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Product Listing

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF notebook review: Copper-accented gaming beauty

By Koh Wanzi - 7 Oct 2018
Launch SRP: S$3799

Performance benchmarks

Test setup

Here’s a full list of the notebooks we’re looking at:

  • MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF
  • Razer Blade (2018)
  • Gigabyte Aero 15X
  • Aftershock APEX-15

With the exception of the Aftershock APEX-15, all the notebooks are equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q. However, the GPU on the GS65 Stealth Thin is actually clocked lower at 1,101MHz, compared to 1,215MHz on the Razer and Gigabyte laptops, so it'll be interesting to see how it fares. 

Test notebooks compared
  MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF Razer Blade (2018) Gigabyte Aero 15X (2018) Aftershock APEX-15
  MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF Razer Blade (2018) Gigabyte Aero 15X (2018) Aftershock APEX-15
Launch SRP
  • From S$3799
  • From S$3899
  • From S$3799
  • From S$2576
Processor and Chipset
  • Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz, 9MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz, 9MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz, 9MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz, 9MB L3 cache)
Operating System
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 10 Home
System Memory
  • 16GB DDR4-2667 dual-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2667 dual-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 single-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 single-channel RAM
Video & Display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS-type display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz AHVA display
Storage
  • Samsung PM981 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Samsung PM981 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Toshiba XG3 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Samsung PM981 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD
Optical Drive
  • None
  • None
  • None
  • None
Connectivity
  • Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9260
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel Wireless-AC 8265
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9560
  • Bluetooth 5.0
Audio
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5
I/O Ports
  • 1x microphone-in, headphone-out jack
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort
  • 1x microphone-in, headphone-out jack
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x HDMI 2.0b
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1x audio combo jack
  • 1x SD card reader
  • 1x RJ-45
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 2x Mini DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1x audio combo jack
  • 1x SD card reader
  • 1x RJ-45
Battery Type
  • 82Wh
  • 80Wh Li-ion polymer
  • 94.24Wh Li-ion polymer
  • 46.74Wh Li-ion polymer
Dimensions
  • 357.7 x 247.7 x 17.9 mm
  • 355 x 235 x 17.3mm
  • 356.4 x 250 x 18.9mm
  • 359 x 240 x 19.9mm
Weight
  • 1.88kg
  • 2.1 kg
  • 2.1kg
  • 1.95kg
Miscellaneous
  • Per-key RGB illumination
  • Per-key RGB illumination

The notebooks were put through the following benchmarks:

  • PCMark 10
  • 3DMark
  • VRMark
  • Ashes of the Singularity
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division

 

Benchmarks

 

PCMark 10 Extended

PCMark 10 Extended assesses the performance of systems in a variety of workloads, including basic computing tasks, productivity applications, digital content creation, and gaming. Compared to PCMark 8, it also adds in new test metrics, such as app startup times, which quantifies how long it takes to launch a variety of real-world apps, and a rendering and visualization workload to simulate professional graphics and engineering applications. In addition, existing workloads have been updated to reflect modern usage.

The MSI GS65 Stealth Thin performed in line with the rest of the GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q laptops, even edging ahead to take the overall lead. It did fall behind a little in the Gaming benchmark, perhaps owing to its lower clocked GPU, but it made up for it with better performance in the more CPU-focused Essentials, Productivity, and Digital Content Creation tests. 

 

3DMark

3DMark is a more relevant assessment of gaming performance, and it puts the system through a range of graphics and computational performance tests at different resolutions, starting at 1080p and going all the way up to 4K.

Owing to its lower clocked GPU, the MSI laptop consistently trailed the Razer Blade by a few percentage points, but it's honestly nothing I'd lose sleep over. As we'll see in the gaming benchmarks further down, it doesn't translate into much of a difference in the real world.

 

VRMark

Futuremark’s VRMark benchmark is designed to assess a PC’s ability to handle high-performance headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. If a PC passes the Orange Room test, it is ready for the latter two systems. The benchmark also has a target frame rate of 109FPS, and I've included the average FPS each notebook managed to provide a clearer measure of their respective performance. 

The MSI GS65 Stealth Thin handled the Orange Room benchmark quite well, and you should have no problems running VR games. 

 

Ashes of the Singularity

Ashes of the Singularity is a demanding real-time strategy game that puts thousands of units on screen, and it’s capable of pushing even the most powerful GPUs.

As in 3DMark, the MSI laptop continued to trail the Razer laptop ever so slightly. However, the difference mostly amounts to a couple of frames, which can hardly be considered significant. 

 

Deus ex: Mankind Divided

Mankind Divided is one of the most demanding titles to run today, but the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin is more than capable of delivering a playable experience. To its credit, it also outdid the Gigabyte Aero 15X despite the latter having a higher clocked GPU. 

 

Tom Clancy's The Division

The Division isn’t as demanding to run as Ashes of the Singularity or Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, but its Snowdrop engine can still stress cards with the use of dynamic lighting and the like.

Once again, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin came in between the Razer and Gigabyte laptops, an overall decent showing. 

8.0
  • Design 8
  • Features 8.5
  • Performance 8.5
  • Value 8
  • Mobility 8.5
The Good
Excellent 144Hz IPS-type panel
Attractive design
Thin, light, and has decent battery life
Windows Precision Touchpad
The Bad
Chassis flex in some places
Expensive
No SD card slot
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