The competition for gaming laptops is fierce. There are so many people who enjoy gaming that it’s actually a huge market. And what is more, the gaming notebooks are costly because they require special components that keep demanding games running smooth. However, MSI GL62 7QF-1660 is about something different: budget gaming. It’s much cheaper than most of the competitors. But does budget gaming really exist or is it just an oxymoron to trick gamers buy something they will find poor? Read my professional opinion about that, please!
Gaming in nutshell
So, a cheaper gaming laptop. There must be a reason why MSI GL62 7QF-1660 is so affordable. Indeed, what you win in price, you lose in graphics performance. The graphics card is the older Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M (2GB GDDR5) which, with appropriate settings, will be decent. If you are happy with playing on 1080p resolution, you are looking at the following frame rates:
– Grand Theft Auto 5, ultra settings, ~50FPS
– The Witcher 3, high/ultra settings, ~30FPS
– Minecraft & League of Legends, +100FPS
In case you can do with less eye candy, lower the settings to medium on newer games and the FPS will go through the roof. Bear in mind you can not add extra graphics card here, and this card does not support VR.
The performance department of MSI GL62 7QF-1660 is spot-on. It’s taken care by the heavy-duty Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor which I like to describe as a power desktop level CPU! The clock speeds are high, starting from 2.8GHz and ending up at 3.8GHz when the Turbo Boost feature is activated. For the information of benchmark geeks, let me tell you the CPU Mark score is ca. 9000 for i7-7700HQ – certainly beating even many desktop processors of today.
The default storage could be better: you’re getting a mere platter-based 1TB 7200RPM 2.5″ SATA drive here. If you are not after maximum performance such an HDD is okay since it can store heaps of data – much more than a solid-state drive. But the good thing in this laptop is, it really supports a solid-state drive! The mainboard has a free M.2 slot, it works with NVMe PCIe x4 or SATA SSDs.
This MSI uses DDR4 memory and it has one 8GB 2400MHz RAM stick installed. This amount of eight gigabytes is probably enough for gamers. Only in rare case can a single game utilize all 8GB of RAM. But multitasking some heavier programs will quickly eat the memory so you might want more. The mainboard has a free slot, and the processor supports it too, so you can go up to 32GB of memory with this laptop.
There are connectors on sides which you can use to enhance your MSI GL62 7QF-1660. Two video outputs exist, HDMI (4K at 30Hz) and mini DisplayPort. You can pick your poison between the two high quality standards, HDMI being more common anyway.
To plug in your favorite peripherals the notebook offers four USB ports. One is the slower USB 2.0, mainly good for mouses, keyboards and other devices not requiring huge bandwidth. Then there are two faster USB 3.0 ports which go well together with external drives, USB sticks and other units that actually transfer a lot of data. The notebook also features USB 3.0 Type-C port, the future of USBs (as the advertisers like to call it).
You are free to connect the laptop to Internet by two methods. One is the Gigabit LAN port, probably a good idea if you want maximum reliability for your gaming sessions. But to give you more freedom, there’s also a WiFi adapter available (802.11ac standard and Bluetooth 4.2).
Some companies include it, some don’t – MSI did. Guess what I’m talking about? The DVD burner. It’s not so common sight in laptops anymore but here you get to use it. You can also benefit from the SD(HC/XC) card reader if you need to quickly transfer files from compatible devices, such as digital cameras or smartphones.
Other interesting things
The display is not too exciting or unexciting, a regular 15.6″ Full HD screen. One of the big differences compared to more expensive gaming notebooks is indeed the resolution. Quad HD in those premium models is a common sight, while this one is 1080p. Personally, I don’t mind gaming or using the laptop in general on 1080p resolution but your opinion might differ.
MSI GL62 7QF-1660 won’t go too long without being plugged in. Its 6-cell 41Whr battery (which is integrated, by the way) will give power for one or two hours under gameplay, which is sadly the norm in these gaming laptops. You will obviously get more out of the battery unit if only browsing the web or editing texts. In that case, we are looking at 3-4 hours at best.
This laptop does not come with a backlit keyboard, a real bummer for some. You could really expect this feature for this price. But the manufacturer had to cut corners here and there, I guess.
MSI GL62 7QF-1660 holds strong even though it can not compete with gaming laptops in the +1000 dollars category. The main difference is – naturally – in graphics performance, where the GTX 960M can be seen as a mid-range graphics processor. However, considering that you won’t be able to use ridiculously high resolutions due to screen’s limitations, the oomph for gaming is sufficient here. So it pretty much boils down to that: if you are happy with smooth Full HD gaming experience, there are no questions about this MSI’s usefulness to you!