MSI Claw just after a lot more updates: nope, it is still a dud

When I identified as the MSI Claw an embarrassment in my May well 18th evaluation, 1 commenter pointed out they’d gotten larger benchmark scores than me. Confident ample: MSI had pushed out new graphics motorists and BIOS updates in between the time I benchmarked and the time we printed.

I’ve now tested those people updates. In some of my checks, they are superior. In other people, I actually identified them worse! In general, they really don’t modify my conclusion one little bit: the MSI Claw is the worst select from today’s crop of client handheld gaming PCs, and you ought to steer crystal clear.

Below, you will discover my new benchmark success in the similar online games, across all of the Claw’s conventional power modes. In just about each take a look at, you’ll see the Claw drastically powering the opposition in speed although making use of extra ability.

New benefits bolded. All exams at 720p low, save Dirt Rally at 720p extremely.

Even worse, I’m still acquiring the Claw varies wildly between playable and wholly unplayable in demanding games the place the a lot less costly Steam Deck has no troubles. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I observed the activity repeatedly and inexplicably dip to just 20fps in a cave with no enemies close to at 720p and Medium spec, before recovering to a stable 60fps a tiny though afterwards.

I noticed anything identical in Cyberpunk 2077, even though the MSI Claw now typically has a larger framerate in that video game soon after updates.

And I’m also now seeing some very strange conduct with the Claw when it comes to electric power modes. You may possibly hope MSI’s “Performance” mode to be speedier than its “Balanced” manner, ideal? That’s not what I noticed in Cyberpunk 2077 — and when I took a near look at the framerate dips, I observed they generally coincided with an unforeseen electrical power dip.

Though the Intel Meteor Lake chip eaten a very steady 30 watts in Balanced mode, it tried out to hit 35, 36, even 37 watts in Efficiency mode — and couldn’t sustain it, dipping down to 29 watts once more and yet again. Plugged into USB-C power, the General performance mode labored superior, continuously pulling concerning 37 and 45 watts of power. Not that the added electric power manufactured an enhancement in Cyberpunk, unfortunately.

And if you are seeing bigger scores than I am, I extremely advise you run that benchmark a different three or four times, for the reason that it looks like MSI now runs its chip unsustainably a lot quicker for a whilst just after you switch energy modes, then throttles back down. The Asus ROG Ally does the similar trick, and I often had to run my benchmarks a bunch of extra moments there right before I start out counting, so I never toss off the typical with outliers. I did not need to have to do that when I first reviewed the Claw.

To MSI and Intel’s credit rating, at the very least Dave the Diver feels playable now at a easy 60fps with only occasional drops, in contrast to in my initial review.

All round, I think the MSI Claw need to by no means have absent on sale. I’m glad I never ever had the urge to acquire a single when it very first came out. I would sense cheated, just like the customers in MSI’s have discussion boards who say they really feel cheated, now that MSI has announced not a single, but two improved versions less than a few months soon after the original came out.

It definitely does not help that the business place it on sale right before giving reviewers a probability to alert any person.

If MSI is serious about the handheld place, and it seems like the enterprise is, I consider it should really offer a trade-in program for customers of the initial Claw. If you want to fix this, MSI, let them decide on a single of this fall’s revisions at a huge low cost.

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