System Performance

The MSI GE75 Raider offers a choice of two CPU options, with the standard models coming with a hex-core Intel Core i7-9750H, and the top models offering an octa-core Intel Core i9-9880H. The Core i7 offers 2.6-4.5 GHz in the 45-Watt envelope, while the Core i9 adds two more cores and an even higher maximum boost frequency, with a 2.3-4.8 GHz range. MSI shipped us the top tier model, making this the first laptop we’ve tested to offer eight cores and sixteen threads.

These Coffee Lake processors should offer plenty of grunt, and MSI offers two SODIMM slots with up to 64 GB of DDR4 memory as an option. Our review unit has “just” 32 GB so we’ll have to make do. MSI also offers up to 2 TB of NVMe storage, with our unit offering 1 TB. Strangely, the drive is partitioned into two drives of 600 GB and 400 GB. Luckily if you’d rather a straight up 1 TB you can delete the second partition and extend the first one to cover the entire drive. MSI also isn’t utilizing RAID, at least on the 1 TB model, and that’s a welcome change from many of the gaming systems we see.

To see how the eight-core, sixteen-thread GE75 Raider performs, we’ve run it through our standard laptop suite.

PCMark

PCMark 10 - Essentials

PCMark 10 - Productivity

PCMark 10 - Digital Content Creation

PCMark 10 - Overall

UL’s PCMark suite tests all aspects of a system, from CPU to GPU to storage, testing application opening times, rendering speeds, and more, with an array of test choices. The GE75 Raider performs very well in all of these tests, although it is not necessarily quicker than the hex-core GT75 Titan we reviewed previously, which has the same peak frequency but two less cores than the GE75 Raider.

Cinebench

Cinebench R15 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R15 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

We’re still using the R15 version for our reviews as we build out our database of R20 results, but since Cinebench offers both single-threaded and multi-threaded workloads, it is a great way to see how a single core performs, and as you’d likely expect it performs very well. Then, add in the other seven cores and the Core i9-9880H in the GE75 Raider walks all over the competition.

x264

x264 HD 5.x

x264 HD 5.x

This test uses the CPU to encode video, and tends to favor frequency and cores, but despite offering two extra cores and four extra threads, the limits of adding cores shows in this result, since the GE75 Raider wins, but not by as much as you’d maybe expect. On the first pass it is more or less tied with the Core i9-8950HK, and it just squeaks ahead on pass two.

Web Results

Benchmarking the web is one part CPU, and one part browser, since the scripting engine plays such a vital role. As such, we’ve standardized on Microsoft Edge with Windows 10, but it’s been showing its age in the last couple of updates. We’ll be moving to newer web tests and a new browser when Microsoft’s Chromium based Edge is available, but for now we’ll keep what we have for consistency.

Mozilla Kraken 1.1

Google Octane 2.0

Google Octane 2.0

WebXPRT 3

WebXPRT 2015

Interestingly some of our older gaming laptops are at the top in our web results, and  some of that is because they are just plain fast, but also because Edge hasn’t kept its performance even over its lifetime. Still, the 4.8 GHz maximum boost frequency of the GE75 Raider provides great web performance.

CPU Conclusion

There comes a point where adding more cores doesn’t improve performance anymore, and with eight in this laptop we’re running into those limitations on several of our workloads. Still, the extra cores are still incredibly useful in some scenarios where a task is truly designed to be multi-threaded, and it of course offers added multitasking capabilities, so even though they don’t necessarily raise the absolute performance level dramatically in most tasks, they are still a benefit. It’ll be interesting to see how the extra CPU performance helps in gaming as well, which we’ll take a look at on the next page.

Storage Performance

Many gaming laptops use RAID 0, which is of little benefit in the real world, adds cost, and adds a higher chance of failure. It’s refreshing to see that MSI has skipped this on the GE75 Raider, at least up to the 1 TB model, and just stuck with a single, fast SSD. If you opt for the 2 TB model is outfitted with 2 x 1 TB drives. The review unit ships with the Samsung PM981 1 TB drive, which is partitioned into two drives of 600 GB and 400 GB.

There’s no doubt that the PM981 is fast. It saturates the PCIe link in read mode and can do almost 2400 MB/s in sequential write speed as well. The random read and write is also strong. Offering a TLC drive used to be a downside in an expensive laptop, but the real-world performance delta is low enough now that the increased size is appreciated. With up to 2 TB of NVMe storage from MSI, even large gaming libraries shouldn’t be an issue.

Design GPU Performance
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  • gunnys - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    The current lack of 4K 17.3" gaming laptops is depressing. We have faster hardware but low res displays. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    As noted in the article itself, MSI is currently limiting the 17" 4k option to their even higher end and chunkier GT76 series. Reply
  • gunnys - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    I missed that, thanks for the heads up. But I also meant in general, lack of 4K sucks. I spend way more time not gaming than gaming, and would appreciate higher pixel density in general tasks. Personally I'd be more pleased with 4K at even just 60 Hz. A 120 Hz or 144 Hz panel would be useful just a few hours a month in gaming.

    And the whole situation makes even less sense when I'm seeing plenty of 15.6" 4K laptops.

    I've heard the new Razer Blade Pro will only ship with 4K in it's upcoming Quadro RTX version. It appears manufacturers are reserving 4K for the highest tier only. In that case.... I'll hold off on buying. I don't need a Quadro or a $4000 laptop... just more pixel density. An RTX 2080 or Quadro isn't needed to drive Windows, Office, and Youtube at 2160p.

    A decent 17.3" 4K panel wasn't a huge upgrade cost just a year or two ago.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    as an ever more niche product line 17" laptops tend to lag badly in any components (like screens) that can't be shared with more plebeian 15" laptops. Volumes of high end 13 laptops are higher than 15" and 15" is higher than 17"; with the result that most of the higher end screen options started at the smallest size where there was more volume to be sold and then worked their way to smaller volume parts only slowly.

    When I get my next laptop in a year or two I'm hoping to be able to find something with 1440p/144hz at 15". 4k's massive overkill, drives up power consumption. 1440p is good enough for general use and is at least somewhat plausible to game at above 60hz on the occasions I do that instead of just surfing the web.
    Reply
  • quiksilvr - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    I would say not having G-SYNC is the bigger issue. Reply
  • tshoobs - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - link

    I agree that it is sad to still see so many gaming laptops in this class using 1080p - that is really not enough pixel density for a 17.3" screen.

    For general use, 4k resolution in this screen size still generates a lot of need for scaling which in Windows is as good as it has ever been but still flawed.

    I'd love to see a 1440p panel however, I think that would be perfect for the 17.3" gaming laptop. 1080p is very long in the tooth.
    Reply
  • ingwe - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    Given that it is a 144 Hz IPS display with great color accuracy, I think it is still a display to be happy with. Reply
  • weilin - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    I'd personally prefer QHD (2560x1440) over UHD. Especially for screens smaller than 24". It seems like the best compromise on resolution and performance. Reply
  • quantumshadow44 - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    Im perfectly fine with 4k on 15" dell m4800.
    100% srgb/Adobergb
    Reply
  • pbollwerk - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    My current laptop (Alienware 13) has the "near"-4k OLED, and while it looks gorgeous, I don't like the performance hit I get when gaming, and text is unreadable. Maybe 4k is better on a 17", but my next gaming laptop won't be 4k. For gaming, it's not worth it for me.
    For other tasks, like video/photo editing, I can understand. But this is a gaming laptop.
    Having said that, 1080 is too low resolution for modern laptops.
    Reply

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