MSI GE72MVR APACHE PRO-001 Review

With the new MSI GE72MVR APACHE PRO-001, MSI’s line of gaming laptops is seeing a new addition. This model comes with a 17,3” screen with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. Inside, you’ll find a current-generation Intel Core i7 CPU, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, 16 GB of RAM, and plenty of storage. This combination allows you to play all current titles with plenty of FPS. The GE72MVR APACHE PRO-001 boasts MSI’s well known SteelSeries keyboard with programmable backlight.

Price-wise, the MSI GE72MVR APACHE PRO-001 comes in at less than 1900$.

Display

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MSI fitted this laptop with a 17,3” Full HD panel with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. The matte surface means that reflections are basically non-existent. IPS technology assures great viewing angles and the average brightness lies at 225 cd/m2.

Hardware

Inside the Apache Pro GE72MVR PRO-001, we find an Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU with a base clock speed of 2,8 GHz. Individual cores are also dynamically overclocked to up to 3,8 GHz with Intel’s Turbo Boost technology. The CPU also supports Hyper-Threading, making it possible for the processor to run 8 calculations at the same time on four cores.

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Graphics-wise, we’re getting an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with 8 GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory. This makes it easy to achieve great framerates at native Full-HD resolution. The integrated Intel HD Graphics are only being used when there are minor graphical tasks to be handled (i.e. surfing, word processing, etc.).

The RAM consists of one 16 GB DDR4 module. Another one can be added to expand the RAM to a total of 32 GB. The operating system (Windows 10) comes pre-installed on a 256 GB M.2 SSD module that, out of the box, still has 191 GB of memory for you to use. It achieves read-speeds of over 551 MB/s (tested with Crystal Diskmark 5.2.0.). When writing, the module is slightly slower and only reaches 527 MB/s. In addition to this module, the notebook is also equipped with a 1 TB hard drive.

Connectivity is being handled either by ac-standard Wi-Fi or GBit Lan using the RJ-45 port.

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The integrated 6-cell battery is good for around 3 hours of regular tasks (office, surfing). When gaming, battery life gets noticeably shorter.

The MSI GE72MVR-PRO-001 is characterized by the following specific product characteristics:

  • Display: 17.3 “(43.9 cm), IPS, anti-reflective, WLED
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels (full-HD), 16: 9 format
  • Processor: Intel® Core ™ i7-7700HQ (6M cache, up to 3.80 GHz)
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8 GB)
  • Memory: 16 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM
  • Hard Drive: 256 GB SSD (M.2 SATA) + 1 TB HDD (2.5 “SATA III 7.200rpm)
  • Card Reader: 3-in-1 (SD / SDHC / SDXC)
  • Battery: Li-Ion battery, 51.4 Wh, 6 cells
    • Sound: Two-way stereo speakers and subwoofer (Sound by Dynaudio) + Nahimic Audio Enhancer
    • Camera: Full HD webcam
    • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
    • Dimensions (W x D x H): 42.0 x 28.8 x 2.9 cm
    • Weight: approx. 2,90 kg

Network:

  • WLAN 802.11 a / ac / b / g / n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Gigabit Ethernet LAN

Connections:

  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x mini-DisplayPort
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C)
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x headphones
  • 1 x microphone
  • 1 x RJ-45

Input Devices:

  • Steel Series Full-color Backlight Keyboard w/ Anti-Ghost Key + Silver Lining
  • Multi-touch pad (109 x 62 mm)

Ports

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This gaming laptops offers a good choice of I/O. Among it are four USB ports, two of which are USB 3 and one is a USB 3.1 Type C port which, however, doesn’t support Thunderbolt.External displays can be connected using HDMI and DisplayPort.

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On the right, the MSI has an SD card reader, a USB 2.0 port and the port for the charger.

Keyboard and Trackpad

Being a 17” notebook, the keyboard is rather big in size and features a numeric keypad which, strangely, is located very close to the rest of the keyboard. The backlight of the SteelSeries keyboard can be adjusted using the pre-installed software. The backlight is split into three zones that can be assigned individual colors. Apart from continuous illumination, you can also choose between several different lighting “effects”.

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The key-travel is shallow and they make little to no noise while typing. Gamers who like to use the arrow keys will be pleasantly surprised by the regular-sized ones found here. In the palm-rest area MSI have put a big mutli-touch trackpad that supports gestures and has two buttons.

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Expansion

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The MSI notebook does not have a service door. However, it can be opened pretty easily after opening about a dozen screws. Once inside, you’ll that there are two DIMM slots of which only one holds a RAM module out of the box. By adding an additional module, the RAM can be upgraded to up to 32 GB. HDD and SSD are also easily accessible and replaceable.

Heat Management / Noise

In our stress test, the top of the plastic body heated up to around 50℃ in certain areas. The palm rest and trackpad stay quite a bit cooler though. On the bottom, the notebook got even hotter. Our CAT S60 thermal imaging camera showed a hot spot at 41,6℃. The excess heat of the CPU and GPU gets expelled out of the back of the device where we measured temperatures of up to 41,3℃. The fans, while barely audible during light usage, kick in noticeably when the system is under load.

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The external 725 g power supply heats up to 41,1℃ when the computer is handling demanding tasks like gaming.

Pro & Contra

+ fast quad-core CPU and powerful Nvidia graphics
+ big 17,3” Full-HD display with 120 Hz
+ programmable SteelSeries gaming keyboard

– fans get quite loud under load
– plastic body

Conclusion

With their Apache Pro GE72MVR PRO-001, MSI have released yet another great gaming notebook. It’s 17,3” Wide-View panel with refresh rates of 120 Hz offers great viewing angles and acceptable brightness levels at 225 cd/m2. The internals with the current-gen Core i7 CPU and Nvidia GeFore GTX 1070 with 8GB of VRAM achieve great performance in all current titles. For storage, you’re getting an SSD and a 1TB hard drive. The SSD is relatively fast with its transfer-speeds of up to 550 MB/s. Adding an M.2 module with NVMe however, is not an option. Sad, because these are way faster.

An optical highlight of this machine is the SteelSeries keyboard that can put on quite the lightshow. The internal battery is good for around 3 hours of light use like browsing or office work.

Where this notebook has lost some points was in thermal management and noise level when under load.

Read More:
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