This is the fastest, most powerful laptop we’ve tested — and it’s not a MacBook

MSI Raider GE78 HX
(Image credit: MSI/Getty Images/Bitter)

As someone who reviews laptops for a living, I have an obsession with finding "the best" of each category. Laptop Mag keeps a vast record of laptop benchmarks, allowing me to find the brightest laptop, for example, or the best laptop for professional video editors.

And we all know laptop shooters are abysmal, but I even curated list of laptops with the best webcams — a rare sighting in the laptop world. 

This time, I decided to look at which laptop is the fastest of 2023 at the moment. This is the beastly machine that crushed all the laptops we've reviewed so far, blowing its rivals out of the water and leaving our jaws flopping on the ground.

Is it a MacBook? Nope. Is it a Dell? Not even close. It's an MSI.

The fastest laptop of the year

We looked at the Geekbench 5.5 multi-core scores for all of the laptops we've reviewed thus far. The laptop with the fastest processor is — drumroll please — the MSI Raider GE78 HX.

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Fastest laptops of 2023
LaptopsGeekbench Scores (multi-core)CPU
1. MSI Raider GE78 HX21,063Intel Core i9-13950HX
2. Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 1619,446AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX
3. HP Omen Transcend 1619,406Intel Core i9-13900HX
4. Asus ROG Strix Scar 1719,405AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX
5. Asus ROG Strix G1618,227Intel Core i9-13980HX

The MSI Raider GE78 HX has its Intel Core i9-13950HX CPU to thank for its ultra-fast, rival-beating performance. All of this power doesn't come cheap, of course. MSI is well aware of how beastly this laptop is, so it has an MSRP of over $3,000. (The cheapest one you can get is at Amazon for $3,349.)

MSI Raider GE78 HX review

(Image credit: Future)

MSI claims that the Raider GE78 HX has the "immense power of a star devourer," and for once, this isn't marketing mumbo jumbo. It's right on the money. The Raider GE78 HX hit an incredible score of 21,063 on the Geekbench 5.5 overall performance  benchmark. It is the only laptop to blow past the 20,000 milestone this year.

For perspective, the average gaming laptop has a Geekbench 5.5 score of 13,024, and the Raider GE78 HX delivers performance that nearly doubles that figure. As you can imagine, alongside the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU packed inside the Raider GE78 HX we reviewed, this laptop hit top scores on our gaming benchmarks:

  • Assassin's Creed (Ultra, 1080p) - 150 frames per second
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Highest, 1080p) - 177 frames per second
  • Far Cry 6 (Ultra, 1080p) - 121 frames per second

Interestingly, although the 17-inch laptop is the fastest 2023 laptop on the market, our top five is dominated by Asus. The OEM didn't roll out a laptop that bested the MSI, but 60% of the top five fastest laptops are Asus laptops, including the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17, and the Asus ROG Strix G16. All three delivered Geekbench multi-core scores that range between 18,000 and 19,000.

Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16

Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 (Image credit: Kimberly Gedeon)

The HP Omen Transcend 16 made the list, too, landing in the 4th position. Interestingly, while its CPU performance made top marks with an Intel Core i9-13900HX CPU, we were less impressed with its graphics prowess (Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU with 8GB of vRAM).

Unsurprisingly, a common thread I found with the top five is that they're all gaming laptops, pack overclockable, high-performance Intel Core i9 or AMD Ryzen 9 processors, and of course, cost a small fortune.

Bottom line

If you've been on the hunt for a gaming laptop that blows its competitors out of the water, the MSI Raider GE78 HX is the one for you. It will meet and exceed your expectations in the gaming department, and it will facilitate all of your high-performance tasks, with a swanky, 1600p, 240Hz, 17-inch display in tow.

However, you'll have to be tethered to an outlet all day. All that power means a whole lot of energy. No, the Raider GE78 HX isn't very power efficient, but it will blow through your demanding workflow without breaking a single drop of sweat. Win!

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Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!