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MSI Alpha 17 gaming laptop in review: With a Ryzen 7 and Radeon RX 5600M

All-AMD gaming laptop. With the 17-inch Alpha 17, MSI gives gamers a gaming laptop that isn't powered by Intel technology. Both the CPU and the graphics card come from AMD and will have to show what they can do in our test.
Mike Wobker, 👁 Florian Glaser (translated by Stephanie Chamberlain), 🇩🇪 🇳🇱 ...
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK

MSI is well positioned in the gaming sector and also has a wide product range of very large laptops. For example, we reviewed the quite inexpensive 17-inch MSI GF75 Thin 10SDR and the much more expensive 17-inch MSI GT76 Titan DT 10SG. The MSI Alpha 17 is now also available with the same display diagonal size, but it uses neither a graphics card from Nvidia nor a CPU from Intel.

Instead, an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H and an AMD Radeon RX 5600M are responsible for the processing and graphics performance. In addition, there's 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. With this configuration, we compare the MSI Alpha 17 with the rivals listed below. However, other laptops from our database can also be added for comparison under each section.

MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
Processor
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H 8 x 2.9 - 4.2 GHz, 65 W PL2 / Short Burst, 45 W PL1 / Sustained, Renoir (Zen 2)
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon RX 5600M - 6144 MB, Core: 1265 MHz, Memory: 12000 MHz, Adrenalin 20.10.23.01, AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
Memory
16384 MB 
, dual-channel
Display
17.30 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 127 PPI, AU Optronics AUO978F, IPS, Free Sync, glossy: no, 144 Hz
Mainboard
AMD Promontory/Bixby FCH
Storage
Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB, 512 GB 
, 410 GB free
Soundcard
AMD Raven/Renoir/VanGogh/Cezanne - Audio Processor - HD Audio Controller
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 1x mic in, 1x headset out, Card Reader: SD
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 28 x 399 x 272 ( = 1.1 x 15.71 x 10.71 in)
Battery
65 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 0.9 MP, 16:9 (1280x720)
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.6 kg ( = 91.71 oz / 5.73 pounds), Power Supply: 911 g ( = 32.13 oz / 2.01 pounds)
Price
1,400 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Possible contenders in comparison

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Best Price
83 %
02/2021
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
R7 4800H, Radeon RX 5600M
2.6 kg28 mm17.30"1920x1080
81 %
12/2020
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
i7-10750H, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile
2.5 kg30 mm17.30"1920x1080
84 %
08/2020
Eluktronics RP-17
R7 4800H, GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile
2.6 kg30 mm17.30"1920x1080
84 %
06/2020
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
R7 4800H, Radeon RX 5600M
2.4 kg21.6 mm15.60"1920x1080

Case - Robust 17-inch laptop with stable display

MSI has made the base unit of the Alpha 17 out of plastic and the back of the display out of aluminum. This makes the gaming laptop look sturdy and stable all around. Furthermore, the screen only bends minimally when opened, even if it's only lifted from one corner. The maximum aperture angle is about 160 degrees. Overall, the build quality is very high and leaves no room for criticism in any area.

Compared with 17-inch gaming laptops from other manufacturers, the Alpha 17 shows slightly wider and also somewhat deeper dimensions. The weight of 2.6 kilograms, on the other hand, is on par with comparable devices.

Size comparison

399 mm / 15.7 inch 272 mm / 10.7 inch 28 mm / 1.102 inch 2.6 kg5.73 lbs395.7 mm / 15.6 inch 260.8 mm / 10.3 inch 30 mm / 1.181 inch 2.5 kg5.51 lbs395 mm / 15.6 inch 261 mm / 10.3 inch 30 mm / 1.181 inch 2.6 kg5.63 lbs365.5 mm / 14.4 inch 254 mm / 10 inch 21.6 mm / 0.85 inch 2.4 kg5.35 lbs

Connectivity - MSI gaming laptop with fast WLAN and memory card reader

The MSI Alpha 17 offers numerous ports that cover the essential needs. In addition Gigabit LAN and Mini DisplayPort connections, a USB Type-C port is also offered, but it failed to transmit image output to our test monitor using a suitable adapter.

Left side: Kensington lock, Gigabit LAN, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort 1.2, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A,  1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, 1x headphone, 1x microphone
Left side: Kensington lock, Gigabit LAN, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort 1.2, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, 1x headphone, 1x microphone
Right side: SD card reader, 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, power supply
Right side: SD card reader, 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, power supply

SD card reader

The memory card reader of the Alpha 17 achieves speeds of up to 77 MB/s for copying data and up to 86 MB/s for reading data with our reference memory card, the 64 GB Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II SDXC. This allows MSI's gaming laptop to lead our test field. Moreover, inserted memory cards protrude about four millimeters beyond the case's edge.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Average of class Gaming
  (11.7 - 218, n=314)
95.4 MB/s ∼100% +24%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
77 MB/s ∼81%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
36.6 MB/s ∼38% -52%
Eluktronics RP-17
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
36.2 MB/s ∼38% -53%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
25 MB/s ∼26% -68%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Average of class Gaming
  (13.4 - 257, n=312)
112 MB/s ∼100% +30%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
86 MB/s ∼77%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
37.9 MB/s ∼34% -56%
Eluktronics RP-17
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
36.8 MB/s ∼33% -57%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26 MB/s ∼23% -70%

Communication

With our Netgear Nighthawk AX12 reference router, the MSI Alpha 17 reaches WLAN speeds of up to 1,100 Mb/s for receiving and up to 1,010 Mb/s for sending data. Although these rates are very good, they are still surpassed by our chosen competitor devices.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650x Wireless Network Adapter (200NGW)
1470 (1297min - 1511max) MBit/s ∼100% +34%
Eluktronics RP-17
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1453 (1227min - 1527max) MBit/s ∼99% +32%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1450 MBit/s ∼99% +32%
Average Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
  (523 - 1640, n=83)
1155 MBit/s ∼79% +5%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1100 MBit/s ∼75%
Average of class Gaming
  (141 - 1670, n=378)
777 MBit/s ∼53% -29%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650x Wireless Network Adapter (200NGW)
1385 (1268min - 1486max) MBit/s ∼100% +37%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1230 MBit/s ∼89% +22%
Eluktronics RP-17
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1223 (1026min - 1365max) MBit/s ∼88% +21%
Average Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
  (447 - 1645, n=82)
1050 MBit/s ∼76% +4%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1010 MBit/s ∼73%
Average of class Gaming
  (144 - 1645, n=378)
714 MBit/s ∼52% -29%

Webcam

The Alpha 17 is also equipped with one of the widespread but very low-resolution HD webcams with 0.9 MP. Accordingly, the quality of our test images is low. They are too pale and blurry even in good lighting conditions.

ColorChecker
14.4 ∆E
14.4 ∆E
15.1 ∆E
14.3 ∆E
16.4 ∆E
16.8 ∆E
11.9 ∆E
18.8 ∆E
15.6 ∆E
13.6 ∆E
12.2 ∆E
11 ∆E
12.6 ∆E
13.1 ∆E
16.4 ∆E
8.7 ∆E
14.9 ∆E
19.4 ∆E
0 ∆E
11.7 ∆E
12.5 ∆E
10.5 ∆E
10.7 ∆E
8.8 ∆E
ColorChecker MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK: 13.08 ∆E min: 0 - max: 19.45 ∆E

Accessories

Besides the laptop, the MSI Alpha 17 only comes with a power adapter. However, the manufacturer offers numerous accessories on its website such as headsets, keyboards, mice, monitors, and more.

Maintenance

The MSI Alpha 17 can be opened after removing all screws on the bottom. Removing the bottom cover in the area of the hinges is a bit difficult, so patience is required. Inside, the storage drive and RAM can be accessed, and the WLAN module can also be replaced. While nothing stands in the way of using an additional SSD thanks to the second M.2 slot, only one RAM slot is available. In our test configuration, RAM is, therefore, divided into 8 GB that is permanently installed (soldered) and another 8 GB that is installed as a module.

MSI Alpha 17 - Maintenance options
MSI Alpha 17 - Maintenance options
MSI Alpha 17 - Storage and RAM
MSI Alpha 17 - Storage and RAM
MSI Alpha 17 - WLAN module
MSI Alpha 17 - WLAN module

Warranty

MSI grants buyers of the Alpha 17 a warranty period of 24 months.

Input devices - Good backlighting and precise touchpad

Keyboard

The MSI Alpha 17's keys offer a clear pressure point and a good grip for the fingertips. This makes them well suited not only for gaming but also for typing. The manufacturer also refrains from reducing the size of the arrow keys and provides special keys such as Del, Ins, and the scroll keys as separate keys.  Only the Home and End keys are exclusively accessible as secondary keys.

MSI has also installed an RGB backlight for the keyboard. This can be adjusted in four brightness levels and illuminates the keys uniformly. It's possible to adjust the colors and effects extensively in the corresponding software.

Touchpad

Users can use a classic touchpad with separate buttons as mouse replacement. The mouse pointer can be navigated very well with it, and clicks are triggered reliably on the left as well as on the right.

MSI Alpha 17 - Input devices
MSI Alpha 17 - Input devices
MSI Alpha 17 - Backlighting
MSI Alpha 17 - Backlighting

Display - 144 Hz display in the MSI laptop

Screen bleeding
Screen bleeding

The screen of the MSI Alpha 17 consists of a 17-inch IPS panel with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and offers a refresh rate of 144 Hz. The average brightness of 254 cd/m² is usually high enough for indoor environments, and the brightness distribution of 93% is the highest in our test field.

No PWM is used for brightness control, which means that users with sensitive eyes shouldn't expect any problems.

257
cd/m²
262
cd/m²
257
cd/m²
253
cd/m²
254
cd/m²
256
cd/m²
244
cd/m²
249
cd/m²
255
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
AU Optronics AUO978F
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 262 cd/m² Average: 254.1 cd/m² Minimum: 11 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 93 %
Center on Battery: 254 cd/m²
Contrast: 1104:1 (Black: 0.23 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.12 | 0.6-29.43 Ø5.7, calibrated: 3.78
ΔE Greyscale 3.2 | 0.64-98 Ø5.9
59% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 41% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.179
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AU Optronics AUO978F, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.30
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
BOE HF NV173FHM-N44, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.30
Eluktronics RP-17
BOE NV173FHM-N44, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.30
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
BOE NV156FH, WVA, 1920x1080, 15.60
Response Times
61%
52%
56%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
40 (19.6, 20.4)
17.6 (8.4, 9.2)
56%
22.4 (10.8, 11.6)
44%
20.4 (10.8, 9.6)
49%
Response Time Black / White *
29.2 (15.6, 13.6)
10 (5.2, 4.8)
66%
12 (7.2, 4.8)
59%
10.8 (6.4, 4.4)
63%
PWM Frequency
1000 (99)
943.4
198.4 (99)
Screen
17%
16%
16%
Brightness middle
254
315
24%
311.5
23%
292
15%
Brightness
254
298
17%
301
19%
290
14%
Brightness Distribution
93
88
-5%
91
-2%
77
-17%
Black Level *
0.23
0.29
-26%
0.31
-35%
0.27
-17%
Contrast
1104
1086
-2%
1005
-9%
1081
-2%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.12
4.3
-4%
4.13
-0%
3.99
3%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
19.66
7.3
63%
7.32
63%
6.11
69%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
3.78
2.29
39%
2.93
22%
3.02
20%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.2
4.3
-34%
3.3
-3%
3.3
-3%
Gamma
2.179 101%
2.084 106%
2.17 101%
2.25 98%
CCT
6754 96%
7434 87%
7157 91%
7047 92%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
41
66
61%
59.5
45%
58.1
42%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
59
92
56%
91.6
55%
89.7
52%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
39% / 24%
34% / 22%
36% / 22%

* ... smaller is better

Our measurements show that the MSI Alpha 17's display has a good contrast ratio of 1,104:1 and a relatively low black level of 0.23 cd/m². As a result, colors are well separated from each other, and black image content is only covered by a slight gray haze. However, color-space coverage is poor at 59% (sRGB) and 41% (AdobeRGB), respectively.

The CalMAN analysis shows that the display already has a fairly small deviation in color reproduction out of the box. However, this can still be improved with calibration. The corresponding ICC file can be downloaded in the upper right window, next to the display's  brightness distribution graph.

CalMAN: Grayscales
CalMAN: Grayscales
CalMAN: Color saturation
CalMAN: Color saturation
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: Grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN: Color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: Color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
MSI Alpha 17 in outdoor use
MSI Alpha 17 in outdoor use
MSI Alpha 17 in outdoor use
MSI Alpha 17 in outdoor use

Outdoors, the MSI Alpha 17 can be used well in places in the shade. The screen surface is matte, but there are still very slight reflections from objects in the environment.

MSI Alpha 17 vs. sRGB (59%)
MSI Alpha 17 vs. sRGB (59%)
Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid
MSI Alpha 17 vs. AdobeRGB (41%)
MSI Alpha 17 vs. AdobeRGB (41%)

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
29.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 15.6 ms rise
↘ 13.6 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 70 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
40 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19.6 ms rise
↘ 20.4 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 636 (maximum) ms. » 46 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (38.6 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 not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9700 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The IPS panel of the Alpha 17 is very viewing-angle stable. Image content can be read from almost any angle without it becoming distorted or displayed with the wrong colors.

Viewing-angle stability
Viewing-angle stability

Performance - Gaming laptop with Ryzen 7 and RX 5600M

MSI's Alpha 17 is aimed at price-conscious gamers who are looking for a gaming laptop with the largest possible screen. The installed hardware can display modern games smoothly at high frame rates, but it might be necessary to reduce the resolution in very demanding titles.

MSI Alpha 17 - CPUz
MSI Alpha 17 - CPUz
MSI Alpha 17 - CPUz
MSI Alpha 17 - CPUz
MSI Alpha 17 - GPUz
MSI Alpha 17 - HWiNFO

Processor

The MSI Alpha 17 is powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H. This processor has eight cores and can process up to 16 threads simultaneously at clock rates between 2.9 and 4.2 GHz. Performance depends on the cooling solution and the TDP setting. MSI fully exploits the latter with a PL1 of 54 watts, but up to 65 watts is possible for a short time.

Our Cinebench R15 endurance test also shows that the initially very high multi-core score outperforms our chosen competition. Afterwards, the result drops moderately down to the value of the Eluktronics RP-17, which is also equipped with a Ryzen 7 4800H, and experiences another significant drop shortly before the end of the test. Compared with the Dell G5 15 SE, however, the MSI Alpha 17 can maintain its performance better.

In the individual tests, the Intel competitor that we chose, the Core i7-10750H in the Schenker XMG Core 17, shows a significantly stronger single-core performance. In return, the Ryzen 7 4800H used here can prevail in the multi-core disciplines.

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MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK AMD Ryzen 7 4800H: Ø1926 (1876.79-1982.55)
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake Intel Core i7-10750H: Ø1200 (1187.65-1299.17)
Eluktronics RP-17 AMD Ryzen 7 4800H: Ø1923 (1913.23-1932.18)
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F AMD Ryzen 7 4800H: Ø1845 (1564.03-1971.71)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Core i7-10750H
209 Points ∼100% +10%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
190 Points ∼91%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
188 Points ∼90% -1%
Average AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  (186 - 191, n=15)
188 Points ∼90% -1%
Eluktronics RP-17
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
187 Points ∼89% -2%
Average of class Gaming
  (77 - 238, n=654)
164 Points ∼78% -14%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
1983 (1876.79min - 1982.55max) Points ∼100%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
1972 (1142.92min - 1972max) Points ∼99% -1%
Eluktronics RP-17
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
1932 (1913.23min - 1932.18max) Points ∼97% -3%
Average AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  (1674 - 1995, n=19)
1870 Points ∼94% -6%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Core i7-10750H
1299 (1187.65min - 1299max) Points ∼66% -34%
Average of class Gaming
  (196 - 2804, n=662)
961 Points ∼48% -52%
Blender 2.79 - BMW27 CPU
Average of class Gaming
  (179 - 901, n=119)
368 Seconds * ∼100% -45%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Core i7-10750H
358 Seconds * ∼97% -41%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
276 Seconds * ∼75% -9%
Average AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  (248 - 299, n=13)
264 Seconds * ∼72% -4%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
254 Seconds * ∼69%
Eluktronics RP-17
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
248 Seconds * ∼67% +2%
7-Zip 18.03
7z b 4
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
52364 MIPS ∼100%
Eluktronics RP-17
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
50428 MIPS ∼96% -4%
Average AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  (44827 - 53883, n=13)
49823 MIPS ∼95% -5%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
49685 MIPS ∼95% -5%
Average of class Gaming
  (3034 - 75612, n=120)
38885 MIPS ∼74% -26%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Core i7-10750H
36771 MIPS ∼70% -30%
7z b 4 -mmt1
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Core i7-10750H
5438 MIPS ∼100% +16%
Average of class Gaming
  (2480 - 5811, n=120)
4999 MIPS ∼92% +7%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
4686 MIPS ∼86%
Average AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  (4575 - 4743, n=13)
4670 MIPS ∼86% 0%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
4666 MIPS ∼86% 0%
Eluktronics RP-17
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
4634 MIPS ∼85% -1%
Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Core i7-10750H
491 Points ∼100% +1%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
485 Points ∼99%
Eluktronics RP-17
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
484 Points ∼99% 0%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
482 Points ∼98% -1%
Average AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  (462 - 491, n=15)
481 Points ∼98% -1%
Average of class Gaming
  (312 - 577, n=167)
461 Points ∼94% -5%
CPU (Multi Core)
Eluktronics RP-17
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
4552 Points ∼100% +1%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
4497 Points ∼99%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
4396 Points ∼97% -2%
Average AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  (3839 - 4663, n=16)
4315 Points ∼95% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (1397 - 6321, n=168)
3150 Points ∼69% -30%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Core i7-10750H
2968 Points ∼65% -34%
Geekbench 5.3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
8047 Points ∼100%
Eluktronics RP-17
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
7864 Points ∼98% -2%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
7775 Points ∼97% -3%
Average AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  (5920 - 8672, n=14)
7675 Points ∼95% -5%
Average of class Gaming
  (2783 - 11393, n=103)
6778 Points ∼84% -16%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Core i7-10750H
6394 Points ∼79% -21%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Core i7-10750H
1333 Points ∼100% +11%
Average of class Gaming
  (703 - 1487, n=103)
1249 Points ∼94% +4%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
1201 Points ∼90%
Average AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  (1154 - 1207, n=14)
1188 Points ∼89% -1%
Eluktronics RP-17
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
1176 Points ∼88% -2%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
1158 Points ∼87% -4%
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2 - 4k Preset
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
13.3 fps ∼100%
Eluktronics RP-17
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
13.1 fps ∼98% -2%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
12.6 fps ∼95% -5%
Average AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  (10.8 - 14.1, n=13)
12.6 fps ∼95% -5%
Average of class Gaming
  (1.7 - 19.8, n=119)
10.7 fps ∼80% -20%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Core i7-10750H
10.2 fps ∼77% -23%
LibreOffice - 20 Documents To PDF
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
69.1 s * ∼100% -17%
Average AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  (28.6 - 95.8, n=13)
64.9 s * ∼94% -10%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
59.2 s * ∼86%
Eluktronics RP-17
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
57.7 s * ∼84% +3%
Average of class Gaming
  (23.9 - 98.2, n=95)
56 s * ∼81% +5%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Core i7-10750H
54.1 s * ∼78% +9%
R Benchmark 2.5 - Overall mean
Average of class Gaming
  (0.507 - 1.088, n=100)
0.604 sec * ∼100% -5%
Eluktronics RP-17
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
0.582 sec * ∼96% -1%
Average AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  (0.568 - 0.603, n=13)
0.581 sec * ∼96% -1%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Core i7-10750H
0.578 sec * ∼96% -1%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
0.574 sec * ∼95%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
0.569 sec * ∼94% +1%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1983 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
125 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
190 Points
Help

System performance

In the PCMark 10 test for system performance, the MSI Alpha 17 shows a slightly below-average result. While the result of the individual discipline "Digital Content Creation" ensures the first place in our test field, the scores of the remaining individual tests are only enough for the penultimate place. The system always runs smoothly in everyday use and doesn't experience any micro stuttering or the like.

The performance of other laptops in comparison can be seen in our CPU Benchmarks article.

PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
Radeon RX 5600M, R7 4800H, Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB
8632 Points ∼100%
Average AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, AMD Radeon RX 5600M
  (8197 - 8632, n=2)
8415 Points ∼97% -3%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
Radeon RX 5600M, R7 4800H, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
8197 Points ∼95% -5%
Eluktronics RP-17
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, R7 4800H, Phison PS5013 PRO-X-1TB-G2R NVMe SSD
6681 Points ∼77% -23%
Average of class Gaming
  (1764 - 11829, n=327)
6575 Points ∼76% -24%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile, i7-10750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
5504 Points ∼64% -36%
Productivity
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile, i7-10750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
7557 Points ∼100% +3%
Average of class Gaming
  (4175 - 9390, n=328)
7410 Points ∼98% +1%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
Radeon RX 5600M, R7 4800H, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
7319 Points ∼97% 0%
Average AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, AMD Radeon RX 5600M
  (7318 - 7319, n=2)
7319 Points ∼97% 0%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
Radeon RX 5600M, R7 4800H, Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB
7318 Points ∼97%
Eluktronics RP-17
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, R7 4800H, Phison PS5013 PRO-X-1TB-G2R NVMe SSD
7221 Points ∼96% -1%
Essentials
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
Radeon RX 5600M, R7 4800H, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
9461 Points ∼100% +7%
Average AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, AMD Radeon RX 5600M
  (8873 - 9461, n=2)
9167 Points ∼97% +3%
Eluktronics RP-17
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, R7 4800H, Phison PS5013 PRO-X-1TB-G2R NVMe SSD
9125 Points ∼96% +3%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile, i7-10750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
9096 Points ∼96% +3%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
Radeon RX 5600M, R7 4800H, Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB
8873 Points ∼94%
Average of class Gaming
  (4892 - 11266, n=329)
8829 Points ∼93% 0%
Score
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
Radeon RX 5600M, R7 4800H, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
5936 Points ∼100% 0%
Average AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, AMD Radeon RX 5600M
  (5911 - 5936, n=2)
5924 Points ∼100% 0%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
Radeon RX 5600M, R7 4800H, Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB
5911 Points ∼100%
Eluktronics RP-17
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, R7 4800H, Phison PS5013 PRO-X-1TB-G2R NVMe SSD
5454 Points ∼92% -8%
Average of class Gaming
  (2603 - 7511, n=332)
5394 Points ∼91% -9%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile, i7-10750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
5185 Points ∼87% -12%
PCMark 10 Score
5911 points
Help

DPC latencies

In our test with LatencyMon, the MSI Alpha 17 reveals rather high interruption times. Therefore, it's not suitable for real-time applications.

LatencyMon - Statistics
LatencyMon - Statistics
LatencyMon - Drivers
LatencyMon - Drivers
DPC Latencies / LatencyMon - interrupt to process latency (max), Web, Youtube, Prime95
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
Radeon RX 5600M, R7 4800H, Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB
8655.1 μs * ∼100%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
Radeon RX 5600M, R7 4800H, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
2216 μs * ∼26% +74%
Eluktronics RP-17
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, R7 4800H, Phison PS5013 PRO-X-1TB-G2R NVMe SSD
1120.3 μs * ∼13% +87%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile, i7-10750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
1000 μs * ∼12% +88%

* ... smaller is better

Storage

The SSD installed in the MSI Alpha 17 achieves solid write and read rates, but these are surpassed by the other devices in our test field. The results achieved by other mass storage devices can be found in our HDD/SSD Benchmarks article.

MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
Eluktronics RP-17
Phison PS5013 PRO-X-1TB-G2R NVMe SSD
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
Average Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
96%
44%
14%
4%
Write 4K
204.7
169.5
-17%
226.1
10%
142.1
-31%
212 (205 - 220, n=2)
4%
Read 4K
50.42
51.47
2%
54.74
9%
46.43
-8%
50.3 (50.2 - 50.4, n=2)
0%
Write Seq
985
3009
205%
1868
90%
1108
12%
982 (979 - 985, n=2)
0%
Read Seq
1193
2959
148%
1648
38%
1622
36%
1592 (1193 - 1990, n=2)
33%
Write 4K Q32T1
537.4
536.3
0%
429.9
-20%
467
-13%
527 (516 - 537, n=2)
-2%
Read 4K Q32T1
300
621.1
107%
521.2
74%
524.5
75%
299 (298 - 300, n=2)
0%
Write Seq Q32T1
982.1
3339
240%
2248
129%
1203
22%
982 (982 - 982, n=2)
0%
Read Seq Q32T1
1985
3561
79%
2484
25%
2288
15%
1946 (1907 - 1985, n=2)
-2%
AS SSD
216%
89%
28%
31%
Score Total
1994
5873
195%
4112
106%
2536
27%
2069 (1994 - 2143, n=2)
4%
Score Write
1114
2771
149%
2194
97%
973
-13%
1108 (1101 - 1114, n=2)
-1%
Score Read
545
2054
277%
1262
132%
1034
90%
623 (545 - 701, n=2)
14%
Access Time Write *
0.022
0.028
-27%
0.102
-364%
0.095
-332%
0.021 (0.02 - 0.022, n=2)
5%
Access Time Read *
0.09
0.037
59%
0.04
56%
0.098
-9%
0.0885 (0.087 - 0.09, n=2)
2%
4K-64 Write
923.83
2354.78
155%
1841.37
99%
721.31
-22%
885 (845 - 924, n=2)
-4%
4K-64 Read
461.43
1709.93
271%
1042.88
126%
853.7
85%
467 (461 - 472, n=2)
1%
4K Write
98.03
130.55
33%
182.93
87%
127.96
31%
131 (98 - 165, n=2)
34%
4K Read
58.19
50.26
-14%
50.04
-14%
41.32
-29%
59.2 (58.2 - 60.2, n=2)
2%
Seq Write
924.59
2858.32
209%
1694.54
83%
1233.57
33%
914 (904 - 925, n=2)
-1%
Seq Read
251.95
2936.65
1066%
1688.73
570%
1386.48
450%
967 (252 - 1682, n=2)
284%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
156% / 165%
67% / 70%
21% / 22%
18% / 20%

* ... smaller is better

Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 1985 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 982.1 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 300 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 537.4 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1193 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 985 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 50.42 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 204.7 MB/s

Continuous load read: DiskSpd Read Loop, Queue Depth 8

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: Ø1982 (1830.6-1987.48)

Graphics card

The graphics card used here is an AMD Radeon RX 5600M with 6 GB of video memory. It belongs to the mid-range and is suitable for demanding graphics applications. However, the results in the 3DMark tests are slightly below average. For example, the Dell G5 15 can rank much higher in our test field with this GPU. In 3DMark, the Eluktronics RP-17 with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile is just above the MSI Alpha 17.

Our GPU Benchmarks article shows the performance that other graphics cards were able to achieve in our tests.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Radeon RX 5600M, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
25706 Points ∼100% +13%
Average AMD Radeon RX 5600M
  (22720 - 25706, n=2)
24213 Points ∼94% +7%
Eluktronics RP-17
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
23409 Points ∼91% +3%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Radeon RX 5600M, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
22720 Points ∼88%
Average of class Gaming
  (513 - 50983, n=742)
15170 Points ∼59% -33%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile, Intel Core i7-10750H
13256 Points ∼52% -42%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Eluktronics RP-17
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
6374 Points ∼100% +15%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Radeon RX 5600M, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
6312 Points ∼99% +14%
Average of class Gaming
  (368 - 13013, n=288)
6205 Points ∼97% +12%
Average AMD Radeon RX 5600M
  (5555 - 6312, n=2)
5934 Points ∼93% +7%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Radeon RX 5600M, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
5555 Points ∼87%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile, Intel Core i7-10750H
3554 Points ∼56% -36%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Radeon RX 5600M, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
18807 Points ∼100% +14%
Average AMD Radeon RX 5600M
  (16498 - 18807, n=2)
17653 Points ∼94% +7%
Eluktronics RP-17
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
16694 Points ∼89% +1%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Radeon RX 5600M, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
16498 Points ∼88%
Average of class Gaming
  (385 - 40636, n=673)
12640 Points ∼67% -23%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile, Intel Core i7-10750H
9818 Points ∼52% -40%
3DMark 11 Performance
19927 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
14806 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
5931 points
Help

Gaming performance

The AMD Radeon RX 5600M can run most modern games smoothly in Full HD and with high detail levels. In the games that we tested, the detail levels only had to be reduced a bit in very demanding games. However, frame rates around 30 fps were always possible. Nevertheless, users who want to play on an external 4K screen will have to be prepared for higher reductions depending on the game.

The performance that can be expected from the AMD Radeon RX 5600M in other games can be found in our GPU Games article.

The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, AMD Radeon RX 5600M
66.1 (62min - 70max) fps ∼100% +8%
Average AMD Radeon RX 5600M
  (61 - 66.1, n=2)
63.6 fps ∼96% +4%
Eluktronics RP-17
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile
62.1 (56min - 70max) fps ∼94% +2%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, AMD Radeon RX 5600M
61 (50min) fps ∼92%
Average of class Gaming
  (12.6 - 115, n=442)
55.5 fps ∼84% -9%
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Core i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile
42.3 fps ∼64% -31%
Dota 2 Reborn - 1920x1080 ultra (3/3) best looking
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Core i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile
112 (99min) fps ∼100% +7%
Average of class Gaming
  (14 - 156, n=109)
109 fps ∼97% +4%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, AMD Radeon RX 5600M
105 (93.1min) fps ∼94%
Average AMD Radeon RX 5600M
  (102 - 105, n=2)
104 fps ∼93% -1%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, AMD Radeon RX 5600M
102 (88.8min) fps ∼91% -3%
Eluktronics RP-17
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile
101 (89.1min) fps ∼90% -4%
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark - 1920x1080 High Quality
Eluktronics RP-17
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile
66.1 fps ∼100% +29%
Average of class Gaming
  (11.8 - 109, n=66)
59.7 fps ∼90% +17%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, AMD Radeon RX 5600M
51.1 fps ∼77%
Average AMD Radeon RX 5600M
 
51.1 fps ∼77% 0%
X-Plane 11.11 - 1920x1080 high (fps_test=3)
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
Intel Core i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile
75.7 fps ∼100% +127%
Average of class Gaming
  (17.2 - 103, n=112)
71.2 fps ∼94% +114%
Eluktronics RP-17
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile
68.8 fps ∼91% +107%
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, AMD Radeon RX 5600M
33.7 fps ∼45% +1%
Average AMD Radeon RX 5600M
  (33.3 - 33.7, n=2)
33.5 fps ∼44% +1%
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, AMD Radeon RX 5600M
33.3 fps ∼44%

Our The Witcher 3 endurance test shows that although the fps drop slowly over time, they still decline a bit. Therefore, users have to expect a slight drop in frame rates during very long gaming sessions.

051015202530354045505560657075Tooltip
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK Radeon RX 5600M, R7 4800H, Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB: Ø60.3 (57-67)
low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 61 fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 123 119 108 105 fps
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark (2018) 129 78 51.1 fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 49.8 37.1 33.3 fps

Emissions - MSI Alpha 17 with strong speakers

Noise emissions

Noise
Noise

According to our measurements, the MSI Alpha 17 can get very loud at up to 54 dB(A). However, it's very quiet or even inaudible in daily use, especially during office and Internet tasks. In gaming mode, the volume depends on the selected fan profile. Depending on the game and the desired frame rate, moderate noise level is also possible here.

Apart from the fan noise, a constant coil whine could be heard from the included power adapter in our test device, but it's only audible in very quiet environments.

Noise Level

Idle
31 / 32 / 33 dB(A)
Load
38 / 54 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Earthworks M23R, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 25 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2049.145.247.439.944.42538.939.840.239.140.2315047.949.142.647.24033.932.534.428.235.35041.939.738.937.632.96331.228.232.727.840.9802726.5281831.710023.823.22418.126.6125282626.319.427.916032.230.130.123.127.620029.627.327.226.128.825026.125.625.923.830.131527.124.725.117.740.640023.918.219.313.835.750025.619.118.912.936.763026.220.220.112.239.880023.817.418.211.237.3100026.920.420.911.240.2125032.224.224.311.244.1160027.819.520.111.44420002518.518.711.444.8250023.917.918.21246.6315022.316.416.812.942.4400021.81717.512.340.5500019.816.416.612.640.3630015.913.91412.937.4800014.713.213.312.93510000141313.112.731.61250014.112.812.912.627.61600013.512.112.611.822SPL37.831.431.625.554.1N2.61.61.60.78.9median 23.9median 18.5median 18.9median 12.7median 37.3Delta3.94.243.15.9hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseMSI Alpha 17 A4DEK

Temperature

The surfaces of the MSI Alpha 17 heat up to 46 °C (~115 °F) in gaming mode. The warmest point is at the rear left corner of the bottom, and the gaming laptop should no longer be placed on the lap by then, for example. The palm rests only heat up moderately, but they still feel warm to the touch at a maximum of 36 °C (~97 °F).

The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3
Stress test
Stress test
Full load top
Full load top
Full load bottom
Full load bottom

During our approximately one-hour endurance stress test, the temperatures inside the MSI Alpha 17 rise up to 94 °C (~201 °F). The PL2 of 65 watts is also reached in the process, whereby the average power consumption corresponds to the PL1 of 45 watts. In addition, the cooling system can keep the temperatures at 87 °C (~189 °F) on average and the clock rates at around 3.1 GHz. Consequently, users don't have to expect a drop in system performance due to excessive temperatures even during heavy use.

Max. Load
 44 °C
111 F
44 °C
111 F
44 °C
111 F
 
 43 °C
109 F
44 °C
111 F
43 °C
109 F
 
 35 °C
95 F
36 °C
97 F
36 °C
97 F
 
Maximum: 44 °C = 111 F
Average: 41 °C = 106 F
43 °C
109 F
40 °C
104 F
41 °C
106 F
39 °C
102 F
42 °C
108 F
41 °C
106 F
35 °C
95 F
38 °C
100 F
34 °C
93 F
Maximum: 43 °C = 109 F
Average: 39.2 °C = 103 F
Power Supply (max.)  48 °C = 118 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Fluke t3000FC (calibrated), Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 41 °C / 106 F, compared to the average of 33.4 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 44 °C / 111 F, compared to the average of 39.9 °C / 104 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 43 °C / 109 F, compared to the average of 42.7 °C / 109 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 23.8 °C / 75 F, compared to the device average of 33.4 °C / 92 F.
(-) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 39.4 °C / 103 F, compared to the device average of 33.4 °C / 92 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 28.8 °C / 83.8 F (-9.2 °C / -16.6 F).

Speakers

Speakers
Speakers

The speakers of the MSI Alpha 17 offer a relatively high volume and a wide sound spectrum. This makes them well suited for playing media content. However, headphones are still recommended depending on the selected fan profile.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2039.9542539.147.93142.651.64028.237.35037.644.56327.839.2801842.210018.154.612519.461.516023.163.520026.164.125023.867.231517.76540013.86650012.976.163012.276.980011.277.8100011.277.3125011.272160011.475.8200011.477.525001278.6315012.979.4400012.377.9500012.674.7630012.971.5800012.976.21000012.776.71250012.671.11600011.865.1SPL25.588.6N0.782.3median 12.7median 74.7Delta3.15.535.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseMSI Alpha 17 A4DEKApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (89 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 12.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.1% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.6% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 3% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 96% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Energy management - Good battery life in office use

Energy consumption

According to our measurements, the MSI Alpha 17 shows a maximum power consumption of up to 222 watts. While this is the highest value in our test field, the average power consumption is at a comparatively low level both in idle usage as well as under load.

The included power adapter offers an output of 230 watts and has, therefore, a high enough capacity to ensure a reliable power supply.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.6 / 0.9 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 9 / 12 / 18 Watt
Load midlight 76 / 222 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
R7 4800H, Radeon RX 5600M
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
i7-10750H, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile
Eluktronics RP-17
R7 4800H, GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
R7 4800H, Radeon RX 5600M
Average AMD Radeon RX 5600M
 
Average of class Gaming
 
Power Consumption
-12%
-59%
13%
9%
-58%
Idle Minimum *
9
12
-33%
20.2
-124%
6.5
28%
7.75 (6.5 - 9, n=2)
14%
18.6 (1.9 - 113, n=814)
-107%
Idle Average *
12
15
-25%
24.5
-104%
10.6
12%
11.3 (10.6 - 12, n=2)
6%
24 (6 - 119, n=814)
-100%
Idle Maximum *
18
24
-33%
28.7
-59%
11
39%
14.5 (11 - 18, n=2)
19%
29.7 (8.3 - 122, n=814)
-65%
Load Average *
76
105
-38%
110.4
-45%
84.1
-11%
80.1 (76 - 84.1, n=2)
-5%
104 (14.1 - 319, n=806)
-37%
Witcher 3 ultra *
136
93
32%
166.3
-22%
152.9
-12%
Load Maximum *
222
168
24%
217.4
2%
180.4
19%
201 (180 - 222, n=2)
9%
178 (21.9 - 590, n=805)
20%

* ... smaller is better

Battery life

In our practical WLAN test, MSI's gaming laptop achieves a runtime of 7:18 hours. The "Balanced" performance profile was used for this, leading to a good utilization of the 65 Wh battery.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
10h 29min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
7h 18min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 31min
MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK
R7 4800H, Radeon RX 5600M, 65 Wh
Schenker XMG Core 17 Comet Lake
i7-10750H, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile, 62.3 Wh
Eluktronics RP-17
R7 4800H, GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, 62 Wh
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
R7 4800H, Radeon RX 5600M, 51 Wh
Average of class Gaming
 
Battery Runtime
-30%
-33%
-4%
-30%
Reader / Idle
629
671
7%
370 (39 - 1399, n=753)
-41%
WiFi v1.3
438
306
-30%
263
-40%
372
-15%
275 (62 - 683, n=481)
-37%
Load
91
68
-25%
87
-4%
80.2 (18 - 243, n=723)
-12%

Pros

+ good input devices
+ large 144 Hz display
+ long battery life in office mode
+ room for a second SSD
+ good speakers

Cons

- moderate color-space coverage

Verdict - The price is adequate for what you get

In review: MSI Alpha 17. Test device provided by MSI Germany
In review: MSI Alpha 17. Test device provided by MSI Germany

The MSI Alpha 17 is predominantly big. However, the good battery life in office or WLAN mode makes it suitable for work on the road as long as the dimensions don't get in the way of its transportation and you don't use the device outdoors (poor display brightness). Naturally, the power adapter has to be connected when gaming in order to fully utilize the power of the CPU and GPU. The Alpha 17 shows good performance here, but it's not quite sufficient for very demanding games. These can be run smoothly, but depending on the title, reducing the detail levels is necessary.

For a good price, buyers of the MSI Alpha 17 get a large 144 Hz screen and enough performance for extensive mid-range gaming.

All the other components in this gaming laptop reliably fulfill their purpose. The input devices are well suited for gaming, and the screen is also impressive with its 144 Hz refresh rate. We would've only wished for better color-space coverage here so as to achieve more vivid colors. But the contrast and response times are fine for a laptop.

Price and availability

Our test configuration of the MSI Alpha 17 can currently be found with a 1 TB SSD on Amazon ($1,449) and on newegg ($1,478).

MSI Alpha 17 A4DEK - 02/03/2021 v7
Mike Wobker

Chassis
77 / 98 → 79%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
62 / 80 → 78%
Weight
59 / 10-66 → 88%
Battery
76 / 95 → 80%
Display
81%
Games Performance
90%
Application Performance
91%
Temperature
87 / 95 → 91%
Noise
72 / 90 → 80%
Audio
88%
Camera
34 / 85 → 40%
Average
76%
83%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI Alpha 17 gaming laptop in review: With a Ryzen 7 and Radeon RX 5600M
Mike Wobker, 2021-02- 4 (Update: 2021-02- 4)
Mike Wobker
Editor of the original article: Mike Wobker - Editor
I made my first IT walking attempts on a 386 with 4 MB of RAM. After that followed various PCs and notebooks, which I looked after and repaired in my circle of friends and acquaintances. After an apprenticeship as a telecommunications systems engineer and several years of professional experience, I graduated with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering. Today I live out my fascination for IT, technology and mobile devices by writing test reports. In my free time I like to devote myself to vegan cooking and spend time with my family, which includes a whole range of animal roommates.