- Power button to turn on the system / force shutdown
- Toggle between the Intel HD graphics and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M
- Increase the fan speed for extra ventilation (Cooler Boost)
- Launch XSplit Gamecaster for easily recording gaming moments, broadcasting and sharing live gameplay sessions to Twitch, YouTube, UStream and more
- Launch the SteelSeries Engine keyboard customization and lighting software
Here’s the XTU score for stock configuration…
And here’s the score for the overclocked CPU.
Under normal operating speed, the CPU and GPU temperature peaked at 76°C and 81°C respectively – a little hot but still within the bearable range. With Cooler Boost enabled, the cooling fans operates at its maximum speed and we can see a significant drop in the temperature reading where the CPU and GPU temperature are now peaked at 71°C and 76°C respectively.
Shaving off that 5°C isn’t something that can be easily achieved as not every notebook comes ready with adjustable fan speed. MSI offers the adjustable fan speed feature for that extra cooling performance but with a little extra to the fan noise as the trade off.
The result turns out pretty well and we’re seeing a rough numbers that stays high above the marked 30 FPS even under ultra settings. The lowest recorded FPS comes from Far Cry 4 and both synthetic benchmark Unigine Heaven and Unigine Valley, with FPS that circles around the value of 40.
The speakers performance exceeded our initial expectation for it as a sound system on a notebook. While gaming notebook manufacturer claimed that their speakers is able to deliver the promising audio quality but it turns out that not many is able to achieve that.
The Dynaudio speakers delivers clear and powerful sound stage during gaming and movie session that is pretty satisfying despite of its size. When it comes to music test, the sound quality isn’t as good as what we’ve experienced with games and movies as playing music in lossless format (FLAC, WAV) and high quality MP3 (320K) doesn’t makes much of a difference.
When it comes to gaming keyboard, we’re expecting for design and feature that is beneficial to gamers. Designed by the renown gaming peripherals manufacturer SteelSeries, the keyboard on the GT72S 6QE comes with fancy lighting and key mapping that appears to be helpful for the gamers, but we find that the keyboard itself is lacking of the N-key rollover feature that has been widely used on most expensive gaming keyboards on the market.
We’ve tried the commonly used key combination for FPS games and everything seems well for now.
The commonly used key combination for racing games seems okay as well.
When we tried playing rhythm games that requires simultaneous keys to be pressed at the same time, the signal blocking issue arises and the maximum amount of keys that can be registered simultaneously is limited to 6 keys (not including modifier keys). We’ve tried configuring the key configuration on other area of the keyboard and there’s not way for us to resolve the issue.
While immersive entertainment experience is pretty much guaranteed, what’s holding it back is the battery life that isn’t really impressive when it’s not attached with its charger – as it will only last for about 2 hours and 18 minutes on a continuous gaming session and around 4 hours and 23 minutes for watching movies when the power settings is set to high performance.
On aesthetics aspect, the MSI Gaming GT72S 6QE Dominator Pro G is sculpted with an appearance that resembles an alien spacecraft that will give an impression of a high-end gaming notebook to almost anyone who first set their eyes on it, especially for its customizable keyboard back lighting.
In terms of graphics performance, the GTX 980M did a great job in handling the games that we’ve tested where each of the games tested stays above the 30 FPS that is claimed to be comfortable to game on by several game developers. If you find it’s unacceptable to game under 60 PFS, turning down the graphics to high / medium will yield higher FPS count and smoother gameplay. The best part of having a MXM GPU module powered gaming notebook is that you’ll be able to swap to a newer GPU ie: next generation NVIDIA Pascal MXM GPU module when it’s available without having to change to a newer gaming notebook just for the new GPU.
Cooling performance is excellent and we have nothing much to complaint about except for the slightly increase noise as the result for both cooling fans operating at maximum speed. If you’re worried that having the cooling fans operating at maximum speed will encourage faster dust build up, have no fear as removing the bottom cover to clean up the cooling fans is as easy as pie.
The drawbacks that we find is its weight, size, battery-life. At this point we’ve already know that it’s a powerful gaming machine that is made portable, but we cannot deny the fact that the MSI Gaming GT72S 6QE Dominator Pro G is still one bulky gaming notebook that isn’t going to be pleasurable for one to carry around. In addition, large amount of energy is required in order for it to deliver stunning performance, the battery life isn’t going to last long enough especially if you’re on a long trip.
Another subjective issue that we would like to highlight is the keyboard roll-over feature. While not everyone is going to press all of the keys on the keyboard at the same time, the N-key rollover is still an important feature that should be cater of if its targeted audience is to be gamers from all kinds of game genres.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Good audio performance
- Good graphics performance
- Customizable keyboard macros, LED colors and effect
- Excellent cooling performance
- Short battery life
- Keyboard doesn’t comes with N-key rollover feature