Graphics and Storage Performance

In 3DMark, the GTX 1050 is progressively slower than the GTX 1060 as the tests become more GPU-intense, finishing 39 percent slower in Fire Strike. Similarly, the GTX 1050 is 11 percent slower than the GTX 970M in Fire Strike. Unfortunately I don't have a GTX 960M to test against, but you could safely assume the GTX 1050 is a good bit faster.

In a range of games I tested, the GTX 1050 was anywhere from 5 to 15 percent slower than the GTX 970M, and around 35 to 50 percent slower than the GTX 1060. Considering the GTX 1050 is Nvidia's new entry-level laptop GPU, these results aren't surprising: the GPU provides much better performance than Intel's integrated graphics, but it can't (and isn't meant) to outperform current and last-generation mid-range GPUs.

It serves its purpose as a replacement for the GTX 960M quite well, offering better performance in the same price and power bracket.

So what does this mean for the actual gaming experience?

Well, at 1080p you're not going to be able to play today's games at maximum quality settings. In Rise of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (among others), the GTX 1050 did not hit 30 FPS with everything cranked up to the max. But if you reduce the quality down to high or medium settings, the frame rate will jump above 30 FPS and you'll get a passable, though not particularly smooth experience.

In older games like BioShock Infinite and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, you can achieve 50 to 60 FPS at maximum settings, while in a game like GTA V you'll have to turn down a few settings to hit a playable frame rate.

And this is the general story of the MSI GE62 with the GTX 1050: the GPU is powerful enough to play modern games, but not powerful enough to play them at the highest settings. You'll find yourself turning things down, tweaking settings and sliders to hit that perfect combination of performance and quality, which is perfectly fine for an entry-level gaming notebook.

On less intense titles like Overwatch, CS: Go, Dota 2, Rocket League and so forth, the GTX 1050 is more than capable of playing these titles at upwards of 60 FPS. If you're more interested in these games, there's not much point spending more on a GTX 1060 laptop.

The cooling solution in the GE62 is very effective. Using AIDA64's stability test, CPU temperatures topped out at 72°C when only the CPU was stressed. With everything stressed, the CPU pushed out to over 90°C while the GPU sat at a respectable 64°C. In an actual game like Batman: Arkham Knight, CPU and GPU temperatures reached 73°C and 64°C under sustained load.

To achieve these temperatures, the cooler isn't particularly quiet. It's not the loudest laptop cooler I've reviewed, but the whine of these fans can be audible above game noise in some circumstances. It gets even louder when you press the turbo fan button, located above the keyboard, which improves temperatures significantly at the expense of noise.

The 128GB M.2 PCIe NVMe drive isn't large enough for my liking, but it's certainly fast. Compared to other gaming laptops I've tested, the SSD in the GE62 performs closer to high-end systems than entry-level systems, which is great news for this machine.