We reviewed and compared the MSI GS75 versus GE75 in terms of Gaming Performance, Battery Life, Display Quality, Price, Portability and more.
Above you can see the Ranking with the results and below you will find the in-depth reports of the two Laptops.
Ranking First: MSI GE75 Raider
- Best GPU Performance
- Perfect 144 Hz gaming Display
- Good Battery life
- No Thunderbolt 3 ports
Full GPU power? MSI also offers its thin GE75 Raider with the fast GeForce RTX 2080, but without the Max-Q version. We took a look at the performance and revealed whether the upgrade to Nvidia’s flagship is worthwhile.
The GE75 Raider from MSI is a gaming laptop with a 17.3 inch display that follows the trend of thin display edges and therefore turns out quite compact. Compared to the original equipment with a GeForce GTX 1070, the device is now also available with the faster RTX-2080 GPU, which promises a significant performance boost.
Interestingly enough, MSI does without the Max-Q versions of the new graphics cards, which will soon be used in the more expensive GS series (GS75/65), despite the thin base unit.
There is currently no lack of slim and compact 17.3-inch competitors, but many models rely on somewhat weaker GPUs. We will compare the MSI GE75 Raider with the Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX and the Lenovo Legion Y740-17, among others, which are equipped with the somewhat weaker RTX 2080 Max-Q.
Another comparison device is the Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704W with the RTX 2070. In order to check if the RTX 2080 can also reach its full potential, we also refer to results from “thick” gaming laptops like the Eurocom Sky X7C and the Schenker XMG Ultra 17.
MSI uses a black case with red accents on the screen cover and the touchpad border. In contrast to some other gaming laptops, the GE75 Raider is thus relatively unobtrusive.
We like the look, but the smooth aluminum surfaces are quite susceptible to dirt and look quite bacony after a short time. You’ll have to clean them more often.
We’re not completely convinced about the stability, because the base unit’s upper side yields noticeably under pressure and we hear creaking noises. This also applies to the bottom cover, which has a much more playful design in comparison to the rest of the laptop.
However, there are no restrictions in everyday use. The screen lid leaves a better impression. It can be twisted a bit and with punctual pressure from behind it also causes image distortions, but in view of the thin design, the result is perfectly ok.
The two hinges on the corners are well adjusted and only allow for a minimal teetering. The lid can be opened with one hand.
There are certainly higher-quality gaming laptops available, but all in all there are no problems here and the workmanship of our test device also shows no flaws.
When it comes to the footprint, the three competitors MSI GE75 Raider, Asus ROG Strix SCAR II and Asus Zephyrus S are practically on the same level, although the Zephyrus is the thinnest device.
All three models are extremely compact 17 inch laptops. The Lenovo Legion Y740 takes up noticeably more space on the desk. The test device isn’t too heavy with 5.73 lbs, but you still have to allow for the almost 2.2 lbs for the adapter during transport.
The MSI GE75 Raider offers all standard connections including a modern USB-C connector. However, there is no Thunderbolt 3, which is a little disappointing for $2500.
We especially liked the three illuminated USB-A plugs as soon as you activate the keyboard illumination. Thus, you can also find your way around in dark environments without any problems.
The HDMI output complies with the 2.0 standard and can thus also output 4K signals with 60 Hz.
MSI installs a full-fledged SD card reader, whose speed we check with our reference card from Toshiba (Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II).
However, the reader is unfortunately only connected via USB 2.0, which leads to very low transfer rates of less than 30 MB/s, which puts the test device well below the average value for gaming laptops (~100 MB/s).
Thus, if you want to regularly copy large amounts of data or pictures from SD cards, you should use an external card reader.
MSI equips the GE75 Raider with current communication modules from Killer. Besides the E2500 Gigabit Ethernet module for wired connections, the Killer 1550i takes care of the WLAN connections.
All common standards including Bluetooth 5.0 are supported and the results in our standardized WLAN test with the Linksys EA8500 router also turned out very good.
We could not find any limitations in practice either. In comparison with the current Intel modules, the killer software offers optimizations for gamers.
Opening the case turned out to be problematic in our test device. In the area of the USB ports on the side, the cover was like glued on, although we had loosened all screws. In order to avoid damage to the laptop, we stopped the test at this point.
Therefore we show here the GE75 Raider 8SF as a representative example. In principle, the upgrade possibilities are good, however, because altogether three hard disks (2x M2-2280 + 1x 2.5″) and two RAM bars can be installed, which are, however, already occupied in our model.
A maximum of 32 GB DDR4 RAM can be installed.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The main focus of the keyboard is the illumination, which can be individually adjusted for each key. There are also pre-configured presets and also a kind of “party mode” where the lighting changes continuously.
However, the presets are not really practical, because who needs constantly different colours or colour gradients when playing? There is certainly a lot of stuff for the show, but fortunately you can also customize the lighting individually.
Tinkering is the right keyword here, because unfortunately the handling of the software is not always intuitive.
We don’t really need to say much more about the mechanics of the keyboard itself, because MSI still relies on a SteelSeries input.
As soon as you get used to the peculiarities of the layout, you’ll be happy about a very precise keystroke, which also turns out quite quiet.
The touchpad has two dedicated mouse keys, which offer a precise and quite quiet stroke, just like the keyboard.
We didn’t have any problems with the touchpad during testing and it serves its purpose. Most users will connect an external mouse for gaming anyway.
MSI equips the GE75 Raider exclusively with a fast 144 Hz panel, which comes from the supplier Chi Mei. Since the response times of the Full-HD panel are also very good, nothing stands in the way of a smooth gaming experience.
Nvidia’s G-Sync technology is not supported, though. MSI writes “Wide View (IPS-Level)” in the data sheet, so it is an AHVA panel. Subjectively, the picture quality is excellent and there is no grainy picture impression despite the matt surface.
In the pre-installed TrueColor software, some parameters of the screen can be adjusted and there are also presets. For the following measurements we used the preset “Gamer”.
Typically, the screens of many gaming laptops reach a brightness of about 300 cd/m², which is also evident in a competitive comparison. However, the MSI shines a bit brighter with ~340 cd/m² without increasing the black level too much.
The resulting contrast ratio is very high and contributes to the first-class picture impression. We could notice a flickering of the backlighting at low brightness levels, but the frequency is very high at 26 kHz and shouldn’t lead to limitations.
That this is a high-quality panel is also evident in the further measurements. Already in the factory state, the deviations of the gray scales and the colors are within the target and a calibration is basically not necessary.
In the greyscales, there is indeed a minimal colour cast in the direction of blue/green, but without a direct comparison with a calibrated monitor, this is not noticeable in practice.
With a calibration, we can improve the results even more and the respective profile is available for free download further up in the box.
The color space coverage is on the usual level and is completely sufficient for gaming. Only those who also want to edit images/videos in the AdobeRGB colour space with the device will not be able to avoid a respective external monitor.
In bright environments, the combination of a matt panel and the good brightness is of course helpful. As long as one can avoid direct reflections of light sources on the panel, the content can still be recognized reasonably.
There aren’t any major problems in terms of viewing angle stability either. There is a slight brightening at larger angles, but this doesn’t bother in practice.
MSI currently offers three versions of the GE75 Raider, all equipped with the same Core i7. There are differences in the memory and the graphics card, because here you have the choice between the RTX 2060, the RTX 2070 and the RTX 2080 from the test device.
We couldn’t find any latency problems. Since G-Sync is not supported, the integrated UHD Graphics 630 runs under low load.
The Intel Core i7-8750H is meanwhile already an old acquaintance and is used in almost all fast multimedia or gaming laptops. With its six cores, it offers more than enough performance for current and future games.
For more technical information about the processor, we refer to our technology section at this point.
The performance development under load is okay in principle, but has to admit defeat to its competitors. If you load all cores, the CPU cores only work at 2.8 GHz.
The result is on the level of the GE75 with the RTX 2070. The performance drops even further in battery mode, because in the Cinebench R15’s multi-test it is only 712 points.
The GE75 Raider makes a very good impression both in the synthetic PCMarks and in everyday use, which is not surprising considering the powerful components. There are no bottlenecks here and you get a responsive system.
Our test device contains two mass storage devices, an M.2 NVMe SSD (512 GB) and a 2.5 inch HDD (1 TB). The SSD comes from Kingston and is certainly not slow, but the drives from Samsung have advantages especially in the 4K values.
With 512 GB, the SSD offers enough storage space, and the Seagate hard drive is also available for more games.
This is a fast drive with 7,200 rpm, which achieves an average transfer rate of almost 190 MB/s in the test. The drawback, however, is the running noise, but more about that later.
Stomp instead of spill: MSI only uses the normal laptop versions of the new RTX chips from Nvidia and does without the Max-Q models. We have already tested the GE75 Raider with the RTX 2070 and the results were very good.
The GE75 Raider also has the RTX 2080 well under control, as the performance increase in the benchmarks is 25 to 30%. Turbo utilization is very good; the base clock of 1,380 MHz is clearly exceeded with a maximum of 1,920 MHz or an average of 1,605 MHz.
The 3DMark stress tests are also passed, so the performance remains constant. Considering the slim design, this is a very good result.
Away from the socket, the GPU’s performance is, as expected, significantly reduced; the GPU score drops from 33,741 to 16,027 points in 3DMark 11.
The gaming benchmarks also turn out very good and all current titles can be played in the highest settings without any problems. In view of the processor’s less than optimal performance, one can ask oneself to what extent the gaming performance is affected.
However, most current games are predominantly GPU-heavy, which we can also see very well in Witcher 3. In ultra-setting, GPU performance is crucial, and the GE75 Raider is practically on a par with the two “thick” gaming machines that use a much faster desktop processor.
The further we reduce the graphics details and resolution, the more the test device falls behind in comparison. Currently, there aren’t any problems, though, and especially in high settings, the somewhat lower CPU performance doesn’t have a significant impact.
Similar to the 3DMark stress tests, the performance in our Witcher 3 loop remains constant. You only have to make concessions if you want to play on the go, because the performance drops significantly when you’re away from the socket.
In Witcher 3, for example, the frame rate drops from 96 to only 38 FPS. Further gaming benchmarks with the RTX 2080 are available here.
Temperature and noise levels
Ideally, the MSI GE75 Raider is a silent device, but this happens rather rarely. The fans start up quite soon under load and you quickly notice the disadvantage of the fast 7.200 HDD, whose running noise is clearly noticeable.
We recommend adjusting the power settings here so that the HDD is deactivated as quickly as possible when not in use.
As soon as you demand the graphics card, it gets loud and we measure a maximum of 54 dB(A). Depending on how demanding a game is, this value can fluctuate a bit, but the notebook remains clearly audible in any case.
Despite the high level, we found it good that pulsing under load is prevented. However, we still recommend a headset for longer gaming sessions. We could hear a very slight coil beeping in our test device, but it wasn’t disturbing.
Within the test group, the Lenovo Legion Y740 with the RTX 2080 Max-Q scored significantly better. The old MSI GS73 Stealth was also quieter, but offers less performance with the old GTX 1070 Max-Q.
The high noise level is not for nothing, because despite the thin base unit, the surface temperatures remain uncritical even under load. We measured a maximum of 46 °C on the keyboard’s upper side – you notice that of course, but the rates are still okay.
The competition often manages to keep the wrist-rest cooler, though. The GE75 Raider can also heat up to 40 °C here. There are no problems at idle or under low load and no hotspots.
We simulate an extreme scenario with our stress test, which consists of the two tools Prime95 and FurMark. However, this is not a problem for the GE75 Raider. Analogous to the pure CPU benchmarks, the turbo with 2.7-2.8 GHz is hardly used, but there is no trace of throttling.
It looks even better with the graphics card, which works constantly with more than 1,600 MHz and thus clearly above the base clock of 1,380 MHz.
Overall, MSI can therefore effectively cool the components. By the way, the manual activation of the maximum fan level only has a marginal effect on the performance.
The Dynaudio sound system in the GE75 Raider consists of two stereo speakers, each using two modules (speakers + subwoofer) in the front of the bottom panel.
Our measurements show a very good maximum volume and a very linear reproduction, especially in the mid and high frequency ranges.
So, if you like listening to music or watching movies, you’ll get your money’s worth, but there’s still room for improvement, especially in the bass reproduction. Due to the loud fans, you unfortunately don’t get as much of the high quality when playing games.
For the connection of external loudspeakers or headsets, two jack plugs are available beside USB.
The low consumption measurements are of course also noticeable in the battery life. The firmly installed 65 Wh battery lasts almost 8 hours in the ideal case and almost 5 hours while surfing the internet.
These results are better than those of the competition, but the opponents don’t take much under load.
You have to reckon with less than an hour when playing games, despite the significantly reduced performance. In the end, that’s only enough to bridge short phases between two sockets.
You definitely need patience for the charging process, despite the powerful adapter. When the device is turned on, a total of 182 minutes pass before the battery is fully recharged.
But at least the first 70 percent go faster and are already available again after a little more than an hour.
The new GE75 Raider from MSI has become noticeably more compact compared to its predecessor, but at the same time the GPU performance in particular has been significantly improved.
Who is ready to pay the surcharge for the GeForce RTX 2080, does not make a mistake here, because the additional achievement in relation to the two smaller versions with the RTX 2070 and/or RTX 2060 can be used very well.
There is certainly still some need for optimization in terms of CPU performance, but this currently doesn’t lead to any limitations in gaming.
Smaller, thinner, faster – this is a difficult task for cooling. MSI manages to effectively dissipate the heat from the components without having to reduce the performance significantly.
In return, you have to live with clearly audible fans, though. The fast HDD with its 7,200 rpm also makes itself felt under low load.
All in all the MSI GE75 Raider knows how to convince and therefore is ranking first versus, because of its great Gaming Performance.
Ranking Second: MSI GS75 Stealth
- Still good Gaming Performance
- Better Price
- Low weight
- Thunderbolt 3 Ports
- Gaming Performance below GE75
- Might not be suitable for 4K / VR Gaming in the future
The MSI GS75 Stealth can count itself as one of the “Thin & Light” gaming laptops despite its 17.3 inch screen.
Thanks to the i7 processor and RTX graphics card, the thin and light case offers a powerful performance. Here you can find out how the MSI GS75 Stealth performs in the test with the RTX 2080 Max-Q.
Despite its 17.3-inch screen, the gaming notebook MSI GS75 Stealth is only 1.9 centimeters thin and weighs just 5.07 lbs. The dimensions also turn out compact thanks to the thin display frame and so the device is almost a 15-inch laptop with a 17-inch display.
That would be impressive even for an office notebook, but the MSI GS75 Stealth is a gaming laptop with an Intel Core i7 processor and RTX graphics card inside.
The case is made of metal, so the notebook is manufactured quite stable despite the compact design. Unfortunately the brushed aluminum is a real fingerprint magnet.
At various places like the edge of the touchpad and the hinges, the notebook sets nice gold accents, even the dragon logo on the back of the lid makes quite a statement.
Unfortunately, the screen teeters slightly when shaken, which can be annoying when travelling by train. The base, where the keyboard and touchpad are located, can also be dented in some places.
However, you would have to apply more force in order to trigger erroneous entries, so it doesn’t disturb in everyday life.
The Steelseries keyboard relies on an RGB illumination of each individual key. This can be set up in the pre-installed software and adapted to various games.
The touchpad’s keys can only be pressed with greater force on the upper side, but if you press them further down, the input works very pleasantly.
Because the touchpad is protruding and is located directly under the keyboard, some users could accidentally trigger input with the palm of their hand while writing. But this was no problem with my huge hands.
The multi-touch touchpad allows pleasant surfing on the internet as well as the operation of office programs and replaces a mouse.
I get along well with the keyboard even as a frequent typist, even if it’s not a ThinkPad keyboard. Above the keyboard there is a thick bar for the “Dynaudio” stereo speakers. See below to see how well they perform.
Conclusion design and workmanship: The MSI GS75 Stealth convinces especially with its light and compact design.
Although the metal housing is not a solid, solid block, as known from Razer-Blade-Laptops, there are no problems with the stability in practice. The input devices also please.
Hardware & ports
Fortunately MSI did not save on connections. Thus, the input for the power supply, an Ethernet port from Killer, a USB 3.1 type A port, a microSD card slot, a microphone port and a headphone port are found on the left side.
This is controlled by a Hi-Fi DAC – more about this later. On the right side, you’ll find an HDMI 2.0 port, a Thunderbolt 3 port (with 4 lanes, good for external graphics cards), two USB 3.1 ports and a USB C 3.1 Gen 1 port.
Which technology is inside depends on the configuration. However, the models share the 17.3 inch 144 Hz IPS display with full HD resolution, the Intel Core i7-8750H and an 82 watt hour battery.
Up to 32 GB of DDR4-2666 memory is supported and there is an M.2 SSD port as well as a further M.2 SSD combo port.
Our test system was the model called “8SG” with maximum configuration, including the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q – more about the graphic card later.
The 80 watt battery provides a decent runtime of about six hours when surfing the internet thanks to the Optimus graphics switching. The device should be on the line for gaming – but this applies to all gaming laptops.
Conclusion technology and features: Most users won’t miss anything in terms of connections and technology.
An even more powerful technology like a Core i9 processor or a mobile RTX graphics card without “Max-Q” wouldn’t work in the slim case.
Display & Sound
The 17.3 inch display has a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels. That doesn’t sound like much, but higher resolutions usually don’t make sense on laptops and all content looks sharp in Full HD.
The IPS display gets very bright and is suitable for outdoor use. The color representation looks accurate, 100 percent of the sRGB color space is covered and therefore the panel should be suitable for photo and video editing.
The frame rate of 144 Hz is already noticeable when scrolling through websites. Surfing works more fluidly than with 60 Hz panels thanks to faster image build-up.
However, a high frame rate is more of a visual luxury than a great practical advantage when using the internet or in office programs.
The 144 Hz plays out its strengths especially when playing fast and competitive games, whereby unfortunately no G-sync is offered. This would have provided for a flawless image buildup even at low FPS rates.
The stereo loudspeakers unfortunately produce a rather thin sound. It is clear and not tinny, but not very dynamic and the bass is weak.
The loudspeakers wouldn’t have had to take up that much space, but MSI should have increased the distance between the keyboard and touchpad. The ESS Sabre Hi-Fi DAC, on the other hand, pays off in full.
As MSI correctly writes, you don’t have to be audiophile to notice the difference: The sound with headset convinces with its richness of detail, clarity and dynamics.
The fan is relatively loud under load, as is often the case with gaming laptops, but it whirrs pleasantly and doesn’t screech like a hairdryer – even with open headphones it didn’t bother me.
Conclusion display and sound: The fast display is convincing, but unfortunately it doesn’t support G-Sync. The loudspeakers sound rather thin. But the sound via headset is good thanks to Hi-Fi DAC.
The RTX 2080 of the “Max-Q” series is the lower clocked model for thinner gaming laptops. There is also a “normal” RTX 2080 for laptops and of course the most powerful model of the series, the RTX 2080 for desktop PCs.
But it doesn’t stop there, there are actually two versions of the RTX 2080 Max Q on the market, which Techtestreport points out: An 80-watt edition with a clock rate of 735 – 1095 MHz and a more powerful 90-watt edition with a clock rate of 990 – 1095 MHz.
Unfortunately the MSI GS75 Stealth contains the weaker RTX 2080 Max-Q of the 80 watt version. Compared to the 90 watt model this means up to 10 FPS in games less.
Alternatively the notebook is also available with the RTX 2070 Max-Q as well as with the RTX 2060, but the 2080 Max-Q model remains clearly the most powerful.
With “Doom” (2016) the 144 Hz can be well utilized at high settings thanks to a corresponding FPS number. “Bioshock Infinite” even runs across the screen in ultra settings with over 250 FPS.
We have challenged other games even more and connected the laptop to a 4K screen. With maximum settings including HDR, “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” runs at around 30 FPS after all.
That scratches at the fun limit, but is just about playable.
Meanwhile “Jurassic World Evolution” reaches over 40 FPS in 4K. Only with the “walk simulator” called “Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture” the map was a bit overstrained due to slowdowns in the 30 FPS range at 4K – who would have thought that?
To our astonishment, throttling – i.e. a reduction in performance under longer load – did not prove to be a problem. At most a few FPS are sacrificed to prevent the card from overheating.
Conclusion performance: Overall, the performance of the RTX 2080 Max-Q is between that of an RTX 2070 and an RTX 2080 for laptops.
It should only disappoint those gamers who want to play the latest titles in high settings on an external 4K monitor.
It’s a pity that MSI used the lower clocked 80 watt version of the Max-Q card instead of the 90 watt output – but throttling is hardly a problem.
The MSI GS75 Stealth is a very good gaming laptop that packs a powerful performance into a thin and light case. The workmanship, features and design are largely convincing, the screen is bright, colour-fast and racy, the Hi-Fi DAC provides great sound via headphones.
There are only small things to criticize like the relatively weak speakers. The price is much cheaper than the GE75 though.
All in all the MSI GS75 is ranking second versus the GE75, but is still a great Gaming Laptop with a cheaper price tag than the GE75, so if you got a limited budget, you should buy this gaming machine as alternative to the GE75.