Have you ever imagined grabbing a loaded gaming laptop at a throwaway price? Seems like a far fetch, right! Well, it isn’t as the new MSI GF65 is already retailing at a massive discount over its marked price, thereby putting an approving smile on the face of the enthused gamers.
But, is there a catch! Not really, but it is prudent of you to examine the authenticity of my statement as even I couldn’t believe it when I saw a laptop with the elusive and top-shelf RTX 3060 graphics card, retailing for a dirt-cheap price, i.e. $919, as we speak.
Considering that you might be planning to purchase this one just for gaming, I shall now dissect the gaming capabilities of this laptop at length, whilst focusing on its cost-to-ownership quotient.
A Sneak Peek, Well Deserved
Wish to know what MSI has in store for those who take the plunge! Quite a lot actually with the Intel Core i7-10750H taking the lead! The chipset promises excellent processing speeds of up to 5GHz in the turbo boost mode, thereby sufficing a majority of high-end tasks and demanding tasks like CAD rendering, modeling, simulations, and more.
Lots more than just gaming it seems!
The quest for perfection continues with 8GB RAM. Stopping right there!
Will 8 gigs of RAM be able to work well with the RTX 3060 graphics card? That’s a discussion for another segment. For now, you should be more focused on how the RAM pans out or rather behaves, courtesy of its higher clock speed of 3200MHz. Plus, the dual-channel memory allocation ensures higher processing bandwidth, which might come in handy for indulging in fastidious games with several components in play.
I will come to that in a while when I would discuss only the gamer-friendly attributes of the elusive MSI GF65. But before taking games at length, here is a shout-out to the 15.6-inch 1080p display with IPS functionality and a non-glossy panelling for a less exaggerated visual experience.
The structure, however, signifies austerity with the 4.27-pound heft making quite a physical impression. Also, the plastic chassis might not go down well with most aesthetic fanatics, but it is quite justified considering the present retail price of sub-$1000.
How about Gaming Performances?
There are a lot of aspects that need to be taken care of, before a laptop’s gaming prowess can be evaluated in its entirety.
Firstly, I did compare the MSI GF65 with some of the other notebooks housing the RTX 3060 graphics card. MSI was certainly the slowest, by at least 15 percent as revealed by the 3DMARK scores. Still, there was a significant uptick in gaming performance over the likes of RTX 2060. But then, some of the in-house reviewers complained about a startling fact that a few older models running RTX 2070 performed better by 3 to even 7 percent, as compared to the budget MSI GF65.
As per the scores, this MSI –branded laptop is faster than the likes of Asus ‘ROG Zephyrus’ M15 that runs the basic GTX 1660Ti. Still, for the given price, this laptop continues to be a good grab.
Also, the parameter I talked about only concerned the 1080p performance of this laptop. For 2K resolution and related gaming, the Time Spy scores for the device are fixed at 7041, which is still north of what the mentioned ASUS variant has to exhibit.
1. The Witcher 3
As compared to the average performance of the RTX 3060 mobile GPU, the one housed within the MSI GF65 is at least 3 percent slower.
For this hugely popular game played in 1080p, the performances go down by even 5 percent. What’s heartening is that the average refresh rate at 134.2 fps is in line with what the display has to the exhibit. This eventually cuts down on screen tearing and frame drops.
2. Final Fantasy XV
In case you want to play the Final Fantasy XV on this laptop, in the 1080p mode, the performances are still at least 9 percent inferior to the ones exhibited by standard RTX 3060 laptop GPUs. Frame rates for 1080p gaming max out at 89.8, which is still quite acceptable.
I kept on checking the rear surface even when the games were running and experienced 44C hotspots at certain points, which is more than acceptable. Also, as the MSI GF65 is primarily plastic, overheating is something that was never actually supposed to be a problem.
For someone looking to strike the perfect balance between the turbo clock speeds, gadget temperature, and even the processing firepower, a stress test is more than acceptable as an appraisal mode.
For now, I would keep my focus restricted to The Witcher 3, which with Cooler Boost turned on, ensured that the CPU was performing at a temperature of 48C.
The GPU temperature then maxed out at 62C followed by the clock rate capping at 1590MHz. Also, I feel that you are better off gaming while being connected to the power outlet as the battery on this one drains at a higher rate, especially for the more demanding games.
The fan noise is a tad overwhelming. Even when you set the MSI GF65 in the silent mode, you simply cannot ignore the fan noise. Also, if you consider gaming by activating the ‘Extreme Performance’ tab the overall noise intensity reaches 40dB, whereas, for the cooler boost gaming mode, it is fixed at an ear screeching value of 59dB.
How does the MSI GF65 Look for the sub-$1000 price tag?
My only grimace concerning the MSI GF65 is the lesser RAM allotment for such an avant-garde GPU. However, to make this work, you must make sure that lesser gaming mods and scenarios are invested in, concurrently.
Once that aspect is taken care of, the brilliant display, sturdy keyboard, and ultra-fast storage module with 512GB of space make the investment of $919, worth it. However, even if you miss out on a deal or two, the market price of $1,099 is still reasonable enough for a gaming laptop with such a loaded specs sheet.