This is the MSI gs66 stealth, so this is the 2020 edition quite late 2020 of the slim and light 15-inch gaming laptop from MSI. That we know and mostly love, and they’ve made some improvements here, particularly the aesthetics and the build quality.
So it’s what they call core black. Obviously, they’re going after the razer blade 15 here with the look and they’ve largely succeeded. It’s more angular, it’s their look, but no more gold accents that kind of went tacky.
The logo is black and etched on the lid instead of being highlighted. It’s more rigid too, because they try to make it as light as possible. There was some flex in the panels before, and that’s gone. This thing is rigid, and solid intel 10th generation Cpu is inside an Nvidia RTX 2060 or 2070 Supermax q rtx2080 supermax q graphics.
If you’re thinking about the RTX 3000 series, my guess is not until next spring. You know, the spring of 2021, before we see those on laptops. Another significant change is inside the motherboard is no longer inverted. What does that mean?
If you want to access your two ram slots, your two m.2 SSD slots or remove the heat sinks and take out the fans because you want to repaste it. Just unscrew the bottom cover, and the world’s your oyster. It’s all available to you.
So that’s great because gaming laptops you know enthusiasts often buy them who want to do those sorts of things, do the upgrades, do the repasting. You know, thank you, MSI, for doing that. Keyboards also improved. They say it’s 1.5 millimeters of key travel.
Now it doesn’t feel that deep to me. It feels more like 1.3, but they say it’s 1.5, but it’s very tactile, especially compared to the last generation excellent key return in spring. This is a steel series per-key RGB backlit keyboard with the usual color programming.
You can do the wave, and all sorts of other color effects lighting effects if you want to do them. We have a glass Microsoft precision track pan on board. It does click if you push it down.
It’s interesting. The only thing I can complain about is sometimes. It doesn’t register just taps. I don’t know why that is, but sometimes I just have to click instead of to get around that, but other than that, and that could be fixed maybe with some software, and that’s good too.
Nicely decked out, so given what you’re getting, the price isn’t bad. You’ve got killer wi-fi onboard – using an intel card actually, so that’s the wi-fi six-card 1650. You have killer e 3100 ethernets built-in. You’ve also got thunderbolt three onboard, USB 8 ports. The connectivity is pretty good on this, given how compact it is.
So this is a very thin and very light 15.6-inch powerful gaming laptop. Thermals are going to be an issue. We’re going to talk about that in a minute but first, let’s talk about the displays.
It may be a very classy and professional looking gaming laptop, but there’s no 4k display option, which is almost shocking to me. I would have thought they might have done that for creators.
But then MSI does have their creator series of laptops and many mobile workstations and stuff for those who do that sort of thing. I guess that’s why you have your choice of three different full HD matte IPS displays.
Just different refresh rates 144 hertz on the very base model, then there’s 240 hertz, and then there’s the trendy for this year 300-hertz refresh rate display. Which is why we have MSI has its real color utility.
Which has improved over the years? It used to be almost an atrocity, but now it’s pretty good. The default is the srgb preset, which is the one that’s color calibrated, and it’s pretty accurate. So you’ve got your usual full srgb coverage on the 300hz display.
I expect the same is true of the other two as well. It’s a very pleasing display experientially speaking. It gets pretty bright, and It’s over 300 nits in brightness. Which for a gaming laptop is pretty good, perfect contrast on it.
So, yeah, it’s an enjoyable display indeed, and if you’re playing competitive online shooters where you want those super high refresh rates. It’s there for you and in general fast response times sweet in terms of pricing.
Actually, for a premium gaming laptop, this one starts out at a pretty accessible fifteen hundred dollars for a premium gaming laptop. Again I think they’re going off of the competition with the razer blade 15 standard or base edition.
So that one gives you an RTX 2060 for full 2016 knot max q and a core i7 six-core CPU that’s not bad for the price. You can go all the way up to 3,000$ if you want a core i9 eight-core and RTX 2080 supermax q graphics, 32 gigs of ram terabyte of storage.
The stereo speakers are dyno audio branded hardware, and they’re 2 2 watt stereo speakers on board. They are using the usual Nahimic audio software. I’ll be honest, and this sounds thin and tinny. Thank goodness that they always do good high-res audio output, and you’ve got a headphone jack too.
I have a window hello IR camera, something you don’t usually see on gaming laptops. I certainly do appreciate them.
All right, let’s talk about performance and thermals. After all, it’s a gaming laptop. That’s what you care about even if you’re going to be using this for pro apps work instead like adobe premiere or some 3d rendering like blender.
It’s right, so we have the usual MSI cooler boost trinity. Now cooler boost trinity plus what that means is you have three fans inside, two for the GPU and one for the CPU. We have seven heat pipes. A couple of them are shared.
Some of them are independent, but the challenge here is that this is such a thin and light laptop. Now we have the eight-core i7 option, Which is often a nice sweet spot, but I think eight cores are too much for these ultra-thin and light laptops Thermally speaking.
We have the RTX 2070 max-q super edition at ours. So thermals are what you would expect it to be: to say toasty and thermal throttling if you’re going to play on ultra 1080p in today’s aaa titles, testing out battlefield v, far cry new dawn, or even apex legends.
The temperatures are a bit better there. You’ll hit thermal throttling now if you see the screenshot where I had the graph running in hardware info. It’s not that it spends its entire time at 96 degrees centigrade that CPU core.
You know a lot of the time we’re actually in the 80s, which isn’t that bad, but we have the spikes to the 90s, and then it’s going to thermal throttle on. You some now definitely you probably want to try something like throttle stop or intel xtu to do a core voltage offset on this and interestingly.
I ran the throttle stop, and I set that, but it didn’t seem to show up and appear in hardware info that I had done that. So I’m not sure what’s going on if MSI is blocking Underbolting on this one or if it’s just a reporting error, but anyway, it will get toasty if the fans on this are physically not super huge.
They have these nifty they claim thinnest fans and all that sort of thing you can see in the graphic. They are still relatively speaking on the small side for fans because they pack three in there.
It has that kind of small fan sound, which this site is not grating, but you can hear it resonating off the table a little bit neat party trick. You can look through the top and the grates above the keyboard area and see straight through the bottom.
If you hold it up in the air but anyway I when it’s running full board like gaming like we were running it in the high-performance mode for gaming. It sounds like water boiling in the distance like that shh kind of sound instead of a whoosh, but it’s not grating.
It’s not whiny. I don’t hear any coil whine on this. So it’s definitely something that you if you’re going to be playing games on this in high settings and ultra settings. You’re going to want to tune this thing in under bolt and maybe even consider a replacement but given how small.
It isn’t thermally constrained as a result. I’m not even sure how much re-pacing is ever going to fix that. That’s light with life with today’s thin and light gaming laptops by the way.
If you’re doing things like adobe premiere. You know more easy going blender renders. You’re going to see lower temperatures on this versus playing battlefield with directx 12. l enabled though in our visuals. We’re using directx 11 to get you better frame rates frame rates and games are excellent in this.
So, battery life usually that’s that you know we don’t want to talk about gaming laptops. That is the sweet spot here they went with a 99.99 watt hour battery. Which is the highest capacity battery you can have and still be able to take it on an airplane cool that.
Plus we have nvidia optimus even better for those who hate optimus in any possible drop in gaming performance in dragon center. Which is msi’s control panel software for the laptop.
You can switch between optimus mode and d gpu mode. It requires a reboot when you do that but you have your choice anyway nvidia optimus helps. So, obviously you’re probably not gaming.
When you’re using it unplugged you’re doing productivity work streaming videos. Whatever all that stuff is that we all do and battery life is pretty good. They claim up to nine hours okay that’s optimistic but still with optimus enabled.
Mostly using intel integrated graphics i was managing about six to seven hours for something this powerful that’s great and for something this thin and light. The idea is probably you do want to take it around everywhere with you and that’s good.
You get two chargers depending on which model laptop you get. If you get the super powerful i9 with the 2080 then you’re going to get a 240 watt adapter. If you go for a lower spec model you’re going to get 181.
- Intel Core i7-10750H 2.6 – 5.0GHz
Windows 10 PRO 64-bit
- 16GB (16G 1)DDR4 2666MHz 2 Sockets Max Memory 64GB
- 15.6″ FHD, Anti-Glare Wide View Angle 240Hz 3ms
- NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2060
- 512GB NVMe SSD
- Steel Series per-Key RGB with Anti-Ghost key (84 Key)
- Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201(2*2 ax)
- Bluetooth® 5.1
- Thunderbolt 3 1 PD charge USB-C Gen1,
- 1 USB Port 3,
- 2 Gen2 port,
- 3 Steel Series per-Key RGB with Anti-Ghost key (84 Key),
- 720p HD Webcam
- 1x Thunderbolt 3 PD charge,
- 1x USB-C USB 3.2
- HDMI (supports 4K @ 60Hz)
- Killer LAN E3100
- 1 Audio Combo
- 180W Slim, 4 cell (99.9Whr)
- 1 year Limited warranty (Include 1 Year Global)
So that’s the MSI gs66 stealth and they have finally achieved that I used to make fun of MSI and their challenge the statics this is a good-looking premium-looking machine.
It’s even sweeter than it starts at fifteen hundred dollars. It’s got a rigid build. It’s very good looking and the specs on this are actually very well relative to the price.
Their quite fair thermals will always be a problem. Whenever you pick a 15.6 inch thinnest and lightest of gaming laptops so we can’t say they’re doing things a whole lot different than other manufacturers.
The limitation is intel’s toasty CPUs. Right now pretty good keyboard on this per-key RGB, good connectivity thunderbolt 3. Thanks for reading Our Review.