MSI GE76 Raider review: a monster gaming laptop in RTX 3080 Ti and Core i9

MSI GE76 Raider review: a monster gaming laptop in RTX 3080 Ti and Core i9

Construction

MSI has kept the same design as in 2021 and we therefore find here the metallic chassis, solid and decorated on the hood of the brand’s dragon. The RGB is also always in the spotlight with a strip of LEDs at the front of the chassis, which brings a little color to its environment, but will not only make fans.

The LEDs are in the spotlight.

The LEDs are in the spotlight.

If the touchpad is tiny and frankly anecdotal – the PC is clearly aimed at gamers who will necessarily use their favorite mouse or a controller – there is much more to say about the keyboard. Very responsive and adorned with a rough coating to grip the fingers well, it displays some interesting shortcuts at the level of the function keys (modify the performance profile, cut the webcam or change the RGB profile, for example). It is obviously customizable at will with RGB backlighting key by key. The SteelSeries GG software allows you to make all the color variations of the LED strip and the keyboard, and assign them light effects if necessary.



Backlighting is customizable on a per-key basis


The keyboard is effective

As often on the models gaming, the connection is very complete and the GE76 Raider can serve as a side model: we discover on the edges three USB-A ports, a USB-C port, an SD card reader, a jack socket; at the back of the PC, the proprietary socket for the charger, an Ethernet port, a Mini DisplayPort, a USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port and an HDMI port. Bluetooth 5.2 and wifi 6E are included for fast connectivity and the webcam films in Full HD at 30 fps. It is not Windows Hello compatible, but the rendering is frankly satisfactory in bright light. In low light conditions, the rendering is much more noisy, but the image remains usable.

The connection is ultra-complete.

The connection is ultra-complete.

Once the 13 Phillips screws have been removed, you can access the RAM and M.2 SSD modules, which are all interchangeable. Convenient to change its configuration and replace an element that no longer works.

RAM and SSDs are accessible under simple covers.

RAM and SSDs are accessible under simple covers.

Despite the thickness of the chassis and the two fans installed in it, this PC heats up. The thermal envelope of the processor and the graphics card is frankly high, which is logical. If the PC set to silent mode blows quietly at 38.5 dB in game, the performance mode increases it to 50.8 dB, which gives the impression of having a real hair dryer on the desk. In office automation under CineBench, it is not much better since we noted 48.3 dB. In terms of heat in the game, the PC has plenty to spare with peaks of 65°C at the air outlets, and a keyboard at 41°C towards the center. In heavy processing under CineBench, however, it is much better with only 34 ° C recorded in the center.

In game, the PC heats up and ventilates a lot.

In game, the PC heats up and ventilates a lot.

Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5

Performance

The MSI GE76 Raider is equipped with one of the best processors of the moment: the Core i9-12900HK from Intel. Clocked at 2.9 GHz, it boasts a TDP of 45 W which can rise to an impressive 200 W over long periods (56 s). Its frequency in turbo mode goes up to 5 GHz, but its HK suffix tells us that the CPU is overclockable. On our test model, it is accompanied by two 1 TB SSDs and 32 GB of DDR5 RAM, but we note that the commercial model is equipped with 64 GB of RAM.

With a CPU index of 168, the MSI GE76 Raider turned out to be one of the best performing PCs in our comparison. It far exceeds AMD’s excellent Ryzen 7 5800H and even the newer Ryzen 9 6900HS. The Core i9-12900H of the Asus Strix Scar 17, which we tested, still does a little better with a score of 176. It was indeed able to regularly maintain operating frequencies at 4 GHz in video encoding under HandBrake , while the Core i9 of our MSI was stabilized at 3.8 GHz on average.

The SSDs are also very fast, posting speeds in sequential reading of 6.8 GB/s and 5 GB/s in writing.

Editor's Rating: 2 out of 5

Mobility / Autonomy

With its 17.3-inch screen and a massive chassis (39.7 x 28.4 x 2.6 cm), the MSI GE76 Raider can be called a portable computer, but not really portable. It also hardly fits in a classic backpack, and it is not its 2.9 kg that will fix things. It will also be necessary to add the 1 kg charger, bringing the whole to almost 4 kg!

The power supply is huge.

The power supply is huge.

During our Netflix video test in Chrome, headphones plugged in and volume set to 50%, the PC lasted 4 h 11 min. It’s not much and other competitors do better, but it remains within the norm for a PC gaming. In any case, it will be necessary to remain connected to the sector to play in good conditions. Battery operation would greatly affect performance.

Strong points

  • Graphics card and processor performance.

  • Very complete connection.

  • Very well calibrated slab.

  • Huge screen refresh rate.

  • Replaceable SSD and RAM.

  • Advanced RGB customization.

Weak points

  • PC difficult to transport.

  • Significant noise and heat.

  • Screen brightness a bit low.

  • 1 kg charger.

Conclusion

we tested we liked
Global mark

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

How does grading work?

The MSI GE76 Raider is certainly one of the best PCs gaming from the moment. With its GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and Intel Core i9, it is capable of running any game at its maximum capacity, while demanding software will perform its tasks smoothly and very quickly. Its build quality and its 360 Hz screen are not perfect, but very well made, and it is only small details that come to taint them. If this machine misses the highest step, it is mainly because of its limited autonomy – although the players will remain connected to the sector anyway.