MSI is well-known for their gaming laptops. They have gaming laptops ranging from a more budget-oriented ones to super high-end ones. The MSI GE63VR 7RE Raider sits in the mid-range premium gaming laptop range, and it has the specs to match.

We have the chance to take a look at the MSI GE63VR 7RE Raider, all thanks to MSI Malaysia Notebook for the review unit.

(The MSI GE63VR 7RE Raider is retailing at RM7,199)

OverviewMSI GE63VR 7RE Raider (3)

MSI took the design of the GE62VR 7RF Apache Pro Gaming that we reviewed here previously and made tweaked it up.

The MSI GE63VR 7RE Raider is still as bulky as its Apache Pro gaming brother, but has a different aesthetic.

MSI GE63VR 7RE Raider (17)

The lid on the GE63VR 7RE Raider now has two little red accent  bars on both sides around the to. In some ways, this resembles the ASUS ROG G752VS that we reviewed here.

The keyboard is still made by SteelSeries, and it now has per-key RGB backlighting. Both Dynaudio and Steelseries are now embossed into the laptop’s casing itself, which looks rather classy compared to the previous designs. There are no colored printings for these two logos.

For whatever reason, MSI is fixated with the color red this time around, as all of the accents on the MSI GE63VR 7RE Raider itself is red in color. Even the USB ports light up in red. Yes, the light up.

MSI GE63VR 7RE Raider (10)

Speaking of USB ports, the selection of I/O here is pretty good. On the right side, there’s an SD card reader and two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports that light up in red, a large vent, and the power jack.

MSI GE63VR 7RE Raider (11)

On the right side, there is another large vent, a Killer Gigabit LAN port, HDMI port, a mini DisplayPort, another USB 3.1 Gen 1 that lights up in red, a Type-C USB 3.1 Gen 2 port, a microphone, and headphone jack. For most cases, this selection of I/O is sufficient.

MSI GE63VR 7RE Raider (25)

Behind the GE63VR 7RE Raider, a large piece of backplate with an embossing of the MSI Dragon logo on top. The backplate spans the entire area of the laptop and has plenty of holes for ventilation to cool the beast that lays within. Air is sucked into the GE63VR 7RE Raider from the bottom and exhausted out from the rear on both sides.

There are lots of screws here, which when opened, lets you upgrade your RAM and storage. Though, that requires you to break the factory seal that goes across one of the screw holes.

The Display

The 15.6-incher GE63VR 7RE Raider comes in two flavors for the display. You can either choose to go for an IPS panel, or go for a TN panel with 120Hz, 3ms GTG display. Both these panels are 1080p. MSI claims that this TN panel has “wide-view”, hence reduces color shift at off-angles.

The unit we have here comes with a 120Hz TN panel, which is great for gaming purposes. 4K display might be insignificant on a gaming notebook (seriously), but a 120Hz panel will definitely do a lot of differences.

Software

MSI Dragon Center

This is a pre-installed software that comes with the gaming notebook itself. MSI gaming notebook owners should be very familiar with it. It’s  basically a handy tool for app shortcut, system monitoring and tweaking for MSI Gaming Notebook owners.

Nahimic 2

Similar to ASUS’ Sonic Studio and Gigabyte’ Sound BlasterX, Nahimic 2 is MSI’ proprietary audio enhancing software. It has a numbers of default preset that serves each of its purpose for different scenario.

Other than its audio enhancing features, Nahimic 2 comes also with a unique gaming assist feature known as the Sound Tracker. The Sound Tracker works similarly to ASUS’ Sonic Radar and Gigabyte’ Scout Radar, which helps you to determine the location of your opponent. It’s purpose is rather questionable, as it is considered as a cheating program by the gaming community.

Other Software: True Color, SCM

There are other notable software that comes together with the GE63VR 7RE Raider. Just to name a few notable ones, the True Color and SCM.

True Color allows you to tweak and calibrate the display color according to your current need. Some might find it insignificant, but we highly recommend you to give it a try. Regardless on the task you’re working on, each preset available has its own purpose for different scenario. For instance, Gamer mode allows you to see slightly better on FPS games compared to other modes. Switching to Designer mode also helps you to see better color when doing photo retouching in Photoshop.

As for SCM, it’s basically a shortcut app for enabling or disabling certain features. It’s not something that enthusiasts would appreciate because it’s pretty much accessible via shortcut keys. It will however, come in handy for users who isn’t familiar with the shortcut keys.

Gaming Test

As a gaming notebook, the GE63VR 7RE Raider packs a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB that is powerful enough to handle quite a number of AAA titles with ease.

We gave the GE63VR 7RE Raider a go with a few selected AAA titles to see how well can it perform. In order to achieve a consistent result, no overclocking has been done to the CPU nor GPU. 
MSI GE63VR GTX 1060 Game Benchmarks

Key Rollover Test

While the keyboard has individual lit RGB LED, it doesn’t have the NKRO feature that most gamers are looking for. Though, it does comes with a gaming optimized key matrix which is made to cater for popular game genre i.e FPS, RTS, rhythm games, racing.

Audio Test

The GE63VR 7RE Raider speakers is considered superior for a notebook speaker, no joke. While the bass isn’t as solid compared to the GT series, the mids and highs still packs a punch.

Of course, enabling the Nahimic 2 software further enhances the overall experience. The default preset is pretty much enough to satisfy the needs of most people, which is good. We don’t have much to complain about audio performance on gaming, music and movies, as its performance is within satisfactory.  Explosion from games, speech from movies, sound of instruments can be clearly heard without much issue.

The highs can sound a little piercing in some songs with high pitch instruments, some high pitch eerie sound effect from horror movies. Though, there’s nothing much to worry about as lowering the volume to 96% will eliminate the problem.

Battery Life

On idle mode, the GE63VR 7RE Raider managed to survive for 5 hours and 19 minutes – not too bad actually. While running everything on full load, the GE63VR 7RE Raider lasted for only 46 minutes. For normal internet surfing and office work, it managed to last for 3 hours and 28 minutes.

Final Thoughts

At the price of RM7,199, the GE63VR 7RE Raider can be rather expensive to most people, especially those with a very tight budget. However, the mobility and performance it can offer, the GE63VR 7RE Raider is a pretty reasonable power house to own.

It’s still expensive at that price, no doubt. Those who find it unreasonable for the price, we would recommend you to go for a custom build rig instead. If you’re a serious gamer who is always on the go, that i7 7700HQ, GTX 1060 6GB and the 120Hz full-HD display is a worthy investment.

Pros

  • 120Hz display panel for enhanced viewing experience
  • Very decent audio performance
  • Keyboard with customizable, individually lit RGB LED
  • USB port with backlit makes plugging USB connector in the dark a lot easier
  • Decent gaming performance

Cons

  • A little bulky
  • Can’t really game for longer hours on battery
  • Costly

Tech Critter Gold