Review of gaming notebook MSI GE60 2PE Apache Pro: Indian, born in Asia

Review of gaming notebook MSI GE60 2PE Apache Pro: Indian, born in Asia

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    In the test lab already got big and powerful gaming laptops MSI: “Dominator” and “Dominator Pro” and thin, but quite powerful “Ghost“. Each of them was in his own good, but everyone found their drawbacks.

    Now we face another 15-inch gaming laptop from MSI: GE60 2PE Apache Pro, which got sleeker and slimmer than its “dominant” predecessors: the thickness of the notebook is now 37.6 mm, while in the “Dominator” with 15-inch screen, it reached 58 mm.

    However, it is also worth noting that the “Dominator” was more powerful than the hero of our review, which means that he needed a bigger radiators. Recall that this is the item most strongly affected by the thickness of the laptop.

    Appearance

    Laptop lid still made of metal and painted black. In addition to this she has inherited from its predecessor, the ability to collect fingerprints. Logo MSI Gaming Series Notebook at work will be highlighted, and the lid hinges have turned moderately tight – that is necessary.

    Workspace “Apache” is made of the same metal as the lid, and hence, the problem remains soiled and here. Palmrest still decorated with various labels – another proprietary feature MSI, from which has long been abandoned almost all notebook manufacturers.

    But the gloss of the hero of this article there is little, but a good half Stickers conceal brand wrist rest. In all other laptop get comfortable, work or play him quite comfortable.

    From their predecessors MSI GE60 2PE Apache Pro inherited only two multimedia keys, which are located in the upper left corner of the workspace. Left button forces the cooling system of the laptop at full power (MSI, as is customary, the whole gives its name, in this case – Cooler Boost), and the right lights the keyboard backlight.

    Opposite multimedia buttons in the top right corner of the workspace is a button on your notebook.

    The buttons have keyboard MSI GE60 standard, and pressing felt no problem – it’s still a gaming keyboard SteelSeries, not anything. All keys except the top row and right [Shift], to obtain full, with LED backlighting.

    There is also the possibility of a software remapping keys, as well as the macro recorder – it’s called MSI SteelSeries Engine. Overall, the keyboard in “Apache” everything would be nice if it does not bend a little in the middle.

    The latter MSI gaming notebooks were very comfortable touchpad was no exception and our guinea. To work with him “besknopochnoy” touch panel size 100h70 mm nicely: accidental presses do not occur, the gesture is recognized without problems.

    Ability to connect from “Apache” still more than good. On the left side of laptop with a pair of USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0. Also on this side is inverted upside down, two HDMI and a 3.5mm audio jack for connecting a microphone and headphones. On the right side of the MSI GE60 less connectors for optical drive DVD ± RW: here, a second USB 2.0, D-SUB and network port Ethernet.

    On the front side are indicators of the laptop slot for an SD-card and two speakers. On the rear panel – nothing interesting.

    Specifications

    In retail can meet several modifications MSI GE60 2PE Apache Pro. From each other, they differ processors (dual-core Core i5 quad-core instead of Core i7), RAM size (8 or 12 GB), storage (RAID-0 with two mSATA or without it) and, of course, price.

    In addition, besides the “About Apache”, in stores are also some other simple “Apache”. According to the philosophy of MSI, the hero of our article, these laptops will be different as a minimum graphics card.

    The scheme is simple: if the title is the word notebook MSI Pro, something inside him is sure to be the coolest set for this family of notebook graphics card. All other components, including the matrix, and the processor may be any.

    MSI GE60 2PE Apache Pro
    Processor Intel Core i7-4700HQ;
    2.4 GHz (3.4 GHz mode Turbo Boost);6 MB of L3;
    Four cores, eight threads, TDP 47 W
    Graphics Controller Intel HD 4600;
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M (2GB GDDR5, architecture Maxwell);
    Automatic switching between adapters
    Display 15.6 inches;
    Resolution 1920×1080 (141.21 PPI), the type of matrix – PLS;
    Varnish, LED-lights;
    Matrix model: Samsung 156HL01-02
    Random access memory 8 GB DDR3L-1600, two expansion slots, one unit volume is set to 8 GB;
    Can self-replacement modules
    HDD RAID-0 256 GB (really – 238 GB), composed of two mSATA SSD SanDisk SD6SF1M-128G;
    1TB HDD (HGST HTS721010A9E630);
    Form Factor 2.5 “, 9.5 mm thickness
    Interfaces 2 x USB 3.0
    2 x USB 2.0
    1 x HDMI
    1 x D-SUB
    1 x Ethernet
    1 x headphone output (mini-jack 3,5 mm)
    1 x microphone input (mini-jack 3,5 mm)
    Wi-Fi 802.11b / g / n, 1×1, 2,4 GHz, (Realtek RTL8723BE)
    Bluetooth 4.0 (Realtek RTL8723BE)
    Network adapter 10/100/1000 Mbit / s (Qualcomm Killer e2200)
    Optical drive DVD ± RW (Hitachi-LG GTA0N, not support DVD ± RW9 DL)
    Jack flash cards SD (SDHC / SDXC)
    Sound Two speakers, one subwoofer, one microphone
    Battery Removable 49 Wh (4400 mAh, 11.1) 6 cells
    Power supply unit 120 W (19.5 V, 6.15 A)
    Size 383×249,5×32,3-37,6 mm
    Weight 2.6 kg
    OS Windows 8.1 Single Language (64 Bit)
    Warranty 2 years
    Price $ 1100

    Inside our MSI GE60 Apache Pro was installed quad-core processor Intel Core i7-4700HQ with a clock frequency of 2.4 GHz (3.4 GHz mode Turbo Boost) and L3 cache size 6 MB. This processor, we are often found in gaming and multimedia notebooks.

    The RAM was installed inside a little – just one module 8GB DDR3-1600 volume. However, the user can increase the amount of RAM – its services empty second slot.

    The Video shows two video cards: discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M (2GB GDDR5) and integrated video core processor Intel HD 4600. It is worth noting that in the market there are two video card NVIDIA GTX 860M, which differ from each other architectures (Kepler or Maxwell ) and the configuration of GPU respectively.

    Inside our “About Apache” was a version of GTX 860 video processor c GM107, built on a new architecture Maxwell. Theoretically, this chip may be faster than the GK104, built on the “outdated” architecture Kepler.

    Well, testing promises to be interesting, because the maximum frequency under consideration at the chip GM107 (Maxwell) is 1,085 MHz versus 915 MHz GK104 (Kepler), while the latter is almost twice more unified shader processors 1152 against 640.

    The disk subsystem consists of the hard drive and RAID-array created two mSATA SSD SanDisk SD6SF1M-128G total volume of 256 GB. In this configuration the MSI RAID-0, supplemented hard drive 1TB volume, called Super Raid 2 and occurs quite often.

    The battery in our guinea removable, its capacity is 49 Wh (4400 mAh, 11.1 V) – and “tag” it is quite normal value. The size of the power supply is the same as that of other modern gaming notebooks similar power: He got more than a regular charger for a mobile computer, but much less than the charger for a gaming laptop a year ago.

    The average price of MSI GE60 2PE Apache Pro is 48 000, but this amount for a laptop with a Core i7 processor and RAID-array of SSD looks too good to be true. Notebook in the tested configuration in the sale could not be found, but the same machine without RAID-array is an average of $ 1300, which is more like the real and still quite nice price.

    But the cost of the minimum configuration – with Core i5 and DOS as the operating system – is around $ 1100.

    Internals

    On the bottom there is a MSI GE60 service panel, behind which are all served by the laptop, hard drive, RAM and SSD-drives. Recent needlessly better not to touch – if you disable at least one of them an opportunity to “drop” RAID-array, even if the laptop battery is disconnected. But the RAM and hard drive can be changed without problems.

    Testing Screen

    In our laptop was installed matte PLS-matrix Samsung 156HL01-02 with a diagonal of 15.6 inches and a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. Point density is 141.21 pixels per inch, which means that the operating system will have to include scaling.

    When the visual image evaluation problems we have not met. Viewing angles were wide, and color rendition – normal for this class of laptop MSI and prices. With contrast or shadow detail no problems. Now let’s see what the results will show our colorimeter X-Rite i1 DisplayPro both before and after the calibration screen.

    The maximum brightness of white and black fields to calibrate totaled 363 and 0.36 cd / m 2, respectively, which is very good for a laptop. As a result, we get a static contrast ratio of about 1008: 1 – again a good result.

    After calibration, the brightness of the white traditionally fallen, its new value was 314 cd / m 2, and the brightness of the black field remains unchanged. As a result, the static contrast ratio also fell to 872: 1. One could argue that the brightness characteristics of the screen on the good, and the calibration affects them is not very strong.

    Before calibrating the color gamut “Apache” was 100.2% for the color space sRGB, with a slight offset in the direction of the green and red shades. After calibration, color gamut dropped to 94,3% sRGB by eliminating “extra” colors from the palette of the screen, that despite the restriction, color rendition went rather good. Also calibration was able to move the white point to the reference point of the D65.

    Initially, the color temperature of the screen of the laptop was low and ranged from 6100 to 6200 K, which gave all colors a little yellow tint. After calibration, it rose to values ​​of the order of 6400 K, which has a positive impact on the color – yellow tint once almost disappeared.

    As often happens, the gamma curve calibration helped greatly. Gamma three primary colors moved closer to the standard, the same thing happened with the gray scale.

    Also helped to reduce the calibration error of color Delta E. Its average value dropped from 2.37 to 0.54 units, and the maximum – from 4.14 to 1.64 units.

    To sum up the preliminary. The issue before us is equipped with a very good laptop screen, and identified gaps should not spoil the impression of the games. Calibration of course will bring color to the ideal, but if you do not plan to engage in professional photo editing on this laptop, then this procedure can be safely ignored.

    Estimation of sound and cooling system

    Let’s start with the bad, but ended well: the dynamics of “Apache” noticeably lacking midrange, but with the upper and lower ranks have them all right, and a small supply volume in MSI GE60 is. Of course, if you compare our experimental with other laptops.

    As with any other gaming notebook, cooling system “Apache” will make noise. With simple or during simple tasks like office work it’s almost unheard of, but when you run games or other “heavy” applications it is already clearly felt, but to roar like the plane taking off, begins. The only turbine “Apache” does its job and keeps overheating, even under heavy load, we would not recommend putting a laptop on his knees.

    Testing the processor, graphics and battery life

    This time we will compare our guinea with not one, but two other gaming laptops MSI. We all considered the same laptop displays, disk subsystems and OS. Their processors are not much different, but the difference in performance of discrete graphics should be more visible – at least judging by the specifications.

    MSI GE60 2PE Apache Pro MSI GS60 2PC Ghost MSI GT60 2PC Dominator
    Display 15,6″ PLS, 1920×1080
    Processor Intel Core i7-4700HQ; 2.4 (3.4) GHz, 6 MB L3; Four cores, TDP 47 W Intel Core i7-4800MQ 2.7 (3.7) GHz, 6 MB L3; Four cores, TDP 47 W
    Memory 1×8 GB DDR3L-1600 2×8 GB DDR3L-1600
    Graphics Intel HD 4600; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M (2 GB GDDR5, architecture Maxwell); NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M (2GB GDDR5, architecture Kepler) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
    (3 GB GDDR5, Kepler)
    Drive 2 x mSATA SSD 128 GB (in a RAID-0); 1TB HDD (HGST HTS721010A9E630)
    Battery Removable 49 Wh (4400 mAh, 11.1) Built-in, 52 Wh (4640 mAh, 11.1) Removable 87 Wh (7800 mAh, 11.1)
    Operating system Windows 8.1 Single Language

    CPU Testing

    Results of the first CPU test is ambiguous. The first two benchmarks “Apache” showed almost the same results as the “ghost”, but then a little passed.

    Perhaps the whole thing in memory, because “Apache” her twice less than that of its two competitors. This is also confirmed by the fact that the hero of our article hardest lags in resource-intensive tests like video transcoding and photo processing. Now look at the results of the PCMark 8.

    In Finnish benchmark PCMark we see almost the same as in the previous benchmarks. In subtests Work and Storage All three laptops have shown similar results, and in the subtests and Creative Home our main guinea slightly lagged behind its rivals.

    Graphics Testing

    Now let’s move on to the fun – testing schedules. In this section, we compare each other NVIDIA GTX 860M graphics card with chip Kepler and Maxwell, and see how much faster would schedule GTX 870M. Recall that in the hierarchy of the NVIDIA graphics card is higher than both versions of the GTX 860M.

    In the synthetic benchmark 3DMark, in the first subtest IceStorm, fastest showed himself “Phantom”, second place went to “Apache”, and most powerful “Dominator” was the last. It’s very strange results, therefore, before proceeding to further tests, it is necessary to make two clarifications.

    First, all three laptops were tested in the same version of 3DMark, so losing the “Dominator” can be explained by weaknesses and instability benchmark, as this laptop is not exactly switched to integrated graphics during the test.

    Well, to be slower than their rivals, he can not, by definition and specification. Secondly, a slight superiority of “ghost” of the “Apache” can probably be explained by the different amount of RAM and the error of 3DMark.

    As for the other two subtests, CloudGate and FireStrike, what we see here is that it should be. The hero of our review of the MSI GE60 Apache Pro ahead of “Ghost”, with the greater the load on the GPU, the greater is the gap. Well, “Dominator”, as he expected, walked two rivals.

    Now to test games. They, unlike the synthetic benchmark should give an accurate representation of the power of video cards each laptop.

    In most gaming benchmarks developed the same situation as in the last two subtests 3DMark: “Apache” was able to overtake the “ghost”, but did not catch the “Dominator”.

    However, in the game Tomb Raider at low graphics settings “Apache” and “Ghost” showed the same results. In Deus Ex: Human Revolution with maximum quality graphics theoretically slower “Phantom” even a little ahead of “Apache”. As in the case of the processor tests, these results can be explained by lack of memory in MSI GE60 Apache Pro.

    Measuring runtime

    Battery capacity at our main guinea, MSI GE60 2PE Apache Pro, was less than that of its two competitors, so the “Apache” and showed the worst time of this test. However, the difference between it and the “ghosts” can be considered a small, well and long battery life in the “Dominator” is due to its very capacious battery.

    Conclusions

    MSI GE60 2PE Apache Pro was interesting and balanced gaming notebook. He appeared noticeably thinner productive MSI GT60 2PC Dominator and slightly thicker compact MSI GS60 2PC Ghost.

    As a result, “Apache” can be called the golden mean, he has not lost the opportunity to upgrade (as opposed to the “ghost”) and lost a lot of gaming and processor performance when compared with the more powerful the “Dominator”. Well and good Full HD-display with PLS-matrix will appeal to all categories of users.

    [easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”right” asin=”B00IMTQ3UW” cloaking=”no” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”gadgethelp-20″]If we talk about the appearance, here “Apache” showed himself well. In contrast, not once mentioned in our article, “Dominator”, this gaming laptop got a new design, the amount of glossy surfaces he minimized, and it looks good.

    Of the drawbacks of “Apache” can be distinguished only strongly dinning at maximum loads the cooling system and the lack of midrange from the integrated speakers. Here only the data shortcomings, unfortunately, can be found in almost any gaming laptop.

    But MSI GE 2PE Apache Pro – one of the least expensive gaming laptops. Kinda ticket to the world of powerful mobile computers – and immediately to the ground, and not to the gallery.

    With the price of the hero of our paper altogether fortunate for reviewing our configuration MSI GE60 2PE Apache Pro will have to pay about $ 1100, for a gaming notebook, but still with the IPS-screen TV and a RAID-array of two mSATA SSD, not expensive.

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