As a College Student in an Information Technology Bachelor’s Degree program¬—and the unfortunate fact that the hard drive on my MacBook Pro failed for the second time—I decided that I would purchase a high-end PC Laptop to run the PC programs required for my classes, directly on the Desktop locally instead of having to run them inside of Guest Operating System installed inside of a Virtual Machine. The bonus to purchasing such a laptop would also be my entrance into PC Gaming as a whole, on top of currently owning a Sony PS4 500 GB, Nintendo Switch, and “New” Nintendo 3DS XL – Hyrule Edition as dedicated gaming consoles.
At first glance, the MSI GS63 Stealth-10 is a beautiful piece and a work of art that doesn’t immediately scream Gaming PC when it is closed, holding true to its name. The aluminum case is black and appears like it has been carefully sandblasted to create the vertical wood grain appearance that sets the tone for its sophisticated appearance comparable to a luxury car. It is incredibly lightweight—4.39Lbs—compared to its competitors and even lighter than my MacBook Pro! The main air vents are on the left and right sides, the back and on the bottom adjacent to the vents in the back, with a few more areas for air to flow in to keep it cool. There’s even six evenly spaced feet on the bottom that keeps the entire laptop slightly raised when it is sitting on a table or flat surface.
The display is not a touch screen, but it is 15.6 inches and outputs to Full HD Widescreen LED in 1080p (1920 x 1080).
The Storage is 256GB Solid State Drive (C:\) and 1TB Hard Disk Drive (D:\), which should be plenty of storage for all your PC games and programs in the long run.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 included in this laptop will certainly handle any game you choose to throw at it, and there are even some games that are specifically supported by it—one of which I’m going to include in this review.
16GB RAM will be enough to run most games at their highest settings, except for far more demanding titles like Final Fantasy XV that recommends 16GB RAM, even though it needs a bare minimum of 8GB RAM just to run. Should you choose that you want to get the most out of such a hefty title, the RAM is upgradable up to 32GB.
This laptop holds nothing back with the Intel 8th Generation Core i7-8750H does have a base speed of 2.2 GHz, but it makes even a deep antivirus scan of every single file in the computer take about an average of five minutes. Webpages load within a second, and there is literally no input lag while typing documents over OneCloud during everyday use of the laptop.
There is one USB 2.0 Type A and 3 USB 3.0 Type A Ports, one HDMI Outlet, one Thunderbolt 3 Port, one Ethernet Port, built-in webcam, HiFi Headphone jack, microphone jack, and Kingston Lock, and Card Reader.
The Audio Technology is Dynaudio Premium Sound Technology, ESS SABRE HiFi audio DAC technology; which provides excellent spatial sound separation even without headphones on.
The GS63 Stealth-10 comes preinstalled with all the additional software you could ever think of needing for gaming on a laptop, including: Dragon Center, SteelSeries Engine 3, Nahimic 3, and GeForce Experience. I will be going a little more in detail on these four programs below, along with my impressions of the software.
Dragon Center is MSI’s all-in-one dashboard that includes System Monitoring, System Tuner, Gaming Mode, Voice Wizard, Mobile Center, and Tools & Help.
System Monitoring monitors the percent use of CPU, GPU, Memory, and the Disk in real time along with the current Device Information and Loading Status. System Monitoring also has the options Free Up Memory and Clean Up Disk. Device Information lists the CPU and GPU by name, the amount of RAM, the SSD and HDD space that is occupied and available for use. Loading Status includes the current Power Plan, Ethernet Speed, Wi-Fi Speed, and the rotation speeds for both fans.
System Tuner allows the user to change the setting based on already configures presets that determine such things as the DPI, Shift, Fan Speed, and the MSI’s RGB display setting. System Tuner comes with six different modes to readily choose from called: Current, Performance, Theater, Meeting, Profile 01, Profile 02. Each of these modes have their own setup that can be changed at any time with their own changeable settings that are uniform across all the six modes. I will just be going over the settings in the Current mode for this very reason. Inside of Current, there is a switch to turn the Windows Key on and off, a switch to swap the effects of the Windows Key and the Function Key, a VR Ready Switch, and the earlier mentioned presets. The DPI option can be changed in 25% intervals from 100% to 200%, (i.e. 100%, 125%, 150%, etc.) The Shift option contains the presets Turbo, Sport, Comfort, and ECO along with power options to manually change the power options on the laptop. Fan Speed can be changed from Auto to Basic, Advanced, or Cooler Boost. The MSI’s RGB has the following options: Standard, Anti-Blue, Gaming, Movie, Office, and Light.
For games that are supported by it, Gaming Mode can optimize system performance and provide auto-tuning function for the game you are playing.
Compatible with TeamSpeak, Raidcall, Skype, SkypeHost, Discord and Steam Client Bootstrapper; Voice Wizard uses VoiceBoost, which Dragon Center describes as an audio mixer than manages the VOIP and game volume proportion that also automatically adjusts.
Mobile Center allows you to connect to the Dragon Center remotely with the MSI App.
Tools & Help includes Burn Recovery for creating a recovery image, User Manual, Help Desk, Product Registration, Battery Calibration, and Feature Navigator.
SteelSeries Engine 3 is a program that allows you to manage, synchronize, and configure any devices that are compatible with the engine, offers a suite of applications that you can configure to interact with your SteelSeries devices, and even allows you to configure custom device configurations for any game that you add to the Engine’s Library—even software you downloaded from Steam. The RGB Keyboard on the laptop is completely customizable in this engine, and comes preinstalled with the following configurations: Aqua, Chakra, Default, Disable, Disco, Drain, Free Way, and Plain. If you’re feeling creative, you can also create your own customizable preset, which will be added to the list of the already existing presets, and all presets can be deleted, renamed, and saved and infinite amount of times. I personally had a lot of fun just experimenting with the presets and customizing my own, especially making color schemes based on a few of my favorite games. This is a very powerful tool to really personalize the laptop and really make it your own.
Nahimic 3 is a powerful tool that you can use to optimize the audio coming out of your headphones and going into the microphone, while also providing a Sound Tracker that you can use to track the audio relative to your position in-game.
The Audio Effects each include the following effects that you can turn on and off to your personal preference: Surround Sound, Volume Stabilizer, Voices, Bass, and Tremble. Audio Effects are divided into four categories that share the same effect options: Music, Movie, Communication, and Gaming. In each of these categories—in addition to turning the effects on and off—you can readily adjust the DB on Voices, Bass, and Tremble to get the most optimal sound quality from your speakers or headset.
The Microphone Effects are divided into two categories named Chat, and Conference; both of which have the same following options that can be turned on and off: Static Noise Suppression, Echo Cancellation, Lateral Sound Cancellation, and Microphone Boost. Static Noise Suppression is the only one of these options that can be adjusted, based on how quiet or how noisy your current environment is at the time—especially cutting out the noise coming from the fans.
GeForce Experience gives you access to adjusting the framerate on games, updating the latest driver for the GTX 1060, and the settings that you would want to use for any voice chat or streaming. It even gives you the ability to open the in-game overlay to record video or even to broadcast live without having to open a separate window.
I will be concluding this rather lengthy review with my impressions on how well the laptop runs and renders Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, which is also one of the games that is fully compatible and recognizable by GeForce Experience. Upon playing several hours of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, I have found the GTX 1060 really helps to bring out the crisp details even at a far distance at very high settings as well as particle effects such as leaves almost having the appearance that they could just fly out of the screen. I experienced absolutely no lag at all. Additionally, the Surround Sound audio was extraordinary, and I could hear the voices of the disembodied characters from my left, right, and even every angle behind me. Overall, I am beyond satisfied with this laptop, and I would highly recommend it to anyone on the fence of getting a Gaming Laptop. I can certainly guarantee that you will not be disappointed.