MSI Titan GT77 HX 13V (2023) review: RTX unleashed

If you’re going to release a laptop called the Titan, equipped with internals that will break benchmarking records, it needs to deliver. On paper, at least, the MSI Titan GT77 doesn’t disappoint. This gaming monster features a full-power version of Nvidia’s flagship GeForce RTX 4090 laptop GPU, has a stunning 4K Mini LED display, is one of the most powerful mobile processors Intel has ever made, and the kind of The cooling gear you’d expect to see inside a desktop PC.

All this power doesn’t come cheap though. The fully equipped version tested here will set you back a suitably monstrous £5299 – and stepping up to the RTX 4080 won’t spare any cash, thanks to the different memory and storage options. Does such an expense make sense?

Design and build: A heavyweight contender

The Titan’s bold design means people will have no illusion that this is a top-tier laptop. The logo on the lid is packed with RGB LEDs, as is the keyboard below it, and the massive cooling module at the back has its own lights that shine through the vents. Feels a bit raw compared to laptops with matte metal and rainbow illumination Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 and other rivals from Alienware and Razer, but this one is definitely different.

It is also going to take up a lot of space. MSI’s website says the Titan is 23mm thick, but that figure only represents the base and front of the screen sections with the lid closed; It is almost twice as long as the rear. The extensive cooling hardware makes it 330mm deep, and trades with 18in notebooks from Razer and Alienware at 397mm. The MSI also weighs 3.47kg, plus an additional 1.28kg for the power brick. It’s a bruiser, heavier than most rivals. Build quality is, to say the least, great.

The Titan is huge then, but it’s loaded with ports. There are two Thunderbolt 4 sockets, one of which provides laptop charging and power delivery. You’ll find three full-size USB ports, an SD card slot, and both HDMI 2.1 and mini-DisplayPort outputs. It is better than any rival. The combination of 2.5Gbps Ethernet, dual-band Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.3 is also impressively future-proof.

The only disappointment is the webcam – Windows Hello is welcome, but at this price it shouldn’t be 720p.

Screen: The best around – for now

MSI Titan GT77 2023 Windows Desktop

The Titan GT77 doesn’t just stuff a 4K panel into its 17.3-inch chassis — this panel uses Mini LED technology to deliver some of the best visuals we’ve seen on a laptop. Over 1000 local dimming zones offer VESA DisplayHDR1000 certification, and HDR brightness reached 1145 nits at our test peak. SDR content was equally impressive at 617 nits, which means everything is going to look incredibly bold.

It provides near-infinite contrast and true black tones, covering the entire sRGB color space and nearly all P3 and Adobe gamuts. A Delta E of 2.83 also ensures accuracy. That means it’ll work fine with color-accurate tasks as well as keeping games looking their best.

The 3840×2160 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate make this a great screen for single-player gaming. It’s a shame the higher refresh rate isn’t available yet. A 240Hz/QHD option is listed on MSI’s website, but was not on sale at the time of writing. An esports-friendly high refresh rate would be the only real reason anyone would want to look elsewhere.

It is a shame that the inbuilt audio is not up to the same standard. The 8W’s speakers sound very loud, but there’s a tinny top-end and weak bass that combine for an underwhelming sound. At this price, that’s poor.

Performance: Record breaking result

MSI Titan GT77 2023 Rear Vents

Let’s talk numbers, shall we? The Titan GT77 has a lot to offer, and they’re all big. The Nvidia GeForce 4090 graphics chip has 16GB of dedicated memory, 9,728 Lavaless cores, and a 175W TDP; 16-core, 32-thread Intel Core i9-13980HX peaking at 5.6Ghz; It comes with 32GB of DDR5 memory and a 2TB Samsung SSD out of the box, plus there are additional M.2 connectors if you want to add more capacity later.

Whether it’s playing single-player titles at top graphics settings, outputting to a 480Hz external display, or running a VR headset, the RTX 4090 will handle it. horizon zero dawn It’s demanding, but the Titan averaged 92fps at 4K, which the Asus M16 could only achieve at 2560×1600. In rainbow six siege MSI’s 4K average of 263fps also beats the M16’s QHD result. A 3D Mark Time Spy score of 20,810 was more than 6,000 points ahead of the Asus at its stock settings, and still thousands of points ahead in Turbo mode. The processor is also a beast.

You can run just about anything on this laptop, but the Titan isn’t flawless. Extreme Performance mode actually resulted in a slight performance degradation in some tests and only slight gains in others. Silent mode doesn’t seem to have a huge negative impact on scores and frame rates, at least not after an hour-long session, so it might be a good idea to use it.

This is one of the loudest gaming laptops we’ve ever used. Audio levels top 60db in some tests and speakers are often drowned out. It’s hard to hear yourself thinking this and will prove annoying to anyone in the vicinity, and it achieves those levels in both the default and Extreme performance modes. A laptop this size with this much cooling hardware should do a better job. The exterior is always cool, but that’s not enough.

Upcoming machines from Razer and Alienware also run the RTX 4090 at 175W and will be available with the same Core i9 CPU. It will be interesting to see if they can do it more quietly. Those laptops lack 4K display options, some miss out on mini LED panel technology, and most don’t have mechanical keyboards. But the similarly spec Blade 18 is £4499 and the Alienware m16 costs £3909.

Battery life isn’t terrible if you live off games—the MSI lasted five hours in the daily task test. That said, longevity during games will drop below 90 minutes, and that’s with less GPU power and display brightness.

Keyboard and touchpad: the missing link

Gaming laptops live and die on the keyboard, and this is another area where the MSI Titan GT77 falters. Positively, most of its buttons feature CherryMX low-profile hardware, and they’re the best switches you’ll find on any notebook—fast, crisp and satisfying, and with per-key RGB lighting. Trackpad is fine, but you’d still use a USB mouse just fine.

That’s great, but you won’t find the CherryMX hardware under each button. Those switches are omitted from the numberpad and many other keys, so they feel different. The number pad and function row are reduced in size, and the cursor keys feel cramped as well.

MSI isn’t the only culprit here: You don’t even get a number pad on Asus, Razer, or Alienware notebooks. But if you include one, especially on a laptop that costs over £5000, do it right.

MSI Titan GT77 HX 13V Verdict

The MSI Titan GT77 is designed to be the all-winner notebook that will form the basis of your gaming life for years. And if you want max speed and an incredible screen, this rig will absolutely do the job. But it takes some shortcuts that we don’t expect from a £5000 machine. Those CherryMX keys are great – but they’re not under every key. The screen isn’t an option for eSports players, and it’s the loudest-sounding laptop we’ve tested.

That money could get you a Razer or Alienware notebook with the extra money if you’re happy to accept the compromise. You can also buy an RTX 4090-equipped PC and a proper gaming monitor with a budget of £5000.

It’s arguably the fastest gaming laptop out there, and it has the best screen going around right now. But considering the price, it is not sophisticated enough. We will wait to see what else comes up before arranging an overdraft.

MSI Titan GT77 HX 13V Technical Specifications

Screen 17.3in, 3840×2160 Mini LED w/ 144Hz
cpu Intel Core i9-13980HX 16-Core
Memory 32GB DDR5
GRAPHICS Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 16GB
storage 2TB SSD
Operating System windows 11 home
battery life for five hours
connectivity 2x Thunderbolt 4, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2, HDMI 2.1, Mini DisplayPort, SD card reader,
3.5mm combination port, 2.5Gbps Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6e, Bluetooth 5.2
DIMENSIONS 397x330x37mm, 3.47kg

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