Few things are guaranteed, but we can tell you without a doubt that MSI’s updated GE76 Raider is faster than Apple’s touted MacBook Pro 16.
How do we know? Because Apple has already admitted the older GE76 Raider—our favorite gaming notebook of 2021—was faster than its M1 Max-based MacBook Pro 16, and MSI just updated it’s CPU, GPU, and cooling system to make it even faster.
While the older faster than MacBook Pro 16 featured up to an 8-core Intel Core i9-11980HK and a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, it now goes up to an Intel’s new 14-core “Alder Lake” Core i9-12900HK and Nvidia’s new GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU.
While we don’t know too much about how the Core i9-12900HK performs in a laptop just yet (it was only announced Tuesday), some vendors have said it’s 40 percent faster than its predecessor. Besides the Alder Lake buff, MSI said the GE76 Raider features a new phase-change liquid metal pad that changes from solid to liquid at 58 degrees Celsius. MSI said the new phase-change liquid metal pad is a more reliable and efficient thermal interface material than conventional pastes and liquid metals being used today, which can increase the CPU’s performance by 10 percent. Likewise, Nvidia hasn’t spilled details GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU’s performance yet except to say it outperforms a Titan RTX desktop GPU—yes, a desktop Titan RTX.
That means the GE76 Raider is going to definitely be faster than the model it replaces, which again, Apple already admitted was faster than the M1 Max MacBook during its keynote (albeit while using more power.) The other feature of the GE76 Raider that we can guarantee is also faster is its SD card reader, which supports those radically fast new SD Express cards. The Apple MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 have taken some dings for only having an plain UHS-II card reader. To be fair, one advantage the UHS-II gives you over SD Express is legacy SD Card support. On cards other than SD Express, the slots fall back to UHS-I speeds.
Other new features in the GE76 Raider include support for 32GB of DDR5/4800 RAM (with a maximum of 64GB) and a 4K 120Hz panel. Much of the rest of the GE76 Raider remains the same with NVMe PCIe 4.0 storage, Wi-Fi 6E, and Thunderbolt 4.
MSI said the laptop will be available for pre-order on Jan. 25th, with ship dates in early February. The price? Well, let’s just say it’s a little Apple-like with the top-end configuration reaching $4,199.
One of founding fathers of hardcore tech reporting, Gordon has been covering PCs and components since 1998.