MSI Raider GE76 12U Laptop Review

The new MSI Raider GE76 12UGS has a simple ambition: to be the best. And rightfully so.

The laptop market has been trying to be subtle for some time. Who will be the thinnest, who will be the most autonomous, who will be the lightest? These questions are all well and good, but when you’re MSI, there’s only one thing that really matters: power. And the question then becomes: why make the slightest sacrifice when you can fit EVERYTHING in ONE SIMPLE unit? This is evident from the MSI Raider GE76 12UGS.

Buy the MSI Raider GE76 laptop from €3347 on Amazon

MSI Raider GE76 12UGS features

screen size 17.3 inches
Screen type IPS LCD
Screen definition 1920 x 1080 pixels
Refresh rate 360 Hz
Processor Intel Core i7-12700H
Graphics card Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
ram 32 GB DDR5-4800
Storage 1 TB
plug 1 Thunderbolt 4, 1 USB C 3.2 Gen 2, 3 USB A 3.2, 1 Ethernet, 1 SD card, 1 HDMI 2.1, 1 mini DisplayPort, 1 combi connector
Dimensions 397 x 284 x 25.9 mm
Weight 2.9 kg

Design and ergonomics: size matters

Like many computers in this category, the MSI Raider GE76 counts more as an all-in-one than a proper laptop. That said, MSI’s latest product is one of those gaming laptops that isn’t afraid to be one. Do you see this trend towards making this product category cleaner, less aggressive? The MSI Raider GE76 does not follow it.

We therefore have a very angular computer whose MSI logo in the form of a chevron only enhances the appearance of a desirable racing animal. The hinges have their own shells, which are reminiscent of the covers that we see on most gaming motherboards on the market. And of course all the air spaces on each side, which make the overall design of the machine look like a fighter plane.

MSI Raider GE76 12U Review

The MSI production quality is there in its very solid chassis, but the PC is far from comfortable to use in every situation. In 17.3 inch format and weighing 2.9 kg, it is one of the heavyweights even in this category, close to AiO.

MSI Raider GE76 12U Review

The keyboard is no exception. This is complete, with numeric keypad included, and rests on very solid diaphragms that provide a distance of support and a really comfortable rebound. You can also count on the key-by-key LED lighting added to the LED bar available on the front of the computer to offer you all the rainbows you dream of. The slight disappointment comes from the touchpad, which has a pleasant touch, but is far too small for such a computer.

MSI Raider GE76 12U Review

Connectivity side, we are spoiled though. On the left is a USB-C port, a USB-A port and a combo jack. On the right, two USB A ports and the full-size SD card reader. And on the back we have the power connector, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, a Thunderbolt 4 port and a mini DisplayPort. Whatever you want to connect to this machine, you can.

MSI Raider GE76 12U Review

And that is somewhere the lesson of this MSI Raider GE76. He makes absolutely no concessions on his technical abilities, and this is reflected in his designs. Admittedly, compared to the other computers we tested, it still feels more “raw”, thicker and heavier than average. Power comes at a cost, which MSI absolutely does not refuse to pay here.

Screen: 3 times faster

In our test configuration, the MSI Raider GE76 benefits from a 17.3-inch IPS LCD panel in Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel definition, that is, a very traditional 16:9 ratio. Above all, this panel is compatible with an extraordinary refresh rate of 360Hz, guaranteeing you extreme fluidity at all times.

It is especially at this maximum refresh rate that the MSI Raider GE76 seeks to impress … and it works. But at the same time, the rest of its features are a bit behind. In particular, it’s its maximum brightness, raised to 330 cd/m² on SDR content in our test, that is down. Its contrast ratio of 1102:1 is correct, but could have been pushed a bit more.

MSI Raider GE76 12U Review

Now the manufacturer offers something absolutely fantastic on this machine: MSI True Color. This software allows you to vary between different display profiles, such as a gaming mode or an sRGB mode, so that the color space is most suitable for use. The sRGB mode that we measured is quite good with an average Delta E00 of 1.69.

It is therefore not the best calibrated panel on the market, but one of the most comfortable to use. Having said that, the perfect configuration for this computer seems rather to be the QHD 240Hz model, which promises full coverage of the DCI-P3 space and will be a good middle ground for this screen diagonal. Of course, Full HD is always useful, and 4K a little too much for so little, but Quad HD offers the best of both worlds. This 360 Hz panel is impressive on paper, but use would definitely be more comfortable on QHD.

Software: needs improvement

In addition to this famous MSI True Color, the manufacturer offers a wide range of software to best manage its properties. For example, we have SteelSeries software to manage keyboard configurations or MSI Center to fine-tune computer performance.

MSI Raider GE76 12U Review

These software are not bad, far from it, but it must be admitted that all these separations tend to make the management of the computer more foggy than on other more integrated solutions of the same kind. Some are even a bit more obtuse, like MSI Center, which often requires too many clicks in obscure categories to achieve its goals. It’s not bad, far from it, but everything depends on that kind of detail at this level.

MSI Raider GE76 12U Review

What’s more, we find Norton pre-installed by default, which won’t hesitate to send promotional messages… It’s disappointing on premium machines like this.

Performance: unrestrained

In our test configuration, the MSI Raider GE76 is equipped with the latest Intel Core i7-12700H paired with 32 GB of 4800 MHz DDR5 RAM. On the graphics card side, we can count on the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, with 8 GB GDDR6 and a TDP of 150W which can be boosted to 195W with MSI Overboost.

MSI Raider GE76 12U Review

This configuration gives us the expected performance on Cinebench R23, with scores of 16618 in multi-core and 1769 in single core when the computer is set to its most aggressive profile. Note that with him the MSI Raider GE76 still has a field day on the fans. But if they make noise, their tone is not disturbing.

MSI Raider GE76 12U Review

On Shadow of the Tomb Raider, set in its most demanding configuration and without Nvidia’s DLSS support, we can already enjoy 92 average FPS. On Cyberpunk 2077, in ray-tracing configuration: ultra, but by disabling DLSS we find an average of 38 FPS, which goes back to 63 FPS with DLSS. The Full HD definition clearly helps the computer to push as many frames as possible with this GPU, although an RTX 3080 Ti will not refuse to go even further when the ceiling is as high as 360 Hz.

MSI Raider GE76 12U Review

The auditory sacrifice of the fans goes in the direction of the very good thermal management of the computer. Pushed on synthetic use, the computer does not exceed 45°C on the chassis and distributes its heat correctly over the three main ventilation points. The 38°C felt on top of the chassis is a bit high, but not surprising.

Autonomy: average

In its Raider GE76 12UGS, MSI has integrated the largest battery legally allowed in an aircraft, namely 99.9 Wh. The computer also requires a 280w power supply to power this heavy configuration and this 360 Hz panel. That’s about average for this kind of configuration under 12th generation Intel.

MSI Raider GE76 12U Review

Buy the MSI Raider GE76 laptop from €3347 on Amazon

Conclusion

Strong points

  • 360Hz screen
  • Unbridled power
  • Excellent connections
  • Ultra comfortable keyboard

Weak points

  • Very expensive
  • Small touchpad
  • Heavy, thick and unoriginal

MSI made the choice to prioritize power with everything on this Raider GE76 12UGS, and does it beautifully. The 360Hz compatibility of its main screen in our test configuration is impressive, although we’d recommend QHD @240 instead. But out of this raw power, the computer is a bit complacent and doesn’t care about the details despite the price it demands. Thereby he melts a little into the mass.

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