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MSI GS73 8RF Stealth (i7-8750H, GTX 1070 Max-Q, FHD) Laptop Review

Florian Glaser, 👁 Florian Glaser (translated by Mark Riege), 08/26/2018

Washboard belly. With a height of just 19.6 mm (~0.77 in), the GS73 Stealth belongs to the slimmest gaming laptops on the market. Despite the compact dimensions, MSI has managed to squeeze powerful hardware under the hood. You can find out in our test, whether this concept is working or the cooling system is overtaxed.

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MSI GS73 8RF Stealth

While the 15-inch GS63 was replaced by the stylish GS65 in Intel's Coffee-Lake generation, MSI remains faithful to the established case in the 17-inch model. With the exception of the improved connections (now 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 instead of the earlier 1x USB 3.1 Gen2), nothing has changed in the case according to our information. So rather than repeating the evaluation of the corresponding test categories (Case, Connections, Input Devices), after a short intro including a model overview, we will begin directly with the display. You can find out about the missing sections in the reviews of the predecessor and the model preceding that.

MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011 (GS73 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q - 8192 MB, Core: 1101 MHz, Memory: 8000 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 390.94, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, 2x 8 GB SO-DIMM DDR4-2400, dual channel, all slots occupied, max. 32 GB
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 127 PPI, CMN N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), TN, 120 Hz, Full-HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM370
Storage
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 256 GB 
, NVMe SSD + Seagate BarraCuda ST2000LM015, 2 TB HDD, 5400 rpm
Soundcard
Realtek ALC1220 @ Intel Cannon Lake PCH
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 1x headphones, 1x microphone, Card Reader: SD, SDHC, SDXC
Networking
Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter (a/b/g/h/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19.6 x 412 x 285 ( = 0.77 x 16.22 x 11.22 in)
Battery
51 Wh, 4500 mAh Lithium-Polymer, 3 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD (720p)
Additional features
Speakers: 4x 2W speaker, 1x 3W subwoofer, Keyboard: Chiclet RGB, Keyboard Light: yes, 180-Watt power supply, Quick Start guide, warranty booklet, recovery instructions, various manufacturer tools, Killer Performance Suite, Norton Security trial, XSplit Gamecaster trial, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.41 kg ( = 85.01 oz / 5.31 pounds), Power Supply: 420 g ( = 14.82 oz / 0.93 pounds)
Price
2240 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Unlike many other MSI laptops that have dozens of equipment variations, the new GS73 is only available in two versions whose base specifications are the same – at least as far as it concerns the German market. The GS73 8RF-011 and the GS73 8RF-010DE both cost 2200 to 2300 Euros (~$2559-2675; about $2300 in the US) and bring a Core i7-8750H, a GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, and 16 GB of DDR4-RAM. Data is stored either on the small 256 GB M.2-SSD or the large 2 TB 2.5-inch HDD. The display is a matte Full-HD TN screen with 120 Hz. Theoretically, the high-end product should also be available with a 4K display (available in the US for ~$2600). The manufacturer's home page lists a UHD IPS panel.

MSI GS73 8RF Stealth
MSI GS73 8RF Stealth
MSI GS73 8RF Stealth
MSI GS73 8RF Stealth

The competitors of the MSI GS73 8RF Stealth include other slim 17-inch gaming notebooks such as the Aorus X7 v7, the Medion Erazer X7857, or the in-house GE73 8RF. The latter each have a GTX 1070 without Max-Q design.

Size Comparison

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Aorus X7 v7
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
196 MB/s ∼100% +14%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
182.9 MB/s ∼93% +6%
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
172 MB/s ∼88%
Average of class Gaming
  (11.7 - 202, n=205)
90.1 MB/s ∼46% -48%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26 MB/s ∼13% -85%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Aorus X7 v7
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
247 MB/s ∼100% +15%
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
215 MB/s ∼87%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
212.24 MB/s ∼86% -1%
Average of class Gaming
  (13.4 - 257, n=203)
109 MB/s ∼44% -49%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
32 MB/s ∼13% -85%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
693 MBit/s ∼100% +48%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
605 MBit/s ∼87% +29%
Average of class Gaming
  (141 - 702, n=178)
595 MBit/s ∼86% +27%
Aorus X7 v7
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
485 MBit/s ∼70% +4%
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
468 MBit/s ∼68%
Medion Erazer X7857
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
371 MBit/s ∼54% -21%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Medion Erazer X7857
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
664 MBit/s ∼100% +109%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
662 MBit/s ∼100% +109%
Average of class Gaming
  (213 - 697, n=178)
535 MBit/s ∼81% +69%
Aorus X7 v7
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
498 MBit/s ∼75% +57%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
486 MBit/s ∼73% +53%
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
317 MBit/s ∼48%

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Display - More Hertz for gamers

The are no surprises in the display. We already know the 120-Hz display with the label CMN N173HHE-G32 from the old GS73, where it has served well.

264
cd/m²
270
cd/m²
267
cd/m²
264
cd/m²
262
cd/m²
258
cd/m²
255
cd/m²
253
cd/m²
256
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 270 cd/m² Average: 261 cd/m² Minimum: 14 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 94 %
Center on Battery: 262 cd/m²
Contrast: 1310:1 (Black: 0.2 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.96 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2, calibrated: 2.18
ΔE Greyscale 3.09 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
100% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 76% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.48
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
CMN N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), TN, 1920x1080
MSI GS73VR 7RG
ID: CMN1747, Name: Chi Mei N173HHE-G32, TN LED, 1920x1080
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
Chi Mei N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), TN WLED, 1920x1080
Aorus X7 v7
AU Optronics B173QTN01.4 (AUO1496), TN LED, 2560x1440
Medion Erazer X7857
LG Philips LP 173WF4-SPF5, IPS, 1920x1080
Response Times
-79%
-127%
-103%
-86%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
7.8 (4.4, 3.4)
23.6 (13.6, 10)
-203%
28 (16.4, 11.6)
-259%
24 (14, 10)
-208%
34 (18, 16)
-336%
Response Time Black / White *
6.2 (4.4, 1.8)
8.4 (6, 2.4)
-35%
13.6 (11.8, 1.8)
-119%
6 (4, 2)
3%
24 (14, 10)
-287%
PWM Frequency
25510 (14)
26040 (10)
2%
25000 (14)
-2%
119000 (90)
366%
Screen
-50%
-2%
-39%
-33%
Brightness middle
262
350.9
34%
273
4%
375
43%
413
58%
Brightness
261
311
19%
273
5%
353
35%
376
44%
Brightness Distribution
94
79
-16%
90
-4%
85
-10%
82
-13%
Black Level *
0.2
0.33
-65%
0.26
-30%
0.58
-190%
0.6
-200%
Contrast
1310
1063
-19%
1050
-20%
647
-51%
688
-47%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.96
7.7
-94%
3.52
11%
6.06
-53%
5.06
-28%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.29
14.4
-98%
6.34
13%
10.54
-45%
9.33
-28%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2.18
2.09
4%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.09
11.1
-259%
3.11
-1%
5.68
-84%
5.29
-71%
Gamma
2.48 89%
2.11 104%
2.43 91%
2.3 96%
2.64 83%
CCT
6977 93%
11813 55%
6999 93%
7998 81%
6766 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
76
77.74
2%
76
0%
57
-25%
55
-28%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
100
0%
100
0%
87
-13%
83
-17%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-65% / -56%
-65% / -28%
-71% / -50%
-60% / -45%

* ... smaller is better

Although the viewing angles are quite limited (in particular, vertically) due to the TN technology, the 17-inch display is able to score with a fast response time of 6.2 ms black-to-white and 7.8 ms gray-to-gray.

CalMAN: Grayscales
CalMAN: Grayscales
CalMAN: Saturation
CalMAN: Saturation
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: Grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)

As another positive point, we should also mention the ample contrast. Thanks to its low black value (0.2 cd/m²), our test unit achieves almost 1300:1. However, the brightness could have been a bit better. While 260 cd/m² on average are sufficient most of the time indoors, the notebook will quickly reach its limits outdoors.

MSI GS73 8RF vs. sRGB (100%)
MSI GS73 8RF vs. sRGB (100%)
Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid
MSI GS73 8RF vs. AdobeRGB (76%)
MSI GS73 8RF vs. AdobeRGB (76%)

Since MSI makes the well-known True-Color-Software available on the GS73, the image can be adjusted comfortably to various scenarios. The sRGB mode active by default, strikes a good figure in terms of the color accuracy. The panel also deserves some praise for the first-class color space. 100% sRGB and 76% AdobeRGB are rare in gaming laptops.

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
6.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4.4 ms rise
↘ 1.8 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. » 4 % 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
7.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4.4 ms rise
↘ 3.4 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 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 3 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41 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 25510 Hz ≤ 14 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 25510 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 14 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 25510 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 8931 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance - Slim, powerful package

In addition to the True-Color software, MSI has also installed other tools on the device. Most importantly, we have the Dragon Center, which offers several monitoring and tuning options. As usual, we used the "Auto" fan control and the "Power Options" Shift mode in our testing.

Dragon Center
Dragon Center
Dragon Center
Dragon Center
Dragon Center
Dragon Center

Those looking for a slim 17-inch gaming notebook are at the right address with the GS73 Stealth. The combination of the Core i7-8750H and GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q is able to handle demanding applications effortlessly. 16 GB of DDR4-RAM and an NVMe-SSD will also warrant a lot of future proofing. 

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWiNFO
Software
LatencyMon

Processor

The Core i7-8750H is a powerful hexa-core chip that comes from Intel's brand new Coffee-Lake series and is able to operate on up to 12 threads in parallel via Hyper-Threading.

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
GPU load
GPU load

Compared to the old Kaby-Lake models, the performance has improved significantly. With 1132 points in the multi-core test of Cinebench R15, the 17-incher surpasses the Core i7-7820HK of the Aorus X7 v7 by 40% and the Core i7-7700HQ of the predecessor by more than 50%.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼100%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
Intel Core i7-8750H
174 Points ∼99% -1%
Aorus X7 v7
Intel Core i7-7820HK
166 Points ∼95% -5%
Medion Erazer X7857
Intel Core i7-7820HK
162 Points ∼93% -7%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
154 Points ∼88% -12%
Average of class Gaming
  (79 - 209, n=419)
152 Points ∼87% -13%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
Intel Core i7-8750H
1163 Points ∼100% +3%
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
Intel Core i7-8750H
1132 Points ∼97%
Aorus X7 v7
Intel Core i7-7820HK
793 Points ∼68% -30%
Average of class Gaming
  (196 - 1865, n=420)
748 Points ∼64% -34%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
739 Points ∼64% -35%
Medion Erazer X7857
Intel Core i7-7820HK
689 Points ∼59% -39%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
Intel Core i7-8750H
1.98 Points ∼100% 0%
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
Intel Core i7-8750H
1.98 Points ∼100%
Aorus X7 v7
Intel Core i7-7820HK
1.85 Points ∼93% -7%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.84 Points ∼93% -7%
Average of class Gaming
  (0.71 - 2.38, n=408)
1.68 Points ∼85% -15%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
Intel Core i7-8750H
12.49 Points ∼100% +1%
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
Intel Core i7-8750H
12.33 Points ∼99%
Aorus X7 v7
Intel Core i7-7820HK
8.71 Points ∼70% -29%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.18 Points ∼65% -34%
Average of class Gaming
  (1.13 - 21.2, n=509)
7.28 Points ∼58% -41%

On the other hand, Coffee-Lake devices are known for only being able to maintain their maximum performance for a short time. This is also the case for the GS73, as you can see in the chart below. In the Cinebench loop, the score drops by about 8% starting in the second run and about 13% from the third run, but then it remains fairly constant.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730740750760770780790800810820830840850860870880890900910920930940950960970980990100010101020103010401050106010701080109011001110112011301140Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.98 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
12.33 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1132 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
175 Points
Help

System Performance

The GS73 has absolutely no lack of system power. The Solid-State Drive in particular warrants high values in the benchmarks. Unfortunately, the 17-incher has to struggle with a typical problem that affects many laptops based on Optimus: particular actions such as right-clicks on the desktop or the file explorer result in short stutters that become very annoying in the long run. This is reminiscent of systems with HDD and is outmoded in 2018. You can find out more about this bug here.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
5342 Points ∼100% 0%
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5323 Points ∼100%
Aorus X7 v7
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL
5287 Points ∼99% -1%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
5215 Points ∼98% -2%
Average of class Gaming
  (2484 - 6515, n=314)
4926 Points ∼92% -7%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Medion Erazer X7857
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5486 Points ∼100% +25%
Aorus X7 v7
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL
5101 Points ∼93% +16%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
4498 Points ∼82% +2%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
4394 Points ∼80% 0%
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4393 Points ∼80%
Average of class Gaming
  (2554 - 6093, n=332)
4222 Points ∼77% -4%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4393 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5323 points
Help

Storage

As already mentioned, the GS73 has a 256 GB M.2-SSD with PCIe/NVMe technology. Instead of a Samsung PM871 (GS73VR 7RG), MSI has installed a Samsung PM961 that surpasses most of the competing products in the new model. In our test field, only the Aorus X7 v7 offers an even faster SSD (Samsung SM961).

SSD
SSD
SSD
SSD
HDD
HDD
HDD
HDD

In order for the customers to avoid running out of space too quickly, the manufacturer has additionally built-in a 2.5-inch HDD from Seagate with a 2 TB capacity and 5400 RPM called BarraCuda ST2000LM015.

MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
Aorus X7 v7
Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL
Medion Erazer X7857
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
AS SSD
-49%
-68%
20%
-39%
Score Total
3083
1064
-65%
881
-71%
3668
19%
1990
-35%
Score Write
906
417
-54%
254
-72%
1021
13%
106
-88%
Score Read
1456
421
-71%
417
-71%
1803
24%
1302
-11%
4K Write
98.36
96.85
-2%
38.34
-61%
123.31
25%
1.02
-99%
4K Read
42.81
33.69
-21%
14.07
-67%
48.35
13%
45.19
6%
Seq Write
1172.8
465.12
-60%
425.71
-64%
1066.75
-9%
347.13
-70%
Seq Read
1749.34
497.89
-72%
511.18
-71%
2690
54%
2188.36
25%
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3199 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 1194 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 343.9 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 290.9 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1135 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1192 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 39.07 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 90.14 MB/s

Graphics Card

While simple tasks are handled by the graphics chip of the processor, the GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q is responsible for more computing-intensive 3D applications. The high-end model is based on Nvidia's Pascal architecture and was designed for extremely slim laptops.

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
17980 Points ∼100% +25%
Aorus X7 v7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
17433 Points ∼97% +21%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
14663 Points ∼82% +2%
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
14427 Points ∼80%
Average of class Gaming
  (385 - 40636, n=447)
10260 Points ∼57% -29%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
23261 Points ∼100% +27%
Medion Erazer X7857
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
22661 Points ∼97% +23%
Aorus X7 v7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
22190 Points ∼95% +21%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
18642 Points ∼80% +2%
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
18349 Points ∼79%
Average of class Gaming
  (513 - 50983, n=520)
11894 Points ∼51% -35%

Even though the Max-Q version offers slightly less performance compared to the "regular" GTX 1070 (the Fire-Strike score of the 3DMark 13 turns out 20% lower than in the MSI GE63), noise-sensitive users should be pleased by less noise under load.

3DMark 11 Performance
15894 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
32221 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
12624 points
Help

We are pleased that the Turbo of the GTX 1070 Max-Q is also very effective during longer load periods. After 60 minutes of "The Witcher 3," the core levels out at about 1228 MHz (basic clock speed: 1101 MHz, maximum speed: 1544 MHz), although other Max-Q laptops achieve even higher average values.

0123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343536373839404142434445464748495051525354Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra

Gaming Performance

Passionate gamers will be very pleased with the Full-HD option. The GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q is powerful enough to display even modern 3D games smoothly in the native resolution with high to maximum detail. The cases where it hits its limit are the exception (for example, in "Final Fantasy 15").

The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H
62.9 fps ∼100% +27%
Aorus X7 v7
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
61.3 fps ∼97% +24%
Medion Erazer X7857
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
57.6 fps ∼92% +16%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ
51.3 fps ∼82% +3%
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
49.6 fps ∼79%
Average of class Gaming
  (12.6 - 115, n=223)
44.5 fps ∼71% -10%

The advantages of the 120-Hz technology can be felt primarily in less demanding games such as "FIFA 18," where the laptop achieves more than 100 FPS.

low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 91.649.6fps
For Honor (2017) 12194.2fps
Ghost Recon Wildlands (2017) 75.742.8fps
FIFA 18 (2017) 223214fps
Assassin´s Creed Origins (2017) 7161fps
Need for Speed Payback (2017) 94.286.2fps
Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017) 86.473.9fps
Fortnite (2018) 11396.1fps
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark (2018) 47.8fps
Far Cry 5 (2018) 7672fps
The Crew 2 (2018) 6060fps
F1 2018 (2018) 11076fps

Emissions - Not loud, but warm

Noise Emissions

Due to the Max-Q design, the GS73 does not get too loud under load. While 43-45 dB(A) in 3D operation are by no means quiet, it is still relatively little for a high-end notebook, particularly when looking at the competitors who often reach for the 50-dB(A) mark or even exceed it.

Noise level, idle
Noise level, idle
Noise level, load
Noise level, load
Volume, speaker
Volume, speaker

During gentle demands, the 17-incher leaves a mixed impression. While the fans are often completely turned off during idle mode, during simple or medium-level tasks such as Windows updates or starting up applications, they tend to rev up towards 40 dB(A). However, the GS73 still belongs to the more quiet gaming notebooks overall.

Noise Level

Idle
30 / 34 / 36 dB(A)
HDD
34 dB(A)
Load
43 / 45 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
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 GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
MSI GS73VR 7RG
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Aorus X7 v7
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Medion Erazer X7857
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Average of class Gaming
 
Noise
3%
-3%
-6%
-3%
1%
off / environment *
30
28
7%
30
-0%
30
-0%
30.3
-1%
29.4 (27.7 - 32, n=225)
2%
Idle Minimum *
30
29.4
2%
32
-7%
33
-10%
31.3
-4%
31.6 (28 - 41.7, n=648)
-5%
Idle Average *
34
30.7
10%
33
3%
36
-6%
31.7
7%
32.8 (28 - 46.6, n=648)
4%
Idle Maximum *
36
34
6%
34
6%
41
-14%
31.7
12%
34.7 (28 - 50.4, n=648)
4%
Load Average *
43
42
2%
41
5%
41
5%
48.3
-12%
40.4 (30.3 - 58, n=649)
6%
Witcher 3 ultra *
45
45.8
-2%
50
-11%
45
-0%
50.6
-12%
Load Maximum *
45
45.8
-2%
54
-20%
52
-16%
49.6
-10%
47.7 (38.9 - 64, n=649)
-6%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Unfortunately the moderate noise development is at the expense of the temperature. At a maximum of 58 °C (136 °F) on top and 63 °C (145 °F) on the bottom, the case becomes extremely hot in 3D operation. We generally advise against gaming sessions on your lap. Things look much better in idle operation, where the case remains below 30 °C (86 °F) most of the time.

The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3
Stress test
Stress test
Full load, top
Full load, top
Full load, bottom
Full load, bottom

Now we take a look at the components that heat up most during full load on the CPU and GPU: after 60 minutes of the stress test with the FurMark and Prime95 tools, the GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q heats up to 87 °C (189 °F) despite throttling. Around 95 °C (203 °F) for the Core i7-8750H are also hefty. While gaming, you can expect about 80 °C (176 °F, see screenshot above).

Max. Load
 51 °C
124 F
58 °C
136 F
55 °C
131 F
 
 49 °C
120 F
55 °C
131 F
55 °C
131 F
 
 40 °C
104 F
41 °C
106 F
41 °C
106 F
 
Maximum: 58 °C = 136 F
Average: 49.4 °C = 121 F
63 °C
145 F
63 °C
145 F
57 °C
135 F
58 °C
136 F
59 °C
138 F
47 °C
117 F
44 °C
111 F
44 °C
111 F
39 °C
102 F
Maximum: 63 °C = 145 F
Average: 52.7 °C = 127 F
Power Supply (max.)  54 °C = 129 F | Room Temperature 24 °C = 75 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 49.4 °C / 121 F, compared to the average of 32.9 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 58 °C / 136 F, compared to the average of 39.3 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 63 °C / 145 F, compared to the average of 41.7 °C / 107 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28.6 °C / 83 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(-) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 47.1 °C / 117 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(-) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 41 °C / 105.8 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.7 °C / 83.7 F (-12.3 °C / -22.1 F).
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
MSI GS73VR 7RG
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Aorus X7 v7
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Medion Erazer X7857
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Average of class Gaming
 
Heat
8%
7%
-1%
11%
11%
Maximum Upper Side *
58
52.2
10%
47
19%
51
12%
46.2
20%
45.6 (28 - 68.8, n=614)
21%
Maximum Bottom *
63
46.6
26%
49
22%
64
-2%
42.2
33%
49.1 (25.9 - 78, n=612)
22%
Idle Upper Side *
32
30.8
4%
32
-0%
33
-3%
32.4
-1%
30.8 (21.6 - 46.8, n=565)
4%
Idle Bottom *
30
32
-7%
34
-13%
33
-10%
32.2
-7%
31.6 (21.1 - 50.3, n=563)
-5%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2043.336.72536.633.73131284032.231.7502827.66325.528.58025.83210026.54212524.643.316023.345.920024.953.12502357.731520.459.940020.165.550019.77263019.478.880019.878.5100021.382.912502079.2160019.978.6200019.978.6250020.275.6315020.374.8400020.675.7500020.371.9630020.276.480002063.71000019.8601250019.562.41600019.371.9SPL32.389.1N1.779.4median 20.2median 71.9Delta1.19.44542.741.441.632.237.839.245.230.540.629.343.930.154.928.461.426.457.72367.124.972.623.475.120.775.319.876.319.273.518.266.519.272.519.773.31973.917.383.617.18817.384.917.578.317.477.317.378.417.273.717.37317.271.81776.216.878.730.492.91.491.9median 18.2median 73.92.72.3hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseMSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (89 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 21.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.5% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (6.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | reduced highs - on average 5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (8.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 63% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 31% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 37% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 57% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (93 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 6.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.5% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.8% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (8.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Power Management - Optimus vs. small battery

Power Consumption

During idle, the GS73 benefits a lot from the graphics switching. 8-22 watts are  good values and make many competitors look bad. For example, the Aorus X7 v7 consumes 27-40 watts. Under load, the distances shrink considerably. The advantage of the lower consumption of the GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q compared to the standard GTX 1070 is diminished by the hexa-core CPU, which uses more power than the old quad-core chips.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.5 / 1.8 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 8 / 14 / 22 Watt
Load midlight 92 / 207 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
MSI GS73VR 7RG
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Aorus X7 v7
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Medion Erazer X7857
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Average of class Gaming
 
Power Consumption
-1%
-32%
-87%
-47%
-54%
Idle Minimum *
8
10.1
-26%
15
-88%
27
-238%
20.6
-158%
20.1 (3.9 - 113, n=609)
-151%
Idle Average *
14
18.3
-31%
20
-43%
33
-136%
26
-86%
25.7 (6.8 - 119, n=609)
-84%
Idle Maximum *
22
19.6
11%
26
-18%
40
-82%
28
-27%
30.7 (8.3 - 122, n=609)
-40%
Load Average *
92
87.6
5%
97
-5%
107
-16%
95
-3%
104 (14.1 - 319, n=600)
-13%
Load Maximum *
207
160.7
22%
239
-15%
259
-25%
197
5%
166 (21.9 - 590, n=599)
20%
Witcher 3 ultra *
154
136.3
11%
186
-21%
190
-23%
170
-10%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The battery life of the GS73 is neither good nor particularly bad. Since MSI provides the 17-incher with only 51 Wh (94 Wh @Aorus X7 v7), the Optimus technology can only use its potential to a limited extent. While surfing on the internet via WLAN, our test unit positions itself in the middle of the field with about 3.5 hours of runtime. However, you have to be aware that as known from most laptops, the performance drops considerably in battery operation. Without the power supply, "The Witcher 3" runs almost 60% slower, since the CPU and GPU only reach about 1000 MHz.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 46min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
3h 20min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 00min
MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 51 Wh
MSI GS73VR 7RG
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 51 Wh
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 51 Wh
Aorus X7 v7
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 94 Wh
Medion Erazer X7857
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 66 Wh
Average of class Gaming
 
Battery Runtime
-3%
-19%
-4%
5%
18%
Reader / Idle
346
349
1%
303
-12%
221
-36%
332 (39 - 1174, n=597)
-4%
WiFi v1.3
200
191
-4%
186
-7%
180
-10%
210
5%
251 (78 - 622, n=271)
26%
Load
60
57
-5%
38
-37%
81
35%
78.6 (18 - 202, n=563)
31%
H.264
193
165
244 (88 - 506, n=124)

Verdict - Slim, slimmer, GS73

Pros

+ thin and light case
+ moderate noise development
+ fast card reader
+ RGB illumination
+ practical tools
+ Thunderbolt 3
+ 120-Hz panel
+ NVMe SSD

Cons

- high temperature development under load
- WLAN performance could have been better
- awkward positions of the connections
- limited viewing angles
- mediocre battery life
- meager sound
MSI GS73 8RF Stealth, test unit provided by Cyberport.
MSI GS73 8RF Stealth, test unit provided by Cyberport.

With the GS73 8RF Stealth, MSI is offering an extremely slim high-end notebook that continues to deliver a good performance, despite there only being few differences (the old model is almost identical).

The pretty aluminum case convinces with numerous connections and an RGB-illuminated keyboard. Apart from the viewing angles, the 120-Hz display also knows how to please. We can understand that MSI forgoes G-Sync and rather uses Optimus for increased mobility.

Further strengths include the fast card reader, the relatively low weight considering the 17-inch size, and the very high performance. Thanks to the Max-Q GPU, the noise development remains within limits. However, the case and hardware become extremely hot under full load. And MSI could also improve on the sound, since the sound quality turns out to be fairly weak.

Taking all the aspects together, we would rather recommend the GE73 for gaming fans. Even though the 17-inch sibling is about 1 cm (~0.4 in) thicker, it does slightly better overall. 

MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-011 - 08/24/2018 v6
Florian Glaser

Chassis
79 / 98 → 81%
Keyboard
79%
Pointing Device
78%
Connectivity
65 / 81 → 80%
Weight
60 / 10-66 → 90%
Battery
71%
Display
86%
Games Performance
95%
Application Performance
96%
Temperature
71 / 95 → 74%
Noise
76 / 90 → 85%
Audio
70%
Average
77%
85%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GS73 8RF Stealth (i7-8750H, GTX 1070 Max-Q, FHD) Laptop Review
Florian Glaser, 2018-08-26 (Update: 2018-08-26)