MSI GS65 Stealth Thin review (Core i7-8750H, GTX 1070 Max-Q)


  1. sevdalin

    June 5, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Can you please point to an article how the undervolting is done?
    Also what are the side effects for the health of the CPU by doing this, and why isn't manufactured that way if the laptops are working so much better? Thanks!

    • Derek Sullivan

      June 5, 2018 at 5:40 pm

      Doug does a great job explining undervolting here:

      Also, there's no side effects, if it's done correctly. If you go too far, you get a blue screen followed by a reboot, so the key is tuning it properly. All processors are different, so the threshold of how far you can tune it will vary. If we relied on Intel to do this for us, the processors would probably be $70-100 more expensive because it's a time consuming process. Intel picks a voltage that works for all processors an leaves it at that. The side effect of them doing that is a little added heat, which they are willing to live with because 100% of their CPUs will work out of the box. If they tuned their CPUs to the lower limit, they risk messing up on one and it crashing, which is unacceptable from their point of view. In other words, they are taking the path of least resistance because 95% of customers probably don't care about having their CPU tuned properly.

    • Sittikone Chanthanam

      August 25, 2019 at 8:36 am

      Great in-depth article! Currently searching for a thin gaming laptop prioritizing good thermals, mid range gpu, an IPS display with good response times 144hz, and a more basic aesthetic. Glad I came across this article before buying, good job!

  2. sevdalin

    June 5, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    I also forgot to ask, do you think that is worth of getting the 1070 GPU if the laptop will not be used for heavy gaming 95% of the time when is used?
    And is the battery life be improved if you have the 1060 GPU over the 1070?

    • Derek Sullivan

      June 5, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      If you don't play games 95% of the time, go with the 1060 for sure. Imho, it's not worth the price difference for the 1070 bump unless you need it daily.

  3. Andy

    July 11, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Hi again Derek! Im that Aussie that asked you a million q's about the GS 15" vs 17", remember me? Anyway tomorrow is crunch time for me and I have a huge decision to make and really need your input!

    Ebay will be 25% off and for approx $3000 Aus I can get 1 of the following (it is a huge bargain tbh)

    1. The new GS65
    2. The new Aero 15x v8
    3. The older Acer triton 700 gtx 1080 maxq

    All are small form factor and light, that's awesome. All screens are great. I want future proofing and good VR. However low power consumption ie optimus would be a bonus. Also a fully 170 degree plus lid would be nice.

    Both the GS and Aero are on par, with 6 core updated cpu which is great, but the Triton is the real Xfactor – I can get a 1080! I know the trackpad is garbage but i use a mouse, im sure the heat can be dealt with through UV, however no optimus will make a higher power bill and portability is killed with a crap battery.

    Would you make the compromise to get a 1080 in a tiny form triton 700 for the same cost?? Sorry my thoughts are a little muddled on paper but you see my dilemma right? Please help :)

    • Derek Sullivan

      July 11, 2018 at 3:05 pm

      At the same price, I would do it. The only concessions with the Triton are the trackpad and battery. Everything else about the it is great though.

      I've never had the Aero, so I can't comment on it other than their keyboards on previous models have seemed cramped to me. I really do like the GS65, but if I had the choice at the same cost, I'd give up the battery life and go with the better build quality and more powerful GPU. The CPU is faster on the G65 but it gets so hot…

      • Andy

        July 13, 2018 at 11:05 am

        After considering it carefully I agree with you and the whole 1080 thing, and the Triton is on its way! First up is I need to tackle the heat problem. The general consensus is that Grizzly Conductonaut will get the temps down dramatically, some realtime reports of even 70 degrees max under load! Amazing some ppl have clocked the card up to normal gtx1080 equivalent after repasting!

        Do you think UV will help with batt power? I understand the battery is just way to small (what were they thinking!? 41WR!!) I wonder if there's a way to improve the situation??

        Anyway Derek your in depth reviews are excellent. Helped me heaps. Thanks man

      • Derek Sullivan

        July 13, 2018 at 1:54 pm

        No problem and good luck with it. Undervolting will help a tiny bit. It would help more to make a custom throttlestop profile for when you're on battery. There's plenty of guides on how to set one up. In the end though, the battery life is still going to be low.

      • Andy

        July 13, 2018 at 2:11 pm

        I would never want it for gaming on the batt, just general work related simple stuff. i'll search that throttlestop thing you mentioned, thanks again. Gee I cant wait till it arrives

  4. Eric

    July 12, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Can you explain in detail what you did to tweak the fan settings?

    • Derek Sullivan

      July 12, 2018 at 7:10 pm

      I just went into Dragon Center and switched it to advanced. I'm currently leaving the GPU at default, but with the CPU, I changed the settings to 30, 50, 60, 92, 127, 150 from left to right.

      • Eric

        July 12, 2018 at 7:14 pm

        Should the GPU settings be tweaked as well to prevent the temperature from hitting 80s and 90s?

      • Derek Sullivan

        July 12, 2018 at 8:03 pm

        I would. You could probably use the same curve. It's just going to add a little more noise.

  5. Alex

    July 16, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Is this a pre-production unit or a retail because apparently the flex has been improved in the latest model ?

    • Derek Sullivan

      July 16, 2018 at 7:41 pm

      It's retail. Nice to hear it might be better, although I'm surprised at how fast they made it happen

  6. Julien Ouellet

    September 2, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    Daily use results seem to be there twice and I can't see the Load results ( playing Final Fantasy XV 4 for 30 minutes)

  7. James

    September 30, 2018 at 7:28 am

    Hi Derek,

    A few questions. Do you use speedster and if so can you share your findings on settings? I just ordered this from hidevolution with aftermarket paste and will be undervolting…I was going to get the 1060 but the 1070 max q was only 100 bucks more so I went for it.

    Can you also share your throttlestop setting for battery if you don't mind?

    • Derek Sullivan

      September 30, 2018 at 3:56 pm

      I haven't used speedster but I can look into it. Honestly, I quit using my battery throttlestop settings. I was only getting an extra 30 minutes of battery but it came at a cost of corippling my performance. Ask you really need to do is reduce your CPU multiplier though. You can even try undervolting some more on that setting.

  8. James

    September 30, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    Sorry, meant speedshift but think you got the drift.

    Was thinking about setting up profiles for gaming and for work but since I'm just undervolting, I guess windows normal power manager should take care of the non gaming times. I was wondering about speedshift as it seems a more customizable way to switch between work and play but may not matter.

  9. Alex2

    December 4, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Hi Derek,

    Thanks for this review! I thought it complemented another one that I read nicely. I especially liked the description of the case and the keyboard, including details about button placement.

    Anyway, I have a few questions.
    1.) Sorry if this is dumb, but just to double check: does the version with GTX 1060 also have Optimus tech enabled? I'm definitely looking to get more battery life out of this and won't need the full performance.
    2.) Where you did the battery test and mentioned the "Power Saver" profile, is that one of the modes from the Dragon Center?

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 5, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      I'll reply to this before Derek gets to it.

      1. Yes, there's Optimus on all versions.
      2. Yes, or just one of the standard Windows power modes (click on the battery symbol in the right corner).

      • Alex2

        December 5, 2018 at 7:18 pm


        Regarding question #2… but that's why I was wondering, precisely which one of those it is. I figured it must be one of those options. :) (Because, what other possibilities exist ?)

        I looked up a couple sources about the Shift mode thing — as it's the first time I've heard of it — and the available modes described in the below link don't have a "Power Saver".

        Thank you,

        But it's also from 4 years ago, so I thought maybe they've since changed the software, profile names, etc.


        Anyway, kind of a follow-up question:

        3.) Is Shift mode profile switching better for tuning the battery life vs. performance trade-off than the Windows built-in Power Options, where you can simply reduce the max CPU state (%)?

      • Derek Sullivan

        December 5, 2018 at 7:53 pm

        I stopped using dragon center and just use throttlestop. The dragon center power profiles we're overlapping the the throttlestop and windows profiles, which led to crippled CPU performance when on battery. It's great for thermals and battery life but the performance drop was just too large for my taste, so I decided to manually tune it isln TS instead.

      • Alex2

        December 6, 2018 at 7:46 am

        Wow, I haven't heard of Throttlestop either until now… And I thought I could consider myself computer knowledgeable. Thanks! I'll be looking into it for sure. I'm pretty much all set on buying this baby.

      • Alex2

        December 28, 2018 at 9:37 am

        So is it a problem if I have Eco mode enabled in Dragon Center, and also use TS? When you say you stopped using it because the profiles were overlapping with the TS profile, it sounds like you had to disable the Dragon Center settings. Is that right? If so, how do you disable it?

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