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  5. MSI GT73VR Titan Pro gaming laptop review: the affordable GTX 1080 laptop

MSI GT73VR Titan Pro gaming laptop review: the affordable GTX 1080 laptop



MSI GT73VR Titan Pro gaming laptop review: the affordable GTX 1080 laptop


It’s been a while that I haven’t used a gaming laptop. It’s because I didn’t play a lot and the MacBook Pro could meet most of my daily work requirements.

However, lately I have started to see some hiccups on my MacBook as it is not powerful enough to process 4K video, play games, or run some intensive applications like Adobe Lightroom. So I understood that it would need an update and when it comes to specs, Windows gaming laptops are unbeatable.

I chose the MSI GT73VR Titan Pro-425 because it has impressive specifications while the price is very reasonable. We’ll see.

Unpacking

Design

The MSI GT73VR Pro Titan is a beautiful piece of technology and shares some similarities with previous MSI gaming platforms. We continue to see an aluminum body with a logo on the lid. The logo with a dragon icon looks really beautiful; Also, it will light up when you turn on the laptop.

The laptop is quite heavy and bulky, specifically, it weighs 8.59 pounds and measures 16.85 ″ x 12.36 ″ x 1.76 ″. Since it is very thick, typing on the keyboard is not really comfortable. My arms often have to rest on the bottom edge of the top surface, so the ergonomics are much worse compared to my other laptops like the MacBook Pro 15. Also, my palm accidentally touches the touchpad and it could get damaged when I am writing or playing games. The palm rejection feature of this touchpad is obviously not as good as that of the MacBook, so be sure to turn it off when using an external mouse.

The keyboard has beautiful RGB lighting, but I’m not really impressed with its performance. There are no dedicated programmable keys, the arrow keys are too close to the number pad, and the typing experience is not as good as a mechanical keyboard. The keys are a bit heavy, they are not as responsive and you will hardly feel the tactile response. So the overall experience is less satisfying.

On the right side of the keyboard, we have the power button and some quick launch buttons, including the GPU switch, the cooling boost button to maximize fan speed, the XSplit Gamecaster button, and the Steelseries Engine keyboard switch. On the sides, there are 5 USB3.0 ports, audio port connectors, and a card reader. Other connections are hidden in the back, we can see the Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, RJ45, a power connector and a Thunderbolt connector (Type-C). The Thunderbolt 3 connector supports up to 40 Gbps of bi-directional data transmission and up to two 4K @ 60Hz displays.

The fans are everywhere around the MSI, you can see them on the sides, on the back and on the bottom. Undoubtedly, the design will help to cool this laptop effectively while gaming. The CPU and GPU temperature is around 50 degrees Celsius for normal use and less than 80 degrees Celsius when gaming.

Display and audio

The built-in 17.3-inch screen is quite disappointing since I’m using the Dell P2715Q, one of the best 4K monitors on the market right now. The screen on this MSI laptop is terrible with a low viewing angle and low resolution. Sometimes I even have to adjust the position of my head to clearly see things near the edges. Also, the screen loses some highlights, so it is not ideal for photographers or video editors. I highly recommend that you use an external monitor with this laptop.

The display has a resolution of just 1920 x 1080 pixels, but you can upgrade to a 4K display for a sharper picture. One silver lining is that the panel features a 5ms response time and a 120Hz refresh rate, which means you’ll have some advantages while gaming.

The GT73VR places all the speakers at the bottom, there you can find stereo speakers and a subwoofer. The sound has some kicks in the low frequencies, but it is still far from acceptable. I don’t enjoy using the built-in speakers for music or games as they sound distant and boring.

OS and software

The MSI laptop runs on Windows 10 Anniversary Edition and this might be the most mature version of Windows I have ever used.

However, there were still many annoying problems. The operating system is updated all the time and takes more than a few minutes to complete each time. I really hate seeing that blue screen saying Windows is updating or configuring. The update rate of MacOS is much lower and I have never been bothered by updates.

Also, the screen would go dark very often every time I boot up or wake up the laptop. This process may take a couple of minutes and all you could do was wait. Honestly, I didn’t understand what it was doing under the hood. Fortunately, the problem was resolved after updating to the latest version of Windows 10.

The Windows Store is much more crowded compared to a few years ago when I used a Windows 8.1 machine. Here you can download not only apps, but also games, music, books, movies, and TV shows. When you can’t find your favorite apps or games in the store, you can still download apps from other sources. Of course, you do this at your own risk as apps outside of the Windows Store are unverified.

The most important application of the laptop is MSI Dragon Center. This is the portal for you to access other applications and adjust many settings. You can monitor system performance, speed, or temperature, change keyboard lighting, and overclock CPU and GPU.

Performance

The MSI laptop is powered by Intel Core i7 7th-gen 7820HK processor, 16GB (8GB x2) DDR4 and GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card. Without a doubt, this is one of the most powerful gaming laptops in 2017. The I tried some graphically demanding games like Resident Evil 7, Forza Horizon 3, Halo Wars 2, FIFA 17, or Battlefield 4. It manages to run all of those games flawlessly on high or ultra settings. Forza Horizon 3 is probably the heaviest game on this list; frame rate is a bit low, around 26fps at ultra settings

Forza Horizon 3 is probably the heaviest game on this list; the frame rate was a bit low, around 26fps on ultra settings and then increased to the 30-40fps range when I switched to high settings. You can see the performance of the games and the FPS test in the video below.

Battery

The MSI is equipped with an 8-cell (75 Wh) battery. I turn on the RGB lighting on the keyboard all the time, use only the dedicated graphics cards, and the power plan is set to balanced mode. The battery can last for about 2 hours for normal use like browsing the web or running some simple apps. However, the battery could be drained in less than 1 hour when you start playing. Therefore, you should always carry that bulky power adapter with you at all times.

conclusion

Pros

Superior build quality Great performance Windows is more reliable Dedicated thermal solutions Reasonable price

Cons

Disappointing large and heavy screen

The MSI GT73VR Titan Pro is among the most powerful gaming machines around, and it doesn’t cost a fortune. If you are looking for a GTX1080 laptop, this should be your first consideration. We at TechWalls highly recommend the product.

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