Performance: 9.5/10

Performance is, for lack of a better word, staggering. The hardware lives up to its potential.

MSI GT73VR 7RF 13 Tech2 720

The CPU comfortably overclocks to 4GHz and the cooling system ensures that the hardware never has to throttle.

We found that the CPU could hit 4GHz at around 80 degrees Celsius under moderate loads, like heavy gaming. Under heavy loads where all 4 cores are stressed, the CPU hit 90 degrees Celsius and about 3.6GHz.

Here you can see the performance of the CPU under varying loads.
Here you can see the performance of the CPU under varying loads.

The Cooler Boost Titan technology defintiely helps in this regard, bringing down temperatures slightly and keeping the CPU and GPU running at full tilt.

The benchmark figures bear this out. If you’re wondering that this is some trick and that there isn’t a desktop-grade 1080 in this laptop, prepare to be blown away. I had my own suspicions about the laptop’s performance and decided to pit it against my PC, which is quite a beast in its own right.

This test measures 4K gaming performance. Most "gaming" laptops manage around 2000.
This test measures 4K gaming performance. Most “gaming” laptops manage around 2000.

My PC features an Intel i7 6700K at 4.4GHz, 16GB DDR4 RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970. The hardware is a generation behind, I know, but I didn’t expect it to be challenged by the MSI device.

It was.

In benchmarks, the MSI GT73VR and its 1080 soundly thrashed my PC by almost a factor of 2. As an example, my PC managed around 2700 in the 3DMark Time Spy DirectX 12 benchmark. This MSI monster comfortably pushed out a score of 6261.

These scores are in the same ballpark as the very best desktop CPUs you can buy today
These scores are in the same ballpark as the very best desktop CPUs you can buy today

Gaming performance across the board was amazing. We saw 107.1 fps in Unigene Heaven at max settings and Full HD, Doom hit a 60fps cap at Ultra settings on 4K and even Rise of the Tomb Raider managed 42 fps at 4K at maximum settings and no anti-aliasing.

The 1080 does hit its limits as well and this was particularly noticeable in Battelfield 1. We couldn’t get playable framerates at 4K in the game, not unless we toned down everything to medium. At FHD resolutions and Ultra settings, the game was buttery smooth.

For a laptop, this performance is simply unheard of.

MSI GT73VR 7RF 16 Tech2 720

It’s true that any other machine with a similar configuration will hit such performance figures, but it’s testament to MSI’s cooling system that this performance stayed consistent.

As part of our benchmarking process, we run the device at maximum load for half an hour before recording results. Most laptops would have severely throttled performance by then. The GT73VR did not.

Under heavy load the fans do get loud, we measured aroudn 75dB on an iPhone, but it’s still not loud enough to drown out the speakers.

The onboard solution can't beat a dedicated DAC, but it is quite good.
The onboard solution can’t beat a dedicated DAC, but it manages to put up a good fight.

Speaking of, the speakers are just as good as the rest of the device. They’re quite loud and there’s a sense of bass that’s lacking in most laptop speakers. Any average 2.1 set will beat these speakers in terms of volume and bass, but the performance is, nonetheless, impressive. Stereo separation was also very good with these speakers.

MSI includes a “high-end” DAC in the device and I must say, it is pretty good. Audio quality is excellent and the low-end is reproduced very nicely. For the average person, this will be the best audio they’ve ever heard from a PC. The audio hardware also had no trouble powering my Audio Technica ATH M50x cans.

MSI GT73VR 7RF 20 Tech2 720
The underside of the device is just one large vent, and that’s a good thing.

That said, audiophiles will still find the audio performance lacking. I used a dedicated AudioQuest DragonFly DAC for reference and I can tell you that the ESS Sabre misses out on the finer details of the audio. In Star Wars: Episode 7 for example, the footsteps of the troopers disembarking from their ships is not as clear as with the DragonFly. Even in Battlefield 1, a game with stellar audio design, the ESS misses out on the finer nuances of a gun shot.

Again, it’ll only be audiophiles that notice this, so don’t hold it against the GT73. The audio quality is by far the best I’ve heard on a laptop and unless you spend upwards of Rs 7,000 on a dedicated DAC, you won’t hear better.

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. That really is a read speed of 3,200MB/s.
No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. That really is a read speed of 3,200MB/s.

As mentioned earlier, the laptop features two NVMe SSDs in RAID 0. Unsurprisingly, read speads crossed the 3GB/s mark with ease.

In conclusion, the GT73 is capable of high FPS FHD gameplay and can push some games to 4K. It will also be great for VR as VR headsets normally require 90 FPS at a resolution of 2K, which the MSI machine should handle easily.

Publish date: March 15, 2017 11:36 am| Modified date: April 9, 2017 5:30 pm

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