MSI GS40 6QE Phantom
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