MSI GE72 Apache-264 Review

September 1, 2015
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There are a couple of reasons to get a notebook that costs over 1000 bucks. One is gaming. No budget laptop is good for that activity, at least if we’re talking about smooth frame rates when playing new triple A games from 2015. One device to deal with such high-end games is MSI GE72 Apache-264, a Summer 2015 release full of technology that might interest gamers: Geforce GTX960M graphics card, i7 processor and Full HD display to name the most obvious. But the question is, would it be reasonable to spend so much for this powerful notebook? Read on to see our opinion about that!

General performance

Like the other MSI gaming laptops released recently, also this particular model relies on strong CPU performance. The processor here is Intel Core i7-4720HQ which many “in the know” can right away identify as a high-end unit. The i7-4720HQ runs on four cores, offering 2.6GHz base speed that increases to 3.6GHz with turbo. The processor is definitely one of the fastest, gaining over 8100 points in CPU Mark tests. For your reference, a regular low-energy i7 found in cheaper laptops gets only half of that. So, for a gaming notebook the i7-4720HQ is a right choice, and also any program – even heavier ones like Adobe Photoshop – you try to run on this machine will work smooth and clean.

MSI GE72 Apache-264 has 12GB memory (DDR3L 1600MHz), not the most common amount you see – often it’s either 8GB or 16GB. Anyway, the distribution here is one 8GB and one 4GB stick. If you want, you can switch the 4GB stick for a 8GB to max out the memory at 16GB. That might be a good idea for few, but most users, even professional gamers, should be good with 12GB. So don’t rush with the memory upgrade here.

The storage drive offers a lot of space, or what’s your opinion about 1024GB? You can put data similar to 200 DVDs there. Downside of such a large drive is speed, these mechanical hard drives are not too fast, even at 7200RPM spindle speed. If you want to get better transfer rates (faster bootup times etc.) your best bet is a solid-state drive. Luckily, there’s one M.2 slot inside so you don’t have to replace the current HDD if you don’t want to.

Gaming in nutshell

MSI GE72 Apache-264 is meant for gaming, that’s why it has a brilliant GeForce GTX 960M (2GB GDDR5) graphics card installed. Any game is playable with that engine, you can for example fire up GTA 5 and play it on Full HD and high settings with +40FPS. The Witcher 3 will also work here, running at ~30FPS with similar settings. Those are very demanding titles, with all the others (like Steam-based ones, Battlefield 4 etc.) you can enjoy smooth frame rates while settings are maxed out.

Is the screen wonderful?

It’s a big anti-glare screen in MSI GE72 Apache-264. At 17.3″ inches you should have quite an enjoyable gaming experience, especially when the display supports 1920×1080 resolution which you can keep on at all times because of the strong graphics engine. It’s not a touch monitor, but the talk is gamers don’t often care about that.

What connections does it have?

The computer supports a variety of devices. It has four USB ports to begin with, three of those being USB 3.0. For video connection, HDMI and miniDP are offered. Networking interfaces are a 802.11A/C WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 adapter and Gigabit Ethernet port.

MSI GE72 Apache-264 features a DVD burner so you can install your games the old-fashioned way from discs if you prefer. Also media cards can be used, the notebook has a built-in SD card slot.

Feel the need to chat or plan strategies with your gaming friends? No problem, the laptop comes with a front-facing 720p webcam.

Anything else to keep in mind?

I wouldn’t like to travel with MSI GE72 Apache-264. It’s big (17 inches at six pounds) and the 6-cell battery is unlikely to last more than an hour or two during gameplay.

The keyboard features single color backlight and a numeric keypad on the right hand side.

Final thoughts

MSI GE72 Apache-264 is a laptop that runs any game I can think of with high (or even maxed out) settings and Full HD details. That is probably the most important thing people – the gamers – want to know about this computer. In addition, it features components that work with all the programs that power users like – those being the heavy types like photo editors, VirtualBox or programming environments. The quality of Full HD display should be decent at least and given the high-end specifications, using 1920×1080 all day long shouldn’t be an issue. Considering these facts, I don’t think this laptop is expensive at all. Sure, you can get a notebook that is even faster, but it also costs more and I don’t know if you’d really need that. Thus, if you’re a gamer with limited budget, I think you have a good reason to choose this MSI.

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