MSI GE60 Apache Pro-003 15.6-Inch Laptop Review

MSI GE60 Apache Pro-003 15.6-Inch Laptop

The MSI GE60 Apache Pro-003 15.6-Inch Laptop is an impressively powerful gaming laptop, packed with computing muscle that is tucked away inside a stylish aluminum lid.

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At its heart is a fourth generation Intel Core i7-4700HQ processor. This high-specification, quad-core processor is specifically designed to provide a good balance between computing performance and power consumption in premium laptops. Featuring Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, each core is able to automatically adjust its own speed, as needed, from the base speed of 2.4 GHz up to a maximum of 3.3 GHz. It also supports Hyperthreading, which enables each core to handle up to two threads in parallel. Together, these techniques ensure that the processor always makes best use of its available resources, conserving power when it can, and delivering maximum performance when it’s needed.

The processor is supported by 8 GB of DDR3L memory, which should be more than sufficient to allow the preinstalled copy of Windows 8.1 to run well, multitasking your favorite applications without difficulty. Of course, more memory is almost always better. Conveniently, this machine is shipped with one 8 GB module installed in one of the machine’s two memory sockets, meaning that a second 8 GB module could easily be added to give a maximum of 16 GB, should you need it.

A 1024 GB, 7200 RPM Hard Disk Drive (HDD) provides permanent storage for all your documents, music, movies and, of course games. As with the system’s memory, this should be more than enough for many purposes. However, if more – or faster – storage is required, the machine has two mSata slots, in addition to the factory fitted hard disk, meaning that it would be an easy matter to add more, faster storage as needed.

It’s good to see that MSI have seen fit to include a DVD-RW optical drive in this laptop. Although they are not, perhaps, as important as they once were, they are still incredibly useful to have, if only for watching movies from your collection or installing software from physical media, and the presence of an optical drive in this machine is definitely a plus point.

Pros :

  • Powerful, yet lightweight gaming laptop
  • Intel Core i7-4700HQ 3.2 GHz processor
  • 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM
  • 1024 GB 7200 rpm Hard Drive
  • NVIDIA Geforce GTX860M with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM
  • 15.6-Inch Screen
  • Windows 8.1

Cons :

  • Touchpad may need settings adjusting for best performance

The machine’s 15.6-inch, full HD (16:9,1920 x 1080 pixel) anti-reflective display is driven by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX860M with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM discrete graphics card. This is an powerful, DirecrtX 11-compatible graphics card based on NVIDIA’s Maxwell architecture. It offers a number of improvements over older, Kepler-based cards, including greatly reduced power consumption. It should be capable of handling many modern games in full HD resoltion, and very high detail settings, although the most challenging games may require lower resolutions.

No matter how good the machine’s 15.6-inch display may be, the time will almost certainly come when you want – or need – to use a bigger, external display. For those occasions, the machine offers both an HDMI port for connecting to modern HDTVs, and a legacy VGA port for connecting to older monitors. The machine also supports Miracast, allowing you to share your laptop screen to a projector or external display without the need for cables.

For gamers, high-speed networking is often vital, and the GE60 Apache Pro-003 (model number GE60 Apache Pro-003;9S7-16GF11-003) is easily capable of delivering on that score. For wired networking, the machine offers Killer E2200 Game Networking, which enables you to automatically prioritize network traffic belonging to games, HD video and high quality audio, all under your control from the Killer Network Manager. Wireless networking is also well served, with the machine offering Intel’s 802.11 ac, dual-band, 1×1 Wi-Fi for the best possible connection speeds, coverage and energy efficiency.

Other connectivity options include two standard USB 2.0 ports and two high speed USB 3.0 ports. for wired peripherals, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 for wireless devices. A media card reader and headphone / microphone jacks round off the usual array of ports and sockets.

The machine is video-chat capable right out of the box, thanks to a built-in webcam. Since the supplied copy of Windows 8.1 includes the popular Skype video chat software, all you need to do is sign in to your account (or create a new one) and you’ll be chatting with friends and colleagues in minutes.

Measuring 15.09 x 9.83 x 1.46 inches and weighing just 5.3 pounds, this is definitely one of the lighter and more easily portable gaming laptops on the market. And, thanks to the ultra-configurable, high-quality, backlit SteelSeries Gaming Keyboard, you will be able to carry on gaming no matter what the local light conditions are.

Overall, MSI GE60 Apache Pro-003 15.6-Inch Laptop is an excellent choice for gamers and others who want, or need, powerful computing and graphics capabilities in an easily portable package. If you’re looking for gaming laptop – particularly one that is lightweight yet still powerful – this could well be the machine for you.

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