Review of the MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro gaming notebook
When we think of a laptop it is usual that the first thing that comes to mind is a light device that you can carry with you whenever you want, with a size contained to fit in any briefcase or backpack and a good autonomy with the ability to use it in any Place without worrying about having a plug nearby.
However, when we think of a gaming laptop, these features automatically seem to fade and pass into the background, finding laptops weighing more than 3 kilos, with 17-inch screens and a battery is clearly low.
In this analysis of the MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro, we will discover a different concept since it is a very compact laptop to be gaming and lighter than other devices of the same rank, you can really take you where you want without having to leave behind Carrying it.
Underneath that compact chassis is a gaming laptop capable of delivering excellent graphic performance in the most demanding games and even dares with virtual reality and all with a quality in its components that are well worth every euro that costs this computer designed by and for Players who, like good perfumes, come in small bottles.
Without further ado, go ahead with the review of the MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro!
The first thing that draws attention to the removal of this notebook is its small dimensions and little weight, something that sets it apart from other similar computers and whose standard seems to have been located on the screens of 15.6 inches and the 2, 5 kg in weight.
The exterior design has been taken care of down to the smallest detail, showing a sleek black brushed metal finish on its cover. The MSI dragon emblem occupies a prominent place on the lid and upon lighting it we discover that it is illuminated. It should be mentioned, as a curious note, that this shield is protected by a glass Corning Gorilla Glass. Just above it, is placed the name of the mark finished off by a thin metallic line in red color that remarks the silhouette of the laptop.
The insertion of this line is not accidental and is used to make a change of finish in the material of the cover put, although it looks really fantastic, it is a real magnet for the prints. That way, at least you will avoid the marks your fingers will inevitably leave when opening the lid.
The aggressive touch puts two ribs that give volume to the flat surface, as if the hood of a sports car was, something that certainly invites you to open the lid to check its power.
One of the great achievements of this gaming notebook from MSI is that they have managed to integrate the components of high performance that form it, in a chassis of only 34.5 x 24.5 x 2.28 cm, which is put to the level The standard size of many ultrabooks and convertible laptops.
When you open the lid, everything is said, you can do it easily with only one hand, we find a design on the same line. Two ribs at the ends reduce the height of the deck that skirts the keyboard designed by SteelSeries by a few millimeters, showing the same black brushed metal finish that we have already seen on the cover.
By carefully reading the MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro keyboard, you can see that it is slightly curved down the sides to make it more ergonomic during use.
In the upper left corner is the power button that includes an LED light whose utility is not limited to indicating that the notebook is in use, but depending on the color of that light, indicates if the graphics card is used in the Processor or the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU.
The material chosen for the sides and the back of the cover is black polycarbonate in which holes have been left for the connectors and the numerous ventilation grilles that stand out in red color.
The compact size of the MSI GS43VR 7RE makes it ideal to choose a 14-inch screen that lets you enjoy your favorite games without compromising the portability that is supposed to any laptop, but in the case of gaming laptops is more unusual.
In this sense, we must say that MSI has made an excellent choice with the screen that mounts your compact gaming computer. We speak of a 14-inch matt IPS screen with Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) manufactured by LG, which gives a density of 157 dpi.
The panel that mounts the MSI GS43VR 7RE offers a very balanced performance with a good level of contrast and brightness in the images and very wide viewing angles, allowing to continue to see what happens on the screen from a side or inclined position and without Only loss of quality in the intensity of colors. This will be very useful to avoid having to constantly adjust the inclination of the screen during games.
The approximately 270 units offered by the MSI GS43VR 2017 display allow enjoyable visibility even on exteriors, where sunlight tests most devices.
On the other hand, if your intention is to save battery to the maximum in your gaming laptop, the panel chosen by MSI offers a really low brightness adjustment, thus optimizing the battery consumption when you use it indoors or with less demanding tasks.
Performance and temperatures
We came to one of the strengths in this review of the MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro of 2017, which is none other than the performance offered by all its components.
In this aspect it is possible to say that the performance of this portable designed to play has been as spectacular as already promised its spec sheet and, neither its Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake, nor the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 that hides under the casing have faltered in None of the performance tests we have performed in this MSI GS43VR analysis .
The processor chosen by MSI for this gaming Laptop is the more than solvent Intel Core i7 7700HQ of 4 physical cores and 8 threads running at a working frequency of 2.8 GHz which, thanks to Intel Turbo Boost technology will get your Speed up to 3.8 GHz. To this, we add the 32 GB DDR4 RAM distributed in two Kingston modules from 16 GB to 2400 MHz that integrates the unit we have analyzed.
|Cinebench R15 (CPU / GPU)||699 cb / 82.44 fps|
|Unigine Heaven 4.0 Ultra|
(min / max / media / score)
|23.3 fps / 156.7 fps / 81.6 fps / 2056 points|
|Unigine VR Superposition Benchmark (Low / Medium)||9.967 / 5.831 points|
|Geekbench (openCL / CPU Single / Multi CPU)||127.705 / 4388/14259 points|
|3DMark 11||12,680 points|
|CrystalDiskMark (read / write) SSD – HDD||2.207 / 1.588 MB / sec – 133.8 / 121.8 MB / s|
|CPU-Z Benchmark (Single / Multi-Thread)||1716/6992 points|
|3D Mark Fire Strike / Sky Diver / Time Spy||9,745 / 24,447 / 3,698 points|
To round off the play, a Nvidia GeForce GTX1060 graphics card with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory will be responsible for providing this MSI gaming notebook with all the graphics power you need to play the most demanding titles with the highest quality.
The Full HD resolution that supports the MSI GS43VR display allows playing such demanding titles as Rise of the Tomb Raider or Battlefield 1 or Mass Effect Andromeda in the highest quality with a range of between 50 and 60 fps stable, while for others Games with higher consumption like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will only reach that average using the medium quality adjustment, although by configuring to the maximum the graphic quality of this game you can also play it smoothly.
|Battlefield 1 (Ultra DX11 and DX12)||60 fps|
(Medium / High / Ultra)
|79 fps / 74 fps / 69 fps|
|Mass Effect Andromeda (High / Ultra)||55 fps / 47 fps|
|The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Medium / High)||60 fps / 47 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (High / Very High)||60 fps / 55 fps|
Few doubts arise, since the future in video games, goes through the virtual reality. MSI does not want to miss that train and with the GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro have been uploaded to it offering enough hardware to power the graphical complexity that requires displaying virtual reality content.
The results obtained in the specific benchmarks for virtual reality, the MSI GS43VR 7RE has achieved remarkable scores that not only qualify it as a laptop capable of running content in virtual reality, but can also do so with good graphic quality, as well Is demonstrated by the 5831 points that the MSI we analyzed has obtained in Superposition Benchmark adjusting the graphical quality at medium level.
This excellent gaming performance puts you at the same level as any desktop gaming computer, but with the advantage of the portability of its small size and weight.
The fact that it has managed to mount a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 and an Intel Core i7 7700HQ in a compact case, bills the small MSI GS43VR 7RE which, despite having the independent cooling system MSI Cooler Boost 3, Can not keep temperatures at bay when higher performance is demanded.
This cooling system consists of two separate fans that are responsible for separately cooling the CPU and the GPU through three air outlets, instead of doing it together as usual. In this way, it is possible to adapt the cooling to the real needs of each of these components, reducing noise and maximizing heat dissipation in each component.
While the MSI GS43VR performs non-demanding tasks using the integrated graphics card, it is virtually inaudible and has enough to keep the computer around 40 °, providing a very pleasant user experience.
When things get serious, the cooling system is noticed, generating up to 52 Db and the upper area of the keyboard considerably increases the temperature while the thermometer rises to 86 ° with amazing ease.
In our opinion, another for certain that we have found to make this review of MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro has been the choice of a combination of SSD and HDD as a storage system for this device.
In the case of this MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro we are analyzing , it is a configuration composed of a solid state M.2 type disk with 512 GB PCI-E ( NVMe ) interface manufactured by Samsung, which provides a performance Fantastic when it comes to running games and programs, reaching read rates of up to 2207 MB / s, while for massive data storage has relied on a 2.5 “HDD at 7,200 rpm HGST with 1 TB of capacity.
We insist that it seems a wise move since using an SSD of these characteristics in a gaming laptop makes perfect sense, bearing in mind that the games are getting heavier and require a greater bandwidth so that the load will not be eternalized Of levels in the games.
Maintenance and accessibility
Accessibility to internal components in a gaming laptop is essential to keep the computer in optimum condition for longer. In MSI, as a manufacturer specialized in gaming equipment are aware of this and have greatly simplified access to the inside of the equipment.
Eight screws and manufacturer’s warranty seal are the only obstacle that separates you from performing internal maintenance on your gaming laptop. Once the eight screws on the back of the device are removed, the protective case for the components is released and exposes the components of the computer that needs to be cleaned or updated, without any staples or fasteners.
Keyboard and touchpad
The MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro we are analyzing comes with a keyboard designed by SteelSeries, a benchmark in accessories for gaming and, as far as its operation, the sensations have been really good.
This is a red backlit island keyboard with the possibility to adjust it in two levels of intensity or turn it off completely. The keys are mounted on a scissor mechanism of low resistance to the pulsation. This makes it an ideal keyboard for typing for hours without the hands accusing fatigue, something in which the small curvature of the keyboard also does its bit.
The separation of the keys is also correct, although not so much their size and distribution, that can cause you some problem with the wrong keystrokes. This is the case of the Enter key that is strangely located under the cedilla (ç), and is somewhat smaller than the right Shift key, which causes, on more occasions than desired, the press to go to the cedilla key or The Shift key.
Something similar can happen to you if you use the arrows of the cursor during your games where, the small size of these keys can cause accidental pulsations in the Shift right key, instead of in the Up arrow. Something that during a game can mean a fatal error.
Of what there is no doubt is the good operation of the touchpad that integrates the GS43VR Phantom Pro of MSI. It has a generous size and a contour perfectly delimited by a small highlight with red finish. This facilitates its use since it allows you to use it without looking where you click and offers a precise response to all the gestures and pulsations, being able to perform the pressing of the main button from any point of the touchpad.
The sound is not exactly the strong point of this device although, using the sound processing software included in the computer, and a little further down we show you in more detail, it improves the sound quality of the notebook.
The MSI GS43VR Phantom Pro 2017 includes a pair of 2W speakers located at both ends of the front edge and, by themselves and without audio processing software, do not offer the quality and sound power you expect to find in a Computer designed to play.
In this sense, the absence of a bass-boosting subwoofer will penalize him and it is possible that, as a compact device, the lack of space could have played against this much-needed feature on a notebook for gamers.
Fortunately, audio software developed by Nahimic does an excellent job providing directionality to the audio of your games by emulating 7.1 sound and equalizing it for a more immersive sound experience in games, music or movies.
In your favor, we will say that everything that flakes as far as the sound of your speakers, compensates more when you connect a headset of quality since in that case, you will be making use of the DAC ESS Saber Hi-Fi of 24bit and 192 KHz Integrated solution that gives you excellent high-resolution sound quality.
Software and applications
In many cases, the software included by the manufacturer does not respond to the real needs of the user. Fortunately, it is not the case that concerns us and in this laptop, we find a battery of programs that will be very useful for the most enthusiastic gamers.
We will start with what can be considered the true control center of the MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro: Dragon Center. This tool allows controlling the performance of the computer from a control panel very simple to configure.
Dragon Center is divided into several tabs from which control various sections in the configuration of the computer and allows, for example, monitor the resources, components, and temperatures of the computer at a glance.
But what really makes this MSI tool useful is found in the System Tuner tab. From this section it is possible to activate the functions for virtual reality of the device, speed the speed of access to storage, change the sound mode, adjust the cooling system of the equipment and, more importantly, configure the performance of the equipment choosing different Overclocking levels or customizing an overclocking profile for the computer.
Dragon Center also allows you to connect to the Dragon Dashboard app installed on your smartphone, from monitoring system temperatures and status during games, as well as modifying the performance and cooling profiles of the device from your smartphone.
Another of the installed applications is the one that Nahimic has developed, and allows to configure the sound controller of the laptop. Thanks to this tool, the sound of the device go from being mediocre to enjoying a 7.1 surround sound experience. Simply choose one of the pre-configured profiles for multimedia or games to notice a huge improvement in the sound quality of the computer.
On the other hand, the application Nahimic 2 offers support tools for games such as the Sound Tracker function that places a kind of sonar on the screen during the game and allows to visually detect the source of the sounds surrounding the protagonist, something that Can give you a certain advantage to get ahead of your enemies’ attacks even before they occur.
The Nahimic 2 audio control tool also includes a curious sound effects box that allows you to add special sound effects directly to game plays and streamings.
We also want to highlight the True Color utility, which allows you to configure the screen settings easily and get the best settings for brightness or color balance for each situation.
Network connections are a very serious thing for the optimal performance of a gaming machine. In this sense, Killer Control Center is responsible for managing everything related to the perfect operation of the Killer network chip that integrates the MSI computer by making available to the user all the necessary Wi-Fi analysis, bandwidth allocation and connection tools For a fast and stable Wi-Fi connection.
Since the MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro is a virtual reality-enabled notebook, among its embedded software repertoire we also find applications like TriDef VR, which allows you to turn your favorite games into 3D content that you can play from Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
The connectivity section is another key pillar for any laptop in general, but it is especially important in the case of computers designed to play since it is usual to connect external keyboards and mice, sound systems and even connect several monitors To the laptop to play on larger screens.
In this sense, the MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro comes very well equipped, both physical connections and ports, as well as wireless connectivity.
On the left side, we find an Ethernet port (RJ45) with Gigabit support, the power socket for the 180W power supply, a USB 3.0 port, the slot for the SD card reader (with support for XC and HC) and The 3.5mm jack to connect a microphone and headphones.
On the opposite side, we find an HDMI output that supports 4K resolutions at 30 Hz, a second USB 3.0 port, and a second generation C type USB 3.1 port with support for Thunderbolt 3 and DisplayPort. This port, besides allowing to charge the battery, also allows connecting external monitors with resolution 4K to 60 Hz.
Finally, on the back, we find a mini DisplayPort connector that can also be used to connect an additional external monitor to the laptop. This configuration allows you to choose the type of connector that best fits the monitor connections.
What’s better, the high performance offered by the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 that mounts the MSI GS43VR, allows connecting the three types of connectors simultaneously to get a configuration of up to 4 screens (3 external monitors and the integrated 14 “screen).
In terms of wireless connectivity, the MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro has Bluetooth 4.1 with which to wirelessly connect your peripherals to the laptop and Wi-Fi 802.11 as controlled by the Qualcomm Killer chip that provides a substantial improvement in speed and Stability of the Internet connection. Basic quality for a gaming computer, especially when you play online games in multiplayer mode or you want to use it to compete in eSports.
The MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro includes a webcam positioned in a centered position on the screen, which allows you to record with 720p resolution while playing for streaming.
Battery, the great subject pending
The autonomy is one of the great subjects pending for the manufacturers of portable equipment for games, and having a compact chassis does not facilitate the task since, to smaller internal space, less capacity of the battery. The MSI GS43VR Phantom Pro mounts a 4-cell lithium-polymer battery which, according to the battery’s own silk screen, has a capacity of 61 Wh.
In the autonomy tests we have done for this analysis of the MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro, we have configured the equipment to get the best performance of the notebook in the games by choosing a power profile of maximum performance and adjusting the brightness of the screen to 100%. In these circumstances, the MSI laptop battery has given us just over an hour and a half of uninterrupted play.
However, lowering the energy required to more conservative levels, it is not difficult to reach the four hours of use by combining navigation, office tasks, video streaming, etc.
In this regard, the combination of a c configuration computer performance work property by Dragon Center, with profiles of more conservative Power Windows, manage to keep content consumption, with which lengthen the time of computer use. However, the results of our tests are within the average usage time of other similar gaming laptops and are reasonable considering the excellent performance offered by this hardware.
The final conclusion we get from the MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro is that it is a team designed not to have to give up a game anywhere, because its compact dimensions and light weight make it a device that you can really carry with you Holiday without fear of breaking your back by weight or taking up too much space in your luggage.
The choice of the 14-inch IPS panel with Full HD resolution and the connection possibilities for external screens has been a great success on the part of MSI, since it allows to enjoy the games with a good graphic quality and stable fps rates using the Native screen to maintain a content consumption, while leaving open the possibility of unleashing the full potential of this notebook with 4K resolutions and virtual reality when you are at home.
In terms of performance, the MSI GS43VR 7RE of 2017 has shown impeccable performance even in very demanding games, keeping the type with good rates of stable fps even with the graphic adjustments to the maximum.
However, this good performance comes at a price and this compact gaming computer pays for it by sacrificing battery life and with slightly higher temperatures than desirable. On the other hand, without leaving aside the price to be paid, you can find the MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro with different configurations in terms of storage capacity and RAM from 1,581.71 euros, up to 1,975 euros that cost the MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro of this review.
In our opinion, it is in a reasonable price range taking into account the excellent performance it offers, disputing its place in the same price range as equipment that assembles components with lower performance.
Generally speaking, the MSI GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro is a gaming computer that is worth considering if you are interested in a laptop that is really wearable and, like the good perfume bottles, have a suggestive exterior, but The really impressive thing comes to uncover it and discover all the power that it encloses under its delicate aspect.