Forum member Countgreen is in the market for a 4K gaming laptop, because they play a lot of Forza Horizon 3, Star Wars Battlefront, Grand Theft Auto V and Battlefield 1. In addition to racing, fragging and causing general mayhem, the laptop will also be used as a photo- and video-editing system. Portability and price aren't too big of a concern, so he or she is looking at two versions of one of my favorite gaming rigs: the MSI GT73VR Titan.
The first iteration is the $3,199 GT73VR Titan Pro 4K, which features an overclockable 2.9-GHz Intel Core i7-7820HK processor with 16GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe SSD with a 1TB and 7,200-rpm hard drive, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU with 8GB of VRAM, and a 17.3-inch 3840 x 2160 display.
The second configuration costs $3,599, has the same processor as the Titan Pro 4K. However, it also has 32GB of RAM, four 256GB PCIe SSDs in Super RAID 4 configuration, with a 1TB and 7,200-rpm hard drive and a pair of Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPUs in SLI configuration. So, is either of these laptops the right one for Countgreen, or is there another system to be considered?
I love the idea of two powerful GPUs working as one in the pursuit of higher frame rates and blistering performance. But as one of our astute forum members, kookie3010, pointed out, it'd be better to go for the single 1080 instead of the pair of 1070s. Even if they're in SLI, they can only hope to match the more powerful card.
There's also the question of thermals, because adding another GPU into a laptop frame will definitely push the temperature up considerably, despite MSI's fancy cooling system. And while Countgreen is willing to apply a healthy portion of thermal grease paste to the system, I'm not sure if that will reliably keep the temperature in check. That's why I'd recommend the Titan Pro 4K.
However, there are a few other systems that Countgreen should consider, especially since this user wants to do some photo and video editing. The latest versions of the Razer Blade Pro and the Acer Predator 17 X start at $3,999 and $2,949, respectively, and offer the same overclockable CPU as the MSIs, 32GB of RAM, 2 256GB M.2 PCIe SSDs in RAID 0, Nvidia GTX 1080 GPUs with 8GB of VRAM and 17.3-inch UHD displays with Nvidia G-Sync technology for silky smooth graphics.
These systems are evenly matched in terms of specs, but the Predator 17 X has the best screen out of the systems we've tested. This machine can reproduce 182 percent of the sRGB gamut with an accuracy of 0.2 on the Delta-E test and an average brightness of 318 nits. The Blade Pro is a tad brighter, at 320 nits, with 178 percent color reproduction and 0.3 accuracy.
If Countgreen has their heart set on an MSI, they should definitely go with the GT73VR Titan Pro 4K with its single Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU. But they can't go wrong with the Acer Predator 17 X and its incredibly lovely display or the Razer Blade Pro, which offers a crazy-sleek chassis with serious power as well as a pretty panel.
Stay in the know with Laptop Mag
Get our in-depth reviews, helpful tips, great deals, and the biggest news stories delivered to your inbox.
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.