MSI GS66 Stealth Review (2020 Intel 10th Gen)

by birtanpublished on October 3, 2020

This is lisa from mobile tech review and this is the msi gs66 stealth so this is the 2020 edition kinda 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 own look but no more gold accents that kind of went tacky the logo is black and etched

On the lid instead of being highlighted and it's more rigid too where 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 super max qr2080 super max q graphics inside if you're thinking about the rtx 3000 series my guess is not until next spring you know spring of 2021 before we see those in laptops we're going to look at this one

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So another big 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 yes yes 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 feels more like 1.3 but they say it's 1.5 but it's very tactile especially compared to the last generation nice key return in spring and this is steel series per key rgb backlit keyboard with the usual color programming and 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 and it does actually 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 to get around that but other than that and that could be fixed maybe with some software and that's good too so this is a very thin and very light 15.6 inch powerful gaming laptop obviously 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 for a whole bunch of mobile workstation and stuff for those who do that sort of stuff so i guess that's why so 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 a 240 hertz and then there's the trendy for this year 300 hertz refresh rate display which is what we have msi has their true color utility which has improved over the years it used to be almost an atrocity but now it's actually 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 it's over 300 nits in brightness which for a gaming laptop is pretty good very good contrast on it so yeah it's an enjoyable display certainly and if you're playing competitive online shooters where you really 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 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 6 core cpu that's actually not bad for the price you can go all the way up to 3 000 if you want a core i9 8 core and rtx 2080 super max q graphics 32 gigs of ram terabyte of storage really nicely decked out so given what you're getting the price isn't bad you've got killer wi-fi on board using

Actually an intel card so that's the wi-fi 6 card 1650 and you have killer e 3100 ethernet built in you've also got thunderbolt 3 on board usb 8 ports the connectivity is pretty good on this given how compact it is the stereo speakers which are dyno audio branded hardware and they're 2 2 watt stereo speakers on board using using the usual nahimic audio software i'll be honest this sounds thin and tinny thank goodness that they always do good high-res audio output and you've got headphone jack to count on for that i have a

Windows 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 with blender or you name it 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 one for the cpu and we have seven heat pipes a couple of

Them are shared some of them are independent at least 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 is really too much for these ultra thin and light laptops thermally speaking and we have the rtx 2070 max-q super edition at ours so thermals are what you would expect it to be which is to say toasty and thermal throttling if you're going to play on

Ultra 1080p in today's aaa titles so testing out battlefield v or far cry new dawn or even apex legends where 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 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 yeah it's going to get toasty 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 the graphic they are still relatively speaking on the small side for fans because they pack three in there so it has that kind of small fan sound which this site not really 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 and 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 replace 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 or you know more easy going blender renders you're going to see lower temperatures on this versus playing battlefield with directx 12 and l enabled though in our visuals we're using directx 11 gets you better frame rates frame rates and games are excellent in this so battery life usually that's the you

Know we don't want to talk about the 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 with 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 enable 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 got two chargers it depends 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 all right here's the underside obviously we have pretty good height rubber strips here to help a little air get in here nice large air intake area with cpu and gpu so that's where that should be

To take off the metal bottom cover you unscrew the phillips head screws they're all the same size except for this one right here which is a little bit shorter so be mindful when you put it back together and one is hidden under msi's usual factory seal button which at least in the us does not void your warranty to go inside and it's supposed to be there so you know nobody messed with it before you got it all right there's our nice cover underside of nice cover and here are

Internals and most giant battery over here that's one of the selling points of the laptop that has such a big battery and here are our drivers for our speakers and underneath these two covers right here heat shield covers we have our two ram slots ddr4 26 66 megahertz ram ours happens to have 32 gigs so obviously you can upgrade that yourself 64 gigs would currently be the maximum and under this cover right here is our m.2 nvme ssd so you could pull that at

Out and upgrade it yourself this is a western digital 512 gig that we have in ours and the the speeds are actually pretty good on benchmarks but wait there's more there's a second m.2 slot for pcie ssd so in case you want to increase your storage nice way to be able to do that there's a socketed killer 1650 wi-fi six card which is actually intel hardware good card then and we have yay the motherboard obviously by the way is facing upward and he great improvement from msi here so here

Are our fans for the gpu and the cpu so if you and the heat sinks right here so if you want to replace this obviously it's all accessible now without taking out the motherboard yay so that's their cooler boost trinity plus system here we got three fans instead of the usual two is that more effective than two fans well hard to say but given the limited amount of space in a 15.6 inch laptop it probably is a bit more effective than once not that huge fan on this side 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 and 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 good relative to the price they're 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 differently than other

Manufacturers the limitation is intel's toasty cpus right now pretty good keyboard on this per key rgb good connectivity thunderbolt 3 yeah it checks a lot of boxes lisa from mobile tech review be sure to subscribe to our youtube channel for more cool tech videos and hit the notification bell so you know about them

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