Earlier this year, MSI announced a slew of gaming laptops with updated chassis and internal components. The new GE76 is also part of the announcement whereby it also comes in a special limited edition GE76 Dragon Edition Tiamat. While we don’t have the opportunity to try out the limited edition but what we have in our studio is the standard variant of the GE76 Raider with RTX 3070 graphics.
- Intel Core i7-10870H
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (140W Max TGP)
- 2x 8GB DDR4-3200
- 1TB NVMe SSD
- 17.3-inch 1080p FHD 240Hz
Build Quality & Design
If you’re familiar with last year’s GE66 Raider, this is basically the 17.3-inch version of that particular laptop. Personally, I’m not a fan of big laptops as it really is for those who want a big screen on a portable system. Most of these users are looking for a desktop replacement that can be easily carried during travel.
The overall construction is made out of a combination of aluminium alloy & plastic and it is very well put together. I’ve said it many times since my last review of the GE66 and GP66, this new chassis design is not just aesthetically pleasing but also functionally practical.
- USB Type-A 3.2 Gen2 (10Gbps)
- USB Type-C 3.2 Gen2x2 (20Gbps)
- 3.5mm combo audio jack
- 2x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen1 (5Gbps)
- SD card reader
- Mini DisplayPort
- USB Type-C 3.2 Gen2 (10Gbps)
- 2.5Gbps Ethernet
- Charging port
MSI has done a great job offering a vast selection of ports on the GE76. Then again, I think they could’ve done a better job at utilising the extra space for more ports instead of leaving big gaps between them.
For those who like a responsive keyboard, you will like this one. Each of the keys is well separated from each other and they don’t feel cramped even though with the additional number pad on the right side. That’s the advantage of having a large chassis to play with. The trackpad works fine and tracks really well thanks to the use of the Microsoft Precision Touchpad driver. For a 17.3-inch laptop, it is rather small in size but hey, if you’re planning to game on this laptop, you should be using a gaming mouse instead.
The 17.3-inch 1080p full HD display is excellent for gaming. MSI is offering two variants of display for the GE76, a 300Hz and 240Hz depending on the specs and region. I’m not sure if Malaysia is getting the 300Hz option but I would gladly save some bucks on a 240Hz because you won’t be able to tell between the two unless you’re a professional who takes his monitor VERY seriously. That said, our RTX 3070 is paired with a 240Hz display and this combination works just fine. Triple-A titles may not fully utilize the 240Hz capabilities of the panel but for those casual competitive players, they would appreciate it.
Judging from the spec sheet, I had high hopes over the GE76, especially when mention how the RTX 3070 will be having a maximum 140W TGP. Then again, my test results were telling a slightly different story. Let’s start off with the CPU performance.
As you can observe from the Cinebench benchmark, for some reason, the GP66 Leopard that also uses the same Intel Core i7-10870H CPU has a higher score. It is most likely due to MSI’s configuration to favour more on the GPU side in order to push the max 140W TGP.
PCMark which evaluates the overall performance of a computer through everyday workload also favours a more responsive CPU.
That proves to be true when the GE76 triumphs in the 3DMark Time Spy score.
Synthetic benchmarks might be useful for objective comparisons, however, you can’t directly associate them with real-life performance. Our gaming test has repeatedly shown how having a higher GPU TGP may contribute to better and consistent frame rates. Then again, I was expecting more frames compared to the RTX 3070 115-125W on the GP66. To me, a meagre 5% fps increase doesn’t really justify the additional 15-25W power draw on the GPU. I guess no one escapes the law of diminishing return.
Unless my unit has some sort of weird behavioural issues, at the end of the day, what I can say is this laptop heavily focuses on the graphical performance instead of the CPU. You will see immediate performance improvement through a more powerful GPU compared to CPU which is only useful in some games that will utilise it. In other words, real-life gaming performance will not disappoint you.
All in all, the MSI Ge76 Raider is an excellent choice for those gamers who are looking for a gaming laptop with a fancy design and powerful hardware. This is a direct competitor to the ROG Strix SCAR 17. The new GE76 chassis is one of the very best you can get out there in the market and it is priced very competitively at RM9,999 for this particular configuration. For gamers, this will an excellent choice considering how difficult it is to get a desktop GPU at retail price.