MSI - MSI GT72S 6QF-036FR Dominator Pro G Dragon Edition


MSI GT72S Dragon Edition: the laptop with GTX 980

Aprox. 3799€

See specifications

If you're ready to spend around $ 4,000 on a laptop and want the best in graphics power, the new "monster" from MSI may be of interest to you. Here is the GT72S Dragon Edition, the first laptop equipped with a GTX 980 to go through our laboratory.

Our review


MSI had already accustomed us to very high-end laptops sold at high prices. We remember, last year, the famous GT80 Titan, its mechanical keyboard, its 18-inch panel and its GTX 980M SLI. In this early 2016, it is the GT72S 6QF-036FR Dominator Pro G Dragon Edition - which we will call here GT72S Dragon Edition - which attracts our attention. A machine sold all the same for € 3,799, but which is one of the few to be equipped with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics card, which is usually found in desktop PCs. Accompanied by a latest generation Core i7 processor and 32 GB of RAM, this laptop should, logically, deliver phenomenal firepower.


This very high-end GT72S takes up the chassis of the previous GT72s. So there are tense lines, black aluminum around the keyboard, or a few shortcut buttons on the left side of the keyboard. These are used, in bulk, to trigger additional ventilation, to switch between the Nvidia GPU or the iGPU Intel, to change the lighting of the keys or to launch the video game streaming.

There is also a large trackpad devoid of edge whose gliding sensation is excellent, which we will replace that said logically by a "gamer" mouse. The keyboard, meanwhile, is always chiclet type and offers a very pleasant and precise typing. Long working sessions, between two parties, are therefore quite possible.

What really changes compared to the previous GT72 is the "Dragon Edition" skin. The bright red hood is engraved with a… dragon, as is the lower part of the chassis. Pretty radical aesthetic choices, which will undoubtedly not please everyone and which clearly lack sobriety. The whole offers, however, an excellent finish.

Connectivity side, difficult to do more exhaustive: an RJ45 port, six USB 3 ports, a USB Type-C port, a microphone jack input, a headphone jack input, a line output, an HDMI output and a mini DisplayPort. You can also count on an SD card reader, as well as a Blu-ray reader / writer (extremely rare on this type of machine).

Where this laptop surprises us very pleasantly is in its exemplary management of temperature and noise. The hot air exhaust system is concentrated at the rear, via two fans on either side of the chassis. In these two parts, very high temperatures are logically reached (hot point raised to 74 ° C), but the rest of the chassis remains at a more than acceptable level of heating.

At the front, in particular, we did not exceed 36.5 ° C. These good results are accompanied by a fairly discreet ventilation, especially when we take into account the on-board configuration. Noise does not exceed 43 dB (A) in play, only 2 dB (A) more than that of ROG G752, which remains our benchmark in this area. We certainly hear a real breath during a game, but broadcast in a fairly soft and continuous, and ultimately not annoying.


This new GT72S has a 17-inch Full HD IPS panel (1920 x 1080 px), G-Sync compatible. First good surprise: after two GT72 with mediocre calibration - not to say failed -, MSI finally seems to have understood the lesson and offers us here a panel with good colorimetry.

Our probe allows us to measure an average delta E at 4.6 and a color temperature of 7081 K. Remember that delta E symbolizes the difference between the colors displayed and the actual colors and must be below 3 to be considered excellent. The color temperature is quite close to the standard (6500 K), which results in a slight tendency to draw towards blue. The gamma curve is also very stable and we therefore take advantage of fairly deep blacks and very bright white.

The GT72S screen also displays good brightness (326 cd / m²), as well as a correct contrast ratio for this type of machine (790: 1). We therefore take advantage of a clearly legible screen, even in a bright environment.

The configuration tested The configuration received in test includes an Intel Core i7-6820HK processor, 32 GB of RAM in DDR4, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics card (8 GB of GDDR5), a 512 GB SSD and a hard drive of 1 TB at 7,200 rpm.


Do we really need to expand on this part of the test? Between a latest generation Intel Core i7 processor, clocked at 2.7 GHz, 32 GB of RAM in DDR4 and a 512 GB SSD, it is impossible to expect anything other than 5 stars in terms of performance. This GT72S thus displays a very good index (see graph below), and remains very versatile, largely powerful enough for all uses. We also benefit from a start in 13 seconds and a complete stop in 12 seconds. It is therefore flawless.


Here we come to the part that interests us "really". This GT72S Dragon Edition is indeed the first laptop PC equipped with a high-end “desktop” graphics card: the GTX 980 from Nvidia. It is here accompanied by 8 GB of GDDR5 and offers exactly the same characteristics as a fixed PC graphics card (not overclocked), in particular the same GPU frequency. We can therefore expect equivalent performance in game. Our 3D performance index is, not surprisingly, very good, only exceeded by an atypical machine like the GT80 Titan (SLI of GTX 980M).

In game, the experience is impeccable and it is simply impossible to find a title that rotates at less than 45 frames per second in the native definition of the screen, all the graphic details pushed to the bottom. Crysis 3, Metro Last Light and The Witcher 3, the three most demanding games in our test battery, display 46 fps, 52 fps and 61 fps respectively. As for Tomb Raider or Battlefield 4, you can quietly reach 120 fps.

The GTX 980 for laptop PC thus offers exactly what was expected of it, namely a gaming experience equivalent to that delivered by a fixed PC. Note that, according to Nvidia, this type of laptop under GTX 980 is the only one capable of offering a satisfactory virtual reality experience. Not yet having an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive on hand, we will be careful not to confirm these statements.

Mobility / Autonomy

We have already written it many times in our previous tests of "gamers" laptops, and we will insist again here: this kind of machine is above all designed for sedentary use and its transport is done only rarely occasions. With a weight of 3.85 kg and a thickness of 55 mm, the GT72S Dragon Edition is however not the most cumbersome laptop for players on the market. However, it must also take into account its bulky charger.

On the autonomy side, no miracle: difficult to play for more than an hour, while office-type use will hardly exceed 4 hours. Our video playback test under Netflix (under Chrome, brightness at 200 cd / m², headphones plugged in) took 109 minutes.

Unsurprisingly, the power consumption is quite high: 207 W in a 3D game, 87 W on the desktop.


The GT72S headphone output blows hot and cold. The sound tends to saturate when you exceed 68% of the volume under Windows 10. At maximum sound level, the distortion reaches 7%, but drops to 0.06% when you lower the volume of a third. The sound power remains good, however, and the entire sound spectrum is well rendered.

The speakers, as very often on this type of machine, are of a very average quality, not to say mediocre. In the case of the GT72S Dragon Edition (graphic above), there is a very strong absence of bass and treble. Only the voice passes correctly.


The expression "have fun" seems to have been coined for the GT72S Dragon Edition. If the price does not matter to you and you are looking for a "transportable" capable of delivering a power in game worthy of a very good fixed PC, this may be the PC for you. In addition to offering impressive performance, it also offers a quality Full HD screen, a very well finished chassis and very good temperature and noise management. In short, a 5-star PC ... but not within the reach of all budgets.