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iBuyPower MSI GE62 Notebook Review

The entry-level enthusiast. The GTX 960M has arrived and iBuyPower are already geared up with the new GPU for their current OptiBoost lineup. Is this the Maxwell card to own for the mass market?

Nvidia have finally pulled the curtains off the inevitable GTX 960M and iBuyPower have provided us with a first look at what the GPU is capable of in their upcoming MSI GE62 2QD Optiboost model. The more powerful GTX 965M has been available for quite some time now and we recently checked out the MSI GE62 2QE equipped with the GPU. We definitely recommend checking out our GE62 2QE page for more details, pictures, and data as the two models are physically identical.

In this review, we will jump straight to the display and graphics performance of the GTX 960M. Compared to the 2QD configuration above, the 2QE is equipped with a more mainstream matte 1080p IPS display instead of the glossy and denser 4K (3840 x 2160) panel. Will this have noticeable gains in battery life? Is the 960M sufficient for 1080p gaming? How does it compare to the GTX 860M? We answer all this and more below.

Display

The FHD display on our model is free from defects and is very crisp, especially for a matte display. There are no grainy colors or noise as we have seen on some older Asus ROG models and no screen-door effect is noticeable when up close. Text and images are consistent from edge to edge as expected. Its Samsung 156HL01-102 display panel can also be found on a number of high-end 15.6-inch models including the Asus GL550 and MSI WS60 Workstation. When compared to the 4K panel in our GE62 2QE, we actually prefer the native 1080p resolution for general day-to-day use as there isn't much of a difference unless if you constantly work on multiple active windows simultaneously.

More notably, however, display brightness on our 1080p screen is much brighter than on our 4K model by over 100 nits while contrast is largely unaffected at slightly over 500:1. This means that movies and videos on the 1080p model can be brighter without sacrificing black level, at least compared to the 4K model. Other 15.6-inch gaming models like the Alienware 15 and HP Omen show both higher contrast and more accurate colors to boot, though they are a step down in in terms of maximum display brightness.

351.5
cd/m²
372.9
cd/m²
342.7
cd/m²
336.2
cd/m²
361
cd/m²
329.3
cd/m²
339.2
cd/m²
335.8
cd/m²
334.3
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 372.9 cd/m² Average: 344.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 290.9 cd/m²
Contrast: 559:1 (Black: 0.646 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.3 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 7 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
58.63% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.35
MSI GE62 2QD
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, 2x ADATA SP900NS38 (RAID 0)
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, 2x Plextor PX-256M6M (RAID 0)
Alienware 15
GeForce GTX 970M, 4710HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 128GB
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
Screen
-27%
22%
13%
Brightness middle
361
385.3
7%
308
-15%
315
-13%
Brightness
345
352
2%
292
-15%
301
-13%
Brightness Distribution
88
88
0%
83
-6%
85
-3%
Black Level *
0.646
0.829
-28%
0.28
57%
0.38
41%
Contrast
559
465
-17%
1100
97%
829
48%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.3
10.14
-91%
4.28
19%
4.37
18%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7
11.5
-64%
4.54
35%
5.46
22%
Gamma
2.35 94%
2.19 100%
2.81 78%
2.48 89%
CCT
7168 91%
13768 47%
7497 87%
7915 82%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
58.63
45
-23%
60
2%
60
2%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
92.9

* ... smaller is better

Color space reproduction is roughly 79 percent and 58 percent of the sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, respectively. Coverage of sRGB is high even for an IPS panel and certainly better than budget TN panels where 60 percent is the norm. Comparing the color profiles of the GE62 with the Alienware 15 and Asus N551 show an almost perfect overlap of more than 90 percent.

vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. Alienware 15
vs. Alienware 15
vs. Asus N551JK
vs. Asus N551JK

Further display analyses with an X-Rite spectrophotometer show generally accurate colors across all saturation levels with increasing accuracy at higher saturation. All colors are also well balanced relative to one another. Calibration results in only minimal improvements, though the display is still of much higher quality than on the Chimera CX-9.

Grayscale pre-calibration
Grayscale pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration

Outdoor usability is limited due to the weight and size. However, visibility is not bad at maximum display brightness due to the relatively strong backlight and matte panel to avoid intrusive glare. It's not nearly bright enough for use under direct sunlight, so working under shade is still recommended. 

Maximum display brightness on a cloudy day
Maximum display brightness on a cloudy day
MSI GE62 viewing angles
MSI GE62 viewing angles

Viewing angles are excellent with no significant color or grayscale degradation at extreme angles. This is typical of IPS panels and is a significant advantage compared to gaming models with TN solutions. 

Performance

Turbo Boost up to 3.4 GHz for four cores
Turbo Boost up to 3.4 GHz for four cores

The Core i7-4720HQ is a high-end Haswell core comparable to the older Ivy Bridge i7-3840QM while operating at a slower base clock. Power Saver mode will reduce core clock to just 800 MHz to conserve power, while High Performance will run the core at up to 3.4 GHz or even 3.6 GHz for single-threaded tasks. The same i7-4720HQ CPU can be found on a growing number of dedicated gaming notebooks including the MSI GS70, Gigabyte P34W v3, and the Toshiba Satellite P70.

RAM is provided by 2x PC3-12800 G.Skill models for a total of 16 GB. The two SODIMM slots and other internal components are accessible from the bottom of the unit. Removing the panel is not difficult, but definitely not as straightforward as say on the Eurocom P5 Pro as there are more screws to remove and even a separate set of smaller screws around the optical drive.

System information MSI GE62 2QD

Processor

Both Multi-thread and single-thread performance according to CineBench R15 and Super Pi are similar to the popular desktop i7-2600K within just a couple of percentage points. When compared to the i7-4710HQ, however, performance is only marginally better. The performance gap against the i7-4700HQ is wider, but opting for the i7-4710HQ instead of the i7-4720HQ would hardly have an effect on gaming performance and may be worthwhile to save a few dollars.

CineBench R10 64-bit
CineBench R10 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15 64-bit
CineBench R15 64-bit
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6772 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
26115 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
6798 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6744
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
20033
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5213
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
59.19 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.3 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.59 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
92.03 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
667 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
140 Points
Help
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
1.59 Points ∼65%
Alienware 15
1.56 Points ∼64% -2%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
1.46 Points ∼60% -8%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
2.07 Points ∼85% +30%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
7.3 Points ∼27%
Alienware 15
7.04 Points ∼26% -4%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
5.29 Points ∼20% -28%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
9.4 Points ∼35% +29%
OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
59.19 fps ∼35%
Alienware 15
60.14 fps ∼35% +2%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
55.96 fps ∼33% -5%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
82.88 fps ∼49% +40%
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
140 Points ∼64%
Alienware 15
140 Points ∼64% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
125 Points ∼57% -11%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
171 Points ∼78% +22%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
667 Points ∼15%
Alienware 15
647 Points ∼15% -3%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
490 Points ∼11% -27%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
873 Points ∼20% +31%
Ref. Match 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
99.6 % ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
99.6 % ∼100% 0%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
99.6 % ∼100% 0%
OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
92.03 fps ∼37%
Alienware 15
99.16 fps ∼40% +8%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
95.61 fps ∼38% +4%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
144.08 fps ∼58% +57%
wPrime 2.0x
1024m (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
248.189 s * ∼3%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
323 s * ∼4% -30%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
174.76 s * ∼2% +30%
32m (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
8.124 s * ∼2%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
7.813 s * ∼2% +4%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
5.585 s * ∼1% +31%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - --- (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
561 Seconds * ∼2%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
569.349 Seconds * ∼3% -1%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
437 Seconds * ∼2% +22%

Legend

 
MSI GE62 2QD Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 2x ADATA SP900NS38 (RAID 0)
 
Alienware 15 Intel Core i7-4710HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 128GB
 
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50 Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
 
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme Intel Core i7-4790K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 2x Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF (RAID 0)

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

The SSD RAID 0 setup provides the iBuyPower GE62 with a major advantage in system benchmarks compared to systems with just a primary HDD. The PCMark 7 score of 6259 points sits alongside gaming systems with GTX 880M, 870M, and 970M GPUs. The praised Asus G751 and its GTX 980M GPU, for example, scores only about 60 points higher than our GE62. PCMark 8 scores reveal similar results.

PCMark 7
PCMark 7
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 7 Score
6259 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3661 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4404 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4846 points
Help

Storage Devices

The GE62 houses a total of three storage bays: 2x M.2 slots and 1x 2.5-inch SATA III for either 7 mm or 9.5 mm thick drives. This is common for higher-end gaming models of this size class with the exception of the slimmer Lenovo Y50, which is only able to hold one drive. Our particular unit is equipped with 2x 256 GB ADATA SP900NS38 in RAID 0 and a separate 7200 RPM 1 TB Hitachi Travelstar 7K1000 HDD for additional storage space.

Read performance from the ADATA SSDs is normal for a RAID 0 setup, but sequential write speed is slightly lower than usual at just below 500 MB/s according to Crystal Disk Mark. Other RAID 0 SSDs such as the Intel SSD 510, Lite-On LMT-128L9M, and Samsung MZRPC512 clock in at well above 600 MB/s. On the other hand, Hitachi 7K1000 drives tend to perform better than the average 2.5-inch HDD and the one here shows a high transfer rate of 106 MB/s according to HD Tune. Inexpensive 5400 RPM drives tend to perform in the low 80 MB/s range in comparison.

For our growing list of HDD and SSD benchmarks, see our comparison table here.

CDM (RAID 0 Primary)
CDM (RAID 0 Primary)
CDM (HDD Secondary)
CDM (HDD Secondary)
HD Tune (RAID 0 Primary)
HD Tune (RAID 0 Primary)
HD Tune (HDD Secondary)
HD Tune (HDD Secondary)
2x ADATA SP900NS38 (RAID 0)
Transfer Rate Minimum: 803.8 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 958.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 942.2 MB/s
Access Time: 0.1 ms
Burst Rate: 2101.8 MB/s
CPU Usage: 6.3 %

Graphics Solution

Unlike the confusingly split Kepler and Maxwell versions of the previous GTX 860M, all GTX 960M GPUs will be of the Maxwell generation. Beyond that, the 960M utilizes the same number of CUDA cores (640) with the same 2 GB of GDDR5 VRAM and 128-bit memory interface as its predecessor. Base clock and Turbo clock have been raised slightly to 1097 MHz and 1202 MHz, respectively, compared to 1029 MHz and 1097 MHz of a standard Maxwell GTX 860M. This makes the 960M nothing more than a refresh.

Unsurprisingly, 3DMark numbers are essentially identical to older notebooks such as the Asus G750 and its GTX 860M, the Alienware M18x and its GTX 580M SLI, and the Gigabyte P25W and its GTX 770M. The average GTX 970M scores 9598 points in 3DMark Fire Strike Standard while the 960M in our review model returns just 3825 points in the same benchmark. There's no question that Nvidia is keeping the performance of the 960M in check by cutting corners on the number of CUDA cores and VRAM, especially when compared to the 965M.

For more information and benchmarks on the GTX 960M, see our in-depth review here.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
3DMark Ice Storm
3DMark Ice Storm
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark 06 Standard
26126 points
3DMark 11 Performance
5560 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
79212 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
15080 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
3825 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
1885 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Is the 960M a worthy successor to the popular 860M in terms of performance? In practice, the differences are marginal. Most games see single digit increases in frame rate on high settings while the 970M blasts the 960M out of the water by as much as 50 percent or more depending on the title. By halving the CUDA cores and reducing the memory bus by 33 percent compared to a 970M, the 960M struggles when graphical features are turned up. The 965M, for example, runs at a slower clock rate than the 960M yet manages to outperform it by as much as 30 percent on Thief due largely to having a much wider rendering pipeline.

Sleeping Dogs
Sleeping Dogs
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition
low med. high ultra
Sleeping Dogs (2012) 146.192.524.1fps
Guild Wars 2 (2012) 57.833.8fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 166.6111.748.9fps
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013) 120.7106.954fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 131.9119.445.5fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 91.358.530.3fps
Thief (2014) 61.152.327fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014) 81.342.230.1fps
Ryse: Son of Rome (2014) 64.730.127.7fps
F1 2014 (2014) 11210888fps
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (2014) 86.655.230.4fps
Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014) 59.433.422.3fps
Sleeping Dogs
1920x1080 Extreme Preset AA:Extreme (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
24.1 fps ∼16%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
21 fps ∼14% -13%
1366x768 High Preset AA:High (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
92.5 fps ∼35%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
76 fps ∼28% -18%
1366x768 Medium Preset AA:Normal (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
146.1 fps ∼51%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
108 fps ∼37% -26%
Guild Wars 2
1920x1080 All Maximum / On AA:FX (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
33.8 fps ∼37%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
33 fps ∼36% -2%
Schenker XMG P505
52 fps ∼57% +54%
1366x768 Best Appearance Preset AA:FX (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
57.8 fps ∼63%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
60 fps ∼65% +4%
Schenker XMG P505
91.8 fps ∼100% +59%
1024x768 Best Performance Preset (sort by value)
Schenker XMG P505
161.2 fps ∼100%
Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
48.9 fps ∼18%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
44 fps ∼16% -10%
Schenker XMG P505
80.3 fps ∼29% +64%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
57.9 fps ∼21% +18%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
111.7 fps ∼22%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
97 fps ∼19% -13%
Schenker XMG P505
187.1 fps ∼37% +68%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
132.4 fps ∼26% +19%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
166.6 fps ∼29%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
161 fps ∼28% -3%
Schenker XMG P505
295.4 fps ∼52% +77%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
216.5 fps ∼38% +30%
1024x768 Low Preset (sort by value)
Schenker XMG P505
416.1 fps ∼66%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
358.2 fps ∼57%
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
1920x1080 Ultra / Extreme AA:on (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
54 fps ∼25%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
52 fps ∼24% -4%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
63.2 fps ∼29% +17%
1366x768 High AA:on (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
106.9 fps ∼36%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
126 fps ∼42% +18%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
123 fps ∼41% +15%
1366x768 Medium (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
120.7 fps ∼35%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
142 fps ∼41% +18%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
138 fps ∼40% +14%
1024x768 Low (sort by value)
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
248 fps ∼33%
BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
45.5 fps ∼17%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
49 fps ∼18% +8%
Schenker XMG P505
72.5 fps ∼27% +59%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
52.7 fps ∼20% +16%
1366x768 High Preset (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
119.4 fps ∼34%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
112 fps ∼32% -6%
Schenker XMG P505
142.5 fps ∼41% +19%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
130.7 fps ∼38% +9%
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
131.9 fps ∼35%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
126 fps ∼34% -4%
Schenker XMG P505
150.2 fps ∼40% +14%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
142.9 fps ∼38% +8%
1280x720 Very Low Preset (sort by value)
Schenker XMG P505
185.7 fps ∼41%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
190.7 fps ∼42%
Metro: Last Light
1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
30.3 fps ∼18%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
28 fps ∼16% -8%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
35.3 fps ∼21% +17%
Schenker XMG P505
53.3 fps ∼31% +76%
1366x768 High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
58.5 fps ∼30%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
55 fps ∼29% -6%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
61.9 fps ∼32% +6%
Schenker XMG P505
100.3 fps ∼52% +71%
1366x768 Medium (DX10) AF:4x (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
91.3 fps ∼47%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
90 fps ∼46% -1%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
80.3 fps ∼41% -12%
Schenker XMG P505
144 fps ∼74% +58%
1024x768 Low (DX10) AF:4x (sort by value)
Asus G750JS-T4064H
85 fps ∼43%
Schenker XMG P505
147.5 fps ∼75%
Thief
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
27 fps ∼19%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
25 fps ∼18% -7%
Schenker XMG P505
47.9 fps ∼34% +77%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
34.9 fps ∼25% +29%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FXAA & Low SS AF:4x (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
52.3 fps ∼36%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
47 fps ∼32% -10%
Schenker XMG P505
89.3 fps ∼61% +71%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
61.3 fps ∼42% +17%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
61.1 fps ∼41%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
53 fps ∼36% -13%
Schenker XMG P505
105.1 fps ∼71% +72%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
66.8 fps ∼45% +9%
1024x768 Very Low Preset (sort by value)
Schenker XMG P505
124 fps ∼83%
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
73.8 fps ∼49%
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
1920x1080 Ultra Preset (HD Package) (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
30.1 fps ∼19%
Schenker XMG P505
51.2 fps ∼32% +70%
1920x1080 High Preset (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
42.2 fps ∼23%
Schenker XMG P505
68.6 fps ∼37% +63%
1344x756 Medium Preset (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
81.3 fps ∼39%
Schenker XMG P505
126.8 fps ∼61% +56%
1280x720 Lowest Preset (sort by value)
Schenker XMG P505
172 fps ∼64%
Ryse: Son of Rome
1920x1080 Very High Texture Res. + High Graphics Quality (Motion Blur & Temporal AA On, Rest Off/Disabled) AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
27.7 fps ∼27%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
24 fps ∼23% -13%
Schenker XMG P505
41.3 (min: 33) fps ∼40% +49%
1920x1080 High Texture Res. + High Graphics Quality (Rest Off/Disabled) AF:8x (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
30.1 fps ∼27%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
28 fps ∼25% -7%
Schenker XMG P505
44.5 (min: 34) fps ∼40% +48%
1366x768 Medium Texture Res. + Normal Graphics Quality (Rest Off/Disabled) AF:4x (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
64.7 fps ∼53%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
55 fps ∼45% -15%
Schenker XMG P505
63.2 (min: 49) fps ∼52% -2%
1024x768 Low Texture Res. + Low Graphics Quality (Rest Off/Disabled) AF:2x (sort by value)
Schenker XMG P505
63.5 (min: 54) fps ∼47%
F1 2014
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
88 fps ∼73%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
88 fps ∼73% 0%
1920x1080 High Preset (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
108 fps ∼81%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
111 fps ∼83% +3%
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
112 fps ∼84%
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
114 fps ∼86% +2%
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
1920x1080 Extra / On (Cache Shadow Maps Off), 2x Supersampling AA:2x SM (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
30.4 fps ∼39%
1920x1080 High / On (Cache Shadow Maps Off) AA:FX (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
55.2 fps ∼44%
1366x768 Normal / On (Cache Shadow Maps Off) (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
86.6 fps ∼45%
Dragon Age: Inquisition
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics Quality AA:2x MS (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
22.3 fps ∼13%
1920x1080 High Graphics Quality (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
33.4 fps ∼19%
1366x768 Medium Graphics Quality (sort by value)
MSI GE62 2QD
59.4 fps ∼30%

Legend

 
MSI GE62 2QD Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 2x ADATA SP900NS38 (RAID 0)
 
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9 Intel Core i7-4710HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 2x Plextor PX-256M6M (RAID 0)
 
Asus G750JS-T4064H Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, SanDisk SD5SE2256G1002E
 
Schenker XMG P505 Intel Core i7-4870HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU256HCGL
 
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD1

Stress Test

We stress the notebook with CPU-Z, GPU-Z, and HWiNFO monitoring tools active to observe for any throttling or stability issues. With only Prime95 active, the CPU will run at its full 3.4 GHz Turbo for a bit less than half a minute before stabilizing at the 3.0 to 3.2 GHz range. CPU temperatures hold steady at 80 degrees C during this state. With only FurMark active, the GPU core clock will reach 1110.6 and stabilize at 1097.1 MHz. Unfortunately, none of our tools were able to retrieve GPU temperature, but the GTX 965M in our previous model plateaus at about 65 degrees C according to GPU-Z under similar stress conditions. Full stress (Prime95 + FurMark) will bring CPU temperatures up to 90 degrees C and drop core clock to the 2.5 to 2.8 GHz range while GPU performance remains unaffected.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Full stress
Full stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Unigine Heaven stress

For more realistic gaming conditions, we run Unigine Heaven 4.0 on a continuous loop for half an hour. Both the CPU and GPU are able to maintain higher core clocks at their full 3.4 GHz and 1201.6 MHz speeds, respectively. For the GPU, this is a boost of a little over 100 MHz from the base clock. The CPU will occasionally drop to its base 2.6 GHz speed, but only for a very short period before jumping back to its maximum 3.4 GHz Turbo. Processor temperature remains stable at the 70 to 75 degree range.

Running on batteries will reduce both CPU and GPU performance. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries returned a graphics and processor score of 4712 points and 6594 points, respectively, compared to 5242 points and 8093 points when connected to an outlet. This is because the CPU tops out at 3.0 to 3.2 GHz while the GPU remains flat at 862.2 MHz. Memory clock takes a large hit as well with speeds jumping between 400 MHz and 1252 MHz. 

Emissions

System Noise

Fan noise ranges from essentially silent at 29 dB(A) all the way up to an alarming 60 dB(A). More often than not, the system will hover in the 33 to 35 dB(A) range during day-to-day loads like browsing or word processing even when running on integrated graphics under the Power Saver profile. Playing games will quickly bump fan noise to the high 40 dB(A) range, which can make it the GE62 distracting to others nearby. Very intensive loads like Prime95 and FurMark can cause the system to break the 50 dB(A) mark. At this point, headphones are recommended for a better gaming experience. This is quite loud even for a gaming notebook as the Acer V15 Nitro and Asus GL550 peak in the low 40 dB(A) range under the most intensive gaming conditions with more or less similar CPU and GPU.

The Turbo Fan feature will run the system fans to an even louder 60 dB(A). It's extreme to say the least, but fortunately we never had to utilize this function when gaming.

Noise Level

Idle
29.3 / 33.2 / 33.4 dB(A)
DVD
38.1 / dB(A)
Load
39.7 / 50.4 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Idling surface temperatures are quite warm on both sides of the notebook. The left side of the keyboard will be a few degrees warmer than the right, which is unfortunate as the WASD keys are commonly used for many titles. The bottom side of the notebook reaches 40 degrees C near the rear where the heat pipes are located.

When sustaining very high loads, surface temperatures on the GE62 become much warmer on the top of the notebook compared to the bottom - an unusual characteristic for a notebook. We observed a similar phenomenon with our earlier GE62 model as well. The few regions that remain under 30 degrees C are directly below the optical drive, while the keyboard keys can become especially warm at over 40 degrees C in comparison. This is a common occurrence on gaming notebooks, but the GE62 is nowhere near as bad as other models where keyboard temperature can be close to or even higher than 50 degrees C like on the Lenovo Y50.

Max. Load
 41.6 °C
107 F
47 °C
117 F
43 °C
109 F
 
 38.4 °C
101 F
46.6 °C
116 F
39.2 °C
103 F
 
 31 °C
88 F
31.4 °C
89 F
32.6 °C
91 F
 
Maximum: 47 °C = 117 F
Average: 39 °C = 102 F
37.8 °C
100 F
39 °C
102 F
41.4 °C
107 F
29.2 °C
85 F
36.6 °C
98 F
33.4 °C
92 F
27.6 °C
82 F
34.6 °C
94 F
34.8 °C
95 F
Maximum: 41.4 °C = 107 F
Average: 34.9 °C = 95 F
Power Supply (max.)  50.4 °C = 123 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 39 °C / 102 F, compared to the average of 32.9 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 47 °C / 117 F, compared to the average of 39.3 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 41.4 °C / 107 F, compared to the average of 41.7 °C / 107 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 33.7 °C / 93 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 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 28.7 °C / 83.7 F (-7.7 °C / -13.8 F).

Battery Life

Battery Power is provided by a 51 Wh (4730 mAh) non-removable Li-Ion module. Access to the battery pack requires removing the bottom panel and a separate screw that holds the battery in place. Compared to other 15.6-inch notebooks, the 51 Wh module is small in capacity as the Lenovo Y50, Gigabyte P35W, HP Omen, and Chimera CX-9 have larger capacities at 54 Wh, 75 Wh, 58 Wh, and 74 Wh, respectively. 

Runtimes are lower than expected even with Optimus enabled. Users will get a little over 4.5 hours at best when sitting completely idle and 2.5 hours when browsing on the Balanced profile at a 4/10 brightness setting (150 nits). Competing models can last over an hour longer under similar coditions or, in the case of the Chimera-CX-9 and Gigabyte P35W, for more than just a couple of hours.

Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
WLAN runtime
WLAN runtime
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
4h 37min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
2h 41min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 04min
MSI GE62 2QD
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, 2x ADATA SP900NS38 (RAID 0)
Ibuypower Chimera CX-9
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, 2x Plextor PX-256M6M (RAID 0)
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
Gigabyte P34W V3
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ, Lite-On LMT-128L9M
Alienware 15
GeForce GTX 970M, 4710HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 128GB
Battery Runtime
31%
4%
58%
97%
Reader / Idle
277
405
46%
260
-6%
522
88%
696
151%
WiFi v1.3
161
Load
64
74
16%
72
13%
82
28%
91
42%
WiFi
296
208
284
266

Verdict

MSI GE62
MSI GE62

MSI have stepped up their game with the G Series refresh as the redesigned GE62 and GT72 models have improved upon most aspects of the older and now outdated GE60 and GT70. The 1080p display here is preferable over our 4K configuration especially for gaming, not to mention its brighter backlight. It is a vast improvement compared to the TN display found on the Chimera CX-9 as well. The GE62 now sits closer to the Alienware 15 and Asus GL551, though it's not quite on the same level just yet with its shorter battery life and louder fan noise. The 51 Wh battery is simply too low of a capacity for a notebook of this class.

The 960M is ultimately a rebranded 860M, so gaming performance is good but unspectacular. It is a tough sell especially if users can find less expensive systems with the older GTX 860M instead. The MSI hardware itself is sound, however, so the best GE62 configuration for now would be a native 1080p display paired with a GTX 965M GPU. Since the model is a part of the iBuyPower OptiBoost family, the reseller is one of the few to offer a base two-year warranty for new purchases. The GE62 starts at $1300 with primary HDD options and is already available through most outlets.

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In Review: MSI GE62 2QD. Test model provided by iBuyPower US.
In Review: MSI GE62 2QD. Test model provided by iBuyPower US.

Specifications

MSI GE62 2QD (GE62 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M - 2048 MB, Core: 1097 MHz, Memory: 5010 MHz, 345.05, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR3, Dual-Channel, 800 MHz, 11-11-11-28
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, Samsung 156HL01-102, IPS, ID: SDC324C, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM87 (Lynx Point)
Storage
2x ADATA SP900NS38 (RAID 0), 512 GB 
, Secondary: HGST HTS721010A9E630
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: 1x 3.5 mm mic, 1x 3.5 mm headphone, Card Reader: SD reader
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
51 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4730 mAh, 6 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD (30 fps @720p)
Additional features
Speakers: 2.1 Dynaudio (Sound Blaster Cinema), Keyboard: Chicklet by SteelSeries, Keyboard Light: yes, Windows 8 Re-installation DVD, MSI User Manual and Drivers DVD, MSI Quick Start Guide, Warranty Card, Intel RST, SteelSeries Engine 3, Dragon Gaming Center, XSplit Gamecaster, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.4 kg ( = 84.66 oz / 5.29 pounds), Power Supply: 525 g ( = 18.52 oz / 1.16 pounds)

 

Case is a vast improvement over the older GE60
Case is a vast improvement over the older GE60
Hefty at 2.4 kg or just over 5 pounds
Hefty at 2.4 kg or just over 5 pounds
Small hinges are taut up to their 135 degree maximum
Small hinges are taut up to their 135 degree maximum
Sharp corners and edges
Sharp corners and edges
Slanted front edge with speaker grilles
Slanted front edge with speaker grilles
Sturdy chassis with thick edges and corners
Sturdy chassis with thick edges and corners
Respectable 2.1 Dynaudio sound quality
Respectable 2.1 Dynaudio sound quality
Smooth matte plastic display bezel
Smooth matte plastic display bezel
Brushed aluminum touchpad with chrome perimeter
Brushed aluminum touchpad with chrome perimeter
Keyboard offers colorful backlight options
Keyboard offers colorful backlight options
We like the 1080p display here better than our 4K configuration
We like the 1080p display here better than our 4K configuration
Matte IPS 1080p panel is very bright for a gaming notebook
Matte IPS 1080p panel is very bright for a gaming notebook
Sturdy surfaces, but no dedicated macro keys
Sturdy surfaces, but no dedicated macro keys
The old Turbo Fan mode returns from the older GE60 model
The old Turbo Fan mode returns from the older GE60 model
Attractive and smooth brushed aluminum outer lid
Attractive and smooth brushed aluminum outer lid
Unfortunately, fingerprints and grease accumulate very easily
Unfortunately, fingerprints and grease accumulate very easily
Venerable G Series logo
Venerable G Series logo
2-year warranty from iBuyPower
2-year warranty from iBuyPower
Rear panel can be removed with just a Philips screwdriver
Rear panel can be removed with just a Philips screwdriver
Red accent mark across the front edge of the lid
Red accent mark across the front edge of the lid
Maintenance panel can take some time to remove
Maintenance panel can take some time to remove

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Links

  • Manufacturer's information

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Pros

+High Performance
+No throttling issues when gaming
+Sturdy base
+2x M.2 with RAID and 1x 2.5-inch SATA III
+Comfortable and roomy backlit keyboard
+Bright IPS display
 

Cons

-Short battery life
-Lid feels weak
-GPU not upgradeable
-Loud under load

Shortcut

What we like

Great 1080p IPS display brighter than the 4K configuration. Consistent Turbo Boost benefits.

What we'd like to see

Higher capacity battery for better battery life. Maintenance panel should be faster to remove. Dedicated macro keys for gaming. The 960M is good, albeit a bit disappointing compared to the 860M.

What surprises us

Matte display is very good and the MSI redesign in general is much better than their previous generation. Very small power adapter

The competition

Acer Aspire E5/ V5

Alienware 15

Asus N551

Clevo W355SS

Gigabyte P25X/ P35W

HP Omen

iBuyPower Chimera CX-9

Lenovo IdeaPad Y50

MSI GS60

Rating

MSI GE62 2QD - 03/11/2015 v4(old)
Allen Ngo

Chassis
78 / 98 → 80%
Keyboard
79%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
74 / 81 → 91%
Weight
60 / 10-66 → 89%
Battery
74%
Display
83%
Games Performance
97%
Application Performance
92%
Temperature
78 / 95 → 82%
Noise
72 / 90 → 80%
Audio
50%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
74%
82%
Gaming - Weighted Average
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > iBuyPower MSI GE62 Notebook Review
Allen Ngo, 2015-03-12 (Update: 2015-03-12)
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.