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There is absolutely no reason to buy the MSI GS66 GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q because the faster RTX 3070 model is the same price

MSI GS66 with GeForce RTX 3070 is 20 percent faster than the RTX 2080 Max-Q model, costs about the same at retail (Image source: Xotic PC)
MSI GS66 with GeForce RTX 3070 is 20 percent faster than the RTX 2080 Max-Q model, costs about the same at retail (Image source: Xotic PC)
The GeForce RTX 3070 offers 20 percent faster graphics performance than the RTX 2080 Max-Q and it even comes with the same 1 TB SSD capacity, 32 GB RAM, and 300 Hz display. Interested buyers would be better off with the newer Ampere SKU or waiting until the RTX 2080 Max-Q SKU drops in price.
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MSI recently refreshed their GS66 series this quarter with brand new Nvidia Ampere GPUs to succeed last year's Turing lineup. The GeForce RTX 2060, RTX 2070 Max-Q, and RTX 2080 Max-Q have been replaced with RTX 3060, RTX 3070, and RTX 3080 options, respectively, alongside slight changes to the CPU. Otherwise, everything else remains essentially identical gen-to-gen.

Users in the market for a new GS66 will want to compare prices between the RTX 20 and RTX 30 options closely. As of this writing, the GS66 with RTX 2080 Max-Q costs about $2400 USD on both Amazon and Xotic PC to be the same price as the GS66 with RTX 3070 even though the latter offers 20 percent faster graphics performance. Both configuration in question come with the same 300 Hz FHD display, 1 TB NVMe storage, and 32 GB of RAM to be on equal footing aside from the GPU. Their CPUs are slightly different (Core i7-10870H vs. Core i7-10875H), but their rated clock rates are only 100 MHz apart to be identical in practical terms.

It's likely that prices for the RTX 2080 Max-Q configurations will steadily drop over time as the RTX 30 options become more readily available. If you're thinking about getting a GS66 right now, however, it's recommended to skip over the RTX 20 options due to their prices being so close to the RTX 30 SKUs when all other specifications are held equal. See our full review on the GS66 10UG with the RTX 3070 for more benchmark comparisons.

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Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - Lead Editor U.S. - 4581 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2011
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 02 > There is absolutely no reason to buy the MSI GS66 GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q because the faster RTX 3070 model is the same price
Allen Ngo, 2021-02-13 (Update: 2021-02-13)