I was trying to decide between this, the Asus Zephyrus M, and the new Razer Blade 15 Advance. After going back and forth, I decided to try out the MSI GS65 and I think this trial phase is on its way to being permanent.
I am a long time Mac user and my current laptop is a MacBook Pro 13 2018 and I game on a PS4 and an Xbox One X. Wanted to get back to the PC Master Race and I wanted the flexibility to play at home, in between offices while I’m on the road as well as have a great dedicated PC that will run my Windows applications for work. I’ve been using Parallels for years, while it does work… it’s just not the same.
Out of the box, the GS65 has decent build quality with its aluminum casing compared to most PC laptops you see at Best Buy but this is nowhere near the level of quality of a Mac and even a Razer. The GS65 doesn’t feel as solid and I would have expected a little more after shelling out $2000 for this thing. I really appreciate the engineering of the Mac and Razer on how they were able to build something so thin, yet extremely solid. The build of the MSI screen was disappointingly flimsy and I feel that I could one day break this thing if I opened the screen the wrong way, especially with one hand.
Performance however is where this laptop really shines. I have thrown every game I had at High to Ultra settings and it handles them with ease. Crysis 3 (yeah it’s a 2013 game) was at Ultra and it looked amazing. Overwatch was at Ultra and the frame rates just flew and the same with Apex Legends. The GS65 also handled Shadow of Tombraider like a champ. I played through Tombraider on the Xbox One X and I had to sacrifice frame rates for quality and that just wasn’t the experience I wanted for such a visually stunning game. On the GS65, Tombraider was absolutely beautiful and it easily maintained a 60 fps frame rate without issues. Sure the fans were blowing but that is to be expected from a thin and light gaming laptop. Oh did I mention that this thing is only a little over 4lbs?
As a productivity device it’s fantastic. The majority of my work day revolves around Google Chrome and Microsoft Office and this thing handles it like a champ. I go from home to office, to other offices, and airport to airport. The weight makes this less a burden to carry. However, if you are planning to use this as only for work, it’s going to be overkill so you might want to look elsewhere.
Other things to note:
- The speakers were loud but bass is weak.
- Battery life at Battery Saver or Better Battery setting will get you through 4-6 hours for work applications such as MS Office
- The trackpad is much better than last years, but it’s no MacBook or Razer
- This has a generous amount of ports, 3 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, Audio, Mini Display, Thunderbolt
- Wish it had one more thunderbolt port instead of that mini display port
- NO USB-C Charging
- Inverted motherboard makes upgrading a pain, seriously MSI what were you thinking?
- keyboard is a breath of fresh air coming from the stupid butterfly switches of the Mac.
- 240hz screen is fantastic
- Bluetooth range is weak if you use wireless headphones. Don’t expect to walk more than 12 feet away from your laptop
- Undervolt. You don’t have to, but it will make your life a lot better. If you don’t know how watch YouTube videos on how to do it!
- Geek Bench
- Single Core: 5218
- Multi Core: 24821
- Open GL: 208027
- Cinebench R20: 2467
- Time Spy: 5658
- Fire Strike: 13318
- Sky Diver: 32217
- Geek Bench
Overall I think this is a better buy dollar for dollar if you want to compare similar specs to the Razer, you save about $400-$500. The performance alone on this for the size and weight is a huge selling point for this. My only ask is that they step up the build quality a few more notches on this will be an easy winner.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5