MSI GT73VR TITAN Pro-425: The Behemoth $2900
The Titan Pro is one of the highest of the top end gaming notebooks from MSI, and with price of nearly $3k it sure is priced like it. Calling this a deal might be a surprise to you, but the normal MSRP of other similarly speced laptops is indefinitely over $3000.
Spec wise, there are no compromises. This variant packs a top end Intel Core i7-7820HK, with overclocking support. We also have a GeForce GTX 1080 GPU (this is not a mobile variant). 16GB of DDR4 RAM at a frequency of 2400MHz, and a 1TB HDD + 256 M.2 SSD. For display’s we have a 1080P screen with a 120HZ refresh rate.
Functionality and Flexibility:
The reason why this laptop is so cheap is because you don’t have additional features that most people never (typically) use, good examples are expensive 4k displays, 64GB of RAM (memory is incredibly expensive these days), or over 1TB of SSD storage (also incredibly expensive).
For 90% of the laptop userbase, you will barely use over 10GB of memory, or more than 1TB of hard drive storage. The only way your going to consume more is if your using incredibly intensive applications, like video editing and having 30+ chrome tabs open at once. Or love to store all your videos on 1 hard drive in high.
If your doing any sort of video editing or Photoshop work, this variant of the GT73VR will get the job done. It’s an excellent platform for any sort of highly demanding programs.
Gaming on this machine has zero compromises. Games will never use more than 12GB of RAM (for at least the next few years), and the GTX 1080 is already overkill for a 1080P screen. So expect pushing way past 120FPS at ultra quality presets.
All the MSI Dominator notebooks look the same, so your getting the same high quality materials as all the other variants do, all the same LEDs, RGB steelseries keyboard, and also the same amount of cooling power with the dual fans and dual exhaust ports on the back of the laptop.
Overall, if your looking for the best laptop for gaming or for mainstream video editing and rendering, this is the laptop for you. All you pay for is what you are actually going to use!
Review of the GT73VR Titan Pro from TechRadar. (TechRadar’s review has a older variant of the GT73VR with an older CPU, so performance is going to vary, however everything else is mostly the same.)
MSI GT Series GT73VR TITAN 4K-480: Ultimate Mid-Range Photo-Editing Machine $2500
This variant takes a slightly different approach from the entirely “gaming” centered role you typically see the GT series of gaming notebooks play. Instead, this variant is optimized more towards the content creation role.
At the heart we have the same i7-7820HK Quad Core Hyperthreaded CPU as our $2899 champion. Same 16GB of memory, and same storage configuration of 1TB HDD and 256 SSD. The main differences are the downgrade to the GTX 1070 (biggest reason for the drop in price vs the Titan Pro-425), and a 4k panel, which I wouldn’t consider a upgrade if you are planning on buying this only for gaming. Besides gaming, the 4k display is the real hero of this machine, it is an amazing display with super crisp color accuracy aswell.
If your a photo editor or photographer, this is the ultimate laptop for you. You will have the capability to zoom up in your photos and be able to identify every little blemish you can find.
Performance wise, for photoshop and whatever else you use for photo editing won’t be slow. 16GB if memory is the standard memory recommendation for photo editing, and the overclockable core i7 will be more than fast enough to keep up with all your layers and exports.
If your gaming, that is where this laptop looses it’s touch a bit. The 4k display is only great for photo editing where you need to get up close to see every detail and edit what you need to. However when your leaning back and gaming, the 4k display simply is too tiny to make a difference vs the typical 1080P 120hz panel. Also, because of the downgrade to a GTX 1070, you will not be able to push ultra quality presets and get above 60fps all the time.
However, I am not saying this is terrible for gaming. If your a casual gamer, and a photo editor, this machine will still work well. You just won’t be able to push max quality presets at such a high resolution like most gamers always “need”.
Overall, it’s still a beast of a machine. It will fulfill all your needs as a photo editor where every pixel counts. But if your purely gaming, look elsewhere.
Review of the GT73VR Titan by PCWorld. (Again, a slightly older variant. But overall, they are the same.)
Special Notice: MSI GT Series GT73VR TITAN-427: Best “Barebones” Notebook $2100
This one takes a special notice for it’s lack of SSD and semi-low amount of RAM. It is the perfect option if your the sort of person that desires to put your own memory and storage into a laptop.
Driving the core is again, the Core i7-7820HK overclockable quad core hyperthreaded CPU. Driving the screen is a GTX 1070 with 8GB of vram. It comes stock with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and has a single 1TB HDD. No SSD. The screen is the same 120hz 1080P model as on our $2899 laptop above.
Stock, the lack of a SSD really kills this thing. Boot times will be very slow and loading programs will be slow aswell. While incredibly cheap at $2099, the lack of a SSD makes this a terrible recommendation usually.
However, the lack of parts is great if you want to add your own memory and storage configuration. While you can do this with any other MSI notebook, you’d be paying for the extra storage and memory which would be tossed out if you absolutely needed to put in your own hardware.
Another benefit is the ability to configure your memory and storage any way you want. Do you need incredibly fast storage? Go for a M.2 SSD RAID-0 array. Need to run the worlds biggest memory hogging programs? Add in an additional 32GB of RAM. Or if your a casual user, a single 128 or 256GB SSD will be plenty.
In a world where building your own laptop is usually too expensive, a semi-barebones solution like this GT73VR TITAN offers a middle ground between pre-built solutions and customizing components yourself. Once you have a fast amount of storage in this device, it will be just as fast as any GTX 1070 notebook on the market.
MSI GT Series GT72VR DOMINATOR PRO-448: Mainstream Performance At It’s Best $1900
If there was one laptop I could recommend out of the five listed here, it would be this one. The GT72VR Dominator Pro-448 has some of the best well rounded specs for a gaming notebook of it’s caliber.
The biggest change in specs vs. it’s more powerful bretheren is the downgrade to a Core i7-7700HQ. But in real world performance numbers, the 7700HQ is less than 5% slower than it’s 7820HK counterpart. The only time the 7820HK shines vs the 7700HQ is when it’s overclocked (manually tuned to run at speeds beyond it’s stock clock from the factory). Overclocking is more of an enthusiast thing anyways, so for nearly all of you customers out there, you won’t even want to go thru the hassle of overclocking.
Other specs include 16GB of DDR4 memory, 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD and a GeForce GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB of GDDR5X VRAM.
The display is a 120HZ 1080P panel.
For the price, it’s pretty much unbeatable. You can do pretty much anything you want on this machine. The only time you’ll run into trouble is if your running photoshop will a million pictures open all at once, or trying to render a video with an insanely high resolution.
Gaming performance is also quite good. Since the built in display is only 1080P, the GTX 1070 has enough power to push close to the 120fps range on ultra quality presets, even on the latest titles released this year.
Overall, it is an excellent machine. The price is what makes this product shine above the rest. It can do 90% of the tasks it’s $3000 brethren are capable of, but for $1000 less.
MSI GT Series GT62VR DOMINATOR PRO-238: The Smaller The Better? $1800
17.3 inches for a notebook can be awfully large, depending on where you want to use your notebook at. If your the kind of guy that needs something a bit smaller, lighter and more compact, the GT62VR should fit the job nicely.
Specs wise, you don’t sacrifice any of the performance it’s 17.3″ variants have. You get the same Core i7-7700HQ, 16GB of DDR4, 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD, and GeForce GTX 1070. As the GT72VR viewed above.
The biggest difference is it’s display. Instead of the 120hz refresh rate 1080P panel on the 17.3″ model, your left with a 60hz 1080P panel. The flip side though is G-Sync support. So if you ever dip below the 60fps refresh rate, G-Sync will make sure gameplay remains smooth and not choppy or stutter. However, it’s kind of useless, as the GTX 1070 is more than capable of pushing 70+FPS at 1080P with maxed out image quality presets in games. However, it will eventually come in handy once games in 2018 and beyond come out. Which will most certainly be a lot more demanding to run that today’s hottest titles.
The only other disadvantage is it’s thinness. While the laptop is a lot lighter, which you might need, you will loose a bit of cooling performance. One of the biggest reasons why Gaming Notebooks are traditionally very thick and heavy is for the cooling solution. The GT72 laptops are noticeably thicker than the GT62, meaning that you can put more powerful fans and bigger heatpipes into the notebook, allowing CPU and GPU temperatures to stay a good ways below max temps while at the same time being somewhat quiet.
On the other hand, with the GT62, you will notice a bit more fan noise and possibly higher CPU and GPU temperatures, making gaming not as enjoyable as it could be.
Because it has the same specs as the GT72, you will be able to do the exact same workloads as the cheapest GT72 is able to handle. But packs a lighter footprint if that is what you need when moving around.
You also don’t sacrifice on ports, you still get plenty of USB ports, display outputs, and DVD reader just like the GT72.
If your looking for a notebook that needs to be compact and lightweight, but still packs enough power to chew thru programs like Photoshop or Blender, or the latest AAA games, the GT62VR will suit you very well.
Review of the MSI GT62VR 6RE by NotebookCheck.
Review of the MSI GT62VR by TechRadar.
(Both reviews include different (older) variants of the GT62VR. So performance will be quite different vs the model I’m showing you here. However, it’s still a good review to read as the only difference between the GT62VR variants is the internals.)