One of the things that makes a laptop price increase is the graphics card. And unfortunately, such an expensive feature is required in notebooks meant for gaming. MSI GP72 Leopard Pro-002 is one of those rigs, sporting a dedicated video card bearing the name GeForce GTX950M. It’s almost a high-end card, so the unit might be enough for taxing sessions with recent games and high settings. I’ll tell you more about that, and other relevant things concerning this computer, below!
It’s not a surprise MSI GP72 Leopard Pro-002 is one of the faster laptops currently available. In this price category the components are always top of the line quality, satisfying the needs of professionals and gamers without question. To start with processor, the important one, it’s a quad-core unit called Intel Core i7-5700HQ with up to 3.5GHz clock speed (2.7GHz being the base frequency). It surpasses most of the other processors in benchmarks, CPU Mark gives this beast a solid 8600 grade whereas, for example, the i7-4720HQ gets ~8100 points. The current processor is excellent choice for a gaming laptop, your gaming sessions will be smooth as a silk as far as the CPU is concerned.
The system is equipped with single 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz RAM stick. I know that some people want even more than that, and lucky for those, there’s one unoccupied memory slot so the maximum is 16GB. But don’t rush with it, there’s a lot 8GB RAM can do for a gamer for sure.
In the storage section, MSI GP72 Leopard Pro-002 relies on a good old hard drive. There’s a 1TB 7200RPM HDD available but if you’re not happy with it, you have couple of options. First, you can remove the old drive and put a new one in. Drive measurements are 2.5″ 9mm, find a similar one and you’re good to upgrade. Second, there should be one M.2 slot inside so you could add a supporting SSD without taking out the old drive at all.
What games will run?
There’s not a game that would not run on this machine. What is more, any game as of Fall 2015 is more or less playable with high settings and Full HD resolution. The upper mid range GeForce GTX 950M card with 2GB GDDR3 memory makes sure of that. You can, for example, keep 1080p and high details on The Witcher 3 and get 20FPS. To increase the frame rates to 30+, you could drop settings to low-medium. With GTA 5, you should be able to keep 1080p and high settings and get frame rates around 30 and more.
MSI GP72 Leopard Pro-002 features a 17.3 inches anti-glare display. Resolution is of course 1920×1080. Looking at user reports, people seemed to be happy about the screen, saying that colors look good and image crisp. Touch is not supported but I think gamers are fine with that.
You’ll be able to plug in a gaming mouse and other devices, the notebook sports four USB ports (of which two are USB 3.0 and other two USB 2.0). And to connect a bigger display, perhaps a monitor more suitable for gaming, you can use the laptop’s HDMI-out and VGA ports.
Don’t worry about external DVD drives like you would with some notebooks, this MSI features an internal DVD burner. In addition you can utilize the laptop’s card reader (SD/SDHC/SDXC) if you have portable devices that save data on such cards and want that data uploaded to the computer.
These gaming rigs often have an excellent connectivity to Internet. There’s a fast Gigabit Ethernet (LAN) port if you prefer to use the wire. Or if you want to go wireless, you can use the A/C type WiFi adapter with Bluetooth 4.0 enabled.
A built-in 720p webcam is available, record some videos or chat with your buddies if you like.
What else to keep in mind?
Battery life is never good in laptops with beefy components – here the 6-cell battery is likely to give one or two hours if you’re gaming (bit more if just browsing the web). Another thing to consider, MSI GP72 Leopard Pro-002 weighs 5.95 pounds, not very portable, but gaming laptops rarely are.
Sadly, the keyboard does not have backlit keys. A standard 10-key pad on the right is available.
Some people said the laptop gets hot while gaming. You might want to get USB cooling pad to prevent that.
MSI GP72 Leopard Pro-002 is not the fastest laptop out there – those cost well over 2000 bucks – but it’s very adequate for casual gaming, including titles that would be too much for general use (a.k.a. budget) notebooks such as Grand Theft Auto 5 and The Witcher 3 mentioned earlier. The processor is excellent, beating many desktop CPUs if you were to make a comparison. You won’t use this laptop long with battery, but keep it plugged in and you got a decent yet capable gaming notebook at your disposal!