MSI GE66 Raider review

Great power and battery life

(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

Though it sounds like a fighter jet under heavy stress, the MSI GE66 Raider 10SGS offers a gorgeous 300Hz screen and good all-around gaming performance.


  • +

    Good Performance

  • +

    Much improved battery life

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    Beautiful 15.6 inch 300Hz Screen


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    Laptop design is still visually unattractive

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    Sounds like a jet engine at higher performance levels

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    Speakers still unimpressive

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Two-minute review

The MSI GE65 Raider was called “a beast” in our review earlier this year. From its powerful specs, stunning 240Hz display and great overall gaming performance, there was much to love about the gaming laptop. However, below standard speakers and battery life hurt the already outdated design. For its follow-up, the GE66 Raider 10SGS, there are three main enhancements that leave the GE65 in the dust. Gaming performance is fairly top-notch, the 15.6 inch FHD screen running at 300Hz is gorgeous and the battery improvements are significant. 

MSI GE66 Raider

(Image credit: Future)

On paper, it’s a pretty powerful gaming laptop. The eight-core Intel Core i9 pumps out 2.4Ghz and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super allows it to play visually impressive games at solid frame rates. Having 32GB of DDR4 ram upgradable to 64Gbs doesn’t hurt either. Meanwhile, 1TB of NVMe SSD storage can fit a handful of 100gb AAA games with plenty of room to spare. The internal laptop features are even more impressive, due to its huge  battery, improved 1080p webcam and perfectly arranged ports. A powerful gaming centered laptop that’s more substance over sleek styling, the GE66 is highly recommended. 

Spec Sheet

Here is the MSI GE66 Raider configuration sen to TechRadar for review:
CPU: Intel Core i9-10980HK (8 Core, 16MB Intel Smart Cache, up to 5.3GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super (Max-Q)
RAM: 32 DDR4 2666MHz 2 Sockets; Max Memory 64GB
Screen: 15.6" FHD (1920x1080) IPS, 300Hz
Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
Ports: 1x RJ45 Ethernet, 1x SD card reader, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Mini-DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C
Connectivity: Killer 802.11 ax Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth v5.1
Camera: FHD (30fps@1080p)
Weight: 5.2 Lbs (2.38kg)
Size: 14.09 x 10.51 x 0.92 inches ( 35.7886 x 26.6954 x 2.3368 cm  )

If you’re looking for something sonically discrete, you may find disappointment in the noise levels, especially during heavy performance moments. The GE66 is loud enough to interrupt the already weak speakers making headphones an absolute requirement. Design-wise, the ultra-angular laptop is solidly built and heavy. Thankfully, the GE66 does give off a nice lightshow through the individual light keys and bottom lightbar. Of course, both are customizable through MSI’s SteelSeries Engine software. 

At $2,699 (£2,292, AU$3779), the GE66 Raider competes against similarly priced gaming laptops including the Razer Blade and Gigabyte Aorus 17G. MSI’s device fits neatly as a third option. More powerful than both, the GE66 Raider lacks their sleekness and better internal audio set-ups. Who cares when neither offer that stunning 300Ghz display? Competitive gamers looking for a practice laptop at this price shouldn’t look anywhere else. Movies look phenomenal on the screen as well.   

An aesthetic that looks inspired by gas station quality Lamborghini miniatures with neon underglow, the MSI GE66 maintains the same bulky and angular form from the GE65. It’s also heavier at 5.2lbs (2.38kg) than the original’s 4.9Lbs (2.2kg).

However, port layout is solid with the MSI GE66 Raider. The right side features an SD Card port sandwiched between two USB type-A ports while one audio jack, USB type-C and USB type-A port hold up the left. Having the charging port, Mini-Display port, HDMI, ethernet port, USB type-C and USB type-A ports at the rear means that cable management will be perfect for anyone who wants to set the laptop up in a living room or office. 

This is how the MSI GE66 Raider performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
3DMark: Night Raid - 48352 Fire Strike - 19510 Time Spy - 8582
Cinebench R20 Multi-core: 3800
GeekBench 5: 1303 (single-core); 8198(multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 5445 points
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 4 hours and 50 minutes
Battery Life (techradar movie test): 5 hours and 20 minutes
Total War: Three Kingdoms (1080p, Ultra): 69.3 fps; (1080p, Low): 227.5fps
Metro Exodus: (1080p, Ultra) 65.1 fps; (1080p, Low): 115.6 fps

Visually demanding games maintain great frame rates on the GE66. Total War: Three Kingdoms at 1080p on Ultra ran at 69 fps while earning 227.5 on low with the same resolution. 

The more visually spectacular Metro: Exodus delivers a respectable 65 fps at 1080p on Ultra and 115 fps with on low settings. Other AAA games like Doom Eternal and Gears 5 also ran exceptionally well at ultra settings.

RTX settings were a bit inconsistent. Utilizing RTX on Metro:Exodus with similar settings gave an average of 48 fps and 91 on low. Games utilizing Ray Tracing like Control and Wolfenstein:Youngblood maintained 60-plus frame rates on Ultra with the RTX setting toggled. Like mentioned above, all of that mobile performance comes at the cost of some noisy fans. 

Anyone disappointed by the GE65’s battery will be happy to hear that the GE66 doubled its battery life on every test. The GE66 Raider lasted 4 hours and 50 minutes on the PCMark 10 Battery Life test. Our own anecdotal video test lasted 5 hours and 20 minutes before shutting down. Without a powersource, general laptop usage should definitely survive a coast-to-coast flight in the U.S. Though performance is at its best when plugged in, it’s still possible to get a couple of hours unplugged at playable frame rates if settings are lowered. 

An improvement over the original in more ways than one, MSI’s GE66 Raider 10SGS is a powerful gaming laptop with a jaw-dropping screen and strong battery life. 

MSI GE66 Raider

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

You want a powerful gaming laptop matched with high Ghz display
The GE66 can run many graphically demanding games without a problem and they all look great on that 300Ghz screen. 

You need strong battery life
Doesn’t matter if one wants to watch movies, check some emails or play the latest AAA game, the battery life is reasonable all around.  

MSI GE66 Raider

(Image credit: Future)

Don’t buy it if...

You want a better sound experience
The internal speakers are weak from music listening to gaming. Add loud fans into the mix and headphones are absolutely required. 

You are in the mood for something a bit more sleek
Compared to beautifully designed gaming laptops like the Razer Blade, high performance doesn’t have to come at the price of something looking so bulky and angular. 

Ural Garrett

Ural Garrett is an Inglewood, CA-based journalist and content curator. His byline has been featured in outlets including CNN, MTVNews, Complex, TechRadar, BET, The Hollywood Reporter and more.