Is MSI’s real-world Gran Turismo gaming laptop as fast as it sounds?
The GT62VR 7RE Dominator Pro is the dictionary definition of a gaming laptop — powerful, pricy and as aesthetically appealing as the wrong end of a server room.
Blanketed by MSI’s trademark brushed metal veneer on the lid and keyboard surround, the GT62 chassis switches to lighter, cheaper structural plastic everywhere else — which helps reduce the weight of this heavy unit.
Attached to the top of that girthy 4cm-thick body is a responsive and well spacedout SteelSeries membrane keyboard and a reasonably pleasant-feeling trackpad equipped with no-nonsense bucktooth left and right click buttons. While the three USB 3.0 ports, SD card reader, single USB 2.0 and multiple audio outputs line the edges of the unit, the four-pin 19V/11.8A DC power input, Ethernet connection and video outputs (HDMI, USB 3.1 and DisplayPort) have been relegated to the back.
Prioritising power over portability, this 3kg beast packs in some serious components with the latest seventh-gen Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU and enough fans to keep this power hungry setup at a comfortable temperature.
The only other laptop we’ve tested with that GPU is Gigabyte’s P57x V6, which pushes a near identical set of components, but based on Intel’s sixth-gen tech. With 16GB of DDR4 RAM, MSI’s GT62VR 7RE actually outpaced the V6’s PCMark 8 Home and Work scores of 4,007 and 4,930, with lofty results of 5,017 and 5,384 in these general-performance tests. These scores are more than the 10% boost you’d expect when comparing against the P57x V6’s sixth-gen CPU. Also neat is that the 1080p IPS display offers G-Sync, although only at a refresh rate of up to 60Hz — that means you can get butterysmooth visuals, but they won’t come with the superresponsive feel that high refresh-rate 120Hz/144Hz desktop monitors can give.
What’s a little disappointing is that, despite those near top-shelf components, this laptop didn’t perform quite as well in gaming as we’d hoped. In The Division and Tomb Raider benchmarks on 1080p Ultra settings, the GT62VR got averages of 66.5 and 262.7fps, surpassing the P57x V6’s results of 60.1 and 213.9. However, we saw some wobbly results in both Far Cry Primal and the intensive Metro: Last Light, where the MSI was anywhere from 15 to 50% slower in some tests. Despite troubleshooting the issue, we were still trying to get to the bottom of it with MSI at the time we went to print. Moreover, with a meagre 1 hour, 20 minute battery lifespan in PCMark 8’s Conventional Work battery life test and acceptable max CPU and GPU temperatures of 91ºC and 81ºC under load, there are more than a few niggling elements in the GT62VR 7RE.7 Total ScoreMSI GT62VR 7RE Dominator Pro
A powerful performance-first gaming laptop that would benefit from more gaming optimisation and a price cut.Add your review
Unfortunately, this laptop has more than it’s fair share of sacrifices and though the G-Sync panel is a nice perk, it’s an expensive one. For us, it’s not quite enough to justify the you’ll pay for this unit over its P57x V6 competition.
A powerful performance-first gaming laptop that would benefit from more gaming optimisation and a price cut.