Notebookcheck

MSI GT73VR 6RF Titan Notebook Review

A souped-up GT72. We checked out the GT73VR last month in its 1080p and GTX 1070 configuration and were blown away by its performance and workmanship. The pricier 4K UHD and 1080 SKU is even better, but it makes some sacrifices regarding contrast and colors.

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The MSI GT73VR is one of our favorite Pascal gaming notebooks available. Our original review on the GT73VR 6RE praised the overall quality, performance, and accessibility of the notebook and its GTX 1070 GPU and 120 Hz/5 ms FHD display. We recommend checking out the review page for more images and details on the hardware and software.

Our second GT73VR SKU today is the 6RF with the even more powerful GTX 1080 and higher resolution 4K UHD panel. We want to find out how core temperatures and fan noise can keep up with the faster GPU and if the 4K UHD panel is really worth the investment considering that it sacrifices some features from the 1080p option.

Competing 17.3-inch gaming notebooks include the following:

MSI GT73VR 6RF
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop) - 8192 MB, Core: 1556 MHz, Memory: 10010 MHz, GDDR5X, 369.09, Manual
Memory
65536 MB 
, DDR4, PC4-17000, 1300 MHz, 15-15-15-36, Dual-Channel
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 3840x2160 pixel 255 PPI, IPS, ID: AUO109B, Name: AUO B173ZAN01.0, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel CM236 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
2x SanDisk X400 1TB M.2 SD8SN8U1T001122 (RAID 0), 2048 GB 
, Secondary: 2 TB Seagate ST2000LM003 HN-M201RAD
Soundcard
Realtek ALC899 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
5 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Headphones, Microphone, Line-in, Line-out (7.1 analog, S/PDIF), Card Reader: SD, SDHC, SDXC, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Killer e2400 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter (b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 49 x 428 x 287 ( = 1.93 x 16.85 x 11.3 in)
Battery
75.2 Wh, 5225 mAh Lithium-Ion, 8-cell
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: FHD (1080p @ 30 fps)
Additional features
Speakers: 2.1 Dynaudio (Nahimic Audio Enhancer), Keyboard: SteelSeries, Keyboard Light: yes, Cleaning cloth, warranty card, Quick Start guide, Drivers/Utilities DVD, Dragon Center, SteelSeries Engine 3, Synaptics, Nahimic 2, Killer Network Manager, Norton Antivirus, SCM, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
4.142 kg ( = 146.1 oz / 9.13 pounds), Power Supply: 1.403 kg ( = 49.49 oz / 3.09 pounds)
Price
3100 USD

 

Case

There's little to dislike about the design and chassis of the GT73VR desktop replacement. It's one of the thickest and heaviest 17-inch gaming notebooks available with the notable vapor-cooled Asus G752 series being even larger and heavier. MSI utilizes the ample space inside wisely while still providing excellent rigidity around the base. Teetering and warping of the display are kept to a minimum even down the center of the outer lid where flexing commonly occurs the most.

Workmanship is excellent as well with no unintended gaps between the different materials. The rear ventilation grilles are stiff and the edges of the inner bezel sit firmly around the outer screen unlike on the recent Clevo design and the GT72S, respectively. Perhaps a notable weak spot of the notebook is the bottom maintenance panel as it flexes and creaks just slightly due to its numerous ventilation grilles and large empty space between it and the components underneath. In comparison, the bottom panels of the Asus G752 and the Eurocom series are stiffer.

Connectivity

All the core connectivity features are available including HDMI, mDP, Thunderbolt 3, and 4x audio ports. A more irritating issue is the placement of the rear ports as they are more difficult to reach and that the HDMI port itself is upside-down compared to most other notebooks. Unlike on the Asus G701VO and latest Aorus X5 v6 models, the GT73VR utilizes HDMI 1.4 instead of 2.0 for more limited 4K output capabilities.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: 2x USB 3.0, SD card reader, Kensington Lock
Right: 2x USB 3.0, SD card reader, Kensington Lock
Rear: Gigabit Ethernet, Mini-DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Gen.2 Type-C with Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 1.4, AC adapter
Rear: Gigabit Ethernet, Mini-DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Gen.2 Type-C with Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 1.4, AC adapter
Left: 3x USB 3.0, line-out, line-in, microphone, headphones
Left: 3x USB 3.0, line-out, line-in, microphone, headphones

SD Card Reader

Read rates from the SD card reader average about 210 MB/s from our Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II test card. This is slightly slower than on the Asus G701VO and the Eurocom Sky X7E2, but still significantly faster than on the MSI GS73VR. Transferring 1 GB of photos from the reader to desktop will take about 6.5 seconds.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Asus G701VO-CS74K
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
175.6 MB/s ∼100% +13%
MSI GT73VR 6RF
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
155.1 MB/s ∼88%
MSI GS73VR 6RF
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
23.8 MB/s ∼14% -85%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Asus G701VO-CS74K
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
239 MB/s ∼100% +14%
MSI GT73VR 6RF
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
209.4 MB/s ∼88%
MSI GS73VR 6RF
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
27.6 MB/s ∼12% -87%

Communication

WLAN is provided by a Killer 1535 M.2 module capable of theoretical transfer rates of up to 867 Mbps. Special features include DoubleShot Pro for utilizing both cabled and WLAN connectivity simultaneously and full MU-MIMO and beamforming for routers that support them. See our dedicated review on the Killer 1535 for more details on performance.

An iPerf3 test standing one meter away from our Linksys EA8500 test router reveals a real-world transfer rate of about 660 Mbps under the -i 1 -t 30 -w 4M -P 10 -O 3 command line.

Accessories

Included extras are a warranty card, Quick Start guide, Nvidia sticker, cleaning cloth, and a drivers/utilities DVD. The latter, of course, will require an external DVD drive to use. In comparison, Clevo resellers like Eurocom include additional screws, padding, and even thermal paste since they encourage end-user tinkering. MSI sells a host of G series branded accessories such as backpacks, mousepads, and more.

Maintenance

Serviceability is easy on the MSI system with only five Philips screws to loosen. The massive cooling solution takes up most of the space while the battery is surprisingly small considering the power demands of the notebook. The passive heat sink over the 3x M.2 slots is another nice touch as M.2 drives can run very warm with the single 2.5-inch SATA III bay sitting directly below. Access to the last two SODIMM slots underneath the motherboard will require additional disassembly.

Warranty

MSI offers two-year limited warranty as standard on new purchases of their G series notebooks. CUKUSA covers modified components installed by the reseller for up to three years including any SODIMM modules and internal storage drives.

Input Devices

Keyboard & Touchpad

The SteelSeries keyboard provides a consistent experience across the MSI G series similar to how Lenovo implements its AccuType keyboard across a wide range of ThinkPad models. Travel is adequate with firm feedback and surprisingly little clatter for comfortable typing and gaming. Drawbacks include the lack of both dedicated Macro keys and individually lit keys. Furthermore, the labeling of the auxiliary keys on the right side of the notebook can be hard to see since it contrasts poorly with the notebook surface.

The touchpad works reliably for cursor control and multi-touch gestures regardless if gliding slowly or quickly. The dedicated mouse keys are shallow in travel with solid feedback and a loud auditory click. The force required to push on a key is not too high or low, so using the touchpad is comfortable for longer periods if a mouse is not available.

Fingerprints collect quickly on the brushed aluminum surfaces and plastic keys
Fingerprints collect quickly on the brushed aluminum surfaces and plastic keys
Familiar SteelSeries keyboard with no major changes from the previous generation
Familiar SteelSeries keyboard with no major changes from the previous generation

Display

How different is the 4K UHD IPS screen compared to the FHD TN option? There are actually a handful aside from their obvious pixel densities and many of them favor the 120 Hz/5 ms FHD panel. According to our measurements, the 4K UHD panel has lower contrast and measurably slower response times. Colors are more accurate than the FHD panel before calibration, but gamut is narrower overall. A quick search for its AUO B173ZAN01.0 panel name shows that similar panels are also used on the GT80S and a number of Clevo barebonee including the Eurocom Sky DLX7 and Schenker XMG U727. Backlight brightness is otherwise nearly identical between the GT73VR 6RF and GT73VR 6RE SKUs.

Subjectively, the matte 4K UHD screen suffers from moderate graininess that becomes very noticeable when viewing a bright white image such as a File Explorer window. Moderate backlight bleeding along the bottom edge is also noticeable during movie playback when black bars are present.

Moderate uneven backlight bleeding on bottom edge
Moderate uneven backlight bleeding on bottom edge
Matte subpixel array (255 PPI)
Matte subpixel array (255 PPI)
314.9
cd/m²
326.8
cd/m²
306.7
cd/m²
326.1
cd/m²
334.8
cd/m²
311.8
cd/m²
312.4
cd/m²
318.1
cd/m²
290.9
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 334.8 cd/m² Average: 315.8 cd/m² Minimum: 17.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 334.8 cd/m²
Contrast: 793:1 (Black: 0.422 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.11 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 5.74 | - Ø
96% sRGB (Argyll) 60.5% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.3
MSI GT73VR 6RF
IPS, 17.3, 3840x2160
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), TN, 17.3, 1920x1080
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), IPS, 17.3, 3840x2160
Asus G701VO-CS74K
IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
MSI GS73VR 6RF
TN LED, 17.3, 1920x1080
Response Times
50%
5%
13%
43%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
33.6
26
23%
37
-10%
29.2
13%
28
17%
Response Time Black / White *
30
6.8
77%
24
20%
26.4
12%
9.6
68%
PWM Frequency
Screen
-8%
24%
9%
22%
Brightness
316
294
-7%
320
1%
349
10%
315
0%
Brightness Distribution
87
89
2%
88
1%
86
-1%
86
-1%
Black Level *
0.422
0.23
45%
0.25
41%
0.365
14%
0.308
27%
Contrast
793
1365
72%
1344
69%
1008
27%
1095
38%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.11
9.74
-137%
3.61
12%
4.16
-1%
2.96
28%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.74
9.58
-67%
4.78
17%
3.86
33%
2.57
55%
Gamma
2.3 104%
2.5 96%
2.32 103%
2.19 110%
2.25 107%
CCT
5987 109%
11854 55%
6185 105%
6892 94%
7114 91%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
60.5
76
26%
88
45%
57.6
-5%
74.3
23%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
96
100
4%
100
4%
87.6
-9%
100
4%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
21% / 4%
15% / 20%
11% / 9%
33% / 26%

* ... smaller is better

Color coverage is approximately 96 percent and 60 percent of the sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, respectively. This is noticeably narrower than both the 1080p panel of the GT73VR 6RE and the 4K UHD panel of the Acer Predator 17. Gamers will more than likely not notice or care, but professional graphic artists may prefer the 1080p SKU for the slightly deeper colors.

vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. MSI GT73VR FHD
vs. MSI GT73VR FHD
vs. Acer Predator 17 4K UHD
vs. Acer Predator 17 4K UHD

Color temperature is slightly on the warm side out of the box. A quick calibration improves colors and grayscale, though RGB balance is oddly off and will likely require additional manual calibration for more precise colors and grayscale at medium saturation levels. The display was set to sRGB through the Dragon Center software before our spectrophotometer measurements were taken. MSI True Color includes preset modes for gaming, movie, and office applications with adjustable sliders for color temperature, gamma, blue intensity, and more.

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
30 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5.2 ms rise
↘ 24.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 70 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (27.2 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
33.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 13.2 ms rise
↘ 20.4 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 21 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (44 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

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

In comparison: 59 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 2255 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is slightly worse than the GT73VR 6RE as texts are smaller and contrast levels are not as deep. The panel benefits from wider IPS viewing angles but the backlight will need to be much brighter to overcome sunlight or bright ambient lighting. Visibility is otherwise not an issue when indoors.

Outdoors on overcast day
Outdoors on overcast day
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

The GT73VR is available in at least three SKUs with a choice of either the GTX 1070 or the GTX 1080 and a FHD or 4K UHD display. SKUs with GTX 1070 SLI options are also in the works for a future release. The FHD SKU (6RE) promises 120 Hz refresh rates and 5 ms response times whereas the 4K UHD option is limited to 60 Hz and slower response times. The display and GPU are the two largest differences between our 6RF and 6RE configurations.

Manual GPU switching is available to make use of the integrated HD Graphics 530 for power-saving purposes. Optimus is not an option in order to preserve G-Sync capabilities. Most other gaming notebooks with G-Sync do not have any graphics switching capabilities at all.

Processor

Raw CPU performance from the i7-6820HK on stock speeds is not significantly different from the Broadwell i7-5700HQ or even the Haswell i7-4700HQ according to CineBench benchmarks. The more demanding desktop-class i7-6700K is about 30 percent faster than the i7-6820HK in multi-threaded operations while single-threaded operations are almost the same. When we set the system to Turbo Performance mode, however, the CPU will maintain a clock rate of 4 GHz for both single-threaded and multi-threaded workloads compared to 3.2 GHz to 3.6 GHz when on stock High Performance settings. We've provided CineBench results below for both High Performance and Turbo Performance modes to illustrate the differences in scores. The i7-6820HK in Turbo Mode is almost neck-to-neck with the much more demanding desktop-class Core i7-6700K in stock speeds.

See our dedicated CPU page on the Core i7-6820HK and our review on the processor for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

CineBench R10 32-bit (High Performance)
CineBench R10 32-bit (High Performance)
CineBench R11.5 64-bit (High Performance)
CineBench R11.5 64-bit (High Performance)
CineBench R15 (High Performance)
CineBench R15 (High Performance)
CineBench R10 (Turbo Performance)
CineBench R10 (Turbo Performance)
CineBench R11.5 64-bit (Turbo Performance)
CineBench R11.5 64-bit (Turbo Performance)
CineBench R15 (Turbo Performance)
CineBench R15 (Turbo Performance)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GT73VR 6RF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
164 Points ∼74%
Eurocom Sky X7E2
Intel Core i7-6700K
160 Points ∼72% -2%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
143 Points ∼64% -13%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
139 Points ∼62% -15%
Toshiba Satellite S70-B-106
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
131 Points ∼59% -20%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Eurocom Sky X7E2
Intel Core i7-6700K
874 Points ∼47% +5%
MSI GT73VR 6RF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
836 Points ∼45%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
682 Points ∼37% -18%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
669 Points ∼36% -20%
Toshiba Satellite S70-B-106
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
566 Points ∼30% -32%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GT73VR 6RF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.88 Points ∼85%
Eurocom Sky X7E2
Intel Core i7-6700K
1.72 Points ∼78% -9%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
1.66 Points ∼75% -12%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.59 Points ∼72% -15%
Toshiba Satellite S70-B-106
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
1.49 Points ∼68% -21%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GT73VR 6RF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
9.24 Points ∼46%
Eurocom Sky X7E2
Intel Core i7-6700K
8.55 Points ∼43% -7%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
7.53 Points ∼38% -19%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.4 Points ∼37% -20%
Toshiba Satellite S70-B-106
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
6.02 Points ∼30% -35%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Eurocom Sky X7E2
Intel Core i7-6700K
6434 Points ∼73% 0%
MSI GT73VR 6RF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
6405 Points ∼72%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
5449 Points ∼61% -15%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
5055 Points ∼57% -21%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
MSI GT73VR 6RF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
24966 Points ∼62%
Eurocom Sky X7E2
Intel Core i7-6700K
23815 Points ∼59% -5%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
20059 Points ∼50% -20%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
18785 Points ∼47% -25%
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
13031
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
24966
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6405
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
9.24 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
71.77 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.88 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
164 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
104.46 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
836 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks rank the GT73VR in the same ballpark as many of its competitors if not slightly lower since our configuration is not equipped with NVMe SSDs. Subjectively, system responsiveness is very fast as expected from a primary solid-state drive. Our display panel would infrequently flicker at random, so there may be some hardware or software bugs related to the screen.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5778 Points ∼89% +32%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
5653 Points ∼87% +29%
MSI GS73VR 6RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
4774 Points ∼73% +9%
MSI GT73VR 6RF
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x SanDisk X400 1TB M.2 SD8SN8U1T001122 (RAID 0)
4378 Points ∼67%
EVGA SC17
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
4129 Points ∼63% -6%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
8531 Points ∼92% +4%
MSI GT73VR 6RF
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x SanDisk X400 1TB M.2 SD8SN8U1T001122 (RAID 0)
8227 Points ∼88%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
7460 Points ∼80% -9%
MSI GS73VR 6RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
5062 Points ∼54% -38%
EVGA SC17
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
4740 Points ∼51% -42%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5575 Points ∼93% +31%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
5160 Points ∼86% +21%
MSI GT73VR 6RF
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x SanDisk X400 1TB M.2 SD8SN8U1T001122 (RAID 0)
4252 Points ∼71%
MSI GS73VR 6RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
4012 Points ∼67% -6%
EVGA SC17
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
3441 Points ∼58% -19%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4252 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
8227 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4378 points
Help

Storage Devices

Passive heat sink over the 3x M.2 slots and 1x SATA III bay
Passive heat sink over the 3x M.2 slots and 1x SATA III bay

The chassis supports NVMe SSDs, but our particular configuration is equipped with two 1 TB SanDisk X400 SD8SN8U1T001122 SATA M.2 SSDs in RAID 0 for slower speeds and a more affordable price. Average read and write rates are just over 900 MB/s each compared to about 1600 MB/s with the Samsung SM951 NVMe SSD or over 3000 MB/s on the Samsung SM951 NVMe in RAID 0.

Our secondary 5400 RPM 2 TB Seagate HDD is rather slow with its 76 MB/s transfer rate according to HD Tune. 7200 RPM drives from Hitachi tend to clock in over 90 MB/s. See our table of HDDs and SSDs for more comparisons and benchmarks.

AS SSD (primary)
AS SSD (primary)
CDM (primary)
CDM (primary)
CDM (secondary)
CDM (secondary)
HD Tune (secondary)
HD Tune (secondary)
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
 
MSI GT73VR 6RF
2x SanDisk X400 1TB M.2 SD8SN8U1T001122 (RAID 0)
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
Asus G701VO-CS74K
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
Eurocom Sky X7E2
Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
MSI GS73VR 6RF
SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
127%
105%
67%
-55%
Write 4k QD32
441.8
526.9
19%
463.3
5%
422.1
-4%
167.1
-62%
Read 4k QD32
425
627.4
48%
583.8
37%
693.5
63%
251.6
-41%
Write 4k
65.68
153.1
133%
110.7
69%
144
119%
42.51
-35%
Read 4k
31.37
52.15
66%
47.25
51%
51.54
64%
20.3
-35%
Write 512
915.8
2327
154%
2255
146%
1561
70%
254.4
-72%
Read 512
698.1
1775
154%
1582
127%
1180
69%
242.3
-65%
Write Seq
916.1
2560
179%
2434
166%
1576
72%
319
-65%
Read Seq
914.3
3285
259%
3067
235%
1673
83%
334.3
-63%
2x SanDisk X400 1TB M.2 SD8SN8U1T001122 (RAID 0)
Sequential Read: 914.3 MB/s
Sequential Write: 916.1 MB/s
512K Read: 698.1 MB/s
512K Write: 915.8 MB/s
4K Read: 31.37 MB/s
4K Write: 65.68 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 425 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 441.8 MB/s

GPU Performance

3DMark reveals no significant performance differences between the GTX 1080 in our MSI notebook and our reference desktop GTX 1080. Our configuration is about 20 percent faster than the Eurocom X8 with GTX 980M SLI and about 70 percent faster than the laptop version of the GTX 980.

See our dedicated GPU page on the GTX 1080 and our review on the Pascal series for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

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
MSI GT73VR 6RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK
4941 Points ∼49%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
4841 Points ∼48% -2%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
4067 Points ∼40% -18%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
3009 Points ∼30% -39%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
2592 Points ∼26% -48%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
2299 Points ∼23% -53%
Fire Strike Extreme Graphics
MSI GT73VR 6RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK
10246 Points ∼76%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
9994 Points ∼74% -2%
Eurocom X8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4940MX
8542 Points ∼63% -17%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
6123 Points ∼45% -40%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
5541 Points ∼41% -46%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
4623 Points ∼34% -55%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GT73VR 6RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK
21270 Points ∼54%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
21154 Points ∼54% -1%
Eurocom X8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4940MX
18400 Points ∼47% -13%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
17498 Points ∼45% -18%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
13018 Points ∼33% -39%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
11957 Points ∼30% -44%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
9608 Points ∼24% -55%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
11623 Points ∼73% +34%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
10000 Points ∼63% +15%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
9017 Points ∼56% +4%
MSI GT73VR 6RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK
8705 Points ∼54%
Eurocom X8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4940MX
8693 Points ∼54% 0%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
8343 Points ∼52% -4%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
8338 Points ∼52% -4%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
29443 Points ∼58% +6%
MSI GT73VR 6RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK
27685 Points ∼54%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
23586 Points ∼46% -15%
Eurocom X8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4940MX
22072 Points ∼43% -20%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
16946 Points ∼33% -39%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
12731 Points ∼25% -54%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
12472 Points ∼24% -55%
3DMark 11 Performance
18087 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
124187 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
24487 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
14820 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
9042 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The GTX 1080 has been heavily benchmarked and tested around the web. According to our own benchmarks, our GT73VR SKU will be able to play most (if not all) current titles at 4K UHD resolution on High settings or better. Average frame rates do not quite reach 60 FPS on most titles, however, so 4K60 on Ultra settings is unrealistic even for the GTX 1080. G-Sync is fortunately an option and pairs well with this particular GPU and resolution.

Fallout 4 - 3840x2160 High Preset AA:T AF:16x
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
54 (min: 42) fps ∼100% +4%
MSI GT73VR 6RF
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x SanDisk X400 1TB M.2 SD8SN8U1T001122 (RAID 0)
51.7 fps ∼96%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop), 4790K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
45.2 (min: 35) fps ∼84% -13%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
32.2 fps ∼60% -38%
Batman: Arkham Knight - 3840x2160 High / On (Interactive Smoke & Paper Debris Off) AA:SM AF:8x
MSI GT73VR 6RF
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x SanDisk X400 1TB M.2 SD8SN8U1T001122 (RAID 0)
52 fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
32 fps ∼62% -38%
Rise of the Tomb Raider - 3840x2160 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000 (DX11)
50 fps ∼100% 0%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000 (DX12)
47.8 (min: 43) fps ∼96% -4%
MSI GT73VR 6RF
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x SanDisk X400 1TB M.2 SD8SN8U1T001122 (RAID 0)
49.8 fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop), 4790K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000 (DX12)
38.9 (min: 35) fps ∼78% -22%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K (DX11)
29.3 fps ∼59% -41%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K (DX12)
27 fps ∼54% -46%
Doom - 3840x2160 High Preset AA:FX
MSI GT73VR 6RF
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x SanDisk X400 1TB M.2 SD8SN8U1T001122 (RAID 0)
64.1 fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000 (72)
56.5 fps ∼88% -12%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop), 4790K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
48.6 (min: 42) fps ∼76% -24%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
34.2 fps ∼53% -47%
Overwatch - 3840x2160 High (Render Scale 100 %) AA:SM AF:4x
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
104 (min: 88) fps ∼100% +1%
MSI GT73VR 6RF
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x SanDisk X400 1TB M.2 SD8SN8U1T001122 (RAID 0)
103.1 fps ∼99%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop), 4790K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
85.5 (min: 74) fps ∼82% -17%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
61.1 fps ∼59% -41%
Mafia 3 - 3840x2160 High Preset
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
25.9 (min: 21) fps ∼100%
low med. high ultra4K
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 52fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 60fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 51.7fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 49.8fps
Doom (2016) 64.1fps
Overwatch (2016) 103.1fps
Mafia 3 (2016) 73.6fps
Title 3840 x 2160 Ultra Settings (FPS)
Metro: Last Light 53.6
Thief 46
Guild Wars 2 63.7

Stress Test

We stress the notebook with Prime95 and FurMark in order to identify for any potential throttling issues. Running both simultaneously with Turbo Performance and Turbo Fan modes off will result in core CPU and GPU temperatures of about 70 C and 80 C, respectively. Turning on Turbo Performance will boost core clock rate to 4.0 GHz and CPU temperature to a warmer but steady 82 C. The Nvidia GPU gets a small clock rate boost as well to the 1800 MHz to 1900 MHz range from its base 1556 MHz. Turbo Fan mode will set both system fans to maximum speed (~5000 RPM) to reduce CPU and GPU temperatures even further by about 15 C each. No matter the mode, the system never throttles and core temperatures never reach 90 C or warmer even when under extreme stress.

Running on batteries will limit CPU and GPU power. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 7038 and 2542 points, respectively, compared to 8978 and 27685 points when on mains.

Prime95 stress (High Performance mode)
Prime95 stress (High Performance mode)
FurMark stress (High Performance mode)
FurMark stress (High Performance mode)
Prime95+FurMark stress (High Performance mode)
Prime95+FurMark stress (High Performance mode)
Unigine Valley stress (High Performance mode)
Unigine Valley stress (High Performance mode)
Prime95+FurMark stress (Turbo Fan mode)
Prime95+FurMark stress (Turbo Fan mode)
Unigine Valley stress (Turbo Fan mode)
Unigine Valley stress (Turbo Fan mode)
Prime95+FurMark stress (Turbo Performance mode)
Prime95+FurMark stress (Turbo Performance mode)
Prime95+FurMark stress (Turbo Performance + Turbo Fan mode)
Prime95+FurMark stress (Turbo Performance + Turbo Fan mode)
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 3.2 -- 73 34
FurMark Stress -- 1633 58 84
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 3.2 1633 71 83
Unigine Valley Stress 3.2 1810 64 79
Prime95 + FurMark Stress (Turbo Fan mode) 3.2 1721 54 67
Unigine Valley Stress (Turbo Fan mode) 3.2 - 3.3 1835 36 60
Prime95 + FurMark Stress (Turbo Performance) 4.0 1633 82 82
Prime95 + FurMark Stress (Turbo Performance + Turbo Fan mode) 4.0 1683 64 66

Emissions

System Noise

The cooling solution consists of twin ~65 mm fans and ten heat pipes of which seven are dedicated to the GPU. The system is very large especially when compared to thinner gaming notebooks where as few as two or three heat pipes are common.

The system fans are always active no matter the workload or setting at about 32 dB(A). Fortunately, fan speed is largely apathetic to low loads like browsing and web surfing with only the rare occasional pulsing to 35 dB(A).

When gaming, however, expect fan noise to be noisier than on the GT73VR 6RE and its GTX 1070. Fan noise pulsates between 42 dB(A) and 50 dB(A), so it is not even steady under gaming conditions when set to automatic mode. This range is louder than on many competing systems including some thinner ones like the GS73VR.

Activating Turbo Fan mode will bump fan noise to a steady 64 dB(A) to be one of the loudest notebooks we've tested. Otherwise, fan noise is will max out at about 50 dB(A) when Turbo Fan is off. Fortunately, the mode is not necessary when gaming on stock speeds or even on Turbo Performance mode.

Most of the heat pipes are just for cooling the GPU alone
Most of the heat pipes are just for cooling the GPU alone
The twin fans operate independently with individual fan settings for each
The twin fans operate independently with individual fan settings for each
MSI GT73VR (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Valley, Green: Prime95+FurMark w/ Turbo Fan)
MSI GT73VR (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Valley, Green: Prime95+FurMark w/ Turbo Fan)
Eurocom Sky X7E2
Eurocom Sky X7E2
MSI GS73VR
MSI GS73VR

Noise Level

Idle
32 / 32 / 35 dB(A)
Load
50 / 64 dB(A)
 
 
 
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: 29.2 dB(A)
MSI GT73VR 6RF
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x SanDisk X400 1TB M.2 SD8SN8U1T001122 (RAID 0)
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
MSI GS73VR 6RF
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
Noise
8%
1%
9%
6%
off / environment *
29.2
30
-3%
31
-6%
29.1
-0%
28.4
3%
Idle Minimum *
32
32
-0%
33
-3%
29.1
9%
31.9
-0%
Idle Average *
32
33
-3%
34
-6%
31.9
-0%
32
-0%
Idle Maximum *
35
35
-0%
40
-14%
31.9
9%
34
3%
Load Average *
50
35
30%
44
12%
46
8%
47
6%
Load Maximum *
64
49
23%
50
22%
47.5
26%
49.4
23%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Surface temperatures on the MSI GT series are generally low for a gaming notebook due to the thick chassis designs and large cooling solutions. The keyboard and palm rests of the GT73VR never become uncomfortably warm even when under the most demanding of tasks. Hot spots are concentrated above the top row of keyboard keys where fingers and palms less likely to touch. Temperature differences between the GT73VR GTX 1080 SKU and the GT73VR GTX 1070 SKU are minimal when compared to thinner gaming systems like the GS73VR or the Aorus X5 v6.

Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (bottom)
Maximum load (bottom)
Max. Load
 39.6 °C40.6 °C41.4 °C 
 36.6 °C40.2 °C34.6 °C 
 30.4 °C27.6 °C28.8 °C 
Maximum: 41.4 °C
Average: 35.5 °C
59 °C33.8 °C45.4 °C
38.6 °C29.6 °C34.4 °C
25.4 °C25.4 °C26 °C
Maximum: 59 °C
Average: 35.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  47 °C | Room Temperature 22 °C | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer

Speakers

large speakers near the bottom front edges of the notebook
large speakers near the bottom front edges of the notebook

The integrated 2.1 Dynaudio speakers provide great sound quality for a gaming notebook. The subwoofer itself is quite large at about 35 mm in diameter and our microphone measurements show slightly better bass reproduction than the Eurocom X7E2 and the much thinner MSI GS73VR. Higher tones are unfortunately more imbalanced and may require some adjustments with the Nahimic 2 software for better quality. Our measurements were performed at maximum volume and at the default settings.

Unlike most gaming notebooks, the higher-end G series models are equipped with ESS Sabre Hi-Fi DAC for supporting studio-grade headphones of up to 122 DNR and 600 ohms. 

MSI GT73VR (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
MSI GT73VR (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
Eurocom Sky X7E2
Eurocom Sky X7E2
MSI GS73VR
MSI GS73VR
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2038.840.42535.137.33134.938.2403535.35034.234.46333.134.7803341.910031.947.712530.948.916029.456.120029.455.825028.857.231527.459.440026.960.150025.857.563025.565.180024.968.1100024.967.912502564.4160024.863.6200024.464.3250023.663.5315023.560.4400023.572.4500023.571.2630023.368.7800023.366.51000023.362.41250023.247.91600023.432SPL36.679.1N2.845median 24.9MSI GT73VR 6RFmedian 62.4Delta2.54.435.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
MSI GT73VR 6RF audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (79.09 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 8.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.3% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.6% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 54% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 41% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 17%, worst was 32%
Compared to all devices tested
» 29% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 67% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, 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
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 96% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

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

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Larger 330 W PSU for the GT73VR 6RF SKU
Larger 330 W PSU for the GT73VR 6RF SKU

Power consumption when idling with the integrated GPU active will draw about 29 W to 33 W depending on screen brightness and wireless activity. When gaming, however, expect this configuration to draw about 224 W to be over 100 W more than the GT73VR 6RE GTX 1070 SKU under similar conditions. Maximum load with both Prime95 and FurMark running simultaneously on High Performance (not Turbo Performance) will draw about 303 W.

The power adapter is rated for up to 330 W, so there is slight headroom available for overclocking and other connected components or hardware. Note that the PSU included with the GT73VR GTX 1080 SKU is larger (~20 x 10 x 4.5 cm) and more capable than the PSU included with the GT73VR GTX 1070 SKU (330 W vs. 230 W).

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.84 / 2.26 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 28.9 / 30.6 / 33.1 Watt
Load midlight 224.4 / 302.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI GT73VR 6RF
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 2x SanDisk X400 1TB M.2 SD8SN8U1T001122 (RAID 0), IPS, 3840x2160, 17.3
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0), TN, 1920x1080, 17.3
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7, IPS, 3840x2160, 17.3
Asus G701VO-CS74K
6820HK, GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0), IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
MSI GS73VR 6RF
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122, TN LED, 1920x1080, 17.3
Power Consumption
8%
8%
14%
22%
Idle Minimum *
28.9
31
-7%
25
13%
28.2
2%
22.6
22%
Idle Average *
30.6
35
-14%
35
-14%
32
-5%
32.7
-7%
Idle Maximum *
33.1
40
-21%
46
-39%
32.6
2%
32.8
1%
Load Average *
224.4
106
53%
103
54%
162.2
28%
114.7
49%
Load Maximum *
302.6
218
28%
223
26%
173.5
43%
167.9
45%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Runtimes are very similar to other high-end 17-inch gaming notebooks at just over three hours of real-world WLAN use. Gaming will drop battery life to only one hour while idling on Power Saver with the integrated GPU active will last around five hours.

Charging from near empty to full capacity will take about 2.5 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 06min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
3h 18min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 05min
MSI GT73VR 6RF
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 75.2 Wh
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 75.2 Wh
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 88 Wh
Asus G701VO-CS74K
6820HK, GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 93 Wh
MSI GS73VR 6RF
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 65 Wh
Battery Runtime
3%
10%
6%
8%
Reader / Idle
306
290
-5%
278
-9%
242
-21%
353
15%
Load
65
72
11%
89
37%
89
37%
66
2%
WiFi v1.3
198
206
4%
200
1%
202
2%
213
8%

Pros

+ relatively low core temperatures for a gaming notebook
+ 3x M.2 NVMe slots with RAID + 2.5-inch SATA III bay
+ strong cooling system; acceptable fan noise
+ no CPU or GPU throttling under heavy loads
+ accessible internals with removable GPU
+ Excellent build quality and design
+ USB Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 3
+ overclocking headroom
+ ESS Sabre Audio DAC
+ manual GPU switch

Cons

- 4K UHD panel is grainier with lower contrast, narrower gamut, and slower response times than the FHD option
- no dedicated Macro keys, individually lit keys, or HDMI 2.0
- removing the bottom panel may void warranty
- higher GPU temperature than GT73VR 6RE
- louder fan noise than GT73VR 6RE
- rear ports are difficult to reach
- unimpressive battery life

Verdict

In review: MSI GT73VR 6RF Titan. Test model provided by CUKUSA.com
In review: MSI GT73VR 6RF Titan. Test model provided by CUKUSA.com

The 4K UHD screen and GTX 1080 GPU combination is the "ultimate" single GPU configuration for the current GT73VR. Performance is ludicrous and its features are numerous, though the drawbacks compared to the lower-cost FHD and GTX 1070 SKU are hard to ignore for enthusiasts.

First, the 4K UHD screen is limited to 60 Hz and suffers from more ghosting than the 120 Hz/5 ms FHD option. Its contrast and color gamut are both inferior to the FHD panel as well. Secondly, the GTX 1080 GPU runs tangibly warmer and louder than the GTX 1070, so the increase in graphics power comes at a cost other than the obvious price difference.

The GT73VR chassis is still one of the best notebooks for running the GTX 1080 due to its versatile features and very capable cooling solution. Very thin 17-inch notebooks with the same GPU will become available before the end of this year including the Aorus X7 v6 and the Razer Blade Pro, but it's unlikely that these more portable alternatives will run any cooler and quieter than the MSI.

The GT73VR is a step in the right direction for the GT series and is superior to the GT72 in almost every way. It's thicker and heavier, but the extra weight and girth are utilized wisely for a much improved gaming experience.

MSI GT73VR 6RF - 11/04/2016 v5.1
Allen Ngo

Chassis
82 / 98 → 83%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
68 / 81 → 84%
Weight
48 / 66 → 68%
Battery
71%
Display
88%
Games Performance
98%
Application Performance
91%
Temperature
88 / 95 → 92%
Noise
60 / 90 → 67%
Audio
85%
Camera
47 / 85 → 56%
Average
76%
86%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GT73VR 6RF Titan Notebook Review
Allen Ngo, 2016-10-26 (Update: 2016-10-26)
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.