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Big 4K screen workstation – thin and light MSI WS72 revealed


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In the past, it was more common for workstations to position themselves among computers on the PC market.

Their built-in graphics card could significantly enhance the level of work efficiency for 3D CAD or video editors.

Combining these two working environments’ demands,

nearly three years later companies started to produce their workstations as a brand product line.

After all, all workstations position themselves as high-end products with the specifications required by the professional users who prepare a certain budget for this kind of product.


I’d like to share an overview of MSI WS72 6QJ. As you can see on the box,

the logo is different from the Gaming Dragon logo as its light green and “workstation†highlights the product positioning.

The large backpack also has the same logo.



WS workstation series and the company’s GS series share a high degree of similarity in appearance.

They both belong to the slim design product series. Even though the screen size ranges from 15.6†to 17.3â€, small weight and thickness still deliver extraordinary performance.


The dimensions are 418.5mm x 287mm x 19.9mm, the weight is found to be about 2,630 gram.

It’s lighter than GS72 (2.6 kg) and its thickness is below the one Intel 15-inch Ultrabook’s specifications state (21 mm).

WS72 is a great combination of both an Ultrabook’s slim design and high-performance hardware.



The backside of the backpack is made of very solid materials. The separator inside is also quite thick. In terms of overall creativity,

some individuals may think that there’s still space for improvement and that GS70 looks better.

Improved texture and fashionable design would let people like it more.



WS72 6QJ Included accessories:

CD drivers, Quick Start Guide, Product Features Guide, Two years warranty, DELTA 150W power adapter, power cable, Mini DisplayPort adapter, MSI dedicated mouse.



A-side is covered with black brushed metal with a car hood design.

Probably due to the materials change, WS72’s metal touch is obviously better than GS70’s.

The main design of GS72 from Gaming Series is the same as WS72; the new generation of materials and design are now being introduced.

When the laptop is on and in use, the logo illuminates light green enhancing appearance of the texture.




B-side is a 17.3-inch screen which is UHD 4K with a resolution of 3840x2160.

It features a wide view IPS panel and supports 100% Adobe RGB color gamut which enhances the color accuracy.

WebCam with fixed focus lens is FHD 1920X1080p and is capable of recording video at 30fps.

The frame is made of matte plastic material. The thickness is within the common scope and seems to be thinner than WS60.

As for the internal mechanism these high-end hardware designs are necessary,

C and D parts need to have a certain volume to in order to achieve high performance.

As a concept of big length and width in the machine,

if the length X width dimensions let the frame area be narrowed then it will definitely improve the thickness.

WS72 can be this thin and there are no other competitive models which have the same length x width dimensions but are larger in weight.

It’s therefore already considered to be a good level product.



Most of the C-side is also covered with black brushed metal and is similar to A-side.

The actual surface area and the body thickness are similar to Dell Alienware 17.

The notebook is equipped with thin full-color Steelseries keyboard which is common for MSI high-end notebooks. The default color is blue.

Using the software, users can choose the backlight color they want as well as display color mode.

Individuals used to think that Steelseries had soft keys, however this time WS72 has improved the force feedback.

In terms of high-end notebook market, WS72 has improved the feeling of typing on a keyboard quite a lot.



The power button is in the top center and is illuminated with white during notebook’s use.

It’s illuminated with orange or blue when dedicated or integrated graphics card is in use, respectively.

The speakers are still by Dynaudio consisting of 2 channel- and 4 usual speakers.

Four single speakers are located in the chassis area which is a more special location for the sound to come out.

The following paragraph includes detailed comments regarding the sound.

The grid above the keyboard is used for cooling, not for the audio.



On the bottom left of the C-side there are 7 status indicators.

The left are right buttons feel like scissors design.

It will take some time to get used to the strength control.



Line out \ Line in \ Headphone-out

On the left side, from left to right: GPU cooling grid\ RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet \ HDMI \ Mini-DisplayPort X2 \ USB 3.1 X2 \ Line out \ Line in \ Headphone-out


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On the right side, from left to right:

USB3.0 X2 \ SD(XC/HC) \ DC power jack \ Kensington lock slot \ CPU cooling grid



D-side also consists of metal-based materials.

The number of pads supporting WS72’s button is quite big.

The three pads above boost and strengthen the cooling function.

The dark purple pad nearby isolates the heat and avoids user’s contact with the hardware design.

The hardware warranty is up to 3 years. The built-in battery cannot be dismantled.

It holds 5000mAh and is capable of 55.5Wh. The screen can be opened up to about 140 degrees.



In terms of its own applications, MSI has increased their number comparing to the past.

Apart from some previously existed and revised software, there are now also new applications with other features.

In the lower right corner you can find a quick settings app – SYSTEM CONTROL MANAGER.

Similarly to a quick selection on a mobile device, you can do relatively rapid adjustments for some commonly used features.



KLM is software designed for setting keyboard LED backlighting.

There are 6 modes: Normal, Gaming, Breathing, Wave, Dual, Color, Audio.

Nowadays many Gaming keyboards have such features which make the keyboards recognizable and change their exterior design.



Below is the description of the listening experience.

This part is quite subjective, other notebooks built-in speakers are taken as a benchmark.


Adjusting the volume to the maximum is considered fairly loud, so there is no need to worry that the speakers will be too quiet.

High frequency: The sound isn’t too sharp. Good in deep details, the performance is above average.

Middle frequency: Excellent overall clarity in details. The quality of human voice sound is one of the best among high-end models.

Low frequency: the low frequency performance is good; bass doesn’t sound too hoarse, even though medium frequency in a too large volume can easily overwhelm the low frequency.


The sound quality of WS72 does not reprise of the original feed line, unlike other high-end gaming notebooks with a sense of surround sound or field-based sound

Listening to music or songs brings a very good feeling, watching movies or playing games also carries very good performance.

In the past, the sound performance of WS72 wasn’t possible to see on a graph.

Now the sound performance is even better than on most gaming models.


True Color is also screen color calibration software.

In the past, many laptops with non-IPS panels had unsatisfactory performance in color reproduction.

But even in case of IPS-panels, there was still a room for improvement in color accuracy.

MSI is among high-end laptops used by individuals and is brand with certain requirements for the screen colors.

In the field of workstation or graphic design, color accuracy is the main condition.

One of the modes is sRGB which provides the color correction with nearly 100% sRGB color gamut standard.



In total, there are 6 modes: Gamerï¼Anti-Blueï¼sRGBï¼100%AdobeRGBï¼Officeï¼Movie.

100%AdobeRGB provides a function of a more detailed calibration which is even for helpful for professional graphics or image processing.



Gamer and 100%AdobeRGB modes differ in details.

MSI True Color has already adjusted the settings with adaptive colors. Of course, users can adjust the colors the way they want.



Shortcut Manager is also exclusive keyboard software.

It mainly allows to assign macro keys and to upload your own settings files.

It supports setting shortcuts, text clips, 3 modes of quick start and also 4 features of key disabling function.




The comparison of the right side of MSI WS72’s screen during Designer mode and the left side of HP Zbook Studio G3’s screen.

When adjusting brightness, both screens look similar, but due to different tones brightness still looks a bit different.

You can also see 4K vs 1080p difference in font details, especially if the difference is image size is big.




The following are tests of the performance aspects.

In this workstation, except for the common 6th Gen.

Intel Core i7, there is also a Server-level version of CPU which uses Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5.

The specs include: Intel’s latest Skylake architecture, with the base clock is 2.8 GHz, is quad-core and support HT technology,

the latest 14 nm processor, TurboBoost automatic overclocking up to 3.7, CM236 chipset, SmartCache of up to 8MB and built-in GPU Intel HD Graphics P530.


Hardware benchmark tests


CPU => 664 cb

CPU(Single Core) => 144 cb


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Running Time => 5m 06s

x264 FHD Benchmark => 22.9



PCMARK8 – 3268



Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5 vs. Core i7 performance comparison

The clock performance and SmartCache are higher than i7-6700HQ.

Xeon CPU performance generally has a more stable high performance in consumers’ eyes.

In addition, it can be equipped with ECC DRAM, which is a required option for workstation’s specifications.


DRAM benchmark test

DDR4 2132.2 CL15 15-15-36 2T

AIDA64 Memory Read - 30154 MB/s

Sandra Memory Bandwidth - 24576 MB/s



Embedding DDR4 improves clock a lot. Moreover, the bandwidth also improves a lot, thanks to 6th Generation Skylake architecture.

Xeon CPU can run with ECC DRAM, even though its bandwidth isn’t much different from the usual DDR4-2133 has.

However, stability performance is still the main characteristics of ECC, especially for drawing or work environment.

I believe that stability is the first required item, because a system cannot be the reason for business losses due to its crash.


As for GPU, WS72 is carrying nVidia Quadro M2000M professional-level graphics card.

It’s built-in with 4GB GDDR5. Even though not the highest-end graphics card, its thin shape already looks pretty good for WS72.

If you a higher-end graphics card in the notebook, MSI has a thick-body WT72 which can be competent with GT72 version.

Below are some testing software made specifically for 3D graphic design to refer to.



I saw in some discussions online that SPECviewpefr12 can support DX11. If comparing to 970M, the difference is relatively small.



nVidia Quadro graphics card advertised that it has a double-precision floating point architecture. GeForce single precision has a better precision mechanism computing power.

Therefore, nVidia Quadro is more suitable for professional more sophisticated computational design.




TessMark => 24289 points

Comparison with other two, workstation and gaming, notebooks

HP HP Zbook Studio G3 with M1000M scores about 17655 points

Dell Alienware 15 with GTX 970Mscores about 8834 points

The information is misleading as it’s for the integrated GPU.

Please, refer to GPU-Z M2000M for the actual information.



FluidMark => 1598 points

The software can correctly display the information about a dedicated M2000M graphics card.



Since nVidia and AMD classify themselves into DirectX and OpenGL, they have their own area of expertise in 3D.

Though above there aren’t many pages with benchmark tests, there could be 10-50 pages occupied with different examinations.

Using M1000M and GTX 970M simultaneously for performance comparison it would be easier to analyze advantages.

Remember how before we would compare a graphics card with a gaming card of the same-level chipset, the gaming card would only display single-digit fps in the testing software.

In the regard, the gap was quite large.


nVIDIA Quadro M2000M is also able to run such a 3D graphics software such as AutoCad.

Certainly, some drawings are in 2D field. However, to use 3D graphics software, having 3D graphics card is a must.



There might be quite many people interested in M2000M’s performance in general games.

In fact, I’m no exception.

3DMark11 => P5600



3DMARK => 3942



M2000M’s performance is similar to one gaming card of GTX 960M shows.

To be able to run heave 3D-level games, it’s just necessary not to set the highest resolution.

Then the main work should be carried out by workstation or selected gaming notebooks.

So, the performance in gaming should also be on a good level.

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WS72’s drive C includes SAMSUNG MZVPV128HDGM 128GBX2 M.2 SSD

The drive D is HGST HTS721010A9E630 which specs are 7200 RPM and 1 TB capacity for storing files

Below is a benchmark test of 128GBX2 M.2 SSD Raid0 on the Drive C

AS SSD Benchmark - 2448

Seq Read - 2752.91 MB/s Write - 1301.17 MB/s

4K - 64Thrd Read - 977.29 MB/s Write - 307.52MB/s




Seq Read - 3183MB/s Write - 1357MB/s

ATTO DISK Benchmark, when exceeding 32k on the above test, can show the read speed equal to 3330Mb/s and the write speed equal to 1378MB/s



WS72 includes MSI SUPER RAID4 technology which is when two M.2 SSD cards are run in Raid0 mode.

With high-performance M.2 SSD you can boost the read/write performance speed while with SATA3 it’s hard to achieve such a bandwidth.

It’s said that the read speed can be as high as 3300MB/s.

It’s also certainly achievable according to ATTO. CrystalDiskMark also shows close number: 3200.

MSI equipped with a conventional large-capacity HDD which is indeed good as it expands the storage space.

If SSD price continues to decrease in the future, with the internal space of 512GB or higher it won’t be really necessary to embed HDD.

The notebook will then be even lighter.


With room temperature about 32 degrees, proceeding to CPU cooling capacity test.

The CPU being at a preset value of 2.8~3.7GHz, GPU running with Quadro M2000M, with power supply on the turbo mode.

With Cooler Boost 3 used as a cooling technology, the system’s idle temperature is about 39~42.



AIDA64 System Stability Test - 81~89



WS72’s outer shell’s temperature feels a bit higher than the notebooks made from other materials.

This is because thermal conduction on metal body is more direct and more evident.

With embedded 4C8T Architecture’s Xeon which is the same Core i7 CPU’s, CPU temperature is only 42 degrees in standby mode thanks to outstanding cooling capacity.

However, it doesn’t exceed 90 degrees when CPU is running at its full speed, which is comparable with many thick-body notebooks’ thermal modules.

In fact, WS72’s cooling capacity is already at a high level.

It involves up to 5 heat pipes to enhance heat dissipation.

Also, the noise produced by the radiator can be considered to be partially muted.

Moreover, at the low frequencies, the sound doesn’t feel uncomfortable either.


Battery life endurance, Windows 10 at a balanced power.

After playing DVD video on WS72 for 90 minutes, the battery will be at about 50%.

After 120 minutes, there will be about 33% power left. Maximum usage can be for around 3 hours.

With such a high-end hardware, 4K resolution screen consumes more power then FHD.

WS72’s life endurance is therefore about average which is considered as a very good battery performance.


Summary of WS72 6QJ’s advantages and disadvantages

Pros of features and advantages:

1.Regarding the external ID design and the shell texture, the notebook’s thickness and weight are truly outstanding.

2.Equipped Intel Xeon CPU and ECC DDR4 enhance stability which is workstation’s requirement.

3.4K high resolution IPS matte panel features 100% NTSC color gamut and 100% Adobe RGB color correction.

4.True color correction technology and a variety of adaptive modes provide more accurate colors.

5.After the evolution of SteelSeries keyboards, the keys’ force feedback feeling is of a high standard among notebooks.

6.Single speaker sound level brings clear audio experience to users.

7.High-speed 256GB M.2 SSD and 1TB HDD provide both performance and capacity.

8.3-year factory warranty is higher than usual gaming notebook’s 2-year warranty.


Cons for future improvements

1.Due to the thin metal body design, users in summer will feel that the laptop’s temperature is slightly higher.

2.Backpack looks like the one from Gaming series.

3.Although the front camera captures at a high level, there’s still a room for quality improvement.




Performance ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 89/100

Material ★★★★★★★★★☆ 90/100

Specification ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 88/100

ID design ★★★★★★★★★☆ 92/100

C/P value ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 77/100


WS72 workstation also includes MSI’ unique gaming technologies and specifications.

It’s worth a credit since individuals used to use DELL or HP workstation.

It terms of audio and keyboard, it’s still graded as a usual notebook, there’s nothing particular to highlight.

Of course, graphics card or Xeon CPU with ECC RAM are workstation’s all requirements.

MSI also has an advantage in its panel calibration. The default colors are bright yet accurate.

It provides a great help and comfort for working or designing which sounds very impressive to people at first glance.




WS72 also has some lower-price versions with Core i7, common DDR4 and 1080P panel.

If there’s no demand for high-level hardware, then it also represents a good budget-based choice, even though 3D graphics machines are all in the high-end market.


With every update MSI has been showing some progress or introducing new technology and of course there are some weaknesses or disadvantages.

However, there’s an obvious significant progress comparing to GS70 from the previous generation. This is a good and a positive cycle.

In terms of visuals and audio, WS72 looks very competitive to windwithme.

After all, a combination of gaming background and workstation make it an excellent notebook.


This article is also published in the younger brother’s blog: WIND3C

3D enthusiasts are welcome to visit.

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