It has been some time since we have tested laptops which are designed to be ‘desktop replacements,’ so if MSI said it had a brand new 17-inch gaming model, we could not help but take a look. The business was a longstanding player in the PC parts and laptop companies, but something it has been fighting with is product design.

However there’s a way to the madness and if you want to decode how it determines on those enchanting names, here is a little primer to get you started. Coming back into the notebook, the Raider includes a VR-ready GPU, a 120Hz screen, and an RGB keyboard that is guaranteed to put some Christmas tree to pity. Let us see if it is well worth the nearly Rs.200,000

MSI GE73VR 7RF Raider design and build quality

The 7RF Raider is humongous so that it’s not something you are going to want to lug around with you frequently. The plan boasts of sharp lines and red accents. Therefore there is no mistaking it for a regular notebook. The metallic lid includes a faint brushed alloy pattern which looks great as it catches the light. There is MSI’s dragon emblem on the top also, which lights up when the notebook is powered on. The Raider is not very bulky, but it’s heavy, weighing 2.8kg. Besides the metallic upper and palm rest area, the rest of the body is constructed from plastic. Overall, the layout looks great, but it’s much less eye-catching as some gambling notebooks by Acer and Asus.

There is little flex in the lid although the alloy back offers good rigidity. The 17.3-inch screen has a full-HD resolution, using a refresh rate of 120Hz along with also a 5ms response time. Because of the size of this screen, Windows 10 does not have to do any scaling. There’s some jaggedness around the text, but overall, it is not bad. The display runs at 120Hz in any way times, and you also can not change to a lower refresh rate. MSI’s Authentic Color tool also enables you to place a scheduled blue light filter.

As a result of the massive footprint, there is enough space to get an excellent choice of physical ports. It is nice to find that the 10Gbps USB Type-C interface mainly since most manufacturers merely implement the 5Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 1 benchmark. But at this price, we’d have preferred to view Thunderbolt 3 here, that offers much higher bandwidth of up to 40Gbps. There is no optical drive, maybe not that we missed having one. One neat feature that we liked is that there are LEDs on the USB Type-A vents, which means that you may locate them in the dark.

The full-sized computer keyboard from SteelSeries has per-key RGB lighting, and there is a dedicated button to the right, which may be used to change between different lighting profiles. The keys themselves are spaced out nicely and operate softly. We enjoy the fact that MSI has employed individual mouse buttons to the trackpad, which means it’s possible to play FPS titles with no mouse in the event of gaming crises. The power button is put in a bunch on the right, along with a button that pushes both exhaust fans around full speed.

There are exhaust ports on each side and around the back for hot atmosphere, and large ones around the base of the notebook for the consumption of clean air. You could even view four speakers around the floor, which are a part of MSI’s Dynaudio installation. The laptop has status LEDs for both Wi-Fi, battery charging and hard disk activity, but you will probably never see them because of their absurd positioning on the front, entirely hidden from the lip of this notebook and just visible if you tilt the laptop upward.

Regrettably, there is not any simple method to get the upgradable components like the RAM and hard disk drive. You would need to open up the whole foundation, which would indicate voiding your warranty. The notebook ships with a few primary instruction leaflets plus a substantial 230W power port.

MSI GE73VR 7RF Raider specifications and software

The GE73VR 7RF Raider boasts of reasonably stable specifications. There is a total of 16GB of all DDR4 RAM, in the kind of 2 8GB modules running at a dual-channel configuration. Windows 10 is set up on a 256GB M.two SSD as you also receive a 1TB 2.5-inch mechanical driveway. The latter is of this 7200rpm variety rather than the regular 5400rpm, therefore using it for sports matches should not cause a significant performance bottleneck. The principal ingredient of any gambling notebook is your GPU, also here, you’ve got the onboard Intel HD Graphics 630 in addition to a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 together with 8GB of all GDDR5 memory.

MSI preinstalls lots of software tools for a variety of hardware elements and customisation options available. The Killer Wi-Fi and LAN controls have their utility which allows you monitor the amount of Internet bandwidth being used by running programs and also analyze the strength of their Wi-Fi networks across you. On the other hand, the several options for correcting the lighting are not quite easy to figure out and take some getting used to. The software also includes a dated look and feel for this.

Ultimately, we’ve got MSI’s program named Dragon Centre. Here, you can track the CPU, RAM, GPU, and hard disk usage in addition to temperatures. The App Portal tab allows you add programs so that you can quickly start them from inside Dragon Centre itself. The System Tuner tab is easily the most interesting of the lot. However, we want MSI had contributed greater explanations about what all those toggles do. As an example, there are controllers labeled VR Ready and also Nahimic VR, and then there are toggles for both USB Boost and Storage Boost. Nothing clarifies what impact they make if you’ve got them on or off.

The Dragon Centre software also enables you to track your system’s data and alter power manners via the Dragon Dashboard program on your iPhone or Android device. It works nicely, given both the notebook and the telephone are attached to the same Wi-Fi system. However, we don’t find any reasonable use case for this, apart from showing off. Overall, all of the software that MSI supplies lack a feeling of cohesiveness. It would have simpler for consumers if MSI incorporated controls to the computer keyboard lighting, Wi-Fi along with other features to its program.

MSI GE73VR 7RF Raider performance and battery life

General performance is excellent since the notebook boots fast and runs quietly with routine use like Internet browsing and watching films. When the CPU starts to warm up a little, just the fan on the left spins at a low speed. The remaining side of the keyboard gets a little hot and so does the underside, but it is not too uncomfortable if you’ve got the notebook on your lap. With taxing 3D games, the fans get very noisy and will need to twist furiously to keep temperatures in check. This can become very distracting, especially if you don’t have a headset.

Having Windows 10 along with all of your games left at 120Hz only makes all feel a little bit snappier. Interestingly, you are secured to 120Hz. Also, Nvidia’s G-Sync technologies that support a variety of refresh rates is not recommended. We enjoy the punchy colors of the screen, especially with movie playback. Sound performance is outstanding also. The Raider includes two 2W tweeters and two 3W woofers, which are underside shooting. It is possible to tweak the sound with all the Nahimic software program.

The computer keyboard is comfortable for keys and typing are silent so that it will not disturb others in space. On the other hand, the lack of a Windows key in the left-handed us nuts at times, as we could not perform our reflexive Windows shortcuts like opening up Windows Explorer. The webcam generates decent quality pictures given enough lighting, and there is also a trial edition of TriDef SmartCam preinstalled.

Coming to the notebook’s performance, we have high numbers in the synthetic tests. CPU tests demonstrated similar performance to other laptops using the Core i7-7700HQ. SSD performance was also high, and we listed 507MB/s (read speed) and 456MB/s (write speed) from SiSoft SANDRA’s File System Bandwidth test.

The notebook is certified as VR prepared, which means that you can plug into a VR headset like the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift and begin. There is also TriDef VR support, which includes over 900 optimized names for VR and 3D. MSI packs a three-month subscription to get it using the Raider. The notebook runs stable even with all the frequencies maxed out to the available sliders. We obtained the GPU running at 1680MHz (out of 1480MHz) along with the memory in 2177MHz (in 2002MHz), which translates into an avenge growth of five to six percent in artificial scores in addition to the framerates in games. It may not look like a great deal, but it might help provide a vital boost in matches that require it.

In real-world gameplay, FarCry 4 was a cakewalk for the Raider, as it readily churned out a mean of 80fps, together with the images quality cranked up all of the ways into the Ultra preset. The rise of this Tomb Raider delivered exceptionally playable framerates which averaged at approximately 85fps. In the native resolution, together with DirectX 12, FXAA, along with the Very High Definition. From the match’s built-in benchmark, we averaged 94fps.

Metro: Last moderate Redux is typically among the most stressful matches in our list, but the Raider managed to tame it reasonably well. Together with the exact High Definition, we led to average 128fps (with no SSAA). But with all the latter enabled, the framerate took a significant hit and dropped to 74fps.

At Grand Theft Auto V, we also got quite pleasing results averaging at 58fps. With all of the settings bumped up to their most excellent (a mixture of Very High and Ultra).

The Raider fought to endure for even an hour (51 minutes to be exact) at Battery Eater Pro, as well as frequent use; we managed to get just about half and two an hour of runtime.

Verdict

The MSI GE73VR 7RF Raider is an expensive notebook, and we’d look at going the DIY desktop route with this kind of budget. Then again, you can not precisely stuff a background in your backpack, and not all of us have space, and that’s the reason why such notebooks exist. Looking at the competition, Dell includes its own Alienware 17 using a similar configuration (no more 120Hz screen however you do get 512GB SSD) which controls a high price, and then there is HP’s Omen 17-an009tx, that can be priced somewhat lower and features a very similar center setup since the Raider, for example, 120Hz screen.

The GE73VR 7RF Raider is no doubt a powerful gaming notebook, but there are individual little items we want MSI had performed better. The lost Windows key on the left could be bothersome, the exhaust fans may become loud, there is no simple way to update any parts, and we all wish there’d been a more cohesive experience with all the bundled software.

Even if you’ve got the budget, we would suggest checking out other options like the Omen 17 from HP before pulling the trigger.

Price ($): 1949

Pros

  • Great gaming performance
  • 120Hz screen
  • Per-key RGB lighting
  • Great set of physical ports
  • Sturdy body

Cons

  • No left Windows key
  • No bottom hatch for updates
  • Loud exhaust fans when gambling
  • Software experience is not cohesive
  • Weak battery life

Ratings (Out of 5)

  • Design: 3.5
  • Display: 4
  • Performance: 4.5
  • Software: 3.5
  • Value for Money: 3
  • Overall: 3.5

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