TAIPEI, TAIWAN -- I have seen MSI's future and it is extremely promising. The company recently unveiled its latest Titan, the GT76 (available Q3, starting at $3,699) and it's unlike any MSI you've seen before and packing a hell of a lot of power to boot.
Will you just look at this pewter minx? At long last, MSI is taking a decisive step away from the black-and-red motif that far too many gaming laptops have adopted and gone for a silver aluminum lid with a black plastic undercarriage. The look is absolutely stunning, particularly the delicately etched dragon sigil near the top of the lid.
The Titan's rear vent pokes out a bit, but that in order to accommodate the powerful specs and heating solution. But MSI embraces its curves, choosing to accentuate the rear hinge with a strip of glowing red lights.
If red's not your thing, you can play around with the side-mounted RGB strips as well as the thin strip along the bottom-front lip of the laptop. It's showy, yet elegant and a much-needed revamp.
Like most Titans, the GT76 is on the chunky side at 8.8 pounds. However, that's on a par with systems like the Alienware Area-51m (8.5 pounds).
The GT76 will have a couple of display options when it launches. The base model will feature a FHD (1920 x 1080) panel with a 144-Hertz refresh rate. The company will also offer a 4K (3840 x 2160) display. MSI has outfitted the Titan with nice, slim bezels so gamers can enjoy more of that 17.3-inch visual real estate.
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A system this big has to be packing some powerful toys underneath the hood, right? Right. MSI is stepping up its kitchen sink approach, tricking this baby out with a desktop Intel Core i9-9900K processor with up to 64GB of RAM, three PCIe SSDs and a full Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU with 8GB of VRAM. The laptop will also have Wi-Fi 6, Killer DoubleShot Pro and 2.5GBps Ethernet just in case you want to dominate the LAN party.
With its desktop CPU, MSI is claiming the system can maintain an overclocked speed of 5GHz. The company is factory testing and setting the overclocking to achieve this performance. But I’ll wait until the system is in the Laptop Mag labs before I buy into the hype. But if the Titan can live up to the claims, that adds up to some significant performance boosts.
With a system this powerful, you’ll need a serious cooling solution to ensure things don’t overheat. MSI has outfitted the Titan with 11 copper heat pipes and 4 fans.
It’s a design that’s taken four years to perfect. When I flipped over the machine, the pipes were front and center, seemingly gleaming with anticipation. Air intake will come from the top and bottom of the notebook with the hot air being expelled through the rear vents. I’m not sure how quiet the Titan will be with all this cooling, but I’m hoping it won’t scorch my nether regions during testing.
This is the laptop I’ve been waiting for from MSI. It’s a decisive break from what we’ve come to expect from the company and opens the door to the realm of possibility. The company’s never been afraid load up on powerful specs, but adding a desktop CPU takes things to a whole other level. I’m really hoping that the Titan can live up to MSI’s claims and become a formidable player in the enthusiast gaming space. I plan to find out when the laptop arrives at our offices.
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Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.