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MSI Raider 18 Lounge / Review


win32asmguy

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This model is new for 2024 and is a lower cost alternative to the Titan 18. Specs of my configuration:

 

14900HX

32GB (2x16GB) DDR5-5600 SK Hynix OEM memory by default at DDR5-4000 but operates at DDR5-5600 CL46 by changing bios options

1TB Samsung PM9A1 Gen4 SSD

RTX 4080 mobile 175W

18 inch 2560x1600 240hz IPS display

Membrane RGB keyboard with full numberpad

Clickpad

Fingerprint Reader

2 Years of warranty through Costco

As configured 3000usd

 

Build Quality

 

The chassis has a metal lid, plastic palm rest and plastic bottom cover. The hinge area appears to be magnesium alloy just like the Titan 18. The keyboard and trackpad area has a metal plate backing. The chassis feel solid without any creaking noises or keyboard flex.

 

Performance

 

The 14900HX performs well out of the box, approximately 32k in CBR23 pulling up to 180W with fans in default mode and no undervolting. The 4080 mobile got about 18,500 in Timespy.

 

Timespy - https://www.3dmark.com/spy/47763507

Steel Nomad - https://www.3dmark.com/sn/48023

 

This system ships with a 330W brick but according to the manual 400W is supported. It may be worthwhile to get one of those and test it!

 

OS Support

 

Windows 10 installs and is fully supported including Nahemic for audio, MSI Center for fan and feature control, and Steelseries GG for RGB control. I have not tested out Linux yet.

 

Fan Noise / Cooling

 

Pretty pleasant. Minimal high pitched whine and with MSI Center they can be set to not be annoying loud under load. This model uses a heatpipe system instead of a vapor chamber like the Titan 18. It does use properly spaced mounting posts on the CPU side so core deltas appear to be good. The motherboard appears to support the vapor chamber from the Titan but would need the backplates installed for GPU and potentially the CPU which require motherboard removal along with sourcing the parts. The fans appear to be the same brand and model that the Titan 18 uses.

 

Good Things

  • Great QHD display with no bloom issues present from the miniLED option. It has a MSI Center option to enable/disable display overdrive
  • The trackpad has defined edges
  • The palm rest has small top speaker grills on each side which might make it sound better than the Titan 18

 

Bad Things

  • RGB is enabled by default with a rainbow effect on cold boot which is only disabled when Steelseries GG loads
  • The trackpad feels spongy and is plastic. It also has a poor adjustment to the button and has 1-2mm play before it actuates which really makes it not pleasant to use!
  • MUX Control option is disabled even in the advanced bios furthering the need for MSI Center
  • App auto updates have to be disabled in Steelseries GG, MSI Center and the Microsoft Store as these control apps have already pushed updates that break features for 14th Gen models!
  • No USB-C/USB-A on back side for a clean docked setup

 

More info to come. Feel free to ask questions!

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Nice write up! I l really do want a Titan but that price point is insane. Would love to see a real side by side comparison with a Titan to see what you're really getting as it looks like they use the same MB minus an m.2 slot, vapor chamber and maybe some external aesthetics/ergonomics?

 

 

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I see you got the Raider 18 HX with a 240 Hz screen. Supposedly the Titan also has a configuration option with that panel, but I can't find anyone selling either the Titan or Raider 18 in that configuration (with the exception of the Raider 18 with a 240 Hz screen from Amazon). Are those all sold out because they're considered "lower tier" models and people have bought them all up, being the cheaper models?

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2 hours ago, electrosoft said:

Nice write up! I l really do want a Titan but that price point is insane. Would love to see a real side by side comparison with a Titan to see what you're really getting as it looks like they use the same MB minus an m.2 slot, vapor chamber and maybe some external aesthetics/ergonomics?

 

Yeah I was also interested in the Titan 18 but the only QHD config listed in the USA isn't available and it will likely be priced well over 4000usd. Honestly the haptic touchpad is an overpriced gimmick feature and should be optional.

 

51 minutes ago, Clamibot said:

I see you got the Raider 18 HX with a 240 Hz screen. Supposedly the Titan also has a configuration option with that panel, but I can't find anyone selling either the Titan or Raider 18 in that configuration (with the exception of the Raider 18 with a 240 Hz screen from Amazon). Are those all sold out because they're considered "lower tier" models and people have bought them all up, being the cheaper models?

 

The Raider 18 I purchased is sold by Costco online only. You do have to purchase/have a Costco membership but they also include an additional year of warranty and even more if you use their credit card. MSI doesn't even list them as a reseller.

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1 hour ago, win32asmguy said:

 

Yeah I was also interested in the Titan 18 but the only QHD config listed in the USA isn't available and it will likely be priced well over 4000usd. Honestly the haptic touchpad is an overpriced gimmick feature and should be optional.

 

MSI seems to think that the Titan is worth about 1000$ more for its added features when equipped with comparable memory, GPU, CPU and screen which seem to be:

 

- part-mechanical keyboard

- new touchpad that is higher quality and also easier to clean

- 270W CPU and GPU combined vs 250W for the Raider

- vapor chamber

- 400W GAN charger that is both lighter and more compact

 

the downsides would be:

 

- trackpad has to be illuminated to know where its borders are

- no fingerprint sensor

- change of haptic feedback when going back and forth between arrow keys/numpad and the mechanical part of the keyboard

- slightly taller at the front due to the new trackpad

 

Personally I prefer the cleaner design of the Raider and it also has an RGB bar at the front.

OK, just kidding about the RGB bar, I find that stuff hideous and would check if I could take it out, did that with both my Clevo X170.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 5/19/2024 at 5:25 PM, 1610ftw said:

MSI seems to think that the Titan is worth about 1000$ more for its added features when equipped with comparable memory, GPU, CPU and screen which seem to be:

 

- part-mechanical keyboard

- new touchpad that is higher quality and also easier to clean

- 270W CPU and GPU combined vs 250W for the Raider

- vapor chamber

- 400W GAN charger that is both lighter and more compact

 

the downsides would be:

 

- trackpad has to be illuminated to know where its borders are

- no fingerprint sensor

- change of haptic feedback when going back and forth between arrow keys/numpad and the mechanical part of the keyboard

- slightly taller at the front due to the new trackpad

 

Personally I prefer the cleaner design of the Raider and it also has an RGB bar at the front.

OK, just kidding about the RGB bar, I find that stuff hideous and would check if I could take it out, did that with both my Clevo X170.

 

The Titan 18 also has a full magnesium alloy palm rest (not a metal backplate like the Raider 18) which to me is more notable as it gets the build quality closer to a mobile workstation.

 

What really hurts the Titan and Raider is that they should offer four models of each, 4080+QHD, 4080+UHD, 4090+QHD, 4090+UHD. That way anyone can purchase whatever screen and GPU they want depending on the use. All of those should come with 32GB of memory and 2TB of storage, let resellers do value added upgrades beyond that. I would have had the vapor chamber come with all Raider 18 / Titan 18 with 4080 and 4090.

 

I like the design of the Raider 18. It is better than the Asus Strix 18 for sure. It does not have coil whine issues either. I do believe the front RGB light bar can be safely unplugged but would need to test. The lid logo RGB is integrated into the LCD cable so it cannot be disabled the same way.

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Clevo X370SNW - 13900HX, 64GB DDR5-5600 CL40, 4TB Samsung 990 Pro, RTX 4090 mobile, 17.3 inch FHD 144hz, System76 open source firmware, Windows 10 Pro 22H2

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MSI has been limiting themselves for some time now (3 generations) with offering almost exclusively UHD screens in their top tier laptops despite evidence to the contrary that it is hurting sales of these top of the line units especially with the gaming variants and even more so in the absence of Gsync that would be less of an issue with a QHD+ screen.

 

Agreed on the vapor chamber, provided it is really significantly better and apparently it is for the CPU. I would prefer to have it in the 4080 and 4090 SKUs and only offer the heatpipe solution for the 4070 SKUs that are available in certain countries.

 

It is also hard to justify 4 or more different models that apart from having two different GPUs only differentiate themselves from the others by their memory or storage so fully agreed on that. Anything less than 32GB memory does not make much sense any more and a 2TB drive is a size that is actually of some use and a good fit for a top tier system without breaking the bank and it would help specialized retailers to deck out the units for their customers as they require it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have now ordered one myself from here:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/326153579810

It's a reasonable price and has the QHD+ resolution that I prefer. 

 

It is a regular ca. 500nits LCD screen and if somebody wants to check it out this seems like the best price by quite some margin for the 4080 option.

Currently it also is the only option available with a QHD+ screen as all other versions seem to have the UHD+ screen option that does not really work for my use case.

 

I am especially interested in checking out how the 14900HX performs as I already had a Titan for testing that I was not that impressed with the one that the Titan had and I also need to check if I can squeeze in an additional 2230 SSD in the WiFi slot.

 

I wanted a laptop with 4 memory slots and an 18" 16:10 QHD+ screen for some time now and could not really warm up to the Titan that looks silly to me with its combination of black, silver/grey and blue plus the screen is UHD+ for now. The Raider is "only" black and red plus it also costs a lot less so it is worth a try for me.

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks like the Titan 18 is getting an AMD CPU variant: https://wccftech.com/msi-titan-18-pro-ryzen-edition-gaming-laptop-amd-ryzen-9-7945hx3d/

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1 hour ago, Clamibot said:

Looks like the Titan 18 is getting an AMD CPU variant: https://wccftech.com/msi-titan-18-pro-ryzen-edition-gaming-laptop-amd-ryzen-9-7945hx3d/

 

This is the AMD version of the Raider 18 chassis but the Chinese like to call it the Titan Pro which they probably think sounds cooler.

 

It has been online on the international website for some time now so those "journalists" are not really that great and merely blurting out stuff without even having a look - who would have thought 😄

 

You can find it here:

https://www.msi.com/Laptop/Raider-A18-HX-A7VX

 

And here in the overview of the Raider series:

https://www.msi.com/Laptops/Products#?tag=Raider-Series

 

I need at least 128GB of memory and either TB or USB 4 so it is not for me but as high powered BGA books with added memory and possible storage go it looks quite good and luckily has the QHD+ display.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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