Our Verdict
Seeing how it radiates wealth (it’s literally a gold and black laptop), the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin could possibly be far more expensive than it really is. Somehow it tucks an Intel Core i9 processor, RTX 2080 graphics, 32GB of RAM and an enormous 1TB hard drive right into a sub-0.7-inch frame. Obviously, I’m cheering it along. Black Friday & cyber Monday is here so that you can get amazing discounts, offers, deals, right here.

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Refined, but nonetheless classy design
Healthy selection of specs and prices
Outstanding performance
Universal 240Hz refresh rate
1080p resolution cap
Hot hot heat
Overly sensitive touchpad
Norton Security bloatware
2 yrs ago, Nvidia hatched a novel idea, begging the question, Imagine if we took the guts of a gaming notebook computer and squeezed them right into a MacBook Pro-like frame? Surely, others had entertained similar thoughts during the past. But to create itself apart, Nvidia actually invested the resources essential to make it happen. Considering the overwhelming success of the Max-Q Design initiative, I’d say it paid.

Though its conception has since resulted in valid concerns about thermal management, Max-Q is tucked right into a significant number of the greatest gaming laptops available to buy. Among them may be the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin, an unusually superior person in its dragon-emblazoned family. Painted black with gold accents, its color scheme alone is a welcome departure from the edgy crimson gamer’s aesthetic of yesteryear. The others of its design is merely short of revolutionary.

Measuring 0.69 inches deep (nice), it’s the thinnest Max-Q notebook computer we’ve ever reviewed. And, sporting a fun-size GeForce RTX 2080 and a 9th generation Intel Core i9-9880H, additionally it is the most effective. But in addition to that, plus some minor improvements to the keyboard and touchpad, very little has changed because the last time we tested a GS65 Stealth Thin. It gets the same dimensions, the same ports, yet another G-Sync-deprived panel driving its juicy graphics. Though, to be fair, the refresh rate is currently a blistering 240Hz.

Nothing about the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin screams GAMING LAPTOP!!! directly into your ear canal. As such, it’s one of the most flattering contributions to the genre. Its predominately black finish is festooned with lavish gold trimmings along the medial side, and a default keyboard glow to complement. The touchpad, power button, and ears of the hinge have already been treated to a modest helping of diamond-cut sheen aswell. Its fans breathe through a gold and black vent.

For stealth gamers inhabiting coffee shops, playing Apex Legends, The Division 2, and Dauntless in secret, the GS65 Stealth Thin is a reliable rival to the Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model. And as an enormous middle finger to Razer, it’s a complete 0.09 inches thinner compared to the tri-snake company’s self-proclaimed “world’s smallest gaming laptop.” Further sweetening the offer, the GS65 packs beefier components, including an Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of NVMe SSD storage. To offset that cost, it commands an increased price. $3,399 for the model MSI sent me will do to send my wallet up in flames.

There are cheaper options in MSI’s catalog, however. For $2,999, the same price as the Razer Blade 15 I reviewed, you could have yourself a still-impressive Core i7/RTX 2080/32GB RAM/512GB SSD machine. Meanwhile, the $2,499 config bears an identical price to the Acer Predator Triton 500. The entry-level, $1,998 version of the GS65 Stealth Thin houses an RTX 2060, an i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. Whichever model best suits your budget, all have got 240Hz displays. Each is 9th gen. For a high-end, flagship gaming notebook computer born in age Turing, that is a comfortable selection of specs and prices.

Talking about comfort, the keyboard, while only a mild improvement from its predecessor, does feel better for both typing and gaming. These times, key travel is up from 1.4mm to at least one 1.5mm. As our sister site LaptopMag often suggests, the perfect travel distance for a keyboard is between 1.5 and 2mm. Finally, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin falls within that threshold. The keyboard supports per-key RGB lighting by method of the built-in SteelSeries Engine 3. Other pre-installed software includes MSI True Color, MSI Dragon Center, and the ever-uninvited Norton Security.

The touchpad, too, has experienced growth. It’s 35 percent bigger than last time, according to MSI, and that is no small change. Now comparable in proportions compared to that of the 17-inch GS75 Stealth, the touchpad almost serves as an ideal silhouette of my iPhone X.

Also just like the GS75 Stealth, the touchpad on the GS65 Stealth Thin is fickle. Even though I’m not trying to activate, it sometimes registers my light palm contact as a palpable gesture. I’ve never really had this issue with a MacBook or with the Razer Blade. Most gaming laptops, for example, usually do not position the touchpad this near the keyboard deck. While you are playing games, you will want to pay out yet another lump of cash to get the best gaming mouse. Once you do, I’d disable the touchpad altogether, lest you come across the same unintentional cursor movements that I did so.

Contrary to how many other reviewers have said, the bottom-mounted speakers on the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin didn’t blow me away. Actually, they sounded flat, especially at louder volumes. I don’t really know what the number is on these exact things, but I could hardly distinguish the mids from the lows etc.

The screen is another story altogether. Whereas I expected typical TN quality from a so-called “IPS-level” display, the screen is nearly as vibrant from the medial side since it is looking straight on. Still, there can be an RTX 2080 driving its 1080p display, which appears like overkill, regardless if includes a 240Hz refresh rate. Some people care more about resolution than refresh rate. I’d favour a 1440p 60Hz display, as my underclocked eyes can hardly tell the difference between 60fps and 240fps. Either I desire a new prescription or high refresh rate panels are bit more when compared to a cheap marketing ploy.

Performance and Verdict: MUST I choose the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin?
Given its extravagant innards, it will come as no real surprise that the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin excelled inside our suite of benchmark tests. In Metro Exodus, at most strong RTX setting (with ray-tracing cranked completely up to High), it blew the Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model out from the water, netting typically 62fps – a complete 22 percent greater than the Blade 15’s 51fps tumble.

For non-ray-traced games, aka almost all of them, the dissimilarities weren’t as monumental. The GS65 garnered a 71fps average in The Division 2 at Ultra settings, with a 69fps score in the full total War: Warhammer II Battle benchmark. In 3DMark Fire Strike, it brought home 16,741 points. To place this in perspective, here’s the way the Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model performed in those same tests:

As you can plainly see, the difference between both of these laptops is marginal in The Division 2, regardless of the GS65’s faster CPU and more capacious RAM. ALTOGETHER War: Warhammer II, the Razer Blade 15 performed notably much better than the GS65 Stealth Thin. In 3DMark Fire Strike, the de facto DirectX 11 bench, the GS65 Stealth Thin took home the crown.

Battery life is harder to contextualize. Before this review, we’d run a Twitch stream on every notebook we reviewed before system died. As a result of sheer number of variables for the reason that assessment, I’ve made a decision to switch us to the steady and standardized PCMark 10 battery life test from UL, which just released the other day. Simulating “a variety of of common scenarios,” like writing, web browsing and video conferencing, I felt as if the present day Office test would best mimic real-world use cases, therefore i tried that one.

At 4 hours and 25 minutes, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin reached its fatal demise. Compare that to the 5 hours and 1 minute endured by the Razer Blade 15 inside our previous, dodgier Twitch stream ensure that you I’d say it stacks up fine against the gaming notebook computer norm. Maybe someday, with the advent of Ice Lake and Project Athena, we’ll start to see battery life take priority over a number of the superfluous embellishments. Until then, four and half hours is par for the course, unfortunately.