Brand new laptops have stormed the market since CES 2021. MSI was not short in new units there, so we were able to snatch the freshly introduced GP76 Leopard. In contrast to last year, the Leopard series have faced an overhaul. Both internally and externally.
The new design looks fresh, but more on that later. Additionally, on the graphics front it is paired with the inspiring RTX 3060, the sweet spot RTX 3070, and the top-of-the-line RTX 3080 – with choices of 8GB and 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM.
Unfortunately, the exciting stuff around the graphics compartment is slightly down shadowed by the use of last-gen processors. Instead of going to AMD, and their Zen 3 mobile chips, MSI has stayed true to Intel, and the highest-tier option looks to be the Core i7-10870H – a slightly downclocked version of the Core i7-10875H. Although this looks irrational, we see some reasoning behind the idea – this generation of Intel processors were monsters for gaming. And what is the target group for the GP76 Leopard? Gamers.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://freesmart.biz/series/msi-gp76-leopard/
MSI GP76 Leopard
MSI GP76 Leopard
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MSI GP76 Leopard (10UHx / 10UGx / 10UEx) – Specs
What’s in the box?
Inside the package, we found a 230W power brick. Other than that, there is the laptop, neatly protected by a cloth, and an additional antistatic bag. Of course, there are the mandatory paper manuals, as well.
Design and construction
The new MSI GP76 Leopard comes in a sleek, all-black outfit. It looks very good, and the only features that give away the aggressive power of the internals, are the edgy details on the back of the machine, as well as the areas around the hinges. Even the logo is completely black this year, staying away from MSI’s traditional Red accents.
In terms of measurements, the profile stands at 25.9mm, while the weight is a bit less than 3 kilos – 2.90 kg. Ultimately, it is not the easiest laptop to carry around, but it is fairly portable, considering its purpose. By the way, the construction of the machine is really solid – there is pretty much no flex in the chassis, almost no bend in the keyboard deck, and the lid barely twists, as well.
Speaking of the lid, we were able to open it with a single hand, and despite the fact that there are no twists, we saw pretty aggressive color shifting, when we tried to bend it. Nevertheless, the matte display looks good and has thin bezels on the sides and the top. Also, the latter houses the HD camera and an array of microphones.
Moving to the base, we see a SteelSeries-branded keyboard. It packs a per-key RGB backlight with a ton of customizations from the Dragon center. In contrast to the GP66 Leopard (the 15-inch version of this device), today’s notebook has a NumberPad section. The switches here feel nice – with some resistance, which feels very nice for gaming. Also, the key travel is on the long side.
Although there are no dedicated buttons for quick access, you can use combinations with some of the function keys, and the Fn button, to launch the Dragon Center, the SteelSeries software, as well as max out the fans. The only thing we didn’t particularly like on this unit is the Arrow keys, which feel crammed into the rest of the keyboard. This is not something crucial, so we’re not going to take points out of MSI’s tally for that one.
Next comes the touchpad. Ultimately, it feels great – with smooth gliding and accurate and fast tracking. However, there is some dead space before it registers the click, and honestly – feels too small for the footprint of the laptop.
As a bonus, there the user-most part of the palm rest area, has a stripe of a different material. It might be the Wi-Fi antenna, but it definitely looks and feels weird.
Now, interestingly, this model has its speakers on the sides – one on the left, and one on the right. On the bottom panel, we see very wide ventilation grills, while the heat exhaust happens from the back and the sides.
Unsurprisingly, most of the I/O is situated on the back. However, on the left and the right side, there are three scattered USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports – two on the right and one on the left. Also on the left, there is an Audio jack. Additionally, on the back, there is the proprietary charging plug, which is now looking a lot like a USB port (rather than the barrel-style one), then, there is an HDMI connector, an RJ-45 connector, and a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) port with DisplayPort capabilities.
MSI GP76 Leopard has a 144Hz Full HD IPS screen, model number Innolux N173HCE-G33 (CMN176E). Its diagonal is 17.3″ (43.94 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 127 ppi, their pitch – 0.1995 x 0.1995 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 69 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).
Its viewing angles are comfortable. We have provided images at 45 degrees to evaluate quality.
The maximum measured brightness is 308 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 292 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 8%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 7060K (average) – colder than the 6500K optimum for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 61% Brightness (White level = 141 cd/m2, Black level = 0.09 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is very good – 1570:1.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
The yellow dotted line shows MSI GP76 Leopard’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers 94% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976, which provides a vibrant and punchy image.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
Below you can compare the scores of MSI GP76 Leopard with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 9 ms.
Health impact – PWM / Blue Light
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
MSI GP76 Leopard uses PWM to adjust its screen brightness up to 80 nits. However, the flickers are with a very high frequency (24.6 kHz), which is rather safe for the eyes during extended periods of use.
Blue light emissions
Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
MSI GP76 Leopard’s IPS panel has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, a good contrast ratio, and 94% of sRGB coverage. What is really good about it, is that the 144Hz refresh rate is paired with quick pixel response times, which ensures the smooth image gamers are raving about. Interestingly, with the help of our Gaming and Web design profile, we got a pretty accurate color representation, making the laptop appropriate for creators, as well.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for MSI GP76 Leopard configurations with 17.3″ Innolux N173HCE-G33 (CMN176E) (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS.
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
MSI GP76 Leopard’s speakers produce a sound with decent quality. However, the low tones have some deviations, while the mid and high tones are clear.
Ultimately, this notebook has a partition on its SSD, that has a set of drivers. However, if you need to get all of the up to date drivers and utilities, you can get them from here: https://www.msi.com/Laptop/support/GP76-Leopard-10UX
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This laptop packs a 65Wh battery pack, which delivers quite a disappointing screen on time – 4 hours and 20 minutes of Web browsing, and 4 hours and 51 minutes of video playback.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
We use F1 2017’s built-in benchmark on loop in order to simulate real-life gaming.
You can get the laptop with two Intel Core i7 processors – the Core i7-10750H, and the Core i7-10870H. The former packs six cores and twelve threads, while the latter features eight cores and sixteen threads.
Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
As far as the graphics go, you can choose from the RTX 3060 (6GB GDDR6), RTX 3070 (8GB GDDR6), and two versions of the RTX 3080 – one with 8GB GDDR6 and with 16GB of GDDR6 memory.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
|Far Cry 5||Full HD, Normal (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)|
|Average||108 fps||100 fps||93 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average||164 fps||97 fps||65 fps|
|Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)|
|Average||86 fps||74 fps||48 fps|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Highest (Check settings)|
|Average||93 fps||86 fps||55 fps|
Temperatures and comfort
Max CPU load
In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.
Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Intel Core i7-10870H (45W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|MSI GP76 Leopard (High Performance)||3.67 GHz (B+67%) @ 95°C @ 103W||3.53 GHz (B+60%) @ 95°C @ 94W||3.33 GHz (B+51%) @ 90°C @ 80W|
As you can see, the CPU was able to work at a very high TDP limit. However, the cooling solution wasn’t really able to deal with such a high power limit, so the temperatures were in the Red.
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (Max Fan)|
|MSI GP76 Leopard||1860 MHz @ 71°C @ 129W||1857 MHz @ 73°C @ 128W||1869 MHz @ 67°C @ 128W|
On the bright side, the GPU was not too hot during long gaming sessions, and with the fan boost button, it goes further 6°C down.
In the Extreme Performance setup, we saw that the laptop ran a bit louder than optimal. Thankfully, this meant that it was cool enough, and the temperature on the outside never surpassed 44°C.
One thing is sure – the GP76 Leopard now looks classier, and dare we say – passive-aggressive. Its build quality is on point with a very strong chassis and a lid that opens easily with a single hand. When it comes to performance, we see that the 130W version of the RTX 3060 happens to outdo the 85W RTX 3070 in some titles, although the difference in others is wildly in favor of the latter.
At the beginning of this review, we noted our concern with MSI using older-gen processors, but the Core i7-10870H didn’t disappoint in gaming. On the other side, we believe that it lags considerably behind the Ryzen 7 5800H in performance, and this is crucial to people, using their laptops for work.
Also, we were a bit disappointed by the lack of Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, and an SD card reader. On the other side, there are two RAM SODIMM slots, which support up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 memory in dual-channel, as well as two M.2 slots for NVMe storage.
Then again, MSI is still stubborn, and puts a “factory” sticker on one of the screws, meaning that in some regions, you might void your warranty, by damaging the sticker. Also, the battery life was not stellar, as we got only 4 hours and 20 minutes of Web browsing, and 4 hours and 51 minutes of video playback.
MSI GP76 Leopard’s IPS panel (Innolux N173HCE-G33 (CMN176E)) has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, a good contrast ratio, and 94% of sRGB coverage. What is really good about it, is that the 144Hz refresh rate is paired with quick pixel response times, which ensures the smooth image gamers are raving about. Interestingly, with the help of our Gaming and Web design profile, we got a pretty accurate color representation, making the laptop appropriate for creators, as well.
As far as the gaming experience goes, we were pretty satisfied. The keyboard is great, not only in terms of usability but with its per-key RGB backlight. In addition to that the Dragon Center software allows you to choose from a set of performance presets – either get a quiet machine or extract the maximum of the package. In our case, the laptop was a bit on the noisy side, when you opt for the full power, and if you want lower temperatures, you can make the laptop even louder with the appropriate function button.
Speaking of temperatures, once again MSI has delivered on the cooling side. The RTX 3060 (130W) in our system never ran above 73°C, which is quite good for so much GPU power. However, when CPU-only load was applied, the temperatures were a bit off the chart, exceeding 90°C.
At the end of the day, we have to say that this is a gaming laptop and it’s very good at doing what it is made for.
- Good keyboard with decent travel, clicky feedback, and a per-key RGB backlight
- 130W RTX 3060 onboard
- There are two M.2 PCIe slots, and two RAM SODIMM slots in dual channel, and Wi-Fi 6
- Snappy 144Hz panel with quick response times (Innolux N173HCE-G33)
- 94% sRGB coverage and accurate color representation with our Gaming and Web design profile (Innolux N173HCE-G33)
- Doesn’t get too hot during long gaming sessions
- Lacks an SD card reader and Thunderbolt support
- Factory seal on one of the screws may void the warranty in some regions if it gets broken
- Below-average battery life
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://freesmart.biz/series/msi-gp76-leopard/
MSI GP76 Leopard
MSI GP76 Leopard
View more laptops…