MSI GE62 Apache Pro 7RF review and thoughts

andrew.mcconville

Member
SECOND LIEUTENANT
Joined
Jul 29, 2017
Messages
145
Bought this laptop as part of an insurance claim.  Insurers had a "Preferred Retailer"  which meant that I got more in a PC world voucher for my old laptop.  This was on sale for ?1049 (I'm in the UK)  I ended up paying a little extra over my voucher - ?102.  So value wise it is already off to a great start.

First things first - registered laptop with MSI and got the 3 month extension to the 2 year warranty for doing so.  Great - my previous laptop failed 2 months after the 2 year warranty had finished. Bravo MSI!

I almost immediately opened it up (after checking I could without violating the aforementioned warranty) and installed an Intel 8265 wifi card instead of the 3168 it ships with.  Higher spec card that MSI uses in their higher spec laptops - it was a straight swap, no issues.  Great stuff.

Next to be upgraded was the 128GB Toshiba NVMe drive.  I had a 256 GB 840 Evo mSata drive in my last laptop, so wanted the extra space on my windows/apps drive.  I opted here for the Samsung SM961 256GB - an OEM drive but performance near the 960 pro series but at a lower price.  Install and migration after getting a USB enclosure for the transfer was very smooth.  Windows repaired itself, found the new drive, and and I have had no problems booting since.  

I should at this point mention that I rarely use it as a "laptop" - it is plumbed in to a usb 3.0 docking station I have for extra usb, and the ability to run more monitors, which I don't plan on doing but have the option.  It sits closed on a cooling stand, which is connected to the USB 2.0 port.  As it is a desktop replacement, I have external keyboard and mouse.  The backlight lights are very pretty but will only use if on the move/at night although I do like the keyboard to type on.  The touchpad is the same meh Elan one that  was in my last laptop seems to be in every laptop since about 2008.  Haven't used extensively, but it hasn't let me down.  I sue a trackball externally as I find it more comfortable due to disability....    Talk about ancient - A Microsoft Tracckball Optical 1.0 that I've had since 2002..... ;)  Maybe I shouldn't moan about the touchpad.

If you are following my long ramble, you'll remember that I said I use it closed and with the screen off.  This is because I have a BenQ 2411 24" gaming monitor, which is connected via the mini display port/DVI and runs 1920x1080@144 Hz...  Bit of a roundabout way, but the HDMI port is only v1.4!  (Same as my last laptop) .  This was expensive as I had to buy an active adapter that was powered by USB  (glad I had the dock now)   So - yes the screen is nice, but it is 'only' 1080p @60hz - and I have the external monitor for gaming.  Unfortunately I don't have the space to have the laptop screen open as well.  

Now for the frustrating bit. This week I swapped out the 1TB HDD - mine actually wasn't 7200rpm but a 5400 WD Blue, which peed me off. Run some disk utils to see what you've actually got, don't go by device manager (for some reason that shows as a 7200 but the drive isn't) Open it up if you have to. I replaced that drive with a 2TB Seagate Firecuda (still a 5400 unit but with steroids) I and many others I'm sure bought/buy this laptop with the impression that it comes with a 7200RPM 1TB drive.  It doesn't.  Was a bit miffed as it seemed to suggest in device manager that the drive was a faster model.  It was confirmed by MSI as the 5400rpm using a serial number check.  I am currently disputing with PC World over this as they showed 7200 RPM drive in all their sales literature.  HGST (Western digital!) seem to have a magic firmware which shows 7200rpm drive in Device manager and bios string, but is actually a 5400 drive.

Bloatware/Preinstalled software - I found a really good guide to getting things under control, although MSI seem to have a bit of a rep for this, and it along with windows 10's stuff hampers things considerably.  There are plenty of guides on youtube as to how to debloat but I found called one called "First Things to Do With a New Windows 10 Laptop | Kill Bloatware, Lock it Down, Make it Epic" - not mine but the guy does clean up his new MSI Notebook, I just found it useful for some of the software and tricks. http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/msi-gt73vr-7rf-titan-pro-drivers.800622/ - get yourselves over to Notebook review and subscribe to this thread. The chap is very prompt publicising driver updates and has a few tips for making things slicker. There is an "owners lounge" for the GE62 series. The MSI forums are pretty good too ;)  Goes without saying, make sure you are up to date with BIOS EC and so on.

Cooling - play with the profiles, I'm keeping dragon Center - yeah it is noisy at full blast but  you can turn them down when not gaming. I have yet to have problems. As I write this GPU is 53 degrees, CPU is 47 and only the CPU fan is on. I like this, the fans work independently which is something I have not seen before. In its future is a CPU/GPU repaste with my spare IC7 diamond. This helped drastically with my previous machine -  the manufacturers paste is usually on the crap side. The  cooler stand I bought previously.... if I need extra air circulation it helps but so far I have not really had to.

Nahimic /sound - still playing with it but the sound is generally much better than my previous laptop, although the same chip. It is excellent through the headphone jack.


A few tweaks and uninstalls here and there make a HUGE difference.  Youtube is a mine of information


Overall I would rate this a solid 7.5 out of 10 if I was purchasing at full price of around ?1300, which is what I paid previously. 
 

andrew.mcconville

Member
SECOND LIEUTENANT
Joined
Jul 29, 2017
Messages
145
I'm fighting with the forum/formatting but just want to add that Obviously I've spent money on upgrades I still think  it is good spec for the money.  Just delete the software you don't need and streamline windows and it is fine.
I hear a lot of complaints about the DVD Drive - I like it, I can listen to CD's rip MP3's and watch dvd's wirelessly streamed to my 43 inch smart TV  I missed it on my previous laptop  the only downside I can think of is that this is bigger and heavier than my previous machine, and so is less portable.  Battery life isn't really an issue as I use it on AC power most of the time.
 
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