The MSI GT83VR Titan Review: 1080 Times 3by Brett Howse on April 13, 2017 8:00 AM EST
About two years ago, we looked at the latest creation from the minds of MSI. The GT80 Titan was their boldest move yet, and set the bar for performance, featured the world’s first fully mechanical keyboard on a gaming laptop, and packed in one of the largest displays available, with the 18.4-inch FHD panel. This was the only Broadwell quad-core laptop we tested, since the mobile quad-cores were very short lived, and were quickly replaced by Skylake. It featured two NVIDIA GTX 980M graphics cards in SLI, and sat atop our Notebook Bench with the highest performance we’d seen, at least until NVIDIA’s Pascal came along.
MSI updated the GT80 Titan as a mid-cycle refresh, adding Skylake and the GTX 980 (non M) in SLI as well, so the Titan series has not sat idle. Today we are taking a look at the latest incarnation from MSI, dubbed the MSI GT83VR Titan. The GT80 Titan was one of the best notebooks of its time, and surprised us with the quality and capabilities that it had. The mechanical keyboard was a fantastic addition, and the titanic size (pun intended) meant that despite the powerful components inside, it ran cool, and relatively quiet, even under load. Today we’ll see if the GT83VR Titan can live up to those high expectations.
When looking at a gaming laptop, performance is obviously one of the keys. MSI does not disappoint here, with Kaby Lake quad-core Core i7-7920HQ, which is 3.1-4.1 GHz with 8 MB of cache, in a 45-Watt package. Graphics are now Pascal based, with SLI GTX 1070 or GTX 1080, up to 64 GB of DDR4, and up to 1 TB of PCIe SSD storage, along with 1 TB of SATA HDD storage. Being a large gaming laptop, the RAM and storage can be upgraded by the end user. MSI shipped us the top of the line unit, with SLI GTX 1080, 64 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of SSD.
|MSI GT83VR Titan 7RF|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-7920HQ
|GPU||NVIDIA GTX 1080 SLI
2560 CUDA Cores, 8GB GDDR5X Per Card
|Memory||Up to 64 GB Dual-Channel DDR4|
|Display||18.4" 1920x1080 IPS 60 Hz|
|Storage||Up to 2 x 2TB PCIe NVMe (RAID 0)
1 TB HDD
|I/O||5 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 3.1 w/Thunderbolt 3
1 x HDMI 2.0
1 x mini DisplayPort
1 x SPDIF
|Dimensions||429 x 315 x 43.2-63.5 mm
16.9 x 12.4 x 1.7-2.5 inches
|Weight||5.94 kg / 13.1 lbs|
|Battery||75 Wh, 2 x 330W AC Adapter|
|Networking||Killer Doubleshot Pro
Killer Wireless-AC 1535 2x2:2 MU-MIMO
Killer E2500 Gigabit NIC
As Tested: $5200 USD
The rest of the laptop has pretty much been carried over from the GT80. There’s still a mechanical keyboard, but the keyboard now features Cherry MX Speed Silver switches and per-key lighting. There’s a Type-C USB 3.1 with Thunderbolt 3, and one without Thunderbolt, five USB 3.0, RJ45 with Killer networking, HDMI 2.0, SD, and Mini-DisplayPort.
The MSI GT83VR Titan definitely qualifies as a desktop replacement, with plenty of performance, a desktop keyboard, and lots of IO. But has the design held up to time? That’s the real question. For those looking for a bit less power, and a bit less cost, MSI also sells the GT83VR Titan 7RE with GTX 1070 SLI.
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lunarmit - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - linkThere is a 780W adapter available now from Eurocom
DanNeely - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - linkI think Ryan Smith needs to buy you a 4k monitor so you can properly test high end mobile GPUs in the future.
rtho782 - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - linkNo, for the sake of future proofing I think Ian needs one of those 8k screens.
DanNeely - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - linkHe told Ian no on getting an 8k a few weeks ago. 4k isa lot easier to justify in the budget.
Brett Howse - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - linkHi Dan. I can't disregard the display on a notebook like this. While it could be docked, it's a full desktop replacement system, with a mechanical keyboard. It's not meant to be docked with the lid closed. Yes, it could do this, as could any laptop, but it needs to be tested as it is configured.
Also, this laptop costs over $5000. It would be a big ask to tell readers that it would be great if they only spent another $500-$1000 on a good UHD display.
MSI pushes this for VR, and it would be excellent for that, but we can't pretend it's not stuck with a FHD display. If someone bought this to use as is, it's complete overkill.
DanNeely - Friday, April 14, 2017 - linkI'm not saying don't test at 1080p or don't point out that at 1080p its GPU isn't stupidly overpowered. My comment was in reaction to your commenting that the only game you were able to test at 4k too was Shadow of Mordar because it would let you run above native resolution. An external screen would've let you do the same with the rest of them.
munim - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - linkI wonder who buys these types of laptops. You have to be a hardcore gamer, and also be very wealthy, and you have to have a need to game while travelling. Must be a super small market.
BrokenCrayons - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - linkThe market must be big enough to justify the expense of making a laptop to serve it. In fact, I think it's probably pretty profitable on a per sale basis since these sorts of systems command a high premium and there is little competitive pressure to drive down prices. It means that just showing up to the proverbial party with a product that appeals means MSI is going to land enough sales to make it worthwhile.
Meteor2 - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - linkI kinda imagine that they're in the kids' bedrooms on super yachts in Monanco.
BrokenCrayons - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - linkYeah, that's true. I bought four GT80 versions for my kids to use on the yacht when the nanny is on break so mommy and daddy aren't disturbed during the nightly cocktail party.