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MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG Laptop Review: A slim and powerful gaming laptop with good battery life

Sascha Mölck, 👁 Florian Glaser (translated by Alex Alderson), 06/28/2019

Slender gamer. The sleek MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG handles all modern triple-A games with ease thanks to its Core i7-9750H processor and GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU. The 17.3-inch device has good battery life too, lasting longer between charges than even some office laptops.

The current MSI GS75 Stealth series is already familiar to us, having reviewed the 8SG in March. The 9SG has now entered our offices, which features a newer CPU, namely the Intel Core i7-9750H. All other components are identical though, with the two devices sharing the same design, connectivity, input devices, display, GPU and speakers. Correspondingly, we shall omit all but the Display and GPU of those for this review. Please see our GS75 8SG Stealth review for our thoughts on the areas that we have not included in this review.

We have chosen to compare the 9SG against other comparably priced 17.3-inch gaming laptops. Our comparison devices will include the Alienware m17, ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX, Dell G7 17 7790, Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH and the Schenker XMG Neo 17.

MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG (GS75 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q - 8192 MB, Core: 990 MHz, Memory: 1500 MHz, GDDR6, 256-bit connection, ForceWare 430.86, Optimus
Memory
32768 MB 
, DDR4-2666, dual-channel, two SO-DIMM slots, a maximum of 64 GB.
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 127 PPI, Chi Mei N173HCE-G33 (CMN175C), IPS, 144 Hz, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM370
Storage
2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR (RAID 0), 2048 GB 
, Slots: 3x M.2 2280: 2x occupied (NVMe/SATA), 1x free (SATA)., 1803 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek ALC1220 @ Intel Cannon Lake PCH
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 4 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Dedicated 3.5 mm headphone and microphone jacks, Card Reader: MicroSD
Networking
Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW) (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 18.9 x 396 x 259 ( = 0.74 x 15.59 x 10.2 in)
Battery
80.25 Wh, 5380 mAh Lithium-Ion, 4-cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: SteelSeries, RGB, Keyboard Light: yes, 230 W power supply, Dragon Center, Norton Security trial, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.28 kg ( = 80.42 oz / 5.03 pounds), Power Supply: 724 g ( = 25.54 oz / 1.6 pounds)
Price
3440 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

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Size Comparison

412.6 mm / 16.2 inch 304.9 mm / 12 inch 23 mm / 0.906 inch 2.8 kg6.17 lbs410 mm / 16.1 inch 292.5 mm / 11.5 inch 23 mm / 0.906 inch 2.6 kg5.8 lbs404 mm / 15.9 inch 295.8 mm / 11.6 inch 25 mm / 0.984 inch 3.2 kg7.14 lbs396 mm / 15.6 inch 261 mm / 10.3 inch 27.5 mm / 1.083 inch 2.5 kg5.51 lbs399 mm / 15.7 inch 272 mm / 10.7 inch 19 mm / 0.748 inch 2.6 kg5.81 lbs396 mm / 15.6 inch 259 mm / 10.2 inch 18.9 mm / 0.744 inch 2.3 kg5.03 lbs
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
682 MBit/s ∼100%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
679 MBit/s ∼100% 0%
Alienware m17 P37E
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
670 MBit/s ∼98% -2%
Schenker XMG Neo 17
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
663 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Dell G7 17 7790
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
653 MBit/s ∼96% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (141 - 702, n=276)
605 MBit/s ∼89% -11%
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
599 MBit/s ∼88% -12%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell G7 17 7790
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
678 MBit/s ∼100% +1%
Schenker XMG Neo 17
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
674 MBit/s ∼99% +1%
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
668 MBit/s ∼99%
Alienware m17 P37E
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
659 MBit/s ∼97% -1%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
647 MBit/s ∼95% -3%
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
605 MBit/s ∼89% -9%
Average of class Gaming
  (144 - 749, n=276)
557 MBit/s ∼82% -17%

Display

As mentioned above, MSI has equipped the 9SG with the same Chi Mei N173HCE-G33 (CMN175C) display that we found in the GS75 8SG Stealth. The matte 17.3-inch display runs natively at 1,920x1,080, with the one in our review unit achieving an average maximum brightness of 343 cd/m². This is noticeably brighter than the one in our GS75 9SG test device, but it is usual for two supposedly identical displays to vary slightly.

The display in the 9SG also achieved a respectable 1,262:1 contrast ratio thanks to its 0.29 cd/m² black value. The panel also has a 144 Hz refresh rate, a must for modern gaming laptops. Additionally, it has stable viewing angles, short reaction times and accurate colour reproduction. In short, the 9SG has an excellent display, just like its GS75 sibling.

336
cd/m²
350
cd/m²
332
cd/m²
342
cd/m²
366
cd/m²
332
cd/m²
354
cd/m²
337
cd/m²
340
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Chi Mei N173HCE-G33 (CMN175C)
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 366 cd/m² Average: 343.2 cd/m² Minimum: 19 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 366 cd/m²
Contrast: 1262:1 (Black: 0.29 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.51 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 0.71
ΔE Greyscale 1.93 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
94% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 60% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.38
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
Chi Mei N173HCE-G33 (CMN175C), IPS, 1920x1080
Schenker XMG Neo 17
BOEhydis NV173FHM-N44 (BOE07B6), IPS, 1920x1080
Dell G7 17 7790
AU Optronics AUO409D, B173HAN, IPS, 1920x1080
Alienware m17 P37E
AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0, IPS, 3840x2160
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
B173HAN04.0 (AUO409D), IPS, 1920x1080
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
AU Optronics B173HAN03.2, IPS, 1920x1080
Response Times
-92%
-80%
-287%
2%
-73%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
7.2 (3.8, 3.4)
18.8 (9.6, 9.2)
-161%
17.2 (7.6, 9.6)
-139%
35.6 (19.6, 16)
-394%
7.2 (3.6, 3.6)
-0%
15.6 (8, 7.6)
-117%
Response Time Black / White *
10 (5.2, 4.8)
12 (6.8, 5.2)
-20%
12 (6.8, 5.2)
-20%
28 (16, 12)
-180%
9.6 (4.4, 5.2)
4%
12.8 (7.6, 5.2)
-28%
PWM Frequency
25510 (17)
971 (99)
-96%
Screen
-32%
-77%
-135%
-30%
-104%
Brightness middle
366
304
-17%
308.6
-16%
357.9
-2%
288
-21%
299.1
-18%
Brightness
343
289
-16%
299
-13%
347
1%
287
-16%
273
-20%
Brightness Distribution
91
90
-1%
92
1%
94
3%
91
0%
81
-11%
Black Level *
0.29
0.26
10%
0.29
-0%
0.33
-14%
0.2
31%
0.27
7%
Contrast
1262
1169
-7%
1064
-16%
1085
-14%
1440
14%
1108
-12%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.51
2.65
-75%
4.26
-182%
6.57
-335%
2.33
-54%
5.07
-236%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
3.22
6.11
-90%
7.83
-143%
9.86
-206%
5.34
-66%
10.55
-228%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
0.71
1.5
-111%
2.93
-313%
6.74
-849%
2.47
-248%
3.31
-366%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.93
2.75
-42%
5
-159%
4.3
-123%
1.19
38%
6.8
-252%
Gamma
2.38 92%
2.46 89%
2.07 106%
2.6 85%
2.41 91%
2.46 89%
CCT
6881 94%
6763 96%
7488 87%
6403 102%
6710 97%
7805 83%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
60
60
0%
57.8
-4%
88.4
47%
57
-5%
58.5
-2%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
94
92
-2%
89.2
-5%
100
6%
88
-6%
89.9
-4%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-62% / -45%
-79% / -78%
-211% / -158%
-14% / -25%
-89% / -99%

* ... smaller is better

CalMAN: Greyscale
CalMAN: Greyscale
CalMAN: Colour Saturation
CalMAN: Colour Saturation
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: Greyscale - calibrated
CalMAN: Greyscale - calibrated
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - calibrated
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - calibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker - calibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker - calibrated
94% sRGB colour space coverage
94% sRGB colour space coverage
Sub-pixel array
Sub-pixel array
60% AdobeRGB colour space coverage
60% AdobeRGB colour space coverage

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
10 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5.2 ms rise
↘ 4.8 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 0.8 (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 (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
7.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 3.8 ms rise
↘ 3.4 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 5 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (39.7 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 25510 Hz ≤ 17 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 25510 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 17 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

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

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9365 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

The 9SG is one of the most portable, slim and stylish 17.3-inch gaming laptops that money can buy. It is exceptionally expensive at €3,440 (~$3,911) MSRP but will run all modern triple-A games at maximum graphics in 1080p with ease.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWInfo
LatencyMon
Intel XTU

Test Conditions

MSI preinstalls Dragon Center as it does for all its gaming laptops. The program contains numerous options including fan controls, power profiles and RGB backlighting customisations. We conducted all our tests with the fan speed set to automatic and the power mode on Sport.

Processor

At the heart of the 9SG is an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, the successor to the popular Core i7-8750H. The Core i7-9750H is built on the Coffee Lake Refresh architecture and has a 45-W thermal design power (TDP) with a 2.6 GHz base clock speed. The CPU utilises Intel Hyper-Threading to execute up to 12 threads simultaneously and Intel Turbo Boost to achieve 4 GHz across all cores. Incidentally, the Core i7-9750H can peak at 4.1 GHz on five cores and 100 MHz more for every core it is not using, resulting in a 4.5 GHz single core boost clock.

The CPU fluctuates between 3.6 GHz and 4 GHz during a single Cinebench R15 Multi 64Bit benchmark, which harmonises with its quoted performance. This behaviour only applies with the 9SG connected to mains power though, with the CPU going as low as 1.9 GHz when running on battery. By contrast, the CPU always operates at 4.0 to 4.5 GHz in CB R15 Multi 64Bit irrespective of whether it is on charge or not.

System information during a CB R15 Single 64Bit benchmark
System information during a CB R15 Single 64Bit benchmark
System information during a CB R15 Multi 64Bit benchmark
System information during a CB R15 Multi 64Bit benchmark
System information during a Heaven 4.0 benchmark
System information during a Heaven 4.0 benchmark

We subjected our review unit to a looped CB R15 Multi 64Bit benchmark, which we left running for 30 minutes, to determine how well the system maintains its performance under sustained load. Most laptop CPUs throttle to some extent after the first run through and the Core i7-9750H in the 9SG is no different. The device initially scored 1,233 points before dropping to 1,141 points by the third benchmark loop. Scores briefly settle at this level before steadily dropping to around 1,120 points. The device recovered to 1,133 points by the end of the test though. Overall, this is standard behaviour and nothing that should have any serious implications in daily use.

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MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG Intel Core i7-9750H, Intel Core i7-9750H: Ø1133 (1114.27-1233.11)
Schenker XMG Neo 17 Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø969 (904.79-1042.12)
Dell G7 17 7790 Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1081 (1056.8-1189.87)
Alienware m17 P37E Intel Core i9-8950HK, Intel Core i9-8950HK: Ø1206 (1178.9-1238.2)
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1112 (1090.93-1218.55)
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1139 (1122.59-1232.82)
CPU clock speeds during a CB R15 Multi 64Bit loop
CPU clock speeds during a CB R15 Multi 64Bit loop
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
8413
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
36041
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6732
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
112.8 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1233 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
180 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Alienware m17 P37E
Intel Core i9-8950HK
191 Points ∼100% +6%
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
Intel Core i7-9750H
180 Points ∼94%
Schenker XMG Neo 17
Intel Core i7-8750H
174 Points ∼91% -3%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Intel Core i7-8750H
170 Points ∼89% -6%
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
Intel Core i7-8750H
167 Points ∼87% -7%
Dell G7 17 7790
Intel Core i7-8750H
164 Points ∼86% -9%
Average of class Gaming
  (77 - 212, n=522)
157 Points ∼82% -13%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Alienware m17 P37E
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1238 Points ∼100% 0%
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
Intel Core i7-8750H
1233 Points ∼100% 0%
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
Intel Core i7-9750H
1233 Points ∼100%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Intel Core i7-8750H
1218 Points ∼98% -1%
Dell G7 17 7790
Intel Core i7-8750H
1183 Points ∼96% -4%
Schenker XMG Neo 17
Intel Core i7-8750H
1042 Points ∼84% -15%
Average of class Gaming
  (196 - 2022, n=525)
830 Points ∼67% -33%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
Intel Core i7-9750H
6732 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (8.85 - 8872, n=427)
4843 Points ∼72% -28%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
Intel Core i7-9750H
36041 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (19.7 - 48808, n=427)
18337 Points ∼51% -49%
Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
Intel Core i7-9750H
434 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (340 - 509, n=48)
428 Points ∼99% -1%
CPU (Multi Core)
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
Intel Core i7-9750H
2723 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (1530 - 4926, n=48)
2513 Points ∼92% -8%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
Intel Core i7-9750H
23587 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (9307 - 27774, n=77)
16216 Points ∼69% -31%
32 Bit Single-Core Score
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
Intel Core i7-9750H
4298 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (2926 - 4825, n=77)
3705 Points ∼86% -14%
Geekbench 4.4
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
Intel Core i7-9750H
25043 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (4116 - 32070, n=59)
18829 Points ∼75% -25%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
Intel Core i7-9750H
5266 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (2131 - 6030, n=59)
4799 Points ∼91% -9%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Gaming
  (753 - 7545, n=198)
1203 ms * ∼100% -12%
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 44.17763.1.0)
1098.8 ms * ∼91% -3%
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
Intel Core i7-9750H (Edge 44)
1070.8 ms * ∼89%
Octane V2 - Total Score
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
Intel Core i7-9750H (Edge 44)
35964 Points ∼100%
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 44.17763.1.0)
35446 Points ∼99% -1%
Average of class Gaming
  (12288 - 49518, n=194)
33477 Points ∼93% -7%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
Intel Core i7-9750H (Edge 44)
263.33 Points ∼100%
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 44.17763.1.0)
252.13 Points ∼96% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (51.6 - 333, n=197)
250 Points ∼95% -5%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

The 9SG will handle practically any tasks that you could throw at it. It is powerful enough for triple-A gaming along with photo and video editing, which PCMark benchmarks confirm. Our review unit finished second to the Legion Y740-17ICH in PCMark 10, but it is well ahead of the class average. We also encountered no performance issues in daily use regardless of how hard we pushed the system.

PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 7 Score
6948 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4461 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4193 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5716 points
Help
PCMark 10 - Score
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
6053 Points ∼100% +4%
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR (RAID 0)
5804 Points ∼96%
Alienware m17 P37E
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8950HK, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
5632 Points ∼93% -3%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
5596 Points ∼92% -4%
Schenker XMG Neo 17
GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
5411 Points ∼89% -7%
Dell G7 17 7790
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba BG3 KBG30ZMS256G
5279 Points ∼87% -9%
Average of class Gaming
  (2603 - 7171, n=218)
5221 Points ∼86% -10%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5882 Points ∼100% +3%
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR (RAID 0)
5716 Points ∼97%
Dell G7 17 7790
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba BG3 KBG30ZMS256G
5315 Points ∼90% -7%
Average of class Gaming
  (2484 - 6515, n=398)
5041 Points ∼86% -12%
Alienware m17 P37E
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8950HK, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
4765 Points ∼81% -17%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5107 Points ∼100% +14%
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR (RAID 0)
4461 Points ∼87%
Average of class Gaming
  (2554 - 6093, n=415)
4261 Points ∼83% -4%
Dell G7 17 7790
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba BG3 KBG30ZMS256G
4010 Points ∼79% -10%
Alienware m17 P37E
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8950HK, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
3812 Points ∼75% -15%

Storage Devices

MSI equips the 9SG with two 1 TB Samsung PM981 SSDs. The drives are set to run in RAID 0, which makes Windows 10 see them as one 2 TB drive. RAID 0 also combines the transfer speeds of both drives, which explains why the 9SG is so far out ahead of our comparison devices in CrystalDiskMark. MSI has partitioned the drives into around 1.2 TB reserved for the user and 700 GB for data. Changing this structure would require re-installing Windows 10.

The 9SG has a third M.2 2280 drive bay, so you would be forgiven for thinking that you could add a third Samsung PM981 in RAID 0 for a speed boost. However, the third drive bay can only run at SATA III speeds, limiting its functionality somewhat.

2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR (RAID 0)
Sequential Read: 2689 MB/s
Sequential Write: 2846 MB/s
512K Read: 1487 MB/s
512K Write: 2637 MB/s
4K Read: 53.49 MB/s
4K Write: 103.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 590.9 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 532.3 MB/s
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR (RAID 0)
Schenker XMG Neo 17
Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
Dell G7 17 7790
Toshiba BG3 KBG30ZMS256G
Alienware m17 P37E
SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-21%
-56%
-17%
-27%
-18%
Write 4K
95.46
92.74
-3%
78.58
-18%
120.2
26%
92.39
-3%
99.77
5%
Read 4K
42.59
41.4
-3%
31.89
-25%
44.3
4%
39.59
-7%
40.81
-4%
Write Seq
2851
1363
-52%
230.4
-92%
1278
-55%
1221
-57%
1385
-51%
Read Seq
2696
1259
-53%
924.7
-66%
1389
-48%
1005
-63%
2089
-23%
Write 4K Q32T1
402.6
289.7
-28%
159.1
-60%
436.2
8%
292.5
-27%
380
-6%
Read 4K Q32T1
443.9
337.5
-24%
315.6
-29%
515.3
16%
330.8
-25%
445.5
0%
Write Seq Q32T1
3420
3332
-3%
230.7
-93%
1157
-66%
2385
-30%
1380
-60%
Read Seq Q32T1
3514
3477
-1%
1323
-62%
2671
-24%
3339
-5%
3471
-1%

Graphics Card

The 9SG also comes with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU, with the Max-Q name indicating that it is a more power efficient version of the regular GeForce RTX 2080. The GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q supports DirectX 12 and has 8 GB of GDDR6 VRAM with a 990 MHz base clock speed. It can boost to 1,230 MHz when needed too.

The GPU can achieve even higher clock speeds though if the system can prevent it from thermal throttling. The GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q in our review unit can briefly hit 1,800 MHz, but it averaged just 1,365 MHz in synthetic benchmarks. The clock speed dropped further to 1,275 MHz while playing "The Witcher 3" too.

Our review unit performed as expected in 3DMark benchmarks, although it generally trailed the ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX by 7%. Incidentally, the 9SG supports NVIDIA Optimus, which allows it to switch between the GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q and the UHD Graphics 630 GPU that integrated on the Core i7-9750H. We shall cover the effects of this in the Power Management section of this review.

Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
Time Spy
Time Spy
Port Royal
Port Royal
3DMark 06 Standard
37968 points
3DMark 11 Performance
21390 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
34168 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
17182 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
7518 points
Help
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
8512 Points ∼100% +7%
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
7923 Points ∼93%
Alienware m17 P37E
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
7446 Points ∼87% -6%
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
7202 Points ∼85% -9%
Dell G7 17 7790
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
6695 Points ∼79% -15%
Average of class Gaming
  (368 - 13013, n=161)
5705 Points ∼67% -28%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
21515 Points ∼100% +7%
Alienware m17 P37E
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
20323 Points ∼94% +1%
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
20119 Points ∼94%
Schenker XMG Neo 17
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop)
19800 Points ∼92% -2%
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
18520 Points ∼86% -8%
Dell G7 17 7790
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
17466 Points ∼81% -13%
Average of class Gaming
  (385 - 40636, n=549)
11408 Points ∼53% -43%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
29453 Points ∼100% +8%
Alienware m17 P37E
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
28083 Points ∼95% +3%
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
27204 Points ∼92%
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
25765 Points ∼87% -5%
Schenker XMG Neo 17
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop)
25248 Points ∼86% -7%
Dell G7 17 7790
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
22523 Points ∼76% -17%
Average of class Gaming
  (513 - 50983, n=624)
13493 Points ∼46% -50%

Gaming Performance

Unsurprisingly, the 9SG handles all modern triple-A titles with ease, with it only averaging less than 60 FPS at 1080p in "Ark Survival Evolve" and "Anno 1800" with both set to maximum graphics. Other games such as "Far Cry 5" and "Rage 2" run at above 90 FPS at the same settings, which makes use of the 9SG’s 144 Hz panel.

The device should be powerful enough to play games in 4K too. You may have to drop the graphics level to balance the increased volume of pixels being rendered. You should have no issues with playing older games such as "BioShock Infinite" in 4K at maximum graphics though.

The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
81.7 (min: 68) fps ∼100% +6%
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H
76.9 fps ∼94%
Alienware m17 P37E
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8950HK
75.7 fps ∼93% -2%
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
73.1 fps ∼89% -5%
Schenker XMG Neo 17
GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 8750H
73 fps ∼89% -5%
Dell G7 17 7790
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
64.7 fps ∼79% -16%
Average of class Gaming
  (12.6 - 115, n=318)
49.8 fps ∼61% -35%
BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Alienware m17 P37E
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8950HK
164.7 fps ∼100% +1%
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H
163.7 fps ∼99%
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
161.5 fps ∼98% -1%
Dell G7 17 7790
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
133.6 fps ∼81% -18%
Average of class Gaming
  (9.7 - 266, n=346)
97.9 fps ∼59% -40%
Far Cry New Dawn - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H
85 fps ∼100%
Schenker XMG Neo 17
GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 8750H
82 fps ∼96% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (14 - 108, n=32)
69 fps ∼81% -19%
Batman: Arkham Knight - 1920x1080 High / On AA:SM AF:16x
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H
92 fps ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (8 - 141, n=123)
56.3 fps ∼61% -39%

We also left "The Witcher 3" running for an hour in 1080p and maximum graphics to see how our review unit maintained its performance during a prolonged gaming session. We did not move the character during this period, for reference. Framerates fluctuated between 52 and 82 FPS during this test, with the device averaging 76 FPS. This puts the 9SG ahead of all our comparison devices including the GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q powered ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX and Legion Y740-17ICH.

051015202530354045505560657075808590Tooltip
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR (RAID 0); The Witcher 3: Ø76 (52-82)
Schenker XMG Neo 17 GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB; The Witcher 3: Ø73.8 (65-79)
Dell G7 17 7790 GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba BG3 KBG30ZMS256G; The Witcher 3: Ø60.8 (54-65)
Alienware m17 P37E GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8950HK, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG); The Witcher 3: Ø73.4 (67-80)
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR; The Witcher 3: Ø80.8 (71-85)
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ; The Witcher 3: Ø69.7 (63-76)
GPU information while playing The Witcher 3
GPU information while playing The Witcher 3
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 331.1289.6263.6163.7fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 286.3217.213576.9fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 17216113492fps
Ashes of the Singularity (2016) 82.580.781.3fps
Ark Survival Evolved (2017) 160.987.963.543.9fps
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark (2018) 127.4100.774fps
Far Cry 5 (2018) 1231099995fps
Far Cry New Dawn (2019) 116989485fps
Anno 1800 (2019) 98.593.977.741.2fps
Rage 2 (2019) 206.6112.296.193.3fps

Emissions

Fan Noise

The two fans in the 9SG run constantly, producing between 31 dB(A) and 38 dB(A) at idle. This is about bearable, but the fans reached a disturbingly loud 49 dB(A) during our stress tests. The fans whir at 48 dB(A) while playing games such as "The Witcher 3", completely drowning out the speakers in the process.

Fan noise at idle
Fan noise at idle
Fan noise under load
Fan noise under load
Speaker frequencies
Speaker frequencies

Noise Level

Idle
31 / 32 / 38 dB(A)
Load
47 / 49 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 GS75 Stealth 9SG
9750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Schenker XMG Neo 17
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop)
Dell G7 17 7790
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Alienware m17 P37E
8950HK, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
8750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
8750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Average of class Gaming
 
Noise
4%
10%
4%
2%
10%
4%
off / environment *
30
29
3%
28.2
6%
28.2
6%
29
3%
28.3
6%
29.4 (27.7 - 32, n=324)
2%
Idle Minimum *
31
29
6%
28.6
8%
28.2
9%
29
6%
31.5
-2%
31.4 (28 - 41.7, n=747)
-1%
Idle Average *
32
32
-0%
28.6
11%
28.2
12%
32
-0%
31.6
1%
32.6 (28 - 46.6, n=747)
-2%
Idle Maximum *
38
33
13%
28.6
25%
31
18%
33
13%
31.6
17%
34.6 (28 - 51, n=747)
9%
Load Average *
47
42
11%
31.8
32%
50.8
-8%
47
-0%
32.3
31%
40.7 (30.1 - 58, n=748)
13%
Witcher 3 ultra *
48
49
-2%
50.6
-5%
50.8
-6%
49
-2%
43
10%
Load Maximum *
49
49
-0%
50.8
-4%
50.8
-4%
51
-4%
45.5
7%
48.1 (38.9 - 64.1, n=748)
2%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

As always, we subjected our review unit to a combined FurMark and Prime95 stress test to determine how well the system manages its performance under extreme load. We left the stress test running for at least an hour and recorded any clock speed changes. The 9SG maintained its CPU at 2.6 to 2.7 GHz when connected to the mains, with the GPU hovering at around 1,380 MHz. The CPU and GPU dropped to 1.2 GHz and 300 MHz respectively though when we re-ran the test with the charger disconnected.

You should not experience this level of throttling in daily use. Our stress test pushes systems to their limits, which will not occur even while playing modern triple-A games.

System information while playing The Witcher 3
System information while playing The Witcher 3
System information during a FurMark & Prime95 combined stress test
System information during a FurMark & Prime95 combined stress test
Heatmap of the top of the device under load
Heatmap of the top of the device under load
Heatmap of the bottom of the device under load
Heatmap of the bottom of the device under load

The 9SG manages its surface temperatures well at idle, with our review unit averaging around 29 °C (~84 °F). Some areas reach 32 °C (~90 °F), but this should not feel hot to the touch.

It is a different story under sustained load though, with some areas of our review unit exceeding 60 °C (~140 °F). One area reaches 65 °C (~149 °F), which is dangerously hot. We measured similar temperatures while playing "The Witcher 3", with even the palm rest breaking the 40 °C (~104 °F) barrier. In short, place the 9SG on a table or a flat surface with good ventilation when gaming. The laptop will feel uncomfortably hot on your lap.

Max. Load
 53 °C
127 F
55 °C
131 F
54 °C
129 F
 
 46 °C
115 F
51 °C
124 F
49 °C
120 F
 
 42 °C
108 F
45 °C
113 F
44 °C
111 F
 
Maximum: 55 °C = 131 F
Average: 48.8 °C = 120 F
62 °C
144 F
65 °C
149 F
53 °C
127 F
57 °C
135 F
61 °C
142 F
49 °C
120 F
45 °C
113 F
45 °C
113 F
43 °C
109 F
Maximum: 65 °C = 149 F
Average: 53.3 °C = 128 F
Power Supply (max.)  50 °C = 122 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 48.8 °C / 120 F, compared to the average of 33.2 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 55 °C / 131 F, compared to the average of 39.6 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 65 °C / 149 F, compared to the average of 42.2 °C / 108 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28.9 °C / 84 F, compared to the device average of 33.2 °C / 92 F.
(-) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 47.1 °C / 117 F, compared to the device average of 33.2 °C / 92 F.
(-) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 45 °C / 113 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.8 °C / 83.8 F (-16.2 °C / -29.2 F).
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG
9750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Schenker XMG Neo 17
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop)
Dell G7 17 7790
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Alienware m17 P37E
8950HK, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
8750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Lenovo Legion Y740-17ICH
8750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Average of class Gaming
 
Heat
11%
1%
2%
11%
13%
10%
Maximum Upper Side *
55
47
15%
46.6
15%
55
-0%
53
4%
38.6
30%
45.8 (28 - 68.8, n=712)
17%
Maximum Bottom *
65
56
14%
57
12%
60
8%
50
23%
43.6
33%
49.5 (25.9 - 78, n=710)
24%
Idle Upper Side *
30
28
7%
34.4
-15%
30.4
-1%
27
10%
30.2
-1%
30.8 (21.6 - 46.8, n=662)
-3%
Idle Bottom *
32
30
6%
34.6
-8%
31.8
1%
30
6%
35
-9%
31.8 (21.1 - 50.3, n=660)
1%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2036.938.82539.843.63133.732.44034.735.1502931.96328.335.18027.930.410024.627.712524.733.316028.233.52002437.725021.745.731520.247.540020.253.250019.155.46301866.28001774.7100017.473.3125019.169.8160017.466200017.168.7250017.265.4315017.566.8400017.367.3500017.570.3630017.168.2800017.269.91000017.468.61250017.362.71600017.452.3SPL30.181.1N1.448.9median 17.5median 66Delta1.710.640.744.538.440.538.738.838.740.53742.135.443.434.946.734.253.33457.132.461.83265.93269.131.47130.366.329.571.729.382.929.285.329.280.428.976.528.580.728.886.628.583.128.377.628.174.928.275.328.171.72874.92880.927.679.627.775.240.892.9497.9median 28.9median 75.21.96.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseMSI GS75 Stealth 9SGMSI GE75 9SG
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
MSI GS75 Stealth 9SG audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (81 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 79% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 15% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 58% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

MSI GE75 9SG audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (92.85 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 12.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.7% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (11.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.9% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (14.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 31% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 64% worse
» The best had