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Home / Technology / MSI’s GE66 Raider Dragonshield review: a beautiful extra gaming laptop

MSI’s GE66 Raider Dragonshield review: a beautiful extra gaming laptop

If you are buying a portable gaming laptop on the market that can run demanding games and make everyone around you jealous, then it is better than the MSI GE66 Raider Dragonshield Edition. The rig has an excellent forward design, 300Hz screen, comprehensive port selection, excellent build quality and the best gaming performance that a 15-inch laptop can provide. It’s not perfect, the price of $2,899 is more than anyone needs to spend to get excellent gaming performance. However, if you want to be the person who owns the coolest laptop in any room, you will not be disappointed.

The regular MSI GE66 Raider has a fairly standard gaming laptop design with a gray aluminum cover and a black deck. This is why I have to wait to review the “Dragon Shield”

; version, which actually looks like part of a spaceship.It was designed by senior artist Colie Wertz, who worked for the upcoming dune, Mandalorian, And recently Star wars the film. You can see this effect on the entire laptop. The lid and keyboard base are bright orange and black, and are decorated with science fiction MSI logos and intricate panes and component grids.

There is a story behind this raider. Wertz designed it to look like a panel falling from a spaceship. (It actually came with a model ship, so you can know exactly where it came from.) Obviously, he did a lot of work in Dragonshield’s artwork-if you look closely at the lid and deck, you will see Countless geometric shapes. It may form part of the spacecraft’s panel, as well as the nuts and bolts that hold them together. I like to see this creative design on a laptop, even though it is obviously not suitable for all settings. It only shows the possibility that companies and designers are willing to try.

You can make the rest of the laptop into your own laptop. There is an RGB keyboard, you can press the button to customize the lighting. (One of my complaints about the keyboard is that MSI pastes the brightness and volume controls onto the arrow keys. The Fn key that needs to be pressed during use is half of the remaining keys, and is wedged between the backslash and the control buttons.) What’s more, the gorgeous LED light strip extends along its front edge, providing 16.7 million customizable colors. Common Raiders also have this.

Obviously, the weird design will not affect your game performance or daily use. The rest of this review will also provide you with the exact picture that a normal GE66 Raider would expect, and for most people, this is obviously a more pragmatic purchase (you can buy a 2070 Super camera for as low as $2,199.99 However, if you want to boldly design breathtaking designs, Dragonshield is almost as unique as them.

Open this window and you will find Core i9-10980HK, Nvidia’s RTX 2070 Super, 32GB RAM, 1TB storage space and 15.6-inch 300Hz 1080p screen. If you want the best frame rate that Raider can provide, you need to use the RTX 2080 configuration (currently, these are only listed as non-Dragonshield on the MSI website). But the test system can still handle almost all games at the highest settings (although “processing” is subjective, I use it slightly here).

Dive into the show, I was impressed by the attacker’s running performance Horizon zero dawn -Under the “limit” setting, the average speed is 80fps. When I ran around the meridian, the movements were silky smooth and the colors looked pleasantly bright.The laptop also bears an incredible burden Red Dead Redemption 2, The average is a stable 50fps, and has never been below 45 throughout the built-in benchmark. These results made the RTX 2070 Razer Blade 15 stand out and beat Asus’ smaller Zephyrus G14.

70fps on RTX 2070 Shadow of the Tomb RaiderIt has the highest setting for ray tracing on Ultra. This is playable-it scores a bit better than the RTX 2080 Super Max-Q GS66, and much better than the G14. It is actually not far from what we saw from the RTX 2080 Super Max-Q Blade 15.

If you want to see the full brilliance of the 300Hz screen, you need to play less demanding titles. Rocket League The average is 250fps at the highest setting (the same result as Blade 15 and the best results can be achieved because the game has an upper limit of 250).Raiders still breeze Overwatch At the epic setting, the average speed is 124fps, and will never be lower than 112.

Outside of games, the performance is pretty good. The i9 and 32GB of RAM are enough to run many browser tabs, applications and streaming media without slowing down or generating uncomfortable heat. The system’s dual fans (53 0.25mm blades) cooled the CPU well throughout the test, although the keyboard was almost (but not very) too hot to be used in more strenuous games.

MSI GE66 Raider Dragonshield Edition is half closed from above.

MSI’s iconic dragon symbol has been given a science fiction makeover.

However, if you want to do photo and video work, there are better options. On the one hand, the screen is optimized for gaming rather than color accuracy (its brightness is up to 269.6 nits and only covers 86% of the sRGB color gamut and 64% of AdobeRGB). But I can’t actually run our traditional export test in Adobe Premiere Pro-the export fails every time I try. MSI insists that this is an Adobe problem, but I have never run this test on a gaming laptop before. If the problem can be resolved in the future, I will update this review, but at the same time, if you need to use Premiere Pro, I will avoid using the product.

I saw other glitches that I didn’t want to see in the $2899 product. While trying to change the settings, the Dragon Center app crashed several times. I once had to reset my laptop after the update caused the screen to flicker. Sometimes I get a notification that my driver is not up to date, even though I have downloaded all available drivers. Initially, Dragon Center did not switch between power profiles correctly, and it didn’t start to do so until MSI remotely clicked on the laptop and redownloaded the software.

The Raider contains a 99.9Wh battery, which is the largest battery a laptop can have. Battery life (after solving the power profile problem) is not terrible, but not ideal. My daily office workload has been reduced by four hours (including multitasking in a dozen Chrome browser tabs and applications, as well as some downloads and file copying, where the screen brightness is about 200 nits, and the power saving mode is turned on , And selected MSI’s super battery profile). If you turn off the RGB keyboard and LED strips, you might get more juice-but if you don’t take advantage of its coolest features, why buy this laptop?

The MSI GE66 Raider Dragonshield Edition is in front of the bookshelf, slightly to the right.

The light bar and RGB keyboard do fit well into Raider’s color scheme-they are not distracting at all.

The last thing I want to talk about here is port selection, which is one of the best ports I have seen. On the left is a USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2×2, a USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 2 and an audio jack. On the right are two other USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports and a full-size SD card reader. Then there are more things: a USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 supporting DP 1.4, a Mini DisplayPort 1.4, an HDMI 2.0 and an RJ45 Ethernet port, and a port for an MSI 280-watt charging brick. These can accommodate various gaming peripherals and should meet the needs of most people. The spacing between them is also large, so you don’t have to be creative in the placement of accessories, and you don’t have to feel like you are stuffing things. One obvious absence is Thunderbolt, but given the countless options here, I will forgive.

The GE66 Raider is a powerful gaming laptop that can provide the frame rate we expect for systems with these specifications and sizes. In almost all games, 60fps can be reached, with only a few adjustments to the heaviest games. Raider won’t beat larger gear such as Razer’s Blade Pro 17, but it is undoubtedly one of the best 15-inch gaming laptops money can buy. But more importantly: Where else can you find a glowing, colored laptop that looks like part of a spaceship?

The MSI GE66 Raider Dragonshield Edition opens ajar from above.

The coldest (but not the coldest) laptop in the room.

Having said that: This is $2899. This is a luxury product, the amazing design will not have much impact on your daily experience, but the inconvenience of the keyboard and the unfortunate software failures I have experienced can indeed be done. If you think you don’t need Dragonshield’s muffins, you can choose the regular GE66 Raider, GS66 Stealth or Razer Blade 15, which should provide comparable frame rates and have a longer battery life, and (in Razer’s case)) More reliable software.

However, if your top priority is to own a laptop that is cooler than all your friends, then continue to splurge on the GE66 Raider, because undoubtedly it is. I hope more companies try this unique design because it makes the whole process more interesting-in the end, most people buy gaming laptops for fun. If I saw you use it in a coffee shop, I would be very jealous.

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