FEATHERWEIGHT BRUISER

MSI GS40 6QE Phantom

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST - By Peter Chu

The per­for­mance of gam­ing note­books are of­ten times pro­por­tion­ate with their phys­i­cal size: the big­ger they are, the more pow­er­ful they will likely be. And we say ‘of­ten times' sim­ply be­cause the MSI GS40 6QE Phantom is one such ex­cep­tion – it's pe­tite, it's pow­er­ful, and more im­por­tantly, it doesn't make your fore­arms weary just by look­ing at it.

The GS40 is ac­tu­ally very well equipped for a gam­ing note­book, con­sid­er­ing that it shares rather sim­i­lar di­men­sions as most Ul­tra­books these days. It has a 14-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS dis­play, a 2.6GHz In­tel Core i7-6700HQ pro­ces­sor, a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M GPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a speedy 128GB SSD that's ac­com­pa­nied by a 1TB HDD.

With such a po­tent hard­ware com­bi­na­tion, it's hardly any sur­prise that the GS40 was able to eas­ily han­dle ev­ery­thing we threw at it through­out the weeks we spent us­ing it as our trusty work­horse – in­clud­ing sev­eral oc­ca­sions where there were lit­er­ally a dozen dif­fer­ent Google Chrome tabs run­ning in the back­ground, while a Full HD movie was play­ing in the fore­ground.

The GS40's only short­com­ing is its back­lit key­board, whose keys have very lit­tle travel and they feel rather mushy.

As far as bench­marks are con­cerned, the GS40 ob­tained a score of 4,798 for PCMark 8's Cre­ative bench­mark, 3,987 for the Home bench­mark, and 5,072 for the Work bench­mark. While over on 3DMark, the GS40 churned out a score of 6,567 for the Fire Strike bench­mark, 3,377 for the Fire Strike Ex­treme bench­mark, and 1,723 for the Fire Strike Ul­tra bench­mark. And fi­nally, the GS40 com­pleted the Unig­ine Heaven bench­mark on the Ex­treme pre­set in Full HD with an av­er­age frame rate of 26.4 fps.

We cer­tainly didn't hold back with the games we used to bench­mark the GS40, which com­prised Far Cry 4, Fall­out 4, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Rise of the Tomb Raider – all of which ran at their high­est pos­si­ble graphic set­tings.

Did the GS40 man­age to sur­vive the tribu­la­tions we put it through? Ab­so­lutely, though we're not en­tirely sure if it's in a man­ner that would ap­pease the crop of gamers out there who ex­pect all their games to run silky smooth. While the GS40 did man­age to ran Far Cry 4 and Fall­out 4 with a com­mend­able av­er­age frame rate of 50.7 fps and 48.4 fps re­spec­tively, it did seem to strug­gle a lit­tle bit with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Rise of the Tomb Raider, con­sid­er­ing that it could only muster an av­er­age frame rate of 32 fps for the two games.

The MSI GS40 6QE Phantom is just slightly over an inch. CON­CLU­SION

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