2022-MSI Creator Z17 laptop review: Stealing Apple’s thunder: Digital Photography Review

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Glorious design, highly effective {hardware}, and strong show make the MSI Creator Z17 a compelling MacBook Professional various for creatives who do not need to soar on the Apple Silicon bandwagon.

All product pictures by DL Cade.

Ever since Intel debuted its Twelfth-Gen Alder Lake CPUs with a hybrid E (Effectivity) core + P (Efficiency) core structure, we have been itching to get our arms on one. In principle, this new structure ought to give Twelfth-Gen Intel laptops a lift in each efficiency and battery life, doubtlessly giving Apple’s newest 14- and 16-inch MacBook Execs a little bit of competitors for creators’ hard-earned cash. Our first probability to check this principle comes within the type of MSI’s Creator Z17: a pc that is focused at artistic varieties who need a PC laptop computer that does not skimp on efficiency, design, or construct high quality. In different phrases: a jack of all trades, grasp of all… or no less than a ‘grasp of most.’

You might bear in mind the MSI Creator 17 (no Z) from our assessment earlier this 12 months. That was an impressively highly effective laptop computer, however it was nonetheless utilizing final 12 months’s Eleventh-gen CPUs and there have been a couple of issues about its design that left us wanting. The trackpad was small, the keyboard was mushy, the entire laptop computer was fairly thick, and the RAM was mainly inaccessible except you have been keen to take away all the motherboard. The 4K miniLED show made a few of that value it, however from a day-to-day use perspective, it was designed as a desktop alternative that spent most of its time within the studio.

For a ‘creator’ laptop computer to really compete in opposition to the most recent MacBook Execs, it must be highly effective, effectively constructed, effectively designed, and environment friendly—that is a reasonably excessive bar.

Because it seems, the MSI Creator Z17 ticks most of these containers. It is lighter and thinner than the Creator 17, contains a a lot friendlier and sleeker design and, most significantly, it is as quick and even quicker than the equal MacBook Professional in lots of photograph and video modifying duties.



Key Specs

The MSI Creator Z17 is available in three completely different configurations relying on the CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage you would like. The bottom mannequin contains a Core i7-12700H and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti, 32GB of DDR5-4800 RAM and 1TB of PCIe 4.0 NVMe storage for $3,250, whereas the maxed out mannequin upgrades you to a Core i9-12900H, an RTX 3080Ti, 64GB of RAM, and 2TB of PCIe 4.0 storage for a a lot steeper $4,600.

Irrespective of which configuration you select, you may get a factory-calibrated 17.3-inch QHD+ Touchscreen LCD with a 165Hz refresh charge and roughly 100% protection of the DCI-P3 shade area:

As Examined Mid Vary

Most Costly

Mannequin Quantity A12UGST-049 A12UHT-048 A12UHST-046
CPU

Core i7-12700H

Core i9-12900H Core i9-12900H
GPU

NVIDIA RTX 3070Ti

90W TDP

8GB VRAM

NVIDIA RTX 3080

90W TDP

8GB VRAM

NVIDIA RTX 3080Ti

90W TDP

16GB VRAM

RAM 32GB DDR5-4800

32GB DDR5-4800

64GB DDR5-4800

Storage

1TB M.2 NVMe SSD

PCIe Gen4 x4

2TB M.2 NVMe SSD

PCIe Gen4 x4

2TB M.2 NVMe SSD

PCIe Gen4 x 4

Show

17.3-inch QHD+ Touchscreen IPS LCD Show

165Hz

100% DCI-P3

17.3-inch QHD+ Touchscreen IPS LCD Show

165Hz

100% DCI-P3

17.3-inch QHD+ Touchscreen IPS LCD Show

164Hz

100% DCI-P3

Value $3,250 $4,000 $4,600

The mannequin that MSI despatched over is definitely the mannequin that I might suggest to most creatives: the one with a Core i7-12700H and an RTX 3070Ti.

The extra efficiency that comes with a Core i9 processor or an RTX 3080/3080Ti merely is not value the additional $750 – $1,350 for many photograph and video editors, and the truth that this laptop computer is so (comparatively) skinny and does not use a vapor chamber means it might most likely battle to chill these parts anyhow.

If MSI provided a 64GB model with a Core i7 and an RTX 3070Ti for $3,500, that may be a really tempting improve – a few of the most spectacular efficiency beneficial properties we have seen on this laptop computer are most likely as a result of DDR5-4800 RAM – however they don’t. Because it stands, our suggestion could be to select up the A12UGST-049 after which improve your RAM and/or storage your self (extra on that later).

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Design, construct and value

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The match and end of the MSI Creator Z17 is great, placing it proper up there with the perfect from Apple or Dell.

The design of the Creator Z17 is, for my part, a giant step up when in comparison with the Creator 17 that we reviewed in January. The Creator Z17 is thinner, the trackpad is way bigger, the end is extra skilled, the keyboard is much-improved, and the 16:10 side ratio of the show offers you extra vertical display screen actual property.

The one place the place MSI fell flat is upgradability and, like nearly all the high-performance 17-inch PCs available on the market, battery life. However in any other case, the Creator Z17 represents an enormous design and value improve in comparison with the Creator 17 and a small-but-substantial step up over the smaller Creator Z16.

Construct High quality

The Creator Z17 sports activities a CNC-milled aluminum chassis with mainly zero deck or show flex and a clear ‘Lunar Grey’ end that is surprisingly immune to fingerprints and smudges. Just like the Creator 17, it feels strong sufficient to make use of to fend off intruders; not like the Creator 17, the ‘Z’ mannequin collection is kind of a bit thinner and feels far more transportable in consequence.

It isn’t what we might name skinny and light-weight, however with this type of efficiency, any really ‘skinny and light-weight’ laptop computer would burst into flame throughout a protracted export run.

True, the comparability to the Creator 17 is not completely honest – they’re technically two completely different collection in MSI’s lineup – however as of proper now, the Creator 17 and the Creator Z17 are the one two client-grade 17-inch ‘Creator’ laptops that MSI sells. And if I needed to decide between the 2, I would take the Z17 with its cleaner, sharper, and sleeker design language daily of the week.

It appears extra skilled, and whereas the MSI dragon emblem is rarely going to scream ‘govt suite,’ the laptop computer hits a pleasant stability of cool styling and professionalism.

Keyboard and Trackpad

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The Creator Z17 options a big glass-topped trackpad and a full-sized keyboard with per-key RGB lighting management.

The keyboard and trackpad have been two of essentially the most irritating design parts of the Creator 17, they usually have been a lot improved within the Z17. The Creator Z17 has a really massive glass-topped trackpad and the full-sized SteelSeries keyboard is well-spaced, with a pleasant clicky really feel and not one of the mush we have skilled with many laptop computer keyboards which have this a lot key journey.

The format of the keyboard can also be improved, with a smaller quantity pad, which makes the principle keyboard really feel a lot roomier with out eradicating any performance.

When you’re into RGB lighting, this keyboard will allow you to customise the lighting results key-by-key utilizing the built-in SteelSeries software program. When you’re not, the per-key backlighting nonetheless has the good thing about offering a brilliant and very versatile keyboard backlight that illuminates every key equally and shines clearly via every keycap regardless of how brilliant the ambient mild ranges.

Connectivity

The Creator Z17 options many of the ports you may want for photograph and video work. Along with the proprietary energy connector (to not be confused with a second USB-A port), the left hand facet of the pc sports activities two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a headphone jack:

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Whereas the precise hand facet contains a USB Kind-A port, HDMI 2.1 port, and an SD Categorical card slot:

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Notably lacking in comparison with the MSI Creator 17 we reviewed in January or the ASUS Studiobook 16 OLED we reviewed in March is an ethernet port. That is an unlucky omission since many creatives wish to plug in to high-speed networking after they’re at dwelling or on the studio, the place they may be working immediately off of community connected storage. A 17-inch laptop computer like that is usually used as a desktop alternative, and an RJ45 port would have been a pleasant addition.

Nonetheless, the Z17’s port scenario is barely higher than the ports you get on the most recent MacBook Execs, and a lot better than the ports in one thing just like the Dell XPS 17. Neither of those machines have any USB Kind-A ports, and the Dell does not have an HDMI port both. Meaning carrying round a dongle or two relying on the peripherals you plan to make use of. With MSI’s configuration, I can confidently go away all of the dongles at dwelling.

Upgradability

As we talked about on the high, upgradability is a giant fats disappointment on the Creator Z17. Just like the Creator 17, the Z17 hides your RAM the place this can be very tough and hectic to achieve.

If you wish to entry the 2 DDR5 RAM slots or the principle M.2 slot, it’s a must to take away the battery, take off the display screen (sure, actually), extract the WiFi card, disconnect no less than 5 completely different extraordinarily delicate ribbon cables, after which, lastly, unscrew and gingerly take away the motherboard.

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The MSI Creator Z17 is technically upgradable, however accessing the 2 RAM slots is a frightening course of that requires elimination of all the motherboard.

Fortunately, you will have one accessible M.2 slot (unpopulated in our mannequin) if you wish to add additional storage, and you’ve got entry to the WiFi 6 card as quickly as you open up the again.

In different phrases, the Creator Z17 is technically person upgradable, however you may should be snug utterly disassembling your laptop computer if you wish to do something greater than add storage. Eradicating the underside panel and the battery is extraordinarily straightforward on this mannequin—simpler than it was on the Creator 17—however every little thing else is a large ache.

The Creator Z17 is technically person upgradable, however you may should be snug utterly disassembling your laptop computer if you wish to do something greater than add some additional storage.

I do nonetheless suppose the perfect deal for photo- and video-editors is to purchase the entry-level mannequin and improve the RAM and/or storage your self, however should you’re planning to exchange the 32GB of RAM with a 64GB package, remember to reference a good step-by-step video tutorial on-line and be extraordinarily cautious. There are a number of factors on this improve course of the place you can by chance shred a tiny ribbon cable and end up with out a functioning keyboard, touchpad, show, or audio system.

The Pen

One of the crucial hyped options of the Creator Z17 is the included pen, which boasts over 4,000 ranges of strain sensitivity and can be utilized for digital artwork or as a productiveness device that permits you to transfer the mouse by hovering as much as 1 cm above the show. MSI’s advertising supplies make a giant deal about how that is ‘the world’s first 17-inch pen-touch laptop computer,’ however I will be sincere: I do not actually have a lot to say about it.

I did attempt to use it, after all, however I shortly discovered the expertise unnecessarily cumbersome.

For one factor, the pen shouldn’t be battery-free and have to be charged by way of a tiny little USB-A to USB-C cable that’s simply begging to be misplaced in a backpack or digital camera bag by no means to be seen once more. Strike one. Then I found that if you magnetically connect the pen to the facet of your laptop, which is its meant design, it covers up all the ports on the left facet of the system. Strike two.

pen beforeandafter
When the MSI Pen is magnetically connected to the facet of the Creator Z17, it covers up each thunderbolt ports, the headphone jack, and the battery indicator mild.

However it was the precise act of utilizing the pen that turned me off from the expertise completely. There may be merely no great way to attract on this show with the MSI pen, as a result of the chassis is not designed to lie flat in any orientation. The display screen does open a full 180 levels, however even on this orientation, it is not flat and can rock forwards and backwards as quickly as you place pen to show. Until you discover a approach to ‘prop’ up the display screen from behind, there is no approach to arrange a usable drawing angle.

Strike three.

The pen itself works nice – I’ve no actual complaints about efficiency – and the battery lasts a really very long time in order that’s not as huge of a difficulty because it first appears. However the precise usability subject above signifies that I defaulted proper again to my common workflow by breaking out my trusty pen pill any time I needed to do actual photograph modifying work.

Battery Life

Lastly, let’s discuss battery life. One of many benefits of Twelfth-Gen Intel chips is that they try the identical trick as Apple’s M-series chips: to attempt to save battery, they cut up the workload between E or ‘effectivity’ cores and P or ‘efficiency’ cores. The thought is that intense duties like photograph or video modifying can benefit from full-fat efficiency cores whereas lighter duties like internet looking or modifying spreadsheets shall be thrown over to the effectivity cores the place they’re going to take in much less battery.

That is good in principle, however in my use, the Creator Z17’s 90WHr battery burned via 25% of its battery in simply 1 hour of every-day use in ‘Balanced’ mode. That interprets into nearly 4 hours of battery life when doing easy duties like penning this assessment or watching a couple of movies on YouTube.

This 4-hour battery expectation was confirmed with a easy video take a look at. Streaming a 4K YouTube video at half brightness, the pc was lifeless by 4 hours and quarter-hour. That does convey this laptop computer on par with the AMD-based Studiobook 16 OLED, which lasted 4 hours and 17 minutes, however it does not even come near matching the 16-inch MacBook Professional with an M1 Max, which lasted simply over 10 hours.

The takeaway right here is that high-powered Twelfth-Gen Intel laptops like this one do expertise a small battery enhance over their Eleventh-Gen counterparts, however it’s not an enormous profit. If you’re coping with high-powered internals together with a power-hungry GPU, squeezing a bit extra effectivity out of the CPU simply does not make that huge of a distinction.

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Display high quality

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The show on our MSI Creator Z17 covers 99% of the DCI-P3 shade gamut with strong shade accuracy and a ton of management because of MSI’s ‘True Coloration’ app.

We spend a number of time evaluating the display screen of each system we assessment… most likely an excessive amount of. However the entire level is to determine if the Creator Z17 is value shopping for for artistic professionals who depend on their computer systems to do color-critical work.

To that finish, we wished to seek out out if the Z17’s 16:10 QHD+ panel is worthy of each day driver standing for photograph and video work, or if it is only a high-refresh-rate gaming panel with good gamut protection however poor shade efficiency out of the field. What we discovered was a strong show with acceptable shade efficiency, however with a couple of notable drawbacks.

Base Show Specs

The Creator Z17 boasts a 2560 x 1600,16:10 ‘QHD+’ show that is manufacturing unit calibrated and claims 100% protection of the DCI-P3 shade area. This a step down from the 4K miniLED show with 240 native dimming zones that is discovered within the Creator 17, however provided that you are all for HDR modifying or want the additional decision.

Utilizing a extra primary SDR show with no native dimming and a peak brightness of just below 400 nits is unquestionably going to be a disappointment for some, however it’s not all unhealthy information. The QHD panel does not simply throw away decision – it trades that decision for pace. The place the Creator 17’s miniLED panel maxes out at 60Hz, this one can churn out as much as 165Hz, making it a hybrid between a gaming show and a content material creation show.

Similar to HDR is not essential to everybody, excessive refresh charge is not both, however I would argue that it is a honest commerce. When you do a little bit of gaming in between photograph modifying classes, you may benefit from the excessive refresh charge of the show. And if not, you’ll be able to all the time flip it all the way down to 60Hz and earn a couple of additional minutes of battery life with out sacrificing any shade efficiency.

As for the drop in decision, your mileage could differ, however I discovered it acceptable. I can comfortably use a QHD show at 100% scaling, however a 4K show, even on a 17-inch laptop computer, is just too high-res to make use of at something lower than 150%, which might result in scaling points. Positive, the lower-res display screen means you are shedding pixel density, however at this decision and display screen measurement the show becomes ‘retina’ quality at 19 inches viewing distance. I would name that ‘adequate.’

Coloration Gamut and Accuracy

As for the colour gamut and accuracy, we’re assured recommending the Creator Z17 for color-critical work, with some caveats.

One of many largest positives about MSI’s ‘Creator’ laptops is that MSI offers you a ton of management out of the field. Utilizing the built-in MSI True Coloration app, you’ll be able to choose from a number of pre-defined shade area presets like sRGB, AdobeRGB, and Show P3, you’ll be able to manually alter your show’s RGB beneficial properties and select the Native panel gamut via the Customise Panel, and you need to use one among three supported colorimeters to re-calibrate your show at dwelling.

We’re assured recommending the Creator Z17 for color-critical work, with some minor caveats.

That is about as shut as you will get to the management you’d count on from a devoted photo-editing monitor, with all of those changes utilized via MSI’s proprietary ‘True Pixel’ expertise earlier than any kind of .icc or .icm profile is utilized via Home windows Coloration Administration.

TrueColorScreenshot
MSI’s True Coloration app permits you to select between a number of shade area modes, or you’ll be able to alter the Native panel gamut manually via the Customise tab.

This begs the query: how good is the ‘manufacturing unit calibrated’ show out of the field, with none changes? And the reply: fairly good, however not excellent.

The show in our assessment unit did certainly cowl 99% of Show P3 , with a Native gamut that is only a tiny bit extra saturated within the blues however in any other case sticks fairly carefully to the DCI-P3 primaries. Uncalibrated, out of the field, the ‘Native’ gamut is already surprisingly near Show P3, however you most likely would not need to use it un-profiled. The manufacturing unit calibration is not fairly correct sufficient.

That is the primary caveat, and there are two causes for it:

  1. The native blue main is just too saturated, which barely throws off the panel’s shade accuracy if we assign Show P3 as our show profile.
  2. The native white level and grey stability is kind of poor.

We might get into a giant technical debate about visible adaptation, reference white, and one of the best ways to measure your grey stability’s Delta E right here, but when we assume that you just’re utilizing this laptop computer by itself and are tailored to the show’s measured white level—in different phrases, your eyes count on pure white to seem like your show’s present pure white—then the Native gamut logs a median Delta E of two.4 with a most of 5.41 when simulating Show P3:

DisplayP3 Gamut
The MSI Creator Z17’s Native panel gamut covers 99% of the Show P3 shade area.
NativevsDisplayP3 DeltaE

As you’ll be able to see, the largest Delta E is at pure blue (see level 1 above) and all the remainder of the values above a Delta E of 4.0 are all within the grey (see level 2 above).

However the Native panel gamut is not the setting you need to use out-of-the-box. When you’re unable to calibrate and even profile the show, your finest guess is to make use of one of many three factory-calibrated shade area modes: sRGB, Show P3, or AdobeRGB. All of those carry out so much higher than the Native profile should you set your show profile to match, and whereas the manufacturing unit calibrated white level continues to be not correctly tuned to D65, it is not as unhealthy because the Native gamut.

In our testing, the sRGB show mode covers 96.3% of sRGB and is available in at a median Delta E of 1.65 with a most Delta E of three.6. The RGB primaries are slightly bit off the mark, therefore the decrease protection, however each the typical and most Delta E values are inside what we might name nominal tolerance, with many of the points arising within the grey stability:

sRGB Mode
The sRGB show mode covers 96.3% of the sRGB shade area.
sRGB DeltaE Final

Paradoxically, these excessive Delta E values within the grey are literally extra correct to D65 in absolute phrases. But when your eyes are adjusted to the show’s present white level—which may be very blue in comparison with D65—the extra correct grey values will seem yellow.

The story is way the identical with the Show P3 mode, which covers 97.1% of the Show P3 shade gamut and is available in at a median Delta E of 1.64 with a most Delta E of three.65. Once more, we see that the primaries are barely ‘twisted’ counter-clockwise from the anticipated values, however the general shade accuracy is kind of excessive. Nearly all the Delta E values over 2 are within the grey stability.

DisplayP3 Mode
The Show P3 show mode covers 97.1% of the Show P3 shade area.
DisplayP3 DeltaE Final

Lastly, the AdobeRGB show mode – which is the worst of the bunch – comes it at 87.7% protection in our testing, with a median Delta E of two.16 and a most Delta E of 4.5.

These larger values are as a result of the panel is not really meant to cowl AdobeRGB utterly, which is mirrored within the verification report under: the most important Delta E values are recorded for colours within the inexperienced and cyan areas, the place the panel’s inexperienced main cannot get saturated sufficient to create the colours between the dashed line (Adobe RGB shade gamut) and the rainbow coloured line (the panel’s precise output) that connects the Pink and Blue factors of the triangle.

AdobeRGB Mode
The Adobe RGB preset covers 87.7% of the Adobe RGB shade area.
AdobeRGB DeltaE Final

Assuming you will have a colorimeter that is supported by MSI True Coloration, just like the X-Ceremony i1Display Professional Plus (now bought because the Calibrite ColorChecker Display Plus), you will have two choices to get higher accuracy than the reported values above.

  1. You should use the built-in calibration device in MSI True Coloration to re-calibrate the show mode presets and white level of your show
  2. You can swap to the Native profile, calibrate your white level manually utilizing the RGB and shade temperature sliders, after which run a software program calibration to dial in your tone curves and generate an correct show profile

In principle, the most suitable choice could be to do each: use the built-in calibration device to get an correct white level and extra correct shade area modes, after which use a chunk of software program like X-Ceremony’s i1Profiler or DisplayCAL to put down an correct profile and software program calibration on high of that. Nonetheless, you need to not use Possibility 1.

That is the second caveat if you wish to use the Creator Z17 for shade important work: MSI’s built-in calibration device makes use of the improper colorimeter correction, and you shouldn’t use it. Based mostly on our testing, the built-in calibration device makes use of the ‘White LED’ spectrum to find out easy methods to routinely alter your show to provide the suitable white level and correct sRGB/DisplayP3/AdobeRGB profiles.

MSI’s built-in calibration device makes use of the improper colorimeter correction, and you shouldn’t use it.

We do not have time to dive into the technical particulars right here, however the brief model is that MSI tells your colorimeter that the laptop computer’s show primaries seem like this:

WhiteLED Spectrum
Generic ‘White LED’ show spectrum utilized by most profiling software program

However based on our measurements, they really seem like this:

MSI Z17 Spectrum
MSI Creator Z17 panel spectrum, measured with a Konica Minolta CS-2000 at 100% brightness.

Sadly, there is no choice to vary what backlight correction is utilized when utilizing MSI’s built-in device.

This oversight signifies that enhancing the accuracy of the built-in presets is out. There’s simply no approach to do it. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to nonetheless calibrate your white level even when you do not have a spectrophotometer or spectroradiometer useful. All it’s a must to do is alter your RGB beneficial properties manually, below the Customise tab, whereas measuring a white patch utilizing the PFS Phosphor WLED IPS, 99% P3 (MacBook Professional Retina 2016) correction inside DisplayCAL.

Clearly this laptop computer is not a MacBook Professional, however the show primaries and backlight are very comparable, in order that correction ought to provide you with extra correct outcomes than the built-in device. This manner, you will get near the suitable white level manually so your calibration does not should work so arduous.

Display High quality Takeaways

In the end, the Creator Z17 is a little bit of a combined bag on the subject of color-critical work.

On the one hand, MSI’s True Coloration app offers you extra management over the output of your show than simply about another laptop computer we have examined, and that must be celebrated. Plus, even when you do not have a colorimeter useful, the built-in shade area presets already get you about 98% of the way in which there, permitting you to make use of this laptop computer confidently out of the field.

However, the manufacturing unit calibration leaves one thing to be desired, lacking the D65 white level by so much, and the built-in calibration device is mainly ineffective for this specific laptop computer as a result of (and I am assuming right here) MSI determined to make use of one single colorimeter correction for each laptop computer that ships with MSI True Coloration… the improper one.

The conclusion is identical because the introduction: we are able to positively suggest this laptop computer for color-critical work. Simply pay attention to its limitations, particularly if you are going to be utilizing it alongside a high-end photo-editing monitor that is been correctly calibrated.

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Efficiency benchmarks

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The MSI Creator Z17 places up extraordinarily spectacular numbers in all of our efficiency checks throughout photograph and video modifying functions.

The ultimate piece of the creator laptop computer puzzle is, after all, efficiency. It is one of many major causes we wished to assessment the MSI Creator Z17: to see how Intel’s Twelfth-Gen laptop computer chips with devoted ‘efficiency’ cores examine in opposition to the most recent from Apple and AMD in a head-to-head showdown.

To that finish, we in contrast the Z17 in opposition to three laptops we had obtainable to us on the time of this assessment: the Apple MacBook Professional 16 with an M1 Max and 64GB of RAM, an Apple MacBook Professional 14 with an M1 Professional and 32GB of RAM, and an ASUS Studiobook 16 with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, an NVIDIA RTX 3070, and 32GB of RAM:

MSI Creator Z17 Apple MacBook Professional 14 ASUS Studiobook 16 Apple MacBook Professional 16
CPU

Intel Core i7-12800H

M1 Professional

10-core CPU

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX

M1 Max

10-core CPU

GPU

NVIDIA RTX 3070Ti

8GB VRAM

M1 Max

16-core GPU

NVIDIA RTX 3070

8GB VRAM

M1 Professional

32-core GPU

RAM 32GB DDR5-4800MHz 32GB Unified Reminiscence 32GB DDR4-3200MHz 64GB Unified Reminiscence
Storage

1TB M.2 NVMe SSD

PCIe Gen4 x4

1TB Built-in NVMe Storage

2TB M.2 NVMe SSD

PCIe Gen3x4

2TB built-in NVMe Storage
Show

17.3-inch QHD+ IPS LCD Show

165Hz

100% DCI-P3

14-inch Retina HDR miniLED Show

120Hz

100% DCI-P3

16-inch 4K OLED Show

60Hz

100% DCI-P3

16-inch Retina HDR miniLED Show

120Hz

100% DCI-P3

Value $3,250 $2,900 $2,200 $4,300

This could provide you with sense of the place this laptop computer stacks up – each when it comes to worth and efficiency – in opposition to vary of choices.

Greenback-for-dollar, the perfect comparability could be an Apple MacBook Professional 16 with an M1 Professional, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage ($3,100). Sadly we did not have one useful, however the MacBook Professional 14 in our comparability ought to carry out nearly identically to its huge brother, so maintain a detailed eye on that individual comparability within the charts under.

Adobe Lightroom Traditional

Our Lightroom Traditional take a look at includes importing, producing 1:1 previews, modifying, after which exporting 100 RAW information from the Canon EOS R6, the Nikon Z7 II, the Sony a7R IV and the Fujifilm GFX 100, to see how the laptop computer handles more and more bigger information. For consistency, we merely use 100 copies of the studio scene picture from every of those cameras, and earlier than exporting we apply the identical custom-made preset to each single picture.

At import—a CPU-heavy process—the MSI Creator Z17 cleans up. Each the M1 Professional and M1 Max have the identical variety of CPU cores, in order that they carry out identically, whereas the ASUS laptop computer’s Ryzen 9 5900HX is displaying its age. This enables the Intel i7-12700H to breeze via and take a giant win at each single file measurement.

Canon EOS R6 Import Nikon Z7 II Import Sony a7R IV Import Fujifilm GFX 100 Import
Creator Z17 00:56 1:35 1:45 4:04
MacBook Professional 14 1:23 2:17 2:22 5:53
Studiobook 16 1:29 2:46 2:53 6:09
MacBook Professional 16 1:23 2:17 2:23 5:54
LRC Import 1

Exports are a special story. The most recent model of Lightroom Traditional (11.4) launched GPU-accelerated exports, and the MacBook Professional 16 with its 32-core M1 Max GPU and 64GB of shared unified reminiscence runs away with the win. Nonetheless, the MSI with its mixture of DDR5 reminiscence and RTX 3070Ti GPU one-ups the ASUS throughout the board and beats the MacBook Professional 14 in all however the smallest export.

All in all, we measured very spectacular efficiency that stacks up effectively in opposition to the M1 Professional that the Core i7 is supposed to be competing in opposition to.

Canon EOS R6 Export Nikon Z7 II Export Sony a7R IV Export Fujifilm GFX 100 Export
Creator Z17 2:05 4:27 5:47 13:58
MacBook Professional 14 1:45 4:56 6:54 14:47
Studiobook 16 2:15 4:46 6:12 17:10
MacBook Professional 16 1:11 2:38 3:50 9:14

Seize One Professional 22

For Seize One Professional, we use the identical checks as Lightroom Traditional. The one distinction is that we set the preview measurement to 2560, since there is no choice for creating 1:1 previews in Seize One, earlier than modifying and exporting the outcomes utilizing the identical custom-based preset transformed to a Seize One Model.

Imports are a giant win for the Apple units, which churn via preview technology far more shortly than both of the Home windows machines. The ASUS with its older AMD processor takes up the rear:

Canon EOS R6 Import Nikon Z7 II Import Sony a7R IV Import Fujifilm GFX 100 Import
Creator Z17 00:35 00:48 00:54 1:19
MacBook Professional 14 00:27 00:34 00:40 00:57
Studiobook 16 00:40 00:58 1:13 1:55
MacBook Professional 16 00:27 00:34 00:39 00:55
C1 Import

Exports once more go to the MacBook Professional 16 with its high-powered 32-core GPU and copious RAM. Nonetheless, the MSI Creator Z17 nonetheless bests the MacBook Professional 14 general: beating it when exporting the massive Sony and Fujifilm information and matching it when working with the Canon or Nikon information.

The actual shock right here was that the ASUS Studiobook 16, which sports activities a barely weaker RTX 3070 (non-Ti) and slower DDR4 RAM. Regardless of these handicaps, it outperformed the Creator Z17 in each single process. That is most likely all the way down to optimization within the newest model of Seize One Professional, which might not be utilizing the DDR5 reminiscence to its full capability but, however that is pure hypothesis. For now, simply observe that Twelfth-Gen Intel chips and DDR5 reminiscence is not performing in addition to we might count on in C1 Professional.

Canon EOS R6 Export Nikon Z7 II Export Sony a7R IV Export Fujifilm GFX 100 Export
Creator Z17 1:26 3:03 3:39 6:18
MacBook Professional 14 1:20 3:07 3:47 6:56
Studiobook 16 1:25 2:56 3:33 5:56
MacBook Professional 16 1:03 2:16 2:41 4:39

Adobe Photoshop

To check Photoshop efficiency, we use an older model of Puget Systems‘ wonderful ‘PugetBench for Photoshop’ benchmark. We’re utilizing v0.8 as an alternative of the present model, as a result of this older model nonetheless features a PhotoMerge take a look at (clearly related to photographers) and since it runs as a script, which permits it to run on the Apple Silicon optimized model of Photoshop, making this a good comparability.

The Creator Z17 has a superb displaying in Photoshop, utilizing its extra highly effective CPU and quicker DDR5 RAM to leap effectively forward of what we have seen from earlier high-powered PCs. It nonetheless cannot fairly finest the 2 Macs in two of the 4 class scores, however the Normal and GPU scores are the perfect of the bunch, bringing it inside spitting distance of each Macs general.

This is much better than we have seen from earlier PC laptops, which all carried out a lot nearer to the Studiobook with far decrease Normal, GPU, and PhotoMerge scores.

Total Normal GPU Filter PhotoMerge
Creator Z17 1201.4 132.2 126.7 94.8 146.7
MacBook Professional 14 1211.5 120.9 108.6 105.2 153.5
Studiobook 16 994.9 100.6 103.6 91.0 114.1
MacBook Professional 16 1265.8 121.5 115.4 113.7 162.5
Puget Overall
Puget Category

Adobe Premiere Professional

To check Adobe Premiere Professional, we manually render and export a 2 minute and 43-second Sony a1 take a look at video shot by our personal Richard Butler in 8K ProRes 10-bit 4:2:0. This footage is positioned inside a 4K timeline and closely edited utilizing numerous LUTs, titles, and results. As a closing take a look at, we additionally take a 14-second clip from this video and apply Warp Stabilize.

You may see the take a look at video under:

The Creator Z17 cannot fairly match as much as the extra highly effective (and costly) MacBook Professional 16 in our comparability, however it far surpasses each the MacBook Professional 14 and the ASUS Studiobook 16. For MSI, that is the largest win of all, displaying that the Creator Z17 punches effectively above its weight in essentially the most time-consuming video modifying duties.

It is a large step up from the Eleventh-gen laptops we examined, even these with extra highly effective GPUs. The Creator 17, for instance, took nearly 4 minutes to render this identical venture, and about 3:30 to export it to H.264, regardless of having a Core i9 CPU and RTX 3080 GPU. A few of this efficiency distinction could also be accounted for by Adobe updates to Premiere Professional, however most shall be as a result of quicker CPU and quicker RAM utilized by the Z17.

Given the same price ticket, it is arduous to suggest the M1 Professional for video modifying when you will get a lot extra efficiency out of a laptop computer like this. The one cause to go Mac on this case is effectivity.

Render All Export Master File Export H.264 Export HEVC/H.265 Warp Stabilize
Creator Z17 2:47 00:11 2:39 2:39 1:55
MacBook Professional 14 3:49 00:15 3:09 3:24 2:12
Studiobook 16 5:10 00:11 4:31 4:25 2:35
MacBook Professional 16 1:48 00:08 1:42 1:45 2:08
PremierePro

Efficiency Takeaways

Efficiency is one space the place the MSI Creator Z17 actually shines, displaying off what Intel’s newest CPU can do when its paired with DDR5 RAM and a strong NVIDIA RTX GPU. We have been solely capable of take a look at it in opposition to the laptops we had available, however put these numbers up in opposition to any of our earlier PC critiques and you will see simply how a lot of a leap this new {hardware} supplies.

Particularly for video modifying, the place we thought Apple Silicon was going to be untouchable for some time, the MSI Creator Z17 proved us improper.

Positive, it could possibly’t run at this pace on battery, the way in which the Apple Silicon Macs can. But when effectivity is not your major concern and also you’re often close to an influence outlet, the MSI Creator Z17 offers you extra efficiency bang on your buck in lots of functions—particularly when video modifying.

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Stealing Apple’s Thunder

DLCS5598
The MSI Creator Z17 is a superb all-around laptop computer that is equally good as a productiveness laptop computer, a gaming machine, or a artistic device.
What We Like What We Do not Like
  • 16:10 QHD+ show runs at 165Hz and covers 99% of DCI-P3
  • Twelfth-Gen Intel CPU and RTX 3070Ti GPU ship nice efficiency
  • Numerous ports, together with an SD Categorical card slot, HDMI 2.1, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and USB-A
  • Storage is definitely upgradable
  • Glorious full-sized RGB keyboard and huge glass-topped trackpad
  • Show is QHD, not 4K
  • Manufacturing unit calibration may very well be higher
  • Constructed-in display screen calibration device is inaccurate
  • Upgrading your RAM requires in depth disassembly
  • Highly effective {hardware} drains the massive 90WHr battery shortly below heavy workload
  • Pen shouldn’t be very helpful for photograph modifying

The MSI Creator Z17 is a superb laptop computer that has probability of conserving some potential Apple Silicon converts over on the Intel bandwagon. Efficiency is basically neck-and-neck with the equal MacBook Professional and much exceeds what we have seen from the Eleventh-Gen Intel and AMD Ryzen 5000 laptops we have examined.

If you mix this with wonderful construct high quality, a well-designed format, and a 16:10 QHD+ show good for gaming and artistic work, you get a laptop computer that is well-suited for every little thing from Excel to Elden Ring, and naturally, Adobe CC.

Due to Intel’s Twelfth-Gen chips and a few very sensible design choices on the a part of MSI, the Creator Z17 is the MacBook Professional 16 competitor we have been hoping for.

It isn’t an ideal system. I’ve already griped concerning the excessive issue stage of RAM upgrades, the mediocre battery life, gimmicky pen, and wonky manufacturing unit calibrated show. Making an allowance for that MSI is mainly charging the identical worth as Apple for equal specs, and it drops the Creator Z17 all the way down to 4 out of 5 stars.

However should you have been frightened that no one would critically problem Apple Silicon on the artistic entrance for a few years – as we have been – plainly these worries have been misplaced. Due to Intel’s Twelfth-Gen chips and a few very sensible design choices on the a part of MSI, the Creator Z17 is the MacBook Professional competitor we have been hoping for. For customers who worth upgradability and gaming efficiency, it is nearly actually the higher purchase.

4stars

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