MSI Raider GE77 HX review hero

MSI Raider GE77 HX Review

The Raider GE76 is has been our number one ranked laptop for a few months now. It’s both phenomenally fast and (… and this is a big deal) actually available to buy. The latter fact is particularly pertinent at a time where supply-chain issues mean that some of the best laptops around right now are simply unavailable to purchase. We can’t be too upset about that, though – it’s the same deal for many items like cars and, er, lettuce. Nonetheless, the MSI Raider GE77 HX is the souped-up successor to the GE76, so our expectations were high.

UPDATE: Check out the new MSI Raider GE68 HX 13V Review

MSI Raider GE77 HX specs

17-inch, matte, 120Hz, 3840 x 2160, matte, IPS display; 3.6-5GHz Intel Core i9-12900HX CPU; 64GB DDR5-4800 RAM; 2TB HDD; Nvidia GeForce 3080 RTX Ti 16GB GDDR6 graphics; 99.9Wh battery; 2.9KG. Dimensions (WxDxH): 397 x 284 x 26 mm. SKU: GE77HX 12UHS. Full specs here.

Ergonomics, Features and Design

If you’ve ever seen an MSI Raider laptop, then you’ll know what to expect and you’ll also be happy. The Titanium Dark Grey chassis is classy and understated with a cool, embossed MSI Dragon badge. You could even get away with it in a stuffy office (just about).

MSI Raider GE77 HX review back
The Titanium Grey chassis works well in most settings.

However, when you open it up and get all the RGB going… it’s simply fabulous. The full-sized Steel Series keyboard has individually lit keys and there’s the disco bar up front which never gets old. All of the RGB patterns are fully customisable and it’s difficult to not make it look amazing. We love it.

MSI Raider GE77 HX review RGB
Make your own nightclub.

MSI’s Raider GE77 HX’s keyboard has well-weighted, Scrabble-tile keys and it’s very comfortable and accurate to type upon for extended periods or use for top-level gaming. There’s a (reduced size) number pad on the right which is very usable and all the arrow keys are full size.

The trackpad is responsive and accurate and the buttons are well-weighted.

MSI Raider GE77 HX review front
A great keyboard, trackpad, screen and webcam. And we’d say that without being bribed by the cookie.

There’s a decent Full HD webcam above the screen which offers good quality and impressive low-light performance. The twin one-Watt speakers and twin two-Watt sub woofers provide very good, punchy audio fidelity from the bottom end to the top. We expected it to get a little louder but it’s still among the upper echelons of laptop speakers.

The Raider GE77 HX’s 17-inch, UHD 4K, 3,840 x 2,160 IPS screen is very good. The 120Hz refresh rate, combined with a reasonable pixel response time, means that ghosting and blur are all but banished in fast and frantic games. There are faster screens available, but they come with reduced resolutions and/or visual performance. This one can make the best triple-A games run incredibly well and look great while doing it.

When we first received the laptop, we ran our video tests and found that colours were vibrant and contrast was impressive. The screen also got impressively bright. However, we quickly discovered some issues which delayed our review. It turns out that (once again) a driver update to Intel’s integrated graphics had borked MSI’s True Color app. It’s a common issue on all MSI laptops and is identifiable by a washed out screen and (sometimes) noticeable bands (and blocky artefacts) in videos. We’ve since published a step-by-step fix for this MSI washed out problem here.

Once we’d fixed it, we were satisfied that that, like its predecessor, the Raider GE77 HX offers some of the best all-round ergonomics around.

Performance

MSI’s Raider GE77 HX’s most notable benefit over the GE76 is the HX-series processor: a 3.6-5GHz Intel Core i9-12900HX CPU.

What’s So Special About MSI’s HX CPU?

The main difference over the 12900H variant (besides two extra efficiency cores) is the amount of power it can consume: 157-Watts versus 115-Watts.

We’ve long suspected that MSI’s impressive cooling system can handle it: the Cooler Boost 5 technology utilises two fans, seven heat-pipes and a phase-change thermal pad for the CPU.

MSI also notes that, when combined with the Nvidia RTX 3080Ti GPU (with 16GB GDDR6 RAM), it can supply 250-Watts to both at the same time… which is enormous for any laptop with a ‘mobile’ processor.

Ultimately, there’s spade-fulls of power, top-tier chips and a cooling system that stops it melting through the Earth’s crust. But… is it any good?

Benchmark Results

MSI’s Raider GE77 HX’s 3.6-5GHz Intel Core i9-12900HX CPU combined with 64GB of DDR5 RAM and 2TB of NVMe drives to score 7,808 in the general PC Mark test. This is actually a little down on its sibling, but still the second-fastest score we’ve seen. However, when the CPU was unleashed on its own, it flew. In the Cinebench R15 and R23 rendering tests, it scored 3,674 in and 21,235 respectively. That’s a massive 20 per cent faster than the Raider GE76’s i9-12900H which was the fastest processor we’d tested.

The performance boost carried into the 3D tests with it scoring a whopping 13,933 in 3DMark Time Spy which is an average of 84fps. It also managed 16,213 in Fire Strike Extreme (average 70fps) and it was the first to break the 40fps barrier in the complex, Port Royal ray-tracing test where it scored 8,676 (average 40.17fps).

In short, the MSI Raider GE77HX 12UHS is staggeringly fast and the cooling system only rises to a constant whoosh when under sustained load. Overclockers will be able to push everything much further.

Connectivity

MSI Raider GE77 HX review left
On the left of the Raider GE77 HX is a USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port (with DisplayPort) and a 3.5mm audio jack.
MSI Raider GE77 HX review right
On the right are two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports and an SDcard reader.
MSI Raider GE77 HX review rear
At the rear is a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.1 and the power connector.

Inside the MSI GE77 there’s Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. Ultimately, it’s got the best of everything.

Portability

At 2.9KG the Raider GE77 HX is not light, but what can we expect from a 17-inch, fully-featured power house? Note, though, that the hefty 330-Watt PSU adds and hefty 1.5KG to the mix.

MSI Raider GE77 HX review underside
There’s some nice detailing on the underside of the Raider GE77 HX. But that power brick is still huge.

We’d like to provide an accurate battery life score, but it flat-out refused to run our standard PCMark 10 Modern Office test. Our estimate is about 5hrs 15mins – it’s certainly less than the GE76 Raider. It’s a little disappointing considering the king-sized 99.9Wh battery, but it is essentially using a Desktop processor at the end of the day.

Conclusion: Should You Buy the MSI Raider GE77 HX?

High Performance Laptops Best Laptop Award
The MSI Raider GE77 HX has become our Number 1 Best Laptop.

The MSI Raider GE77 HX price is $7,299. It’s incredibly expensive (even though it’s not the most expensive high performance laptop) but you really get what you pay for: it’s got the best 2D Performance, best 3D Performance, best ergonomics, top-tier connectivity and a great cooling system. It’s just not particularly portable – but what can you expect from a 17-inch desktop replacement? At the end of the day, the MSI Raider GE77 HX can justifiably call itself the ultimate laptop.

Pros

Best Performance
Great Ergonomics
Good Connectivity

Cons

Very Expensive
Poor Battery life

One Response

  1. Keron

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