Notebookcheck

MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS Laptop Review: Visually subdued, acoustically conspicuous

Extreme makeover. While the GS65 had some difficulties against the competitors in many regards, MSI presents a completely updated successor with the GS66. Find out in our detailed review what has changed for the better.
Florian Glaser, 👁 Florian Glaser, Andrea Grüblinger (translated by Mark Riege),
MSI GS66 Stealth

In order to attract as many buyers as possible, MSI offers the GS66 Stealth in several configuration variants. The processor is either a hexa-core or an octa-core model from Intel's current Comet Lake generation. In contrast to the Core i9-10980HK, the Core i7-10750H has to make do without an open multiplier.

Corresponding to the high-end CPU, there is also a high-end GPU on board. Besides the GeForce RTX 2060, the GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q and the GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q are also available. The whole package is rounded by 16 to 32 GB DDR4-RAM (always dual channel) and a 1 to 2 TB M.2 SSD. The images are displayed by a matte Full HD panel with 240 or 300 Hz.

For our test configuration with the label 10SFS and equipped with the Core i9-10980HK, the GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, 16 GB of RAM, and a 1-TB SSD, you have to pay about 2850 Euros (~$3133), which is fairly expensive for laptop with a 2070.

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MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS (GS66 Series)
Processor
Intel Core i9-10980HK 8 x 2.4 - 5.3 GHz, Comet Lake-H
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q - 8192 MB, Core: 930 MHz, Memory: 1375 MHz, GDDR6, ForceWare 445.87, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, 2x 8 GB SO-DIMM DDR4-2666, dual channel, all slots occupied, max. 64 GB
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, AUO B156HAN12.0 (AUO328E), IPS, Full-HD, glossy: no, 300 Hz
Mainboard
Intel HM470
Storage
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR, 1024 GB 
, NVMe, slots: 2x M.2 Type 2280
Soundcard
Realtek ALC298 @ Intel Comet Point PCH - cAVS
Connections
5 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio port
Networking
Killer E3100G 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650i 160MHz Wireless Network Adapter (201NGW) (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): 20 x 358 x 248 ( = 0.79 x 14.09 x 9.76 in)
Battery
99.99 Wh, 6578 mAh Lithium-Polymer, 4 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD (720p)
Additional features
Speakers: 2.0 Dynaudio, Keyboard: chiclet RGB SteelSeries, Keyboard Light: yes, 230 Watt power supply, quick start guide, Dragon Center, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.167 kg ( = 76.44 oz / 4.78 pounds), Power Supply: 732 g ( = 25.82 oz / 1.61 pounds)
Price
2849 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

The competitors of the GS66 Stealth include other 15-inch slim gaming notebooks with a similar graphics performance such as the Acer Predator Triton 500, the Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic, the HP Omen X 2S, and the Schenker XMG Neo 15. Those notebooks are listed as the comparison devices in the charts below.

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Best Price
83 %
05/2020
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
i9-10980HK, GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
2.2 kg20 mm15.6"1920x1080
84 %
08/2019
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
2.1 kg18 mm15.6"1920x1080
84 %
05/2019
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
2.1 kg19 mm15.6"1920x1080
82 %
09/2019
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
2.4 kg19.8 mm15.6"1920x1080
83 %
11/2019
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
2.1 kg22 mm15.6"1920x1080

Case

Looking at the case, you can really see that MSI took the complaints about the predecessor to heart. Where we still complained about the mediocre resistance to warping in the GS65, the GS66 is now among the most robust representatives of the thin and light category. The case only shows some slight give in response to more forceful pressure.

The fact that due to the more robust material, the thickness has increased from 1.8 to 2.0 cm (0.7 to 0.8 in) and the weight from 1.9 to 2.1 kg (~4.2 lb to 4.6 lb), is completely understandable in our opinion. However, there is some slight room for improvement for MSI in terms of the workmanship, which turns out slightly weaker compared to most competitors, and the transitions between some elements are not quite clean. 

But from a pure quality stand point, there is no reason for complaint. The metal surfaces of the lid and base unit offer a high-quality impression, even though - also due to their dark color - they quickly tend to look messy (keyword: fingerprints). A singular characteristic of the case is the abundant opening angle: we hardly ever see 180° in a gaming notebook. MSI also deserves some praise for the simple design, which doesn't immediately make you think about a gaming platform and strikes a good figure in any situation.

Size Comparison

362.2 mm / 14.3 inch 261.6 mm / 10.3 inch 19.8 mm / 0.78 inch 2.4 kg5.25 lbs359 mm / 14.1 inch 243 mm / 9.57 inch 22 mm / 0.866 inch 2.1 kg4.53 lbs358 mm / 14.1 inch 248 mm / 9.76 inch 20 mm / 0.787 inch 2.2 kg4.78 lbs359 mm / 14.1 inch 255 mm / 10 inch 18 mm / 0.709 inch 2.1 kg4.73 lbs356 mm / 14 inch 250 mm / 9.84 inch 19 mm / 0.748 inch 2.1 kg4.68 lbs

Equipment

Connections

As it should be for a current high-end notebook, the GS66 includes a Thunderbolt 3 port. This is accompanied by a "regular" USB Type-C port and three classic USB Type-A ports. While other manufacturers still use the USB-3.0 technology, MSI only uses USB 3.1 Gen2, which deserves some respect. In addition, there is an HDMI-2.0 port, an audio port, and – despite the slim build – a RJ45 LAN port. However, buyers have to make do without a card reader or a Kensington Lock.

We would call the positioning of the connections mediocre. Since the back half of the case is reserved for the fan vents and the connections are correspondingly placed towards the front, you can run into some space problems and cable collisions when using an external mouse.

Left side: power, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, USB-A 3.1 Gen2
Left side: power, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, USB-A 3.1 Gen2
Right side: 3.5 mm audio port, USB-C 3.1 Gen2, 2x USB-A 3.1 Gen2, RJ45-LAN
Right side: 3.5 mm audio port, USB-C 3.1 Gen2, 2x USB-A 3.1 Gen2, RJ45-LAN

Communication

MSI does not make any compromises in terms of the communication. While the 2.5-Gbit Killer E3100G controller handles the wired communication, the Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650i WLAN adapter, which brings all the features that you could expect from a gaming notebook in 2020, is responsible for wireless communication. Since we recently updated our router (Netgear Nighthawk AX12 instead of Linksys EA8500), the results in our WLAN test, which at more than 1300 Mb/s all turn our first-rate, are only comparable with those from the Schenker XMG Neo 15, which was also measured at a 1-meter (~3 ft.) distance.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
1360 MBit/s ∼100% +3%
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650i 160MHz Wireless Network Adapter (201NGW)
1320 MBit/s ∼97%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
696 MBit/s ∼51% -47%
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650x Wireless Network Adapter (200NGW)
694 MBit/s ∼51% -47%
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
688 MBit/s ∼51% -48%
Average of class Gaming
  (141 - 1670, n=323)
686 MBit/s ∼50% -48%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650i 160MHz Wireless Network Adapter (201NGW)
1330 MBit/s ∼100%
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
1140 MBit/s ∼86% -14%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
678 MBit/s ∼51% -49%
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
654 MBit/s ∼49% -51%
Average of class Gaming
  (144 - 1645, n=323)
639 MBit/s ∼48% -52%
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650x Wireless Network Adapter (200NGW)
554 MBit/s ∼42% -58%

Webcam

ColorChecker
13.3 ∆E
15.2 ∆E
18.1 ∆E
15 ∆E
18.5 ∆E
17.1 ∆E
12.8 ∆E
22.6 ∆E
17.4 ∆E
14.1 ∆E
13.7 ∆E
12.9 ∆E
14.2 ∆E
12.6 ∆E
21.2 ∆E
8.5 ∆E
18.8 ∆E
19.9 ∆E
1.2 ∆E
12.7 ∆E
13.7 ∆E
12.6 ∆E
8.4 ∆E
6.3 ∆E
ColorChecker MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS: 14.2 ∆E min: 1.18 - max: 22.63 ∆E

Accessories

In terms of accessories, MSI only includes a few info booklets (quick start guide, etc.) with the notebook. The size and power of the power supply depend on the graphics card used. Starting from the RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, a 230-Watt model is used (180 Watt @RTX 2060).

Maintenance

In addition to the stability of the case, the maintenance options have also improved significantly. Where in the GS65 only the fans, the Wi-Fi chip, and the battery were accessible, in the GS66 you can now also access the storage slots (2x M.2), the RAM slots (2x SO-DIMM), and the cooling system. The latter consists of one fan for the CPU and two fans for the GPU, with some heat pipes going across both components, so the cooling is not completely separated.

However, in order to remove the bottom of the case, a certain amount of skill and force is necessary. After you have removed 9 Philips screws from the bottom of the case, you have to pry it off its moorings with a fine tool such as a spatula, which might deter some non-professionals.

MSI GS66 Stealth
MSI GS66 Stealth
MSI GS66 Stealth
MSI GS66 Stealth
MSI GS66 Stealth
MSI GS66 Stealth

Input Devices

Keyboard

The keyboard produced some mixed feelings in the tester. As we know from MSI, the layout does not follow the German standard, but was optimized for gaming. For example, the "<>|" key is in an unusual place. The fact that Insert and Delete share a key is also less than optimal. It is also questionable that compared to the predecessor, the space key was moved slightly to the right, which leads to uncomfortably small and connected Fn and Ctrl keys (see pictures). These peculiarities require quite some time to get used to. 

On the other hand, we liked the typing experience, where a comfortable pressure is combined with sufficient feedback. Since the keyboard and touchpad are not very quiet while inputting, the GS66 is only suited to a limited extent for quiet surroundings such as libraries. The greatest highlights of the keyboard include the multi-step RGB illumination. However, it could have been a tad brighter for our taste. Those who don't like a light show (various modes are available) can simply choose a color. 

Chiclet keyboard ...
Chiclet keyboard ...
... with RGB illumination
... with RGB illumination

Touchpad

With the touchpad, MSI also stands out from the crowd. A width of 14 cm (~5.5 in) is extremely generous for a 15-inch device. This allows also longer traces across the display to succeed without having to re-position the finger. In terms of its height, the mouse replacement only measures 6.5 cm (~2.6 in), which is a bit meager. Since the touchpad offers a decent stability and accepts inputs relatively accurately (except for the edge areas), the lack of the dedicated mouse keys is not too grave. There was also nothing too conspicuous in terms of the multi-touch support. 2-finger gestures such as zooming and scrolling were mostly recognized reliably during the test.

Display

After 144-Hz panels have dominated in gaming notebooks in 2019, the year 2020 is reigned by 240 and 300-Hz technology. Even though subjectively, these new frequency jumps are becoming less and less noticeable (the change from a 60-Hz to a 144-Hz display has a much more noticeable effect) and the graphics cards can only rarely supply the corresponding fps numbers, the 300-Hz screen of our test configuration still is some sort of purchase argument.

298
cd/m²
308
cd/m²
306
cd/m²
314
cd/m²
316
cd/m²
323
cd/m²
303
cd/m²
307
cd/m²
320
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
AUO B156HAN12.0 (AUO328E)
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 323 cd/m² Average: 310.6 cd/m² Minimum: 14 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 316 cd/m²
Contrast: 1505:1 (Black: 0.21 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.03 | 0.6-29.43 Ø5.9, calibrated: 1.1
ΔE Greyscale 3.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6.1
100% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 65% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.42
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
AUO B156HAN12.0 (AUO328E), IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
NV156FHM-N4K (BOE082A), IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Sharp LQ156M1JW03 (SHP14C5), IGZO, 1920x1080, 15.6
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
AU Optronics AUO82ED, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
NV156FHM-N4G (BOE084D), IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Response Times
23%
-13%
-11%
3%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
14 (6.8, 7.2)
5.2 (2.6, 2.6)
63%
15.2 (7.6, 7.6)
-9%
15.2 (7.6, 7.6)
-9%
9.6 (4.8, 4.8)
31%
Response Time Black / White *
9.6 (5.2, 4.4)
11.2 (6.8, 4.4)
-17%
11.2 (6.8, 4.4)
-17%
10.8 (6, 4.8)
-13%
12 (6.8, 5.2)
-25%
PWM Frequency
23580 (24)
Screen
-7%
-8%
-34%
-12%
Brightness middle
316
288
-9%
266
-16%
324.8
3%
313
-1%
Brightness
311
265
-15%
248
-20%
316
2%
295
-5%
Brightness Distribution
92
84
-9%
89
-3%
84
-9%
89
-3%
Black Level *
0.21
0.22
-5%
0.31
-48%
0.26
-24%
0.3
-43%
Contrast
1505
1309
-13%
858
-43%
1249
-17%
1043
-31%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.03
3.22
-6%
2.78
8%
4.96
-64%
3.33
-10%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.32
6.26
14%
5.96
19%
8.95
-22%
6.25
15%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.1
1.5
-36%
0.91
17%
3.23
-194%
1.77
-61%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.9
3.43
12%
3.58
8%
5
-28%
3.1
21%
Gamma
2.42 91%
2.41 91%
2.46 89%
2.21 100%
2.51 88%
CCT
7439 87%
7290 89%
7186 90%
7742 84%
6930 94%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
65
60
-8%
62
-5%
59.8
-8%
59
-9%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
93
-7%
96
-4%
91.8
-8%
90
-10%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
8% / -3%
-11% / -9%
-23% / -30%
-5% / -10%

* ... smaller is better

With the AU Optronics B156HAN12.0, MSI uses a non-glare panel (IPS level) with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. In our measurements, it often turns out noticeably better than the 240-Hz display of the predecessor (Sharp LQ156M1JW03). While the black value has dropped from 0.32 to 0.21 cd/m², the brightness has increased from about 282 to 311 cd/m², making the GS66 slightly more suitable for outdoor usage (more than 400 cd/m² would be optimal). The contrast is now around 1500:1 instead of the earlier 900:1.

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Saturation
CalMAN: Saturation
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)

At 100% sRGB and 65% AdobeRGB, the color space ranges at a similar level. On the other hand, the colors of the new panel are not quite as accurate, as our measurements with the CalMAN tool show, with the values mostly still remaining within the target area (dE < 3).

MSI GS66 Stealth vs. sRGB (100%)
MSI GS66 Stealth vs. sRGB (100%)
MSI GS66 Stealth vs. AdobeRGB (65%)
MSI GS66 Stealth vs. AdobeRGB (65%)

As the GS65 before, the GS66 also scores with low response times. 9.6 ms black-to-white and 14 ms gray-to-gray should satisfy most gamers. There was no screen flickering during the test. 

Against the light
Against the light
Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

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
9.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5.2 ms rise
↘ 4.4 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 9 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (24.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
14 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6.8 ms rise
↘ 7.2 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 10 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (39.2 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 18032 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 2500000) Hz was measured.

Test Conditions

Buyers can fiddle to their heart's content in the preinstalled Dragon Center. Not only will tuning fans find several image profiles, but there are also several performance and fan settings and a special Gaming mode. We ran our measurements with the "sRGB" true-color mode and the "User" scenario (Performance Level "High," Fan Speed "Auto"), which already had been activated in this way in the state of delivery.

Dragon Center
Dragon Center
Dragon Center
Dragon Center
Dragon Center
Dragon Center
Dragon Center
Dragon Center

Performance

Regardless of whether it uses the RTX 2060, RTX 2070, or RTX 2080, the GS66 Stealth is part of the high-end segment. All three graphics cards bring more than sufficient power for the native Full HD resolution. A 1000 to 2000 GB SSD and 16 to 32 GB of RAM are also up to date. Not to mention the powerful hexa or octa-core processor.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWiNFO
AS SSD Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark
 

Processor

Whether the Core i9-10980HK makes sense is a matter of debate. While on one hand, the octa-core offers brute performance, because of its hefty demands on the cooling system, we currently see the most powerful model from Intel's Comet Lake generation more in heavy desktop replacements.

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
GPU load
GPU load

So it is hardly surprising that the 10980HK only uses its Turbo to a limited degree. From the theoretically possible 5.3 GHz, only 4.3 to 4.9 GHz remain during single-core load. When all the cores are loaded, the clock speed drops to 3.6 - 3.9 GHz, which is not bad at all, but still falls behind the potential of the CPU. This makes the already meager price-performance ratio even more questionable, particularly since the performance in our Cinebench-R15 loop drops even further after the second run - like that of other notebooks. For this reason, we would recommend the also very fast but less demanding Core i7-10750H when buying the GS66.

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MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS Intel Core i9-10980HK, Intel Core i9-10980HK: Ø1541 (1518.31-1635.12)
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ Intel Core i7-9750H, Intel Core i7-9750H: Ø1066 (1053.71-1188.07)
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA Intel Core i7-9750H, Intel Core i7-9750H: Ø1007 (976.09-1115.02)
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl Intel Core i7-9750H, Intel Core i7-9750H: Ø968 (959.49-1081.9)
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19 Intel Core i7-9750H, Intel Core i7-9750H: Ø1002 (974.71-1181)

Compared to the old Core i7-9750H, which offers 6 cores and runs all the listed competitors, the performance plus of the i9-10980HK is still considerable. In the multi-core test of Cinebench R20, the advantage is between 52 and 62%.

Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
477 Points ∼100%
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
Intel Core i7-9750H
457 Points ∼96% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (340 - 511, n=99)
443 Points ∼93% -7%
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
Intel Core i7-9750H
442 Points ∼93% -7%
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
Intel Core i7-9750H
434 Points ∼91% -9%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H
429 Points ∼90% -10%
CPU (Multi Core)
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
3713 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (1530 - 6321, n=100)
2863 Points ∼77% -23%
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
Intel Core i7-9750H
2448 Points ∼66% -34%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H
2427 Points ∼65% -35%
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
Intel Core i7-9750H
2384 Points ∼64% -36%
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
Intel Core i7-9750H
2298 Points ∼62% -38%
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
201 Points ∼100%
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
Intel Core i7-9750H
192 Points ∼96% -4%
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
Intel Core i7-9750H
189 Points ∼94% -6%
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
Intel Core i7-9750H
181 Points ∼90% -10%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H
175 Points ∼87% -13%
Average of class Gaming
  (77 - 215, n=581)
159 Points ∼79% -21%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
1635 (min: 1518.31, max: 1635.12) Points ∼100%
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
Intel Core i7-9750H
1188 Points ∼73% -27%
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
Intel Core i7-9750H
1181 Points ∼72% -28%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H
1115 Points ∼68% -32%
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
Intel Core i7-9750H
1057 Points ∼65% -35%
Average of class Gaming
  (196 - 2804, n=585)
889 Points ∼54% -46%
Blender 2.79 - BMW27 CPU
Average of class Gaming
  (179 - 901, n=52)
412 Seconds * ∼100% -40%
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
295 Seconds * ∼72%
7-Zip 18.03
7z b 4
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
43786 MIPS ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (3034 - 75612, n=52)
35286 MIPS ∼81% -19%
7z b 4 -mmt1
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
5227 MIPS ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (2480 - 5674, n=52)
4792 MIPS ∼92% -8%
Geekbench 5.1 / 5.2
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
7634 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (3448 - 10190, n=33)
6417 Points ∼84% -16%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
1283 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (874 - 1352, n=33)
1181 Points ∼92% -8%
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2 - 4k Preset
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
12.2 fps ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (1.7 - 18.9, n=52)
9.59 fps ∼79% -21%
LibreOffice - 20 Documents To PDF
Average of class Gaming
  (28.6 - 95.8, n=28)
60.9 s ∼100% +16%
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
52.4 s ∼86%
R Benchmark 2.5 - Overall mean
Average of class Gaming
  (0.546 - 0.761, n=33)
0.622 sec * ∼100% -5%
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
0.592 sec * ∼95%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1635 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
131 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
201 Points
Help

System Performance

Not the least because of the powerful processor, the GS66 leaves the competitors behind in the application performance. With 6490 points, the overall score in PCMark 10 is between 8 and 18% above that of the competitors. The operating system boots up fairly quickly and otherwise also responds comfortably fast (load times, installations, etc.).

PCMark 10 - Score
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, i9-10980HK, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
6490 Points ∼100%
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-9750H, WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-1T00
5991 Points ∼92% -8%
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-9750H, WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
5746 Points ∼89% -11%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-9750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
5697 Points ∼88% -12%
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-9750H, Seagate FireCuda 510 SSD ZP1000GM30001
5522 Points ∼85% -15%
Average of class Gaming
  (2603 - 7511, n=271)
5303 Points ∼82% -18%

DPC Latencies

Upon the request from several readers, we recently expanded our latency test significantly. It now also includes web browsing and playing video, among other things. If you look at the results of the LatencyMon tool, the MSI GS66 still has some room for optimizations in this regard.

Latencies
Latencies
Latencies
DPC Latencies / LatencyMon - interrupt to process latency (max), Web, Youtube, Prime95
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, i9-10980HK, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
1916 μs * ∼100%

* ... smaller is better

Storage Solution

For storage, there is an NVMe model from Samsung, or to be exact, the PM981 MZVLB1T0HARL. This M.2 drive definitely does not need to hide behind the competitors from Intel (Aero 15 Classic), Seagate (Schenker XMG Neo 15), and WDC (Predator Triton 500 & HP Omen X 2S) during reading as well as writing. Those who want to expand the storage space will find an empty M.2 slot under the hood.

MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-1T00
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
Seagate FireCuda 510 SSD ZP1000GM30001
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-4%
-4%
2%
-12%
Write 4K
131.3
108.8
-17%
115.5
-12%
137.4
5%
108.7
-17%
Read 4K
45.84
40.31
-12%
57.97
26%
41.37
-10%
41.4
-10%
Write Seq
2370
2488
5%
1555
-34%
2500
5%
1083
-54%
Read Seq
1509
1916
27%
2590
72%
1576
4%
917.2
-39%
Write 4K Q32T1
481.5
382.4
-21%
369.3
-23%
446.7
-7%
468.5
-3%
Read 4K Q32T1
559.6
421.8
-25%
441.7
-21%
522.4
-7%
529.6
-5%
Write Seq Q32T1
2392
2542
6%
1547
-35%
2796
17%
3057
28%
Read Seq Q32T1
3232
3320
3%
2969
-8%
3415
6%
3422
6%
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3232 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 2392 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 559.6 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 481.5 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1509 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 2370 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 45.84 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 131.3 MB/s

Graphics Card

The GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q is a slightly tuned version of the old 2070 Max-Q (also Turing architecture). For example, Nvidia has increased the number of shaders from 2304 to 2560. The amount of GDDR6 video storage is 8 GB again and connected via 256-bit interface. The basic clock speed is specified by the manufacturer as 930 MHz, with significantly higher values achievable via automatic GPU boost. We evaluated how the clock speed behaves under load using the Ungine Heaven 4.0 benchmark and the role-playing game "The Witcher 3." Around 1300 to 1400 MHz are a decent value.

3DMark 11 Performance
21934 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
45202 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
17312 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
7272 points
Help

Apropos "The Witcher 3": In contrast to the processor performance, the graphics performance remains relatively constant. The 60-minute endurance test did not reveal any fps drops or anything like that. You only have to watch out during battery operation. As in most other laptops, the frame rate drops massively without the charger (-85% @ GS66), since the CPU and GPU are throttled significantly.

05101520253035404550556065707580Tooltip
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, i9-10980HK, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR: Ø71.1 (67-75)

Connected to the power supply, the RTX 2070 Super Max-Q is able to make use of its power quite well, as our GPU benchmarks also confirm. Although the performance in 3DMark 11 and 3DMark 13 is slightly worse than that of the Aero 17 HDR XB we recently tested, the GS66 still sprints ahead of the competing laptops with the "regular" RTX 2070 Max-Q by several percentage points. 

3DMark
2560x1440 Port Royal Graphics
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
4280 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (1097 - 6005, n=95)
4097 Points ∼96% -4%
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
3738 Points ∼87% -13%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
3721 Points ∼87% -13%
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
3719 Points ∼87% -13%
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
3717 Points ∼87% -13%
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
7084 Points ∼100%
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
6748 Points ∼95% -5%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
6716 Points ∼95% -5%
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
6419 Points ∼91% -9%
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
6387 Points ∼90% -10%
Average of class Gaming
  (368 - 13013, n=217)
5901 Points ∼83% -17%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
18992 Points ∼100%
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
18060 Points ∼95% -5%
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
17419 Points ∼92% -8%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
17335 Points ∼91% -9%
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
16483 Points ∼87% -13%
Average of class Gaming
  (385 - 40636, n=604)
11956 Points ∼63% -37%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
25135 Points ∼100%
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
22749 Points ∼91% -9%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
22005 Points ∼88% -12%
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
21861 Points ∼87% -13%
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
18434 Points ∼73% -27%
Average of class Gaming
  (513 - 50983, n=681)
14284 Points ∼57% -43%

Gaming Performance

As long as you don't connect a QHD or UHD monitor, the RTX 2070 Super Max-Q displays all the current games smoothly at maximum details. It only drops below the 60-fps mark in very computing-intensive and/or less-optimized games such as "Borderlands 3." Well optimized and/or less demanding games (FIFA 20, Apex Legends, Doom Eternal, etc.), however, run at more than 100 fps on average. 

The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, i9-10980HK
70.5 (min: 55) fps ∼100%
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-9750H
69 fps ∼98% -2%
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-9750H
64.4 (min: 54) fps ∼91% -9%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-9750H
64.1 fps ∼91% -9%
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-9750H
60.4 (min: 49) fps ∼86% -14%
Average of class Gaming
  (12.6 - 115, n=374)
52.2 fps ∼74% -26%
low med. high ultra
GTA V (2015) 182 174 153 83.4 fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 131 70.5 fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 153 138 128 120 fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 113 97.4 82.3 fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) 102 91 fps
Battlefield V (2018) 121 113 fps
Apex Legends (2019) 140 139 fps
Borderlands 3 (2019) 76.3 58.9 fps
FIFA 20 (2019) 196 190 fps
Need for Speed Heat (2019) 88.2 80.7 fps
Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order (2019) 95 88.8 fps
Escape from Tarkov (2020) 121 119 fps
Hunt Showdown (2020) 91.6 fps
Doom Eternal (2020) 141 137 fps
Gears Tactics (2020) 116 90.6 fps

Emissions

Noise Emissions

The noise development is not really a strong suite of the GS66, to say it gently. MSI takes the bad example from the competitors, letting the fans run at a very high speed under load. 48 to 53 dB(A) are annoyingly loud without a headset and should deter some interested buyers from the purchase.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2037.334.534.93433.635.42539.84339.637.239.140.43134.831.631.43033.233.24037.231.534.531.432.336.65031.130.829.528.52931.56332.73026.826.926.933.48029.627.725.125.825.130.110030.525.225.724.425.132.812530.125.725.724.826.23016030.227.626.524.126.830.520028.424.323.322.223.629.425030.723.52824.121.931.731535.225.72522.420.53540039.430.921.321.32036.750037.825.320.520.318.336.963037.6252020.11837.880040.126.629.824.717.839.410004026.623.120.517.44012504031.419.920.719.640.5160043.428.919.819.61843.520004428.421.418.917.844.3250044.727.519.618.917.945.4315042.726.918.918.417.842.3400041.124.318.518.617.940.650004022.818.518.418.139.6630039.521.818.218.217.938.9800037.620.6181817.9371000036.518.918.11817.935.61250035.118.318.517.917.9341600030.317.918.117.917.829.1SPL53.438.933.83230.553.4N8.9321.71.48.8median 37.8median 25.3median 20median 20.1median 18median 37Delta3.12.23.52.62.13.5hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseMSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS

Even though the GS66 does better during idle mode, we weren't really satisfied with the performance here either. The fact that the fans are never turned off in the Dragon Center settings we tested isn't even the real problem. What turns out much more annoying in practice is the intermittent revving up of the fan, the cause of which often remained a mystery to us. Supposedly simple tasks such as video, web, and installations/updates also tend to force the fans to produce their sudden noise. 

A solution would be to use Silent mode, but according to our experience with other MSI laptops, this will only help to a limited degree with some problems and will also limit the performance by a lot (stuttering Youtube videos). By the way, the fan noise of the MSI GS66 is not one of the more pleasant fan noises, regardless of the fan speed.

Noise Level

Idle
32 / 34 / 39 dB(A)
Load
53 / 53 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 GS66 Stealth 10SFS
i9-10980HK, GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Noise
4%
0%
8%
1%
off / environment *
30
30
-0%
30
-0%
29
3%
31
-3%
Idle Minimum *
32
30
6%
31
3%
30.5
5%
31
3%
Idle Average *
34
33
3%
34
-0%
31.5
7%
34
-0%
Idle Maximum *
39
39
-0%
39
-0%
31.5
19%
37
5%
Load Average *
53
45
15%
46
13%
40.6
23%
47
11%
Witcher 3 ultra *
48
49
-2%
53
-10%
49.5
-3%
50
-4%
Load Maximum *
53
51
4%
55
-4%
53.4
-1%
54
-2%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

The temperatures are typical for such a slim high-end notebook. While the base unit reaches up to 53 °C (127 °F) on top and 55 °C (131 °F) on the bottom in 3D operation, the case remains cooler than 30 °C (86 °F) during idle operation. The verdict on the components is mixed. On the positive side, we should mention the RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, which only reaches a maximum of 75 °C (167 °F) even under full load (FurMark & Prime95).

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

Things look worse for the processor. Although the Turbo hardly gets to do its work, the Core i9-10980HK settles at around 90 °C (194 °F) in the stress test. This is another indication that the CPU is not quite suitable for the case – particularly if you also consider the noise development, which is primarily due to the 10980HK in our experience. 

Max. Load
 48 °C
118 F
53 °C
127 F
53 °C
127 F
 
 44 °C
111 F
45 °C
113 F
42 °C
108 F
 
 34 °C
93 F
36 °C
97 F
30 °C
86 F
 
Maximum: 53 °C = 127 F
Average: 42.8 °C = 109 F
52 °C
126 F
55 °C
131 F
48 °C
118 F
50 °C
122 F
53 °C
127 F
45 °C
113 F
37 °C
99 F
38 °C
100 F
35 °C
95 F
Maximum: 55 °C = 131 F
Average: 45.9 °C = 115 F
Power Supply (max.)  45 °C = 113 F | Room Temperature 21 °C = 70 F | Fluke t3000FC (calibrated), Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 42.8 °C / 109 F, compared to the average of 33.3 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 53 °C / 127 F, compared to the average of 39.7 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 55 °C / 131 F, compared to the average of 42.5 °C / 109 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.8 °C / 80 F, compared to the device average of 33.3 °C / 92 F.
(-) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 44 °C / 111 F, compared to the device average of 33.3 °C / 92 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 37 °C / 98.6 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.8 °C / 83.8 F (-8.2 °C / -14.8 F).
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
i9-10980HK, GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Heat
0%
-10%
-24%
-13%
Maximum Upper Side *
53
49
8%
58
-9%
48.8
8%
60
-13%
Maximum Bottom *
55
59
-7%
64
-16%
55
-0%
66
-20%
Idle Upper Side *
28
28
-0%
30
-7%
41
-46%
30
-7%
Idle Bottom *
29
29
-0%
31
-7%
45.6
-57%
32
-10%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The 2.0 system of the GS66 is positioned on the left and right edge of the palm rest and offers a loud maximum volume (91 dB(A)). According to our audio analysis and subjective impressions, the sound leaves something to be desired. As typical for notebooks, it mainly lacks the bass. But the sound did not really impress us in other areas as well (dull, muddy sound spectrum). So for music, movies, and games, headphones are recommended.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033.636.32539.142.83133.236.54032.339.9502936.56326.9378025.136.210025.136.712526.240.416026.844.220023.644.325021.953.931520.557.94002069.450018.378.86301883.480017.886.1100017.482.6125019.680.716001881.2200017.879.9250017.976.7315017.873.7400017.972.1500018.170.5630017.969.5800017.971.61000017.962.51250017.955.71600017.849.8SPL30.591.1N1.483.5median 18median 70.5Delta2.112.831.734.233.7373032.936.637.134.23527.634.32833.424.63823.847.123.952.821.550.722.160.321.664.420.56719.5621868.217.970.518.369.720.869.618.769.717.469.917.769.317.668.517.267.417.464.117.363.217.364.417.162.217.258.517.254.430.5801.448.9median 18median 64.41.76.5hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseMSI GS66 Stealth 10SFSAcer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (91 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.3% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (6.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 10% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 83% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 13% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 18%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 64% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 28% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (80 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 12.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.5% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (13.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 22% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 72% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 18%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 8% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 89% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Power Management

Power Consumption

In order to keep the power consumption as low as possible, you should use graphics switching, which is activated by default (MSHybrid Graphics Mode @Dragon Center). Depending on the demands, Nvidia's Optimus technology switches between the dedicated GeForce GPU and the graphics unit integrated in the processor (Intel UHD Graphics 630). Thanks to these power savings, the GS66 only uses 13 to 27 watts during idle operation. Under load, our measurements showed between 109 and 236 watts, which is also acceptable for a high-end notebook.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 1.4 / 1.8 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 13 / 16 / 27 Watt
Load midlight 109 / 236 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
i9-10980HK, GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Power Consumption
24%
-17%
-109%
15%
Idle Minimum *
13
7
46%
21
-62%
46
-254%
11
15%
Idle Average *
16
12
25%
23
-44%
59
-269%
15
6%
Idle Maximum *
27
22
19%
32
-19%
65.5
-143%
21
22%
Load Average *
109
86
21%
97
11%
99.8
8%
94
14%
Witcher 3 ultra *
155
144
7%
148
5%
154.1
1%
143
8%
Load Maximum *
236
177
25%
213
10%
222.7
6%
173
27%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Where the GS65 still had to be content with an 82-Wh battery, the successor offers a huge 99.99 Wh. Even the Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic, which has been trimmed for mobility, is unable to reach this value (94 Wh). Most of the gaming laptops are only accompanied by 80 Wh. However, considering the ample capacity, the battery life is a bit disappointing. Okay, up to 8.5 hours under ideal conditions (no load, minimum display brightness) and about 6 hours of Internet surfing via WLAN at medium brightness level are still respectable for a high-end notebook, but the competitors achieve similar or in parts even better values with weaker batteries. So apparently the power management of the GS66 isn't quite optimal. 

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
8h 25min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
6h 04min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 42min
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
i9-10980HK, GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, 99.99 Wh
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-71PZ
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q,  Wh
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 94.24 Wh
HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0075cl
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 72 Wh
Schenker XMG Neo 15 XNE15M19
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 62 Wh
Average of class Gaming
 
Battery Runtime
19%
34%
-48%
-14%
-26%
Reader / Idle
505
666
32%
545
8%
221
-56%
439
-13%
357 (39 - 1174, n=708)
-29%
WiFi v1.3
364
478
31%
421
16%
129
-65%
340
-7%
264 (62 - 622, n=420)
-27%
Load
102
96
-6%
181
77%
80
-22%
79
-23%
79.4 (18 - 202, n=675)
-22%
H.264
408
261 (88 - 554, n=155)

Pros

+ more maintenance options than in the predecessor
+ case is significantly more robust
+ larger opening angle of the display lid
+ modern USB connections (incl. TB3)
+ powerful battery
+ elegant design
+ 300-Hz panel

Cons

- CPU is a bad fit with the notebook concept / cooling system
- annoying fans (revving up, characteristics, noise level)
- keyboard takes some getting used to
- no card reader
- mediocre sound

Verdict

MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS, test unit provided by MSI Germany
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS, test unit provided by MSI Germany

The GS66 represents clear progress compared to the GS65.

MSI has taken care of the most important complaints and provided more stability and maintenance options to the compact case. It also deserves some praise for the up-to-date connection equipment (Thunderbolt 3), the fast and contrast-rich 300-Hz panel, as well as the huge battery, even though that isn't quite able to live up to its potential.

We find the choice of the processor a bit hard to understand. While the Core i9-10980HK is of course very attractive from a marketing point of view and in terms of the gains, if the customer has to deal more with the disadvantages (very high temperature and noise development) than the advantages (higher performance potential) and the notebook is generally designed for mobility, we would not offer this option in the first place.

MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS - 05/17/2020 v7
Florian Glaser

Chassis
78 / 98 → 80%
Keyboard
77%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
62 / 80 → 78%
Weight
62 / 10-66 → 93%
Battery
69 / 95 → 73%
Display
86%
Games Performance
93%
Application Performance
93%
Temperature
78 / 95 → 82%
Noise
59 / 90 → 66%
Audio
74%
Camera
42 / 85 → 49%
Average
74%
83%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS Laptop Review: Visually subdued, acoustically conspicuous
Florian Glaser, 2020-05- 2 (Update: 2020-05- 3)
Florian Glaser
Editor of the original article: Florian Glaser - Managing Editor Gaming
Growing up with MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 in the early 90s, I discovered my interest in computers in my childhood. Especially computer games radiated a great fascination for me even then. From Monkey Island to Lands of Lore to Doom, everything was gambled that you could get your hands on. I have been working for Notebookcheck since 2009 with focus on high-performance gaming notebooks.