Alien: Isolation isn’t a demanding game, so the MSI Apache Pro easily achieves well over 100 FPS. You can safely crank up your settings and play without a second thought, even without a full 16GB of memory. Still, systems with additional memory show a tangible performance increase.
Ashes of the Singularity
In Ashes of the Singularity the Apache Pro isn’t hindered much by its lack of memory. The difference between the Apache Pro and the 16GB systems is only 12% at most, which only equates to a few frames. System performance is crippled in general in Ashes, which favors more CPU cores. Even the Gigabyte P37X, which performs about 25% higher thanks to its GTX 1070, still doesn’t perform well enough to maintain 60 FPS on average.
The Apache Pro’s configuration is adequate enough for an easy-to-run title like Bioshock Infinite. It takes a slight performance hit because it has less memory, but that only amounts to about 6-8% FPS lower than a system with 16GB of memory.
We see an approximately 3 FPS performance hit from the MSI laptop's 12GB of memory in DiRT Rally, and it's really not noticeable during gameplay. Because the GTX 1060 is incapable of delivering 60 FPS at these settings anyway, it'd be better to upgrade to a GTX 1070 than worrying about the memory, at least with this particular title.
Grand Theft Auto V
We only see a major difference between the Apache Pro and the two other GTX 1060 laptops during the Del Perro Pier and car chase scenes in Grand Theft Auto V. However, this doesn’t offer much consolation. None of the GTX 1060 laptops can maintain anywhere near 60 FPS, and the much more powerful Gigabyte P37X v6 doesn’t fare all that well either. Stepping up to a GTX 1080 would be the best option if you don't want to compromise on high-end game settings.
While the MSI Apache Pro could benefit from additional memory, its average frame rate is well above 60 FPS. Additionally, the Apache Pro’s performance is only about 10% lower than the Gigabyte P37X; this is because GRID Autosport gives systems with higher clocked GPUs a slight edge.
Unfortunately, Hitman punishes the MSI Apache Pro for having only 12GB of memory. The Asus Strix 17 and Gigabyte P57W v6 just barely maintain above 60 FPS, but the Apache Pro falls short by about 12%.
Metro: Last Light Redux
Our results in Metro: Last Light Redux further solidify how a lack of memory will affect a system’s gaming performance. The Apache Pro performs between 13% and 24% slower than the Asus Strix 17 and Gigabyte P57W v6 respectively. Still, none of the three GTX 1060 laptops perform as well as the Gigabyte P37X v6, which scores above 60 FPS thanks to its GTX 1070.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of The Tomb Raider is one of the most taxing games in our benchmark suite, and the GTX 1060 struggles to provide over 30 FPS. Our Apache Pro’s performance is negatively affected because it has less memory than the Strix 17 and Gigabyte P57W, but additional memory won’t help much in such a demanding game. Even the GTX 1070-equipped P37X v6 only hovers around 45 FPS, so the Apache needs major graphical compromises before it can even come close to 60 FPS.
Similarly, we witness visual degradation due to the MSI's lack of memory in The Division, which isn't as demanding as Grand Theft Auto V or Rise of the Tomb Raider, so the performance hit isn't as severe. When compared to systems with a GTX 1060 and 16GB of memory, we're looking at an 8% performance decrease at worst and a 2% decrease at best. At 47.33 average FPS, 60 FPS is easily attainable with light tweaking.
Thief is rather forgiving to systems that aren’t aggressively equipped, so the Apache Pro has no issues maintaining over 60 FPS during the benchmark. Stepping up from 12GB of memory to 16GB provides a performance increase of about 18%; this might make a bigger impact in games where the average frame rate constantly dips below 60, but in Thief, an upgrade isn’t warranted.