In this article, we are going to give you our MSI Raider GE76 12U review, including the specs, price, and all there is to know about this top-of-the-line gaming laptop.
Intel’s newest and greatest mobile processor, the 12th Generation Intel Core i9, has arrived, and so far it’s meeting expectations. For the last two weeks, we’ve been examining the MSI Raider GE76, a $3,999 gaming laptop with top-of-the-line components and a price tag to show for it. There’s a lot to appreciate about the MSI GE76, such as its nice keyboard, RGB light bar, and performance. However, its overall cost and size will most likely deter most gamers from purchasing it. There’s more to it than that, of course. We’ll go into greater detail below.
MSI Raider GE76 specs
Here are the specifications for our MSI Raider GE76 12U review:
- Model: MSI Raider GE76 (12UHS-607)
- Display: 17.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080), 360Hz
- Processor: 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900HK (24M cache, 5.0GHz Max Turbo)
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU with 16GB GDDR6
- Memory: 32GB DDR5 4,800MHz
- OS: Windows 11 Pro
- Storage: 2 x 2TB SSD
- Webcam: 1080p
- Ports: 1 x Thunderbolt 4 w/DisplayPort, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x Ethernet port, 1 x audio jack, 1 x HDMI 8K, 1 x SD Express
- Connectivity: WiFi 6E 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.2
- Dimensions: 15.63 x 11.18 x 1.02-inches (WxDxH)
- Weight: 6.39-pounds
- Price: $3,999
MSI Raider GE76 12U review
Now that you know the specs, let us dive into our MSI Raider GE76 12U review.
Laptop design seems to fall into two categories. There’s a group of ultrathin folks who blur the line between performance and portability, and another group that is unapologetically huge and bulky. The Raider GE76 belongs to the latter category. It’s a big boy weighing 6.39 pounds and measuring 15.63 x 11.18 x 1.02 inches when fully packed up including the 300W power supply. The glossy highlights on the lid are complemented by a mostly matte finish on the titanium blue case. The display has a refresh rate of 360Hz and is 17.3 inches big. Above the screen is a 1080p webcam that appears passable, but not great, for video chats.
The SteelSeries app lets you customize the RGB keys on the full-size keyboard, as well as the Mystic light bar on the housing’s front edge. The trackpad is tiny, and there’s a number pad to the right of it. When the GE76 is idle, the light bar pulses and continues to be illuminated, providing your space a little bit of that RGB atmosphere that most of us desire.
There are numerous ports distributed across both sides of the laptop’s housing, as well as the rear. Two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports are on the right, which flanks an SD card reader. An RJ45 Ethernet port, a mini-DisplayPort 1.4 input, a Thunderbolt 4 output, and an HDMI output that can support 8K/60Hz are all on the rear. Finally, there is a USB-C (USB 3 .2 Gen 2) connector on the left flank of the housing, as well as a headphone jack and a regular USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 2 port.
We appreciate MSI’s decision to distribute the ports across three separate sides, with the more permanent sort of ports on the back, making it simple to set up a docking station-like arrangement on your desk. The RGB keyboard and the Mystic light bar are our favorite features of the GE76’s design. Aside from that, the overall size will either be acceptable since you won’t have to carry it around very often, or it will be a nonstarter right away.
Let’s continue our MSI Raider GE76 12U review with its performance. The inside of the Raider GE76 includes Intel’s 12th-Gen Core i9-12900HK CPU, Nvidia’s RTX 3080 Ti GPU with 16GB GDDR6 RAM, and 32GB DDR6 4,800MHz memory. When you count in the 4TB of SSD storage, it is safe to say that this laptop is a beast. The i9 has a Turbo Boost maximum of 5.00 GHz, 24MB of Smart Cache, and 14 cores (6 performance, 8 efficient) with 20 total threads.
With the geeky details out of the way, here are the results from our benchmarks comparing the Raider GE76 to the Asus ROG Zephyrus S17 and Razer Blade 14. The tests were performed with the Raider GE76 in maximum performance mode.
|MSI Raider GE76||ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17||Razer Blade 14|
|CPU||Intel Core i9-12900HK||Intel Core i9-11900H||AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX|
|GPU||Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti||Nvidia RTX 3080||Nvidia RTX 3080|
|3DMark Time Spy||11742||11955||10037|
|3DMark Fire Strike||25132||23708||22118|
|3DMark Night Raid||50466||61719||34648|
|Total War: Three Kingdoms||102||98||78|
|Unigine Heaven 4.0||153||146||130|
|PCMark 10 Battery Test||3:37||3:11||5:27|
As you can see from the table, the MSI Raider GE76’s performance increase over the S17 isn’t as dramatic as we had anticipated. It’s about a 10% improvement in performance when compared to test results where the GE76 won, which is nice, but not what we had hoped for. In terms of gains in performance against an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX Blade 14, it was significantly better. Perhaps it was a placebo effect, but we felt like everything moved faster when we used the GE76 on a daily basis. Launching several applications at the same time didn’t cause any delays, and multitasking was not something we had to worry about.
The GE76 handled gaming as well. Yes, aside from the display. The color of the IPS display was duller and lacked the bright and vivid appearance that high-end gaming laptops are known for. After a bit of tweaking to the display’s settings, it appeared to be better, but at this price, we had higher expectations.
The frame rates and overall gaming experience were both smooth and rapid. Playing Warzone and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction was pleasant and quiet. The fans, even when in Extreme Performance mode, weren’t overly loud or overpowering enough to drown out the game. Obviously, you’ll want to use gaming headphones to hear all of the more delicate sound effects and nuances.
In Rainbow Six, we were able to obtain an average frame rate of 190 frames per second when all graphical settings were maxed out. The average frame rate in Warzone was 127 FPS. Again, it’s with every graphical setting as high as it’ll go to push the system to its limits. We obtained those figures by utilizing the Xbox Game Bar to keep track of the overall FPS for the previous 60 seconds. We looked at the average, made a note of it, and then combined them at the end of our testing.
The spacing between the keys on the keyboard is also a negative aspect of this gaming laptop. It took us a few days to get used to the keys being farther apart than what we’re used to, which meant that we kept missing a key while playing games. While gaming, it’s inconvenient, but it’s much worse when writing an email or chatting with friends on Slack.
To continue our MSI Raider GE76 12U review, let’s take a look at the battery life. We ran the PCMark 10 battery life test on the GE76 to see how long it would last while performing typical office tasks like editing a document, watching a video, and so on. The GE76 lasted 3 hours and 37 minutes before shutting down. That’s not a terrible score, besting the Zephyrus S17 by a few minutes but failing to match the Blade 14 by nearly two hours.
Our MSI Raider GE76 12U review wouldn’t be complete without the software that it comes with. The Raider GE76 comes with Windows 11 Pro installed by default. If you’ve never configured a new Windows 11 device before, you’ll be astonished to see a prompting to restore the laptop using the most recent backup of a Windows 11 device linked to your Microsoft account. To ensure that the laptop was correctly configured for testing, we opted to set it up as new.
There are a few programs and applications that come installed on the MSI by default. Of course, you’ll want to remove Norton Security, but otherwise, the rest of the software lineup is quite useful. The SteelSeries GG software is used to adjust and customize the keyboard and light bar lighting. You may also view system details, and statistics, and switch between cooling and performance molds like Extreme Performance and Balanced in MSI Center. Smart Auto may be used instead to optimize the system’s performance based on what you’re currently doing.
To summarize our MSI Raider GE76 12U review; the MSI GE76 is a tremendous laptop with all of the features, power, and performance you would want in a high-end gaming PC. However, for most people, this isn’t a laptop they should rush out to buy right now. Sure, it’s fast and amazing, but it also comes with Intel’s 12th Gen i9 processor, which we’re sure to see many more laptops with similar specifications released in the coming weeks and months for much less money.