Home / NoteBook Reviews / MSI GS66 Stealth review – the white collar performance notebook

MSI GS66 Stealth review – the white collar performance notebook

MSI GS66 Stealth overview – the white collar efficiency pocket book

I lastly bought to spend time with the 2020 MSI GS66 Stealth efficiency ultraportable, and I’ve gathered my ideas on this product down under, with the strong traits and its quirks.

You most likely know lots about it by now, however having reviewed it later than different web sites, I may also inform you how this compares to the opposite 15-inch notebooks in the identical area of interest, which I’ve additionally examined within the meantime.

Lengthy story quick, the GS66 is a model new product for 2020, with a brand new exterior design, new inside chassis, a brand new keyboard, and up to date specs over the 2019 GS65.

Not like a number of the different OEMs, MSI provides potential patrons a number of configurations of this laptop computer, with i7 or i9 processors, RTX 2060 to 2080 Tremendous graphics, and a number of other varieties of screens. That makes it aggressive on the greater finish with the very best 15-inch efficiency ultraportables on the market, however particularly within the lower-tier SKUs, the place the competitors usually is available in with considerably compromised merchandise, such because the Zephyrus M15, the Blade 15 Base or the Predator Triton 300.

That brings us to our check unit, which is a type of decrease specced fashions with an Intel Core i7-10750H processor, 1TB of storage, Nvidia RTX 2070 graphics, and a 240 Hz 3ms IPS display. On the time of this overview, this kind of configuration goes for round $1800 within the US and round 2000 EUR over right here in Europe, however you may comply with this hyperlink for up to date costs and configurations.

Specs as reviewed – MSI GS66 Stealth

MSI GS66 Stealth 10SF
Display 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 px IPS 240 Hz 3ms, 16:9, non-touch, matte, Sharp LQ156M1JW03 panel
Processor Intel Comet Lake-H Core i7-10750H CPU, 6C/12T
Video Intel UHD + Nvidia RTX 2070 Eight GB (80-90 W Max-Q, Overclocked) – Optimus mode
Reminiscence 32 GB DDR4 2666 MHz (2x DIMMs)
Storage 1x 1 TB SSD (Samsung PM981) – 2x M.2 NVMe 80 mm slots
Connectivity Wi-fi 6 (Killer AC 1650i), Bluetooth 5.zero, 2.5 Gigabit LAN (Killer E3100)
Ports 3x USB-A Three.2 gen2, 1x USB-C with Thunderbolt Three, 1x USB-C Three.2 gen2, HDMI 2.zero, LAN, mic/earphone, Lock
Battery 99.9 Wh, 230 W energy brick, USB-C charging help
Dimension 359 mm or 14.14” (w) x 248 mm or 9.76 (d) x 19.Eight mm or .77” (h)
Weight Four.78 lbs (2.17 kg) + 2.02 lbs (.92 kg) energy brick and cables, EU mannequin
Extras per-key RGB backlit keyboard, HD + IR webcam, stereo 2x 2W audio system

MSI provides this laptop computer in a mess of configurations, beginning with 6Core Intel i7-10750H processors and RTX 2060/2070 graphics and a 240 Hz display on the decrease finish, and as much as an 8Core i9-10980HK configuration with RTX 2070/zero80 Tremendous graphics and a 300 Hz show.

Design and construct

As talked about already, MSI have utterly redesigned this 2020 era of the GS Stealth, and so they needed to, given the general precarious craftsmanship high quality of the earlier GS65 chassis launched in 2018, after which barely patched for 2019.

The GS66 feels total a lot sturdier than the GS65, with nearly no flex in the principle chassis and one of many strongest screens within the phase. Nonetheless, I nonetheless observed some creaking sounds when urgent tougher on the arm-rest, or when grabbing the laptop computer in arms and selecting it up from the corners. They’re delicate, however their nonetheless there, no less than on our pattern.

I used to be sort of anticipating these small imperfections, figuring out that the GS66 will not be a unibody design as a number of the different choices in its class, and as a substitute nonetheless made out of sheets of metallic added onto a plastic interior body. For what’s price, although, the construct high quality has been improved and shouldn’t be a priority for many of you, except you’re anticipating the sort of really feel and high quality you’d get with a MacBook or Razer Blade, which you’d must pay a premium for.

That apart, this 2020 GS66 can also be barely thicker and heavier than the GS65 era, on account of its more durable development, redesigned thermal module, and the inclusion of a 99.9 Wh battery, the most important within the phase. At 2.2 kilos (plus about 1 kilo for the facility brick), it’s nonetheless throughout the phase’s limits, and its compact form-factor makes it a wonderful possibility for every single day commuting.

MSI additionally made positive to reduce the bezels across the display, however nonetheless allowed sufficient area for a twin IR+webcam on the prime, with help for Home windows Hiya. There’s no finger-sensor possibility, although, however you do get up-firing audio system. I bear in mind MSI taunting dual-direction audio system of their launch supplies, however from what I’m seeing, there are not any speaker grills on the underside and the sound solely comes out by way of these tiny cuts on the proper and left corners of the arm-rest. These audio system get loud, however don’t count on a lot by way of audio high quality, they’re among the many tinniest on this phase.

This new GS can also be a extra spartan design than the earlier GS65. Black aluminum is used for the complete casing, with no different accents and a really delicate black Dragon defend branding on the lid, plus Steelseries and DynAudio logos engraved on the inside. I want that MSI emblem underneath the lid would have been smaller or in a darker shade as effectively, it sort of stands out as it’s. This apart, although, the GS66 is a really clear and muted product, or will probably be when you peel off these stickers on the arm-rest.

On the identical time, some would possibly argue that this collection seems a bit bland and has misplaced its character, however I’m not in that camp. It seems easy, clear, , simply as I’d count on from a flexible work/play pc. These black surfaces nonetheless present smudges, although, even when maybe not as badly as on different dark-metal laptops, so that you’ll need to preserve a cleansing rug at hand.

I’m not a giant fan of that shiny entrance edge, although. I perceive that they needed to put the wi-fi antennas someplace, however why behind a shiny piece of cheap-looking plastic that’s going to scratch simply? Moreover, the design leaves a reasonably sharp entrance edge and annoyingly pointy corners, the sort that may aggressively dig into your wrists with day by day use. MSI ought to have put extra effort into this small, however in any other case distinguished a part of the chassis, as one thing that you just’ll are available contact with every single day when selecting up the display or utilizing the laptop computer.

The GS66 is in any other case pretty sensible. Giant and grippy rubber toes preserve it effectively anchored on a desk, the display may be simply adjusted with a single hand and it goes all the way in which again flat to 180 levels. Nonetheless, there’s no notch on the entrance lip, so selecting up the display will not be as seamless as I’d count on, and would usually require using each arms or your fingernails. Once more, a small quirk, however the form that can annoy you every single day throughout your lifetime with this pocket book.

I must also add that MSI went with a reasonably slender arm-rest on this pocket book, with the keyboard being pushed down onto the chassis as a way to reserve the highest for the thermal module. Air is drawn in by way of the grill on the prime of the keyboard, in addition to by way of the wide-open again, and pushed out by way of the exhausts on the again edge and the edges. It is a pretty good implementation, but in addition the sort that can simply collect mud inside, one thing to remember. Actually, as you’ll see down under, there’s loads of mud inside our unit after about 2-Three months of use.

Lastly, let’s contact on the IO. It’s completely positioned on the left and proper edge, with the DC plug and video connectors on the suitable, exterior of your mouse space. The laptop computer consists of USB-A and USB-C ports, in addition to a Thunderbolt Three port with knowledge, DP, and as much as 100W of Energy Supply, however there’s nonetheless no card-reader right here, one thing professionals wanting into this kind of a business-friendly design would have appreciated.

Keyboard and trackpad

MSI have redesigned the inputs from the earlier GS65 era, with a barely totally different feeling keyboard and a bigger clickpad.

They nonetheless follow their annoying format particularities, reminiscent of that huge left CTRL key that sends the Fn key to the suitable, now squashed into the suitable CTRL, and cramping up what was already a cramped space across the directional keys. They’ve additionally included the facility button as a key within the prime proper nook with this era, and put an always-on crimson gentle into it that doesn’t make any sense to me. A minimum of it’s a tiny LED, in contrast to on different laptops that go together with lit Energy keys.

Then again, this format provides further secondary performance to the highest proper of the F keys in comparison with their earlier implementation, and retains the features column on the proper aspect.

So far as utilizing this keyboard on a regular basis, again once they launched the GS66, MSI taunted a modified and improved keyboard suggestions, and as somebody who bought alongside wonderful with their earlier design, I used to be fearful they’d mess this up. Fortunately, they haven’t, however there’s a catch.

That is proper now the softest keyboard on this 15-inch area of interest of premium efficiency laptops. With 1.5 mm of journey and little effort required to register a stroke, this keyboard feels so much like an ultrabook keyboard, so these used to stiffer inputs may need a tough time getting used to it.

I for one can see myself utilizing this as a day by day typer, although. It’s very fast and really quiet, but in addition moderately unforgiving on any straying fingers with these delicate actuations, and that took a slight toll on my typing expertise. Total, although, that is amongst my favourite typers on this area of interest.

The per-key RGB illumination carried over from the earlier generations, with vivid sufficient LEDs, good uniformity, and nearly no gentle creeping out from underneath the keycaps. The design additionally consists of bodily CasLock and NumLk indicators, and MSI notebooks additionally provide this neat trick that solely lights up the obtainable features whenever you press the FN key.

Then again, whereas nonetheless largely useful when you perceive the way it works, MSI’s Steelseries Engine management software program seems and feels dated, with vintage graphics and minuscule, hardly usable interfaces. Actually, their whole software program suite may use a whole revamp, bringing all of the management choices right into a unified modernly designed interface.

For mouse, MSI went with a wider, however what seems to me like a shorter clickpad than on the earlier era, on account of the narrower arm-rest and reserving a lot of the top-area for the thermal module. I used to be OK with the scale and total really feel and efficiency of this glass implementation with Precision drivers, particularly appreciating the graceful clicks and durable development that forestalls rattling when tapped firmer. This shorter format is perhaps limiting with some gestures, although.

I’ve additionally seen some complaints of poor palm-rejection with this wider clickpad, however I haven’t observed any glitches throughout my time with this pattern.

As for biometrics, there’s an IR digital camera on the GS66, however no finger-sensor.

Display

For the display, MSI provide both a UHD IPS possibility or two sorts of FHD IPS panels for the GS66 collection: a Sharp-made 240 Hz mannequin for the lower-tier configurations, the one on this unit, or an AU Optronics-made 300 Hz panel on the higher-tier variants, the one we’ve already examined within the Zephyrus S15 and Predator Triton 500.

The UHD panel is a vivid and punchy possibility for creators and professionals searching for a 100% AdobeRGB prepared display, however can also be costly, takes a toll on the battery life and isn’t preferrred for gaming, with its 60 Hz refresh and slower response occasions.

The FHD choices are extra versatile for each gaming and day by day use, with the 300 Hz providing barely elevated shade protection, deeper blacks, and improved distinction, however the form you’ll hardly discover even when having the 2 choices aspect by aspect. On prime of that, pretty severe levels on gentle bleeding have been reported for the AU Optronics B156HAN12.zero 300 Hz panel, and we’ve additionally skilled it in varied levels in our exams, whereas the 240 Hz choices we’ve examined showcased much less pronounced bleeding. Actually, there’s nearly no gentle bleeding on this pattern.

So when you had been set on the 300 Hz display, however these configurations are usually not inside your finances, I wouldn’t fear, this Sharp-made 240 Hz panel is almost pretty much as good on most ranges, and even higher at uniformity. Actually, it’s final 12 months’s top-tier panel possibility, beforehand applied in gadgets such because the MSI GS65, Razer Blade 15, and Gigabyte Aero 15.

If we’re to nitpick, I do have to say that there’s no GSync help right here, and actually on any of the GS66 configurations, and this panel’s most brightness solely goes as much as round 300-nits on the highest settings, which could not be sufficient for brightly lit environments.

Right here’s what we bought in our exams, with a X-Ceremony i1 Show Professional sensor:

  • Panel HardwareID: Sharp SHP14C5 (LQ156M1JW03);
  • Protection: 98.7% sRGB, 69.9% AdobeRGB, 72.Three% DCI P3;
  • Measured gamma: 2.16;
  • Max brightness in the midst of the display: 299.37 cd/m2 on energy;
  • Min brightness in the midst of the display: 15.69 cd/m2 on energy;
  • Distinction at max brightness: 1074:1;
  • White level: 6800 Okay;
  • Black on max brightness: zero.27 cd/m2;
  • PWM: 24 KHz, < 19% (supply) – to be confirmed.
  • Response: ~14ms GtG (supply) – to be confirmed.

The panel is effectively calibrated out of the field on the included sRGB setting, and additional working our calibration software program as a way to deal with the minorly skewed White Level and Gamma lowers the brightness by about 5-Eight%. The panel returns strong shade and brightness uniformity as soon as that’s executed.

As a aspect word, we don’t have the suitable software to check for PWM and response, that’s why above we’ve listed Notebookcheck’s outcomes for a similar 240 Hz panel applied within the 2019 MSI GS65 Stealth as a reference.

and efficiency

Our check mannequin is a lower-specced configuration of the MSI GS66 Stealth, with an Intel Core i7-10750H processor, 16 GB of DDR4 2666 MHz of reminiscence, 1 TB of quick Samsung PM981 storage and twin graphics: the Nvidia RTX 2070 dGPU and the Intel UHD throughout the Intel platforms, with Optimus.

Earlier than we proceed, remember that our overview unit was despatched over by MSI, working on the software program obtainable as of Mid-June 2020 (BIOS E16V1IMS, Dragon Middle 2.zero.52.zero, GeForce Sport Prepared 446.14 drivers).

Spec-wise, MSI provides the GS66 in a mess of configurations. Ours is a decrease to mid-tier variant, with the 6Core Intel i7-10750H processor, whereas the highest fashions get the 8Core i9-10980HK, which goes to outperform it in demanding masses by a good margin. Make certain to look into critiques, although, these Comet Lake 10th gen Intel processors require loads of energy as a way to help the upper speeds.

As for the GPU, what we now have right here is the 2019 Nvidia 2070 in a Max-Q implementation, working at 65 to 80 W between the efficiency modes. Increased-tier RTX 2070/2080 Tremendous are additionally obtainable, in addition to an RTX 2060 on the bottom configurations.

The up to date Intel platform additionally helps as much as 3200 MHz DDR4 reminiscence. Nonetheless, our configuration solely will get 16 GB of DDR4 2666 MHz RAM, in dual-channel, with 2x 8GB DIMMs. The 2 DIMMs are simply accessible inside for upgrades, the place you’ll additionally discover two M.2 SSD slots and the WiFi chip. Our unit got here with a single 1 TB SSD, a quick Samsung PM981 drive.

Attending to the parts is pretty simple, you simply have to come out the again cowl, maintain in place by a handful of Philips screws. Cautious there’s a guaranty sticker on considered one of these screws, so that you would possibly need to inquire about guarantee circumstances in your area when you plan to open this up. So far as I’m involved, these kinds of guarantee stickers stopping customers from performing upgrades needs to be banned!

As talked about already, MSI’s software program suite is pretty useful, however dated by way of design and interfaces. The Dragon Middle app controls the principle efficiency/followers/display/battery settings, whereas the sound and keyboard are managed by way of separated apps. There’s additionally an possibility to pick between a Hybrid and Discrete GPU mode in Dragon Middle, and we’ve run all our exams on Discrete, which disables the iGPU and hooks up the interior monitor straight into the Nvidia GPU. There’s no GSync help on this laptop computer, although.

The GS66 is not only a efficiency laptop computer, it may well additionally deal with on a regular basis multitasking, shopping, and video, whereas working quietly and coolly. Two of the followers stay lively with day by day use, however they’re just about inaudible in most conditions.

On to extra demanding masses, we begin by testing the CPU’s efficiency by working the Cinebench R15 check for 15+ occasions in a loop, with 2-Three seconds delay between every run.

The i7 processor stabilizes at 53+W on the usual Excessive Efficiency setting, which interprets in frequencies of three.5+ GHz and temperatures of 90+ C, scores of 1550+ factors, and followers ramping as much as 45-47 dB at head-level.

Undervolting is disabled by default, however you may allow it in BIOS. For that, reboot in BIOS mode and press Proper Ctrl + Proper Shift + Left Alt + F2 on the identical time to unlock the Superior BIOS features, after which scroll all the way down to Overclocking settings, allow Overclocking and XTU help, after which reboot again into Home windows.

Our pattern ran stably at as much as -120 mV, however we dialed again to -80 mV to stop any stability points and preserve a consistency between the undervolted profiles we’re utilizing in most of our critiques.

On this undervolted Excessive Profile, the CPU runs at Three.6+ GHz and a TDP of solely 50+ W, with equally excessive temperatures of 90+ levels Celsius. Because of this, this profile solely returns a roughly 2-5% enhance in scores over the inventory profile, with energy being the limiting issue on this pattern in each instances.

Switching over to the Silent profile limits the CPU at 45W, with decrease frequencies and scores, however the identical sort of temperatures. The followers run a lot quieter on this case, although, at solely 35-37 dB at head-level. Lastly, the CPU energy is proscribed at 25+W on battery, with matching scores. Particulars under.

Total, this GS66 pattern carried out poorer than the opposite i7-10750H notebooks we’ve examined on this identical class, with the CPU working at decrease energy and better temperatures, in addition to returning Three-Eight% decrease scores on this Cinebench loop check. It does have a slight noise benefit over a number of the rivals, although.

Nonetheless, the i7-10750H processor can theoretically maintain as much as Four.Three GHz Turbo clocks in all-core masses, and our unit solely does as much as Three.6+ GHz sustained at 50+W of energy as soon as undervolted, which is about 80% of the platform’s potential.

Nonetheless, the outcomes are higher than I’d have anticipated judging by the restricted quantity of CPU energy, with the opposite examined implementations returning barely greater frequencies, however at 63-70W of energy. Actually, XTU reveals a 65W TDP restrict set for this laptop computer as effectively, but our pattern runs considerably under that, because of a mixture of each thermal (at first) and energy (in a while) limitations. For what’s price, although, our unit will not be a retail mannequin, so that you must also look into different critiques of ultimate retail fashions if these kinds of particulars matter to you.

With that out of the way in which, we then went forward and additional verified our findings with the longer Cinebench R20 loop check and the grotesque Prime 95, on the Excessive Efficiency profile with the -80 mV utilized undervolt.

We additionally ran our mixed CPU+GPU stress exams on this pocket book. 3DMark stress runs the identical check for 20 occasions in a loop and appears for efficiency variation and degradation over time, and this unit handed it with no drawback. Luxmark Three.1 absolutely masses each the CPU and GPU on the identical time. The CPU stabilizes at round 40W, with the GPU working at round 80W.

Subsequent, we ran the complete suite of exams and benchmarks, on the inventory Excessive Efficiency profile in Dragon Middle.

  • 3DMark 13 – Hearth Strike: 15164 (Graphics – 16738, Physics – 16613, Mixed – 8261);
  • 3DMark 13 – Port Royal: 3772;
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 6336 (Graphics – 6310, CPU – 6488);
  • AIDA64 Reminiscence check: Write: Learn: 48461 MB/s, Learn: 44732 MB/s, Latency: 57.Three ns;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Excessive: 3878;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 12234;
  • Handbrake 1.Three.1 (4K to 1080p encode): 34.87 common fps;
  • PassMark: Ranking: 6525 (CPU mark: 16033, 3D Graphics Mark: 11609, Disk Mark: 24418);
  • PCMark 10: 5481 (Necessities – 9092, Productiveness – 7500, Digital Content material Creation – 6555);
  • GeekBench Four.Four.2 64-bit: Single-Core: 5658, Multi-core: 25267;
  • GeekBench 5.zero.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 1227, Multi-core: 6231;
  • CineBench R15 (greatest run): CPU 1222 cb, CPU Single Core 193 cb;
  • CineBench R20 (greatest run): CPU 2737 cb, CPU Single Core 460 cb;
  • x264 HD Benchmark Four.zero 32-bit: Go 1 – 222.38 fps, Go 2 – 71.88 fps;
  • x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 50.21 s.

The default Excessive Efficiency profile doesn’t impression the GPU in any manner, that’s why we additionally reran a number of the exams on a -80mV Undervolted Excessive Efficiency profile, alongside an overclocked GPU in MSI Afterburner, at +120 MHz Clock and +200 MHz Reminiscence. We’ll additional name this the Excessive Tweaked profile. For what’s price, the GPU nonetheless runs at as much as 80W of energy even on this profile, and never at 90W as on different 2070 Max-Q implementations.

Right here’s what we bought on this case:

  • 3DMark 13 – Hearth Strike: 16085 (Graphics – 17725, Physics – 17691, Mixed – 8790);
  • 3DMark 13 – Port Royal: 3979;
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 6767 (Graphics – 6734, CPU – 6965);
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Excessive: 4086;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 12597;
  • Handbrake 1.Three.1 (4K to 1080p encode): 36.13 common fps;
  • PCMark 10: 5637 (Necessities – 9495, Productiveness – 7542, Digital Content material Creation – 6787);
  • GeekBench 5.zero.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 1248, Multi-core: 6651;
  • CineBench R15 (greatest run): CPU 1241 cb, CPU Single Core 194 cb;
  • CineBench R20 (greatest run): CPU 2964 cb, CPU Single Core 462 cb;
  • x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 48.12 s.

We additionally ran some Workstation associated masses, on the Excessive and Excessive Tweaked profiles:

  • Blender 2.82 – BMW Automotive scene- CPU Compute: 5m 9s (Excessive), 4m 42s (Excessive Tweaked);
  • Blender 2.82 – BMW Automotive scene- GPU Compute: 1m 20s (CUDA), 36s (Optix);
  • Blender 2.82 – Classroom scene – CPU Compute: 15m 56s (Excessive), 14m 50s (Excessive Tweaked);
  • Blender 2.82 – Classroom scene – GPU Compute: 5m 44s (CUDA), 3m 45s (Optix);
  • Luxmark Three.1 – Luxball HDR – OpenCL CPUs + GPUs rating: 28841;
  • SPECviewerf 13 – 3DSMax: 152.Four (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Catia: 99.05 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Creo: 145.69 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Power: 16.67 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Maya: 187.7 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Medical: 43.93 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Showcase: 88.21 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – SNX: 15.05 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – SW: 71.28 (Excessive).

Lastly, right here’s how this i7-10750H + RTX 2070 configuration of the MSI GS66 compares to some different gadgets in the identical area of interest by way of benchmarks scores.

With these out of the way in which, let’s take a look at some video games. We ran a few DX11, DX12, and Vulkan titles on the inventory Excessive and Excessive UV profiles, with the followers on Auto. Right here’s what we bought:

i7-10750H + RTX 2070 Max-Q FHD Excessive FHD Excessive Tweaked FHD Silent * QHD Excessive
Battlefield V (DX 12, Extremely Preset, Ray-Tracing OFF) 95 fps (81 fps – 1% low) 106 fps (91 fps – 1% low) 81 fps (67 fps – 1% low) 69 fps (46 fps – 1% low)
Battlefield V (DX 12, Extremely Preset, Ray-Tracing ON, DLSS OFF) 49 fps (41 fps – 1% low) 56 fps (49 fps – 1% low) 43 fps (34 fps – 1% low) 36 fps (29 fps – 1% low)
Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Extremely Preset, SMAA) 91 fps (68 fps – 1% low) 96 fps (70 fps – 1% low) 89 fps (62 fps – 1% low) 66 fps (42 fps – 1% low)
Center Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Extremely Preset) 156 fps (94 fps – 1% low) 162 fps (112 fps – 1% low) 131 fps (84 fps – 1% low) 104 fps (78 fps – 1% low)
Purple Useless Redemption 2 (DX 12, Extremely Optimized, TAA) 66 fps (52 fps – 1% low) 73 fps (57 fps – 1% low) 62 fps (47  fps – 1% low) 48 fps (39 fps – 1% low)
Rise of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Very Excessive Preset, FXAA) 94 fps (54 fps – 1% low) 106 fps (58 fps – 1% low) 78 fps (42 – 1% low) 72 fps (52 fps – 1% low)
Shadow of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA) 76 fps (60 fps – 1% low) 83 fps (63 fps – 1% low) 56 fps (41 fps – 1% low) 54 fps (43 fps – 1% low)
Unusual Brigade (Vulkan, Extremely Preset) 118 fps (88 fps – 1% low) 129 fps (99 fps – 1% low) 90 fps (65 fps – 1% low) 90 fps (72 fps – 1% low)
The Witcher Three: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Extremely Preset, Hairworks On Four 80 fps (53 fps – 1% low) 87 fps (65 fps – 1% low) 72 fps (50 fps – 1% low) 61 fps (34 fps – 1% low)
  • Battlefield V, The Witcher Three – recorded with Fraps/in-game FPS counter in marketing campaign mode;
  • Far Cry 5, Center Earth, Unusual Brigade, Purple Useless Redemption 2, Tomb Raider video games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities;
  • Purple Useless Redemption 2 Optimized profile based mostly on these settings.

The HWinfo logs under present the CPU and GPU speeds and temperatures in Farcry 5, Battlefield V, Purple Useless Redemptions 2, and Witcher Three on the inventory Excessive Efficiency profile.

The CPU runs at very excessive temperatures, within the 88 to 95 levels between the examined titles, whereas the GPU runs at glorious temperatures of 72-76 levels, with the followers spinning at round 45-47 dB at head-level, which is about common for this class.

The efficiency is strong throughout the board, nevertheless, this implementation retains the CPU working at excessive energy settings and frequencies, which ends up in these excessive temperatures.

Elevating the laptop computer from the desk doesn’t make any vital distinction within the efficiency or temperatures right here.

Nonetheless, undervolting the CPU and particularly overclocking the GPU barely push up the general frequencies by 2-5%, with a slight enhance in GPU temperatures and a roughly 5-10% enhance in framerates in all of the examined titles.

MSI additionally provides a Cooler Enhance fan profile for this laptop computer, which permits the CPU to run at even greater clocks, however nonetheless at excessive 90+ levels Celsius in FarCry 5, however extra comfy 83+ Celsius within the much less CPU demanding Witcher Three title. This additionally has a constructive impression on the GPU’s temperatures and frequencies, particularly within the Tweaked profile. Nonetheless, this Cooler Enhance profile additionally pushes the fan noise to unusable ranges of 52-53 dB.

Usually, if I had been to get this laptop computer I’d look into limiting the CPU as a way to cut back these excessive temperatures whereas retaining the followers at bay, however that possibility was disabled in Throttlestop on this pattern. There is perhaps a solution to allow it within the Superior BIOS settings, although, however I couldn’t determine it out, so simply gave up on any additional tweaks.

Switching over to the Silent efficiency profile quiets the followers to under 38 dB, however with a rise in temperatures and a toll in efficiency. Each the CPU and GPU are thermally capped on this case, with the CPU working at round 22W and the GPU at 65W. Video games are nonetheless playable, however the laptop computer’s chassis reaches very excessive temperatures and I can’t suggest utilizing this mode for lengthy, particularly with demanding titles.

Lastly, the GS66 can also be a great candidate for exterior monitor use, though the CPU runs scorching on this case as effectively. A lot of the air is sucked in by way of the underside, so temperatures shouldn’t be a priority when utilizing the laptop computer with the lid closed, however I’d suggest putting it in a vertical stand to enhance air consumption.

Total, this GS66 pattern carried out effectively, however these excessive CPU temperatures in all our exams and in video games are a purpose for concern. As soon as extra, our check unit will not be a retail mannequin and I’d wish to retest a type of last merchandise if given the prospect. Within the meantime, I’d recommend double-checking our findings with different sources if attainable.

Noise, Warmth, Connectivity, audio system, and others

The MSI GS66 Stealth will get a fancy cooling design, with three followers and a mess of heatpipes unfold over the CPU, GPU and VRMs, however with no Northbridge thermal plate. On a more in-depth look, although, most of this module is designed across the GPU, and the CPU solely advantages from two rather-narrow heatpipes, which could clarify these excessive CPU temperatures.

As an additional word, the wide-open again mesh permits correct air flow, however mud additionally simply gathers inside. You may already see the mud accumulating on the heatpipes and throughout the followers’ blades on our pattern, which is about 2-Three months outdated.

The followers run quietly with day by day use and also you received’t discover them in an everyday faculty/work atmosphere, however they’re all the time lively and audible in a quiet room, even on the Silent profile. I haven’t observed any coil profitable or digital noises on our unit.

Right here’s what to anticipate by way of noise, at head-level.

  • Excessive Efficiency, followers on Cooler Enhance – 52-53 dB with video games;
  • Excessive Efficiency, followers on Auto – 45-47 dB with video games, 45-47 dB with Cinebench loop check;
  • Silent, followers on Auto – 37-38 dB with video games, 32-35 dB with day by day use.

With video games, the followers ramp as much as solely about 45-47 dB at head-level on the usual Excessive Profile, which is about common for this kind of a pocket book.  Ramping up the followers to their max pushes the noise to unusable 52-53 dB ranges, whereas switching over to Silent decrease the noise underneath 38 dB when working video games, however with a rise in inside and particularly exterior temperatures.

Talking of, this GS66 heats-up a good bit with longer gaming periods.

The outer temperatures are about common. We’re taking a look at temperatures within the low-50s in the midst of the keyboard on the Excessive Efficiency profile, high-40s across the WASD space, and low-60s in sure spots on the again. The Silent profile additional pushes these temperatures a good bit, whereas on Cooler Enhance these drop by round 5 levels. Even so, with the WASD area within the greater 40s and nonetheless 50s in the midst of the keyboard, longer gaming periods aren’t going to be very comfy on this laptop computer, whatever the chosen profile.

Consider we’ve run our exams in a managed atmosphere with the AC set at 24-25 levels Celsius, so these temperatures would possibly soar even greater in hotter rooms.

*Day by day Use – streaming Netflix in EDGE for 30 minutes, Silent profile,  followers at 32-35 dB
*Gaming – Silent – taking part in Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Silent profile, followers at 37-38 dB
*Gaming – Excessive Efficiency, followers on Auto – taking part in Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Excessive Efficiency profile, followers at 45-47 dB
*Gaming – Excessive Efficiency, followers on Cooler Enhance – taking part in Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Excessive Efficiency profile, followers at 52-53 dB

For connectivity, there’s Wi-fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 by way of an Intel AX201 chip on this unit, in addition to 2.5 Gigabit Lan. Our pattern carried out effectively close to the router, however then the velocity and sign high quality dropped at 30+ toes away with obstacles in between, so the vary is perhaps an issue right here. Once more, one thing it’s best to as soon as extra double-check with different critiques.

Audio is dealt with by a pair of punchy audio system that fireside by way of slender cuts on the left and proper aspect of the arm-rest. These can get loud, at about 90 dB at head-level, however the high quality is tinny, missing in each mids and lows. A pair of headphones is a should with this laptop computer when you care about sound high quality, and total I really feel this implementation is a step-backward from the GS65.

The webcam is positioned on the prime of the display flanked by microphones. The picture high quality isn’t a lot, although, uneven and washed out, so I doubt you’ll need to use this usually.

Battery life

There’s a 99.9 Wh battery contained in the GS66 Stealth, the most important legally allowed on a pocket book, and that interprets in truthful runtimes on a cost, so long as you employ the laptop computer within the Discrete mode that permits Optimus.

Nonetheless, remember that the system down not routinely swap the display to 60 Hz when unplugging the laptop computer, which you would possibly need to when seeking to maximize runtimes, as working it at 240 Hz takes its slight toll.

Right here’s what we bought on our unit, with the display’s brightness set at round 120-nits (60%) and 240 Hz refresh:

  • 24 W (~Four h of use) – textual content enhancing in Google Drive, Silent Mode, display at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 19 W (~5+ h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Silent Mode, display at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 19.2 W (~5+ h of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Silent Mode, display at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 24 W (~Four+ h of use) – shopping in Edge, Balanced Mode, display at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 65 W (~1h 20 min of use) – Gaming – Witcher Three, Excessive Efficiency Mode, display at 60%, Wi-Fi ON, no fps restrict.

And right here’s what occurs when switching the display to 60 Hz:

  • 16 W (~6+ h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Silent Mode, display at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 16.2 W (~6+ h of use) – Netflix, fullscreen in Edge, Silent Mode, display at 60%, Wi-Fi ON.
  • 22 W (~Four-5 h of use) – shopping in Edge, Balanced Mode, display at 60%, Wi-Fi ON.

Total, this GS66 pattern required extra energy than different i7-10750H notebooks in our exams, and thus our runtimes ended up barely shorter than I anticipated, given the scale of the battery. Different critiques point out higher battery life outcomes, so take our findings with a grain of salt.

MSI pairs the laptop computer with a generic and fairly-compact 230W power-brick, which nonetheless weighs round .83 kilos with the included cables on this US model. Refilling the battery takes 2 to three hours, and as much as 100W of USB-C charging can also be supported by way of the Thunderbolt Three port with a appropriate charger, for the events whenever you may not need to convey alongside the principle energy brick.

Worth and availability

The 2020 MSI GS66 Stealth is out there from choose retailers all over the world, in a bunch of various configurations.

The bottom fashions begin at 1600 USD / 1800 EUR for i7-10750H / RTX 2060 80W GPU/ 16 GB of RAM / 512 GB SSD and 240 Hz display. 200 USD/EUR extra will get you the RTX 2070 Max-Q mannequin examined right here, with 1 TB of RAM, whereas RTX 2070 Tremendous variations go for round 2200 USD.

As for the very best tier variants, the i9-10980HK mannequin with the RTX 2080 Tremendous GPU, 32 GB of RAM, 1 TB of SSD storage and the 300 Hz show goes for round $3000.

Comply with this hyperlink for up to date configurations and costs in your area on the time you’re studying this text.

Ultimate ideas

I’m going to attract my conclusions based mostly on my expertise with this pattern, however take a few of our findings with a grain of salt, particularly our battery life findings and a number of the CPU efficiency/temperatures outcomes.

For essentially the most half, I really feel this can be a good laptop computer that ought to meet the design, efficiency, and battery life necessities of its potential patrons, however it’s additionally affected by many small imperfections and quirks.

MSI improved the general craftsmanship high quality from the earlier era, however one way or the other nonetheless left a distinguished and annoying entrance lip that is senseless to me. On the identical time, that is additionally a clear and sensible laptop computer, with a reasonably good set of ports, an IR digital camera, dependable inputs, and good display choices, beginning with this base-level 240 Hz FHD implementation.

I’m not completely satisfied by MSI’s thermal design after spending time with this laptop computer. The CPU runs scorching in most demanding masses, and that takes a toll over its efficiency and spreads onto the outside chassis, which runs uncomfortably scorching in video games and different such mixed duties that push the complete system. Positive, cramming highly effective parts inside a slender chassis will result in excessive temperatures, that’s simply psychics, however based mostly on our findings, the GS66 is a notch behind its rivals at this degree, whereas additionally a notch behind in efficiency.

Talking of, undervolting the CPU and overclocking the GPU makes a fairly large distinction on this laptop computer, and MSI ought to do a greater job at implementing these by default withing the facility profiles, one thing most rivals provide in varied levels.

That’s why these lower-tier i7 + 80W 2060/2070 implementations are the higher worth choices right here, as extra versatile all-around choices for varsity/work and just some occasional gaming. There’s nonetheless loads of competitors on this decrease phase a effectively, although, but the GS66 advantages from being a higher-tier chassis with a big battery and a few further options that you just may not usually discover on this class, on laptops such because the Blade 15 Base or the Predator Triton 300 or the Zephyrus M15, which it’s best to nonetheless look into as effectively. Gigabyte’s Aero 15 is the shut competitor on this area of interest, although, the identical sort of higher-tier chassis with lower-tier specs.

That wraps up our overview of the MSI GS66 Stealth, however I’d love to listen to your ideas and impressions on it, each when you’re seeking to get one and particularly when you’ve already purchased it and might share your possession expertise. Please get in contact within the feedback part down under.

Disclaimer: Our content material is reader-supported. When you purchase by way of a number of the hyperlinks on our website, we could earn an affiliate fee. Study extra.

Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief of Ultrabookreview.com. I have been protecting cell computer systems because the 2000s and you will largely discover critiques and thorough guides written by me right here on the location.

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