Now on to the good stuff. First we’ll take a look at how the GS63VR performs in 3DMark.
The GS63VR is only a few percent slower than a similar GTX 1060 laptop we previously tested, the GS43VR Phantom Pro. While the GS63VR is consistently behind the GS43VR, the difference is small enough to not be an issue.
In real world games, the GS63VR performs essentially as well as the GS43VR, indicating the GTX 1060 in here is just as good as the implementation in MSI’s 14-inch gaming laptop. There are no concerns with thermal or power throttling here, so with the GS63VR you’ll be getting the full performance of the GTX 1060 at all times.
Relative to a last-generation system with a GTX 970M inside, the GS63VR is 40 to 50 percent faster at 1080p depending on the game at hand. Considering both GPUs fit in a similar thermal and power envelope, this is a great result, and there’s certainly reason to upgrade from a Maxwell-powered system.
The cooling solution in the GS63VR is decent but limited. In terms of noise, it’s reasonably quiet for a triple-fan solution with only small heatsinks – it’s much quieter than the Alienware 15, for example – however under load it does produce an audible high-pitched jet engine whine. This noise can be blocked out by game audio from the internal speakers, though I’d still recommend a good set of external speakers or headphones anyway.
When both the CPU and GPU are pegged at 100% usage, the cooling solution is merely average: the GPU sits at around 84°C, while the CPU can reach as high as 95°C. Having the CPU reach such high temperatures does put it in the realm of throttling, however I didn’t experience any noticeable long term performance difference between the GS63VR and other gaming laptops with this hardware inside.
When stressing the CPU alone it hit temperatures of just 84°C, so there are no concerns when using this laptop for video rendering, for example. For interests sake, during a 3DMark Fire Strike run, the CPU reached no higher than 83°C while the GPU sat at 76°C.
Surface temperatures I experienced were also average. The WASD keys hit around 38°C under load, which is fine for extended gaming sessions, and parts of the keyboard near the 6 and 7 keys hit 44°C. The upper right corner of the chassis is somewhere you won’t want to touch: it hit 45°C and conducts heat quite well due to its metal construction. There’s also a hot spot on the underside of the chassis that easily hits above 60°C, which doesn’t make this the best system for gaming on your lap.