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MSI GE76 Raider 11UH Review: Fully-Loaded Gaming Laptop
The gaming laptop market has seen a drastic change in the last few years. Thick and bulky gaming laptops are now history. You can now buy a new gaming laptop, capable of handling modern AAA titles in a compact form factor. However, these laptops do suffer when it comes to sustained performance.
- Massive 17-inch display with 360Hz refresh rate
- Excellent I/O option
- Top tier CPU and GPU
- Good thermal solution
- Heavy in weight
- Gets loud in high-performance mode
This is where the MSI GE76 Raider 11UH comes, a laptop that is focused to deliver the best possible gaming performance for an extended period. I have been testing the top-tier variant of the MSI GE76 Raider 11UH, powered by the most powerful mobile CPU and mobile GPU, and here is the full review of one of the most powerful gaming laptops of 2021, which retails in India for Rs. 3,49,990.
MSI GE76 Raider 11UH Specifications
• CPU: Intel Core i9-11980HK
• Display: 17.3-inch IPS LCD 1920 x 1080 360Hz
• GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Mobile GPU
• Memory: 32GB DDR4
• Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD
• Battery: 99.9WHr
• OS: Microsoft Windows 11 64-bit
MSI GE76 Raider 11UH Design: Massive, Mean Machine
When it comes to design, there are two ways to look at the MSI GE76 Raider 11UH. One, it is a bulky laptop and does not stand a chance against something like the Alienware X Series. The other is that the laptop is designed to eliminate the thermal limitations of a laptop.
At 2.89KG, this is one of the heaviest laptops that I have tested this year. In fact, this is like a bigger and meaner version of the MSI GE66 Raider, which we reviewed in early 2021. Given the weight of the machine, if you are a frequent traveler, then it is best to not consider this machine.
Having a bigger form factor has helped MSI to include every possible modern I/O that one might want from a gaming laptop. This machine has three USB-A ports, two USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt support, a full-sized SD card slot, an RJ45 jack, a mini-display port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Do note that, this is a 17-inch laptop. Though it might not sound much when compared to a regular 15-inch laptop. However, it is really massive in size, and it took almost half of my tablespace. Again, not for those, who are looking for a compact machine.
MSI GE76 Raider 11UH Display: Large Color Accurate Panel
There are two variants of the MSI GE76 Raider 11UH, and the device that we tested came with a 1080p IPS LCD screen. It comes with a maximum screen refresh rate of 360Hz with 3ms latency. By default, the laptop comes with multiple display modes such as sRGB, gamer, anti-blue, office, and movies.
If you are looking for a color-accurate profile, then stick with the sRGB mode, as other profiles tend to change the color temperature and make the image look either cool or warm. If you are a pro, then you can also tweak various parameters like brightness, contrast, and gamma to fine-tune the color science of the display from the MSI True Color application.
Though the display on the MSI GE76 Raider 11UH is plenty bright enough I felt that the laptop should have come with an OLED display, as it would have offered higher contrast and punchier colors. Despite being an IPS LCD screen, I didn't see any uneven backlighting or screen bleeding, which is a good thing.
It is undoubtedly a great display for both gaming and content consumption. However, it is an 8-bit panel and does not have any HDR certification, which is a bummer. If I were to choose, I would have gone with the 1440p 240Hz display rather than the 1080p 360Hz panel.
MSI GE76 Raider 11UH Web Camera
MIS deserves a mention for this, as the company has included a 1080p web camera on the MSI GE76 Raider 11UH. The higher resolution camera offers a much better video calling experience when compared to most laptops with a 720p web camera. On top of that, there is also a dedicated button to disable the camera hardware, which will be appreciated by the privacy-concerned users.
MSI GE76 Raider 11UH Trackpad And Keyboard
The trackpad on the MSI GE76 Raider 11UH is pretty average and don't forget to buy a good mouse with this machine. Coming to the keyboard, it has a very big footprint and will take some time for getting used to, especially if you are coming from a 15-inch laptop.
This keyboard is designed in collaboration with SteelSeries, and it also supports per-key RGB customization. Due to the sheer size of the chassis, if you have small hands, then you might have some trouble with typing. When it comes to the actual keys, they offer a lot of travel. However, I felt that the keys were slightly on a mushier size, and I would have liked more firm keys, even if they had less key travel.
There is also a dedicated num pad, which I never used, except when I was trying to take off the helicopter on the GTA: 5. I also liked the fact that there is a separate orange LED on the power button. However, I would have liked it more if it had a built-in fingerprint sensor.
MSI GE76 Raider 11UH Sound: Lound And Clear
The MSI GE76 Raider 11UH has a Dynaudio certified two 2W Speaker and two 1W Woofers, which produced a loud surround sound. Besides, the 3.5mm headphone jack can also support high-resolution audio with up to 192KHz/ 24-bit uncompressed audio support.
Though the built-in speakers on the MSI GE76 Raider 11UH are loud and clear, it does lack bass, which would have made this machine, one of the best-sounding gaming laptops. Overall, the audio quality on the MSI GE76 Raider 11UH is above average and can easily fill a small room while gaming or watching a movie.
MSI GE76 Raider 11UH CPU And GPU
The MSI GE76 Raider 11UH is powered by the most powerful laptop CPU and GPU to date. The machine comes with the Intel Core i9-11980HK octa-core processor along with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU with a whopping 16GB GDDR6 video memory. The laptop also offers 32GB 3200MT/s DDR4 RAM and 1TB NVME SSD.
The Intel Core i9-11980HK is one of the first mobile CPUs to achieve up to 5.0GHz clock speed on two cores using Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Frequency technology and it is also based on 10nm SuperFin fabrication, which makes it more power-efficient when compared to its predecessor.
Coming to the GPU, the RTX 3080 Mobile has a max TDP of 150W, which makes it one of the most powerful graphics cards on a laptop. Do note that, if you are running this beast on battery power, the TDP automatically comes down to 30W. And you need to run in extreme performance mode to get the most out of this GPU.
MSI GE76 Raider 11UH Cooling Solution
When a company makes a large laptop, they are also left with a lot of space inside the machine to include all the cooling solutions they need. According to the company, the MSI GE76 Raider 11UH comes with a dedicated fan for CPU and GPU with wider heat spreads, which makes it easy to cool these components and offer sustained peak performance.
The laptop has multiple vents for air intake and exhaust. In fact, if you place your hand on the back or on the sides, you can actually feel the heat coming out of the laptop. Overall, a great thermal solution, which is capable of cooling the CPU and the GPU.
MSI GE76 Raider 11UH CPU Performance
The MSI GE76 Raider 11UH is powered by the Intel Core i9-11980HK octa-core 16-thread processor with a peak CPU clock speed of 5GHz. We ran a few CPU benchmarks like Cinebench R23, Geekbench 5, and CPU-Z, and here are the results from the same.
These numbers clearly indicate that the Intel Core i9-11980HK is one of the most powerful laptop CPUs to date when it comes to both single-core and multi-core performance. These numbers indicate that the laptop can easily handle both gaming and professional workloads like video rendering without any issue.
MSI GE76 Raider 11UH GPU Temperature And Power Analysis
We ran a GPU look test at three user scenarios: extreme performance, balanced, and silent, and here are the results from the same. In the extreme performance mode, the fans would kick in at their full capacity and they do get a bit loud at around 95 decibels. In this mode, the GPU was consuming around 148W with an average GPU temperature of 78 degrees centigrade.
Similarly, in the balanced mode, the device did get a bit silent at 55 decibels where the average GPU power consumption was at 120W with an average temperature of 86 degrees. Lastly, in the silent mode, the GPU was consuming around 90W of power with an average temperature of 88 degrees centigrade.
Lastly, we also ran the same tool with just battery power, where the average GPU power consumption was at 34W while the average temperature was also at 49 degrees centigrade. These numbers clearly indicate that you get both the performance and best cooling solution in the extreme performance mode, given you are okay with loudly spinning fans.
MSI GE76 Raider 11UH GPU Performance
We ran a ray-tracing benchmark -- Bright Memory: Infinite RTX, which tests the real-time ray tracing capabilities of the laptop. In this test, the laptop posted 110fps with RTX quality set to high and DLSS to performance. This benchmark indicates that the laptop is more than capable of handling RTX titles at 1080p and can offer easily over 100fps, especially if the title supports NVIDIA's DLSS technology.
Similarly, on the Superposition benchmark, the laptop posts an average FPS of 126 at 1080p resolution and high graphics settings. Similarly, at 4K and 8K resolution, the machine posted an average FPS of 76 and 32, respectively. These numbers indicate that one can easily connect this laptop to an external 4K monitor and game on it with over 60fps without any issue.
MSI GE76 Raider 11UH Gaming Performance
The MSI GE76 Raider 11UH is a machine made for gaming, it has a massive 17-inch display backed by the most powerful mobile CPU and GPU, period, We ran a couple of games in the extreme performance mode. Hence, if you play games on silent mode or balanced mode, you will get a slightly lower frame rate.
On GTA: 5, with graphics set to the highest quality, the laptop easily offered an average FPS of 160. On Cyberpunk 2077, we noticed an average FPS of around 95, which is similar to some of the high-end laptops that we have tested this year. Besides, we also played Battlefield 4 and got over 150fps at all times without any issue.
Verdict: For Those Who Want The Best Performing Gaming Laptop
The MSI GE76 Raider 11UH is a high-end fully-loaded gaming laptop. As a result, it is a bit heavy. However, the device does deliver great performance, especially in the extreme performance mode.
I really liked the capabilities of this machine. If you want a gaming laptop that mostly stays in one place and offers top-tier performance, then you can consider the MSI GE76 Raider 11UH, and you won't regret it.