MSI Raider GE78HX Gaming Laptop Review

MSI's new Raider GE78HX might be the highest-spec gaming laptop we have ever reviewed, and boy, does it deliver! Let's take a close look!

Published
Updated
Manufacturer: MSI
5 minutes & 42 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 95%
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The Bottom Line

MSI's Raider GE78HX is one of the best gaming laptops we have ever tested, coupling amazing performance with the ultimate in connectivity. No corners are cut here!

Pros

  • + NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 GPU
  • + QHD+ 240Hz display
  • + DDR5 SO-DIMM
  • + Gen4 NVMe
  • + Wi-Fi 7 and 2.5Gbe LAN

Cons

  • - It runs hot

Should you buy it?

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Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

While we have had a few 14th Gen Intel notebooks in the kab over the last few weeks, they have all been Meteor Lake-powered platforms, which for gamers is a step backward as far as performance is concerned. This is exactly why we reached out to Intel directly and asked about their 14th Gen Raptor Lake mobile CPUs, and luckily, they did indeed have a sample available for testing. The sample sent over is the MSI Raider GE78HX; this is a top-of-the-line machine from MSI's gaming laptop range, so of course, it comes with a hefty price tag.

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All that said, we did find the specifications for the Raider, which can be seen above, starting with the 14th Gen 14900HX CPU from Intel. It is a 24-core, 32-thread CPU with eight performance cores and sixteen efficient cores. MSI has paired this CPU with 64GB of DDR5 5600MHz memory using two SO-DIMM slots. Next, we have a 17" display with a QHD+ resolution of 2560x1600 and a refresh rate of 240Hz. This requires a hefty GPU, so MSI has deployed the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU for this system.

The expansion includes multiple Gen4 NVMe slots for storage along with the 2230 M.2 slot for Wi-Fi. MSI has deployed the full Intel Killer suite on this machine, giving us both Wi-Fi 7 with the BE1750 chipset and 2.5Gbe with the Killer E3100G.

Connectivity is also quite good on this machine. We have two USB 3.2 ports that use the Type-A connector and an additional two that use USB-C. Both Type-C ports support Alt Mode display. Adding to this, there is a single Thunderbolt 4 port, an HDMI 2.1 output, and a 3.5mm audio combo jack.

The MSI Raider GE78HX, as configured above, is priced at $3699, and it is on sale at the time of this writing. The MSRP is a bit higher at $3799.

Buy at Amazon

MSI Raider GE78HX Gaming Laptop

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$3799.99$3799.99-
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* Prices last scanned on 6/22/2024 at 7:29 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Notebook Overview

Overview

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The MSI Raider's packaging was full retail, including an MSI Gaming-branded box, seen above, with appropriate Raider branding along the bottom.

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The included power adapter is a proprietary model from MSI with a square connector. It is rated at 330W.

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The Raider has a clean design, red on a black colorway, and a cooling shelf pushing the hinges forward.

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The right side of the machine offers two Type-A USB 3.2 ports and one USB-C.

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With the cooling shelf, the GE78HX has room for a rear I/O, which includes the 2.5Gbe, HDMI, USB-C, and power input.

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The Raider's left side features a gold-plated 3.5mm jack, a card reader, and Thunderbolt 4.

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Opening up the Raider, we have a full-size keyboard with per-key lighting from Steelseries. The WASD combo is also noticeably transparent. The trackpad is centered in the chassis as well. It is also worth noting how easily this unit picks up fingerprints, etc.

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With the lights dimmed, you can see the Mystic Light setup from MSI. This includes the light bar across the front of the laptop and the keyboard's own per-key lighting.

At this point, it is also worth noting that the MSI Raider GE78HX is the first laptop we tested that we could not open without the fear of damaging it. That said, as of this writing, I did find a few videos on YouTube that will show you how to open this unit without damaging it.

BIOS/UEFI and Software

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Click BIOS is what we have on the Raider, and it includes a main tab with hardware information. The advanced tab will give you access to the VMD controller for setting up RAID on NVMe. Additionally, you can control hyperthreading and Cstates in this menu. The boot menu is quite simple, with just boot order and options like fast boot, while security allows users to configure BIOS passwords and secure boot.

Software

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The software included is MSI Center, which gives you hardware information on the right side of the dashboard, along with a monitoring panel on the left side.

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Further options include user scenarios and GPU switches along the bottom.

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Lastly, MSI Center allows you to add modules to the interface.

System/CPU Benchmarks

Cinebench

Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to highlight their newest platforms during unveils. The benchmark has two tests: a single-core workload utilizing one thread or 1T. There is also a multi-threaded test that uses all threads or nT of a tested CPU.

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As 14th-generation machines have begun to populate the R2024 chart, we are getting some pretty solid comparisons. That said, the GE78 did very well in testing, picking up 116 single-core and 1645 multi-core, slightly behind the Vector we tested earlier in the year.

BAPCo CrossMark

CrossMark™ is an easy-to-run native cross-platform benchmark that measures the overall system performance and system responsiveness using models of real-world applications. CrossMark™ supports devices running Windows, iOS, and macOS platforms.

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Crossmark ran well on the Raider. We picked up 2040 overall, the third best in our charts, and again right behind the Vector.

AIDA64 Memory

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Memory bandwidth gives us 86K in read, 77K in write, and 78K in copy. Latency landed at 81ns.

Geekbench 6

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Geekbench also offers solid CPU scores for the Raider. We picked up 2761 single-core and 17536 multi-core, making the Radier the quickest machine to date in Geekbench 6.

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GPU testing was equally good, as the RTX 4090 picked up 214K in OpenCL and 207K in Vulkan.

UL Benchmarks and Gaming

UL Benchmarks

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PCMark completes our move over to UL benchmarks, with the Extended workload, the Raider landed at 13081, second in our charts.

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The Raider's CPU Profile for one and two threads placed it second in our charts, with an 1168 single-core and 2259 two-threaded score.

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When it comes to higher thread counts, the Raider holds its own, still second in our charts to the 7945HX in the Scar 17.

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Storage Benchmark finished up with a 343 MB/s score.

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Speed Way was our only real synthetic "gaming" benchmark. In this workload, the Raider scored 5526.

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Cyberpunk 2077 did quite well. The Raider GE78HX picked up 169 FPS at 1080p and 156 FPS at 1440p.

Final Thoughts

The Raider is truly one hell of a gaming laptop, with MSI going all out with hardware specifications that include the top-of-the-line mobile CPU from Intel in the 14900HX and then tagging NVIDIA for the best it can deliver with the RTX 4090. On top of this, while not maxed out, MSI gives us 64GB of DDR5 memory from the factory, and this can be upgraded further to 96GB with 48GB modules, and perhaps even further in the future as the CPU does support 192 GB itself.

The chassis is very solid, of course. A good amount of plastics is used, and we did note it picked up oils and fingerprints quite easily in use, which we certainly didn't care too much for. The keyboard is fantastic - a fully mechanical SteelSeries board with per-key lightning. The trackpad, too, is very good in both size and functionality. It has a decent mechanical click as well, though most of us deploy a mouse for gaming.

Testing went off quite well, and the 14900HX helped the Raider GE78HX push to the top of our charts. Single-thread performance across R24, Geekbench, and 3DMark CPU Profile all came in good, with the Raider at the top of our R2024 chart with a 116 1T score; this was the same with Geekbench, where we picked up 2761 running the single-core workload. CPU Profile, too, provided solid numbers for the Raider, with a chart-topping 1168 single-thread score.

System workloads from both Crossmark and PCMark were too very good, third for the Raider in Crossmark, scoring 2040 overall, while PCMark finished second in our charts with a score of 13081, about 15 points off the Scar 17 and its Ryzen 9 7945HX.

The pricing of the Raider GE78HX is very good. MSI offers the model detailed in this review for $3699, which aligns with the AORUS 17X, ASUS Scar 16, and even Alienware M18 R2. The MSI Raider GE78HX offers a better panel with a 240Hz refresh rate, 64GB of memory, and a 2TB NVMe from the factory, which makes it the highest-spec machine for the money.

Photo of product for sale

Performance

99%

Quality

95%

Features

95%

Value

90%

Overall

95%

The Bottom Line

MSI's Raider GE78HX is one of the best gaming laptops we have ever tested, coupling amazing performance with the ultimate in connectivity. No corners are cut here!

TweakTown award
95%

MSI Raider GE78HX Gaming Laptop

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$3799.99$3799.99-
-
---
* Prices last scanned on 6/22/2024 at 7:29 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Tyler joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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