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MSI GE66 Raider Review: Made For The Creative Nomad

MSI GE66 Raider

The MSI GE66 Raider to us, is a very aesthetic laptop. Not only does it look good, but it seems to have the right hardware to produce great content too. Particularly, catered to streamers and content creators who are always on-the-go.

Featuring a 300Hz refresh rate, a 99wHr battery, and a 1080p webcam built right in, the MSI GE66 is an absolute content creating beast on paper. But, does it live up to real world standards? Let’s find out.

MSI GE66 Raider – Specifications

ModelMSI GE66 Raider
CPU10th Generation Intel Core i9-10980HK – 8 Cores, 16 Thread @ 3.1 GHz
GPUNvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super with Max Q
RAM16GB
Display15.6-inch FHD IPS Panel
300Hz Refresh Rate
Storage1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD
Battery99.9Wh
230W Charging Adapter
CommunicationsKiller Gb LAN
Killer ax Wi-Fi + Bluetooth v5.1
802.11 ax Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth v5.1
Connectivity1x RJ45
1x SD (XC/HC)
1x (4K @ 60Hz) HDMI
1x Mini-DisplayPort
2x Type-A USB3.2 Gen1
1x Type-A USB3.2 Gen2
1x Type-C (USB3.2 Gen2 / DP)
1x Type-C USB3.2 Gen2x2
1x Mic-in/Headphone-out Combo Jack
OSWindows 10 Home

Design

MSI GE66 Raider

The MSI GE66 Raider features a significant redesign from its previous predecessors. It is now built with an aluminium body with an MSI monochromatic metal logo on the cover.

That being said, the logo does not have any illumination, so don’t expect RGB lights to pop up there. However, most of the RGB shine has been brought down to the LED light bar, which is on the bottom front of the laptop. This is the LED Light Bar, that fully supports MSI’s Aura Light RGB system. You can fully disable it if you’re in the office and don’t want to attract any attention, or you can go full RGB when you’re in “The Zone” while working or creating content.

MSI GE66 Raider

It’s glaring, yet subtle, and the laptop has an overall excellent build quality with a combination of metal and plastic used as its base. The chassis itself has very minimum flex, and the I/O connectivity ports are well positioned. Although, I would’ve hoped for MSI to enlarge the side speaker grille to get better soundstage and volume.

Display

MSI GE66 Raider

The MSI GE66 Raider comes with a 15.6-inch IPS-level display that can output FHD resolution (1920 x 1080). But what surprised me the most is that it features a whopping 300Hz refresh rate.

For someone who’s using 144Hz on a daily basis, 300Hz is on another level of display smoothness. I appreciated that the display is covered with a matte finish, and the visuals come out bright with accurate colours.

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MSI GE66 Raider Review: Made For The Creative Nomad 11

Games run smooth, and the visual experience is rather refreshing to me, because of the 300Hz refresh rate. All details just flow much better, despite the display not supporting Nvidia’s G-Sync.

User Experience

MSI GE66 Raider Review: Made For The Creative Nomad 12

The MSI GE66 Raider has a total of six heat pipes to keep the laptop cool. However, during my time with it, I found that the laptop needed some external support to keep temperatures low/manageable. The fans get pretty loud and the area right above the keyboard can get quite hot to the touch. This only happens during gaming and benchmarking sessions, but then again, this isn’t an area where your hands would rest, so it’s fine.

MSI GE66 Raider Review: Made For The Creative Nomad 13

As for the keyboard, the Steelseries keyboard feels and sound slightly clicky, as if it were a mechanical keyboard. But, it does have decent key travel distance, which makes it comfortable to type on. That being said, you would need to get used to the keyboard layout as the power button and home button is adjacent to the backspace button.

As for the trackpad, it is smooth and standard, but the top corners can be quite hard to click. The palm rest can also be a fingerprint magnet, so you might need to constantly wipe it clean if you’re someone who can’t stand fingerprint smudges.

When it comes to connectivity, MSI took into consideration that this is indeed built for content creators, and they would often work with full sized SD cards. That is why the laptop has a full size SD card reader, a mini display port for connecting an external secondary monitor, and has most of the ports routed on the back of the laptop. If I were to nitpick, is that MSI could have included USB Type-C charging since there are more GaN 65W chargers appearing in the market these days.

Audio

MSI GE66 Raider Review: Made For The Creative Nomad 17

The MSI GE66 Raider’s dual stereo speaker system sounds decent enough. The volume is loud, but there is very minimal bass and the sound can get quite tinny. If you were to create content or game most of the time, then it wouldn’t matter since you’d be wearing headphones to cover the sound from the fans.

Performance

MSI GE66 Raider

The MSI GE66 Raider is equipped with a 10th generation Intel Core i9-10980HK processor, allowing it to be more stable for content creators as compared to using the newer 11th gen processors. It had ample amount of both processing and graphics firepower to handle daily and resource-heavy tasks.

Putting the MSI GE66 Raider through our tests, we ran it across some of the benchmarking software we use. Here are the results for you to judge yourself, but the results are rather high.

Battery

MSI GE66 Raider

For the battery life, the MSI GE66 Raider can definitely last me the entire day, with a little more to handle my daily tasks the next morning before needing a recharge.

In our battery test, we streamed a FHD YouTube video with the brightness set to 100%. It took the laptop 4 hours and 30 minutes to deplete its 99.9 Wh battery, which is really impressive.

Conclusion

MSI GE66 Raider

Although the MSI GE66 Raider may not be the best “bang for buck” when it comes to laptop performance, it does have its merits with some unique features like the 99Wh (largest battery you’ll be able to carry on a plane), and an immersive high refresh rate screen for gaming and a wide range of suitable I/O ports.

Note that there are various configurations for GE66 and the performance may vary should you consider a different specification to suit your requirements.

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MSI GE66 Raider Review: Made For The Creative Nomad 11

MSI is currently having its massive year end sale for the MSI GE66 Raider series and other laptop series in its portfolio. The promotion will run from the 9th of November 2020 to the 3rd of January 2021. To learn more about it, check it out here.

Written By

Chief Content Developer at The AXO

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