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MSI’s Gaming Laptop Lineup Gets Makeover, Nvidia Pascal And More

On the heels of Nvidia’s debut of Pascal-based mobile graphics, MSI announced a complete overhaul of its entire gaming lineup, which included the new GTX 1080, 1070 and 1060 GPUs; 120 Hz displays; and thinner, lighter designs.

The lineup names were slightly altered, with “VR” officially added to (you guessed it) VR-ready laptops. At this point, that pertains to most of MSI’s laptop lineup, thanks to the new GPUs. The differences between the new notebooks and the old generation are mostly the choice of graphics.

New Titans On The Block: GT83VR Titan, GT73VR

We recently teased new Titan laptops with the announcement of a new dual-PSU adapter for the powerful gaming platform, and the MSI GT73VR and GT83VR Titan SLI notebooks are going to need all the power they can get.

The new Titans feature 6th generation (Skylake) Intel Core i7 processors (with unlocked options) in addition to GTX 1070 and 1080 configurations. The GT83VR Titan SLI supports SLI (as the name implies) for both of the aforementioned GPUs, but it doesn’t list a single-GPU option on the promotional materials. The GT73VR supports only GTX 1070 SLI, in addition to single-GPU 1080 and 1070 configurations.

The GT83VR Titan SLI features an 18.4-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS display, but disappointingly, it’s not one of the new 120 Hz panels. The edges around the display are narrower than the previous version (the GT80S Titan), and the whole chassis is thinner and lighter than its predecessor. It still features a mechanical SteelSeries keyboard with Cherry MX switches and all the extras (RGB LED backlighting, fan control, overclocking) as the old model. This massive notebook is the king of MSI’s laptop mountain (mountain of laptops?).

The GT73VR sports a 17.3-inch display, which comes in three different flavors. It can be a 1920 x 1080 IPS panel, a 1920 x 1080 120 Hz screen, or a 4K (3840 x 2160) IPS display. This model is also slimmed down (thinner and lighter) compared to its predecessor, and although the SteelSeries keyboard isn’t mechanical like the GT83VR's, it does have a stylish look and RGB LED backlighting.

Dominator Domination: GT72/62VR, GT72VR Tobii

MSI’s dominator lineup received a similar treatment, with notebooks featuring GTX 1080 and 1070 GPUs. The GT72VR models can be equipped with the 120 Hz 1920 x 1080 display, in addition to a standard 1080p IPS display or a 4K panel. However, the GT62VR (15.6-inch model) doesn’t receive the 120 Hz option.

The GT72VR Tobii also received an update, with the same GPU options as the other GT72VR laptops, in addition to the 120 Hz display option. Tobii’s onboard eye-tracking sensor technology adds a considerable premium to the price tag, but it’s good to see MSI updating this laptop along with the rest of the Dominator lineup.

Thin And Light Just Got Thinner And Lighter: GS73VR, GS63VR, GS43VR

The GS-series (otherwise known as the Stealth Pro and Phantom) is MSI’s thin-and-light lineup, which previously was not considered to be all that powerful compared to the horsepower of the Dominator series. This still holds true, but now the GS73VR, GS63VR and GS43VR all come equipped with a GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card.

The increased performance compared the previous generation makes the Stealth and Phantom notebooks VR-ready and more powerful than ever. However, only the GS73VR can feature a 120 Hz display. Both the GS73VR and the GS63VR can be outfitted with a 4K screen, but the GS43VR is limited to only a 1920 x 1080 IPS panel.

MSI’s redesigned GS73/63 VR features the company’s new cooling technology, Cooler Boost Trinity, a temperature control system sporting three ultra-thin whirlwind blade fans and five heat pipes. It’s designed to cool powerful hardware in ultra-thin notebooks.

Apache Makes The VR Cutoff: GE72VR, GE62VR

Apache was previously MSI’s mainstream gaming lineup, and models were usually equipped with GTX 960M or 950M GPUs. Now, the new Apache GE72VR and GE62VR are proper pixel powerhouses sporting GTX 1060 graphics modules, with the ability to drive VR applications and AAA games at impressive framerates.

The 17-inch GE72VR can feature the 120 Hz 1920 x 1080 panel, a standard 1080p IPS display, or a 4K screen. Like the other smaller laptops in this update, the GE62VR is limited to a 1920 x 1080 or 3840 x 2160 display, without the 120 Hz option.

No Laptop, No Problem: Vortex Also Updated

MSI’s living room canister computer, the Vortex, was also updated with the new Nvidia GeForce 10-series mobile GPUs. The new G65VR Vortex can be equipped with a single GTX 1080, 1070 or 1060, or with two GTX 1070s in SLI. The Vortex, along with all the other VR-branded MSI offerings, is now VR ready in any iteration.

Pricing And Availability

The new MSI gaming laptops with GeForce GTX 10-series GPUs are available now from online retailers and the company’s website. The GT83VR Titan SLI (with GTX 1080) goes for a jaw-dropping $5,099. Titan GT73VR SLI notebooks (With GTX 1070) start at $3,599. Dominator Pro laptops will start at $1,899 (with the GT72VR Tobii priced at $2,699), and GS-series (thin and light) notebooks tagged as low as $1,599.

ModelGT83VR Titan SLIGT73VR Titan SLIGT72VR Dominator/TobiiGT62VR DominatorGS73/63VR Stealth ProGS43VR Phantom ProGE72/62VR Apache ProG65VR Vortex
Processor- Intel Core i7-6920HQ- Intel Core i7-6820HKIntel Core i7-6820HKIntel Core i7-6700HQIntel Core i7-6700HQIntel Core i7-6700HQIntel Core i7-6700HQIntel Core i7-6700HQUp to Intel Core i7-6700K
MemoryUp to 64 GBUp to 64 GBUp to 64 GBUp to 64 GBUp to 32 GBUp to 32 GBUp to 32 GBUp to 64 GB
GPU Options- GTX 1080 SLI- GTX 1070 SLI- GTX 1080- GTX 1070- GTX 1070 SLI- GTX 1080- GTX 1070- GTX 1070- GTX 1060GTX 1060GTX 1060GTX 1060- GTX 1080- GTX 1070- GTX 1070 SLI- GTX 1060
Display Size18.4 inches17.3 inches17.3 inches15.6 inches-17.3 inches (GS73)-15.6 inches (GS63)14 inches-17.3 inches (GE72)-15.6 inches (GE62)N/A
Display Options1920 x 1080 IPS- 1920 x 1080 IPS- 1920 x 1080 120 Hz- 3840 x 2160 IPS- 1920 x 1080 IPS- 1920 x 1080 120 Hz- 3840 x 2160 IPS- 1920 x 1080 IPS- 3840 x 2160 IPS- 1920 x 1080 IPS- 1920 x 1080 120 Hz (GS73 only)- 3840 x 2160 IPS1920 x 1080 IPS- 1920 x 1080 IPS- 1920 x 1080 120 Hz (GE72 only)- 3840 x 2160 IPSN/A
Dimensions16.85 x 12.36 x 1.66-2.52 inches16.85 x 12.36 x 1.76 inches16.85 x 11.57 x 1.88 inches15.35 x 10.47 x 1.56 inches-16.21 x 11.21 x 0.77 inches (GS73)-14.96 x 9.8 x 0.87 inches (GS63)13.58 x 9.65 x 0.87 inches-16.49 x 11.02 x 1.14 inches (GE72)-15.07 x 10.23 x 1.06 inches (GE62)7.61 x 7.01 x 10.55 inches
  • naturesninja
    MSi's website is showing MXM GPUs. Good news to those of us with 870m-980m based GT72 models! Hopefully MSi will have some 1070 and 1080 upgrade kits on the horizon.
    Reply
  • ledhead11
    "MSi's website is showing MXM GPUs. Good news to those of us with 870m-980m based GT72 models! Hopefully MSi will have some 1070 and 1080 upgrade kits on the horizon."

    The good news: They are.

    The bad news: According to Xotic and MSI and numerous articles that might be using the same sources the MXM used for the desktop equivalent GPU's are not the same as the ones with the "m", i.e. 870m-980m designation. MSI also just started using a new power adapter for their 1080's that needs 2 bricks to OC or use at full power. I'm don't know if its compatible with any previous versions.

    I sunk about 4k into a GT80 SLI-253 2qe model. It mostly rocks, but I'm really pissed because both MSI and Xotic stated there would be MXM support for 2 years. That was a year ago and 2 or 3 generations of MSI laptops since. . . .

    Bottom line is don't believe any hype from MSI regarding GPU upgrades. Their solution is sell it, abandon it, make a new model. These things are still like other laptops, you can upgrade the storage & ram but don't plan on any real support for anything else.
    Reply
  • MSI NB-PM
    Thank you for your continuous support!
    For our current GT series products with GTX 8XX, GTX 9XX graphic cards,
    a direct upgrade to the Pascal graphics is NOT recommended.
    The Pascal graphics has huge improvement in terms of performance, thus it also requires different motherboard design/power/thermal configurations.
    For the best next generation graphic experience, please consider our new products, and enjoy the tremendous performance enhancements!
    Reply
  • subtraho
    So "Newer GT72 models featuring the GTX970M/GTX980M in their turn will be upgradable to future graphics generations" was an outright lie?

    Thanks MSI. You won't be seeing my money for any of your "new products".
    Reply
  • naturesninja
    "Thank you for your continuous support!
    For our current GT series products with GTX 8XX, GTX 9XX graphic cards,
    a direct upgrade to the Pascal graphics is NOT recommended.
    The Pascal graphics has huge improvement in terms of performance, thus it also requires different motherboard design/power/thermal configurations.
    For the best next generation graphic experience, please consider our new products, and enjoy the tremendous performance enhancements! "

    Sales pitch? Good luck with that. "Continuous Support?" You mean like the continuous graphics solution support that MSi promised it's customers before they purchased their multi-thousand dollar GT72 and GT80 laptops? That kind of continuous support?

    Now, I'm not sure what you mean by "NOT recommended." Does that mean "it's not possible no matter how you dice it?" Or does it mean "why spend a thousand dollars upgrading to the latest graphics solution that we promised you would happen, when you could just spend thousands more for a few extra trivial enhancements?"

    I was told by multiple MSi reps, in various departments as well as by sales literature, and your own website that these units would maintain their graphics solution upgrade ability at least into the next generation. I purchased mine and promoted many sales of the GT72 and GT80s based on that information. I will likely have to answer for that sooner than later, and will be more than happy to pass that along to MSi.

    I highly recommend that you clarify your stance on this issue, instead of using an indirect sales pitch. I think I will need to unload my unit, and start shopping around for a new flavor. Think I'll keep the "stars" out of my eyes this time around, and the next.
    Reply
  • ledhead11
    I'm in a similar boat as you @naturesninja. On a number of sites I advocated for these believing the same lies. I wonder how hard it is to get a class action suit started over misrepresentation.

    Like anyone who's ever argued against them, yes its cheaper to build/upgrade a desktop but we were led to believe we'd have a portable solution with much of those same options. Felt sure enough about it that I sunk $4k into this and now stuck with a nice laptop that will be out of date like any other very soon. I didn't mind the money until it became evident that I'm now stuck with something can't ever really change.

    I supported MSI for over 10 years in buying MOBO's, and graphics cards. Loved every one of them. I think those in charge of the laptop dept. are laughing all the way to the bank, all the while MSI's reputation will begin to spiral down the toilet. It has with me. . .never again with them.
    Reply
  • subtraho
    Yeah, the promised upgradeability was entirely the reason I chose the GT72 over, say, an Asus or other equivalent model. I'd like for "MSI PN-PM" in this thread to comment on this promise by an MSI employee on another site:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/official-questions-for-the-msi-rep.761676/page-85#post-10052388

    "We guarantee upgrades for up to 2 future generation cards." - MSIGeno, Jul 28, 2015
    Reply
  • ledhead11
    18459421 said:
    Yeah, the promised upgradeability was entirely the reason I chose the GT72 over, say, an Asus or other equivalent model. I'd like for "MSI PN-PM" in this thread to comment on this promise by an MSI employee on another site:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/official-questions-for-the-msi-rep.761676/page-85#post-10052388

    "We guarantee upgrades for up to 2 future generation cards." - MSIGeno, Jul 28, 2015

    Funny thing, that quote was almost to the week/day when I ordered my GT80.

    Reply
  • squirrelonfire
    I've been trying to get the GS63VR for $1549 at Bestbuy but it's sold out. Frys and Microcenter do not carry them and so I can't even get a price match. Newegg and Xotic both sell it at $1799. So now I have to wait for everybody to start stocking this. It's so frustrating.
    Reply
  • Serjape
    Please contact me if you are interested in a suit against MSI. They have indeed misrepresented the upgradeablility of their product. The relief the suit members will be seeking is complete refund or exchange to newer model as . There are of course limitations. Also, forward any and all additional proof of representations by MSI reps to ccase01@gmail.com
    Reply