Notebookcheck

MSI GT73VR 7RF Titan Pro Notebook Review

Florian Glaser (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 01/03/2017

Kaby Lake upgrade. MSI equips its most powerful 17-inch notebook, the GT73VR, with the brand-new CPU generation from Intel. The Core i7-6820HK is replaced by its direct successor, the Core i7-7820HK. Our review update will find out how that changes the performance, emissions, and the power consumption.

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The biggest change of the brand-new MSI GT73, which – depending on the GPU – ends with the designations 7RF (GTX 1080) or 7RE (GTX 1070), is the processor. Even though Intel's optimizations have been rather cautious in the last couple of years (especially in terms of performance), passionate gamers will probably wait for Kaby Lake when they get a new notebook, although the old GT73VR 6RF or 6RE, respectively, could have a much better price-performance ratio.

The 7RF-296 we review today is the latest top model. This is not only the case for MSI but also for the whole mobile-gaming segment. Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 costs a whole lot of money, but the performance is excellent and even dwarfs the Maxwell top model GTX 980.

The other specs are not bad either: MSI integrates 32 GB DDR4-RAM (2x 16 GB @2400 MHz) and a combination of SSD-RAID (2x 256 GB) and 1 TB HDD, so you should be covered in this respect. The display is once again a fast 120 Hz panel with G-Sync support, but it is based on the TN technology and only has a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels – not a lot when you consider the screen size and the GPU performance. We expect more in 2017.

MSI GT73VR 7RF-296 (GT73 Series)
Processor
Intel Core i7-7820HK 2.9 GHz @ 4 GHz (Intel Core i7)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop) - 8192 MB, Core: 1582 MHz, Memory: 2500 MHz, GDDR5X, ForceWare 375.63, manual switch to Intel HD Graphics 630 (restart required)
Memory
32768 MB 
, 2x 16 GB DDR4-2400, Dual-Channel, 2/4 slots free, up to 64 GB
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 127 PPI, N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), TN LED, Full HD, G-Sync, 120 Hz, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel CM238
Storage
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0), 512 GB 
, SSDs + HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, 1 TB HDD @ 7200 rpm. Slots: 3x m.2 Type 2280 (two of them 2x PCIe/NVMe) & 1x 2.5"
Soundcard
Realtek ALC899 @ High Definition Audio-Controller
Connections
5 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Headphones, Microphone, Line-in, Line-out (7.1 analog, S/PDIF), Card Reader: SD,SDHC,SDXC
Networking
Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10MBit), Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter (b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 49 x 428 x 287 ( = 1.93 x 16.85 x 11.3 in)
Battery
75.2 Wh, 5225 mAh Lithium-Ion, 8 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: FHD (1080p @ 30 fps)
Additional features
Speakers: 2.1 Dynaudio (Nahimic Audio Enhancer), Keyboard: Chiclet by SteelSeries, Keyboard Light: yes, Power adapter: 330 Watts, Accessories: Quick-start guide, warranty manual, recovery guide, Software: Magix Suite, Killer Performance Suite, MS Office 365 Trial, Norton Security Trial, XSplit Gamecaster 1-year Premium, several manufacturer tools, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
4.11 kg ( = 144.98 oz / 9.06 pounds), Power Supply: 1.254 kg ( = 44.23 oz / 2.76 pounds)
Price
3500 EUR

 

New Features

We skip the sections Case, Connectivity and Input Devices, because not a lot has changed except for the processor. The GT73VR leaves a pretty good impression in these sections, and all the corresponding information is available in the review of the predecessor. We only repeated the measurements for the SD-card reader as well as the wireless module (see below), which are once again excellent and much higher compared to some rivals.

Speaking of rivals: Besides the GT83VR 6RE and GT72VR 7RE from MSI, we also use the bulky 17-inch gaming systems Asus G752VS and Acer Predator 17 G9-793 as comparison devices, which are "only" equipped with a GTX 1070 (SLI @GT83VR). The last model is the much thinner and therefore more portable Aorus X7 v6.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
166 MB/s ∼100%
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
157 MB/s ∼95% -5%
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
125 MB/s ∼75% -25%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
78 MB/s ∼47% -53%
Aorus X7 v6
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
78 MB/s ∼47% -53%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
76 MB/s ∼46% -54%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
224 MB/s ∼100%
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
205 MB/s ∼92% -8%
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
189 MB/s ∼84% -16%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
88 MB/s ∼39% -61%
Aorus X7 v6
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
87 MB/s ∼39% -61%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
86 MB/s ∼38% -62%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
682 MBit/s ∼100%
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
674 MBit/s ∼99% -1%
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
672 MBit/s ∼99% -1%
Aorus X7 v6
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
496 MBit/s ∼73% -27%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
624 MBit/s ∼100%
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
618 MBit/s ∼99% -1%
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
597 MBit/s ∼96% -4%
Aorus X7 v6
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
554 MBit/s ∼89% -11%

Software

MSI does not make any experiments in terms of software, either. The central hub is once again the Dragon Center, which combines many comfort, control, and tuning options in one nice and simple interface. Core gamers will be happy about the comprehensive customizability of the keyboard as well as the fan control and the Turbo. The CPU is overclocked to 4.0 GHz by default, which was already the case for the previous model.

We performed all the benchmarks with the Turbo Mode, but we used the Shift mode "Power Options" for all the other measurements. This setting uses the Windows power profile and therefore reduces the possibility of measurement errors (especially while idling). Our test sample unfortunately had a problem with the clocks, and we already know similar issues from earlier MSI notebooks. The CPU was often stuck at 3.5 GHz in the majority of Shift and Windows settings, which represents the multi-core level of the i7-7820HK. In the past, this problem was usually fixed by an update for the Dragon Center. The fan control setting was always the default option "Auto".

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

We can see similarities to the GT73VR 6RE we reviewed about four months ago. The 120 Hz panel still convinces with a generous contrast ratio (1228:1), a pretty low black value (0.25 cd/m²) and a surprising wide color gamut. 100% sRGB and 75% AdobeRGB are usually reserved for workstations and other professional devices. The response times are also very good for a notebook. 7 ms black-to-white and 26 ms gray-to-gray would be tough to achieve with an IPS panel.

261
cd/m²
291
cd/m²
277
cd/m²
269
cd/m²
307
cd/m²
296
cd/m²
270
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
300
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 307 cd/m² Average: 283.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 307 cd/m²
Contrast: 1228:1 (Black: 0.25 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 9.65 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 10.07 | - Ø
100% sRGB (Argyll) 75% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.12
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), 1920x1080
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), 3840x2160
Aorus X7 v6
B173QTN01.0 (AUO1096), 2560x1440
Asus G752VS-XB78K
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF3 (LGD04E8), 1920x1080
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
Chi Mei N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), 1920x1080
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
Samsung 184HL (SDC4C48), 1920x1080
Response Times
-143%
-31%
-130%
-6%
-121%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
26
37
-42%
31
-19%
38
-46%
29
-12%
37
-42%
Response Time Black / White *
7
24
-243%
10
-43%
22
-214%
7
-0%
21
-200%
PWM Frequency
250
Screen
20%
-17%
10%
-2%
5%
Brightness
284
320
13%
312
10%
317
12%
277
-2%
277
-2%
Brightness Distribution
85
88
4%
80
-6%
88
4%
87
2%
84
-1%
Black Level *
0.25
0.25
-0%
0.5
-100%
0.3
-20%
0.27
-8%
0.4
-60%
Contrast
1228
1344
9%
686
-44%
1093
-11%
1107
-10%
775
-37%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
9.65
3.61
63%
7.33
24%
3.74
61%
9.65
-0%
1.83
81%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
10.07
4.78
53%
7.6
25%
2.67
73%
9.68
4%
1.38
86%
Gamma
2.12 113%
2.32 103%
2.19 110%
2.41 100%
1.89 127%
2.44 98%
CCT
12145 54%
6185 105%
9024 72%
6861 95%
11652 56%
6723 97%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
75
88
17%
55
-27%
56
-25%
75
0%
59
-21%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
100
0%
84
-16%
85
-15%
100
0%
90
-10%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-62% / -13%
-24% / -20%
-60% / -18%
-4% / -3%
-58% / -21%

* ... smaller is better

The TN panel unfortunately suffers in respect to the viewing angles and the color accuracy. It does not matter if you select the mode sRGB or Gamer in the True-Color software: The 17-inch system shows a strong blue cast. Fortunately, the deviations can be reduced via calibration. We managed to drop the Grayscale and ColorChecker values below 1 and 2, respectively. Luminance (284 nits) and brightness distribution (85%) are on an upper mainstream level.

In short: The panel N173HHE-G32, which can also be found in other MSI notebooks (like the GS73VR, for example) manages a pretty decent performance overall, despite some drawbacks, which can probably be fixed by an update of the True Color software. 120 Hz and G-Sync are important arguments for gaming enthusiasts.

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
MSI GT73VR vs. sRGB (100%)
MSI GT73VR vs. sRGB (100%)
MSI GT73VR vs. AdobeRGB (75%)
MSI GT73VR vs. AdobeRGB (75%)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
7 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4 ms rise
↘ 3 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 3 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (27.4 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
26 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 12 ms rise
↘ 14 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 7 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (44.5 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 59 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 655 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 28740) Hz was measured.

Performance

We added a couple of system screenshots with an overview about the components below.

Processor

The benchmark results of the new Kaby Lake chip are primarily unspectacular. The Skylake successor has the same clocks and is only ahead by a couple of percentage points. Both the GT73VR 7RF and the GT83VR 6RE (see table) executed Cinebench R15 and Cinebench R11.5 at 4.0 GHz. The new Core i7-7820HK is 3% faster than the Core i7-6820HK at best, which is already within measuring tolerances.

Single-core rendering Sport Mode
Single-core rendering Sport Mode
Multi-core rendering Sport Mode
Multi-core rendering Sport Mode
CPU & GPU load Sport Mode
CPU & GPU load Sport Mode
Single-core rendering Turbo Mode
Single-core rendering Turbo Mode
Multi-core rendering Turbo Mode
Multi-core rendering Turbo Mode
CPU & GPU load Turbo Mode
CPU & GPU load Turbo Mode

The difference will be bigger in notebooks without additional overclocking, since Kaby Lake models are clocked a couple of hundred megahertz higher than their Skylake counterparts. However, we do not think you are making a mistake if you get an older (used) notebook for price-performance reasons. The majority of games are limited by the GPU, so even a Core i7-6700HQ should easily be sufficient for the next couple of years.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
Intel Core i7-7820HK
172 Points ∼100%
Aorus X7 v6
Intel Core i7-6820HK
170 Points ∼99% -1%
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
Intel Core i7-6820HK
168 Points ∼98% -2%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
160 Points ∼93% -7%
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
159 Points ∼92% -8%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
141 Points ∼82% -18%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
Intel Core i7-7820HK
864 Points ∼100%
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
Intel Core i7-6820HK
842 Points ∼97% -3%
Aorus X7 v6
Intel Core i7-6820HK
807 Points ∼93% -7%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
789 Points ∼91% -9%
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
736 Points ∼85% -15%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
656 Points ∼76% -24%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
Intel Core i7-7820HK
1.95 Points ∼100%
Aorus X7 v6
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.93 Points ∼99% -1%
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.91 Points ∼98% -2%
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.81 Points ∼93% -7%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.77 Points ∼91% -9%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
Intel Core i7-7820HK
9.6 Points ∼100%
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
Intel Core i7-6820HK
9.3 Points ∼97% -3%
Aorus X7 v6
Intel Core i7-6820HK
8.88 Points ∼93% -7%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
8.63 Points ∼90% -10%
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.17 Points ∼85% -15%
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.95 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
9.6 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
172 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
864 Points
Help

System Performance

The system performance did not really change, either. However, this is not a surprise, because most components are identical. The GT73VR 7RF scores 7635 points in PCMark 7 and is only 9% faster than the GT73VR 6RE (7024 points). Both devices are subjectively basically identical in practice.

PCMark 7 - Score
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
7635 Points ∼100%
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
GeForce GTX 1070 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
7551 Points ∼99% -1%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
6803 Points ∼89% -11%
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8152S3256GG5
6618 Points ∼87% -13%
Aorus X7 v6
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5946 Points ∼78% -22%
PCMark 7 Score
7635 points
Help

Storage Devices

The high retail price of 3,500 Euros (~$3666) has to be justified, so MSI equips our test model of the GT73 with two M.2 NVMe-SSDs from Samsung in a RAID configuration. Average results of 3219 MB/s for sequential read and 2572 MB/s for sequential write operations (CrystalDiskMark) show quite impressively what is possible right now. Classic SATA-III SSDs on the other hand are limited to around 500 MB/s.

CrystalDiskMark SSDs
CrystalDiskMark SSDs
AS SSD Benchmark SSDs
AS SSD Benchmark SSDs
CrystalDiskMark HDD
CrystalDiskMark HDD
HD Tune HDD
HD Tune HDD

There is also an additional hard drive from HGST to ensure sufficient storage capacity for gamers. It is a 7200-rpm drive with a capacity of 1 TB. Thanks to the great maintainability, you can replace the storage drives (3x M.2 + 1x 2.5-inch), the RAM modules (4x DDR4 SO-DIMM), the wireless adapter and even the GPU (MXM module). More pictures of the internal layout, which is dominated by the gigantic cooling construction, are available in our review of the old GT73VR.

MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
Aorus X7 v6
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
Kingston RBU-SNS8152S3256GG5
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-34%
-29%
-65%
-2%
Write 4k
141.3
155.5
10%
154.4
9%
111.1
-21%
137.6
-3%
Read 4k
51.06
44.33
-13%
44.42
-13%
33.35
-35%
50.14
-2%
Write 512
2445
1103
-55%
1438
-41%
332.3
-86%
2352
-4%
Read 512
1776
966.3
-46%
1250
-30%
403.1
-77%
1728
-3%
Write Seq
2572
1411
-45%
1305
-49%
311.8
-88%
2548
-1%
Read Seq
3219
1499
-53%
1718
-47%
521.2
-84%
3284
2%
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
Sequential Read: 3219 MB/s
Sequential Write: 2572 MB/s
512K Read: 1776 MB/s
512K Write: 2445 MB/s
4K Read: 51.06 MB/s
4K Write: 141.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 657.8 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 553.5 MB/s

GPU Performance

The word dominating is also a suitable description for the GPU. Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 is currently the fastest mobile graphics adapter. It is equipped with 2560 shaders as well as 8 GB GDDR5X-VRAM, so every modern title runs smoothly at the highest settings and with anti-aliasing. Only extreme resolutions towards 4K could be a challenge, where the frame rate sometimes drops below 40 fps.

3DMark 11 Performance
20510 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
181787 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
31711 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
16478 points
Help

Synthetic benchmarks like the Fire Strike Test from the latest 3DMark determine excellent scores for the GeForce GTX 1080. 21,026 points (GPU score) is out of reach for the GTX 1070. The competition is between 19 (Aorus X7 v6) and 25% (Acer Predator 17 G9-793) slower. The G73VR 7RF is only beaten by the 18-inch monster GT83VR, but it is much bigger, heavier and more expensive in return. SLI systems are also quite special due to several details (micro stutters, driver dependency, etc.). The clocks of the GTX 1080 did not cause any criticism. The Pascal chip leveled off at a very high 1850 MHz during Unigine Heaven 4.0, and up to 1911 MHz in the GPU-Z Render Test.

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 SLI (Laptop)
35545 Points ∼100% +69%
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
21026 Points ∼59%
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
17625 Points ∼50% -16%
Aorus X7 v6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
17068 Points ∼48% -19%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
16757 Points ∼47% -20%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
15718 Points ∼44% -25%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 SLI (Laptop)
45279 Points ∼100% +58%
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
28675 Points ∼63%
Aorus X7 v6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
23591 Points ∼52% -18%
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
23170 Points ∼51% -19%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
22282 Points ∼49% -22%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
21228 Points ∼47% -26%

Gaming Performance

We already mentioned that the 17-inch system usually has no performance problems. You can max out all graphics settings in almost every game when you play on the internal FHD screen. Even poorly optimized AAA-games like Deus Ex Mankind Divided or Dishonored 2 can be enjoyed in their full splendor. The GTX 1080 even passes the maximum display frequency quite often. Our benchmark sequence of Battlefield 1, for example, ran at a buttery-smooth 135 fps (Ultra preset) at 1920x1080 pixels.

Battlefield 1 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
135 fps ∼100%
Aorus X7 v6
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
124 fps ∼92% -8%
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
106 fps ∼79% -21%
Titanfall 2 - 1920x1080 Very High (Insane Texture Quality) / Enabled AA:TS AF:16x
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
141 fps ∼100%
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
121.5 fps ∼86% -14%
Call of Duty Infinite Warfare - 1920x1080 Ultra / On AA:T2X SM
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
125 fps ∼100%
Dishonored 2 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:TX
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
79.9 fps ∼100%
Watch Dogs 2 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
71.7 fps ∼100%
Deus Ex Mankind Divided - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:2xMS AF:8x
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
57.1 fps ∼100%
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
GeForce GTX 1070 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
56.1 fps ∼98% -2%
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
43.7 fps ∼77% -23%
Aorus X7 v6
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
41.1 fps ∼72% -28%
FIFA 17 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4xMS
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
360 fps ∼100%
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
GeForce GTX 1070 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
286 fps ∼79% -21%
low med. high ultra4K
Deus Ex Mankind Divided (2016) 10357.135.5fps
FIFA 17 (2016) 378360208fps
Battlefield 1 (2016) 15213557.9fps
Titanfall 2 (2016) 14414158.4fps
Call of Duty Infinite Warfare (2016) 12512575.7fps
Dishonored 2 (2016) 10079.949.2fps
Watch Dogs 2 (2016) 10571.741.4fps
Discussion

Emissions

System Noise

The noise development leaves mixed impressions. While the GT73VR 7RF is not too loud in 3DMark06 at 37-40 dB(A), you will soon want headphones when it comes to maximum load. The fans are extremely loud at 56 dB(A) after our one-hour stress test with the tools FurMark and Prime95. Only the SLI-combination of the MSI GT83VR is even louder (up to 57 dB(A)).

System noise idle
System noise idle
System noise load
System noise load
Speaker measurements
Speaker measurements

The cooling solution is quite restrained while idling. Almost 34-35 dB(A) is common for a gaming notebook with an Nvidia GPU running in it. We could not notice any annoying pulsating. The 37 dB(A) in the table was recorded during the boot sequence.

Noise Level

Idle
34 / 35 / 37 dB(A)
Load
39 / 56 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30 dB(A)
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Aorus X7 v6
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Asus G752VS-XB78K
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 SLI (Laptop)
Noise
-1%
-2%
8%
5%
-3%
Idle Minimum *
34
33
3%
33
3%
31
9%
34
-0%
33
3%
Idle Average *
35
34
3%
35
-0%
32
9%
35
-0%
34
3%
Idle Maximum *
37
40
-8%
40
-8%
33
11%
37
-0%
35
5%
Load Average *
39
44
-13%
43
-10%
40
-3%
37
5%
48
-23%
Load Maximum *
56
50
11%
54
4%
47
16%
44
21%
57
-2%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

The surface temperatures are also on par with the competition, although the GT73VR is a bit cooler than the majority of high-end notebooks. Around 25 °C while idling and up to 40 °C (top) and 48 °C (bottom) during the stress test are not concerning. The WASD area and the palm rest are also very comfortable while gaming thanks to the clever temperature distribution.

Stress test
Stress test
Maximum load top (Optris PI 640)
Maximum load top (Optris PI 640)
Maximum load bottom (Optris PI 640)
Maximum load bottom (Optris PI 640)

We cannot criticize MSI for the internal temperatures, either. The CPU reaches around 90 °C in extreme scenarios, but we never noticed any throttling, even in unrealistic stress situations. The same applies for the graphics card, which warmed up to 73 °C – a great result.

Max. Load
 37.9 °C37.2 °C39.8 °C 
 37.2 °C37.5 °C32.9 °C 
 28.4 °C27.9 °C26.1 °C 
Maximum: 39.8 °C
Average: 33.9 °C
47.8 °C39.7 °C41.4 °C
45.1 °C40.6 °C34.5 °C
29.3 °C27.9 °C26.8 °C
Maximum: 47.8 °C
Average: 37 °C
Power Supply (max.)  45.9 °C | Room Temperature 20 °C | Voltcraft IR-900
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Aorus X7 v6
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Asus G752VS-XB78K
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 SLI (Laptop)
Heat
-7%
-11%
-5%
0%
12%
Maximum Upper Side *
39.8
42.6
-7%
47.5
-19%
42.9
-8%
41.5
-4%
35.8
10%
Maximum Bottom *
47.8
44.9
6%
54.5
-14%
41.5
13%
50.6
-6%
42.8
10%
Idle Upper Side *
27.1
33.1
-22%
28.6
-6%
31.6
-17%
26.4
3%
24.7
9%
Idle Bottom *
27.4
28.9
-5%
28.8
-5%
29.5
-8%
25.4
7%
22.8
17%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.236.52529.236.43129.638.44027.337.2502640.56325.544.28025.347.810024.55712524.66416025.267.220022.169.825021.865.83152171.540020.474.750019.57463018.874.180018.677.610001981.1125019.481.1160018.979.1200017.883250017.784.5315017.684.9400017.582.6500017.479630017.478.5800017.478.51000017.572.21250017.363.61600017.253.6SPL30.593.1N1.4102median 18.8MSI GT73VR 7RF-296median 74.7Delta1.56.841.14037.635.430.730.134.136.228.430.129.2302932.427.635.525.340.323.147.322.154.920.858.819.658.918.7651962.317.665.917.669.817.362.517.157.617.257.317.362.51767.617.167.517.265.717.358.817.452.717.444.917.345.417.240.117.238.829.776.11.336median 17.4Asus G752VS-XB78Kmedian 58.81.89hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (93 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 8.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.1% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (12.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 14% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 80% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 17%, worst was 29%
Compared to all devices tested
» 7% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 92% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

Asus G752VS-XB78K audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 9.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.7% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | reduced highs - on average 8.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 68% of all tested devices in this class were better, 16% similar, 16% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 17%, worst was 29%
Compared to all devices tested
» 39% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 54% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

Frequency comparison (checkboxes are selectable)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

You should force the GT73VR to use the integrated graphics adapter via the GPU button if you want long battery runtimes. This action requires a restart though, so not every user will want to switch all the time. We performed our measurements with the Nvidia GPU, so the consumption values are higher compared to laptops with dynamic graphics switching (Optimus).

29-40 Watts while idling remind us of the Acer Predator 17 and Aorus X7 v6. We can measure between 94 Watts (average 3DMark06) and 315 Watts (stress test) for the GT73VR under load, so the provided 330-Watt power adapter (1.2 kg) is not oversized. Devices with the GTX 1070 only require a 240-Watt model.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.4 / 0.7 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 29 / 35 / 40 Watt
Load midlight 94 / 315 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Aorus X7 v6
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Asus G752VS-XB78K
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 SLI (Laptop)
Power Consumption
4%
4%
15%
25%
-30%
Idle Minimum *
29
25
14%
29
-0%
24
17%
20
31%
32
-10%
Idle Average *
35
35
-0%
31
11%
31
11%
27
23%
47
-34%
Idle Maximum *
40
46
-15%
38
5%
36
10%
31
22%
52
-30%
Load Average *
94
103
-10%
111
-18%
94
-0%
86
9%
152
-62%
Load Maximum *
315
223
29%
253
20%
204
35%
184
42%
366
-16%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

You will soon reach the limits of the 17-inch system when the GeForce GTX 1080 is active. 2:25 hours of video playback and 2:40 hours of web browsing (display luminance @150 nits) will not impress anyone. However, the battery capacity of the 8-cell module is not very generous at 75 Wh, either. Other manufacturers equip their gaming notebooks with 90-Wh modules.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing v1.3
2h 40min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
2h 25min
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
75.2 Wh
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
88 Wh
Aorus X7 v6
94 Wh
Asus G752VS-XB78K
90 Wh
MSI GT72VR 7RE-433
83 Wh
MSI GT83VR-6RE32SR451
75 Wh
Battery Runtime
25%
14%
30%
51%
-25%
WiFi
WiFi v1.3
160
200
25%
182
14%
210
31%
230
44%
120
-25%
H.264
145
186
28%
228
57%

Pro

+ many ports (including Thunderbolt 3)
+ good maintainability and upgradeability
+ 120 Hz panel with G-Sync support
+ processor overclocked ex-works
+ up to four storage drives
+ acceptable temperatures
+ excellent performance
+ good input devices
+ powerful software
+ decent sound
+ NVMe-SSDs

Cons

- Full HD is no challenge for the GTX 1080
- heavy and thick chassis
- very loud under maximum load

Verdict

In review: MSI GT73VR 7RF Titan Pro. Test model courtesy of MSI Germany.
In review: MSI GT73VR 7RF Titan Pro. Test model courtesy of MSI Germany.

The verdict is pretty sobering if you expected big improvements from Kaby Lake. Intel's new CPU architecture does not really seem to reduce temperature or noise development according to initial reviews. The consumption measurements and the performances with identical clocks hardly differ from comparable Skylake notebooks, either.

The current version of the GT73VR is once again a very successful (although quite heavy and bulky) desktop replacement, which does not reveal serious drawbacks in any section. It also handles the most demanding games without breaking a sweat.

MSI GT73VR 7RF-296 - 12/27/2016 v6
Florian Glaser

Chassis
82 / 98 → 83%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
66 / 81 → 81%
Weight
49 / 66 → 69%
Battery
66%
Display
82%
Games Performance
99%
Application Performance
99%
Temperature
91 / 95 → 95%
Noise
64 / 90 → 71%
Audio
85%
Average
79%
87%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GT73VR 7RF Titan Pro Notebook Review
Florian Glaser, 2017-01- 3 (Update: 2017-01- 7)