MSI GS73VR Stealth Pro review – 17-incher with GTX 1060 graphics & 120 Hz screen

148 Comments

  1. Elvio

    March 22, 2017 at 11:28 am

    If I connect a monitor with a bigger resolution (2560 x 1440) the laptop will "scale" the image or it´s going to "adapt" that resolution in the monitor?

    Does anybody knows the maximum resolution of this laptop connected to an external monitor? I´m talking about the 1920×1080 edition.

    Sorry for my bad english. I hope you could understand me.

    • Hemi

      March 25, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Hello Elvio.
      I have this laptop connected to 2 Dell monitors U2515H which has 2560×1440 resolution. I connect them through the mini DisplayPort in a daisy chain connection. It works perfectly – Don't worry…

  2. Alex

    April 8, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Hi Derek,

    A wonderful review which helped me purchase MSI gs73vr 4k. After i recieved the laptop in novemeber 2016. I went with a clean windows install but i started facing laptop freeze issue both while playing games and when i wanted to get the laptop screen back after being idle for a period of time. After clean windows 10 install i installed the drivers from MSI support page. Not sure if anyone else faced similar issue.

    Appreciate your help.

    • Derek Sullivan

      April 10, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      Freezing as in locking the whole system up without any chance to recover? Have you tried leaving it for a while to see if a BSOD occurs with an error code? You might want to check the event logs to see if there are any driver crashes at the time of the freezing.

    • Steve

      April 14, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      I don't have a 4k version, but I recently bought the TN panel gs73vr. I noticed it had trouble waking from sleep after the last Windows update with the latest Nvidia drivers installed. The keyboard would light up, and I'm pretty sure the computer was actually on, since I locked myself out of my PIN login for a while from pressing keys. Does this sound similar to what you have?

      Going back to an older Nvidia driver fixed the issue for me (768 or something?) I think either Microsoft or Nvidia screwed up optimus with the latest versions of gpu driver/windows update. It looked like it was rapidly swapping between intel gpu and nvidia gpu without ever deciding which to display.

  3. Dmitrii

    May 4, 2017 at 5:05 am

    Hi, what thunderbolt 3 connector is used in laptop? jhl6240 or 6340?

    • Derek Sullivan

      May 4, 2017 at 8:38 am

      I'm not sure but I can check. How do I find that out?

      • Dmitrii

        May 4, 2017 at 3:24 pm

        At first you should update Thunderbolt 3 drivers from MSI website. Then go to Device manager (Win+R: devmgmt.msc):
        1. In tab View select "Show hidden devices"
        2. Under System Devices ribbon select "PCI-to-PCI Bridge", some ppl have it named "Thunderbolt(TM) Controller"
        3. Right click on it and select Properties.
        Under Details ribbon select property: Device instance path.
        There would appear a value. For example I have on my ASUS gl702vm: PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15c0, which is DSL6340 controller.

        Here is the list:
        DSL6340 Thunderbolt 3 NHI [Alpine Ridge 2C 2015] 1575 PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1575
        DSL6340 Thunderbolt 3 Bridge [Alpine Ridge 2C 2015] 1576 PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1576

        DSL6540 Thunderbolt 3 NHI [Alpine Ridge 4C 2015] 1577 PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1577
        DSL6540 Thunderbolt 3 Bridge [Alpine Ridge 4C 2015] 1578 PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1578

        JHL6240 Thunderbolt 3 NHI (Low Power) [Alpine Ridge LP 2016] 15bf PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15bf
        JHL6240 Thunderbolt 3 Bridge (Low Power) [Alpine Ridge LP 2016] 15c0 PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15c0

        JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 NHI (C step) [Alpine Ridge 4C 2016] 15d2 PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15d2
        JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 Bridge (C step) [Alpine Ridge 4C 2016] 15d3 PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15d3

        JHL6340 Thunderbolt 3 NHI (C step) [Alpine Ridge 2C 2016] 15d9 PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15d9
        JHL6340 Thunderbolt 3 Bridge (C step) [Alpine Ridge 2C 2016] 15da PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15da

        6340 and 6540 can be used full load with eGPU at max 32 gb/s, while 6240 is crippled and has a half speed with eGPU = 16 gb/s. 6240 controller makes eGPU extension useless.

      • Derek Sullivan

        May 4, 2017 at 4:34 pm

        Ok, I'll check it out. I doubt it's the half speed one, because when I tried the Razer Core with it it ran just as good as with the Razer Blade.

      • Derek Sullivan

        May 4, 2017 at 10:59 pm

        I checked my device manager but there's nothing listed. It could be because I haven't hooked up a TB3 device since I did a fresh install. Unfortunately I don't have a thunderbolt 3 device to test at the moment. Is there another way to tell?

      • Dmitrii

        May 5, 2017 at 12:52 am

        Have you installed drivers?
        Did you check "show hidden devices" in View?

      • Derek Sullivan

        May 5, 2017 at 6:37 am

        Yes. The thunderbolt icon is in the taskbar too.

  4. Bo

    May 19, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Hi, I'm having trouble choosing between a 120 hz display or a 4K display. Because I heard the 120 hz is not bad for design and is cheaper but 4K display geared towards it more and more expensive.
    I'll be doing mostly graphic design work and a few video editing. I only play mmos only at weekends or when I have free time. And, also should I go also with 32 ram or 16 ram for graphic design?
    I'm not tech savvy so I want to make sure I chose the right choice before buying or overspending what I actually need.

    • Derek Sullivan

      May 19, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      In your case, if go with the 4k be screen and probably 32gb of ram. If you're not tech savvy, replacing the ram is a near impossibility, so better safe than sorry. Graphic design work shouldn't be done on a tn screen. Granted, it's a nice one, but the 4k screen is a lot better in that department.

  5. Josh

    May 22, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Just wondering how you still feel about this laptop? I'm seriously considering the 4k version, because I've been spoiled by my 4k Samsung KS8000, and plan on watching a lot of Netflix and youtube on my laptop. I also do some 3d modeling, and play games like Doom, and Mass Effect. I know the 120hz screen is better for gaming, but I mostly play single player games, and some older games. My eyes tend to prefer the high resolutions,even at 30fps. I've also seen the 120hz QHD TN screen on an Alienware 17 and honestly I hated the contrast ratio, blacks seemed washed out. Do you think the GS73vr 4k would be a good fit for me?

    Thanks,
    Josh

    • Derek Sullivan

      May 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm

      If you didn't like the AW 17 TN panel, you won't like the Tn panel on this model. It's practically the same in every way except the resolution, which is worse on this model. I personally have the 4k model still and I think it's great. After reviewing and using a Tn panel for a couple weeks on the AW 17, I am happy as can be going back to my GS73VR. The picture is so much nicer. The only think I have to deal with is the occasional scaling issue with legacy apps, but that's not that big of a deal for most people. You might have that issue though if you plan on doing 3d modeling. If you're using SW 2016 or earlier, you might have trouble with the scaling of the buttons.

  6. Flair

    July 7, 2017 at 6:24 am

    I just purchased the GS73 7RE, which from what I can tell is basically a 6RF but with an updated CPU and a 1050TI. My main question is about connecting to an external display. The HDMI port in your review says HDMI 1.4b. However, I thought all Nvidia GPUs in this series were HDMI 2.0b. Or is this a difference between the mobile and desktop variants? I'm interested in hooking up my laptop to a HDR capable monitor/TV, but I believe that HDR can only happen via HDMI 2.0b.

    Many thanks.

  7. Lukas Zieba

    October 9, 2017 at 10:33 am

    This laptop is a good fast gaming machine but it's a flimsy piece of shit in terms of construction, the hinges are weak because the bracket relies in about 3cm if plastic with some absolutely microscopic weak little metal to plastic bolting mine slid off a bed from a height of 30 cm and the screen hinges on the right side broke, and not to mention the fact that the touchpad somehow managed to stick itself under the thin metal casing with click permanently stuck on. It feel about the height the width of a cereal box and now it's completely fucked. Not to mention the fact that the casing around the USB ports deforms and breaks just due to heating and cooling expansion and contraction in the metal. So case wise, it's a piece of crap, they could easily have fixed this problem with a tiny bit more effort, and they'd have an absolutely brilliant product, but they decided to cheap out to save a few grams, and if I want mine fixed I need to ship it to Poland. Don't get me wrong its a fucking good laptop, but they cut some corners where it matters and now i've got a busted device. I want to say a bunch of good stuff about it because of its performance but the build quality just isn't up to scratch, not by a long shot.

    If you're going to be even slightly careless with it it's going to end up on a scrap heap. Apple devices don't have issues like this, and these other manufacturers need to start stepping their game up, because there's no reason for me to ever bother buying something like this again if it's just going to end up buggered. I'm absolutely furious right now, there's no excuse for this kind of cheap design when I paid over $1600 for something.

  8. Guillaume

    August 14, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    I bought this laptop one year ago after reading your review, and I barely never got disappointed about it, so thank you for your work. I'm not a big player and I don't get interested as much as others concerning technical characteristics, but this computer is entirely satisfying for what I want to play. Moreover, it is lightweight (comparatively to other gamer laptops) so I can easily carry it everywhere to work.

    Some notes about defaults or problems I had:
    – as you mention it, the song quality is quite bad.
    – the cover is lightly bent at some places after a unintentionnal pressure was applied, so it is important to protect well the laptop when carrying it.

  9. Leon

    July 22, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    Great review! I am trying to find a gaming laptop that works with my Razer Core X, and this PC seems to meet all my requirements. However, I am not able to find GS73VR available in my country, only GS73 8RE (https://www.elkjop.no/product/data/barbar-pc/MSIGS738RE017/msi-gs73-8re-017ne-stealth-pro-17-3-barbar-gaming-pc).

    I have tried to contact MSI support to find out if GS73 8RE differs from GS73VR with regards to being compatible with external GPUs, but all I get from them is ambiguity. Do you have any idea if all GS73 models are equally compatible with the Razer Core or Core X, or any idea if GS73 8RE specifically support external graphics (eGFX)?

    • Derek Sullivan

      July 22, 2019 at 5:33 pm

      As long as it has a genuine thunderbolt 3 port, it should work. MSI laptops have been known to work well with the Razer core, from what I've seen and tested.

      • Leon

        July 22, 2019 at 10:49 pm

        But what about compatibility with the Core X? According to Razer, any laptop with a thunderbolt 3 port that supports eGFX, is compatible with the Core X. I could not find the corresponding requirements for a laptop to be compatible with the Razer Core (not X). I fear that some laptops might be incompatible with the Core X, even though they are compatible with the Razer Core.

      • Derek Sullivan

        July 22, 2019 at 10:55 pm

        I'm not sure how it would be compatible with the core and not the core x. There's virtually no difference when it comes to the tb3 interface with the laptop. The main difference is the lack of USB ports on the core x which would mean you would have to plug them into your laptop instead.

      • Leon

        July 23, 2019 at 6:32 pm

        Thanks for the help, I just ordered the laptop. After some more digging, I found that many different variants of GS73 have been reported to support eGFX, GS73 8RF in particular, which is identical to GS73 8RE except for the graphics card.

        Indeed, MSI support claimed that the hardware design for all the GS73 variants I have mentioned is "not different". Still, they refuse to guarantee that GS73 8RE is compatible with the Core X, as they haven't officially validated it. I guess they are just careful what they claim, so they cannot get sued xD

      • Derek Sullivan

        July 23, 2019 at 6:33 pm

        They're competitors so they're never gonna endorse each other's products. Good luck with the new laptop though. Let us know how things work out.

  10. Leon

    July 26, 2019 at 3:50 am

    @Derek Sullivan (I would have liked to reply directly to your last comment, but there is no "Reply" button for it.)

    Thanks, it looks like I am going to need some good luck, because this new laptop currently responds even weaker to my Core X than my non-Thunderbolt laptop which I first tried it with.

    When I tried to connect the Core X to the non-Thunderbolt laptop, I would sometimes get a notification on screen which says that SOMETHING has been inserted into the USB-C slot, and that it might be incompatible with the PC's version of USB-C.

    However, when I try to connect the Core X to the new (and Thunderbolt ready) MSI GS73 laptop, I get no notification what so ever, and I am unable to find any sign in the software of my computer that the Core X is connected. I do however, find signs in the hardware that a connection has been made, for both laptops, as the fans start to work in the Core X when it gets connected to either laptop.

    I have no idea what to do, as I have followed the instructions in the booklet for the Core X exactly, and I have updated windows as is recommended by Razer in the supplementary instructions on "Setting up you Razer Core" (https://support.razer.com/gaming-laptops/razer-core-x/)

    I would like to know how you proceeded when you connected your Razer Core to the MSI GS73VR for the first time. Aren't you supposed to get notifications on-screen?

    And by the way, you say that Razer and MSI are competitors, but they are not competitors in the eGPU busyness. If MSI had their own eGPU enclosure on the market, I would definitely have bought that instead.

    • Derek Sullivan

      July 26, 2019 at 4:03 am

      I just plugged it in and it worked. You might need the thunderbolt drivers to be installed. Might also want to check the bios to see if it's disabled maybe?

      • Leon

        July 27, 2019 at 2:22 am

        By thunderbolt drivers, do you mean this: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/28735/Thunderbolt-3-DCH-Driver-for-Windows-10-for-Intel-NUC

        Also, I have never checked the BIOS for anything, as I barely know what it is. Is the process simple and safe? Because I don't want to accidently break something important in the BIOS.

      • Derek Sullivan

        July 27, 2019 at 2:26 am

        The thunderbolt drivers are on MSIs website. Here for example, although your model may differ

      • Leon

        July 27, 2019 at 4:36 am

        Thanks, I managed to fix the setting in BIOS (which was a pain in the ass to do), but something is definitely wrong with the zip file and/or the instructions for how to download and install the driver for GS73 Stealth 8RE on MSI. The file is only 0.62 MB, and it is missing a folder that is mentioned in the instructions, and that zip files for other laptops have.

        I am so disappointed with MSI's website and customer service. The number of errors is unacceptable. If they don't step up, I am going to file a formal complaint.

  11. Erik Ltz

    January 6, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    After *three years* my GS73VR wouldn't boot – stuck at the MSI logo. Appears there's a safety function that stops the boot process if the CPU fan doesn't spin up – then it just shows MSI and no more. Managed a few more boots by removing backplate and carefully vacuum clean fans (*careful*).

    Then ordered new fans on eBay, complete disassembly, replaced both fans (1 for CPU, 2 for GPU) and up and running again with normal temps and fan sound (also upgraded SSD at same time).

    Life of machine used as daily driver happily extended to even longer…! :-)

  12. Gary Porter

    July 17, 2020 at 11:28 pm

    Hello Derek
    I have the GS73 7RE(Stealth Pro) and I have stupidly broken one the white brackets under the space bar.
    I have tried so hard to find new brackets and a video on how to fix it, but unsuccessfully.
    Can you offer any advice.
    I live in the UK in case you can recomend a local supplier or repairer, as I have never upgraded a laptop before.
    I have tried the local MSI repair centre but they are not responding.

    I also want to upgrade the SSD "C Drive" but I don't know how to transfer the data to a new SSD and to install the new SSD. I'm thinking that I want to buy a Samsung 970 EVO 1 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 (2280) Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) from Amazon.

    I would be eternally grateful for any help or advice.

    • Derek Sullivan

      July 18, 2020 at 12:27 am

      I'll start with the easy question. For SSD replacements, I usually install the new blank SSD and then use a USB adapter to hook up the old SSD via USB. Then I run a SSD cloning software(I use Macrium Reflect) and boot to it. Then you just clone one SSD to the other. Sometimes you have to resize the partitions afterwards, depending on if you're going from a smaller SSD to a larger one. Another method if cloning isn't necessary is to just hook up the SSD via USB after you install Windows and only copy the files you need manually.

      As for the spacebar key. Do you mean the hinge underneath the spacebar key cap? If so, have you looked at replacementlaptopkeys.com?

      • Gary Porter

        July 18, 2020 at 9:01 am

        Thanks for the feedback.
        With regards to the hinges, yes, there is two small white okazt hinges under the space bar each one is made up of two bits. I broke the lug of one by trying to push it back after cleaning under the actual tab.
        I cannot find a video of how the actually fit together and I snapped it when pressing it back. (I placed it wrong) 😢

        With regards to the clonning or data transfer, I have a USB stick which I "burned" as requested by the laptop when I purchased it, would that not work.(i think it's called recovery software)

        Please forgive the possibly stupid questions but I've never done this before.

      • Derek Sullivan

        July 18, 2020 at 3:18 pm

        You should just make your own cloning bootable. There's a lot of how to's on YouTube on how to make a bootable macrium reflect USB. I'd start there.

        As for your spacebar, check out that site I mentioned before. They sell the key, hinge and cup for your model. Just make sure you look at the pictures and pick the correct hinge.

  13. Gary

    July 18, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Thanks a million. Really helpful info and guidance.
    Regards
    Gary

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