MSI GT73VR Titan Pro-201 Gaming Laptop Review

The MSI GT73VR Titan Pro-201 features an Intel Core i7-6820HK and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, and comes with a hefty price tag of $3,599. Will the flagship Pascal GPU give the MSI Titan Pro enough performance to dominate its competition?

Nvidia's GTX 1080 is one of the most powerful graphics cards on the market, and if you're lucky enough to have one in your PC you can breeze through modern games at the highest settings with relative ease. But what happens when you put that GPU in a gaming laptop? Today, we're going to find out. We're testing a behemoth of a machine: the MSI GT73VR Titan Pro.

Specifications

Exterior

What stereotypes come to mind when you picture a gaming laptop? Perhaps it’s big and thick and heavy, with a ridiculous cooling system and aggressive aesthetics. The MSI GT73VR Titan Pro-201 is all of that, and proudly so. It’s big, it’s bold, and it’s robust.

The hood of the Titan Pro-201 features a black, brushed metal finish, which feels premium to the touch. The MSI logo is stamped in the center in silver, and the Gaming Series shield logo is directly beneath it. Two metallic red accents are found on the sides, and those red accents and the Gaming Series logo are illuminated when the system is powered. Finally, “Titan” is stamped on the bottom just above the hinges.

The bottom of the Titan Pro-201 is constructed of plastic rather than metal. The laptop’s build is solid overall, with very little flex, but the plastic bottom doesn’t feel as satisfying as the top’s brushed metal. The bottom is populated with numerous, wide intake vents colored in red and black.



The black, brushed metal finish continues on the laptop's workspace, surrounding the keyboard. The oddly shaped power button is on the top right-hand corner of the workspace. There are four buttons beneath it: the first button switches the Titan Pro-201 between discrete and on-die graphics, the second button turns up the fan speed, the third button launches XSplit Gamecast, and the final button cycles SteelSeries Engine profiles.


There are four exhaust vents: two on the back and one on each side. You can see just how thick the thick aluminum heat sinks are if you look behind the red-accented back vents.


The display hinge offers about 130° of movement, which is fairly standard, and it is both smooth and firm.

The Titan Pro-201’s speakers are front-facing, but located on the bottom. The subwoofer is behind the left-hand speaker, and delivers impressive bass at high volumes.

Starting from the right, there are two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, and a Kensington lock. On the left are 3 additional USB 3.0 ports, a line-in jack, a line-out jack, a microphone jack and a headphone jack. On the back, you’ll find the Ethernet port, a mini DisplayPort, a USB Type-C Gen 2 port, and an HDMI port.

Display


The MSI GT73VR Titan Pro-201 features a 17.3" IPS display with a 120Hz refresh rate. You can connect additional displays via the mini DisplayPort and HDMI port on the back.

Input Devices


The Titan Pro-201’s fully-fledged chiclet keyboard is evenly spaced and comfortable to type with. The keyboard’s profiles can be managed within SteelSeries Engine 3, and you can create custom backlighting settings for each profile.


The pointing device is a non-clickable trackpad with separate left and right click buttons beneath it. The trackpad is smooth and responsive, but the left and right buttons have a satisfying click. The trackpad’s bezel also features backlighting, which syncs to whichever keyboard profile is selected.

Interior

Accessing the interior is as simple as can be. There are five screws securing the bottom plate to the Titan Pro-201. This gaming laptop has the best internal layout presentation by far (of those we've tested), and this is largely due to its adequate space. The beefy cooling system pulls heat away from the CPU and GPU, which are located to the left and right respectively. The Titan Pro-201’s memory slots are located directly above the CPU heatsink. An aluminum heat fin is covering the M.2 slots, which in turn are covering the 2.5mm HDD slot.

Software

MSI's Dragon Center software comes pre-installed in all of the company's gaming systems. The App Portal lets you launch applications such as Nahimic 2 and SteelSeries Engine 3, or user-defined software. The System Monitor shows a brief summary of system resource metrics. The LED Wizard lets you edit the lighting effects on the Titan Pro's keyboard and trackpad. The System Tuner gives you quick access to power, fan, and sound profiles. Finally, the Tool & Help tab gives you easy access to the manual, MSI Help Desk, the product registration page, and battery calibration.

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  • Poozle
    I love laptop reviews, but could you perhaps do non super thick laptops and not even gaming laptops? A few laptops I want to see are thin and powerful, EX Razers Pascal line up, Surface book performance base, Surface Pro 4 (If you have not already, I will check for a review after this) I love your reviews, but I want to see more of them :D
  • TechyInAZ
    Anonymous said:
    I love laptop reviews, but could you perhaps do non super thick laptops and not even gaming laptops? A few laptops I want to see are thin and powerful, EX Razers Pascal line up, Surface book performance base, Surface Pro 4 (If you have not already, I will check for a review after this) I love your reviews, but I want to see more of them :D


    If you want to see regular laptop reviews, go to our sister site @ www.laptopmag.com.
  • g-unit1111
    $3300 for 1080P when their 4K model retails for $1,000 less? No thanks.
  • quilciri
    Can I have a gaming laptop that doesn't look like a douchebro Axe body spray plug in Fast & Furious please?
  • Steve_166
    One huge issue with it, It has 4 ram slots, two are on the bottom and easy to access. But the other two are on the top of the main board and require removal of everything to upgrade them.
  • FritzEiv
    Anonymous said:
    I love laptop reviews, but could you perhaps do non super thick laptops and not even gaming laptops? A few laptops I want to see are thin and powerful, EX Razers Pascal line up, Surface book performance base, Surface Pro 4 (If you have not already, I will check for a review after this) I love your reviews, but I want to see more of them :D


    Maybe some day, but our focus right now is on Gaming Laptops. As TechInAZ mentioned, Laptop Magazine (our sister site) has such reviews.
  • FritzEiv
    Anonymous said:
    Can I have a gaming laptop that doesn't look like a douchebro Axe body spray plug in Fast & Furious please?


    Maybe Axe should get into this market. But yes, we've got a dozen gaming laptops in the labs, with more on the way, so hopefully some of them will look more like Old Spice deodorant.
  • urbanj
    Anonymous said:
    $3300 for 1080P when their 4K model retails for $1,000 less? No thanks.


    why would you want to game @4k?......especially on such a small screen?

    That's called throwing your money out the window.
  • g-unit1111
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    $3300 for 1080P when their 4K model retails for $1,000 less? No thanks.


    why would you want to game @4k?......especially on such a small screen?

    That's called throwing your money out the window.


    A 4K laptop that goes for $1999 with a GTX 1070 vs 1080P for $3600 is throwing your money out the window ? Right. You could buy two or 3 laptops for that price. :sarcastic:
  • wifiburger
    i'm puzzled why they sent you the 1080p model, maybe the 4k has a bad screen and they are trying to hide it :-)
  • Jeff Fx
    The bulk of this thing, the huge vents, and the large feet tell me this is a portable desktop PC like my old Dell Inspiron 9100, rather than a laptop.
  • ashburner
    I would be interested in seeing how these gaming laptops perform with higher resolution external gaming monitors.
  • alidan
    Anonymous said:
    i'm puzzled why they sent you the 1080p model, maybe the 4k has a bad screen and they are trying to hide it :-)


    At least this is how I see it.

    Contrast > 120/144 = free/g sync >>>>> tn/ips >>>>>>>>> resolution higher then sweet spot (80-120dpi)

    This laptop hits just the edge of to damn small to see and need to scale everything up, no reason for 4k, and if you are gaming, that extra fps is going to be far more noticeable then hardware based anti aliasing, well, outside every game running like hell.

    granted this laptop is desktop replacement class, you aren't paying for the best price point, you are paying for 'I want everything in this form factor and portable.
  • milkod2001
    Those prices for gaming laptops just got ridiculous. gaming on 17''laptop at @ $3k . What a joke. Well they bring it on market anyway so i guess there is enough dumb people falling for that.
  • Ebriation
    I travel alot, so gamer laptops are my thing. Same with most of my friends...but i really dont consider us "dumb", and i really dont understand why anyone would write that here :/
    If you got nothing better to write, then dont do it!
    Thanks ;)
  • scarecrow2311
    I just got one of the lower spec'd models ( at a unbelievable price to boot ) and am very very pleased with its performance. Best Laptop I have ever owned! Not even using my older gaming desktop now
  • SockPuppet
    Gaming laptops are dumb because you could build a small little "lanbox" type system that's more powerful than the laptop for less money and it is just as mobile. You can't actually play games on your gaming laptop without it being plugged into a wall somewhere or you run out of battery life in 20 minutes.
  • Robert_306
    Why did they name it the Titan Pro? It has a gtx1080 in it, not a Titan.

    Guess the marketing guys don't know anything about GPUs.