Here is a depth review of MSI GS65 and GS75. If you are getting confused which one you should choose? Then maybe this article may help you in finding out.
|512 GB SSD||Storage||512 GB SSD|
|Intel Core i7 (8th Gen) Processor||Processor||Intel Core i7 (9th Gen) Processor|
|15.6″ (39.62 cm) display, 1920 x 1080 px||Display||17.3″ (43.94 cm) display, 1920 x 1080 px|
|16 GB DDR4 RAM||Ram||16 GB DDR4 RAM|
|Dual Speakers||Speakers||Dual Speakers|
|2.2 GHz||Clockspeed||1.8 GHz|
|NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1070 – 8GB||Graphic Processor||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 – 8GB|
|Standard Notebook Keyboard||Keyboard||Per-Key RGB gaming keyboard by SteelSeries with Silver-Lining Print|
|802.11 a/b/g/n/ac||Wireless Lan||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
There’s an Intel i7-8750H CPU here which has 6 cores and can turbo up to 4.1GHz in single-core workloads. In my unit, there’s 16GB of DDR4 memory running at 2,400MHz in dual channel, but the two slots can support up to 32GB at 2,666MHz.
For storage, there’s a 512GB M.2 SATA3 SSD installed, but the two M.2 slots support faster NVMe PCIe based storage.
Graphics, there’s an Nvidia 1070 8GB which powers the 15.6 inches 1080p 144Hz display listed as “IPS-level”.
For the network connectivity, there’s a gigabit ethernet port, support for 802.11ac WiFi, as well as Bluetooth version 5.
I’ve got the 8SG model, which has an Intel i7-8750H CPU, 80 watt Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics, 32GB of memory running in dual channel, two 512GB M.2 NVMe SSDs in a RAID 0 array, and a 17.3” 1080p 144Hz IPS-level screen.
For network connectivity it’s got gigabit ethernet, 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5. There are a few different configurations available though, such as newer 9th gen CPUs or different graphics.
The lid and interior are both a matte black aluminium, and overall the body of the laptop felt nice and solid, there’s some flex as we’ll see but the build quality feels high end and there are no sharp corners, they’re all rounded.
The whole laptop is solid metal, and it feels very well built and premium. The lid is matte black with a golden MSI logo, while the interior is also all black and metal, with no sharp corners or edges anywhere, it’s all smooth. Aside from the all black finish, it’s also got golden copper edges and trims.
Weight & Dimensions
The physical dimensions of the laptop are 35.7cm in width, 24.7cm in-depth, and just 1.79cm in height, so it’s on the smaller side for a 15-inch laptop.
The total weight of the laptop is listed at 1.88kg, and mine weighed just slightly under this. With the 180-watt power brick and cable for charging, the total weight increases to 2.4kg, so it’s quite light and portable for a 15-inch laptop with these specs.
The weight of the laptop is listed at 2.25kg, and mine was just a little above this. With the 230 watt power brick and cables for charging, the total weight rises to just below 3.2kg.
The dimensions of the laptop are 39.6cm in width, 26cm in depth, and just under 1.9cm in height, so quite a thin machine given the powerful specs inside.
As mentioned the screen here is a 15.6 inch 144Hz 1080p panel, no G-Sync available here, although I don’t personally miss it on high refresh rate displays anyway, I think it’s more beneficial at around the 60Hz range.
A 7ms response time is listed, however, it doesn’t say if that’s GTG or something else. It’s also listed as IPS-level, and after some digging, I think it’s the advanced hyper-viewing angle, or AHVA, however, if you asked me just from looking at it I’d have said it looked just as good as IPS.
I found the viewing angles to be excellent, images are still perfectly clear even on sharp angles and the screen can be fully bent back 180 degrees.
It’s also got very thin bezels on the sides and at the top, they’re just 4.9mm thin on the sides giving it an 82% screen-to-body ratio.
I’ve also measured the current colour gamut using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my results returned 97% of sRGB, 68% of NTSC and 73% of AdobeRGB, so pretty good compared to many other laptops I’ve tested, I’d happily use it for content creation in addition to gaming.
I’ve performed my usual backlight bleed test on the display, which involves having the laptop show a black screen in a dark room to help emphasize any bleeding. I then take a long exposure photo to display any bleed, so this is a worst-case scenario test. There’s a fair bit of bleed, in particular, I noticed the bit coming from just under the top webcam while playing some games in a normally lit room, but this will, of course, vary between laptops.
While moving the display there was a little flex, but it felt fairly solid as it’s made of metal and the hinges are found right on the corners. It can also be opened easily with one finger, demonstrating a fairly even weight distribution.
Despite the bezels around the display being quite thin MSI were still able to fit the 720p camera up the top.
The smaller footprint compared to your more traditional thicker 17-inch laptops gives us screen bezels of around 7mm with an 85% screen to body ratio. The 17.3” 1080p 144Hz screen has a matte finish, no G-Sync available here though.
I’ve measured the current color gamut using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my results returned 96% of sRGB, 67% of NTSC and 73% of AdobeRGB. At 100% brightness in the center, I measured 414 nits with a 1030:1 contrast ratio, so above average results for a gaming laptop, and noticeably brighter than the standard 300 nits you usually get.
Backlight bleed wasn’t too bad in this worst-case test, however, I never actually noticed anything during normal use while viewing darker content, though results will vary between laptops and panels.
There was only a bit of screen flex, the panel felt sturdy as it’s solid metal, and the hinges are out towards the far left and right corners which further aids stability.
Absolutely no problems at all opening it up with one finger, demonstrating an even weight distribution, so no problem using it on my lap. Despite the thinner bezel MSI have still included the 720p camera above the screen.
Touchpad & Keyboard
The keyboard was really nice to type with, it’s a Steelseries 3 keyboard and the keys sounded quiet but felt lightly clicky, I’m not really sure how to describe them.
It’s an RGB keyboard with individual key backlighting, so you can apply a lot of different effects through the Steelseries software.
There was some keyboard flex while pushing down fairly hard and this extended down into the wrist rest area, but I didn’t find it to be an issue at while typing normally.
Just above the keyboard, there’s what appears to be an air intake judging by the small dust build upon it, along with the power button in the center.
The touchpad uses Synaptics drivers and I found it to work very well, no issues at all.
The keyboard has individual key RGB backlighting, and even the secondary functions on all keys get lit up. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think MSI have one of the best looking RGB keyboards on a laptop available as the sides of the keys are clear they allow light to shine through well.
The keyboard itself was good to type with, and you’ve even got full-sized arrow keys and a Numpad.
Keyboard flex was minimal, it felt quite solid even while pushing down hard. There was a little more flex in the wrist rest areas, but definitely no issues during normal use.
The touchpad has precision drivers and felt extremely smooth to the touch. It clicks down anywhere, though it was a bit harder to press down towards the top.
The touchpad is also extra wide, and for the most part this didn’t cause any issues.
On the left, there’s a Kensington lock, air exhaust vent, gigabit ethernet port, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, and 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks.
On the right, there’s a third USB 3.1 Type-A port, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support, mini DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI port, power input, and another air exhaust vent.
It would have been preferable to have the power input further back, but it didn’t really get in the way.
There’s nothing on the front other than some status LEDs towards the right, while the back just has some more air exhaust vents.
Upon the lid there’s the MSI logo which is a sort of golden color rather than their traditional black and red, there’s also a trim of the same color running around the edge of the lid, around the edges of the touchpad, and around the hinges.
Underneath there are some air intakes towards the back to keep everything cool, as well as some rubber feet that run along the back and front and do a good job at stopping the laptop from easily moving around while in use.
The two speakers are found underneath towards the front corners. They sound pretty good for laptop speakers, there’s a little bass but they start sounding a little tinny at higher volumes, still pretty clear though.
On the left there’s an air exhaust vent up the back, the power input, Gigabit ethernet port, and I like the way it’s facing, no need to lift the machine up to unplug, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port, MicroSD card slot, and 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks.
On the right there’s a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C port, two more USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A ports, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port, which has DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 3 support, HDMI 2.0 output and air exhaust vent.
There’s nothing on the back except air exhausts on the left and right corners, while the front is all smooth metal with a single LED towards the right.
On the black metal lid there’s just the golden MSI logo in the center.
Underneath there are some vents for airflow up the back. The feet underneath do a very poor job of preventing the laptop from sliding around. They weren’t quite a hard plastic, but less rubbery and grippy compared to most other laptops, though despite this I never found this to be a problem while playing games.
The two speakers are found underneath towards the front left and right corners, they sounded ok for a laptop, though a bit tinny. They seemed to get loud enough at maximum volume while playing music, and the Latencymon results looked alright.
Powering the laptop is a 4 cell 82 Watt hour battery, and with a full charge and just watching YouTube videos with the screen on half brightness, keyboard lighting off and background apps disabled, I was able to use it for 4 hours and 6 minutes.
While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidia’s battery boost set to 30 FPS the battery lasted for 1 hour and 50 minutes, however for the first hour it only ran at 24 FPS making me think the battery wasn’t really able to provide adequate power for this game, and after an hour this dropped down to 10 FPS which I think is why it lasted so long, so it was more like an hour of ok gaming, I’d definitely recommend playing while plugged in though.
The battery is fairly good for a laptop of this size, I’ve definitely had much worse with similarly specced and larger laptops, although it’s not quite as good as say the Aero 15x.
Powering the laptop is a 4 cell 82 Watt hour battery. I’ve tested it with the screen brightness at 50%, background apps disabled, and all keyboard lighting off. While just watching YouTube videos it lasted for 5 hours and 25 minutes, a decent result. It was using the Intel integrated graphics.
While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidia’s battery boost set to 30 FPS the battery lasted for 1 hour and 45 minutes, however with 28% battery remaining after the first hour and 16 minutes the frame rate dipped to 18 FPS. The battery life seemed alright given the specs, though it appears once the battery gets low it isn’t capable of providing the same levels of performance.
Conclusion & Price
This laptop comes in at around $2800 AUD here in Australia, or about $2200 USD in the US, but this can differ a bit based on memory and drive options. It’s not cheap, but that’s pretty typical for any laptop with good specs in such a thin form factor.
Overall I found it to be quite a nice machine, it’s got decent specs in a thin, somewhat lightweight and portable body. It’s capable of playing all modern games no problem, but if you were after more power you could look at the 8RF model which has the Max-Q 1070 graphics instead as it may be a better match for the 144Hz screen in more games.
The aluminum body is nice and definitely better than any other MSI laptop.
The only other issues I had were the backlight bleed and thermal throttling on the CPU, although this could be improved by undervolting and turning up the fans.
In the US the MSI GS75 gaming laptop with these same specs is going for $3000 USD, while here in Australia we’re looking at $4600 AUD. At this price range with these specs and thin form factor, competition would be things like the Razer Blade at $300 more, or the ASUS Zephyrus S, which is actually currently a bit less at the moment, though all have their own pros and cons which I’ll cover in depth in future comparison articles.
Overall I think it’s quite a good gaming machine, despite the powerful specs it’s still on the thinner side which makes portability easier, you know, the whole thing laptops are meant for. This does come at the cost of higher temperatures at stock, however even just boosting fan speed helped with this, while undervolting took it to the next level, improving both thermals and performance.
However CPU performance was lacking compared to other options due to power limitations. It would have been better if MSI provided the option of G-Sync though, like ASUS do with the GX701, that way you’ve at least got the option of picking between even higher performance or improved battery life.
The GS75 has a pretty good I/O selection, lots of USB 3.1 Gen2, two Type-C ports and even Thunderbolt 3.
The screen is above average, good brightness and contrast ratio with good colour gamut for a gaming laptop, I’d happily use it for editing no problem.
While the keyboard looks good visually, it may be hard for some to type on given the wide touchpad, as accidental clicks can happen.
The flipped motherboard isn’t optimal for upgradeability, I can only assume there was some restriction with the design that required this, otherwise, we do at least have easy access to the three M.2 slots.