A Gaming Laptop Fit for Work? MSI Raider GE76 Review

It packs a good punch in some—but not all—areas of importance to engineering. The trade-offs could be worth the price.

MSI has sponsored this hardware review, but engineering.com conducted all testing independently.

Engineering.com typically reviews laptops made for engineers. Workstations, they are often called, because they are made for serious work. But after hours, these computers could just as easily be used for serious play, and their consumer counterparts are made for just that. Gaming laptops, they are usually called, because PlayStation was taken.

The MSI Raider GE76 is a line of 17-inch gaming laptops released in January that’s packed with 12th-gen Intel processors and NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics cards. These specs aren’t far off from workstation grade, and MSI believes the Raider GE76 goes beyond gaming to support the workflows of creators as well—including engineers.

Video Review of the MSI Raider GE76

Check out our video review of the MSI Raider GE76 below. For full details of our experience with the laptop, read the article that follows.

Overview of the MSI Raider GE76

On the inside, the MSI Raider GE76 laptops have a lot in common with mobile workstations, packing high-end processors with a focus on graphics performance. The laptops include the latest generation of Intel processors, notable for a new hybrid architecture consisting of two core types: performance-cores (P-cores) and efficiency-cores (E-cores). Graphics in the Raider GE76 are handled by GeForce RTX cards, NVIDIA’s mainstream graphics cards (see this article for differences between NVIDIA’s mainstream and pro graphics cards).

We tested the MSI Raider GE76 12UGS-268CA, which includes an Intel Core i7-12700H processor with 6 P-cores and 8 E-cores, as well as an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM. It has a 1TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD and 32GB of the latest 4800MHz DDR5 memory. This configuration is available from Best Buy Canada for $2,899.99 CAD.

On the outside, the MSI Raider GE76 looks like a gaming laptop. The titanium blue casing is characterized by sharp angles and bold lines, and MSI’s fierce dragon logo is emblazoned on the back. The aesthetic is completed by a colorful backlit keyboard and a prominent lighting strip along the entire bottom edge of the chassis.

The 17.3-inch display of our MSI Raider GE76 is another giveaway of its gaming focus. The 1920×1080 screen has a blazing refresh rate of 360Hz, far above anything in the mobile workstation market which almost exclusively employs 60Hz displays. (Only recently have some mobile workstations begun offering 120Hz variants.) While all Canadian configurations of the Raider GE76 are 1920×1080 and 360Hz, the U.S. models have four resolution and refresh rate options (1920×1080 at 360Hz or 144Hz, 2560×1440 at 240Hz and 3840×2160 at 120Hz). No displays offer touch capability.

The MSI Raider GE76 includes a wide variety of I/O ports—more than some professional mobile workstations. It has two USB-A 3.2 Gen1 ports, one USB-A 3.2 Gen2 and one USB-C 3.2 Gen2 along with one Thunderbolt 4, one HDMI 2.1 and one Mini DisplayPort 1.4, one RJ-45 port and one SD7.0 card reader, and one 3.5mm audio jack. These are located along the left, right and back edges of the keyboard alongside several fan vents.

(Source: MSI.)

(Source: MSI.)

The MSI Raider GE76 has a 99.9Wh battery, which is just shy of the flight limit (you can’t board an airplane with a battery bigger than 100Wh). Our unit came with a 280W power adapter, but other configurations ship with a 330W or 240W adapter. The system weighs 6.39 lbs, which is fairly light for a 17-inch laptop.

Below are the specs of our review unit, the MSI Raider GE76 12UGS-268CA.

MSI Raider GE76 12UGS-268CA


Intel Core i7-12700H (14 Cores [6 Performance-cores + 8 Efficient-cores], 20 Threads, up to 4.7GHz, 45W)




32GB (2x16GB DDR5 4800MHz)


1TB NVMe PCIe Gen 4×4 SSD


17.3″ FHD (1920×1080), 360Hz

AC Adapter



Sound by Dynaudio, 2x2W Speaker + 2x1W woofer


1080p FHD Webcam


4 cell 99.9Wh Li-Polymer


6.39 lbs


15.63″ x 11.18″ x 1.02″

The MSI Raider GE76 User Experience

With its cutting-edge specs, the MSI Raider GE76 feels impressively fast and responsive when navigating from task to task in Windows 11. It boots up in no time. There were, however, a few times when I noticed a minor input delay from the keyboard and mouse, typically after waking from sleep. And on battery power, especially when running low, the system slows down noticeably. The review unit also crashed on me twice, about a week apart: once while installing a benchmark application and once again while running it. We reported this issue to MSI, who said they were unable to replicate the problem on other test units, suggesting it may have been a software issue rather than a hardware one.

The SteelSeries-branded keyboard (it’s a gaming accessory company) is comfortable to type on and includes a number pad and shared function/system key row. Each key has dedicated RGB lighting which can be individually customized by the user in the pre-installed SteelSeries GG application. Colors and effects can also be customized for the lighted strip along the bottom edge. While the strip worked as promised, the keyboard lighting turned off intermittently and I could not find a reliable fix.

(Source: MSI.)

(Source: MSI.)

The Raider GE76’s 280W power adapter is massive, and it will add about two pounds to your backpack. The Raider GE76 plugs in on the back, but I found that the cable to the adapter was a bit too short for my liking.

As with most laptops that incorporate power-hungry graphics cards, the MSI Raider GE76 includes fans that can get noisy under a heavy processing load. The fans typically hum at a tolerable level, but at their loudest you will definitely hear (and feel) them at work. If that doesn’t bother you, you can force the fans to run at full speed with a dedicated key on the function/system row.

The included MSI Center application allows users of the Raider GE76 to monitor and control system performance and adjust system settings. MSI Center also includes downloadable features such as Sound Tune, which MSI says provides AI-powered noise cancellation for better voice calls. I found it odd that users must scroll through and accept a lengthy privacy policy to use MSI Center.

In MSI Center, users can toggle on or off the Raider GE76’s webcam, which has a respectable 1920×1080 resolution. Although there is no physical privacy shutter on the camera, a (somewhat distracting) flashing white LED indicates when the camera is in use.

The 360Hz display of the MSI Raider GE76 aims squarely at gamers, who often seek high refresh rate displays as a means to boost their reaction times. However, its advantages to engineers are unclear. Design work rarely demands split second responses. At best, some users might notice smoother motion when scrolling through web pages or rotating 3D models. I didn’t notice the difference myself, so I would opt for a higher resolution and a lower refresh rate.

Performance Benchmarks

As of this review, we have updated to the latest versions of our standard suite of performance benchmarks. As such, most of the results we obtained for the MSI Raider GE76 are not comparable with results from previous reviews. When available, we provide comparisons with public results available at time of writing.

Each of these benchmarks was run three times, and the best score achieved by each subtest is reported below.  

SPECviewperf 2020 v3.0

This benchmark is a test of graphical performance across a variety of common engineering applications.

SPECviewperf 2020 v3.0 (2K)


Best result (higher is better)

















Compared with the published results for 10 different workstations on SPEC.org, the results for the MSI Raider GE76 are within range for all but one viewset: snx-04 (Siemens NX), where the Raider GE76 falls well below the minimum published score.

SPECworkstation 3.1

This benchmark is a comprehensive test of workstation performance across several industry categories.

SPECworkstation 3.1


Best result (higher is better)

Media and Entertainment


Product Development


Life Sciences


Financial Services




General Operations


GPU Compute


Compared with the published results for nine different workstations on SPEC.org, the results for the MSI Raider GE76 are within range for all industries—and near the top of the pack in General Operations and GPU Compute.

Cinebench R23.2

This benchmark is a test of CPU rendering performance.

Cinebench R23.2


Best result (higher is better)

CPU (Multi Core)


CPU (Single Core)


MP Ratio


Here are the in-benchmark comparisons with other systems:

PassMark PerformanceTest 10.2

This is a general benchmark of system performance.

PassMark PeformanceTest 10.2


Best result (higher is better)



CPU Mark


2D Mark


3D Mark


Memory Mark


Disk Mark


Comparisons with other systems are given in-benchmark as a percentile:

PCMark 10 Extended

This benchmark is a test of system performance across common office use cases.

PCMark 10 Extended


Best result (higher is better)







Digital Content Creation




Compared with the laptop results reported on 3DMark.com, the MSI Raider is above average in every subtest, with an aggregate score not far below the highest reported.


This benchmark is a test of graphics performance targeting gaming applications.



Best result (higher is better)

Time Spy


Fire Strike


Port Royal


Compared with the laptop results reported on 3DMark.com, the MSI Raider is above average in each of these tests.

Battery Test

We tested the longevity of the MSI Raider GE76’s battery with PCMark 10’s battery benchmarks for gaming, modern office applications and idle use.

The gaming battery benchmark provides a lower limit on battery performance by measuring the lifetime under a constant heavy load. We ran this test with the battery profile set to Best Performance, no Battery Saver mode and 100 percent screen brightness. The battery lasted for 1.25 hours.

The modern office battery benchmark provides a view of battery performance for common office tasks: word processing, video conferencing and web browsing. We ran this test with the battery profile set to Balanced, Battery Saver mode at 20 percent, and 75 percent screen brightness. The battery lasted for 5.3 hours.

The idle battery benchmark provides an upper limit of battery performance, testing how long the battery lasts with no other applications running and the screen kept on. We ran this test with the battery profile set to Best Power Efficiency, constant Battery Saver mode, 0 percent screen brightness, and Wi-Fi off. The battery lasted for 7.87 hours.

Given the size of the Raider GE76’s battery, I hoped the upper limit would be higher than 7 hours and 52 minutes. But with its large 360Hz display, this is not an entirely surprising result. While 5 hours and 18 minutes of typical office use is not quite a full workday, it’s long enough to get a good bit of work done without worrying where your charger is.

Display Test

We tested the display of the MSI Raider GE76 with a Spyder5ELITE colorimeter. It covers 92 percent of the sRGB color space, 71 percent of Adobe RGB, and 70 percent of P3. Its peak brightness is 268.2 nits with a contrast ratio of 960:1. It has an average color accuracy of 2.13 Delta E. These values are on the low end compared to other laptops we’ve reviewed recently.


We set out to determine whether the MSI Raider GE76, a laptop crafted with gamers in mind, could serve the needs of engineers. The answer is yes, but with caveats. While its performance in professional applications is rarely top tier, the Raider GE76 achieves acceptable benchmark scores in several of the most popular 3D software packages (except for Siemens NX, a benchmark which the Raider GE76 bombs). In general benchmarks, the 12th-gen Intel CPU, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card, DDR5 memory and PCIe Gen 4 SSD provide exceptional system performance.

With its price tag of $2,899.99 CAD, the MSI Raider GE76 is not exactly cheap—but compared to the leading mobile workstation brands, which can cost much more for similar (but last-gen) specs, it’s a good deal. That difference in price is accounted for by the Raider GE76’s mainstream GeForce GPUs (which are cheaper than the pro cards), as well as a lack of enterprise features typically available in professional workstations. If that’s not a dealbreaker for you, you can get decent performance for a lot less money with the Raider GE76.

To learn more about the MSI Raider GE76, visit MSI Canada’s website.

Written by

Michael Alba

Michael is a senior editor at engineering.com. He covers computer hardware, design software, electronics, and more. Michael holds a degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Alberta.