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MSI GE76 Raider review: Gaming powerhouse

MSI GE76 Raider review: Gaming powerhouse

MSI GE76 Raider

The MSI GE76 Raider is crammed with the latest and greatest PC gaming hardware available. For starters, it has Intel's 12th-gen Alder Lake Core i9 chip with a staggering 14 cores and Nvidia's fastest GeForce RTX 3080 Ti mobile graphics. Add in oodles of DDR5 memory and fast NVMe SSD storage, and this MSI laptop is easily one of the most powerful gaming notebooks now. It's also super expensive, runs hot, and can't stray too far from a power outlet. Basically, like every high-end gaming laptop ever built.

Quick specs

  • 17.3-inch Full-HD display (360Hz)
  • 12th-gen Intel Core i9-12900HK chip with Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics
  • 3x USB Type-A, 2x USB Type-C, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, SD card reader, Gigabit Ethernet port
  • 99.9 watt-hour battery

As mentioned, Intel's new Alder Lake Core i9-12900HK processor has 14 cores — six performance and eight efficiency cores. This hybrid approach is similar to that of ARM processors, notably Apple's Intel-beating M1 chip. This Core i9, though, puts up more of a fight than Intel's other mobile chips. The MSI matched the M1 Pro in the Apple MacBook Pro (2021) in Geekbench 5. It scored 1,825 (single) and 12,169 (multi-core) compared to 1,758 (single) and 12,319 (multi-core) for the Apple laptop. Of course, one is a behemoth gaming laptop which runs hot and lasted just 5hr 5min in our video-loop battery test. The other is cool, quiet, with a battery life of 7hr 26min. Apple also has a higher-end M1 Max chip that we didn't get to test. Conversely, the MSI with its GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics has the upper hand over the MacBook Pro in PC games.

MSI GE76 Raider
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

The MSI managed a whopping 87fps in Metro Exodus at Ultra quality with ray tracing. It produced a similar 86fps in Watch Dogs: Legion at Ultra quality. In comparison, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 with an AMD Ryzen 9 and GeForce RTX 3080 managed 74fps and 73fps respectively. Compared to these two gaming powerhouses, the Apple MacBook Pro managed around 80fps in the less demanding Dota 2. Like any high-end gaming notebook, the MSI does become warm and noisy in games. While I wouldn't recommend touching the area above the keyboard, the keys themselves are cool enough. But for all its gaming power, I was slightly disappointed that the MSI's 17.3-inch IPS screen only has a Full-HD resolution, albeit with a blazing-fast 360Hz refresh rate. MSI's website does list QHD and 4K screen options, but they don't seem to be available here. Its matte screen could also be brighter.

MSI GE76 Raider
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

Design-wise, the MSI is your typical chunky gaming notebook, all angles and corners. Still, it's far from the heaviest at 2.9kg, despite its huge 99.9 watt-hour battery. The 330W power brick adds another 900g. There are no lack of LEDs. The MSI has a thick RGB LED light bar at the front, as well as per-key RGB keyboard backlighting. You can adjust these LEDs using the preloaded SteelSeries GG app. The keyboard itself has good key travel. However, it's not some fancy opto-mechanical keyboard like the ones found in some gaming notebooks. Connectivity is excellent as expected, with a generous number of ports, including Thunderbolt 4, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI and a SD card reader.

At S$7,599, the MSI GE76 Raider is expensive even for a top-of-the-line gaming laptop. The Asus Scar 15 mentioned earlier is under S$5,000, for example. If money is no object, then you can't do much better than the MSI. It has few rivals in the PC gaming space, and an excellent desktop replacement PC if you need something a bit more portable. But the Apple MacBook Pro, with its superior battery life and thermals, may be better for content creation on the go. The MSI GE76 Raider is available now at Lazada and Shopee.

See Also
Hoto Electric Screwdriver Kit

Note: Review unit provided by Intel.

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Powerful but pricey gaming notebook.

Buy it at Shopee
Available at Lazada

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