MSI Creator Z16P review: Creators sure, players no

MSI Creator Z16P

MSRP $4,299.00

“The MSI Creator Z16P is a unbelievable performer, as long as you steer clear of gaming.”

Professionals

  • Wonderful productiveness and artistic efficiency
  • Strong construct high quality
  • Fashionable beauty
  • Nice keyboard and touchpad
  • Excellent show

Cons

  • Costly
  • Poor gaming efficiency

Laptops designed for artistic professionals have turn into extraordinarily in style during the last a number of years. Each producer has a line or two aimed toward artistic work, none extra so than MSI with its aptly named Creator collection. The corporate just lately up to date the Creator Z16 that we reviewed final 12 months with the Creator Z16P, enhancing the thermal design and upgrading to Intel’s Twelfth-gen CPUs.

I reviewed the top-end configuration that’s $4,299 with a Core i9-12900H, an Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti, and a 16-inch 16:10 QHD+ (2,560 x 1,600) IPS show. These are some severe elements that promise wonderful content material creation efficiency, and the Creator Z16P lived as much as its promise. It’s a well-built and engaging laptop that, whereas very costly, competes strongly towards different massive creator workstations — as long as you steer clear of gaming.

Design

MSI Creator Z16P front view showing display and keyboard deck.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The Creator Z16P is a solidly constructed laptop constructed of CNC-machined aluminum. There’s no flexing, bending, or twisting within the lid, keyboard deck, or chassis. The Creator Z16 was equally nicely constructed, placing MSI’s premier creator’s laptops in good firm with one of the best you’ll discover, together with the Dell XPS 15 and XPS 17 and Apple MacBook Professional 16. MSI subjected the Creator Z16P to MIL-STD-810G testing for sturdiness, which Lenovo additionally does with its ThinkPad line and gives some extra confidence.

Aesthetically, the Creator Z16P subtly betrays MSI’s gaming laptop roots. Its darkish grey colour scheme and total strains are conservative sufficient, with solely a subdued MSI emblem on the lid offering an ornamental accent. However open the lid, and also you’ll see per-key RGB lighting on the SteelSeries keyboard that’s incongruent with a laptop meant for productiveness and artistic work. Plus, there are aggressive vents alongside either side that you just normally see on gaming machines. Even so, it’s a beautiful look, if a bit daring. The XPS 15, XPS 17, and MacBook Professional 16 are extra businesslike by comparability.

The Creator Z16P has small bezels across the sides and high of its 16:10 16-inch show, with a barely bigger chin than you’ll discover on the XPS 15. It’s equivalent to the Creator Z16 in width and depth, but it surely’s thicker at 0.75 inches versus 0.64 inches and heavier at 5.27 kilos versus 5.07 kilos.

That’s accounted for by an upgraded thermal design. The Status Z16P is inside fractions of an inch in width and depth of the Lenovo ThinkPad x1 Excessive Gen 4, one other 16-inch efficiency laptop, which is thinner at 0.70 inches and considerably lighter at 3.99 kilos. General, the Creator Z16P is a big laptop that you just gained’t need to lug round any greater than you should.

Ports and connectivity

MSI Creator Z16P left side showing ports and vents.

msi creator z16p review right view

Connectivity is a bit of restricted for such a big laptop, with two USB-C ports, (one with Thunderbolt 4 assist), a USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a full-size SD card reader. Energy is supplied by a proprietary connector and a 240-watt energy provide.

There’s no HDMI port, which you usually discover on bigger machines, and only one Thunderbolt 4 port is disappointing.

Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 present up-to-date wi-fi connectivity.

Efficiency

MSI Creator Z16P rear view showing lid and logo.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The Creator Z16P could be configured with one among a number of 45-watt Intel Twelfth-gen CPUs, and my review unit was geared up with the Core i9-12900H. That’s a 14-core (six Efficiency and eight Environment friendly), 20-thread CPU operating at as much as 5.0GHz. Paired with that was an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, with Nvidia’s Studio drivers aimed toward offering the best efficiency and reliability in a number of artistic, engineering, and scientific functions. On paper, the Creator Z16P ought to be a speedy laptop certainly.

My benchmarks confirmed it. The Creator Z16P scored the best amongst our comparability group in Geekbench 5 when set in each balanced and efficiency modes utilizing the MSI Heart Professional utility that gives exact management over thermals. For probably the most half, the utility had much less influence than I’ve seen in different MSI laptops, but it surely wasn’t as a result of the laptop’s thermal design restricted its ceiling — I seen just some minor throttling in efficiency mode. One distinction between this mannequin and the earlier Creator Z16 is the introduction of a vapor chamber cooler offering 76% extra cooling space and followers that present 65% extra airflow. General, the thermal system did its job.

In our Handbrake check that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, the Creator Z16P was once more the quickest, together with beating the MSI GE76 Raider gaming laptop that’s thicker and has even higher thermals. The one artificial benchmark the place the Creator Z16P didn’t take first place was Cinebench R23, and right here it was simply barely behind the GE76 Raider.

Whereas the MSI Heart Professional efficiency tuning utility didn’t have a lot influence in most of our benchmarks, there was an enormous distinction within the Pugetbench Premiere Professional benchmark that runs in a stay model of Adobe’s Premiere Professional. The GPU closely influences this benchmark, and the Creator Z16P ought to be a high performer. In balanced mode, although, the laptop was gradual at simply 717. That’s behind each different machine in our comparability group. When switched to efficiency mode, nonetheless, the Creator Z16P hit 1,042, which is the fourth-highest laptop rating we’ve recorded behind the MSI GE76 Raider (1,120), the MacBook Professional 16 with the M1 Max CPU (1,167), and the Gigabyte Aero 16 (1,115). Each Intel machines had Core i9 CPUs and RTX 3080 Ti GPUs.

The Creator Z16P is a severely quick laptop that competes strongly with different machines in its class, together with the MacBook Professional 16. MSI gives plenty of management over thermal efficiency by way of the MSI Heart Professional app, together with a mode that runs the followers at full blast. You may also activate a Sensible Auto setting that detects the operating apps and robotically switches between modes. For those who’re in search of a laptop that gives high efficiency for demanding productiveness and artistic workflows, the Status Z16P ought to be excessive in your listing.

Geekbench
(single / multi)
Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
Pugetbench
Premiere Professional
MSI Creator Z16P
(Core i9-12900H)
Bal: 1,769 / 14,034
Perf: 1,835 / 14,051
Bal: 71
Perf: 69
Bal: 1,844 / 15,047
Perf: 1,837 / 16,084
Bal: 717
Perf: 1,042
MSI Creator Z16
(Core i7-11800H)
Bal: 1,540 / 7,625
Perf: N/A
Bal: 103
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,444 / 9,615
Perf: N/A
N/A
Dell XPS 17 9720
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,712 / 13,176
Perf: 1,747 / 13,239
Bal: 74
Perf: 71
Bal: 1,778 / 12,696
Perf: 1,779 / 14,086
Bal: 771
Perf: 853
Apple MacBook Professional 16
(Apple M1 Professional)
Bal: 1,773 / 12,605
Perf: N/A
Bal: 95
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,531 / 12,343
Perf: N/A
Bal: 977
Perf: N/A
Razer Blade 17
(Core i7-12800H)
Bal: 1,808 / 11,843
Perf: N/A
Bal: 73
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,697 / 13,218
Perf: N/A
Bal: 969
Perf: N/A
MSI Creator Z17
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,744 / 11,750
Perf: 1,741 / 13,523
Bal: 88
Perf: 70
Bal: 1,805 / 11,266
Perf: 1,819 / 15,754
Bal: 897
Perf: 984
MSI GE76 Raider
(Core i9-129000HK)
Bal: 1,855 / 13,428
Perf: N/A
Bal: 72
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,872 / 16,388
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,120
Perf: N/A
LG Gram 16 2-in-1
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,682 / 9,035
Perf: 1,686 / 9,479
Bal: 137
Perf: 113
Bal: 1,524 / 6,314
Perf: 1,663 / 8,396
N/A

Gaming

MSI Creator Z16P rear view showing vents.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The Nvidia RTX Studio drivers don’t present one of the best gaming efficiency in comparison with Nvidia’s normal drivers. As well as, MSI set a TGP for the RTX 3080 Ti of 90 watts, in comparison with its most of 150 watts. You may see this instantly within the 3DMark Time Spy check, the place the Creator Z16P fell behind the opposite laptops with the RTX 3080 Ti. As well as, regardless of all frame-limiting settings turned off within the system and within the video games, body charges had been locked at 60 frames per second (fps). I reached out to MSI to resolve the state of affairs and couldn’t give you an answer.

So, the Creator Z16P didn’t do nicely in our gaming benchmarks. First, Civilization VI wouldn’t go larger than 60 fps it doesn’t matter what settings I utilized, a state of affairs that I found utilized throughout the board. In Murderer’s Creed Valhalla, it managed simply 55 (fps) at 1080p and extremely excessive graphics, which is lower than the MSI Creator Z17 with an RTX 3070 Ti. Its efficiency was additionally very inconsistent on this benchmark, hitting simply 33 fps at 1440p and excessive graphics and 43 fps at extremely excessive. In Cyberpunk 2077, the Creator Z16P managed simply 30 fps at 1080p and extremely graphics. Once more, the laptop was inconsistent, hitting the identical 30 fps at medium graphics however then managing 41 fps at 1440p and extremely graphics.

In brief, gaming on the Creator Z16P was an actual disappointment. The show’s quick 165Hz refresh fee is totally wasted, and one can solely hope that there have been points with the drivers on my review unit that MSI may be capable to tackle.

Murderer’s Creed
Valhalla
(1080p/1200p
Extremely Excessive)
Cyberpunk
2077
(1080p/1200p
Extremely)
Civilization VI
(1080p Extremely)
Fortnite
(1080p/
1200p Epic)
3DMark
Time Spy
MSI Creator Z16P
(RTX 3080 Ti)
55 fps 30 fps 60 fps 60 fps Bal: 9,251
Perf: 10,054
MSI Creator Z16
(RTX 3060)
50 fps N/A 92 fps 56 fps Bal: 6,322
Perf: N/A
Dell XPS 17 9720
(RTX 3060)
23 fps 45 fps 111 fps 111 fps Bal: 6,757
Perf: 6,958
MSI Creator Z17
(RTX 3070 Ti)
60 fps 61 fps N/A 85 fps Bal: 8,763
Perf: 9,263
Razer Blade 17
(RTX 3080 Ti)
83 fps 52 fps 193 fps 104 fps Bal: 12,634
Perf: N/A
MSI GE76 Raider
(RTX 3080 Ti)
93 fps N/A 169 fps N/A Bal: 12,421
Perf: N/A

Show and audio

MSI Creator Z16P front view showing display.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

There’s only one show possibility with the MSI Creator Z16P, and it’s a 16-inch 16:10 QHD+ (2,560 x 1,600) IPS contact show operating at 165Hz. Throughout my testing, the show was extraordinarily brilliant with dynamic colours that weren’t blown out or oversaturated. Blacks had been true sufficient that textual content popped on a white background. It was an pleasing show.

After I utilized my colorimeter, I discovered a panel simply on the verge of being wonderful. Brightness was excessive at 461 nits, nicely above our 300-nit normal, and the distinction was 990:1, slightly below our most well-liked 1,000:1 threshold. Colours had been wider than common at 100% of sRGB and 89% of AdobeRGB, with an accuracy of DeltaE 0.89 (lower than 1.0 is taken into account wonderful). The Dell XPS 17‘s IPS show is considerably higher throughout the board, however the Creator Z16P’s show matched the opposite IPS panels in our comparability group.

In fact, OLED shows are additionally superior, as with the Dell XPS 15. The MacBook Professional 16’s mini-LED show had higher distinction however not a lot wider colours and it was much less correct. Observe that the distinction distinction between the OLED show and the MacBook’s is because of a distinction in colorimeters used to check them; they each present equally inky blacks.

The one factor holding the show again from being an optimum selection for creators is the AdobeRGB gamut. Usually, we prefer to see this quantity within the 90s. Nevertheless, it’s nonetheless adequate for all however probably the most demanding professionals, and it’s a step up from the show on the Creator Z16.

Brightness
(nits)
Distinction sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(decrease is best)
MSI Creator Z16P
(IPS)
461 990:1 100% 89% 0.89
MSI Creator Z16
(IPS)
382 800:1 92% 71% 1.28
Dell XPS 17 9720
(IPS)
543 1,870:1 100% 100% 0.58
Dell XPS 15 9520
(OLED)
391 28,130:1 100% 96% 0.42
Apple MacBook Professional 16
(XDR)
475 475,200:1 100% 90% 1.04
Razer Blade 17
(IPS)
313 890:1 100% 90% 0.84
MSI Creator Z17
(IPS)
355 840:1 100% 87% 1.35

4 audio system, two downward-firing on the underside of the chassis and two upward-firing above the keyboard, put out important quantity. It’s sufficient to fill a medium-sized room, and the standard was good, with clear mids and highs and a contact of bass. You gained’t want a pair of headphones for music and Netflix binging.

Keyboard, touchpad, and webcam

MSI Creator Z16P top down view showing keyboard, touchpad, and pen.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The per-key RGB lighting on the keyboard is enjoyable however pointless. Luckily, that’s not this keyboard’s defining characteristic. Quite, the keyboard has wonderful spacing and properly sized keycaps, with gentle and exact switches that includes a crisp bottoming motion. It’s pretty much as good because the keyboard on laptops just like the Dell XPS 17, which is excessive reward.

The touchpad is properly sized and considerably bigger than its predecessor, with a easy floor that helps Microsoft Precision touchpad drivers and the whole repertoire of Home windows 11 multitouch gestures. The clicks are quiet and assured, a drastic enchancment over the Creator Z16’s loud and stiff buttons.

The show can be touch-enabled, offering one other handy method to management the working system. Oddly sufficient for a clamshell laptop, there’s assist for an lively pen that’s included within the field. It not solely helps Home windows 11 inking however gives a distant mode by way of Bluetooth for controlling displays.

Home windows 11 Good day passwordless login is supplied by each an infrared camera with facial recognition and a fingerprint reader on the palm relaxation. In my testing, each strategies had been quick and dependable.

Lastly, the webcam is a Full HD model, which was nice to see. Video high quality was wonderful in each brilliant and low lighting situations, making the Creator Z16P an incredible machine for videoconferencing.

Battery life

MSI Creator Z16P side view showing lid, ports, and vents.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The Status Z16P has 90 watt-hours of battery capability, which is an honest quantity for a laptop with a big, high-resolution show and quick elements. But it surely’s no assure of nice battery life, which we didn’t see within the Creator Z16 with the identical dimension battery and a slower CPU.

In our web-browsing check that cycles by way of some in style and sophisticated web sites, the Status Z16P managed simply 4.75 hours, the type of rating we normally see with gaming laptops. The Dell XPS 17 lasted nearly three hours longer. In our video check that loops an area 1080p film trailer, the MSI hit 5.5 hours, one other low rating that the XPS 17 beat handily. Lastly, within the PCMark 10 Functions battery check that’s one of the best indication of productiveness battery life, the Status Z16P shut down at round 5.5 hours,

In fact, the standout right here is the Apple MacBook Professional 16, which totally trounced its Home windows competitors regardless of being roughly as quick. The Status Z16P was embarrassed by the MacBook’s longevity.

The Status Z16P isn’t a extremely moveable workstation. Do any type of intensive artistic work, and also you’ll in all probability run out of juice in a few hours. The ability brick is massive and heavy, so plan accordingly.

Internet shopping Video PCMark 10
Functions
MSI Creator Z16P
(Core i9-12900H)
4 hours, 42 minutes 5 hours, 24 minutes 5 hours, 37 minutes
MSI Creator Z16
(Core i7-11800H)
5 hours, 20 minutes 8 hours, 12 minutes N/A
Dell XPS 17 9720
(Core i7-12700H)
7 hours, 36 minutes 13 hours, 5 minutes 7 hours, 3 minutes
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
9 hours, 38 minutes 12 hours, 40 minutes 11 hours, 14 minutes
MSI Creator Z17
(Core i7-12700H)
4 hours, 23 minutes 4 hours, 32 minutes N/A
Razer Blade 17
(Core i7-12800H)
3 hours, 11 minutes 3 hours, 41 minutes N/A
Apple MacBook Professional 16
(Apple M1 Professional)
18 hours, 35 minutes 23 hours, 11 minutes N/A

Value and configurations

The MSI Creator Z16P is available in 4 expensive configurations. The entry-level mannequin is $2,899 with a Core i7-12700H, 16GB of DDR5 RAM, a 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD, and an Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti. On the excessive finish was my review unit, which prices $4,299 and contains the Core i9-12900H, 64GB of DDR5 RAM, a 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD, and an RTX 3080 Ti.

Our take

The MSI Creator Z16P is without doubt one of the quicker Home windows machines you should purchase for artistic work, and its show is sweet sufficient for all however probably the most demanding creators. It’s additionally a really costly laptop, which means it’s an funding finest made by those that want the utmost in efficiency and don’t need to swap to MacOS.

Players ought to undoubtedly look elsewhere, although, as a result of the Creator Z16P severely underperformed on this space. I’m undecided if it was a driver or {hardware} drawback, however the laptop merely didn’t stay as much as its potential.

Are there any options?

There are a number of nice laptops with bigger shows aimed on the artistic market. One is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive, with a fifth-generation on the best way with Intel Twelfth-gen CPUs. It’s a stable machine with related specs and a extra reasonably priced value.

Two choices should you’re keen to go a bit of smaller or a bit of bigger are the Dell XPS 15 and 17. Each additionally provide Core i9 CPUs, however their GPUs aren’t as highly effective. They’re extra moveable, nonetheless, and cheaper, making them nice choices for these whose artistic duties are a bit much less demanding.

However perhaps probably the most compelling competitor is the Apple MacBook Professional 16. When configured with its Apple M1 Max CPU, it’s as quick because the Creator X16P and across the similar value. Its show is best, and also you gained’t discover a machine with a higher-quality construct.

How lengthy will it final?

The MSI Creator Z16P is well-built, and that’s a great factor given how costly it’s. The elements are updated and may maintain you creating content material for a few years. MSI gives one 12 months of unintentional harm safety with a restrict of 1 declare per laptop. In any other case, the industry-standard single 12 months of guarantee safety is disappointing at these costs.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure, should you’re a creator who calls for probably the most efficiency. For those who’re a gamer, although, you’ll need to contemplate a special machine.

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