Hardware Overview and Storage Performance

Here’s the part you’re really interested in: the internal hardware. Like I mentioned earlier, most of the hardware in the GS43VR 6RE Phantom Pro is similar to the previous 14-inch GS40 6QE Phantom, and there’s only one model of this laptop that I could find on the market.

The CPU included in this laptop is an Intel Core i7-6700HQ, which we’ve reviewed before in a wide range of gaming laptops. The i7-6700HQ is a four-core, eight-thread processor clocked at 2.6 GHz, with Turbo boost taking a single core as high as 3.5 GHz. This 14nm CPU packs 6 MB of L3 cache, a 45W TDP, and an integrated GPU that is largely unused in a gaming laptop.

The GPU is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, which packs the same core configuration as the equivalent desktop graphics card, but uses slightly lower clock speeds. We’re looking at a 16nm Pascal GP106 GPU with 1280 CUDA cores, 80 texture units, and 48 ROPs. The GPU is clocked at 1404 MHz and has a boost clock of 1670 MHz, which is 38 MHz lower than the desktop card at boost. Oddly, Nvidia lists the mobile part as having a TDP of 85W, while the desktop card is rated at 120W, which points to more aggressive throttling on the mobile part.

The GTX 1060 in notebooks uses the same memory system as on desktop cards: 6 GB of GDDR5 clocked at 8000 MHz on a 192-bit but providing 192 GB/s of bandwidth. As for the regular system memory, there’s 16 GB of DDR4 in this laptop, clocked at 2400 MHz.

Storage is split between a solid state drive for booting Windows and a small handful of applications, plus a larger 2.5-inch hard drive for storing a whole bunch of games. The model of the GS43VR that’s actually available to purchase includes a 128 GB PCIe NVMe SSD, whereas the model I received to review included a 256 GB Samsung PCIe NVMe drive. There’s also a 1 TB HGST hard drive inside, spinning at 7,200 RPM.

As expected, the Samsung drive provided in my review model produces excellent performance. It should be noted that this drive, being a 256 GB model, will not necessarily provide the same performance as retail 128 GB units.

The GS43VR includes Killer DoubleShot Pro networking, which includes gigabit LAN and a Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac on 2.4 and 5.0 GHz bands, and there’s also Bluetooth 4.1 support. The included speakers are found along the front edge and aren’t particularly decent, but suffice for the occasional video.

While the battery capacity is the same as last year's model (61 Wh), there has been a reduction in battery life perhaps due to the inclusion of the slightly more power hungry GTX 1060. However, as we're talking about a gaming laptop and not an ultraportable, it's no surprise that the GS43VR lacks in the battery department.