msi ge76 raider review 2022

MSI GE76 Raider Review (Deluxe 12UHS)

MSI has impressed the pants off us recently thanks to its power-packed, svelte Stealth GS77 and MackBook-Killing Creator Z17. However, both have a thin chassis which causes thermal throttling when things get hot. We weren’t too surprised when the Aorus 17 waltzed in and cudgelled the former over the head to take top spot in this month’s Best Laptop rankings. But, we always new that victory could be short lived, for on the horizon was the latest-and-greatest, MSI flagship GE76 Raider which is high performance laptop royalty. Well it’s finally here and it means business. So, how good is it and will we be seeing the MSI GE76 Raider (Deluxe) at the top of our rankings once more?

MSI Raider GE76 Specs

17.3-inch, matte, 120Hz, 3840 x 2160, IPS display; 3.8-5GHz Intel Core i9-12900HK CPU; 64GB DDR5-4800 RAM; 2TB HDD; 16GB GDDR6 Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti graphics; 99Wh battery; 2.9KG. SKU: 12UHS-247AU. Full specs here.

Design and Handling

We’re big fans of the Raider’s design. The ‘Titanium blue’ lid is relatively unassuming when it’s shut down and you could get away with it in a very stuffy corporate environment. The embossed Dragon logo is subtle yet impressive on closer inspection. But, fire it up and the (individually lit) RGB keyboard illuminates along with the fabulous disco bar at the front. The latter pulses away in all manner of subtle or garish light shows and is highly configurable. We quite liked Flux pre-set which is inspired by the Flux Capacitor.

msi ge76 raider lid
It can happily disguise itself in a corporate environment (when the lights are off).

The MSI GE76 Raider’s 17.3-inch screen is a very bright, matte, UHD, IPS unit with a 3840 x 2160 resolution. Colours are impressively bright and vibrant, colour gradients are generally very smooth and even monochromatic gradients exhibit minimal stepping. Contrast is so impressive that it’s not far removed from HDR. In games and movie scenes where bright lights are coming out of the dark, they almost feel like they’re shining out of the screen. We couldn’t work with the screen at full brightness because it was almost blinding. And yet contrast is enough to retain details in both shadowy and highlighted areas. It’s excellent.

msi ge76 raider front
A great screen, keyboard, webcam plus… disco lights.

The 120Hz refresh rate isn’t the fastest and there’s a tiny amount of ghosting from the pixel response time but motion is rendered smoothly for the most part and will be fine for all but the most competitive shoot’em-up gamers. However, after witnessing the near-pin-sharp motion performance of the Aorus 17 we were perhaps a little disappointed. But, the technology behind UHD screens just isn’t ready to be that fast yet.

Above the screen is a very impressive Full HD webcam. It’s not Windows Hello compatible though. The MSI GE76 Raider keyboard is made by SteelSeries and is very comfortable to type on and equally accurate for gaming. It also sports full-sized arrow keys and a full number pad (with only slightly reduced key sizes).

We’ve been disappointed by speakers from Aorus and HP lately so it was refreshing to get back to the awesome offerings of the MSI GE76 Raider Deluxe. They get very loud, offer impressive bass and great fidelity from the bottom to the top-end treble. Fantastic.

Ultimately, it excels at everything.

msi ge76 raider bundle
The Deluxe Edition comes with a gaming mouse (with syncing RGB) and a gaming headset.

Performance

The MSI GE76 Raider specs are top-tier. Firstly, there’s a 12th Gen, Intel 3.8-5GHz Core i9-12900HK processor. The K is significant in that it means the processor is unlocked for overclocking – something the thin, non-K-sporting Stealth couldn’t make use of. It still sports the same six performance cores, eight efficiency cores and 20 threads. It’s paired with a massive 64GB of the new DDR5-4800 RAM and 2TB of PCIe 4.0 storage. As usual, we ran our tests in the maximum default performance mode on offer – Extreme Performance. While you can improve clock speeds further, we didn’t. In the general performance PCMark 10 benchmark it scored 8334. This means it didn’t just become the first laptop we’ve seen to break through the 8K barrier… it Hulk-smashed its way past it. In the processor-intensive, Cinebench rendering tests it scored a best-we’ve-seen 2951 in the R15 drag race and 17,349 in the longer R23, sustained test (which is also a best score).

The MSI GE76 Raider’s 3D Performance comes via Nvidia’s latest and greatest RTX 3080 Ti GPU which has 16GB of GDDR6 RAM so it can easily handle obscene requirements like the massive Far Cry 6 HD Texture pack. It scored 13,618 in 3DMark Time Spy which is an average of 83.2fps – that’s a full 7.2fps faster than the extremely overclocked, next-best Alienware X17 R1 with its straight 3080 GPU. That’s a massive boost for such a demanding test.

In Fire Strike Extreme it scored a whopping 15,940 (average 72.7fps) which is another best score. Meanwhile, in the difficult Port Royal ray-tracing test it scored 8504 which is an average of 39.37fps. It’s not often that we see the latter benchmark run smoothly from start to finish but this top-scoring run achieved it.

The MSI GE76 Raider did all this without getting particularly hot thanks to the maxed-out CoolerBoost cooling system which does get rather loud at full throttle. However, this is peak performance and under regular load it reverts to a regular whoosh.

All in all, it didn’t just come first in everything, it came first in everything by a long way. What’s more, the efficient cooling system kept everything very stable and means tinkerers will be able to eke even more performance out of this crazy-fast laptop.

Connectivity of the MSI GE76 Raider Deluxe

On the left.
On the left is a USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port, USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port and a 3.5mm audio jack.
On the right
On the right are two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports and a UHS-II SDcard reader.
From behind
At the rear is a Mini DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (with DP 1.4 and ThunderBolt 4), 2.5Gb Ethernet port, HDMI 2.1 port and the power socket.

Inside there’s Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. It’s the latest everything.

MSI GE76 Raider Battery Life & Portability

We don’t expect a beefy, high-performance laptop to be particularly portable and the 17.3-inch MSI GE76 Raider Deluxe isn’t. It’s 26mm thick, weighs 2.9KG and has a power brick and cables that add another 1.47KG to the mix. Still, it’s built like a tank and will survive being carted back and forth between office and LAN. The 99Wh battery also managed to run PCMark 10’s Modern Office Battery Test for an impressive 6hrs 19mins which is almost a full day out of the office! This might not help the portability score, but we wouldn’t ordinarily expect so much computing power to be this (relatively) simple to carry around.

msi ge76 raider underneath
There’s a big power brick but it’s that size for a reason.

Should I buy the MSI GE76 Raider?

Absolutely yes. It’s smashed through the template of what a high performance laptop can be and become the new archetype for the industry. How long it will reign for is another question? Our Best Laptops list has been Game of Thronesian with its rulers lately. Asus, especially, needs to get its latest offerings over to us. But this will be very very hard to topple from top spot.

Naturally, the biggest issue for this edition of the MSI GE76 Raider here is the price. At $7,999 it’s crazy expensive. Fortunately, there are more-sober SKUs which keep the fantastic ergonomics, connectivity and features (and don’t come with bonus headphones or mouse) with more-palatable prices from $3,849. Nonetheless, as a range, MSI’s Raider has once again become the flagbearer for the industry and this model is it’s King.

Note: MSI is currently running a price promotion on its high performance laptops (including this model). Also, before we began testing, MSI offered readers a prize to those who signed-up to our new newsletter: a Gaming Headset and an ultra-wide, gaming mouse pad. Sign-up below (or click this link if on mobile) for a chance to win one of five of these prizes! (ANZ only this time, we’re afraid)

MSI Prize giveaway
Sign-up to our newsletter and be in with a chance to win one of these five prize packs.
MSI GE76 Raider results
  • 2D Performance
  • 3D Performance
  • Ergonomics
  • Stability
  • Portability
  • Value
4.5

Summary

The Highest Performance Laptop.

One Response

  1. Marcin April 14, 2022

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