Notebookcheck

MSI WS63 7RF (i7-7700HQ, FHD, P3000) Workstation Review

Workstation gamer. The gaming notebook in disguise is one of the first to ship with a Quadro P3000 GPU. Performance will not throttle even if under the heaviest of loads.

The MSI G series is home to some of the most popular gaming notebooks available. In an attempt to leverage their superior position in the gaming space, the gaming G series also exists as the workstation W series designed for professional use. The W series is distinguished by the switch to Quadro GPUs and sometimes Xeon CPUs instead of the respective GeForce and Core ix equivalents, but nearly everything about the W series is otherwise identical to the G series.

The WS63 is the successor to the aging WS60 in the same way that the GS63VR is the successor to the GS60. MSI unveiled this very configuration equipped with the brand new Quadro P3000 earlier this year at Computex 2017. There are just two SKUs available at the time of writing starting for $2500 USD with either FHD or 4K UHD displays. We recommend checking out our existing reviews on the GS63VR as the WS63 is essentially identical from the bottom up save for the Quadro P3000 GPU. As such, we'll be jumping right into the performance of the WS63 since details on the chassis, build quality, and connectivity features have already been covered on our GS63VR pages.

MSI WS63 7RF-290US (WS63 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA Quadro P3000 - 6144 MB, Core: 1088 MHz, Memory: 7008 MHz, GDDR5, 376.33, Optimus
Memory
32768 MB 
, DDR4, PC4-19200, Dual-Channel, 17-17-17-39
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, ID: LGD046F, Name: LG Philips LP156W6, Dell P/N: 3874Y, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM175
Storage
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e, 512 GB 
, Secondary: 2 TB Seagate ST2000LM015-2E8174 5400 RPM HDD
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm earphone, 3.5 mm microphone, Card Reader: SD reader
Networking
Qualcomm Atheros AR8171/8175 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 18 x 380 x 249 ( = 0.71 x 14.96 x 9.8 in)
Battery
65 Wh, 5700 mAh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 1080p @ 30 fps
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, MSI SCM, MSI True Color, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.92 kg ( = 67.73 oz / 4.23 pounds), Power Supply: 585 g ( = 20.64 oz / 1.29 pounds)
Price
2500 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The big advantage of the GS63 over "traditional" mobile workstations is its slimmer and lighter design lifted directly from the superthin gaming GS series. The ThinkPad P51 and ZBook 15 G3, for example, are each several millimeters thicker and several hundred grams heavier than the GS63. The Precision 5520 based on the XPS 15 9560 is even smaller in footprint, but current SKUs are limited to the slower Quadro M1200 GPU.

Chassis quality is excellent on our test unit with no unintended gaps or crevices between materials. Nonetheless, some of our previous GS63VR and GS73VR test units had edges and corners that were not perfectly aligned that could potentially be present on the GS63 series. Rigidity is not even close to that of the thicker ThinkPad P51, Zbook 15, or Celsius H760 because of the thinner and more flexible build of the WS and GS series. The system is more susceptible to bumps and bruises overall.

380 mm / 15 inch 257 mm / 10.1 inch 32 mm / 1.26 inch 3 kg6.57 lbs386 mm / 15.2 inch 264 mm / 10.4 inch 26 mm / 1.024 inch 2.7 kg5.95 lbs390 mm / 15.4 inch 266 mm / 10.5 inch 20 mm / 0.787 inch 2 kg4.41 lbs377.4 mm / 14.9 inch 252.3 mm / 9.93 inch 29.4 mm / 1.157 inch 2.6 kg5.81 lbs380 mm / 15 inch 249 mm / 9.8 inch 18 mm / 0.709 inch 1.9 kg4.23 lbs358 mm / 14.1 inch 237 mm / 9.33 inch 21 mm / 0.827 inch 2.1 kg4.58 lbs

Connectivity

The WS63 packs in a lot of ports considering the small size including the all-important Thunderbolt 3 port. As a workstation, however, it's missing a handful of staples such as VGA, Smart Card, and ExpressCard. Users will have to rely on the versatility of the Thunderbolt 3 port to make up for the omitted features and it's also somewhat disappointing to see HDMI 1.4 instead of the newer 2.0 standard. Port positioning is somewhat unfavorable as many are very close to the front where cables are more likely to entangle. The three USB ports in particular are packed so closely together that thicker USB cables may prevent the adjacent USB port from being used.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: USB 2.0, Thunderbolt 3 with USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI 1.4, Mini-DisplayPort 1.2, AC adapter
Right: USB 2.0, Thunderbolt 3 with USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI 1.4, Mini-DisplayPort 1.2, AC adapter
Left: Kensington Lock, Ethernet, SD reader, 3x USB 3.0, headphones/SPDIF, microphone
Left: Kensington Lock, Ethernet, SD reader, 3x USB 3.0, headphones/SPDIF, microphone
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity

SD Card Reader

The integrated SD reader has not been upgraded and continues to be very slow. Transfer rates average just 25 MB/s when using our Toshiba UHS-II SDXC test card and moving 1 GB worth of files from the card to desktop will take 40 seconds. Most SD readers on other notebooks are several times faster than what the MSI GS/WS series currently offer.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
 
157.5 MB/s ∼100% +521%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
 
155 MB/s ∼98% +511%
MSI WT72-6QM
 
154 MB/s ∼98% +507%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
 
25.35 MB/s ∼16%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
 
254.5 MB/s ∼100% +903%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
 
215 MB/s ∼84% +747%
MSI WT72-6QM
 
172 MB/s ∼68% +578%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
 
25.38 MB/s ∼10%

Software

The same Dragon Center and System Control Manager software as found on the G series is back with some altered colors. The UI is intuitive and easy to use when compared to the crowded and smaller font approach of the Aorus/Gigabyte notebooks. Temperature and fan controls aren't as advanced as on the EVGA SC15. The gaming-centric MSI Mobile Center is still supported for monitoring systems vitals via smartphone if desired.

The Nahimic audio software is conspicuously missing on the system.

System Monitor does not show RPM for the smaller third fan
System Monitor does not show RPM for the smaller third fan
Three-zone RGB lighting. There is no lighting for the trackpad
Three-zone RGB lighting. There is no lighting for the trackpad
System Tuner and customizable profile settings
System Tuner and customizable profile settings
True Color for preset color settings
True Color for preset color settings
Separate controls for the CPU and GPU fans
Separate controls for the CPU and GPU fans
System Control Manager
System Control Manager

Communication

MSI has swapped out the gaming-centric Killer 1535 module in the GS series for the Intel 8265. WS63 owners will miss out on the Killer software and hardware features, but basic performance will be essentially identical. We are able to record a real-world transfer rate of 638 Mbps against a theoretical maximum of 867 Mbps when standing one meter away from our Linksys EA8500 test router. WAN options are not available unlike on the ThinkPad P51.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
662 MBit/s ∼100% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
643 MBit/s ∼97% +1%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
638 MBit/s ∼96%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
622 MBit/s ∼94% -3%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
594 MBit/s ∼100% +12%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
531 MBit/s ∼89%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
508 MBit/s ∼86% -4%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
506 (min: 622) MBit/s ∼85% -5%

Accessories

There are no included extras outside of a large velvet cleaning cloth. A Thunderbolt 3 adapter for VGA or Smart Card would have been a neat addition considering the workstation audience.

Maintenance

The bottom panel comes off fairly easily with just a Philips screwdriver. Only the battery, WLAN module, and secondary HDD are immediately accessible as most of the core components are on the other side of the motherboard. Removing the bottom panel will still void the warranty which is disappointing for a business-class laptop where serviceability is key.

Warranty

MSI workstations come with 3-year warranty as standard (plus global warranty for the first year) similar to HP's ZBook series.

Input Devices

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keyboards of larger mobile workstations have a distinct advantage over the WS63. Since the chassis designs of traditional workstations are generally tougher and sturdier, their keyboard keys are subsequently firmer to press. The keys on the MSI are still comfortable to type on even though they are slightly softer in feedback and clatter a bit more loudly. MSI is one the few manufacturers to offer a three-zone RGB backlight instead of a TrackPoint for its workstation series.

The chrome-lined trackpad (10.5 x 7.0 cm) is larger in surface area than the ones on the ZBook 15 or Celsius H760 since it lacks dedicated mouse buttons. Multi-touch gestures are thus easier at the expense of accurate clicks and simpler drag-and-drop motions. The integrated mouse keys are shallow in travel with poor feedback when pressed. We find tapping on the surface to input clicks to be easier and less tiresome than physically clicking on the corners of the trackpad. Otherwise, the trackpad surface is smooth and reliable for normal cursor control at both slow and fast speeds.

A fingerprint reader is integrated onto the top left corner of the trackpad as an additional security feature for the WS63. The problem with this approach is that this small portion of the trackpad becomes unusable for cursor control and is essentially a dead zone. Most manufacturers integrate fingerprint readers outside of the trackpad around the palm rests instead.

Same exact GS63VR keyboard and still no Caps Lock light
Same exact GS63VR keyboard and still no Caps Lock light
Trackpad does not cater well for workstation use
Trackpad does not cater well for workstation use

Display

The 1080p LG Philips LP156W6 IPS panel in use can also be found on the GE62VR and Asus GL502VY gaming notebooks. While contrast levels are great, nothing about the display is particularly special from a workstation point of view. Its backlight brightness of almost 300 nits could have been brighter to take better advantage of the lightweight chassis and color coverage is narrower than the sRGB standard. The WS63 is also available with a 4K UHD panel that will almost surely exhibit different properties than our 1080p SKU, but it is highly unlikely that the 4K UHD panel will be the superior Sharp IGZO panel as found on the Precision 5520 or Razer Blade.

The most jarring aspect of the display is the presence of pulse-width modulation (PWM) on all brightness levels. Strangely enough, the 4K UHD GS63VR SKU does not exhibit PWM on the maximum brightness setting while the FHD GS63VR SKU does. Our WS63 configuration mimics that of the FHD GS63VR SKU but at a higher PWM frequency rate (21740 Hz vs. 202 Hz). We made absolute sure to disable any automatic brightness settings or power-saving features that might induce PWM, but results remain the same. Our prediction is that the 4K UHD WS63 will not exhibit PWM based on our data. Most users will fortunately not notice the screen flickering during use.

We can notice no major uneven backlight bleeding issues on our particular unit. Display graininess is also not very noticeable despite the matte overlay especially when compared to the thick matte panel on the EVGA SC15.

Minimal backlight bleeding along top left corner
Minimal backlight bleeding along top left corner
Subpixel array (141 PPI)
Subpixel array (141 PPI)
297
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
299.7
cd/m²
279.6
cd/m²
302.5
cd/m²
292.6
cd/m²
287.3
cd/m²
300.9
cd/m²
295.9
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
ID: LGD046F, Name: LG Philips LP156W6, Dell P/N: 3874Y
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 302.5 cd/m² Average: 294.9 cd/m² Minimum: 15.31 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 302.5 cd/m²
Contrast: 976:1 (Black: 0.31 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.3 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 3.1 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
84.3% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 55% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.16
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
ID: LGD046F, Name: LG Philips LP156W6, Dell P/N: 3874Y, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
LEN40BD, B156ZAN02.1, IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
SHP1476, IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Fujitsu Celsius H760
LGD046F LP156WF6-SPP1, IPS LED, 15.6, 1920x1080
MSI WS60-6QJE316H11
SDC424B, IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Response Times
9%
-41%
11%
-19%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
38 (20, 18)
40.8 (20.8, 20)
-7%
59.2 (27.6, 31.6)
-56%
38 (15, 23)
-0%
34 (13, 21)
11%
Response Time Black / White *
33 (20, 13)
25.2 (14, 11.2)
24%
41.6 (26.8, 14.8)
-26%
26 (7, 19)
21%
24 (9, 15)
27%
PWM Frequency
21740 (100)
1316 (40)
-94%
Screen
15%
6%
3%
-10%
Brightness middle
302.5
317
5%
372.4
23%
341
13%
237
-22%
Brightness
295
309
5%
368
25%
310
5%
208
-29%
Brightness Distribution
92
89
-3%
90
-2%
82
-11%
77
-16%
Black Level *
0.31
0.36
-16%
0.48
-55%
0.34
-10%
0.26
16%
Contrast
976
881
-10%
776
-20%
1003
3%
912
-7%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.3
2.7
37%
2.6
40%
3.8
12%
4.42
-3%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
9.4
4.1
56%
5.6
40%
10.8
-15%
8.54
9%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.1
3
3%
3.7
-19%
2
35%
4.43
-43%
Gamma
2.16 102%
2.27 97%
2.14 103%
2.17 101%
2.23 99%
CCT
7071 92%
6077 107%
7096 92%
6581 99%
6133 106%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
55
87.6
59%
63
15%
54
-2%
52.5
-5%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
84.3
99.5
18%
99
17%
82.2
-2%
82.9
-2%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
12% / 14%
-18% / -2%
7% / 4%
-15% / -12%

* ... smaller is better

Color coverage is approximately 84 percent and 55 percent of the sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, respectively. Graphic artists who demand full sRGB coverage will be disappointed by what the WS63 offers as most other workstations and even some multimedia offerings have panels that cover sRGB in its entirety.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. ThinkPad P51
vs. ThinkPad P51

Additional measurements with an X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal generally accurate colors and grayscale when the MSI True Color software is set to sRGB mode. From a workstation standpoint, however, we were expecting more. Our own calibration efforts improved grayscale and colors even further as shown by the before and after data below. Grayscale and colors become very well balanced, but higher saturation levels are represented less accurately since sRGB coverage is not perfect.

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
33 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20 ms rise
↘ 13 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 86 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
38 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20 ms rise
↘ 18 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. » 36 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (40 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 21740 Hz ≤ 100 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 21740 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 100 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 21740 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9448 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is average at best if working under shade. Direct sunlight will instantly wash out colors and text on the matte panel. Both the wide IPS viewing angles and 180-degree hinges can only compensate so much for the insufficient backlight.

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

Performance

MSI has opted to skip the Xeon CPU series on the WS60 in favor of the consumer-oriented Core i7-7700HQ. This may be a deal breaker for certain users who depend on the very large L3 cache of Xeon CPUs and their native support for ECC RAM. We've not heard about any official plans so far to reintroduce the WS63 with Xeon options.

The defining feature of the WS63 lies instead on its new Quadro P3000 GPU with 6 GB of GDDR5 VRAM. This is one of the first available mobile workstations sporting the Pascal-based P3000 that shares many design features with the popular consumer-oriented GTX 1060. GPU-Z does in fact show the P3000 to have equal numbers of unified shaders and ROPs as the GTX 1060 but with less texture mapping units (80 vs. 106) and slower core and memory clock rates. If the jump from Maxwell to Pascal is of any indication, then the P3000 should be significantly faster than the outgoing Quadro M3000M found on most other mobile workstations. 

Processor

CPU performance is identical to the GS63VR according to CineBench benchmarks and only marginally faster than the Broadwell i7-5700HQ and Skylake i7-6700HQ CPUs in multi-threaded workloads. The Xeon E3-1505M v5 clocks in slightly slower while the octa-core Xeon E5-2680 desktop processor can potentially be over twice as fast.

Running CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop results in steady scores throughout the run with a drop of only 2 to 3 percent. This is in stark contrast to our GS63VR or Precision 5520 test units where scores either fell over time or became irregular due to potential temperature throttling. MSI may have updated the BIOS for the WS63 to perform more consistently when under high CPU loads. See our dedicated page on the Core i7-7700HQ for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730740750Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
170 Points ∼78% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
Intel Core i7-7820HQ
166 Points ∼76% +2%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
162 Points ∼74% 0%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
162 Points ∼74%
MSI WS60 6QJ-535VPL
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
157 Points ∼72% -3%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
144 Points ∼66% -11%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
140 Points ∼64% -14%
Nvidia Titan X (Pascal)
Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4
100 Points ∼46% -38%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Nvidia Titan X (Pascal)
Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4
1657 Points ∼38% +123%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
Intel Core i7-7820HQ
762 Points ∼17% +3%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
743 Points ∼17%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
742 Points ∼17% 0%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
719 Points ∼16% -3%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
676 Points ∼15% -9%
MSI WS60 6QJ-535VPL
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
675 Points ∼15% -9%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
654 Points ∼15% -12%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
1.92 Points ∼79% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
Intel Core i7-7820HQ
1.83 Points ∼75% +1%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.82 Points ∼75%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.77 Points ∼73% -3%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
1.68 Points ∼69% -8%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.55 Points ∼64% -15%
Nvidia Titan X (Pascal)
Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4
1.13 Points ∼46% -38%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Nvidia Titan X (Pascal)
Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4
17.65 Points ∼53% +116%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
Intel Core i7-7820HQ
8.28 Points ∼25% +1%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.18 Points ∼24% 0%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.17 Points ∼24%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
7.96 Points ∼24% -3%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
7.89 Points ∼24% -3%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.39 Points ∼22% -10%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
Intel Core i7-7820HQ
6118 Points ∼56% +3%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
5929 Points ∼55%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
5747 Points ∼53% -3%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
5567 Points ∼51% -6%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
4720 Points ∼44% -20%
Nvidia Titan X (Pascal)
Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4
3707 Points ∼34% -37%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Nvidia Titan X (Pascal)
Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4
30922 Points ∼62% +38%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
Intel Core i7-7820HQ
22977 Points ∼46% +2%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
22444 Points ∼45%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
22217 Points ∼45% -1%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
21681 Points ∼44% -3%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
19720 Points ∼40% -12%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
MSI WS60 6QJ-535VPL
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
330.533 s * ∼4% -52%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
319 s * ∼4% -47%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
236 s * ∼3% -9%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
216.8 s * ∼3%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
206.294 s * ∼2% +5%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
Nvidia Titan X (Pascal)
Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4
817.66 Seconds * ∼4% -60%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
579.909 Seconds * ∼3% -14%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
573.691 Seconds * ∼3% -12%
MSI WS60 6QJ-535VPL
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
527.14 Seconds * ∼2% -3%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
510.672 Seconds * ∼2%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
489 Seconds * ∼2% +4%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6835
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
22444
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5929
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
8.17 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
95.98 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.82 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
162 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
113.39 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
743 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark 8 ranks the system noticeably faster than the WS60 and ThinkPad P51. Subjectively, system performance is smooth and we can notice no software hitches during use.

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 10 Standard
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 Extreme
PCMark 10 Extreme
PCMark 10 Express
PCMark 10 Express
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
EVGA SC15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
5400 Points ∼83% +1%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
Quadro P3000, 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5331 Points ∼82%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4256 Points ∼65% -20%
MSI WS60-6QJE316H11
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5128GP
4045 Points ∼62% -24%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
EVGA SC15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
7505 Points ∼79% +40%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
6301 Points ∼66% +18%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
Quadro P3000, 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5348 Points ∼56%
Home Score Accelerated v2
EVGA SC15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
5085 Points ∼83% +19%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
Quadro P3000, 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4284 Points ∼70%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3641 Points ∼60% -15%
MSI WS60-6QJE316H11
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5128GP
3134 Points ∼51% -27%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4284 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5348 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5331 points
Help

Storage Devices

We recommend sticking to 7 mm drives due to space concerns
We recommend sticking to 7 mm drives due to space concerns

Our test unit houses a primary 512 GB Samsung SM961 M.2 NVMe SSD and a secondary 2 TB Seagate ST2000LM015 HDD. Unsurprisingly, SSD performance is similar to the ThinkPad P51 and Precision 5520 since all three systems can be configured with the same Samsung drive. Our older WS60 and its RAID 0 SATA III drives don't even come close to the newer NVMe SSDs as the table below illustrates. The secondary Seagate HDD returns an average transfer rate of 105 MB/s on HD Tune which is fast for a 5400 RPM drive.

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

CDM (Primary SSD)
CDM (Primary SSD)
AS SSD
AS SSD
CDM (Secondary HDD)
CDM (Secondary HDD)
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
HD Tune (Secondary HDD)
HD Tune (Secondary HDD)
 
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
MSI WS60 6QJ-535VPL
2x Plextor PX512M6GV-2280 (RAID 0)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Fujitsu Celsius H760
Samsung SM951 MZVPV512 m.2 PCI-e
AS SSD
-55%
-4%
-1%
-17%
Copy Game MB/s
1121.12
1140.2
2%
921.16
-18%
978
-13%
Copy Program MB/s
447.28
425.61
-5%
372.79
-17%
571
28%
Copy ISO MB/s
1759.92
1606.93
-9%
1659.32
-6%
1325
-25%
Score Total
3759
1392
-63%
3424
-9%
3681
-2%
2201
-41%
Score Write
1440
543
-62%
917
-36%
1379
-4%
623
-57%
Score Read
1568
557
-64%
1690
8%
1554
-1%
1048
-33%
Access Time Write *
0.028
0.041
-46%
0.025
11%
0.023
18%
0.018
36%
Access Time Read *
0.036
0.054
-50%
0.032
11%
0.038
-6%
0.036
-0%
4K-64 Write
1150.75
375.79
-67%
623.19
-46%
1054.63
-8%
285
-75%
4K-64 Read
1244.06
437.1
-65%
1372.12
10%
1222.65
-2%
801
-36%
4K Write
128.48
85.02
-34%
143.09
11%
155.28
21%
188
46%
4K Read
49.02
32.19
-34%
55.57
13%
51.45
5%
34
-31%
Seq Write
1603.21
820.69
-49%
1506.12
-6%
1694.02
6%
1492
-7%
Seq Read
2749.98
880.02
-68%
2623.53
-5%
2799.35
2%
1916
-30%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3042 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 1665 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 643.1 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 551.1 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1382 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1631 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 57.53 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 185.4 MB/s

GPU Performance

3DMark benchmarks rank the P3000 to be nearly identical to the GTX 980M. This represents a large 43 percent increase in raw graphics power over the M3000M that this particular Pascal GPU supplants and is even slightly faster than the flagship M5000M in the much larger MSI WT72. Interestingly, SpecViewPerf 12 shows the performance gap between the P3000 and M3000M  to be slightly smaller overall with the M5000M outperforming it in some cases. The P4000 in the latest Celsius H970 brings an even greater performance advantage similar to the jump from a GTX 1060 to a GTX 1070.

Gaming performance sits comfortably between the GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1060 to represent a significant jump from the M3000M. Though not its primary function, the P3000 is more than capable at playing modern titles at respectable 1080p settings.

See our dedicated page on the Quadro P3000 for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark
Fire Strike Extreme Graphics
Desktop PC Intel Xeon E5 2680v4 KFA2 GTX 1060 6GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), E5-2680 v4
6022 Points ∼30% +34%
Fujitsu Celsius H970
NVIDIA Quadro P4000, E3-1535M v6
5903 Points ∼30% +32%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
4623 Points ∼23% +3%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
NVIDIA Quadro P3000, 7700HQ
4481 Points ∼23%
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M, E3-1505M v5
4365 Points ∼22% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
NVIDIA Quadro P3000, 7820HQ
4307 Points ∼22% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70-20ER000XUS
NVIDIA Quadro M4000M, E3-1505M v5
3808 Points ∼19% -15%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Desktop PC Intel Xeon E5 2680v4 KFA2 GTX 1060 6GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), E5-2680 v4
12648 Points ∼31% +33%
Fujitsu Celsius H970
NVIDIA Quadro P4000, E3-1535M v6
12259 Points ∼30% +29%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
9608 Points ∼24% +1%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
NVIDIA Quadro P3000, 7700HQ
9489 Points ∼23%
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M, E3-1505M v5
9087 Points ∼22% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
NVIDIA Quadro P3000, 7820HQ
9022 Points ∼22% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70-20ER000XUS
NVIDIA Quadro M4000M, E3-1505M v5
7723 Points ∼19% -19%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M, E3-1535M v5
6658 Points ∼16% -30%
Fujitsu Celsius H760
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5
4053 Points ∼10% -57%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Desktop PC Intel Xeon E5 2680v4 KFA2 GTX 1060 6GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), E5-2680 v4
12503 Points ∼55% +38%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
NVIDIA Quadro P3000, 7820HQ
9490 Points ∼42% +5%
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M, E3-1505M v5
9356 Points ∼41% +3%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
NVIDIA Quadro P3000, 7700HQ
9063 Points ∼40%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M, E3-1535M v5
8654 Points ∼38% -5%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
8343 Points ∼37% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70-20ER000XUS
NVIDIA Quadro M4000M, E3-1505M v5
7892 Points ∼35% -13%
Fujitsu Celsius H970
NVIDIA Quadro P4000, E3-1535M v6
7662 Points ∼34% -15%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Desktop PC Intel Xeon E5 2680v4 KFA2 GTX 1060 6GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), E5-2680 v4
17174 Points ∼34% +42%
Fujitsu Celsius H970
NVIDIA Quadro P4000, E3-1535M v6
15433 Points ∼30% +27%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
12472 Points ∼24% +3%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
NVIDIA Quadro P3000, 7700HQ
12105 Points ∼24%
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M, E3-1505M v5
11820 Points ∼23% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
NVIDIA Quadro P3000, 7820HQ
11162 Points ∼22% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70-20ER000XUS
NVIDIA Quadro M4000M, E3-1505M v5
10259 Points ∼20% -15%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M, E3-1535M v5
8313 Points ∼16% -31%
SPECviewperf 12
1900x1060 Solidworks (sw-03)
Fujitsu Celsius H970
117.07 fps ∼100% +14%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
107.33 fps ∼92% +4%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
102.91 fps ∼88%
MSI WT72-6QM
101.01 fps ∼86% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70-20ER000XUS
97.11 fps ∼83% -6%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
84.84 fps ∼72% -18%
1900x1060 Siemens NX (snx-02)
Lenovo ThinkPad P70-20ER000XUS
127.75 fps ∼100% +78%
MSI WT72-6QM
86.87 fps ∼68% +21%
Fujitsu Celsius H970
83.11 fps ∼65% +16%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
73.27 fps ∼57% +2%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
71.77 fps ∼56%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
65.79 fps ∼51% -8%
1900x1060 Showcase (showcase-01)
Fujitsu Celsius H970
67.16 fps ∼100% +23%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
54.77 fps ∼82%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
54 fps ∼80% -1%
MSI WT72-6QM
44.14 fps ∼66% -19%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
43.81 fps ∼65% -20%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70-20ER000XUS
40.33 fps ∼60% -26%
1900x1060 Medical (medical-01)
Fujitsu Celsius H970
39.4 fps ∼100% +32%
MSI WT72-6QM
31.35 fps ∼80% +5%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
29.82 fps ∼76%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
29.32 fps ∼74% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70-20ER000XUS
26.06 fps ∼66% -13%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
22.34 fps ∼57% -25%
1900x1060 Maya (maya-04)
Fujitsu Celsius H970
77.88 fps ∼100% +15%
MSI WT72-6QM
69.57 fps ∼89% +3%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
67.65 fps ∼87%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
64.61 fps ∼83% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70-20ER000XUS
64.04 fps ∼82% -5%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
50.38 fps ∼65% -26%
1900x1060 Energy (energy-01)
Fujitsu Celsius H970
10.29 fps ∼100% +34%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
7.7 fps ∼75%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
7.6 fps ∼74% -1%
MSI WT72-6QM
6.86 fps ∼67% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70-20ER000XUS
6.04 fps ∼59% -22%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
4.85 fps ∼47% -37%
1900x1060 Creo (creo-01)
Fujitsu Celsius H970
97.14 fps ∼100% +12%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
87 fps ∼90%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
85.55 fps ∼88% -2%
MSI WT72-6QM
81.34 fps ∼84% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70-20ER000XUS
78.36 fps ∼81% -10%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
64.76 fps ∼67% -26%
1900x1060 Catia (catia-04)
Fujitsu Celsius H970
115.22 fps ∼100% +19%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
96.46 fps ∼84%
MSI WT72-6QM
94.45 fps ∼82% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE
92.31 fps ∼80% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70-20ER000XUS
88.09 fps ∼76% -9%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
77.86 fps ∼68% -19%
1900x1060 3ds Max (3dsmax-05)
Fujitsu Celsius H970
93.62 fps ∼100%

Legend

 
MSI WS63 7RF-290US Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA Quadro P3000, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
 
Fujitsu Celsius H970 Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6, NVIDIA Quadro P4000, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
 
MSI WT72-6QM Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5, NVIDIA Quadro M5000M, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
 
Lenovo ThinkPad P70-20ER000XUS Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5, NVIDIA Quadro M4000M, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
 
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5, NVIDIA Quadro M3000M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
 
Lenovo ThinkPad P71-20HK0004GE Intel Core i7-7820HQ, NVIDIA Quadro P3000, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x
EVGA SC15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
66.8 fps ∼100% +25%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
55 fps ∼82% +3%
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
Quadro P3000, 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
53.6 fps ∼80%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70-20ER000XUS
Quadro M4000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
48 fps ∼72% -10%
Asus GL753VE-DS74
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 7700HQ, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
37 fps ∼55% -31%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
Quadro M3000M, E3-1535M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
33.4 fps ∼50% -38%
HP Pavilion 15 Power 1GK62AV
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 7700HQ, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
32.9 fps ∼49% -39%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 92.1fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 67.5fps
Thief (2014) 65fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 6633fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 7349fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 60fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 51.9fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 53.6fps
Ashes of the Singularity (2016) 52.547.8fps
Doom (2016) 73fps
Overwatch (2016) 89.9fps
Mafia 3 (2016) 36.5fps
Prey (2017) 89.3fps

Stress Test

We stress the notebook to identify for any potential throttling or stability issues. If only under Prime95 stress, the CPU can run steady at 3.1 to 3.2 GHz against a base clock rate of 2.8 GHz. This is compared to the same processor in the EVGA SC15 that can maintain a slightly higher clock rate of 3.4 GHz when under similar conditions. Turbo Boost potential is more limiting on the WS63 likely due to its more delicate balance between fan noise and processor performance compared to the larger SC15. Running both Prime95 and FurMark to stress the CPU and GPU simultaneously will bring CPU temperatures as high as 95 C with a cycling clock rate between 2.8 GHz and 3.2 GHz. It's good to see that the CPU will not throttle even if under extreme conditions and within such a thin chassis design, but a more consistent clock rate is always preferable. GPU temperature remains remarkably cool for a notebook under stress at just 72 C.

Running Witcher 3 is more representative of gaming loads compared to the conditions above. The CPU and GPU run at a steady 56 C and 58 C, respectively, with the GPU at a constant Boost clock rate of 1280 MHz against its base rate of 1088 MHz. CPU clock rates in particular remain steady at just 1.3 GHz to explain the quieter-than-expected fan noise in the next section below. Frame rates are steady with no significant dips even after running Witcher 3 for nearly an hour.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Witcher 3 stress
Witcher 3 stress
01234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 3.1 -- 78 44
FurMark Stress -- 1139 61 66
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 2.8 - 3.2 1139 85 - 95 72
Witcher 3 Stress 1.3 1240 56 58

Emissions

System Noise

We've criticized the fan noise of the GS series in the past and the situation has improved somewhat on the WS63 since the P3000 operates at a slower clock rate than the GTX 1060. The system is almost never silent except after a cold boot and one of the three fans will always be active and audible at about 32 dB(A) no matter the profile setting. Fan noise jumps slightly if streaming video or browsing but will thankfully not pulsate and is generally consistent during everyday browsing loads.

Medium load with 3DMark06 will bump fan noise up to 38 dB(A) to be very similar to our past GS63VR test units. The interesting part, however, is that fan noise will actually be quieter at just 35.8 dB(A) when running Witcher 3. This may be due to the slower CPU and GPU clock rates as shown during our stress test section above when compared to dedicated gaming notebooks.

One thing to note of the WS63/GS63VR/GS73VR series is the higher-pitched fan noise. The addition of a third smaller fan may aid in reducing temperatures even further, but fan noise can be more noticeable than on other notebooks if assuming the same dB level because of the greater sound frequency. This is represented by the sharper frequency peaks from our fan noise measurements below and is a characteristic unique to the WS/GS series.

Electronic noise or coil whine was not present on our unit.

Identical ~45 mm and 40 mm fans as the GS63VR
Identical ~45 mm and 40 mm fans as the GS63VR
Fan noise is almost always present but thankfully steady and consistent during low loads
Fan noise is almost always present but thankfully steady and consistent during low loads
WS63 (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Orange: Witcher 3, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
WS63 (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Orange: Witcher 3, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Precision 5520
Precision 5520
EVGA SC15
EVGA SC15

Noise Level

Idle
28.1 / 28.1 / 32 dB(A)
Load
38 / 47.2 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.1 dB(A)
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
Quadro P3000, 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
MSI WS60-6QJE316H11
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5128GP
HP ZBook 15 G3
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Fujitsu Celsius H760
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512 m.2 PCI-e
Noise
5%
-7%
-20%
-7%
-3%
off / environment *
28.1
29.6
-5%
28.7
-2%
30
-7%
29
-3%
Idle Minimum *
28.1
29.6
-5%
28.7
-2%
37.2
-32%
30
-7%
29
-3%
Idle Average *
28.1
29.6
-5%
32.1
-14%
37.2
-32%
30
-7%
29
-3%
Idle Maximum *
32
29.6
7%
32.1
-0%
37.2
-16%
30
6%
29
9%
Load Average *
38
32.2
15%
41.3
-9%
42.1
-11%
45.3
-19%
43.1
-13%
Witcher 3 ultra *
35.8
45.5
-27%
Load Maximum *
47.2
36.6
22%
45.5
4%
50.7
-7%
49.7
-5%
49.2
-4%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Surface temperatures are flat with no notable hot spots when idling on desktop. When under maximum load, temperatures are unsurprisingly similar to our previous GS63VR model given that the P3000 is an offshoot of the GTX 1060. Certain areas of the keyboard can be as warm 46 C while the underside of the system can get significantly warmer at over 60 C. Surfaces will never become this hot when simply browsing or streaming, but expect warmer temperatures than the ThinkPad P51 and ZBook 15 G3 especially around the palm rests and keyboard.

Prime95+FurMark load (top)
Prime95+FurMark load (top)
Prime95+FurMark load (bottom)
Prime95+FurMark load (bottom)
Max. Load
 40 °C
104 F
41.2 °C
106 F
38.4 °C
101 F
 
 37.6 °C
100 F
46.4 °C
116 F
43 °C
109 F
 
 31.6 °C
89 F
32.6 °C
91 F
36.4 °C
98 F
 
Maximum: 46.4 °C = 116 F
Average: 38.6 °C = 101 F
42.2 °C
108 F
62 °C
144 F
40.4 °C
105 F
43.2 °C
110 F
52.4 °C
126 F
38.4 °C
101 F
37.8 °C
100 F
38.4 °C
101 F
35.2 °C
95 F
Maximum: 62 °C = 144 F
Average: 43.3 °C = 110 F
Power Supply (max.)  44.2 °C = 112 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 38.6 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 31.2 °C / 88 F for the devices in the class Workstation.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 46.4 °C / 116 F, compared to the average of 37.2 °C / 99 F, ranging from 23 to 69.8 °C for the class Workstation.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 62 °C / 144 F, compared to the average of 40.4 °C / 105 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 27.2 °C / 81 F, compared to the device average of 31.2 °C / 88 F.
(±) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 36.2 °C / 97 F, compared to the device average of 31.2 °C / 88 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 36.4 °C / 97.5 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 27.8 °C / 82 F (-8.6 °C / -15.5 F).

Speakers

The internal stereo speakers lack bass and are treble heavy. Pink noise measurements show a poorer reproduction of the lower frequency ranges when compared to the Precision 5520 and larger GT72VR. Higher volume settings do not introduce any static or distracting reverberations of the surrounding chassis.

Hi-Fi audio output is supported via the same ESS Sabre DAC as found on the GS and GT series. We're not sure if professional graphic artists will ever require studio-grade high impedance headphones for work, but the option is here nevertheless.

WS63 (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
WS63 (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
MSI GT72VR
MSI GT72VR
Dell Precision 5520
Dell Precision 5520
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2035.536.82531.934.63134.7354034.334.65032.634.56332.3338031.932.31003031.312530.429.916028.729.420027.730.325026.637.331526.445.940025.950.550025.450.963024.853.680024.458.7100024.663.6125023.966.6160023.861.4200023.653.7250023.858.1315023.557.1400023.560.8500023.556.2630023.655.6800023.451.21000023.549.31250023.449.21600023.447.9SPL36.171.7N2.626.4median 23.9median 51.2Delta1.57.135.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseMSI WS63 7RF-290USApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
MSI WS63 7RF-290US audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (66.61 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 17.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.4% higher than median
(-) | mids are not linear (15.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.8% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (10.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (30.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 97% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 0% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 19%, worst was 31%
Compared to all devices tested
» 90% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 7% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

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

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Power consumption under medium to high loads is slightly less than a GTX 1060-powered gaming notebook and generally more efficient than the WS60. Running 3DMark06 and Witcher 3 will draw about 80 W and 90 W, respectively, compared to 80 W to 120 W on the EVGA SC15 equipped with the same CPU and GPU. The WS63 is even more efficient than the Quadro M5000M-powered MSI WT72 even though the P3000 scores similarly in 3DMark benchmarks.

Maximum load with Prime95 and FurMark will draw about 162 W from a medium-sized power adapter (15.5 x 7.5 x 3.0 cm) rated for up to 180 W. 

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.8 / 1.22 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 11 / 14.2 / 14.6 Watt
Load midlight 77.7 / 161.7 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
7700HQ, Quadro P3000, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
MSI WS60-6QJE316H11
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M2000M, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5128GP, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
EVGA SC15
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7, , 1920x1080, 15.6
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
E3-1535M v5, Quadro M3000M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
MSI WT72-6QM
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M5000M, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Power Consumption
-59%
-57%
-0%
-79%
Idle Minimum *
11
18.8
-71%
25.8
-135%
6.7
39%
24.8
-125%
Idle Average *
14.2
29.6
-108%
26.6
-87%
12.5
12%
29.7
-109%
Idle Maximum *
14.6
30.3
-108%
26.7
-83%
13.2
10%
30.1
-106%
Load Average *
77.7
90.4
-16%
80.3
-3%
128.2
-65%
105.2
-35%
Load Maximum *
161.7
150.2
7%
159.3
1%
158.9
2%
192.2
-19%
Witcher 3 ultra *
89.1
121.2
-36%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Internal battery capacity is larger than on the WS60/GS60 and runtimes are subsequently longer. Users can expect just over 4.5 hours of real-world WLAN use and over 7 hours if simply idling on desktop at the lowest possible brightness setting. While a significant improvement over the previous generation, other thicker 15-inch workstations like the ThinkPad P51 and Celsius H760 have even larger batteries and slightly longer runtimes.

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

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
7h 07min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
4h 44min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 10min
MSI WS63 7RF-290US
7700HQ, Quadro P3000, 65 Wh
MSI WS60-6QJE316H11
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M2000M, 47 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
E3-1505M v6, Quadro M2200, 90 Wh
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
E3-1505M v6, Quadro M1200, 97 Wh
MSI WT72-6QM
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M5000M,  Wh
HP ZBook 15 G3
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M2000M, 90 Wh
Battery Runtime
-51%
70%
15%
-3%
62%
Reader / Idle
427
160
-63%
981
130%
724
70%
413
-3%
822
93%
WiFi v1.3
284
106
-63%
413
45%
254
-11%
245
-14%
386
36%
Load
70
51
-27%
95
36%
61
-13%
76
9%
110
57%

Pros

+ significantly higher performance-to-power ratio than Quadro Mx000M series
+ relatively low fan noise during low-medium loads
+ Thunderbolt 3 and fingerprint reader
+ very fast Quadro P3000 GPU
+ thin and lightweight chassis
+ standard 3-year warranty
+ three-zone RGB backlight
+ no CPU or GPU throttling
+ Hi-Fi ESS Sabre DAC

Cons

- staple workstation features missing; no SIM, Smart Card, ExpressCard, VGA, TrackPoint, or dedicated mouse keys
- CPU performance could be more consistent under extreme stress
- more flexible chassis; not as rigid as traditional workstations
- at least one system fan is always active
- end-user servicing will void warranty
- no Xeon processor options
- battery life could be better
- higher-pitched fan noise

Verdict

In review: MSI WS63 7RK-290US. Test model provided by MSI
In review: MSI WS63 7RK-290US. Test model provided by MSI

The traditional Dell Precision, Lenovo ThinkPad P, and HP ZBook series of mobile workstations are heavy and hulking designs. The MSI WS series dares to look the other way by offering something lighter and sleeker without sacrificing core performance. Nvidia's new Quadro P3000 makes the WS63 a compelling buy with its overall lower power consumption than a Quadro M5000M notebook while still offering nearly the same level of performance as a GTX 980M. It's almost shocking to see the new WS63 outperform last year's ZBook 15 G3 that can cost thousands more. Professionals who desire GPU performance and portability above all else need not look any further.

Main drawbacks are predictable as the thin design and light weight naturally lead to fewer options. The chassis is more flexible, fan noise is higher-pitched, and serviceability is more difficult as one may expect given the smaller size. CPU temperatures are much warmer when under extreme loads and Turbo Boost speeds tend to fluctuate as a result. Not having a significantly brighter display than other workstations also seems like a missed opportunity since it would have made the already portable system an even better travel companion. We're hoping that future revisions will add options for full sRGB or AdobeRGB support on top of Xeon CPU and ECC RAM features to push the WS series deeper into the workstation category.

The WS63 is quite the jump from the WS60 from a performance and design standpoint. It's still light on certain features and continues to feel more like a workstation-gaming hybrid rather than a full-on workstation.

MSI WS63 7RF-290US - 07/09/2017 v6
Allen Ngo

Chassis
80 / 98 → 82%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
79%
Connectivity
64 / 81 → 79%
Weight
64 / 10-66 → 96%
Battery
80%
Display
88%
Games Performance
91%
Application Performance
95%
Temperature
83 / 95 → 88%
Noise
86 / 90 → 96%
Audio
66%
Camera
55 / 85 → 65%
Average
79%
86%
Workstation - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI WS63 7RF (i7-7700HQ, FHD, P3000) Workstation Review
Allen Ngo, 2017-07-10 (Update: 2017-08-25)
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.