MSI GF62 7RD Review – Laptop Review and Benchmarks
MSI GF62 7RD Review – Laptop Review and Benchmarks. We’re going to check out the GF62 7RD laptop from MSI and see how it performs through a number of game benchmarks to help you decide if it’s right for you. Inside the box we’ve got the laptop itself, manual and warranty information, power brick and power cable. First up let’s look at the specs of the model I’ve got here.
There’s an Intel 7700HQ quad core Kabylake CPU which runs at 2.8GHz and can turbo up to 3.8Ghz. I’ve got 16GB of DDR4 memory running at 2,400MHz here, but the two slots can support up to 32GB. For storage there’s a 128GB Kingston M.2 SATA SSD and a 1TB Seagate 2.5” hard drive installed. The SSD is in the M.2 slot which supports PCIe 3 NVMe, so you can optionally upgrade to a faster SSD.
For the graphics we’re dealing with Nvidia’s 1050 in combination with a 15.6 inch 1080p wide-view panel, we’ll see how this performs later in the benchmarks. For the network connectivity there’s a gigabit ethernet port, and Killer AC WiFi which supports up to 802.11ac, as well as Bluetooth 4.2. The laptop has a black brushed metallic look to it on the outside of the lid, but inside things are a bit different.
Rather than MSI’s usual black, there’s a brushed grey plastic going on here which feels nice and smooth and is unique to the GF model. I’m told that in Australia this model is exclusively sold through Harvey Norman, which seems to make sense, I get the impression it’s a laptop aimed towards business professionals rather than strictly gamers based on the 1050 graphics. The physical dimensions of the laptop are 38.3cm in width, 26cm in depth, and 2.9cm in height.
The total weight of the laptop is advertised at 2.2kg, and when testing this mine weighed just a little more, and when including the power brick and power cable for charging the total increases to just under 2.8kg, so it’s fairly light and good for transporting. As mentioned the screen here is a 15.6 inch 60Hz 1080p wide-view panel. The wide view panel here looks mostly alright front on, the contrast seems to be lacking a bit though and once you start looking from above or below the colours shift quite a bit and it looks pretty bad, left and right sides look ok though.
As long as you’re looking at it directly front on it looks fine. The screen also has a matte finish to it, which I personally prefer as you’re not looking at reflections. I’ve performed my usual backlight bleed test on the display, which involves having the laptop show a completely black screen in a dark room to help emphasize any bleeding around the edges. I then take a long exposure photo with my camera to help display any bleed, so basically this is a worst case scenario test. The result was pretty surprising, there was no noticeable bleed.
In the photo what you’re seeing toward the top and bottom is just a result of the panel type, if I move it up or down even the slightest bit the colours of the blacks shift as we saw earlier, it’s not actually bleed. This can of course vary from laptop to laptop, so your results may vary. While moving the display there was a little flex, but no big deal. Unfortunately you can’t open the laptop with one finger, all the weight seems to be placed towards the back which prevents this.
Above the display is a HD camera, so it’s only capable of 720p video at 30 FPS. There’s an RGB steelseries keyboard which I enjoyed typing on. There was a little bit of flex while pushing down hard on the keyboard, but this wasn’t at all noticeable under normal typing conditions, there was actually more in the wrist rest areas. The lighting can be adjusted through the included software and there are a number of effects available.
Unlike the last MSI laptop I checked out, this one doesn’t allow individual key customizations, otherwise I think it looks quite nice, and I also think MSI have the best looking RGB keyboards out of all the laptops I’ve looked at so far. The power button is found towards to top right, while the two buttons next to it can be used as a shortcut to MSI’s dragon center software which lets you monitor the system, control the keyboard lighting, and more, while the last button will max out both the CPU and GPU fans.
I also found the touchpad to work pretty well, there are physical left and right buttons which are quite loud and very clicky. Moving onto the available I/O on the left we have a kensington lock, gigabit ethernet port, USB 3.0 type A port, HDMI port, mini DisplayPort, another USB 3.0 type-a port, a USB 3.1 type-c port, and 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks. Over on the right there’s a USB 2.0 type A port, a built in SD card reader, and the power input.
There’s nothing on the front other than some status LEDs, and nothing on the back other than a couple of air exhaust vents towards the corners. Up on the lid there’s the MSI logo which lights up white while the laptop is powered on. The metallic lid was a fingerprint magnet, but nothing a quick wipe with a microfiber cloth couldn’t fix.
The grey plastic palm rest area did a better job at hiding these, but will still need to be cleaned. Underneath there’s some air intakes to keep everything cool, as well as some rubber feet with both help prevent the laptop from moving around on flat surfaces when in use, and also rise it up slightly to help let cool air in. The speakers are found underneath the front of the laptop, and I found that they didn’t sound very good at all, they sounded tinny with no bass whatsoever. I’d definitely recommend sticking to headphones here.
Powering the laptop is a 41 Watt hour 6 cell battery, and with a full charge and doing basic tasks such as browsing the Internet and watching YouTube with the screen on around half brightness, keyboard lighting off and background apps disabled, I was able to use it for 3 hours and 14 minutes. While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidia’s battery boost set to 30 FPS the battery lasted for 44 minutes.
Overall I found the battery life to be quite good considering the size, likely owing to the lower power 1050 graphics card. During normal use with an ambient room temperature of 23 degrees celsius, the CPU idled at 36 degrees celsius while the GPU idled at 35 degrees celsius, and here are the external temperatures of the laptop where you’ll actually be putting your hands. While benchmarking for an hour with the same room temperature, the CPU reached a maximum of 88 degrees celsius, while the GPU peaked at 69c.The CPU got a little warm, but nothing too serious while the GPU kept fairly cool in comparison. We can see that the keyboard area has warmed up a bit more, mostly towards the back and middle while where your hands would sit stays a fair bit cooler.
I also found the laptop fairly quiet when not gaming, at idle it sat around the 37 decibel mark and I could barely hear it, this is what it sounded like. While running my benchmarks and gaming it went up to 52 decibels which I’ve found pretty typical for most laptops, and here’s what that sounded like. With the fans fully maxed out it went up to 57 decibels and it was fairly loud, here’s what that sounds like in comparison. I didn’t notice any coil whine while testing.
Finally let’s take a look at some benchmarks, we’ll first cover some real world gaming benchmarks followed by tests with various benchmarking tools. While I’m aware that the 1050 isn’t meant to be a serious gaming graphics card, I wanted to test my usual suite of games against it to see how it held up. All tests were run at the 1080p resolution with all Windows and Nvidia updates to date installed. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds sets the trend for what we’ll see throughout most of the results here, where it runs great at the lower settings but then drops down quite low at the higher settings. It’s also worth keeping in mind that this game is difficult to benchmark as it greatly depends on what’s going on in game, so take these results with a grain salt.
Battlefield 1 felt great to play regardless of setting level, you could play on high and get just under the 60 FPS sweet spot. The Witcher3 wasn’t too bad, even at ultra I still felt like it was playable, but you’ll probably want to run on lower settings to get higher frame rates. Watchdogs 2 also ran surprisingly well at the lower settings, I found it playable on all settings high and below, while ultra was almost unusable and felt choppy.
As usual Ashes of the singularity performed slightly better in Direct X 12, while overall it ran pretty good at the lower settings levels. Rise of the Tomb raider on the other hand showed different behaviour, where Direct X 12 resulted in lower frame rates than Direct X 11, a bit odd as with better graphics DX12 usually gives a slight improvement, so that was interesting. Shadow of mordor was able to get fairly high frame rates even at high settings, I’ve found this game to not be too dependent on graphical horse power, so it runs well here. I’ve also tested the newer Shadow of war, in comparison it looks like it needs more power to run, but with medium settings and lower we’re getting alright results. Ghost recon struggled on all but the lowest settings, you might want to look at a laptop with better graphics if you’ll be playing this game.
DOOM performed fairly similar regardless of the settings used, even at ultra I still found that it felt pretty smooth to play despite the 1050. Although most of these are fairly intensive games, the 1050 didn’t do too bad when using lower settings. If you’re looking at a laptop for gaming though you’ll probably want to run with higher settings, so I’d recommend a 1060 or above as I’ve found that a great sweet spot for 1080p 60 FPS gaming, otherwise a 1050Ti would probably be the minimum I’d personally consider for gaming. Of course it depends on the games that you’ll be playing.
Now onto the benchmarking tools, while a useful indicator note that these results are less practical compared to the real world gaming results previously shown. This is how the laptop performed in Heaven benchmark with the tessellation set to extreme, and anti-aliasing set to x8, and this is how Valley benchmark performed with anti-aliasing on x8 at various graphics settings.
For the last graphics benchmark I ran Fire Strike from 3DMark and got a score of 5,536, not too bad for the 1050. In Crystal Disk Mark the 256GB SATA3 SSD performed around 560 MB/s in sequential reads and 200 MB/s in sequential writes, which is pretty typical for a SATA3 based SSD, although a little lower on the write speeds there. The 1TB hard drive gets around 113 MB/s in sequential read speeds and 96 MB/s for the writes, nothing special but it’s ok for extra storage.
Overall I think the laptop performs quite well, although if you’re looking for a gaming laptop I’d look at something with at least a 1050Ti instead. You can definitely play lots of games with this laptop, just be prepared to dial back the settings and keep in mind that you need to look directly straight on to see the screen properly. With that said the 7700HQ CPU is still a powerful laptop CPU, and all other tasks worked flawlessly.
The lower end GPU does however allow the laptop to get pretty decent battery life though while keeping cool temperatures, I could see this being used primarily as a low weight laptop for work, with some light gaming on the side. With these exact specs the laptop comes in at $1996 AUD, at the time of recording though it was 20% off so $1596 total, so about $1200 USD for my international friends, and it comes with a two year warranty. So what did you guys think of MSI’s GF62 7RD laptop? Considering the screen quality and that you’re getting the 1050 at full price I think I’d look at getting something with a 1060 instead, even at the discounted price I could still get a 1050Ti based laptop.
Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments, leave a share if it useful. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to subscribe for future tech reviews like this one.