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MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG quick look: a gaming laptop through and through

Plenty of power and performance inside, we see what the MSI Raider has to offer
Last Updated on July 8, 2024
MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG standing laptop, Image by PC Guide
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With a plentiful supply of gaming laptops, MSI is catering to a wide range of budgets and use cases. Towards the top but not quite the highest choice is where we going to look next. As we get hands-on with the MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG and take a quick look at what it has to offer.

It’s certainly an older model since it does not yet come with and promise AI integration like with the MSI Stealth 18 AI Studio A1V we looked at previously. Not yet on the Ultra series Intel CPUs instead it goes for the 14th Gen gaming CPUs along with an Nvidia GPU to match but in laptop form that all comes in a smaller and lower power package. All in all, we see how well it performs with those inside.

  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG front closed, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG front on, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG front RGB bar, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG gaming CS2, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG Intel Nvidia, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG keyboard, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG laptop infront of box, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG left side, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG numpad and power, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG rear, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG right side, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG spec sticker, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG standing laptop, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG top, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG underside, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG WASD, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG touchpad, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG display logo, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG arrow keys, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG back lid, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG box contents, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG box, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG display, Image by PC Guide
Highly Recommended
4 /5
Editor’s Rating
How We Review
Specifications
  • CPU: Intel Core i9-14900HX
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Laptop
  • RAM: 32GB (2*16) DDR5
  • Storage: 4TB NVMe
  • Max Refresh Rate: 240Hz
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1600
  • Screen Size: 17″
  • Panel Type: QHD+
What We Think

The MSI Raider GE78 is certainly a gaming laptop at heart. No stealthy designs but some more edgy-looking parts, with ridges on the back and vast cooling ports around. With that comes plenty of performance from the strong components inside, but the cooling does sometimes struggle to keep up as it ramps loudly and the power of the parts drops.

Although the design might not be for everyone it still has plenty to offer including the IO on the portable device. Even the keyboard and touchpad are quite something. It doesn’t quite match the top models with its screen but still, a fast and large display makes it plenty for gaming on the go.

Reasons to Buy
  • Incredible high-quality display with HDR and 240Hz 1440p
  • The touchpad is more intuitive and easy to use without misclicks and noticeable without lights
  • Strong components and build quality including an immersive sound system
  • Top gaming performance with the components available
  • Easily accessible hinge and underside for good upgrades even if they need a bit of prying to unclip fully
  • A well-designed keyboard with a good size but the Numpad is squeezed into the side
Reasons to Avoid
  • No MiniLED option just standard QHD+
  • Cooling works hard to keep things running well and can get quite loud
  • RGB design is not to everyone’s taste, with WASD, escape, and front RGB see-through not the cleanest design
  • Still lots of preloaded software to manage and get through

Pricing

Our version of the MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG is the UK model, so looking at its price on Amazon you can find it for £3,699 at full price. But the equivalent US version is also close to that value, as it is around $2,899 on Amazon or $3,899 at Best Buy. This does make it a bit higher but not too surprising for the top-end Intel 14th Gen and RTX 4080 laptop that it is and it has plenty more to follow.

No stealthy designs but some more edgy-looking parts, with ridges on the back and vast cooling ports around

Design and specs

The overall look of the MSI laptop is a bit more edgy than any of the Stealth models we’ve looked at previously. It doesn’t shy away from a bit more of a gaming look, although still not splashing it everywhere. But with a 3.1kg weight and a size of 380 x 298 x 28.75 mm, it isn’t an inconspicuous device to blend in around the place. Especially with the large vents at the rear and sides, and dependent on user scenario quite a bit of noise that comes with it.

There is a bit more colored trim towards the back as well, with red on the underside of the display and a kind of gold on the top of the back vent. Adding in some color to the otherwise black chassis, which is a bit of a fingerprint magnet and the back of the display soon requires some cleaning to keep from being all greasy. Along with that, you’ll find the MSI badge on it that is of course RGB, which can be controlled via the SteelSeries app, it is also oddly raised and catches your fingers brushing the lid.

That also brings the start off the look at the wide range of pre-loaded software already on the laptop. SteelSeries, Nahimic, Norton, two MSI apps, along with Windows bloat adding in quite the selection of applications already. It may not be to everyone’s liking, especially as the antivirus keeps informing us of high loads while testing, but there is some use to each of them. That includes the very nice keyboard with per-key RGB which is a very plentiful option even if the keypad is a bit squished in on the side. Also, the WASD and power buttons are see-through and look a bit more tacky than the rest of the keys.

But it works well with the space it has including the touchpad, which I much prefer over the MSI Titan one I used a month beforehand. It is defined and embedded and takes a bit more force to click it which can be done across the whole thing, whilst right-clicking is still limited to the bottom right.

The screen has got a strong hinge and a unique solution for it, as it has curved supports that leverage it over the back exhaust bump whilst keeping it upright and still able to lift it with one finger. The screen solution is an ok one, unlike others it’s not MiniLED just a more standard IPS 17″ 2560 x 1600p 240Hz display. That is a sizeable option with a fast refresh rate along with being HDR does make it a nice display in general already.

For the specs inside, you still have quite a powerful combination. With both an Intel i9 14900HX and an RTX 4080 laptop GPU, there is a lot of power behind as the power adapter has up to 330W output to the laptop and a possible 250W combined CPU and GPU power. Along with up to 96GB of DDR5-5600MHz memory, we had 32GB, along with 2x NVMe slots (one PCIe 5.0) that we had a 4TB NVMe SSD installed in for OS and storage.

It is relatively simple to unscrew the bottom of the laptop, although the screws are rather deep in and require a lever at the same time to pull out. Plus undoing the tabs does get a bit tricky towards the rear and needs a bit of persuasion, but otherwise allows you to easily install another NVMe and swap out the RAM after taking off the shield. There you can also see the cooling system over the components with the six heat pipes and two fans that will be worth cleaning out down the line and probably reapplying thermal paste.

Additionally, you get a 30fps 1080p IR webcam, 2x 2W speakers, 4x 2W woofers (which provide an immersive sound but lack a bit of bass), a 99.9 Whr battery, WiFi 7, and Bluetooth 5.4. With the IO around the edges coming in rather plentiful including:

  • 1x Type-C (USB3.2 Gen2 / DP)
  • 1x Type-C (USB / DP / Thunderbolt 4)
  • 1x Type-C (USB3.2 Gen2 / DP) with PD charging
  • 1x Type-A USB3.2 Gen1
  • 1x Type-A USB3.2 Gen2
  • 1x SD Express Card Reader
  • 1x HDMI 2.1
  • 1x RJ45

Performance

With a few tests done on the laptop, we just go through a game benchmark and multiple benchmarks and workloads to see how it performs. While also testing out the difference the MUX switch can make, comparing the difference the hybrid and discrete modes make on performance. While only using the high-performance mode to test out what the max power can achieve at the expense of some sound. Then lastly testing out the thermal performance under load to see the power provided.

Overall we get a good look at the performance it can achieve. Just looking at the Cyberpunk 2077 benchmark there Is a good argument to keep hybrid mode on. Just pure rasterization comes with a good FPS over 70 on Ultra, but ray tracing does knock that down to under 40 FPS. But utilizing DLSS 3 does boost that more, and hybrid mode does make use of the CPU as although it might not get much higher FPS the lows are higher so any stuttering or hitches aren’t as noticeable and makes the game a lot faster to fit the refresh rate.

As for the benchmarks we see the combo perform quite well across the board, with a bit of a performance increase in the hybrid mode. That also is a bit above the MSI Stealth 18 AI we reviewed recently, although the gaming side isn’t quite comparable with a higher resolution. Even still, from the similar specs, the older Raider has a bit more cooling capacity to keep that performance higher which can lead to this increase.

As for the temperatures and power draw we tested them in Furmark 2, running CPU and GPU stress tests at the same time, which isn’t an everyday scenario and unlikely to occur but a good cooling test. There we see the CPU jump to 175W initially but drop to just around 30W as the GPU ramps up. There we see the GPU take priority with a plateau around 175W on the discrete graphics settings. This also comes as the CPU quickly throttles down from 97°C to a more sustainable 85°C as the GPU steadies around 75°C.

Conclusion

The MSI Raider GE78 is a strong competitor of a gaming laptop, although it may be a bit high pricing compared to the rest of the competition it is a good offering from the MSI range of models. It might not be the stealthiest or lightest but it has a range of top specs to justify its excellent performance. There are some more gamer design choices with plentiful RGB and see-through keyboard buttons so it’s not for everyone but either way, it has a great quality finish and strength to it. Along with the plentiful IO, newer specs, and upgradeability, it makes it a very compelling portable PC.

  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG front closed, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG front on, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG front RGB bar, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG gaming CS2, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG Intel Nvidia, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG keyboard, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG laptop infront of box, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG left side, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG numpad and power, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG rear, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG right side, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG spec sticker, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG standing laptop, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG top, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG underside, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG WASD, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG touchpad, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG display logo, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG arrow keys, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG back lid, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG box contents, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG box, Image by PC Guide
  • MSI Raider GE78 HX 14VHG display, Image by PC Guide
Highly Recommended
4 /5
Editor’s Rating
How We Review
Specifications
  • CPU: Intel Core i9-14900HX
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Laptop
  • RAM: 32GB (2*16) DDR5
  • Storage: 4TB NVMe
  • Max Refresh Rate: 240Hz
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1600
  • Screen Size: 17″
  • Panel Type: QHD+

With a fascination for technology and games, Seb is a tech writer with a focus on hardware and deals. He is also the primary tester and reviewer at BGFG and PCGuide.