MSI GE60 Apache-629 Gaming Laptop Review

The friends who are familiar with the MSI gaming laptops must know that among many of the MSI product lines the GE series is a gaming laptop whose price is the easiest to be accepted by common people, though a little inferior to the GT and GS series in configuration, the higher price –performance ratio makes gamers "have to love it", here we will introduce the – MSIGE60, a very excellent MSI gaming laptop with the price within $ 1000.

MSI GE60 Apache-629 Specs:

  • Intel Core_i7 4710HQ 2.5 GHz
  • 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM
  • 1024 GB 7200 rpm Hard Drive
  • NVIDIA Geforce GTX850M with 2GB DDR5 vram
  • 15.6-Inch Screen (1920x 1080 pixels)
  • 2 x USB2.0, 2 x USB3.0, 1 x HDMI, DVD SuperMulti
  • Windows 8.1

Design:

With brushed metal cover, the texture is improved

MSI GE60 Apache-629

The MSI laptop has had a greater change in the past two years, not only the design of the appearance but also the choice of materials has been recognized by many consumers, the MSI GE60 is no exception. The GE60 is an upgraded version of the older GE60, it continues the main features of the MSI this year in terms of design, chooses a more sturdy metal in the material of the outer lid, and can protect the screen better. In addition, the MSI GE60 uses a brushed metal design technology on the outer lid, at the same time the design of the strip lines gives the outer lid more sense of flow lines.

MSI GE60 Apache-629

The GE60 also puts into distinctive red waist design elements around the body, so that the overall black body no longer looks dull, which produces an echo effect with the Red Dragon logo on the cover.

The MSI GE60 uses a 15.6-inch full HD matte display with a resolution of 1920 × 1080. 15.6 inches should be just the right size for playing games, Of course, some big-screen lovers will enjoy the larger size of the products. The MSI Apache-629’s opening and closing angle of the screen is at about 135 °, which can meet the gamers’ actual demand for the opening and closing angle of the screen.

MSI GE60 Apache-629

The MSI GE60 Apache-629 is 1.27-1.46 inches thick, and is not too thin. With the single weigh being 2.481kg, travel weight being 3.021kg, it is not very light in 15-inch laptops, but can be considered relatively good. The MSI GE60 is not a gaming laptop with the main goal of becoming thin and light, so we do not have to feel too confused in this respect.

SteelSeries professional colorful backlit gaming keyboard

MSI GE60 Apache-629MSI GE60 Apache-629

The MSI GE60 also adopts metal materials on its palm rest, supplemented by drawing process, which forms a perfect fit with the cover. We can see two shortcut keys in the upper left corner of the keyboard area, the left one is a cooling button, the new design of dual heat pipe makes it more effective in cooling. The right one is the backlit toggle button, according to the user’s custom settings, it can be switched back and forth in four different settings. In the upper right corner is the familiar power button. Above the keyboard area under a row of hollow area there is no hidden speaker, it is purely decorative, but it does look more beautiful.

The MSI GE60 adopts Dynaudio’s design concept in speaker, they have quite a few theories on the position of the speaker and the user’s distance, moreover, they have a built-in top-level speaker to present a higher sound quality. In addition, after intensifying anti-oxidation, transmission efficiency and noise protection, a more clear and accurate sound localization can be achieved, which is quite practical in the game. We can obviously feel their distinctive sound effects in the trial.

MSI GE60 Apache-629

The GE60 adopts the SteelSeries’ professional backlit keyboard, which I believe is not strange to friends who are familiar with the MSI laptop, it is a professional gaming keyboard, more durable than an ordinary keyboard, and the keys have strong tactile feedback, and feel more comfortable. Although it still lags behind the independent gaming keyboard, it is much better than ordinary chocolate keyboard. Of course, the colorful backlit design is also a major feature of the MSI, it can achieve the multi-color or monochrome backlight by managing software to control the backlight, this configuration is very practical for gamers.

MSI GE60 Apache-629

The GE60 chooses one-piece design in touchpad, and does quite a good job in appearance and the fit of the palm rest panel. In the front of the touchpad we can see a variety of indicators, convenient for users to observe the instantaneous state of the machine.

MSI GE60 Apache-629MSI GE60 Apache-629

Thanks to the wide body, the GE60 also seems at ease in the setting of the interfaces, on the left side of the body we can see the security lock slot, power connector, 1 x USB2.0, 2 x USB3.0 and the audio interface which adopts gilded ultra-low impedance design, on the right side it installs RG45 interface, VGA prot, 1 x USB2.0 and DVD burner, these interfaces basically include all the laptop interfaces, and can fully meet the actual needs of the user.

Cooling is unsatisfactory

The MSI GE60 uses composite material on bottom panel, near to the side of the hinge is a removable battery with the capacity of 49Wh, which can not be considered high for the gaming laptop. To the other side is symmetrical hollow texture design, inside is the position of the GE60 speaker.

MSI GE60 Apache-629MSI GE60 Apache-629

We used Furmark software to test all the products, Furmark would fully run the two heating parts, the CPU and graphics card, of the machine, after 30 minutes the temperature would reach a limit, in order to make everybody see more intuitively the condition of the heat dissipation when each machine was running, we also used the FLUKE infrared thermal imager to observe the temperature of each position. (The temperature stride is 28 °C-50 °C: when the temperature is below the lower limit it will appear black; above the upper limit it will appear white).

MSI GE60 Apache-629MSI GE60 Apache-629

By demanding test, we saw the overall performance of the MSI GE60 in temperature control. In the keyboard area, the MSI GE60’s main heat source concentrates on the left side, with the maximum temperature reaching about 56 °C, a higher temperature; relatively speaking the temperature control on the right side of the keyboard area, the palm rest and the touchpad is considered not bad. The main heat source on the back of the GE60 concentrates near the heat radiating window, with the maximum temperature reaching approximately 59 °C (with ambient temperature being around 24 °C.)

PCmark 8

We use PCmark 8 to have battery life test, which is an overall performance benchmarking software for Windows systems, home mode test is one of the tests (5 all together), it is to simulate common users’ environment, the test items covering the web browsing, word processing, picture editing, video chat, and light load games, etc., and including two test modes of the OpenCL: accelerated and traditional, while having battery life test the software will run in cycles until the battery runs out.

For gaming laptops, since they are equipped with standard voltage processor and discrete graphics with strong performance and higher power consumption, therefore the battery life score does not make much reference value, they are generally required to connect the power adapter while being used, it is not recommended to use them in the state without power. The MSI GE60 is equipped with 49Wh power, it takes OpenCL environment test in Home mode of the PCMark 8 software, the result being 1 hour 38 minutes 46 seconds.

Performance Test:

  Score
Cinebench R11.5 6.26pts/1.53pts
3DMark 11 4866(P)
3DMark 3496(Fire Strike)
PCMark 7 3674
PCMark 8(Home) 3164(OpenCL)
HD Tune(HDD) 107.1MB /s (average read speed)

The MSI GE60 gaming laptop chooses DDR5 in its gtx 850M graphic card,, a lot better than that of the DDR3 in game performance, especially when running game masterpieces with richer rendering, the DDR5 has obvious advantage, it can provide faster bandwidth, and the graphic memory bandwidth is one of the most important factors that determine the graphics performance and speed, so it is very honest of the MSI GE60 to choose NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M discrete graphics of the DDR5 version. Here is our test result:

Gaming Benchmarks:

Resolution 1920 x 1080 , Middle-high image quality

Games Score
Metro 2033 51.33 fps
Thief 4 30.5 fps
Tomb Raider 9 61.9 fps
Unigine Heaven 41.3 fps

Conclusion:

The GE60 series did not pursue a thin and light body like the GS series, thus saving the cost, but it is superior to the average in terms of weight among the same size gaming laptops, so the mobility is quite good. For a cheap gaming laptop, we can not have too many requirements, but the GE60’s excellent workmanship and design, along with a variety of game exclusive designs such as the colorful professional gaming keyboard, Killer network card, Sound BLASTER Cinema audio solutions, and so on, make the MSI GE60 2PG-843XCN very competitive. The only pity is that it is not equipped with SSD, which will improve the overall performance greatly. Currently SSD has become very cheap, you are suggested to buy one by yourselves so as to get a better gaming experience.

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