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MSI - 15.6" Gaming  Laptop - Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 - 512GB Solid State Drive - Matte Black With Gold Diamond Cut-Angle_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars with 1936 reviews

98%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 4.2 out of 5 stars with 11 reviews

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Beat Mode Activated!

    Posted
    Jeff

    In a word... WOW! Okay, so now to the review after getting that out of the way. First a little back story and I will attempt to keep this short for those of you that get bored easily. :) I have been searching, debating, thinking, reviewing for about 2 months prior to making a purchase. The MSI GS65 kept yelling at me, "Pick me, Pick me!" However, when I went in to buy it, I was talked into buying the Microsoft Surface Book 2 (SB2 moving forward) as I was told it would be better for both productivity and gaming. Not necessarily better at gaming, but a more well-rounded laptop due to my needs. I will say that the SB2 is a beautiful machine with an amazing screen, but in no way does it come close to the gaming performance of this BEAST! More on that soon. I am the type that really needs / requires a bright and vibrant screen. The whites to be white and not washed out, the blacks to be black, etc. That was my one hesitation I had when looking at this in the store, that it didn't come across as overly bright and vibrant. Well, then I get it home and my worst fears were NOT realized. The colors are beautiful, the whites are white and there are a multitude of options to change the colors, brightness, etc. MSI True Color works very well. Does it compare to the SB2 as far as clarity, vibrancy and color representation? No, but it certainly holds it own for a 1080P screen. The 144HZ more than makes up for it to say the least. I can no longer go back to a 60HZ screen after this. Thanks, MSI for ruining me in that way! Performance: Again in comparing SB2's performance to the GS65, I tried several games. GTA V I was getting 35 - 55 FPS on normal (medium) settings and on the SB2, I am getting between 90-130 FPS on mostly high settings on the GS65. COD Black Ops 3 via Steam on the SB2 - 40 - 50 FPS, GS65 144HZ consistently. Forza 7 via Windows 10 gaming, 60FPS on the SB2 and 144HZ on the GS65. Ridiculous! One other thing I don't like about the SB2 is the 3:2 aspect ratio. I understand some people like it, but I don't. Fan noise: I honestly don't think it is loud at all. Can I hear it? Sure, but in no way is it distracting. Either I have poor hearing (which I don't) or I just don't care as much as some people. It truly isn't loud nor distracting, but you can hear it at times. The 3 cons I have are these: 1. The trackpad isn't very good. I use a gaming mouse, so it isn't a huge deal for me, but it's not good. 2. The speakers sound so-so, but the volume doesn't get loud at all. Not sure why that is, but in some programs I have to turn the volume up to 80 and that's a little odd. Perhaps a driver issue, I don't know. 3. Lastly and my biggest complaint of all is the difficulty in upgrading the SSD and RAM. With the flipped motherboard, it makes it quite risky and certainly a pain in the patootie to do so. Yes, I said patootie. I think I will take it to a computer repair shop to do so because if they mess it up, its on them. One side note. The 512GB SSD runs out of room quickly, so I have attached a 4TB external portable hard drive to it and have loaded my Windows 10 games, PC games and Steam games to it. I have seen no drop in FPS or performance at all. Sure, the loading times are a little slower, but game-play is seamless. In conclusion, if you are on the fence about getting the MSI GS65, jump off the fence, run quickly to Best Buy and get it. I have absolutely no buyers remorse after returning the SB2 and picking this up. None. It is classy looking so I can use it at work and powerful enough to run all current games without issue. Please excuse me, I have to go back into Beast Mode on my new MSI GS65!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best Laptop Available - Gaming & Productivity

    Posted
    nova

    Like the title states, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin is quite easily one of the best laptops on the market right now for not only gaming, but also productivity related tasks. Build Quality & Design: The chassis appears to be a very thin aluminum. This allows the laptop to be incredibly lightweight, which is one of the best aspects of this laptop. For a 15.6" laptop, it feels relatively as heavy as an iPad pro with a type cover attached - that is to say, not very heavy. The trade off to this is that the laptop does have some flex in certain areas. The display does flex slightly when opening and there is some slight flex over the vent above the keyboard. However in everyday use it's not noticeable (how often do you really just press down on random areas of the chassis of your laptop..?). There is little-to-no flex in the keyboard or palm rests. The design is superb. The design is very nice and subdued. It's something you can take out in a coffee shop, school, or at most individual's office space and not feel as though all eyes are judging. The gold dragon is the only thing that clues this as being a little different than your run-of-the-mill laptop, and it looks more elegant than gaudy. The keyboard however does have an eclectic font typeface. However, this is a completely subjective aspect of the laptop, neither good nor bad. I personally find the font to be fun and I enjoy it. The keyboard comes with RGB lighting which can be customized or disabled as you prefer. The quality of the lighting is superb, and seems on par with Razer's "Chroma". As far as the display, it's beautiful. The brightness is somewhere between standard and great. It's not the brightest screen, but it definitely does well for daily use. As far as screen bleeding, this is easily the first laptop screen I've owned that has absolutely NO screen bleed (seriously!), which is a massive 5 star to MSI. I don't know if I hit the display lottery, but I'm very happy with this display. The 144hz refresh rate also allows for snappy performance and looks great - particularly when scrolling through extensive word and excel documents. Text doesn't blur together, it remains crisp. Performance: Unfortunately, I can't speak much to the power of the i7-8750H as I don't do any photo or video editing. However, I can comment about the GPU. The GTX 1070 is of the max-q variant, meaning it is approximately 10-15% slower than the standard mobile 1070. This is a good thing as it allows the computer to run cooler and have better battery life without significant drop in performance. This laptop will shred through most modern AAA titles at 70+ FPS at 1080p resolution (I can't speak on 4K gaming). The thermals are also good, for a laptop this size. You have to compromise a little when it comes to thermals. Small packages cannot deliver low temperatures. However, MSI has done a good job. With three exhaust vents (two on the sides, one in the back), there is plenty is space to dispel the heat. There are also two large air intake vents on the top and bottom of the keyboard. As a result, the laptop stays relatively cool while gaming both internally and to the touch over the keyboard and palm rests. The fans do kick on during serious gaming, but the sound is a lower, less distracting, whirling sound. You'll notice it, but likely be okay with it. Battery: This is one of the big selling points to me. For such a powerful laptop, the battery during normal operation is phenomenal. Combinations of web browsing, YouTube, listening to music, and working in Microsoft office programs, I average between 6-10 hours (depending on what all I have open). Gaming is substantially less - around 1 hour to 4 hours (depending on the game). You'll want your charger if you plan on gaming for hours on end. Other: Audio is good. Laptop speakers are almost always awful. These are pretty good for simple YouTube and movie watching. If you're seriously into gaming or are an audiophile, you'll likely be using headphones anyways which makes it a non-issue. If you don't have headphones, go get a pair. The built in audio drivers are pretty good with headphones. The touchpad uses windows precision drivers and is very responsive. It's a little smaller than something like the macbook pro or surface book, but I never found that I ran out of space during normal use. It's positioned more on the left side of the laptop which is nice for typing (as your palm doesn't brush up against it), but can be uncomfortable to use for an extended period of time as your right hand has to bend sideways more. Yet again, it's not a deal breaker at the least, just something I've noticed. If you plan on doing a lot of mouse intense work, you'd likely want a mouse anyways, regardless of the laptop. There are no biometric login features, so no Windows Hello or fingerprint. However, I find that a quick 4 digit pin number unlocks just as quick as it takes for most Windows Hello equipped laptop's infrared cameras to kick on. Bottom line: No laptop is perfect. But this one is dang near close and I have to give a lot of credit to MSI for delivering such a great product. If you're a student, a hardcore gamer, or just your standard guy/gal who needs a solid laptop who also likes to play some games - this is the laptop for you. I hope this helps some of you in your decision. Note: The 512gb hard drive that comes with this Best Buy edition is partitioned into two drives: (Windows C:\ and Data D:\). There is nothing on the Data partition and can be deleted and reallocated to the C:\ drive for a larger volume. You will need a third party partition manager (I used MiniTool Partition Free) to delete the D:\ drive and extend the size of the C:\ drive. Before doing this, make sure you grab a flash drive and create a recovery drive just in case something goes south and you need to reinstall windows from scratch. You can also delete the hibernation file (Open command prompt in admin mode, type powercfg /hibernation off) to save an extra 6gb of storage.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Very impressed so far.

    Posted
    Ponyheart
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I've only had the MSi GS65 Stealth Thin for about a week, but so far, I'm very pleased with it. I bought the MSI GS65 mainly for 3D content creation on the go with ability to do some light gaming. My main work and play computer is custom built desktop, and My last laptop was a 2012 Alienware m17x r4. I really wanted a lighter, smaller form factor laptop to travel with, and was also considering the Razer 15, Acer Aero 15x, ASUS Zephyrus, and possibly another Alienware. I chose the MSi because of its more mature stylings, small form factor, performance, upgradability (having 2 M.2 slots), and price coming in at under $2k. Styling and Build Quality: The GS65 looks great with it's thin bezels and black matte finish with rose gold details. A very refreshing and mature look for a gaming laptop. The weight of the GS65 is a very easy at 4.5 lbs and the laptop in general is very sleek and easy to transport. It's no where near ultra book sleek but it's huge improvement one past gaming laptops that could weight 10 lbs or more. The GS65 has some flex in the chassis and lid, but that's to be expected as it's not a milled aluminum uni-body, like the Razers or Macbooks, and the bezels around the screen are very thin. Mine also doesn't have very much creak or rattle that others have mentioned. It is somewhat of a finger print magnet. If you going to add an SSD, more RAM, or re-paste, then be prepared for a stressful chore, as the motherboard needs to be completely removed to accomplish these things. I haven’t torn down the GS65 myself, but will be soon and I am not looking forward to it. Overall it has a nice design aesthetic and an acceptable fit and finish, with a questionable motherboard layout. The GS65 feels nice to handle and to look at. Just don't expect the GS65 to be as solidly built as a Macbook, Razer, or Surface Book. Performance: The GS65 is a beast with it's 6 core i7 8750H. I haven't performed any tests or benchmarks, but it breezes through the applications I use daily. 3dsmax, photoshop, Substance Designer, Zbrush, and the UE4 editor all work great. I haven't done any rendering or lighting builds yet, so I can't speak for that yet. As far as gaming goes, I've only downloaded a few games all of which ran great. Doom, Quake Champions, and Fortnite all average 120 fps or higher on high or ultra settings. I feel the 1070 max-q graphics card will be adequate for gaming for the next few years at least. The M.2 512gb SSD on the GS65 is a SanDisk and SATA not a NVMe PCIe. I would have preferred a PCIe drive but it works fine and boots quickly. The drive is split in to 2 partitions, making a smallish drive even smaller, which I really didn’t care for. It was an easy fix though. I re-partitioned it using a free hard drive management software that I downloaded (I end up using minitool). Heat and Fan Noise: With out of the box settings the laptop gets hot quick under heavy load or gaming. Using HWMonitor I saw CPU temps of up to 94C while gaming and running programs for content creation. But that was easily and quickly helped by tuning the fan profiles. That alone seemed to drop the temps down 5-7 degrees C. Under normal use the temps never leave the 50s. I haven't re-pasted or under-volted the cpu, but it’s something I plan to do soon. The fans aren't very aggressive and even in max "cooler boost" setting aren't crazy loud, and they don't have any whine or harshness to their tone. I can definitely tell the fans there when they start to kick up rpm, but that doesn't really happen unless I'm gaming, and I wear a headset while gaming. The fan noise isn't enough to carry over my mic using Discord. Screen and Speakers: I would have preferred a 4K screen for productivity, but this screen is very good, and probably better for a pure gaming experience. At 144Hz this screen is buttery smooth while gaming. I never had any tearing or stuttering. The colors are decent for a monitor targeted for fast FPS gaming. It has 6 pre-set color modes and is fairly easy to adjust. The contrast and viewing angles are good, but not at true IPS level. The brightness is great for most indoor lighting, but it's not really bright enough if you’re by a sunny window or sitting outside during the day. I could see everything okay while in the sun, but it wasn't very comfortable on my eyes. It gets fairly dim on the lowest setting and coupled with the anti-blue mode it is very easy on the eyes in a dark room. I use a high contrast windows theme with a mainly black desktop and black or dark gray themes in all apps that allow me to change color settings, and I have notice hardly any backlight bleed. The speakers are surprisingly loud and clear for being downward firing in a slim laptop, and only slightly muddy. They’re slightly tinny and could use more bass fullness. Not the best laptop speakers I ever heard, but I’ve heard worse on much larger laptops. The speakers are decent if just listening to a podcast or instructional YouTube video, but if you want to game, listen to music or watch a movie you’ll want to put on some headphones. Battery Life: The battery life of the GS65 is expectedly short while gaming or using demanding software. Under normal daily mixed use of surfing the web with multiple browser tabs open, sporadic watching of YouTube, music streaming, and email checking, I’m averaging about 4hrs. While that’s not a great battery life, I also haven’t done any battery calibration, or changed any power settings yet. That’s about 4hrs out of the GS65 with out of the box settings for the most part. With Wi-Fi on, the monitor and RGB lighting on full brightness, and CPU on comfort mode. I’m sure with the RGB off slightly dimmer monitor and a little power setting adjustments I think the GS65 could be stretched out to its 8 hour claim. Keyboard and Track Pad: I’m used to a full-sized mechanical keyboard, and my old laptop is a 17.3” so the GS65s Keyboard is a little small for me. It also lacks a 10 key. It has vey nice pressure and decent key travel. It is nice to type on once I got used to the key spacing. It has 2nd forward slash keys for some reason, but that doesn’t really bother me, and all the shortcut keys make sense to me. If you’re into RGB lighting, the GS65s keyboard is easily customizable using the SteelSeries Engine 3 software. You can program color, brightness and lighting patterns on the entire keyboard, and change the key binding on all keys. The GS65s trackpad is smooth and allows my fingers to glide across smoothly. The trackpad feels accurate and responds well to zooming and scrolling gestures (those are the only ones I use). But, the clicking on the GS65 leaves much to be desired. The GS65 doesn’t have separate mouse buttons, you must click the track pad itself. The click is hard to actuate the higher up on the trackpad you press, and is best accomplished by pressing all the way in the lower left corner, as I have found myself accidentally right clicking multiple times. The trackpad issues on the GS65 aren’t much of an issue for me though, as most of the time I’m using a wireless mouse, but if you don’t use a mouse the track pad could become annoying. Software: The GS65 comes with the some of bloatware, but bit didn’t have as much as is usual with ASUS or Alienware, and it was all easily removed. It comes with SteelSeries Engine 3 to control the keyboard lighting and binding, and I have to say I like it a lot. It’s very easy configure the keyboard to your liking on the GS65. It also comes with MSi Dragon Center, which is the app used as the central hub for simple tuning and the basic maintenance of the laptop, as well as backup creation and the user manual. MSi Dragon Center is straight forward and easy to use, but it is also limited. If you want more control of the tune-ability of the GS65 then you might want to download separate software for that. It doesn’t yet support any type of face recognition or biometric security. Conclusion I would highly recommend the MSi GS65 Stealth Thin to anyone that wants a thin and light gaming setup, with enough processing power to work on photo/video editing and 3D content creation. It has a few quirks like the tricky trackpad clicking, flipped motherboard, and weird SSD partitioning. The fit and finish level isn’t as good as others. But overall, it’s looks are sleek and refreshingly un-gamer, it stays relatively cool and quit, and packs massive performance in a small, thin, and light weight package.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Gaming Beast

    Posted
    ALOK
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    After long search for a gaming laptop finally ends with this laptop MSI GS-65. A lightweight, Powerful,Easy to carry.I considered several of the new Intel 8th generation lightweight gaming laptops before choosing this one. This model from BestBuy came with 16 GB 2400 MHz dual channel RAM, a 512 GB Toshiba M.2 SSD, N1550 wireless card and the Max-Q GTX 1070 GPU. I was on Tour bought from store Baton Rouge.Packing was excellent triple-boxed. The innermost, MSI-branded box contained the laptop. This box was held in an MSI-brown cardboard box with thick foam supports, alongside a second box containing the powerful beast. The build quality seems good. This is laptop has very thin bezel .I like MSI designing around weight - it's very light for a 15.6'' screen, at 4.1 lbs / 1.9 kg. Its body is full metal,robust & fingerprint magnet but can be cleaned easily with cloth Visually, I adore the black and gold look, with only the individually-lit RGB keyboard. You can customise the keyboard led as per your choice The keyboard is lovely to type on with a good medium weight to each key - The 1080p screen is reasonably bright with a high 144 Hz refresh rate and a good colour range .You have 2-finger scrolling up/down, and 3- and 4- finger gestures for changing between apps or controlling the volume. Upon booting up for the first time, there is the usual Windows 10 Home introduction sequence involving Cortana, which took about 10-15 minutes to get through. On startup laptop started to update. There were 5 or so other security updates, nothing major, so it starts off close to being up to date. Performance: GTX 1070 is of the max-q variant, meaning it is approximately 10-15% slower than the standard mobile 1070. This is a good thing as it allows the computer to run cooler and have better battery life without significant drop in performance. The thermals are also good, for a laptop this size. Small packages cannot deliver low temperatures. However, MSI has done a good job. With three exhaust vents (two on the sides, one in the back), there is plenty is space to dispel the heat. There are also two large air intake vents on the top and bottom of the keyboard. As a result, the laptop stays relatively cool while gaming both internally and to the touch over the keyboard and palm rests. The fans do kick on during serious gaming, but the sound is a lower, less distracting, whirling sound. The speakers sound fine,can be turned up pretty loud. The webcam is ok , Battery: This is one of the big selling points to me. For such a powerful laptop, the battery during normal operation is phenomenal. I average between 4-5 hours, Compnay claims upto 8 Hrs. The battery seems reasonable. Bottom line: No laptop is perfect. But this one is good and MSI has delivered such a great product. I hope this helps some of you in your decision.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    High-end Lightweight Gaming Laptop

    Posted
    hark
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Full Disclosure: I was incentivised to write this review thanks to the MSI offer of a Steelseries Headset upon submission of a review. There was no requirement for a minimum score. I was looking for a gaming laptop a bit different from the monsters that used to define this sort of thing - something lightweight, that wouldn't look out of place in an office whilst still being able to pump out games for years to come. My previous laptop recently died after 7 years of hard labour, and I wanted to treat myself to something that would last. I considered several of the new Intel 8th generation lightweight gaming laptops before choosing this one. This model from BestBuy came with 16 GB 2400 MHz dual channel RAM, a 512 GB Toshiba M.2 SSD (not as fast as the NVMe in other models, but the most storage at this price point and a second unused SSD slot), the Killer N1550 wireless card (which has been fine so far) and the Max-Q GTX 1070 GPU. I had this shipped from BestBuy (via UPS), and it arrived triple-boxed. The innermost, MSI-branded box contained the laptop (in two protective sleeves). This box was held in an MSI-brown cardboard box with thick foam supports, alongside a second box containing the power brick. No other peripherals come with this item. Finally this was packaged into a plain shipping box alongside a strip of large air-filled bags (instead of polystyrene), with nothing on the outside identifying its contents. Overall, this was excellent packaging, the laptop suffered no damage during transit. The build quality seems reasonable - the screen and body will flex if you are actively trying to make them do so, however I haven't noticed anything during normal use. This is most likely due to MSI designing around weight - it's very light for a 15.6'' screen, at 4.1 lbs / 1.9 kg. It does collect fingerprints, but they disappear after a quick wipe with a microfiber cloth. Visually, I adore the black and gold look, with only the individually-lit RGB keyboard to suggest a gaming pedigree (this was easily set to a uniform white through the SteelSeries Engine software - Fn-1-0 acts as a shortcut to jump between different profiles). The keyboard is lovely to type on with a good medium weight to each key - I very quickly found myself making no more mistakes than I would on any other I'm used to using. The 1080p screen is reasonably bright with a high 144 Hz refresh rate and a good colour range (however if this is important for your own work I would advise checking the many technical reviews which calibrate the colours according to the 3 standards). The trackpad (running Synaptic drivers) was annoying at first however, it seemed to enter a click every 7 seconds or so losing focus on any drop down menus. However this disappeared after a restart and I haven't noticed any problems since. You have 2-finger scrolling up/down, and 3- and 4- finger gestures for changing between apps or controlling the volume. I did have to find a Chrome extension however to retain the two-finger swipe forward and backwards I had previously. Upon booting up for the first time, there is the usual Windows 10 Home introduction sequence involving Cortana, which took about 10-15 minutes to get through. I uninstalled maybe 8-10 items of bloat, nothing too hard to remove. Coming from Windows 7, the inability to have control over updates was annoying, and the laptop started to update from 1709 to 1803 (currently not deemed great) but oh well. There were 5 or so other security updates, nothing major, so it starts off close to being up to date. I haven't yet had the time to push the performance, but the Max-Q 1070 has been performing well on benchmarks and I have no real concerns here. The 8th generation of intel CPUs seem to perform around 30% better than the previous generation, and the USB-3 thunderbolt port offers the potential to run an external GPU if that becomes relevant in years to come. The main concern is the thermals - at high loads users have found this model to run hot! CPU undervolting offers one solution to this, as might re-pasting (this will, however, void your warranty with BestBuy according to the employee I asked so beware). Under normal conditions (for example, writing this review while surfing) the CPU is running at 44 °C, and the fans are silent. The speakers sound fine, nothing amazing but it's a laptop. They sit underneath, but can be turned up pretty loud. The webcam is a little grainy, but will certainly suffice, and there are plenty of ports if you wanted to run a dedicated camera. One nice feature is the ability to physically turn the camera off however, for the security conscious (when enabled through the keyboard-shortcut the Windows Camera app cannot find the camera). The battery seems reasonable. I wouldn't want to attempt a full days work with no charger to hand, but I would have no worries about an afternoon away from mains. When plugged it during use it sat at around 90% (claiming to be plugged in but not charging) which is likely to improve the battery life by reducing the number of charge cycles the laptop goes through by not going to 100%, dropping a little bit, topping up and repeating. 6-and change hours use seems to be about what I get. Overall I'm happy, and looking forward to seeing what this laptop can really do with some games!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best portable Gaming Laptop

    Posted
    Vinctosc
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Like the title states, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin is quite easily one of the best laptops on the market right now for not only gaming, but also productivity related tasks. Build Quality & Design: The chassis appears to be a very thin aluminum. This allows the laptop to be incredibly lightweight, which is one of the best aspects of this laptop. For a 15.6" laptop, it feels relatively as heavy as an iPad pro with a type cover attached - that is to say, not very heavy. The trade off to this is that the laptop does have some flex in certain areas. The display does flex slightly when opening and there is some slight flex over the vent above the keyboard. However in everyday use it's not noticeable (how often do you really just press down on random areas of the chassis of your laptop..?). There is little-to-no flex in the keyboard or palm rests. The design is superb. The design is very nice and subdued. It's something you can take out in a coffee shop, school, or at most individual's office space and not feel as though all eyes are judging. The gold dragon is the only thing that clues this as being a little different than your run-of-the-mill laptop, and it looks more elegant than gaudy. The keyboard however does have an eclectic font typeface. However, this is a completely subjective aspect of the laptop, neither good nor bad. I personally find the font to be fun and I enjoy it. The keyboard comes with RGB lighting which can be customized or disabled as you prefer. The quality of the lighting is superb, and seems on par with Razer's "Chroma". As far as the display, it's beautiful. The brightness is somewhere between standard and great. It's not the brightest screen, but it definitely does well for daily use. As far as screen bleeding, this is easily the first laptop screen I've owned that has absolutely NO screen bleed (seriously!), which is a massive 5 star to MSI. I don't know if I hit the display lottery, but I'm very happy with this display. The 144hz refresh rate also allows for snappy performance and looks great - particularly when scrolling through extensive word and excel documents. Text doesn't blur together, it remains crisp. Performance: Unfortunately, I can't speak much to the power of the i7-8750H as I don't do any photo or video editing. However, I can comment about the GPU. The GTX 1070 is of the max-q variant, meaning it is approximately 10-15% slower than the standard mobile 1070. This is a good thing as it allows the computer to run cooler and have better battery life without significant drop in performance. This laptop will shred through most modern AAA titles at 70+ FPS at 1080p resolution (I can't speak on 4K gaming). The thermals are also good, for a laptop this size. You have to compromise a little when it comes to thermals. Small packages cannot deliver low temperatures. However, MSI has done a good job. With three exhaust vents (two on the sides, one in the back), there is plenty is space to dispel the heat. There are also two large air intake vents on the top and bottom of the keyboard. As a result, the laptop stays relatively cool while gaming both internally and to the touch over the keyboard and palm rests. The fans do kick on during serious gaming, but the sound is a lower, less distracting, whirling sound. You'll notice it, but likely be okay with it. Battery: This is one of the big selling points to me. For such a powerful laptop, the battery during normal operation is phenomenal. Combinations of web browsing, YouTube, listening to music, and working in Microsoft office programs, I average between 6-10 hours (depending on what all I have open). Gaming is substantially less - around 1 hour to 4 hours (depending on the game). You'll want your charger if you plan on gaming for hours on end. Other: Audio is good. Laptop speakers are almost always awful. These are pretty good for simple YouTube and movie watching. If you're seriously into gaming or are an audiophile, you'll likely be using headphones anyways which makes it a non-issue. If you don't have headphones, go get a pair. The built in audio drivers are pretty good with headphones. The touchpad uses windows precision drivers and is very responsive. It's a little smaller than something like the macbook pro or surface book, but I never found that I ran out of space during normal use. It's positioned more on the left side of the laptop which is nice for typing (as your palm doesn't brush up against it), but can be uncomfortable to use for an extended period of time as your right hand has to bend sideways more. Yet again, it's not a deal breaker at the least, just something I've noticed. If you plan on doing a lot of mouse intense work, you'd likely want a mouse anyways, regardless of the laptop. There are no biometric login features, so no Windows Hello or fingerprint. However, I find that a quick 4 digit pin number unlocks just as quick as it takes for most Windows Hello equipped laptop's infrared cameras to kick on. Bottom line: No laptop is perfect. But this one is dang near close and I have to give a lot of credit to MSI for delivering such a great product. If you're a student, a hardcore gamer, or just your standard guy/gal who needs a solid laptop who also likes to play some games - this is the laptop for you. I hope this helps some of you in your decision. Note: The 512gb hard drive that comes with this Best Buy edition is partitioned into two drives: (Windows C:\ and Data D:\). There is nothing on the Data partition and can be deleted and reallocated to the C:\ drive for a larger volume. You will need a third party partition manager (I used MiniTool Partition Free) to delete the D:\ drive and extend the size of the C:\ drive. Before doing this, make sure you grab a flash drive and create a recovery drive just in case something goes south and you need to reinstall windows from scratch. You can also delete the hibernation file (Open command prompt in admin mode, type powercfg /hibernation off) to save an extra 6gb of storage.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    MSI GS65 - Best Laptop at a Great Price!

    Posted
    TechMonkie

    MSI GS65 Thin Review for BestBuy.com I've owned a lot of laptops, but this is the best. The MSI GS65 is a thin (near desktop replacement) laptop. I use mine for video production and it chews through 4K video production through Adobe Premiere like a beast! I would recommend this laptop to anyone looking for near desktop replacement level hardware for on the go. It runs about 90% (CPU) and 75% (GPU) of what a desktop i7 8700k (CPU) and GTX 1070 (GPU) performance. A laptop that puts out that much performance is a great laptop! Below are my thoughts with Pros and Cons. Most of the Cons can easily be resolved. Pros: ---------------- - Thin - Fits 14" cases - Mostly Metal Frame (Bezel around the screen is the only part that isn't metal) ---------------- - Quiet - Word Processing or Web Browsing Silent - Even when rendering fan noise is not whiny ---------------- - Performance - Adobe Suite - Easily handles my 4k workload - Gaming - No game yet has stopped this computer! - Lots of Air Flow for Laptop stand with a fan. ---------------- - Screen - I've missed refresh rates higher than 60hz. - It takes a while to get used to but it feels so nice on your eyes. - "A monitor that's like a pillow for your eyes." ---------------- - Keyboard - Layout - Great layout with only full size buttons. - Great feel and little to no learning curve. - Large keys are a plus! - Lighting with Function Keys - Lighting is customizable and bright - Holding down FN displays FN hot key buttons in red. ---------------- - Ports - This thing is loaded down with ports. - Once you plug in a mouse, two external hard drives, you still have room for two or three monitors, or a USB 3.1 device. ---------------- - Ventilation and Fans - The top, sides, and bottom of the laptop where all the heat generating parts are have perforated metal to allow air flow. - Nice pattern used. - Once high quality thermal paste is applied, idle temps are in the low 40c (Mid 30c with fan booster) and it hovers around 75-85c under load. - Fan noise is quiet and even on full blast you can mask the sound with a good pair of headphones. ---------------- - Battery life - Actually has a battery life! - 5-7 hours in practical use. You could probably get more if you dropped monitor refresh rate to 60hz. Cons ---------------- - Audio Driver Install Loop Issue - Audio would cut in and out when I plugged headphones in and I chocked it up to an Audio Driver - When I went to reinstall the drivers from MSI, they require old drivers to be removed but... old drivers are put in the system and cannot be uninstalled by easy means. - Thus an infinite loop of driver package uninstalling, restart, finding drivers installed, trying to uninstall them again... - Just stupid. ---------------- - BIOS update through USB Stick - It is 2018... why do I need a USB stick to update my BIOS? - Fan turns on for seemingly random work loads - Installing Programs will make the fans ramp up. - This is fixed my applying high quality thermal paste. ---------------- - Power light - It's weirdly brighter than any thing else on the keyboard. - It is used to differentiate between the two graphics cards, white being Intel GPU and orange being nVidia GPU. - Easily fixed with some LED blackout stickers. ---------------- - Poor Thermal Paste applied to CPU and GPU - Out of the box Cinebench R15 would thermal throttle right away at 90c - This can easily be fixed by applying your own (TUTORIALS ONLINE) but again... it's 2018! ---------------- - Killer Ethernet Driver - Killer Control Center had 'Advanced Stream Detect' enabled by default. This setting killed my upload speed. - ASD enabled: 200mbps down / .25 mbps up - ASD disabled: 200mbps down / 10 mbps up - I recommend to diable ASD as soon as you get setup.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Almost Perfect

    Posted
    jiggpuff
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I had been looking for a new laptop for months, and considered many different sizes and models. Having used 17" Macbook Pro, and 11" Macbook Air, and 13" Dell detachable, I found that for my current office and content creation needs, at 15" would be optimal. I purchased a number but returned them for varying reasons, including HP Spectre X360 (2017 and 2018), Dell XPS 15 2017, Dell XPS 15 2-in-1, and almost a Lenovo 720 and 730. But I finally found what I was looking for in the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin. My only hesitation was the price as it was considerably more expensive than all the others I tried. But it offered the least amount of compromises critical to me. 1. It's noticeably lighter than other 15", which is noticeable both when traveling and on your lap. 2. The screen is great. It's matte, which often doesn't have the pop of glossy screens. But this is plenty bright, with great colors. Plus no reflections now. Best matte screen I've seen. 3. Keyboard is comfortable. Many of the others I tried have shallow, low-travel keys. They're not terrible, but they're different and not as comfortable as the MSI's normal keys. I also like that there's no num pad included so that the trackpad and keyboard are centered on the screen, unlike the new HP Spectre 2018. I like how the keyboard is towards the bottom of the deck, so my wrists are cutting into the edge, as they do on most 15" laptops. By the end of the day I have red edge imprints on both wrists. No problem with this one. 4. Trackpad is good and is Windows Precision. Responsive without any issues so far. 5. Webcam is at the top of the screen, unlike some others at the bottom. I'm in video conference calls often, and the bottom webcams are terrible for this. 6. Super powerful. I'm not a gamer, but I do Adobe content creation. I finally have a laptop more powerful than my 5 year old workstation desktop. 7. Quiet. For most office related work, the fans are silent and it runs cool. 8. Sound is clear and loud enough. For common use, occasional web video, it's more than sufficient. 9. Design is classy and elegant. Black metal with gold accents. There's some creakiness in the joints, as the metal is thin, but this probably keeps its weight down. A fine trade off to me. 10. Battery life is relatively good. I've read that most gaming laptops fare poorly in battery life, or are big and heavy to house a larger battery. I get about 6 hours of common use (not gaming). It's not great, and not the level of the 11" and 13" low power laptops I have, but it gets you through most of a day. I had never bought a gaming laptop, and never an MSI before. But I'm really impressed, and happy after a long search. I have a hard time imagining someone being unhappy with this machine.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Absolutely the best laptop I've ever purchased

    Posted
    Brian
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    TLDR: I was configuring a different model/brand and was about to buy when I saw an ad for this one and immediately stopped. If you're looking for a 15" Ultrabook style laptop that can run VR and like me, hate the number pad on laptops, this is probably the best laptop on the market. I bought this for heavy work (development, system/administration, running VMs, 2-3 extra monitors, etc.) and for gaming of all sorts but especially because I wanted to be able to bring my VR rig other places and not need a desktop to run it. It does all of this amazingly without feeling like it's a chore to carry around with me. -- The build quality of this laptop is 9.5/10 -- there's a little flex but overall very well built and lightweight, I'm not worried about anything breaking. The exterior looks and feels like a business/professional laptop and not something trying shout for attention with sounds and strobing lights everywhere (but... you can absolutely make it do that if you want -- I like choices). The screen is amazing to have on a laptop, both the refresh and color are fantastic. The webcam is positioned on the top bezel unlike the nose-cams of some others. The keyboard feels great to type on and if you hate the number pad on a laptop offsetting your hands, you'll know why the home/pgup/pgdn/end row on the right side, bar-none, is the best layout (fight me) and something I've been waiting to see for a long time with specs like these. Also, the power button isn't where the delete key is (thank you MSI, finally). The programmable backlighting is equal parts eye-candy and productive. I have zones set to better locate keys in general or for certain applications and being able to switch profiles on the fly with a keystroke works perfectly. Initially, I had some issues with the profiles not wanting to change after a standby (I believe) but after a couple updates to Windows and the SteelSeries Engine software I haven't had a problem since. The only bone I must pick is that the function key belongs on the left side of the spacebar and I honestly can't figure out why MSI can't ditch it for the need for the extra backslash/pipe key on the right side of the spacebar. I just remapped that key to ALT to get around the annoyance. I've read that others have had issues or complaints with the touchpad however I have not found any. I am still using the Synaptics driver and was planning on replacing them with Precision drivers but so far, I've had no need -- don't fix something that isn't broken. As a note, I don't press the bottom corners of the touchpad to left/right click. Ever since it became popular to remove the physical buttons from laptops, I retrained myself to use touchpads like you would on a Mac -- tap to click, two-finger tap for right click, double-tap and hold to drag, two/three finger scrolling, etc. so it's possible if there are some problems I don't use it in a way that will affect me. Bottom line is it worked great out of the box. The stock cooling is better than I expected – it’s great, actually. Yes, gaming will crank up the fan nose and heat, but it does manage to keep up. I do however absolutely recommend checking some guides/forums on ways to reduce the heat without losing performance, most of which can be done with software tweaking. I was planning on buying this laptop through a reseller to get a "factory" re-paste on the CPU/GPU, but it happened that BB had the model I wanted on sale for significantly less (as a base configuration) than where I was looking so I couldn't really pass it up. I may investigate repasting in the future, but I've had no real need. I also use a simple thin/light lapdesk from Cooler Master for when I'm lounging. With any laptop, you absolutely don't want legs/clothing/blankets/whatever blocking the air intakes or you’re going to feel some heat. MSI's fan design on this model really shines here since the air-intakes are on both sides of the fans (under and on-top) and exhausting on the sides and out the back. I was surprised to find that the factory Windows installation wasn’t chock-full of bloatware that I felt the need to remove. Overall it was a relatively clean install compared to what I'm used to seeing from a store. I did remove some of the apps/utilities/games (from Microsoft, MSI, others) that it came with and re-merged the partition into one. I'll add a second drive to use as data/media storage and keep apps/games on the main drive maybe down the road. Not much else I can think of here. Couple things I'd change if I could, but none were show-stoppers and were easy to work around or deal with. I've spent the last 1.5 years looking at this style of laptops and there have always been one or two things that just didn't sit right so I always held-off. This and others in the same class are obviously not cheap and I absolutely did not want buyer's remorse after spending this much. After all the reviews I've seen, testing it in-store and now owning it, I'm 100% happy with my purchase.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Sleek fast laptop apparently cooled by a chainsaw

    Posted
    Nate
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I'm not one to write reviews (I spend far too long thinking up and editing my words) but, like others, the promise of a free headset was enough encouragement to take a crack at it. That said, I'll give my honest thoughts after using this laptop daily for the last 2+ months. I purchased my GS65 Stealth Thin because my old laptop suddenly failed, and I was in desperate need of a laptop for work. I wanted something light and sleek, but with a beefy dedicated video card. The vast majority of gaming laptops are, in my estimation, supremely ugly. Awful slanted case designs, bright red lighting everywhere, built like tanks. So I was surprised to find among my local Best Buy's limited selection, this laptop that was as thin as my old one, elegant in design, AND packing lots of power under the lid. This laptop looks great. Thin bezel around the screen. Rounded edges everywhere. Subtle gold trim accenting the black case. In fact, aside from the dragon logo on the lid and RGB keyboard, one might not realize it's a gaming laptop at all. Everyone is talking about the gaming performance (and rightly so) but I'm a programmer, so during the day the extra power is being put to use running IDEs and the various supportive software that lets me do my job, and this laptop handles it all without breaking a sweat. My compile times are noticeably shorter, IntelliJ doesn't hiccup at all, and at any given time I have 2 IDEs, 4 CLI, Spotify, and an unconscionable number of Chrome tabs open and never notice a drop in speeds. The batter life is good too. It never hits the advertised length of time, but no battery ever does. This one lasts longer than my old laptop for general use, and that one wasn't even a gaming laptop. I think I get about 3-4 hours off a full charge. In fact, I can leave all that running and this laptop will happily run DOOM on Ultra settings with a silky smooth frame rate. Fallout 4? No problem at all. I haven't found a game that even gives it trouble yet (though, truth be told, I'm still working my way through games my old laptop couldn't even run). I'm also a hobbyist game dev, so I often have Unity, Photoshop, Blender, or other tool open, and they all run smoothly and load quickly. And this laptop is VR ready, so once I finally have the money to buy a headset, I'm ready. It's not all sunshine and rainbows (except for the keyboard, which has an assortment of fun patterns/animations and even lets you customize per-application layouts). * I had some trouble with my wireless card constantly cycling when I first got the laptop. Luckily that seemed to be a software issue because some combination of reloading the drivers and rebooting my modem/router fixed it. * The downside of the powerful 1070 is it needs a lot of room for cooling. So where most laptops have ports running along the side all the way to the back, this laptop has a 3" space for vents. That means the power cord attaches almost in the middle of the right side, and there are only 3 USB slots. There is an HDMI, USB-C slot, full sized ethernet port, and a thunderbolt port, so those are great, but you might want to invest in a USB hub. The audio and mic ports are separate instead of combined, which I actually prefer. * Speaking of cooling, the fans will get loud when you game (hence needing that headset I mentioned earlier). That was expected and I'm fine with that. However, recently a fan has started making contact with something, so even when the computer is idling the fan is extremely audible. When gaming it now turns into a full on buzz saw. Lifting and reseating the laptop helps briefly, but the problem soon returns. * This is less of an issue, but the font used for the keyboard keys is silly. It's still legible and doesn't hamper use, but it doesn't look good either. So, overall I really love this laptop. It's blazing fast, runs everything I throw at it (sometimes all at once), looks great, and weighs nothing! My only real complaint is the loud grinding fan noise. It's annoying, and I'm concerned it's a sign of more failures to come (especially if the cooling system isn't operating as well as it should). I haven't tried contacting MSI support yet, but I'll update this review if I do.

    I would recommend this to a friend