Okay, this is just ridiculous.
For those of you just tuning in, in January Intel announced an absolutely monstrous mobile processor – the Core i9-13980HX with 5.6 Ghz turbo frequency, 157 watts maximum turbo power and 24 cores (eight performance, 16 efficiency). On paper, it’s the most powerful laptop CPU in history. So of course I had to get my hands on one.
I’m writing this live from the MSI Titan GT77 HX. This is an absurd device. It has a 17.3 inch 144Hz Mini LED screen. Inside is a GeForce RTX 4090, 2TB storage and 64GB memory. If there’s one thing that can display Intel’s flagship processor at its best, it’s this giant thing. Micro Center currently has it listed for, you know, just $4,699.99, a very reasonable and normal price to pay for a computer.
But let me tell you – I’m very jealous of the 11 people who are going to buy this because the chip in it is an absolute beast. And this is the most surprising part: the battery life, while not what I would call “good”, was better than I expected.
These are some of the best gaming results you’ll see from any laptop. I want to draw your attention to that in particular CS:GO to score. CS:GO score is a particularly CPU-heavy title, and this laptop scored higher than I’ve ever seen a laptop score before by a solid margin. I mean, 574 frames per second is just hilarious.
To see how much this CPU adds to the conversation, compare the Titan to the recently announced Razer Blade 16. The model of that laptop I just reviewed features the same 4090 GPU with a slightly less powerful Core i9-13950HX. The Titan showed some form of gain on most of the settings we ran.
On Cinebench, the Titan scored 2,098 on single core and 28,479 on multicore. Those are by far the highest scores I’ve ever seen from any machine, laptop or desktop I’ve ever run that test on. So if you were waiting for confirmation, this chip is a monster.
How that brute force translates to the real world depends on your use case. The Titan took two minutes and 53 seconds on our 4K video export test and scored a 1,124 on PugetBench for Premiere Pro. Those are nice results, but they show how game-oriented the system is. If you want a device primarily for video work – and I’m not sure I ever expected to type this sentence in my life – you really will to rescue money by going for a 64GB/2TB MacBook Pro with M2 Max, which fared better in our Premiere tests.
And then the biggest surprise of the day. Battery life: surprisingly good. I spent an average of five hours and seven minutes on a charge with this device as my primary driver, which meant working in about 20 Chrome tabs, very light photo work, and the occasional Spotify streaming over the top. You know what? I’ll take it.
I expected the battery life of this device to be around nine minutes, so five hours is well above my expectations. Of course, the Titan’s size makes for a massive 99.9Wh battery, but I’m still happy to see that the 16 efficiency cores built into this CPU seem to pull their weight. (Of course, this happened with the RTX 4090 GPU turned off – I wouldn’t expect to get this result with that chip running at full speed.)
The chip and its power are the main attraction of the Titan GT77 HX, but if you’re curious about the laptop itself, here are a few things you should know.
- I’m obsessed with this keyboard. The Titan has a Cherry MX Ultra Low Profile mechanical keyboard with two-part keycap structure and “cross-point contact system”. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is my favorite laptop keyboard I’ve ever used. The keys have a perfect actuation point with just the right amount of click. I easily hit my normal typing speeds with an accuracy percentage I don’t think I’ve ever achieved on a typing test before. I would like to have a keyboard like this in my daily process, and I wish more manufacturers would go for it. I’m typing this right now on a Razer Blade, which recently switched from the Titan, and I just feel sad. One caveat: the arrow keys and numeric keypad don’t use mechanical switches, which can feel inconsistent during gameplay.
- It’s flashy and bold. If you’re looking for a product that people will stare at as they walk by, this is the product. The keyboard, rear vents and lid logo are all full of RGB. It’s also a large device, just over 0.9 inches thick and 7.3 pounds. In today’s laptop market, that’s about as thick and heavy as it gets. Take this anywhere, and people will notice is what I mean. Oh, and the 330W adapter really is gigantic – like the size and weight of a hefty book. (It only charged the Titan to 49 percent in 60 minutes, which was slower than I’d hoped given its size.)
- The display is a dream. The 144Hz 4K Mini LED screen on my test model is exceptional. It reached a whopping 885 nits of brightness, meaning you shouldn’t have any issues seeing your games indoors or out. I only had to keep it between 20 and 30 percent brightness during my day job. Considering that many prominent gaming laptops… aren’t the brightest, that’s an impressive spec to see. Between that brightness, the deep blacks and vibrant colors the Mini LED offers, the 144Hz refresh rate and the 4K resolution, this is undoubtedly one of the best screens – if not the best screen – that you can get on a gaming laptop right now.
- The base is solid. Build quality is excellent, with very little flex in the keyboard or screen. It has all the ports you need, including Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, Ethernet, and an SD card reader.
There are two drawbacks to note. First, it’s a fingerprint magnet (although the smudges are easier to wipe off than on Razer Blades). It’s also pretty loud. I mean, I can’t imagine anyone buying a laptop literally called the “Titan” expecting it to be understated and unremarkable. But yes, just to confirm, the GT77 HX’s fans are quite audible when running at full speed.
Finally, I have to come back to the price here. When a device is hundreds of dollars more expensive than a comparable MacBook Pro (a laptop widely criticized as an inaccessible luxury), it almost feels unnecessary to give buying advice. We can rather think of this device as a fantasy – a look at gaming technology at its beautiful, once unattainable peak.
If you’re looking for a 17-incher with a high-resolution screen and cool-looking lights, but find the Titan a bit out of your price range, a 4K version of Alienware’s x17 currently costs more than $1,000 less than this Titan unit . Those looking for something more compact can try the UHD 144Hz Razer Blade 17 instead ($3,499.99 right now), which has a colorful (but more understated) keyboard. These are still expensive laptops, of course, but they’re a lot closer to the ground.
Photography by Monica Chin / Acutely