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MSI GE62 2QD Apache Review (GeForce GTX 960M)

MSI GE62 2QD Apache Review (GeForce GTX 960M)

One thing that can absolutely be said about MSI is that they are willing to throw absolutely everything at a market they want to dominate. Over the past few years we have seen that in the gaming laptop space and nothing emphasises that more than their GT80 Titan SLI, the highest performance (and most insane) laptop we have tested to date. It has a mechanical keyboard built in… and thats just a basic feature! Today we are going a little more mainstream with a system using NVIDIAs latest GTX 960M in our MSI GE62 2QD Apache Review.

MSI GE62 2QD Apache Review – Packaging and Bundle

msi-ge62-2qd-apache-review-box msi-ge62-2qd-apache-review-protect

As we have come to expect from MSI, we get a dragon based design on their packaging and in the case of the GE62 2QD Apache a few key features are listed. Inside we find the laptop suspended in cardboard, wrapped in a cloth bag with another plastic bag and protective sections inside that.


The bundled documentation and PSU/mains cable are stored in separate compartments and as far as the power supply goes it is a Chicony unit rated for 120w.

MSI GE62 2QD Apache Review – External

msi-ge62-2qd-apache-review-top msi-ge62-2qd-apache-review-base

MSI go with a brushed metal lid featuring their branding and a few ridges to add some style. The chassis measures 383x260x27mm and weighs 2.4KG with battery. The base of the system is matt plastic with various airflow vents (to assist the dual fan cooling) and there are a number of rubber feet to raise it slightly off the desk while also providing some stability.

msi-ge62-2qd-apache-review-left msi-ge62-2qd-apache-review-right

Our connectors and slots start off with a Kensington lock slot followed by a GB LAN port, USB 3.0 is up next and then we have HDMI  1.4b, mini DisplayPort (Both supporting 4k), another two USB 3.0 and 3.5mm audio ports (gold plated). Round on the other side we have our optical drive, USB 2.0, SD XC/HC card reader and power input.

MSI GE62 2QD Apache Review – Open


Opening the system we find more brushed metal on the palm area. Up at the screen we have a 15.6″ FHD, Anti-Glare model with 1920×1080 resolution. Above that is our HD webcam which offers 720p resolution at 30fps.

msi-ge62-2qd-apache-review-keys-pad msi-ge62-2qd-apache-review-leds

Down at the keyboard area we have a fully backlit SteelSeries model and it is worth noting that the Synaptics powered touchpad has a brushed metal effect too.

MSI GE62 2QD Apache Review – Components and Software


Starting the rundown of components for the CPU we have a a Sharkbay based Intel Core i7-4720HQ. It is a 47w quad core processor with HyperThreading which gives us 8 threads running at 2.6GHz with turbo up to 3.6GHz. Memory wise, our sample used 1x8GB of Kingston DDR3-1600 (Cas 11) and it is just one module with the 2nd slot free for future upgrades. Our GPU comes in the form of the integrated Intel HD4600 for desktop/productivity tasks and for more advanced operations such as gaming the machine switches automatically to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M. This is a 2GB GPU using 128bit memory bus and features 640 cores along with 32 ROPS and 53 TMUs. MSI go with a core speed of 1097MHz, boosting to 1176MHz and the Elpida GDDR5 is 1253MHz. DirectX12 is of course supported as are 4k displays (and multiple displays).

MSI will offer configurations with Super RAID 3 which combines multiple SSDs for maximum performance. Our sample uses a 128GB M.2 SSD from Kingston combined with a 1TB mechanical storage drive. Wireless-ac is supported, as is Bluetooth 4.1 and our battery is a 6-Cell Li-Polymer model with 60Wh rating.

Win Updates soft2 soft1

MSI install Windows 8.1 on the GE62 and our sample arrived with many updates installed as well as some extra software. Some of it we are not fans of, such as Norton which is much more intrusive than its competitors, or Magix MX Suite but then there are some others which are great…

Panels msi-ge62-2qd-apache-review-bios2 msi-ge62-2qd-apache-review-bios1

… that great software starts with items such as X-Split which allows us to record/broadcast our gameplay, or the Dragon Gaming Centre which allows us to monitor and tweak our system. New (to us) is the inclusion of Nahimic audio which is a software based panel which allows us to manage virtual surround but also enhance voice/streaming comms and various panels are available to manage our SteelSeries based keyboard and Killer NIC network hardware (E2200). Finally we have a standard Aptio BIOS which has all the basic options we would expect. The only non-standard feature of note is the ability to easily update the BIOS from USB.

MSI GE62 2QD Apache Review – Performance

Selected tests vs MSI GS70 Stealth (i7-4710HQ/GTX970M), MSI GT80 Titan SLI (4980Q/2x980M) and XMG P505 (i7-4710HQ/GTX980M).

Cinebench R15
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Music Conversion (2CD lossless to MP3)
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Video Conversion 4K to 720p
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Memory Bandwidth DDR3-1600
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Temps (Gaming)
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3DMark FireStrike Extreme
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Alien Isolation 1920×1080 Ultra FXAA
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DOTA2 1920×1080 Max

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Call of Duty Advanced Warfare 1920×1080 Extra/Max HBAO FXAA

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F1 2014 1920×1080 Ultra 8xAA

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MSI GE62 2QD Apache Review – Conclusion

Starting with the build quality of the system we were fairly impressed with the GE62 2QD Apache. Brushed metal lids are fairly common but often manufacturers skimp on the palm areas (as an example) but that is not the case here. Although not as slim as some other models from MSI this laptop is still fairly compact and at 2.4kg, pretty light too. The components used are all quality, well established brands such as Kingston and SteelSeries.

Connectivity is decent and the ports are sensibly located and as for the other aspects of the basic user experience the keyboard offers a sturdy, responsive typing experience with good LED lighting. The screen offers good viewing angles and lovely crisp detail with strong colours. MSI have for quite some time offered a decent audio  experience and that continues here (on a hardware level). We would always recommend a good set of headphones to pair with a laptop but for general use the Dynaudio solution used here is fine. Not too tinny, reasonable bass.

Speaking of audio, the use of Nahimic software for the Realtek powered hardware is interesting. We found no issues of note with this new solution and from a vocal point of view the enhancements offered by the software were noticeable. Elsewhere in the software the inclusion of the likes of Norton still disappoints us. Having security/anti-virus software is always a good thing but there are solutions available which are far less intrusive and less resource hungry. We do like Dragon Gaming Centre though and the inclusion of the likes of X-Split is ideal on a gaming system.

As far as pricing goes this particular configuration retails for £1099 and overall that seems fair. We would have much preferred MSI to go with 2x4GB of memory rather than 1x8GB as the configuration as is halves memory bandwidth. Yes it makes a future upgrade a little easier (just 1x8gb stick) but that is inconveniencing everyone to help out the few who will upgrade. We did note that at 100% load the fans are quite loud however that isn’t a normal usage scenario and elsewhere the performance is good (for example the 4.5hr battery life for desktop productivity). The USB 3.0 speed is competitive, the SSD sits at the level of desktop SATA 3 drives and our CPU offers a nice balance of thermal performance, clock speed and threads. As for the GPU, it does exactly what we need from a mobile product. It supports the latest tech (whether thats DirectX 12 or PhysX etc) and allows us to game at the laptops native resolution. Support for multiple displays is also available for those who then plug in at a desk and of course 4k is supported too for one large display.

Summary: A well balanced system in terms of specifications with a good level of build quality.

Gold Award

About Author

Stuart Davidson

1 Comment

  1. It is amazing how Nvidia bridged the gap between desktop GPU’s and mobile GPU’s has shrunk so much that desktop performance out of a laptop is now possible.
    I would like to see a review of the $899 Acer aspire Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition VN7-591G-73Y5 Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7 4720HQ (2.60GHz) 8GB Memory 1TB HDD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M 4 GB GDDR5 with a 15.6″ 1080p panel.

    I would love to see its performance for $900 less dollars compared to this MSI Gaming laptop. Considering it has the same CPU, the Same GPU with 2 extra GB of vram but clocked a tiny bit slower, a backlit keyboard, blutooth etc. The Acer is a pretty unbelievable deal when compared to this. For the cost of this MSI Apache it should have a 980m in it.

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