Technical data and versions
The MSI GE72 is available in various versions. Starting with a Core I7 6th generation CPU and a GTX 960m version for around 1179 € up to an absolute high end version with I7- 7700HQ and GTX 1070 for around 1999 €.
MSI kindly provided me with the “middle” version of the I7- 7700HQ and Nvida GTX 1050Ti for this test.
This costs around 1500 € in free trade.
- MSI GE72 7RE-046 Apache Pro
- Intel Core i7-7700HQ
- 17.3 “120Hz display
- 16GB DDR4
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
- HDD: 1TB SSD: 256GB
- 420 (W) x 288 (D) x 32 (H) mm (without feet)
- 2.7 kg
MSI GE72 7RE-046 Apache Pro
The GE72 7RE-046 Apache Pro, with a screen size of 17.3 inches, is a taller notebook, cautiously expressed.
Realistically, the GE72 7RE-046 Apache Pro is more of a “desktop replacement” than a really portable device to take to school or college.
At around 2.7KG, the notebook is really anything but a lightweight, at least by today’s standards.
For the material MSI relies mostly on plastic which is, however, framed on the lid with a high quality looking and feel brushed aluminum.
After opening the notebook, the matte 17.3 inch display and the large RGB illuminated keyboard with number pad greet you.
Just like the entire interior of the GE72, the palm rest is made of smooth, brushed aluminum.
Fortunately, this is quite easy to clean, in contrast to other notebooks I own (Dell XPS 13 and Razer Blade).
In terms of processing, the MSI GE72 7RE-046 Apache Pro is solid, only the inner display frame is murks. Whether this is an error in my review sample or in general, I can not say but the frame is the side of something from the panel off so you can even see the LED backlight through the gap at a very steep angle.
In practice, this may be a bit unattractive but also not an end to the world, nor should that disturb.
Let’s take a look at the connections.
Most of them are on the left side. There we find two 3.5mm connectors for headphones and microphones, a USB 3.1 type C port, two USB 3.0 ports, a display port, an HDMI port, a “killer” GBit LAN port and a Kensingtonlock.
On the right side is the connection for the power supply, another USB 3.0 port, a card reader and a DVD burner.
There are no other connections on the back, but there are two large fan outlets.
For the software, MSI naturally relies on Windows 10 in the home version, of course in the 64-bit version.
Unfortunately there was some pre-installed “bonus” software like WinZIP.
But besides these rather less useful programs, MSI also offers a very powerful utility called “Dragon Center”.
The Dragon Center allows monitoring of important system functions, such as CPU, GPU utilization, current temperature, network load, etc. But here, too, for example, the lighting of the RGB keyboard can be configured or manually interfere with the fan control.
The whole thing can also be controlled via the MSI app via smartphone in the local network, but I would classify this as a Gimick.
Of the 256GB memory would be left with me, moreover, around 191GB at leisure.
A good keyboard and trackpad are among the underestimated points in a notebook.
How is the MSI in this point?
Let’s start with the trackpad, which comes from Synaptics. This is relatively large and has a fairly smooth, slightly brushed surface. Below the trackpad are two separate mouse buttons attached, so this is not srückbar as it is possible for example on the Macbooks or the Dell XPS series.
The trackpad is surprisingly pretty good. The tracking is precise and fluid and the feeling on the finger is pleasant.
In short, MSI has done a very good job!
The pressure point of the buttons is actually 1a. You have a relatively high stroke, MSI speaks of “1.9mm of key travel”, but still a very nice pressure point.
Therefore, the keyboard is well suited for gaming as well as for writing. The lighting is also nice to look at. Although MSI does not rely on single-button RGB lighting, as is the case with the Razer Blade, for example, the keyboard is divided into three zones.
These zones are then illuminated via RGB LEDs. You also have various options for adjusting the lighting in the Steelseries Engine software, such as a rainbow mode, etc.
Unfortunately, the customization options are not quite as high as, for example, the Razer Blade or a “real” gaming keyboard by Corsair and Co.
But the lighting is at maximum brightness but also really bright! The keyboard of the MSI GE72 7RE-046 Apache Pro radiates downright and is much brighter compared to the Razer Blade.
What bothers me a bit is the label and the layout.
The font chosen by MSI is, as I think, not pretty and not easy to read. This is very thick and designed “Gamer Like”. Here I would have liked a somewhat conservative font better.
The layout corresponds to the American QWERTY keyboard with German printing. The shift key is thus much longer, “<” had to go to the right of the space bar.
The enter key is narrow and oblong with the “#” key above, etc.
At first, this has caused me some problems, but of course, the whole thing is habituation thing. Those who use the MSI GE72 7RE-046 Apache Pro as their primary computer will get used to it in a few days. However, if you switch back and forth between computers, you might be bothered by these peculiarities.
Basically, however, both the keyboard and the trackpad are good to very good.
For sound, MSI uses a Realtek ALC899 audio chip, which is supported by a Nahimic audio software.
This software offers pleasing diverse options to customize the sound of the notebook. Starting with the usual things like bass boost or lifting the treble up to a virtual sour sound and various microphone adjustments, everything is offered here that you could wish for.
But how does it sound? Let’s start with the speakers. These are okay, MSI uses here on three driver units, one of which serves as a “subwoofer”.
The two other drivers are mounted on the front of the notebook. Here I was very surprised that they do not sound as if the sound came from the front of the notebook.
One has the impression that the sound came from somewhere on the keyboard.
The speakers sound relatively full and full even for a notebook. However, I lack something the clarity in the heights compared to a Dell XPS or Razer Blade, which can not compete with the volume and depth.
Also, the maximum volume which is reasonable, you can hereby no LAN party sound, but for the desk that is usually sufficient.
In short, the speakers are certainly not completely exceptional but certainly offer the sound that one can expect from a 17 inch notebook of the upscale class.
Especially the software makes a very good job, which allows the adaptation to personal preferences.
The same applies to the headphone quality, which is quite useful if you do not work with all too high-hi-fi headphones.
The microphone recording quality is also very good for a notebook!
When it comes to display, the GE72 7RE-046 Apache Pro gets really interesting. On the one hand, the MSI notebook has a large 17.3 inch display with full HD resolution, and on the other hand, this 120Hz supports especially fluid movements.
This is noticeable in games as well as on the desktop. Moving windows or just moving a little bit softer and smoother.
Unfortunately, the panel does not support G-sync, which is the only downside. Because even apart from the 120hz, the screen of the GE72 looks good.
It seems to be a matte IPS panel which provides useable brightness, good contrasts and strong colors.
Also, viewing angles are more than okay, but quite frankly this is not so important in a notebook.
As a rule, one sits quite straight in front of his device and even in twos or threes the angles still fit without problems.
The maximum brightness is perfectly adequate for indoor use in combination with the matte display, even if you certainly will not play in the blazing sun with the GE72 7RE-046 Apache Pro.
The bottom line is the display is excellent for gaming notebook! Here I have already seen much worse in comparable devices.
Let’s start with the memory. The SSD is a SATA M.2 SSD, which could also be exchanged for a PCIe m.2 SSD.
The HDD is an HGST HTS721010A9E630 which works with 7200 revolutions and achieves a maximum speed of around 140MB / s.
The SSD is a Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY SATA M.2 SSD. This is a 19nm MLC SSD with Marvell controller.
The SSD creates around 480MB / s reading and 437MB / s writing, which are usable, if not superior, values in times of NVME SSDs.
Let’s get to the really interesting, the gaming performance.
Here you can make it short in itself, the 1050TI does a very good job! Current games like Battlefield 1, The Witcher 3 etc. are running at maximum details with 30FPS or more.
Battlefield 1 even reached an average of 53FPS on Ultra Settings.
Somewhat older AAA titles such as Rainbow Six Siege or Fallout 4 usually reach between 50 and 70FPS.
Current ESport titles all League of Legends or CSGO also like to reach a three digit FPS.
The same is true for Overwatch, but you have to go down a bit with the graphic details for such high FPS. Going down means high instead of maximum details. At maximum details, the MSI reaches between 60-80FPS, depending on how much action is currently.
What does it look like apart from games? Very good, the I7-7700HQ is currently the fastest available notebook CPU, although the increase is very small compared to the I7- 6700HQ. In my tests, the I7- 7700HQ is only 5-10% faster than the I7- 6700HQ.
Even under sustained load, there is no CPU or GPU throttling.
The built-in WLAN solution comes from Intel and supports all common standards. However, this is a simple WLAN module with a maximum of 433Mbit / s. In practice, I was able to transmit a maximum of about 17MB / s via WLAN.
This should be sufficient for the vast majority of users, especially since the WLAN module seemed quite reliable.
Cooling and volume
The cooling in the MSI GE72 7RE-046 Apache Pro does a very good job! The CPU settles in normal gaming use at 80-84 degrees. The GPU, however, remains at a maximum of about 66 degrees.
If the fan is switched to turbo mode, the CPU temperature drops by a good 7 degrees to a maximum of 77 degrees. The GPU temperature drops to almost 61 degrees.
If the CPU is fully loaded, as in video rendering, it will oscillate at around 87 degrees, which is still okay.
Of course, at these temperatures, there is no throttling, just the GPU can hold your Turbo Takt Probleplos.
However, the MSI GE72 7RE-046 Apache Pro is not really quiet either. At idle, the fan is well tolerable and you only hear a faint noise.
However, under load, the GE72 certainly makes a noticeable whir. Compared to the Razer Blade, this one is quieter and less high-frequency.
The “Turbo” mode is still useful only when using headphones, if any.
There is no throttling even when the fan is turned up “in turbo mode”, so the 7-5 degrees cooler temperatures do not bring any performance advantage.
If you buy the MSI GE72 7RE-046 for its portability and battery life, think again.
The battery of the notebook holds 51Wh and is therefore rather moderate. In normal practice this lasts about 3 hours, if you surf an office program and a little on the Internet.
Gaming is over after less than an hour.
This is not impressive, but honestly, this is enough for such a gaming giant. This one wears usually anyway at most something in the apartment around and that’s enough the battery.
The MSI GE72 7RE-046 Apache Pro is an excellent gaming notebook which does not have many weaknesses but many strong ones.
The strengths start with the performance. Currently, there is hardly a game to be found that the GTX 1050Ti can not fire at high or very high details and Full HD resolution with at least 30-40FPS. Battlefield 1 on Ultra? No problem for the GE72!
The common e-sports titles such as CS Go, League of Legends, etc. will even run as far as possible consistently with a three-digit frame rate.
Here comes another great strength of the GE72 to bear, namely the good 120Hz display. This looks quite well regardless of the high frame rate, even if I would advise against an outdoor use in the blazing sun.
Further strengths are the good cooling construction, the good keyboard and trackpad, the speakers, the MSI Dragon software and the manifold connections.
It’s probably even easier to list things that I did not like. This would be the keyboard layout, which is a weird mix of QWERTY and QWERTY, the lack of an NVME SSD and the display frame which pulls down the otherwise good workmanship of the notebook a bit.
Although I think the NVME / PCIe SSDs may be a little “overhyped”, since the difference in practice is more than low, but for 1500 ¬ it would have been safe to obstruct a simple NVME SSD.