No limit / Notebooks and PCs

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A series of powerful Dominator gaming laptops from MSI is gradually expanding. With the release of Intel processors with the Skylake architecture, the most popular line of 17.3-inch GT72 models received the corresponding new updates: a new processor of the 6th generation (designated by the S-adapter), DDR4 memory and an improved screen with NVIDIA G-Sync support (G Title). And the prefix Pro continues to point to the use of the most powerful mobile GPU at the moment – the GeForce GTX 980M with 8 GB of memory on board. Slightly lost the actuality of the configuration will continue to be sold under the former names, including the less efficient GeForce GTX 970M.

And now let's move from words to deeds – we'll get acquainted with MSI GT72S Dominator Pro G in practice, discarding all the marketing applications disassembled at the end of 2014 in the material on GT72 a resemblance to which is observed in almost every Parts.

# Packaging and delivery set

GT72S packaging is the same as many game models of the company. The laptop came to us in the red-black box with a plastic handle on top, a dragon image, a pair of company logos and a list of the main technical features.

The sticker on one of the sides lists all TXs, indicated the assembly location (China) and production date (September 2015). The manufacturer's warranty is 2 years.

The package includes power supply, power cable, a set of booklets and instructions, CD with drivers and software, as well as a disk with the distribution of the game War Thunder.

# External appearance

In appearance, the novelty is identical to the previously reviewed GT72. For a year and a half nothing has changed: all the same forms, materials used, the location of decorative elements, size and weight. Moreover, the laptop is similar to the more affordable Apache series, especially if you do not look hard at the details and discard the thickness of the devices. It seems that in MSI for the near future decided not to invest in changing the design of their game models.

The top cover of the screen is made of ground aluminum, on which the fingerprints are very clearly visible. Thanks to the two curved "guides" the cover is more like a car's hood, and the best work of wireless connections is provided by a plastic insert in the rear part.

In the center are two logos: the proprietary MSI and the logo of the game series with the image of a dragon.

The latter is highlighted, in fact, like the basic controls of the laptop, together with two dedicated sections on the front face.

The thickness of the laptop is large and varies from 36 to almost 54 mm (taking into account the height of the rear legs and the protruding bend of the screen cover). This is more than the claimed 48 mm and makes the GT72S not the most compact gaming notebook. The weight of the model does not exceed 3.8 kg, which is not bad at all.

The display is reclined to the maximum possible for the used mechanism 180 degrees, which almost never occurs in gaming (and not only) models of other manufacturers. And the considerable weight of the device and not the most tight loops allow to open the screen without additional hold of the laptop with the second hand.

Four rubber feet of different thicknesses and additional plastic protrusions are used to engage the work surface. They cope well for their task. On the bottom cover we can see a pair of ventilation grilles painted in red and covered with a large plastic mesh.

Here there are as many as five stickers, reporting a two-year warranty, the compliance of the laptop with different standards, the exact name of the model, etc.

The connectors for the MSI GT72S are located on three sides. Back: power connector, HDMI 1.4, network port RJ45, mini DisplayPort 1.2 and modern USB 3.1 Type-C (Thunderbolt). Four USB 3.0, a SD / SDHC / SDXC / MMC card reader and four 3.5 mm audio connectors for different tasks are placed on the left side.

On the opposite side you can see two more USB 3.0 and Blu-Ray-drive. The set is excellent, but some buyers will complain about the location of the ports, but it's all a matter of taste.

Despite the use of black matte plastic and brushed aluminum, most of the elements are not practical. This becomes clear after a couple of hours of work behind the laptop. Speaking about the rigidity of the whole design, we can note that a number of competitors are assembled more tightly and are less susceptible to deformation (pushing) of the hull elements under physical stress. However, such a feature and preferential use of plastic in GT72S entails one obvious plus – with a possible drop, the probability of damage is undoubtedly lower.

In general, the GT72S build quality is good. The gaps between the elements are visible, in some cases they are not very uniform in size, but there is an opportunity to disassemble the laptop without contacting the service center – so easy access to the interior is provided to the user. Edge processing and painting do not cause censures. The appearance of the device is completely in line with its class, but not all of them will have such a large number of different plastic in the texture (in particular, the glossy edging of the display) and the design as a whole.

# Input Devices

The MSI GT72S, thanks to its dimensions, fit the already familiar by other models of the manufacturer full-size keyboard with a digital unit. The island type keys use standard membranes. Mechanics, as in the GT80 Dominator, there is no place, and the size is not the same. The keyboard area is slightly recessed into the case, so that the keys do not scratch the screen.

The manufacturer of the game accessories SteelSeries is responsible for the keyboard, based on the long-standing concept of MSI. Thanks to the metal substrate, it will not bend even in the center, and the Windows button, transferred to the right side of the keyboard, excludes accidental pressing during the game. Otherwise, the layout is standard and will not cause problems for most users.

Buttons are black, the surface of the keys is half-matched, all letters and symbols are white. On the contour, the buttons are not colored, so that a customizable RGB LED-backlight with three degrees of luminosity looked more impressive.

For the same purpose, the entire highlight is divided into three separately configurable sections. If you do not like it – you can turn it off, partially or completely. Parameters are changed through special software.

The size of the main keys is 15 × 15 mm, and the buttons of the digital block are slightly smaller in width – 12 × 15 mm. All control keys by default work when the modifier is pressed – the Fn button. To the left of the main keys there are five additional buttons (four of them have indicators): power, switching video adapter, Cooler Boost, responsible for the inclusion of two fans at 100% power, recording video through XSplit Gamecaster and key switch keyboards (in that Number of colors of illumination).

The stroke of the keys is 1.5 mm, exactly at their height. Pressures are soft, clear, with a moderate force returning force. The sound is not loud. In the middle and slightly to the sides with a stronger push subsides, which is not uncommon for island type keyboards in non-target metal cases. In general, the impressions from the main input device are quite positive, as on other models of the brand.

The working area of ​​the notebook's touchpad is medium in size – 110 × 70 mm, it is noticeably shifted to the left. The touchpad area is flush with the wrist rest area and is highlighted with three backlit stripes, which is adjusted independently of the keyboard. You have to drive your finger along the semi-matt plastic, and press – on quite a physical keys with a small but hard turn and a deaf sound of medium volume when pressed. The Synaptic TouchPad V7.5 panel is used with a wide range of settings. However, the touchpad does not have the best sensitivity and adequacy when working with gestures. But for Windows-laptops, this has long become a habit. As a result, the touchpad is not the most successful, but with a high degree of probability, potential buyers will use separately purchased mice, since the GT72S is not at all oriented to work on the knee anywhere in the transport and outperforms many stationary PCs by its power.

The MSI GT72S has a 1.3 megapixel camera, next to which are two microphones for better sound transmission and noise reduction. The picture quality is worse than usual, the maximum resolution is 720p. With a small lack of external lighting, there is a lot of noise, reduced clarity. But a webcam for a gaming laptop is a secondary detail. Works – and it's okay.

# Internal structure

One of the distinctive features of MSI GT72S is easy access to the filling of the device without losing warranty.

It is enough to unscrew 7 normal screws and remove the bottom cover.

The user immediately gets access to the cooling system, two free slots for RAM (two more occupied are on the back of the board), the MXM module of the graphics adapter with its own memory, the wireless adapter, the battery and the storage subsystem.

The latter consists of one hard drive installed in a separate compartment, without the use of noise-absorbing / anti-vibration materials and two SSD-drives of M.2 format (2280) on a separate board connected via PCIe x4 bus. On it are free two more connectors which will be initially occupied in the most expensive configurations GT72S. Separately, I would like to note one more free space next to the HDD, but for some reason the manufacturer did not bring out an additional SATA-cable with power, although the space allows to install another disk.

# Background information and specifications

The processor [1945]

Here you can confirm the accuracy of the information specified in the description.

Here you can confirm the accuracy of the information specified in the description.

Here you can confirm the accuracy of the information specified in the description.

Here you can confirm the accuracy of the information specified in the description.

The size,

Approximate price, USD

The processor Intel Core i7-6820HK Skylake-H (Quad-Core), 2.7 GHz
Chipset Intel CM236 (Sunrise Point)
The graphic adapter NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 8 GB GDDR5 + Intel HD Graphics 530
Displaying the display board IPS, 17.3 inches, 1920 × 1080 pixels (Full HD), 75 Hz, matte, NVIDIA G-Sync Support
Operating memory 16 GB DDR4-2133 (1066 MHz), dual-channel mode, two 8-GB Samsung memory modules
The data storage system 2x SSD in RAID0, Toshiba THNSN5128GPU7 128 GB, M.2 2280 PCIe 3.0 x4;
1x HDD Hitachi HTS721010A9E630 1 TB, SATA3, 7200 rpm
The optical drive Blu-ray BD-RE (LG BU20N)
The connector of the flash-card SD / SDHC / SDXC / MMC
Interfaces 6x USB 3.0;
1x USB 3.1 Type-C | Thunderbolt 3 (4K @ 60 Hz);
1x HDMI 1.4 (4K @ 30 Hz);
1x mini DisplayPort 1.2 (4K @ 60 Hz);
1x jack 3.5 mm (line input);
1x jack 3.5 mm (line output);
1x jack 3,5 mm (microphone input);
1x jack 3.5 mm (headphone / speaker output);
1x RJ-45 (LAN)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac Killer Wireless-AC 1525 (Qualcomm Atheros QCA6174)
Bluetooth 4.1 LE + HS
The network adapter Atheros Killer e2400 Gigabit Ethernet
The sound of the Realtek ALC899
Additionally Webcam (HD) 1.3 MP
Power Supply The battery is non-removable 9-cell 86 W · h (6920 mAh, 12.5 V)
External power adapter 230 W (11.8 A, 19.5 V)
The size, mm 428 × 294 × 48
Weight, kg 3,78 + power supply unit 0,6
Operating system Windows 10 Home x64
The official manufacturer's warranty 24 months 173,000-180,000

The updated MSI GT72S series has a wide variety of notebook configurations, but all of them certainly belong to high-performance and expensive solutions. As noted in the introduction to the article, you can determine which laptop you have in front of you, at least according to the prefixes Pro and G. In our case, Dominator Pro G stands for the version with the most powerful mobile video card and Full HD IPS-display with increased frequency of scanning and technology support Adaptive synchronization NVIDIA G-Sync.

Next, you should focus on the designation of the configuration of the model. In our case, the 6QE-072RU implies the use of a Core i7-6820HK processor, 16 GB of DDR4 memory and a storage subsystem of two SSDs installed in a RAID0 array, and one 1 TB hard drive with a rotation speed of 7200 rpm. This option is sold in Moscow online stores at a price of 173 000 rubles. Expensive, but also the performance is appropriate.

The 6th-generation Intel processor with Skylake architecture used in the notebook is designed according to the standards of 14 nm and is one of the fastest mobile CPUs of this manufacturer. The nominal processor frequency is 2.7 GHz. It supports Hyper-Threading and TurboBoost. In the case of the latter, the frequency can automatically rise to 3.7 GHz with the load on one core and up to 3.6 GHz with the load on all four with the proper cooling level. The processor multiplier is unlocked, but above the 3.7 GHz in MSI decided not to raise the frequency.

The volume of the cache memory of the third level is an impressive 8 MB. The processor refers to solutions with a standard voltage – its thermal package is 45W. The value of the CPU Power Limit is up to 200 W, but for a short period of time (28 seconds) with a continuous load. The maximum permissible core temperature is 100 degrees.

As a graphic solution discrete graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M with its own dedicated memory type GDDR5 8 GB. The integrated graphics core in the Intel HD Graphics 530 CPU with a GPU frequency in the range 350-1050 MHz can be activated only by pressing a special key and then rebooting the system. Automatic switching of the GPU depending on the load is not provided in connection with the support of the laptop technology NVIDIA G-Sync, not compatible with switching graphics NVIDIA Optimus. This negatively affects the battery life and convenience of using the laptop.

South Bridge is a set of system logic Intel Sunrise Point CM236, which allows the system to work with multiple SSD PCIe 3.0 x4 drives. The amount of RAM DDR4-2133 (1066 MHz) in our case is 16 GB. It operates in two-channel mode, using two installed SO-DIMMs from Samsung at 8 GB each. It is possible to install two more modules with a capacity of up to 16 GB each.

The review hero is equipped with a familiar 17.3-inch matte IPS display from LG Display company with a resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels, a 16: 9 aspect ratio and a conventional W-LED backlight. The rated frequency of vertical scanning is increased to 75 Hz. Visual differences in comparison with the standard 60 Hz start up and not essential, but it is. For a fixed filling and high performance for many years, such a screen is the best option.

In the notebook that came to us, the manufacturer uses as many as three drives: two Toshiba THNSN5128GPU7 SSDs of 128 GB each and a Hitachi HTS721010A9E630 HDD per 1 TB. Solid state drives are made in the M.2 2280 format, are connected via a high-speed PCIe bus 3.0 x4 with support for the NVMe protocol and work together in a RAID0 array, which increases the speed, but reduces reliability in case of failure of one of them. Что же касается обычного жёсткого диска, то он подключён к SATA3, отличается невысоким уровнем шума и достаточной производительностью для возложенных на него обязанностей (хранения информации).

Работу беспроводных соединений Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac и Bluetooth 4.1 LE обеспечивает контроллер Killer Wireless-AC 1525, построенный на базе чипа Qualcomm Atheros QCA6174. За проводную сеть отвечает гигабитный Atheros Killer e2400, а звуком заведует HDA-кодек Realtek ALC899 совместно с аудиосистемой Dynaudio 2.1 и заявленной технологией Audio Boost 2 с тремя независимыми усилителями для идеального звука.

В нашей модификации используется привод оптических дисков Blu-Ray с возможность записи, модель LG BU20N. По современным меркам – решение довольно спорное. Занимаемое им место можно было бы потратить на установку ещё одного HDD или увеличение ёмкости аккумулятора.

Герой обзора оснащён несъёмным 9-элементным литий-ионным аккумулятором с заявленной ёмкостью 86 Вт*ч – это не самый ёмкий аккумулятор для игрового ноутбука, но тем не менее достаточный, чтобы прожить до 4 часов при определённых типах нагрузки. Реальная же цифра во время тестирования держалась в диапазоне 84-84,7 Вт*ч.

Для зарядки устройства используется небольшой внешний адаптер питания с мощностью 230 Вт. Заряжается ноутбук около 2,5 часа при закрытой крышке в выключенном состоянии. При небольшой нагрузке смело прибавляйте ещё полчаса-час. Впрочем, нам видится, что в 90% случаев MSI GT72S будет работать от розетки, ведь именно в таком состоянии он может продемонстрировать свой возможный максимум.

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