June 2, 2023

Hands-on with MSI’s new gaming beast

In the same week that Nvidia announced its way of fixing the fat and noisy gaming laptops that haunt our dreams, MSI launched a fat and noisy gaming laptop. The GT75VR Titan is the company’s latest top-spec laptop that comes with an overclockable CPU and overclockable GTX 1080 graphics card to boot. Some models even come with two GTX 1070s in SLI.

What it lacks in looks (which is a lot) it makes up for in features, then. MSI has packed this thing to the gills with software features, including overclocking software for both the CPU and GPU, the ability to connect remotely via your smartphone, a full system monitor and loads of fan and RGB lighting profiles.

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It’s all impressive, and performance is also unsurprisingly good as well. The GTX 1080 on the model I tested was overclocked by a healthy 200MHz, and it had no trouble playing Ghost Recon Wildlands at maximum settings. While I couldn’t hear them on the ultra-loud Computex show floor, I could feel the fans blasting out hot air from both of its side vents.

It’d be a waste to have such a fat chassis without a potent CPU, and MSI has delivered. The quad-core Intel Core i7-7820HK has a maximum clock speed of 3.9GHz, but MSI has applied overclocks to boost it up to 4.2GHz, which is pretty ridiculous for a laptop.

Despite this, I measured thermals of just 66 Celsius on the GPU and 67 Celsius on the CPU while playing Ghost Recon. This suggests there’s loads of headroom and you could happily turn down the fans a few notches without overheating it.

The final big gaming piece here is the mechanical keyboard. It’s engineered by the whizzkids over at SteelSeries, and while it doesn’t have the same click and travel as a full-size mechanical ‘board, it’s just about okay. Not everyone will like it, though, and it verges on mushy if you don’t press the keys with enough force. They’re fully backlit with RGB LEDs, so you can have all the colours of the rainbow if you fancy.

The screen on this demo model was a Full HD panel running at 120Hz. That’s lovely and smooth for gaming, and it’s bright and colourful as well.

MSI didn’t provide weight or thickness figures, but I’d hazard this machine is bumping up against 4kg, if not more. And it won’t fit in your backpack, sorry.

Early verdict

The GT75VR Titan turns the laptop world on its head, pursuing a path of absolute performance with no regard for weight or aesthetics. It’s admirable, but it certainly isn’t for everybody. No pricing is available yet, nor is availability, but expect it to cost upwards of £2000.