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Friday, June 14, 2024

MSI Claw after extra updates: nope, it’s nonetheless a dud

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When I called the MSI Claw an embarrassment in my Might 18th assessment, one commenter identified they’d gotten increased benchmark scores than me. Positive sufficient: MSI had pushed out new graphics drivers and BIOS updates between the time I benchmarked and the time we revealed.

I’ve now examined these updates. In a few of my checks, they’re higher. In others, I truly discovered them worse! Total, they don’t change my conclusion one bit: the MSI Claw is the worst choose from right now’s crop of client handheld gaming PCs, and you need to steer clear.

Beneath, you’ll discover my new benchmark leads to the identical video games, throughout all the Claw’s commonplace energy modes. In virtually each take a look at, you’ll see the Claw dramatically behind the competitors in pace whereas utilizing extra energy.

New outcomes bolded. All checks at 720p low, save Filth Rally at 720p extremely.

Worse, I’m nonetheless discovering the Claw varies wildly between playable and utterly unplayable in demanding video games the place the cheaper Steam Deck has no points. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I noticed the sport repeatedly and inexplicably dip to only 20fps in a cave with no enemies round at 720p and Medium spec, earlier than recovering to a steady 60fps a short time later.

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I noticed one thing comparable in Cyberpunk 2077, although the MSI Claw now usually has a better framerate in that sport after updates.

And I’m additionally now seeing some very bizarre habits with the Claw on the subject of energy modes. You would possibly anticipate MSI’s “Efficiency” mode to be speedier than its “Balanced” mode, proper? That’s not what I noticed in Cyberpunk 2077 — and once I took an in depth take a look at the framerate dips, I observed they at all times coincided with an surprising energy dip.

Whereas the Intel Meteor Lake chip consumed a reasonably steady 30 watts in Balanced mode, it tried to hit 35, 36, even 37 watts in Efficiency mode — and couldn’t preserve it, dipping all the way down to 29 watts time and again. Plugged into USB-C energy, the Efficiency mode labored higher, frequently pulling between 37 and 45 watts of energy. Not that the additional energy made an enchancment in Cyberpunk, sadly.

And if you happen to’re seeing increased scores than I’m, I extremely counsel you run that benchmark one other three or 4 instances, as a result of it seems like MSI now runs its chip unsustainably sooner for some time after you turn energy modes, then throttles again down. The Asus ROG Ally does the identical trick, and I at all times needed to run my benchmarks a bunch of additional instances there earlier than I begin counting, so I don’t throw off the typical with outliers. I didn’t want to try this once I first reviewed the Claw.

To MSI and Intel’s credit score, at the very least Dave the Diver feels playable now at a easy 60fps with solely occasional drops, in contrast to in my authentic assessment.

Total, I feel the MSI Claw ought to by no means have gone on sale. I’m glad I by no means had the urge to purchase one when it first got here out. I’d really feel cheated, identical to the customers in MSI’s own forums say they feel cheated, now that MSI has introduced not one, but two improved versions lower than three months after the unique got here out.

It actually doesn’t assist that the corporate put it on sale earlier than giving reviewers an opportunity to warn anybody.

If MSI is critical concerning the handheld area, and it sounds like the company is, I feel it ought to provide a trade-in program for consumers of the unique Claw. If you wish to repair this, MSI, allow them to choose one in every of this fall’s revisions at a large low cost.



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