CES 2015 | MSI presents GT80 Titan gaming laptop with GTX 980M SLI
Today at CES, MSI has officially introduced the new GT80 Titan gaming laptop it has teased a couple of months ago. With it, MSI aims not only to cram the maximum possible performance into a laptop form-factor but also to provide an overall comfortable gaming experience. To achieve that, a large 18.4-inch Full HD screen is used and instead of the usual chiclet keys, a real mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches is installed. As can be seen in the photos, it's positioned directly adjacent to the front edge of the laptop, seemingly leaving no space for the touchpad, but the latter is present nevertheless. It is located on the slightly elevated plate to the right of the keyboard and is in fact a touchscreen capable of changing into a NumPad with a press of a button.
We have already reviewed several laptops with nVIDIA's GTX 980M graphics card and were very satisfied with the gaming performance at 1920x1080 resolution; only Ubisoft's poorly-optimized Assassin's Creed: Unity could not be comfortably played in maximum settings. MSI's GT80 Titan, however, might be able to pull off such a feat since it packs two of these cards with 8 GB video memory in a SLI array, paired with the powerful Intel Core i7-4980HQ processor and up to 32 GB of RAM. For the storage MSI utilizes the same scheme as in its other high-end laptops: four 256 GB SSDs (M.2 2280 form factor) in RAID 0 array add up to the total of 1 TB fast storage and a 1 TB 7200 RPM mechanical hard drive provides additional space for the data not requiring quick access such as movies and music.
Alternative configurations of the laptop will also be offered, the cheapest offering "merely" one GTX 980M, somewhat less powerful Intel Core i7-4720HQ, "just" 16 GB of RAM and "only" two 256 GB SSDs instead of 4 in addition to the 1 TB HDD. Another model will offer two GTX 980M cards, 32 GB RAM and the i7-4980HQ and four SSDs in RAID 0 but the capacity of each SSD will be 128 GB instead of 256 GB in the top model. However, only one configuration is listed on MSI's US site so far, combining Core i7-4720HQ with 16 GB RAM, 2x 128 GB SSDs, 1 TB HDD and GTX 980M SLI. Its MSRP is shown as $3400.
Common for each configuration will be the interfaces and communications. There are five USB 3.0 ports present as well as one HDMI 1.4 and two mini-DisplayPort 1.2 video outputs. Connecting analog 5.1 or 7.1 audio is not possible as only two gold-plated 3.5-mm jacks are installed but an S/PDIF port takes care of that, supporting up to 7.1 external audio solutions. An SD cardreader is found on the laptop's right side and a gigabit Ethernet socket (Qualcomm Killer E2200) on the back, where a power jack, two massive vents and the three above-mentioned video outputs are located as well. Also offered are Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (Qualcomm Killer N1525), Bluetooth 4.0 and a webcam capable of recording 30 fps video in Full HD. All models are equipped with a Blu-ray burner and two-way stereo speakers by Dynaudio with a subwoofer.
Obviously, GT80 Titan is a heavyweight, tipping the scales at 4.5 kg (9.9 lbs) and reaching 49 mm (1.93 inch) at its thickest spot. Regardless, MSI envisions the laptop to be transportable and even includes a matching backpack. The laptop is also meant to be upgradable, allowing easy access to most of the hardware via a removable plate above the keyboard. Unfortunately, the 8-cell battery is non-removable but offers a large capacity of 89 Wh (5225 mAh). GT80 Titan is backed with a 2-year pick-up and return warranty with the first year counted as global warranty.
Needless to say, we are very excited to test the new laptop ourselves and are hoping to get our hands on a sample soon.