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The “replica method” of statistical physics is employed for the large-system analysis of vector precoding for the Gaussian multiple-input multiple-output broadcast channel. The transmitter comprises a linear front-end combined with nonlinear precoding, minimizing transmit energy by means of input alphabet relaxation. For the common discrete lattice-based relaxation, the problem violates replica symmetry and a replica symmetry breaking (RSB) ansatz is taken. The limiting empirical distribution of the precoder's output and the limiting transmit energy are derived for one-step RSB. Particularizing to a “zero-forcing” (ZF) linear front-end, a decoupling result is derived. For discrete lattice-based relaxations, the impact of RSB is demonstrated for the transmit energy. The spectral efficiencies of the aforementioned precoding methods are compared to linear ZF and Tomlinson-Harashima precoding (THP). Focusing on quaternary phase shift-keying (QPSK), significant performance gains of both lattice and convex relaxations are revealed for medium to high signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) when compared to linear ZF precoding. THP is shown to be outperformed as well. Comparing certain lattice-based relaxations for QPSK against a convex counterpart, the latter is found to be superior for low and high SNRs but slightly inferior for medium SNRs in terms of spectral efficiency.