The MSI GS66 Stealth is the latests GS-series laptop computer from the corporate, and it continues the custom of pushing the envelope on thin-and-light gaming machines.
With the GS66 Stealth, MSI redesigns the trend-setting GS65 Stealth to be, effectively, a bit stealthier—and trendy. Gone are the red-and-black logos that screamed ‘gamer,’ in addition to the gold accents of the 2 earlier designs. The brand new GS66 (at the moment $2,999 on Amazon) is designed to slide proper into these boring company conferences with different sedate black enterprise laptops. When you’re off the clock, it screams with all of the would possibly you’d anticipate from an Intel 10th-gen, 8-core Core i9-10980HK and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Tremendous Max-Q GPU. Preserve studying to search out out extra about this trendsetting gaming laptop computer.
This evaluation is a part of our ongoing roundup of the most effective gaming laptops. Go there for data on competing merchandise and the way we examined them.
MSI GS66 Stealth Specs
As you learn by the specs for the GS66 Stealth, keep in mind that this is likely one of the thinnest gaming laptops obtainable. The GPU is a power-efficient Max-Q design, however in any other case there are few compromises packed into this slender physique.
CPU: Intel 10th-gen, 8-core Core i9-10980HK
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Tremendous Max-Q
RAM: 32GB DDR4/2666 in dual-channel mode
SSD: 1TB NVMe Samsung PM981
Networking: WiFi 6, Killer NIC 2.5Gbps ethernet, Bluetooth 5.1
Battery Capability: 99.9 Watt-hours
Dimensions: 14.2 x 9.7 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 4.6 kilos, add 1.9 kilos for the AC adapter
The easiest way to explain the beneficiant port choice on the GS66 Stealth is with photographs. On the left facet, as proven under, you’ll see (left to proper) the devoted charging port, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, and SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps Sort-A.
One factor the GS66 Stealth lacks is an built-in SD Card reader. However we perceive area is at a premium. Once you add up every part on the precise facet (under), we like what you get as an alternative: two extra SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps USB-A, a SuperSpeed 10Gbps USB-C, analog headset jack, and nicest of all, a Killer NIC E3100-based 2.5Gb ethernet port.
The 300Hz show issues!
Most notably, MSI has outfitted the GS66 Stealth with a 15.6-inch 1080p (1920×1080) 300Hz panel with a rated 3ms response time. Sure, you heard that proper. Your 144Hz gaming laptop computer display is principally out of date.
We’re principally kidding, however instances are altering. Whereas we used to consider that high-refresh-rate gaming screens had been solely helpful for these with bionic imaginative and prescient and lightning reflexes, we’ve since discovered that greater refresh charges make an enormous distinction for anybody. The extra data you see on the display, the higher probability you’ve gotten of creating the shot in a recreation. Really, any content material that’s scrolled on the display and refreshed can profit from a discount within the blurring we’ve all simply gotten used to with LCD screens.
To see if our eyes might inform, we went to Blurbuster’s Testufo.com. Blurbusters has lengthy been a pioneer within the push to scale back blurring throughout movement. For comparability we arrange side-by-side with the GS66 Stealth a 15.6-inch gaming laptop computer with a 144Hz panel, and a 15.6-inch 4K 60Hz gaming laptop computer. We then used Testufo.com to scroll a easy, 80s-era-like UFO animation on all screens, in addition to Testufo.com’s Shifting Photograph check. (You’ll be able to run the assessments your self by utilizing Chrome and going to Testufo.com).
The 4K, 60Hz display was the blurry mess we anticipated. The 1080p, 144Hz panel was markedly higher. However sure, the 300Hz, 3ms panel within the GS66 Stealth put each to disgrace, displaying the scrolling photograph with close to tack-sharpness to our eyes. Our eyes say it’s price it in case your enemy is blurring.
MSI GS66 Improve paths
One sin of earlier 15.6-inch GS-series laptop computer designs was the usage of inverted motherboards, which needed to be eliminated completely to entry the SSD and RAM. With the brand new GS66 Stealth, no such gymnastics are wanted—simply pop off the underside panel, and the 2 SO-DIMM slots and two M.2 slots are proper there.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard on the GS66 is barely mushy, however total we’d say it’s fantastic. The trackpad is outsized and continues to be centered slightly too far to the precise for our fats palms. Palm rejection, nonetheless, is kind of good. The Microsoft Precision-enabled trackpad is works easily and responsively.
Audio system and Digicam
MSI likes to focus on that the GS66 Stealth’s audio system characteristic vents aimed on the person, whereas different laptops select to fireside the audio to the facet or bounce it off the desk. Sadly the audio continues to be fairly mediocre. We all know it’s onerous to jam all this hardware into a skinny laptop computer, however MSI appears to have shrugged off the audio.
MSI does one way or the other match a Home windows Howdy biometric digicam into the GS66 Stealth’s slender bezel. Most gaming laptops select fingerprint readers or hand over on biometrics completely, so having a Home windows Howdy digicam in a gaming laptop computer is welcome. Picture high quality to your Zoom video conferences is honest—it’s a 720p video digicam, the identical decision you’ll discover on the overwhelming majority of laptops on the market.
MSI GS66 Stealth Efficiency
With the GS66 Stealth we had been truthfully involved whether or not you could possibly jam a Core i9 with an RTX 2080 GPU right into a sub-5-pound, 15.6-inch laptop computer with out compromise. In any case, these should be a motive why so few distributors have tried this earlier than.
As fashionable efficiency laptops are sometimes tuned to be quieter and cooler out of the field, we examined the GS66 Stealth utilizing each its default “Balanced” efficiency mode and its “Excessive” setting as effectively. You’ll see the outcomes from each settings under.
We’ll kick this off with the now-elderly Cinebench R15 check, which measures multi-core 3D modelling efficiency. Be aware that the default Balanced efficiency of the GS66 Stealth (the shorter purple bar under) is a bit underwhelming. That’s as a result of MSI reduces the fan noise on this setting to maintain customers joyful, which forces the laptop computer to throttle CPU efficiency to maintain cool. On this case, MSI performs it maybe too conservatively.
Be aware that after we first obtained the GS66, default multi-core efficiency was much better—however it additionally kicked followers on far sooner. The corporate pushed out a BIOS and firmware replace to deal with complaints, and the outcome on default is the shorter purple bar you see under.
Thankfully, while you set the GS66 Stealth to Excessive, it begins to return to life—see longer purple bar above. Whereas it doesn’t push apart the 2 far bigger Intel laptops (nor that pesky AMD one), it’s about what we’d anticipate for a laptop computer this skinny with an 8-core Core i9 inside.
We used Cinebench above to get a common really feel for multi-core efficiency, however the overwhelming majority of purposes are single-threaded—and Cinebench can measure that, too.
The story here’s a bit totally different: The GS66 Stealth pulls its weight and is outpaced solely by three 17-inch laptops. However as you possibly can see, the outcomes are all so shut, it’s be onerous to inform the distinction primarily based on single-core CPU efficiency for many duties. The shorter purple bar under is the Balanced outcome, whereas the longer one is the Excessive outcome.
Whereas the “Excessive” setting creates extra fan noise, we noticed that the Gigabyte Aero 17, when set to its prime efficiency setting, is even louder than the GS66 Stealth.
As a result of the Cinebench check is temporary—principally a dash, we run a second CPU check that’s extra of a marathon, so we are able to see how the CPU performs underneath prolonged load. For that we use the free HandBrake video encoding utility to transform a 30GB file utilizing the Android Pill preset.
On this check, shorter is healthier. The result’s once more good when set to Excessive (the shorter purple bar above), however considerably much less so when set to its default Balanced. The GS66 Stealth additionally struggles to maintain up with the Gigabyte Aero 17, which is an 8-core chip however a step decrease (Core i7-10875H). That Ryzen 9 4900HS doesn’t assist both.
Total CPU efficiency for the GS66 Stealth is respectable when set to its fan-heavy Excessive setting, and simply OK when set to its default Balanced setting.
The GPU issues extra for gaming, so hold studying for graphics outcomes.
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