Notebookcheck

MSI PE60 2QE Prestige Notebook Review

Sebastian Jentsch (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 06/28/2015

Elvis. Great voice, appealing performance and best entertainment value. The Prestige series aims to impress consumers and business users alike with its luxury features. Will it manage to do that with the standard tools? The manufacturer has eliminated the classic MSI vulnerable "keyboard", a wise decision that makes us happy.

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MSI PE60 2QE Prestige - Wishful thinking or genuine Prestige class?
MSI PE60 2QE Prestige - Wishful thinking or genuine Prestige class?

For the original German review, see here.

Clear lines, accurate colors, high-performance components and yet ergonomic in waste heat and noise. MSI's Prestige series aims to impress demanding consumers and professionals alike. Not an easy task since anyone inching in on Asus' UX501, Dell's XPS 15 or the Aspire Nitro VN7-591G Black Edition has to be quite shrewd.

The slogan "The Essence of Elite" promises the highest quality in all fundamental aspects of a multimedia or editing laptop: These should not only include the ideal color reproduction with sRGB coverage, the elegant aluminum design, the clever dual-fan cooling, the powerful GTX graphics card, and a four-way speaker system, but also a multitude of interfaces including DisplayPort and high-speed network chips. Are these empty marketing words or a 15-inch machine that really fulfills the highest demands, does not cost a fortune, and can keep up with the best rivals?

Rivals are 15-inch laptops with high-quality screens, high-performance components and many interfaces. Therefore, low-voltage processors and TN screens with poor viewing angles and pale colors do not fit into this concept. The identical GPU makes the Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition and ZenBook Pro UX501JW the strongest rivals. The Black Edition is available with an FHD screen at a starting price of 1000 Euros (~$1113).

·Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro Black Edition VN7-591G (4720HQGTX 960M, 4K/FHD)

·Asus N551JK-CN166H (4200HGTX 850M, FHD)

·Asus ZenBook Pro UX501JW (4720HQGTX 960M, 4K)

·Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T (4710HQRadeon R9 M265X, 4K)

·Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538) (4712HQGT 750M, 4K)

The PE60 is not aimed at workstation customers; MSI has its WS60 for this group (1850 Euros/~$2060, FHD). Will the screen's quality separate the wheat from the chaff here? Can the casing deal adequately with the waste heat produced by the CPU and GTX graphics cores? What about throttling? How good are the maintenance options? All answers can be found in the following report.

MSI PE60-2QEi581 (PE60 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M - 2048 MB, Core: 1202 MHz, Memory: 1253 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 347.26, Optimus HD Graphics 4600
Memory
8192 MB 
, single-channel PC3-12800
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 141 PPI, SAMSUNG LTN156HL01, IPS, True Color, True Color: 6 color profiles incl. sRGB, 72% NTSC, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM87 (Lynx Point)
Storage
HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, 1000 GB 
, 7200 rpm, + slot for SSD (M.2 type), 870 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: mic, separate line-out, Card Reader: SD/SDHC/SDXC
Networking
Qualcomm Killer e2200 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Optical drive
HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GUB0N
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 27 x 383 x 260 ( = 1.06 x 15.08 x 10.24 in)
Battery
42 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cell li-ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 1.3 MP 1280x720
Additional features
Speakers: Dynaudio, Nahimic Audio Enhancer, 4 two-way speakers and subwoofer, Keyboard: SteelSeries, Keyboard Light: yes, Shortcut Manager, True Color, Killer Network Manager, Norton Internet Security trial, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
2.318 kg ( = 81.77 oz / 5.11 pounds), Power Supply: 563 g ( = 19.86 oz / 1.24 pounds)
Price
1129 Euro

 

Case

The hinges seem a bit weak, ...
The hinges seem a bit weak, ...
... the base unit is a simple plastic construction.
... the base unit is a simple plastic construction.

Would we take it along to a business meeting? Definitely. The brushed aluminum surfaces, backlit keyboard and clear lines are quite attractive when not looking too closely.

The lid is very thin and thus quite pliable. We could dent the display and warp it to a small extent without much effort. However, the quality surprised us: The screen was exceptionally insensitive to all twisting, pressure and warping attempts. It did not exhibit any pressure marks even when clear pressure was applied to the display's back. Only by using added pressure on the  matte, non-touch surface from the front did it display some wave formation.

The base is a simple plastic tray that completely closes the chassis without any maintenance covers at the bottom. Although many Philips screws have to be released to open and remove the bottom, it presents outstanding cleaning and upgrading options (see Connectivity).

The top of the base, and the wrist rest, in particular, is mounted firmly. There are no hollow spaces that could be dented. This is also true for the key area, but not for the underside. The area around the cooling vent grilles can be depressed easily. The base itself is very stable and does not creak under forceful twisting attempts. The PE60's makes a good impression in terms of feel, but it is not premium-range build quality. The aluminum or magnesium casing of Asus' UX501 and Dell's XPS 15 clearly outshine our Prestige PE60. The casing's quality is comparable with that of the Aspire Nitro or Asus' N551JK.

It is not only the plastic tray, but also small burrs on the aluminum edges and a wobbly hinge cover (silver bar between the joints) that reduce the quality impression.

Connectivity

Power users will operate their laptop with external monitors and multiple peripherals. As can be seen from the following pictures, MSI installs the entire range of ports. The mini-DisplayPort and gold-plated, dedicated audio in and out are typical for professional use. Unfortunately, all interfaces are on the sides and not even one is on the rear. The lid does not open to the extent that it would block any ports. Thus, numerous cables will probably will clutter  the desk, which could be especially annoying for left-handed users when the mouse area is blocked. The optical drive no longer belongs to the basics these days, as Asus' UX501 and Dell's XPS 15 prove with their slim casings. However, the PE60 has one just in case.

DVD multi-burner, USB 2.0, 3-in-1 card reader (SD/SDHC/SDXC), power socket
DVD multi-burner, USB 2.0, 3-in-1 card reader (SD/SDHC/SDXC), power socket
Kensington Lock, RJ45 Ethernet, USB 3.0, HDMI, mini-DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.0, (gold-plated) microphone and headphone
Kensington Lock, RJ45 Ethernet, USB 3.0, HDMI, mini-DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.0, (gold-plated) microphone and headphone
Good range of the Wi-Fi AC adapter
Good range of the Wi-Fi AC adapter
Slim 120-watt power supply
Slim 120-watt power supply
Quick start guide and warranty cards
Quick start guide and warranty cards
Useless webcam photo quality
Useless webcam photo quality
Reference Canon EOS 1100D
Reference Canon EOS 1100D

Communication

The networking connections are composed of a Qualcomm Killer e2200 PCI-E Gigabit Controller and an Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160 (a/b/g/n/ac) chip with Bluetooth 4.0. The Killer is also installed in MSI's GT72, MSI's GP70 and Medion's Erazer X7825. It scores with clearly arranged software (Network Manager) and short pings.

The wireless adapter also impressed us. Despite the aluminum lid (both Wi-Fi antennas are normally installed in the frame), the PE60 transmitted without interruption up to our 45 meter (~148 ft) measuring point outside the building. Even with 2 - 3 bars, websites opened at full speed. That is rare. Normally, even if the review samples still have a connection to the AC router at 45 meters (~148 ft), their browsing speed is reduced significantly. Thanks to 5.0 GHz and ac support (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n), Intel's Wireless AC 3160 provides an impressive performance. 

Software

MSI does not preload productivity software on its PE60-load; the only tools worth mentioning are the Shortcut Manager, True Color (color profiles) and the Killer Network Manager. Shortcut lists and profiles can be created with the former. Even individual keys can be disabled within such a profile. MSI has kept professional users in mind since they often use shortcuts to increase their workflow.

Maintenance

We did not open the shop model, but we will add screenshots of an opened, lent MSI device at a later date.

Webcam

A 1.3 MP webcam, i.e. 1280x720 pixels, is included as the basic configuration of every modern laptop. Unfortunately, the quality of pictures and recordings has apparently not improved over the past 10 years. The results that the HD webcam delivered under good daylight really cannot get any worse. Totally faded surfaces, the lack of outlines - they look as if they have been treated with some kind of diffusion filter. That does not fit in a premium laptop.

Warranty

MSI seems to be convinced of its quality and extends the manufacturer's warranty with a pick-up and return service to three years. Two years are usually the rule.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The keyboard relies on transparent keys with a painted top. Therefore, the three-level backlight nicely illuminates the keys from below while the printed characters shine through. The brightness or the light can be manipulated quite easily via the FN key. The keys are flat, and the fingers lack certain guidance. On the other hand, the writer will find a clear drop, a firm yet not hard stroke (without yielding, recoiling, clattering), and a crisp pressure point. The keys are adequately sized, with sufficient space between them. The lettering is very legible even when the illumination is disabled. This is commendable because backlit keyboards often suffer from poor readability in bright environments (daylight, outdoors).

MSI has opted for an unusual font size for its SteelSeries keyboard, but the user will soon get used to it. The number pad keys have been scaled down slightly, but they can still be used perfectly with the calculator, Excel, etc.

MSI has primarily set F1-F12 keys, which is also proper for an office device since professional editing tools still frequently utilize the F-keys. The special function for hardware (e.g. extending the screen, webcam on/off, or flight mode) are available via the FN key. The keys next to the power button allow switching between the color profiles or enabling the cooler boost.

Touchpad

ClickPad - no thanks? MSI must have had something in mind as it installed a conventional multi-touchpad with two physical keys in the PE60 and PE70 instead of what is the trend. The matte surface is pleasant to touch and the fingers can glide without slipping or pulling streaks. The area is sensitive up to its edges and it is separated sufficiently.

Unfortunately, the mouse keys produce a loud, cheap-sounding noise with a short drop. However, the pressure point is clear and the stroke firm. A soft  restrained stroke, rubber-coated keys and a clear drop would have been a better choice for a laptop that power users will sometimes work with for the entire day. However, these keys are not very enjoyable and thus users will inevitably use an external input device. Perhaps the manufacturer has reckoned with the motto: An incorporated mouse replacement is no match for external professional input devices, so we will install a basic model from the outset.

Input devices with strong feedback
Input devices with strong feedback
Brightness level 3
Brightness level 3
Brightness level 2
Brightness level 2
Brightness level 1
Brightness level 1
Classic! No ClickPad
Classic! No ClickPad

Display

For pros? 6 color profiles incl. sRGB, 72% NTSC coverage according to MSI
For pros? 6 color profiles incl. sRGB, 72% NTSC coverage according to MSI

A matte surface (anti-glare, haze 25%), IPS type (PLS version by Samsung) and 1920x1080 pixels may sound good at first, but nothing special. Laptops priced at 700 Euros (~$780) already offer Full HD. MSI promises a 72% coverage of the NTSC color space (color television standard), which very roughly corresponds to AdobeRGB. sRGB is almost completely included in NTSC, and thus we hope for a 100% sRGB reproduction. For example, Adobe RGB (1998) is important for pre-press professionals when they need to display all colors of the CMYK seven color print on their screen. Depending on their size, corresponding DreamColor LCD monitors cost between 600 and 2000 Euros (~$668 and ~$2226).

MSI calls it True Color Technology. This is preloaded color profiles that can be selected by pressing a button (True Color application). One profile is simply named sRGB. The other profiles are calibrated for specific scenarios. Six predefined color profiles are available and range from office over sRGB and design up to movie and gaming mode. The profiles can be assigned to specified applications, making manual switching unnecessary. Color profiles can also be shared with other users via the Sharing feature so that colors are identical on all MSI devices with True Color.

Note: We closely examined the screen of the 17-inch sister model in another article: Preview MSI PE70 Multimedia Notebook.

276
cd/m²
290
cd/m²
280
cd/m²
279
cd/m²
300
cd/m²
281
cd/m²
281
cd/m²
271
cd/m²
282
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 300 cd/m² Average: 282.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 251 cd/m²
Contrast: 857:1 (Black: 0.35 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.8 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 2.18 | - Ø
97% sRGB (Argyll) 64% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.37
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
GeForce GT 750M, 4712HQ, Lite-On LMT-512L9M
Screen
-36%
-71%
-75%
13%
-5%
Brightness
282
325
15%
312
11%
281
0%
248
-12%
365
29%
Brightness Distribution
90
90
0%
83
-8%
89
-1%
88
-2%
87
-3%
Black Level *
0.35
0.37
-6%
0.38
-9%
0.293
16%
0.18
49%
0.282
19%
Contrast
857
870
2%
850
-1%
949
11%
1417
65%
1238
44%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.8
3.77
-109%
7.4
-311%
8.78
-388%
2
-11%
2.65
-47%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.18
5.36
-146%
6.24
-186%
6.29
-189%
1.61
26%
3.77
-73%
Gamma
2.37 101%
2.39 100%
2.98 81%
2.25 107%
2.37 101%
2.41 100%
CCT
6837 95%
7163 91%
8098 80%
6197 105%
6462 101%
6786 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
64
61
-5%
69
8%
48.31
-25%
60
-6%
61.02
-5%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
97
72.54
-25%
92.1
-5%
96.1
-1%

* ... smaller is better

AdobeRGB 64%
AdobeRGB 64%
sRGB 97%
sRGB 97%

sRGB should be the first choice for image editing and graphic design, and thus we used this preset profile for our measurements. Color profiles suggest that MSI has calibrated every single screen in its factory. However, this is not the case as we noticed the improvement after performing our own calibration. The improvement of the already very good DeltaE of around two (grayscale and colors) to a DeltaE of approximately one is not visible to the naked eye. The color temperature is corrected to an ideal 6500 K, and the marginal, only measurable, red excess disappears.

The sRGB coverage is 97%, and AdobeRGB (1998) is 64%. The latter is more than what the rivals can offer. Only Asus' N551JK surpasses our PE60, but clearly lags behind in DeltaE. MSI's PE 70 has significantly less color space with 84% of sRGB and 55% of AdobeRGB. The matte FHD screen is compelling from a gaming and multimedia point of view.

Will this satisfy professional users who strive to do video or image editing? Yes, because the True Color screen reproduces every color that it can display very well in conjunction with wide viewing angles and a high contrast of 857:1. Users who need AdobeRGB (1998) for pre-press products will still not get around using an external monitor or a DreamColor workstation (e.g. HP's ZBook 15).

Grayscale: MSI sRGB profile
Grayscale: MSI sRGB profile
Grayscale: calibrated as per sRGB
Grayscale: calibrated as per sRGB
ColorChecker: MSI sRGB profile
ColorChecker: MSI sRGB profile
ColorChecker: calibrated as per sRGB
ColorChecker: calibrated as per sRGB
Saturation Sweeps: MSI sRGB profile
Saturation Sweeps: MSI sRGB profile
Saturation Sweeps: calibrated as per sRGB
Saturation Sweeps: calibrated as per sRGB

The Samsung screen makes a useful impression in the outdoors, although the brightness is dimmed to 251 cd/m² in battery mode. The matte surface and good contrast help legibility.

Still usable outdoors; ...
Still usable outdoors; ...
... the brightness is dimmed in battery mode.
... the brightness is dimmed in battery mode.

One of the major advantages over TN screens is the viewing angle stability. However, they are no longer part of the comparison in this price range. Good to very good viewing angles of IPS screens are a must and not a maybe nowadays. The Samsung LTN156HL01 installed in the PE60 convinces with IPS typical wide viewing angles. We can literally look at the image from every angle without encountering inverting or distortions. The spec sheet of the Samsung LTN156HL01 states a viewing angle of 85/85/85/85.

Viewing angles: SAMSUNG LTN156HL01 IPS screen
Viewing angles: SAMSUNG LTN156HL01 IPS screen

Performance

MSI's PE60 is currently sold in three configurations priced at 1130 to 1510 Euros (~$1258 to ~$1680). The differences lie in the processor (Core i7-4720HQ, 4x2, 60 GHz) working memory (up to 16 GB), storage device array: 1 TB HDD + 128 GB SSD, and the optical drive unit: DVD RAM or Blu-ray (BD-R/RE).

Our MSI PE60-2QEi581 is the entry-level model in the Prestige series. A Core i5-4210H along with 8 GB of RAM and a hard drive will ensure good multimedia performance. However, it is not the premium range. The GeForce GTX 960M with 2048 MB GDDR5 video memory is standard.

 

Processor

The Core i5-4210H clocks in a Turbo range of 2.9 to 3.5 GHz. The latter applies to single-core calculations. We now want to find out whether the Core i5 utilizes its capacity to the best possible extent, and delivers top rates for its kind in the PE60. The Cinebench R15 loop (short interruption during rebooting) remained stable at 3.4 GHz for one hour, and the sensors recorded a maximum of 74 degrees Celsius (~165 degrees Fahrenheit). The dual-fan cooling system does a superb job; we did not even use the fan's turbo (switch beside the power button).

The same clock was reached when the Cinebench tests performed their calculations, and this leads to appealing results in the single-core range. Of course, the i7 quad-cores surpassed it in the multi-test, but "only" with an edge of approximately 80%. Battery mode achieved identical scores in the CPU test, and the clock rate did not reduce. Unlike the graphics card that calculates with at most 875 MHz under battery power (instead of 1100 MHz), the fps in the OpenGL test remains stable at 55.84 fps.

The Cooler Boost 3 switch speeds up the fans to their maximum, but did not have a reproducible, positive impact on the Cinebench results. All scores, including the GPU OpenGL test, remain within an identical distribution. In detail: We performed the R15 with and without Cooler Boost several times. Consequently, we cannot even say that the scores tend to be higher with Boost.

·Multi without Boost: 221 CB to 327, with Boost 250 to 324 

·Single without Boost: 115 CB to 131, with Boost 97 to 117

Cinebench R15 loop 1h @3.4 GHz
Cinebench R15 loop 1h @3.4 GHz
Prime95 @3.4 GHz stable
Prime95 @3.4 GHz stable
Battery: R11.5 reduced @2.9 GHz
Battery: R11.5 reduced @2.9 GHz
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
1.5 Points ∼68%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
1.56 Points ∼71% +4%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
1.46 Points ∼66% -3%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
1.54 Points ∼70% +3%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
1.48 Points ∼67% -1%
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
GeForce GT 750M, 4712HQ, Lite-On LMT-512L9M
1.44 Points ∼65% -4%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
3.64 Points ∼15%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
7.07 Points ∼30% +94%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
3.5 Points ∼15% -4%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
6.44 Points ∼27% +77%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
6.8 Points ∼28% +87%
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
GeForce GT 750M, 4712HQ, Lite-On LMT-512L9M
6.4 Points ∼27% +76%
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
131 Points ∼67%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
138 Points ∼71% +5%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
130 Points ∼67% -1%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
137 Points ∼70% +5%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
133 Points ∼68% +2%
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
GeForce GT 750M, 4712HQ, Lite-On LMT-512L9M
125 Points ∼64% -5%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
324 Points ∼15%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
642 Points ∼30% +98%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
323 Points ∼15% 0%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
579 Points ∼27% +79%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
611 Points ∼28% +89%
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
GeForce GT 750M, 4712HQ, Lite-On LMT-512L9M
565 Points ∼26% +74%
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5055
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.5 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.64 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
55.84 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
131 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
324 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
55.71 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help

System Performance

The PCMarks are used to determine the application performance. The lack of an SSD leads to overall worse scores than those of the rivals with an SSD. At least in PCMark 7 as it gives SSDs a big advantage. The Work Score of PCMark 8 is very different and the PE60 takes the lead here. This sometimes is also the case in the Home Score, and therefore, overall, PCMark 8 speaks for our review sample. This is impressive, after all the rivals are not only equipped with an SSD, but also a nominally stronger Core i7 processors (except for Asus' N551JK).

We can confirm that working on the PE60 Prestige is enjoyable after multiple installations, gaming benchmarks, and copying. Everything was processed quickly and there were virtually no noticeable waiting times.

MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
GeForce GT 750M, 4712HQ, Lite-On LMT-512L9M
PCMark 7
83%
29%
86%
25%
47%
Computation
14944
19805
33%
15092
1%
17704
18%
17929
20%
Creativity
6313
10418
65%
7266
15%
7924
26%
10028
59%
Productivity
2014
5144
155%
3494
73%
2035
1%
2782
38%
Score
3275
5804
77%
4131
26%
6087
86%
5010
53%
5549
69%
PCMark 8
-9%
-4%
-4%
9%
Work Score Accelerated v2
4169
3601
-14%
3881
-7%
3944
-5%
Home Score Accelerated v2
3114
3019
-3%
3113
0%
3064
-2%
3386
9%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
37% / 52%
13% / 18%
41% / 26%
17% / 21%
47% / 47%
PCMark 7 Score
3275 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3114 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4169 points
Help

Storage Device

The HGST hard drive (model: HTS721010A9E630) with a gross capacity of 1000 GB spins at 7200 rpm. This enables it to achieve 140 Mbps in sequential read and write. 5400 rpm drives normally range around 90 to 100 Mbps, as seen from the HDD in Asus' N551JK. The relevant 4K rates are almost twice as high as those from a 5400-rpm hard drive. This is also probably the reason why we were satisfied with the experienced speed. However, SSD systems have a clear edge with their considerably higher throughput rates. MSI simply combines the high-capacity hard drive with a 128 GB M.2 SSD in the more expensive PE60 models (system partition).

MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
GeForce GT 750M, 4712HQ, Lite-On LMT-512L9M
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
1947%
-35%
4343%
2812%
Write 4k
1.2
54.17
4414%
0.768
-36%
107
8817%
70.24
5753%
Read 4k
0.63
18.74
2875%
0.326
-48%
43.38
6786%
32.41
5044%
Write Seq
140.1
460.2
228%
102.3
-27%
1400
899%
425.4
204%
Read Seq
140.4
520.6
271%
102.3
-27%
1362
870%
485.2
246%
HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
Transfer Rate Minimum: 21.4 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 147.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 110 MB/s
Access Time: 18 ms
Burst Rate: 240.8 MB/s
CPU Usage: 2.7 %

Graphics Card

Cinebench R15 OpenGL@1200 MHz GTX 960M
Cinebench R15 [email protected] MHz GTX 960M
Battery R15 OpenGL@875 MHz GTX 960m
Battery R15 [email protected] MHz GTX 960m

Like the Maxwell GTX 860M, the GTX 960M has a 128-bit memory interface, 2 GB of GDDR5 VRAM, and 640 CUDA cores. Its performance is marginally better than that of the GTX 860M. More information about the gaming performance of the GTX 960M can be found in our Tech section.

Like Acer with its Aspire VN7-591G and Asus with its UX501JW (1097 MHz), MSI allows the GTX to clock at its usual 1200 MHz. The Aspire Nitro 591G scores better overall, in the 3DMarks, which is due to the 4 GB of GDDR5 memory and the Core i7. The ZenBook UX501JW (2048 MB GDDR5) also scores better by 19% to 26% for the same reason. The GTX 850M falls behind slightly, but only by 11 to 18%.

Consequently, the GPU performance of the PE60 Prestige is at the lower end in comparison with other GTX 960M systems. For example, 3DMark Fire Strike has determined 3778 points, which is below the average of approximately 3900 points for this GPU. Now a look at the games.

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Combined (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
1649 Points ∼13%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
1669 Points ∼14% +1%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
1028 Points ∼8% -38%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
1694 Points ∼14% +3%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
661 Points ∼5% -60%
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
837 Points ∼7% -49%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Physics (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
4713 Points ∼21%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
9467 Points ∼42% +101%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
4846 Points ∼21% +3%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
7728 Points ∼34% +64%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
9226 Points ∼41% +96%
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
8315 Points ∼37% +76%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
4355 Points ∼11%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
4173 Points ∼10% -4%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
3054 Points ∼8% -30%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
4063 Points ∼10% -7%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
1619 Points ∼4% -63%
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
2141 Points ∼5% -51%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
3778 Points ∼16%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
3914 Points ∼17% +4%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
2675 Points ∼11% -29%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
3801 Points ∼16% +1%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
1585 Points ∼7% -58%
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
2049 Points ∼9% -46%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Physics (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
3322 Points ∼8%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
6638 Points ∼17% +100%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
3376 Points ∼9% +2%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
5562 Points ∼14% +67%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
6552 Points ∼17% +97%
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
5812 Points ∼15% +75%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
28308 Points ∼17%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
27352 Points ∼17% -3%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
21589 Points ∼13% -24%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
22468 Points ∼14% -21%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
10995 Points ∼7% -61%
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
13691 Points ∼8% -52%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
10596 Points ∼21%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
16151 Points ∼33% +52%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
9818 Points ∼20% -7%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
13410 Points ∼27% +27%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
9555 Points ∼19% -10%
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
10521 Points ∼21% -1%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
4190 Points ∼26%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
5153 Points ∼32% +23%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
3662 Points ∼23% -13%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
5230 Points ∼33% +25%
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
2459 Points ∼15% -41%
1280x720 Performance Physics (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
4010 Points ∼24%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
8097 Points ∼49% +102%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
4163 Points ∼25% +4%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
7188 Points ∼44% +79%
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
7538 Points ∼46% +88%
1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
5405 Points ∼11%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
5901 Points ∼12% +9%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
4369 Points ∼9% -19%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
5095 Points ∼10% -6%
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
2718 Points ∼5% -50%
1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
4999 Points ∼17%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
5398 Points ∼19% +8%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
4255 Points ∼15% -15%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
5342 Points ∼19% +7%
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
2971 Points ∼10% -41%

Legend

 
MSI PE60-2QEi581 Intel Core i5-4210H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
 
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
 
Asus N551JK-CN166H Intel Core i5-4200H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
 
Asus UX501JW-DS71T Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
 
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T Intel Core i7-4710HQ, AMD Radeon R9 M265X, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
 
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538) Intel Core i7-4712HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, Lite-On LMT-512L9M
3DMark 11 Performance
4999 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
51289 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
10596 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
3778 points
Help

Gaming Performance

It depends on the game and certainly also on the used driver version (ForceWare 347.26). It was still the ForceWare 345.05 in the Aspire Nitro VN7. There is no difference in the game "Evolve", unlike in "F1 2014" that has low hardware requirements. The Aspire clearly has the lead here, which is not important due to the general playability.

It is unlikely to make a difference for gamers whether an i7-4720HQ or i5-4210H (TDP 47 watts) is installed in the PE60 since we do not encounter major difference between chips with a TDP of 15 watts versus 47 watts. None of the rivals rely on low-voltage.

Alien: Isolation
1920x1080 Ultra, On, Shadow Map 2048, HDAO AA:2x SM AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
46.5 fps ∼20%
1920x1080 High, On, Shadow Map 1536, Standard SSAO AA:FX AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
62 fps ∼21%
1366x768 Medium, On (AA & SSAO Off), Shadow Map 1024 AF:4x (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
109 fps ∼35%
F1 2014
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
62 fps ∼52%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
87 fps ∼73% +40%
1920x1080 High Preset (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
72 fps ∼54%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
115 fps ∼86% +60%
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
83 fps ∼62%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
118 fps ∼89% +42%
Evolve
1920x1080 Very High Graphics Quality AA:1TX SM (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
31.1 fps ∼17%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
30.4 fps ∼17% -2%
1920x1080 High Graphics Quality AA:FX (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
35.5 fps ∼18%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
34.7 fps ∼17% -2%
1366x768 Medium Graphics Quality (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
65.6 fps ∼29%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
63 fps ∼28% -4%
low med. high ultra
Alien: Isolation (2014) 1096246.5fps
F1 2014 (2014) 837262fps
Evolve (2015) 65.635.531.1fps

Emissions

System Noise

Cooler Boost 3. It has become a tradition for MSI to install some kind of touch-of-a-button features regarding performance in its high-performance (gaming) laptops. It used to be manual overclocking, but now it is the best possible airflow capacity during a stress phase. Both fans spin at maximum speed (even while idling!) at the push of a button, which produces more noise than a stress test. Although the button did not achieve better scores in the above Cinebench tests, control over cooling at least gives the user a good feeling.

Compared with the rivals, the noise level that we measured under load without Cooler Boost (Gaming performance plan) is slightly higher. However, 47 dB(A) is reasonable for a GTX graphics card, particularly since the level decreases in normal gaming mode (or in the Cinebench loop).

One of the two fans is disabled in idle mode. The other remains constantly active, producing a minimum of 33 dB(A). In addition, an occasional clacking is heard from the hard drive.

MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
GeForce GT 750M, 4712HQ, Lite-On LMT-512L9M
Noise
5%
3%
5%
1%
4%
off / environment *
Idle Minimum *
32.8
30
9%
32.1
2%
31.2
5%
32.4
1%
29.6
10%
Idle Average *
32.8
32.2
2%
32.9
-0%
31.3
5%
33.4
-2%
31.6
4%
Idle Maximum *
35.4
35
1%
33.7
5%
33.4
6%
33.4
6%
31.6
11%
Load Average *
42.3
41.7
1%
42
1%
38.6
9%
44.5
-5%
45.4
-7%
Load Maximum *
47.4
42.6
10%
44.8
5%
46.5
2%
44.4
6%
45.4
4%

* ... smaller is better

Noise Level

Idle
32.8 / 32.8 / 35.4 dB(A)
HDD
33.6 dB(A)
DVD
37.7 / dB(A)
Load
42.3 / 47.4 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Gaming Mode: Stress test Prime95 & FurMark @3.4 GHz / 1200 MHz 1h stable
Gaming Mode: Stress test Prime95 & FurMark @3.4 GHz / 1200 MHz 1h stable
Green Mode: Stress test @3.4 GHz / 1045 MHz
Green Mode: Stress test @3.4 GHz / 1045 MHz

The PE60 deals with its waste heat quite well; the wrist rest and touchpad never exceed 39 degrees Celsius (~102 degrees Fahrenheit). We measured these again, but without Cooler Boost. The button reduced the surface temperatures slightly. The hot spot in the keyboard's center is 45 degrees Celsius (~113 degrees Fahrenheit), which is relatively warm. The rivals make a mixed impression in waste heat. Asus' N551JK does the best job, but it also has a weaker graphics card and bulkier chassis. The hot spots on the Aspire VN7-591G Black Edition as well as the Ultra-Slim Dell XPS 15 with the comparatively weak and outdated GT 750M get warmer in the stress test.

Our stress test is performed using Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously, which demand the highest possible load with a corresponding waste heat. The cooling system starts to roar, however, without reaching the maximum speed, as would be the case with Cooler Boost (measured based on noise level).

The graphics card clocks stably at 1200 MHz and the CPU at 3.4 GHz, but sometimes drops to 3.3 GHz. A very good result, especially since the SoC's maximum temperature is 87 degrees Celsius (~189 degrees Fahrenheit), and that without Cooler Boost. That shows us: This casing still has reserves for the i7 quad-core.

MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
GeForce GT 750M, 4712HQ, Lite-On LMT-512L9M
Heat
-21%
17%
-1%
5%
-27%
Maximum Upper Side *
45.5
53
-16%
39.4
13%
42.2
7%
43.5
4%
51.8
-14%
Maximum Bottom *
37.5
53.2
-42%
37.6
-0%
48.6
-30%
46
-23%
64.6
-72%
Idle Upper Side *
35.8
38.6
-8%
28.7
20%
33.2
7%
28
22%
38.4
-7%
Idle Bottom *
38.7
45.9
-19%
26.1
33%
34.4
11%
32.8
15%
44.4
-15%

* ... smaller is better

Max. Load
 41.1 °C42.6 °C41.3 °C 
 36.6 °C45.5 °C38.1 °C 
 31.6 °C38.8 °C29.1 °C 
Maximum: 45.5 °C
Average: 38.3 °C
36.2 °C33.3 °C35.4 °C
27.8 °C36.1 °C36.5 °C
25.7 °C27.6 °C37.5 °C
Maximum: 37.5 °C
Average: 32.9 °C
Power Supply (max.)  55.2 °C | Room Temperature 22.9 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

Four speakers and a subwoofer (underside) plus a Nahimic Audio Enhancer - this sounds like a colossal sound-world project. MSI does not promise too much; the sound is impressive in games and music. The high volume can easily fill a medium-sized room with sound. However, the speakers boom at maximum volume.

The incorporated subwoofer provides genuine low ranges and basses, and this adds a decent portion of wham to games. The music finally has a rounded sound spectrum. The Nahimic audio tool features the right presets; without it, the sound is weaker and dull. Trebles are rendered separately. However, the user should not expect the performance of big, external speakers.

The headphone-out jack has its own performance amplifier with dedicated audio chips and gold-plated jacks. We did not hear any static noise with our simple headphones. Recordings with the microphone were satisfactory with low base noise. However, the recording volume needs to be increased significantly.

Front speakers (4x)
Front speakers (4x)
Subwoofer underside
Subwoofer underside

Energy Management

Are 120 watts not enough? The battery is drained during the stress test.
Are 120 watts not enough? The battery is drained during the stress test.

Power Consumption

The power consumption is relatively high in the category comparison. The PE60 guzzles quite a lot from the outlet, particularly in idle mode. 22 watts in energy-savings mode (MSI's Green Mode) using reduced brightness and, of course, disabled GTX graphics core is not seen from any of the other rivals. MSI's PE60 also consumes a lot of power under load and in the stress test. However, this is rather good news because it also indicates that the GPU and CPU utilize the Boost to the best possible extent. Both the Aspire VN7.591G and Asus N551JK-CN166H also provide throttle-free performance. Unlike the XPS 15 that clocks down to almost its base rate right at the beginning of the stress test at core temperatures of over 95 degrees Celsius (~203 degrees Fahrenheit).

MSI's Green Mode does not lead to performance losses and the power consumption is not reduced significantly. The CPU clock in the stress test remained the same at 3.4 GHz; only the GTX's core rate dropped to 1045 MHz (instead of 1200).

The battery was consistently drained during the stress test via AC mode (120 watts from the outlet). The 120-watt power supply cannot cater for the full energy requirement. The battery was depleted by 10% after only ten minutes, which is apparently a discrepancy of over 2 to 5 watts. This phenomenon was not noticed in gaming or the Cinebench loop, and we can give the all-clear signal to power users. However, even when it should occur in practice, we deem the battery effective enough to waive a heavy 150-watt power supply (that is rarely ever maxed-out). The acquisition of a 120-watt power supply is naturally also cheaper for MSI.

MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
GeForce GT 750M, 4712HQ, Lite-On LMT-512L9M
Power Consumption
10%
39%
28%
22%
Idle Minimum *
21.8
16.2
26%
8.6
61%
12.8
41%
14.6
33%
Idle Average *
26.1
20.2
23%
12
54%
18.8
28%
19.6
25%
Idle Maximum *
26.6
22.8
14%
13
51%
19
29%
19.8
26%
Load Average *
88.5
96.4
-9%
72.2
18%
66.7
25%
92
-4%
Load Maximum *
119.7
126.9
-6%
104
13%
99.1
17%
85.8
28%

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.1 / 0.4 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 21.8 / 26.1 / 26.6 Watt
Load midlight 88.5 / 119.7 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 960

Battery Runtime

The battery life in our Wi-Fi test (simulates surfing in the browser) was 168 minutes, i.e. less than three hours. This is very short compared with Dell's XPS 15 (battery: 91 Wh) or Asus' UX501 (96 Wh), which achieve 100 to 150 minutes more. MSI has cut down the capacity; only 42 Wh are available in the six cells. Asus' N551JK runs 100 minutes longer with 56 Wh. The battery needs 2:22 hours to recharge when the PE60 is on (idle).

Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3 (sort by value)
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
168 min ∼6%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
166 min ∼6%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
263 min ∼10%
Dell XPS 15 (9530-0538)
GeForce GT 750M, 4712HQ, Lite-On LMT-512L9M
314 min ∼12%
WiFi (sort by value)
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
271 min ∼10%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
152 min ∼6%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 45min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
2h 48min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 25min

Pros

+ sRGB color space
+ Contrast and viewing angles
+ High system performance
+ Strong Boost utilization
+ Strong keyboard feedback
+ Optical drive
+ Decent speakers with subwoofer
+ Special interfaces (audio, DisplayPort)
+ Empty M.2 slot for SSD
+ Gaming-suitability for current tracks

Cons

- Useless webcam
- Simple plastic base
- Loud, clattering mouse keys
- Short battery life

Verdict

MSI PE60 2QE Prestige. Test model courtesy of Cyberport
MSI PE60 2QE Prestige. Test model courtesy of Cyberport

MSI has put a lot of effort into winning market shares in the high-priced premium laptop sector with its Prestige series. The PLS screen from Samsung with the sRGB coverage and first-rate viewing angles alongside a matte surface is certainly one of its biggest assets. The gaming suitability for current games in high settings and a surprisingly strong system performance with a 7200-rpm hard drive follow that. The dual-fan cooling system ensures moderate temperatures at an acceptable noise level. However, the idle power consumption is considerably higher than that of the competition. On the other hand, the 4-way speakers and subwoofer are worthy of a genuine multimedia laptop (Nahimic Audio profile). The same is also true of the diversity of interfaces (DisplayPort, 2 gold-plated audio jacks), but not of the webcam's poor image quality. It is even possible to maintain the relatively compact PE60, and an SSD, for example, can be retrofitted via the M.2 slot.

The comparatively simple plastic chassis and short battery life of less than three hours are  the drawbacks. The ZenBook UX501 and Dell's XPS 15 have a clear edge here. The XPS 15 will not currently win the comparison with its too old GeForce GT 750M. The ZenBook Pro UX501 is considerably more expensive with starting price of 1600 Euros (~$1780). And thus, the Acer Aspire VN7-591G Black Edition (1600 Euros/~$1780, 4K; much cheaper configuration with FHD, GTX 860M), Asus N551JK(starts at 990 Euros/~$1100, GTX 850M), and Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T (1400 Euros/~$1560, 4K, Radeon R9 M265X) are probably the most attractive rivals.

MSI PE60-2QEi581 - 03/25/2016 v5
Sebastian Jentsch

Chassis
87 / 98 → 89%
Keyboard
90%
Pointing Device
72%
Connectivity
59 / 81 → 72%
Weight
61 / 67 → 87%
Battery
68%
Display
92%
Games Performance
77 / 85 → 91%
Application Performance
68 / 92 → 74%
Temperature
89%
Noise
75 / 95 → 79%
Audio
75%
Camera
31 / 85 → 37%
Average
73%
83%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > MSI PE60 2QE Prestige Notebook Review
Sebastian Jentsch, 2015-06-28 (Update: 2015-07- 2)