MSI GS43VR 7RE Laptop Review
We loved the GS63VR 7RF so it is no great surprise that we also love the GS43 7RE.
The biggest problem with the GS63 was that 4K display. Now we know that 4K is the latest hype train, probably soon to be replaced by HDR displays and then OLED ones, but the problems with a 4K display are twofold and neither of them are things that you will find being shouted from the rooftops by the marketing department, or even by a lot of websites. Firstly you need an awful lot of GPU horsepower to game at that resolution. We think the GTX 1080 was the first single GPU that produced frame rates you'd enjoy gaming at, so it's not a massive shock that the GTX 1060 in the MSI GS range didn't quite cut the mustard. The second thing is one of display size. To notice, really notice, the benefits of 4K you need to be on a 24" display at the absolute minimum, and 30" or above in reality. Obviously nobody has produced a 30" laptop, and we're very pleased about that. Sure if you don't want to game then the GPU isn't so important, but you still need to be able to read text and doing so at 4K on anything below 30" or so is headache inducing at best. Unless you magnify the desktop, then why bother with 4K?
Thankfully the GS43VR 7RE of today's review comes with an infinitely more sensible, and usable, 1080 display. This has more than enough pixel density to still give you smooth fonts and high quality media playback, without driving yourself crazy attempting to read anything. Beneath that display the hardware of the GS43 is the same as that in the GS63, and will provide years of good performance to any task you throw at it. The combination of an M.2 SSD drive and the Intel Core i7-7700HQ has enough heft to succeed in all but the most demanding tasks - although it can do anything up to rendering complicated 3D films as long as you're willing to be patient - and the GTX1060 is much happier at a native resolution of 1920x1080 than it was at 3840x2160.
The only other change between the two GS laptops is the chassis on the GS43 is slightly different to that on the GS63. They're both very thin, and both look the business in their brushed aluminium black finish. However, the GS43 definitely got hot during use. In CineBench, the hardest test this side of a specific stress test, we saw 99°C on the CPU and in our gaming tests we reached 95°C on the GPU. That is considerably warmer than we're comfortable with, and the fan noise that accompanied it wasn't all that pleasurable either.
But, for the money, and assuming you wear headphones a lot, the GS43VR 7RE is well worth taking a closer look at, with its combination of fast components and an affordable price tag, so it wins our OC3D Gamers Choice Award.