MSI Vector GP77 review

MSI Vector GP77 review (13V)

MSI’s Vector line is its lesser-known, gaming-laptop range. It eschews the glitzy RGB, pure-gamer bling of the company’s better-known Titan and (nowadays) Raider ranges, to deliver a top-tier gaming laptop, in understated clothing, that could live inside an office without causing a stir. We’ve been impressed with its forebears in the past (see our Vector GP66 review) but now, here’s the MSI Vector GP77 13V which is a 17-inch monster of a laptop. How far up your shopping list will our review show that it should go?

Specs

Screen17.3-inch, matte, 240Hz, 2,560 x 1,440, IPS display
Processor3.7-5.0GHz Intel Core i7-13700H CPU
Memory16GB DDR5 RAM
Graphics8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060
Hard drive2x 1TB
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3
2.5GbE LAN
1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (with PD & DP)
3 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
3.5mm audio jack
HDMI 2.1
mini DisplayPort
Speakers2 x 2-Watt
Extra SecurityNone
WebcamHD
Battery65Wh
Dimensions397 x 284 x 26mm
Weight2.83KG
SKU13V
Full specs here.

Features, Ergonomics and Design

MSI Vector GP77 review main lid
The MSI Vector GP77 is an imposing, monolithic monster. But, it’s also a bit of a fingerprint magnet.

The MSI Vector GP77 takes its design queues from Metallica, Space Odyssey, and Spinal Tap in that it can be none more black. Beyond the geometric patterns on the significant, KimK-like backside, the only design element is a glossy dragon decal on the lid that feels slightly recessed. It looks understated and very cool and it’s something that the per-key-lit, RGB keyboard contrasts nicely with, when you turn it on. When turned off, it will fit into a stuffy office.

MSI Vector GP77 review logo
We’re not entirely sure how MSI applied the Vector GP77’s logo. But, it looks good when it catches the light correctly and it’s very discreet the rest of the time.

The 17.3-inch, IPS screen has a UHD, 2,560 x 1,440 resolution and naturally displays a crisp and clear Windows Desktop with vibrant colours. In multimedia, videos are bright, vibrant and exhibit impressive contrast although details can get lost in the brightest areas. It can’t match the true blacks we see on OLED screens (and, lately, mini-LED screens), but it’s not bad at all.

Both colourful and monochromatic gradients are impressively smooth – we’ve seen too many nasty, blocky performers in recent times.

MSI Vector GP77 review front
Even on a bright day, the MSI Vector GP77’s screen is bright and vibrant.

The screen’s 240Hz refresh rate pairs well with the fast pixel response time to keep fast-moving objects rendered silky smooth – competitive FPS gamers should like it a lot. All in all, it’s a very good screen.

Multimedia is rounded-out by twin, 2-Watt speakers. These get impressively loud, offer good fidelity from top to bottom and sport some seriously punchy bass. Impressive!

Above the screen is an HD webcam. We’d like to see higher resolutions these days, especially on laptops with UHD screens. However, it captures impressively clear video and performs well in low light (despite the appearance of noticeable graininess). The microphone array does well at blocking out background noise while capturing clear audio too, so the MSI Vector GP77 is good for both web-conferencing and streaming.

The Steelseries keyboard will be familiar to any previous, MSI gaming-laptop users. Its Scrabble-tile keys are very well weighted, comfy and accurate to type (and game) upon for extended amounts of time. There are full-sized arrow keys, which we’re always glad to see and the (slightly thinner) number pad is useful to have too – both for numbers work and MOBA-cum-RTS gaming.

MSI Vector GP77 review keyboard
We’re big fans of the Steelseries keyboards that MSI uses for its gaming laptops. They’re comfy, accurate and have useful shortcuts. They look great with RGB too, but we’ll have to add a better picture when we’re not out in sunlight!

The per-key, RGB backlighting looks great and there are many pre-set patterns that can be easily switched between (or you can customise them yourself). Many non-letter keys have useful dual-action shortcuts and we’re impressed at how quiet it is to use.

The trackpad isn’t the largest but we had no issues with it. It’s very smooth and accurate while the buttons have a good weighting and very quiet actuation.

All in all, the MSI Vector GP77 is a joy to interact with.

MSI Vector GP77 Review: Photo Flourish

Our MSI Vector GP77 review features photos that were taken in Sydney’s Barangaroo precinct. It’s either a business district or a pricey-entertainment hub, depending on who you ask. But, for those who don’t know, it’s arguably become the financial capital of Sydney’s CBD. It also has an old wooden boardwalk which will deposit numerous splinters into your leg, if you lie down on it to get interestingly angled shots of gaming laptops.

MSI Vector GP77 review lid
We took our MSI Vector GP77 review shots at Barangaroo in Sydney, Australia.

Performance

Inside the MSI Vector GP77 is a 3.7 – 5.0GHz Intel Core i7-13700H processor with its six Performance cores and eight Efficiency cores that run across 20 threads. It’s flanked by 16GB of DDR5 RAM and two, fast NVMe, 1TB hard drives.

2D

In our PCMark 10 (general computing) test, the MSI Vector GP77 scored 7,942. This puts it in the upper-mid range of scores which is where we’d expect this processor to be. However, looking at rival scores, it could have been faster. That said, there’s plenty of room for overclocking via the MSI Center app.

In our CPU-based, Cinebench rendering tests, the MSI Vector GP77 scored 2,971 in the quick, R15 drag-race and 17,766 in the longer R23 test. These are both above average in the world of laptops, but they underscore that our review model of this big, 17-inch gaming laptop doesn’t have the highest spec on the market. These are still impressive scores, and hopefully will strike an attractive balance between performance and value that will help keep the price down (see below).

3D

Indeed, the 3D grunt of our review model came via Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4060 which is also a solid, mid-range performer.

In the difficult, 3DMark ray-tracing tests, the MSI Vector GP77 scored 5,859 in Port Royal (an average of 27.1fps) and 2,641 in Speed Way (average 26.4fps). These illustrate that the GP77 can play the latest, eye-candy-rich games but that you will likely have to drop the resolution and/or details to keep things running smoothly.

In 3DMark’s AAA-gaming-test emulators, Time Spy and Fire Strike, the MSI Vector GP77 scored 11,043 (average 65.1fps) in the former and 12,395 (average 57.5fps) in the latter. These scores illustrate that it will have few issues playing the latest and greatest games… although it might stutter a bit at the higher, UHD resolutions.

In the easier 3DMark Night Raid test, which mimics casual games and competitive shooters, the MSI Vector GP77 scored 58,739 which is an average of 603.6fps. There are no issues here and competitive FPS players will like that this score marries well with the very-fast screen.

MSI Vector GP77 review social
A cool sea breeze on a hot day. The MSI Vector GP77 takes it all in.,

Cooling

Cooling comes via MSI’s Cooler Boost 5 technology which uses two fans and five heat pipes to expel hot air and keep things cool. It worked very well with the mid-tier components of our review unit and it only really got noisy when we forced the fans to maximum (which still only delivered a light-yet-robust, whoosh). It never got too warm and rarely became intrusively noisy. Higher specs will vary, though.

Connectivity and Ports

MSI Vector GP77 review left
On the left of the MSI Vector GP77 is a USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port and a 3.5mm audio jack. Note the extent to which the screen can recline.
MSI Vector GP77 review right
On the right are two more USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports.
MSI Vector GP77 review rear
At the rear is a mini DisplayPort, a 2.5GbE network port and an HDMI 2.1 port. The USB-looking thing on the right is the power connector.

Inside there’s Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. While we’d like to have seen Thunderbolt 4, that’s still a very impressive connectivity complement.

Portability and Battery Life

The MSI Vector GP77 is incredibly solid and feels very well built with an impressively solid hinge (it doesn’t fold down flat, by the way). We expect it to easily survive a life of being lugged between homes, offices and LANs.

MSI Vector GP77 review underneath
There’s a lot of copper cooling equipment inside the MSI Vector GP77 and science says: that’s not light. The power brick is relatively small though.

The solidity comes at the expense of mass, though. The MSI Vector GP77 weighs a hefty 2.83KG, so you’ll feel it if you carry it around all day. Mercifully, the power brick is reduced in size and ‘only’ adds an extra 729 grams to the mix – we’ve seen double from MSI’s gaming laptops in the past.

There’s ‘only’ a 65Wh battery but it still managed to run our PCMark 10 Modern Office test for 6 hours and 43 minutes (when we disabled the discreet graphics via the MUX switch and used the integrated Intel GPU in the processor). That’s not quite a full day out of the office, but it’s respectable for a 17-inch gaming beast.

Price and Availability

Our review SKU of the MSI Vector GP77 is hard to find but, at the one store, it cost $4,509 which represents reasonable value for a premium, 17-inch gaming laptop… but it’s still far from cheap. We suspect this may be an imported model, as MSI usually favours a particular set of resellers. It’s worth noting, though, that if you forgo the second 1TB hard drive you can pick one up for $3,699 which would be enough to win it a Good Value Gaming Laptop award.

5 Alternatives to the MSI Vector GP77

Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17 There are several versions of the SCAR 17 and they’re all amazing. However, while they’re more powerful, they are more expensive and don’t look as discreet as MSI’s Vector.

Acer Predator Triton 17X A phenomenal gaming laptop that’s also dressed in office clothing. It’s more powerful but gargantuanly more expensive and hard to find.

MSI Pulse 17 MSI’s cheaper, 17-inch budget gaming laptop actually has more power than the Vector. However, it can’t nearly match the Vector’s quality and ergonomics.

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE Another Clark Kent office laptop. It’s getting a bit long in the tooth, but it’s very good and a bit cheaper.

MSI Titan GT77 – If you want more bling then the Vector’s sibling is worth a look. It almost makes the Vector look small. But, you pay a lot more for it.

Conclusion: Should you buy the MSI Vector GP77?

The MSI Vector GP77 comes in many variants, so it would be harsh to hang it on the fact that our review SKU is currently only available at one obscure online store that we’ve not seen before. There are plenty of similar variants and, as we mentioned above, the version that removes the (strangely expensive) second hard drive, dropping the price by over $800, is more compelling. These other SKUs can be found with top-tier CPUs and GPUs AND, what’s more, they can be found on sale if you’re quick.

Ultimately, whatever performance-value combination you choose, you can rest assured that this is one of the best, low-key gaming laptops on the market and we’re happy to recommend it.

Awards

Highly Recommended Gaming Laptop Award
The MSI Vector GP77 (13V) won our Highly Recommended Gaming Laptop Award in our review on 12 December 2023.

Pros

Impressively fast screen
Comfortable, accurate and well-featured keyboard
It can hide in an office

Cons

Big and heavy
It’s a fingerprint magnet
There are some availability issues

Results

MSI Vector GP77 Review Scores
  • 2D Performance
  • 3D Performance
  • Features, Ergonomics & Design
  • Stability
  • Portability
  • Value
4.2

Summary

Our MSI Vector GP77 review shows this to be a very capable and attractive (large) gaming laptop that can fit into a stuffy office without raising eyebrows.

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