Do you know the news yet? The announcement of a pretty deep price cut for the MSI Pulse GL66? Well, how much you ask! It’s $150 and trust me when I say, you wouldn’t get a better deal than this.
But why am I even talking about a deal here when there are new laptops, picketing in front. The reason is the elusive MSI Pulse GL66 that we are discussing here. For starters, the Pulse GL66 is powerful to the brim, boasting the all-inclusive RTX 30-series graphics card. Despite leading with this, MSI does offer a wide range of other actionable attributes for the job, which clearly justify the $1350 price tag.
What about the Deal?
Before I dissect the Pulse GL66 at length, it is necessary to mention that at present, this high-end gaming machine is retailing at $1349, down by 150 dollars as compared to the usual retail price of $1499. While the price drop might not seem much, it is one of the lowest the retail cost has been in a while.
How about the Specifics?
Coming to the specs sheet in general, the Pulse GL66 is loaded with a wide range of innovative traits, with the 15.6-inch 1080p screen leading the way. While I wouldn’t talk incessantly about the viewing angles and color accuracy, for now, it is still important to note that the panel boasts a high refresh rate of 144Hz.
You will soon understand why this excellent refresh rate can be a ready gaming asset, especially if you are a professional gamer and looking for that edge over the others. Making sense is the availability of a powerful, Intel Core i7 processor. As far as generation labeling is concerned, the i7-11800H is new, exciting, and good enough for pushing through excellent gaming performances and workstation-like professional tasks.
The octa-core processor emanates a bit of heat but the MSI’s cooling tech ensures that you are in line with the heat-specific throttling, which doesn’t show up as a major factor here. Working alongside the SoC is 16GB RAM, a feature that has its place in gaming, CAD rendering, and more. The storage, however, could have been better. Still, I don’t mind getting a 512GB SSD for the given price tag.
As far as the aesthetics are concerned, this product weighs 4.6 pounds, which is still quite light considering the power on display. When compared with some of the other products in the same category, like the Aorus 15G, weighing 4.7 pounds, and Alienware m15, weighing 5 pounds, the Pulse GL66 is a bit lighter and also better to hold and carry around.
Finally, the expected battery life closes in on 6 hours but as per our review, anything above 4 hours, is next to impossible.
What about the Graphics Card?
It’s time that I finally address the elephant in the room, i.e. the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card. While for some this might just be a normal graphics card with Ray-tracing support, this entity offers a lot of firepower to ensure that the Pulse GL66, lives up to the price tag.
As far as the GPU specifics are concerned, it can reach a peak core speed of up to 1620MHz. Not to mention the 8GB Video RAM that heads over proceedings and allows you to manage most texture-based games and tasks with ease.
Plus, the graphics card brings the elusive Shader 7.0 DirectX support and that too with a 256-bit memory bus to carry and process information with ease. But then, it is the gaming benchmark results that have us all stoked up to the brim.
I started running the recently launched Resident Evil Village on this laptop and the performances were nothing short of spectacular. As the Pulse GL66 comes with an FHD screen, I tested the game for ultra 1080p presents, only to get hold of frame rates as high as 134fps.
Also, with Ray Tracing turned on, I could get close to 93fps in real-time for the Resident Evil Village. This is where the 144Hz, inherent refresh rate comes into the mix, as it allows you to keep gaming without having to worry about the frame drops. In most cases, when the GPU is more capable of assuming higher refresh rates and the laptop doesn’t have the requisite display to support the same, gamers end up experiencing frame drops and lags.
The stutters lead to gaming lags and feel like latency, thereby impacting professional gaming scores, negatively. However, I was more than happy with how games like Outriders and Hitman 3 fared on this gaming laptop. While the average fps rating for Outriders, at Ultra 1080p, came out to be 98fps, nothing ever felt smoother than how the characters transitioned in real-time.
As per the overall review of the machine, the Pulse GL66 ensures that you never have to lower the gaming presets to suit the graphics card. In the case of this laptop, it is always the other way round.
Overall, the MSI Pulse GL66 is a catch at the given price, not just as a gaming laptop but as an all-inclusive machine. What’s exciting enough is that the Windows 10 OS is quite responsive and will soon be eligible for the Windows 11 upgrade. Speculations aside, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grab a laptop that excels in desktop-like gaming and doesn’t let you down even if you seek workstation-grade graphics for movie making and running apps like Maya, Blender, and more.