It’s been a while I didn’t use a gaming laptop. It’s because I didn’t play games much and the MacBook Pro could meet most of the requirements for my daily job.
However, I started seeing some hiccups on my MacBook lately since it’s not powerful enough to process 4K videos, to play games or run some intensive apps like Adobe Lightroom. Therefore, I understood I would need an upgrade and when it comes to specs, Windows gaming laptops are unbeatable.
I picked the MSI GT73VR Titan Pro-425 because it has impressive specs while the price is very reasonable. Let’s check it out.
The MSI GT73VR Pro Titan is a beautiful piece of tech and it shares some similarities with previous MSI gaming rigs. We are still seeing an aluminum body with a logo on the lid. The logo with a dragon icon looks truly gorgeous; moreover, it will light up when you power on the laptop.
The laptop is quite heavy and bulky, specifically, it weighs 8.59 lbs 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 lean on the lower edge of the top surface, so the ergonomics is way worse as compared to my other laptops like the MacBook Pro 15. Besides, my palm touches the touchpad accidentally and it could mess up when I am typing or gaming. The palm rejection feature on this touchpad is obviously not as good as the one on MacBook, so make sure to turn it off when you use an external mouse.
The keyboard has a 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 Numpad, and the typing experience is not as great as a mechanical keyboard. The keys are a little heavy, not as responsive and you almost won’t feel the tactile feedback. 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, cooler boost button to maximize fan speed, XSplit Gamecaster button, and Steelseries Engine keyboard switch. On the sides, there are 5 USB3.0 ports, audio port connectors, and a card reader. Other connections are hidden on the back, we can see the Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, RJ45, a power connector, and a Thunderbolt (Type-C) connector. The Thunderbolt 3 connector supports up to 40 Gbps of bi-directional data transmission, and up to two 4K @ 60Hz displays.
The ventilators are everywhere around the MSI, you can see them on the sides, on the back and on the bottom. Undoubtedly, the design will help cool down this laptop effectively while gaming. The temperature of CPU and GPU is around 50 Celcius degrees for normal usage and under 80 Celcius degrees when gaming.
Display & Audio
The built-in 17.3-inch display is quite disappointing since I’m using the Dell P2715Q, one of the best 4K monitors on the market right now. The display on this MSI laptop is way terrible with low viewing angle and low resolution. Sometimes, I even have to adjust my head position to see things near the edges clearly. Besides, the display leaks some lights, so it’s not ideal for photographers or video editors. I highly recommend you to 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 to get a sharper image. A plus side is that the panel features 5ms response time and the 120 Hz refresh rate, that means you would have some advantages while gaming.
The GT73VR places all speakers on the bottom, you can find stereo speakers and a woofer speaker there. The sound has some kicks in low frequencies but it is still far from acceptable. I don’t enjoy using the built-in speakers for music or gaming since they sound distant and boring.
OS & Software
The MSI laptop runs on Windows 10 Anniversary Edition and this might be the most mature Windows version I’ve ever used.
However, there were still a lot of annoying issues. The OS updates all the time and it takes more than a few minutes to complete each time. I really hate seeing that blue screen saying windows is updating or configuring. The updating frequency of MacOS is way lower and I’ve never been bothered by the updates.
Besides, the screen turned dark very often each time I boot or wake up the laptop. This process might take a couple of minutes and all I could do was just wait. Honestly, I didn’t understand what it was doing under the hood. Fortunately, the issue was resolved after I updated to the latest Windows 10 version.
The Windows Store is a lot more crowded as compared to a few years ago when I used a Windows 8.1 machine. Here you can download not just apps, but also games, music, books, movies and tv shows. When you can’t find your favorite apps or games on the store, you can still sideload apps from other sources. Of course, you do it at your own risk since the apps outside of the Windows Store are not verified.
The most important app of the laptop is the MSI Dragon Center. This is the portal for you to access other apps and adjust many settings. You can monitor the system’s performance, speed, or temperature, change keyboard lighting, and overclock CPU and GPU.
The MSI laptop is powered by the Intel Core i7 7th-gen 7820HK processor, 16GB (8GB x2) DDR4 and GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card. Undoubtedly, this is among the most powerful gaming laptops in 2017. I tested it with some graphically demanding games like Resident Evil 7, Forza Horizon 3, Halo Wars 2, FIFA 17, or Battlefield 4. It manages to run all those games smoothly in the high or ultra settings. The Forza Horizon 3 is probably the heaviest game in this list; the framerate is a little low at around 26fps at ultra settings
The Forza Horizon 3 is probably the heaviest game in this list; the framerate was a little low at around 26fps at ultra settings and then increased to the 30-40fps range when I switched to the high settings. You can check out the gaming performance and FPS test in the video below.
The MSI is equipped with an 8-cell (75 Wh) battery. I turn on the keyboard RGB lighting on all the time, use the dedicated graphic cards only, and the power plan is set at balanced mode. The battery could last about 2 hours for normal usage like web browsing or running some simple apps. However, the battery could be drained out in less than 1 hour when I start gaming. Therefore, you should always have that bulky power adapter with you all the time.
- Premium build quality
- Great performance
- Windows is more reliable
- Dedicated thermal solutions
- Reasonable price
- Big and heavy
- Disappointing display
The MSI GT73VR Titan Pro is among the most powerful gaming machines at the moment and it doesn’t cost a fortune. If you’re looking for a GTX1080 laptop, this should be your first consideration. We at TechWalls strongly recommend the product.