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The Fastest Gaming Laptop I've Tested
The GT73VR Titan Pro is a powerful, top-end gaming laptop. Those who are after the best possible specs should look no further than this massive unit, as it delivers from a hardware and performance perspective.
The combination of a GeForce GTX 1080 and an Intel Core i7-6820HK delivered outstanding performance at 1080p. Many games ran at well above 100 FPS and even the toughest games I tested surpassed 60 FPS at this resolution. This is the fastest gaming laptop I've tested and the GTX 1080 certainly makes good in offering an experience equal to a high-end desktop.
The GTX 1080 is also well-suited to the 4K display options, although those who prefer high frame rates will love the base model's 1080p 120 Hz panel with G-Sync. But it's not just GPU tech that is top end: the 512 GB SSD option, which is actually two 256 GB drives in RAID0, was brutally fast, and 32 GB of RAM in mid-tier models is complete overkill for gaming applications.
All of this hardware has been packed into an enormous laptop that's thick and heavy, so it's not practical to transport it regularly. It's even less feasible when you factor in the gigantic, heavy power brick and the terrible battery life provided by the small internal cell.
This is a device that is targeting performance enthusiasts, and that's where MSI has delivered. The ridiculous cooling solution in this laptop - which consists of ten heatpipes, four thick heatsinks and two large fans - is very effective and delivers great component temperatures without being deafening. This laptop is so far from thermally throttling that there's plenty of overclocking headroom, even for the GTX 1080.
Those that want to seriously overclock the GT73VR will be able to do so as well. There's a max fan speed button built in to this laptop, and hitting it drops temperatures by more than 15°C under load. The fans become extraordinarily loud, but it delivers enough cooling power to push the CPU and GPU to their limits.
MSI hasn't skimped on I/O either, despite the number of vents found around this laptop. I love the inclusion of five USB 3.0 ports, plus Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI 2.0. There's also four 3.5mm audio jacks, which makes this laptop capable of 6-channel analog audio output.
The GT73VR isn't a particularly attractive laptop, and that's down to its bloated size and ugly 'gamer style' highlights. It does have a decent keyboard with RGB LED backlighting, although I wish the travel distance was better. The trackpad is a crappy ELAN that should be banished from existence.
Like most MSI laptops, the GT73VR is price competitive. GTX 1080 models start at $2,599, which is essentially the same price as a similar unit from Clevo. My review model, which costs $3,099, is priced to match the Asus G701VI with essentially identical internal hardware.
At $2,099 for the GTX 1070 model, the GT73VR is aggressively priced. MSI and other manufacturers do offer cheaper 17-inch GTX 1070 laptops - MSI's GT72VR Dominator Pro is available right now for $1,799 - however these options do not include an unlocked Core i7-6820HK CPU. If you want this better CPU, which is standard in the GT73VR, MSI's offering is ~$100 cheaper than competing laptops from Asus and Aorus.
From this perspective, the MSI GT73VR 6RF Titan Pro is a winner. It's a massive laptop, but it packs fantastic hardware, a great cooling solution, and it's priced to compete in both the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 markets.
Pros: Laptop performance just as good as a high-end gaming desktop. Huge, effective cooling solution with room for overclocking. Large range of configuration options, most of which are competitively priced.
Cons: Not really portable in the practical sense. Terrible ELAN trackpad.