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MSI GE66 Raider 11UG-417IN Review: Meant For Modern Gamers
When it comes to gaming laptops, MSI is a brand that brings new devices with upgraded design and hardware almost every year. Back in 2020, we reviewed the MSI GE66, which was based on the 10th Gen Intel processor and RTX 2070 Super laptop GPU.
- High-resolution 2K display with 165Hz refresh rate
- Capable RTX 3070 laptop GPU
- RGB lighting
- Average speakers
This time around, we have the latest version of the MSI GE66 Raider, powered by the 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with the RTX 3070 laptop GPU. Despite the hardware upgrade, the latest MSI GE66 Raider 11UG-417IN costs a lot less than its predecessor.
The MSI GE66 Raider 11UG-417IN retails in India for Rs. 1,99,990 on Flipkart, and during the time of publishing this review, the laptop was sold out on Flipkart. I have been testing the MSI GE66 Raider 11UG-417IN for the last few weeks, and here is a full review in comparison with its predecessor.
MSI GE66 Raider 11UG-417IN Specifications
- CPU: Intel Core i7-11800H
- Display: 15.6-inch IPS LCD (2560 x 1440) 165Hz
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (8GB) Up to 140W TGP
- Memory: 16GB DDR4
- Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD
- Battery: 99.9WHr
- OS: Windows 11
MSI GE66 Raider (2021) Design: Designed For Gaming
When compared to its predecessor, the MSI GE66 Raider (2021) has gotten thinner. However, the MSI GE66 Raider (2021) still weighs at 2.38KG, which is similar to most gaming laptops of this class. In terms of looks, the MSI GE66 Raider looks sleeker and it also retains the RGB led strip at the front, which gives this laptop a distinctive look.
In terms of I/O, the device includes a USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 port, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, a single USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port, and two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports. Similarly, the laptop also has an HDMI 2.1 port, a full-sized SD card slot, a 3.5mm audio jack, and an RJ45 ethernet port.
Having HDMI 2.1 port will enable users to connect an external display via HDMI with up to 8K resolution at 60Hz or a monitor with 4K resolution with up to a 120Hz refresh rate. Most of the main ports, including HDMI, RJ45, and even the power inputs are located at the back, which also gives this laptop a clean look.
When compared to its predecessor, the 2021 edition of the USB 3.2 Gen 2 looks modern and the overall paint job also makes this laptop look clean. The additional LED strip also conveys the fact that this is a serious gaming laptop. Lastly, the engraved MSI logo at the back goes well with the overall design of the laptop.
MSI GE66 Raider (2021) Display: Plenty Colorful, Plenty Fast
The MSI GE66 Raider (2021) is a 15-inch gaming laptop, hence it comes with a 15.6-inch IPS LCD screen. Unlike the 2020 model, the latest iteration has a slightly lower refresh rate of 165Hz. However, this shouldn't be an issue, as the display now comes with a 2k resolution (2560 x 1440).
The combination of higher resolution and higher refresh makes this display great for gaming, content creation, and content consumption. This is also a color-accurate display and can also be used for color correction and video editing. The balance between the resolution and refresh rate makes this a nice laptop for both professional and amateur users.
MSI GE66 Raider (2021) Trackpad And Keyboard
The MSI GE66 Raider (2021) has a full-sized keyboard. However, it does not have a dedicated Numpad. The keys are spaced out well and they also support RGB lighting, were, individual keys can be programmed to showcase different colors. The keys also offer plenty of key travel and each key offers a stable key press.
The trackpad on the MSI GE66 Raider (2021) is similar in size to its predecessor. However, it is plenty enough to do normal tasks and is definitely not meant for gaming-related usage. When it comes to keyboard and trackpad, the company has not changed much, and this should not be an issue, as it works as expected and is on par with the competition.
MSI GE66 Raider (2021) Web Camera And Sound
The MSI GE66 Raider (2021) has a 1080p web camera, and MSI is one of the few brands that offer 1080p web cameras on most of its high-end gaming laptops. Anything less would not have been acceptable, especially considering the fact that the laptop comes with a QHD display.
When it comes to sound, the MSI GE66 Raider (2021) definitely needs some improvement. Although the speakers offer clear sound, the dual 2W speakers aren't that loud and it is best to use a headphone while gaming instead of using the built-in speakers. The 3.5mm audio jack works as expected and you can also use wireless earphones, as the laptop supports the latest Bluetooth 5.2.
MSI GE66 Raider (2021) CPU Performance
The MSI GE66 Raider (2021) comes with the 11th gen Intel Core i7-11800H octa-core CPU with a boost clock speed of 4.6GHz. This processor when compared to the Intel Core i7-10750H not just has more CPU cores but is also more energy-efficient and is fabbed using 10nm SuperFin lithography.
The improved manufacturing process, higher clock speed, and more cores make the MSI GE66 Raider (2021) a more powerful gaming laptop when compared to the MSI GE66 Raider. Additionally, the processor also comes with Intel UHD graphics which kicks in when not gaming to help save battery.
On Geekbench 5, the MSI GE66 Raider (2021) scored 1506 points on single-core and 7750 points on multi-core CPU tests. On Cinebench R23, the CPU scored 1413 points on single-core and 8580 on multi-core rendering tasks. Similarly, on CPU-Z, the MSI GE66 Raider (2021) scored 577.6 points on single-thread and 4611.9 points on multi-thread performance.
On all these benchmarks, the MSI GE66 Raider (2021) has outperformed the MSI GE66 Raider. This states that the 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H is at least 20 percent faster than the Intel Core i7-10750H. Despite maintaining the same power rating, the MSI GE66 Raider (2021) just offers better single and multi-core performance, resulting in great gaming and professional work-related performance.
MSI GE66 Raider (2021) GPU Performance
The MSI GE66 Raider (2021) comes with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 laptop GPU, which is currently the third most powerful laptop GPU. The GPU comes with 8GB of GDDR6 video memory and has a TGP of up to 140W in the maximum graphics power mode with Dynamic Boost turned on.
On the 3D Mark benchmark, the laptop posted 8901 points and claims that the MSI GE66 Raider (2021) can offer over 110fps on Battlefield V at 1080p and over 90fps at 1440p resolution. On 3DMark, the laptop posted 9259 points on the graphics test and 7302 points on the CPU test.
Similarly, on the Superposition benchmark, we got an average FPS of 99 and 43 at 1080p high and 1080p extreme graphics settings. Similarly, the laptop offered an average FPS of 55 and 24 at 4K optimized and 8K optimized resolution. These numbers confirm that the MSI GE66 Raider (2021) can even offer over 30fps at 4K resolution with graphics quality set to medium or low.
MSI GE66 Raider (2021) Gaming Performance
As this is a laptop with a QHD screen, we tested every game at 1080p and 1440p resolution. On Far Cry 6, the laptop offered an average FPS of 87 at 1080p and 84 at 1440p resolution with graphics set to high. Similarly, on Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, the laptop offered 93 and 71 fps at 1440p and 1080p resolution with the ray-tracing quality set to ultra.
On GTA: V, we got an average FPS of 139 at 1080p resolution and 117 at 1440p resolution. Lastly, on the Bright Memory Infinite RTX test, we got an average FPS of 100 and 57 at 1080p and 1440p resolution, confirming the MSI GE66 Raider (2021) is even capable of handling games with ray-tracing turned on.
While the benchmark numbers are pretty good and are on point with other laptops priced around Rs. 2,00,000 in India, the CPU and GPU tend to run a bit hot with continuous gaming. In my testing, the GPU got as hot as around 86 degrees centigrade, especially while playing games like Far Cry 6. I could also feel the heat around the WASD keys, which is a bummer.
MSI GE66 Raider (2021) Battery Life
The MSI GE66 Raider (2021) comes with a 99.9Whr battery. This is the maximum battery capacity allowed by airlines; hence most laptops stick to this number. The high-resolution QHD screen and the RTX 3070 laptop GPU do not go light on the battery and if you game on battery power, you can expect around two and a half to three hours of battery life.
If you use the laptop for regular tasks like browsing the web or watching videos, the laptop can easily last around five hours without any issue. The device comes with a 280W power adapter and you should game on with the power adapter connected to get the best possible performance from the laptop.
Verdict: A Worthy Successor
The MSI GE66 Raider (2021) is a perfect gaming laptop that improves on almost every major aspect when compared to its successor. Even when it comes to pricing, the MSI GE66 Raider (2021) is on par with the competition and the RTX 3070 laptop GPU also offers the right balance between performance and efficiency.
It's not the fastest GPU in the market, but it just has the power to deliver a stellar gaming experience on modern AAA titles at 1080p and 1440p resolution. The MSI GE66 Raider (2021) is a great 15.6-inch laptop tailormade for gamers and is definitely worth the asking price.