MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider (GTX 1070) Review 3

MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider (GTX 1070) Review

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Introduction

MSI Logo

From the MSI website:
Dedicated to customer-driven innovation, MSI leverages its remarkable R&D strengths to craft top-notch, well-acclaimed motherboards, graphics cards, notebook PCs and All-in-One PCs. The Overclocking Series is designed for enthusiasts who pursue extreme performance and go after world records. Aimed at fulfilling the needs and expectations toward professional gaming, the MSI GAMING Series receives gamers' unanimous acclaim. Incorporating Military Class components, the Classic Series has an excellent reputation for quality and durability. All these distinctive products have made MSI a forerunner in the middle-range and high-end market. Also adding to the lineup are cloud servers, tailor-made IPCs, intelligent panoramic camera (Panocam), robotic appliances and human-centric vehicle electronics that further demonstrate MSI's strengths and endeavors in consumer, commercial and IOT (Internet of Things) markets.

MSI, now a powerhouse in the world of computing devices, was formed all the way back in 1986. Since then, the company has managed to expand into nearly every sector of the market. Fueling that rise was the nearly unrivaled attention to brand identity and marketing. This well-executed campaign in regards to products, marketing, and careful expansion has paved the way for their rise as a leading manufacturer. Graphics cards, motherboards, laptops, all-in-one systems, fully featured desktops, even CPU coolers and fans: all these products tie into the MSI and MSI Gaming brands. With such a solid core to build around, it's no wonder MSI continues to be an absurdly popular brand in today's crowded PC enthusiast market.

Today, I will be looking at their MSI GS63VR 7RF Raider 213 laptop. This 15.6" model features an Intel Kabylake Core i7-7700HQ quad core for number crunching and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 for gaming. When it comes to the screen, it's a 1080p TN panel with a 3 ms response time and 120Hz refresh rate. Overall, this laptop from MSI has some seriously nice specifications for just $1699.

Specifications
Manufacturer:MSI
Model:GE63VR 7RF Raider 213
Size:15.08 x 10.24 x 1.08 inches
38.3 x 26.0 x 2.74 cm
Weight:4.85 lbs
2.19 kg
Processor:Intel Core i7-7700HQ
2.80 GHz (3.80 GHz Turbo)
Chipset:Intel HM175
Display:15.6" Screen
Full HD 1920x1080 120Hz 3ms
Anti-Glare, wide view angle, 94% NTSC
Operating System:Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Integrated Graphics:Intel HD Graphics 630
Dedicated Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
8 GB GDDR5
Memory:16 GB (1x 16 GB) 2400 MHz DDR4
2x SO-DIMMs slots
64 GB max supported *model dependent
Storage:256 GB M.2 SATA SSD
Optical Drive:None
Connectivity:1x HDMI (4k@60Hz)
1x Mini DisplayPort v1.2
1x USB 3.1 Type C
1x SD (XC/HC) card reader
1x Headphone jack
1x Microphone jack
3x USB 3.0
Communications:Killer Gaming Network E2500 LAN
Killer N1435 Combo (2*2 ac) WLAN
Bluetooth 4.1
Audio:Realtek HD Audio ALC1220 with Nahimic software
2x Speakers + 2 Subwoofer)
Input device:Synaptics SMBus TouchPad
Steel Series full color backlight keyboard
720p HD Webcam
Power:230-watt AC adapter
6-cell (51Whr) battery
Warranty:1 year limited
1 year global
MSRP:$1699

Packaging and Contents


The box the MSI GE63VR Raider ships in is decorated with a huge mechanical dragon. It certainly feels like an MSI product just by looking at the box. The back details various features and inclusions, such as cooler boost, a 120 Hz display, Steelseries RGB keyboard, and more. It offers decent protection and does what a box should do.


Upon opening the box, users will find the laptop inside a black cloth bag with a few pieces of PR material detailing some of the laptop's features. User guides, warranty leaflet, charger, and power cable are all inside separate compartments or underneath the unit itself.


When it comes to the bundle, you could call it perfect. After all, it does contain everything needed to get the system up and running.
  • Laptop
  • User guides
  • Warranty info
  • Support contact info
  • Battery charger
  • HDD screws
  • HDD bracket

A Closer Look


The top of the unit features a couple of red stripes hearkening to the MSI Gaming brand. Same thing with the MSI dragon badge that is prominently displayed as well. Moving to the bottom, you will see a large number of vents for air intake, as well as a few rubber and plastic feet.


The front has a couple of LED indicators front and center that are barely noticeable; you won't find anything else of interest here. On the left side is where we start seeing some connectivity options—HDMI offering 4K@60Hz, miniDP 1.2, Ethernet, USB 3.0 Type A, and USB 3.1 Type C. Headphone and microphone jacks are also located here, as well as the Kensington security slot.


Moving to the rear of the GE63VR Raider, you will notice two fairly large exhaust ports and not much else aside from a continuation of the red and black design theme. Finally, the right side has an SD card reader, two USB 3.0 ports, and the power port.


The keyboard is similar to others offered in MSI's gaming laptop series. It's typical Steelseries with per-key RGB functionality. When it comes to the trackpad, it is slightly off center. An HD 720p web cam has been put into the middle of the display's top bezel. The power button is on the right side. I find its design a bit awkward, but it works fine. Meanwhile, the two other buttons each serve a useful function. One allows for instant max fan RPM for the best possible cooling performance, and the other handles the RGB keyboard changing between various presets.

A look Inside


Opening up the MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider is honestly pretty easy. Just remove the screws and gently lift the bottom plastic plate up, being careful not to break the plastic tabs. Once that's done, you have full access to the entire system. The cooling system is quite robust with seven heatpipes divided up and moving heat to the two heatsinks and fans. To improve efficiency, the unit exhausts that accumulated heat out the sides and back.


This version of the GE63VR Raider from MSI does not feature an HDD, which in my opinion is somewhat of a good thing as it does feature a 2.5 inch drive bay and an extra M.2 slot, giving the more DIY friendly types the ability to pick and choose their own extra storage, be it SSD, HDD, or M.2, and save a few bucks. Wireless LAN access is handled by the Killer 1435, a 2x2 802.11ac adapter with Bluetooth 4.1. The M.2 SSD is from Kingston; its model number is RBU-SMS8152S3, and it has a capacity of 256 GB. Its rated baseline read and write speeds are 550/330 MB/s respectively, and Kingston states its endurance to be 300 TB.


When it comes to the memory, MSI decided to use a single 16 GB module from Kingston. It is rated at 17-17-17-39 CR2 at 2400 MHz. The battery with model name BTY-M6H is a Li-ion offering that is rated at 10.86 v, 4730 mAh, and 51 Wh.
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