MSI GT75 Titan Review

MSI GT75 Titan Review
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Last Updated on by Daniel Lawrence

Look at this powerhouse! The latest Titan from MSI, the GT75 (starting at $2,199, reviewed at $4,199) proves that bigger is better. Underneath its massive frame is a Core i9 processor and Nvidia’s new RTX graphics card. This laptop is capable of almost anything.

Nevertheless, let’s not forget that gorgeous 4K display and sublime audio system before you get swept up in all that power. We chose the Titan for our best VR-ready laptops and best RTX 2080 gaming laptops pages because it’s the ultimate multimedia machine.

Design

MSI gaming laptop

A glossy black aluminum frame? You’ve got to be talking about the Titan. The laptop’s massive chassis measures 16.9 x 12.4 x 1.2 x 2.3 inches and weighs 10 pounds.

With 17.7 pounds and 16.9 x 12.4 x 1.2 inches, the GT75 is bigger than the Aorus X9, Alienware Area-51m, and Origin Eon 17-X (16.4 x 11.6 x 1.6 inches).

Other than its glowing customizable keyboard, the Titan isn’t a flashy laptop by any means. Nevertheless, it catches the eye enough. On either side of the lid, two shiny metallic bright-red accents evoke images of blood-soaked swords thrust into a jet-black sky. There is no doubt who made this unapologetic beast with the backlit red-and-white dragon emblem at the center.

Ruby-red fins line the rear vents. There’s the word Titan in the center surrounded by two red screws with a red border beneath, like an emphatic underline.

Titan’s interior features a smooth, black keyboard. With the palm rest elevated just a bit, typing on that clicky-clacky keyboard is even more enjoyable. Right below the numeric pad is buttons for power, MSI’s Dragon Center, fan speed, Windows Media Center, and SteelSeries Engine software.

A Titan’s show can theoretically be taken on the road. I was able to pack it in my backpack and carry it home on the subway without causing any damage to my back. However, the laptop is powered by not one, but two beefy power bricks connected by a single cable. If you’re taking the notebook to LAN parties, lift it with your knees instead of moving it from room to room.

Ports

msi laptop

Although I wish there were more Thunderbolt 3 ports or at least one USB Type-C port on the GT75, you won’t be able to use all the ports found along with the Titan’s frame. A 3-in-1 card reader and a secure lock slot are located on the right.

On the left are three USB 3.1 ports and jacks for headphones, a mic, and S/PDIF for listening to high-quality audio. You get Thunderbolt 3 ports, mini DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, and Gigabit Ethernet on the back.

Display

There are few displays as good as MSI’s. Whether I was playing games, watching movies, or even writing this review, the Titan’s 17.3-inch, 4K display produced sharp detail and stunning colors. I especially enjoyed watching the Little trailer. In her dandelion yellow UFO sweatshirt with blue and green paint strokes, I could even see Issa Rae’s individual curls of dark brown hair. A cerulean wall in the background and pumpkin-colored earrings enhanced the actress’ flawless chocolate complexion.

As I waded through the enemy territory in Battlefield V, I had a lot of time to reflect on the mud. The burnt red clay glistened as I crawled through a gentle stream that stirred up pieces of gray sediment. Gold veins could be seen in just the right places when I looked closely. I plodded toward my destination under an overcast sky that highlighted the earthy colors.

It shouldn’t be possible to have ugly tearing on a screen this beautiful. For smoother images, the display has Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, which synchronizes the display with the GPU. This panel has a 60Hz refresh rate, which isn’t as fast as the 1080p screen configuration with its 144Hz refresh rate and 3 millisecond response time, but it will get the job done.

In terms of color reproduction, we measured that the Titan covered 178 percent of the sRGB gamut. X9 (122 percent) and Eon 17-X (104 percent) scored higher than the 138-percent average for premium gaming laptops.

Titan’s brilliance couldn’t be matched by the competition. Its panel scored 271 nits on average, surpassing the Eon 17-X and X9, which scored 252 and 243 nits. Despite this, the Titan fell a few nits short of the 278-nit average for laptops in this class.

MSI preinstalls its True Color software, which offers six presets (Gamer, Anti-Blue, Movie, Adobe RGB, sRGB, and Office) to ensure the best viewing experience. It’s definitely up to you whether you venture beyond Adobe RGB. Additionally, the True Color app allows you to perform your own color calibration and create desktop partitions.

Audio

MSI, Dynaudio, and Nahimic remain a perfect match acoustically. Four speakers mounted along the front lip of the laptop produce loud, clear, and rich audio from their bottom-mounted subwoofer. Does this mean that external speakers are no longer needed? Not at all. The laptop speakers are excellent.

During Kevin Ross’ rendition of Outkast’s “Prototype,” I was treated to full-bodied harmonies led by an angelic tenor. Despite the fact that it’s almost entirely acapella, the mids and highs were nice and bright. After switching to J. Cole’s “Middle Child,” my bedroom became awash in trumpets and tight wordplay. In contrast to most laptop subwoofers, this one produced some low-end thud.

During my Battlefield V playthrough, the explosions were so loud that they woke my dog up. As I approached an enemy airbase, I heard booms and gravel and shrapnel. Occasionally I felt as if I was really in the game when I heard my compatriots’ voices.

Nahimic continues to impress me, especially its surround-sound technology. When switched from the Music preset to Movie or Gaming, the audio went from a warm, but somewhat one-dimensional performance to an immersive 360-degree performance. The vocals can even be adjusted so that they sound closer or farther depending on your preferences. The Smart Amp can lose some accuracy at max volume, but it’s still a great feature.

SoundTracking technology from Nahimic continues to be among the best I’ve used. During Battlefield V, it definitely helped me avoid enemies sneaking up on me. For streamers, Static Noise Suppression will be a favorite, especially when recording in noisy environments.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Isn’t this the ideal laptop keyboard? Featuring the latest mechanical keyboard, the Titan is the latest iteration. The Titan’s keys are positioned at the top of the keyboard deck rather than on the front lip, as in previous Titan models.

Another major change? It has flat chiclet-style keycaps instead of the bulky, domed keycaps found on most mechanical keyboards.

With an unbelievable 2.5 millimeters of travel and 80 grams of actuation force (our minimum is 1.5mm and 60g), the keys feel better than any laptop keyboard with scissor-membrane switches. Practice makes them punchy and quick. This keyboard did not bottom out, unlike most laptop keyboards. My typing speed on 10fastfingers increased from 70 words per minute to 80 thanks to those uber-springy switches.

Touchpads measuring 4.2 by 2.3 inches are fast and accurate. The performance of summoning Cortana, scrolling between open apps, and zooming in and out was nearly instantaneous. Almost as springy as the keyboard are the discrete mouse buttons.

SteelSeries Engine

The Titan’s alluring light show is powered by SteelSeries’ Engine 3 software. With a 16.8-million-hue selection, you can program every single key to glow a different color. It is possible to switch between eight dazzling preconfigured RGB profiles using the SteelSeries button along the side of the num pad if you don’t want to create your own RGB profile.

The GameSense feature synchronizes the lighting for certain games so that it blinks or flashes when something important happens. With CS: Go, for example, you can map certain keys to react to getting kills and scoring a headshot in addition to monitoring your health and ammo. Additionally, SteelSeries Engine 3 allows gamers to map multiple macros to one key. In addition, the app saves all your settings to the cloud with the CloudSync feature, so you can access them anywhere.

Say Hello to Nvidia RTX

Finally, Nvidia’s new RTX chips are available on mobile devices. Among other things, Nvidia claims the new chips, dubbed Turing, is the fastest ever. They feature structural efficiencies and advanced shaders. Gamers will experience increased performance and smoother gameplay, among other benefits. Power-efficient systems are made possible by the company’s Optimus and Battery Boost technologies. The Titan has even a WhisperMode so it doesn’t sound like a jet turbine.

Ray Tracing and DLSS (Deep Learning Super-Sampling) are RTX’s most important (and exciting) features. It involves following the light from a game’s virtual camera to the original in-game lighting source. It also mimics how a real light would interact with in-game objects, creating a more photorealistic appearance. A good example of this would be in-game reflections. A common problem in popular games is that reflections look weird or don’t show up at all (which I call the Nosferatu effect).

When you use Ray Tracing, you’ll get normal-looking reflections, which may seem inconsequential, but is a significant advance for rendering graphics. However, Ray Tracing is much more than reflections, it’s the ability to simulate how light behaves in the real world that means more realistic animations, which means better-looking games. As of now, Nvidia’s Ray Tracing will be used in 11 games, including Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Metro: Exodus, Control, and Battlefield V. The catalog will certainly expand as the year progresses.

Without DLSS technology, Ray Tracing would be impossible. Nvidia’s DLSS is its proprietary artificial intelligence, which the company refers to as the first AI for games. Our DLSS is trained to capture a large number of scenes at super high resolutions via a game at high resolutions. In the end, DLSS renders the high-resolution scenes at a lower rate when it’s time for the consumers to play the completed product, constructing high-quality graphics from the components of a wide variety of scenes. As a result of the shortcut, graphics and performance are enhanced.

Twenty titles will debut with DLSS technology, including Anthem, PUBG, Darksiders 3, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Hitman 2.

Gaming, Graphics, and VR

The GeForce RTX 2080 GPU is the new king of mobile GPUs. Combined with its 8GB of video memory, the card is a beast. By throwing a grenade in Battlefield V, I sent three soldiers scurrying for cover during my attack on an enemy base. It sent up a fine cloud of dust when it blew, giving me some time to sprint to my next position while running at 72 frames per minute on 4K. With 1920 x 1080, the frame rate jumped to 91 fps.

On the synthetic benchmark test, the Titan achieved 76 fps on Rising of the Tomb Raider, beating the premium gaming laptop average of 63 fps. Using GTX 1080 graphics, the Aorus X9 and Origin PC scored 73 fps and 69 fps, respectively. In contrast, the Alienware Area-51m achieved 92 fps with its own RTX 2080.

Our Hitman benchmark test resulted in a Titan score of 140 fps, beating the Eon 17-X and X9, which were both 96 fps. In the end, it was the Area-51m that won with 143 fps.

It beat out the X9 and Eon 17-X processors with 85 fps and 55 fps, respectively, during the Grand Theft Auto V test, which still wasn’t enough to beat the Area-51m which delivered 105 fps.

With Middle-earth: Shadow of War benchmarked at 112 frames per second, the Titan beat the 86 frame rate average and the 99 frame rate of the X9. At 132 fps, the Area-51m still won.

It is the Titan’s pleasure to take you to a virtual reality wonderland. The laptop performed flawlessly on the SteamVR performance test, scoring a perfect 11.

Performance

When you need to do some work, rest assured that Titan’s 2.9-GHz Intel Core i9-8950HK processor with 32GB of RAM is ready to go. In Google Chrome, I had 32 tabs open, some streaming Twitch, others running Tweetdeck, and others streaming YouTube while watching Voltron: Legendary Defender on Netflix. As I switched tabs, I didn’t notice any lag. The only time I experienced some latency was when I launched Battlefield V in a separate window. In case you need even more power, you can overclock the processor even though it is already pretty powerful.

Competing systems fared a little better against Titan. It scored 22,765 on Geekbench 4, which measures overall performance. In turn, it surpassed the Eon 17-X’s (21,273) desktop-grade Core i7 CPU as well as the 21,118 average of premium gaming laptops. The Area-51m, with its i9-9900K CPU, however, delivered 29,989.

In our Excel Spreadsheet test, the Titan matched up to 65,000 names and addresses in 36 seconds, beating the category average of 0:40. At 0:31, the X9 was just a few seconds faster.

Despite its bulk, the Titan is agile in certain areas. In 6 seconds, the notebook’s 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD duplicated 4.97GB of multimedia files. A transfer rate of 848.2 megabytes per second is involved. The X9 (1TB m.2 PCIe SSD) and Eon 17-X (566 MBps NVMe SSD) both missed the 558.2 MBps average by more than 100 MBps. It was no match for the Area-51m’s dual 1TB PCIe M.2 SSD in RAID 0, which achieved 1,272.3 MBps.

In the Handbrake test, the Titan transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in 8 minutes, outpacing the X9 (8:15) and the average (9:44). However, it was nowhere near the 6:00 Area-51m clocked.

Battery Life

I don’t think it’s surprising that the Titan took a hit in endurance with so much power. According to our Battery Test (continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness), the laptop lasted only 2 hours and 20 minutes.

This result matched the X9, but it is shorter than the premium gaming laptop average of 3:15 and the Area-51m’s 2:36. However, it still beat the Eon 17-X’s time of 1:52.

Heat

It is one cool, albeit somewhat noisy Titan thanks to MSI’s Cooler Boost technology. With two fans and 11 strategically placed heat pipes, the laptop is able to dissipate most of the heat before it reaches searing levels.

For 15 minutes, I played Battlefield V. I measured the temperature of the touchpad and it was 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Undercarriage temperatures were 103 degrees while the center of the keyboard hit 94 degrees. Taking the last measurement is above our 95-degree comfort threshold, but since you’ll rarely have the system on your lap, it’s not a big deal.

We reran the test after allowing the system to sufficiently cool down, this time playing a fullscreen HD video for 15 minutes. Laptop measurements for its touchpad, middle, and bottom were 88, 94, and 95 degrees.

Webcam

Unlike many other companies, MSI includes a 1080p webcam with its gaming systems. As with most integrated cams, the quality is mixed at best, though you can still use it if you must.

My bedroom produced accurate color, particularly with my striped denim shirt and my midnight blue walls. In spite of the grainy photos, I could still see the individual locs in my braid as well as the delicate stitching in my shirt pocket.

Software and Warranty

With the Titan, MSI has preinstalled a host of gaming utilities, which you can find in Dragon Center. In this hub, you can view and adjust system diagnostics, including CPU, GPU, and fan speed. The System Tuner allows you to adjust VoIP audio and game audio as well as switch between several different optimized systems presets. Additionally, Dragon Center has a Gaming Mode for games such as Dota 2, Overwatch, PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, and Starcraft II that uses GameSense lighting.

Burn Recovery and Battery Calibration are two other utilities located at Dragon Center.

Further improving the gaming experience, MSI added some gamer-centric third-party apps. The Killer Control Center prioritizes network bandwidth for data-intensive software. Additionally, the laptop is equipped with Nvidia GeForce Experience, which offers a number of useful features, including Game Optimization, Whisper Mode, and In-Game Overlay.

Windows 10 also comes with quite a bit of bloatware. It is unlikely that someone investing in this system would install Candy Crush Saga, Candy Crush Friends Saga, and Cooking Fever. There are some apps that are good, but not all of them.

A 1-year limited warranty is included with the MSI GT75 Titan. Find out how MSI did during our annual special reports on Tech Support Showdown, Best and Worst Brands, and Best and Worst Gaming Brands.

Pros Cons
Super comfortable mechanical keyboard Extremely expensive
Vivid, bright 4K panel
Excellent audio

Conclusion

My favorite gaming laptop is a kitchen-sink model. With the GT75 Titan, MSI has thrown everything under the sun at it, and it works beautifully. The Titan is a smorgasbord of awesome, from its stately, imposing figure to its show-stopping display, crowd-pleasing audio, and powerful Core i9 processor, and Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics. This powerhouse is out of reach for many gamers due to its $4,199 price tag.

You may be interested in the Aorus X9 if you’re looking for something a tad more affordable (and I do mean a tad). With a $3,899 purchase, you get a desktop replacement that is extremely lightweight while still being extremely powerful. However, if you want a truly powerful multimedia PC, the MSI GT75 Titan should be on your list.