REVIEW | MSI GE66 Raider premium gaming laptop

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From the dragon armor carving to the clean and classy aluminum lid with an embossed dragon logo, the overall feel of the new MSI GE66 Raider 10UG is not an overpowering and aggressive tone; it’s rather a minimalist and subtle one. It does not look like your typical gaming laptop as it is toned down on gimmicky design cues, but focuses on the fundamentals and exudes confidence on how it is built.

MSI GE66 Raider premium gaming laptop
MSI GE66 Raider premium gaming laptop

Each design aspect on the GE66 Raider also serves a function and are not just for show. The dragon patterned cells located beneath the gaming behemoth, as well as the oblique angles all promote maximum airflow which the device really needs especially when playing games. The RGB LED bar called Mystic Light placed at the front is also well-implemented as it gives a more ambient gaming impression with the panoramic aurora lighting without overdoing it.

MSI GE66 Raider premium gaming laptop
MSI GE66 Raider premium gaming laptop
MSI GE66 Raider premium gaming laptop

The port situation also leaves nothing to the imagination as the brand pulled out all the stops in giving its users a convenient and hassle-free experience. On the left side, the ports include a Type-C USB3.2 Gen 2×2 x1 (20Gbps), a Type-A USB3.2 Gen 2 x1 (10Gbps), and a single audio combo jack. At the right, it houses a Type-A USB3.2 Gen 1 x2 (5Gbps) port and a full-size SD card reader.

MSI GE66 Raider premium gaming laptop

The rear is also equipped with a Type-C USB3.2 Gen 2 w/DP1.4 x1 (10Gbps w/[email protected]) port, an HDMI 2.0 that supports up to [email protected], a Mini Display 1.4 with up to [email protected] support, an RJ-45 port for ethernet connection, and AC-in. It also supports Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX210and Bluetooth 5.2 for its wireless connections.

The 15.6” display has a 1920×1080 Full HD resolution with 240Hz refresh rate. The side-bezels are trimmed to a minimum at 5mm which is quite impressive and makes gaming more immersive, while the chin is a bit more pronounced. The color reproduction on games we tested like “Apex Legends” and “Call of Duty: Warzone” was phenomenal — the graphics were fluid even at close to maxed settings, and each movement was crisp thanks to its refresh rate.

The Duo Wave speakers does its job in bringing the action on screen to life, but we found the max volume a little lacking. There is also nothing special with the touchpad although it works well, and the SteelSeries keyboard does not bring much to the table. We recommend pairing the GE66 Raider with an external keyboard and mouse for better gameplay.

The gaming experience is boosted by the laptop’s GeForce RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6 GPU from Nvidia, and it just makes the laptop a beast when handling demanding titles since it is powered by second generation RTX architecture Ampere that has new RT Cores, Tensor Cores, and streaming multiprocessors that bring more realistic raytraced graphics.

With its PCIe resizable Bar feature, the 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor is also given full access of the graphic card memory that exponentially accelerates both CPU and GPU performance. This stellar performance, however, is held back by a weak 4-cell 99.9Whr battery charged with a 230W AC adapter.

This is understandable, however, given all the components its powering. Gaming, while not plugged in, puts out an average of 2 ½ hours of screen time, while normal tasks like browsing or content streaming extends the battery life by up to 6 hours. With the amount of heat it generates when handling demanding tasks, this is not a gaming laptop that should be used on-the-go.

MSI GE66 Raider premium gaming laptop

Conclusion

The MSI GE66 Raider is a gaming powerhouse of its own right, capable of almost any task you throw at it, and can run any demanding gaming titles with ease thanks to the powerful RTX 3070. It may come with a steep price tag of P149,995, but the brand was able to cram as much power as it can on this device.

The minimalist design may not be everyone’s cup of tea and the battery leaves more to be desired, but the GE66 Raider is redeemed by a great combo of powerful performance that is hard to compete with, a display that improves gameplay ten-fold, and a plethora of ports that are welcome any day.

Pros

  • Powerful performance and graphics
  • Wide array of ports
  • Excellent thermal management

Cons

  • Underwhelming battery life
  • Too bulky to be portable

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