15.6″ MSI GE60 Apache Pro-867 via Amazon
Stylish, sleek and modern aluminium black MSI GE Series GE60 Apache Pro-867 is a 15.6 inch gaming laptop for both the easy daily tasks and very demanding games and multimedia or other hard software you may want to run. Although it is designed to be a decent entry level yet powerful gaming laptop it is also a great machine for other entertainment and work as it is capable of handling anything you throw at it with ease. MSI Apache Pro-867 has the fourth generation end of 2014 release quad core Intel i7-4720HQ (6MB cache) at 2.6GHz speed up to 3.6GHz with turbo boost and hyper threading, 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM memory at 1600MHz to multitask even the demanding apps and software, 1 TB (=1024GB) SATA hard drive at 7200 rpm rotating speed (you’ll find 2x mSATA SSD slots for an upgrade) and Windows 8.1 operating system (Windows 10 release date is 29 July and you can upgrade for free).
15.6 inch FHD display with 1920 x 1080 pixel maximum screen resolution- beautiful quality display with vivid colours and awesome viewing angles and 16:9 cinematic aspect ratio and NVIDIA Geforce GTX960M graphics with a 2GB shared video memory will let you play most of the latest games of 2014 and 2015 at high settings and FHD resolution but super demanding ones like Assassin’s Creed will require lower settings and frame rates. Multimedia editing is also not a problem as you have a great quality Full HD display with IPS panel, a powerful CPU and a decent high end dedicated video card. Sound is good and the 0.9mp 720p HD webcam with integrated microphone offer clear video chats on Skype. Brushed aluminium black Apache Pro-867 weighs 5.28 pounds with measurements of 15.09 x 9.83 x 1.46 inches, light and slim for a powerful gaming laptop and doesn’t feel cheap at all- the build quality is really good indeed, has a great solid feeling SteelSeries Programmable Full Color LED-backlit keyboard, a 6-cell lithium ion battery but being a gaming laptop with powerful multimedia features you can’t expect a lot from its battery life. Connectivity options are the DVD SuperMulti Optical Drive, 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, SD, SDHC, SDXC Memory Card Reader, an HDMI 1.4 output, VGA output, Mic-in x 1 and Headphone-out x 1.
Conclusion: With the quad core Intel i7 4720HW with a Passmark benchmark score of 8282, MSI GE60 Apache PRO-867 (9S7-16GF11-867) has the power to do pretty much anything you can think of with a computer as no task will be too hard for it and if you choose to add a Solid State Drive you will notice the difference in hard drive performance. 8GB (1x 8gb) memory is plenty for most users and up to 16GB on two DIMMs (2 x 8GB) is supported. Gaming performance is brilliant with the GTX 960M graphics- you can choose to disable Opti Boost so that it doesn’t try and use the integrated Intel HD graphics and it is easy to upgrade. It can get a little warm during heavy high CPU gaming considering the power and multimedia capabilities and the Cooler boost can be a little noisy at times. Sound is decent via the Nahimic Audio Enhancer with features like Bass Boost, Virtual Surround, Voice Clarity and Leveller, Sound Blaster and 4 x 2 watt speakers. Everything about it feels quite good quality and performs very well overall and at this price level it appears to be a rather good value for money. It is a very decent and powerful machine for the dollar. MSI products are offered with great customer support if you come across any issues they seem to be happy to assist, is offered with two years limited warranty by MSI which includes a 12 month worldwide warranty.