Hardware Overview

There are a ton of configuration options available for the GT72VR encompassing price ranges from $2,100 to above $3,500. There are far too many to sensibly list in this article, so I've highlighted some choice configurations that indicate what you can get for various prices.

  • GTX 1070, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 1TB HDD, 1080p display - $2,078
  • GTX 1080, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 1TB HDD, 1080p display - $2,599
  • GTX 1070 SLI, 32GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, 1080p display - $2,769
  • GTX 1080, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 1TB HDD, 1080p display - $3,099 - Reviewed!
  • GTX 1080, 64GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 1TB HDD, 4K display - $3,749

Upgrading to the GTX 1080 from the GTX 1070 base model will cost you $500, while upgrading to two GTX 1070s in SLI costs just under $700 (plus you also get double the RAM and SSD space). Going from a 1080p 120Hz display to a 4K display costs $200.

If you're looking at RAM and SSD upgrades, these vary in price quite a bit, and options like 64GB of RAM really aren't worth the money in a gaming system. It's also important to keep in mind that the GT73VR is easily user upgradeable, and there are plenty of extra slots available for additional SSDs. It may be cheaper to simply upgrade this laptop yourself, although doing so will void the warranty.

All GT73VRs come equipped with Intel's Core i7-6820HK, a four-core, eight-thread Skylake CPU with a base clock of 2.7 GHz and a single-core boost clock of 3.6 GHz. Compared to the popular Core i7-6700HQ, the 6820HK is 100 MHz faster in all clock speed ranges, and packs 8MB of L3 cache rather than 6MB. The 6820HK also has the benefit of being a K-series processor, meaning it is unlocked for easy overclocking.

My GT73VR review unit is also equipped with 32GB of DDR4 RAM clocked at 2,400 MHz, and a 512GB SSD that's actually two Samsung 256GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSDs in RAID0. The Wi-Fi 802.11ac solution is provided through a Killer 1535 chip, which produced decent performance in my limited testing.

The main piece of hardware in this unit, though, is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080. This is my first time testing the GTX 1080 in a laptop form factor, and it's clearly the most powerful single-GPU setup you can get right now. Using the same 16nm Pascal GP104 GPU as the desktop equivalent card, the GTX 1080 for laptops has a huge TDP of 150W, which is slightly higher than last generation's flagship mobile chip, the GTX 980.

Like all of Nvidia's GeForce 10 series cards, the GTX 1080 in laptops is evenly matched with the desktop GTX 1080. Both GPUs pack 2560 CUDA cores with 160 TMUs and 64 ROPs, with a base clock of 1556 MHz and a rated boost speed of 1733 MHz. This rated boost clock is the same as the desktop card, although the core clock is slightly lower. Thanks to GPU Boost 3.0, though, the notebook card does boost above 1733 MHz in many situations.

The GTX 1080 is also equipped with 8GB of GDDR5X at 10 GHz on a 256-bit bus, providing 320 GB/s of bandwidth. Again, this is the same as the desktop card.

The GT73VR packs a battery as well, which doesn't take up a whole lot of space inside this massive unit, despite clocking in at 74 Wh. For such a large display and powerful hardware, this battery is merely a token inclusion so that you can use it for a short time away from a power point. Not only is performance reduced when not plugged in, but also this device doesn't last very long even when performing basic tasks like web browsing.