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MSI Creator Z17 – Can This Laptop Replace The Macbook Pro?


The MSI Creator Z17 is a beast machine, a stylish laptop with a massive 17.3-inch display and great processing capabilities. However, it is not cheap. The entry-level Creator Z17 costs $3,249 USD. Even with this level of components, that’s a lot of money. The Creator Z17 is a high-performance computer with a sturdy design and a good display, but the price is a deal-breaker, especially when compared to the competition.

However, the laptop boasts some very impressive specifications. A 12th-generation Intel Core i9-12900H processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card, 64 GB of DDR5 RAM, and 2TB storage are all housed in a military-grade chassis weighing just under 8 pounds.

Potential consumers who are ready to pay the hefty admittance fee will be reasonably happy with all that includes the MSI Creator Z17, however, it is ultimately a substantial advancement of its predecessor rather than a full revolution.

Price & Availability

MSI Creator Z17

The Creator Z17 comes in three different configurations, each with a 17.3-inch display. The initial machine costs  $3,249 for a Core i7-12700H processor, 32GB of DDR5 RAM, a 1TB PCIe 4 SSD, and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card. The $3,999 setup includes a Core i9-12900H processor, 32GB of RAM, a 2TB PCIe 4 SSD, as well as an RTX 3080. The $4,599 computer has a Core i9-12900H, 64GB of RAM, a 2TB SSD, as well as an RTX 3080 Ti.

The Creator Z17 is available in just two configurations in the United Kingdom. The cheapest setup costs £2,699 and includes an Intel i9, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti featuring 8GB video RAM, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. Meanwhile, the higher-tiered £4,399 configuration has a comparable CPU and RAM configuration, as well as an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti plus 16GB of video RAM plus 2TB of SSD storage capacity. Unfortunately, neither option includes MSI’s stylus pen.


MSI Creator Z17

Through its CNC-milled, ‘Lunar Grey’ Aluminium body, the MSI Creator Z17 purposefully resembles Apple’s MacBook. It’s incredibly awesome and constructed like a tank. The Apple logo has been replaced by a low-key, shiny MSI dragon, which should delight many people. When you open it up, you’ll notice a 17-inch screen with a thick black border and a Scrabble-tile keyboard that’s both comfy and accurate to text on. The numbers pad and arrow keys are smaller but still functional. The huge trackpad is precise and smooth, and the buttons are easily clickable.


The port layout is decent, with a single HDMI 2.1, USB-A, plus an SD card slot on the right side. The power connector, two USB-C ports, and a 3.5mm combination jack are positioned on the left side, along with a tiny LED battery life indicator.


With the supplied stylus pen, the arrangement becomes problematic. Despite its effectiveness, the magnetic component of the pen that hooks to the left side of the body covers both USB-C ports, the headphone jack, and the battery life indicator light.

So the pen gets power through USB-C, users will want a long enough wire to wrap an all-around laptop and charge using the free USB-A connector on the right side. The pen may be magnetically kept on the base panel’s left side, however, it is vulnerable to being knocked off by large hands.


MSI Creator Z17 - Can This Laptop Replace The Macbook Pro?

The MSI Creator Z17 is powered by a 12th Gen Intel 3.5-4.7GHz Intel Core i7-12700H CPU with eight efficiency cores, six performance cores, and 20 threads. It is coupled with 32GB of fresh DDR5-4800 RAM and a 2TB hard drive to get a very excellent 7056 in the general-computing PCMark 10. All cores & threads united to score 2887 in the Cinebench R15 CPU rendering plus 15,803 in the lengthier R23 rendering. This all adds up to it being the third quickest 2D performer ever in the laptop industry.

Photoshop & Video Editing

This laptop is a delight to use for picture and video creators, and it performs admirably in PugetBench Photoshop & Premiere Pro, scoring 1,217 and 985 points, respectively.  Photoshop can manage high photographs with several layers and swiftly export to multiple file types, and pen performance while coloring in areas or using the spot healing brush was also quick.

Premiere Pro video editing provided the same quick functionality. The Creator Z17 handled several video layers & special effects nicely, with no apparent lag. It takes roughly three seconds to render and export a minute of normal HD video for something like Instagram.

For Gamers

Considering the crossover between creative & gaming technology, it’s no news that the Creator Z17 is also a great gaming laptop, capable of running a number of AAA titles at their maximum settings.

Display & Audio

MSI Creator Z17 - Can This Laptop Replace The Macbook Pro?

MSI claims the Creator Z17’s 16:10 QHD+ display is vibrant and accurate, citing buzzwords such as True Pixel Display & True Color Technology to back it up. When you initially switch on the display, it surely appears nice. For an IPS screen, it’s quite bright and vibrant. There’s a lot to love about this stunning show. The screen has 100% DCI-P3 color gamut and True Pixel, which has been validated using Calman tools. It’s more than adequate for developing material in Adobe Suite while viewing videos, and the 165Hz refresh rate adds some significant gaming possibilities.

The Creator Z17’s brightness was 355 nits vs 491 nits, and its contrast was 840:1, much below the 1,000:1 criterion for premium laptops, compared to the XPS 17’s 1,530:1. And, in terms of contrast, none of these ratings can match the greatest OLED panels.

The Creator Z17 includes 4 stereo speakers, 2 above the keyboard and 2 below the chassis bottom. They provide audio that is clean and enjoyable, with sharp mids plus highs and a bit of bass. The main issue is that the maximum volume is rather low, which means you may use it alone to binge-watch Netflix, but you’ll need extra speakers if you really want to share the experience. Headphones are still suggested when listening to music.

Battery Life

MSI Creator Z17 - Can This Laptop Replace The Macbook Pro?
MSI Creator Z17 - Can This Laptop Replace The Macbook Pro? 6

Battery life has been an issue with the MSI Creator Z16 as well as continues to be an issue with the MSI Creator Z17. Having this much power and mobility normally necessitates some compromises, albeit there are some minor gains. Fortunately, the MSI Center Pro software provides extra choices for modifying different settings to aid with battery saving. One thing is certain: if you’re doing a lot of media editing and gaming, your battery will run out soon.

Yet, in the end, it makes no difference. This laptop will not get you through lunch with a modest productivity routine, much alone heavy creative work. You’ll need to have a 240-watt power brick on hand. However, there is a rapid charge feature that will charge to about 50% in just an hour.

Are MSI laptops good for gaming?

MSI’s Creator Z17 mixes an RTX 3080 with a color-accurate, 15.6-inch QHD display to produce a laptop capable of both gaming and color grading. The result is a powerful and stylish laptop capable of handling the most creative software.

Is Asus or MSI better?

Overall, Asus offers greater value than Msi. Asus laptops are long-lasting and have high-quality components and features. That said, Msi laptops perform admirably in most situations, and you won’t be losing out on anything if you choose one.


The MSI Creator Z17 provides a wide range of work alternatives, from creative to gaming. The exceptional build quality plus feature-rich 17-inch display contribute to an exceptional experience. When straining the laptop to its limits, just be prepared with deep pockets and the assumption of short battery life.

Could it be strong enough to qualify at this level with companies like Apple? Yes, but with a significant caveat. The MacBook Pro 16 is the greatest laptop for creators who don’t care about gaming, and it’s not even close. However, if you want a quick Windows laptop that can also perform serious gaming, the Creator Z17 sneaks into a recommendation.

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