MSI Raider GE78 HX (13VH-070US) review

An awesome gaming experience with few critical flaws

MSI Raider GE78 HX review
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Future)

Laptop Mag Verdict

The MSI Raider GE78 HX is an absolute beast, from its raw performance to its gorgeous 17-inch display, but I hate the touchpad.


  • +

    Rainbow road lightbar

  • +

    Bright, colorful display

  • +

    Comfortable keyboard

  • +

    Great speakers

  • +

    Powerful performance and graphics


  • -

    $3,000 hurts my soul

  • -

    Poorly implemented touchpad

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    Terrible battery life

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If you’re looking for a beast of a gaming laptop with power and visuals to aid you on your quest to kick ass and take names, then the MSI Raider GE78 HX could be your partner in crime (if you can afford it).

Yeah, the Raider has the power, the colorful 17-inch display, the sick keyboard and a great set of speakers wrapped up in a killer design, but it also has a $3,000 price tag. The awful battery life wasn’t a shocker, but the touchpad is so terribly implemented that I would never use it again.

But you probably shouldn’t be using a touchpad to game, so it’s safe to put the MSI Raider GE78 HX on our best gaming laptops list.

MSI Raider GE78 HX price and configurations

MSI Raider GE78 HX specs

Price: $3,000
CPU: Intel Core i9-13950HX
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 12GB
Storage: 2TB SSD
Display: 17-inch, 2560 x 1600, 240Hz
Battery: 2:33
Size: 15.0 x 11.7 x 1.1 inches
Weight: 6.5 pounds 

The MSI Raider GE78 HX that I reviewed costs a whopping $3,000. For that steep price, you get an Intel Core i9-13950HX processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU with 12GB of VRAM, 32GB of RAM, a 2TB SSD, and a 17-inch, 2560 x 1600, 240Hz display.

There is a cheaper model, but I wouldn’t call it cheap. At $2,599, you can drop to an RTX 4070 GPU. But if you’re looking to go all out, you can pick up the $3,799 model, which bumps our review unit up to an RTX 4090 with 64GB of RAM.

If you’ve found yourself out of your current budget, take a look at our best cheap gaming laptops page.

MSI Raider GE78 HX design

I’m kind of in love with the way the MSI Raider GE78 HX looks. The exterior features a clean slate of metal with a glossy, silver RGB-lit MSI logo, and at the hinge we see some sports car-esque grilles that look ready to take me on a ride. My only critique with this is the red accents. A gaming laptop this expensive shouldn’t have a damn pixel of red on it. What I do love is the gold accents around the hinge. More of that, please!

MSI Raider GE78 HX review

(Image credit: Future)

This laptop looks its best when opened, shining its bright and unique lightbar that looks like it just came out of rainbow road. Following up with that is a gorgeous RGB-lit keyboard with custom WASD keys and a sneak peak at the aforementioned sports car grille. Then we see some thin bezels around the display, and an integrated webcam with a sleek privacy shutter slide. It’s nice to see this in a non-business notebook.

At 6.5 pounds and 15.0 x 11.7 x 1.1 inches, the MSI Raider GE78 HX is a chunker. It’s the thickest amongst its friends, including the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 (5.5 pounds, 13.9 x 10.4 x 0.9 inches), MSI Katana 15 (5 pounds, 14.1 x 10.2 x 1 inches), MSI Titan GT77 HX (7.3 pounds, 15.6 x 13 x 0.9 inches).

MSI Raider GE78 HX ports

There are no end of ports that the MSI Raider GE78 HX offers.

MSI Raider GE78 HX review

(Image credit: Future)

From the left we’ve got one Thunderbolt 4 port, an SD card slot, and a headphone jack, and from the right there’s two USB Type-A ports and one USB Type-C port.

MSI Raider GE78 HX review

(Image credit: Future)

The MSI has a thick bod for a reason — there are some ports in the back, including the power jack, one USB Type-C port, an HDMI 2.1 port, and an RJ45 Ethernet port.

MSI Raider GE78 HX review

(Image credit: Future)

Need more ports? Check out our best laptop docking stations and best USB Type-C hubs pages.

MSI Raider GE78 HX display

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a gorgeous ass display like this. The MSI Raider GE78 HX is rocking a 17-inch, 2560 x 1600 panel clocking in at 240Hz, delivering that smooth gameplay in full color and vibrancy.

MSI Raider GE78 HX review

(Image credit: Future)

I watched the trailer for The Ravening War, and the candy sword that Matt Mercer pulled out of a box was deliciously red. Even in the darkest parts of the room, I could make out the funny references to other Dimension 20 shows. Naturally, Mercer’s flowing hair was crisp as ever on this display.

In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, I ran across the fields of England, frolicking in the beautiful greenery that popped on screen. When I finally came across one of the many dark huts, I ran inside to find that it wasn’t all that dark thanks to the screen’s brightness, illuminating the path to my target — a door. I dodged an enemy’s attacks at the smooth rhythm of the high refresh rate, and it felt that much smoother when I planted my ax in his chest.

Blasting the screen with our colorimeter let us know that the Raider covers 115.4% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which flips over the 89.2% premium gaming laptop average. It wiped the Scar (83.3%), Katana (46.1%), and Titan (114.5%).

At 412 nits, the Raider didn’t have trouble overshadowing the brightness category average (385 nits). However, minus the Katana (248 nits), the Scar (503 nits) and Titan (511 nits) did surprisingly better.

MSI Raider GE78 HX keyboard and touchpad

I clicked away on the MSI Raider GE78 HX’s keyboard and found myself in the zone, a dangerous one. The key travel is short, but the keys are clicky enough to get me going.

MSI Raider GE78 HX review

(Image credit: Future)

I hit 78 words per minute on the typing test, which is my current exact average. If the keys were a little taller, I’m sure I could’ve typed faster, but overall, the keyboard is comfortable.

The keyboard is per-key RGB-lit, so you can fully customize the lighting via the SteelSeries software.

I hate the 5.1 x 3.2-inch touchpad. The touchpad itself is soft and offers a decent click, but the implementation of the device itself onto the deck is terrible. The bottom of the touchpad is deep into the deck, causing a sharp lip. So if you want to click the touchpad, your finger has to climb down a step. It’s incredibly unnatural. We recommend looking at our best gaming mouse page.

MSI Raider GE78 HX audio

Just imagine me bobbing my head to the MSI Raider GE78 HX’s side-firing speakers as I stab my way through a serene countryside.

In Honey Revenge’s “Airhead,” the opening electric guitar popped off bright and ready to introduce the vocals, which were equally crisp and sparky. The percussion was tense but not as heavy as I would’ve liked. There could stand to be more bass, but overall, the mixture of instruments stood on their own and didn’t get lost in the noise.

I walked the forest with Hytham in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and his dialogue was deep and clear. The softer melodies in the background were present and rich, wooing me into the Viking narrative. Later on, I whacked some loser with an ax and a pleasantly meaty hack followed. Even my arrows had a nice snap to them.

MSI provides the Nahimic audio app, which offers a slew of presets for music, gaming, film, and automatic. I preferred to stick to the Smart features, which made the audio brighter and crisper overall.

MSI Raider GE78 HX gaming, graphics and VR

Packed with a champion — the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU with 12GB of VRAM — the MSI Raider GE78 HX sped through Assassin’s Creed Valhalla at a smooth 150 frames per second on Ultra, 1080p settings as I painted the countryside red with blood.

MSI Raider GE78 HX review

(Image credit: Future)

On the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark (Highest, 1080p), the Raider rocked out at 177 fps, which flies over the average premium gaming laptop (124 fps). The Scar’s RTX 4080 (181 fps) did slightly better, but the Katana’s RTX 4070 (113 fps) and the Titan’s RTX 4090 (180 fps) did not impress in context. At 1600p, the Raider hit 107 fps.

The MSI Raider GE78 HX nailed 121 fps on the Far Cry 6 (Ultra, 1080p) benchmark, toppling the category average (90 fps). It outran the Katana (94 fps) and Titan (102 fps), but faltered to the Scar (133 fps). At 1600p, the Raider hit 104 fps.

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Gaming (FPS, 1080p)
Row 0 - Cell 0 Shadow of the Tomb RaiderFar Cry 6Borderlands 3Red Dead Redemption 2

On the Borderlands 3 benchmark (Badass, 1080p), the Raider averaged 153 fps, which destroyed the average premium gaming laptop (111 fps) as well as the Scar (143 fps) and the Katana (99 fps). However, the Titan finally showed them up with 177 fps. At 1600p, the Raider hit 100 fps.

The Raider hit 115 fps on the Red Dead Redemption 2 (Medium, 1080p) benchmark, crossing over the category average (82 fps) as well as the Scar (103 fps) and Katana (72 fps). The Titan finishes first, however, coming in with 127 fps. At 1600p, the Raider got 72 fps.

MSI Raider GE78 HX performance

It’s tough to go wrong with a beastly Intel Core i9-13950HX processor with 32GB of RAM. I swear I could hear it laugh at me as I popped open a couple dozen Google Chrome tabs and a handful of YouTube videos.

On the GeekBench 5.5 overall performance test, the Raider scored 21,063, crushing the average premium gaming laptop (13,380). The Scar’s Intel Core i9-13980HX (19,291), the Katana’s Intel Core i7-13620H (11,581), and the Titan’s Intel Core i9-13950HX (20,602) could not keep up.

The Raider transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in 4 minutes and 8 seconds on our HandBrake benchmark, beating out the 4:39 category average. It sped past the Katana (4:35), but stumbled against the Scar (2:50) and the Titan (3:24).

MSI’s 2TB SSD kills it with a 1,715-megabyte-per-second transfer rate, which sails past the 1,488 MBps average. The 1TB SSD in the Katana hit 783 MBps, while the 2TB SSD in the Titan and Scar got 2,299 and 1,212 MBps, respectively.

MSI Raider GE78 HX battery life

Like with most MSI gaming laptops (sorry not sorry), the battery life in the MSI Raider GE78 HX is awful. Its 99.9Whr battery isn’t going to save it. On the Laptop Mag battery test, the Raider lasted a measly 2 hours and 33 minutes, which is less than half of the average premium gaming laptop (5:38). The Katana (2:48) and Titan (3:48) didn’t do much better, but the Scar held a respectable 5:32.

MSI Raider GE78 HX webcam

While the 1080p webcam on the MSI Raider GE78 HX isn’t great, it’s nice for MSI to include a privacy shutter. It should be a must for all laptops.

MSI Raider GE78 HX review

(Image credit: Future)

The test shot I took was grainy and drained of color, which is impressively bad considering that I was looking at the image on a premium display. The contrast didn’t do it any favors, half of my background was washed out despite the closed blinds behind me. I love playing D&D in my free time, and I wouldn’t want to do that with this cam, so if you’re someone who wants to look gorgeous for your friends, check out our best webcams page.

MSI Raider GE78 HX heat

The Raider gets a little spicy when you’re raiding. After gaming for 15 minutes, the underside climbed up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit, which is above our 95-degree comfort threshold. The center of the keyboard and touchpad reached 109 and 80 degrees, respectively. The hottest it got was 125 degrees on the underside near the hinge.

It gets remarkably cooler when not gaming. After watching a 15-minute video, the underside hit only 83 degrees, while the keyboard and touchpad measured 81 and 74 degrees, respectively.

MSI Raider GE78 HX software and warranty

The most relevant software tucked away in the MSI Raider GE78 HX is the MSI Center, which offers hardware monitoring features for your CPU, GPU, Disk and Memory as well as settings for performance to kick your gaming into the Extreme. These settings can be tinkered to deliver optimal performance thanks to the fans, but you’ll also be able to adjust which GPU the MSI uses. This could help out with the terrible battery life while you’re not gaming.

The Raider GE78 HX comes with a one-year limited warranty. See how MSI performed on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands ranking.

Bottom line

The MSI Raider GE78 HX is a monster of a gaming laptop, but it’s not flawless. You get the power and display, which are the two key components for a gaming notebook, but you get short changed with battery life and the touchpad.

If you’re looking for a gaming laptop with better battery life, try the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16. You get double the battery life.

But overall, if you ignore the touchpad, the battery life, and the obnoxious price, the Raider has plenty to offer.

Rami Tabari

Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.