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MSI GL73 8SE (i7-8750H, RTX 2060) Laptop Review

RTX on a budget. Even the slowest GeForce RTX 2060 laptop can be as fast as a GTX 1070 Max-Q. MSI's entry-level RTX offering can game almost as well as its high-end GE or GT series at the cost of auxiliary features and connectivity options.

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Nvidia RTX is the new mobile GPU in town with promising advanced features. Even the least expensive model, however, will set you back $1500 while older GTX gaming laptops continue to drop in price. For this review, we'll be checking out the entry-level MSI GL73 which is one of the least expensive RTX gaming laptops currently in the market.

The closest competitor to the 17.3-inch GL73 is the Asus ROG Strix GL704GV equipped with the same GPU. Beyond that, there aren't many 17-inch gaming laptops with RTX 2060 graphics yet since the GPU is still very new. We fully expect existing entry-level 17-inch GTX models like the Dell G3 17 and Lenovo Legion Y730 to eventually make the jump to RTX graphics. In contrast, the 15.6-inch space is littered with a plethora of RTX 2060 options.

Our GL73 test unit was provided by reseller Xotic PC who offers the model with multiple CPU (i5-8300H and i7-8750H), RAM (16 GB to 32 GB), and storage (128 GB to 256 GB NVMe) options ranging from $1500 to $1700 USD. Although Xotic PC may reskin and overclock specific models, they've assured us that this particular unit has not been tuned outside of the base CPU and GPU manufacturer specifications. In other words, the unit you buy from Xotic PC would be essentially identical to ones purchased directly from MSI.

We recommend checking out our review on the older GL72 since the GL73 directly succeeds it. Naturally, the two models share many similarities both inside and out.

More MSI reviews:

MSI GL73 8SE-010US
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop) - 6144 MB, Core: 1200 MHz, Memory: 1750 MHz, GDDR6, 417.49, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2666, PC4-21300, 19-19-19-43, Single-Channel
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 127 PPI, CMN1747, TN LED, Chi Mei N173HHE-G32, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Cannon Lake HM370
Storage
Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ, 128 GB 
, Secondary: HGST HTS721010A9E630
Soundcard
Nvidia TU106 - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm earphones, 3.5 mm headphones, Card Reader: SD reader
Networking
Qualcomm/Atheros e2400 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 33 x 419 x 287 ( = 1.3 x 16.5 x 11.3 in)
Battery
41 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6-cell
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p30
Additional features
Speakers: 2x 3 W Speaker, Keyboard: SteelSeries chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Dragon Center 2.0, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.7 kg ( = 95.24 oz / 5.95 pounds), Power Supply: 754 g ( = 26.6 oz / 1.66 pounds)
Price
1500 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The GL73 is a relatively minor redesign of the GL72. While its overall appearance and chassis material have not changed, the integrated optical drive has been dropped and there are now more ventilation grilles than before. This makes us believe that cooling was a high priority when MSI was designing the successor to the GL72.

Outside of the small superficial differences, the feel and quality of the chassis remain the same. Both the small hinges and the smooth matte plastic surfaces are back for a budget impression in line with the Lenovo Legion Y720 series, Dell G3 and G5 series, and the Asus TUF series. Attempting to twist or warp the base or lid will result in visibly more bending than the much tougher MSI GE or GT series. Overall rigidity feels just slightly better than the Legion Y720 or Y730, but not enough to really stand out from the crowd of inexpensive gaming laptops. In other words, the system looks and feels adequate if not uninspiring.

Chassis dimensions are nearly identical to the last generation GL72 while being noticeably lighter by about 200 g to 300 g depending on the installed storage. Even so, the MSI is thicker than many competitors in its budget category including the Dell G3 17, Lenovo Legion Y730, and Asus TUF FX705. The thick and unsightly display bezels of the GL73 don't do it any favors either.

Plastic base and lid for a budget impression
Plastic base and lid for a budget impression
Lid opened to maximum angle (~150 degrees)
Lid opened to maximum angle (~150 degrees)
Fingerprint-loving matte surfaces from top to bottom
Fingerprint-loving matte surfaces from top to bottom
Hinges are satisfactory, but the small size makes us question their longevity
Hinges are satisfactory, but the small size makes us question their longevity

Connectivity

MSI has kept all the ports from the last generation GL72 albeit rearranged on the GL73 in order to make room for the new ventilation grilles. For better or worse, the ports along the left edge are much closer together now as a result. Understandably, there is no Thunderbolt 3 option on this budget model.

Outputting to a native 4K UHD monitor at 60 Hz may only be possible through mDP since 4K60 support on HDMI 1.4 is limited.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: SD reader, 2x USB 3.1 Type-A, AC adapter
Right: SD reader, 2x USB 3.1 Type-A, AC adapter
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity
Left: Kensington Lock, RJ-45, HDMI 1.4, mini-DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.1 Type-A, USB 3.1 Type-C Gen. 1, 3.5 mm earphones, 3.5 mm microphone
Left: Kensington Lock, RJ-45, HDMI 1.4, mini-DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.1 Type-A, USB 3.1 Type-C Gen. 1, 3.5 mm earphones, 3.5 mm microphone

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SD Card Reader

SD readers on budget systems tend to be slow and the spring-loaded card reader on the GL73 is no different. We are able to record a transfer rate of just under 31 MB/s with our UHS-II SDXC test card compared to 200+ MB/s on the XPS 15.

A fully inserted SD card still protrudes by about 4 mm and so it's recommended to eject the card before transporting.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
76 MB/s ∼100% +183%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26.81 MB/s ∼35%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26 MB/s ∼34% -3%
Dell G3 17 3779
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
24.5 MB/s ∼32% -9%
MSI GL72 7RDX-602
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
23.6 MB/s ∼31% -12%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
84.8 MB/s ∼100% +174%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
32 MB/s ∼38% +3%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
30.98 MB/s ∼37%
MSI GL72 7RDX-602
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
19.9 MB/s ∼23% -36%

Communication

Removable M.2 2242 WLAN module
Removable M.2 2242 WLAN module

The Intel 9560 with integrated Bluetooth 5.0 is common amongst flagship Ultrabooks and gaming laptops. Theoretical transfer rates can be up to 1.73 Gbps to easily outclass the 1x1 Intel 3168 on the cheaper GL73 SKU. Performance can be faster than what we've recorded below since our server setup is limited by a 1 Gbps line. Competing modules, like the Killer 1550 in many Dell laptops, offer more gamer-centric software features than our Intel.

We didn't experience any wireless connectivity issues during our time with the test unit.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
693 MBit/s ∼100% +7%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
650 MBit/s ∼94%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
630 MBit/s ∼91% -3%
MSI GL73 8RD-418US
Intel Wireless AC 9462
317 MBit/s ∼46% -51%
MSI GL72 7RDX-602
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
305 MBit/s ∼44% -53%
Dell G3 17 3779
Intel Wireless AC 9462
284 MBit/s ∼41% -56%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
662 MBit/s ∼100% +6%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
623 MBit/s ∼94%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
579 MBit/s ∼87% -7%
MSI GL72 7RDX-602
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
342 MBit/s ∼52% -45%
Dell G3 17 3779
Intel Wireless AC 9462
321 MBit/s ∼48% -48%
MSI GL73 8RD-418US
Intel Wireless AC 9462
245 MBit/s ∼37% -61%

Accessories

There are no included extras outside of a warranty card and Quick Start guide. In comparison, pricier MSI laptops from the GS, GE, or GT series throw in a large velvet cleaning cloth in each box.

Maintenance

The bottom panel requires only a Philips screwdriver to remove. The latches around the edges, however, are tight and difficult to pry open for novices. Furthermore, a 'Factory Seal' sticker must be torn to discourage end-user tempering. These drawbacks are a shame because there are actually plenty of easy upgrade options available on the system.

Direct access to most core components. Note the vast amount of unoccupied empty space
Direct access to most core components. Note the vast amount of unoccupied empty space
Last generation MSI GL72 for comparison
Last generation MSI GL72 for comparison

Warranty

Purchasing the laptop from Xotic PC will actually come with a two-year limited manufacturer warranty as opposed to only one-year from most other OEMs or larger resellers like Newegg. Registering the product with MSI will also come with free accidental damage protection. Xotic PC also covers upgrade components installed by the reseller and it offers extended warranty options of up to three years total.

Input Devices

Keyboard

Both the SteelSeries keyboard and trackpad (~11 x 6.3 cm) remain identical to the GL72 albeit now with red trims and a red keyboard backlight as standard. Key feedback is still on the soft side for a relatively quiet clatter not unlike on the Asus TUF FX705. We still prefer it over the Blade 15 keyboard which we find to be far too light and shallow for gaming.

The dedicated Turbo Fan mode and Dragon Center buttons are back. We would love to see dedicated volume keys or Macro keys in the future to improve customization.

Touchpad

There are no textural differences separating the trackpad from the palm rests as they are made from the same matte plastic material. Glide is smooth and uniform no matter the speed, but cursor movements do not translate perfectly. For example, when gliding a finger slowly across the trackpad, the onscreen cursor would sometimes stand still. We're unsure if this is a bug or just an issue on our particular unit and so we recommend any potential GL73 users double-check this as well.

The integrated mouse keys are firm with shallow travel, strong feedback, and a loud satisfying click. We commend MSI for sticking with dedicated mouse keys for many of its larger gaming models.

The Synaptics trackpad does not appear to be Precision-enabled by default.

Same layout and style as on the GL72. The full-size Arrow keys are excellent, but the NumPad keys are narrow
Same layout and style as on the GL72. The full-size Arrow keys are excellent, but the NumPad keys are narrow
Three-level red backlight now standard whereas the white backlight on the GL72 was optional
Three-level red backlight now standard whereas the white backlight on the GL72 was optional

Display

Surprisingly, the GL73 utilizes the same high quality Chi Mei N173HHE-G32 TN panel as found on the pricier MSI GE73 Raider. The fast 5 ms black-white response time reduces ghosting while the 120 Hz native refresh rate ensures a buttery-smooth Windows experience. Other display characteristics such as color space and contrast are very similar to the GE73 Raider with superior results to the LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF6 panel on the Legion Y730. In short, this is a high-end panel on a budget-mainstream laptop. 

There are no major graininess issues on the matte panel. It's not as crisp as a full-on glossy display, but it's nowhere near as grainy as what we've experienced on some Clevo systems

Matte screen with thick bezels and no edge-to-edge glass protection
Matte screen with thick bezels and no edge-to-edge glass protection
Subpixel array (127 PPI)
Subpixel array (127 PPI)
313.1
cd/m²
327.5
cd/m²
317.1
cd/m²
304.7
cd/m²
326.4
cd/m²
315.7
cd/m²
295.6
cd/m²
327.3
cd/m²
323.7
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 327.5 cd/m² Average: 316.8 cd/m² Minimum: 17.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 326.4 cd/m²
Contrast: 1166:1 (Black: 0.28 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 7.83 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2, calibrated: 2.83
ΔE Greyscale 10.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
100% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 75.8% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 1.97
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
CMN1747, TN LED, 17.3, 1920x1080
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
LP173WF4-SPF6, IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
MSI GL72 7RDX-602
Chi Mei CMN1735 N173HGE-E11, TN LED, 17.3, 1920x1080
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
Chi Mei N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), TN WLED, 17.3, 1920x1080
Asus TUF FX705GM
AU Optronics B173HAN04.0 (AUO409D), IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Dell G3 17 3779
AUO, B173HAN01.3, IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
MSI GL73 8RD-418US
Chi Mei N173HHE-G32, TN LED, 17.3, 1920x1080
Response Times
-191%
-147%
-63%
10%
-207%
-46%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
12.8 (6.8, 6)
36.8 (18.8, 18)
-188%
29 (14, 15)
-127%
28 (16.4, 11.6)
-119%
7.4 (3.8, 3.6)
42%
38 (18, 20)
-197%
29.6 (13.2, 16.4)
-131%
Response Time Black / White *
8.2 (6, 2.2)
24 (14, 10)
-193%
26 (21, 5)
-217%
13.6 (11.8, 1.8)
-66%
10 (4.8, 5.2)
-22%
26 (15, 11)
-217%
8.6 (6.4, 2.2)
-5%
PWM Frequency
25770 (15)
961
-96%
25000 (14)
-3%
25510 (25)
-1%
Screen
-8%
-18%
16%
17%
6%
-4%
Brightness middle
326.4
328.7
1%
299
-8%
273
-16%
234
-28%
323
-1%
290.5
-11%
Brightness
317
318
0%
274
-14%
273
-14%
228
-28%
306
-3%
284
-10%
Brightness Distribution
90
91
1%
80
-11%
90
0%
85
-6%
89
-1%
81
-10%
Black Level *
0.28
0.51
-82%
0.25
11%
0.26
7%
0.2
29%
0.31
-11%
0.27
4%
Contrast
1166
645
-45%
1196
3%
1050
-10%
1170
0%
1042
-11%
1076
-8%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
7.83
4.91
37%
12.92
-65%
3.52
55%
2.16
72%
4.96
37%
8.55
-9%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
13.36
10.15
24%
19.91
-49%
6.34
53%
3.39
75%
8.25
38%
13.44
-1%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2.83
4.27
-51%
2.09
26%
2.02
29%
2.74
3%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
10.9
3.9
64%
13.16
-21%
3.11
71%
2
82%
5.65
48%
11.1
-2%
Gamma
1.97 112%
2.13 103%
2.36 93%
2.43 91%
2.46 89%
2.24 98%
1.85 119%
CCT
11056 59%
6911 94%
15046 43%
6999 93%
6394 102%
7441 87%
10912 60%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
75.8
55.6
-27%
60
-21%
76
0%
58
-23%
58
-23%
75.4
-1%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
84.7
-15%
94
-6%
100
0%
89
-11%
90
-10%
99.9
0%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-100% / -36%
-83% / -48%
-24% / -1%
14% / 16%
-101% / -29%
-25% / -13%

* ... smaller is better

Color space covers sRGB in its entirety and approximately 76 percent of AdobeRGB to satisfy most digital artists. Colors are deeper and more vibrant than on many budget-mainstream gaming laptops. The AUO panel on the Dell G3 17, for example, covers just 58 percent of AdobeRGB.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB

Further measurements with an X-Rite colorimeter reveal horrendously inaccurate colors and an overly cool grayscale. These are perhaps the consequences of having a high-end panel on an entry-level machine. Fortunately, our calibration addresses these concerns for a significantly more accurate display. We recommend an end-user calibration to get the most out of the display especially since it is capable of reproducing the entire sRGB spectrum.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker After calibration
ColorChecker After calibration

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
8.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6 ms rise
↘ 2.2 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 5 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
12.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6.8 ms rise
↘ 6 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 6 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (40.9 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 detected 25770 Hz ≤ 15 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 25770 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 15 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 25770 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9254 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is limited when not under shade because of the narrow viewing angles of TN. Attempting to reduce glare by adjusting the lid will cause colors and contrast to quickly shift. The displays of most gaming laptops are not designed for constant use outdoors and the GL73 is no different.

Outdoors on a cloudy day
Outdoors on a cloudy day
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors on a cloudy day
Outdoors on a cloudy day
TN viewing angles
TN viewing angles

Performance

CPU options remain the same as on the last generation MSI GL72. The Core i5-8300H and i7-8750H are commonplace on budget to enthusiast gaming laptops alike. The biggest difference, of course, is the GeForce RTX 2060 Turing GPU to supplant the last generation GeForce GTX 1060 Pascal GPU found on most mainstream gaming laptops of yesteryear.

Nvidia Optimus comes standard for automatic graphics switching to the integrated UHD Graphics 630. Consequently, G-Sync is not an option on the GL73.

Processor

CineBench R15
CineBench R15

The Core i7-8750H in the MSI underperforms by about 10 percent when compared to the average i7-8750H in our database. This same CPU in the Alienware m15 runs faster by about 22 percent according to CineBench R15 Multi-Thread. The limited Turbo Boost potential of the MSI is responsible for the lower scores as our Stress Test section below will show.

We are able to observe performance throttling by running CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop. The initial score of 1034 points drops to 919 points by the second loop to represent a performance drop of 11 percent. Note that the pricier MSI GE73 has the same CPU as our GL73, but it is able to run the processor at faster clock rates.

See our dedicated page on the Core i7-8750H for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

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MSI GL73 8SE-010US GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø920 (906.29-1034.2)
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1193 (1158.58-1229.48)
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8 GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1041 (976.49-1204.86)
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1034 (1022.83-1162.62)
Dell G3 17 3779 GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, SK hynix SC311 SATA; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø759 (750.51-796.5)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
Intel Core i9-8950HK
190 Points ∼87% +12%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H
  (163 - 177, n=63)
173 Points ∼79% +2%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H
172 Points ∼79% +2%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
Intel Core i7-8750H
169 Points ∼78%
Lenovo Yoga C930-13IKB 81C4
Intel Core i7-8550U
168 Points ∼77% -1%
Lenovo Legion Y730-15ICH i5-8300H
Intel Core i5-8300H
166 Points ∼76% -2%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-15IKB 81AC001AGE
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
161 Points ∼74% -5%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
150 Points ∼69% -11%
Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 7300HQ 1050Ti
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
138 Points ∼63% -18%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H
1218 Points ∼28% +22%
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1163 Points ∼27% +17%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H
  (863 - 1251, n=66)
1108 Points ∼25% +11%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
Intel Core i7-8750H
997 Points ∼23%
Lenovo Legion Y730-15ICH i5-8300H
Intel Core i5-8300H
818 Points ∼19% -18%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-15IKB 81AC001AGE
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
683 Points ∼16% -31%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
661 Points ∼15% -34%
Lenovo Yoga C930-13IKB 81C4
Intel Core i7-8550U
629 Points ∼14% -37%
Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 7300HQ 1050Ti
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
510 (min: 503.52, max: 509.87) Points ∼12% -49%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
169 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
997 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
94.8 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks rank our system just a few percentage points higher than the GL73 8RD with the much slower GTX 1050 Ti. Thus, users shouldn't expect a huge boost in day-to-day performance just because the GL73 8SE has a fancy new RTX graphics card. A notable exception is the 20 percent higher Digital Content Creation score as this particular benchmark favors systems with fast GPUs.

We didn't experience any software or hardware issues during our time with the test unit.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
7370 Points ∼74% +21%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
6108 Points ∼61%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
 
6108 Points ∼61% 0%
Asus TUF FX705GM
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
6071 Points ∼61% -1%
MSI GL73 8RD-418US
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
5070 Points ∼51% -17%
Dell G3 17 3779
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, SK hynix SC311 SATA
4342 Points ∼44% -29%
Productivity
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
7264 Points ∼75% +2%
MSI GL73 8RD-418US
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
7252 Points ∼75% +2%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
7096 Points ∼73%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
 
7096 Points ∼73% 0%
Asus TUF FX705GM
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
7025 Points ∼72% -1%
Dell G3 17 3779
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, SK hynix SC311 SATA
6668 Points ∼69% -6%
Essentials
Asus TUF FX705GM
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
8791 Points ∼82% +5%
MSI GL73 8RD-418US
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
8530 Points ∼80% +2%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
8397 Points ∼79%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
 
8397 Points ∼79% 0%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
8276 Points ∼78% -1%
Dell G3 17 3779
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, SK hynix SC311 SATA
7888 Points ∼74% -6%
Score
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
5465 Points ∼70% +7%
Asus TUF FX705GM
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
5169 Points ∼67% +1%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
5118 Points ∼66%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
 
5118 Points ∼66% 0%
MSI GL73 8RD-418US
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
4871 Points ∼63% -5%
Dell G3 17 3779
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, SK hynix SC311 SATA
4442 Points ∼57% -13%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Asus TUF FX705GM
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
5719 Points ∼88% +7%
MSI GL73 8RD-418US
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
5396 Points ∼83% +1%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
5359 Points ∼82%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
 
5359 Points ∼82% 0%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
5342 Points ∼82% 0%
Dell G3 17 3779
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, SK hynix SC311 SATA
5218 Points ∼80% -3%
MSI GL72 7RDX-602
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 7700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
4735 Points ∼73% -12%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus TUF FX705GM
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
4660 Points ∼76% +20%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
4498 Points ∼74% +16%
MSI GL73 8RD-418US
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
4235 Points ∼70% +9%
Dell G3 17 3779
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, SK hynix SC311 SATA
3886 Points ∼64% 0%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
3876 Points ∼64%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
 
3876 Points ∼64% 0%
MSI GL72 7RDX-602
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 7700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
3220 Points ∼53% -17%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3876 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5359 points
Help

Storage Devices

A total of three storage bays are available (2x M.2 2280, 1x 2.5-inch SATA III) compared to only two on the last generation GL72. Our specific test unit is equipped with a 128 GB NVMe Kingston SSD and a secondary 7200 RPM 1 TB HGST HDD. Xotic PC offers more storage options than ordering from MSI.

Transfer rates from the NVMe SSD are slow since it is a budget drive. Sequential read rate is only 793 MB/s compared to almost twice that on the WDC SSD as found on the Asus TUF FX705. Meanwhile, the 7200 RPM HDD returns a respectable average transfer rate of 117 MB/s.

See our table of HDDs and SSDs for more benchmark comparisons.

Accessible 2.5-inch SATA bay sits adjacent to the M.2 WLAN card
Accessible 2.5-inch SATA bay sits adjacent to the M.2 WLAN card
2x SODIMM and 2x M.2 2280 with PCIe 3.0 x4 support
2x SODIMM and 2x M.2 2280 with PCIe 3.0 x4 support
HD Tune (HGST HDD)
HD Tune (HGST HDD)
CDM 5.5 (Kingston SSD)
CDM 5.5 (Kingston SSD)
AS SSD (Kingston SSD)
AS SSD (Kingston SSD)
CDM 5.5 (HGST HDD)
CDM 5.5 (HGST HDD)
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
Asus TUF FX705GM
WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
Dell G3 17 3779
SK hynix SC311 SATA
AS SSD
-68%
-24%
116%
-34%
Copy Game MB/s
555.83
134.55
-76%
295.55
-47%
124.16
-78%
Copy Program MB/s
277.96
182.95
-34%
192.94
-31%
99.79
-64%
Copy ISO MB/s
811.32
272.67
-66%
412.55
-49%
154.91
-81%
Score Total
1061
479
-55%
881
-17%
2458
132%
552
-48%
Score Write
385
86
-78%
254
-34%
1082
181%
199
-48%
Score Read
456
286
-37%
417
-9%
913
100%
236
-48%
Access Time Write *
0.09
0.324
-260%
0.097
-8%
0.036
60%
0.069
23%
Access Time Read *
0.237
0.519
-119%
0.235
1%
0.106
55%
0.136
43%
4K-64 Write
285.72
31.38
-89%
172.7
-40%
856.34
200%
114.77
-60%
4K-64 Read
354.32
168.58
-52%
351.41
-1%
720.13
103%
160.67
-55%
4K Write
56.58
38.73
-32%
38.34
-32%
101.9
80%
58.52
3%
4K Read
21.91
19.73
-10%
14.07
-36%
38.49
76%
24.22
11%
Seq Write
427.59
125.45
-71%
425.71
0%
1236.46
189%
254.44
-40%
Seq Read
793.63
979.27
23%
511.18
-36%
1571.32
98%
511.08
-36%

* ... smaller is better

Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 1214 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 386.5 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 303.2 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 204 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 8.3 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 404.5 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 32.7 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 71.19 MB/s

GPU Performance

3DMark benchmarks rank the RTX 2060 almost 35 percent faster than the GTX 1060 or just 14 percent slower than the GTX 1070 in the pricier GE73 Raider. Thus, raw gaming performance is closer to the GTX 1070 Max-Q than to the standard GTX 1070 that we were hoping for. It's still a sizable performance leap over the GTX 1060 to make the RTX 2070 even better for users targeting 1080p60 on the latest titles.

Higher performance is attainable once DLSS becomes available for retail games. The feature is looking more promising for lower-end RTX GPUs like the RTX 2060 because it would benefit more percentage-wise from the increase in frame rates. We'll have to wait until we have more RTX laptops in our database before we can draw any firm conclusions on ray-tracing and DLSS across different mobile RTX GPUs.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Port Royal
Port Royal
Time Spy
Time Spy
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark
2560x1440 Port Royal Graphics
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
3679 Points ∼62% +22%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
  (3020 - 3028, n=2)
3024 Points ∼51% 0%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H
3020 Points ∼51%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Schenker XMG Ultra 17 Coffee Lake Refresh
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 9900K
20901 Points ∼51% +33%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
18153 Points ∼45% +15%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H
17980 Points ∼44% +14%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
16010 Points ∼39% +2%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H
15731 Points ∼39%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
  (15389 - 15731, n=2)
15560 Points ∼38% -1%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
11752 Points ∼29% -25%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
11366 Points ∼28% -28%
MSI GL73 8RD-418US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H
8075 Points ∼20% -49%
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, 8950HK
7374 Points ∼18% -53%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
AMD Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 2700U
6262 Points ∼15% -60%
MSI GL72 7RDX-602
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 7700HQ
6230 Points ∼15% -60%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Schenker XMG Ultra 17 Coffee Lake Refresh
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 9900K
16949 Points ∼93% +86%
Asus TUF FX705GM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
12124 Points ∼67% +33%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
  (9099 - 14726, n=2)
11913 Points ∼66% +31%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
11407 Points ∼63% +25%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H
11115 Points ∼61% +22%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
10749 Points ∼59% +18%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
9792 Points ∼54% +8%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H
9099 Points ∼50%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
8958 Points ∼49% -2%
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, 8950HK
8450 Points ∼47% -7%
MSI GL73 8RD-418US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H
8271 Points ∼46% -9%
MSI GL72 7RDX-602
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 7700HQ
6859 Points ∼38% -25%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
AMD Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 2700U
5792 Points ∼32% -36%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Schenker XMG Ultra 17 Coffee Lake Refresh
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 9900K
28606 Points ∼56% +42%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H
23261 Points ∼46% +15%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
22723 Points ∼45% +13%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
20573 Points ∼40% +2%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
  (20157 - 20393, n=2)
20275 Points ∼40% +1%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H
20157 Points ∼40%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
14534 Points ∼29% -28%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
14351 Points ∼28% -29%
Asus TUF FX705GM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
13722 Points ∼27% -32%
MSI GL73 8RD-418US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H
9944 Points ∼20% -51%
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, 8950HK
9032 Points ∼18% -55%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
AMD Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 2700U
8451 Points ∼17% -58%
MSI GL72 7RDX-602
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 7700HQ
7769 Points ∼15% -61%
3DMark 11 Performance
15612 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
29408 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
13774 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
5679 points
Help

Gaming Performance

As predicted by 3DMark, real-world performance in games is very similar to the GTX 1070 Max-Q when RTX-specific features like ray-tracing and DLSS are off. The performance boost over a GTX 1060 may be even higher at up to 50 percent likely depending on the title. Reaching a steady 120 FPS at 1080p to take full advantage of the 120 Hz display is possible on modern titles albeit with most graphics options tuned down.

Idling on Witcher 3 shows consistent frame rates over time save for a couple of dips to the mid 40s as shown by the graph below. The sudden and short-lived drops in frame rates are likely due to interrupting background activity. MSI laptops in particular tend to have more software pop-ups than other gaming laptops.

See our review page on the mobile RTX series for more technical information and our dedicated RTX 2060 page for more benchmark comparisons.

The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
68.9 fps ∼100% +25%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
62.9 fps ∼91% +14%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17 Coffee Lake Refresh
Intel Core i9-9900K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
61.7 fps ∼90% +12%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
  (55.1 - 59.9, n=2)
57.5 fps ∼83% +4%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
55.1 fps ∼80%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
54.2 fps ∼79% -2%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
38.5 fps ∼56% -30%
Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
37 fps ∼54% -33%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop)
26 fps ∼38% -53%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
24 fps ∼35% -56%
MSI GL72 7RDX-602
Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
23.8 fps ∼35% -57%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U, AMD Radeon RX 560X (Laptop)
20.6 fps ∼30% -63%
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