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MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF (i7-8750H, GTX 1070, FHD) Laptop Review

Florian Glaser, 👁 Florian Glaser, Tanja Hinum-Balaz (translated by Alex Alderson), 08/21/2018

Let there be light. MSI adorns its GE series laptops discreetly, with just some RGB lighting on the device’s display lid. The GE63 8RF Raider is equipped with Intel Coffee Lake processors, a generational improvement from its GE predecessors. Find out in this review how the GE63 8RF Raider performs, and about its fan noise, its power consumption and its battery life.

MSI GE63 8RF Raider RGB

MSI positions its venerable GE series as its midrange offering between its more premium GS and GT series and the more affordable GL, GF and GP series. While the case remains largely the same, except for the inclusion of RGB strips on the display lid and improved port selection, there is an important change under the hood. The 8RF is powered by an Intel Core i7-8750H six-core processor instead of the quad-core CPU found in its predecessor. The i7-8750H should make this device suitable for practically every imaginable task.

MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008 (GE63 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop) - 8192 MB, Core: 1480 MHz, Memory: 8000 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 390.94, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, 2 x 8 GB SO-DIMM DDR4-2400, Dual-channel, All slots occupied, maximum 32 GB.
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, CMN N156HHE-GA1 (CMN15F4), TN, Full-HD, 120 Hz, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM370
Storage
Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ, 256 GB 
, SATA III + HGST TravelStar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, 1 TB HDD, 7200 RPM. Slots: 2x M.2.2280 & 1x 2.5-inch
Soundcard
Realtek ALC1220 @ Intel Cannon Lake PCH
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 1 x Headphone jack, 1 x Microphone jack, Card Reader: SD, SDHC, SDXC
Networking
Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 29.5 x 383 x 260 ( = 1.16 x 15.08 x 10.24 in)
Battery
51 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD (720p)
Additional features
Speakers: 2 x 3 W speakers, 2 x 3 W woofer, Keyboard: Chiclet RGB, Keyboard Light: yes, 230 W power supply, Quick Start Guide, Warranty documentation, Recovery guide, Various manufacturer tools, Killer Performance Suite, Norton Security Trial, XSplit Gamecaster Trial, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.51 kg ( = 88.54 oz / 5.53 pounds), Power Supply: 778 g ( = 27.44 oz / 1.72 pounds)
Price
1950 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

The new GE63 also packs decent graphics options. MSI offers either an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 which is in the GE63 8RE or a GeForce GTX 1070 that is found in the GE63 8RF. These are complemented by either 8 or 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and a choice of either a 128 GB or a 256 GB SSD. Some 256 GB SSD configurations also come with a 1 TB HDD for added storage.

The device is paired with a 120 Hz matte Full HD (1080p) display that is based on TN technology. There is also a 4K IPS option, but this sacrifices the high refresh rate of which the TN panel is capable. While the 4K configuration is listed on MSI.com, we could not find any German online retailers that currently stocked this variant. It is also worth bearing in mind that not all configurations come with Windows 10 installed, so you will need to buy a license unless you already have one.

The GE63 Raider RGB costs between 1,500 and 2,000 Euros (~$1730 and ~$2307). Our test device with its GeForce GTX 1070 GPU, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD sits near the top of that pricing.

We will not be covering the chassis, the I/O or the input devices in this review as they are practically the same as those found in last year’s GE63. The only minor exterior change with this year’s device is the inclusion of a second USB 3.1 Type-C Gen2 port. Please see our MSI GE63VR Raider review for our views on these areas.

We have chosen to compare the GE63 8RF against other 15.6-inch laptops equipped with an Intel Coffee Lake CPU like the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GM501, the Aorus X5 v8 and the Alienware 15 R4.

Size Comparison

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Aorus X5 v8
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
194 MB/s ∼100% +646%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
178 MB/s ∼92% +585%
Average of class Gaming
  (11.7 - 202, n=205)
90.1 MB/s ∼46% +247%
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26 MB/s ∼13%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Aorus X5 v8
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
240 MB/s ∼100% +650%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
200 MB/s ∼83% +525%
Average of class Gaming
  (13.4 - 257, n=203)
109 MB/s ∼45% +241%
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
32 MB/s ∼13%

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Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
691 MBit/s ∼100%
Alienware 15 R4
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
690 MBit/s ∼100% 0%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
685 MBit/s ∼99% -1%
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
683 MBit/s ∼99% -1%
Aorus X5 v8
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
673 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Average of class Gaming
  (141 - 702, n=180)
594 MBit/s ∼86% -14%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
692 MBit/s ∼100%
Alienware 15 R4
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
692 MBit/s ∼100% 0%
Aorus X5 v8
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
587 MBit/s ∼85% -15%
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
585 MBit/s ∼85% -15%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
540 MBit/s ∼78% -22%
Average of class Gaming
  (144 - 697, n=180)
534 MBit/s ∼77% -23%

Display

MSI has played it safe with the display and used the same 120 Hz TN panel that we have seen in the last GE63. This display has the model number CMN N156HHE-GA1 for reference. The differences between the two panels in our tests are probably to do with the TrueColor software used. While we used the same sRGB mode for our tests, the quality of TrueColor optimizations varies between notebooks to the extent that it can lead to different results in our tests.

263
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
266
cd/m²
248
cd/m²
292
cd/m²
247
cd/m²
237
cd/m²
241
cd/m²
247
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 292 cd/m² Average: 258.3 cd/m² Minimum: 15 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 81 %
Center on Battery: 292 cd/m²
Contrast: 1270:1 (Black: 0.23 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.82 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2, calibrated: 2.82
ΔE Greyscale 4.61 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
100% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 76% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.65
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
CMN N156HHE-GA1 (CMN15F4), TN, 1920x1080
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
Chi Mei N156HHE-GA1 (CMN15F4), TN LED, 1920x1080
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
AUO B156HAN07.1 (AUO71ED), IPS, 1920x1080
Aorus X5 v8
AU Optronics B156HAN07.0 (AUO70ED), IPS, 1920x1080
Alienware 15 R4
LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD0540), IPS, 1920x1080
Response Times
39%
54%
24%
-41%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
24.4 (14.4, 10)
9.6 (5.2, 4.4)
61%
6.6 (3.4, 3.2)
73%
18.8 (10, 8.8)
23%
37.6 (18.8, 18.8)
-54%
Response Time Black / White *
15.8 (13.8, 2)
7.2 (5, 2.2)
54%
10.4 (5.2, 5.2)
34%
12 (7.6, 4.4)
24%
24 (13.2, 10.8)
-52%
PWM Frequency
25510 (19)
26000 (25)
2%
20830 (99)
-18%
Screen
12%
-4%
14%
-5%
Brightness middle
292
285
-2%
307
5%
271
-7%
292
0%
Brightness
258
273
6%
296
15%
259
0%
278
8%
Brightness Distribution
81
84
4%
89
10%
87
7%
88
9%
Black Level *
0.23
0.23
-0%
0.25
-9%
0.27
-17%
0.29
-26%
Contrast
1270
1239
-2%
1228
-3%
1004
-21%
1007
-21%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.82
3.52
40%
5.74
1%
1.81
69%
4.9
16%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
9.05
5.18
43%
11.32
-25%
3.33
63%
10.08
-11%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2.82
1.94
31%
2.27
20%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.61
3.41
26%
6.44
-40%
1.09
76%
4.89
-6%
Gamma
2.65 83%
2.05 107%
2.48 89%
2.45 90%
2.36 93%
CCT
6950 94%
7077 92%
8395 77%
6435 101%
7598 86%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
76
77
1%
60
-21%
61
-20%
56
-26%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
100
0%
93
-7%
93
-7%
86
-14%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
26% / 18%
25% / 5%
19% / 16%
-23% / -13%

* ... smaller is better

The display is reasonably color accurate, but the default manufacturer settings are mediocre. Color and grayscale accuracy leave plenty to be desired, which can be vastly improved with further calibration. This can be done using MSI’s additional settings program. Our test device achieved 100% sRGB and 76% AdobeRGB once calibrated, which is impressive for a gaming laptop and makes the new GE63 competitive with high-end workstations in this regard. Our test device has a good 1,270:1 contrast ratio too thanks to its relatively low 0.23 cd/m² black value.

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Saturation
CalMAN: Saturation
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation (calibrated)

Our only gripe with the display is its maximum brightness. At just under 260 cd/m², our test device’s maximum brightness is too low for outdoor use. Hence, we would recommend using the device indoors whenever possible. Our test device has below average brightness uniformity too at 81%. Positively, there is no backlight bleeding.

sRGB: 100%
sRGB: 100%
Sub-pixel array
Sub-pixel array
AdobeRGB: 76%
AdobeRGB: 76%

Display reaction times are respectable too. Our test device achieved 16 ms black-to-white and 24 ms gray-to-gray reaction times, which is much faster than most IPS panels. By contrast, the Alienware 15 R4 only achieved 24 ms black-to-white and 38 ms gray-to-gray. However, the Aorus X5 v8 scored better even with its IPS panel. The main issues with TN panels are their poor viewing angles. The TN panel in our test device suffers from this too, particularly when looking down on the device from various angles.

It is also worth bearing in mind that our test device uses pulse-width modulation (PWM) to regulate luminosity at below 20% brightness. Fortunately, this is at 25 KHz, which should be high enough to negate any eye strain or headaches even for those who are PWM sensitive.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
15.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 13.8 ms rise
↘ 2 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 13 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
24.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14.4 ms rise
↘ 10 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 10 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 25510 Hz ≤ 19 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 25510 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 19 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 25510 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8929 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

MSI includes its usual monitoring and tuning software with the GE63. These preinstalled programs allow you to adjust the keyboard lighting, display values, fan behavior and power settings. We set the fan control to ‘Auto’ and the shift mode to ‘Power Options’ for our tests. Setting the GE63 to these settings makes the device use Windows power settings instead. The MSI settings can be seen in screenshot #2.

Dragon Center
Dragon Center
Dragon Center
Dragon Center
Dragon Center
Dragon Center

The GE63 is one of the strongest gaming notebooks thanks to its high-end GPU and its hexa-core CPU. The 16 GB DDR4 RAM and 256 GB SSD assist in this regard too and help the GE63 reach its potential.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWiNFO
Software
LatencyMon

Processor

The Intel Core i7-8750H has become the standard for all powerful laptops in the last few months. Its six cores, 12 simultaneous threads and 9 MB L3 cache currently offer the best gaming experience of all mobile CPUs. GPU performance remains as important as ever though. Nevertheless, the Core i7-8750H and its hexa-core counterparts should be suitable for many years to come.

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
GPU load
GPU load

The GE63 Raider RGB performs well in benchmarks, with our test device scoring on par with other i7-8750H-powered devices in both single-core and multi-core rendering.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Alienware 15 R4
Intel Core i9-8950HK
197 Points ∼100% +13%
Aorus X5 v8
Intel Core i7-8850H
182 Points ∼92% +4%
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼89%
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
Intel Core i7-8750H
170 Points ∼86% -3%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼81% -9%
Average of class Gaming
  (79 - 209, n=420)
152 Points ∼77% -13%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Aorus X5 v8
Intel Core i7-8850H
1265 Points ∼100% +8%
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
Intel Core i7-8750H
1168 Points ∼92% 0%
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
Intel Core i7-8750H
1167 Points ∼92%
Alienware 15 R4
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1083 Points ∼86% -7%
Average of class Gaming
  (196 - 1865, n=421)
749 Points ∼59% -36%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
729 Points ∼58% -38%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Alienware 15 R4
Intel Core i9-8950HK
2.28 Points ∼100% +15%
Aorus X5 v8
Intel Core i7-8850H
2.08 Points ∼91% +5%
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
Intel Core i7-8750H
1.99 Points ∼87%
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
Intel Core i7-8750H
1.92 Points ∼84% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (0.71 - 2.38, n=408)
1.68 Points ∼74% -16%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Aorus X5 v8
Intel Core i7-8850H
13.85 Points ∼100% +9%
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
Intel Core i7-8750H
13.29 Points ∼96% +5%
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
Intel Core i7-8750H
12.7 Points ∼92%
Alienware 15 R4
Intel Core i9-8950HK
12.39 Points ∼89% -2%
Average of class Gaming
  (1.13 - 21.2, n=509)
7.28 Points ∼53% -43%

Unfortunately, as is known from the volume of other Coffee Lake-powered devices currently on the market, the i7-8750H can only sustain its high clock speed for a relatively short period. The best example of this behavior is in our Cinebench loop, during which the CPU performance drops from an initial clock speed of 3.9 GHz across all cores to an average of 3.2 GHz. This represents around a 10% performance drop from the start to the end of the looped benchmark.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730740750760770780790800810820830840850860870880890900910920930940950960970980990100010101020103010401050106010701080109011001110112011301140115011601170Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.99 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
12.7 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
175 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1167 Points
Help

System Performance

While MSI provided us with neither a PCIe nor an NVMe drive, system performance is still at a high level. It is worth noting that PCMark 8 has a SATA III limitation, which is why our test device finished in last place.

Also, there is a known bug with Nvidia Optimus, which means that many laptops that are equipped with the technology temporarily freeze when the GeForce GPU wakes up unnecessarily. We have included a link to an Intel support page for more information.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Aorus X5 v8
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8850H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5953 Points ∼100% +14%
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5662 Points ∼95% +9%
Alienware 15 R4
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8950HK, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
5632 Points ∼95% +8%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
5270 Points ∼89% +1%
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
5210 Points ∼88%
Average of class Gaming
  (2484 - 6515, n=315)
4928 Points ∼83% -5%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Aorus X5 v8
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8850H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5773 Points ∼100% +35%
Alienware 15 R4
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8950HK, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
5541 Points ∼96% +30%
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4627 Points ∼80% +8%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
4406 Points ∼76% +3%
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
4271 Points ∼74%
Average of class Gaming
  (2554 - 6093, n=333)
4222 Points ∼73% -1%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4271 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5210 points
Help

Storage Devices

MSI has included a SATA III SSD with our test device, which is probably a cost-saving exercise. While SATA III SSDs are much slower than NVMe SSDs, this is hardly noticeable in practice; during most activities, compact file performance is more important than sequential read and write performance where NVMe SSDs particularly excel.

Our test device is equipped with a Samsung PM871a SSD, which is around 11% slower than the Toshiba HG6 SSD used in the MSI GE63VR. The benchmark differences between our test device and the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GM501, the Aorus X5 v8 and the Alienware 15 R4 demonstrate the difference between SATA III and NVMe SSDs.

SSD
SSD
SSD
SSD
HDD
HDD
HDD
HDD

The GE63 has two M.2-2280 slots, which means that the device can be equipped with a second SSD. Our test device also includes an HGST Travelstar 7K1000 7,200 RPM 2.5-inch HDD for storing large files like films and TV series.

MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Aorus X5 v8
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
Alienware 15 R4
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
AS SSD
-11%
193%
110%
69%
Score Total
1071
930
-13%
3649
241%
2515
135%
1416
32%
Score Write
409
293
-28%
1446
254%
954
133%
435
6%
Score Read
432
420
-3%
1471
241%
1061
146%
714
65%
4K Write
68.58
77.33
13%
90.23
32%
84.51
23%
94.84
38%
4K Read
32.36
19.55
-40%
43.42
34%
23.21
-28%
32.87
2%
Seq Write
462.8
446.99
-3%
1580.23
241%
965.76
109%
300.41
-35%
Seq Read
512.05
505.83
-1%
2090.99
308%
1813.23
254%
2441.12
377%
Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 546.5 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 497.6 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 199.5 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 180.2 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 514.8 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 477.9 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 29.59 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 66.42 MB/s

Graphics Card

Either the GeForce GTX 1060 or the GeForce GTX 1070 will provide enough graphics performance to play games comfortably at Full HD. We would only recommend getting the more expensive GPU if you don’t want to compromise on image quality years down the line. The GTX 1070 has considerably more power thanks to its 2,048 shaders and 8 GB GDDR5 VRAM compared to the GTX 1060’s 1,280 shaders and 6 GB GDDR5 VRAM.

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
17793 Points ∼100% 0%
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
17720 Points ∼100%
Alienware 15 R4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
17675 Points ∼99% 0%
Aorus X5 v8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
17257 Points ∼97% -3%
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
17046 Points ∼96% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (385 - 40636, n=448)
10263 Points ∼58% -42%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Alienware 15 R4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
23308 Points ∼100% +1%
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
23246 Points ∼100% +1%
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
23061 Points ∼99%
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
21925 Points ∼94% -5%
Aorus X5 v8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
21823 Points ∼94% -5%
Average of class Gaming
  (513 - 50983, n=521)
11899 Points ∼51% -48%

Our test device performed as expected for a GTX 1070-powered device in benchmarks, with our test device on par with our comparison devices.

3DMark 11 Performance
18503 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
34274 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
15461 points
Help

A glance at GPU clock speeds confirms this positive impression. The GPU averaged around 1,645 MHz after an hour of playing The Witcher 3 at Full HD and at ultra graphics settings. This is considerably higher than its 1,480 MHz base clock speed, speaking volumes for its turbo boost capabilities. We managed to get the GPU to clock up to 1,848 MHz too, but only when running GPU-Z’s rendering test.

012345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546474849505152535455565758596061626364656667Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra

Gaming Performance

The GE63 can make use of its high refresh rate display when paired with the GeForce GTX 1070. Practically all the games against which we tested our test device ran averaged above 60 FPS at Full HD and with graphics set to maximum. Simpler games like Farming Simulator 17 perform at higher FPS than even the 120 Hz supports, which is something that the GeForce GTX 1060 would struggle to achieve.

The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ
62.2 fps ∼100% +3%
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H
60.6 fps ∼97%
Aorus X5 v8
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8850H
60 fps ∼96% -1%
Alienware 15 R4
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8950HK
59.5 fps ∼96% -2%
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H
59.4 fps ∼95% -2%

A GeForce GTX 1080 would not be worth the extra cost for the most part as the higher performance would increase power consumption and put greater strain on the cooling system. We would only recommend a GeForce GTX 1080 when gaming at either 2560x1440 or 3840x2160 resolutions.

You should perhaps also consider that the GE63 does not support Nvidia G-Sync as it uses Nvidia Optimus; the two are not currently compatible.

low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 11160.6fps
Farming Simulator 17 (2016) 174164fps
Rocket League (2017) 206fps
Dirt 4 (2017) 12986.4fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017) 10385fps
The Evil Within 2 (2017) 56.555.5fps
ELEX (2017) 10479.3fps
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (2017) 116109fps

Emissions

Fan Noise

The GE63 gets loud under load, with fan noise reaching a higher peak volume than all our comparison devices and the average for the gaming devices that we have currently tested. While our test device is quieter when running 3DMark06 than most of our comparison devices, our test device is a few decibels louder than them when playing The Witcher 3 and when running a combined FurMark and Prime95 stress test. Overall, we would recommend using headphones when gaming for extended periods as you will struggle to hear the speakers over 50+ dB(A) fan noise.

Noise level - at idle
Noise level - at idle
Noise level - under load
Noise level - under load
Noise level - speaker
Noise level - speaker

Fan noise is much more relaxed at idle. However, the included 1 TB HDD adds to the din. We measured the HDD reaching 35 dB(A) when around 15 cm from the device. Positively, sometimes there is no fan or HDD noise at all, which is a rarity with gaming laptops.

Noise Level

Idle
30 / 35 / 36 dB(A)
HDD
35 dB(A)
Load
42 / 56 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30 dB(A)
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Aorus X5 v8
8850H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Alienware 15 R4
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Average of class Gaming
 
Noise
-4%
3%
-3%
-6%
4%
off / environment *
30
30
-0%
29
3%
30
-0%
29
3%
29.4 (27.7 - 32, n=227)
2%
Idle Minimum *
30
33
-10%
30
-0%
33
-10%
32
-7%
31.5 (28 - 41.7, n=650)
-5%
Idle Average *
35
35
-0%
31
11%
35
-0%
33
6%
32.8 (28 - 46.6, n=650)
6%
Idle Maximum *
36
40
-11%
33
8%
40
-11%
50
-39%
34.7 (28 - 50.4, n=650)
4%
Load Average *
42
48
-14%
49
-17%
45
-7%
50
-19%
40.4 (30.3 - 58, n=651)
4%
Witcher 3 ultra *
54
50
7%
50
7%
50
7%
51
6%
Load Maximum *
56
55
2%
52
7%
55
2%
51
9%
47.6 (38.9 - 64, n=651)
15%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Surface temperatures are largely unremarkable. Maximums of 48 °C on the top case and 49 °C on the underside after an hour at full load are hot, but this is typical for gaming laptops. The GE63 is on par in this regard with its predecessor and with the Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501. By contrast, the Aorus X5 v8 and the Alienware 15 R4 get far hotter on their bottom cases. However, we would recommend using any of these devices on a hard surface instead of your lap, as these surface temperatures will feel hot to the touch.

Bear in mind that 3D performance reduces by about two-thirds when using the device on battery. Conversely, our test device is pleasantly cool at idle, with surface temperatures generally averaging below 30 °C.

The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3
Stress test
Stress test
Heat-map of the top case under full load
Heat-map of the top case under full load
Heat-map of the bottom case under full load
Heat-map of the bottom case under full load

Core temperatures are much higher inside though. The GTX 1070 reached an average of 80 °C when working at full load while the Core i7-8750H hit 90 °C. However, the CPU and GPU run much cooler when gaming, with neither component exceeding an average of 80 °C when playing The Witcher 3.

Max. Load
 47 °C
117 F
48 °C
118 F
48 °C
118 F
 
 47 °C
117 F
48 °C
118 F
46 °C
115 F
 
 39 °C
102 F
40 °C
104 F
36 °C
97 F
 
Maximum: 48 °C = 118 F
Average: 44.3 °C = 112 F
48 °C
118 F
49 °C
120 F
48 °C
118 F
45 °C
113 F
48 °C
118 F
42 °C
108 F
35 °C
95 F
38 °C
100 F
30 °C
86 F
Maximum: 49 °C = 120 F
Average: 42.6 °C = 109 F
Power Supply (max.)  53 °C = 127 F | Room Temperature 24 °C = 75 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 44.3 °C / 112 F, compared to the average of 32.9 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 48 °C / 118 F, compared to the average of 39.3 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 49 °C / 120 F, compared to the average of 41.7 °C / 107 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28.4 °C / 83 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(-) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 43.9 °C / 111 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(-) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 41 °C / 105.8 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.7 °C / 83.7 F (-12.3 °C / -22.1 F).
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Aorus X5 v8
8850H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Alienware 15 R4
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Average of class Gaming
 
Heat
-1%
-4%
-5%
-27%
-1%
Maximum Upper Side *
48
48
-0%
52
-8%
50
-4%
53
-10%
45.6 (28 - 68.8, n=615)
5%
Maximum Bottom *
49
47
4%
49
-0%
62
-27%
68
-39%
49.1 (25.9 - 78, n=613)
-0%
Idle Upper Side *
29
29
-0%
31
-7%
27
7%
39
-34%
30.8 (21.6 - 46.8, n=566)
-6%
Idle Bottom *
31
33
-6%
31
-0%
29
6%
39
-26%
31.6 (21.1 - 50.3, n=564)
-2%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2036.640.72531.834.23127.729.8402934.15041.241.16327.532.88026.645.810035.956.61252448.916022.659.520025.866.725023.571.131520.774.440020.775.750019.676.663018.971.680018.371.3100018.272.7125018.272.3160018.175.8200018.179.3250018.278315018.179.6400018.375.2500018.273.763001877.5800018.1771000018.179.91250017.981.41600017.782SPL30.989N1.583.4median 18.2median 75.2Delta1.9442.243.937.642.431.330.136.440.7283226.237.227.746.525.555.92459.42165.521.569.121.1702067.918.663.917.86317.767.717.569.917.572.216.97216.772.316.87217.275.117.280.217.277.117.376.217.37117.366.917.364.817.157.817.245.629.586.31.367.1median 17.3median 69.11.84.2hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseMSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008Asus Zephyrus M GM501
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (89 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 12.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.5% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 4% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 94% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Asus Zephyrus M GM501 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(+) | good bass - only 4.8% away from median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.2% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.8% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (10.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 10% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 85% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 4% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 94% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Power Management

Power consumption

The GE63 is an economic device at idle thanks to Nvidia Optimus graphics-switching technology. 9-19 W at idle is particularly good for a gaming laptop and is much lower than our comparison devices that rely on Nvidia G-Sync. The Aorus X5 v8, for example, consumes between 25 and 33 W at idle, which is more than double our test device. This gap shrinks significantly when the GE63 starts running at full load though, with our test device consuming between 91 and 238 W, a higher maximum power draw than all but one of our comparison devices. We measure power consumption directly from the wall, so any efficiencies that the power supply introduces are not measured. Hence, the included 230 W power supply should still charge the device even when it is operating under full load.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.6 / 0.9 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 9 / 14 / 19 Watt
Load midlight 91 / 238 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Aorus X5 v8
8850H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Alienware 15 R4
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
Average of class Gaming
 
Power Consumption
-7%
-25%
-65%
-53%
-51%
Idle Minimum *
9
11
-22%
16
-78%
25
-178%
23
-156%
20.1 (3.9 - 113, n=610)
-123%
Idle Average *
14
16
-14%
19
-36%
31
-121%
26
-86%
25.7 (6.8 - 119, n=610)
-84%
Idle Maximum *
19
21
-11%
26
-37%
33
-74%
30
-58%
30.7 (8.3 - 122, n=610)
-62%
Load Average *
91
92
-1%
103
-13%
102
-12%
111
-22%
104 (14.1 - 319, n=601)
-14%
Load Maximum *
238
224
6%
223
6%
239
-0%
222
7%
166 (21.9 - 590, n=600)
30%
Witcher 3 ultra *
182
185
-2%
164
10%
194
-7%
182
-0%

* ... smaller is better

Battery life

The GE63 does not have particularly good battery life despite its power-saving graphics-switching. A four-hour runtime on our Wi-Fi battery test with brightness at medium is passable. By contrast, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GM501 does not even manage three hours. The main downfall here is the GE63’s 51 Wh battery, which is considerably smaller than the 92 Wh battery powering the Aorus X5 v8 and the 99 Wh battery found in the Alienware 15 R4. Both of these devices lack Nvidia Optimus though, so their battery runtimes are not vastly longer than our test device.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 40min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
4h 00min
Load (maximum brightness)
0h 46min
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 51 Wh
MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 51 Wh
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 55 Wh
Aorus X5 v8
8850H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 92.24 Wh
Alienware 15 R4
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 99 Wh
Average of class Gaming
 
Battery Runtime
-10%
-3%
38%
21%
25%
Reader / Idle
340
323
-5%
237
-30%
294
-14%
370
9%
332 (39 - 1174, n=598)
-2%
WiFi v1.3
240
201
-16%
164
-32%
304
27%
251 (78 - 622, n=272)
5%
Load
46
42
-9%
70
52%
87
89%
58
26%
78.7 (18 - 202, n=564)
71%
H.264
159
216
244 (88 - 506, n=124)

Verdict

Pros

+ 120 Hz panel with impressive color-space accuracy
+ relatively thin and light
+ brushed aluminum finish
+ decent speaker quality
+ RGB lighting
+ practical manufacturer tools
+ fast Wi-Fi

Cons

- much slower card reader than its predecessor; potentially a bug?
- high fan noise when gaming
- poor viewing angles
- relatively small battery
- no Thunderbolt 3 port
The MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF in review, test device courtesy of Cyberport.
The MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF in review, test device courtesy of Cyberport.

The MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF is a successful high-end notebook that is only let down by its loud fans. 

The device is a good all-round performer thanks to its high-end hardware and comes with an RGB keyboard, a stylish metal case, decent speakers and powerful manufacturer software.

Other arguments for buying the new GE63 include the 120 Hz display, which has both a high-contrast ratio and strong color accuracy. The only drawback with the 120 Hz display is its poor viewing angles associated with being a TN panel. We would love to see MSI rectify these drawbacks with a successor that included a Thunderbolt 3 port, a larger battery and a display with better viewing angles.

If these drawbacks are not an issue for you, then we would highly recommend you check out the MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF.

MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-008 - 08/20/2018 v6
Florian Glaser

Chassis
81 / 98 → 82%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
78%
Connectivity
63 / 81 → 78%
Weight
60 / 10-66 → 89%
Battery
75%
Display
84%
Games Performance
97%
Application Performance
95%
Temperature
81 / 95 → 86%
Noise
67 / 90 → 74%
Audio
80%
Average
79%
86%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF (i7-8750H, GTX 1070, FHD) Laptop Review
Florian Glaser, 2018-08-21 (Update: 2018-08-24)