MSI released their latest flagship model, the GE76 Raider, in January 2021. topped off with the Intel Core i9-10980HK, there are two flagship models, a version with 4K screen and RTX3080 laptop version, the other is FHD 240Hz high refresh rate screen with RTX3070. MSI has finally kicked off a Constellation Totem series – the Dragon Edition Tiamat, similar to ASUS ROG, it featuring a specially designed totem patterned case and a separately designed wallpaper.
The new 30 Series laptop graphics cards abandon the naming convention of the previous generation, dropping the Max-Q or Max-P logos and unifying them as Laptop versions. New features are integrated into the ‘3rd Gen Max-Q Technology’. The test product we got comes with Nvidia’s latest RTX3080 laptop version with up to 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM, 6GB more than the desktop version, and the new technologies that come with the new generation of graphics cards are as follows:
The new Resizable Bar
It is a standardised PCIe interface technology that can be found on many of the latest CPU and motherboard platforms, according to Nvidia. As you navigate the world of a game, GP video memory (VRAM) is constantly transferring the textures, shaders and geometry of the world with many small CPU to GPU transfers. As modern gaming resources become increasingly large, this can lead to a large number of transfers. With the help of Resizable BAR, the system can thus request resources on-demand and holistically transfers, so that the CPU can efficiently access the entire frame cache. Also, if there are multiple requests, the transfers can be performed simultaneously rather than sequentially. This technique can improve the performance of some games by up to 10%.
The new Dynamic Boost 2.0
This is a dynamic power balancing technology driven by AI. Unlike desktops, gaming laptops usually use a power adapter of around 120W-280W for portability, and this includes powering other components such as the display, SSD etc, so there is a total cap on the amount of power allocated to the CPU and GPU. When an application or a game is very GPU-intensive, the power consumption is called from the CPU to prioritise the supply to the GPU so that it can work at maximum performance. The new Dynamic Boost 2.0 adds a way to shift power consumption from the GPU to the CPU and even to the graphics memory, which is available on MSI GE76 with Nvidia’s RTX3080 laptop version, where the Intel Core i9-10980HK is designed for 45W TDP and the RTX3080 laptop version is 150W maximum, which means that with Dynamic Boost 2.0 technology, it is more flexible in its power deployment, and when the user needs a higher graphics resources, this technology will dynamically increase the power consumption of the graphics card to meet the demand.
The new DLSS AI Acceleration & Ray Tracing
Nvidia introduced DLSS, a technology that improves images through artificial intelligence. This algorithm is usually based on some kind of logical computational model, and the finer the results needed the more arithmetic power is naturally required, thus consuming more GPU resources. DLSS, on the other hand, generates images through a dedicated Tensor Core’s deep learning method that does not take up screen processing resources and supports real-time processing of deep learning models. And on laptops equipped with the Nvidia RTX3080 laptop version, it brings up to 2x performance increase at the same power consumption and support for VR. Besides, the new version of DLSS offers dynamic resolution support. If the game’s rendering engine supports the dynamic resolution, DLSS can be used to perform the advanced operations required to display the resolution, with the input buffer changing size from frame to frame while the output size remains the same. Also, the new Ampere architecture brings a new generation of Ray Tracing combined with DLSS technology that allows games and applications to achieve ideal results while optimising resource usage and getting the most out of every watt of power consumed.
With a huge wave of shortages due to lack of productivity, the Nvidia RTX3080 is extremely hard to buy. However, with the new laptop version released, users have another option to choose from. So what can we expect from the MSI GE76 with the new generation of 30 series graphics cards?
So let’s dig in the details.
MSI GE76 RAIDER Tech Specs from Official Website
Steelseries has redesigned the structure of this keyboard, shortening the switch distance, reducing key effort and strengthening the keycap support structure. The touch is easier to trigger than before and the rebound is crisp, making it difficult to press by mistake
MSI has brought back the Rich IO design in this generation of the GE76, which means that MSI is listening to user feedback and making positive changes to the design. The IOs allocation on the back is thicker display and power cable connectors, which is much more convenient for the user and effectively avoids the thick cables that difficult to bend being allocated to the left and right sides and blocking the hands.
Software & Hardware Introduction
HwINFO Network detail
MSI uses Intel’s world’s first WiFi 6E enabled M.2 wireless card in GE76 Raider. This M.2 wireless card still uses the popular 2230 type and supports both 802.11ac and 802.11ax protocols.
The biggest upgrade to the AX210 over the AX201 is support for the WiFi 6E standard, which is mandated by the FCC to allow WiFi 6E devices to operate in the 6GHz band, not just the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. This gives users a huge broadband and speed boost, increasing the number of bands available for WiFi by almost five times, with up to 1200MHz bandwidth channels available.
Run-time Benchmark Test
We are pressure testing this laptop by using AIDA64 and FURMARK.
The temperature control of this laptop is extremely good, knowing that the heat generated by the i9 is huge, MSI’s Cooler Boost 5 cooling system this time has a 6 wide heatpipe design with a pair of large-sized fans. Running daily games and slightly more stressful software is no problem at all. When running AAA gaming such as Cyberpunk 2077 with full effects + Ray Tracing, the CPU usage is only about 67% and the video memory usage is 7.7G. The cooling pressure is completely suppressed, but the fan noise is on the loud side.
This i9-10980HK has a lot of overclocking potential, but in practice, the CPU overheated so badly that we gave up on CPU overclocking and moved on to the GPU. We found that this laptop version of the 3080 actually had overclocking potential, but based on the fact that the power consumption was only 150W and there was no way to modify it, we managed to pull up 50MHz extra on both Core Clock and Memory Clock using MSI Afterburner.
Overall, both the i9 and 3080 laptop have some overclocking potential, but due to power consumption and cooling limitations, there is not particularly much room for overclocking and the overall improvement is limited. Also, the cooling performance of this laptop is very impressive. MSI’s Laptop cooling system has always been an industry leader, from their GS series to GT top gaming series both use the ‘Cooler Boost’ cooling system. In this GE76 Raider, the Cooler Boost 5 can almost perfectly suppress the i9-10980HK and 3080 laptop chip. The Nvidia’s DYNAMIC BOOST v2 playing a key role in dynamically adjusting power consumption to keep the combined CPU and GPU heat generation well under control, with WHISPERMODE v2 technology, along with MSI Dragon Centre for intelligent control of fans to further heat dissipation management and reduce the potential time wasted by users on managing PC temperatures.
The GE76 Raider is currently in the top tier of gaming Laptops that can run smoothly at very high frame rates for even the most demanding games.
Configuration-wise, since the flagship 11th generation i9 CPU is not available yet, MSI has chosen to use 10th generation i9-10980HK with 64GB of DDR4 and a 2TB NVMe SSD, Nvidia’s latest 3080 Laptop graphics card, a Steelseries keyboard and Dynaudio speakers, this is a top-of-the-line configuration that is rarely found on a non-workstation laptop today. One of the biggest highlights of the Laptop is the wide range of ports, with full-sized HDMI, 2.5Gb LAN port, MiniDP, SD card reader and up to 5 USB ports turning the Laptop into an ace productivity tool. The FHD camera also gives a quantum leap forward in chat and video conferencing. Nvidia brings us more than just a simple port this time, with the new Max-Q technology bringing the benefits of AI deep learning to get the most out of every bit of power. The simple yet cool body design also gives ample freedom to upgrade configurations, with only the back cover opening up to replace or add hard drives and memory, making upgrades much easier.
On the downside, fan noise is a real issue, but who doesn’t have a decent gaming headset? Weight may also be an issue, but to be thin and light you have to sacrifice some performance, configuration and cooling, and the GE76 Raider is not positioned to be thin and light, so please don’t complain about its weight. Price-wise, at $7,199 it really isn’t for the average user’s wallet, and since it’s positioned at the top end, there will be people who will buy it. Such a Laptop can satisfy the top gamers’ request for portability, but it can also be used as a high-end productivity tool, whether it’s 3D modelling, music photo video post-production, or deep learning, the i9 with 3080 Laptop plus a huge 64G of RAM can easily handle it all. It’s truly a machine in your hand, and there’s nothing else you could ask for. Besides, there are other more cost-effective versions of GE76 series, such as i7 with RTX 3060 laptop version is only starting from $3499.
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MSI GE76 RAIDER OFFICIAL WEBSITE: HERE