MSI GE73 Raider and GE63 Raider laptops offer a fine balance

I am not generally a fan of gaming laptops, but even I have to admit that thanks to ever-more-efficient graphics chips, the notion of a "gaming laptop" is a lot less oxymoronic than it once was. When folks ask me for a gaming laptop recommendation I often go straight for MSI, and machines like those in the company's new GE73 Raider and GE63 Raider series are why. These laptops boast beautiful displays, powerful speakers, and fast hardware wrapped in sleek aluminum casings.

The GE73 Raider has a 17.3" display, while the GE63 Raider has a 15.6" screen. Besides that difference, the laptops are very similar. Both machines include mobile Intel Core i7 CPUs as standard, on up to the Core i7-7700HQ, plus GeForce graphics cards ranging from the GTX 1050 to the GTX 1070. Display options on offer include a 3840×2160 IPS display or a 1920×1080 display with a 120-Hz refresh rate.

MSI talks up the creature comforts on these laptops. The keyboard is designed by SteelSeries and offers per-key RGB LED backlighting. That's an improvement over the zone-based lighting offered by most RGB LED-lit laptop keyboards. MSI's also apparently put some work into the machine's sound output. The company refers to the audio system as "Giant Speaker" and says that the speakers were designed by the audiophiles at Danish speaker vendor Dynaudio. To help take advantage of those fancy speakers, the laptop includes ESS Sabre DACs on the signal path.

Owners can buy a GE63 Raider with an M.2 SSD and a 2.5" hard drive, while the larger GE73 Raider can have those devices plus a second M.2 SSD. The GE73's dual M.2 drives can be set up in a RAID configuration, too. Peripherals can hook up to the GE Raider laptops through a USB 3.1 Type-C connector or a trio of USB 3.0 ports. Those with a penchant for multi-monitor action can connect external displays to the Mini DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0a outputs, or the aforementioned USB Type-C port. Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity are are both powered by Killer chips.

MSI offers its laptops in a multitude on configurations. A quick look at product listings tells us that prices for the currently-available MSI GE63 Raider variants start at $1699 (Newegg shopping link here) for a machine with a GTX 1050 graphics card, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. The bigger GE73 Raider doesn't cost a whole lot more. Prices start at $1799 (at Newegg too) for a machine with GTX 1050 Ti graphics card and those 16 GB of RAM and the 1 TB SSD.

Comments closed
    • kurazarrh
    • 2 years ago

    $1700 for a laptop with a GTX 1050 is ridiculous. Pick nearly any other brand (not you, Razer), and $1700 is about the threshold where laptops stop offering 1060s and move to 1070s.

    I bought a laptop recently with a 1050Ti (a significant step up from the $1700 offering here) for $800. Granted, the screen is a piece of schmidt (el cheapo TN panel), but the internals are fine.

    Edit: forgot about the profanity censor.

    • Ultracer
    • 2 years ago

    Ugly but cheap.

      • chµck
      • 2 years ago

      Ugly is a matter of taste, but these are in no way cheap.
      An equivalent dell inspiron model would be at least a few hundred $$$ less.

        • BIF
        • 2 years ago

        Wait a minute. “Equivalent” Dell Inspiron Model? Do they have one of those that’s not an Alienware?

          • chµck
          • 2 years ago

          [url<]https://www.amazon.com/Dell-Inspiron-GeForce-i5577-5335BLK-PUS-Chassis/dp/B06XFC44CL/ref=dp_ob_title_ce?th=1[/url<] 512GB instead of 1TB ssd, but you could buy a 1TB SSD upgrade and still come out ahead...

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 2 years ago

            Looks nicer, but will the cooling measure up? A gaming laptop should be designed to run at 100%, which is a rare case for a regular consumer laptop.

            • chµck
            • 2 years ago

            I have the previous generation (i7559). The cooling is superior to the MSI i would say (I previously owned a GE62 and GE60). Never seen it go over 80C.
            Another thing is the internal layout of the MSI notebooks is pretty dumb, since the hot components are under the wrist pad (which is metal), making it uncomfortable after even just web surfing for a while. In the dell, the wrist pad never gets hot (rubberized).

            • BIF
            • 2 years ago

            Oh wow, that’s actually very nice, and it has exhaust ports on the back, not unlike Asus and MSI (and others).

            • chµck
            • 2 years ago

            my only gripe with these dell gaming inspirons is the lack of display port. I have been using notebooks as desktop replacements for nearly a decade now so I usually have them plugged into an external display.
            having HDMI + DP would allow me to use two displays…
            but yeah, Dell has gotten pretty awesome since they went private a few years ago.

            • BIF
            • 2 years ago

            I agree that the lack of a displayport is bad at any price point. It would be a deal-killer for me.

            So can I rack and stack SSDs in both m.2 and 2.5″ format, or does the use of one obviate the use of the other? If I can’t load up 6+ TB of internal drive storage, that would be another deal killer.

            • chµck
            • 2 years ago

            currently both my m.2 slot and 2.5″ slots are occupied by storage devices.
            Don’t know how you’d get 6TB between the two though…

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