Review: MSI GT83 VR Titan SLI

MSI GT83 VR SLI Titan

So a while ago, we had MSI’s GT73VR Titan to play with and we thought wow! This machine is incredible. But then its big brother, the MSI GT83 VR Titan SLI came to visit. And we were scared. It’s terrifyingly massive. Like, hide your children. This Titan only exists to shred through your games like they’re paper mache. If the gods used gaming laptops, this would be in their arsenal. 

MSI GT83 VR Titan SLI: Design and casing

This beast is massive. Intimidatingly so. It is constructed with brushed aluminium and weighs a casual 6KG. Not exactly portable, but not impossible to lug around either. To say that it monopolises desk space would be an understatement. You have to move everything away. This guy leaves space for no one.

MSI GT83 VR SLI Titan
Intimidating, even with the lid closed

Once you get past the size and step back and look at this beauty, it really takes your breath away. Even when its shut, the entire machine gleams, teasing you to open that lid and unleash mayhem. The vents on the side, the chrome MSI logo and the dragon sigil engraved on the top are all clothed in a glowing red hue that warns users of what lies ahead.

Under the lid is another sight to behold. A mechanical SteelSeries keyboard, designed with Cherry Speed Silver switches and a touchpad occupy what should be a palm rest. Only by mistake did I also discover that the touchpad converts into a digital number pad, essentially converting the keyboard into a full-size keyboard. It’s not as responsive as the mechanical keys but it gets the job done. The keyboard is super quick and responsive and it showed while playing. I didn’t use the pad as a mouse much but it was decent, offering pinch-zoom and multi-touch functionalities.

MSI GT83 VR SLI Titan
The area to the right of the mechanical keyboard can be a number or touchpad mouse

On top of this, however, is a plate with a large dragon engraving that also serves as the access point for those trying to get into the RAM and SSDs. There are a plethora of ports and slots on this machine, allowing for a multitude of expansion probabilities and connections. Unlike the GT73 we had earlier, this comes with a Blu-ray burner. Other ports include USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI ports, AC power ports and a display port. There is also a card reader and the usual array of headphone and microphone jacks.

MSI GT83 VR Titan SLI: Audio

One would expect that with such incredible overall specs, the audio on this behemoth would be something to reckon with too. Sure, it has some serious bass-thumping Dynaudio speakers and a subwoofer at the bottom. Yes, it can be tweaked further using the built-in Nahimic 2 software, with modes such as Music, Movie, Shooter and Strategy. But I wasn’t overwhelmed. In fact, even with regular plug-in earphones, the audio was just meh.

The real difference was when I switched to wireless audio via the Sony MDR 1000X. The I could hear the mids and the bass and the right notes that just seemed to be missing otherwise. Driving around in Watch Dogs 2 became a more pleasant experience while switching between the radio stations on offer. Ambient noise from the game like the conversations and traffic all sounded so much more real. Movies and music experiences were decent until the headphones came on. Then it just felt right.

MSI GT83 VR Titan SLI: Display and visuals

The MSI GT83 VR sports a sizeable 18.4-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 IPS display with enough vivid colour and details to set hearts aflutter. While playing Watch Dogs 2, Retr0 (or Marcus as he’s called) has access to quite a few gorgeous vistas of a virtual San Francisco. From the shimmering bay to the gleaming towers downtown, the game looked stunning. This was in no small part thanks to the two beast-like GTX 1080 cards under the hood, but the screen showcased it beautifully.

MSI GT83 VR SLI Titan
Dual Nvidia GeForce 1080 GPUs deliver all the graphics

Speaking of the 1080s, the power they deliver is nothing short of insane. The MSI powerhouse holds two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs, each with 8GB of VRAM. It’s already understood from these that the machine can handle almost anything you throw at it. The GT83 VR Titan easily holds its own among its peers, and dishes out jaw-dropping performance with ease.

Additionally, it can easily dispatch whatever a connected Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or other VR device throws at it.

MSI GT83 VR Titan SLI: Overall performance

The nitty-gritty. The what’s what under the hood. This is where the magic of the Titan takes place. First, there’s an Intel Kaby Lake processor running the show. These new sixth-generation big guns are mad powerful. The Titan has unabashedly thrown in up to 64GB of RAM into this machine along with the Skylake i7-6920HQ processor. In short, I had a bunch of tabs open on Chrome in the background while I played Watch Dogs 2.

The Super Raid-configured SSDs and an additional 1TB SATA hard drive guarantee speedy load times for anything. Whether it was games, media files or even computations on Excel, this beast of a machine chewed and spat them out like it was nothing.

Like most laptops, you would expect a single charger to help power your machine. Not this guy. One charger is lame. This guy wants two so he got two. Understandable. There are two huge GPUs and a massive screen. Such performance demands power. But it also demands power slots to keep it running. Don’t expect much in terms of battery life. Mine ran out in a little over two hours while performing a variety of tasks.

MSI GT83 VR SLI Titan
That’s a lot of power, but a Dh18,999 price tag will make most people pause for thought…

MSI GT83 VR Titan SLI: Final say

The MSI GT83VR Titan SLI is here to destroy faces and chew gum. And it’s all outta gum. From its sturdy yet gorgeous design to its benchmark-breaking performance, this machine is a hit. The beautifully crafted and functional keyboard and screen only enhance the pleasure of using a gaming laptop like this. The power train inside the behemoth is manic with its dual GTX 1080s, crazy amounts of RAM and the latest Intel processor. If you’re brave enough to handle it, this is the machine for you. But it doesn’t come cheap. Be prepared to shell out Dh18,999. Or save for your kids’ college tuition and miss out on the experience.

TL;DR

 

PROS CONS
– Impressive gaming and overall performance

– Face-melting graphics

– Beautiful mechanical keyboard

– Ports galore

– Surprisingly quiet

– Audio could be better

– Two many power supply and poor battery

– Very, very expensive

– No 4K display

– Shaky power cable needs to be set very properly