MSI GE72VR Apache Pro Gaming Laptop Review

Synthetic And Productivity Benchmarks

The MSI GE72VR Apache Pro-010 is a 17" laptop, so it’s only fitting that it be compared to similar laptops in its class. This particular configuration differs from most in its price range because it features a 128GB M.2 SSD, whereas most similarly priced laptops (or at least those with a GTX 1060 GPU or higher, since we're starting to see some equipped with GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti GPUs) feature only a 1TB 7200RPM HDD. The trade-off is less memory. Although most gaming laptops feature at least 16GB of DDR4-2133 memory at the sub-$1,500 price tag, the Apache Pro only contains 12GB. Our benchmark scores will illustrate whether and how that 4GB difference manifests itself in games.

First up in this comparison is the previously reviewed Asus Strix GL702VM-DB71, or the Strix 17 for short. The Strix 17 features an Intel Core i7-6700HQ, a 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, 16GB of DDR4-2133 memory, and a 1TB 7200RPM HDD. The Strix 17’s performance illustrates the storage trade-off.

Next in line is the Gigabyte P57W v6, another 17" laptop that's also equipped with an i7-6700HQ, a 6GB GTX 1060, 16GB of DDR4-2133 memory, and a 1TB 7200RPM HDD. Unlike the Apache Pro or Strix 17, the P57W also features a 256GB M.2 SSD, which bumps up the overall price. Our review of the P57W is coming soon, so stay tuned!

Finally, the MSI Apache Pro will be compared to the the much more powerful Gigabyte P37X v6, which contains an i7-6700HQ, an 8GB GTX 1070, 16GB of DDR4-2400 memory, a 512GB M.2 SSD, and a 1TB 7200RPM HDD. The P37X will depict the performance difference between a laptop with a GTX 1060 and a similarly equipped laptop with a GTX 1070.

3DMark

Performance in 3DMark is largely GPU dependent, so the MSI GE72VR Apache Pro-010 is able to compete with both the Asus Strix 17 and Gigabyte P57W despite those two systems having 4GB of additional memory. However, the Gigabyte P37X v6 dominates the MSI thanks to its more powerful GTX 1070.

Cinebench R15

The Cinebench single and multi-core tests are primarily CPU-bound, although the OpenGL shading test gives an edge to systems with strong GPUs. The MSI Apache Pro isn’t hindered by its lack of memory when compared to the Gigabyte P57W and the Asus Strix 17 in single and multi-core performance, and it only truly falls behind in the OpenGL test against the Gigabyte P37X.

CompuBench

CompuBench performance is affected by overall system resources, so the MSI laptop's lack of sufficient memory finally rears its ugly head. This isn’t immediately apparent in the Video Composition test, but Bitcoin mining performance drops compared to the Asus Strix 17 and Gigabyte P57W v6, which score 2.2% and 6.7% higher. The Gigabyte P37X scores higher than all of the GTX 1060 systems for obvious reasons.

IOMeter

To test read and write speeds, we run IOmeter from the system's primary drive. Since the Strix 17 only has a 7200RPM HDD, its scores are omitted from the charts. Thus, the MSI’s 128GB Samsung SM951 is compared to the P57W’s 256GB Plextor LiteOn CV3 and the P37X’s 512GB SM951.

The MSI’s SM951 exhibits superior performance against the P57W’s CV3 in both random and sequential speeds. It manages to keep up with the P37X’s SM951 in random speeds, but it falls short in sequential performance due to its smaller size.

PCMark 8

Rather than the preloaded Office, Creative, and Work suites that PCMark typically employs, the Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative suites provide more tangible application performance. In the past, we found that systems such as the Asus G752VS OC Edition and MSI GT73VR Titan Pro-201 scored much higher because they were equipped with an Intel I7-6820HK. Since all of the systems in our comparison consist of an i7-6700HQ, their performance falls within reach of each other.

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  • cats_Paw
    Wait, am I getting this right? $1599 and a 1060, but HDMI 1.4?
  • anbello262
    I'm really impressed by the fact that not even 12GB of memory is enough now. Last time I checked 8gb was enough for even high end systems. I really wasn't expecting this to change so quickly. Makes me glad I recently upgraded from 8 to 16, but makes me feel that I will have to upgrade again sooner than expected.
  • nzalog
    All those long heatpipes and so much wasted space JUST to keep the battery in the back. Imagine how much more efficient of a design it would be if they moved the motherboard flush to the back and shorter heatpipes going left and right.
  • Clamyboy74
    Pleas please please review a clevo laptop, any! If you want it to match up with simillar hardware to the ones you've already reviewed, try the P650rs-g aka sager np8156
  • timf79
    Are you going to test a MSI Dominator, too?
    Maybe someone could should some light on the MSI gaming laptop branding with: Titan, Dominator, Apache, Stealth...
  • hst101rox
    I'd rather get a MSI GS series, they have 3 fans in them while still not being a heavy laptop. 5.3 pounds for the 17" model.
  • Henk Hilti
    I don't know what is slowing down the GTX 1060 in this notebook but it for sure isn't the 12GB memory size (wrong assumption!!!).
    Put is in a total of 16GB and you will see it will perform exactly the same ins games.

    I expected a more thorough investigation from Tomshardware.
  • quilciri
    At the $1500 mark, it needs a 1070, imho. But I love MSI for giving us a gaming laptop that doesn't look like a dudebro or a 12 year old designed it.
  • zthomas
    costs more than my tabletop.. and with less stuff.. tiny monitor.. not a laptop fan here..
  • JeffDaemon
    I'm not sure whats with the linked laptop but searching ge72vr nets you the cheaper laptop at the same specs. This is the laptop I have, and so far I have been pretty happy with it. Cooling is highly satisfactory, zero problems with gaming performance. Its a shame to see the poor lcd performance, I mostly use an external monitor but from what I have used of it, the lcd didn't seem BAD in anyway. I found it only a slightly worse then the IPS in my last notebook. About the only things I found disappointing was the lack of thunderbolt, and maybe the Xboost feature. In short, I reinstalled windows 10 from scratch outside of the box because I was getting 100% cpu spikes, and it may have been this feature. However because of that I have had no issues at all, I reinstalled MOST of MSI's software utilities.