Notebookcheck

MSI GS73VR 7RG (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1070 Max-Q, FHD) Laptop Review

Finally, a GS notebook with quieter fans. The MSI GS family has always been popular for its attractively thin design and enthusiast-level horsepower. Incorporating a Max-Q GPU is perhaps the best thing to happen to the series as it directly addresses one of its biggest and most persistent issues.

The GS series is MSI's ambitious attempt to pack as much horsepower in as thin of a chassis as possible. It's unsurprisingly a natural fit for the Max-Q series as these GPUs are designed specifically for thin notebooks not unlike the Zephyrus, Aero 15 X, or our MSI.

This latest refresh swaps out the Skylake i7-6700HQ CPU and GTX 1060 GPU on last year's GS73VR 6RF with the Kaby Lake i7-7700HQ and GTX 1070 Max-Q. In theory, the change should bring quieter fans and lower temperatures - two categories that the GS series has been infamously dreadful at - while simultaneously boosting graphics performance. Everything else about the notebook remains otherwise identical to the GS73VR 6RF and we recommend checking out our existing reviews below for more details on the chassis and its features. Direct competitors in the 17.3-inch gaming space has been steadily growing and now includes the recent Razer Blade Pro, Aorus X7 v7, HP Omen 17, Acer Aspire V17 Nitro, and others.

Our unit today comes courtesy of Xotic PC for a configuration price of $2500 USD with a 120 Hz FHD display, massive 32 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a primary 512 GB M.2 SSD plus secondary 1 TB HDD. The reseller has ensured us that the hardware has not been overclocked from stock speeds. Most of the MSI-specific software has been removed, however, including Dragon Center, True Color, and Nahimic audio controller for a more barebones experience. The data on this page reflects the system as-shipped without these software features installed.

MSI GS73VR 7RG (GS73VR Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q - 8192 MB, Core: 1101 MHz, Memory: 8008 MHz, GDDR5, 382.05
Memory
32768 MB 
, PC4-19200 DDR4, 1300 MHz, 17-17-17-39, Dual-Channel
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 127 PPI, ID: CMN1747, Name: Chi Mei N173HHE-G32, TN LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM175 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP, 512 GB 
, Secondary: 1 TB Seagate ST1000LM048-2E7172
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm microphone, 3.5 mm SPDIF, Hi-Fi, Card Reader: SD reader
Networking
Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19.6 x 411.8 x 284.9 ( = 0.77 x 16.21 x 11.22 in)
Battery
51 Wh, 4500 mAh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: FHD ([email protected])
Additional features
Speakers: 4x 2 W + 1x 3 W Subwoofer, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Cleaning cloth, Warranty card, Quick Start guide, System Control Manager, SteelSeries 3, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.43 kg ( = 85.72 oz / 5.36 pounds), Power Supply: 732 g ( = 25.82 oz / 1.61 pounds)
Price
2500 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Minor but noticeable bending on our test unit
Minor but noticeable bending on our test unit

The thinness factor alone makes the GS73VR a sleeker alternative to larger 17.3-inch notebooks like the GT73VR series, the Asus ROG G7xx series, or the Alienware 17 series while its brushed aluminum surfaces are flashier than the duller matte appearances of the Aorus X7, Razer Blade Pro, and Gigabyte P57X. The overall design is very much the opposite of minimalism as the chassis is made up of several discrete pieces rather than a single slab of machined aluminum a la the MacBook Pro

In terms of quality, however, the GS series sacrifices some rigidity for its thin looks and weight. Applying pressure around the keyboard and palm rests, for example, will visibly depress the surface more so than on the Aorus x7 or 15-inch Zephyrus. Attempting to twist the base from its two front corners will result in light creaking and bending as well. As portable as the system may be, there's no denying that it feels more flexible and prone to damage than its competitors. This is perhaps the price to pay when the MSI is a full kilogram lighter than the Aorus X7 and Gigabyte P57X.

Construction quality is also not perfect. One of the disadvantages of a non-unibody approach is that there is greater potential for gaps, crevices, or bending between discrete materials. Our picture on the right shows a very slight superficial bend along one edge of the notebook. We would normally consider this a fluke that is specific to our test unit, but we observed a similar unevenness on our older GS73VR unit as well. It's recommended that owners double-check their systems for physical defects prior to purchasing or immediately after.

426 mm / 16.8 inch 315 mm / 12.4 inch 37 mm / 1.457 inch 4.4 kg9.76 lbs428 mm / 16.9 inch 305 mm / 12 inch 25 mm / 0.984 inch 3.4 kg7.5 lbs418 mm / 16.5 inch 296 mm / 11.7 inch 31 mm / 1.22 inch 3.4 kg7.52 lbs408 mm / 16.1 inch 295.5 mm / 11.6 inch 26.6 mm / 1.047 inch 4.1 kg9.11 lbs411.8 mm / 16.2 inch 284.9 mm / 11.2 inch 19.6 mm / 0.772 inch 2.4 kg5.36 lbs

Connectivity

Available ports have not changed and thus exhibit the same advantages and disadvantages as on the GS73VR 6RF. Notably, port options are plentiful and easy to reach but suffer from tight positioning on both sides.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: USB 2.0, USB Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, mini DisplayPort 1.2, AC adapter
Right: USB 2.0, USB Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, mini DisplayPort 1.2, AC adapter
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity
Left: Kensington Lock, SD reader, 3x USB 3.0, 3.5 mm earphones, 3.5 mm microphone
Left: Kensington Lock, SD reader, 3x USB 3.0, 3.5 mm earphones, 3.5 mm microphone

SD Card Reader

The older GS models are notorious for having one of the slowest SD card readers of any gaming notebook. This has finally been remedied on the GS73VR 7RG as we're able to record an average read rate of 212 MB/s with our Toshiba Exceria UHS-II SD card to be almost 8x faster than on the GS73VR 6RF. Transferring 1 GB worth of photos to desktop will take just under 6 seconds compared to 40 seconds on the older model. Certain Eurocom and Clevo systems carry even faster SD card readers.

The card reader is spring-loaded and a fully inserted SD card will still protrude by about one-fourth of its length.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
MSI GS73VR 7RG
 
182.9 MB/s ∼100%
Eurocom Sky X7E2
 
175.6 MB/s ∼96% -4%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
 
25.9 MB/s ∼14% -86%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Eurocom Sky X7E2
 
256.9 MB/s ∼100% +21%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
 
212.24 MB/s ∼83%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
 
27.1 MB/s ∼11% -87%

Communication

The Intel 8265 provides 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity. An option to upgrade to the Killer 1535 is available for more gaming-centric features as detailed in our review here. Otherwise, we experienced no connectivity issues with the default Intel 8265.

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% +13%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
605 MBit/s ∼89%
Aorus X7 v7
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
485 MBit/s ∼71% -20%
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% +28%
Aorus X7 v7
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
498 MBit/s ∼80% +2%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
486 MBit/s ∼78%

Accessories

Included extras are a Quick Start guide, warranty card, and velvet cloth. The large cloth is particularly useful as fingerprints are very visible on the glossy surfaces.

Maintenance

Serviceability is easy and requires only a Philips screwdriver. Unfortunately, simply removing the bottom panel will automatically void the warranty and is thus not recommend. Upgrades are rather limited because the M.2 and 2x SODIMM slots are on the opposite side of the motherboard and require additional disassembly to access.

The internals are otherwise essentially identical to the GS73VR 6RF.

Warranty

The standard one-year limited manufacturer warranty applies. Manufacturers like EVGA and Gigabyte offer two-year warranty as standard on some notebooks and we're hoping to see something similar from MSI in the future. Xotic PC provides optional extensions of up to three years if desired.

Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies & Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices

Keyboard and Touchpad

The same backlit Steelseries keyboard and chrome-trimmed trackpad (10.5 x 7.0 cm) with integrated mouse keys return. Clatter is relatively soft with ample travel that feels deeper than on the average Ultrabook. Aside from the smaller top row of function keys, feedback is more or less even across every other key including the NumPad keys and full-size Arrow keys. Meanwhile, the trackpad works reliably for cursor control with no jitters or dead zones. Its integrated mouse keys are soft, shallow in travel, and generally less comfortable to use than the dedicated mouse keys on the larger MSI GT series.

Keys are large and nearly uniform in size and feedback
Keys are large and nearly uniform in size and feedback
The translucent edges give a more colorful glow when the RGB backlight is active
The translucent edges give a more colorful glow when the RGB backlight is active

Display

MSI has sourced the same high quality Chi Mei N173HHE-G32 TN panel for the 7RG as last year's 6RF SKU. In fact, this same panel also appears on other 17.3-inch MSI notebooks with 120 Hz options including on the GE72VR and GT72VR. Attributes like the high contrast, wide color space, fast response times, and the general viewing experience are thus quite similar between them.

Subjectively, colors are deep and text is crisp with some slight graininess that is common on matte panels. The very fast refresh rate and black-white response times make for a visually smoother experience when compared to 60 Hz IPS panels as found on most Ultrabooks and lower-end gaming systems. Still, brightness distribution could be a little better; the center quadrant is measurably brighter than the edges and corners.

TN panel; no backlight bleeding issues
TN panel; no backlight bleeding issues
RGB subpixel array (127 PPI)
RGB subpixel array (127 PPI)
301.8
cd/m²
336.6
cd/m²
275.8
cd/m²
315.1
cd/m²
350.9
cd/m²
280.8
cd/m²
321.9
cd/m²
318.3
cd/m²
293.7
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Basic Pro 2
Maximum: 350.9 cd/m² Average: 310.5 cd/m² Minimum: 18.99 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 79 %
Center on Battery: 350.9 cd/m²
Contrast: 1063:1 (Black: 0.33 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 7.7 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 11.1 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
100% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 77.74% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.11
MSI GS73VR 7RG
ID: CMN1747, Name: Chi Mei N173HHE-G32, TN LED, 17.3, 1920x1080
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
LP173WF4-SPF5, IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Aorus X7 v7
AU Optronics B173QTN01.4 (AUO1496), TN LED, 17.3, 2560x1440
Gigabyte P57X v7
SHP145E, IPS, 17.3, 3840x2160
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
IPS, 17.3, 3840x2160
Response Times
-74%
14%
-230%
-169%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
23.6 (13.6, 10)
28.8 (14, 14.8)
-22%
24 (14, 10)
-2%
55.6 (18.4, 37.2)
-136%
45.6 (22.8, 22.8)
-93%
Response Time Black / White *
8.4 (6, 2.4)
23.2 (13.6, 9.6)
-176%
6 (4, 2)
29%
46.8 (10.4, 36.4)
-457%
35.2 (9.2, 26)
-319%
PWM Frequency
26040 (10)
20000
-23%
1000 (29)
-96%
1042 (29)
-96%
Screen
9%
-3%
17%
17%
Brightness middle
350.9
422.3
20%
375
7%
441.3
26%
399.1
14%
Brightness
311
378
22%
353
14%
408
31%
360
16%
Brightness Distribution
79
81
3%
85
8%
86
9%
81
3%
Black Level *
0.33
0.48
-45%
0.58
-76%
0.44
-33%
0.4
-21%
Contrast
1063
880
-17%
647
-39%
1003
-6%
998
-6%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
7.7
4.4
43%
6.06
21%
5.1
34%
4.78
38%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
14.4
9.2
36%
10.54
27%
9.8
32%
7.65
47%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
11.1
2.8
75%
5.68
49%
4.3
61%
3.8
66%
Gamma
2.11 104%
2.22 99%
2.3 96%
2.08 106%
2.03 108%
CCT
11813 55%
6403 102%
7998 81%
7345 88%
7288 89%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
77.74
55
-29%
57
-27%
87
12%
86.9
12%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
84
-16%
87
-13%
100
0%
100
0%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-33% / -10%
6% / -0%
-107% / -40%
-76% / -26%

* ... smaller is better

Color space extends beyond the full sRGB standard and roughly 78 percent of the wider AdobeRGB standard. The 4K UHD panels on the Gigabyte P57X and EVGA SC17 have even wider color spaces than our MSI, but their response times are significantly slower for more noticeable ghosting when gaming. Nonetheless, the full sRGB gamut is more than sufficient for gaming purposes and can potentially satisfy graphic artists.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. MSI GT73VR 4K
vs. MSI GT73VR 4K

Further measurements with an X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal an overly cool color temperature and subsequently more inaccurate grayscale and colors than what one would expect from a high quality TN panel. Gigabyte has been addressing this issue directly by pre-calibrating each and every one of its Aero notebooks before shipping and we're hoping that MSI will take a similar approach sometime in the future. Until then, we recommend applying our ICC profile above for a viewing experience closer to the sRGB standard. Additional fine-tuning may be necessary in order to bring grayscale and colors to lower deltaE values.

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
8.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6 ms rise
↘ 2.4 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. » 6 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.5 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
23.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 13.6 ms rise
↘ 10 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. » 11 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (40.7 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 26040 Hz ≤ 10 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 26040 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 10 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 26040 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 9705 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is decent if under shade and on the maximum brightness setting. The matte panel, high contrast ratio, and deep colors help to reduce glare. Brighter ambient conditions like direct sunlight or an overcast sky will instantly wash out onscreen content. Even though the GS73VR is one of the thinnest gaming notebooks available, competing models like the Gigabyte P57X have brighter display backlights and wider IPS viewing angles for better visibility.

Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
TN viewing angles
TN viewing angles

Performance

There are no other CPU or GPU options other than what is included in this configuration. Interestingly, MSI has dropped the 4K UHD panel from last year's GS73VR in favor of two 120 Hz options with faster 3 ms or 5 ms response times. It's an understandable change given that 17-inch 120 Hz 4K panels with similar response time options are very limited in supply. Native 4K gaming on a GPU slower than a "true" GTX 1070 is also a tough sell for the target enthusiast gaming crowd.

Optimus is included for switching to the integrated HD Graphics 630 and G-Sync is consequently not supported on the internal display.

Processor

The common i7-7700HQ holds no surprises that we haven't already seen on other mainstream to high-end gaming notebooks. Raw performance is only marginally faster than the older generation Skylake i7-6700HQ or Broadwell i7-5700HQ to the point where most gamers will not notice any obvious benefits. The recent Coffee Lake i7-8700K provides a notable 90 percent boost in multi-thread performance due to its hexa-core design and we should hopefully see something similar come to the notebook gaming space once a proper successor to the i7-7700HQ becomes available.

Consistent CPU performance is essential for any gaming notebook. Thankfully, running CineBench Multi-Thread in a loop results in steady scores over time with no notable dips unlike on our older GS63VR sample. However, core temperature will plateau at a very warm 94 C as shown in our Stress Test section below. This is very close to hitting a temperature ceiling and initiating automatic throttling to prevent damaging the processor. It's imperative that users do not block any of the numerous ventilation grilles surrounding the notebook for the fans to operate efficiently.

See our dedicated Core i7-7700HQ CPU page for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730740750Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
no name
Intel Core i7-8700K
199 Points ∼91% +29%
Eurocom Tornado F5
Intel Core i7-7700K
190 Points ∼87% +23%
Coffee Lake: i7-8700K and i5-8400 Review
Intel Core i5-8400
167 Points ∼77% +8%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Intel Core i7-7820HK
160 Points ∼73% +4%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
154 Points ∼71%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
150 Points ∼69% -3%
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
149 Points ∼68% -3%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
143 Points ∼66% -7%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
133 Points ∼61% -14%
Toshiba Satellite S70-B-106
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
131 Points ∼60% -15%
CPU Multi 64Bit
no name
Intel Core i7-8700K
1405 (min: 1375.04, max: 1405.28) Points ∼32% +90%
Coffee Lake: i7-8700K and i5-8400 Review
Intel Core i5-8400
941 (min: 921.89, max: 945.25) Points ∼22% +27%
Eurocom Tornado F5
Intel Core i7-7700K
897 Points ∼20% +21%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Intel Core i7-7820HK
758 Points ∼17% +3%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
739 Points ∼17%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
734 Points ∼17% -1%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
724 Points ∼17% -2%
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
678 Points ∼15% -8%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
669 Points ∼15% -9%
Toshiba Satellite S70-B-106
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
566 Points ∼13% -23%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
no name
Intel Core i7-8700K
2.27 Points ∼93% +23%
Eurocom Tornado F5
Intel Core i7-7700K
2.19 Points ∼90% +19%
Coffee Lake: i7-8700K and i5-8400 Review
Intel Core i5-8400
1.9 Points ∼78% +3%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.84 Points ∼75%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Intel Core i7-7820HK
1.81 Points ∼74% -2%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.81 Points ∼74% -2%
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.68 Points ∼69% -9%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
1.67 Points ∼68% -9%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1.54 Points ∼63% -16%
Toshiba Satellite S70-B-106
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
1.49 Points ∼61% -19%
CPU Multi 64Bit
no name
Intel Core i7-8700K
15.64 Points ∼58% +91%
Coffee Lake: i7-8700K and i5-8400 Review
Intel Core i5-8400
10.99 Points ∼41% +34%
Eurocom Tornado F5
Intel Core i7-7700K
9.78 Points ∼36% +20%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Intel Core i7-7820HK
8.34 Points ∼31% +2%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.18 Points ∼30%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.06 Points ∼30% -1%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
7.94 Points ∼29% -3%
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.49 Points ∼28% -8%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
7.35 Points ∼27% -10%
Toshiba Satellite S70-B-106
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
6.02 Points ∼22% -26%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
no name
Intel Core i7-8700K
7413 Points ∼68% +22%
Eurocom Tornado F5
Intel Core i7-7700K
7222 Points ∼67% +19%
Coffee Lake: i7-8700K and i5-8400 Review
Intel Core i5-8400
6371 Points ∼59% +5%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
6078 Points ∼56%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
5860 Points ∼54% -4%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
5550 Points ∼51% -9%
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
5550 Points ∼51% -9%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
5104 Points ∼47% -16%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
no name
Intel Core i7-8700K
39624 Points ∼80% +78%
Coffee Lake: i7-8700K and i5-8400 Review
Intel Core i5-8400
30921 Points ∼62% +39%
Eurocom Tornado F5
Intel Core i7-7700K
28189 Points ∼57% +26%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
22316 Points ∼45%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
22243 Points ∼45% 0%
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
21755 Points ∼44% -3%
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
20639 Points ∼41% -8%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
19276 Points ∼39% -14%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
211.05 s * ∼2% -0%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
210.376 s * ∼2%
Coffee Lake: i7-8700K and i5-8400 Review
Intel Core i5-8400
191.8 s * ∼2% +9%
Eurocom Tornado F5
Intel Core i7-7700K
176.329 s * ∼2% +16%
no name
Intel Core i7-8700K
118.6 s * ∼1% +44%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
MSI GT80 Titan SLI
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
565.334 Seconds * ∼3% -6%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
539.478 Seconds * ∼2% -1%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
534.378 Seconds * ∼2%
Coffee Lake: i7-8700K and i5-8400 Review
Intel Core i5-8400
526 Seconds * ∼2% +2%
no name
Intel Core i7-8700K
442.8 Seconds * ∼2% +17%
Eurocom Tornado F5
Intel Core i7-7700K
440.036 Seconds * ∼2% +18%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
10512
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
22316
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6078
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
66.39 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
8.18 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.84 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
108.29 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
739 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
154 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark scores are consistently in between the Legion Y920 and GF72VR each with faster NVMe Samsung SSDs. Subjectively, we experienced no software-related issues during testing save for one system crash that we were unable to repeat.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5765 Points ∼88% +11%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
5215 Points ∼80%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5015 Points ∼77% -4%
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
4623 Points ∼71% -11%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
7882 Points ∼83% +44%
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
7780 Points ∼82% +42%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
5491 Points ∼58%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5117 Points ∼54% -7%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5460 Points ∼90% +24%
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
4437 Points ∼73% +1%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
4394 Points ∼72%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4002 Points ∼66% -9%
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
6318 Points ∼56% +6%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
5974 Points ∼53%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4957 Points ∼44% -17%
Productivity
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
7316 Points ∼75% +5%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
7044 Points ∼73% +1%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
6975 Points ∼72%
Essentials
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
8283 Points ∼78% +9%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
7622 Points ∼71%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
6879 Points ∼64% -10%
Score
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5206 Points ∼67% +6%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
4891 Points ∼63%
MSI GF72VR 7RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4456 Points ∼57% -9%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4394 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5491 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5215 points
Help

Storage Devices

Accessible 2.5-inch SATA III bay, but the M.2 slot requires further disassembly
Accessible 2.5-inch SATA III bay, but the M.2 slot requires further disassembly

Internal storage bays include a single M.2 slot with support for NVMe (PCIe x4) and a secondary 2.5-inch SATA III bay. Our test unit shipped with a 512 GB SATA III Samsung PM871 SSD and a secondary 1 TB Seagate Barracuda ST1000LM048 HDD. If upgrading, a 7 mm HDD is recommended since space is tight.

Sequential read and write rates from the primary SSD are good for a SATA III drive at just over 500 MB/s according to CrystalDiskMark. While nowhere near as fast as NVMe SSDs, it's difficult to expect more from a single SSD limited by the SATA III controller. Meanwhile, the Seagate drive is actually quite fast for a 5400 RPM HDD with an average transfer rate of 107.8 MB/s. Many older Seagate drives like the Momentus Thin ST750LM022 would be slower than 90 MB/s when subjected to the same benchmark.

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

CDM 5 (Primary SSD)
CDM 5 (Primary SSD)
CDM 5 (Secondary HDD)
CDM 5 (Secondary HDD)
HD Tune (Secondary HDD)
HD Tune (Secondary HDD)
AS SSD
AS SSD
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
 
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Gigabyte P57X v7
Transcend MTS800 256GB M.2 (TS256GMTS800)
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
AS SSD
179%
-34%
107%
184%
Copy Game MB/s
381.49
1117.38
193%
389.78
2%
1033.53
171%
Copy Program MB/s
229.75
407.82
78%
206.12
-10%
469.95
105%
Copy ISO MB/s
423.47
1974.8
366%
392.19
-7%
1336.93
216%
Score Total
1064
3080
189%
721
-32%
2328
119%
3310
211%
Score Write
417
1506
261%
249
-40%
487
17%
1054
153%
Score Read
421
1072
155%
314
-25%
1238
194%
1511
259%
Access Time Write *
0.032
0.029
9%
0.055
-72%
0.033
-3%
0.03
6%
Access Time Read *
0.051
0.044
14%
0.11
-116%
0.049
4%
0.035
31%
4K-64 Write
273.64
1219.75
346%
151.39
-45%
260.86
-5%
696.91
155%
4K-64 Read
337.66
747.47
121%
241.42
-29%
998.94
196%
1165.04
245%
4K Write
96.85
127.09
31%
71.98
-26%
112.06
16%
123.79
28%
4K Read
33.69
48.23
43%
23.65
-30%
45.64
35%
46.75
39%
Seq Write
465.12
1589.49
242%
260.92
-44%
1144.4
146%
2331.66
401%
Seq Read
497.89
2767.87
456%
491.91
-1%
1933.89
288%
2987.89
500%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 552.9 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 524.3 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 402.8 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 362.8 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 538.8 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 506.5 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 41.02 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 141.3 MB/s

GPU Performance

3DMark Fire Strike scores are 100 percent higher than the GTX 970M, 40 percent higher than the GTX 1060 Max-Q, and 20 percent slower than the GTX 1080 Max-Q. The 1070 Max-Q is only about 10 to 15 percent slower than the standard GTX 1070 for notebooks which we find to be an acceptable performance trim when targeting 1080p60.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Graphics
Alienware 17 R4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
5101 Points ∼50% +56%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7700HQ
4048 Points ∼40% +23%
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
3957 Points ∼39% +21%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ
3278 Points ∼32%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
3009 Points ∼30% -8%
MSI GS43VR 7RE-069US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
2680 Points ∼27% -18%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
2299 Points ∼23% -30%
Fire Strike Extreme Graphics
Alienware 17 R4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
10344 Points ∼52% +52%
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
8057 Points ∼41% +18%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ
6824 Points ∼34%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
6123 Points ∼31% -10%
MSI GS43VR 7RE-069US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
5590 Points ∼28% -18%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
4623 Points ∼23% -32%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
3517 Points ∼18% -48%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Alienware 17 R4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
21846 Points ∼54% +49%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7700HQ
18219 Points ∼45% +24%
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
17106 Points ∼42% +17%
MSI GS63VR 7RG
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ
15416 Points ∼38% +5%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ
14663 Points ∼36%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
13018 Points ∼32% -11%
MSI GS43VR 7RE-069US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
11979 Points ∼29% -18%
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7700HQ
10349 Points ∼25% -29%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
9608 Points ∼24% -34%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
7321 Points ∼18% -50%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Alienware 17 R4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
10349 Points ∼46% +12%
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
9550 Points ∼42% +3%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ
9256 Points ∼41%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
9017 Points ∼40% -3%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7700HQ
8935 Points ∼40% -3%
MSI GS43VR 7RE-069US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
8861 Points ∼39% -4%
MSI GS63VR 7RG
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ
8804 Points ∼39% -5%
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7700HQ
8762 Points ∼39% -5%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
8343 Points ∼37% -10%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
7952 Points ∼35% -14%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Alienware 17 R4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
26438 Points ∼52% +42%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7700HQ
23540 Points ∼46% +26%
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
22427 Points ∼44% +20%
MSI GS63VR 7RG
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ
19582 Points ∼38% +5%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ
18642 Points ∼37%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
16946 Points ∼33% -9%
MSI GS43VR 7RE-069US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
15074 Points ∼30% -19%
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7700HQ
13279 Points ∼26% -29%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
12472 Points ∼24% -33%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
9824 Points ∼19% -47%
3DMark 11 Performance
14903 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
128787 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
27498 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
12077 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
6394 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The 1070 Max-Q in the MSI is consistently outperforming the standard GTX 1060 by about 20 to 25 percent in our tested games. With the exception of titles that include heavy post processing filters like Witcher 3 or Batman Arkham Knight, most titles will have no issues maintaining 60 FPS at 1080p and on maximum settings. In order to take full advantage of the fast 120 Hz refresh rate, however, settings will need to be dialed down to medium or lower. A standard GTX 1070 desktop card can still outperform our GTX 1070 Max-Q by about 20 percent. It's a bummer that there are no GTX 1080 Max-Q options as the additional horsepower would be useful for pushing 1080p120.

See our dedicated page on the GTX 1070 Max-Q for more benchmark comparisons.

Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x
Alienware 17 R4
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, SK Hynix PC300 NVMe 512 GB
118.3 fps ∼100% +42%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
105 fps ∼89% +26%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop), 4790K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
94 (min: 85, max: 104) fps ∼79% +13%
MSI GE73VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
91.4 fps ∼77% +9%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL
85.9 fps ∼73% +3%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
83.5 fps ∼71%
MSI GS43VR 7RE-069US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, SK Hynix HFS128G39MNC-3510A
68.8 fps ∼58% -18%
EVGA SC17
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
54.7 fps ∼46% -34%
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
51.1 fps ∼43% -39%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 7500T, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
33.3 fps ∼28% -60%
BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Alienware 17 R4
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, SK Hynix PC300 NVMe 512 GB
162.9 fps ∼100% +28%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop), 4790K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
152 fps ∼93% +19%
MSI GE73VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
135 fps ∼83% +6%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL
131.6 fps ∼81% +3%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
127.6 fps ∼78%
MSI GS43VR 7RE-069US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, SK Hynix HFS128G39MNC-3510A
105.6 fps ∼65% -17%
EVGA SC17
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
90.2 fps ∼55% -29%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBN 80WK0042GE
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 7300HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW128HEGR
70 fps ∼43% -45%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 7500T, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
66.2 fps ∼41% -48%
The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Alienware 17 R4
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, SK Hynix PC300 NVMe 512 GB
78.1 fps ∼100% +52%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop), 4790K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
62 fps ∼79% +21%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
61.9 fps ∼79% +21%
MSI GE73VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
58.6 fps ∼75% +14%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
51.3 fps ∼66%
Asus Zephyrus GX501VS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL
51 fps ∼65% -1%
MSI GS43VR 7RE-069US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, SK Hynix HFS128G39MNC-3510A
41 fps ∼52% -20%
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
34.6 fps ∼44% -33%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBN 80WK0042GE
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 7300HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW128HEGR
25.6 fps ∼33% -50%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 7500T, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
21.6 fps ∼28% -58%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 127.6fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 96.1fps
Thief (2014) 93.3fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 98.251.3fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 10656fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 6060fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 88.3fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 97.783.5fps
Ashes of the Singularity (2016) 67.563.5fps
Overwatch (2016) 138.1fps
Mafia 3 (2016) 55.1fps
Prey (2017) 132fps
Dirt 4 (2017) 115.472.8fps
F1 2017 (2017) 12581fps

Stress Test

We stress the notebook with unrealistic loads to identify for any throttling or stability issues. When subjected to Prime95 stress, the CPU can be observed fluctuating between 3.0 and 3.4 GHz and 86 and 93 C rapidly. This is uncommon behavior as most notebooks would typically stabilize at a single clock rate and temperature or at least a much narrower operating range. Interestingly, the i7-6700HQ in last year's GS73VR 6RF would run cooler at a steady 77 C but with a slower steady clock rate of 2.9 GHz. Even so, clock rates never dip below the base when under stressed which is impressive for a superthin design.

The drawback is the expected high core temperature. Running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously will bring the CPU to 95 C while knocking clock rates down to 2.8 GHz. The GPU runs comparatively cooler at all times in the mid 70 C range compared to the mid 80 C range for the GTX 1060 in the GS73VR 6RF. In this case, switching to a lower-clocked Max-Q GPU has been beneficial to core temperatures.

Running Witcher 3 is more representative of real-world gaming load. Both the CPU and GPU can be observed operating at respectable core temperatures of 72 C and 77 C, respectively. The GPU in particular clocks in at a reliable 1291 MHz (or 1329 MHz according to GPU-Z) compared to its base clock of 1101 MHz. Frame rates are also stable when idling on Witcher 3 with no recurring drops or throttling over time.

Running on battery power will limit overall performance. A Fire Strike run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 6913 and 5270 points, respectively, compared to 10718 and 14663 points when on mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Witcher 3 stress
Witcher 3 stress
0123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343536373839404142434445464748495051Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 3.0 - 3.4 -- 86 - 93 --
FurMark Stress -- 835 -- 75
Prime95 + FurMark Stress ~2.8 - 2.9 ~1063 95 71
Witcher 3 Stress (if applicable) 2.6 1291 72 77

Emissions

System Noise

'Fan noise' and 'superthin gaming' have never been the best of friends. While the fans on the GS73VR 7RG are indeed quieter than on last year's GS73VR 6RF and many "standard" GTX gaming notebooks when under high loads, they are not as quiet as we were initially expecting. Nvidia dictates that all Max-Q notebooks should be aiming for "40 dB(A) or better" when sitting 25 cm away from the front of the notebook, but we are able to record a steady 45.8 dB(A) when running Witcher 3. Granted, our testing standards are not comparable to Nvidia's, but this MSI is still louder than other Max-Q notebooks we've tested including the Omen 15, Asus Zephyrus, and Acer Triton

Fan noise when sitting idle on desktop has unfortunately not changed. At least one of the fans will always be active and will eventually pulsate to as high as 34 dB(A) during low loads like word processing, emailing, or streaming. If not gaming, we recommend running on Power Saver mode so the fans will pulsate less often.

The high sound frequency of the small fans continues to be a unique disadvantage for the GS73VR series. As shown in our microphone data below, the noise curves have sharper peaks and are not as broad as on other bigger gaming notebooks like the EVGA SC17. Higher frequencies are more likely irritate and be noticeable when gaming.

Coil whine is not present on this particular test unit. Our last GS73VR exhibited noticeable electronic noise but we thankfully cannot say the same here.

The asymmetric triple-fan setup returns
The asymmetric triple-fan setup returns
The third fan may allow for cooler temperatures, but its small size means higher frequencies
The third fan may allow for cooler temperatures, but its small size means higher frequencies
MSI GS73VR 7RG (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Orange: Witcher 3, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
MSI GS73VR 7RG (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Orange: Witcher 3, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
MSI GS73VR 6RF
MSI GS73VR 6RF
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070

Noise Level

Idle
29.4 / 30.7 / 34 dB(A)
Load
42 / 45.8 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28 dB(A)
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
MSI GS73VR 6RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
Gigabyte P57X v7
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Transcend MTS800 256GB M.2 (TS256GMTS800)
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
Alienware 17 R4
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, SK Hynix PC300 NVMe 512 GB
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Noise
-6%
-5%
-8%
-12%
-3%
off / environment *
28
28.4
-1%
29
-4%
29.2
-4%
28.2
-1%
30
-7%
Idle Minimum *
29.4
31.9
-9%
30.4
-3%
33.9
-15%
35.6
-21%
30
-2%
Idle Average *
30.7
32
-4%
32.1
-5%
33.9
-10%
35.6
-16%
33
-7%
Idle Maximum *
34
34
-0%
32.1
6%
33.9
-0%
35.7
-5%
37
-9%
Load Average *
42
47
-12%
45.6
-9%
43.8
-4%
50.2
-20%
41
2%
Witcher 3 ultra *
45.8
50.2
-10%
42
8%
Load Maximum *
45.8
49.4
-8%
51.5
-12%
53.4
-17%
50.2
-10%
50
-9%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Surface temperatures are flat on both sides when idling with no uncomfortably warm hot spots. When gaming, the palm rests and trackpad remain relatively cool compared to the keyboard. The WASD keys in particular are always cooler than the rest of the keyboard for more comfortable gaming.

Our temperature maps below show a hot spot of over 50 C immediately above the 'F12' key where users are not likely to touch often during gameplay. In comparison, this same spot on the much larger GT73VR is only about 39 C when subjected to similar processing loads. The higher surface temperature is common on super-thin gaming notebooks like the Asus Zephyrus, Gigabyte P57, and Razer Blade and is only a tad cooler than on last year's GS73VR.

Heat escapes from four sets of ventilation grilles spread across the left, right, and rear edges with additional intake ventilation on the bottom panel and above the keyboard keys. The large number of holes is likely necessary to allow as much breathing room as possible for the tightly-packed innards.

System idle (top)
System idle (top)
System idle (bottom)
System idle (bottom)
Witcher 3 stress (top)
Witcher 3 stress (top)
Witcher 3 stress (bottom)
Witcher 3 stress (bottom)
Max. Load
 38.4 °C
101 F
52.2 °C
126 F
44.4 °C
112 F
 
 31.6 °C
89 F
40 °C
104 F
41.4 °C
107 F
 
 28.4 °C
83 F
29.8 °C
86 F
33.4 °C
92 F
 
Maximum: 52.2 °C = 126 F
Average: 37.7 °C = 100 F
40.2 °C
104 F
46.6 °C
116 F
31.6 °C
89 F
35.8 °C
96 F
37.4 °C
99 F
27 °C
81 F
27.4 °C
81 F
27.4 °C
81 F
31.6 °C
89 F
Maximum: 46.6 °C = 116 F
Average: 33.9 °C = 93 F
Power Supply (max.)  47.2 °C = 117 F | Room Temperature 23 °C = 73 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 37.7 °C / 100 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 52.2 °C / 126 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 46.6 °C / 116 F, compared to the average of 41.8 °C / 107 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28.7 °C / 84 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(-) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 38.4 °C / 101 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (33.6 °C / 92.5 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.7 °C / 83.7 F (-4.9 °C / -8.8 F).

Speakers

Dedicated subwoofer near the left palm rest
Dedicated subwoofer near the left palm rest

The quad speakers and subwoofer are not performing as well as they should considering that they are unchanged from the previous GS73VR 6RF. Our pink noise curve below shows inferior balance and bass on the newer 7RG SKU whereas a broader and flatter curve was recorded on the 6RF. This is likely due to differences in settings and the fact that the Nahimic audio software was not pre-installed on our 7RG test unit. In this case, it's recommended to install Nahimic in order to get the most out of the internal speakers and subwoofer.

Hi-res audio is once again present via the Sabre Audio DAC to support a 24-bit/192 kbps sampling rate. The GS notebooks are some of the few in its class to support the high impedance range of studio-grade earphones.

MSI GS73VR 7RG (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
MSI GS73VR 7RG (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
MSI GS73VR 6RF
MSI GS73VR 6RF
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2038.238.12536.835.63136.335.24032.735.25032.433.36332.9358031.83210030.431.412528.831.416028.635.120027.939.625026.537.931525.838.440025.943.250024.749.463024.1568002459.1100023.868.3125023.571.6160023.57120002670.8250023.863.531502357.5400022.261.5500021.756630021.758.9800021.557.61000021.650.91250021.648.91600021.757.5SPL35.778.1N2.533.8median 23.8median 56Delta29.835.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseMSI GS73VR 7RGApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
MSI GS73VR 7RG audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (71.57 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 20.4% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (5.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 10% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (13.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.4% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (14.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (31.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 97% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 1% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 91% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 5% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)
Graph 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Graph 2: Audio off

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The GTX 1070 Max-Q may be a 1070 by name, but overall power consumption levels are closer to that of a standard GTX 1060. When under medium (3DMark 06) and gaming loads, the GS73VR is nearly identical to the GTX 1060-powered GF72VR while being significantly more efficient than the GTX 1070-powered Aorus X7 v7 or MSI GE73VR Raider. Witcher 3, for example, will draw about 30 percent less power on the GS73VR 7RG for a comparatively small 10 percent drop in Fire Strike Graphics score.

Maximum load with both Prime95 and FurMark running simultaneously will draw about 161 W from a medium-sized 180 W power adapter (~17 x 8 x 2.5 cm). The system uses the exact same PSU from Chicony as does the Eurocom Q5.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.81 / 1.5 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 10.1 / 18.3 / 19.6 Watt
Load midlight 87.6 / 160.7 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI GS73VR 7RG
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP, TN LED, 1920x1080, 17.3
MSI GF72VR 7RF
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, TN LED, 1920x1080, 17.3
Gigabyte Aero 15X
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Alienware 17 R4
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), SK Hynix PC300 NVMe 512 GB, TN LED, 2560x1440, 17.3
MSI GE73VR 7RF Raider
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY, TN WLED, 1920x1080, 17.3
Power Consumption
-13%
8%
-102%
-20%
Idle Minimum *
10.1
15.7
-55%
10
1%
37.5
-271%
10
1%
Idle Average *
18.3
21.4
-17%
13
29%
37.6
-105%
18
2%
Idle Maximum *
19.6
21.9
-12%
20
-2%
37.6
-92%
26
-33%
Load Average *
87.6
83.9
4%
79
10%
122.4
-40%
97
-11%
Load Maximum *
160.7
159.6
1%
165
-3%
277.4
-73%
230
-43%
Witcher 3 ultra *
136.3
130.2
4%
120
12%
180.3
-32%
183
-34%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The higher-end Stealth Pro-033 SKU actually ships with a smaller battery capacity
The higher-end Stealth Pro-033 SKU actually ships with a smaller battery capacity

The internal 52 Wh battery is small in size compared to other 17-inch gaming notebooks where 90 Wh or larger batteries are common. The Razer Blade Pro, Aorus X7 v7,  and Lenovo Legion Y920 are popular examples with much larger battery capacities than on even the MSI GT series.

Runtimes are typical of a gaming notebook at just over three hours of real-world WLAN use compared to almost five hours on the Legion Y920. Users will be lucky to hit six hours when idling on desktop on Power Saver mode with no background activity. While the increased efficiency of  Max-Q is not advertised as a battery-boosting feature, we were still expecting slightly longer runtimes since the GS73VR includes Optimus.

A second GS73VR SKU (GS73VR Stealth Pro-060) includes a larger 65 Wh battery similar to the GS73VR 6RF. It's a bit disappointing that MSI isn't keeping the battery constant across its lineup.

Charging from near empty to full capacity will take just over two hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 49min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
3h 11min
Load (maximum brightness)
0h 57min
MSI GS73VR 7RG
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 51 Wh
Aorus X7 v7
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 94 Wh
MSI GF72VR 7RF
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 43 Wh
Gigabyte Aero 15X
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 94.2 Wh
Alienware 17 R4
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 99 Wh
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 90 Wh
Battery Runtime
-0%
-32%
152%
-2%
54%
Reader / Idle
349
221
-37%
201
-42%
781
124%
276
-21%
351
1%
WiFi v1.3
191
180
-6%
142
-26%
491
157%
181
-5%
283
48%
Load
57
81
42%
41
-28%
157
175%
69
21%
121
112%

Pros

+ excellent 120 Hz TN panel with fast 3 ms and 5 ms response time options
+ faster than GTX 1060 without consuming significantly more power
+ respectable CPU and GPU temperatures when gaming
+ quieter than most "standard" GTX gaming notebooks
+ comfortable RGB backlit keyboard
+ very thin and lightweight
+ no CPU or GPU throttling
+ very fast SD card reader
+ Thunderbolt 3

Cons

- small battery capacity; unimpressive battery life
- no IPS, 4K UHD, or touchscreen display options
- fans tend to pulsate when running low loads
- louder than most Max-Q gaming notebooks
- chassis could be stronger and more rigid
- end-user servicing will void warranty
- trackpad buttons feel spongy
- forced Optimus; no G-Sync
- higher-pitched fan noise

Verdict

In review: MSI GS73VR 7RG. Test model provided by Xotic PC
In review: MSI GS73VR 7RG. Test model provided by Xotic PC

The GS73VR Max-Q refresh makes this the best iteration of the series yet. Not only does it perform faster than the older GTX 1060 SKU under a very similar power envelope, but it also runs quieter and cooler as well. These are exactly the kinds of steps the GS series ought to be taking in order to beat every other super-thin gaming notebook currently in the market.

Even though the GS73VR 7RG is noticeably improved over the GS73VR 7RF and 6RF, it still has a long way to go. The 7RG is one of the loudest Max-Q notebooks we've tested alongside the recent Eurocom Q5. It's not nearly as loud as say the full-size Alienware 17 or Eurocom Tornado F5, but it's straddling the line between "Max-Q GTX" and "standard GTX" a bit too comfortably for our liking. The Asus Zephyrus is a smaller notebook yet it is able to house and cool a GTX 1080 Max-Q at much quieter fan speeds.

Aside from the aforementioned improvements, all the pros and cons of the previous GS73VR iterations carry over. The chassis could be stiffer, the trackpad firmer, and overall construction quality may be imperfect around the edges. It still boggles us why removing the bottom panel will automatically void the warranty when simply swapping the HDD is actually a very easy process. The 120 Hz display and SteelSeries keyboard are otherwise hard not to like.

This is both the quietest and most powerful version of the GS73VR money can buy. Overall, however, there are more powerful and even quieter Max-Q notebooks out there particularly in the 15-inch space where the Zephyrus GX501 and Predator Triton currently reign supreme.

MSI GS73VR 7RG - 10/19/2017 v6
Allen Ngo

Chassis
80 / 98 → 81%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
79%
Connectivity
61 / 81 → 75%
Weight
60 / 10-66 → 90%
Battery
70%
Display
82%
Games Performance
95%
Application Performance
94%
Temperature
84 / 95 → 89%
Noise
81 / 90 → 90%
Audio
74%
Camera
42 / 85 → 50%
Average
76%
84%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GS73VR 7RG (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1070 Max-Q, FHD) Laptop Review
Allen Ngo, 2017-10-19 (Update: 2019-03-31)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.