When it comes to gaming, MSI’s range of notebooks are very much like a slick car showroom – there’s something for everyone. Saunter about said showroom and you’ll likely find up front the mainstream stuff like subcompacts, sedans and the like for the hoi polloi but when you absolutely, positively want one of the most powerful things known to man with scads of power running under the hood, you head for the high-end stuff in the back, which is where MSI’s Titan series GT75VR gaming rig comes into the picture.
Much like late 20th century American muscle cars, MSI’s latest gaming offering, the appropriately gigantic GT75VR Titan eschews frivolities and emphases pure pixel crunching gaming performance over other concerns.
Just staring at the provided spec sheet can give even the most hardened gamer’s heart flutter as it manages to cram in a 15.6-inch Full HD display, a swift Intel Core i7 7820HK 2.9GHz processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1080 graphics card with 8GB GDDR5X SD RAM though a configuration with a GTX1070 card is also available if needs must.
There’s more to the GT75VR than just pure looks and specifications alone. Much more. Here’s why the MSI GT75VR is the crown jewel of MSI’s gaming line-up and one of their most powerful rigs that money can buy today.
Form and Function
While the principle that form follows function usually holds true in notebook design, the MSI GT75VR regards both needs in equal measure as it doesn’t sacrifice the bold aesthetics that MSI’s gaming rigs are known for while also ensuring that every inch of its chassis is focused towards one goal – to run the hardware thrumming beneath its machined aluminium chassis at optimum capacity.
Seeing as it’s a purebred gaming machine through and through, MSI has deigned to give it an aggressive look. Externally, it comes in MSI’s classic black with chromed red trim but sports aesthetic accents that lend a slight sci-fi aesthetic to it. The top lid sports MSI’s usual Dragon sigil flanked by chromed metallic red trim and the MSI logo over a field of brushed black aluminium.
Of particular note here are the sturdily constructed hinges that are beautifully balanced and smooth enough that you can open the top lid one-handed; somewhat of a rarity these days though it is a detail that is highly appreciated by discerning gamers.
Flip the lid up and you’ll find an exquisitely done up full-sized backlit Steelseries mechanical keyboard. The sides and the rear are finished with boldly angled grilles with the bottom of the chassis giving way to huge ventilation outtakes much like the underside of a high performance fighter complemented with red mesh grilles. The sides are finished with a host of ports that cover the gamut including five USB 3.0 ports, a Type-C 3.1 port with Thunderbolt support, a card reader, a HDMI out and more.
The GT75VR’s chassis is somewhat on the bulky side though at 58mm thick at its thickest point tapering down to 31mm at its thinnest. It’s not chunky just to make it look intimidating though; there’s a sound reason behind it. From an engineering perspective, this means placing the GT75VR’s powerful hardware in a roomy chassis for proper airflow and then ensuring it has some of the best cooling tech on the planet so it runs cool even with intense gaming.
Naturally, all this gaming goodness tends to tip the weighing scale somewhat so the GT75VR is a bit on the heavy side at 4.56kg and that isn’t even counting the power brick itself needed to run it, which makes the GT75VR a hefty affair to haul around. On the bright side, hauling this for your gaming tournaments is sure to improve your muscle tone. That andthe unmistakable fact that deploying this at a match means that you mean business.
A View To Thrill
Gaming is serious business and getting the lay of the land in before your competition does may mean the difference between winning a chicken dinner, to coin a phrase or packing it in early which is why the MSI GT75VR packs one of the best screens in the business for gaming.
The notebook sports an impressively huge 17.3-inch Full HD 1080p display that also has a nippy 120Hz refresh rate, NVIDIA’s G-Sync tech and a low 3ms response time. Better yet, the GT75VR also has the enviable capability to expand your onscreen real estate to up to three external 4K displays simultaneously via the provided HDMI, Mini DisplayPort 1.2 and Thunderbolt 3 port. If you happen to have three other 4K monitors lying about, this is the best way to put them to use.
To ensure that colours onscreen on the GT75VR’s panel are displayed in the full breadth and intensity that a game developer intended it to be, the MSI GT75VR’s screen is capable of displaying 94% of the NTSC Color Gamut and 100% sRGB which means you can see subtle nuances in hues rather than just one flat blob of colour. This level of fidelity combined with the MSI GT75VR’s hardware also endears it to trades that require a wide colour gamut such as photographers and digital artists, both of which also incidentally need generous amounts of pixel crunching power which the notebook provides in spades.
Pixel Crunching Performer
In terms of hardware, the GT75VR is armed for bear. Crammed into the voluminous chassis is an seventh generation Intel Core i7-7820HK 2.9GHz processor with the ability to ramp up with Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz, a whopping 32GB DDR4 RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1080 graphics card with 8GB GDDR5X SDRAM.
Storage needs are sorted out with a set of SSDs and a hard disk configured in MSI’s Super RAID 4 setup that consists of a pair of 256GB NVMe SSDs in RAID 0 – configuration to offer up a combined 512GB of storage paired with a 1TB 7200 RPM hard disk so that boot-ups are fast with transfer speeds reaching up to 3,300MB/s/ You’re effectively transferring huge movie-sized files faster than you can read this sentence.
In benchmarks, the GT75VR delivered impressive numbers indeed. In PC Mark’s Time Spy test it yielded 6.531 points while in Fire Strike Ultra with 4K settings it got a score of 4,939. In PC Mark 10 it garnered a score of 5,133. In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided it yielded an average of 71.8FPS and a maximum of 90.5FPS with High quality settings and MSAA set to 2x.
All this translates into an immensely powerful gaming rig that can tackle the most demanding games available today with the best of them. Of course, all this hardware generates a lot of heat, though the GT75’s has a few specially engineered tricks to handily manage that fiddly complication.
Heat is the mortal enemy of computing hardware but the GT75VR has several built-in solutions that nip that issue in the bud. The aforementioned large intakes at the base of the GT75VR aren’t there just for show – they’re part of the notebook’s comprehensive cooling array. Dubbed the Cooler Boost Titan by MSI’s boffins, the cooling array consists of two turbo fans, each of which has 29 precisely angled blades that generate 30% more airflow than conventional designs and thus more cooling when spun up.
To further drain additional heat from vital components the Cooler Boost Titan array also integrates a series of ten heat pipes that work to constantly vent heat away from both the CPU and the GPU.
This superior cooling also means that the GT75VR’s Intel Core i7-7820HK processor can offer enhanced performance up to 4.2GHz from its stock 3.9GHz threshold. Rather than having to tinker with a ton of BIOS settings, MSI’s Dragon Center console within Windows 10 lets you tweak it for extra performance on demand.
All Keyed Up
MSI’s collaboration with SteelSeries has integrated high performance keyboards from the famous marque into their gaming notebooks; something that was once considered an ostentatious afterthought though in the case of the GT75VR, it’s an intrinsic part of the machine to provide the complete gaming experience
The GT75VR’s keyboard is unique as it has mechanical keys and also features customisable RGB backlighting down to customised lighting for each and every key. To wit, there’s 16.7 million colours that you can tweak every last button on the keyboard to which is impressive to say the least. On paper, each key is optimised for gaming by offering 3mm key travel distance and 1.5mm actuation. This translates to about 25% faster speeds which commensurately translates to better gaming performance. In use, the keyboard lends an immense feel of control, with the sensation that each keypress is registered in a swift and sure fashion.
The GT75VR doesn’t neglect anything on the audio front as well. All that room in the chassis is put to good use as it crams in a 2.1 speaker system that consists of a 5W subwoofer and a pair of 3W speakers beefed up by Dynaudio. To ensure superb virtual surround sound, MSI also roped in Nahimic to offer vivid virtual 7.1 surround sound for gaming and movies alike especially for VR experiences. Fire off a rifle in a game and you’ll hear and feel it along with which direction it came for as it’s sound staging makes everything feel like you’re right in on the action, making gaming a visceral experience.
Audiophiles will also appreciate the fact that the GT75VR also integrates the SABRE Audio DAC to support Hi-Res audio playback at 32bit/384KHz which is 15 times better than audio off a CD so if you’re not racking up a kill score, you can enjoy tunes in exquisite detail as if you’re right in the middle of it listening to a live performance. To wit, the GT75VR offers one of the most impressive audio setups on a portable gaming notebook that you can listen to and then some.
There’s no going about the fact that the MSI GT75VR costs a substantial amount of cash. While the knee jerk reaction would be that there are cheaper notebooks around, some with arguably similar hardware, the fact is that the GT75VR is ultimately the complete package from top to bottomwithout compromises in terms of performance on the audio, visual or performance front.
For your money, you’re getting a game ready 120Hz 1080p display, a superbly customisable SteelSeries mechanical keyboard, an impressive Intel 7th generation Intel i7 processor along with either an NVIDIA GTX 1070 or 1080 processor with the whole affair able to run at its full potential without cooking off on account of MSI’s Cooler Boost Titan tech. Ultimately, you’re ready to game the moment you fire this up. Notebooks are an individual choice, like cars, but if you’re looking to make a statement, this is one heck of a way to do it.
For more details on acquiring this mammoth edifice to gaming, you can swing by MSI’s official showroom behind Lowyat Plaza or if you want to get in on the action immediately, you can visit their online store at Lazada in the link here: https://goo.gl/wK4KT3 or their official online store here in the following link here: https://goo.gl/wK4KT3.
What we Liked Excellent display, superb hardware, great keyboard, good audio quality
What we Didn’t Rather heavy, chunky build
We Say An immensely powerful gaming notebook with an excellent display, a responsive keyboard and powerful hardware though this kind of performance doesn’t come cheap.
Model MSI GT75VR 7RF Titan Pro
Price RM13,499 (with GTX1070), RM17,999 ( with GTX 1080)
Display 17.3-inch Full HD Display, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, 120Hz
Processor Intel Core i7-7820HK
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX1080 8GB GDDR5X
OS Windows 10 Home Plus
Memory 32GBB DDR4 RAM/ 512GB (2 x 256GB) NVMe SSD+ 1TB Hard disk (Super Raid 4)
Battery 8-cell, 75.24Whr
Size/Weight 428 x 314 x 31-58mm / 4.56kg
*Review unit courtesy of MSI Malaysia