Notebooks & Laptops

MSI GE62 Apache Gaming Notebook Review

Price / Where to Buy:

US – Approx.: MSI GE62 in Amazon*
PH – Approx.: Php86,000*

*Varies by configuration

MSI is up in arms in the gaming scene, not just for desktops, but on notebook as well. MSI is doing so well in the notebook market their expansive port folio covers just about every price bracket one can think of. But its quite obvious they are firing on all cylinders when it comes to gaming notebooks and MSI has cemented itself as a solid contender for the crown of the best gaming notebook manufacturer right now. Right now there are certain price points that both MSI and ASUS compete in to capture the notebook market and one of those heated price points is the $1500-$1800 sweet spot where we can say balance is the winning formula: performance, features, portability and style must come together in this segment to attract consumers.

msi_logo_2014

Today we have the MSI GE62 gaming laptop which is focused on this price segment. It features a solid configuration: fast processor, speedy storage, and a powerful GPU to deliver outstanding system performance while marrying other features together to create an entertainment and gaming centerpiece. Let’s focus more on the GE62 and see what the laptop has to offer.

Features & Specifications

  • Windows 8.1
  • Latest 5th Gen. Intel® Core™ i7 5950HQ / 5700HQ processor
  • Nahimic Sound Technology with immersive 3D sound processing
  • Embedded NVIDIA® GeForce GTX 970M with ultra performance
  • True Color Technology pre-calibrates each panel, guaranteeing image output at preset mode close to 100% sRGB.
  • Nahimic Sound Technology with immersive 3D sound processing
  • Exclusive SHIFT technology for system’s performance and balance
  • SteelSeries Engine to personalize your own style
  • Keyboard by SteelSeries with LED back light
  • Xsplit Gamecaster for broadcasting, recording and sharing
  • Miracast for sharing content wirelessly to big screen TV
  • Exclusive Super RAID 2 with 3 SSD RAID0
  • Sound by Dynaudio 4.1 sound system
  • Cooler Boost 3: higher efficiency dual cooling system
  • Killer™ E2200 Game Networking
  • Matrix Display with max 2 external displays
  • LCD Panel with Wide viewing angles

Closer Look – MSI GE62 Apache

As with the majority of recent notebooks aimed for gaming, the MSI GE62 doesn’t depart from the tried and tested formula of an all black metal case on top. Some red lines the side trims of the top shell to give it a sporty look. The undercarriage are primary just grills for ventilation with some feet lining the bottom.

The MSGE62 is just barely 1 1/2 inches gives drops it around the average thickness range for most notebooks. On the sides are the I/O ports including LAN, mini-DisplayPort, HDMI, three (3) USB3.0 ports, audio jacks on the left and a USB2.0 port together with an SD card slot, the DC jack and the optical disc tray on the right side. Just below the lower lip of the front of the MSI GE62 are the indicator lights.

MSI GE62 Apache Gaming Notebook Review
MSI GE62 Apache Gaming Notebook Review

Maximum tilt of 120* for the top half of the MSI GE62. From this image, while it isn’t so clear you’d see that there’s really good viewing angle here but yeah there’s some glaring going on but its mostly due to our lighting than the notebook’s screen quality itself.

MSI GE62 Apache Gaming Notebook Review
MSI GE62 Apache Gaming Notebook Review

The screen is a matte display and is really clear but tends to be a little oversaturated out of the box. The MSI default red wallpaper will have you changing it quickly as soon as you boot up because of the screen’s tendency to be a little vibrant on reds.

MSI GE62 Apache Gaming Notebook Review
MSI GE62 Apache Gaming Notebook Review

Extra buttons allow the users to control the fan speed, sending them soaring to full speed. This is best used when gaming and you have the speakers full blast so it dampens the noise from the fans. The other button lets you switch between keyboard lighting profile via the SteelSeries control software as such:

The SteelSeries keyboard on the MSGE62 allows the user to customize the lighting on the keyboard. You can use full color lighting on the entire board, multi-segment lighting and also apply effects like breathing, flowing or pulsating effects on the lighting.

MSI GE62 Apache Gaming Notebook Review
MSI GE62 Apache Gaming Notebook Review

Included in the bundle is a backpack to carry your gaming notebook around. Its a well-made bag and has plenty of space to keep your stuff around in.

Packaged Software

Aside from the included Windows 8.1 installation, MSI also bundles a couple of software with the GE62 Apache. First up is the MSI Dragon Gaming Center where you can monitor the system status including temperatures, fan speed, power draw and current system utilization. In another tab you can setup shortcuts for utilities for quick access. Another tab for setting up quick access is the play key tab where you can setup shortcuts for applications, games, etc. The last tab in the MSI Dragon Gaming Center allows us to toggle device settings like switching power plans, disabling the Windows key or switching the GE62 Apache’s profile to suit your current needs via the Shift Mode option. We have Green for light power usage, Comfort for balanced and Sport for maximum Titan power.

xplit_gamecast

Also we have Xsplit GameCaster for gamers who want to share their games online or who do streaming, this is the perfect inclusion for you.

Performance Testing

cpuz

The MSI GE62 Apache comes in various configurations without our sample being the Apache Pro featuring a quad-core Intel i7-4710HQ that supports HyperThreading. A generous serving of 16GB of DDR3-1600 memory complements the CPU and the MSI GE62 is equipped with NVIDIA Optimus technology allowing it to run both Intel HD graphics and the discrete GTX 970M graphics card side by side: tasking the Intel IGP for light display tasks to conserve power and then switching over to the dedicated GPU for games and other graphics-intensive applications.

3dmark

The MSI GE62 scores a decent 4955 in 3DMark Firestrike, enough to get an average of 26FPS in the majority of tests but still dips in the most intensive of tests but its a very demanding workload. DOTA2, Diablo III, Battlefield 4 and GTA V are quite playable with the MSI GE62 but you need to tweak the graphics details especially for AAA titles to get a smooth 60FPS experience at 1080p. Otherwise you can clamp down on the resolution.

Temperature

With a slimmer body, the cooling on the GE62 is a bit more conservative and relies mostly on power management and/or faster fan speeds to compensate. As we can see above the GE62 maxes out at 81*C and temps on idle are at a toasty level above ambient. This is mostly due to the fan spinning down on idle to conserve power and then revving up when needed. When set to maximum, the fans do a good job cooling the MSI GE62 to around 70*C but leaves the system very audible so its highly recommended to do it only when gaming on really high volume levels or using external speakers/soundbars to drown the noise.

Conclusion

MSI GE62 Apache Gaming Notebook Review
MSI GE62 Apache Gaming Notebook Review

Let’s break down our scores for our final verdict.

Performance. While we couldn’t run a full gauntlet of tests, our time with the MSI GE62 Apache had us some quick shots with some of the recent games released notably GTA V along with our staple titles like Battlefield 4, Watch_Dogs, Tomb Raider, etc. At 1080p, the GTX970M is capable of handling these games at medium to high settings with Battlefield 4 and GTA V both having very good optimizations and graphic detail profiles built in, we’re able to do 40-55FPS on easily even on high. The GE62 does get taxed with GPU intensive scenes but nothing dramatic as to hamper the experience. Other than games, the system is powerful enough for workload applications and multimedia editing so graphics and video professionals/enthusiasts will appreciate the raw computing power of the MSI GE62.

Build Quality.  Its hard to really find fault in this laptop otherwise we’d be nitpicking already. The MSI GE62 is well put-together and even with the majority of plastic in the chassis, there is still that feel of sturdiness to it. Some things worth noting though, MSI could really improve the cooling for the GE62 Apache as the system does tend to heat up fast especially when gaming or doing CPU/GPU intensive workloads. The fans are also very audible during heavy usage and when set to max, sounds like the GE62 is ready to fly like its military vehicle namesake. The screen is clear and bright enough even in outdoor situations but the colors do need some calibration for those sensitive to overly saturated images. Battery life is also a concern as the MSI GE62 tends to last under 1 1/2 hours during gaming and only 4-5 hours tops on lighter usage when its not connected to the wall outlet.

Functionality. As we’ve mentioned, the performance of the MSI GE62 makes it a high-performance mobile workstation and is perfect for professionals looking for a powerful machine to work on which also doubles as fine gaming machine to end the day of work. Its not that heavy but there’s still plenty of weight to it that you’d swing it around lightly.

Value. Various configurations are available for the MSI GE62 with our sample being the Php86,000 model that features the specs listed above. Other models may include a GTX960M GPU which is also quite decent for most games.

In closing, the MSI GE62 tries to capture a market where professionals and college students tend to choose from. And not just any kind of consumers, we’re talking about gamers and enthusiasts who knows their stuff and are very specific about their requirements. That said, MSI’s GE62 series of gaming laptops fits the bill spanning models from the lower $1000 range all the way to the sub-$2000 range.

For $2000, some may argue that there are plenty of other investments or that a PC is a much better option but there are just some cases where a desktop just isn’t a solution: we’re talking about gamers. Gamers who know a $2000 Mac won’t be game-ready for Battlefield 4, Watch_Dogs, Witcher 3 or Project: Cars. Gamers who also happen to be professionals or enthusiasts in visual FX or photography/graphics editing. These kinds of people are what MSI is targeting with the MSI GE62 and they manage to fit a good set of features and performance in a traditional form factor without blowing up the size or going over the top with exotic styling.

The MSI GE62 is an example of the perfect balance of performance, features, portability and style.

Price / Where to Buy:

US – Approx.: MSI GE62 in Amazon*
PH – Approx.: Php86,000*

*Varies by configuration

MSI backs the GE62 Apache with 2 years warranty. We give it our B2G Silver Award!

B2G_Silver

Promo Alert:

For every purchase of an MSI GE62, you can avail of a free SteelSeries Siberia gaming headset worth Php4,995 FREE with your MSI GE62 purchase. Promo is available until JULY 15, 2015. See official page for more details.

MSI-GE62-Promo

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BossMac Suba

Owner and lead reviewer for Back2Gaming. More than 10-year of corporate IT experience as well as consumer IT journalism. His extensive skill set and experience in communicating complicated technical details into easily understandable bits. He's been with you since dial-up and the ISA slot. His favorite animal is the scapegoat.

2 Comments

  1. If this laptop is anything like my old MSi, just be sure to watch the temp on it. My old one had crazy specs and performance, but it would get blazing hot when I played games which is what I think caused it to eventually die on me after a few years.

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