With the announcement of Intel’s Alder Lake H series laptop processors, MSI was one of the first to announce its updated series of gaming laptops featuring the latest Intel processors. As one of the leaders in the gaming notebook market, MSI has some new tricks up its sleeve to further improve performance.
New this year for MSI are some key software features to improve performance across the line, as well as functionality. As an example, MSI will offer a new Smart Auto Power system to adjust laptop performance levels based on which application is running, rather than relying on the end user to manually configure settings. For users who want to set up their system, the manual system will of course still exist, but the automatic mode should help consumers who are not so familiar with the product to get the most out of it, or those who just don’t want to mess with things to get best from a laptop.
Also in line with power and performance, MSI has always offered a “Quiet” mode on its laptops that aimed to keep the fan at 15 dB to prevent unwanted noise penetration during operation. Their new software update will use a system microphone to measure ambient noise levels in the room, which will then allow quiet mode to use more system cooling without being heard. While this may not sound like much, MSI has found a performance increase of up to 30% in their Silent mode without still being heard.
MSI will also include background noise cancellation for incoming audio calls, not just outgoing audio streams, so if your colleague has a noisy dog at a weekly team meeting, at least it won’t bother you anymore.
All three of these features will be available throughout the line. Let’s look at refreshed products.
MSI Raider GE76 / 66
At the top of the product list are the 17 ”Raider 76 Series and the 15” Raider 66 Series, and the first change for those familiar with MSI’s lineup is just the name. For 2022, MSI is changing its name from GE76 Raider to GE76 Raider, with the goal of removing code names from its products to simplify the shopping experience for its customers, which I think makes a lot of sense.
New for this year is the Phase Change thermal pad, which is solid at room temperature, but when it reaches 58 ° C the pad melts and fills the space between the CPU and the thermal block for more efficient heat transfer. MSI claims up to 10% more performance compared to traditional thermal pastes and liquid metals, with no crystallization problems that can occur. The new phase-change thermal pad will also be available on Raider and Stealth with Intel processors.
Speaking of Intel processors, the Raider line offers the latest Alder Lake H line, with i7-12700H and i9-12900HK overclockable processors. With a lack of DDR5, MSI is unfortunately stuck in a situation where available memory isn’t uniform across the range, but the Raider comes out in top condition with only the lowest GE76 model with the Core i7-12700H and RTX 3060 offering DDR4. The rest of the line is all DDR5-4800 memory, including all the current GE66 models that have been announced.
As for the graphics side, which is always critical for a gaming laptop, MSI is turning to the latest updated RTX cards from NVIDIA, all the way to the RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU which is the new king of the hill in terms of laptop graphics. The 3080Ti laptop will be paired with 16 GB of GDDR6 memory.
The display options are the same as the previous generation, with options 1920×1080 144/360 Hz, 2560×1440 240 Hz with support for P3 gamut and 3840×2160 120 Hz Adobe RGB.
The Raider GE76 and its smaller cousin the GE66 have not changed on the chassis side. We just reviewed the latest 17.3-inch Raider laptop so to feel the chassis, check out that review. It’s very good, albeit a bit dazzling, and since it’s at the top of the MSI line (at least until they decide to bring back the Titan) it’s very fast. MSI expects their Alder Lake models with their new cooling solutions to be the most efficient of the current generation of gaming laptops on the market.
For the 17-inch GE76, prices start at $ 1,599 for the RTX 3060 model, $ 2,249 for the RTX 3070, $ 2,499 for the RTX 3070 Ti and $ 3,599 for the RTX 3080 Ti.
For the 15-inch GE66, prices start at $ 2,249 for the RTX 3070 model, $ 2,599 for the RTX 3070 Ti model and $ 3,499 for the RTX 3080 Ti.
MSI Stealth GS77
If you want performance, but want a little less shine, MSI covers you with its appropriately named Stealth line. The chassis has been redesigned to be more durable, and has plenty of performance in a relatively small and lightweight design.
MSI has moved the hinge to the center of the notebook to increase its durability, and the notebook offers a CNC milled aluminum screen cover. The laptop is completely black to fit for work and play.
MSI offers a Full HD webcam, which helps in the business side of this device, as well as a hard switch for the webcam on the side of the device. Unfortunately, most notebooks still offer 1366×768 webcams, or some gaming laptops don’t have a webcam at all, which seems like a mistake in 2022. MSI also includes a fingerprint reader for quick logins.
The keyboard has been renovated, and the keys are 8% larger than the previous generation. User feedback on the previous design was that the touchpad was not high enough to move the cursor from the top of the screen to the bottom in one go, so MSI also made the touchpad taller to correct this. MSI has also moved the most important ports such as power and USB to the back of the device to allow better cable management.
In terms of performance, the Alder Lake design offers options for the Core i7-12650H, Core i7-12700H and Core i9-12900H processors and all have DDR5-4800 memory, up to 32GB dual-channel. In terms of graphics, customers can choose between RTX 3060L, RTX 3070L, RTX 3070L Ti and RTX 3080L Ti.
The screen options on this 17.3-inch laptop are the same: 1920×1080 360 Hz, 2560×1440 240 Hz P3 and 3840×2160 120 Hz Adobe RGB.
Stealth is a thinner and lighter design, but it still has a lot of performance. The 5.7-liter 17-inch laptop is over 3 lbs lighter than the Raider series, making it much more portable, and the 15-inch model is 4.63 lbs, which is about 2.5 lbs less than the 15-inch Raider.
For the 17-inch Stealth GS77, prices start at $ 1799 for the RTX 3060, $ 2399 for the RTX 3070, $ 2699 for the RTX 3070 Ti and $ 3699 for the RTX 3080 Ti.
For the 15-inch Stealth GS66, prices start at $ 2499 for the RTX 3070 Ti, $ 3099 for the RTX 3080 and $ 3499 for the RTX 3080 Ti.
If you like larger desktop-replacement devices, but don’t like RGB, MSI offers the Vector series as a more affordable Raider. The Vector line will also get the latest Alder Lake processors, from the Core i7-12700H to the Core i9-12900HK. Because of the offer, Vector will give up DDR5 and keep DDR4, with up to 32 GB of MSI over two SODIMMs. As for the graphics side, the options are RTX 3060L, RTX 3070L, RTX 3070L Ti and RTX 3080L.
Prices start at $ 1,899 for the RTX 3060, $ 2,249 for the RTX 3070, $ 2,549 for the RTX 3070 Ti and $ 2,799 for the RTX 3080 model.
MSI Crosshair 15 Special Edition Rainbox Six Extraction
Every year, MSI produces a special edition laptop that is usually from the Raider series, but for 2022. MSI is using a mid-range laptop to make it more affordable for more people. Themed for Ubisoft’s Rainbox Six Extraction, the laptop has a unique color scheme and even comes with a copy of the game. Below the logo features a map of Los Angeles and laser engraving throughout the design. Comes with a matching mouse and mouse pad. A special edition laptop will be available for 1999 USD.
MSI’s new line of Alder Lake laptops will be available for pre-sale from January 25 at 06:00 Pacific, and the products will be available from February 1.
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