Among gaming laptops, MSI’s Raider series stands out as a prominent contender. Even then, MSI has always held back a little, saving their most innovative ideas and potent setups for their Titan series.
MSI’s Titan series reliably provides exceptional hardware. Attempting a new tack. An original idea. Think back to 2015’s crazy MSI GT80 Titan, which managed to combine a full desktop keyboard with an 18.4-inch notebook screen. In a more conventional 17-inch form factor, the MSI GT76 Titan squeezed a full desktop Core i9-9900K processor.
The MSI Titan GT77 is the most recent revision, and we’ll be taking a look at it right now. The NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU and Intel Core i9-12900HX processor make the GT77 one of the most powerful laptops available.
MSI GT77 Titan: Design
The MSI GT77 Titan, as its name suggests, is a massive laptop. Even so, it’s pretty big in comparison to other 17-inch desktop alternatives. It weighs almost 7 pounds, which is 1 pound more than the MSI GE76 Raider, and it has a width of 15.6 inches and a length of 13.2 inches, so it is not exactly a pocket-sized device. Very slim at only 0.91 inches.
The vents in the back, which protrude forcefully from the back, are mostly to blame for the hefty design, as they are responsible for cooling the 55W Intel processor and RTX 3080 Ti. Although MSI and Intel intend to market it as a replacement for desktop workstations, the design immediately identifies it as a gaming laptop, with its vivid RGB lighting, sharp angles, and cooling potential that could even outperform that of the Razer Blade 17.
There’s no way you’re transporting the GT77 Titan with its huge power brick anywhere. If you put it on a desk, though, the machine looks great. When you open the computer, the back vents emit programmable RGB lighting that matches the MSI shield on the top lid, and the SteelSeries mechanical keyboard’s illumination is fully under your control. However, as can be seen in the preceding image, the top tends to collect fingerprints.
- Deity-level performance
- Room for four storage drives (including one PCI Express 5.0!)
- Tactile mechanical keyboard
- Plentiful RGB lighting
- Built-in biometric features
- Impressive battery life
- Huge and heavy
- Colossal price, especially for RTX 3080 Ti configuration
- Loud under load
- Ho-hum webcam
MSI GT77 Titan: Ports
MSI takes advantage of a big laptop’s many available ports. Additionally to the two USB-C connections that enable DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 4, there are also three USB 3.2 Gen 2 connectors, a full-size Ethernet socket, an SD card reader, a mini DisplayPort connection, and a 4K @ 120Hz HDMI 2.1 port. You won’t find any of these on the back of the laptop, as is the trend with some gaming notebooks.
The connection is on par with that of many desktop computers, with the exception of a small number of USB-A ports. It is possible to add more ports by connecting a Thunderbolt 4 dock to one of the available ones, though this is highly unlikely.
MSI GT77 Titan: Performance
The GT77 Titan’s real powerhouse is the Intel Core i9-12900HX with 16 cores. This HX CPU is the most powerful mobile processor currently available, with two more cores than the Core i9-12900HK and a power restriction of 55W.
It outperforms the older i9 and the lower-end i7 choices that Intel has made available. However, only applications that make good use of several processor cores will reap the benefits. For instance, the Gigabyte Aero 16’s more cores allowed it to complete a render in Handbrake 22% faster than the Core i9-12900HK. This is a remarkable achievement.
However, Gaming laptops tend to get hot and noisy, but the GT77 Titan’s noise level is excessive. Use noise-canceling headphones if you want to avoid hearing the fans while playing a demanding game or using a resource-intensive program. Moreover, prepare to irritate the living daylights out of anyone else who happens to be in the vicinity.
GT77 Titan:Gaming performance
As powerful as the GT77 Titan is in the office, its true calling is as a gaming laptop. With the powerful RTX 3080 Ti, we wanted to explore if the HX CPU might assist speed up gaming performance. The answer is, unfortunately, not very much. In more ways than any other game, 3DMark showed off the Core i9 capabilities. 12900HX Improves by 8% and 4% in 3DMark Time Spy and Fire Strike, respectively, when compared to the MSI GE76 Raider, which also features the same GPU.
But the Core i7-12700H-equipped Razer Blade 17 isn’t far behind and even bested the Raider in Time Spy. It perfectly exemplifies how razor-thin the profit margins are for high-end players.
MSI Titan: Display and audio
In our opinion, the GT77 Titan’s 1080p screen is as good as it gets. We didn’t expect a stunning screen, especially at that resolution, but anything would have been nice, especially for the price MSI has set. Its 313 nits of brightness aren’t great, and while the black levels are good and the contrast is average, it won’t make much of a difference. The measured Delta-E is only 0.8, so the display is accurately calibrated.
It’s bad there isn’t a mini-LED option like the MacBook Pro 16 has or a screen as bright as the MSI Creator X16P’s. Considering the cost, one would expect a higher-quality display.
One advantage of the screen is its size. We were able to put up the GT77 Titan on my coffee table and play games while leaning back because the screen is so big.
The quality of the sound is greatly enhanced with the addition of two large, upward-firing speakers placed around the keyboard. Dynaudio led the design, and the speakers avoided distortion even at extremely high volumes. SteelSeries’ Nahimic software is also included with MSI, allowing you to adjust the equalization and virtual surround settings.
GT77 Titan: Keyboard and WebCam
The mechanical keyboard is one of the few standout features of the GT77 Titan. Its ultra-low-profile Cherry switches make typing faster and more accurate than on a standard laptop. For the most part, anyhow. After a few weeks of use, we still find the classic layout of the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro keyboard to be the most comfortable and convenient.
In general, the keys have a nice click and travel distance. However, they are inconsistent. We have a Butterfly keyboard scenario here, as is typical of Apple products. You’ll have to use more force on the keys because dirt, hair, and dust have made their way under them and are hanging. It’s frustrating that this problem manifested itself after only a few days of use, and while it only happens seldom, it’s still annoying to have such an expensive laptop have this problem.
The webcam lags a bit behind the trackpad, which is sizable and responsive when used with Windows Precision Drivers.
If you’re watching in a dark room, the 720p resolution will start to degrade into a grainy mess. The MSI GE76 Raider stands out because of its superior 1080p camera, which contributes significantly to the noticeable difference. Even if video conferencing isn’t the GT77 Titan’s primary function, the screen is big enough to accommodate an external webcam if necessary.
GT77 Titan: Battery life
If we’re being honest, the GT77 Titan won’t leave its charger very often. After being subjected to a web browsing test, the laptop lasted for a respectable four hours and twenty-five minutes on a single charge. Compared to the Razer Blade 17, that’s about half an hour longer; compared to the MSI GE76 Raider, that’s only a few minutes longer; and compared to an ultraportable MacBook, that’s about half an hour shorter. It’s not surprising that the GT77 Titan has the maximum battery capacity allowed on an airplane (99Whr), but that number seems laughably small when contrasted to the power of the machine itself.
GT77 Titan: Price and configurations
The GT77 Titan is, as could be expected, a very costly laptop. An RTX 3080 Ti has an Intel Core i9-12900HX processor, 64GB of RAM, and a 4K display running at 120 frames per second would set you back about $5,000. You can save yourself $1,800 and still obtain a Core i7-12800HX, RTX 3070 Ti, 32GB of DDR5. Also 4K display by going with a different setup.
There’s no need to sugarcoat the fact that the GT77 Titan is absurdly costly. If you’re looking to spend around this much on a laptop, you can forget about saving an extra $100 or $200. It still seems too pricey. Similar specifications can be found in the $1,500 cheaper Asus ROG Strix Scar 17, and in the $1,000 cheaper MSI Raider GE76. It provides the 45W HK version of the Core i9-12900.
Specifically, the RTX 3070 Ti with a Core i7-12800HX processor is the optimal setup. Even though it has more cores than the i7, the Core i9-12900HX rarely reaches its maximum boost clock. The RTX 3080 Ti offers a little improvement, but it’s not enough to justify the $1,800 price tag.