MSI GT73VR 7RF Titan Pro 4K Review: Laptop or Desktop?
MSI GT73VR 7RF Titan Pro 4K detailed review
Whenever someone asks me if they should invest in gaming laptops or desktops, I tell them to invest in desktops if they only play at home. But, there are many who want to play games on the go, or don’t want to bother making and maintaining gaming PCs. Gaming laptop solution for these people. They offer portability (to some extent) and are usually plug-and-play, which is difficult for desktops. However, when I first saw this giant MSI GT73VR 7RF Titan Pro, the portable concept of laptop was out of the window. There are also price tags. 3,34,990, the equivalent price of a new car, so you have to decide if it is worth the premium.
Technical specs of our test machine:
Display: 17.3-inch, 4K, IPS panel
CPU: Intel Core i7-7820HK
RAM: 32 GB
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
Storage 1: 2 x 512GB SSD (Raid 0)
Storage 2: 1TB HDD 7200RPM
Battery: 75 hours
Appearance and aesthetics
Not only sound education but his alertness and dedication too are most required. They should either be underestimated or come out completely with wild angular accents, fins, large heat vents, LED strips, you get drift. The GT73 Titan Pro does the latter. It has all the right angles, paint schemes, aesthetics of design and scream gaming. You’ll find a red metal inlay on the lid, the dragon logo is backlit, the power button sits at the bottom of an angled cut-out on the deck of the keyboard, the vents have a red accent and a red perforated grille at the bottom. The MSI GT73VR 7RF Titan looks dramatic, which will appeal to gamers.
MSI has almost nailed the design here, but I believe it could have been better. Machines like the Asus G752VY not only look beautiful, but at the same time stand out, whereas the MSI GT73 stands for the same old black-and-red design. That being said, it is as rare as the Asus machine, which weighs more than 4 kg and is about 2-inches thick.
Build quality and I / O
Like the design, the build quality leaves little room for complaint. The lid and keyboard deck are metal, mounted on a plastic sub-frame. The machine feels quite stiff and has minimal flex in the body. The display has some flex, but it’s not really a deal breaker. Since it is a gaming laptop, there are plenty of grills and vents. The keyboard is well arranged and the deck of the keyboard provides plenty of space to rest in the palm of your hand. The base of the laptop is plastic and has more perforated grille for air flow.
The display hinge is one of the smoothest I’ve seen in a while and opens at about 140 degrees, leaving ample space for third-party cooling pads. Although the base of the laptop is removable and some things, such as RAM and storage, can be replaced by the user, if you do, the warranty will be void.
On the I / O front, you’ll find almost everything you need. You will find three USB 3.0 Type-A ports on the left and two on the right On the back, there is a standard RJ54 Ethernet port, mini displayport, Thunderbolt 3 via USB Type-C (USB 3.1 / Gen-2) and an HDMI 2.0 port, which will support 4K output @ 60Hz. You will also find an SD card reader on the right, but a DVD drive is not included DVDs are really obsolete today, but the company offers one of its much cheaper GE62 laptops, so it seems a bit strange not to offer one here. Also, I expected at least two USB Type-C ports on the laptop.
Keyboard and touchpad
The MSI GT73VR shares the same keyboard and touchpad layout that we saw on the much cheaper GE62 a few months ago. It has a still series of keyboards, RGB lights and a large but slightly stiff touchpad key.
The keyboard has nice large keycaps and offers more travel than most of it. Each keypress seems to be precise, but if you are accustomed to a mechanical keyboard, you may want to stick to it. For lighter settings, there are plenty to choose from (RGB) and you can tweak them from the MSI Dragon Center app. Although the keyboard works for some amount of gaming, I also liked a row of macro keys. Some will have to get used to the unconventional key format. For example, the right Shift key is shortened to make room for the top arrow key, there is no Windows key below your left thumb, and the Delete key sits in the top row above the keypad, breaking the flow whenever you use it.
I also find the function keys quite cumbersome. These are smaller in size and would have been better if the brightness control and media volume control had been integrated. That said, I’m sure no one would buy this machine for using Word and Excel.
The touchpad is good, as expected from a high end laptop. By default the speed of the cursor is not calibrated to cover a 4K screen in a single swipe, but it can be toggled in the settings. Once this was done, I found no lack of experience in any way. The trackpad itself is smooth, supports gestures and is quite accurate. Left and right click buttons hard to press, which immediately pushes me to connect a mouse. However, most of the time you will use the mouse, because the touchpad is not really for gaming. Meanwhile, RGB lovers will love the illuminated ring around the touchpad.
The MSI GT73VR has one of the best displays we’ve ever seen on a laptop. Although it is available on 120Hz FHD panel, only 4K (@ 60Hz) variant is available in India. It has impressive color saturation and very good viewing angles. There is no light bleeding and the display is quite bright with a maximum of 480 lux recorded in the center. What’s even more impressive is that the brightness stays the same across all displays. In addition to great color and uniform brightness, the 17.3-inch matte display also enables G-Sync. It is backed by heavy hit hardware of laptop packs.
With an Intel Core i7-7820HK and an 8GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 for graphics management, the GT73VR Titan Pro is without a doubt the best gaming hardware available on a laptop. Both CPU and GPU can be overclocked using BIOS and afterburner software, respectively. However, you do not need additional processing power as the system already has plenty of stock mode. Our test machine is configured with 32GB DDR4 RAM and dual storage solution, the Raid 4 has two Samsung SSDs and a 1TB Toshiba HDD @ 7200rpm.
With so much powerful hardware on the laptop, it was no surprise that it exploded through every benchmark we threw at it. Although the scores from Asus are significantly higher than last year’s G752, the performance is very close to the Asus ROG G20CB (1080 revision) gaming PC that I reviewed late last year. Compared to the Asus ROG G20CB desktop, one can easily see the difference or lack of performance between the latest Zen Intel desktop processor and the current Zen Top performance of the Intel Mobile CPU.
So, whether you look at PCMark 8 Creative Score or Cinebench, the Intel Core i7 6700 (not K) processor used in the G20CB performs on par with the latest Intel Core i7 7820HK used in this MSI GT73VR notebook. While this is an Apple-to-Orange comparison, the truth of the matter is that a desktop class processor, although the last generation will give you the same performance.
The same is true of the desktop and laptop variants of the NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1080 GPU. In the 3DMark synthetic benchmark, the desktop grade GTX 1080 performed slightly better than its mobile cousin, and it only shows how the NVIDIA closed the performance gap between the desktop and its mobile class GPU, although there is still a small performance difference.
The synthetic benchmark aside, the GT73VR works like a charm on the gaming front and makes us chew it through every game we throw at 1080p or even 2K. New titles like Battlefield 1 and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands easily punched more than 70 fps at 1080p. Even when I tried gaming on an external display, the drop in performance was not too much. Although 4K rendering is still not particularly great. You can play most games in 4K in high or ultra settings and it really helps if the game supports DX12. Older titles struggle to provide you with a better frame rate.
Games like Tom Clancy’s Division, which is a heavy title, only manage 40 fps, keeping it playable in 4K Ultra settings. However, older games, such as Metro Last Lite, are known to bring GPUs to their knees, sometimes dropping the frame rate to a single number when testing in high-graphic settings.
I even tested the machine with HTC’s Vive VR headset, which again works without any problems. I’ve tried more than half a dozen experiences and they all worked just fine, sometimes stuttering, although it could be for other reasons.
I’m really happy with the cooling in this machine, which is really loud, but does the job well. The laptop has four vents, two on the back and two on the sides, drawing air from the bottom and cooling the hardware inside. Even at high temperatures I recorded less than 40 degrees on the keyboard deck, which is quite good for this kind of powerful machine.
I should also talk about the 4.1 speaker system on this machine, which is powered by Nehemic audio and produces crisp and loud audio output throughout. Software can be set for different types of games.
To help you toggle all performance settings and more, MSI has added its Dragon Center application to laptops that anyone can use to check system statistics, change RGB keyboard settings, or change performance and cooling mode. Even the laptop will connect to an app of the same name on your phone, giving you important statistics of your laptop in the palm of your hand.
It’s a gaming laptop, and the rule of thumb is that these machines don’t have a good battery life. With the 75whr battery on-board, I wasn’t expecting great battery life and the GT73VR didn’t prove me wrong. In fact, the laptop lasted only an hour and a half before the PCMark8 Creative Battery died in the test. If you use it for browsing or writing Word Docs (I’m judging you now), the system can easily run for two hours or more, but you may still need to take 1.2 kg of power bricks to charge this device.
The last row
The MSI GT73VR 7RF Titan Pro is a desktop replacement for all your gaming needs. Yes, you can make a similar PC, but it will be only slightly cheaper if you include a 2.1 speaker system that matches a 4K G-Sync display, keyboard-mouse and GT73VR equally well. So, it’s definitely worth the price, but you need so much processing power? You don’t, unless you only plan to play games in 4K.
In conclusion, the MSI GT73VR 7RF Titan Pro is the perfect gaming laptop, although you and I cannot afford it. It is primarily intended for enthusiastic or hardcore gamers who have the cash to spend. For most of us out there, creating a gaming PC will be easy and you will be able to update it in the future.