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MSI GE66 Raider gaming laptop review (Core i9, RTX 2080 Super)

MSI GE66 Raider gaming laptop computer overview (Core i9, RTX 2080 Tremendous)

Earlier within the 12 months, MSI introduced their up to date GE66 Raider 15-inch efficiency laptop computer, and I’ve been impatiently ready to get my arms on it for a lot of months now.

This GE66 Raider had massive footwear to fill-up, following on the competent GE65 Raider mannequin from 2019. MSI fully redesigned it out and in, and upped the specs to just about the beefiest cell platforms out there up to now: a Core i9 HK processor and an Nvidia RTX 2080 Tremendous graphics chip, which is what we bought on our overview unit. They’ve additionally modified the design, inputs and IO, in addition to included a 99 Wh battery inside.

OK, so whereas our overview is a good bit late, the GE66 Raider continues to be an up-to-date product and one thing you must undoubtedly take into account when purchasing for a no-compromise gaming/efficiency 15-inch pocket book in This fall 2020 and even in a while within the first a part of 2021.

We’ve used our overview unit for the final three weeks and gathered our ideas and impressions within the article down under, with the positives and the quirks you’d greatest pay attention to earlier than leaping on one in every of these. Having examined it a bit later than different publications, we had been capable of run it on mature software program, so your unit ought to carry out equally to ours if you’re to get one.

Specs as reviewed – MSI GE66 Raider

MSI GE66 Raider 10SGS
Display 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 px IPS 240 Hz 3ms, 16:9, non-touch, matte, Sharp LQ156M1JW03 panel
Processor Intel Comet Lake-H Core i9-10980HK CPU, 8C/16T
Video Intel UHD + Nvidia RTX 2080 Tremendous eight GB GDDR6 (90-105 W Max-Q, GeForce 456/71), with Optimus
Reminiscence 32 GB DDR4 3200 MHz (2x DIMMs)
Storage 1x 1 TB SSD (WDC PC SN730 SDBPNTY-1T00) – 2x M.2 NVMe 80 mm slots
Connectivity Wi-fi 6 (Killer AC 1650i), Bluetooth 5.Zero, 2.5 Gigabit LAN (Killer E3100)
Ports 2x USB-A Three.1 gen1, 1x SUB-A Three.2 gen2, 2x USB-C Three.2 gen2, HDMI 2.Zero, DisplayPort, LAN, card reader, mic/earphone, Lock
Battery 99.9 Wh, 230 W energy brick, USB-C charging assist
Measurement 358 mm or 14.1” (w) x 267 mm or 10.51 (d) x 23.four mm or .93” (h)
Weight 5.35 lbs (2.42 kg) + 1.95 lbs (.88 kg) energy brick and cables, EU mannequin
Extras per-key RGB backlit keyboard, HD + IR webcam, stereo 2x 2W audio system

MSI provides the GE66 Raider in a large number of configurations, beginning with 6Core Intel i7-10750H processors and RTX 2060/2070 graphics and a 240 Hz display screen on the decrease finish, and as much as an 8Core i9-10980HK configuration with RTX 2070/2080 Tremendous graphics and an elective 300 Hz show on the very high.

Whereas our overview unit is a top-specced configuration, most of our findings apply to the opposite variants, and we’ll additionally contact on the opposite CPU/GPU choices within the efficiency part.

Design and construct

As talked about already, the GE66 Raider is totally redesigned from scratch, each on the surface and internally, and shares little with its GE65 predecessor. Consequently, it’s a bit bigger and heavier than the GE65, however severely compensates for these elements with the sturdy construct and glorious craftsmanship high quality. In truth, that is by far the nicest MSI laptop computer I’ve come across in a few years.

Thick items of metallic are used for the principle deck and the lid-cover, which really feel sturdy and barely bulge even when pressed more durable. MSI have additionally applied sturdy hinges and made certain the display screen doesn’t warp or bend when picked up from the edges. It solely goes again to about 145 levels, although.

Additionally, since that is nonetheless not a unibody design and makes use of items of metallic on high of a plastic inside body, I nonetheless seen some creaky noises when firmly urgent over the arm-rest or when grabbing this laptop computer. These are usually not as noticeable as on the older MSI fashions and even the GE66 Stealth and I’d say most of you gained’t in all probability even discover them in any respect, however I did as I used to be particularly wanting into this new mannequin’s construct high quality.

Construct apart, MSI have additionally cleaned up the design of this replace Raider, which now will get a clear silver exterior and a barely darker inside with shades of blue. I like the brand new Dragon Defend badge on the lid, it appears beautiful. I additionally discover the inside a bit friendlier than on the GS66 Stealth; it nonetheless reveals smudges after some time, however not as badly because the keys and clickpad, which you’ll need to rub clear very often. I’ve purposely taken an image of the inside after utilizing this GE66 for the final two days with out cleansing it in any means, so that you’ll know what to anticipate.

As for the elephant within the room, MSI put a large light-bar on this laptop computer’s front-lip, customizable by the Steelseries app. That’s an excessive amount of in my view, but it surely truly grew on me over time, so I can see why a few of you may prefer it. No worries when you don’t, you may flip it off from the settings. I do need to warn you that this piece is made out of shiny plastic and must be pampered; I worry it is going to scratch fairly simply and end-up wanting poorly after some time, particularly when you put on a watch on a regular basis as I do.

And whereas we’re right here, I do need to reward MSI for the way in which this plastic light-bar seamlessly joins in with the metallic main-deck and sides, in addition to with the underbelly, a transparent step-up from what they did with the GS66’s plastic entrance lip. Moreover, I additionally admire that they put a rubber gasket across the complete display screen, which is able to defend that show when the laptop computer is closed and tuck away in your backpack.

However, I’m not that keen on how MSI designed the underside panel, notably the truth that they put small rubber toes supplemented by a hard-plastic foot within the center. Usually, a laptop computer ought to solely relaxation on a flat floor on grippy and gentle rubber toes, however this one additionally makes use of this tough plastic half for assist, which is available in contact with the desk and may undoubtedly scratch delicate surfaces. I do know it could actually, as a result of I can see its marks on my desk. Moreover, these rubber toes barely push up the laptop computer from the desk and don’t permit sufficient recent air to get into the followers, which considerably negates the in any other case glorious open-back intakes, as you’ll see within the efficiency part. Backside level: I might have appreciated bigger and taller rubber toes on this laptop computer.

These apart, I used to be mentioning that the GE66 Raider is a bigger footprint than the GE65, and that’s as a result of it now will get a hump behind the display screen as a way to permit sufficient room for the thermal design, the large battery, and the IO.

Many of the IO is now conveniently positioned again right here, hiding away the cables when connecting peripherals, with just some USB-A, USB-C, and a card-reader on the edges. You’ll discover a lot of the wanted ports on this laptop computer, however I don’t perceive why MSI opted out of Thunderbolt Three assist. You continue to get DP video by way of USB-C and charging, however not the power to hook up TB3 peripherals. That’s much more obscure once they do supply TB3 assist on the GS66 Stealth ultraportable sequence.

Keyboard and trackpad

The keyboard on this GE66 Raider is an identical to the one used within the GS66 Stealth reviewed earlier this 12 months, and is general a combined bag.

On one hand, the structure doesn’t embody a NumPad part, and that permits MSI to implement this keyboard centered on the chassis. I admire this format, however a few of you may really feel in any other case.

For what’s value, you do get an additional column of Operate keys on the proper and full-size arrows, but in addition a few of the annoying structure particularities attribute to MSI laptops, akin to that massive left CTRL-key that sends the Fn key to the suitable, now squashed into the suitable CTRL. The facility button can also be a key, within the high proper nook, and incorporates an always-on orange gentle into it that doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s tiny, however nonetheless noticeable in a darkish room.

So far as utilizing this keyboard daily, this is without doubt one of the softest and shallowest implementations on this 15-inch area of interest of full-size efficiency laptops, and even shallower than what you’d get in a lot of the moveable form-factors. With 1.5 mm of journey and little or no effort required to register a stroke, this keyboard feels quite a bit like an ultrabook keyboard, so these used to stiffer inputs may need a tough time getting used to it.

I for one can see myself utilizing this as a each day typer, although. It’s very fast and really quiet, but in addition reasonably unforgiving on any straying fingers with these gentle actuations, and that took a slight toll on my typing expertise and required time to get used to it.

The per-key RGB illumination carried over from the earlier generations, with vivid sufficient LEDs, good uniformity, and nearly no gentle creeping out from underneath the keycaps. The design additionally contains bodily CasLock and NumLk indicators, and MSI notebooks additionally supply this neat trick that solely lights up the out there capabilities while you press the Fn key.

However, whereas nonetheless principally useful when you perceive the way it works, MSI’s Steelseries Engine management software program appears and feels dated, with vintage graphics and minuscule interfaces. As already talked about in earlier critiques, I really feel that their complete software program suite might use a whole revamp.

For mouse, MSI went right here with a narrower and taller clickpad than on the GS66 sequence. It’s nonetheless a glass floor with Precision drivers and handles on a regular basis use and gestures easily and reliably. I might have appreciated if this was stiffer, although, as I discovered that it rattles with even the gentlest of faucets. The bodily clicks are tremendous although, clean and quiet.

Nonetheless, I’d anticipate most of you to hook up an exterior monitor on this type of a laptop computer anyway.

As for biometrics, there’s an IR digital camera on the GS66, however no finger-sensor.

Display

MSI provides the GE66 Raider with a few totally different display screen choices, together with 144/240 and 300 Hz FHD IPS panels, in addition to a 60 Hz UHD choice with wider color-gamut assist, a possible choice for creators.

Our check unit got here with the mid-range 240 Hz IPS panel, a well-liked choice on this area of interest, and applied on many different mid to high-tier gaming laptops of this era. In the event you’re within the 300 Hz panel, that’s similar to the one we’ve examined within the Zephyrus S15 and Predator Triton 500. Aggressive fps video games may profit from that one, however for probably the most half, this 240 Hz choice is simply tremendous.

It’s a wonderful panel for gaming, with quick refresh charges and response instances, in addition to a fairly-good choice for on a regular basis use, with truthful distinction, brightness, and coloration protection. We additionally discovered this to be brighter than the identical panel examined within the MSI GS66 Stealth, with 320+ nits of max brightness, which is a lot sufficient for indoor use, however nonetheless not sufficient for outside or vivid environments.

Right here’s what to anticipate, in response to our Sypder4 sensor:

  • Panel ID: Sharp SHP14C5 (LQ156M1JW03);
  • Protection: 97.9% sRGB, 68.Three% NTSC, 71.2% AdobeRGB;
  • Measured gamma: 2.34;
  • Max brightness in the midst of the display screen: 323.18 cd/m2 on energy;
  • Min brightness in the midst of the display screen: 17.12 cd/m2 on energy;
  • Distinction at max brightness: 1174:1;
  • White level: 7900 Okay;
  • Black on max brightness: Zero.27 cd/m2;
  • PWM: Sure, 23.6 KHz at < 19% brightness;
  • Response time: ~16 ms GTG (supply).

What we bought on this check mannequin required calibration as a way to deal with the WhitePoint and Gamma imbalances. This additional lowered the utmost brightness, however as soon as calibrated, we measured strong coloration/luminosity uniformity and didn’t discover any apparent gentle bleeding on black backgrounds, with just one small pinch on the underside bezel.

and efficiency

Our check mannequin is a top-specced configuration of the MSI GE66 Raider, with an Intel Core i9-10980HK processor, 16 GB of DDR4 2666 MHz of reminiscence, 1 TB of quick Samsung PM981 storage and twin graphics: the Nvidia RTX 2070 dGPU and the Intel UHD inside the Intel platforms, with Optimus.

Earlier than we proceed, remember the fact that our overview unit was despatched over by MSI, working on the software program out there as of Mid-October 2020 (BIOS E1541IMS.30A, Dragon Middle 2.Zero.82.Zero, GeForce Sport Prepared 456.71 drivers).

Spec-wise, MSI provides the GE66 in a large number of configurations. This 8Core i9-10980HK unlocked and overclockable processor excels in multi-threaded operations, however is an costly improve and requires loads of energy to run at full blast, with thermal implications. Taht’s why the 6Core Intel i7-10750H processor is perhaps the better-balanced mannequin for many consumers, particularly when you’re primarily getting a GE66 Raider for gaming.

That brings us to the selection in GPU. What we now have right here is the 2020 Nvidia 2080 Tremendous in a Max-Q implementation, working at 80 to 105W between the assorted energy profiles. It’s just about probably the most highly effective GPU you may get on this form-factor and leaves room for overclocking on this implementation, however can also be costly, and never essentially value paying the numerous further over the opposite GPU choices out there on this chassis, particularly the RTX 2070 Tremendous 115W or the RTX 2060 110W variants.

The up to date Intel platform additionally helps as much as 32 GB of 3200 MHz DDR4 reminiscence, which is what we now have on this check unit. The 2 DIMMs are simply accessible inside for upgrades, the place you’ll additionally discover two M.2 SSD slots and the WiFi chip. Our unit got here with a single 1 TB SSD, a quick WDC SN730 drive.

It’s worthwhile to come out the again cowl as a way to get to the elements, maintain in place by a handful of Philips screws. It would appear like a simple job, but it surely’s not. First off, cautious that in some areas MSI nonetheless put a guaranty sticker on one of many screws, so that you may need to inquire about guarantee circumstances when you plan to open this up. So far as I’m involved, I hope MSI cease utilizing these types of guarantee stickers that forestall customers from performing upgrades, as they’re among the many final to nonetheless do it and I’m fairly certain this observe alone may be sufficient to steer some potential consumers away in the direction of the extra upgrade-friendly manufacturers.

Then, the plastic again panel takes a good bit of effort to take aside, because it’s a reasonably flimsy piece and maintain in place by some sturdy clips. I’d recommend ranging from the entrance, across the light-bar, and dealing your means round to the again. Take a look at this video, however the again half took much more fiddling round earlier than it gave up on my unit. Don’t pull too exhausting, our you’ll danger snapping up a few of the plastic hooks.

As talked about already, MSI’s software program suite is pretty useful, however dated by way of design and interfaces. The Dragon Middle app controls the principle efficiency/followers/display screen/battery settings, whereas the sound and keyboard are managed by separated apps. In contrast to on GS66, there’s no Discrete GPU mode for this laptop computer and the iGPU is at all times lively. There’s additionally no GSync assist.

The GE66 is primarily a efficiency laptop computer, however it could actually additionally deal with on a regular basis multitasking, looking, and video, whereas working coolly and principally quietly. In truth, the followers relaxation idle with video and different fundamental stuff, and solely the CPU fan kicks in with multitasking.

On to extra demanding hundreds, we begin by testing the CPU’s efficiency by working the Cinebench R15 check for 15+ instances in a loop, with 2-Three seconds delay between every run.

The i9 processor in our configuration stabilizes at 70+W on the usual Excessive Efficiency setting, which interprets in frequencies of three.9+ GHz and temperatures of round 90 C, scores of 1700+ factors, and followers ramping as much as 46-47 dB at head-level.

I ought to add that the processor runs at 80+ W for the primary loops and is thermally restricted at round 95C, till it’s ultimately energy restricted at ~70W, with temperatures of round 90 levels Celsius. 

Undervolting is disabled by default, however you may allow it in BIOS. For that, reboot in BIOS mode and press Proper Ctrl + Proper Shift + Left Alt + F2 on the identical time to unlock the Superior BIOS capabilities, after which scroll all the way down to Overclocking settings, allow Overclocking and XTU assist, after which reboot again into Home windows.

Our pattern crashed at -80 mV, so we dialed again -50 mV to forestall any stability points. We used this undervolting setting in all of our assessments.

On this undervolted Excessive Profile, the CPU ends-up working equally, restricted at 70+W, however at barely greater stabilized clocks and with marginally greater scores. Energy turns into the limiting issue on this case as nicely.

Surprisingly, switching over to the Silent profile has nearly no impression on the CPU’s efficiency, which initially nonetheless runs at greater energy and ends-up restricted at round 70W. The followers run a lot quieter on this case, although, at solely 36-37 dB at head-level, and the CPU is thermally throttled at 95C throughout your complete check. Energy limiting doesn’t kick in on this mode.

Lastly, the CPU energy is restricted at 54+W on battery (in Excessive Efficiency mode), with matching scores. Particulars under.

To place these findings in perspective, I’ve added the i9-10980HK configurations of the Asus ROG Scar and Zephyrus Duo within the following chart, in addition to a Ryzen 4800H implementation within the 15-inch Legion 5 chassis. AMD nonetheless have an edge on this check, however the i9 Intel fashions are pretty shut. That apart, these outcomes put the GE66 i9 in between the 2 different implementations, whereas requiring much less energy and working quieter. I’ve additionally added a top-end i7-10750H implementation, so that you’ll know what to typically anticipate when you go along with that CPU choice.

We then went forward and additional verified our findings with the longer Cinebench R20 loop check and the ugly Prime 95, on the Excessive Efficiency profile. The CPU stabilizes at 70+ W on each assessments, with temperatures of round 90 levels C and 46-47 dB followers noise.

We additionally ran our mixed CPU+GPU stress assessments on this pocket book. 3DMark stress runs the identical check for 20 instances in a loop and appears for efficiency variation and degradation over time, and this unit handed it simply tremendous. Luxmark Three.1 absolutely hundreds each the CPU and GPU on the identical time, however is just not correctly supported on the i9-10980HK, so not related right here.

Subsequent, we ran your complete suite of assessments and benchmarks, on the inventory Excessive Efficiency profile in Dragon Middle.

  • 3DMark 13 – Hearth Strike: 19837 (Graphics – 22822, Physics – 21756, Mixed – 9387);
  • 3DMark 13 – Port Royal: 5309;
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 8850 (Graphics – 8707, CPU – 9764);
  • AIDA64 Reminiscence check: Write: 48461 MB/s, Learn: 44732 MB/s, Latency: 57.Three ns;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Excessive: 5433;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 17102;
  • Handbrake 1.Three.1 (4K to 1080p encode): 43.11 common fps;
  • PassMark: Score: 7134 (CPU: 20923, 3D Graphics: 13711, Disk: 24674);
  • PCMark 10: 5946 (Necessities – 9593, Productiveness – 7679, Digital Content material Creation – 7744);
  • GeekBench four.four.2 64-bit: Single-Core: 6145, Multi-core: 33972;
  • GeekBench 5.Zero.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 1329, Multi-core: 7017;
  • CineBench R15 (greatest run): CPU 1828 cb, CPU Single Core 207 cb;
  • CineBench R20 (greatest run): CPU 4044 cb, CPU Single Core 485 cb;
  • x264 HD Benchmark four.Zero 32-bit: Cross 1 – 236.78 fps, Cross 2 – 107.83 fps;
  • x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 34.53 s.

The default Excessive Efficiency profile doesn’t impression the GPU in any means, that’s why we additionally reran a few of the assessments on a -50mV Undervolted Excessive Efficiency profile, alongside an overclocked GPU in MSI Afterburner at +120 MHz Clock and +200 MHz Reminiscence. We’ll additional name this the Excessive Tweaked profile. For what’s value, the GPU runs at 90 to 105W of energy between the totally different assessments, as anticipated for a 2080 Tremendous Max-Q implementation.

Right here’s what we bought on this case:

  • 3DMark 13 – Hearth Strike: 20757 (Graphics – 24016, Physics – 22507, Mixed – 9727);
  • 3DMark 13 – Port Royal: 5560;
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 9135 (Graphics – 9177, CPU – 10186);
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Excessive: 5756;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 17938;
  • Handbrake 1.Three.1 (4K to 1080p encode): 45.74 common fps;
  • PassMark: Score: 7224 (CPU: 21185, 3D Graphics: 13811, Disk: 22074);
  • PCMark 10: 5931 (Necessities – 9510, Productiveness – 7590, Digital Content material Creation – 7843);
  • GeekBench 5.Zero.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 1302, Multi-core: 8383;
  • CineBench R15 (greatest run): CPU 1907 cb, CPU Single Core 212 cb;
  • CineBench R20 (greatest run): CPU 4303 cb, CPU Single Core 499 cb;
  • x264 HD Benchmark four.Zero 32-bit: Cross 1 – 253.34 fps, Cross 2 – 108.04 fps;
  • x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 33.88 s.

We additionally ran some Workstation associated hundreds, on the Excessive and Excessive Tweaked profiles:

  • Blender 2.90 – BMW Automotive scene- CPU Compute: 3m 39s (Excessive), 3m 44s (Excessive Tweaked);
  • Blender 2.90 – BMW Automotive scene- GPU Compute: 1m 11s (CUDA), 32s (Optix);
  • Blender 2.90 – Classroom scene – CPU Compute: 10m 12s (Excessive), 10m 25s (Excessive Tweaked);
  • Blender 2.90 – Classroom scene – GPU Compute: 3m 20s (CUDA), 1m 50s (Optix);
  • Luxmark Three.1 – Luxball HDR – OpenCL CPUs + GPUs rating: CPU not acknowledged;
  • SPECviewerf 13 – 3DSMax: 193.27 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Catia: 143.42 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Creo: 187.24 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Vitality: 18.96 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Maya: 226.15 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Medical: 60.15 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Showcase: 105.43 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – SNX: 21.13 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – SW: 94.09 (Excessive).

Total, we’re a slight 2-Three% enchancment in CPU scores and 2-5% enchancment within the GPU assessments. Not a lot.

That apart, that is s strong implementation of the i9 processor and RTX 2080 Tremendous graphics chip. For comparability, the few different i9-10980HK configurations we’ve examined, particularly the ROG Scar and Zephyrus DUO, scored equally in each the CPU and GPU assessments.

With these out of the way in which, let’s take a look at some video games. We ran a few DX11, DX12, and Vulkan titles on the inventory Excessive and Excessive Tweaked profiles, with the followers on Auto, on each FHD (inside display screen) and QHD (exterior monitor) resolutions. Right here’s what we bought:

i9-10980HK + RTX 2080 Tremendous Max-Q FHD Excessive FHD Excessive Tweaked FHD Silent QHD Excessive
Battlefield V (DX 12, Extremely Preset, Ray-Tracing OFF) 121 fps (81 fps – 1% low) 129 fps (78 fps – 1% low) 118 fps (68 fps – 1% low)
Battlefield V (DX 12, Extremely Preset, Ray-Tracing ON, DLSS OFF) 77 fps (58 fps – 1% low) 82 fps (52 fps – 1% low) 65 fps (49 fps – 1% low)
Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Extremely Preset, SMAA) 112 fps (87 fps – 1% low) 118 fps (90 fps – 1% low) 96 fps (68 fps – 1% low) 88 fps (66 fps – 1% low)
Center Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Extremely Preset) 175 fps (118 fps – 1% low) 184 fps (121 fps – 1% low) 158 fps (114 fps – 1% low) 125 fps (28 fps – 1% low)
Crimson Lifeless Redemption 2 (DX 12, Extremely Optimized, TAA) 94 fps (66 fps – 1% low) 98 fps (67 fps – 1% low)
Rise of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Very Excessive Preset, FXAA) 125 fps (67 fps – 1% low) 126 fps (69 fps – 1% low) 112 fps (62 fps – 1% low) 98 fps (58 fps – 1% low)
Shadow of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA) 105 fps (76 fps – 1% low) 109 fps (78 fps – 1% low) 98 fps (68 fps – 1% low) 74 fps (57 fps – 1% low)
Unusual Brigade (Vulkan, Extremely Preset) 160 fps (120 fps – 1% low) 169 fps (128 fps – 1% low) 142 fps (111 fps – 1% low) 121 fps (98 fps – 1% low)
The Witcher Three: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Extremely Preset, Hairworks On four) 114 fps (75 fps – 1% low) 118 fps (77 fps – 1% low) 104 fps (69 fps – 1% low) 88 fps (25 fps – 1% low)
  • Battlefield V, The Witcher Three – recorded with Fraps/in-game FPS counter in marketing campaign mode;
  • Far Cry 5, Center Earth, Unusual Brigade, Crimson Lifeless Redemption 2, Tomb Raider video games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities;
  • Crimson Lifeless Redemption 2 Optimized profile based mostly on these settings.

The HWinfo logs under present the CPU and GPU speeds and temperatures in Far Cry 5, Crimson Lifeless Redemption 2, and Witcher Three on the inventory Excessive Efficiency profile.

Each the efficiency and the thermals are top-notch on this laptop computer in most titles, with the CPU working within the mid-70s and the GPU within the mid to excessive 70s in Witcher Three, Crimson Lifeless Redemption 2 or Battlefield 5. The CPU-heavy Far Cry 5 is the exception, and the i9 CPU hits temperatures within the excessive 80s and low 90s on this case. All these on the inventory Excessive Efficiency profile, whereas the followers ramp as much as about 46-47 dB at head stage.

Elevating the laptop computer from the desk makes fairly a distinction within the efficiency and temperatures right here, shaving about 5-10 levels off the CPU and 5 levels off the GPU, and in addition permitting the GPU to run at greater clocks in most titles. As talked about earlier, the small rubber toes on the again of this laptop computer don’t permit for sufficient recent air to get in, and taller toes would have made an enormous distinction right here.

Then, undervolting the CPU and particularly overclocking the GPU barely enhance on the efficiency as nicely, however truly elevating it up makes a much bigger distinction. In fact, you may each overclock and carry up the underside for the utmost impression.

Now, whereas this laptop computer doesn’t run as noisy as the opposite gaming choices in its area of interest, the followers are nonetheless reasonably annoying at 46-47 dB. Switching over to the Silent efficiency profile quiets the followers to under 38 dB, however with a big improve in temperatures and a reasonably restricted toll in efficiency. With the laptop computer sitting on the desk, each the CPU and GPU are thermally restricted and run within the 80s (on the GPU) and 90s (on the CPU). The video games are completely playable, even when the elements clock down as the warmth builds up, however the excessive inside and exterior temperatures advise towards utilizing the laptop computer on this means for lengthy, particularly with demanding titles.

Nonetheless, elevating up the laptop computer helps an entire lot on this Silent mode as nicely, permitting for each extra snug temperatures and improved efficiency.

For what’s value, MSI additionally provides a Cooler Enhance fan profile for this laptop computer, which permits improved thermals and efficiency on each the CPU and the GPU, but in addition pushes the fan noise to unusable ranges of 52-53 dB. Even headphones battle to cowl that, and I can’t see the way you’d have the ability to use the laptop computer on this mode in actual life.

Lastly, the GE66 can also be a good candidate for exterior monitor use with the laptop computer’s lid closed and the system positioned right into a vertical stand. This manner, each the intakes and exhausts are usually not obstructed in any means, simply in remember the fact that you may battle to hook up your exterior monitor with some stands, because the connectors are positioned on the rear-edge.

In conclusion, this MSI GE66 Raider is a wonderful performer in each day use, artificial assessments, workloads, and video games, and for probably the most half, runs cooler and quieter than the competitors, even with its small rear-rubber toes that hinder the air-intake.

Raised up or positioned on a cooling pad, this actually excels and ends-up one of many best-balanced notebooks we’ve ever examined, by way of efficiency, thermals, and noise. And don’t overlook that our check mannequin is the i9 configuration + RTX 2080 graphics chip; the i7 fashions ought to run even cooler on the CPU aspect.

Noise, Warmth, Connectivity, audio system, and others

The MSI GE66 Raider will get a fancy cooling design, with two high-capacity followers and a large number of heatpipes unfold over the CPU, GPU, and VRMs, however with no Northbridge thermal plate. Most of this thermal module addresses the GPU, however there’s sufficient to additionally deal with the i9 CPU, as defined within the earlier part.

As an additional notice, the wide-open again mesh permits glorious air flow, particularly when elevating up the laptop computer to enhance the airflow beneath, however mud additionally simply gathers inside with this design. I’d advise giving it an intensive cleanup as soon as each 2-Three months with a can of compressed air.

As talked about already, this laptop computer runs quietly with each day use. Each followers relaxation idly with video streaming and really fundamental actions, and the CPU fan kicks in with multitasking, spinning at as much as 37 dB. I haven’t seen any coil successful or digital noises on our unit.

Right here’s what to anticipate by way of noise, at head-level.

  • Excessive Efficiency, followers on Cooler Enhance – 52-53 dB with video games;
  • Excessive Efficiency, followers on Auto – 46-47 dB with video games, 46-47 dB with Cinebench loop check;
  • Silent, followers on Auto – 37-38 dB with video games, Zero-37 dB with each day use.

With video games, the followers ramp as much as solely about 46-47 dB at head-level on the usual Excessive Profile, which is quieter than the opposite efficiency laptop computer in its section.  Ramping up the followers to their max Cooler Enhance mode pushes the noise to unusable 52-53 dB ranges, whereas switching over to Silent decrease the noise underneath 38 dB when working video games, however with a rise in temperatures.

Talking of, we’ve already proven you this GE66 retains the internals and truthful temperatures even with longer gaming periods, so the truth that the outer case runs inside affordable limits as nicely is unquestionably not a shock.

We’re temperatures within the high-40s in the midst of the keyboard on the Excessive Efficiency profile,  low-40s across the WASD space, 30s across the arrows keys, and as much as low-50s in sure spots on the again. Elevating up the laptop computer lowers these temperatures by as much as 5 levels within the hottest elements.

In fact, the laptop computer runs quite a bit hotter on Silent, particularly when on the desk, and even on this case elevating it up helps a good bit. Thus, gaming periods with the laptop computer siting on the desk are a tough move on this laptop computer, however working most video games on Silent with the laptop computer raised up retains the exterior temperatures inside acceptable limits, with temperatures within the 50s within the hottest inside spots, and low to mid-40s across the WASD and arrow areas.

Take note we’ve run our assessments in a managed setting with the AC set at 24-25 levels Celsius, so these temperatures may differ in different circumstances

*Each day Use – streaming Netflix in EDGE for 30 minutes, Silent profile,  followers at Zero-36 dB
*Gaming – Silent – taking part in Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Silent profile, followers at 36-37 dB
*Gaming – Excessive Efficiency, followers on Auto – taking part in Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Excessive Efficiency profile, followers at 46-47 dB
*Gaming – Excessive Efficiency, followers on Cooler Enhance – taking part in Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Excessive Efficiency profile, followers at 52-53 dB

For connectivity, there’s Wi-fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 by an Intel AX201 chip on this unit, in addition to 2.5 Gigabit Lan. Our pattern carried out nicely on WiFi each close to the router and at 30+ toes with obstacles in between.

Audio is dealt with by a pair of pretty punchy audio system that fireside by these tiny holes in the suitable and left edge. It took me some time to determine the place the sounds comes out from.

These get pretty loud on the Music profile within the Nahimic software program, at 80-82 dB at head-level. Nonetheless, they vastly lack bass and sound bizarre and tinny as soon as pushed above volumes of 50%. Very similar to with the GS66 Stealth, a pair of headphones is a should with this laptop computer when you care about sound high quality.

The webcam is positioned on the high of the display screen flanked by microphones. The picture high quality isn’t wonderful, however general higher than the usual laptop computer webcam out there nowadays.

Battery life

There’s a 99.9 Wh battery contained in the GE66 Stealth, the most important legally allowed on a pocket book, and that interprets in truthful runtimes on a cost.

Nonetheless, remember the fact that the system down not routinely swap the display screen to 60 Hz when unplugging the laptop computer, which you may need to when trying to maximize runtimes, as working it at 240 Hz takes its slight toll.

Right here’s what we bought on our unit, with the display screen’s brightness set at round 120-nits (60%) and 240 Hz refresh:

  • 16 W (~6+ h of use) – textual content modifying in Google Drive, Silent Mode, display screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 15.5 W (~6+ h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Silent Mode, display screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 14.5 W (~6+ h of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Silent Mode, display screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 24 W (~four+ h of use) – looking in Edge, Balanced Mode, display screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON.

Total, this GE66 mannequin ran extra effectively than the GS66 Stealth we’ve examined some time in the past, and in keeping with what I’d anticipate from this type of platform.

MSI pairs the laptop computer with a generic and fairly-compact Chicony 230W power-brick, which nonetheless weighs round .88 kilos with the included cables within the EU model. Refilling the battery takes 2 to three hours, and as much as 65W of USB-C charging can also be supported with a appropriate charger, for these instances while you don’t need to deliver alongside the principle energy brick.

Value and availability

The 2020 MSI GE66 Raider is extensively out there at this level all all over the world.

This top-version examined right here, with the i9-10980HK processor, 32 GB of RAM, 1 TB of SSD storage, Nvidia RTX 2080 Tremendous graphics, and the 300 Hz display screen, MSRPs at $2999 within the US and round 3500 EUR in Europe.

Nonetheless, better-balanced variations can be found from round 1800 USD/ 2000 EUR with the i7 processor, Nvidia RTX 2070 graphics, and the 240 Hz display screen. No phrase on the RTX 2060 mannequin, although, no less than for now.

Observe this hyperlink for up to date configurations and costs in your area on the time you’re studying this text.

Last ideas

This right here is without doubt one of the best-balanced efficiency laptops we’ve examined in years.

It’s a full-size pc, so not as moveable as a few of the different trendy choices, however compensates by excellently balancing the efficiency, thermals, and noise-levels in just about each exercise, from informal use to demanding workloads and video games. Certain, MSI might have made this laptop computer even higher with barely taller rubber toes that will have additional helped the thermal module, however whilst it’s, this runs cooler and quieter than the few opponents with comparable specs that we’ve examined.

That apart, the GE66 Raider can also be a big step ahead for MSI by way of design and construct high quality, and doesn’t compromise on any of its vital traits.

However, I ought to add that a few of you may need a tough time adapting to the shallow and gentle keyboard, the sort you’d usually get in an ultrabook, and never on this type of a gaming laptop computer. On high of that, some may resent the poor audio answer or may not have the ability to look previous the shortage of Thunderbolt Three assist, however these are general minor quirks within the grand scheme of what this laptop computer is, aside from the audio system, that are my single main gripe with this unit.

In fact, this GE66 Raider is just not an inexpensive laptop computer, particularly within the high tier configuration with the i9 processor and RTX 2080 graphics, but it surely’s additionally on par and even cheaper than a few of the alternate options that provide comparable specs, plus can truly put these to good use and maintain them inside correct working temperatures in ways in which lots of the opponents can not. Moreover, MSI additionally provides the laptop computer with lower-tier specs, and my advice would primarily go for the RTX 2070 Tremendous variant with the i7 laptop computer, as among the best no-compromise gaming laptops of this era.

So far as that competitors goes, the Asus ROG Strix Scar, the Gigabyte Aorus 15X and the Lenovo Legion 7i come to thoughts. We’ve solely reviewed the 2020 ROG Scar, so you must look into the opposite two as nicely earlier than deciding in your choice inside this class of full-size 15-inch efficiency laptops.

That wraps up our overview of the MSI GE66 Raider, however I’d love to listen to your ideas and impressions on it, each when you’re trying to get one and particularly when you’ve already purchased it and may share your possession expertise. Please get in contact within the feedback part down under.

Disclaimer: Our content material is reader-supported. In the event you purchase by a few of the hyperlinks on our web site, we could earn an affiliate fee. Study extra.

Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief of Ultrabookreview.com. I have been masking cell computer systems because the 2000s and you will principally discover critiques and thorough guides written by me right here on the positioning.

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