Notebookcheck

MSI GT75VR 7RF Titan Pro (i7-7820HK, GTX 1080) Laptop Review

Florian Glaser (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 08/11/2017

RGB trip. Although ultra-slim casings are the current trend, MSI presents the GT75VR, a bulky gaming laptop that combines all the advantages and disadvantages of a desktop replacement and relies on a mechanical keyboard with colorful lighting. Our test clarifies whether the total concept is still up-to-date.

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For the original German review, see here.

Buyers looking for a high-performance premium laptop will end up with MSI products sooner or later. While the GS line-up’s slim chassis is designed for mobile users and the GE lineup is aimed at price-conscious players, the GT laptops are made for the Core gaming community with a stationary playground that is out for pure performance. MSI's GT73VR that has been the 17-inch leader so far (Notebookcheck rating: 87%), is now replaced by the GT75VR that is tuned in many aspects.

The online shop Notebooksbilliger.de that kindly provided us with a review sample currently has the 17-inch scion in three versions. The 7RE-012 with 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, 120 Hz screen and a combination of a 256 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD for 2800 Euros (MSI GT75VR TITAN-083, (64 GB), $4315). Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1070 takes care of calculating graphics, while Intel's Core i7-7820HK CPU clocks inside.

The GT75VR 7RF-012 for 3600 Euros (MSI GT75VR TITAN PRO 4K-082, (64 GB), $4299) also with a Core i7-7820HK, but with more working memory (32 GB), more storage capacity (512 GB in RAID), and a much stronger GeForce GTX 1080 GPU is the basis for this article.

The 7RF-033 is the most expensive model. It does not offer more RAM or storage capacity or graphics power, but it boasts with a high-resolution 4K screen. Its price: exorbitant 4100 Euros (MSI GT75VR TITAN PRO 4K-082, (64 GB), $5965).

Besides the indirect GT73VR predecessor, rivals of the GT75VR are comparably priced and equipped high-end laptops such as Alienware's 17 R4Acer's Predator 17 XAsus' G701VIK, and Schenker's latest version of the XMG U727 that will all accompany us through this test.

MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop) - 8192 MB, Core: 1582 MHz, Memory: 2500 MHz, GDDR5X, ForceWare 382.64, Manual switch to Intel HD Graphics 630
Memory
32768 MB 
, 2x 16 GB DDR4-2400 SO-DIMM, 2 of 4 slots filled, max. 64 GB
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 127 PPI, CMN N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), TN LED, 120 Hz, G-Sync, Full HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel CM238
Storage
2x Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL NVMe (RAID 0), 512 GB 
, M.2-SSDs + HGST HTS721010A9E630, 1 TB, 2.5-inch HDD, 7200 RPM. Slots: 3x M.2 Type 2280 & 1x 2.5-inch
Soundcard
Realtek ALC1220 @ 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: headphone, microphone, line-in, line-out, Card Reader: SD,SDHC,SDXC
Networking
Aquantia AQtion 10Gbit Network Adapter (10MBit), Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter (b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 58 x 428 x 314 ( = 2.28 x 16.85 x 12.36 in)
Battery
75 Wh, 5225 mAh Lithium-Ion, 8 cells, 14.4 V
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: FHD (1080p @ 30 FPS)
Additional features
Speakers: 2x 3-watt speakers + 1x 5 watt subwoofer (Dynaudio, Nahimic), Keyboard: SteelSeries RGB Rapid Mechanical Keyboard, Keyboard Light: yes, 330-watt power supply, Qiuck Start Guide, recovery manual, warranty booklet, various proprietary tools, Killer Performance Suite, MS Office 365 Trial, XSplit Gamecaster Trial, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
4.6 kg ( = 162.26 oz / 10.14 pounds), Power Supply: 1.24 kg ( = 43.74 oz / 2.73 pounds)
Price
3600 ($4299) EUR

 

Case

MSI sticks to its traditional design language for the casing's looks. The dark surfaces, some of which are brushed aluminum (lid, keyboard area), are adorned with red components that give the 17-inch machine a playful look. The wrist rest's material surprised us a bit. MSI has opted for a soft-touch finish, i.e. a rubber coating (just as sensitive as the other surfaces) here.

In terms of stability, at least the base unit scores well. The chassis can hardly be dented even with stronger pressure. The lid that produces noises when it is twisted is not as rigid. The hinges do a satisfactory job. Although the lid can be opened easily with one hand, the display does not rock excessively on unstable surfaces. As for the build, which is overall good, the transition between the base plate and base unit could be more precise.

One of the biggest shortcomings of the GT75VR is its extremely bulky appearance that looks outdated in the era of slim gamers, such as Gigabyte's Aero 15Razer's Blade or MSI's own GS63VR. With a height of almost 6 cm (~2.4 in) and a weight of 4.6 kilograms (~10 lb), the 17-inch machine is one of the bulkiest and heaviest gaming laptops on the market.

Despite the same GPU, all rivals remain below 5 cm (~2 in). Asus' G701VIK and Alienware's 17 R4 are not even 4 cm (~1.6 in) tall. The enormous height has an impact on the ergonomics since the "keyboard" hand has to be lifted higher than the "mouse hand" and - depending on the seating and/or table height - is angled uncomfortably.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

The connectivity proves to be - like the GT73VR - very generous. Five USB 3.0 Type A ports are just as impressive as four audio jacks (headphone incl. SPDIF, microphone, line-out, line-in). This is complemented by a card reader, RJ45 port, and a Kensington lock slot. Video materials are transmitted to external monitors via HDMI 2.0 (4K @60 Hz) or mini-DisplayPort. A Type-C port that supports USB 3.1 Gen.2, DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 3 rounds off the bundle and makes the GT75VR perfectly prepared for the future.

We liked the interface distribution because of it "tail-heaviness" although the rear ports are a bit awkward to reach due to the beveled upper edge. Also, both left and right handed users will get a share of the waste heat discharged from the lateral vents when playing games. In any case, we could feel how our mouse hand warmed up in the benchmark course.

Left: 3x USB 3.0, 4x audio
Left: 3x USB 3.0, 4x audio
Rear: RJ45-LAN, mini-DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, DC-in
Rear: RJ45-LAN, mini-DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, DC-in
Right: 2x USB 3.0, card reader, Kensington Lock
Right: 2x USB 3.0, card reader, Kensington Lock

SD Card Reader

We have to criticize the card reader's "downgrade". While the GT73VR almost completely exhausted our Toshiba reference card (max. 260 MB/s), the GT75VR only almost reaches the USB 3.0 standard. 88 MB/s in sequential read and 83 MB/s when transferring photos cannot compete with either Asus' G701VIK or Schenker's XMG U727, which exceed 200 and 100 MB/s. Only Acer's Predator 17 X has a comparably weak card reader.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
168 MB/s ∼100% +102%
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
166 MB/s ∼99% +100%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
166 MB/s ∼99% +100%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
83 MB/s ∼49%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
79 MB/s ∼47% -5%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
246 MB/s ∼100% +180%
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
224 MB/s ∼91% +155%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
207 MB/s ∼84% +135%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
89 MB/s ∼36% +1%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
88 MB/s ∼36%

Communication

The GT75VR can regain some ground with its wireless communication via the Killer Chip 1535 (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2). Although 558 Mbit/s is just enough for one of the last places in the transmission test (1 meter/~3 ft away from the reference router), the reception performance of 700 Mbit/s is first-rate. Connection problems did not occur even when separated by several walls in practice. Tuning fans will also be happy with the Killer Control Center.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
700 MBit/s ∼100%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
683 MBit/s ∼98% -2%
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
682 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
681 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
675 MBit/s ∼96% -4%
Alienware 17 R4
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
606 MBit/s ∼87% -13%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
628 MBit/s ∼100% +13%
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
624 MBit/s ∼99% +12%
Alienware 17 R4
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
589 MBit/s ∼94% +6%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
584 MBit/s ∼93% +5%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
558 MBit/s ∼89%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
354 MBit/s ∼56% -37%

Accessories

The accessories are very limited if the buyer does not opt for one of the "Dragon Fever Bundles" (currently for the same price at Notebooksbilliger.de), which includes a backpack, headset, and other gimmicks. In addition to a quick start guide, only a recovery manual and a warranty booklet are in the box. The power supply is a 1.2 kg (~2.6 lb), 330-watt model that is extremely bulky with dimensions of 20 x 10 x 4.5 cm (~7.8 x ~4 x ~~1.8 in).

Maintenance

MSI has to be praised for the excellent maintenance and upgrade options. The manufacturer has designed the entire base plate as a service flap that is fairly easy to remove. A screwdriver (5 screws) and a bit of muscle power (clasps) then almost uncover the entire innards: the sound system, battery, wireless module, the cooling system that includes two fans, three heat pipes for the soldered CPU and - believe it or not - 7 (!) heat pipes for the removable GPU.

The storage devices are also underneath a cooling cover. To access the 2.5-inch slot, the M.2 SSDs have to be removed (2 slots with PCIe/NVMe support, 1 slot with SATA III support), which is quite inconvenient. The 4 RAM slots have been distributed on both sides of the motherboard. While the 32 GB (2x 16 GB SO-DIMM DDR4-2400) are underneath the keyboard and cannot be accessed without some effort, the empty banks are easy to reach.

In case the empty place in the bottom left of the screenshot is bewildering: The GT75VR is supposed to also be launched as an SLI variant with two GTX 1070 chips. Considering all things, the design is very similar to that of the GT73VR.

Software

As typical of MSI, diverse tools are preloaded on the system. The most important one is the so-called Dragon Center that serves as a central point with many features (see screenshots). Starting with a system monitor up to a tuning menu that not only offers a manual fan control, but also an overclocking option for both the CPU and GPU called Turbo.

Our Core i7-7820HK was overclocked to 4.0 GHz in the state of delivery. We used the shift mode "Power Options" for the measurements listed in the article (uses Windows settings). The fan speed was set to "Auto". The True Color tool is just as interesting since it optimizes the video output according to various scenarios (gamer, office, cinema, etc.). Since the preset "sRGB" mode presented the subjectively most natural image, we did not change it.

Warranty

A 24-month collect & return warranty is included.

Input Devices

Keyboard

One of the biggest unique selling points of the GT75VR is its first-rate keyboard. While the GT73VR still had a traditional keyboard, a mechanical model by SteelSeries is installed into the GT75VR. Unlike the GT83VR, it is not on the level of the touchpad, but is in the usual place. Compared with normal keyboards as found in 99% of all laptops, the typing feel is incomparably better. It is much crisper and more accurate, although the long drop and very loud (and cheap-sounding) typing noise needs some getting used to. The latter is a weakness of mechanical keyboards.

The unusual layout is one of the reasons why a "Very Good" is not achieved in this category. In addition to the strange and uneven separation of the F keys, some double assignments (e.g. F10/Print) and the differences to the standard layout annoyed us. For example, MSI moves "<>|" and "#" like in many of its gaming laptops, which results in a single-rowed enter in the German version. The Fn key is also displaced. Furthermore, a three rather than four rowed number pad is installed despite enough room. It is also too bad that the symbols of the four additional buttons on the keyboard's right are hardly legible.

The separated arrow keys that allow controlling volume and screen brightness and the pleasingly wide space bar are noticed favorably. An absolute highlight is the strong sRGB backlight that can be set for every key individually and - depending on the mode - ensures a real disco feeling. However, we find this rather embarrassing than stylish.

Chiclet keyboard ...
Chiclet keyboard ...
... with RGB backlight
... with RGB backlight

Touchpad

Unfortunately, the touchpad's quality is not as good as that of the keyboard. Although it offers a good accuracy and decent gesture support for several fingers (zoom, scroll, rotate, etc.), MSI has not done itself a favor with the rubberized surface. The soft-touch finish slows down gestures unnecessarily, especially when moisture is involved (wet or greasy fingers).

It is also unusual that the dedicated mouse keys do not respond over the entire surface but only toward the top. The same is true for the installed backlight that only illuminates the touchpad's lower edge. We would have preferred an "all-over" solution like in the GT73VR. The touchpad's color matches that of the wrist rest, and the only way to find it in the dark is using the fact that it is lowered. The touchpad's size is 11 x 6.5 cm (~4.3 x 2.6 in) - decent for 17-inch conditions.

Display

The 120 Hz panel has been adopted from the GT73VR. The N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747) is a Full HD screen based on TN technology. Apart from the middling viewing angles (typical TN problem) and mediocre brightness (average: 262 cd/m²), it does a good job. The low black level of 0.26 cd/m² results in a very high contrast (approx. 1050:1) that is on par with the competition.

261
cd/m²
277
cd/m²
263
cd/m²
254
cd/m²
274
cd/m²
269
cd/m²
241
cd/m²
263
cd/m²
258
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 277 cd/m² Average: 262.2 cd/m² Minimum: 14 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 274 cd/m²
Contrast: 1054:1 (Black: 0.26 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.36 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 0.64 | - Ø
100% sRGB (Argyll) 77% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.19
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
CMN N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), 1920x1080, 17.3
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), 1920x1080, 17.3
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
LP173WF4-SPF5 (LGD056D), 1920x1080, 17.3
Alienware 17 R4
2560x1440, 17.3
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
B173HAN01.1 (AUO119D), 1920x1080, 17.3
Schenker XMG U727 2017
AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), 3840x2160, 17.3
Response Times
-64%
-300%
-124%
-211%
-296%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
11.6 (6.4, 5.2)
26 (12, 14)
-124%
45 (18, 27)
-288%
30 (18.8, 11.2)
-159%
38 (13, 25)
-228%
44 (14, 30)
-279%
Response Time Black / White *
6.8 (4.8, 2)
7 (4, 3)
-3%
28 (6, 22)
-312%
12.8 (10.8, 2)
-88%
20 (4, 16)
-194%
28 (6, 22)
-312%
PWM Frequency
25000 (15)
Screen
-257%
-96%
-141%
-94%
-54%
Brightness
262
284
8%
362
38%
372
42%
299
14%
344
31%
Brightness Distribution
87
85
-2%
91
5%
86
-1%
91
5%
85
-2%
Black Level *
0.26
0.25
4%
0.37
-42%
0.62
-138%
0.27
-4%
0.35
-35%
Contrast
1054
1228
17%
1027
-3%
649
-38%
1133
7%
1034
-2%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.36
9.65
-610%
4.12
-203%
5.6
-312%
3.98
-193%
2.46
-81%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
0.64
10.07
-1473%
3.95
-517%
4.7
-634%
4.15
-548%
2.9
-353%
Gamma
2.19 110%
2.12 113%
2.47 97%
2.14 112%
2.45 98%
2.31 104%
CCT
6551 99%
12145 54%
6539 99%
7519 86%
7386 88%
6120 106%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
77
75
-3%
55
-29%
53.7
-30%
58
-25%
88
14%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
100
0%
84
-16%
82.2
-18%
89
-11%
100
0%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-161% / -219%
-198% / -137%
-133% / -138%
-153% / -118%
-175% / -102%

* ... smaller is better

The color accuracy sets standards. In the True Color mode sRGB, the DeltaE 2000 shift is an outstanding 0.64 (grayscales) and 1.36 (ColorChecker). We could not improve the rates via calibration as the screenshots below prove.

The color space is also beyond reproach. While most laptops achieve at most 80 to 90% sRGB, the GT75VR accomplishes an exemplary 100% so that even professional users who plan photo and video editing will be interested (77% AdobeRGB). Only the UHD panel in Schenker's XMG U727 achieves an even bigger color space in the comparison field (88% AdobeRGB).

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
MSI GT75VR 7RF vs. sRGB (100%)
MSI GT75VR 7RF vs. sRGB (100%)
MSI GT75VR 7RF vs. AdobeRGB (77%)
MSI GT75VR 7RF vs. AdobeRGB (77%)

Another plus point of the 120 Hz panel is its short response time. 6.8 ms when switching from black to white and 11.6 ms when switching from gray to gray belong to the best rates that we have ever measured. Alongside Nvidia's G-Sync technology and the strong GPU, games make an extremely smooth impression. However, the GeForce GTX 1080 is not completely exhausted with 1920x1080 pixels. The ideal would be 2560x1440 or 3840x2160 pixels.

Outdoors
Outdoors
Subpixels
Subpixels
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Fortunately, the flickering that we discovered only occurs up to a screen brightness of 15% and, at 25 kHz, it is so high that even sensitive users should not perceive flickering. Very good: Backlight bleeding was not an issue of the review sample.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
6.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4.8 ms rise
↘ 2 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 3 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (26.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
11.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6.4 ms rise
↘ 5.2 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. » 4 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (43 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 25000 Hz15 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 25000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 15 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 25000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 58 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 5872 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

MSI's GT75VR is definitely situated in the premium range with its lightning-fast Kaby Lake processor and exorbitantly expensive top model from Nvidia's Pascal generation. 32 GB of DDR4 RAM and 1.5 TB of storage device capacity also point to a genuine desktop replacement that offers high future security.

Processor

MSI does not install the widely distributed and very popular Core i7-7700HQ with a clock speed of 2.8 to 3.8, but the 100 MHz faster Core i7-7820HK, which can boast with an 8 rather than a 6 MB L3 cache and a free multiplicator to justify the exorbitant price.

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

The performance of the quad-core model that can process up to eight threads simultaneously via Hyperthreading completely fulfills the expectations. A maximum of 3.9 GHz in single-core load and 3.5 GHz in multi-core load correspond to Intel's specifications. As our Cinebench loop confirms, the high clock speed is also maintained for a prolonged time. The results were very stable in the 30-minute test.

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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.81 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
8.34 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
160 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
758 Points
Help

The GT75VR lags behind slightly in the benchmark chart because the other devices are tested with an enabled factory OC. Schenker's XMG U727 usually achieves the first place thanks to its desktop CPU. We could never get the 17-inch machine to throttle, i.e. drop below the base clock of 2.9 GHz. The cores even achieved 3.5 GHz in the stress test using the tools FurMark and Prime95 - a superb rate.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG U727 2017
Intel Core i7-7700K
193 Points ∼100% +21%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
Intel Core i7-7820HK
184 Points ∼95% +15%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
Intel Core i7-7820HK
184 Points ∼95% +15%
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
Intel Core i7-7820HK
172 Points ∼89% +8%
Alienware 17 R4
Intel Core i7-7820HK
171 Points ∼89% +7%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Intel Core i7-7820HK
160 Points ∼83%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker XMG U727 2017
Intel Core i7-7700K
958 Points ∼100% +26%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
Intel Core i7-7820HK
899 Points ∼94% +19%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
Intel Core i7-7820HK
874 Points ∼91% +15%
Alienware 17 R4
Intel Core i7-7820HK
867 Points ∼91% +14%
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
Intel Core i7-7820HK
864 Points ∼90% +14%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Intel Core i7-7820HK
758 Points ∼79%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG U727 2017
Intel Core i7-7700K
2.18 Points ∼100% +20%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
Intel Core i7-7820HK
2.08 Points ∼95% +15%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
Intel Core i7-7820HK
2.08 Points ∼95% +15%
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
Intel Core i7-7820HK
1.95 Points ∼89% +8%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Intel Core i7-7820HK
1.81 Points ∼83%
Alienware 17 R4
Intel Core i7-7820HK
1.69 Points ∼78% -7%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker XMG U727 2017
Intel Core i7-7700K
10.59 Points ∼100% +27%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
Intel Core i7-7820HK
9.91 Points ∼94% +19%
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
Intel Core i7-7820HK
9.6 Points ∼91% +15%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
Intel Core i7-7820HK
9.55 Points ∼90% +15%
Alienware 17 R4
Intel Core i7-7820HK
9.53 Points ∼90% +14%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Intel Core i7-7820HK
8.34 Points ∼79%

System Performance

The system performance is also beyond reproach. The high-end components and the SSD RAID ensure that the system runs quickly in every situation. The GT75VR settles between Asus' G701VIK and Alienware's 17 R4 in PCMark 8. Acer's Predator 17 X claims the first place, and Schenker's XMG U727 comes in last.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
6123 Points ∼100% +12%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL NVMe (RAID 0)
5846 Points ∼95% +7%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL NVMe (RAID 0)
5444 Points ∼89%
Alienware 17 R4
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, SK Hynix PC300 NVMe 512 GB
5088 Points ∼83% -7%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7700K, Samsung SM961 MZVPW256 m.2 PCI-e
4972 Points ∼81% -9%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5975 Points ∼100% +14%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL NVMe (RAID 0)
5662 Points ∼95% +8%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL NVMe (RAID 0)
5237 Points ∼88%
Alienware 17 R4
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, SK Hynix PC300 NVMe 512 GB
5064 Points ∼85% -3%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7700K, Samsung SM961 MZVPW256 m.2 PCI-e
4902 Points ∼82% -6%
PCMark 10 - Score
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL NVMe (RAID 0)
5211 Points ∼100%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
5237 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5444 points
Help

Storage Devices

As appropriate for a modern gaming laptop, the GT75VR can use both a PCIe and NVMe technology for storage devices. MSI is not tight-fisted and combines two M.2 models to a RAID 0 array that adds up to a total of 512 GB. Both 256 GB Samsung drives from the SM961 lineup present a very good show.

Over 3000 MB/s in sequential read (AS SSD benchmark) and over 2000 MB/s in sequential write mark the absolute top. Single SSD solutions such as those in Acer's Predator 17 X, Alienware's 17 R4, and Schenker's XMG U727 cannot compete with this on paper. However, differences will hardly be noticed in most routine situations since current SSDs perform similarly with small files.

CrystalDiskMark (SSD)
CrystalDiskMark (SSD)
AS SSD Benchmark (SSD)
AS SSD Benchmark (SSD)
CrystalDiskMark (HDD)
CrystalDiskMark (HDD)
HDTune (HDD)
HDTune (HDD)

Should it get tight for the personal game and multimedia collection at some point, a 2.5-inch HDD with a capacity of 1 TB is also installed. HGST's Travelstar 7K1000 is an extremely successful 7200 model.

MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
2x Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL NVMe (RAID 0)
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
Alienware 17 R4
SK Hynix PC300 NVMe 512 GB
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
2x Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL NVMe (RAID 0)
Schenker XMG U727 2017
Samsung SM961 MZVPW256 m.2 PCI-e
AS SSD
-4%
-23%
-38%
9%
6%
Score Total
3392
3310
-2%
2581
-24%
2072
-39%
4088
21%
3938
16%
Score Write
1289
1054
-18%
930
-28%
858
-33%
1458
13%
1187
-8%
Score Read
1412
1511
7%
1118
-21%
831
-41%
1760
25%
1858
32%
4K Write
128.75
123.79
-4%
133.79
4%
113.36
-12%
120.89
-6%
175.94
37%
4K Read
50.12
46.75
-7%
39.52
-21%
35.61
-29%
50.96
2%
56.75
13%
Seq Write
2352.3
2331.66
-1%
1338.19
-43%
734.8
-69%
2520.45
7%
1444.7
-39%
Seq Read
3136.95
2987.89
-5%
2261.03
-28%
1752.03
-44%
3247.45
4%
2745.81
-12%
2x Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL NVMe (RAID 0)
Sequential Read: 3136.95 MB/s
Sequential Write: 2352.3 MB/s
4K Read: 50.12 MB/s
4K Write: 128.75 MB/s
4K-64 Read: 1047.94 MB/s
4K-64 Write: 924.67 MB/s
Access Time Read: 0.041 ms
Access Time Write: 0.029 ms
Score Read: 1412 Points
Score Write: 1289 Points
Score Total: 3392 Points

Graphics Card

MSI has omitted Nvidia's brand new Max-Q design in the GT75VR intentionally, allowing the GeForce GTX 1080 to show its full beauty. Thanks to the powerful cooling system, the DirectX 12 chip supported by a generous 8 GB of GDDR5X VRAM can use its clock potential extremely well. Almost 1810 MHz after 60 minutes of “The Witcher 3” speaks for itself. Even 1890 MHz was displayed for a moment in the render test of the GPU-Z test.

The stress test performance also impressed us. While the GeForce GTX 1080 tends to throttle significantly in other gaming laptops, the Pascal model in the GT75VR runs at approx. 1600 MHz during full load.

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
23091 Points ∼100% +8%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
22566 Points ∼98% +6%
Alienware 17 R4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
21846 Points ∼95% +2%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
21534 Points ∼93% +1%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
21366 Points ∼93%
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
21026 Points ∼91% -2%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
31412 Points ∼100% +8%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
29426 Points ∼94% +1%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
29109 Points ∼93%
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
28675 Points ∼91% -1%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
28595 Points ∼91% -2%
Alienware 17 R4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
26438 Points ∼84% -9%
Unigine Heaven 4.0 - Extreme Preset DX11
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
140.2 fps ∼100% +5%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
133.7 fps ∼95% +1%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
132.9 fps ∼95%
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
132.3 fps ∼94% 0%

The 17-inch machine is on par with the competition in the graphics benchmarks. In 3DMark 13's Fire Strike test, the five comparison devices drift at most 10% apart. It is a maximum of 6% in the Ungine Heaven 4.0 benchmark.

Note: The processor's graphics chip (Intel HD Graphics 630) remains inactive due to G-Sync. However, it is possible to save energy and reduce the other emissions in idle mode by switching the graphics accelerator via the GPU button. This requires rebooting the system (Nvidia's GPU was always active for our tests).

3DMark 11 Performance
19621 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
155671 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
29451 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
15851 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
6563 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Before dedicating ourselves to the gaming outcomes, we would like to say a few words about the long-term performance of the GeForce GTX 1080 that we simulated with “The Witcher 3”. The frame rates drop by 5 to 10% in the course of the 60-minute test only because the GPU's Turbo gets weaker as it reacts to increasing temperatures at some time. This behavior can be observed in almost every laptop and cannot be criticized.

0123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343536373839404142434445464748495051525354555657585960616263646566676869707172737475Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra

There is generally no reason to worry about the frame rates in the Full HD sector. Although the 120 Hz technology is sometimes exhausted in maximum settings, the GeForce GTX 1080 achieves smooth rates even in demanding games such as “Ghost Recon Wildlands” or “Playerunknown's Battlegrounds”. The high-end GPU usually has enough power for 3840x2160 pixels, as the results in “Prey” and “Rocket League” prove. Core players will be absolutely satisfied with the GT75VR in any case.

The configuration with the GeForce GTX 1070 is right for saving a bit of money. Nvidia's second-best Pascal model also copes with 1920x1080 pixels quite well.

low med. high ultra4K
The Witcher 3 (2015) 14475.952.2fps
Ghost Recon Wildlands (2017) 99.761.441.4fps
Prey (2017) 13913668.3fps
Rocket League (2017) 240110fps
Dirt 4 (2017) 178105fps
Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (2017) 11590.132.8fps

Emissions

System Noise

The GT75VR loses most points for its high noise production. Unfortunately, 2 fans and 10 heat pipes cannot prevent the 17-inch machine from getting loud in 3D mode. While an average of 44 dB(A) in 3DMark 06 is still acceptable, 56 dB(A) in “The Witcher 3” and 62 dB(A) during full load are very annoying. Thus, games are no fun without a headphone. Other GTX 1080 laptops do a much better job here. Both the slimmer Alienware 17 R4 with a desktop CPU and Schenker's XMG U727 are quieter.

Perhaps not enough heat-conductive paste has been used or it is perhaps not distributed evenly since the Core i7-7829HK's temperature fluctuated by up to 15 °C (~59 °F) from one core to the other during the stress test. Here, the GPU is the center of annoyance. It gets even louder when the fan button is on as it boosts the noise development up to possibly record-breaking 64 dB(A).

Idle noise level
Idle noise level
Load noise level
Load noise level
Speakers noise level
Speakers noise level

The situation is not as tense in idle mode. Although the GT75VR reaches up to 38 dB(A) when booting, the laptop runs relatively quietly for gaming conditions (33 to 34 dB(A)). However, the fans are never completely inactive and tend to wobble. We also perceived a discreet coil whining sometimes.

Noise Level

Idle
33 / 34 / 38 dB(A)
Load
44 / 62 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30 dB(A)
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Alienware 17 R4
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Schenker XMG U727 2017
7700K, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Noise
3%
5%
2%
4%
5%
off / environment *
30
30
-0%
30
-0%
28.2
6%
30
-0%
30
-0%
Idle Minimum *
33
34
-3%
33
-0%
35.6
-8%
30
9%
31
6%
Idle Average *
34
35
-3%
35
-3%
35.6
-5%
31
9%
34
-0%
Idle Maximum *
38
37
3%
37
3%
35.7
6%
36
5%
37
3%
Load Average *
44
39
11%
40
9%
50.2
-14%
47
-7%
44
-0%
Witcher 3 ultra *
56
50.2
10%
51
9%
Load Maximum *
62
56
10%
50
19%
50.2
19%
56
10%
52
16%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

The advantage of the aggressive fans is the casing's moderate temperature development. A maximum of 46 °C (~115 °F) in the upper back area and a maximum of 32 °C (~90 °F) in the wrist rest area are absolutely acceptable. It could only get critical on the underside, which exceeded 50 °C (~122 °F) in both “The Witcher 3” and the stress test. Thus, the laptop should generally not be used on the lap during gaming sessions.

Stress test
Stress test
Full load upper side (Optris PI 640)
Full load upper side (Optris PI 640)
Full load underside (Optris PI 640)
Full load underside (Optris PI 640)

The entire casing remained pleasantly cool at 28 to 35 °C (~82 to ~95 °F) in idle mode. The competing devices can only be compared conditionally due to the lower ambient temperatures (20 °C/~68 °F in the winter and spring vs. 24 °C/~75 °F in mid-summer). The common picture is seen under the hood. The GeForce GTX 1080 settled to an acceptable 81 °C (~178 °F) and the Core i7-7820HK to borderline 84 to 99 °C (~183 to 210 °F) after 60 minutes of full load - but without throttling as mentioned earlier.

Max. Load
 37 °C39 °C46 °C 
 36 °C37 °C41 °C 
 30 °C31 °C31 °C 
Maximum: 46 °C
Average: 36.4 °C
57 °C40 °C45 °C
54 °C44 °C41 °C
36 °C30 °C36 °C
Maximum: 57 °C
Average: 42.6 °C
Power Supply (max.)  55 °C | Room Temperature 24 °C | Voltcraft IR-900
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Alienware 17 R4
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Schenker XMG U727 2017
7700K, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Heat
18%
10%
6%
10%
1%
Maximum Upper Side *
46
39.8
13%
44.2
4%
49.6
-8%
50.9
-11%
47.5
-3%
Maximum Bottom *
57
47.8
16%
43
25%
56
2%
44.6
22%
56
2%
Idle Upper Side *
34
27.1
20%
32.4
5%
29.6
13%
29.9
12%
34.5
-1%
Idle Bottom *
35
27.4
22%
32.8
6%
29.2
17%
28.8
18%
33.6
4%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

Other laptop manufacturers can gladly take the sound quality of the GT75VR as an example. Although our audio analysis shows a bit of potential for improvement in bass and mids, the 17-inch machine has one of the best sound systems that we have ever encountered. Only very few laptops have such a powerful and balanced sound.

This is no surprise as MSI has invested a lot of resources in both the hardware (Dynaudio speakers, gold-plated plugs, amplifiers, digital-analog converters, etc.) and the software. In addition to the manufacturer's sound tool, a program called Nahimic 2+ is preloaded on the system. It provides diverse profiles and setting options. The GT75VR's high maximum volume is also impressive. Up to 98 dB(A) even fill large rooms with sound decently. Most gaming laptops achieve only 75 to 85 dB(A).

In a nutshell: Thanks to the superb sound, external speakers are not needed. The integrated 2.1 system is suitable for music, videos, and games to an equal degree (if the loud fans can be tolerated and a headset is not used).

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2040.253.12533.156.83129.258.34030.657.75027.557.96325.559.68026.56110025.762.312523.764.116023.167.52002273.825022.276.731520.379.340018.681.250018.277.563017.476.280017.279.2100017.180.4125017.283.2160017.486.5200017.388.8250017.390315017.388.2400017.288.4500017.386.8630017.581.5800017.277.71000017.7771250017.873.41600017.270.4SPL29.797.9N1.3130.6median 17.4MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Promedian 79.2Delta1.85.232.236.529.236.429.638.427.337.22640.525.544.225.347.824.55724.66425.267.222.169.821.865.82171.520.474.719.57418.874.118.677.61981.119.481.118.979.117.88317.784.517.684.917.582.617.47917.478.517.478.517.572.217.363.617.253.630.593.11.4102median 18.8MSI GT73VR 7RF-296median 74.71.56.8hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (98 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 8.7% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (4.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.6% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.1% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 0% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 18%, worst was 34%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

MSI GT73VR 7RF-296 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (93 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 8.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.1% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (12.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 15% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 78% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 18%, worst was 34%
Compared to all devices tested
» 8% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 90% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram comparison (checkboxes above can be turned on/off!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The GT75VR has a relatively high power consumption when the GeForce GPU is active. Laptops with Nvidia's Optimus technology clearly undercut 34 to 50 watts in idle mode. However, most gamers consume less power, even without Optimus. We measured only 29 to 40 watts from the GT73VR in idle mode. The 17-inch machine gets really thirsty during load. Almost 257 watts in “The Witcher 3” are considerably more than in Alienware's 17 R4 that drains only 180 watts from the outlet despite an identical CPU and GPU.

The GT75VR is also less efficient during full load. At least MSI delivers the laptop with a sufficiently strong power supply. Schenker's XMG U727 sets the negative record. Due to the desktop CPU, the 3D rates are quite a bit higher than among the GTX 1080 competition.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 1 / 1.4 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 34 / 41 / 50 Watt
Load midlight 106 / 320 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Alienware 17 R4
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Schenker XMG U727 2017
7700K, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Power Consumption
13%
17%
9%
17%
-8%
Idle Minimum *
34
29
15%
27
21%
37.5
-10%
24
29%
32
6%
Idle Average *
41
35
15%
32
22%
37.6
8%
31
24%
43
-5%
Idle Maximum *
50
40
20%
41
18%
37.6
25%
38
24%
51
-2%
Load Average *
106
94
11%
102
4%
122.4
-15%
98
8%
138
-30%
Load Maximum *
320
315
2%
248
22%
277.4
13%
320
-0%
350
-9%
Witcher 3 ultra *
257
180.3
30%
279
-9%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Naturally, the high power consumption has an impact on the battery life. The GT75VR lasts for at most 3 hours, even with minimum brightness and low load (Battery Eater Reader's Test). Approximately 2.5 hours of Wi-Fi browsing and 2.5 hours of watching HD videos (medium brightness) are also modest. Acer's Predator 17 X and Asus' G701VIK, both with stronger batteries (89 and 93 Wh vs. 75 Wh) are first depleted after 3.5 to 4 hours. The GT75VR shut down after just 1 hour in Battery Eater's Classic test that simulates high load and which is performed using maximum brightness.

Furthermore, playing games without the power supply is not a good idea for performance reasons. The frame rate dropped by 70% (22 rather than 70 FPS @ FHD/Ultra) in the test with “The Witcher 3”.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 02min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
2h 24min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
2h 28min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 05min
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 75 Wh
MSI GT73VR 7RF-296
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 75.2 Wh
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 88.8 Wh
Alienware 17 R4
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 99 Wh
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 93 Wh
Schenker XMG U727 2017
7700K, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 89 Wh
Battery Runtime
5%
56%
28%
61%
29%
Reader / Idle
182
313
72%
276
52%
342
88%
222
22%
H.264
148
145
-2%
204
38%
WiFi v1.3
144
160
11%
251
74%
181
26%
241
67%
168
17%
Load
65
90
38%
69
6%
83
28%
97
49%

Verdict

Pros

+ highly responsive and true-color 120 Hz screen
+ mechanical keyboard with RGB lighting
+ extensive and well-distributed interfaces
+ optional CPU/GPU overclocking
+ superb maintenance options
+ outstanding performance
+ useful tools
+ great sound
+ SSD RAID
+ G-Sync

Cons

- extremely high noise development during load
- poor battery life in Nvidia mode
- thick and very heavy casing
- exorbitant power consumption
- rubberized touchpad
- gigantic power supply
MSI GT75VR 7RF Titan Pro, review sample courtesy of MSI Germany.
MSI GT75VR 7RF Titan Pro, review sample courtesy of MSI Germany.

All said, the GT75VR leaves a mixed impression. First the good: Compared with the GT73VR that we found good to very good over long parts, MSI has made improvements in several sections. Thus, not only the sound but also the keyboard reaps in a high rating.

Except for the unusual layout and the extremely prominent typing noise, the mechanical keyboard by SteelSeries is absolutely pleasing. After typing on a corresponding model, the user will never want to return to a traditional keyboard. The change feels just as revolutionary as when switching from an HDD to an SSD.

Other components that were already convincing in the GT73VR have been adopted without much modification. For example, the superb maintenance options (4x RAM, 4 storage devices, removable GPU, etc.), the generous connectivity including a Thunderbolt 3 port or the highly responsive and true color 120 Hz panel with G-Sync support.

Unfortunately, backslides that we do not always understand are seen in some areas. Why the touchpad has to be rubberized (the fingers quickly get stuck) is just as puzzling as the fans' extremely high noise level in 3D mode, which is even higher than from the GT73VR despite a thicker chassis and higher weight. Thus, noise-sensitive users should avoid the GT75VR. The same is true for users who are frequently on the go and do not want to always reboot for switching from Nvidia's to Intel's GPU for a useful battery life.

The 17-inch machine remains to be a pure desktop replacement that only looks good on the desk at home.

The ROG Zeyphrus GX501 by Asus, for example, proves that slimmer and quieter are possible (with limited performance). Buyers who do not have a problem with bulky casings can also opt for Acer Predator 17 XAlienware 17 R4Asus G701VIK or Schenker XMG U727 as equal alternatives. They also reaped in a similarly high rating in the test (85 to 88%). However, they do not feature a mechanical keyboard.

MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro - 08/08/2017 v6
Florian Glaser

Chassis
79 / 98 → 81%
Keyboard
87%
Pointing Device
75%
Connectivity
70 / 81 → 86%
Weight
43 / 66 → 58%
Battery
65%
Display
90%
Games Performance
99%
Application Performance
97%
Temperature
83 / 95 → 88%
Noise
53 / 90 → 59%
Audio
90%
Average
78%
87%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GT75VR 7RF Titan Pro (i7-7820HK, GTX 1080) Laptop Review
Florian Glaser, 2017-08-11 (Update: 2017-08-12)