Another year, another selection of gaming laptops, and joining the fray is the MSI GF65 Thin. It’s part of the MSI RTX30 series line up that was revealed earlier in the year, simply put, packed with a i7-10750H+HM470 CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX3060 6GB GDDR6, 16GB RAM and FHD 144Hz IPS-level display. You know the drill, let’s get into the whole machine.
At first glance, the laptop features a simple and minimalistic design, besides the highly obvious red logo on the lid. As befitting its name, it’s also not very heavy, and has a thin build. It’s black, as is usually the case for these gaming laptops. Moving inwards, we have the display, a 15.6″, 1080P, 144Hz, IPS-level panel. From whichever angle you view the display from, the colours will still look great.
The display is quite nice, 15.6’’ 1080p 144Hz, and IPS-level panel. The colour looks great from whichever angle, so the IPS-level panel is really holding up for its quality. As of the 144hz refresh rate, it makes everything feel smoother. As you play, you can worry less about heat, due to the heatsink being placed closer to the screen instead of the lower half of the laptop, kind of avoiding the worst of the temperatures on the keyboard. There are three vents, with two on the left and one on the right. Nevertheless, despite the ventilation and the six heatpipes, it can still get really toasty, and the noise comes with it.
The USB ports, 3.5mm jacks and ethernet ports are put on the right, while the charging and HDMI ports are on the left. This can be a point of concern as the charging cable, which utilizes an L-shaped plug, will mean that the rest of the cable will be exposed to the hot air vents. Further, the ports are quite lacking if you’re one to use multiple accessories; with only two USB Type-A ports, that would mean a mouse and only one other add-on, where you’d have to choose between a cooling pad or an external keyboard if such is your preference, and there’ll be no space left for an external drive connection.
The keyboard is backlit, but only in red. There’s no numpad, and once more, getting used to the keyboard is a matter of time.
The speakers are placed at the bottom of the laptop, unusually enough, but the sound quality is good despite that. What’s not surprising is the poor battery life: Super Battery mode helps the lights stay on for roughly 4.5 hours. Extreme Performance boosts the CPU and GPU, meaning increased power consumption, meaning a mere 1 to 1.5 hours of battery life. Yeah, don’t expect it to last long.
Nothing particularly unusual about the Dragon Center on board the MSI GF65 Thin: you can use it to monitor your CPU, GPU, their clock speeds, your machine’s temperature, fan speed, and what not. It’s a one-stop place for you to clear out some RAM and disk space too, should you need it.
From here, you can pick one of five scenarios that can alter your machine’s overall performance, including Extreme Performance, Balanced, Silent, Super Battery, and your custom preset where you can overclock your GPU and manually set the fan’s RPM. Extreme Performance also allows for overclocking, should you find a need for it. For that extra bit of convenience, you can update your laptop’s driver from the Dragon Center directly too.
You’d expect a certain level of performance from a laptop carrying a i7-10750H and RTX 3060. You can peruse the detailed benchmarkings below, with a few quick hits:
- The laptop scores 6,673 in 3D Mark Time Spy, putting it better than 52% of all results. However, as mentioned earlier, the temperature can be a prohibitive factor, with performance dropping once the machine starts heating up
- PC Mark 10 gives the GF65 Thin a 5,301 score, putting it better than 62% of all results. Besides games, this machine will do fine when it comes to video and photo editing
Generally speaking, for best performance, sticking between medium to high settings will ensure the machine can cope with the strain. Ultra will be pushing the limit, especially with the biggest AAA games.
On full ultra inclusive of Ray Tracing, 50 FPS is a pipe dream. It can work out a consistent 30 to 40 FPS, even at night or when you get into some action. The problems start cropping up once you start driving, with FPS able to drop to 20. To be fair, the RTX 3060, even on a desktop, isn’t meant to run the game on full ultra, so tune down the settings and turn off Ray Tracing for a much more stable 60 FPS experience. The game’s still got issues in itself, so there’s only so much you can do.
WATCH DOGS: LEGION
On full ultra, the laptop can barely hit 30 FPS throughout the game. Using the game’s “recommended” settings help it run a consistent 50 FPS. Despite the optimization works that’s gone into the game, it would seem it’s still not enough to get it running for the GF65 Thin’s hardware.
CALL OF DUTY: WARZONE
Once again on full ultra, this is the one title out of the three that manages to hit above 120 FPS consistently, and can shockingly drop to a mere 110 FPS at times. Sure, you can say that Warzone isn’t as intensive as the other two games, but it’s still got some impressive graphics it can boast, so the laptop being able to run with such performance is impressive.
It’s also the only game on the list that can utilize the 144Hz display option. Without it, the game can hit 150 FPS.
Overall, the design of the laptop is clean, sleek and fits right into a minimalist aesthetic. The keyboard is on the quieter side, but the keypresses feel good nonetheless. Its backlighting isn’t customizable, however, so if you’re the type who likes the RGB lighting, you won’t find that here.
Performance wise, it won’t be beating any of the higher end laptops, so you’ll need to settle with more adjusted settings instead of slapping everything on ultra and go. The 144Hz display will help out for any of your competitive needs, for those of you who need that on the go.
It’s a decent performer, with one of its greatest strengths being its portability, though granted you’d want to turn on Super Battery mode with lower performance if you need to stay on the move.
You can get your own MSI GF65 Thin 10UE-201 at RM 5129. Thanks to MSI Malaysia for the review unit!
|GF65 Thin 10UE|
|CPU||Up to 10th Gen. Intel® Core™ i7 Processor|
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
|DISPLAY||15.6″ FHD (1920×1080), IPS-Level
15.6″ FHD (1920×1080), 144Hz, IPS-Level
|GRAPHICS||NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3060 Laptop GPU 6GB GDDR6|
|MEMORY||Up to DDR4-3200 Memory Type
Max 64GB Max Capacity
|STORAGE||2x M.2 SSD slot (NVMe PCIe Gen3)|
|WEBCAM||HD type ([email protected])|
|KEYBOARD||Backlight Keyboard (Single-Color, Red)|
802.11 ax Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth v5.1
|AUDIO JACK||1x Mic-in/Headphone-out Combo Jack|
|I/O PORTS||1x RJ45
1x (4K @ 60Hz) HDMI
2x Type-C USB3.2 Gen1
2x Type-A USB3.2 Gen1
|BATTERY||51 Battery (Whr)|
|AC ADAPTER||180W adapter|
|DIMENSIONS (WXDXH)||359 x 254 x 21.7 mm|
|WEIGHT (W/ BATTERY)||1.86 kg|