An extremely powerful gaming laptop in a stylish chassis
The MSI GE70 2PE Apache Pro is one of the most stunning gaming laptops we’ve ever seen. Not only does it have a stylish black and red 17.3in chassis and SteelSeries keyboard, it also uses the brand-new Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics processor to deliver excellent frame rates.
GRAPHICS POWER …
The GTX 860M uses 2GB of DDR5 memory and is supposed to be 10 per cent faster than a GTX 760M graphics chip, one of the most capable graphics chips we’ve tested. For reference, the Gigabyte P34G, which uses a GTX 760M, delivered an average frame rate of 97.5fps in our Dirt Showdown test at a resolution of 1,280×720 with graphics set to High quality and 4x anti-aliasing. The GE70 2PE Apache Pro tore through the same test with a blistering average frame rate of 110.1fps, so Nvidia’s claim that the GTX 860M is 10 per cent faster is pretty accurate.
This is by far the highest frame rate we’ve seen in our Dirt Showdown laptop test, and we had no problem playing the game at the laptop’s native 1,920×1,080 resolution. With graphics quality set to High, the GE70 produced an excellent 88.2fps. With graphics quality set to Ultra, the GE70 produced a mightily impressive 47.1fps, so you should have no trouble whatsoever playing the latest 3D games. The Gigabyte P34G produced an average frame rate of 64.7fps with graphics quality set to High, which shows just how powerful the MSI GE70 2PE Apache Pro is.
To see how well the GE70 2PE Apache Pro handles more demanding games, we ran our demanding Crysis 3 test. Even the best gaming laptops have produced only around 20fps with High quality graphics at a resolution of 1,920×1,080 and 4x anti-aliasing, but the GE70 produced a much smoother 28.8fps. This is outstanding, and those few extra frames make the game playable at these settings. With Low quality graphics, the GE70 produced an even quicker 39.4fps, so it’s safe to say that the GE70 2PE Apache Pro will be able to handle almost any game you throw at it for a few years to come.
… AND APPLICATION MUSCLE
The laptop’s quad core processor makes it a highly capable desktop replacement too, with the 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-4700HQ processor and huge 16GB of RAM scoring a blistering 96 overall in our multimedia benchmarks. This is just four points off our reference Core i5-3570K desktop processor, and the GE70 can handle even the most demanding multimedia programs with ease.
The GE70 2PE Apache Pro’s SteelSeries keyboard makes it a joy to type on. The keys have plenty of travel and sprung back quickly, and they were sensibly spaced to accommodate the numeric keypad. We’re also big fans of the keyboard’s multi-coloured backlight, but this can be turned off if you prefer.
The large all-in-one touchpad was equally responsive and the lower half gave a pleasing amount of feedback when we clicked on files and icons. Multitouch gestures were easy to control, and Windows 8 gestures worked perfectly every time.
|Processor||Intel Core i7-4700HQ|
|Processor clock speed||2.4GHz|
|Memory slots free||0|
|Sound||Realtek HD Audio|
|Viewable size||17.3 in|
|Graphics Processor||Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M|
|Graphics/video ports||VGA, HDMI|
|Total storage capacity||1,256GB|
|Optical drive type||DVD+/-RW +/-DL|
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Wireless networking support||802.11ac|
|PC Card slots||N/A|
|Supported memory cards||SD, SDHC, SDXC|
|Other ports||headphone, microphone|
|Operating system||Windows 8.1|
|Operating system restore option||restore partition|
|Warranty||two years collect and return|