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MSI GE76 Raider: Gaming laptop to bring gamers to infinity and beyond?

MSI GE76 Raider
MSI GE76 Raider

There was a time in my life when a monster like MSI GE76 Raider would have been the ideal PC. Heavy, with meagre battery life? It hardly ever leaves my desk. Fans who are unbearably loud? Good luck drowning out everything that noises are coming from down the hall. The MSI GE76 Raider gaming laptop puts peak performance into a “portable” form factor. And it’s one of the finest gaming laptops for people who have the money but don’t want or have the space for a gaming desktop. It’s designed to handle the most demanding games and apps. While the inherent disadvantages (and price tag) may turn off many, you’ll be hard pushed to find a laptop with better performance.

Price and configuration options

The Intel Core i9-11980HK CPU, 32GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 3080 GPU, and a 1TB NVMe SSD power the GE76 Raider. It costs $3,399 in its present condition if you can locate one in stock. It’s still available in the Microsoft Store at the time of writing, but you’ll need to be patient if you want to get a device for anything near to retail price. MSI does not provide a configurator. But you may select between configurations that include an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, 3070, or 3080, as well as up to 64GB of RAM and display resolutions up to 4K.

Design: MSI GE76 Raider

Design: MSI GE76 Raider

The GE76 Raider is an RGB display. A lightbar running down the keyboard tray and a full-sized SteelSeries keyboard with configurable, per-key illumination. Aside from that, the Raider is a very basic gaming machine.

Sharp edges and the MSI branding suggest sports car looks which are enhanced by huge grilles on the sides to assist fans to shuffle heat around. Touch functionality is not available on the 17.3-inch, 360Hz 1080p display, which is great for a gaming laptop. However, while the laptop as a whole seems robust, the display bounces uncomfortably as I tilt it backward and forth.

The MSI GE76 Raider gaming laptop is rather huge, measuring 15.6 x 10.6 x 1.08 inches. It’s also relatively heavy, weighing 6.39 pounds: this could be an issue if you intended to carry it around a lot. But it’s really designed to live on a desk.

And everything from a selection of ports that encourage multiple monitors and a wired internet connection, to the meagre battery life and comically large power brick, emphasizes that. Lighting will also be a personal preference. The aesthetic, particularly when the light bar is on a reflecting surface and gives the entire computer an ambient glow. But I’m fully aware it can appear a little gaudy, especially if you just cycle between presets like me.

Ports: MSI GE76 Raider

Ports: MSI GE76 Raider

On the left are Gen 2 USB 3.2 Type-A and Type-C connections, as well as a 3.5mm headphone and mic connector. On the right, there are two more Gen 1 USB 3.2 Type-A ports, flanked by an SD card reader. A Thunderbolt 4 port, a Mini Display 1.4 port, an HDMI port, an Ethernet jack, as well as the power adaptor are located on the back.

It has a good selection of ports, which is what you’ll need to utilize as a desktop replacement with just an external monitor, headset, and the finest gaming mouse for your needs.

Display: MSI GE76 Raider

Display: MSI GE76 Raider

The model’s 17.3-inch display has a 360Hz, 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution. In our tests, it provided an average brightness of 319 nits and replicated 73.3 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut. In fact, this isn’t a terrible thing: colors pop. While visuals and video weren’t as bright as on other laptops I’ve tried, they were still pleasing to the eye. For use with a 1080p monitor.

Personally, prefer a higher refresh rate as a 4K resolution, but going all the way down to 1080p feels excessive. While the 360Hz refresh rate feels excessive. Of course, this is subjective: competitive gamers who constantly reduce settings to obtain ideal frame rates will find plenty of space for responsive gameplay. MSI offers models of the GE76 Raider at 120Hz with a 4K resolution, or 165 and 240Hz with 1440p for anyone with my (lackluster) skill level.

 Keyboard and Touchpad: MSI GE76 Raider

 Keyboard and Touchpad: MSI GE76 Raider

The touchpad on the GE76 Raider is smooth and fast; it supports Windows 10 gestures nicely, and it’s big and comfortable enough for day-to-day use. Because this is a gaming laptop, you’ll need to use a decent mouse, but it’s always good when the native hardware is adequate for the task. The keyboard, developed in partnership with SteelSeries, is the most crucial component of the package report that it’s excellent. Because of the machine’s size, there is enough for a number pad, and each key is uniformly spaced and suitably proportioned. The keys are sensitive and provide a good amount of movement with each stroke, allowing for rapid and precise typing.

The lack of media keys (other than volume controls) is disappointing. But a dedicated key to boosting fan output makes more sense for this machine’s intended audience.

Look through keyboard customization in more detail later, but even if you turn off all the lights, you won’t be disappointed with the tools.


These speakers, like the Raider, are incredible. Even when turned up, they readily fill a space with rich, rich sound without getting distorted. Sounds come through crisp and clear. The soundscape of Cyberpunk 2077 is equally nicely reproduced. While I’d still prefer a headset if only to drown out the fan noise, these speakers do not fail.


MSI GE76 Raider: Gaming laptop to bring gamers to infinity and beyond?

It passed the Handbrake video-encoding test in 7 minutes flat, and the 1TB NVMe SSD outperformed all competitors with a transfer rate of 1,310 MBps.

Gaming performance is also impressive: the lowest showings were 72 frames per second in Metro: Exodus when set on Extreme, followed by 77 frames per second in Red Dead Redemption 2. That being said, the machine’s native display is limited to 1080p; granted, the Core i9 CPU, 32GB of RAM, and Nvidia 3080 are capable of fantastic things, but when combined with a higher resolution display, those results will begin to suffer. As it is, if you’re seeking for unadulterated “oomph,”

 Webcam: MSI GE76 Raider

I’ve noticed that webcams are often overlooked in gaming and video creation laptops, so the presence of a 1080p camera is a pleasant bonus here. However, it is not a panacea: while details are richer and clearer than on lower cameras. There is still an inherent amount of dull, graininess that promotes the use of an external webcam. It also lacks compatibility with Windows Hello, which may frustrate some.

Heat: MSI GE76 Raider

MSI GE76 Raider: Gaming laptop to bring gamers to infinity and beyond?

Gaming PCs are hot, and the MSI GE76 Raider gaming laptop is no exception: temperatures inside the system reached 133.5 degrees Fahrenheit when gaming. This would be somewhat unpleasant in your lap but given the size and meager energy life. Doubt that’s a plausible scenario. In my experience, the machine did get warm after prolonged usage. It was never hot enough to be unpleasant when seated on my lap. The limited battery life meant it was seldom there for long either. The supporters, on the other hand, were a continuous companion. They peaked in volume when gaming and the like, but would periodically whirr to life while streaming a TV show or even writing. Demonstrating how much heat the system needs to move even under ordinary circumstances.


I’m not a fan of pre-installed software, but MSI has kept things simple. The MSI Center provides basic hardware monitoring and fan controls. The opportunity to install a plethora of other tools if desired. There’s also MSI True Color which allows you to choose between a few preset color profiles or personalize them to your liking. The majority of the MSI Center’s extra options are centered on overclocking and deeper tuning while tend to avoid tools like these on a laptop. They’re available but optional to allow for the highest amount of choice without sacrificing performance.

The actual star of the show is SteelSeries’ GG software which unlocks the full RGB customization choices on the lightbar and keyboard. There’s a lot here, from changing the color of each letter on the keyboard to creating automation that cycles the lighting effects based on the audio playing or even a favorite GIF. The lightbar is only minimally less adaptable found that a gradually moving wave of color or a single static hue made the most sense. But it’s separated into numerous smaller portions that you may modify to your own preferences. The app’s utility will be determined by the person, but even if you’re simply seeking sheer performance.


Considered a dedicated gaming laptop for a long time., the MSI GE76 Raider gaming laptop offers little to change that. You’re spending roughly the same as you would for a highly good desktop. A machine that has all of the downsides of a desktop but none of the flexibility of a laptop. The GE76 Raider, on the other hand, is the definition of top-of-the-line, foregoing mobility and battery life to give raw, uncompromising power for a very specific niche. I’m not interested in the Raider. But you’d be hard pushed to find more performance in a portable design; combined with an external monitor (for higher resolutions), this machine is a desktop replacement .

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