Notebookcheck

A true all-rounder: MSI PS63 Modern 8SC Laptop in Review

Florian Glaser, 👁 Florian Glaser (translated by Marius S.), 07/21/2019

Jack of all trades. The MSI PS63 Modern 8SC is aimed at content creators and multimedia users, who are looking for a sleek, lightweight, and compact notebook with a lot of performance and a long-lasting battery. In this review, we are trying to determine whether this 15-inch system is able to deliver on all of these promises.

The PS63 8SC sits comfortably in the niche between office and gaming. The 15-inch laptop comes with the energy-efficient quad-core Intel Core i7-8565U CPU and currently costs around 1,700 Euros (~$1,906). The mid-range GeForce GTX 1650 from Nvidia's Turing generation handles complex graphics computation. Thanks to its Max-Q design, it is fairly energy efficient. Furthermore, the PS63 8SC contains 16 GB of RAM (2x 8GB DDR4). Data can be stored on a 512-GB PCIe M.2 SSD.

Its competition mainly consists of other multimedia notebooks from our top 10 list, which are also equipped with a Whiskey Lake-U processor. Other than the Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G (GeForce MX250), the Asus Zenbook 15 UX533FD (GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q) also falls into that category.

Since the case of the PS63 8SC is identical to the PS63 8RC, we will not delve deeper into the chassis, port selection, features and input devices in this review. Information regarding these topics can be found in the existing review.

MSI PS63 Modern 8SC (PS63 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q - 4096 MB, Core: 1020 MHz, Memory: 7000 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 417.88, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, 2x 8 GB SO-DIMM DDR4-2666, Dual-Channel, all slots occupied, 32 GB max.
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, CMN N156HCE-EN1 (CMN15E8), IPS, 60 Hz, Full-HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Cannon Lake-U PCH-LP Premium
Storage
WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G, 512 GB 
, Slots: 2x M.2 type 2280
Soundcard
Realtek ALC298 @ Intel Cannon Point PCH - cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech)
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combined audio jack, Card Reader: microSD, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 16 x 357 x 234 ( = 0.63 x 14.06 x 9.21 in)
Battery
82 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 4-cell
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD (720p)
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo 2.0, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 90 watt ac adapter, quick start guide, warranty card, recovery guide, Creator Center, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.67 kg ( = 58.91 oz / 3.68 pounds), Power Supply: 242 g ( = 8.54 oz / 0.53 pounds)
Price
1700 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

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MSI PS63 Modern
MSI PS63 Modern
MSI PS63 Modern
MSI PS63 Modern
MSI PS63 Modern
MSI PS63 Modern
MSI PS63 Modern
MSI PS63 Modern

Size Comparison

363.4 mm / 14.3 inch 243.5 mm / 9.59 inch 17.95 mm / 0.707 inch 1.8 kg3.97 lbs357 mm / 14.1 inch 234 mm / 9.21 inch 16 mm / 0.63 inch 1.7 kg3.68 lbs357 mm / 14.1 inch 234 mm / 9.21 inch 15.9 mm / 0.626 inch 1.7 kg3.66 lbs354 mm / 13.9 inch 220 mm / 8.66 inch 18 mm / 0.709 inch 1.6 kg3.53 lbs
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
674 MBit/s ∼100%
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
651 (min: 547, max: 681) MBit/s ∼97% -3%
MSI PS63 Modern 8RC
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
648 (min: 578, max: 676) MBit/s ∼96% -4%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
522 (min: 371, max: 601) MBit/s ∼77% -23%
Average of class Multimedia
  (44 - 1291, n=144)
508 MBit/s ∼75% -25%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
679 MBit/s ∼100%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
648 (min: 626, max: 667) MBit/s ∼95% -5%
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
644 (min: 499, max: 661) MBit/s ∼95% -5%
MSI PS63 Modern 8RC
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
634 (min: 613, max: 649) MBit/s ∼93% -7%
Average of class Multimedia
  (46.1 - 1374, n=143)
489 MBit/s ∼72% -28%

Testing Conditions

The preinstalled Creator Center offers several different usage scenarios (menu item "system tuner"). We used the profile silent for our idle measurements (= comfort mode & auto fan speed) and selected the profile High Performance (= sport mode & auto fan speed) for our 3D tests.

Creator Center
Creator Center
Creator Center
Creator Center
Creator Center
True Color

Display

Our impressions of the installed display are mixed. Even though the model number of the panel is identical to that of the PS63 8RC (CMN N156HCE-EN1), we measured a much lower luminance on our PS63 8SC.

207
cd/m²
215
cd/m²
213
cd/m²
195
cd/m²
207
cd/m²
199
cd/m²
186
cd/m²
186
cd/m²
181
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
CMN N156HCE-EN1 (CMN15E8)
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 215 cd/m² Average: 198.8 cd/m² Minimum: 11 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 84 %
Center on Battery: 207 cd/m²
Contrast: 941:1 (Black: 0.22 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.77 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 2.59
ΔE Greyscale 3.22 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
88% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 57% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.42
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
CMN N156HCE-EN1 (CMN15E8), IPS, 1920x1080
MSI PS63 Modern 8RC
Chi Mei CMN15E8 N156HCE/EN1, IPS, 1920x1080
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
BOE07D8, IPS, 1920x1080
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
BOE NV156FHM-N48, IPS, 1920x1080
Response Times
-0%
-11%
-36%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
41.6 (23.6, 18)
42 (23, 19)
-1%
45 (21, 24)
-8%
45 (23, 22)
-8%
Response Time Black / White *
32.8 (22.8, 10)
32 (20, 12)
2%
37 (23, 14)
-13%
33 (18, 15)
-1%
PWM Frequency
25510 (28)
25000 (20)
-2%
250 (90)
-99%
Screen
12%
-0%
-13%
Brightness middle
207
289
40%
311
50%
278
34%
Brightness
199
262
32%
303
52%
271
36%
Brightness Distribution
84
75
-11%
81
-4%
89
6%
Black Level *
0.22
0.26
-18%
0.24
-9%
0.26
-18%
Contrast
941
1112
18%
1296
38%
1069
14%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.77
2.9
23%
5.1
-35%
4.73
-25%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.98
5.71
5%
8.91
-49%
8.38
-40%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2.59
2.88
-11%
2.48
4%
5.17
-100%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.22
1.42
56%
4.93
-53%
2.59
20%
Gamma
2.42 91%
2.39 92%
2.44 90%
2.38 92%
CCT
7072 92%
6705 97%
7641 85%
6160 106%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
57
57
0%
58
2%
36
-37%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
88
87
-1%
88
0%
58
-34%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
6% / 9%
-6% / -2%
-25% / -18%

* ... smaller is better

In this case, the MSI tool True Color, which has caused questionable results in the past due to altering not only color representation but also brightness levels. After the boot process, when the application's effects become apparent (tested with the standard mode sRGB), luminance drops by almost 50 nits, which heavily impairs its outdoor capabilities. The average value of 199 nits is only sufficient for indoor use.

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Color saturation
CalMAN: Color saturation
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: Color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)

Possible solutions include uninstalling True Color (since just disabling the application had no effect on our test device) and installing our ICC profile, which can be found above to the right of the 9 brightness measurement fields. The latter has the additional advantage of improving color accuracy, although the PS63 is fairly close to ideal in that regard ex factory (DeltaE of less than 3).

PS63 Modern 8SC vs sRGB (88%)
PS63 Modern 8SC vs sRGB (88%)
Subpixel
Subpixel
PS63 Modern 8SC vs AdobeRGB (57%)
PS63 Modern 8SC vs AdobeRGB (57%)

Color space coverage (88% sRGB, 57% AdobeRGB) is decent compared to the competition. We were able to measure a contrast ratio of 941:1 and a good black value of only 0.22 nits. There is room for improvement when it comes to the response times. With 144-Hz panels being fairly common these days, 33 ms black-to-white and 42 ms gray-to-gray seems slightly outdated. The PS63 Modern only supports 60 Hz.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
32.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22.8 ms rise
↘ 10 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 85 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
41.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 23.6 ms rise
↘ 18 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 54 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (39.4 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 25510 Hz ≤ 28 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 25510 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 28 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 25510 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9322 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

The performance falls into the upper mid-range segment. As long as detail and resolution are kept at a reasonable level, the combination of Core i7-8565U and GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q handles most applications without issues.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
HWiNFO
GPU-Z
AS SSD benchmark
CrystalDiskMark
LatencyMon

Processor

We applaud MSI's choice to rely on the Core i7-8565U. The quad-core Whiskey Lake model not only consumes less power thanks to its 15 Watt TDP but also requires less cooling than Intel's traditional 45-Watt CPUs (such as the i7-8750H), which in turn improves fan noise levels, battery life and allows for a thinner chassis design. Thanks to hyper threading (8 threads in parallel) and a high maximum clock rate (up to 4.6 GHz), the 8565U performs admirably compared to its big brothers.

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
GPU Stress
GPU Stress

We used CineBench R15 to determine whether the automatic Turbo Boost performs adequately. The results are mixed. At 4.0 to 4.5 GHz, the CPU still operates quite close to the Turbo Boost limit during the single-core test, however it only reached 2.9 to 3.9 GHz during the multi-core test before stabilizing at around 3.0 GHz. In multi-core scenarios, this is about 1 GHz less from each core than the theoretical maximum.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730740750760770780790800810820Tooltip
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel Core i7-8565U: Ø639 (616.5-695)
MSI PS63 Modern 8RC Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel Core i7-8565U: Ø529 (524.25-571.63)
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel Core i7-8565U: Ø704 (683.27-815.1)
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel Core i7-8565U: Ø470 (467.49-492.88)
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
183 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
695 Points
Help

Compared to the PS63 8SC's competition, this is not a bad result however. Both the Acer Aspire 5 A515 and the PS63 8RC achieve significantly worse results in the CineBench loop (see graph). Only the Asus ZenBook 15 is able to squeeze even more performance out of the i7-8565U.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
Intel Core i7-8565U
191 Points ∼100% +4%
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
Intel Core i7-8565U
183 Points ∼96%
MSI PS63 Modern 8RC
Intel Core i7-8565U
173 Points ∼91% -5%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
Intel Core i7-8565U
165 Points ∼86% -10%
Average of class Multimedia
  (36 - 201, n=374)
129 Points ∼68% -30%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
Intel Core i7-8565U
815 Points ∼100% +17%
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
Intel Core i7-8565U
695 Points ∼85%
MSI PS63 Modern 8RC
Intel Core i7-8565U
572 Points ∼70% -18%
Average of class Multimedia
  (73 - 1550, n=391)
497 Points ∼61% -28%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
Intel Core i7-8565U
493 Points ∼60% -29%
Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
Intel Core i7-8565U
437 Points ∼100%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
Intel Core i7-8565U
390 Points ∼89% -11%
Average of class Multimedia
  (84 - 469, n=20)
371 Points ∼85% -15%
CPU (Multi Core)
Average of class Multimedia
  (160 - 3422, n=21)
1738 Points ∼100% +14%
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
Intel Core i7-8565U
1523 Points ∼88%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
Intel Core i7-8565U
1035 Points ∼60% -32%

System Performance

The MSI laptop is able to claim first place in our system performance tests. With 4,851 points in PCMark 10, the 15-inch device outperforms the competition by 9 to 21%, although the practical differences should be small to non-existent.

PCMark 10 - Score
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
4851 Points ∼100%
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
4443 Points ∼92% -8%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
GeForce MX250, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
4236 Points ∼87% -13%
MSI PS63 Modern 8RC
GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
4020 Points ∼83% -17%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1144 - 5500, n=105)
4000 Points ∼82% -18%

Storage Solution

The storage solution is most definitely up to date. MSI equips the PS63 8SC with a PCIe-based M.2 SSD that effortlessly cracks the 1,000 Mb/s mark during sequential reading and writing operations. Since all of its competitors rely on the 512-GB model of the Western Digital PC SN520, the comparison table does not look very exciting. Big plus: Users who want to expand their storage space have access to another unoccupied M.2 slot below the hood.

MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
MSI PS63 Modern 8RC
WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-13%
-10%
-10%
Write 4K
139.8
121.3
-13%
126.2
-10%
130.1
-7%
Read 4K
46.24
44.07
-5%
41.2
-11%
27.64
-40%
Write Seq
1346
1176
-13%
1055
-22%
1438
7%
Read Seq
1446
1139
-21%
883.8
-39%
1319
-9%
Write 4K Q32T1
346.8
257.8
-26%
445.5
28%
323.3
-7%
Read 4K Q32T1
451.2
325.9
-28%
338.8
-25%
359.9
-20%
Write Seq Q32T1
1456
1455
0%
1453
0%
1454
0%
Read Seq Q32T1
1748
1741
0%
1734
-1%
1740
0%
WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 1748 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 1456 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 451.2 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 346.8 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1446 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1346 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 46.24 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 139.8 MB/s

GPU Performance

Much like the ULV CPU, the graphics card is designed to be efficient. Nvidia's Max-Q promises a particularly economical chip, which in turn offers less performance than its normal counterpart. The GeForce 1650 Max-Q specifically has a core clock of 1,020 MHz instead of 1,395 MHz (base) and a memory clock of 7,000 MHz instead of 8,000 MHz. Furthermore, there are small deviations in terms of shader units (1,024 unified) and the size of the VRAM (4GB GDDR5 @128-bit interface).

3DMark 06 Standard
31487 points
3DMark Vantage P Result
30957 points
3DMark 11 Performance
10471 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
78312 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
21701 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
6850 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
3004 points
Help

In synthetic benchmarks, the GTX 1650 Max-Q handily outclasses its predecessor, the GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q. 3DMark 13 Fire Strike confirms a performance lead of +34 to +38%. In 3DMark 11, the lead grows to 50 to 57% (compared to the Asus Zenbook 15 and the MSI PS63 8RC).

3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
2896 Points ∼100%
Average of class Multimedia
  (142 - 4734, n=64)
1626 Points ∼56% -44%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
NVIDIA GeForce MX250
1090 Points ∼38% -62%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
7740 Points ∼100%
MSI PS63 Modern 8RC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q
5792 Points ∼75% -25%
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q
5622 Points ∼73% -27%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
NVIDIA GeForce MX250
3616 Points ∼47% -53%
Average of class Multimedia
  (337 - 16100, n=415)
2927 Points ∼38% -62%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
11046 Points ∼100%
MSI PS63 Modern 8RC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q
7385 Points ∼67% -33%
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q
7016 Points ∼64% -36%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
NVIDIA GeForce MX250
4633 Points ∼42% -58%
Average of class Multimedia
  (352 - 20837, n=641)
3039 Points ∼28% -72%

We ran the role play game The Witcher 3 (maximum details @1,920 x 1,080) for around 60 minutes in order to determine whether the PS63 8SC is able to maintain its 3D performance for a prolonged time. As the graph below shows very clearly, there are no dips in performance and/or fps drops.

05101520253035Tooltip
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G; The Witcher 3: Ø28.5 (26-30)
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G; The Witcher 3: Ø27.5 (26-30)

Gaming Performance

Since the PS63 8SC is our first laptop with the GTX 1650 Max-Q, our gaming tests were particularly comprehensive. The 40 games from 2015 through 2019 should offer an accurate impression of the overall performance capabilities of the graphics card. The 15-inch laptop is able to run almost all titles at the native resolution and high or even very high detail settings. Only extremely demanding or poorly optimized games such as Metro Exodus and Final Fantasy 15 may require falling back to medium quality.

The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q, 8565U
30 fps ∼100% +4%
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, 8565U
28.8 (min: 23) fps ∼96%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2.9 - 80.8, n=101)
20.1 fps ∼67% -30%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
GeForce MX250, 8565U
11.4 fps ∼38% -60%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, 8565U
48.1 (min: 39) fps ∼100%
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q, 8565U
41 fps ∼85% -15%
Average of class Multimedia
  (3.8 - 117, n=112)
30.5 fps ∼63% -37%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
GeForce MX250, 8565U
20.4 fps ∼42% -58%

The GTX 1650 Max-Q was not made for QHD and 4K displays. At 2,560 x 1,440 or 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, the GPU quickly runs out of steam. Passionate gamers would be well-advised to choose at least a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti or a RTX 2060 to run games smoothly at these resolutions.

low med. high ultraQHD4K
The Witcher 3 (2015) 48.1 28.8 17.6 fps
Rainbow Six Siege (2015) 115 101 40 fps
Doom (2016) 79.6 77.4 23.9 fps
Overwatch (2016) 119 69.5 39.1 fps
Mirror's Edge Catalyst (2016) 54.7 49.9 17.5 fps
Deus Ex Mankind Divided (2016) 43 22.9 14.1 fps
Dishonored 2 (2016) 53.9 44.8 21.2 fps
Resident Evil 7 (2017) 146 78.8 65.2 21.5 fps
For Honor (2017) 66.8 63.8 49.4 19.1 fps
Ghost Recon Wildlands (2017) 48.5 44.4 21.7 14.6 fps
Prey (2017) 97.5 77.3 67.1 23.6 fps
Rocket League (2017) 128 86.5 42.7 fps
Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) (2017) 84.6 70.8 52.6 16.6 fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017) 64 47 35 14 fps
ELEX (2017) 61.1 48.6 37.3 24.5 12.2 fps
Need for Speed Payback (2017) 72.3 61.8 58.9 38.6 19.1 fps
Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017) 72.2 62.3 46.5 29.4 5.6 fps
Fortnite (2018) 138 79.9 59.1 36.2 10.9 fps
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark (2018) 41.7 29.4 9.6 fps
Kingdom Come: Deliverance (2018) 48.1 38 26.4 18.5 9.4 fps
The Crew 2 (2018) 59.3 49.1 42 26.4 13 fps
Monster Hunter World (2018) 46.3 40.1 31.4 19.2 8.9 fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) 47 43 38 24 12 fps
FIFA 19 (2018) 195 179 173 124 64.8 fps
Assassin´s Creed Odyssey (2018) 49 41 20 17 8 fps
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 (2018) 62.7 58.5 50.9 32.7 10.9 fps
Hitman 2 (2018) 53.1 47.6 44.4 28.6 14.1 fps
Battlefield V (2018) 63.6 54.1 49.3 36.1 19.4 fps
Farming Simulator 19 (2018) 136 84 60.6 40.7 fps
Darksiders III (2018) 67.4 53.4 47.1 29.3 9.7 fps
Just Cause 4 (2018) 59 42.6 39.7 26.2 13.2 fps
Apex Legends (2019) 69.7 57.6 54.3 39.7 21.9 fps
Far Cry New Dawn (2019) 53 50 46 32 16 fps
Metro Exodus (2019) 35.4 26.4 21.6 16.4 9.9 fps
Anthem (2019) 49.4 42.6 34.9 22.6 13.1 fps
Dirt Rally 2.0 (2019) 64 51.1 31.7 23.1 fps
The Division 2 (2019) 51 41 30 20 9 fps
Anno 1800 (2019) 56.8 36.2 19.2 13.8 8.4 fps
Rage 2 (2019) 43 36.6 35.8 22.4 7.4 fps
F1 2019 (2019) 84 65 41 35 20 fps

Emissions

System Noise

From our experience, the choice of the user scenario (Creator Center), at least during idle, does not affect fan noise. The fans of the PS63 8SC consistently produce between 32 and 34 db(A). We observed neither unnecessary pulsating behavior nor a complete standstill of the fans.

Noise during idle
Noise during idle
Noise under load
Noise under load
Volume of the speakers
Volume of the speakers

The 15-inch laptop is neither very quiet nor very loud under load. 41 to 45 dB(A) are typical values for a multimedia laptop in this performance class.

Noise Level

Idle
32 / 33 / 34 dB(A)
Load
44 / 45 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30 dB(A)
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
8565U, GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
MSI PS63 Modern 8RC
8565U, GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
8565U, GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
8565U, GeForce MX250
Average of class Multimedia
 
Noise
11%
6%
7%
5%
off / environment *
30
30.4
-1%
30.5
-2%
29.9
-0%
31.3 (22 - 304, n=181)
-4%
Idle Minimum *
32
30.7
4%
30.5
5%
29.9
7%
31.1 (27.8 - 40.1, n=982)
3%
Idle Average *
33
30.7
7%
30.5
8%
29.9
9%
31.9 (27.8 - 42.2, n=984)
3%
Idle Maximum *
34
30.7
10%
30.5
10%
29.9
12%
32.6 (27.8 - 47, n=984)
4%
Load Average *
44
34
23%
40.8
7%
41.7
5%
36.4 (28.9 - 51.8, n=984)
17%
Witcher 3 ultra *
41
Load Maximum *
45
33.7
25%
41.8
7%
41.7
7%
41.9 (32.5 - 62.7, n=984)
7%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

MSI has room for improvement when it comes to the surface temperatures. If the system load is at 100%, the top and bottom of the case become very warm at up to 56 °C (~133 °F) and 60 °C (140 °F), respectively. Thus, we do not recommend gaming while the device sits on your lap.

The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3
Stress test
Stress test
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (bottom)
Maximum load (bottom)

The hardware also reaches very high temperatures during our stress test with FurMark and Prime95. While a GPU temperature of 77 °C (~171 °F) is still acceptable, a CPU temperature of up to 96 °C (~205 °F) is uncomfortably high. However, there's no reason to worry: The CPU hovers around 60 °C in games that do not demand maximum performance from all cores (tested by running The Witcher 3).

Max. Load
 54 °C
129 F
55 °C
131 F
56 °C
133 F
 
 48 °C
118 F
50 °C
122 F
47 °C
117 F
 
 36 °C
97 F
38 °C
100 F
38 °C
100 F
 
Maximum: 56 °C = 133 F
Average: 46.9 °C = 116 F
59 °C
138 F
60 °C
140 F
53 °C
127 F
54 °C
129 F
57 °C
135 F
49 °C
120 F
39 °C
102 F
40 °C
104 F
38 °C
100 F
Maximum: 60 °C = 140 F
Average: 49.9 °C = 122 F
Power Supply (max.)  53 °C = 127 F | Room Temperature 23 °C = 73 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 46.9 °C / 116 F, compared to the average of 31 °C / 88 F for the devices in the class Multimedia.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 56 °C / 133 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F, ranging from 21.1 to 71 °C for the class Multimedia.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 60 °C / 140 F, compared to the average of 38.8 °C / 102 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 27.2 °C / 81 F, compared to the device average of 31 °C / 88 F.
(-) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 43 °C / 109 F, compared to the device average of 31 °C / 88 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 38 °C / 100.4 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29.1 °C / 84.4 F (-8.9 °C / -16 F).
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
8565U, GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
MSI PS63 Modern 8RC
8565U, GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
8565U, GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
8565U, GeForce MX250
Average of class Multimedia
 
Heat
3%
13%
2%
9%
Maximum Upper Side *
56
58.6
-5%
47.2
16%
53.7
4%
41.7 (27.2 - 71, n=940)
26%
Maximum Bottom *
60
60
-0%
43.2
28%
56
7%
45 (28.5 - 82, n=940)
25%
Idle Upper Side *
29
26
10%
27.7
4%
28.4
2%
29.7 (21.1 - 40.2, n=792)
-2%
Idle Bottom *
27
25.2
7%
25.6
5%
28.9
-7%
30.9 (21.5 - 44.4, n=792)
-14%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033.737.42537.338.73131.531.34029.733.85029.845.76326.531.28027.229.510025.727.712523.735.916024.839.820021.940.925021.350.731520.655.740019.861.750019.663.663018.264.880018.173.310001865125018.269.9160017.671.7200017.774.2250017.772.2315017.867.7400017.669.9500017.866.4630017.466.3800017.570.11000017.666.21250017.566.11600017.462.6SPL30.282N1.452median 18median 66.1Delta1.48.93129.13130.629.730.630.729.730.728.925.928.927.725.627.726.424.126.427.622.927.632.223.532.234.923.434.935.523.235.534.622.334.643.32243.351.82151.856.820.856.857.319.957.362.320.462.371.52071.573.519.473.572.518.772.573.41873.477.417.877.469.417.469.472.91772.970.116.870.167.716.767.76516.46564.716.264.755.916.255.95216.15248.81648.883.530.283.549.71.249.7median 62.3median 18.7median 62.312.12.212.1hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseMSI PS63 Modern 8SCMSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.2% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 43% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 49% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 19%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 30% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 63% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (77.42 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 23.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (27.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 91% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 6% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 19%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 81% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 14% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management


Energy Consumption

The Energy Consumption is fairly low thanks to Nvidia's Optimus technology, which allows for dynamic swapping between the integrated GPU of the processor and the GeForce GPU. The consumption of 6 to 12 watts during idle promises long battery life when using less demanding applications (such as office, video, web, ...). According to our measurements, the laptop demands between 60 and 102 watts under load.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.6 / 0.8 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 6 / 8 / 12 Watt
Load midlight 76 / 102 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
8565U, GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
MSI PS63 Modern 8RC
8565U, GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
8565U, GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
8565U, GeForce MX250
Average of class Multimedia
 
Power Consumption
-4%
17%
25%
-42%
Idle Minimum *
6
6.8
-13%
2.7
55%
4.4
27%
11.5 (2.1 - 101, n=939)
-92%
Idle Average *
8
9.8
-23%
8
-0%
6.9
14%
16 (4.2 - 122, n=939)
-100%
Idle Maximum *
12
11.4
5%
10.6
12%
9.9
17%
19.6 (4.7 - 181, n=939)
-63%
Load Average *
76
76
-0%
74
3%
55
28%
60 (18.5 - 164, n=918)
21%
Load Maximum *
102
93
9%
89
13%
63.4
38%
78.1 (20.1 - 329, n=923)
23%
Witcher 3 ultra *
60

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

One of the biggest strengths of the PS63 8SC is its high portability. In our Wi-Fi test, which aims to mirror real-world conditions (brightness reduced to around 150 nits), the 82-watt battery lasted for almost exactly 9 hours. Its result of 12 hours in battery eater's readers test (minimum brightness) is similarly impressive.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
12h 04min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
9h 02min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 17min
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC
8565U, GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, 82 Wh
MSI PS63 Modern 8RC
8565U, GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q, 82 Wh
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
8565U, GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q, 73 Wh
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-723L
8565U, GeForce MX250, 48 Wh
Average of class Multimedia
 
Battery Runtime
22%
47%
-11%
-38%
Reader / Idle
724
838
16%
1587
119%
773
7%
410 (73 - 2085, n=893)
-43%
WiFi v1.3
542
683
26%
519
-4%
414
-24%
364 (96 - 942, n=255)
-33%
Load
137
168
23%
171
25%
117
-15%
85.6 (32 - 238, n=896)
-38%
H.264
388
365 (114 - 1053, n=108)

Pros

+ good overall performance
+ compact ac adapter
+ long battery life
+ lightweight
+ slim bezel design

Cons

- case stability is lacking
- display is not very bright
- no Thunderbolt 3

Verdict

MSI PS63 Modern 8SC, test device courtesy of:
MSI PS63 Modern 8SC, test device courtesy of:

Looking past the suboptimal rigidity of the case and some drawbacks of the display (brightness, response time, ...), the MSI PS63 8SC is one of the best and most balanced multimedia laptops, while also being well-suited to content creators.

The ultra-thin and pleasantly lightweight chassis with slim-bezel design and the long battery life make the 15-inch system an ideal companion.

The PS63 8SC does not lack performance. The combination of a Core i7-8565U, GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, 16 GB RAM and PCIe-SSD performs very well overall.

MSI PS63 Modern 8SC - 10/26/2019 v7
Florian Glaser

Chassis
78 / 98 → 79%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
60 / 80 → 75%
Weight
67 / 20-72 → 90%
Battery
85 / 95 → 90%
Display
84%
Games Performance
81 / 90 → 90%
Application Performance
90 / 90 → 100%
Temperature
77%
Noise
78 / 95 → 82%
Audio
70%
Average
78%
85%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > A true all-rounder: MSI PS63 Modern 8SC Laptop in Review
Florian Glaser, 2019-07-21 (Update: 2019-07-24)