MSI GT62VR High-End gaming notebook with GTX 1060 overview
This year in the IT world, the most popular trend and the most sought after topic would be the VR application, the so called “age of VR.” Its impact on the PC industry extends all across the gaming world and not just gaming desktop PC and gaming notebook; even its multimedia capability will be influential in future. However, the requirement for the hardware is still considerably high; for PC it will need at least a GTX970, or a GTX980M for the notebook, specifications usually carried in higher end PC.
Our test subject for today is MSI’s GT62VR 6RD DOMINATOR. MSI has been working diligently in the gaming market, especially with its notebook products often refreshes faster than its competitors. With NVIDIA’s recent launch for the GTX10 series GPU, MSI also launched numerous models that are VR Ready compatible. After opening the box, we saw the nicely enclosed notebook pack along with a vacuum compressed MSI backpack
This backpack made with softer fabric was designed for GT62VR, excelling in comfort but a bit bulky; even after putting a 15.6inch notebook inside, there is still a substantial space to put more items in. Personally I think the backpack looks stylish and yields impeccable comfort after wearing it for some time.
GT62VR Accessories Driver CD, quick manual guide, product pamphlet, warranty card, SteelSeries RIVAL 50 mouse, DELTA 230W power adaptor, and power cable. Even with NVIDIA’s new power efficient GPU, it still needs quite a bit of power, hence having a bigger adaptor is inevitable
GT62VR is 390 x 266 x 39.8mm in dimensions, weighing at around 2.94kg, which is still quite hefty for a 15.6inch notebook; but it is to be expected from a high performance notebook equipping better components, large heat-sink and fans, speakers, and additional DRAM slots for expansions. Similarly to high end models like Dell Alienware 15, close in dimensions, but GT62VR is still a bit lighter.
A side is built with the usual black metallic strips, creating that engine-cap-like design. What’s different from the previous GT62 are the two red strips on each side to accentuate speed, it even lights up as you turn on the machine, greatly increases its already futuristic appeal
B side is the 15.6 inch frosted IPS panel, with 1920 x 1080 FHD resolutions. The bezel itself is frosted and with a touch of sparkle to elevate the texture and quality. On top is the 1080P, 30Fps WebCam, and two dual-digital microphones on the sides
C side mostly consists of black metallic strips, much like A side. You could see SteelSeries gaming keyboard which is usually used on MSI’s high end models. With silver lining printing keyboards, RGB is highly customizable in terms of colors and lighting patterns. Furthermore, the keypads are soft to touch; but compared to WS72, the latter has more feedback. The left and right buttons below the touchpad are isolated but responsive, and are less likely to mistakenly touch them
There are 4 stretched buttons on the top right corner; starting from the right is the power button that emits a white glow when turned on; then the SteelSeries keyboard color switch that enables customized RGB options; next button works much like a sharing/streaming button that allow users to stream real time during gameplay; and the last button is the turbo fan boost, maximizing Cooler Boost 4’s heat dissipating technology
5 indicator lights at the front of C side Starting from left is hard-drive processing, Wi-Fi, battery/charging, Caps ON/OFF, and NumPad ON/OFF The panel can be opened to 180 degree, also one of GT series’ unique features
Left body IO From left, anti-theft lock \ USB 2.0 \ Line-in \ Line-out \ Mic-in \ Headphone-out
Right body IO From left, SD(XC/HC)card reader \ 3 x USB 3.0
Rear IO From left, RJ45 Ethernet Port \ Thunderbolt 3 including USB 3.1 \ HDMI \ Mini- Display Port \ Power Jack Both left and right sides consist of large heat-dissipating surfaces
GT62VR D side resembles GT72S, applying a sleek red chassis with large surface area. Battery is 8-Cell generating 75.24wHr, but is not detachable
The small protruding red square is the woofer And the 5 rubber feet on the bottom helps elevate the notebook by a bit, assisting in heat-dissipation and stability
MSI Applications DRAGON CENTER is a proprietary software developed by MSI Latest updates improved interface resolution, also giving a more refined and intuitive layout App Portal tab shows installed software and apps, helps easier access to different features
System Monitor displays current hardware status The entire layout is more intuitive and informative compared to the older versions
System Tuner Allows users to tweak settings for VR, hardware performance, fan speed, or adjust screen colors. On the left are 5 profiles where you can personalize each one to use in different settings Later we’ll use Shift Mode and set it to Sports for optimal performance, then test how powerful this notebook really is.
LED Wizard Though users can already customize their RGB keyboard through SteelSeries Engine 3, MSI designed the DRAGON CENTER to have its own lighting functions
MSI TRUE COLOR I am personally quite fond of this technology; it gives users a more elaborate screen color customizations, which is a function that is rare to see in a notebook MSI has 6 preset settings available on the go. Users can freely toggle through different settings to their preference, even allowing them to make detailed adjustments within each presets
Nahimic 2 Audio Software in recent years has been implemented to all high end MSI gaming notebooks. Settings and customizations have been refined as well; for example, HD Audio Recoder on top right already has a second generation interface
When talking about the sound speakers produce, it is often subjective to each individual, which is why we’ll focus on how notebook’s built-in speakers perform. The speakers creates quite a stir when turned on full blast, reaching over 95.2dBA High Frequency – no high pitched sound, detailed sound, outstanding performance overall Mid Frequency – excellent details with outstanding voice clarity Low Frequency – adequate performance, bass isn’t too blend; but mid and high frequency easily overpowers low frequency MSI GT62VR speakers combined with Nahimic 2 audio enhancer perform even better in music, watching movies, or playing games. The immersive sound performance is complementary to the gaming genre. Its specialty is creating a surround-like environment with outstanding clarity, but mid frequency’s voice output still got some room for improvement
GT62VR is a high end gaming notebook with several different models already been pushed out. Today’s test will be using a higher model GT62VR 6RD Dominator 013TW. However, there’s a rumor that there will be an even higher model GT62VR in the near future, equipped with the latest NVIDIA GTX1070 GPU with INTEL’s 6th Generation i7 Core processor. There’s already been a few models sharing the same CPU performance previously, but let’s quickly walk through 6700HQ CPU’s software performance.
CINEBENCH R15 CPU => 673 cb CPU(Single Core) => 138 cb Fritz Chess Benchmark => 25.70/12335
Basically high end models carry 4C8T Core i7 architecture, greatly outperforming Core i5, and is quite often seen equipped in high end gaming notebooks. This is usually the more cost effective solution; because though there are more powerful processors such as the 6820HQ or 6920HQ, they cost more and the performance boost doesn’t always justify the cost
System Performance PCMARK8 - 4582
DRAM Performance Test DDR4 2394.8 CL17 17-17-39 2T ADIA64 Memory Read - 33613 MB/s
Most high end notebooks still use DDR4 clocked at 2133, and MSI’s previous generation Gaming notebooks are no exception. MSI’s new gaming notebooks will increase DDR4 clocking to 2400, increasing bandwidth and performance ADIA64 Memory Read gets a 10~14% bandwidth increase compared to 2133. This upgrade will also marginally increase fps while gaming, though not significant, still worth mentioning for its improvement
Storage is one of MSI’s unique features, using their own Super Raid 4 technology SSD with NVMe M.2 interface, TOSHIBA THNSN5256GPU7, using 16nm MLC IC HDD with HGST HTS721010A9E630, performs at 7200 rpm with 1TB capacity AS SSD Benchmark -2372 Seq Read - 2087.97 MB/s Write - 888.82 MB/s 4K - 64Thrd Read - 827.21 MB/s Write - 588.00 MB/s
3DMARK Fire Strike => 9627 Consumers are encouraged to spend a little more money on upgrading their computer components these 2 years. First and foremost should be the GPU; second should be the NVMe infrastructure M.2 SSD which greatly surpasses SATA3’s limitation at 600 MB/s transfer capacity by a significant margin. Of course there is also the U.2 interface that works slightly more efficiently than the M.2, but by a small margin and won’t fit inside a notebook. Ultimately, having NVMe infrastructure M.2 SSD would help transfer data at faster pace There are two GPUs built inside; one is Intel Core i7-6700HQ internal HD Graphics 530; the other one is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX1060 with 6GB GDDR5. Below is the performance test result for the 1060 3DMARK Fire Strike => 9627
Heaven Benchmark 4.0 DX11 1920 X 1080 => FPS 113.8
Call of Pripyat Benchmark Resolution 1920x1080, in Ultra setting, rest are default settings
FAR CRY 4 Resolution 1920x1080, 3D rendering in Ultra setting Opening title screen – 173 FPS, opening animation and starting screen – 75FPS 75 FPS compared to previously tested 970M – 48FPS, GTX980 – 83FPS
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege 1920x1080, graphics in Ultra Starting screen – 117FPS Compared to previously tested 970M – 48 FPS, GTX980 -112FPS
Assassin’s Creed Sundicate 1920x1080, graphic preset is ultra high Starting screen – 37 FPS
These past 2 years, INTEL and NVIDIA have started implementing their products into notebooks because of the emerging demand for high performance gaming notebooks. Though it is true the performance has increased, it brought about even higher unwanted heat and higher power consumption; and this has always been the biggest challenge for notebook manufacturers to overcome. Take GT62VR for example, it has GTX1060 for high 3D rendering, outperforming GTX970 and GTX980M. GTX1060 doesn’t fall short of GTX980 either, few games even benefits more from the new GPU infrastructure. GeForce GTX 10 Series has increased over efficiency and performance, bringing gaming notebooks a new meaning of high 3D rendering performance.
windwithme opened up GT62VR 6RD DOMINATOR the bottom chassis to share the internal layout and its components. Left side are 2 slots for DDR 2400 and a subwoofer; below the keyboard are two DDR4 slots that came with 2x 16GB Bottom left is the M.2 SSD, bottom right is the 2.5inch SATA3 HDD On top is MSI’s new generation Cooler Boost 4 cooling module
Left and right side are embedded with Cooler Boost 4 twin fans design. Fans are 8cm in diameter and 1.5cm in height. Copper heat pipes have been coated black and made thicker with extra materials, so as to help GT62VR with improved thermal management. 3 copper heat pipes attached to the i7-6700HQ, and 4 copper heat pipes for the GTX 1060 for the optimal thermal design. This type of cooling module and thermal design in the gaming notebook market is currently one of the best and the most efficient. As a result, the notebook might be a little bulkier, but let’s just call this a fair trade-off wouldn’t you think
Room temperature roughly 29 Deg Celsius, attempting thermal test First off is the NVIDIA GTX 1060 Shutting off Cooler Boost 4, opening FurMark and we got 49 Deg Celsius on standby and 80 on full speed
Turning on Cooler Boost 4, opening FurMark and we got 44 Deg Celsius on standby and 69 on full speed
Thanks to Cooler Boost 4, GTX1060 temperature can decrease at roughly 5 Deg Celsius in standby and 11 Deg Celsius at full speed
CPU standard clocking at 2.6~3.5GHz, power in balance mode Turning off Cooler Boost 4, operate LinX 0.6.5 at full speed – 71~82
Turning on Cooler Boost 4, operate LinX 0.6.5 at full speed – 61~74
During burn test , turning on Cooler Boost 4 helps lower CPU temperature by 8~10 Deg Celsius. Standby mode doesn’t really show the power of the Cooler Boost 4; it is during full speed performance where Cooler Boost 4 really shines. With these high quality hardware, the level of thermal management on GT62VR is exceptionally satisfactory Cooler Boost 4 doesn’t really create a lot of noise, plus it is usually at low frequency, which helps encourage its usage
Built with GTX1060 while playing a DVD video, 70% after an hour, 10% after 3 hours. Battery lasts roughly 3 hours, which is still considered adequate for a high end gaming PC
Concluding GT62VR 6RD DOMINATOR Its unique appeals and advantages 1.Top Cover A side has 2 strips of glowing red lines, creating that speed sensation 2.Uses NVIDIA GTX 1060, greatly increasing 3D rendering performance 3.Both Wifi and Ethernet uses Killer Gaming Processor, supports Killer Shield 4.Frosted IPS Panel that supports 100% RGB and 72% NTSC; and provides True Color screen customization technology 5.New DRAGON CENTER provides refined and a more intuitive layout for the users 6.Cooler Boost 4 twin fan cooling module with thicker copper heat pipes provide outstanding passive cooling compare to other NB of its category 7.Dynauido technology combined with NAHIMIC 2 audio enhancer, giving that remarkable audio experience 8.Provides 4-DIMM DDR4 slots, clocks at 2400, giving better bandwidth and performance 9.Steelseries Engine 3, RGB management, as well as many other customizable options on the keyboard 10.15.6inch notebook weighin at 2.93kg, lighter than DELL’s Alienware 15’s 3.2kg notebook
1.Chassis could be made a little slimmer, or lower the rubber foot on the bottom might be better 2.SteelSeries keyboards lack feedback and a bit on the soft side. More feedback would feel better 3.WebCam quality could use a little more work 4.B and D sides frosted material could maybe use a little refinement or use a different material to elevate the texture 5.If the ventilation in the back could be made to look similar to the GT72S, with a touch of red strips along the lines, could elevate the overall appeal.
This time around, MSI high end gaming notebooks have earned the reputation of faster product refresh compared to other manufacturers Lots of models are already VR Ready, and have been upgraded to GTX10 Series GPU to increase 3D performance. Furthermore, GT62VR has also improved features like the DRAGON CENTER, Cooler Boost 4, NAHIMIC 2, and more. A side has also been refined to look more sporty, and plus True Color can help with even more screen customization options
Many of GT62VR’s advantages are in their internal design and use of components. Externally would be the audio and the design. But personally they could use a little more work on the exterior. Maybe it’s to reduce weight, that they had to sacrifice other aspects to find a balance. These are some of my insights after tested a few high end notebooks. If they don’t mind increasing the weight, and change to more DELL Alienware-like high quality chassis would be helpful as well Afterall, GT is MSI’s top gaming notebook model, primarily focusing on the highest performance capacity; which is why price, weight, and dimensions are relatively higher. But MSI also has the GS for slim and GE for the more affordable options to choose from In the high end market, GT62VR with its aggressive sleek design and quality build, definitely has the competitive edge facing its rivals.
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