The WS63 is a 15.6-inch adaptable workstation based on MSI’s GS63 gaming notebook. Best architecture elements are aggregate amid the two notebooks, although there are some attenuate differences that we’ll point out in this review.
The primary agency that sets adaptable workstations afar from added notebooks is their admittance of professional-grade cartoon processing solutions. In the case of the WS63,that agency an Nvidia Quadro P3000 “Pascal” GPU with 6GB of its own memory. MSI sells an alike added able adaptable workstation based on this anatomy in the anatomy of the WS63VR, which has a Quadro P4000 8GB cartoon card. That anthology is basic absoluteness (VR) ready, admitting the WS63 we’re reviewing is not.
The top-grade accouterments central the WS63 doesn’t arise cheap. Equipped as we advised it with a 1080p display, an Intel Amount i7-7700HQ quad-core processor, 32GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and a 2TB adamantine drive, it goes for $2,599. A commensurable Dell Attention 5520 workstation as we configured it was $2,546. However, the Dell had abandoned Quadron M1200 4GB graphics, a far beneath able band-aid than the Quadro P3000 in the WS63. Finding added commensurable workstations was tough. The HP ZBook Studio hasn’t been adapted in some time, and on the Lenovo ancillary of things, the ThinkPad P51S doesn’t activity a quad-core CPU, let abandoned the ability of cartoon solutions as the WS63. That puts this WS63 a actual advantageous position in the thin-and-light adaptable workstation world.
The WS63 abundantly looks the aforementioned as the MSI GS63 gaming anthology on which it’s based. The architecture accents are bass bottomward on this archetypal for its able audience. The red MSI gaming absorber logo on the aback of the lid has been replaced by a workstation shield. It’s backlit in yellow; the backlighting is powered by the affectation lid, so it can’t be angry off unless the notebook’s affectation is off. The added architecture emphasis on the aback of the lid is the agleam MSI logo aloft the shield.
The exoteric architecture looks rather subdued. The all-black anatomy apparently won’t grab absorption from beyond a room. The top surfaces and lid of the WS63 are complete of a failing magnesium-lithium metal. It seemed rather attenuate to our fingers, but its brushed aluminum apparent did admit an affected look. The lid had affluence of stiffness. It can be opened one-handed admitting its able hinges, and can additionally accessible 180 degrees, both of which are things we like to see.
The WS63 is about as attenuate and ablaze as 15.6-inch notebooks get. It weighs aloof 3.96 pounds, which makes it lighter than abounding 14-inch notebooks. In addition, it’s aloof 0.7-inch thin. The blow of the anatomy measures 15 by 9.8 inches, or about boilerplate for a 15.6-inch notebook. The bezel about the awning is about a half-inch wide.
The abject of the WS63 is covered in a felt-like material. This is apparently there to accumulate the calefaction generated by this anthology in check. Later in this analysis we’ll altercate the WS63’s thermal performance.
It’s accessible to accomplish some end-user upgrades on the WS63, namely the storage. The 2.5-inch drive bay is amid beneath the basal console of the chassis. The console is captivated on by abundant Phillips-head screws, one of which is hidden abaft a “Warranty Sticker – Void if Tampered” sticker. (You’ve been warned.) Prying off the basal console afterwards that is a aerial operation; we formed our way advanced to aback and took our time.
Here beneath the console you can see the 2.5-inch drive bay at the high right, active in our analysis assemblage by a 2TB Seagate adamantine drive. The M.2 Type-2280 (80mm) aperture for SSD accumulator wasn’t in apparent afterimage beneath here, however; added disassembly will be bare to acquisition that. Don’t bother attractive for the anamnesis (RAM) slots, however; there are none, as the anamnesis is anchored to the motherboard in this notebook. That’s unfortunate, but the 32GB dual-channel agreement in our analysis assemblage is the best bulk this anthology supports anyway.
Port alternative is article that the WS63 has in abundance. Starting forth the larboard edge, you’ll acquisition the cable lock slot, an Ethernet jack, a full-size SD agenda reader, a leash of USB 3.0 ports, and headphone and microphone jacks. The actuality that the agenda clairvoyant is full-size is convenient, although anamnesis cards don’t absolutely admit into the slot, afraid out about one-half centimeter.
The appropriate bend of the anatomy holds the actual connectivity. Actuality you’ll acquisition a USB 3.0 port, a Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) port, full-size HDMI 1.4 out, mini-DisplayPort, and the AC ability jack. The WS63 has a fingerprint clairvoyant congenital into its blow pad, an important admittance on a business-class workstation. However, it lacks options for a SmartCard clairvoyant and an IR camera. The 720p webcam it does accommodate had a bleared account in our testing, with ever bendable edges and boilerplate blush reproduction. We’ve apparent bigger ones, for sure.
Along the advanced bend of the anatomy are the cachet lights on the appropriate side, and annihilation else.
The one and abandoned affectation offered on the WS63 is the 1080p console on our analysis unit. The advanced examination bend abutment from the IPS technology is a must-have on a workstation, as it keeps the account from distorting if you attending at it from an off-angle. The adverse and accuracy of the console looked accomplished to our eyes, alike if the accuracy wasn’t overwhelming. The blush reproduction additionally looked composed to us.
The pre-installed MSI True Blush app gives you some ascendancy over the display’s blush amplitude and values.
Although 1080p (1,920×1,080) is a applied resolution for a 15.6-inch display, we would like to see a 4K (3,840×2,160) console offered as an option. To get one of those, you’ll charge to footfall up to the WS63VR, a archetypal abundantly the aforementioned as our WS63, but utilizing a faster Quadro P4000 GPU. Naturally, the WS63VR is added expensive.
The speakers in the WS63 are dent aural the chassis. They accept a tinny complete with little bass. The WS63’s headphone jack, on the added hand, had clear, static-free sound. It additionally provided an absorbing bulk of ability to our headphones.
The keyboard on the WS63 has a accustomed look, as it’s the aforementioned one MSI uses on abounding of its gaming notebooks. Designed by SteelSeries, the keyboard has island-style keys with multi-color backlighting. The backlighting is breach into three vertical zones, anniversary of which can be any blush in the RGB spectrum. This is all configurable in the pre-installed MSI Dragon Center software.
The edges of the keys are transparent, acceptance the backlighting to discharge through. The argument on the key caps doesn’t attending laser-sharp, but both the capital and the accessory symbols on the keys are backlit.
The feel of the keys is bendable and rubbery. It lacks the attention feel of a Lenovo ThinkPad keyboard, but it was still adequate for continued accounting sessions. There’s about no angle in the keyboard deck.
The blueprint of the cardinal pad could be better. The aught key at the basal is a atom of its accustomed admeasurement because the arrow keys accept been affected into the capital keyboard area; alluringly they would accept been afar into their own cluster. In addition, the cardinal pad keys are abandoned two-thirds their accustomed size, acute added attention on your part.
The capital keyboard mostly fares able-bodied in agreement of layout. The abridgement of a left-side Windows key is a setback. For gamers, that ability accomplish sense, but we don’t see why, alike back acclimated on MSI’s gaming notebooks, that a left-hand Windows key isn’t included; aloof accommodate a way to attenuate it. We would additionally adopt to see committed Home and End keys; they’re agonizingly doubled-up with the Page Up and Page Bottomward keys, respectively, at the high appropriate bend of the keyboard.
The blow pad is the able admeasurement for the WS63’s 15.6-inch display. It has a alive anti-glare apparent and solid beat action. Its diamond-cut askew bend gives it a aciculate attending and concrete edge.
The WS63 is awash in two configurations in the United States, with our 7RK-290US adaptation actuality the added big-ticket of the two. It has an MSRP of $2,599, while the 7RK-280US archetypal is $2,399. The blueprint of the two models are abundantly the aforementioned alfresco of their anamnesis and storage.
The WS63 is powered by an Intel “Skylake” Amount i7-7700HQ processor, a quad-core dent able abundant for aloof about any ambitious task. Introduced in 2016, it runs at a abject abundance of 2.8GHz, and can Turbo Addition up to 3.8GHz beneath the appropriate thermal and ability conditions. Our abandoned disappointment with this dent from a workstation angle is that it doesn’t abutment Intel’s vPro alien administration technology, which may be a affection that average and large-size business would attending for. If so, vPro’s blank could put the WS63 out of the active compared to workstation notebooks from Dell, HP, and Lenovo that do activity vPro. That said, it’s admirable that MSI was able to fit a processor this able into the WS63’s abbreviate chassis.
The WS63’s workstation allocation comes mainly as a aftereffect of its Nvidia Quadro P3000 able cartoon processing assemblage (GPU). Abundantly a tweaked GeForce GTX 1060, the P3000 has 1,280 unified shaders and 6GB of GDDR5 committed video memory. Combined with the Amount i7-7700HQ quad-core CPU, this cartoon band-aid gives the WS63 affluence of ability for 3D clay and cartoon design. However, agenda that the WS63 isn’t basic absoluteness (VR) ready, as the Quadro P3000 GPU isn’t able abundant to accomplish it such. For VR readiness, you’ll charge to footfall up to the WS63VR. That anthology is abundantly the aforementioned as the WS63 we’re reviewing, but it has a added able Quadro P4000, a GPU based on the GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU that you ability acquisition in gaming notebooks.
In case you’re apprehensive whether theWS63 is absolute software bell-ringer (ISV) certified, it is. That agency it’s certified to assignment with articles from Adobe, SolidWorks, AutoDesk, and added companies. It would be adamantine to alarm a anthology a adaptable workstation after certifications like that.
Differences in accumulator and anamnesis are what abstracted the two WS63 configurations on the United States market. Our 7RK-290US archetypal has 32GB of DDR4-2400 dual-channel memory, a 512GB PCI Express SSD, and a adequate 2TB adamantine drive for storage. The basal 7RK-280US archetypal has bisected the anamnesis (16GB) and SSD amplitude (256GB), but keeps the 2TB adamantine drive. For austere multitasking and ambitious work, we’d admonish opting for our 7RK-290US model; the accumulator is end-user upgradeable in this archetypal as we mentioned earlier, but the anamnesis is assuredly anchored to the motherboard, appropriately authoritative it absurd to upgrade.
Wireless connectivity in the WS63 comes from an Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 802.11ac agenda with two antennas. The WS63 didn’t assume to aces up as abounding wireless networks as some of the added notebooks we’ve tested, but didn’t accept a botheration advancement a wireless affiliation from aural a allowance or two of our wireless router. In addition, the WS63 has Bluetooth 4.2 claimed breadth networking.
The WS63 comes accepted with a 3-year bound warranty. It would be rather ill-fitted for this anthology at this amount point to arise with any beneath assurance period. Nevertheless, it does go to appearance that MSI is accomplishing its best to activity a archetypal that competes with the blow of the adaptable workstation market.
Our MSI WS63 7RK-290US analysis assemblage had the afterward abstruse specifications:
On a ancillary note, we did accept some agitation accepting the WS63 to criterion appropriately in some of our tests. As this anthology supports Nvidia Optimus, both the Nvidia Quadro P3000 committed GPU and the Intel HD 630 cartoon dent into the CPU can ability the display. Nvidia Optimus is declared to about-face amid the two GPUs depending on appliance needs. That didn’t assume to arise on our analysis unit; we had to force the Nvidia GPU to be acclimated via the Nvidia Ascendancy Console to get able array for our 3D-related testing.
PCMark8 Home (Accelerated) measures all-embracing arrangement achievement in Windows 8 for accepted activities from web browsing and video alive to accounting abstracts and arena amateur (higher array beggarly bigger performance):
PCMark8 Assignment (Accelerated) measures all-embracing arrangement achievement in Windows 8 for work-related abundance tasks (higher array beggarly bigger performance):
3DMark Fire Strike is a newer DirectX 11 criterion that measures all-embracing cartoon agenda achievement for gaming (higher array beggarly bigger performance):
wPrime processor allegory after-effects (listed in abnormal – lower array beggarly bigger performance):
CrystalDiskMark accumulator drive achievement test:
Inside the WS63 are two cooling fans, one forth anniversary of the rear corners of the chassis. They tended to break off if we weren’t accomplishing article demanding, but we empiric they were usually active at a low acceleration while we were surfing the Internet. The admirers weren’t adamantine to apprehension while the anthology was active full-tilt, but they didn’t aftermath all that abundant in the way of absolute volume. The best apparent allotment about the complete was the slight fan whine. With some accomplishments babble present, the WS63 shouldn’t be abundant of a bother, alike if the admirers are active at college speeds.
We ran Futuremark 3DMark FireStrike Acute in a bend for 10 account to analysis the cooling arrangement on this notebook. This criterion heavily stresses both the processor and cartoon card.
HWMonitor arise that the Amount i7-7700HQ CPU ailing at 82 degrees C during the testing. That’s with the adequate temperature ambit for the chip. The Quadro P3000 cartoon card, on the added hand, hit aloof 61 degrees C, a actual air-conditioned temperature.
The alfresco of the WS63 became balmy to hot to the blow aloof aloft the keyboard. Quite a bit of calefaction came from the abject of the chassis, but the acquainted actual bottomward there helped it feel not as extreme. All-embracing the WS63 didn’t get hotter than we expected. If you’re active article ambitious on this notebook, it would be a acceptable abstraction to accomplish abiding it’s sitting on a hard, collapsed surface. Best of the air assimilation comes from the bottom, and the cooling achievement would ache if the assimilation was alike partially blocked.
We use Futuremarks’ Powermark criterion in Balanced approach to admeasurement array life. This analysis is a aggregate of automatic web browsing, web conferencing, video playback, and gaming workloads to simulate abundant acceptance while on battery. The numbers recorded from this testing are decidedly lower than they would be if all you were accomplishing was surfing the web. We run the analysis at about 50 percent awning brightness.
Powermark array activity analysis after-effects (listed in minutes):
Our MSI WS63 lasted for 3 hours, 12 minutes. That’s a actual admirable time for a 15.6-inch adaptable workstation. It would construe to about amid 5 to 6 hours of activity if you kept the awning accuracy low and performed minimally-intensive work. The WS63’s time wasn’t as continued as the 4 hours, 37 account we recorded from the Lenovo ThinkPad P51, but that anthology is a lot thicker and heavier, and has a beyond battery.
The WS63 comes with a 180-watt (19.5V x 9.23A) ability brick with a three-prong bank AC plug. The affiliation to the anthology is a proprietary connector. The cables and the brick calm counterbalance 1.6 pounds. The brick itself measures 6x3x1 inches; the cable from the brick to the anthology is 70 inches; and the cable from the brick to the bank is 69 inches. That gives you about a 12 bottom ambit from an AC plug, which is accomplished for a anthology ability adapter.
The MSI WS63 provides a awful absorbing akin of achievement for its admeasurement and weight. At aloof 4 pounds and 0.7 inches thick, the WS63 is attenuate and ablaze for a 15.6-inch anthology in general, let abandoned a high-performance model. We were clumsy to locate a aggressive anthology that offered an appropriately or added able cartoon agenda that was accidentally abutting to its anatomy factor.
Besides its performance, our continued account of brand for this anthology includes its accomplished connectivity, attractive 1080p IPS display, multi-color backlit keyboard, and accessible blow pad. Its cooling achievement and array activity were decidedly good, as well. It fell abbreviate in almost accessory areas, such as its subpar webcam and speakers. The keyboard’s cardinal pad blueprint was cramped, and there were added accessory blueprint nuances; that was best acceptable due to the WS63’s re-use of the SteelSeries keyboard from MSI’s gaming notebooks. Alluringly there would accept been a added business-oriented keyboard blueprint for this workstation model.
From a business anthology perspective, the WS63 avalanche abbreviate in a few key areas that could about-face off beyond businesses. One of them is its abridgement of Intel vPro alien administration and SmartCard support, two things beyond businesses may attending for. It additionally has no committed advancing solutions, although the admittance of a Thunderbolt 3 anchorage gives it abounding possibilities for third-party advancing solutions. It’s nice to see a 3-year assurance is accepted equipment, however.