by CUKUSA

The GT72 chassis may be aging, but its hardware and versatility shouldn't be overlooked. Its cooling system can handle GPUs far more power-hungry than the GTX 1060, so the GT72VR 6RD runs cooler and quieter than other gaming systems with the same Pascal GPU. Combine this with its unique 120 Hz/5 ms display and 4K UHD options and the system becomes much easier to recommend over others.

The model's trump card is its removable GPU. It should be relatively simple for a gamer to upgrade the GTX 1060 to the GTX 1070 and this option alone may make the GT72VR 6RD more attractive. Serviceability is easier than on an equivalent Asus and is comparable to a barebones unit, so users can simply purchase the lower-end GT72VR SKU (or even an older GT72) and upgrade at a future date should the GTX 1060 become insufficient.

We are also hoping that there will be better quality control regarding the display. We've had two GT72VR units come in so far and both have shown either uneven bezels or very noticeable backlight bleeding. It's recommended that users check the display for any discrepancies before or immediately after purchase.

The GT72VR series is kept relevant by its MXM 3.0b slot and easy serviceability even if it has already been succeeded by the GT73VR.

MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US - 09/15/2016 v5.1
Allen Ngo

Chassis
80 / 98 → 81%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
74 / 81 → 91%
Weight
51 / 66 → 73%
Battery
73%
Display
88%
Games Performance
93%
Application Performance
90%
Temperature
91 / 95 → 95%
Noise
81 / 90 → 90%
Audio
90%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
78%
87%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GT72VR 6RD Dominator Pro Notebook Review
Allen Ngo, 2016-09-15 (Update: 2016-10-24)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.