A Fast Nvidia GTX 1070 Equipped Gaming Notebook

On this in-depth review, we are taking a look at the MSI GT62VR 7RE Dominator Pro. A Gaming notebook featuring the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070. A proper GeForce GTX 1070 in a MXM form factor.

The GT62VR 7RE Dominator Pro also features the Intel Core i7-7700HQ at its bay together with a single stick of 16 GB DDR4 memory. Screen space is at 15.6 inches with a 1080P IPS panel that supports G-SYNC.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

MSI GT62VR 7RE-256PH DOMINATOR PRO
CPU Intel Core i7-7700HQ
CHIPSET Intel Sunrise Point HM175
MEMORY 16 GB Kingston DDR4-2400 SO-DIMM (Single)
GRAPHICS NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8 GB
DISPLAY PANEL 15.6 Inch LG Philips LP156WF6 60Hz G-SYNC
DISPLAY OUTPUT HDMI 2.0, Mini DP, Thunderbolt (Type-C)
AUDIO SOLUTION Realtek ALC899 + ESS SABRE DAC, 4x 2W Speaker + 1x 3W Woofer
LAN Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Controller
WLAN Killer Wireless 1435 Wireless Network Adapter + BT
STORAGE 256 GB M.2 SATA SSD + 1TB 7200 RPM SATA HDD
I/O PORTS 1x USB 3.1 Type-C, 3x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, SD Card Reader, 4x Audio
COOLING MSI Cooler Boost 4 Fan Design
BATTERY / POWER  80 Whr, 180W Power Adapter
OPERATING SYSTEM Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit

The MSI GT62VR with these specifications will set you around 139, 995 PHP mark locally. While regional specification varies, most of the sub-models will carry a 256 GB M.2 SATA SSD and a 1 TB 7200 RPM HDD.

DESIGN LAYOUT AND CONNECTIVITY:

The MSI GT62VR 7RE Dominator Pro sports a gaming oriented design with a 15.6″ of screen space set at a native 1080P resolution. The notebook looks and feels solid enough, even besting the MSI GS73VR 6RF on this department by a hair. Underside is plastic though.

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The MSI GT62VR 7RE Dominator Pro is rather thick, but it is still easy to lug around which is expected for a 15.6 incher notebook. Design on the other hand is neat, with a large exhaust area and well placed display connectivity options at the back. A USB Type-A port here would seal the deal for me.

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The right side of the notebook features a neat array of USB 3.0 ports with an SD card reader near the edge. No ODD tray here folks.

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The left side on the other hand features a kensington lock, a USB 2.0 port and 4 gold plated audio jacks. Dunno why would you like to run 4, but they are there if required.

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The hatch requires 6 screws to be removed which is easy enough. I like this hatch design so much. There’s enough clearance and rubber footings, plus there’s that enlarged ventilation hole. A carrying handle is also molded.

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MAINTENANCE AND COMPONENTS:

Maintenance is a breeze with this notebook with the exception of the memory slots. There are four SO-DIMM slots here, with the two situated at the other side. Best you can do is to upgrade it for extra capacity but 16GB is more than enough for today’s standards.

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The GTX 1070 is in a MXM form factor, with an actively cooled VRM. Cooler is dubbed as the CoolerBoost 4, which is basically a combination of 6 heatpipes with two fat impeller fans. Nothing to complain much here, but that WiFi adapter could get a little toasty underneath the heatpipes.

DISPLAY PANEL:

MSI utilized the LG Philips LP156WF6 panel for the GT62VR 7RE Dominator Pro model we got. It’s a 15.6 inch 1080P IPS panel with a refresh rate of 60Hz and a visible viewing area of 15.5 inches. GTG response time is unknown, but expect response time apt for AH-IPS panels.

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The IPS panel is matte and G-SYNC is supported, but I’d rather fixate my eyesight at a 120Hz TN panel. A GeForce GTX 1070 is just more than capable of pushing frames for that refresh rate.

INPUT DEVICES:

The MSI GT62VR 7RE Dominator Pro sports a full layout keyboard with scissor switch keys designed by SteelSeries. It’s not a true 100% layout, featuring a slightly slimmer number pad. Each key has a travel distance of 2mm, with an actuation force of around 60 grams.

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Key illumination is superb – with a non-straining glow from the edges and laser etched legends. The touchpad is is also easy enough to use, with physical buttons instead of haptic ones.

TEST SETUP AND METHODOLOGY:

The performance of the system shall be evaluated by various benchmarking tools and applications. With the CPU, memory, storage, gaming, power and audio performance being the focus of the tests. We are testing this system with the high-performance settings enabled at the OS, with the default UEFI configuration. Background processes such as anti-virus and third-party applications are disabled as well. Outlined below are the applications and benchmark tools for reference:

CPU AND MEMORY PERFORMANCE:

  • Super PI – 32M Calculations
  • wPrime – 32M and 1024M Calculations
  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition – Memory Benchmark

PRODUCTIVITY PERFORMANCE:

  • GIMP – 7 MB worth of image processing
  • HandBrake – 150 MB MP4 to H.264 video encoding
  • WinRAR – Internal benchmark tool

GAMING PERFORMANCE:

  • Overwatch – Ultra Settings | V-SYNC off
  • Battlefield 4 – Ultra Settings | V-SYNC off
  • Starcraft 2 – Extreme Settings | V-SYNC off
  • DOTA 2 – Maximum Settings | V-SYNC off
  • DIRT: Rally – Ultra Settings | V-SYNC off
  • Project CARS – Maximum Settings | V-SYNC off
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Ultra Settings | V-SYNC off
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Ultra Settings | HairWorks off | V-SYNC off

MISCELLANEOUS:

  • Crystal Disk Mark – Storage performance
  • RightMark Audio Analyzer – Audio performance
  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition – Temperature, Power and Noise

POWER, TEMPERATURE AND NOISE:

The AIDA64 System Stability Test uses a 64-bit multi-threaded stress testing module to drive the system to its absolute limits. Power readings are recorded with a watt-meter.

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The AIDA64 System Stability Test is also used to evaluate the system thermals. Readings are taken with AIDA64 and is cross-referenced with HWiNFO.

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The system noise level is evaluated during idle and a 15-minute load via AIDA64’s Stress Test. The noise measurement is taken by a sound level meter.

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External temperature is also checked to evaluate the system’s surface temperature around the keyboard area. Readings are taken with a temperature gun.

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The MSI GT62VR 7RE Dominator Pro has a respectable thermal output both inside and out. Power figures and noise are not bad as well.

BATTERY LIFE:

The system battery life is evaluated via the Whr / Watts formula with power reading taken from the watt-meter. This is to ensure a leveled benchmark across the systems.

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Don’t expect the notebook to last long unplugged while gaming. You’re better off with this thing plugged in. Movies and light browsing won’t be a problem though.

CPU AND MEMORY PERFORMANCE:

Super PI is a single-threaded program that calculates pi to a specified number of digits after the decimal point. It is a widely used benchmark and stress test within the industry.

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WPrime is a multi-threaded program that calculates a set number of square roots for estimating functions. It verifies the results by squaring them, then compares it with the original numbers.

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The AIDA64 Memory Benchmark measure the maximum achievable data transfer bandwidth of the memory. That includes the Read, Write, Copy and Latency performance.

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Interesting results here from the MSI GT62VR 7RE Dominator Pro. We see it dominating (no pun intended) the majority of benchmarks, but the memory performance is just so-so. This could be due to the single channel 16GB 2400MHz memory slapped inside.

PRODUCTIVITY PERFORMANCE:

GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free and open-source image editing tool. A 7 MB worth of images is be processed and converted to gauge the system performance.

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HandBrake is a free video encoding tool that supports a wide variety of media codecs. A 150MB worth MP4 video is converted using the H.264 codec to gauge the system performance.

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WinRAR is a file archive utility that can create, view and unpack numerous archive file formats. The software’s built in benchmark tool is utilized to gauge the system performance.

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The MSI GT62VR 7RE Dominator Pro stacks well on our real world application benchmarks with a not so lackluster performance at the WinRAR benchmark. Memory could be the fault here once again.

GAMING PERFORMANCE:

Overwatch is Blizzard Entertainment’s critically acclaimed First Person Shooter. The game runs on a custom engine utilizing the DirectX 11 API.

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Battlefield 4 is Electronic Art’s popular First Person Shooter, running on the Frostbite 3 game engine developed by DICE. It utilizes the DirectX 11 and the Mantle API.

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Starcraft 2 is Blizzard Entertainment’s critically acclaimed RTS game. The game runs on the HAVOC engine utilizing the DirectX 9 API.

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DOTA 2 is VALVE’s popular F2P MOBA game. The game runs on the Source engine with multi-API support.

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DIRT: Rally is CODEMASTER’s take on the rally racing game genre. It utilizes the EGO game engine with support for the DirectX 11 API.

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Project CARS is Slightly Mad Studios’ latest simulation racing game, running on the Madness game engine utilizing DirectX 11 support.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is Bethesda’s critically acclaimed Action Adventure RPG. Skyrim utilizes the Creation Engine with DirectX 10 support.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is CDProjekt RED’s award-winning Action Adventure RPG. The Witcher 3 utilizes the REDengine 3 with DirectX 11 support.

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Overall gaming performance is excellent. Though on some titles, the GTX 1070 equipped GT62VR 7RE Dominator Pro isn’t performing as expected. Memory bound games will definitely feel the impact of single channel memory kits.

STORAGE PERFORMANCE:

Crystal Disk Mark is a storage benchmarking software widely used throughout the industry. It feature synthetic benchmarks to test both the read and write performances of a storage medium.

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The M.2 SSD featured a great result together with a nice USB 3.0 performance. Card reader performance is also good, while the HDD performed just as expected.

AUDIO PERFORMANCE:

RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) is a tool designed to test the quality of audio devices. The results are obtained using test signals passing through the audio paths via frequency analysis algorithms. We utilized a high quality 3.5mm stereo audio cable to loop the line-in and line-out of the system with a sample rate of 24-bit at 48 kHz. The recording level should be around -1dB if possible, with software audio enhancements disabled.

Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB
+19.97, -93.11
Very poor
Noise level, dB (A)
-400.0
Excellent
Dynamic range, dB (A)
130.0
Excellent
THD, %
0.080
Average
THD + Noise, dB (A)
-26.9
Very poor
IMD + Noise, %
4.329
Very poor
Stereo crosstalk, dB
-186.0
Excellent
IMD at 10 kHz, %
568.366
Very poor
General performance
Average

Internal audio is kinda hard to test. We’ve disabled every effects and made sure that the notebook has been set up accordingly but it still sucks as far as RMAA result goes. The audio jacks could be busted, or one of it is teeming with issues. This is definitely something I have to take a second look.

WRAPPING IT UP:

The MSI GT62VR 7RE is a 15.6″ gaming notebook that features a desktop class performance under 140000 Pesos. Gaming performance is generally good, somewhat great to be honest and that’s a testament of what a properly cooled GTX 1070 could offer. Of course, performance is still hindered by the single channel DDR4 memory stick. Games that are memory bound usually exhibits lower minimum frame rates and we’ve seen that with Overwatch.

With a spacious boot and sufficient cooling, MSI GT62VR 7RE provided good cooling results. Battery life on the other hand is just as expected from a 75000 mWh cell. We only got 26 minutes of playtime with it, while movie and light browsing results are good enough to pass.

Now pricing is set at 139995 Pesos. It’s an acceptable price point especially if you’re to take note that this is a GTX 1070 equipped gaming notebook. My only gripe with it is the screen though and perhaps a 120Hz panel suites it better.

All in all, the MSI GT62VR 7RE Dominator Pro is a good gaming notebook. It is not perfect notebook but we can’t say that it is not a performer either. If you are looking for a proper GTX 1070 equipped notebook, this one is hard to pass.

  • EXCELLENT DESKTOP CLASS PERFORMANCE
  • GOOD THERMAL PERFORMANCE
  • EXCELLENT HOUSING QUALITY 
  • MAINTENANCE HATCH DESIGN
  • RGB ENHANCED KEYBOARD
  • G-SYNC CAPABLE PANEL
  • GENERAL AUDIO SOLUTION
  • SINGLE CHANNEL MEMORY

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