Dual GPU packing notebooks are becoming far more common these days in the high end notebook segment, featuring dual GPUs theoretically allows 2x more FPS than a single GPU. Giving gamers the ability to play their games at ultra quality presets with maximum frame rates at high resolutions.
Today we’ll be checking out two of MSI’s notebooks featuring dual GPU configurations. The 17.3″ MSI GT72VR TITAN SLI 4K-423 and the monstrous 18.4′ MSI GT83VR TITAN SLI-253. Both pack amazing hardware at the $3300-3500 price point.
Lets start with specifications. Firstly the MSI GT72VR TITAN SLI 4K-423 features an Intel Core i7-7820HK CPU, two GeForce GTX 1070’s in SLI, 32GB of RAM at a frequency of 2400MHz, and a RAID 4 array of two, 256GB SSDs and one 1TB SSD. For mechanical storage we have one, 7200RPM 1TB HDD. The screen is an IPS 4k panel.
Next, MSI GT83VR TITAN SLI-253 has a Intel Core i7-7920HQ CPU, dual GeForce GTX 1070’s in SLI, 16GB of 2400mhz RAM, and only a single 1TB HDD. The screen is a single 18.4″ 1080P display.
Right off the bat we see that the GT83 comes with a much more expensive and faster core i7 CPU. However, in the specifications department, this is the only piece of hardware that is faster than it’s competitor, the GT72. The GT72 trumps the GT83 in everything else, 2x more memory, FAR more storage and far faster storage aswell.
Aesthetics and Feature Set:
GT83: Immediately we can see how big this thing is. It’s 18.4 inch display along with it’s very thick body makes for an absolute behemoth of a laptop to carry around. I’d even argue that it isn’t a real laptop with how insanely large it is. But that’s for another discussion. The entire laptop is black with red accents, typical of MSI. If you open the notebook up, the biggest change that might supprise you is the layout of the keyboard and touchpad. They are both tucked as far to the front as possible, leaving a lot of empty space up in the front, decaled with MSI’s dragon logo. The good news is that “empty” space isn’t exactly empty. If you pop open the cover, you’ll find your hard drive, half of your memory slots, and several empty M.2 slots. Making upgrading easy to do.
The main reason why the GT83 is so thick is because of the keyboard it comes with. It comes with a full desktop grade keyboard with Cherry MX Red switches. Without a doubt, your going to get the best typing experience possible on this notebook. To the right of the keyboard we find a multi-purpose touchpad that serves both as a touchpad for your mouse cursor, and as a keypad.
GT72: The biggest problem for the GT83 is it’s pure size and weight. The GT72 you could say is the “ultrabook” of SLI gaming laptops. It’s size is the exact same as all other GT72 variants. Featuring a 17’3 4k display and the standard steelseries keyboard that all GT72s come equiped with. Sure, the steelseries keyboard is going to be inferior to the desktop grade cherry MX switch keyboard, however it is still a very good keyboard.
Performance and Cooling:
Both laptops will give you an awesome gaming experience…for the most part. With TWO GTX 1070s in SLI, you have the capability of theoretically doubling your frame rate vs a single 1070 which you will usually find. Expect easily above 120fps at 1080P or 1440P resolutions and above 70fps at 2160P (4k) resolutions.
Unfortunately, having two GPUs instead of one GPU imposes more problems than you might expect if your new to this sort of thing. The problem with having two GPUs instead of one is game support for two GPUs and reliability of that game to use both of your GPUs. For the most part, your going to have A. Micro stuttering or B. Lack of SLI support entirely (SLI is a technology from NVidia that allows you to hookup two or more GPUs and use them together for one task). There are very few games in 2017 that fully support SLI without issues like this.
On the flip side, if you have a game that does support it very well, your FPS in game will skyrocket. Allowing you to have a gaming experience very few gamers typically have. Also, if you do more than just gaming, you can use the two GTX 1070s for rendering purposes.
CPU wise it’s a mixed bag between the two competitors. The more powerful i7-7920HQ in the GT83 does have a faster clock speed than the i7-7820HK in the GT72. However, the i7-7920 is a locked CPU, meaning it cannot be overclocked, whereas, the 7820HK (K denoting it’s unlocked) is a overclockable chip, allowing you to easily push past the stock frequencies of both chips. Either way, both CPUs at their stock frequency are so close in speed that they are pretty much equal. It’s only the GT72 that takes the win if you want to dirty your hands with overclocking.
Another critical difference between the two machines is their memory capacity. 16GB for the GT83, and 32GB for the GT72. Overall, for web browsing, gaming, and regular content creation, 16GB of memory will be enough for you. But if your into the more complex stuff like very heavy work in photo editing software or video editing, you might need the extra RAM to keep everything smooth. However, you can always upgrade the GT83 to 32GB or 64GB of memory if need.
Probably the strangest configuration are the displays. MSI opted on their more premium GT83 to go with a cheaper generic 1080P 60HZ screen vs the 4k 60hz screen we find on the GT72. 4k isn’t that important on a screen size this small, but it is strange that a cheaper monitor would be on the more premium laptop. There isn’t even an option for a 120hz 1080P screen.
The cooling capability of both notebooks is also quite different, the GT83 packs a more powerful cooling system with 15 heatpipes surrounding the CPU, and both GPUs. Meanwhile the GT72 only comes with 12 heatpipes. The GT72 can easily handle the three chips combined, however the GT83 will offer more flexibility as you won’t need to increase fan RPMs as much to lower temperatures, thus, decreasing fan noise.
There really isn’t a clear winner in this instance, but if I was forced to…it would be the GT72. Both laptops are incredibly powerful, but the fact that the GT72 comes with SSD’s and in a standard laptop form factor means that you can take it on road trips and do other stuff with it on the go without you sacrificing performance.
However, the GT83 also has it’s perks. For those of you who desire a desktop replacement with as much desktop grade peripherals as possible (bigger screen, desktop grade keyboard, and beefy cooling system), the GT82 is for you. Another huge advantage for the GT83 is it’s upgradability, it is very easy to get into the guts of this notebook and replace the memory and storage components yourself, just like a regular PC.
So overall, while the GT72 takes the win, both laptops are still awesome. You will get amazing performance from both of these systems, whichever one you choose.
These reviews aren’t the exact same models as the ones posted here, but are still a good read.
Specs For MSI GT82VR TITAN SLI-253:
CPU: Intel Core i7-7920HQ Quad Core 3.1GHz (4.1GHz Turbo)
GPU: 2x GeForce GTX 1070’s
RAM: 16GB (8GBx2) DDR4 2400MHz (Upgradable up to 64GB)
Storage: 1TB 7200RPM HDD
Ports: 5x USB 3.0, Headphone Jack, Microphone Jack, SPDIF Out, SD Card Reader, Blu-Ray DVD Reader, HDMI, Thunderbolt 3, Mini Displayport, Ethernet
Display: 18.4″ 1080P 60HZ
Specs For MSI GT72VR TITAN SLI 4K-423:
CPU: Intel Core i7-7820HK 2.9GHz (3.9GHz boost)
GPU: 2x GeForce GTX 1070’s
RAM: 32GB (16GB x2) DDR4 2400MHz
Storage: RAID 4 1TB SSD NVME + 2x 256GB SSDs. 1TB 7200RPM HDD
Ports: 5x USB 3.0, 4 audio ports, SD Card Reader, Kensington Lock, Ethernet, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, Thunderbolt 3
Wireless: N/A (there is WIFI, but unknown what model)
Display: 17.3″ 2160P (4k) 60HZ