Review of MSI GE66 Raider 10UG : Perfect Gaming Laptop with High Specifications

The Taiwanese have made an update to incorporate Nvidia RTX 30 and become the first marketable notebook with Wi-Fi 6E . It is the MSI GE66 Raider 10UG-270ES , a laptop with the same sport design as the rest of the models, also incorporating a 300 Hz IPS screen and brutal hardware that will allow you to see this RTX 3070 at maximum capacity with the most powerful processor in Intel.

Design

The design of this MSI GE 66 Raider 10UG is the same as the versions with Nvidia RTX 20, and in this sense, it is not a new generation, but an extension in the model range. We already know it so we will go a little more directly to the key features.

One of them will be the renewed sporty look with wide diffusers at the rear that also integrate the ventilation grilles. This time we have a panel of ports in the back and sides, everything being quite distributed. This rear part protrudes about 30 mm with respect to the screen , surely adopting this format from the Titan series. With it, the measurements we have are still quite tight for a 15.6-inch screen, with a tight thickness of only 23 mm.

The peculiarity of this GE series is that it changes its color to a silver gray with a lot of brightness on its lid, although the logo in the central area does not include lighting. It also highlights that wide front where a Mistic Light lighting strip has been integrated that covers almost the entire area. In addition, it does so in a fairly well integrated way, with an inward profile that provides a feeling of thinness and with translucent plastic that withstands wear well.

We go to the interior area of ​​the MSI GE 66 Raider 10UG where we have a keyboard base made of aluminum like the screen cover. In this generation GE66, MSI has improved the rigidity of the screen considerably, thanks to thicker edges and cut corners. We can safely open the screen from the corners. The hinge system is soft and not too hard , preventing the equipment from lifting itself while we carry out the opening process. Black plastic finished frames are 6mm thick on the sides, 12mm on top and 31mm on the bottom . They won’t be MSI’s tightest, but the looks are great.

The keyboard area uses a beautiful dark gray with the new SteelSeries keyboard optimized for gaming use and in a membrane TKL format . It is spacious, it comes centralized and with a fantastic customizable Per-Key RGB lighting , of course in perfect. The touchpad for its part has standard measurements, although the truth is that there is not much more space to take advantage of in the area, since part of it is lost in the back.

Finally, the lower area will be the only one with a plastic cover. It is a less open area than the previous generation, although with an aesthetic improvement. The non-slip rubber feet will do an excellent job of stable support on any surface. In this case the equipment remains quite close to the ground, which means that the fans are running most of the time at high RPM.

Wi-Fi 6E ports and connectivity

This MSI GE 66 Raider 10UG comes with notable new features in terms of network connectivity, releasing both a wireless network card and a LAN. The seats remain the same as on the RTX 20 models, so let’s see them.

In the rear area we find:

  • Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C with DP 1.4
  • LAN RJ45
  • HDMI 2.0
  • DC-in for power

The right zone will have:

  • 2x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A
  • SD UHS II card reader

And the left part the rest:

  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C
  • 3.5 combo jack for audio and microphone

So in total we will have 5 USB ports , a number higher than practically any laptop from rival brands. It has benefited from the absence of a Thunderbolt 4 port , adopting in this case a second Type-C port at 20 Gbps. It is certainly not a bad decision to get more variety.

On the other hand, we have up to 3 video ports in different interfaces, thus covering the needs of practically any user. We only miss that the HDMI port is not 2.1, something implicit in the RTX 30 cards that would provide the user with a greater capacity for future 8K monitors. MSI still opts for a DC-in port quite similar to a USB-A, in a hidden position at the back, although with worse accessibility.

Regarding network connectivity, we have a double interface available. The RJ45 port has a gaming network card such as the Killer E3100X that offers 2.5 Gbps of bandwidth and is managed by the Killer Control Center software . This is joined by the new Intel Wi-Fi 6 210X , which already supports the new Wi-Fi 6E update. In this way, it will also be able to operate in the 6 GHz band to improve transmission capacity with new, less saturated channels. For practical purposes, the bandwidth will be the same, operating in 2 × 2 mode and at a maximum of 160 MHz.

300Hz display

Once again we have a laptop that launches the new 300 Hz panel whose manufacturer is Sharp. Of course, they will not be able to complain, since both MSI, Asus and Gigabyte have models that include this panel designed for eSport level games .

For this MSI GE 66 Raider 10UG , IPS technology of the highest level has been used, with a Full HD resolution (1920x1080p) and in 16: 9 format. Most important for the gamer will be its ability to develop 300 Hz refresh rate and a response of 3 ms . With these figures, ghosting or blur will be reduced to a minimum. Obviously it equips FreeSync technology to avoid tearing and flickering in games, dynamically reducing the refreshment to save battery in basic tasks.

But not only the game has been thought about, but also in a satisfactory use for multimedia content and even design, as it offers 100% sRGB coverage . The specified brightness of this panel will be 300 nits with a typical contrast 1000: 1, endowed with a very good calibration as seen in other equipment. In addition, MSI puts its grain of sand with the True Color software , which allows us to modify the RGB profile of the panel and thus adjust the calibration manually.

In addition to this version focused on eSport, we have another 240 Hz Full HD panel that will also go great for this Nvidia RTX 3070. And if we want a more professional approach, another IPS version with 4K resolution and 100% coverage in Adobe RGB , ideal for graphic design.

Sound Duo Wave Speaker

The sound system of this MSI GE 66 Raider 10UG consists of a double rectangular speaker with Nahimic technology and with its own name Duo Wave Speaker. Its two speakers will be focused downwards and located in the front corners of the equipment, giving maximum proximity to the user.

The evolution with respect to the previous generation in the GE66 series is remarkable, providing a feeling of better balance between mids and highs with better resonance. It is a sufficiently clear sound and also with an appreciable presence of bass. They are more or less at the level of other gaming laptops, with a high volume that allows listening to music and watching movies quite far from the computer.

As for its internal codec, it implements Nahimic technology with software management to give us maximum versatility. The quality of the Jack output is ensured by supporting stereo sound at 192 kHz / 24 bit , and even virtual surround sound compatible with Windows Sonic.

Another interesting note about the GE66 series is that it has a webcam in Full HD 1080p resolution capable of recording at 30 FPS . We believe that this sensor should be present in all current laptops, especially those of high cost to ensure decent performance for calls, chats and why not, broadcast live. Next to it we will have a unidirectional double microphone system capable of recording clearly from a distance.

RGB keyboard

We went on to develop the characteristics and experience that the peripherals of the MSI GE 66 Raider 10UG give us , being the same as those equipped in the rest of the models.

On the keyboard side, we have a TKL configuration without NumPad and thus leaving a wide free margin on both the left and right of the equipment. It is undoubtedly the best option for 15.6-inch laptops, leaving a much clearer keyboard and better accessibility. Also, MSI always implements layout with ANSI format.

A 15 x 15mm island key layout has been chosen quite different from the previous generation in black and without the lighting coming out around the edges. This only focuses on the character of the key, with good brightness power and of course with MSI Mystic Light Per-Key technology. From the SteelSeries software we can apply lighting effects to each key individually, as well as macros.

As for the sensations of use, we already commented in other reviews that it is a keyboard that we like a lot both for playing and for writing. The typing sensation is not as direct as in other distributions, thanks to a membrane with a soft travel and padded end of travel . Its central area is perfectly rigid and without sagging , also remaining quite cool even after long continuous stress on the GPU and CPU. It also has Anti ghosting and dual function F keys , where we find, among others, direct access to the SteelSeries software, Gaming mode, or fan management.

As for the touchpad, we have a standard format with buttons integrated in the trackpad and measures 106 x 65 mm , and could have been expanded at least in width for improved handling. The one in this unit has a very slight slack on the right side, although it is practically negligible. The click of the buttons is quite direct and very quiet, with a soft touch and with beveled edges to improve comfort.

Management software

The software par excellence in the MSI GE 66 Raider 10UG will obviously be Dragon Center , with practically the same characteristics as on previous occasions. It will be factory installed, as will Nahimic 3 for sound, True Color for screen and SteelSeries for keyboard.

The positive aspect is that the manufacturer is increasingly integrating the different applications under this same program, as do others like Asus. We have a Dashboard to monitor the performance of the equipment, and most importantly, access to the performance profiles of hardware , fans and gaming mode, which we have used for performance tests.

One of the most interesting options for saving energy in autonomy mode will be the switch to opt for the dedicated graphics card or hybrid mode . This will disable the RTX 3070 when not needed, pulling on the Intel UHD Graphics to maximize autonomy. We have two new menus such as Game Highlights that integrates with the MSI Companion App, and Duet Display, a kind of PIP mode where part of the image from a second monitor will be seen on the main screen.

Processor

We are now going to see the hardware proposed by this MSI GE 66 Raider 10UG specification 270ES, which will not be the most powerful of all, as we also have a version with Nvidia RTX 3080.

The CPU itself is the top of the range of the blue brand, an Intel Core i9-10980HK , a processor with 8 physical cores and 16 logical cores capable of reaching 5.3 GHz in maximum thermal frequency, and 5.1 GHz in Turbo Boost Max 3.0 mode , same as its desktop brother. In this team we have seen it performing under stress at 3.6 GHz in all cores, with peaks of 5 GHz. It has a 16 MB L3 cache and 45W of TDP expandable up to 65W , since it is a processor with cores unlocked .

The rest of the specifications will be similar to those of its smaller brothers, that is, it uses a 14 nm Comet Lake-S architecture under the same die, derived directly from the desktop version. It has integrated UHD 1.25 GHz graphics , which will be a usable option in autonomy mode when high power is not required in 3D graphics.

This beast is accompanied by no less than 32 GB of RAM memory through two SO-DIMM modules working at 3200 MHz effective . They are not using onboard memory chips, so the maximum available capacity of the computer would be 64 GB. The storage configuration will consist of a 1 TB SSD NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 Western Digital SN730 . A second M.2 slot will be available for a future update.

The last key component will be the Nvidia RTX 3070 Laptop version GPU , the configuration trimmed in performance compared to the desktop 3070. This variant uses a Samsung 7nm GA104 chipset and of course Ampere architecture. It has 40 multiprocessing units that generate 5120 CUDA cores, 160 3rd generation Tensor cores and 40 2nd generation RT cores, making a total of 160 TMUs and 80 ROPs.

But MSI has used all the possible potential of this GPU, since it has equipped it with a 115 W TGP , increasing the core clock frequency to 1620 MHz in boost mode, starting from a base frequency of 1215 MHz, both quite high. . On the part of the graphics memory, it will be 8 GB GDDR6 operating with a 1750 MHz clock in boost mode , that is, 14 Gbps of transfer with a bandwidth of 448 GB / s. The bus width will be 256 bits, the same as the desktop model. Consequently, we will get the maximum possible performance from this RTX 3070 version for a laptop. In addition, improving with the Nvidia Resizable Bar technology activated by default, which makes GDDR6 memory available to the CPU.

Cooling System

We now continue with the heatsink of the MSI GE 66 Raider 10UG , in the case of the Cooler Boost 5 , the most current version designed for high-performance laptops.

This system improves the air flow of the fans by making them larger and with more blades , something that this powerful processor will take advantage of. In contrast, it is a quite noisy system, perhaps a little louder than the Asus or Gigabyte versions, although at least there is no presence of that characteristic hiss of air that we do have in the AORUS.

The air flow will pass through four finned copper blocks located at their corresponding outlets. This is done with the help of 6 copper heatpipes , two of them take care of the CPU, while the rest do the same with the GPU. All this thanks to two copper cold plates that will also take the VRM in the case of the one located on the CPU, and the GDDR6 chips in the case of the one with the GPU.

Although it is not the quietest, it has good effectiveness to deal with the high performance of GPU + CPU in such a small space. Thanks to it, the thermal throttling will inevitably be present in continuous stress processes.

Battery

We are finishing the analysis of the MSI GE 66 Raider 10UG without leaving behind its battery and the autonomy figures that the team has left us. Like the other GE66 versions, this one has a 99.9 hr battery and a capacity of 6578 mAh divided into 4 cells . It is one of the most powerful available.

Regarding autonomy, we have obtained a figure of approximately 6 and a half hours with a full charge cycle. To obtain these figures, we have opted for the Super Battery profile in saving mode, iGPU switch activated, 50% brightness and performing basic office automation and navigation tasks.

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