The MSI GV62 7RC is a gaming laptop from MSI – but, surprisingly, it doesn’t cost much. This machine costs £750 in the UK and $1,004 in the US, which makes it one of the most affordable gaming laptops we’ve seen. Here’s our MSI GV62 7RC review.
The low price makes this machine tremendously tempting, but it’s also going to mean compromise. We’re here to find out if the MSI GV62 7RC is a bargain or if MSI has cut too many corners.
MSI GV62 7RC Review – Design
The MSI GV62 7RC is a good-looking machine, even if it doesn’t make any revolutionary changes. The outside is made from dark metal with a brushed pattern, and it’s got the familiar MSI gaming logo on the lid.
The keyboard has a red backlight, the trackpad is fringed with the same colour, and the air vents and buttons above the keyboard glow red. The colours look good, and they give the GV62 a coherent theme.
The smart looks are paired with a 2.2kg weight and a 35mm thickness. The former figure is great, and means the MSI is lighter than most other 15.6in gaming laptops – but the latter figure means the GV62 is chunkier than many rivals. It’s easy enough to carry this laptop around, but its larger frames means you may want a backpack.
The MSI GV62 7RC combines its light, smart design with good versatility. The entire base panel can be opened to give access to the memory, storage and cooling hardware.
The biggest design issue is the lack of build quality. The plastic base is too easy to push, and the area around the keyboard feels weak. The slim screen is too easy to flex back and forth, too. That’s the main reason why we’d always use a sleeve when transporting this notebook.
MSI GV62 7RC Review – Ergonomics
The MSI’s familiar scrabble-tile unit comes from SteelSeries. The buttons are large and welcoming, with a soft typing action that pairs comfort with consistency.
That’s great for typing – we could hammer out documents for hours. It’s fine for casual gaming and esports titles, too. It falters with more frantic gaming, where we prefer more travel and a more solid action. It’s a common fault with gaming notebooks, though, and we hardly expected a machine with this low price to solve the problem.
The trackpad buttons aren’t great, either. They’re too soft, and push down too far when compared to the light, fast buttons that we prefer on proper gaming mice. For serious gaming, we’d always use a USB mouse.
MSI GV62 7RC Review – Components
The affordable MSI GV62 7RC isn’t designed for high-end gaming – it takes aim at esports. Games like League of Legends, DOTA 2 and Hearthstone don’t require as much graphical grunt, so MSI has deployed an Nvidia GeForce MX150 in this machine.
The MX150 uses the same Pascal architecture as the rest of Nvidia’s current range, but its different naming indicates its lesser stature. It’s designed for esports and other less intensive tasks, which means it’s only got 2GB of memory and 384 stream processors.
The modest graphics card sits alongside a Core i5-7300HQ processor. It’s a 2.5GHz chip with four cores, but it doesn’t have Hyper-Threading. That’ll affect its multi-tasking ability, but it’s easily able to handle gaming, web browsing and general daily use.
There’s 8GB of memory, too, although we’re disappointed to see it in single-channel mode – that’ll have a detrimental impact. Storage comes from a Toshiba XG3 SSD, but it’s only a 128GB drive. Once Windows 10 Home is installed, that leaves hardly any room for games. We’re pleased to see a 1TB hard disk.
Connectivity is standard, with 802.11ac wireless, Gigabit Ethernet and Bluetooth. On the outside you get two USB 3 ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C connection, and both HDMI and mini-DisplayPort outputs.
The model we’ve reviewed here is called the MSI GV62 7RC-224UK, but it’s not the only version of this machine that MSI is selling.
MSI is also selling a couple of larger models with 17.3in screens in the UK marketplace. The GV72 7RD-833UK costs £888 and upgrades to a Core i7 processor and a GTX 1050 graphics card, so it’ll be a little better with games.
The GV72 7RE-1283UK is the beefiest model in the range: it costs £999, includes a GTX 1050 Ti graphics chip, that Core i7 processor, and a 128GB SSD.
MSI GV62 7RC Review – Performance
The modest MX150 graphics core had no issues with popular esports titles. We ran DOTA 2 and League of Legends at their top graphics settings and both games ran at more than 60fps, and it ran CS:GO with a similarly solid framerate. This laptop will handle any current esports title at good graphics settings, so it’s an ideal notebook for competitive play.
That’s great for esports and casual gaming, but the 2GB GPU couldn’t handle high-end titles. Its best 1080p gaming benchmark was a poor 27fps in Battlefield 1, and its minimum framerates in our five games all sat at 23fps or lower.
To get today’s biggest games running on the MSI GV62 7RC you’ll have to drop the graphics settings. We only hit 40fps in Shadow of Mordor by running at Medium, and we had to run Witcher 3 at Low to get it playing smoothly.
The processor is a solid mid-range chip. Its Geekbench single-core result of 3,489 is only a few hundred points behind the best mobile Core i7 parts. That’s no surprise – its Turbo speed of 3.5GHz isn’t far behind what those chips can attain. Its multi-core score of 8,647 is more ordinary due to the lack of Hyper-Threading – quad-core chips that are Hyper-Threaded tend to be thousands of points quicker.
In the real world, those middling scores won’t make much difference. The Core i5 chip won’t bottleneck games, and it’ll handle web browsing or Office apps.
The MSI GV62 7RC had no thermal problems, either. The peak CPU and GPU temperatures of 63°C and 80°C are fine, and the laptop was always quiet, even during stress-tests. None of the heat made its way to the outside panels, and buttons above the keyboard can be used to adjust fan speeds.
The battery life was no surprise, though. The MSI’s 41Wh power pack only lasted for just over two hours in our PC Mark 8 test. In a gaming benchmark, it ran for just under ninety minutes. The MSI GV62 7RC may be light, but don’t attempt a gaming session without plugging in.
MSI GV62 7RC Review – Screen and Speakers
The MSI GV62 7RC’s matte 1080p panel doesn’t have syncing or a high refresh rate, but that’s fine – this is only an affordable laptop, after all. It’s a TN panel underneath, which means it has great response times. That’s key for gaming, but it also means that the screen could have poorer viewing angles.
Quality levels are mixed, too. Positively, colours are good: the average Delta E of 0.37 is great, and the colour temperature of 6,967K is great – so colours will always be accurate. The screen rendered 97.8% of the sRGB colour gamut, which means it will produce a vast array of shades.
Negatively, though, the brightness level of 230cd/m2 isn’t great, and the black level of 0.73cd/m2 is high. That means a poor contrast ratio of 315:1. In practice, that means it’s trickier to tell close shades of colour apart, and darker areas don’t look as deep as they should do – black areas look grey, for instance.
Those issues aren’t terminal, but they do mean that games and movies will have darker areas that look underwhelming – and the low contrast will mean colours don’t look as punchy across the rest of the range.
The speakers are underwhelming. They’re not loud enough, they don’t have enough bass, and the top-end is tinny. If you’re a keen esports gamer, you should be using a headset.
MSI GV62 7RC Review – Conclusion
The MX150 graphics chip has plenty of power for esports – which is exactly the kind of games that this machine is designed to tackle. It’s fast enough for older titles and casual games, too, and the rest of the specification can handle web browsing and general computing.
The keyboard is reasonable, the laptop is light, and it looks better than many of its rivals.
Of course, this £750 machine isn’t without problems. The screen and battery are mediocre, and you can spend a little more to get a machine with GTX 1050 graphics that’ll prove more adept with games.
This isn’t the best gaming laptop we’ve seen, but it is one of the cheapest. If you’re searching for a notebook for esports and less demanding games, then the MSI GV62 7RC is a good, affordable option.
- GPU can easily run esports games
- Light and good-looking
- Cheaper than most gaming notebooks
- GPU can’t handle Triple-A Games
- Single-channel memory
- Disappointing build quality
- Screen has poor contrast
CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7300HQ
Memory: 8GB 2,400MHz DDR4
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX 150 2GB
Screen: 15.6in 1,920 x 1,080 TN
Dimensions: 383 x 260 x 35mm
Connectivity: 2 x USB 3, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 x USB 2, 1 x SDXC, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Mini-DisplayPort
Hard disk: 128GB Toshiba XG3 SSD; 1TB HDD
Warranty: 1yr RTB