MSI – does it even need any introduction? When it comes to gaming laptops, it takes its place in the top tier leagues. And out of all the laptops we’ve reviewed of MSI’s…this one, right here, is my favorite. The MSI GE75 Raider 9SF! This one packs the latest and the best of everything, and probably sets a benchmark for gaming laptops (at this price range).
What I mean by the latest and the best of everything is that it comes with a 9th-gen CPU and an RTX 2070 graphics. This combo makes it a gaming force to be reckoned with. Of course, its highest variant also comes with an RTX 2080, but I had such a great experience with this, I don’t think anyone would have to pay extra for that. And how does this one fare? Let’s see.
MSI GE75 Raider 9SF Specifications:
- Design and Build: Matte Aluminum body, Polycarbonate bottom panel, 39.7 x 26.85 x 2.75 cm, 2.65 kg
- Display: 17.3″ Full HD IPS-Level Panel (1920 x 1080 resolution), 100% sRGB & 74% Adobe RGB, 69% NTSC Color Gamut, 300 nits peak brightness with Anti-Glare, 144 Hz Refresh Rate, 3 milliseconds response time
- Keyboard: Steel-Series Engine 3 Keyboard, Per-key RGB backlighting, 16 million colors, 1.6 mm key travel
- Processor: Hexa-core 9th gen i7-9750H processor, Base-Clock @ 2.6 GHz, Turbo Boost Clock up to 4.5 GHz
- RAM: DDR4 16 GB. Dual Channel (2 X 8 GB) (Upgradeable up to 64 GB)
- Graphics: 8 GB NVidia GeForce RTX 2070 GDDR6
- Battery: 6-cell 51 Watt-hours (up to 2 hours of backup)
- Adapter: 280 Watts
- Storage: 512 GB NVMe PCIe Gen 3 SSD (2x SSD slots) + 1 TB SATA HDD
- Webcam: 720p Webcam (@30fps)
- Connectivity: Killer Gb LAN, Killer 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v5
- Ports: 3 x USB A 3.1, 1 x USB-C (No Thunderbolt 3 support), 1 x 3.5 mm headphone jack, 1 x 3.5mm microphone input, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Mini-display, 1 x RJ-45 Ethernet, 1 x SDcard slot
- Price: Rs. 300,000
So, right off, the performance is stellar! The 9th gen Hexa Core i7-9750H gives you a performance boost of about 400 MHz from that of the i7-8750H. That’s about a 20% boost, which is a considerable upgrade. And that means higher clock speeds – both on the base clock as well as Turbo. If you don’t understand what that means, don’t worry. Just remember that your 8750H was capable of squeezing quite a lot of performance…and this one does it even better! Kind of an overkill for an average gamer, if you think about it.
I ran Photoshop, Lightroom, After Effects, and Premiere Pro simultaneously just to test it, and apart from a slight delay time in loading all of them, there was no performance hiccup. I’ve had over 30 tabs open on Google Chrome, and there was no freezing or lagging. Of course, that’s partly due to the Dual Channel 16 GB RAM and the fast 512 GB NVMe SSD as well. Apps load fairly quickly too. And if that 512 GB storage wasn’t enough, you also get a 1 TB Hard Disk Drive! Sweet, right?
- Read Speed: 1663.3 MB/s
- Write Speed: 1451.1 MB/s
As for the gaming performance, this one has set the benchmark for me. I played highly graphics intensive games like Battlefield V and Metro Exodus and both of them ran pretty smooth in my time. However, I didn’t really test it on low-end games, because well – if it can run these most intensive games, then, it will surely run other games easy.
And playing Battlefield V on it has been one of the best gaming experiences for me. With the RTX or Ray Tracing on, I was getting about 73 frames per second on average, and about 84 fps peak. And that was on the Highest settings possible. With the RTX Off, I got about 110 frames per second on average, and 144, peak! That…is quite a lot! And since I can barely make out any difference with the RTX On and RTX Off, I chose to play the game with it turned off.
Metro Exodus, however, didn’t fare as well as Battlefield V. You can actually play it with RTX on Ultra, RTX on High and RTX Off. However, there wasn’t much difference between the two. I got about 65 fps on average on RTX Ultra and something like 70 fps on RTX High settings. And due to its dark game settings, it makes more sense to play the game with RTX Off. However, as strange as it may seem, the frame rates with RTX Off were considerably low…reaching about 60 fps on average.
But that could be the thermals acting up as well. Because by that time, I had been gaming about for hours, and the CPU temperatures were exceeding 102-degrees Centigrade! So, I guess, there was some thermal throttling too. I then, turned the fans to its max, and it did help somewhat, but I didn’t face this problem on Battlefield V, so, I don’t know what to make of it.
Nevertheless, the gaming experience has been, by far, the best, in my tests, of course. And what helps the gaming experience immensely is the display and the speakers. I initially used to complain about the speakers on MSI gaming laptops, and with the cooler boost fans on, the speakers weren’t audible. But this time, MSI has included what it calls “Giant Speakers”! And Giant it is! It’s really loud and fires some great audio.
The large 17.3” IPS LCD display with Full HD resolution, 144 Hz Refresh rate and 3 milliseconds of response time is another appealing factor about this laptop. Of course, that is nothing new for MSI laptops, but still, the large display with decent viewing angles helps a lot. It claims about 100% of sRGB…there’s 69% NTSC Color Gamut Coverage and 74% Adobe RGB. And that is decent enough for your content creation needs too. Plus, there’s MSI’s True Color which switches color modes according to necessity.
Keyboard and Trackpad
On to the keyboard, it’s a pretty standard Steel Series Engine 3 keyboard with the individual key backlighting, which we all like so much. As usual, you can program each key to light up a specific way. But that takes a lot of time, so, I didn’t. But there are various color modes on the keyboard to go with your mood, and there are 4 levels of backlighting, too. Besides the lights show… the keyboard is great. Keys are well spaced and give good tactile feedback. Keyboard travel is also very nice, and typing on it will not feel like a drag.
The trackpad too is about the same. Tracking feels nice and smooth, and the gestures are highly accurate. There are nice physical clicky buttons on them, and I liked the trackpad fairly well.
Port selection is pretty nice. You get three USB-As, a USB-C (without Thunderbolt 3 support), an HDMI, a MiniDisplay port, an SDCard slot, RJ-45 Ethernet and an Audio-in and Audio-out ports.
Design and Build
Let’s come to the design now…and the design on this MSI GE75 Raider 9SF is refreshed, to say the least. The design on this one is visibly different from other Raider series laptops, like the MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8SF. It moves to a matte-finish aluminum build this time while the bottom panel seems to be polycarbonate. But even so, there’s a minimal amount of flex on the keyboard deck.
And aesthetically, there has been lots of improvement in this Raider laptop. The whole design looks better, maybe it’s the kind of super-car design up front or the ridiculously slim bezels on a gaming laptop of this caliber. And even with such slim bezels, they managed to put the webcam on top. However, the webcam, as usual, is not good at all. But since this one is a monster of a laptop, it also weighs like 2.65 kg without the charger. And I think the charger alone adds nearly a kilogram! So, portability is…eh!
Another thing that put me off is the matte finish aluminum panel attracts quite a lot of fingerprints. And they’re also pretty difficult to get rid of. So, there’s that.
However, the only disappointing thing about this laptop is the battery. With a 51-Watt-hour battery, the juice doesn’t last as long as you’d expect. Not even 2.5 hours on normal usage, which was usual for other MSI laptops. This one barely gives you 2 hours on regular usage and about 30 minutes on gaming.
So, the MSI GE75 Raider 9SF is a great gaming laptop for sure. You get the latest of the processor and the graphics, plenty of memory, storage and great speakers. The display is pretty decent and the refreshed design only adds to its niceties. You can also easily upgrade the RAM up to 64 GB as there are dual slots in there.
I only have a small complaint in the battery department, but since gaming laptops tend to be like this, there’s very less to say in this matter.
And this is a laptop that costs like $2200 internationally. Of course, it depends on the configuration available, and there are quite a lot of them. For that price, I don’t know if it’s a good deal or not, but here in Nepal, it certainly is, for the price of Rs. 300000! And this is the official price, so, you get all the guarantees and warranties you could need. For me, this one has been the gaming laptop benchmark so far, and I’d certainly recommend this for buying!
Pros and Cons
- Great gaming power
- Abundant storage
- Amazing sound quality (Commendable Speaker)
- Refreshed design
- Poor battery life. It could have been better.