Msi gs65 8rf stealth thin review

Derek’s normally the go-to guy for MSI laptops around here, but this time around I’ve spent a few days with the 2019 update of the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin gaming ultraportable, the higher specked 8SG version based on RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics, and gathered all my impressions down below.

I’m not as familiar with MSI notebooks, but I do have a lot of experience with thin-and-lights in general, so can compare it to the other options that I’ve reviewed in our previous articles.

The 2019 GS65 is pretty much a hardware update of last year’s model, with the same build, keyboard, IO, battery, cooling or display, but with RTX graphics, 2666 MHz memory, NVMe storage out-of-the-box, and a redesigned clickpad. That’s why we’re mostly going to focus on the performance of this new generation in this review and how it compares to the older GTX models, as well as the other RTX thin-and-lights, so we’ll often for details on the aspects that haven’t suffered changes.

I’ll also mention that our review unit was offered by MSI and was returned to them once the article was published. It’s a retail version, identical to the ones available in stores, and we’re testing it just days after its release (early Feb 2019), thus certain aspects might improve with more mature drivers and future software updates.

Specs as reviewed

MSI Stealth Thin GS65 8SG Screen 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 px, IPS equivalent, 144 Hz, matte Processor Intel 8th Gen Coffee Lake i7-8750H CPU, hexa-core 2.2 GHz (4.1 GHz boost) Video Intel HD 630 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM Memory 16 GB DDR4 2666Mhz (2×8 GB DIMMs) Storage 512 GB M.2 NVMe (Samsung PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ) + empty M.2 slot, both support PCIe x4 Connectivity Killer Wireless-AC 1550i, Bluetooth 5.0, Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Ports 3x USB-A 3.1 gen2, 1x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, mini-DP, mic, earphone, RJ45 Lan, Kensington Lock Battery 80 Wh, 230 W charger Size 358 mm or 14.08” (w) x 248 mm or 9.75” (d) x 17.5 mm or .69” (h) Weight 1.89 kg (4.17 lbs), .89 kg (1.96) for the charger, EU version Extras individually lit RGB keyboard, large clickpad, HD webcam, stereo speakers

This generation of the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin is available in multiple configurations, with various amounts of RAM/storage and either RTX 2060, RTX 2070 Max-Q or RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics. They share all their traits, so the majority of this article applies to any of the versions you might be interested in.

Design and first look

On the outside, the 2019 update of the MSI GS65 is identical to the 2018 model, that means the design, materials and build haven’t changed. For the most part this remains a stylish, practical and well-made laptop, however, it still creaks and rattles all over the place, both when grabbed and lifted, and when pressing on the lid-cover, palm-rest and the perforated grill at the top of the keyboard.

MSI’s reps claim they’ve added some interior reinforcements that are supposed to improve the screen and main chassis rigidity, but I haven’t personally reviewed the 2018 GS65 so I don’t have an exact reference for comparison. I’m still looking for clarifications from my MSI contact, but as far as I can tell, there’s only some flex in the lid and very little in the keyboard-deck, yet the creaks are still there.

Nonetheless, aside from these creaks and perhaps the DC-in placement in the middle of the right edge, there’s very little I don’t like about this laptop, and even the creaks can be partially muffled with some fine tweaking that’s . I find it rather hard to accept these creaks in a $2000+ laptop, knowing how most of the other options feel, even if the GS65 is one of the more affordable devices in its segment and those sturdier built alternatives are usually more expensive. Even so, I don’t think the build is a deal-breaker, as long as you’re aware of the issues and don’t expect MacBook or Blade like sturdiness.

I’ll also add that there’s still no finger-sensor on our unit. Certain configurations of the 2018 GS65 offered a finger-sensor integrated within the power button, but as far as I can tell this hasn’t spread to all the 2019 updates, which is a pity, as IR cameras are also not an option, so you’ll have to stick to typing your password each time you log into Windows.

Keyboard and trackpad

The Steelseries keyboard on the GS65 is different than the ones on the larger MSI gaming laptops, with slightly larger 16 x 16 mm key-caps and at the same time shorter strokes, at 1.4 mm deep.

The feedback is pretty good though, once you get used to it. I had to adapt to the fact that the keys require a fairly firm hit in order to actuate, unlike the shallower keys on most other ultra-portables, which lead to some missed strokes at first. On the other hand, this is quite forgiving and will register hits even when pressing a key on its sides.

Msi gs65 8rf stealth thin review

There’s also no flex in the keyboard’s deck, and the layout is pretty good, with well-sized directional keys and an extra set of Function keys at the right, assigned to Home/End and PgUp and PgDn. MSI even placed the Windows key on the right side this time around, unlike on most of their other laptops.

On the other hand, I do find this a bit chattery when typing quickly, so keep that in mind if you’re planning on typing at the library or in other very quiet places. The font could also be a love/hate option for some of you, as it’s unlike the standard fonts other OEMs put on the laptops. I like it though, and I also like that both the main and the secondary function of each key are backlit.

Speaking of that, this keyboard gets individually controlled backlit keys, with some bright RGB LEDs beneath each key. There’s plenty of customization options in the included Steelseries app, and I like how pressing FN shuts-off all the other keys except those with an associated command, a neat Easter-egg of MSI laptops.

As a side note, quite a few people have been complaining about a specific keyboard issue on the 2018 GS65, with the Fn, Win and Enter keys not working properly after a while. This has been addressed on the later 2018 models and the 2019 update, so is no longer something you should potentially worry about.

The clickpad is brand new on the 2019 update of the MSI GS65, much larger than the one on the 2018 version, and as far as I can tell, made out of glass. Aside from the size, it’s a pretty standard clickpad with Precision drivers and works well.

I haven’t noticed any quirks with daily use, either with swipes, taps or the standard gestures (two fingers for scrolling, navigating back/forward in browser, three fingers for minimizing windows, etc), and even the physical clicks are pretty good and quiet, just be aware that only the lower half of the surface depresses, so you’ll have to press towards the bottom corners for the clicks to register properly.

Bottom point this a good keyboard/clickpad combo. There’s no NumPad though, and unfortunately, no biometrics. You can also find Derek’s impressions about .


The 2019 GS65 gets a matte 15.6-inch IPS AHVA panel with FHD resolution and 144 Hz refresh rate. It’s the B156HAN08.0 panel from AU Optronics that was also available on the 2018 version and that’s used, in different variations, on many other 15-inch gaming laptops of the moment.

MSI’s variant is good-enough for daily use as long as you plan to use your laptop indoors, as its maximum brightness is rather low, and on top of that our sample suffered from some uneven illumination as well, with the upper half being dimmer than the top. Unfortunately this aspect, as well as light bleeding, are fairly random and have been reported by and various GS65 buyers in the past, thus my advice is to buy from a place that allows returns and just ask for a refund if you draw the short stick. We kind of did here, as .

Nonetheless, we could not spot the unevenness with the naked eye, and even the bleeding was barely noticeable on dark backgrounds and high brightness settings.

Here’s what we got on ours, according to our Spyder4 sensor:

  • Panel HardwareID: AU Optronics AUO80ED (B156HAN08.0);
  • Coverage: 97% sRGB, 71% NTSC, 75% AdobeRGB;
  • Measured gamma: 2.2;
  • Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 240 cd/m2 on power;
  • Contrast at max brightness: 730:1
  • White point: 7400 K;
  • Black on max brightness: 0.33 cd/m2.
  • PWM: No;
  • Response time: 7 ms advertised, 12.7 ms GtG.

Msi gs65 8rf stealth thin review

The panel is fairly well calibrated out of the box, but you can use this calibrated profile to fix the White point and gray-level imbalances.

Either way, this is nonetheless the kind of screen you’ll primarily benefit from when playing games, with the fast response times and high refresh rates. It’s not bad for daily use either, as long as you get acceptable amounts of bleeding on your sample. On the other hand, this might not cut it for you if you plan to use your device in bright environments, and there are other options with brighter FHD 144 Hz screens. There are also similar laptops with more color accurate and sharper 4K 60 Hz panels, but those should only be an option if gaming is not your top priority, as gaming at higher refresh rates is much smoother than at 60 Hz, even without GSync.

And yes, there’s no GSync on this laptop. GSync is definitely a nice thing to have on a gaming laptop, but not a requirement once you get a high-refresh rate panel, and it also helps keep the price down and leaves room for Optimus, thus longer battery life. Nonetheless, if a thin-and-light gaming laptop with GSync and RTX graphics is what you crave for, you’ll find it in the , which also gets a more evenly-lit and brighter variant of the AU Optronics 144 Hz FHD screen, as well as in the Asus ROG Zephrus GX531.

Hardware and performance

Our test model is the higher-end configuration of the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin, the 8GS variant with the Core i7-8750H processor, 16 GB of RAM in dual channel, the RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics chip and a 512 GB M.2 NVMe SSD.

Before we proceed to talk about its behavior and performance you should know that our review unit is a retail model, but with early drivers from Nvidia (Version 418.81), thus some of the aspects covered in this section might improve/change with later-on updates and tweaks.

Our configurations came with 2x 8GB memory sticks, which work in dual channel, as well as a fast Samsung PM981 M.2 NVMe SSD. There are two M.2 slots inside this laptop, but both the RAM slots and the storage are hidden behind the motherboard and require complete disassembly to access.

That means you’ll have to remove the bottom panel, which is the simple part, then disconnect the battery and various ribbons, remove the motherboard and flip it over to get to them. The entire process is illustrated in this video, and like , if you don’t feel comfortable going through this process and don’t want to void warranty (there’s a warranty sticker on top of one of the screws, so removing the back panel will void warranty in some regions), you could order the configuration you want from a specialized retailer, which could also repaste the components for you. That’s actually recommended on thin-and-light laptops and will help reduce CPU/GPU temperatures in demanding loads, as well as improve performance.

On to the elephants in the room, the GS65 is built on the six-core Coffee Lake Core i7-8750H, just like the 2018 models, but gets Nvidia Turing graphics. MSI offers it with either RTX 2060, 2070 Max-Q and RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics, and we got the latter version here. As with most 2080 Max-Q chips, this implementation gets a 735 MHz Core Speed, but with the ability to Turbo up to 1590 MHz as long as the thermals allow it.

We’ll get to that in a second, but first, here’s what to expect in terms of performance and temperatures with daily use.

We test the CPU’s behavior in demanding loads by running Cinebench R15 for 10+ times in a loop, with 2-3 sec delay between each run, which simulates a 100% load on all the cores. As with all modern CPUs, the first runs return high scores, but then they settle a little lower as the CPU heats-up and can no longer maintain its maximum Turbo speeds for more than a few seconds.

The included Dragon Center software offers several CPU profiles, and we opted for the highest-performance option: Sport, alongside the Auto fan setting. Out of the box, our sample settles for a TDP of 45 W, frequencies of 3.2-3.3 GHz, scores of around 1050 points and CPU temperatures of around 85 degrees Celsius. Details below.

Msi gs65 8rf stealth thin review

Those are pretty high temperatures, and they’re mostly due to the passive Auto fan profile, which keeps the fans at low speeds, but sacrifices thermals and performance to some degree. That’s a known issue with the Dragon Center app, and most users will probably have to create a custom fan curve in the app in order to get the performance when needed, but at the same time quiet fans with daily use.

Still, for the purpose of our tests, we kept the fans on Auto and proceeded to undervolt the CPU, which proved perfectly stable at -150 mV. In this case, the review unit settled at a similar TDP of 45 W, frequencies of 3.6-3.8 GHz, scores of around 1170 points and high CPU temperatures of around 90 degrees Celsius.

Msi gs65 8rf stealth thin review

That still leaves a little bit of room at the top, as the CPU can in theory run at constant Turbo Speeds of 3.9 GHz. To get there we switched the fans on Cooler Boost, which better cools the CPU and lower temperatures to around 80 degrees Celsius, but while in this case thermals are no longer a concern, Power Limit Throttling kicks in and in the end the CPU can only run at 3.7 – 3.9 GHz, returning Cinebench scores of around 1200 points. Of course, the fans are also very noisy on this setting, at about 56-57 dB at head level, so you’ll either have to use headphones or manually tweak their profile.

Performance on battery is pretty good as well, Cinebench returning scores of around 1000 points on the default profile with the fans an Auto, and higher on the undervolted settings.

Msi gs65 8rf stealth thin review

Next we’ve included a set of benchmarks, for those of you interested in numbers. We ran them on the standard out-of-the-box profile, with the Sport mode selected in Dragon Center and fans on Auto:

  • 3DMark 11: 19299 (Graphics – 25016, Physics – 11471);
  • 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 16101 (Graphics – 18603, Physics – 14983);
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 6949 (Graphics – 7185, CPU – 5859);
  • 3DMark 13 – Port Royal (RTX) Graphics: 3999;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 4535;
  • PCMark 10: 5447;
  • PassMark: Rating: 6111, CPU mark: 14686, 3D Graphics Mark: 12949;
  • GeekBench 3.4.2 32-bit: Single-Core: 4007, Multi-core: 22215;
  • GeekBench 4.1.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 4887, Multi-core: 22082;
  • CineBench R15 (best run): OpenGL 98.10 fps, CPU 1157 cb, CPU Single Core 170 cb;
  • x264 HD Benchmark 4.0 32-bit: Pass 1 – 204.23 fps, Pass 2 – 68.06 fps.

We also ran some of them on the -150 mV undervolted CPU profile, paired with the Cooler Boost fan profile from Dragon Center, which we’ll further name the Tweaked profile. Here’s what we got:

  • 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 16544 (Graphics – 18775, Physics – 14486);
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 7376 (Graphics – 7517, CPU – 6669);
  • 3DMark 13 – Port Royal (RTX) Graphics: 4197;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 4743;
  • GeekBench 4 64-bit: Single-Core:4974, Multi-core: 22271;
  • CineBench R15 (best run): OpenGL 96.64 fps, CPU 1219 cb, CPU Single Core 171 cb;
  • x264 HD Benchmark 4.0 32-bit: Pass 1 – 205.86 fps, Pass 2 – 77.01 fps.

The Dragon Center app doesn’t allow any GPU overclocking, and while we tried to boost up the Core speeds with MSI Afterburner, we were not able to get a stable profile even with a small 50 MHz boost. That’s not necessarily an issue though, given the fact that these RTX chips are already thermally constrained and cannot run at their maximum Turbo Speeds in most scenarios anyway, especially in real life gaming. Overclocking the GPU would lead to improved benchmarks results, but with real-life gaming undervolting the CPU helps a lot more in my opinion than a potential GPU overclock, as it allows the CPU to run cooler and leaves extra thermal room for the GPU (the two share an interlinked cooling solution), which translates in higher GPU performance.

We’ve tested that in the benchmarks above, but also in games. We ran a couple of games representative for DX11, DX12 and Vulkan architectures, both on the Standard and the Tweaked profiles. Here’s what we got.

FHD Standard FHD Tweaked Battlefield V (DX 12, Ultra Preset, Ray-Tracing OFF) 98 fps 112 fps Battlefield V (DX 12, Ultra Preset, Ray-Tracing ON) 55 fps 62 fps Doom (Vulkan, Ultra Preset, TSSAA) 131 fps 135 fps Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Ultra Preset, SMAA) 98 fps 102 fps Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Ultra Preset) 172 fps 176 fps Rise of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Very High Preset, FXAA) 92 fps 100 fps Shadow of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA) 84 fps 88 fps The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Ultra Preset, Haiworks On) 92 fps 96 fps

  • Battlefield V, The Witcher 3, Doom – recorded with Fraps/in-game FPS counter in campaign mode;
  • Far Cry 5, Middle Earth, Tomb Raider games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities.

Battlefield V is still the only title that supports RTX at this time, and as expected the performance takes a serious hit when activated.

Compared to the other RTX 2080 Max-Q laptops we’ve previously tested, the MSI GS65 falls behind on the default profile, mostly because the slow Auto fan profile is unable to cool the CPU and GPU, and as a result the RTX chip clocks down in order to prevent overheating.

The results get a lot better on the Tweaked profile, with the CPU and GPU running both cooler and at higher frequencies. However, as mentioned already though, the fans spin loudly once on Cooler Boost, so you’ll have to use headphones.

Running games on the undervolted profile, but while keeping the fans on Auto, results in higher temperatures and reduces performance, as illustrated in the picture below (compare it to the Cooler Boost variant in the set above).

Msi gs65 8rf stealth thin review

Last but not least, gaming on battery offers limited performance, as both the CPU and GPU are only able to run at reduced frequencies.

Msi gs65 8rf stealth thin review

It’s also worth mentioning that the Predator Triton 500 tested a while ago remains the better performer in this class among the laptops we’ve reviewed, but the GS65 comes within a few percents and runs several degrees cooler, both on the interior and at the case level. of course, repasting the CPU/GPU should further improve this laptop’s behavior in demanding loads. Derek’s article includes a performance/temperature he’s tried on his device, and repasting with a proper compound sure pays off.

Even so, the RTX 2080 Max-Q with stock paste and the aforementioned Tweaked profile was able to outmatch last year’s GTX 1070 Max-Q model by a fair bit, as you can see below.

Benchmarks GS65 – RTX 2080 Max-Q OC GS65 – GTX 1070 Max-Q OC 3DMark – FireStrike Graphics 18775 16027 3DMark – TimeSpy Graphics 7517 – 3DMark – Port Royal 4282 – Passmark 3D Graphics 13350 – Uniengine Superposition 4767 – Doom – Ultra ~135 fps (72 C CPU, 69 C GPU) 105-120 fps (82 C CPU, 79 C GPU) Witcher 3 – Ultra ~92 fps (75 C CPU, 70 C GPU) 58-72 fps (83 C CPU, 75 C GPU)

Other RTX 2080 Max-Q implementations score above 20000 in 3DMark Graphics, and slightly better in games as well, so there’s some room for improvement for the 2019 GS65. Keep in mind that MSI offers no OC profile for the GPU, and we could not overclock it with Afterburner either, while other OEMs do offer an OC profile that leads to better benchmarks results. You’ll also fins a few more side by side benchmarks of the 2018 and 2019 GS65s in this article.

Potential buyers should not forget that the GTX 1070 versions of the GS65 are now available for as low as $1800, while the RTX 2080 model sells for $2800, so when it comes to performance for the buck, there’s better value in the older models, at least for now. We’ll further talk about that in the Conclusions section down below.

Emissions (noise, heat), Connectivity and speakers

The MSI GS65 actually gets a fairly simple cooling design when compared to most other thin-and-lights in its category, with three fans, but a simpler array of heatpipes. One of these fans is mostly in charge of cooling the CPU, and the other two take care of the GPU, with one thinner heatpipe interlinked between them.

I was not allowed to tear up the laptop, so the picture below is from this other review of the GS65, which you should check out for a second opinion.

Msi gs65 8rf stealth thin review

This does a fairly good job at keeping the components at bay, but as already mentioned throughout the article, the Auto fan profile active by default favors reduced noise over performance, and as a result the GS65 runs hot and performs rather poorly out of the box in demanding loads. That’s why you’ll have to either use Cooler Boost when gaming, or create a personalized fan profile from the Dragon Center app. As a heads-up, the fans ramp to about 51-52 dB at head level on the Auto profile, and 56-57 dB on Cooler Boost, both loud enough that you’ll need headphones to cover them up.

With daily use, the GPU fans shut off on the Auto profile, but you can also turn off the CPU’s fan as well with that custom profile, allowing for a quiet daily use experience. There was no electronic noise on our unit, but that’s not a guarantee you won’t get some with yours, given how coil whine is a widespread issue with modern computers.

As far as outer-shell temperatures go, our GS65 ran cool with daily use (on the Auto fan profile), but very hot with gaming. The images below show that actually switching the fans to Cooler Boost helps lower the temperatures by a few degrees, while significantly improving performance when corroborated with the other tweaks, as shown in the previous section.

Msi gs65 8rf stealth thin review
Msi gs65 8rf stealth thin review
Msi gs65 8rf stealth thin review

*Daily Use, fans on Auto – Netflix clip in EDGE for 30 minutes *Load Default, fans on Auto (~51-52 dB) – playing FarCry 5 for approximately 30+ minutes on ultra FHD settings *Load Tweaked Mode, fans on Cooler Boost (~56 dB) – playing FarCry 5 for approximately 30+ minutes on ultra FHD settings

For connectivity, there’s Wireless AC and Bluetooth on this laptop, through a Killer 1550i implementation of the popular Intel AC 9560 module, but also Gigabit Lan through a Killer E2500 module. We’ve mostly used our unit on wireless and it performed well, offering stable signal strength and good speeds both near the router and at 30+ feet, with walls in between. We did run into some issues with the Killer driver out of the box, the kind that caused the connection to disconnect, but it went away after updating the drivers.

As far as audio goes, there’s a set of rather small and down-facing speakers on this laptop, placed in the corners. They’re loud for their size though, at about 83 dB at head level, don’t distort at high volumes and don’t sound that bad either, despite the fact that they greatly lack in bass. The audio jack on the other hand is pretty good, and MSI’s Nahimic software is there to help tweak out the output if you want to.

As for the camera, there’s nothing special about it. It’s placed at the top of the screen, flanked by microphones, and takes rather washed out images even in well-lit rooms. In the dark, it’s mediocre at best, just like you’d expect from a laptop camera.

Battery life

MSI puts an 80 Wh battery inside the 15-inch GS65 Stealth Thin, which is about average for its class. With Optimus on board though this actually lasts for a fair while on a charge, as long as you don’t game, of course.

Here’s what we got on our review unit, with the screen set at 40% brightness, roughly 120 nits.

  • 16 W (~5 h of use) – text editing in Google Drive, Better Battery Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 12 W (~6 h 30 min of use) – 1080p Youtube fullscreen in Edge, Better Battery Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 12 W (~6 h 30 min of use) – 1080p Netflix fullscreen video in Edge, Better Battery Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 12 W (~6 h 30 min of use) – 4K fullscreen .mkv video in the Movie app, Better Battery Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 26 W (~3 h of use) – browsing in Edge, Better Performance Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 54 W (~1 h 30 min of use) – Gaming – Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Maximum Performance Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON.

The laptop charges via a standard barrel-plug and this configuration is bundled with an adequately sized 230W charger, while lower-end versions will get a smaller and lighter 180 W brick. A full charge takes over 2 hours, and this laptop cannot charge via USB-C.

Msi gs65 8rf stealth thin review

Price and availability

The 2019 update of the MSI GS65 is available in stores as of the end of January 2019, with prices starting at around $2800 in the US for the RTX 2080 Max-Q models.

Lower end versions with RTX 2060 and RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics are also available, starting at $2100.

These prices will drop in the months to come, so follow this link for updated prices and configurations at the time you’re reading the article.

Final thoughts

The 2019 iteration of the GS65 is pretty much a hardware bump of last year’s model, with a few minor refinements on the side. It builds , keeping the design, IO, keyboard, screen, and battery-size, but at the same time does not majorly improve on that crucial aspect many have been complaining about: the build quality. The outer case and chassis still creak, which is hard to accept in such an expensive product. It also gets a fairly dim screen, and if you’re unlucky like we were, you might even draw the short stick and get uneven backlighting and light bleeding.

In the end, the hardware remains the major factor that sets the two generations apart. Both GS65 models struggle with performance out of the box, but at the same time both handle games and demanding loads well once tweaked.

Ray Tracing is still in its infancy and not enough on its own to justify paying for an RTX laptop, but the RTX 2080 update also performs better in regular games. However, our tests show that the gains are within 15-20% in benchmarks and games, which again might not be enough to justify its high pricing. Potential buyers should, however, consider the fact that the RTX models run cooler than the GTX variants as well, both at the hardware level and on the outside, which corroborated with the performance boost, the future proofness of RTX chips and future price drops, could just push them in pole position later this year. I’m also curious about how the RTX 2070 variant performs, it might actually be the better value of the RTX configurations, at $400 beneath the 2080 model.

Bottom point, the 2019 MSI GS65 is the same laptop as last year, but with faster graphics, cooler thermals, a new clickpad and a significant price bump. It should have what it takes to become one of the most popular options in its segment, just like its predecessor, as while significantly more expensive than the GTX models from 2018, it still remains one of the more affordable RTX thin-and-lights. It will nonetheless face fierce competition, both from the new and similarly priced Acer Predator Triton 500, but also from the more expensive and better-crafted alternatives like the Razer Blade 15 Advanced, Gigabyte Aero 15 Y9 or Asus ROG Zephyrus GX531, each with their own share of pros and quirks.

Msi gs65 8rf stealth thin review

That wraps up our review of the 2019 MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8SG. Hope this was helpful, and I’m looking forward for your thoughts, comments, and questions in the section down below.

Is MSI GS65 a good laptop?

The Bottom Line The MSI GS65 Stealth Thin is a slim Max-Q gaming laptop with fast performance, slick looks, and a long battery life. Only the less-than-stellar build quality keeps it from earning our top recommendation.

What is MSI GS65 Stealth Thin?

GS65 Stealth Thin - An ultraportable 15.6-inch laptop with thin bezel gaming display and its brand new gold-and-black premium design. Sharp, powerful, slim - all forged into one.

How long does MSI Stealth last?

That results in some pretty disappointing longevity, with the Stealth lasting just four hours and 15 minutes on our local video rundown test versus 9:45 for the x14 and 5:42 for the more powerful Razer Blade 15.

Is MSI GS75 stealth worth it?

We even gave the GS75 Stealth a spot on our best VR-ready laptops and best RTX 2080 gaming laptops pages. The only downside is that its battery life is below average and it runs pretty hot while gaming. But overall, the GS75 Stealth is a fantastic premium gaming laptop that packs a ton of power into a svelte design.