Big, loud, and very pricey

Maximum PC - - TA­BLE OF CON­TENTS -

WHAT HAP­PENS when you put the equiv­a­lent of a com­plete desk­top into a note­book chas­sis? How about if you in­clude a bit of the desk? MSI’s GT75VR 7RF Ti­tan Pro an­swers that ques­tion with an ev­ery­thing­in­clud­ing-the-kitchen-sink at­ti­tude.

For starters, it’s gi­gan­tic, even by desk­top-re­place­ment stan­dards. We’ve tested some large lap­tops over the years, but at more than 2.2 inches thick, the Ti­tan Pro is ab­so­lutely mas­sive. A good por­tion of that is due to the cool­ing so­lu­tion, with more than 10 heat pipes, dual ex­hausts, and twin su­per-large, 29-blade fans (more on those later). Adding to the heft is the SteelSeries mechanical key­board, and while its re­mov­able key­caps are still chi­clet in style, they have a sat­is­fy­ing click that feels great to type and game on.

The Ti­tan’s in­sides are quite im­pres­sive as well. Com­put­ing du­ties are han­dled by an In­tel Core i7-7820HK pro­ces­sor paired with a whop­ping 64GB of DDR4-2400 RAM. Stor­age is ca­pa­cious, too: 1TB of fast stor­age, courtesy of two 512GB M.2 PCIe SSDs in RAID 0, paired with ad­di­tional stor­age via a 1TB 7,200rpm HDD. The for­mer is def­i­nitely im­pres­sive, of­fer­ing read/write speeds of 3,391/2,947MB/s in Crys­talDisk QD32 se­quen­tial. It also scored ex­cel­lently in PCMark 10 Ex­press, with 4,395, one of the high­est scores we’ve seen in a lap­top form fac­tor. Though, again, this is re­ally much more of a desk­top re­place­ment than an ac­tu­ally por­ta­ble lap­top.

The GT75VR is avail­able in sev­eral SKUs, de­pen­dent on how you like to game. For the dis­play, you can choose be­tween a 4K IPS panel or a higher re­fresh rate 120Hz 1080p screen that’s un­for­tu­nately a TN panel—though both of­fer G-Sync. The unit we tested fea­tured the for­mer, and while col­ors looked great, it left us want­ing more. We gen­er­ally try to avoid 4K screens on gam­ing lap­tops, as the GPU power re­quired to main­tain 60fps in the lat­est games is dif­fi­cult even for top-end desk­tops. The GT75VR we tested was out­fit­ted with a sin­gle GeForce GTX 1080, which is more than ca­pa­ble at 1080p but can strug­gle at 4K. (There are also sin­gle and dou­ble GTX 1070 SKUs avail­able.) NUM­BER CRUNCH TIME Let’s look at some num­bers. The Ti­tan Pro’s GTX 1080 per­formed well in our 1080p gam­ing tests, scor­ing 76fps in To­tal War:Warham­merII’s bat­tle bench­mark, and 61fps in the su­per-de­mand­ing Ghost Re­con:Wild­lands. It was able to han­dle the slightly older Rise­oftheTom­bRaider even more eas­ily, scor­ing an av­er­age of 110fps across the game’s three-part bench­mark.

How­ever, our ma­chine had a 4K screen, so it made sense to test at that res­o­lu­tion, too. At that more de­mand­ing res­o­lu­tion, the sin­gle GTX 1080 strug­gled. Riseof the Tom­bRaider, the eas­i­est of the gam­ing tests, re­turned scores of 53fps in the Moun­tain Pass, 44fps in Syria, and 43fps in the Geo­ther­mal Val­ley, for an av­er­age of 47fps—not great. Mean­while, the more de­mand­ing TW:Warham­merII and Ghost Re­con:W ild­lands proved even more dif­fi­cult, with 30 and 29fps, re­spec­tively.

In other words, the sin­gle GTX 1080 couldn’t main­tain 60fps at 4K in any of the games we tested, and while you can drop to 1080p, you’re then sad­dled with the 4K screen’s more lim­ited 60Hz re­fresh rate. And if you opt for the 1080p 120Hz panel op­tion that’s avail­able, you’re stuck with a TN screen. For a ma­chine with these sort of in­ter­nals, we would have much pre­ferred a high re­fresh rate 1440p IPS screen— es­pe­cially at this price point.

One other thing to note is the fans. The GT75VR boasts a ro­bust cool­ing sys­tem, fea­tur­ing MSI’s “cooler boost” tech­nol­ogy. It cer­tainly suc­ceeded at keep­ing things cool, but it was in­cred­i­bly loud do­ing so. Even af­ter tweak­ing some set­tings, the fans made a ton of noise when­ever they spun up even a lit­tle bit. For all the hub­bub over im­pres­sive cool­ing tech—not to men­tion the mas­sive chas­sis—we hoped that things would stay quiet dur­ing reg­u­lar game­play, crank­ing up the vol­ume only when pushed to the ab­so­lute limit.

MSI GT75VR 7RF Ti­tan Pro

TI­TANIC Mechanical key­board; great cool­ing; su­perb speak­ers.

ICE­BERG Ex­pen­sive; gi­gan­tic; loud. $ 4,200,

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