MSI GS43VR Phantom Pro Review: A fast, reasonably compact gaming laptop

By Scorpus ยท 8 replies
Oct 7, 2016
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  1. A few weeks ago I reviewed the Asus ROG G752VS, a massive gaming laptop with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 inside. Asus’ offering is powerful, but just too large to be a practical, portable gaming machine, which is why I reached out to MSI. They sent over their GS43VR 6RE Phantom Pro, a 14-inch gaming laptop that packs a GTX 1060 GPU and Core i7 CPU.

    The GTX 1060 is Nvidia’s latest upper mid-range discrete graphics chip that succeeds the aging GTX 970M. This isn’t just a minor upgrade, though: the GTX 1060 should significantly outperform the GTX 970M on paper, and narrowly beat the GTX 980M at a lower power cost and with a less beefy cooling solution. Packing a very similar spec sheet to the desktop GTX 1060, Nvidia is positioning the GPU as the perfect part for 1080p and even 1440p gaming.

    Read the complete review.

  2. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +902

    What's the weight on this little beast? I'm really liking the newest gaming laptop models but I think you missed two important details, temperatures it achieves (Yes, you said it leaves no room for OC anything so that means maximum T permitted by components) and how much it weights.
  3. cldmstrsn

    cldmstrsn TS Addict Posts: 141   +90

    I just dont get how a 970m could beat a 980m in some of these benchmarks. I ran the same tests on my 980m and it always beat the 970m score. I know different companies have different power settings and cooling solutions. just seems weird.
  4. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +902

    To tell you the truth I didn't stop on the charts in detail, but I'm seriously impressed now that the 970m beats on most of the graphs the Alienware 15 with a 980m, and where the 980m wins is only by a couple frames, it's really baffling.
    cldmstrsn likes this.
  5. Scorpus

    Scorpus TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 1,963   +231

    Yes this surprises me as well, but I definitely ran the tests on the Alienware 15 in the same way that I ran the tests on every other laptop I tested. In some cases the results don't align with the Origin EON15-X, which also uses a 980M, but in some cases it does. This is probably an Alienware 15 specific issue and could be related to the 4K display, though again I'm not 100% sure.
    Reehahs and cldmstrsn like this.
  6. Techstar

    Techstar TS Member Posts: 94   +18

    14" screen is just too tiny to play games on IMO. I love my 18" ROG Asus. I also like having enough weight so it doesn't move around any while playing and feel flimsy.
  7. condelio

    condelio TS Rookie

    Hey, some months ago I was in the search for a replacement machine for my asus g750 and a friend of mine offered me his alienware 15 w/ 980m.. I ended up not buying it because of constant complaints of the gpu downclocking.. (if my memory serves me well) due to excessive heat (there were some bios updates that fixed fan profiles) and mainly because of the power brick not being of the correct power size.. hope they fix it this time.... and related to this machine imho the asus gl502 w/1060 looks more tempting with no optimus, with gsync, a liiittle bit better temperatures and costing 100usd less
    Reehahs likes this.
  8. Techstar

    Techstar TS Member Posts: 94   +18

    Not sure if that's a stock photo or not, but you'd think the photographer would at least clean off the dust and hair on the keyboard before taking the shot. lol
  9. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 574   +316

    Alienware sounds more like Alien(be)ware.

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