MSI GE62 Apache Pro review

Slightly more than the sum of its parts

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Here’s how the MSI GE62 Apache Pro performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark Sky Diver: 19,407; Fire Strike: 6,366; Time Spy: 2,563
Cinebench CPU: 733 cb; Graphics: 114 fps
Geekbench 3 Single-Core: 3,719; Multi-Core: 14,592
PCMark 8 (Home Test): 3,574 points
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 1 hour and 47 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 2 hours and 10 minutes
The Division (1080p, Ultra): 35 fps; (1080p, Low): 85 fps
GTA V (Ultra): 28 fps; (Low): 144 fps

Although the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti isn’t the fastest video card around, it was good enough to sustain 60 frames per second (fps) or better with games such as Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 on high settings. However, it isn’t meant for hardcore gaming enthusiasts who want to crank the settings for every game to the max. 

That being said, it comes as absolutely no surprise that the GE62 Apache Pro has almost the same benchmark results as both the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 and Asus ROG Strix GL753 given how all three sport the same video card and CPU.

PCMark 8 and Geekbench scores are also about the same, with only a negligible difference between the Apache and the competing systems.

There’s also no noticeable frame rate difference with games such as Tom Clancy’s The Division and Grand Theft Auto 5. In some cases, benchmark scores were fewer than 10 frames apart.

Battery life

However, the battery life tells a slightly different story. The PCMark 8 estimate puts the Apache at about 1 hour and 47 minutes. Our looping movie test was more generous, getting 2 hours and 10 minutes out of the computer before the battery is drained to 8 percent. 

That’s just about enough time to finish watching Rogue One before having to recharge. 

In comparison, PCMark 8 estimated that ROG Strix could get about 2 hours and 46 minutes out of its battery, and it could play a movie for 4 and half hours. Neither notebook measures up the Inspiron 15 Gaming, which got nearly 6 hours of estimated battery life from PCMark and played a movie loop for over 7 and a half hours. 

That sound. We’re big fans

Surprisingly, one of the strongest features the GE62 has to offer is its sound system. The four-position audio has startling good sound separation, which breathes incredible life into games, especially atmospheric ones like Resident Evil 7. The positional audio also provides some advantages when playing shooters competitively. 

But not everything about the Apache Pro sounds great. The fans are pretty loud, and they sometimes compete with the game audio. Worse yet, the fans tend to kick in shortly after a game is launched – or even when the computer is just idling. As if to demonstrate how loud the fans could be, there’s a little button (which we’ve come to call the “screw that noise” key) that sets the fans to run at max power all the time. 

On the plus side, the notebook has unsurprisingly excellent cooling, and we hardly felt the warmth from the video card or processor come through the laptop shell, even after a few hours of playing.

We liked

The GE62 Apache Pro offers some impressive gaming performance for the entry-level graphics chip that’s included. And, speaking of parts, MSI has stuffed this model with nothing but those sourced from well-known names. Finally, the speaker system is surprisingly robust, something we’ve been trained to not expect from laptops for a long time.

We disliked

Solid performance and audio chops aside, there isn’t much else helping this laptop stand out from its competitors, which are far longer lasting and at times cheaper than this model. Also, the system gets quite loud while under load, which isn’t surprising but nevertheless annoying.

Final verdict

If it weren’t for the impressive sound system, the made-for-gamers SteelSeries keyboard, and other brand name features, there would be almost no reason to choose the MSI GE62 over many competing 1080p gaming notebooks. Its performance is almost identical to that of the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 and Asus ROG Strix GL753, which is unsurprising given how they all sport the same graphics chip and CPU. 

The Apache might cost less than the Asus, but it also has a smaller screen. For just a little bit more cash, gamers can go for a 17-inch system. However, it’s really hard to make an argument for the Apache when comparing it with the Dell notebook. Not only does it offer roughly the same performance, but it also has a significantly lower price tag and more than twice the battery life. 

When taken alone, the Apache provides excellent performance for games at a reasonable price. However, while the surround sound and gaming keyboard are worthwhile features, they probably won’t end up being deal breakers when the MSI notebook is compared with systems that offer the same gaming performance or better at a competitive price.