Unleash your inner dragon with a powerful gaming beast
Deciding on a gaming platform can be tough. If you prefer a console, you must choose between Microsoft’s Xbox One or Sony’s PlayStation 5. There aren’t many others unless you want a handheld device.
Computer gamers, on the other hand, are spoiled for choice, with a plethora of components, accessories and add-ons to choose from. The decisions get even harder if you are building your own machine. But if you want to game on the go or are looking for something portable, then a gaming laptop like the MSI GE75 Raider is a great option.
The overall design and aesthetic
First impressions from the outside
The MSI GE75 Raider laptop is strikingly beautiful when you see it for the first time. Its straight illuminated lines and the MSI logo on the lid convey a powerful message — one of durability, strength, and performance.
The matte-black finish helps with that, and it’s also great for another reason: no fingerprints. Fingerprints can quickly make a device that will be touched a lot look tatty or dirty. The finish is used throughout the machine and rolls around to the undercarriage as well.
Here the powerful aesthetic continues with sharp angles and straight lines as the air-circulation vents occupy most of the brushed-steel underside.
Lifting the lid on the business end
When you open the lid, you’ll notice that the color scheme is carried through — a great touch. Having the computer’s sections colored the same keeps the design flowing and helps portray the GE75 Raider as one solid piece.
The trackpad is slightly off-center toward the left side of the body. You might not think so, but in this position, it is easier for right-handed people to run their fingers over it. Placed in the middle or to the right of the body would make it feel awkward.
When powered and switched on, the gaming keyboard is illuminated and can be set so that each key is individually lighted. It is a full keyboard, with a numeric pad on the right side and Function keys at the top.
Operational features and internal components
Powerful options for the CPU and RAM
The GE75 Raider is available in two different configurations of central processing unit, or CPU, with each powerful enough to handle intensive tasks and games. At the entry-level specification, the laptop ships with an Intel Core i7-10750H. This can be upgraded to a Core i7-10875H.
If you need something with a bit more kick, you can have the CPU swapped out for an Intel Core i9-10980HK. But you can only do so with two models, the GE75222 and the GE75225.
The latter two CPU models have a clock speed of 2.4 gigahertz, or GHz, that can be pushed to reach 5.3GHz. The other models that use the Intel Core i7 have a base clock speed of 2.6GHz and can be overclocked to 5.0GHz.
All the CPUs available use the HM470 chipset, and if you are a fan of AMD’s processors you’ll be disappointed that there’s no upgrade option.
For random-access memory, all the models ship with two sticks of 16-gigabyte DDR4 2666 megahertz to create a combined total of 32GB. This can also be upgraded to a maximum of 64GB of RAM.
Graphical prowess and storage capacity
Any gaming laptop or computer worth its salt will have a powerful graphics card. This is especially important for laptops, as the graphics-processing unit and other components are notoriously difficult to upgrade.
The top-end models in the GE75 Raider range are outfitted with NVidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super graphics cards. The rest of the laptops are available with GeForce RTX 2070 or GeForce RTX 2060 cards. No matter which you go for, you’ll still enjoy the 8GB graphics double data rate 6 video memory capacity.
The graphics cards power the 17.3-inch full high-definition display, which has a resolution of 1920x1080p. It would have been great if it supported 4K content, with even sharper definition, but at least the display has a response rate of 300Hz.
Computer games are rather large (even by today’s standards) so you’re going to need a good hard drive. All the models in the range come with a 1-terabyte non-volatile memory express solid-state drive.
For connectivity, the MSI GE75 Raider laptop has one USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C, two USB 3.2 Gen1, and one USB 3.2 Gen2 port. The graphics card supports HDMI (which is capable of 4K content), and Bluetooth 5.1 for wireless connections. It has a built-in 720p webcam and a Killer LAN E2500 Ethernet port.
Is the MSI GE75 Raider laptop worth it?
The laptop is within the price range of other gaming laptops, but it’s still a bit steep. Retailing for between $1,700 and $2,999 can be a bit of a stretch for the average gamer. But for what you get, it’s worth it.
It weighs just under 6 pounds, the graphics card is incredibly powerful and it has enough RAM to handle most demanding video games. It is also not common to find a gaming laptop that has both an Ethernet port and Wi-Fi. The only real drawback of the MSI GE75 Raider laptop is that the display can’t handle 4K content.
What you need to buy for the MSI GE75 Raider laptop
The GE75 Raider’s display doesn’t support 4K content, but the graphics card is capable of outputting at that resolution. So if you want to play games and watch content in 4K, you’ll need a second monitor to match.
Sold by Amazon
No self-respecting gamer will use the trackpad to play games. Not only is it uncomfortable, but your reactions will be too slow. That’s why you’ll need a great gaming mouse like the Naga Trinity from Razer. It features Chroma RGB lighting and three interchangeable side plates with two-, seven- or 12-button configurations.
Sold by Amazon
If you are going to be playing games on the laptop, you’ll get the most out of it with a great set of gaming headphones. SteelSeries has made a name for itself among gamers, and the Arctis is proof of why. Besides having amazing sound quality, it can connect to your computer through Bluetooth or 2.4G wireless technology. The frequency range of the 40-millimeter audio drivers cover the entire spectrum of human hearing, going from 10 to 40,000 hertz. The set comes with two rechargeable batteries that can be hot-swapped at any time.
Sold by Amazon
Depending on the game you’re playing, a keyboard-and-mouse combo might not work. That’s where a gaming controller will make a huge difference as you aim or drive. Windows-based laptops and computers are all compatible with Xbox One controllers, and the latest versions will be perfect. The textured grips give you a solid hold on it, and the face buttons are responsive and accurate.
Sold by Amazon
The webcam that comes with the GE75 Raider is only capable of 720p resolution, so you might want to think about an upgrade. The Brio from Logitech is a great option, as it transmits in 4K resolution, has HDR for better clarity and an autofocus to keep things looking sharp. It is also the perfect camera for recording your gaming streams as it’s fully compatible with Xsplit and Open Broadcaster Software, or OBS. It comes with a detachable clip and supports USB 2.0 type-A and USB 3.0 type-A and C connections.
Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.