MSI GE76 Raider gaming laptop reviewI just wrapped up testing on the amazing MSI GE76 Raider gaming laptop. This is a high- performance laptop with a massive 17.3-inch display and an NVIDIA RTX 3070Ti graphics card. It’s big, it’s powerful, it lights up, and it delivers a first class PC gaming experience.

Unboxing reveals an unapologetically huge laptop 

If it wasn’t already obvious by the size of the box, unpacking the GE76 Raider reveals a mammoth laptop. Just look at the photo below of the Raider beside a typical 13.3-inch laptop. It absolutely dwarfs it. The reason for the size is the 17.3-inch display and the space needed for high-performance components like the graphics card. MSI did some sculpting to add visual interest and make the laptop seem less bulky, but it’s not particularly aggressive. 

MSI GE76 Raider gaming laptop review

Looking around the edges of this laptop shows plenty of ventilation cutouts, screws to access the memory and storage, and all the regular ports you would need. Included in the box is a hefty, 280W power adapter. The power cable terminates in an unusual connector that almost looks like a USB, but is not. The only place to plug in is the back of the laptop so you’ll need to leave at least a little space between the GE76 Raider and a wall.

17.3-inch Full HD display offers wicked fast 300Hz refresh rate

MSI GE76 Raider gaming laptop review

Some gaming laptops are offering 4K, or more commonly, 1440p displays. The GE76 Raider is equipped with a 17.3-inch IPS panel at 1080p (Full HD) resolution. That means it’s not as crisp as some, especially with text. However, you don’t buy a gaming laptop like this to read documents.

While gaming and even when streaming video, I never found myself wishing the resolution were higher. A big part of that is how buttery smooth the action is thanks to its ultra-fast 360Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time.

Powerful Intel Core i7 CPU paired with NVIDIA RTX 3070 Ti graphics 

Inside the MSI GE76 Raider you’ll find all the high-end components that make it such a high-performance gaming machine. The stars of the show are its processor and graphics card. 

My review unit has a 12th generation Intel Core i7-12700H processor at 2.7GHz. It also has 32GB of DDR5 RAM to work with. On the graphics side is an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti with 8GB of DDR6 RAM. 

MSI GE76 Raider gaming laptop review

When my gamer kids figured out the GE76 Raider was in the house and that it was equipped with an RTX 3070 Ti, it was gone. Their gaming laptops are several years old and lack the RTX 30 series ray tracing capabilities. They reported Fortnite was running near 360fps (200 fps on battery power). Cyberpunk 2077 could run at a solid 60fps on Ultra settings, including Ultra ray tracing. Switching to battery, it dropped to 30fps at those settings, but could still do 60fps on Performance setting. In short, it delivered and in a big way—especially when plugged into power.

Importantly, everything is kept as cool as possible with Cooler Boost 5 technology. It looked pretty impressive in action and the fans never really got bad—unlike their laptops which really struggle to stay cool under load. 


MSI GE76 Raider specs (as tested)

  • 17.3-inch IPS display with Full HD (1080p) resolution, 360Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time
  • 12th generation Intel Core i7-12700H 6+8 core CPU at 2.7GHz
  • 32GB 4800Mhz DDR 5 RAM (max 64GB)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX3070Ti mobile graphics card with 8GB DDR6 RAM
  • 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD (dual M.2 SSD slots)
  • 1 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x USB-3.2 Gen 2/DP, 1 x USB Type A 3.2 Gen 2, 2 x USB Type a 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI, SD card reader, 3.5mm audio jack, RJ45
  • Killer WiFi 6E, Killer Ethernet
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • SteelSeries per-Key RGB with Anti-Ghost key (102 Key), multi-touch trackpad
  • Sound by Dynaudio, 2x2W Speaker + 2x1W woofer
  • 1080p webcam
  • Cooler Boost 5 technology with 2 fans and 6 heat-pipes
  • 4 cell (99.9Whr) Li-Polymer battery
  • 39.7 x 2.59 x 28/.4 cm, weighs 2.90 kg (6.39 pounds)

So much RGB lighting!

The Raider GE76 is equipped with SteelSeries per-key RGB backlighting. This means that each key can be individually coloured. There is also a Mystic Light band capable of displaying 16.8 million colours that extends along the entire front edge of the laptop. I’m a fan of RGB lighting so all this made a great first impression. I left it on its default settings, but you can fine-tune and customize the lighting effects using MSI Center or SteelSeries apps on the laptop.

MSI GE76 Raider gaming laptop reviewWhile the keyboard was responsive and brilliant with its RGB backlighting, I will say that I’m not a fan of the font MSI used. It may not bother you at all—you may prefer it over a more traditional choice—but I found myself double-checking keys a few times. The trackpad is functional, but it can get quite warm during intense gaming. Warm enough to cause sweating. But, gaming is better with a mouse anyway.

Killer audio

Laptop audio is often underwhelming, even on a gaming laptop. There’s only so much space to put drivers and to give them the space to work. The GE76 Raider is far from underwhelming—it’s impressive. The laptop is equipped with a Dynaudio sound system including stereo 2W drivers plus a duo-wave woofer. Game sound is crisp, with plenty of low-end power to capture the rumble of explosions. And it can get loud. This laptop puts many portable speakers to shame.

Battery life: mobile gaming on a short leash

MSI GE76 Raider gaming laptop review

The appeal of a gaming laptop is mobile gaming. That means a self-contained system you can plunk down anywhere. With the GE76 Raider, MSI accomplishes that goal. However, if you want to take it to the extreme of gaming on-the-go with no access to a power outlet, it will be a short trip. When testing gaming using the battery, the laptop struggled to make it to the one hour mark. You could eke a bit more out by being aggressive with turning down graphics settings and the display brightness, but this laptop is much more at home on a desk or table, plugged into a power outlet.  

Take gaming out of the equation and there is a marked improvement in battery life. Streaming 1080p video with the display brightness about halfway, I saw just under four hours on a charge. That’s not good compared to traditional laptops, but this is a gaming laptop, and one with a massive display.

MSI GE76 Raider gaming laptop reviewIt has a webcam

Most gaming laptops lack a webcam. The MSI GE76 Raider is equipped with a webcam, a 1080p webcam at that.

The image wasn’t great (it seemed to have trouble with sunlight), but it’s there. I suppose you could use this laptop for Zoom calls if you wanted.

Should the MSI GE76 Raider be your new gaming laptop?

MSI GE76 Raider gaming laptop reviewThe MSI GE76 Raider is a lot of laptop. If you’re looking for a gaming laptop that offers the power of a desktop, with a big display (and plenty of RGB backlighting effects), this one makes a pretty strong case. If battery life and actual portability (i.e., carrying it around) are a concern, you might want to go with something a little less extreme. 

However for the ultimate laptop gaming experience—while plugged into a wall outlet—the GE76 Raider is a very compelling option. I had a hard time wrestling the review unit away from my gamer teenagers.

Shop gaming laptops, including more MSI options, online at Best Buy.

Editor Computing solutions
I’m a long-time electronics and gadget geek who’s been fortunate enough to enjoy a career that lets me indulge this interest. After 13 years as a product manager with a leading Canadian tech company, I transitioned into a full-time career of writing about technology. I’ve contributed to a range of publications and websites including Forbes, Wired, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, About.com, MSN Money, the Winnipeg Free Press, InvestorPlace Media, Shaw Media and—combining technology and my three kids—I’ve been a Core Contributor to the award winning GeekDad blog since its launch in 2007.

601 COMMENTS

  1. I would use the MSI Raider GE76 in thr basement office to light up the room! Thr very first game would be Cyberpunk 2077.

  2. I would use this laptop if I needed to use a larger personal electronic anywhere outside of my room. I would try Skyrim on it first.

  3. I take a daily via rail ride that takes 2 hours there and 2 hours back. The idea that I could be gaming on the train instead of watching mindless tik-tok reels for hours would be a incredible. I would love to play Call Of Duty on the train and at home in the game room.

  4. I would use MSI Raider GE76 in the family room but I would have to check with my kids to see what game we should play first

  5. I would use it in my office space, and would learn to play a beginner game since I am not a gamer. Pretty sure it will be ‘borrowed’ by my nephews most of the time.

  6. I would use the MSI Raider GE76 gaming laptop in my living room for maximum comfort, and I would play Cyberpunk 2077 to start.

  7. Well, first off…I probably wouldn’t get a chance to use it! I’m sure my son would steal it right away! He’s been wanting a gaming computer for a few years now.
    He would probably use the MSI Raider GE76 to play Human Fall Flat, Halo and Minecraft first!

  8. The beauty of a gaming laptop is you can use it anywhere and everywhere! Any room of the house, deep in the woods, cafés, rooftops… I have a LOT of catching up to do, but the first game I’d probably play would be Red Dead Redemption 2.

  9. I would use the MSI Raider GE76 at my home office to get the best gaming experience. I would play Planet Zoo first!

  10. I would put this in my room and I would play a game that we loved to play years ago called out of the park baseball.

  11. I’d be playing in the solarium so it feels like I am outside. The game I’d be playing would be Cyberpunk 2077.

  12. I’ll be playing Mechwarrior Online at home, to see how an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU makes the graphics pop!

  13. Many many hours of Elden Ring, so I’d probably set up in my gaming room to hook it up to the large screen.

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