MSI GE62VR 7RF Camo Squad Review: Heavy Hitter

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We review MSI’s GE62VR 7RF!

MSI’s newest notebook, the GE62VR 7RF is a 15-inch gaming notebook that’s advertised as VR ready, and is clad in a pretty unique digital desert camouflage scheme. The design isn’t for everyone, but it’s undeniably a pretty damn unique look that’s sure to turn heads wherever you go – it certainly did just that while we were in Taipei last week.  The GE62VR 7RF is powerful enough to handle most AAA titles currently out today but is light enough that it won’t be a literal pain in the back when you’re carrying it. But is it really worth the premium price it commands?

A different kind of color scheme

The GE62VR 7RF sports a pretty damn unique color scheme even in gaming notebook standards. Instead of having multiple LEDs scattered across its body, the GE62VR 7RF uses a digital desert color scheme that’s closer to the one currently being used by US Marines. The digital camo starts at the lid of the notebook and extends down to the chassis, and encompasses the entire touchpad as well.

That camouflage also extends to the free backpack that comes as a freebie with every purchase, as well as the nice big box that the notebook comes with. You can check out all the freebies that you get with the purchase of the notebook in our unboxing here.

Strip that unique color scheme away though, and you’re left with a pretty basic-looking notebook with a mainly plastic body and chassis. There’s no aggressive lines or exhaust vents in the GE62VR 7RF’s design, just utilitarian-looking ports on the back where the notebook expels hot air.

Being made of plastic offers a few downsides, however – the GE62VR 7RF flexes like crazy – putting a modicum of force down the chassis or the lid with a single finger will see either flex significantly.

Open the lid and you’ll see the full QWERTY keyboard along with a compact number pad. The keyboard was made in cooperation with gaming peripheral brand SteelSeries, and while it’s not a mechanical keyboard it still feels pretty good to type on, and is not at all like the usual keyboards on regular notebooks.

You’re able to tweak the color of the keyboard down to individual zones and keys via the SteelSeries engine that’s included with the software suite of the notebook.

The touchpad is positioned right below the keyboard, though because of the camouflage scheme it’s a bit hard to find sometimes when you need to use it. Granted, that’s how camouflage works but honestly it was a pain in the butt looking for that touchpad to navigate when we didn’t have our mouse connected. Speaking of mouse, MSI could have included a digital desert themed mouse in the package to round out the freebies, since most serious PC gaming revolves around a keyboard and mouse combo.

There’s a multitude of connections and ports for the GE62VR 7RF, which includes 3 USB ports, a USB Type-C port, full sized HDMI port, mini DisplayPort, Ethernet port and even a SD card reader.

Oddly enough, the notebook also includes a DVD drive, but honestly who really uses DVDs in this day and age?

The notebook comes with a 15.5-inch full HD IPS display, which is pretty good all things considered. Viewing angles are good, along with color reproduction. It’s not a super color-accurate display, but considering the use case (gaming) that’s not really that much of a concern, really.

More than enough juice to power the latest games

The MSI GE62VR 7RF is equipped with a 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB of VRAM, 16GB of DDR4 2400 RAM,256GB of SSD storage (M.2 SSD) and 1TB of HDD storage. That’s pretty beefy specs for a gaming machine, and MSI says that the notebook is ready for VR. That may be true, but we’ll probably hold off buying an HTC Vive for this thing in the meantime, as a GeForce GTX 1060 is the bare minimum for VR – better to try it with a GTX 1070, 1080 or a 1080Ti for best results.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the notebook’s performance in gaming, shall we? As an added note, all games were run in full HD resolution using the highest preset possible.

First, let’s take a look at the numbers from PCMark’s 3DMark Benchmark:

Now let’s take a look at Unigine’s Heaven and their newest benchmark, Superposition.

Superposition is interesting because it’s the newest benchmark made by Unigine that’s meant to stress test modern gaming systems to see if they’re capable of running VR and games in ultra-high settings. Because it’s a new-ish benchmark, most hardware struggle to post high scores with it, as you can see with the GE62VR 7RF.

Now we’re past synthetic benchmarks, let’s take a look at how the GE62VR 7RF handles actual games. We’ll be taking a look at FPS numbers culled from Fraps across three games, namely BF1, The Division and Squad, and as a bonus we’ll also be taking a look at the performance of the notebook in Ghost Recon: Wildlands, the game that ships with GE62VR 7RF when you buy it. Let’s take a peek:

As you can see, the GE62VR 7RF is capable of running games past the 60 frame per second mark in the titles that we tested. Curiously the only game that failed to go past 60 FPS is the game that’s bundled with the notebook in the first place. Weird that.

The GE62VR 7RF isn’t particularly silent, and you’ll definitely hear the fans spinning full tilt whenever you’re gaming or benchmarking. Good thing about the notebook is that the speakers are pretty loud for a notebook its size, so it’ll just drown out the sound of the whirring fans. We did notice that the temperature reached around 87 degrees Celcius while we were running the Heaven for the device which is a little worrying.

As far as software goes, the notebook ships with Windows 10 Home and a buttload of crap that you really don’t need or want in your machine. Bloatware is to be expected really for most notebooks, and the amount included in the GE62VR 7RF isn’t too bad but man we really wish that wasn’t the case with gaming notebooks.

Battery life is disappointing

Gaming notebooks seldom post good numbers when it comes to battery rundown tests, and the GE62VR 7RF is no exception. It makes sense – manufacturers usually just put in small batteries in gaming machines since owners use them plugged in most of the time. The 51Whr battery in the GE62VR 7RF lasted just 1 hour and 23 minutes in our battery drain test, which consisted of a looped video with WiFi on and the screen set to 50% brightness.

Verdict: Your next weapon of choice

The MSI GE62VR 7RF is a pretty solid performing notebook that’s quite capable of running most AAA games today. It’s a little expensive though, at Php 109,995,even with the freebies that MSI throws in when you buy one.

(unbox.ph, https://goo.gl/avkKzF)

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