Most gaming laptops on the market it's usually trying to find some nice balance between performance and portability, and then they try to match that with a somewhat reasonable price that would just appeal to most people out there. But then, every once in a while, you get this chunky beast of a laptop that goes for the best performance ever, no matter what. Now it will be available in some more reasonable configurations as well, but what I have right here is the most high-end specs laptop that I've ever tested. It has 150 watts RTX 3080 GPU and Intel Core i9 64GB of ram, a 2TB SSD, and a very cool 4K 120Hz wide gamma display.
Obviously, this also makes it 1 of the most expensive laptops on the market, and this configuration alone will cost you 4000 euros here in the Netherlands. And even though I can't find a US pricing quite yet, it should be around $3500 excluding taxes.
Design / Build Quality
Now let's see what this MSI GE76 Raider. Even though the G76 is a pretty big 17-inch laptop, it doesn't have 1 of those insane form factors that are impossible to carry. You will be able to fit in a sizeable regular backpack but keep in mind that the laptop itself weighs about 3 kilos, and then you need to add even more to that for the large 280 watts of power break.
So it is going to be portable enough to move it around the house or take it somewhere occasionally, but this is definitely not a laptop that you want to carry around with you every single day. Now I am having some mixed feelings when it comes to build quality though
It feels solid enough, but it is all plastic, and even though there is not too much flex in it, I feel like it's missing a bit of that premium feeling that you do expect to get when you paid this much for a laptop. Now the design itself is something that is very subjective, and you have to kind of decide for yourself if you like this look or not. It is quite a big gamey with a chunky behind a large vants and RG B.
I personally do like the choice of a great cover instead of a black one, and I think they did a really excellent job with the soft RGB bar in the front. It just looks much nicer and more elegant than the simple strip that Asus uses. It is easy to open it with one hand, and the panel and hinges for you okay again there is a bit of flex in them which I'm not a big fan of, but it is sturdy enough because it is more significant than your typical laptop the MSI GE76 Raider is really pleasant to use.
There is a lot of space for your wrists without any sharp edges or lines. The touchpad is nicely off-center to make sure you don't touch it too much while working, and there is obviously a lot of screen space which I appreciate a lot. It is also a little bit taller than most laptops which are again surprisingly comfortable. In my opinion, the keyboard feels a bit softer than most MSI laptops I tested recently, but it is straightforward to get used to it, and it will be fine. It does have an RGB backlight. However, I do wish it was a bit brighter to kind of match the front bar.
Another big plus is the Numpad, and I love that when you press the function key, all the extra functions will light up, making it much easier to control the brightness volume, open the MSI software, and so on the touchpad smaller for such a large laptop. However, since this is clearly a gaming laptop and an obvious desktop replacement, it just makes sense to use a mouse. Instead, it will get the job done if you need to use it Every once in a while, but it is you know nothing spectacular, and of course, this laptop offers a lot of connections on the left side there's an audio Jack a fast 20 gigabits USB type C ports and a 10 gigabits type-A port.
On the back there is a power connection HDMI port Ethernet a 10 gigabits type-C ports with the display ports supports and another display port out and on the right side, there are 25 gigabits type-A ports and a full-size card reader so there is a lot of connections overall and they're spread out nicely so you don't have to have anything on the right side of the laptop they will get in the way while gaming.
Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 Gaming Performance
As you probably know, things have changed a bit recently, so it's not so much about which GPU isn't a laptop but what is its power limits so if you have a higher power 3070, it will outperform a lower power 3080, and that's precisely what happened to Aorus 15G for example that has a 3080 and that was outperformed by a much cheaper Aorus 15p with a 3070.
This laptop comes at 150 what are takes RTX 3080, which is pretty much the highest possible power limit, and that should make it 1 of the if not the fastest gaming laptop that you can currently buy now looking at synthetic benchmarks like fire strike and times spy.
You can clearly see the performance potential of this chip. It is just it class apart from anything I've tested so far, but in games, though especially in lower resolutions, it kind of really depends on which game you're playing. If you look at some older titles, it doesn't seem to help that much show with far cry 5, for example, showing an obvious CPU bottlenecks, but when you compare it directly to the Aorus 15P with 130 watts RTX 3070, things do look better now many games really do benefit from this high-end hardware with the difference is going up to 25 or even 30 percent and that is something you will really noticed while gaming but you can also see that there is a couple of titles were to 15 feet is still ahead like far cry five and assassin's creed Odyssey and this is because the CPU is just not getting as much power as on some other laptops.
Compared to the ROG 6 G15, which is another laptop within our takes 3070, the differences are even bigger again some games don't really benefit that much but many more do now is you know the performance of the g15 is very much so affected by the Nvidia Optimus featured that cannot be turned off. Unfortunately and the only way to override it is too connected to an external monitor via the USB C port. This is MSI GE76 Raider comes with the mux switch, and you can easily swap to a dedicated GPU mode for the best performance. Now you have to restart the laptop after you do so, but that's not a big deal for such a performance increase.
4k Gmaing MSI GE76 Raider
if we go up in resolution, the performance becomes more and more GPU bound and less and less CPU bound, and looking at the quad HD resolution, for example, it just becomes clear that in many titles is the lower resolution that was holding back this laptop with some games showing very similar frame rates on Quad HD as they did on full HD but going up to 4K resolution does impact the performance by a lot now there's a couple of titles that will work just fine, but some heavy triple AAA titles just don't run smoothly on 4k
DLSS feature is very helpful, but it's not supported in every game. But nevertheless, I still think it's impressive that we're actually getting two laptops where a 4K panel is not just for work and 4k gaming is becoming viable.
IPS Panel Performance
Let's talk about this 4K 820-hertz panel a bit more now. Before buying a laptop usually meant choosing between a fast full HD panel that was great for games but liked pixels for creative work. Or going for a slow 4K panel that was great for work but lacked the speed, and with this one you could be getting the best of both worlds here. I mean, it's not going to be as fast as 240 and 300Hz full HD screens, but it will feel a lot faster than your typical 60Hz high-resolution display and it does that without hurting the color performance.
It has an excellent range of colors allowing both SRGB and Adobe RGB workflows it has an excellent factory calibration and a good enough contrast. It also goes really nice and bright 450 nits on a 17-inch display just looks very bright unfortunately but everything about this laptop is super exciting the CPU, for example, is a bit underwhelming now there is generally nothing wrong with this Intel Core i9 it is a great all-around CPU that can do pretty much everything but it is outperformed by AMD's latest offerings, and it's also not able to pull that much ahead of Intel's more modest 8 core i7 so it's completely fine, but in my opinion, one of the products says it has an i9 I do want to be more than just you know fine if you can grab a model that has an i7 instead with a more reasonable price I would be tempted to do so.
Thermal Performance MSI GE76 Raider
Another topic that I'm not really excited about is the thermal performance. And MSI does have a habit of letting their CPUs run warmer before throttling, and 95 degrees here is just out of my comfort zone. MSI does ship this laptop up in the extreme performance mode by default which does show pretty good GPU thermal performance and a somewhat high but not extremely loud noise levels now, there is also a simple performance profile as well that is supposed to be a bit more balanced, but it's actually not.
It drove the fan's speed by a lot, so it does get quieter, but the CPU still gets hot, and the GPU gets a lot harder than before and if you go to the quiets mode. It kind of does the same thing but then a bit more extreme, so it makes it a lot more quiet, but it's still pushing the CPU and GPU temperatures quite high when stressing both.
So the best thing here would be to just leave it in its default extreme performance mode and then every once in a while and able to cooler boost when no one is around. I just do wish they sit down once and make those balance profiles that would just be great for everyone that would be ideal, but even though it comes with a few more screws than usual, it is still pretty easy to remove the back cover and take a peek at the inside are you can easily clean defense replaced the battery replaced the SSD or add a second one you can upgrade the memory and replace the Wi-Fi chip.
Hardware MSI GE76 Raider
It does come with the wifi-6e by default, so you won't have to do so, but you can if you want to. Even with the large battery, 99.9-watt hours are pretty much the maximum legal limits you can take on an airplane. The battery life just isn't that great. I got just over 2:00 hours in PC mode tests and 4:00 hours 40 minutes of just watching Netflix, and this is also another strong sign that this is just meant to replace the desktop PC at home now the speakers are pretty decent actually are they can go quite loud to without distorting much. There is an okay amount of base for a laptop. That is, they didn't cheap out on the SSD either, as you can see, and the webcam is pretty average, in my opinion.