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MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US Notebook Review

Pascal power. The GT72S has been renewed as the GT72VR in time for Nvidia's all-powerful mobile Pascal series. While some new features have been added, a few have also been removed to make room for the higher-end GT73VR.

MSI hit a home run with the GT72 and it continues to be one of the best 17.3-inch gaming notebooks available according to our Top 10 list. The following GT72S was a relatively minor update with small visual changes to the keyboard keys and some internal upgrades including Skylake, DDR4, and Thunderbolt 3.

Move one step up from the GT72S and we get the new GT72VR, which carries the same design and features as its older sibling but with a couple of updates yet again. Unlike the GT72S, however, these small changes have potentially larger implications to the gaming experience. Aside from the headline-grabbing Pascal GPU options, this latest refresh includes an optional 120 Hz FHD display with a redesigned Dragon Tuner system utility software. Nonetheless, MSI has also removed a few features from the GT72VR as well. The result should help the GT72 series maintain its top spot against the likes of the Dell Alienware and Asus ROG series.

We recommend checking out our previous reviews on the GT72S and GT72 since the chassis, connectivity features, keyboard, and serviceability are largely identical between them.

MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US (GT72VR Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop) - 8192 MB, Core: 1442 MHz, Memory: 8008 MHz, GDDR5, 368.79
Memory
32768 MB 
, DDR4, 2400 MHz, 15-15-15-36, Dual-Channel
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 127 PPI, LG Philips LGD046E, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM170 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122, 256 GB 
, Secondary: 1 TB HGST HTS721010A9E630
Soundcard
NVIDIA GP104 - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
7 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 0 Thunderbolt, 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 Lithium-Ion, 7500 mAh, 9 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: FHD (1080p @ 30 fps)
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, XSplit Gamecaster Trial, MSI Afterburner, RivaTuner, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
3.867 kg ( = 136.4 oz / 8.53 pounds), Power Supply: 940 g ( = 33.16 oz / 2.07 pounds)
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

We don't blame MSI for sticking with the tried and true GT72 chassis. While the proper GT73VR successor is available with SLI options, the GT72 has proven itself to be a challenge for other manufacturers to topple in terms of stability and serviceability even after being in market for more than two years. Thus, there is little reason to drop the chassis entirely.

The base is sturdy from top to bottom with excellent rigidity down the center of the keyboard and around the corners. The lid is still the weakest portion of the notebook as its corners and center are susceptible to bending and warping, though this is common on larger notebooks. The corners of the screen where the inner bezel meets the edge are also not completely flat with an ugly gap as shown in our image below. Another nitpick is the narrow and thin rear ventilation grilles that can be easily broken due to the way they are designed. Otherwise, there's very little to not like about both the design and quality of the GT72.

The downside to having such a solid, accessible, and feature-heavy notebook is its size. At about 48 mm, the GT72S is still one of the thickest gaming notebooks for its size class. Even the Eurocom DLX7 and its desktop-class Skylake CPU and GTX 980 is thinner, though it is also simultaneously a few hundred grams heavier. Indeed, the GT72 doesn't feel as dense as some of its competitors and this is evident through the ample air space between the bottom cover and the internals it is protecting.

The rear ventilation grilles are thin and can be easily bent when applying pressure
The rear ventilation grilles are thin and can be easily bent when applying pressure
Noticeable gap between the bezel and screen
Noticeable gap between the bezel and screen
428 mm / 16.9 inch 294 mm / 11.6 inch 48 mm / 1.89 inch 3.9 kg8.53 lbs428 mm / 16.9 inch 333 mm / 13.1 inch 43 mm / 1.693 inch 4.4 kg9.66 lbs429.3 mm / 16.9 inch 309.9 mm / 12.2 inch 38.1 mm / 1.5 inch 3.9 kg8.54 lbs430 mm / 16.9 inch 292 mm / 11.5 inch 34 mm / 1.339 inch 3.7 kg8.18 lbs423 mm / 16.7 inch 322 mm / 12.7 inch 40 mm / 1.575 inch 4.1 kg9.02 lbs418 mm / 16.5 inch 295 mm / 11.6 inch 39.9 mm / 1.571 inch 4.3 kg9.5 lbs428 mm / 16.9 inch 305 mm / 12 inch 25 mm / 0.984 inch 3.3 kg7.2 lbs

Connectivity

Users will find the same ports and options as on the GT72S with one major change: Thunderbolt 3 has been removed in favor of a simple USB Type-C port. This bolsters the value of the GT73VR and further positions in the GT72 series as a "lower enthusiast" solution moving forward. The system still carries more USB and audio ports than most competing systems including the Alienware 17 and Asus ROG G701. The mDP port will not output to a compatible display unlike on the EVGA SC17.

(September 15, 2016 correction: MSI has informed us that its Pascal GT and GE series can indeed output to compatible G-Sync displays via HDMI, mDP, and Thunderbolt 3 if available.)

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 from the SD reader are double that of the Alienware 17 R3 with our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference card. Recent high-end multimedia notebooks like the XPS 15 have SD readers with similar transfer rates as our MSI.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
 
135.3 MB/s ∼100%
Dell XPS 15-9550 i7
 
121 MB/s ∼89% -11%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
 
78 MB/s ∼58% -42%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell XPS 15-9550 i7
 
211 MB/s ∼100% +13%
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
 
186.3 MB/s ∼88%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
 
87 MB/s ∼41% -53%

Communication

WLAN is provided by a dual-band Killer 1535 (QCA617) M.2 module with MU-MIMO and beamforming capable of theoretical transfer rates of up to 867 Mbps. A real-world test shows an average stable transfer rate of about 544 Mbps when standing one meter away from our Linksys EA8500 test router.

Iperf (client)
Iperf (client)
Iperf (server)
Iperf (server)

Dragon Software

MSI has overhauled its systems utility software for the better as the older version was clunky, full-screen, and ultimately unintuitive. The all-in-one Dragon Center is a one-step stop to check on system vitals, gaming settings and profiles, mobile connection via the MSI app, keyboard behavior, Windows recovery, and fan control. Users can manually set separate fan speeds for the CPU and GPU based on six pre-defined core temperatures each. Oddly, the utility does not explicitly state exactly what temperatures these pre-defined settings are and only provides a vague color scale as shown below. Setting the fan speeds to zero will not stop the fans completely.

Quick Launch window of commonly used apps
Quick Launch window of commonly used apps
Systems vitals when idling
Systems vitals when idling
RGB keyboard settings
RGB keyboard settings
Color settings, fan controls, Power settings, and XBoost
Color settings, fan controls, Power settings, and XBoost
Recovery and battery calibration
Recovery and battery calibration
Set fan speeds for when CPU/GPU reaches one of six pre-defined temperatures
Set fan speeds for when CPU/GPU reaches one of six pre-defined temperatures

Accessories

Included extras are limited to pamphlets, a large cleaning cloth, and a Quick Start guide. Branded G Series accessories are available optionally, but the system loses support for Thunderbolt 3-enabled docking stations and displays.

Maintenance

A quick look at the internals of the GT72VR shows no major changes compared to the GT72S. The cooling system consists of the same dual fans and seven heat pipes for both the CPU and GPU. Note that the heat pipes are not shared evenly across the processors and that the fans operate independently; MSI tells us this should allow for more overclocking potential out of the GPU since it's cooling is not tied to the CPU.

Most of the M.2 slots have been removed to effectively kill RAID support.

Warranty

The standard one-year limited warranty from the manufacturer applies. Users who register their notebooks with MSI will receive another 12 months of coverage with accidental damage protection at no additional cost. CUKUSA covers any components modified or added by the retailer for up to three years including the HDD and RAM.

GT72VR
GT72VR
GT72S
GT72S

Input Devices

Keyboard & Touchpad

No major changes have been made to the already excellent Steelseries keyboard (34.5 x 10.5 cm) or touchpad (11.25 x 6.5 cm). We're not fans of the flushed edges and corners of the touchpad as its lack of any tactile indicators make it easy to move out of the touch-sensitive surface. Users can customize the RGB backlight in three separate sections of the keyboard in three light level intensities.

The column of auxiliary keys (Turbo Fan, XSplit, SteelSeries) return with the manual GPU switch button replaced by a display on/off toggle. Competing models like the Aorus X7 or Alienware 17 offer customizable Macro keys to edge out the MSI in terms of keyboard options and features.

Manual graphics switch button will now turn off the screen instead
Manual graphics switch button will now turn off the screen instead
Chiclet keyboard with RGB backlight
Chiclet keyboard with RGB backlight

Display

Our test configuration is equipped with a 1080p screen that promises 5 ms white-to-black response time, G-Sync, and a 94 percent NTSC color gamut. According to MSI, its GT72VR is the first notebook to offer this entire set of features at a consumer level. The 4K UHD configuration does not currently offer the higher refresh rate and will likely be slightly different in terms of response times and color coverage as well, so our data below reflects only the 1080p option.

Subjectively, the screen exhibits no graininess or screen-door issues that can sometimes be more noticeable on matte displays. A quick search for its LG Philips LGD046E panel name shows no other notebooks in our database sporting the exact same panel. Backlight brightness is an average 327 nits with a measured contrast ratio of about 1000:1 to be in line with most other high-end 17-inch gaming systems.

There is slight backlight bleeding near the bottom corner of the display on our test unit that is only noticeable during movie playback and under dark ambient conditions.

(August 22, 2016 correction: Our test model is equipped with a 60 Hz panel and not a 120 Hz panel as previously mentioned. The 120 Hz/5 ms panel is still a separate option for the GT72VR)

Light-moderate backlight bleeding around bottom left corner
Light-moderate backlight bleeding around bottom left corner
Subpixel array (127 PPI)
Subpixel array (127 PPI)
317.3
cd/m²
323.7
cd/m²
312.6
cd/m²
339.8
cd/m²
348.7
cd/m²
310.9
cd/m²
337.3
cd/m²
339.6
cd/m²
309.8
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 348.7 cd/m² Average: 326.6 cd/m² Minimum: 16.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 348.7 cd/m²
Contrast: 1080:1 (Black: 0.323 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.09 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 2.14 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
86.5% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 56.9% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.25
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
LG Philips LGD046E, IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Asus G701VO-CS74K
IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Acer Predator 17 G9-792-71EF
AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), IPS, 17.3, 3840x2160
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
CV69H_173WF4 (LGD0459), IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
MSI GT72S 6QF
Name: LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF1, ID: LGD0469, IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Response Times
5%
-17%
7%
-20%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
34.4 (15.6, 18.8)
29.2 (11.6, 17.6)
15%
42 (16, 26)
-22%
33 (13, 20)
4%
43 (18, 24.8)
-25%
Response Time Black / White *
25.2 (4.8, 20.4)
26.4 (5.2, 21.2)
-5%
28 (6, 22)
-11%
23 (5, 18)
9%
29 (6, 22.8)
-15%
PWM Frequency
Screen
-9%
-4%
-17%
1%
Brightness middle
348.7
368.1
6%
370
6%
360
3%
356.7
2%
Brightness
327
349
7%
340
4%
336
3%
326
0%
Brightness Distribution
89
86
-3%
88
-1%
90
1%
85
-4%
Black Level *
0.323
0.365
-13%
0.42
-30%
0.44
-36%
0.282
13%
Contrast
1080
1008
-7%
881
-18%
818
-24%
1265
17%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.09
4.16
-2%
3.56
13%
4.76
-16%
4.16
-2%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
9.02
8.7
4%
5.86
35%
10.8
-20%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.14
3.86
-80%
4.79
-124%
3.69
-72%
2.47
-15%
Gamma
2.25 98%
2.19 100%
2.31 95%
2.24 98%
2.29 96%
CCT
6885 94%
6892 94%
6352 102%
6091 107%
6860 95%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
56.9
57.6
1%
88
55%
55
-3%
56
-2%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
86.5
87.6
1%
100
16%
84
-3%
85
-2%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-2% / -6%
-11% / -6%
-5% / -13%
-10% / -3%

* ... smaller is better

Color coverage is approximately 87 percent and 57 percent of the sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, respectively, when the display is set to sRGB mode through the Dragon Center utility. This is indicative of a high quality panel as most mainstream IPS displays have far narrower color gamuts in the 60 percent sRGB range. A small handful of gaming notebooks and Clevo barebones offer full sRGB coverage to appeal to digital artists, but color accuracy is not typically a priority for dedicated gaming systems like the GT72VR.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. Alienware 17 R3
vs. Alienware 17 R3
vs. Asus ROG G701VO
vs. Asus ROG G701VO

According to MSI, their gaming systems come pre-calibrated and our measurements with an X-Rite spectrophotometer show accurate colors and grayscale out-of-the-box without any end-user calibration required. Nonetheless, we were able to improve the display and its RGB Balance even further with a quick calibration as shown below. Colors become increasingly inaccurate the higher the saturation level due to the panel's imperfect sRGB coverage.

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
25.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4.8 ms rise
↘ 20.4 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. » 43 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.2 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
34.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 15.6 ms rise
↘ 18.8 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. » 26 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (40.3 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: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9515 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is average at best. The backlight is more than sufficient for indoor conditions, but it was not designed to overcome sunlight or daylight. The matte panel, wide IPS angles, and 180-degree hinges all help in reducing glare as much as possible.

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

Performance

Turbo Boost up to 3.4 to 3.5 GHz
Turbo Boost up to 3.4 to 3.5 GHz

Processor options remain the same as it was on the GT72S with a range of soldered Core i7 mobile Skylake options. The fact that gaming manufacturers are refreshing their lineups with Pascal without waiting on Kaby Lake first suggests that proper Kaby Lake gaming systems may not arrive until Q1 2017 at the very earliest. It's a shame that this MSI refresh does not offer desktop-class Skylake options like on a small number of Clevo barebones. System RAM remains unchanged at up to 64 GB DDR4 across four SODIMM slots, but maximum operating frequency has been upgraded to 2400 MHz.

Graphics options are available from the GTX 1060 up to the GTX 1070 in the upgradeable MXM form factor. Users who wish for SLI will need to make the jump to the GT73VR (up to GTX 1070/1080 SLI or a single GTX 1080) or the new Titan GT83VR (up to GTX 1080 SLI). As previously mentioned, MSI has removed any manual graphics switching for this GT72VR update.

Processor

Raw CPU performance from the Core i7-6700HQ has been well documented in our database. Its multi-core performance in the GT72VR is essentially on par with the i7-6820HK and older Broadwell i7-5700HQ as expected. Unfortunately, its single-core performance is lower than anticipated according to CineBench benchmarks. A closer look at its Turbo Boost shows that the processor can only maintain a maximum Turbo Boost of 3.4 GHz compared to its advertised 3.5 GHz for single-threaded workloads. The desktop-class i7-6700K outperforms the i7-6700HQ by about 20 to 30 percent according to the same benchmarks.

See our dedicated CPU page on the Core i7-6700HQ for more technical details 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 (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
130 Points ∼60%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
166 Points ∼76% +28%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
149 Points ∼68% +15%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
144 Points ∼66% +11%
Toshiba Satellite S70-B-106
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
131 Points ∼60% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga 20GQ-000EUS
Intel Core i7-6600U
141 Points ∼65% +8%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
671 Points ∼15%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
865 Points ∼20% +29%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
707 Points ∼16% +5%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
719 Points ∼16% +7%
Toshiba Satellite S70-B-106
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
566 Points ∼13% -16%
Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga 20GQ-000EUS
Intel Core i7-6600U
308 Points ∼7% -54%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.5 Points ∼61%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
1.91 Points ∼78% +27%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.7 Points ∼70% +13%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
1.68 Points ∼69% +12%
Toshiba Satellite S70-B-106
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
1.49 Points ∼61% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga 20GQ-000EUS
Intel Core i7-6600U
1.19 Points ∼49% -21%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.38 Points ∼27%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
9.56 Points ∼35% +30%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
7.76 Points ∼29% +5%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
7.96 Points ∼29% +8%
Toshiba Satellite S70-B-106
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
6.02 Points ∼22% -18%
Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga 20GQ-000EUS
Intel Core i7-6600U
3.25 Points ∼12% -56%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
4949 Points ∼46%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
6487 Points ∼60% +31%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
5671 Points ∼52% +15%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
5567 Points ∼51% +12%
Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga 20GQ-000EUS
Intel Core i7-6600U
5085 Points ∼47% +3%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
20102 Points ∼40%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
26150 Points ∼53% +30%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
21022 Points ∼42% +5%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
21681 Points ∼44% +8%
Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga 20GQ-000EUS
Intel Core i7-6600U
9140 Points ∼18% -55%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
243.63 s * ∼3%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
178.464 s * ∼2% +27%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
224.57 s * ∼3% +8%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
206.294 s * ∼2% +15%
Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga 20GQ-000EUS
Intel Core i7-6600U
525.775 s * ∼6% -116%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - --- (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
652.14 Seconds * ∼3%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
498.33 Seconds * ∼2% +24%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
558.605 Seconds * ∼2% +14%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
573.691 Seconds * ∼3% +12%
Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga 20GQ-000EUS
Intel Core i7-6600U
609.647 Seconds * ∼3% +7%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6811
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
20102
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4949
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
59.9 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.38 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.5 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
88.26 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
671 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
130 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark 8 ranks our system in the same ballpark as previous generation enthusiast-level gaming notebooks including the Asus G701 and Eurocom DLX7. Thus, while the GPU may be much more powerful, the GT72VR is not significantly faster than the competition for day-to-day workloads.

We experienced no notable hardware or software issues during our time with the GT72VR test unit.

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 (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
5095 Points ∼78%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
5653 Points ∼87% +11%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4639 Points ∼71% -9%
Alienware 17 R2
GeForce GTX 980M, 4980HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
5097 Points ∼78% 0%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
7636 Points ∼80%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
7460 Points ∼78% -2%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
7517 Points ∼79% -2%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B256
4810 Points ∼50% -37%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
4620 Points ∼76%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
5160 Points ∼85% +12%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4578 Points ∼75% -1%
Alienware 17 R2
GeForce GTX 980M, 4980HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
4402 Points ∼72% -5%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B256
3880 Points ∼64% -16%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4620 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
7636 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5095 points
Help

Storage Devices

Easy access to both storage bays
Easy access to both storage bays

There's no denying that the GT72S houses one of the most internal storage options available for a 17.3-inch gaming notebook at 6x storage bays (4x M.2, 1x 2.5-inch SATA III, 1x ODD). Now that the GT72 series is being bumped down to make room for the GT73VR, however, MSI has removed a number of slots so that the GT72VR offers only one M.2 slot, one ODD, and one 2.5-inch SATA III bay with no RAID options.

Our test configuration uses a single 256 GB SanDisk M.2 SSD and a secondary 1 TB HGST HDD with transfer rates limited by the SATA III interface. CrystalDiskMark returns very good sequential read and write rates for a SATA III SSD, but it pales in comparison against NVMe notebooks. Meanwhile, the secondary Hitachi HDD returns an average transfer rate of 87 MB/s according to HD Tune, which is normal if not slightly below average for a 7200 RPM drive.

See our growing table of SSDs and HDDs for more performance comparisons and benchmarks.

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 6RE-015US
SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
Asus G701VO-CS74K
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
Lite-On CV1-8B256
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
333%
9%
91%
214%
Write 4k QD32
236.9
463.3
96%
300.6
27%
232.8
-2%
325.4
37%
Read 4k QD32
147.5
583.8
296%
275.8
87%
610
314%
535.2
263%
Write 4k
99.36
110.7
11%
42.65
-57%
140.6
42%
104.7
5%
Read 4k
23.1
47.25
105%
20.8
-10%
42.59
84%
39.91
73%
Write 512
319.2
2255
606%
353.1
11%
265.2
-17%
1002
214%
Read 512
288.9
1582
448%
344.1
19%
568.7
97%
1599
453%
Write Seq
338.5
2434
619%
357.8
6%
587.2
73%
979.1
189%
Read Seq
529
3067
480%
484.5
-8%
1263
139%
3047
476%
SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
Sequential Read: 529 MB/s
Sequential Write: 338.5 MB/s
512K Read: 288.9 MB/s
512K Write: 319.2 MB/s
4K Read: 23.1 MB/s
4K Write: 99.36 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 147.5 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 236.9 MB/s

GPU Performance

The Pascal series provides a massive jump in performance over the outgoing Maxwell series. 3DMark benchmarks are a good indicator of raw graphical power and Fire Strike shows a performance gap of almost 140 percent for those upgrading from the GTX 970M to the notebook version of the GTX 1070. This is roughly 20 percent faster than the Aorus X7 Pro with the GTX 970M SLI and about 10 percent slower than the MSI GT80 with the GTX 980M SLI while consuming far less power than both.

We recommend checking out our dedicated page on the recently announced GTX 1060, 1070, and 1080 for more technical information, benchmarks, and comparisons against the Maxwell series of GPUs. Note that our results here were run on pre-release drivers, so actual performance numbers may be slightly higher when the public release drivers become officially available.

3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
8452 Points ∼37%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
10313 Points ∼46% +22%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 6820HK
8622 Points ∼38% +2%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
9017 Points ∼40% +7%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
9064 Points ∼40% +7%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
7952 Points ∼35% -6%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
5417 Points ∼24% -36%
1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
13760 Points ∼27%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
21901 Points ∼43% +59%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 6820HK
19252 Points ∼38% +40%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
16946 Points ∼33% +23%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
12501 Points ∼25% -9%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
9824 Points ∼19% -29%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
4938 Points ∼10% -64%
3DMark
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Graphics (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
3984 Points ∼39%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
3009 Points ∼30% -24%
Fire Strike Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
8153 Points ∼41%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
6123 Points ∼31% -25%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
3517 Points ∼18% -57%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
17354 Points ∼43%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ
19121 Points ∼47% +10%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 6820HK
14231 Points ∼35% -18%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
13018 Points ∼32% -25%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
9653 Points ∼24% -44%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
7321 Points ∼18% -58%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
4239 Points ∼10% -76%
3DMark 11 Performance
11913 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
124194 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
25315 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
13239 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
7386 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Can users expect the same 140 percent boost in FPS from the GTX 970M to the notebook version of the GTX 1070? Unfortunately not, but a few tested titles come surprisingly pretty close. We were able to record a performance increase of 119 percent and 132 percent on 1080p Ultra settings when playing Batman: Arkham Knight and Fallout 4, respectively. Rise of the Tomb Raider also exhibited a high performance increase of 116 percent. The GTX 980M can be about 30 to 50 percent slower than the notebook version of the GTX 1070 depending on the title.

See our dedicated GPU page on the GTX 1070 for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
129.5 fps ∼49%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ, 4x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU (RAID 0)
149.3 fps ∼56% +15%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
106.2 fps ∼40% -18%
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
87 fps ∼33% -33%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
69.5 fps ∼26% -46%
Thief - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
78 fps ∼55%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4980HQ, 4x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU (RAID 0)
103.6 fps ∼73% +33%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
67.9 fps ∼48% -13%
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
62.1 fps ∼44% -20%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
47.5 fps ∼33% -39%
Batman: Arkham Knight - 1920x1080 High / On AA:SM AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
79 fps ∼56%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
63 fps ∼45% -20%
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
48 fps ∼34% -39%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512 m.2 PCI-e
39 fps ∼28% -51%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
36 fps ∼26% -54%
Fallout 4 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
100.9 fps ∼60%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
79.3 fps ∼47% -21%
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
55.3 fps ∼33% -45%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512 m.2 PCI-e
78.4 fps ∼47% -22%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
43.5 fps ∼26% -57%
Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
92.3 fps ∼49%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
60.4 fps ∼32% -35%
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
47.1 fps ∼25% -49%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512 m.2 PCI-e
68 fps ∼36% -26%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
42.8 fps ∼23% -54%
Doom - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:SM (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
101.6 fps ∼51%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
84.3 fps ∼42% -17%
Overwatch - 1920x1080 Epic (Render Scale 100 %) AA:SM AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
151.7 fps ∼51%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
118.2 fps ∼39% -22%
low med. high ultra
Guild Wars 2 (2012) 54.7fps
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013) 124.4fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 129.5fps
Thief (2014) 78fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 79fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 60fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 100.9fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 92.3fps
Need for Speed 2016 (2016) 142.9128.9104100.3fps
Doom (2016) 101.6fps
Overwatch (2016) 151.7fps
Mirror's Edge Catalyst (2016) 176137.6117.392.1fps

Stress Test

The system performs very well when subjected to extreme processing stress. Core CPU and GPU temperatures plateau at about 86 C and 77 C, respectively, when running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously. There appears to be no major CPU or GPU throttling and no abnormal clock rate behavior unlike on our recently reviewed Pavilion 15. Thinner enthusiast gaming notebooks like those from Aorus can run as warm as 90 - 95 C when under similar loads.

Interestingly, CPU Turbo Boost stabilizes at slightly higher clock rates when running both Prime95 and FurMark compared to just Prime95 alone. Otherwise, expect permanent Boost speeds from the CPU and GPU with relatively low CPU operating temperatures when gaming. The GPU stabilizes at a much warmer temperature of 77 C, but this is still cooler than on the previous generation GT72S configuration.

Core CPU and GPU temperatures are significantly reduced by about 15 C each when Turbo Fan is active. Raw system performance is not necessarily any faster, however, so the feature is typically only useful for those who wish to overclock the GPU. There is ample overclocking headroom based on our stress test temperatures and power consumption measurements below.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Unigine Valley stress
Unigine Valley stress
Prime95+FurMark stress w/ Turbo Fan
Prime95+FurMark stress w/ Turbo Fan
Unigine Valley stress w/ Turbo Fan
Unigine Valley stress w/ Turbo Fan
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 2.8 - 2.9 -- 66 36
FurMark Stress -- 1291 59 76
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 3.0 - 3.1 1263 86 77
Unigine Valley Stress 3.1+ 1607 - 1633 61 77
Prime95 + FurMark Stress w/ Turbo Fan 3.1 1291 64 64
Unigine Valley Stress w/ Turbo Fan 3.1+ 1620 - 1680 43 64

Emissions

System Noise

No changes to overall fan noise (Gray: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Valley, Yellow: Prime95+FurMark, Green:Turbo Fan)
No changes to overall fan noise (Gray: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Valley, Yellow: Prime95+FurMark, Green:Turbo Fan)

Fan behavior is essentially identical to the GT72S even after the GPU update. The twin fans are always active no matter the workload and will settle in the low 40 dB(A) range when gaming. Thus, while still a bit loud, this is about average for a thick gaming notebook under gaming loads. Turbo Fan will bump fan noise to a steady 52 dB(A), which is prohibitively loud for comfortable gaming without headphones.

Fortunately, fan noise will not pulsate when idling on desktop or when running very low loads like word processing or email.

Identical ~65 mm fans for both the CPU and GPU
Identical ~65 mm fans for both the CPU and GPU
The heat pipes for the GPU are slightly thicker than those for the CPU
The heat pipes for the GPU are slightly thicker than those for the CPU

Noise Level

Idle
32.4 / 32.4 / 32.4 dB(A)
Load
39.4 / 52 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.9 dB(A)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
Acer Predator 17 G9-792-71EF
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
MSI GT72S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF NVMe (RAID 0)
Noise
1%
-1%
1%
-4%
off / environment *
28.9
29.1
-1%
30
-4%
30
-4%
Idle Minimum *
32.4
29.1
10%
31
4%
31
4%
33.1
-2%
Idle Average *
32.4
31.9
2%
32
1%
32
1%
33.3
-3%
Idle Maximum *
32.4
31.9
2%
37
-14%
33
-2%
37
-14%
Load Average *
39.4
46
-17%
40
-2%
38
4%
39
1%
Load Maximum *
52
47.5
9%
48
8%
50
4%
52.2
-0%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Surface temperatures are cool when idling and during low loads despite the demanding internals since the chassis is quite large. The system does an excellent job at keeping warm temperatures concentrated near the rear ventilation grilles and away from the keyboard and frontal quadrants unlike on the Alienware 17 or most Aorus notebooks. The Predator 17 will run cooler under similar processing loads, but it is also the comparatively weaker system.

Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (bottom)
Maximum load (bottom)
Max. Load
 33.4 °C
92 F
40.6 °C
105 F
30.6 °C
87 F
 
 28.8 °C
84 F
36.6 °C
98 F
25.6 °C
78 F
 
 23.6 °C
74 F
23.2 °C
74 F
22.8 °C
73 F
 
Maximum: 40.6 °C = 105 F
Average: 29.5 °C = 85 F
53.2 °C
128 F
36.6 °C
98 F
59.4 °C
139 F
24 °C
75 F
26.6 °C
80 F
26.2 °C
79 F
23.8 °C
75 F
23.4 °C
74 F
24.2 °C
76 F
Maximum: 59.4 °C = 139 F
Average: 33 °C = 91 F
Power Supply (max.)  45.8 °C = 114 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 29.5 °C / 85 F, compared to the average of 33 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40.6 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 39.5 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 59.4 °C / 139 F, compared to the average of 42 °C / 108 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 25.7 °C / 78 F, compared to the device average of 33 °C / 91 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 24 °C / 75.2 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(+) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.8 °C / 83.8 F (+4.8 °C / 8.6 F).

Speakers

The 2.1 setup remains unchanged and our microphone measurements show good reproduction at lower frequencies due to the dedicated Dynaudio subwoofer. In comparison, most other Ultrabooks tend to drop sharply at about 250 Hz due to their weaker speakers. Sound quality is good without any distortions or reverberations, but maximum volume is quieter than what the size of the system would otherwise suggest.

Like the Dragon utility, the Nahimic audio utility has also been updated with new features. Users can customize the keyboard backlight to respond to certain onscreen activity or add a directional visual indicator when playing certain FPS titles.

Dedicated subwoofer near the front corner
Dedicated subwoofer near the front corner
Good sound reproduction for a notebook (Red: System idle, Gray: White noise, Pink: Pink noise)
Good sound reproduction for a notebook (Red: System idle, Gray: White noise, Pink: Pink noise)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2036.235.62536.535.63135.233.84035.132.95034346334.7348036.532.710041.634.112547.237.616054.242.920051.442.525052.64431553.346.140055.348.450057.250.963055.350.88005753.4100055.251.4125051.949.2160052.751.4200055.355.2250053.554.2315054.655.940004951.9500051.555.1630049.554.180005055.6100004652.21250039.146.21600029.636.9SPL65.465.4N21.420.2median 52.6median 50.9Delta3.6535.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.445.635.736.945.643.135.635.343.143.441.140.543.442.141.139.142.138.236.435.638.232.93230.432.92827.328.42827.827.927.427.828.428.330.828.427.63135.227.629.134.43829.140.946.150.340.944.550.554.644.547.453.557.647.448.454.558.648.454.260.864.554.26267.871.76258.563.968.258.550.256.160.250.252.858.562.552.855.761.565.555.752.258.16252.255.761.565.255.755.961.865.555.947.453.25747.452.258.462.952.254.760.66554.755.962.166.255.955.661.665.155.652.558.36152.567.373.177.167.321.831.440.121.8median 52.2median 58.3median 62median 52.27.17.887.1hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseMSI GT72VR 6RE-015USApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzSchenker F516 Flex
<
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 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
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 21%, worst was 53%

<

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

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The GT72VR is a demanding system as it draws just over 22 W when simply idling on desktop with Power Saver mode active and on the minimum display brightness. As a fun comparison, this is a few Watts more than the fanless Toshiba Portege Z20t detachable when subjected to maximum load.

Running 3DMark will draw about 152 W compared to 162 W on the recent Asus G701VO and 166 W on the older MSI GT72S. This is particularly noteworthy as the GTX 1070 is noticeably more powerful than both the GTX 980M and GTX 980 Notebook while consuming less power than either when under gaming loads.

Maximum load with both Prime95 and FurMark demands about 204 W against a power adapter (17.0 x 8.5 x 3.5 cm) rated for 230 W.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.47 / 1.22 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 22.3 / 27.3 / 30 Watt
Load midlight 152.2 / 204.2 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Asus G701VO-CS74K
6820HK, GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0), IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Acer Predator 17 G9-792-71EF
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 980M, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH, IPS, 3840x2160, 17.3
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 980M, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
6820HK, GeForce GTX 980M, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0), IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Power Consumption
-9%
18%
28%
-6%
Idle Minimum *
22.3
28.2
-26%
14
37%
12
46%
14.5
35%
Idle Average *
27.3
32
-17%
24
12%
18
34%
28.3
-4%
Idle Maximum *
30
32.6
-9%
32
-7%
26
13%
44
-47%
Load Average *
152.2
162.2
-7%
108
29%
95
38%
165.5
-9%
Load Maximum *
204.2
173.5
15%
164
20%
188
8%
214.8
-5%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Users can expect just over 3.5 hours of actual WLAN usage before the internal battery finally gives way. Runtimes are slightly longer compared to the Asus G701VO despite the ROG having a larger battery capacity, but runtimes are no match for the older MSI GT72S configuration with the GTX 980 partly due to the availability of a manual GPU switch on the older GT72 series.

Charging from near empty to full capacity will take about 2 to 2.5 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 22min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
3h 44min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 26min
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 83 Wh
Asus G701VO-CS74K
6820HK, GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 93 Wh
Acer Predator 17 G9-792-71EF
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 980M,  Wh
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 980M, 92 Wh
MSI GT72S 6QF
6820HK, GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 83 Wh
Eurocom Sky DLX7
6700K, GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 82 Wh
Battery Runtime
-11%
38%
85%
18%
-30%
Reader / Idle
322
242
-25%
525
63%
758
135%
387
20%
157
-51%
WiFi v1.3
224
202
-10%
308
38%
444
98%
294
31%
140
-37%
Load
86
89
3%
96
12%
105
22%
89
3%
83
-3%

Pros

+ very fast graphics performance from Pascal
+ good sound quality; dedicated subwoofer
+ updated Dragon system utility software
+ 120 Hz and 5 ms response time option
+ relatively cool operating temperatures
+ upgradeable GPU (MXM 3.0 slot)
+ strong chassis and good quality
+ healthy number of ports
+ RGB backlit keyboard
+ easy serviceability

Cons

- 3x M.2 slots removed; no more NVMe support
- no desktop-class Skylake CPU options
- slight-moderate backlight bleeding
- manual graphics switch removed
- no individually backlit keys
- Thunderbolt 3 removed
- thick design; bulky
- fans always active

Verdict

In review: MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US. Test model courtesy of CUKUSA.com
In review: MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US. Test model courtesy of CUKUSA.com

The star of the show here in the GTX 1070 Pascal GPU. The mobile Maxwell series only scratched the surface of 4K gaming despite the fact that many manufacturers were pushing 4K onto gaming notebooks that clearly couldn't handle most titles on such high native resolutions. The performance leap over the GTX 970M is so large that it makes a serious case for skipping over the 1080p configuration entirely in favor of the 4K UHD option with G-Sync. While we're not sure how the refresh rate of the higher resolution panel compares to the 1080p configuration, we may retest a higher-end GT72VR SKU in the future to provide the data.  Pairing Pascal with a 4K panel makes much more practical sense moving forward.

It's easy for users to overlook the many minute changes MSI has brought to its venerable GT72 series because of the launch and performance benefits of Pascal, but this doesn't make them any less important. Users should be aware that when compared to the GT72S, the GT72VR is missing more internal storage options, includes no Thunderbolt 3, and has dropped all graphics switching features. In turn, users get optional 120 Hz refresh rates, 5 ms response times, minor hardware updates, and upgraded software. The system has been scaled back slightly to make room for newer models in the MSI G Series, but it is nonetheless still on equal or better footing than many of its current competitors.

MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US - 08/11/2016 v5.1
Allen Ngo

Chassis
80 / 98 → 81%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
74 / 81 → 91%
Weight
51 / 10-66 → 73%
Battery
73%
Display
88%
Games Performance
96%
Application Performance
91%
Temperature
89 / 95 → 94%
Noise
78 / 90 → 87%
Audio
90%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
78%
87%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US Notebook Review
Allen Ngo, 2016-08-16 (Update: 2016-09-15)
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.