MSI GF62VR 7RF Review – Gaming Laptop Review and Benchmarks

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MSI GF62VR 7RF Review. We’re going to check out the GF62VR 7RF gaming laptop from MSI and see how it performs through a number of game benchmarks to help you decide if it’s a laptop you should consider. 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 HGST 2.5” 7,200 RPM hard drive installed. The SSD is in the single M.2 slot which supports PCIe 3 NVMe, so you can optionally upgrade to a faster SSD.

MSI GF62VR 7RF
MSI GF62VR 7RF

For the graphics we’ve got Nvidia’s 1060 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 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 models. I’m told that in Australia this model is exclusively sold through Harvey Norman. 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 mine it weighed just a little more, and when including the power brick and power cable for charging the total increases to around 3kg, so it’s fairly light and good for transporting. As mentioned the screen here is a 15.6 inch 60Hz 1080p wide-view matte 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. I’ve also measured the colours produced by the screen using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my results returned 98% of sRGB, 78% of NTSC and 83% of AdobeRGB, so in terms of colour reproduction it’s actually pretty good compared to other laptops I’ve tested.

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 at all, although this will of course vary from laptop to laptop. 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.

The camera looks quite grainy, even with decent lighting. The microphone sounds ok, it’s not the best but it’ll get the job done. There’s an RGB steelseries keyboard which I enjoyed typing on, overall the key presses felt a little mushy but were quiet. 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 actually seemed to be more flex in the wrist rest areas.

The lighting can be adjusted through the included software and there are a number of effects available. Unfortunately there’s no individual key lighting customizations here, however I think it looks pretty nice, MSI seem to have the best looking RGB keyboards out of all the laptops I’ve tested so far, at least in my own opinion. 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 button furthest to the left will max out both the CPU and GPU fans.

I also found the touchpad to work pretty well, it’s got a very smooth surface and I had no problems using it. 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 Gen 2 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 the speakers, 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 which 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. As mentioned the speakers are underneath the front of the laptop, and I found that they didn’t sound very good, they sounded tinny with a distinct lack of bass.

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 2 hours and 17 minutes. While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidia’s battery boost set to 30 FPS the battery lasted for 35 minutes.

Overall I thought the battery life was a little low considering the size of the laptop, I would have thought there would have been space for a larger one. During normal use with an ambient room temperature of 25 degrees celsius, the CPU idled at 38 degrees celsius while the GPU idled at 39 degrees celsius, and here are the external temperatures of the laptop where you’ll actually be putting your hands, for some reason the touchpad was noticeably warmer. With the CPU and GPU maxed out for half an hour with the same room temperature, the CPU reached a maximum of 95 degrees celsius, while the GPU peaked at 82c.

The CPU got fairly hot, and was throttling by around 20%, however this stopped if the GPU load was removed, it only happened with both fully utilized. We can see that the keyboard area has warmed up quite a bit more, mostly towards the middle and it was quite noticeable while typing. Despite this the fans weren’t running at full speed, after turning them right up manually the GPU cooled down to 78c however the CPU stayed the same and just throttled slightly less, so there’s not enough cooling if you’re planning on smashing both the CPU and GPU at the same time with full load, otherwise it’s probably fine.

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 maxing out both the CPU and GPU it went up to 51 decibels, which I’ve found pretty typical for most gaming laptops, and here’s what that sounded like. With the fans fully maxed out manually, it went up just a little more to 54 decibels, 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. All tests were run at the 1080p resolution with all Windows and Nvidia updates to date installed.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was tested with the latest 1.0 version, in my testing I was consistently getting around 90 FPS on average on all settings with the exception of ultra, which still averaged above 60 FPS with the 1% lows not too far behind the other settings. I’ve used the new replay feature to perform this testing, so in theory it should be more accurate than previous PUBG benchmarks that I’ve done as I can now consistently perform the same test run.

Shadow of war performed alright, it was fairly smooth even at high settings, you could even get away with ultra settings if you don’t require 60 FPS, I think it still played nicely. The Battlefield 1 averages are quite good, however the 1% lows are substantially lower in comparison. During intense moments I did notice this, but in general it was an overall smooth experience. The Witcher3 played great, however the 1% lows outline the small dips in performance that were experienced from time to time. Despite the 1% lows being quite a bit lower than the average frame rates, they’re still not too far below 60 FPS so it wasn’t that noticeable.

Watchdogs 2 is a fairly resource intensive game, while it was definitely playable even at max settings I found high or lower settings to deliver the best experience. Rise of the Tomb raider is doing pretty well too, with Direct X 12 giving a nice little boost to performance, allowing us to average over 60 FPS with max settings. Ghost recon is a fairly resource intensive game, to get decent frame rates you’d need to look at high or lower settings, as you can see the laptop was struggling with ultra settings.

Ashes of the Singularity is another resource intensive game, not really much else to say, here are the results under Direct X 11. DOOM performed fairly similarly at all setting levels, and even on ultra settings the 1% lows are close to the 60 FPS sweet spot, so this laptop should be able to handle max settings here no problem. Although most of these are fairly intensive games, the laptop didn’t have many issues running them even at higher settings. I’ve said before that the 1060 is a great sweet spot for 1080p 60 FPS gaming, and that remains true here in most cases.

MSI GF62VR 7RF main
MSI GF62VR 7RF main

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. We’ll start with the Unigine benchmarks, this is how the laptop performed in Heaven benchmark with the tessellation set to extreme, and anti-aliasing set to x8, here’s how Valley benchmark performed with anti-aliasing on x8 at various graphics settings, and finally these are the 1080p results from their newest Superposition benchmark.

For the last graphics benchmarks I ran Fire Strike and Time spy from 3DMark and got scores of 9,093 and 3,467 respectively, so pretty fair. In Crystal Disk Mark the 128GB SATA3 M.2 SSD performed around 550 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. The 1TB hard drive gets around 130 MB/s in both sequential read and write speeds, pretty typical for a 7,200 RPM disk. With these exact specs at the time of recording the laptop can be picked up in Australia for $1,916 AUD, although that appears to be with a current 20% discount, so that may change. That’s about $1500 USD for my international friends, with tax included.

So what did you guys think of MSI’s GF62VR 7RF gaming laptop? Overall I think the laptop performs quite well, however it does get quite warm when gaming for a while as shown. Nvidia’s 1060 is an awesome sweet spot for 1080p 60 FPS gaming in many current games at high to max settings. This hardware unfortunately also requires quite a bit of power, which is why I think we’re not getting that much battery life out of the laptop. Even at the 20% off price there are other laptops with the 1060 and 7700HQ CPU available for less which I’d personally prefer.

Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments, or simply leave a share if it useful.

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