MSI GT73VR 7RF vs ASUS G701VIK

Discussion in 'Notebook News and Reviews' started by DRevan, Jul 31, 2017.

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  1. DRevan

    DRevan Notebook Virtuoso

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    Hey all!
    After trying out both laptops I thought I give an answer to a question which puzzless many buyers: "Which one to get?"

    Not counting barebone laptops the 3 most favored GTX 1080 laptops are the ASUS G701VI, MSI GT73VR and Alienware 17, however only the first 2 have FHD G-Sync 120 Hz screens so for people who do not want't to go above FullHD yet to have more FPS, only have these 2 to choose from.

    Build quality
    ASUS is the clear winner here. MSI consist of plastic only and there is some flex arund the screen aswell, while there is almost no flex at all with the ASUS and ASUS is made of a combination of plastic and aluminium. Just by touching the ASUS you can feel it's premium quality. MSI is not that bad, but regarding build quality ASUS clearly wins.

    SPECS /CPU+GPU/ and cooling
    Both laptops are using GTX 1080 GPU and Core i7 7820HK CPU.
    Regarding cooling people buying the ASUS need to be careful. There are 2 generation G701VI laptops.
    The older one with Skylake CPU has a cooling like this:

    [​IMG]
    A total of 2-2 shared heatpipes for the GPU AND CPU results in thermal throttling for both the CPU and GPU. In modern game like Rise of the Tomb Raider GPU temp stopped at 87C and CPU temp stopped at 93C. They did not get higher because they were throttling like hell.
    Asus realized that they screwed up so when they updated the Skylake CPU to Kaby Lake CPU, they also redesigned the cooling to this:

    [​IMG]
    Much better results with this new design. In Rise of the Tomb Raider an overclocked CPU (4.3 Ghz) stopped at 84C and an overclocked GPU (+99Mhz core+105mhz mem) stopped at 81C which is very important because unlike with the previous model, now these important components did not throttle, GPU core clock very rarely dropped under 1922 MHZ.

    However regarding cooling the clear winner here is MSI. Just look at this:
    [​IMG]
    Much more heatpipes. bigger fans and fans push air out from 4 points instead of 2. Strangely, with factory paste despite being better, the gap between the results are not that big in games.
    In RoTTR CPU (4.2Ghz) topped at 82C and factory clocked GPU topped at 77C. However unlike with the ASUS, MSI fans did not have to run at 100% and to reach these results 85% fan speed was enough.
    The difference is much bigger in Fire Strike.


    SCREEN
    ASUS is using an AUO B173HAN01.1 120 Hz 25 ms IPS G-Sync panel, while the MSI is using a Chi Mei N173HHE-G32 120 hz 5 ms TN G-Sync panel.
    Honestly I was a bit disappointed here, I was expecting much better quality from the AUO panel but the thing is, out of the box, MSI did such a good job calibrating their TN panel that I actually liked the Chi Mei panel more than the AUO (MSI Truecolor set to Gaming and ASUS Splendid set to normal)
    So out of the box if you do not wan't to spend time calibrating the screen, MSI's preset made their screen in my opinion better than the ASUS IPS panel.
    Another reason why I prefer the MSI screen is a bug I discovered half a year ago with the LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF1 60 (75 Hz) G-Sync IPS panel. The "bug" was that when a gamewas using DX12 (much less noticable with dx11) renderer the edges on the textures had a strange aftershadow when panning the camera which was very annoying and might cause nausea for some users. No such effect when the game was using DX11 renderer or DX12 renderer without G-Sync. This was a software level bug because the laptop was able to recorded. It was never fixed.
    [​IMG]
    Now the AUO IPS panel in the ASUS has the same problem. Depending on the color of the edge I saw either a white or black aftershadow on the edge when I was moving the camera.
    No such bug with MSI's TN panel. Maybe a software bug which will (probably) never going to be fixed by NVidia or maybe it is because the IPS panels has 25 ms refresh rate while the TN panel has 5ms so my eyes could not catch it with the TN panel.

    Stability
    I actually have mixed feeling here.
    Some of you might not be aware that most laptops are suffering from a "feature": A feature where the CPU frequency is not always staying at the highest level and it drops several hundred Mhz for a second.
    MSI turned the table here, the core frequency is stable here always.

    I run Fire Strike and FS Stress test with the ASUS and here are the results:
    [​IMG]

    CPU seems stable, but o_O, look what happened when the Stress Test run:
    [​IMG]

    The CPU was not able to maintain x43 ratio all the time and it had some dips.
    Regarding CPU stability MSI is the winner.
    (FANS were running at 100% during these tests)

    However regarding GPU core clock ASUS seemed a bit better for me than the MSI. ASUS's core clock was more stable, it had much less drops and much less PWR throttling. It is just a tip, but maybe Asus set a slightly higher power limit for the gpu than MSI.

    Software
    Regarding BIOS I loved that ASUS had a modern UEFI BIOS with GUI, however ASUS killed it with disabling even the most basic CPU setting for the user.
    MSI has an older type BIOS but has CPU OC settings enabled.

    For Overclocking under Windows both manufacturers provide their own software. I really liked ASUS's software, it was easy to overlock everything. ASUS allows a maximum OC of 4.5 Ghz for the CPU while MSI only allows 4.3 Ghz. ASUS also allows memory to be overclocked to 2800 Mhz while MSI does not allow memory OC. ASUS would have won easely if not for 1 thing. They ruined their software with 1 thing. There is no option to set custom fan curves! You can change fan speed but it is permanent and it is for both CPU and GPU where MSI allows custom fan curves for CPU and GPU to be set. A shame ASUS.

    SPEAKERS and KB
    Not much to say. MSI wins for both. Better quality speakers and subwoofer and a very good Steelseries keyboard with RGB lighting.

    So which one to buy ? If you find both for about the same price I would say MSI is the better choice. It has slightly worse build quality, but it has (in my opinion) a better screen, better cooling, better sound system.
    ASUS has a very good premium build quality and the cooling is finally good enough to keep even overclocked components under throttling level while gaming (and this can be significantly improved with repasting), but for me it is a deal breaker that despite using the same settings, the annoying "after shadow bug" is present even with this IPS panel when playing a DX12 title, not to mention that out of the box MSI gives a much better calibrated screen.

    Despite the ASUS having some very very good features for itself (which MSI should really follow), in my opinion for the same amount of money, the MSI GT73VR 7RF is a better gaming laptop than the ASUS G701VIK.
    ASUS has the better build quality, but MSI gives a better gaming experience and the lack of OC features in the MSI software can be overcome with third party software.


    Pic sources: Kitguru, Notebookcheck and my own.

    tl;dr:
    ASUS
    + better build quality
    + more stable gpu clock

    MSI
    + better screen
    + better cooling
    + better sound system
    + more stable cpu clock
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  2. sicily428

    sicily428 Donuts!! :)

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    3000$ or more for a totally soldered asus is not a good deal IMO. Clevo P775dm3 or P870km1 are better. Desktop cpu+mxm upgradable gpu
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
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  3. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    It will kill BGA laptops even with stock paste. Its more pricey and you need prema BIOS to take full advantage of the HW.
     
  4. DRevan

    DRevan Notebook Virtuoso

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    Don't forget, you get what you pay for with a P775DM3-G (I owned one). MSI and ASUS are made of much better quality components (Capacitator, FET, etc) and the heatsink quality was rather bad also. Was full of gaps and the seating of the heatsink wasn't the best either, even diamond filled Coolermester paste dried up i na few weeks.
     
  5. Falkentyne

    Falkentyne Notebook Prophet

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    Yes the MSI has very strong cooling and good components (the Eurocomm F5/MSI barebones uses a similar chassis). The MSI is one of the few BGAbooks that works out of the box and doesn't need repaste or modifying the heatsink. It's a shame however. If the GT73VR used LGA socketed CPU and didn't have such a draconian locked power limit firmware and Bios, it would be the best laptop ever made. Even though you can unlock the Bios, you can't do anything about the EC firmware limiting the power limits despite the PSU used :( E.g. modified 1070 GPU+higher TDP with 330W PSU instead of 230W, the EC firmware hard limits you to 230W, and 130W if the battery is removed (or at <30%)
     
  6. sicily428

    sicily428 Donuts!! :)

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    I like MSI GT series, good cooling system and MXM gpus
    You pay 3000$ for a totally soldered, false desktop replacement, Asus :D
    Buy a p775dm3 or a p870km1 with a delidded i7-7700k, MXM upgradable gtx1080 and Prema bios from a good reseller like Hidevolution. They are better than those non-sense soldered Asus or Alienware.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  7. PredatoR_TR

    PredatoR_TR Notebook Evangelist

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    What would you say if you would compare their fan noise under load? Which one is more silent with stock settings and without ultra fan mod?
     
  8. jrwingate6

    jrwingate6 Notebook Deity

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    I always love when people bring up laptop brands that had nothing to do with the showdown.

    Everyone gets it. The laptop brand you personally own is the greatest in existence.

    @OP...... Great reviews.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
    inasense and tweake628 like this.
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