MSI GP72VRX Leopard Pro Overview: MSI’s Latest Refresh of Budget Gaming Notebooks

MSI GP72VRX

As we head into the 2nd half of 2017, MSI launches a refresh to their budget gaming notebooks in the $1000-1600 price bracket, namely, the GP series of notebooks. In order to differentiate the old from the new, MSI identifies the refreshed GP notebooks with the letter “X” at the end of each model name.

The model we will be looking at today is the GP72VRX for $1599, MSI’s top tier budget notebook in the GP (Lepoard) series. Packing a Core i7 7700HQ quad core CPU, GTX 1060, and 512GB SSD, it is a powerful performer for a budget notebook.

Exterior:

MSI GP72VRX

MSI did a few facelifts and over a few design changes to this refreshed GP72, the front of the notebook’s palm rest no longer features a red themed accent and is instead all black. The lid is a whole new look, with curved lines and a brushed metal finish, verses the older models which only had a plain generic matte black finish with the MSI logo stamped onto it.

The Steelseries keyboard is completely RGB, allowing you to change the color of the keyboard backlighting to any color you want.

Overall, I love the look. Traditionally gaming notebooks have a LOT of bling, whether it’s ton’s of red accents or lots of “gamer” themed curves and lines. This may appeal to the teenager or kid, but for others, it can be quite cheesy. I feel MSI has done a great job with the design of the new refreshed GP72VRX, you still get a couple of game themed accents and of course the dragon themed MSI logo, however the rest of the materials are all black, making it a lot easier for you out there who don’t just use your notebook for gaming, and need to bring it into, say, an office meeting, coffee shop, or other non-entertainment environment.

Hardware:

This is where the refresh really shows off, all of the new refreshed Lepoard notebooks feature only the latest generation of computing hardware, this includes Intel’s Kaby Lake CPUs, Nvidia’s Pascal (GTX 1000 series) GPUs, and also native NVME SSDs.

For the GP72VRX specifically, we get a Intel Core i7-7700HQ at 2.80GHz, a GeForce GTX 1060 3GB GPU, 16GB of DDR4 memory, a 512GB NVME SSD, DVD player, and a 17.3″ 1080P display with a refresh rate of 120hz.

The most surprising piece of hardware is the GTX 1060 3GB. To my knowledge, there hasn’t been a gaming notebook with a GeForce GTX 1060 3GB in it, until now. This is a great option for the $1600 range, providing over 3x better performance in games compared to it’s predecessor the GTX 960M.

GTX 1060 6GB vs. 1060 3GB vs. 960 Comparison

Beware however, the GTX 1060 3GB variant is NOT just a 1060 6GB with only half the vram. The 3GB variant also has a few of it’s CUDA cores shaved off verses it’s bigger brother. The 1060 6GB has a total of 1280 CUDA cores, where as the 1060 3GB has 1152, there are also a few ROPs and shaders cut down aswell. Fortunately, performance doesn’t take a big hit, the 3GB variant is only 5-7% slower compared to the 1060 6GB when vram bottleneck isn’t an issue.

For pure 1080P gaming, the GTX 1060 3GB will be a very fast performer. Yielding above 60fps at ultra presets in any of today’s latest titles. So you should have no issues taking advantage of that 120hz 1080P panel incorporated into the GP72VRX.

The i7-7700HQ CPU used is the same as nearly all other notebooks in this price segment, it should have no problems whatsoever in whatever programs and games you use. Whether that’s just multitasking in a web browser to rendering a video for youtube.

The 512GB NVME SSD is also a huge plus, NVME is the latest interface designed specifically for SSDs almost quadrupling bandwidth verses older SSD’s which run on the SATA interface (SATA wasn’t even designed for SSD’s in the first place, it was designed for hard disk drives (HDDs, which is why NVME is so powerful). So boot times should be insanely fast on this notebook (once you get rid of the bloatware MSI is usually known for), and applications will start up very quickly.

Connectivity:

You should have no trouble hooking up as much stuff as you need to with the GP72VRX, it packs plenty of USB ports and display outputs for your needs:

2x USB 3.0
USB 2.0
USB 3.0 Type C
HDMI 1.4
Mini DP 1.2
Killer Network E2500 Ethernet
Kensignton Lock
3.5mm Mic and Audio Jacks
SC Card Reader

Conclusion:

MSI’s refresh of this notebook series is quite good. Everything is using the latest specs which significantly speeds up gaming and boot up performance compared to MSI’s Leopard Pro from 2016.

If your in the market for a notebook that’s high performance, not just for gaming, but also as a workstation that is capable of crunching numbers fast in any number of prosumer applications (like adobe premier and photoshop), and/or are a gamer, the GP72VRX will is a very capable machine for you.

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By | 2018-04-12T19:04:06+00:00 June 27th, 2017|Overviews|0 Comments

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