MSI GS66 Stealth evaluation (2021): The gaming sweetspot involves laptops

MSI GS66 Stealth review (2021): The gaming sweetspot comes to laptops

MSI’s newest GS66 Stealth could look the identical as final yr’s mannequin, nevertheless it has much more going for it. It’s powered by NVIDIA’s new RTX 30-series GPUs, and it is one of many first gaming notebooks with a 1440p (or 2K) display screen. That’s an enormous deal. For the previous couple of years, laptop computer avid gamers may select from low-resolution, 1080p screens with quick refresh charges, or 4K shows that pack in a ton of pixels, but in addition require a ton of energy to render video games.

1440p is a pleasant center floor: It’s sharper than 1080p, however is not as demanding as 4K. The MSI GS66 Stealth, and different notebooks sporting 1440p, additionally helps quick refresh charges to make gameplay look silky easy. So take this new display screen tech, extra energy and the comparatively slim design of the GS66 altogether, and it looks like a winner, proper?


  • Understated and clear design
  • Supports NVIDIA’s RTX 30-series GPUs
  • Fast and easy 240Hz 1440p display screen possibility


  • Incredibly loud followers
  • Keyboard may provide higher suggestions
  • Requires handbook GPU tweaking at instances

Gallery: MSI GS66 Stealth (2021) | 7 Photos

For probably the most half, sure. But I got here throughout one main draw back: tons of fan noise. That’s the price of cramming a lot {hardware} into a skinny pocket book. And whereas fan noise is one thing each PC gamer has to take care of, the GS66’s cooling system was far louder than most.

But let’s begin with the good things first. As quickly as I bought the GS66, outfitted with NVIDIA’s RTX 3080 cell GPU, Intel’s i7-10870H CPU and 16GB of RAM, I promptly put in Overwatch to see simply how nicely its 240Hz 1440p display screen carried out. I wasn’t upset. That 240Hz determine means the display screen can show as much as 4 instances as many frames each second, in comparison with commonplace 60Hz displays. The extra information, the smoother every thing seems. Pretty easy.

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In Overwatch, I reached round 175FPS on common with epic graphics settings in 1440p. The fluidity of the gameplay made it simpler for me to line up sniper pictures or simply wreak havoc as Junkrat. Sure, I’ve seen the sport run even sooner on final yr’s GS66, which had a 300Hz 1080p show. But that decrease decision delivered much less element every time I slowed all the way down to take a detailed take a look at Overwatch’s characters and phases. With the brand new 1440p show, I may make out issues just like the tremendous strains in costumes, in addition to distant objects and gamers that have been a bit muddy in 1080p. I’d gladly commerce off an insanely excessive refresh price like 300Hz for a barely higher display screen.

MSI GS66 2021

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

And whereas 4K screens are clearly sharper, gaming in 1440p requires lots much less horsepower. You’ll doubtless see nice outcomes with the GS66 even when it would not have NVIDIA’s strongest graphics card. Most 4K screens have largely been restricted to 60Hz refresh charges, so even if you happen to may run a sport nicely, it may by no means look as easy as a 1080p display screen. Ironic, is not it? We’re seeing 120Hz 4K screens now in dear machines just like the Razer Blade Pro 17, however that is nonetheless fairly uncommon.

1440p isn’t a very helpful decision in the case of watching movies, however the GS66’s display screen nonetheless made streaming content material look nice. That 240Hz panel additionally made searching the net and browsing paperwork extremely easy — although you must allow NVIDIA’s GPU manually to see the complete advantages of that refresh price. By default, the GS66 makes use of NVIDIA’s Optimus expertise to robotically swap between the system’s built-in Intel graphics and the RTX 3080 GPU. That helps with battery life, nevertheless it additionally limits the display screen to a extra commonplace 60Hz with built-in graphics. And as a aspect be aware: If you’re nonetheless not bought on 1440p as the best gaming decision, you may as well snag the GS66 with a 300Hz 1080p display screen or a 4K panel.

PCMark 10

3DMark (TimeSpy Extreme)

Geekbench 5

ATTO (high reads/writes)

MSI GS66 Stealth (2021, Intel i7-10870H, NVIDIA RTX 3080 Max-Q)




3.1 GB/s / 2.9 GB/s

MSI GS66 Stealth (2020, Intel Core i7-10750H, NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super Max-Q)




1.8 GB/s / 1.8 GB/s

Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XB (Intel i7-10875H, NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super Max-Q)




2.93 GB/s / 2.59 GB/s

ASUS Zephyrus Duo 15 (Intel i9-10980HK, NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super Max-Q)




3 GB/s / 3.24 GB/s

ASUS Zephyrus G14 (AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS, NVIDIA RTX 2060 Max-Q)




1.7 GB/s / 1.67 GB/s

Moving on to a extra demanding sport, the GS66 was capable of run Control between 55 and 75FPS with maxed out graphics and ray tracing settings. I had to make use of NVIDIA’s DLSS expertise to attain that easy gameplay although, which suggests it was really being rendered at a decision decrease than 1440p, earlier than being scaled again up with AI algorithms. Given simply how taxing ray tracing may be, I’ve discovered DLSS to virtually be a requirement with Control, irrespective of which system I’m taking part in on.