MSI GT76 Titan (Credit: Tom's Hardware)
If you like to attend LAN parties or professional eSports events and don’t want to have to carry a desktop PC, let alone the monitor and peripherals, MSI’s new high-end laptop could be for you. Due out this June with a starting price of $3,600, the MSI GT76 Titan uses a desktop Intel Core i9-9900K CPU that, according to the company, overclocks to a steady 5 GHz on all eight of its cores.
We had a chance to spend a few moments with the GT76 Titan at MSI’s Taiwan office and were impressed by both its specs and its looks. Like previous Titan GT laptops, it’s a behemoth, tipping the scales at 9.9 pounds (4.5kg). However, it has a new design aesthetic that we haven’t seen on an MSI laptop before.
Where most MSI gaming laptops use the company’s signature black and red color scheme, this one is a sleek shade of matte metal gray. Even the dragon logo is in on the party as it is a monotone shade of silver with no red accents. The lid itself is made from aluminum, but the deck is plastic, because metal would get way too hot for comfort.
MSI GT76 Titan (Credit: Tom's Hardware)
There are plenty of bright colors visible on the chassis, though, thanks to the array of configurable RGB light strips on the two sides and across the bottom of the front lip. Even the back exhaust area has a light, though it only shines in red.
If you want to look at the inside of the GT76, look no further than the bottom surface. When you flip the laptop over, you can see most of its guts, including several heat pipes and fans, through the vent holes. MSI noted that the GT76 employs 11 heat pipes and four fans to stay cool.
In an unfortunate step backward, the GT76 uses a non-mechanical SteelSeries keyboard, instead of the awesome, clicky mechanical keyboard that was in the GT75 Titan. MSI said that it needed to do away with the mechanical keyboard due to thickness concerns. While the SteelSeries keyboard felt snappy during our hands on, it’s no mechanical keyboard.
Considering how thick the GT76 is already at 1.7 inches (42mm) tall, we’d rather have it be a little chunkier and get the better typing experience. However, on the bright side, the SteelSeries keys offer highly customizable, per-key RGB lighting and the ability to use every single key (except the function row) as a macro key.
Because of its intense Cooler Boost cooling solution, MSI claims that the GT76 Titan’s Core i9-9900K CPU can run at 5 GHz on all eight cores for a sustained period of time. The company told us that each model is tested at the factory to make sure that it can it hit that speed.
To power the laptop, you’ll need not one, but two different AC adapters that are 240 watts each. Considering that a full desktop with a Core i9 and an RTX 2080 graphics card likely needs at least a 500 if not a 650 watt or higher PSU, this makes sense.
While the CPU is a desktop part, the Nvidia RTX 2080 is a mobile GPU. That should still provide plenty of performance, but not quite as much as a desktop graphics card.
With a chassis this large, there’s plenty of room for storage devices. There will be three M.2 PCIe slots for SSDs, along with a 2.5-inch SATA bay (for SSDs or hard drives). MSI did not immediately have a list of configurations, so we don’t know what drives it will come with, but you should be able to upgrade the storage on your own as needed. The system supports up to 128GB of RAM.
|CPU||Desktop Core i9-9900K; Other unspecified CPUs|
|Screen||17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 IPS Display 144 Hz; 3840 x 2160 IPS Display, 100% Adobe RGB Gamut|
|RAM||DDR4-2666, up to 128GB|
|Storage||3x 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen3 SSDs; 1x 2.5-inch SATA hard drive|
|Networking||Killer 1650 Wi-Fi 6; Killer LAN E3000 2.5Gb Ethernet|
|Ports||4x USB Type-A 3.2; 1x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB Type-C; HDMI 2.0; mini DisplayPort 1.4; microSD card reader; 3.5mm audio|
|Battery / Power||90Whr, 8-cell battery; 2 x 240 watt adapter or 1 x 330 watt adapter (lower-end models)|
|Dimensions||15.6 x 13 x 1.7 inches (397 x 330 x 42mm)|
|Weight||9.9 pounds (4.5 kg)|
The 17-inch screen will be available in two varieties: 1080p and 4K. The 1080p panel offers a 144 Hz refresh rate for smooth gaming, while the 4K panel promises to reproduce 100% of the Adobe RGB color gamut. The demo model we saw had the 1080p panel, and it seemed bright and accurate, but not exceedingly vibrant. Clearly, the 4K panel is meant for creative professionals, though they will likely have to wait, since MSi said that it will be available later.
In a system this thick, there’s room for plenty of ports, including four USB Type-A ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port, a regular USB Type-C ports, HDMI 2.0, mini DisplayPort 1.4 and a 2.5 Gb Ethernet port that uses Killer networking technology. The Wi-Fi card is also from Killer and supports WiFi 6. You can even use both the Ethernet and Wi-Fi together to get more bandwidth.
The MSI GT76 Titan is due out in June with an estimated starting price around $3,600 in the U.S., with configurations going up to around $4,800. The lowest end models will have lesser desktop processors that are not overclocked. Models with the 4K screen option will arrive later.
We look forward to benchmarking the GT76 TItan to see if it really can sustain a 5 GHz clock speed for long periods of time and to find out just how that translates into frame rates on demanding games, such as Battlefield V or Shadow of the Tomb Raider.