Laptop announced date: 8th October 2020
Last reviewed: 3rd September 2020
Today's gaming laptop review, for the MSI GE66 Raider i9-10980HK RTX 2070 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2, will be taking a good look at how well its price compares to the hardware we find inside it. We will also have a look at the type of gaming performance it gets when running today’s more demanding games and help you judge if this is a gaming laptop that is worth your cash.
Is the MSI GE66 Raider i9-10980HK RTX 2070 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - This processor is an excellent 2020 hardware component for running modern AAA games. The 8 cores that this processor has is excellent and very capable for today and future AAA gaming.
Graphics Card - This laptop graphics card is excellent at running AAA titles released during 2020. Modern AAA gaming can lean on GPU VRAM and this graphics solution comes with 8GB. This makes it excellent for gaming.
System Memory - This laptop’s 32GB of RAM is excellent for 2020 gaming.
Screen Size - This screen size, which is 15.6", is a good amount for a laptop panel for modern 2020 games. Often 17inches is ideal for dedicated gaming laptops, but this is the more popular size for portability versus in-game screen viewability. We will go for a 17 inch screen size when choosing a laptop for gaming. And while the larger the screen the less portable the machine, the bigger screen balances out with better in-game viewability. And that is more important when wondering whether to go with a 1.5 Kg laptop or a 3.5Kg laptop for gaming for us.
Refresh Rate - A gaming laptop wants to have a higher refresh rate to accommodate more frames per second(FPS) in the games it runs. The refresh rate is like a hard cap on the games deliverable FPS. The better the refresh rate the more FPS the laptop can deliver in games, up to the panels refresh rate hertz, and then the sharper the in game play is when the player moves about. So refresh rates are pretty important.This laptop has an excellent screen for gaming with its 300Hz refresh rate. But look for a panel that is over 60Hz for a gaming laptop and that should be ok too.
While it can be tricky to work out the best price to performance hardware for a gaming laptop, we will be looking at how well this mobile graphics card can run demanding games that are available today or coming out over the coming months.We will consider how well it can perform while gaming at Ultra graphics setting on a 1080p resolution, which is the native resolution for this laptop. We will also look at a few of the more popular games like, Cyberpunk 2077 or Watch Dogs Legion. Coming loaded with the GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile, this laptop is capable of beating 500 games at their minimum system specs and 487 games at their recommended system specs. This is when looking at today’s top 500 most demanding games.
When we factor in all variations of hardware and prices that the GE66 Raider laptop comes with, it gets very difficult to understand what value each permutation of this laptop will offer. To help us compare laptops based on their direct gaming value and capabilities, we defined a price to performance rating and allocated it to every laptop we review. Because as you have no doubt discovered during your research, it is very difficult to compare laptops for value against all other laptops. Even within their own model range. As soon as you adjust a single component and the laptop price shifts, what has that done to the gaming value of your laptop and is it still ok value for money? So we use a P2P rating to standardise the way we can look at all laptops. Of course laptops have tonnes of other values that are breathed into them when they are designed and they are not just about price to performance. But this is certainly a good way for us to help see the bigger picture, especially for a gaming laptop.
We score the MSI GE66 Raider i9-10980HK RTX 2070 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 6.2 out of ten on the P2P score today. Our price to performance rating value will change for all laptops automatically, as new hardware capability is put into modern laptops and the price for hardware adjusts. As not all laptops and their prices are of course valued equally we can see that this version of the GE66 Raider laptop is in 4th position on the best Price to Performance value rating. Those closer to 1st place are simply better gaming laptop options regarding the gaming performance they deliver for their price.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile|
|RAM||32GB DDR4 3200MHz|
15.6" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 300Hz
MSI GE66 Raider i9-10980HK RTX 2070 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-10875H RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$1,799.00||53%|
|i7-10875H RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2||$2,599.00||14%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2||$2,599.00||10%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 2070 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2||$2,895.00||0%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2||$3,611.93||23%|
Now let's look at where this laptop sits compared to all other laptops, including those outside of the GE66 Raider range. It currently offers 174% worse rating when comparing its price to performance rating against the best laptop available today for price to performance, which is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, which currently costs $986.99. Right, now let's look at one more of the top placed Price to Performance models today. Comparing our GE66 Raider laptop against the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 shows us that our laptop gets 154% worse rating against it for price to performance. The other laptop does currently have a listed price of $858.54 to consider.
As one of the key focuses of any computer is the CPU we will want to know how well our GE66 Raider laptop performs in this area. A good way of gauging this is to put it in a comparison with the best priced CPU focused laptop available today, and then check out its relative performance against that top CPU laptop. The CPU performance laptop we picked today is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 1440p. Its processor is the Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz which delivers 23% better performance when stacked against our own review laptop’s Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz.
Our laptop processor, the Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz, can currently meet the recommended system requirements of 496 games when compared against the top 500 most demanding games right now. This number changes to 500 for the top 500 most demanding minimum system requirements.
Recommended processor requirements for modern games increase all the time, so we thought we would compare the performance of our laptop CPU to some popular games of today. First off there is Watch Dogs Legion and our laptop CPU delivers 35% better performance compared to that game’s requirement. Next we have Assassins Creed: Valhalla in which we see our laptop processor has 35% better performance compared to the game's CPU specs. And then there is 35% better performance when we put our laptop cpu against Cyberpunk 2077 recommended specs.
You will likely be considering buying a graphics and pixel crunching laptop perhaps to meet the latest and future game requirements. We will therefore be wondering how our GE66 Raider review laptop competes against other GPU centric laptops in the gaming laptop market. To give us a bit of insight we will compare our laptop with a leading GPU performance laptop and see how its graphics capability performs against it. Today’s MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K comes with one of the more powerful laptop graphics solutions available for game crunching at the moment, making it a good one to compare against our review laptops GPU. We will use its GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB to compare against our GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile card. The top end laptop’s GPU currently delivers 27% better performance when benched against our own review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile.
Our laptop GPU beats 487 games recommended system requirements when looking at today’s top 500 most demanding games. This number changes to 500 games if we compare to the top 500 most demanding games for minimum system requirements.
Today’s games are getting more demanding so let's see how our gaming laptop performs against their recommended gpu system requirements. First off we have the Watch Dogs Legion which currently our GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile is 45% better next let's see how well it runs against Assassins Creed: Valhalla. We can see it is 45% better. Ok finally lets see it against Cyberpunk 2077. Here our laptop is 45% better.
A common thing to explore is, what is the best gaming laptop screen resolution at the moment, as our review laptop is a 1080p. This laptop also has a 15.6" physical screen size (that's measured from a top corner to the bottom corner on the other side of the screen) and is 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall resolution. A 4K laptops will likely run with 60Hz screen refresh rate, so should the laptop’s hardware be able to get good frame rates at 4K resolution and due to the refresh rate the laptop would max out at 60 frames per second as its screen would not be capable of delivering any higher. Modern games in Ultra graphics settings are also normally too demanding for a 4K resolution anyway. This particular laptop refresh rate options are 300Hz.
Drop the 4K screen resolution on your AAA games to 1080p to increase the games frame rate to something more playable, and in doing so will make a game look blurry as it wouldn't be displayed in the 4K laptop’s native resolution. And so is there a point in getting a 4K screen laptop at the moment? If the following is the case, where the 1080p gaming laptop could run games you love at a higher 4K resolution then you could always hook up the PC laptop to a desktop monitor. One that was much bigger than the laptop screen size, like a 31inch with 144Hz refresh rate to enjoy 1440p or 4K resolution when gaming at home. Then still have your laptop for mobile gaming as well.
Maybe you are hoping to enjoy your 4K streamed movies and TV shows while on the move. And if you have access to this 4K content and it's your prime use for your new laptop then perhaps it's worth considering a 4K panel, rather than this 1080p.
At the moment our advice would be, stick to the 1080p laptop panels for now. Your laptop remains portable and 4K laptop’s just aren't quite there yet. The 4K needs to be a no brainer but at the moment you will still have to lower resolution in game to get playable but sub par visuals that still can't raise above 60FPS.
A well priced 1440p gaming monitor today is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS. With its 75Hz refresh rate and a current price of $294.99 it should go nicely with this MSI GE66 Raider i9-10980HK RTX 2070 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop. To help you get a bit more insight into the pricing trends of this 1440p monitor, we have price tracked this monitor and saw its lowest price recorded at $272.99, which was taken on 5th Aug 2020.
The 4K Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz display is our current suggestion if you wanted to grab a desktop monitor. With a $829.99 price at the moment it also has a 144Hz refresh rate. This 4K monitor, during these past couple of weeks, has increased its price by $799. It’s still a solid purchase to accompany this laptop but it means you may find it for even cheaper at the moment, if you look around. Reviewing tracked prices for our suggested 4k monitor, its lowest price was recorded on 11th Aug 2020, where we spotted it for $797.05.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
The primary 4K use would most likely be streaming movie and TV content at that resolution, assuming you have access to these services in 4K. At which point perhaps its enough of a selling point for you to consider a 4K laptop..
For now in the laptop space, it looks best to stick with 1080p panels. This way your laptop’s physical size remains practical and portable, 17inch laptops are plenty big enough. And at the moment you will still have to lower game resolutions down from 4K, on the bigger hitting AAA titles, that would then get playable, but sub par visuals and you would still hit the 60FPS cap if your hardware could go beyond 60FPS.
You could pick up a mouse to go with the MSI GE66 Raider i9-10980HK RTX 2070 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2. In our spotlight at the moment is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons, which today is $11.99. This mouse has also dropped its price by $19 during the past two weeks, which is a solid reason for us to select it with this laptop. Another point of reference for this mouse, is that our lowest recorded price for this mouse was on 15th Aug 2020 where it was costing $11.99.
|Quality||Mouse||Price (USD)||Check Regional Pricing|
|*||Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons||$11.99|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$16.99|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$44.99|
|***||Logitech G502 SE Hero||$55.99|
Of our price tracked headsets, the gaming headset that catches our eye today, to go well with the MSI GE66 Raider i9-10980HK RTX 2070 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop, is the HyperX Cloud Stinger. Today this headset is priced at $47.14. Out of interest our lowest price tracked on this headset was on 12th Mar 2020 where we saw it for $25.98.