MSI GE62 7RD Apache gaming laptop review

Slightly smaller and costing less than two grand, is this low-end MSI gaming beast a beast?

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MSI GE62 7RD Apache gaming laptop
  • MSI GE62 7RD Apache gaming laptop
  • MSI GE62 7RD Apache gaming laptop
  • MSI GE62 7RD Apache gaming laptop
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Feature-packed

Cons

  • Only plays older games

Bottom Line

If you're a competitive gamer playing Counter Strike-era games then this portable gaming machine could suit you. Otherwise, it's under-powered for a gaming laptop.

Would you buy this?

And so here we are reviewing yet another MSI gaming laptop. The good news is that this is getting easier and the reviews are getting shorter. Why? Because although they’re packed to the brim with features, many of them are borderline identical in important areas.

This GE62 is basically like the GE72 7RE Dominator Pro and Apache Pro that we’ve recently reviewed except for the fact that instead of offering a 17.1-inch screen it offers a 15.6-inch screen. All ports are the same. All apps, keyboard and mouse are the same. The key difference beyond size is that this beast sports a straight Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics card, weighs less and costs less. Another point is that having a 120Hz screen is NOT an option on this model.

The difference in size between the GE62 Apache (15-inches) and GE72 Apache Pro (17-inches). Almost everything else is the same.
The difference in size between the GE62 Apache (15-inches) and GE72 Apache Pro (17-inches). Almost everything else is the same.

Key specs

15.6-inch, matte, 1920 x 1080, non-touchscreen LCD; 2.8-3.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor; 16GB RAM; 1TB mechanical HDD; 120GB SSD; Nvidia 4GB GeForce GTX 1050; Blu-ray writer; 6-cell 53Wh battery; 3KG. SKU: 237AU. Full specs here.

It’s worth reading our review of the MSI GE72 7RE Dominator Pro to find out whether this laptop will suit you. What we’ll do here is see what performance difference the components make.

Performance and Battery Life

In the PC Mark test it was a little behind the Apache Pro because, despite having the same processor/RAM/hard disk setup, the 1050 graphics chip is just that bit weaker. Still, a score of 3,448 isn’t exactly slow. There are few 2D tasks this computer won’t excel at.

In 3D Mark the chickens really came home to roost. The 1050 is not a strong performer, scoring just 1,864 in the latest DirectX 12 Time Spy test which translates to an average framerate of just 10fps – the latest games are off limits. To be fair, the 1050 Ti (slightly superior)-based Apache Pro isn’t much better. These laptops will, however, happily play older, competitive games like Counter Strike without worries meaning this gaming laptop could suit pro/enthusiast gamers who don’t need all that extra power. Indeed, it scored 20,292 in the 3D Mark Cloud Gate test – which looks at older games – this equates to frame rates of over 165fps. In the harder DirectX 11 Firestrike test, it stuttered along averaging between 25-30fps (scoring 5,700). That’s not really a playable framerate unless you significantly drop settings.

In terms of battery life, it ran the intensive PC Mark battery test for almost two hours (114 minutes). That’s behind the Dominator Pro but that had a larger (much heavier) battery. It’s also worth noting that the Apaches’ battery packs are smaller than the Dominator’s – at 600g rather than 1KG.

It also ran our Full HD movie (at moderate brightness) for three hours. That should be fine unless you’re watching the longest epics.

Conclusion

At $1,999 this is one of the “cheapest” hardcore gaming laptops that we’ve seen. It’s a bit weird that it’s actually not too great for gaming, but there’s certainly a market among the competitive players who focus on older games. If you want a slightly larger screen (and more weight) there’s the Apache Pro for $200 more, but this is only very slightly faster and the improvements aren’t really significant.

However, if you’re looking for a portable gaming beast to replace a desktop, MSI (and others) make plenty of alternatives, but they can get a LOT more expensive. 

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