MSI have recently rolled out a new ultra powerful workstation designed for working professionals. Whether you’re design work revolves around consumer products or industrial machines, or your daily routine requires you to have massive amounts of processing power, this new MSI P75 Creator-469 notebook will surely satisfy your needs. All those specs come at price, though. At the time I’m writing this review, the MSI is listed at about $2700. It sure is steep, but as we’ll see below, justified.
MSI P75 Review
Having introduced a new polished design altogether, the people at MSI have also added the newest of their technologies and features to this model. Specifically, the MSI P75 Creator workstation presents itself as this sleek, minimal looking Space Gray device. It sure isn’t flashy, unlike other models from the same manufacturer. It’s also worth noting that they’ve added a fingerprint proof coating layer.
Surprisingly lightweight for a 17.3″ device, the MSI P75 Creator-469 comes with an all-metal chassis. Aside from keeping its weight down, all that metal also improves heat transfer. Combined with its thin and efficient cooling system (it has 7 heat pipes and 3 blade fans), this powerful notebook will keep cooler than most consumer grade products for longer, even under considerable stress.
The overall look and feel of the P75 is similar to that of another high profile laptop from MSI, the GS75 Stealth I’ve reviewed earlier this month. They’re both lightweight, incredible powerhouses that not only look stylish, but also perform under any circumstance. It’s clear that the company aims to further expand their no-compromise line of notebooks.
Performance part one: next level processing power
What sets the MSI P75 Creator-469 apart from other (otherwise) expensive notebooks or ultrabooks is processing power. While most come with an Intel Core i7, the P75 is equipped with a state of the art, 9th generation Intel Core i9-9880H CPU. This newly launched processor is simply on another level. It has 8 cores, 16 threads, a base frequency of 2.3 GHz that goes up to 4.8 GHz in turbo mode, and 16 megabytes of cache.
In essence, what the i9 is capable of is way way faster access times, quicker data retrieving, and amazingly fast operation speed. It’s no wonder benchmark tests have rated this CPU at nearly 18000 points! That’s almost 1.5 times more than a similar Intel Core i7. As such, this is perhaps the most powerful processor you can get in a laptop as of today. And, in essence, there is not a single program, application or game that will not perform at its maximum potential.
Performance part two: plenty of memory with room to spare
The MSI P75 Creator has enough installed memory to satisfy almost all possible users. Its 2 DIMM slots hold no less than 32 gigabytes of DDR4-2666 RAM. This amount is more than enough for your daily needs. More specifically, 4 times as much as you’d need. However, since working professionals will need this workstation to perform at peak performance for their demanding programs, those 32 gigs suddenly become rather adequate. It will handle video editing, 3D rendering, designing in 2D, data mining, and the list goes on.
However, if you’ll find yourself craving more memory, you’ll be delighted to know that you can always add another 32 gigs on top of what it comes with. Essentially, you can transform the P75, should need arise, into a more savage beast, doubling usable RAM to 64 gigabytes. That’s movie studio territory.
Performance part three: storage space
The MSI P75 Creator-469 comes with 1 terabyte of storage space on a speedy NVMe Solid State Drive. What’s great about NVMe drives is that they completely manage to bypass the older SATA protocol which limited the write/read transfer speeds at around 600 MB/s. They now directly use the PCIe interface. These new drives are able to operate at almost 7 times the speed of SATA models.
As for the actual space, I think 1 terabyte of high speed storage should prove sufficient for most power users. Everybody’s wants and needs are different, though. So, if you feel one terabyte is somewhat crammed, you can always add another additional drive. The P75 Creator has one extra M.2 slot waiting for a capacity extension.
Graphics: The P75 Creator introduces the new RTX
The graphics department is well represented. However, MSI have added the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX2070 (Max-Q) graphics card, with 8 gigabytes of GDDR6 RAM. While it’s an impressive GPU, it’s no match for its desktop counterpart. That’s because they’ve made the mobile version to be more energy efficient due to raising concerns regarding heat management and power consumption. And by that, I mean NVIDIA have lowered clock speeds, both nominal and boosted. Thus, the NVIDIA RTX2070 Max-Q has, more or less, about the same performance ratings as the GTX 1070 it replaces. But all that comes in a smaller, thinner and more efficient package.
So, if you’ve had any experience with the 1070, you’ll know what to expect from this laptop, at least graphics-wise. Almost all games will run smoothly at high or ultra settings, your workflow in programs such as Illustrator, AutoCAD, 3DSMax, and so on, will benefit from having such a high-end GPU on a mobile workstation.
As you’d expect from a professional grade workstation aimed specifically at designers and creators, the aptly named MSI P75 Creator doesn’t disappoint when it comes to display quality. It has a 17.3″ Full HD IPS-Level display with a 100% sRGB color gamut and a really thin bezel. By really thin I mean 0.2 inches. It’s smaller than other ultra portable notebooks, most noticeable the ASUS ZenBook 13, but that’s not the point. It’s thin enough. All colors are being displayed vividly and sharply, and thanks to True Color technology, you can switch between multiple display modes depending on what you’re working on.
Interface options and networking
The MSI P75 Creator comes with a plethora of I/O options. Not only does it have 3 classic USB Type-A ports, but it also sports a Thunderbolt extension. You’ll enjoy faster transfer speeds and more options to connect external monitors (up to two extra via Thunderbolt and HDMI). Of course, an Ethernet connection is also possible via RJ-45 port.
- 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C / Thunderbolt
- 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C
- 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
- 1 x RJ-45
- 1 x microSD card reader
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x Headphone-out / 1 x Microphone-in
Networking possibilities are rather standard:
- Gigabit Ethernet
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 5.0
Portability and battery life
I’d have expected a 17.3″ workstation to be on the bulkier side. However, the MSI P75 Creator-469 isn’t. For such a large screen size, its 4.8 pound weight is really acceptable. Especially after taking into account its specs. Dimensions aren’t necessarily spectacular, since it is, after all, a 17-inch laptop. But nonetheless, you’ll be able to carry it in your work related travels and not feel dragged down. The P75 is no ultra portable notebook, but gets the job done superbly while on the go.
Battery life is also nothing to write home about, but that is because of its components. They’re all power hungry, especially the CPU and GPU. One charge of its 4-Cell, 82WHr Li-Polymer battery will hold a charge for almost 8 hours under normal load. However, if you decide to ramp up your workload, that number will decrease proportionally to your use of CPU and GPU capabilities. Expect around half the time or under when really pushing it.
So, in the end, is the brand new MSI P75 Creator-469 worthy of its asking price? I’d say yes. Although you do have to compromise mobility a bit, at the end of the day you’ll still have a powerhouse at your side wherever you may be. And performance is similar to a workstation desktop. Whether you’re into gaming and need a more powerful device than what manufacturers usually offer, or if you’re a professional in need of a device on which to work remotely, this is a solid choice. Sure, it’s not that commuter friendly, it comes with a hefty price tag, but it really does pack a punch when it comes to pure processing speed.