Noob’s Guide: MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF Review

January 6, 2019 0 By Reyjon Oregas

In choosing a laptop, or even a desktop, we always suggest to get something that is within one’s budget. However, if budget is not a problem, we let our second suggestion take the center stage – ‘go all out.’

MSI has a lot of gaming and professional laptop offerings that meet our ‘go all out’ suggestion. And luckily, MSI has sent us something that’s above average and falls under our ‘go all out’ category, the GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF. 

It’s a 15 incher that packs a lot of punch. It’s powered by Intel’s 8th generation processor and Nvidia’s GTX 1070 MaxQ which runs a near bezel-less 144Hz IPS display.

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF specifications:

Display size/resolution 15 inches; 1920×1080; 144Hz refresh IPS
CPU 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H
memory 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2666MHz
Graphics 8GB Nvidia GeForce® GTX 1070 Max-Q design
Storage 512GB SSD
Ports 3 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1 x USB-C/Thunderbolt, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x mDP 1.2, 1 x headphone, 1 x mic
Networking Killer E2500 Ethernet, 802.11ac 2×2, Bluetooth 5
Operating system Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
Weight 4.1 lbs./1.9kg
With its hardware specifications and design jazz, will the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF be a good choice as a gaming and, or professional laptop, or both? Let’s see if it cuts to be one below.

Dark, handsome, thin but loud!

The MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF, as its name implies, boasts a thin body that is almost entirely of metal.

MSI has definitely made this laptop a total looker by cloaking it in jet black and complementing it with gold trims all over. And to further the design and keep hold of the name, MSI opted for a thin bezeled 144Hz IPS display. The MSI branding below the display, however, would have been more appealing to the eye if MSI opted to put gold outline on it.

Small holes that resemble the figure of snowflakes are found just above the keyboard area. These holes act as vents for its cooling system, and also double as sound holes that helps in amplfying the sound output. Tho, even without it, its sound output would still be loud; all thanks to its speakers by Dynaudio and MSI’s Nahimic audio software.

Being in the thin design segment, the GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF is built with a compact keyboard from Steelseries. It features a per-key led, and is equipped with a mesmerizing RGB function that can be changed on the fly just by pressing the FN key and Home key. 9 preset lighting mode can be cycled through by the mentioned key combinations. A deeper customization of the keyboard’s per-key led can be done via the pre-installed Steelseries Engine, which is also where the Macro keys can be set.

It is also built with a track-pad that has a rather large estate considering the occupied area of the keyboard. Tho, considerably sufficient for the overall size of this MSI offering, the track-pad area, however, is just not enough to get your pointer from edge A to edge B with just one stroke.

A beast in an elegant cloak

The MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF is one of the few good looking laptops out in the market today. But, looks are just not enough to push someone to pull the purchase trigger nowadays. This is why MSI built the GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF with nothing but the top caliber hardware components available during its inception.

Just like what we’ve mentioned at the onset, this eye-catcher of a laptop is equipped with an Intel i7-8750H processor that holds 6-cores and 12-threads running at 2.2GHz. The processor is complemented by a 16GB of DDR4 memory running on Dual-Channel and boasts a 2600MHz clock speed, which lets this MSI offering handle several applications at the same time. With that amount of memory and speed, it can easily juggle applications that require large chunk of memory along with a Chrome browser that’s bombarded with a sea of tabs.

Games and other graphics intensive rendering applications are handled by Nvidia’s GTX 1070 with Max-Q design that’s built with an 8GB GDDR5 memory running on a 256-bit bus width. For the display, this particular model features an IPS display with 144Hz refresh rate and 7ms response rate.

The combination of components can easily handle AAA game titles and will definitely score big on synthetic benchmarking tools that are available in the market as well. But, don’t just take our word for it. Below are the results of the tests we’ve conducted on the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF.

Results are what we look for

The number one concern we had with the GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF was its overall temperature during long gaming sessions. Tho, we know that to gain, something with equal value must be lost, which in this one, thermals for thin body design.

Putting that aside, for now, we’ll talk about benchmark results, which should be a heavy factor when purchasing a new laptop, especially, when a large amount of cash is involved. So, to help shed some light on this laptop’s capability, below are the benchmarks and real-usage-test results of the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF:

eSports is life

Dota 2, one of the most acclaimed eSports game out today, can sometimes put pressure on the GPU and CPU of a computer system, especially, when every graphical details are at max settings, and in a clash where a number of AOE skills are being thrown all at the same time.

And in that same scenario, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF was still able to hold an average of 95 FPS on Ultra settings. Tho, if FPS numbers are the number one concern, additional graphical details can be disabled or just opt for a lower settings.

Overwatch, a team-based multiplayer online first-person shooter, is an eSports title that, just like other online multiplayer games, needs capable system components to be able to enjoy it in the best possible way. Tho,  it’s in the fast-paced FPS category, Overwatch is rich in detail, especially with its differing characters with their own unique special skills that when used altogether puts pressure on most of the gaming systems out in the market today.

On Epic settings, the GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF holds an average of 75 FPS and we’ve seen nothing below 70 on our daily gaming sessions with it. Lowering the settings gave a 20 – 30 FPS leap, which, in our opinion, is a monumental increase for just a bit of graphical tweaking.

CS:GO, on the other hand, is an FPS game that’s popular to gaming and PC enthusiasts, especially, now that it has its doors open as an F2P (Free-to-play) game.

Playing the game on High settings is an easy task for the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF, giving out nothing lower than 120 FPS all through out our gaming sessions.  And since we’ve seen more than 100 FPS on High settings, we’ve opted to turn the settings down to produce more than 120FPS and be able to see if tearing would be present on the GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF’s 144Hz monitor. 

Fortunately, we weren’t able to get even a glimpse of any anomaly on the screen even with the game producing 144 – 148 FPS. Oorah! on that.

On the AAA side of things

Triple A game titles, such as Middle Earth: Shadow of War, combines story and rich graphics. Even on the latest graphics cards out in the market today, these triple A game titles will surely put pressure on them and test their limits.

On our Middle Earth: Shadow of War run, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF pushed out an average of 63 FPS on Ultra settings. Even with hordes of orcs and uruks, the gaming experience was smooth and battle scenes were fluidly delivered. 

To push in some more frames from the game, we lowered the settings but was held back by the 5 – 12 FPS increase in frames.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands gave the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF’s GPU a run for its money.

With the graphical settings pumped to Ultra, the GTX 1070 with Max-Q of the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF was just able to push out 42 FPS on average. The populated vegetation and deep character customization of the game might have put a large toll on the performance of the GPU.

Toning down some of the graphical settings pushed well over 20 – 26 FPS into the game, and custom settings add up a considerable amount of FPS in. To enjoy the game, we do suggest to tweak the setting at your own liking.

The Withcher 3: Wild Hunt opened a different story, pushing in 60 FPS on Ultra settings. Tho, this game is considered to be one of those that don’t need maxed graphics to enjoy, but it would be more satisfying to have it otherwise.

Lowering the settings rendered the GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF to produce 20 – 28 FPS on average at High and Medium settings respectively. While on Ultra, tweaking and playing with each options in the graphics settings will let the game see a 10 – 13 FPS jump.

 Testing our temps

Like what we’ve stated a while back, temperature was our main concern with thin form factors. Out of the box and without manual tweaking over at its Dragon Centre, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF was pretty hot for us. Exhibiting temperature readings shooting to the 84° Celsius mark and idling at 49°.

The temperature readings might raise an eyebrow or two, but tweaking and, or opting for pre-loaded performance-centric cooling profiles on the Dragon Centre software provides much acceptable thermals. Tho, again, to obtain, something with equal value must be lost; and in this regard, its temperature over noise.

Looking at the synthetic benchmarks results above, you’ll find that opting for the performance-centric profile will provide a bit more graphical and computing prowess to the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF. 

Focusing on the temperature control of its cooling system, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF Cooler Boost technology can greatly lower the temperature by about 10°, however, the noise level shoots up along with it.

The best path to go with the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF cooling system is to manually set the fan curves to have control on which temperature mark would the fans start to forcefully cool down or stabilize the temperatures of the system.

What we think?

The MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF is one capable and premium looking laptop that is out in the market today. With the latest components in its disposal, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF would surely be able to do more than just office works and gaming on 1080P.

The cooling performance, when manually configured, can push for more performance from its hardware if components are unlocked and ready for overclocking. The 10°C difference from getting into manual override on its cooling system shows that it can totally squeeze in some more performance, but this time around, the option is restricted due to components choice.

With nothing but the latest hardware during its inception, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF is easily one laptop to look at when you’re on the hunt for a stylishly compact laptop that is without the slightest compromise in performance.

With that said, we give the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF our ‘Editor’s Pick’ award!

The MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF with 144Hz IPS display, 512GB SSD and powered by an Nvidia GeForce® 1070 MaxQ carries a price tag of PhP 169,995, while the GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE that has an Nvidia GeForce® 1060 and 256GB SSD carries a PhP 134,995 price tag over.