MSI Raider GE77 (2022) Review
One of the most powerful gaming laptops yet
The MSI Raider GE77 is faster than virtually any other laptop – combine the sheer power with its great screen and keyboard and you’ve got a gaming and content creation heavyweight. But its huge chassis, high price and loud fans mean it won’t be suitable for everyone
- Fantastic gaming and application performance
- Impressive 17.3-inch display
- Comfortable, fast keyboard
- A robust chassis with plenty of connectivity
- Heavy, thick design
- Very expensive
- Fans often loud
- UKRRP: £3999
- USARRP: $3799
- EuropeRRP: €4698
- Top-tier Nvidia and Intel internalsThe Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti will handle any gaming situation for years to come, and Intel’s Core i9-12900HX is a punchy processor for all content creation workloads – no other laptop delivers this kind of performance.
- A bold, capable 17.3-inch screenThe 17.3-inch display is large enough to prove absorbing, its quality levels impress, and a combination of a 1440p resolution and 240Hz refresh rate ensure smooth, detailed gameplay in most situations.
- A high-quality SteelSeries keyboardIt’s no wonder that MSI turns to the experts at SteelSeries for its gaming laptop keyboards – this is a fast, satisfying and robust unit that’ll withstand any gaming onslaught.
It’s always interesting when big manufacturers go against the grain – and, in many ways, that’s exactly what’s happened with the MSI Raider GE77.
When most laptop companies are on an endless quest to build slimmer, lighter machines that still offer huge power, MSI has gone the other way and built a notebook that’s an unashamed brute, with monster dimensions and the speed to match.
That’s no surprise when you consider that there’s an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti inside alongside one of the world’s best mobile processors. You’ll have to fork out a hefty sum to get your hands on the Raider, though: this rig costs a mighty $3799 in the US, £3999 in the UK and €4699 in Europe. If you want this particular model, search for GE77HX 12UHS-065UK.
That’s mighty money, but MSI isn’t the only company pumping out pricey gaming portables. The Alienware x17 R2 costs $3999/£3934/€4503 for an equivalent RTX 3080 Ti notebook, while the Razer Blade 17 arrives at $3999/£4099/€4299 – although bear in mind that neither machine quite replicates MSI’s processor or screen specifications.
Design and Keyboard
- Loads of ports and features inside a bold, sturdy chassis
- A great keyboard from the experts at SteelSeries
- It’s robust, but the MSI is huge – thicker and heavier than any rival
There’s no doubt that the MSI Raider GE77 is an old-school gaming laptop. At the front of the aluminium chassis is a bar of glowing RGB LEDs, and around the back you’ll find huge air vents, a chunky hinge and a bright, chrome-effect MSI Dragon logo.
The GE77’s design could prove divisive compared to rivals, though, which are visually more mature. The Alienware x17 R2 is made from black and white magnesium alloy with a ring of rear lighting – it’s just as eye-catching as the MSI but looks more modern. At the other end of the scale, the Razer Blade 17 is an all-black rig that’s far more subtle.
Get beyond the GE77’s loud looks and you’ll find plenty of practical touches. Build quality is excellent, with hardly any give in any panel – you can cart this rig around without fear of breakages.
The ports are well-distributed around the MSI’s borders. On the left-hand side are sole USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C ports, and on the right-hand side there are two more full-size USB connectors and an SD card slot. Along the back edge there’s a Thunderbolt 4 connector that handles 40Gbps data transfers, DisplayPort signals and 5V/3A charging, which is also possible using the USB-C socket.
The rear-mounted HDMI 2.1 output is handy for driving 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz games on external displays, and there’s a 2.5Gb Ethernet socket. Internally, connectivity comes from dual-band Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. The only notable omission is biometric login – the 1080p webcam doesn’t support Windows Hello and there’s no fingerprint reader.
The SteelSeries keyboard is very good, too. The buttons are fast, comfortable and solid, with a crisp typing action. It’s more satisfying than the Blade’s keyboard and just as good as the Alienware’s hardware. The only way you’ll get anything better is by paying extra for the x17’s CherryMX mechanical upgrade.
The keyboard has a number pad, quick shortcuts to open MSI and SteelSeries’ customisation tools, and per-key RGB LED backlighting. The only downside is the inclusion of the power button on the keyboard – it’s too easy to press by accident. The trackpad is poor, too – just use a mouse instead.
MSI’s biggest weakness is the source of its strength in so many other departments. At 3kg and with a 26mm-thick body it’s much thicker than both rivals and weightier than the Razer, and that’s before you add the 1.2kg power brick.
- An impressive specification ensures smooth, sharp gaming
- Quality is impressive, although the panel could be brighter
- You’ll find a better range of specialist displays on rivals
The 17.3-inch display on the MSI Raider GE77 pairs a 2560 x 1440 resolution with a 240Hz refresh rate, which bodes well for most scenarios: the resolution is crisp enough to deliver sharp visuals in single-player games, and the speed enables smooth playback in most eSports situations. Similarly, the 3ms response time is fine but won’t sate top-tier eSports fans.
The contrast ratio of 1197:1 is decent, enabling good depth and vibrancy, and the screen’s excellent Delta E of 1.32 means colours are accurate. MSI’s display produced all the sRGB gamut, too, so it’ll churn out every colour needed by mainstream titles. Games look excellent here.
The display has no significant issues, although its peak brightness level of 359 nits isn’t high enough for many outdoor situations and isn’t good enough to enable HDR gameplay.
The MSI’s biggest screen test comes from the variety available elsewhere, because the Alienware is available with loads of different alternative panel options.
When the Alienware was built with an equivalent specification to the MSI but with a 1080p/360Hz screen, the price arrived at $3499/£3749/€3999. With the 480Hz screen it sits at $3999/£4099/€3999. So, most of the time, you’ll get a better eSports panel at no extra cost. If you want crisper single-player gaming, the Alienware’s 4K variant costs $3999/£4299/€4753. The only downside is that the Alienware’s 2560 x 1440 screen runs at 165Hz rather than 240Hz of the MSI.
The MSI has a top screen for single-player gaming and mainstream eSports situations, but the Alienware could be a better option if you want a specialist panel for 4K gaming or high-end competition.
Good audio kit bolsters the display. The GE77 includes two 1W speakers and two 2W woofers, and they produce bold, detailed and punchy sound with loads of bass and volume. A good headset will be better, but this gear makes games sound excellent.
- Unrivalled power in games
- Enough processing ability to handle almost any work situation
- Louder than rivals if you push the hardware in tough tasks
Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 Ti runs at its peak power limit of 175W, and elsewhere the GE77 packs 16GB of video memory and 7424 CUDA cores. The Core i9-12900HX is one of Intel’s beefiest laptop chips thanks to the inclusion of eight Hyper-Threaded P-Cores, support for 24 threads and a top Turbo speed of 5GHz.
This MSI Raider GE77 has 32GB of dual-channel DDR5 and a 1TB Samsung SSD with great read and write speeds of 7,085MB/s and 5,141MB/s – I just wish it was larger. Thankfully, beneath the base panel it’s easy to access pairs of SSD and memory slots.
There’s no doubting the power available. In Horizon Zero Dawn at 1080p and maximum settings the MSI averaged 125fps – five frames beyond the Alienware and six more than the Blade. Its 117fps result in Borderlands 3 maintains a lead, and it zipped through Rainbow Six Siege at 242fps.
There’s little this laptop can’t do. Its 103fps average in Horizon at its 2560 x 1440 native resolution ensures games are playable with the increased pixel count, and it won’t struggle with eSports titles, ray tracing or DLSS. Outputting to larger screens and VR headsets will be fine.
|MSI Raider GE77||Alienware x17 R2||Razer Blade 17|
|CPU||Intel Core i9-12900HX||Intel Core i7-12700H||Intel Core i7-12800H|
|Geekbench 5 Single / Multi||1833 / 15,872||1686 / 12,040||1804 / 13,144|
|GPU||Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti||Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti||Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti|
|3DMark Time Spy||13,593||12,486||12,671|
The CPU is no slouch, either. The Core i9 chip hit 1833 and 15,872 in Geekbench’s single- and multi-core tests. The former result is great, and the latter is miles beyond the more conventional chips inside the Alienware and Razer machines. And while the MSI didn’t match the competition in PC Mark 10, that’s no surprise considering that test’s low-end workloads.
This processor will tackle any content creation task, from batch-processing photos to rendering 4K video. It’ll stream, multi-task and run tough work software without breaking a sweat. It’s faster than the chips on offer in rivals, although it’s overkill for many people – you only need this chip if you require huge productivity power.
Unsurprisingly, the GE77 produces plenty of fan noise. It’s louder than both rivals if the internals are really pushed, and you’ll need the speakers turned up high or a good headset if you want to play the most challenging titles. Thankfully, external temperatures are never bad.
- Surprisingly, the MSI lasts longer in games than any of its competitors
- You’ll get nearly eight hours of use from this laptop if you run modest software
One of the most surprising things about the MSI Raider GE77 is its battery life – because it’s not terrible. In a gaming test the MSI lasted for 1hr 44mins, which is nearly an hour ahead of the competition.
In a work benchmark the Raider handled 4hrs 35mins of everyday usage, it delivered 3 hours of content creation usage, and it ran video with reduced display brightness for nearly 8 hours.
Those are excellent results for a gaming notebook. While I still don’t recommend gaming on the battery – not least because GPU performance is drastically reduced – those work and media results do mean that you’ve got options when it comes to using the GE77 in everyday situations.
Should you buy it?
You want as much power possible alongside loads of connectivity
The MSI’s components offer unrivaled power in gaming and work situations, and this rig also has a great screen, keyboard and selection of ports. It’s versatile and powerful.
You don’t need to run top work tasks, or you want a quieter, lighter laptop
Don’t spend so much if you won’t make the most out of that CPU. And the MSI is heavy and loud. You can get sleeker and more subtle designs elsewhere.
There’s no doubting the sheer power of the MSI Raider GE77: the Nvidia GPU and Intel Core i9 processor will handle any gaming or working situation. The screen, connectivity and keyboard impress, too. Negatively, though, other laptops are slimmer, lighter and quieter – and the MSI is extremely expensive.
How we test
Every gaming laptop we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, performance, screen quality and battery life.
These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real world checks, such as how well it runs when running a AAA game.
We used as our main laptop for at least a week.
Tested the performance via both benchmark tests and real-world use.
We tested the screen with a colorimeter and real-world use.
We tested the battery with a benchmark test and real-world use.
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Yes, this is an excellent laptop for gaming, especially since it packs so much power in both its CPU and GPU.