PowerPro 7:15 (MSI 1656) Performance, Benchmarks and Conclusion

January 19, 2010 by Charles P. Jefferies Reads (17,482)

Performance and Benchmarks
The 7:15 produces some impressive numbers in our benchmark tests thanks to its Core i7 quad-core processor, fast 7200RPM hard drive, and 1GB Nvidia graphics card. The graphics performance is impressive by itself however competitors at this price point offer slightly faster graphics cards. The Nvidia GTS 250M graphics card likely has headroom for overclocking, however that is beyond the scope of this review.

Wprime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):

PCMark05 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):

3DMark06 measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):


Crysis
gaming benchmark (1280×800 and high settings):

Need for Speed: SHIFT benchmark (1680×1050 and high settings)

HDTune storage drive performance test:


Heat and Noise

The PowerPro 7:15 has a single exhaust vent on the right side of the notebook. Right handers may find this placement annoying. The fan draws air in through various perforations on the bottom of the chassis, not through a dedicated fan grate below the fan; we prefer this setup since it is harder to block the intake.

At idle the fan is audible but is easy to ignore since it sounds like a rush of air. This sound increases when the notebook is stressed but there is no motor noise, only the sound of rushing air. The sound levels even at full tilt are very reasonable and can be used near others without disturbing them. The chassis at idle is barely lukewarm; under full load for extended periods the right side around the fan can get hot, mostly on the bottom. HWMonitor results after a few benchmark runs are shown below:

Battery Life
While surfing the Internet with minimum screen brightness, our test unit yielded two hours and fifteen minutes of battery life. For a six-cell, 4800mAh battery, this is a reasonable time given the unit has a powerful graphics card and quad-core processor. A nine-cell battery is also offered, which should boost battery life to between three and four hours.

Operating System and Software
By default the PowerPro 7:15 does not come with an operating system; ours came configured with Windows 7. We like how PowerNotebooks.com makes the operating system optional; it can save customers money if they already have a copy (or can get one for less than retail). No unwanted software came pre-installed, which is greatly appreciated. Most consumer notebooks come loaded to the gills with trial software and other gimmicks.

Warranty and Service
The PowerPro 7:15 comes standard with a one-year warranty, which includes second day shipping (both ways) for service, 24/7 domestic telephone support, and lifetime labor. A three-year warranty with next business day shipping for service (both ways) is optional. This warranty is superior to warranties offered by most large notebook companies.

Conclusion
The PowerPro 7:15 is a well-rounded if unremarkable 15.4-inch gaming notebook. It has the latest technology including an Intel i7 processor and reasonably powerful Nvidia GTS 250M graphics card. The build quality is good; the brushed aluminum is a nice touch. We like the high resolution screen and input/output port selection. The cooling system is impressively quiet. Overall we found a lot to like but not love and little to complain about. We recommend this notebook to gamers looking for a solid mobile companion.

Pros:

  • Good build quality
  • Stays quiet, even under load
  • Excellent overall performance
  • Reasonable battery life
  • Good warranty/service

Cons:

  • Some keyboard layout issues
  • Screen could use a contrast boost
  • Competitors offer slightly faster graphics cards
  • Plain looks


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