Change is good, especially when it is a gaming laptop with a completely new design. The MSI GT76 Titan leaves the weary black-red game aesthetic behind and steps out in all its silver, foxy glory. The new look is nothing short than astonishing. In combination with MSI’s habit of using the most powerful components available, the Titan is a force that must be considered in terms of performance and financially. But this super-premium machine deserves a place on our list of best gaming laptops. This is our MSI GT76 Titan Review.
MSI GT76 Titan Review – Design
After shaking the black-red game aesthetics for years, the Titan has turned gray. Made from a slate-gray aluminum and a black plastic base, the laptop looks like an imposing armor ready to protect a gamer on his way to battle. Worn in polished gray color, MSI’s dragon sigil looks just like a weapon. The large vents at the rear are made of faux carbon fiber and remind me of a powerful supercar, prepared and ready for the job.
Staring into the laptop is like stepping into the mouth of the dragon hole. The whole of the deck is made of black metal that feels cool. The illuminated keys are like glittering treasures that tempt you to come closer. At the top of the deck, you will find buttons for fan speed, power, and MSI Dragon Center. There is a wavy rainbow along the bottom of the front lip and sides of the laptop, thanks to the light effects of SteelSeries and an LED strip.
Regarding ports, you get quite a bit on this gaming laptop, and they are all placed on the left and right. On the left, there is a microphone port, a headphone port (HiFi / SPDIF), a USB Type-C port with support for USB3.2 Gen2, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt 3, two USB3.2 Gen2 Type-A ports, an RJ45 Ethernet port, and the adapter plug. On the right side of the laptop, there is one USB3.2 Gen2 Type-C port, two USB3.2 Gen2 Type-A ports, one microSD card reader, one HDMI port with support for 4K resolution at 60 Hz and one mini DisplayPort.
Keyboard and TouchPad
It’s not mechanical, but the island-style keyboard of the Titan feels excellent anyway. The keys are large and well-distributed and offer resilient feedback without a hint of lows. The keyboard uses the Engine 3 software from SteelSeries to deliver customizable lighting per key using 16.8 million colors. If you don’t want to design your RGB creation carefully, you can navigate between eight beautiful pre-configured profiles with the SteelSeries button on the side of the numeric keypad.
Do you want more functionality? Try the GameSense function, which synchronizes the lights so that certain games blink or blink when something important happens. For example, in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you can map specific keys to respond to murders and score a headshot, in addition to keeping track of your health and ammunition. You can also assign multiple macros to one key. And all your settings are stored in the cloud with the CloudSync function for use wherever you are.
The 5.4 x 2.5-inch touchpad is enormous. It is also swift and accurate. Launching Cortana, scrolling between open apps, and zooming in or out on an image was almost instantaneous. The two discrete mouse buttons are nearly as resilient as the keyboard.
MSI GT76 Titan Review – Display
MSI has a history of making displays with striking colors, and the GT76 Titan does not disappoint. Details while playing the Miss Virginia trailer on the 17.3-inch, 4K Ultra-HD (3840 x 2160) matte panel was so bright. I saw several moles near the Uzo Aduba’s left eye, as well as tiny hairs that line the edges of her afro draped. Her olive-colored coat – with its dark green, crimson red, and golden accents – brought the light shine to her pink blouse and warm, brown skin.
The beautiful color cavalcade continued while I was playing Far Cry New Dawn, where a crimson and black rattlesnake rolled up, ready to strike with thin yellow lines that accentuate the black diamond patterns on the tight body of the reptile. The full moon above the head helped to draw attention to the delicate scales that make up the transfixing pattern.
The color looks so good on the Titan because of the 157% reproduction on the sRGB range, which helps to maintain liveliness. It is higher than the average of 148% premium gaming laptop and the 120% and 118% of the Origin PC Eon 17-X and the Alienware Area-51m. It also means that the screen is very bright, averaging 339 nits, which exceeds the 318-nit average and surpasses the Alienware Area-51m (284 nits) and the PC Eon17-X (211 nits).
MSI GT76 Titan Review – Audio
Dynaudio speakers, in combination with Nahimic audio software, usually deliver loud, pure sound. The same goes for the Titan – for the most part. The light, airy vocals of Chloe x Halle, came through the light and clear on the speakers at the bottom. Some instruments, such as the keyboard, were a bit muddy, though others, such as the percussion, were reasonably clean. Even the hassle with the Nahimic presets, which can usually resolve most audio issues, has corrected that. Of the four settings (Gaming, Music, Surround, and Voice), the Gaming mode delivered the most balanced performance.
When I was playing Far Cry New Dawn, I switched to Surround, giving me the feeling that I was walking through the woods, complete with different birds calling and winds blowing softly through the trees. It was all quiet until I heard a throat sound that seemed to come from everywhere and almost let me know that a cougar was chasing me like its prey. A few well-placed fires from my submachine gun broke the rest but helped me to turn the tables on the wild animal.
When you switch from the Music Preset to Film or Gaming, the audio transforms from a warm but somewhat one-dimensional performance with 360-degree effects for realistic immersion. You can even adjust the vocals to make them sound closer or further, as per your preference. At the maximum volume, you can lose some of the accuracies, despite the efforts of Dynaudio’s smart amplifier to maintain the levels, but it is still a great feature.
Nahimic’s SoundTracking technology remains one of the best I’ve used. It indeed came in handy during Far Cry, which meant that some determined Highwaymen couldn’t sneak up on me. And for streamers, the Static Noise Suppression function is a favorite, especially when recording in a noisier environment.
Graphics and Gaming
One look at this laptop, and it is safe to assume that it has serious power under the hood. With Titan, you have a full Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU with 8 GB VRAM. And for those moments when you don’t gamble, there’s an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU.
During my New Dawn walk, I crept through the forest to my next goal. I sneaked to a small herd of pronghorn deer, hit my arrow and let it fly, resulting in a fleshy flop when it landed in my prey at 56 frames per second on Ultra at 3840 x 2160. The frame speed jumped to 71 fps when I Setting dropped to 1920 x 1080.
The Titan mostly kept pace with its competition. Although it stumbled across the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark, only 68 fps scored High at 1080p. It is better than the average of 65 fps for premium laptops. Equipped with their own 2080 GPUs, the Alienware Area-51m and the Origin PC Eon17-X reached 92 and 81 fps, respectively.
Switching to Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the Titan delivered 79 fps and beat the average of 63 fps. The Eon17-X was only one frame higher at 80 fps.
After running the Hitman benchmark, the Titan reached 113 fps and beat the average of 107 fps. The 125 fps of the Eon17-X and the 143 fps of the Area-51m, however, both scored higher. The Titan, however, registered an impressive 70 fps at 4K and sailed beyond the average of 55 fps.
During the GTA V test, the Titan matched the Area-51m with 105 fps, beating the 97 fps of the Eon17-X and the category average of 78 fps.
During the Middle-Earth: Shadow of War benchmark, the Titan recorded 110 fps, reaching an average of 95 fps, but not the Area-51m or Eon17-X, which achieved 132 and 130 fps.
MSI GT76 Titan Review – Performance
The fact that the Titan is doing a lot of performance does not mean that he takes his foot off the gas during regular tasks. On the contrary, the 3.6 GHz Intel Core i9-9900K processor of the laptop with 64 GB RAM is multitasking, productivity dynamo. The notebook has streamed an episode of Disenchantment on Netflix with 25 open Google Chrome tabs, some with Twitch, YouTube, and Tweetdeck, with Far Cry in a separate window.
The Titan retained that same energy on our synthetic benchmarks and scored 32,500 on Geekbench 4.3, which measures overall performance and easily beat the 25,040. With their 9900K CPUs, the Eon17-X and Area-51m scored 27,544 and 32,591, respectively.
During the File Transfer test, the Titan pair duplicated 512 GB NVMe PCIe SSDs in the Super RAID 4 configuration (with a 1 TB 7,200 rpm hard drive) 4.97 GB of multimedia files registering a transfer rate of 1,454.1 megabytes per second. It means the average of 782.4 MBps was burned and the Origin PC Eon17-X (2TB SSD) 565 MBps. The Alienware Area-51m, with its own double 1 TB NVMe PCIe SSDs, came closest to the Titan with 1,272.3 MBps.
With so much power, the Titan is expected to have short battery life. However, the MSI GT76 Titan lasted 3 hours and 45 minutes during the battery test (which includes continuous internet access via WiFi at 150 nits of brightness). That time is longer than the average of the 3.24 premium gaming laptop, the 2:36 of the Alienware Area-51m, and the 1:50 of the Origin PC Eon17-X.
In addition to battery life, cooling is a long-standing problem with gaming laptops. MSI uses a three-pronged attack, using 11 heat pipes, four fans, and a base that has more vents than anything else. The heat pipes are made of highly polished copper to get as much heat dissipation as possible. It is a necessary measure if you want to keep your overclock for more than 5 minutes.
For the first test, I freed an outpost in Far Cry for 15 minutes. After this, I tested strategic points on the laptop (touchpad, the center of the keyboard, and base) and saw temperatures of 96, 112, and 129 degrees Fahrenheit. All of which are above our comfort limit of 95 degrees. We performed the test again when the system was cooled down with a 15-minute video. The temperatures for the touchpad, the middle, and the bottom reached 83, 92, and 104 degrees, respectively.
Price and Configuration Options
I had a great time with this beast of a gaming rig. I tested the $4,599 version, which has a desktop 3.6 GHz Intel’s Core i9-9900K processor with 64 GB of RAM; a pair of 512 GB NVMe PCIe SSDs; a 1 TB, 7200 rpm hard drive; an Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU; an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU with 8 GB VRAM; and a 3840 x 2160 panel with a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
The basic model of $2,999 has a 3.6 GHz Intel Core i7-9700K CPU, 32 GB RAM, a 512 GB NVMe PCIe SSD, an Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 GPU with 8 GB VRAM and a 1920 x 1080 panel with a refresh rate of 240 Hz. The $3,599 configuration is the middle option, but the specifications are far from mediocre. It offers a 3.6 GHz Intel Core i7-9700K CPU, 16 GB RAM, a 512 GB NVMe PCIe SSD, an Intel’s UHD Graphics 630 GPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 GPU with 8 GB VRAM and a 3840 x 2160 panel with a 60 Hz refresh rate.
MSI GT76 Titan Review – Conclusion
MSI is mixing old and new, and I am in favor of it. The latest is the beautiful new silver design that is Camelot-meets-the-race track. It is a daring deviation from the tried-and-tested red-and-black game motif. The old one is the countertop of the company for gaming laptops. At $4,599, this GT76 Titan has just about everything, including an Intel’s desktop processor and a full Nvidia’s RTX 2080 GPU, which means it is powerful enough for gaming and productivity with ease.
At $5,223, the Alienware Area-51m is quite more expensive than the Titan when configured the same way, but offers a slightly more subdued (for a massive gaming laptop) look than the previous one. With the Alienware, you can also upgrade all components for serious future-proofing. But overall, though, the MSI GT76 Titan is an excellent choice for a desktop replacement gaming laptop.
The MSI GT76 Titan offers excellent gaming and overall performance and a beautiful 4K screen, but it is pricey.
- Attractive design
- Excellent graphics and overall performance
- Bright, colorful 4K panel
- Comfortable keyboard