The notebooks belonging to the C Series from MSI are designed and marketed as mid range laptops or entry level gaming machines, suitable for a wide range of needs and scenarios. The CX72 6QD-208US is a beast of a laptop which features great hardware specs and enough features to make it stand out from the crowd.
The MSI Computer CX72 6QD-208US model is a fantastic device that will run almost any program without any issues whatsoever, but on the other hand is pretty bulky, heavy and impractical in most cases, except for maybe exclusive home or office use. So, depending on your needs, this one may be one of the best buys around or a complete nuisance because of its lack of portability.
The MSI CX72 6QD-208US features an Intel Core i5-6300HQ processor. Launched late in 2015, this quad core CPU has 6 megabytes of cache, a clock speed of 2.3 GHz which goes up to 3.2 GHz when operating using Turbo Boost Technology and comes with an abysmal, but ultimately unavoidable thermal design power of 45 Watts. Benchmark tests rate the i5-6300HQ at just under 5800 points, placing it the higher echelons of mobile processors. Basically, you’ll be able to run all sorts of demanding programs like you would on a desktop i5 or i7 processor. Therefore, the percentage given by the processor to the overall performance of this laptop is significant.
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System memory is also rather impressive. The MSI has 12 gigabytes of DDR4-2133 SDRAM available – more than you’ll actually need on a daily basis, whether it’s heavy multitasking, gaming or running virtual machines. I doubt anyone will hit a wall soon with this much DDR4 ram which by the way, is overall faster than the previous DDR3 generation.
Storage space is geared towards both size and sheer speed. The CX72 6QD-208US comes with a roomy HDD capable of holding one terabyte of data and a blazing fast next-gen 128-gigabyte PCI-E Gen3x4 SSD for the operating system and main programs to be installed on. With read speeds of up to 2.2 GB/s, this solid state drive is 4 to 5 times faster than a standard 2.5-inch consumer grade model. Getting the best out of the two worlds hits the sweet spot, especially considering the affordable price tag it comes with.
Graphics and Display
As I mentioned earlier in this review, the MSI Computer CX72 6QD-208US can be considered an entry-level gaming laptop, and that is because it has an entry-level graphics card. Although new releases are likely off-limits, you’ll still be able to play MMOs and online FPS games at high settings using the NVIDIA GeForce 940MX video card. Games like GTA5 and the likes will render at medium settings at best, mainly thanks to the processor, memory and solid state drive all working to supplement where the graphics card falls short.
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It’s therefore clear this isn’t primarily a gaming laptop, but rather a multimedia notebook / affordable workstation / desktop replacement which can also play a number of games, but certainly not all of them.
The CX72 6QD-208US features a 17.3-inch matte screen with an LED-backlit display and a native resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels (HD+). Viewing angles are nothing out of the ordinary, since there is no IPS technology to be seen, but offers some screen extension options via the Matrix Display Technology, enabling the use of 2 external monitors to be connected using the HDMI and the miniDisplay ports with outputs up to 4K.
Plenty of ports are available to the tech savvy and extension-hungry users, with the most prominent feature being the brand new USB-C protocol. The CX72 6QD-208US has the following interface options:
- 1 x USB-C port
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports
- 1 x USB 2.0 port
- 1 x HDMI 1.4 port
- 1 x miniDisplay port
- 1 x Mic-in/Headphone-out
- 1 x RJ-45 port
- 1 x SD/XC/HC card reader
- 1 x DVD-Writer
Being a massive notebook where thinness isn’t a priority, adding an Ethernet card and jack didn’t pose any positioning problems to MSI. Therefore, the CX72 6QD-208US has 10/100/1000 LAN connectivity available alongside the Intel 3165 1×1 802.11ac wireless card and the integrated Bluetooth 4.0 technology.
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A few well known extra gimmicks were added by MSI to this laptop, borrowed from their more potent gaming machines.
- “SHIFT” technology allows the user to either tone down system settings for a more economical and silent experience or ramp up the processor and the graphics card to give the best performance possible.
- “Cooler Boost” technology improves airflow circulation to aid in keeping the notebook cooler by some degrees.
- Unlike many competitors, the CX72 6QD-208US has 4 built-in speakers to render clearer and cleaner notes to the listener in front of them.
Battery Life and Portability
It’s worth noticing this is a fairly large device. The 17.3-inch mammoth is 16.45″ long, 10.6″ wide and 1.53″ thick. Far from the lean, thin and streamlined ultra portable devices I so much love, the MSI CX72 6QD-208US doesn’t try to hide its large build, but proudly displays it as a statement of power. The notebook weighs 6 pounds, so carrying it around will be burdening to say the least, considering you’ll also have to take the charger along as well.
Battery life isn’t impressive, a full charge lasting up to 3 to 4 hours at best. That’s the price you have to pay for such a powerful processor and a dedicated video card inside a notebook. However, considering the MSI is a 17.3 inch device, the weight isn’t such an issue if you plan on using it only around the house or at work, or if you travel with it by car to your friend’s LAN parties. Anything requiring more flexibility is out of the question.
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I think the MSI Computer CX72 6QD-208US is a really well made mid-range laptop that promises high end performance with little limitations, such as the less powerful video card, the not-so-impressive display and poor battery life statistics. However, keeping it as a desktop replacement, gaming laptop, workstation or as a home multimedia center makes more sense than buying similarly priced models that only offer a fraction of the MSI’s hardware choices and performance ratings.