There are budget gaming laptops available, but MSI GE72 Apache Pro-242 is not one of them. It costs well over 1000 bucks, at the same time offering a huge performance for the benefit of gamers. The Core i7 processor and 16GB RAM are indeed nice components to work with, but the best thing is the dedicated GeForce GTX970M graphics card – an engine you can use to play many games on higher settings and resolutions. But are there any disadvantages to this seemingly-perfect gaming machine? I think so, I’ll elaborate that below…
What programs does it run?
It doesn’t take a genius to see that MSI GE72 Apache Pro-242 is packed with power. It’s an expensive laptop, and processor is the pristine Intel Core i7-5700HQ, a 2.7GHz quad-core chip with up to 3.5GHz turbo speed. It’s not an ultra low voltage model so performance is not restricted, you can verify this fact by looking at the benchmarks. CPU Mark, one of the popular testing platforms, gives this chip ~8700 points, surpassing the older powerhouse i7-4720HQ (~8150 points). Core i7-5700HQ surely is one of the fastest notebook CPUs, it won’t be a threat for your heavyweight programs in any case.
The laptop memory is 16GB DDR3L 1600MHz RAM, distribution being the usual dual 8GB sticks. You won’t be able to put in additional memory, but that won’t ever be a problem because many people believe 16GB is an overkill. Some even say 8GB is too much, but for hardcore gamers 8-16GB is indeed a good choice.
The choice between storage drive is always speed vs. space. MSI GE72 Apache Pro-242 has opted for the latter, boasting a 1024GB 7200RPM hard drive in the engine room. You’re probably aware how much data can be stored there (more or less 200 DVDs for example), but might be you’re also familiar with the performance of such a mechanical drive. It’s not great, but by replacing the unit with an SSD (SATA 3 one, no mSATA inside) you’ll be able to make the notebook a lot faster – at the expense of smaller storage space.
There is a lot MSI GE72 Apache Pro-242 can offer for gamers. The graphics card is GeForce GTX970M which uses its own 3GB GDDR5 memory – in another words, it’s a dedicated graphics engine. Most games will be very playable using high settings and Full HD resolution – even the heavyweight Witcher 3 will get ~30 frames per second if you max out the settings. Another example, GTA 5 with all the eye candy on, plays at ~40 frames per second.
MSI GE72 Apache Pro-242 features a 17.3″ anti-glare screen, supporting 1920×1080 resolution. Because of the dedicated graphics card, there’s no need to turn Full HD off due to bad performance – you might only want to do that if icons or text looks to small to your liking. The display is not touch sensitive, but fear not, Windows 10 (Home 64-bit) is convenient with trackpad and keyboard too.
MSI GE72 Apache Pro-242 sports four USB ports, and appropriate for this price, three of those are USB 3.0. There’s also a variety of video outputs, VGA, HDMI and miniDP, so you can install any kind of external monitor.
The built-in optical drive supports burning and reading of CDs and DVDs (but no BluRay). SD card slot is included too in case you want to transfer data from memory cards.
The laptop features first class network interfaces, 1×1 A/C WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 adapter and a 1000Mbsp RJ-45 port.
Despite the display being Full HD, the webcam only supports 720p – that might be enough depending on your preferences.
Other things to keep in mind?
5.95 pounds is the weight of this computer. It’s in the same not-too-portable category that other gaming laptops. Also, many people have been complaining about battery life – getting two hours would be considered good if you’re playing a game. Surfing the web, you might get bit more though.
The keyboard is multi-color backlit with a 10-key pad installed.
MSI GE72 Apache Pro-242 is one of the powerful notebooks that doesn’t cost an arm and leg, yet has the performance required to be called an authentic gaming laptop. The most exciting thing for gamers is obviously the graphics card, this time the high-end GeForce GTX970M with 3GB dedicated memory. That, plus the fast i7 processor and 16GB system memory should ensure your games, be it new or old titles, run with or close to maxed out settings.
The disadvantage I was talking about would be the price and scope of use: a person not interested in gaming should not get a laptop geared towards players. If you want a powerful non-gaming laptop, paying for this MSI isn’t a good idea, other (perhaps more portable) units are available and often more suitable. But if gaming is your cup of tea, then you have a good reason to choose a heavyweight system with a fancy graphics card, just like this MSI.