MSI GV62 8RE Review and Benchmarks. The MSI GV62 8RE is a decent gaming laptop, featuring Nvidia 1060 graphics and an 8th gen Intel quad core CPU, so let’s check it out and run some benchmarks to find out how well it performs and help you decide if it’s worth buying.
MSI GV62 8RE Review
Let’s start by checking out the specs of this unit, as there are a few options available with this model. There’s an Intel i5-8300H CPU here which has 4 cores and can turbo up to 4.0GHz in single core workloads, although it’s also available with the i7-8750H.
I’ve got one 8GB stick of DDR4 memory running at 2,400MHz in single channel, but the two slots can support up to 32GB at 2,666MHz. For storage there’s a 128GB M.2 SATA SSD installed but the single M.2 slot supports NVMe PCIe storage if you want to upgrade.
There’s also a single 2.5 inch drive bay which is populated with a 1TB 5,400RPM hard drive. For the graphics there’s an Nvidia 1060 6GB graphics card, although the MSI website notes that it comes with the 1060 3GB which will perform a little less, so watch out for that when buying.
This powers the 15.6 inch 1080p 60Hz TN panel, but it’s also available with IPS or 120Hz panels. For the network connectivity there’s a gigabit ethernet port, support for 802.11ac WiFi, as well as Bluetooth version 5.0. The lid and interior are both a grey plastic with a sort of brushed finish. They’re both nice and smooth and the lid was a little darker than the inside. The corners and edges are smooth and basically everything is plastic.
The dimensions of the laptop are 38.3cm in width, 26cm in depth, and 2.9cm in height, so a little on the thicker side but hopefully that will help with thermals, more on that later. The laptop is listed at 2.2kg on the MSI website, which is about what I got. With the 180 watt power brick and cable for charging, the total weight increases to just under 3kg.
As mentioned the screen here is a 15.6 inch 60Hz 1080p TN panel, no G-Sync available here though. As a TN panel the viewing angles weren’t very good, side to side didn’t change too much but up and down resulted in massive colour shift so you’ll definitely want to look at it front on where possible.
The screen doesn’t get that bright either, at 100% we’re looking at 237 nits. I’ve also measured the current colour gamut using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my results returned 98% of sRGB, 78% of NTSC and 83% of AdobeRGB, so it’s actually getting quite good results, the only issues I had was that the contrast just looks a little low.
I’ve performed my usual backlight bleed test on the display, which involves having the laptop show a black screen in a dark room to help emphasize any bleeding. I then take a long exposure photo to display any bleed, so this is a worst case scenario test. No noticeable issues here, it looks different at the top and bottom but I think that’s just due to the vertical viewing angles being bad with the TN panel, there wasn’t any noticeable bleed, but this will of course vary between laptops.
While moving the display there was some flex, but it wasn’t too bad and overall I’d say it felt sturdy. It can’t be opened easily with one finger, demonstrating that more of the weight seems to be up towards the back, as we’ll see later when we open it up. Above the display in the center is a 720p camera.
The camera’s not great, really blurry even with decent lighting. The microphone sounds about average, but you’ll be able to judge both for yourself. The Steelseries keyboard has red backlighting, and the sides of all the keys are also clear red plastic so it looks red even while off, unfortunately the colour can’t be changed, you only get red.
Overall the keyboard was pretty good to type with, there’s some good spacing between the keys with 1.9mm of key travel and I had no problems to call out. The key presses felt a little clicky, here’s how they sound to try and give you an idea. There was a little keyboard flex, although this wasn’t an issue while typing normally, there was quite a bit more flex down in the wrist rest areas, but again not really an issue during normal use.
The touchpad worked well, it uses Synaptics drivers and was smooth to the touch. There are physically separate left and right click buttons which were quite clicky, again no issues here. Moving onto the I/O on the left there’s a kensington lock, gigabit ethernet port, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, HDMI port, Mini DisplayPort, a second USB 3.1 Type-A port but Gen2 this time, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port, no Thunderbolt support here unfortunately, and 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks.
On the right there’s only a USB 2.0 Type-A port, SD card slot and power input towards the back. On the back there’s just some air exhaust vents towards the corners, while the front only has some status LEDs in the center. The four 2 watt speakers are found underneath the laptop towards the front, two on the left and two on the right, and they don’t sound too great, quite tinny with no bass.
Up on the lid there’s a red and white MSI logo in the center, unlike most other MSI laptops I’ve tested this one doesn’t light up. Fingerprints show quite easily on the brushed plastic although as the surfaces are smooth they’re easy enough to wipe away. Underneath there’s heaps of air intake vents to keep everything cool, as well as some big rubber feet which did a really good job of preventing the laptop from moving around while in use.
The laptop can be opened up easily with a phillips head screwdriver, and inside we get easy access to the single 2.5” drive bay, single M.2 slot, two memory slots and WiFi card. Powering the laptop is a 6 cell 41 Watt hour battery, and with a full charge and just watching YouTube videos with the screen on half brightness, keyboard lighting on as I couldn’t find a way to disable it and background apps disabled, I was able to use it for just 1 hour and 12 minutes, so not a great result, and this was with the Intel integrated graphics in use thanks to Nvidia Optimus.
While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidia’s battery boost set to 30 FPS the battery lasted for 42 minutes, and it actually stayed at the full frame rate the entire time. The battery was about average and what I expected in games, but while watching YouTube it drained it way too fast, I’m not sure why, I ran the test twice and same results, nothing in the background appeared to be using resources, I’d expect better battery life especially considering I was able to get 3 hours in this test with the 8RC model which has the same size battery.
Thermal testing was completed with an ambient room temperature of 18 degrees celcius, it’s getting cold here as winter has just started, so expect warmer temperatures in a warmer environment. It’s also worth noting that there is a shared heatpipe, so a change in either CPU or GPU may affect the other. At idle both the CPU and GPU were quite warm at around 50 degrees celsius.
While playing PUBG the temperatures rise as shown by the darker blue bar, but they’re not too bad. After applying a -0.150v undervolt to the CPU the temperatures actually rose immediately despite the clock speeds not changing as shown in green. Maxing out the fans in yellow instead of undervolting dropped the temperatures, and when applying the undervolt in addition to the fans maxed out we got some very nice temperatures as shown in orange.
The full load stress test was tested with Aida64 and the Heaven benchmark running at the same time. Thermal and power limit throttling were taking place on the CPU at stock settings and even with the fans maxed out, as shown in red and purple, but we were able to remove these issues with the CPU undervolt applied which brought the temperatures under control. Here are the clock speeds from the CPU and GPU during these same tests. We can see that while gaming we’re getting the full 3.9GHz all core clock speed of the 8300H regardless of settings, but as we saw in the last graph we could improve the temperatures quite a lot with undervolting and increasing the fans.
Even in the stress tests we’re only just slightly behind the 3.9GHz speeds in red and purple, so not only are we able to get full speeds with undervolting this also resulted in big temperature drops. As for the external temperatures where you’ll actually be putting your hands, at idle the body of the laptop is sitting in the high 30s in the center.
While gaming this increases to the mid 40s with the warmest again in the center, but it wasn’t too bad to the touch. With the stress tests running we’re getting into the low 50s, but with the fans maxed out and undervolt applied this cools down a bit. As for the fan noise produced by the laptop, I’ll let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle there was just a little fan noise.
While gaming it wasn’t actually that loud, and it increases a little with the stress tests running, and we had just a slight decrease in volume with the CPU undervolt applied. With the fans maxed out it gets a little louder, about average compared to most other laptops I’ve tested. I’ll also note that I couldn’t hear any coil whine in my unit.
MSI GV62 8RE Benchmarks
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 1080p with the latest Nvidia drivers and Windows updates to date installed.
Fortnite ran well at all setting levels, but as usual take these results with a grain of salt as this game greatly depends on where you are in the game and what other players are doing at the time, so results will vary.
Overwatch was tested playing with the bots, and it played very well even at epic settings with the 1% low averages above the refresh rate of the display, but again results will vary with this game based on the map and what’s going on in the area.
PUBG was tested using the replay feature, it’s pretty common for the 1% lows to be a fair bit below the averages in this game but I found it to play pretty well at high or lower, but again like the others results will vary based on a number of factors.
CSGO was getting fairly good results with the benchmark test, the 1% lows drop heaps due to the smokes in the test but it played well at all settings. Dota 2 was tested using a fairly intensive replay, while actually playing you’ll get a much higher frame rate, this was used to try and represent a worse case scenario and be comparable to others who also test with the same replay.
I’ve tested Far Cry 5 with the built in benchmark, and we’re just able to average 60 FPS at ultra settings, not bad. Assassin’s Creed origins was another tested with the built in benchmark, and again the results aren’t too bad.
Rainbow Six Siege was also tested with the built in benchmark, and we’re seeing quite good results here, even at ultra settings the 1% lows are well above the refresh rate of the panel.
Battlefield 1 was tested in the first campaign mission and it played well even at ultra settings, the 1% lows show the brief dips that happen at times such as during explosions but this didn’t change much between setting levels.
Ghost Recon is a more resource intensive game and was tested with the built in benchmark, you probably won’t want to try and play with ultra settings here, but the others should be pretty good. Watchdogs 2 is another resource intensive game, despite the low looking frame rates I found the game to play pretty well at all setting levels, as you don’t really need a high frame rate to play it.
Rise of the tomb raider was tested with the built in benchmark, maximum settings were once again able to take us above a 60 FPS average. The Witcher 3 worked quite well at high settings or lower, ultra was alright but the 1% lows really show the dips that I was feeling, especially when the 1% lows at high settings are about what ultra was averating.
Now onto the benchmarking tools, I’ve tested Heaven, Valley, and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike, Timespy, and VRMark from 3DMark, just pause the video if you want a detailed look at these results. The results are pretty good, I’ve always said that the 1060 is an excellent choice for 1080p gaming at 60 FPS with decent settings and as expected that’s still the case here.
As for overclocking, the 8300H CPU can’t be overclocked, but I was able to increase the GPU core clock of the 1060 by 180MHz, and these were the clock speeds we got in the Heaven benchmark. I’ve just quickly got some CPU benchmarks here to compare the last generation 7700HQ with the newer 8300H, as both are quad core laptop CPUs.
The 8300H is only just slightly ahead in single core, with a small boost in multicore which was improved with the undervolt applied. I’ve started work on the 7700HQ vs 8300H comparison video so make sure to subscribe for that one. In Crystal Disk Mark the 128GB M.2 SATA SSD was getting 540MB/s in sequential reads and about 510MB/s in sequential writes, but it’s worth remembering the laptop does support faster NVMe storage too.
The 1TB hard drive was getting above 70MB/s in both, a bit lower than many other 5,400RPM drives I’ve tested. I’ve tested the SD slot using a V90 rated card to remove the card as a bottleneck and the speeds of the slot are quite low, but still useable. MSI mentioned that in Australia this exact model is exclusive through Harvey Norman, making it just under $2000 AUD.
For the rest of the world I can’t find pricing with these exact specs, but the 8RE with the 3GB 1060 and better 8750H CPU seems to go for around $1200 USD at the time of recording, making it pretty competitive with the Dell G5 and Acer Helios which have similar specced laptops in that price point.
So what did you guys think of the GV62 8RE gaming laptop from MSI? As we’ve seen it does pretty well in games, and with the CPU undervolted should be ready to handle just about anything with decent temperatures.
Overall the build quality was alright, it’s entirely plastic with some flex but seems sturdy enough unless you’re intentionally pushing it. The only issues I had with it were the somewhat dim screen and the battery life outside of games.