Back in August, we posted our first impressions of the MSI GE73VR 7RF Raider. We praised its G-Sync capable 120Hz panel and the per-key illumination. As said on the preview, the MSI GE73VR 7RF Raider is a gaming notebook valued at 129995 Pesos. The price point is not for the faint hearted, while the specifications tells us that it is good enough to carry the price tag.
On this review, we are going to check out the notebook’s general performance. We’re also evaluating its thermals, noise and pretty much almost anything that we could throw at it. Figuratively speaking, of course.
TEST SETUP AND METHODOLOGY:
The system performance shall be evaluated by various benchmarking tools and applications. We are testing this system with the high-performance settings enabled at the OS, with the default UEFI configuration. Background processes such as anti-viruses and third-party applications are disabled as well. Outlined below are the applications and benchmark tools for reference:
CPU AND MEMORY PERFORMANCE:
- Super PI – 32M Calculation
- wPrime – 1024M Calculation
- AIDA64 Extreme Edition – Memory Benchmark
- GIMP – 7 MB worth of image processing
- HandBrake – 150 MB MP4 to H.264 video encoding
- WinRAR – Compression speed
- Overwatch – Ultra Settings | V-SYNC off
- Battlefield 4 – Ultra Settings | V-SYNC off
- DIRT: Rally – Ultra Settings | V-SYNC off
- Project CARS – Maximum Settings | V-SYNC off
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Ultra Settings | V-SYNC off
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Ultra Settings | HairWorks off | V-SYNC off
- AS SSD – Storage performance
- RightMark Audio Analyzer – Audio performance
- AIDA64 Extreme Edition – Temperature, Power, Noise
- NetIO-GUI – Network Performance
TEMPERATURE, POWER AND NOISE:
System power consumption is evaluated during idle and a 15-minute load via the AIDA64 System Stability Test. Power readings are recorded with a watt-meter.
The AIDA64 System Stability Test is also used to evaluate the system thermals. Readings are taken with AIDA64 and is cross-referenced with HWiNFO.
System noise level is also evaluated during idle and a 15-minute load via AIDA64’s Stress Test. The noise measurement is taken by a sound level meter.
The GE73VR is the loudest gaming notebook we’re tested to date but is the best when it comes to cooling the GPU regardless. Power consumption on the other hand could be better, as the 51 Wh battery could be easily exhausted by such.
The System battery life is evaluated via the Wh/W formula with readings taken from our power consumption test. This is to ensure a leveled result across the systems.
Battery life is not the strong point of this notebook, with an 89 minute runtime during minimum load.
CPU AND MEMORY PERFORMANCE:
Super PI is a single-threaded program that calculates pi to a specified number of digits after the decimal point. It is a widely used benchmark and stress test within the industry.
WPrime is a multi-threaded program that calculates a set number of square roots for estimating functions.
The AIDA64 Memory Benchmark measure the maximum achievable data transfer bandwidth of the memory. That includes the Read, Write, Copy and Latency performance.
Based on our benchmarks, the GE73VR featured the best memory latency figures out of all the notebooks tested.
GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free and open-source image editing tool. A 7 MB worth of images is be processed and converted to gauge the system performance.
HandBrake is a free video encoding tool that supports a wide variety of media codecs. A 150MB worth MP4 video is converted using the H.264 codec to gauge the system performance.
WinRAR is a file archive utility that can create, view and unpack numerous archive file formats. The software’s built in benchmark tool is utilized to gauge the system performance.
Productivity performance is excellent, with a good performance gains compared to the last generation.
Overwatch is Blizzard Entertainment’s critically acclaimed First Person Shooter. The game runs on a custom engine utilizing the DirectX 11 API.
Battlefield 4 is Electronic Art’s popular First Person Shooter, running on the Frostbite 3 game engine developed by DICE. It utilizes the DirectX 11 and the Mantle API.
DIRT: Rally is CODEMASTER’s take on the rally racing game genre. It utilizes the EGO game engine with support for the DirectX 11 API.
Project CARS is Slightly Mad Studios’ latest simulation racing game, running on the Madness game engine utilizing DirectX 11 support.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is Bethesda’s critically acclaimed Action Adventure RPG. Skyrim utilizes the Creation Engine with DirectX 10 support.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is CDProjekt RED’s award-winning Action Adventure RPG. The Witcher 3 utilizes the REDengine 3 with DirectX 11 support.
Gaming performance is where this notebook shines the most and we gotta hand it out for the GTX 1070 by providing excellent results. Our Project Cars result is pretty much just a reference though since we are still scratching our heads when Microsoft dropped the Creator’s Update.
AS SSD is a storage benchmarking software widely used throughout the industry. The scoring system is then used to evaluate the system.
The GE73VR features the Toshiba THNSNJ256G8NY, which is a 256GB SATAIII SSD in M.2 form factor. Typical results here from a good SSD.
The RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) is a tool designed to test the quality of audio devices. We used a sampling rate of 24-bit at 48000Hz for the loopback test. We are essentially testing the noise level of the audio solution.
Good noise level output here from the GE73VR, together with a flat frequency response based on our RMMA result.
The NetIO-GUI is a good application to test any network’s performance. The LAN round trip time is our concern here, checking out latency anomalies if there are any. The client and server are connected on the network via Cat5 cables using a 100Mbps router.
LAN round trip time will get you an average of 1ms, while wireless will get you around 4ms of latency.
WRAPPING IT UP:
The MSI GE73VR 7RF Apache Pro is a true performer; enabling us to take a look at the i7-7700HQ and the GTX 1070 combo once again. This is an excellent gaming notebook, especially if you’re looking for a gaming notebook with a proper 120Hz panel.
Pricing is set at 129995 Pesos which is an excellent price point for a GTX 1070 equipped gaming notebook. The MSI GT62VR for example, features similar specifications with a 60Hz panel at a 130K asking price. That said, the GE73VR is a true value contender on this price range.
The MSI GE73VR is an excellent performer though it is not perfect either. Emission noise is not the best in class and battery life could be better. Maintenance is not that easy too, requiring you to unscrew the whole bottom housing itself. Some of these issues could be actually mitigated so there’s that for your reference.
If you’re looking for a desktop class gaming notebook with a proper 120Hz panel then the MSI GE73VR is an excellent choice.