The MSI GS66 gaming laptop combines the latestIntel 10th gen processors with Nvidia RTX Super graphics in a thinner machine, but howwell does it actually perform in games? I’ve tested 21 different games at all settinglevels and compared it with other laptops to help you decide if it’s worth it.
My GS66 has the Intel i9-10980HK CPU, NvidiaRTX 2080 Super max-Q graphics, 32gb of memory in dual channel, interestingly MSI went withDDR4-2666 despite Intel 10th gen supporting 2933, and there’s a 15.
6” 1080p 300Hzscreen.
There are different specs available though, you can find updated prices for different models linked in the description.
The MSI control panel software lets you selectdifferent performance modes, I’ve done all testing with extreme performance for bestresults.
This applies the following overclock to theGPU, and I also tested with coolerboost enabled which maxes out the fans.
The GS66 also lets us disable optimus, whichwill provide a further speed boost in games, so I’ve used this too.
We’ll only be covering gaming performancein this video, so if you’re new to the channel, you'll definitely want to get subscribed forthe upcoming thermal testing and full review.
Let’s start out by going through all gamesat all setting levels, then afterwards we’ll see how the GS66 compares with some otherlaptops.
Red Dead Redemption 2 was tested using thegame’s built in benchmark tool, and these are some of the best results I’ve seen sofar with this game on a laptop.
Ultra is still below 60 FPS, but this is justa resource heavy game.
Battlefield 5 was tested in campaign mode, I’ve got the results with RTX enabled, shown by the green bars, and RTX off, shown by thepurple bars.
With RTX off, these are some of the best resultsI’ve ever seen from this game in a laptop, we’ll see the comparisons soon, meanwhileRTX was actually able to hit 60 FPS at high settings and it played pretty well, but you’dprobably want to stick to RTX off for higher performance outside campaign mode.
Control was also tested with and without RTXenabled, however as the game also supports DLSS 2.
0 I’ve tested this in the red bars.
DLSS runs it at 720p and upscales it, andit looked pretty decent while also still performing quite well at high settings, very similarto with RTX completely off while looking better.
DOOM Eternal was tested with vulkan and regardlessof the setting level used the average FPS was extremely high, low settings was stillrequired if we wanted to take full advantage of the 300Hz screen, but 240 FPS at max settingsis still impressive.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested withthe built in benchmark, and the results were some of the best I’ve ever seen from a gaminglaptop, but we’ll compare the results in this game and others against other laptopssoon.
Apex Legends was tested with either all settingsat maximum, or all settings on the lowest possible values, as it doesn’t have predefinedsetting presets.
Even max settings was giving excellent performance, while minimum would better put the 300Hz panel to use.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare was tested incampaign mode, and I’ve also tested it with the settings either maxed out or at minimum.
Max settings was just under a 100 FPS averagewith not too much of a boost at minimum settings, it played well for me maxed out without anyissues.
Borderlands 3 was tested using the game’sbuilt in benchmark, and it was still possible to surpass 60 FPS with the highest settingpreset in this test.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint was also tested withthe benchmark tool, and despite being another resource heavy game hitting 70 FPS at ultimatesettings is a pretty good result for it, while high settings was needed to maintain above100 FPS.
Fortnite was tested with the replay feature, and medium settings was enough to give us a 300 FPS average, a great match up for the300Hz panel, while low settings would give us even 1% low performance above the refreshrate of the screen.
Overwatch is another less demanding game andwas tested in the practice range.
Again, even with the epic setting preset theframe rates are very high, while the 300 FPS frame cap was consistently hit at low andmedium settings, so another good one for the fast 300Hz screen.
CS:GO was tested using the Ulletical FPS benchmark, and the results in this test are very good for a gaming laptop.
I’ve found high FPS tests like this onegreatly benefit from laptops that let you disable the Intel GPU and run directly onthe Nvidia graphics, and that combined with the higher clock speeds of the i9 which canget hit in lighter threaded tasks is giving excellent results here.
Dota 2 was tested playing in the middle lane, and although the results were a little above average here, realistically they aren’ttoo much different when compared to other lower specced and cheaper gaming laptops, it just really doesn’t take much to run this well.
Rainbow Six Siege was tested with the builtin benchmark but using Vulkan, once more the frame rates were quite impressive for a gaminglaptop, with low settings being not too far behind the 300Hz panel it’s another titlethat is going to offer an extremely smooth experience.
Metro Exodus was tested using the built inbenchmark, most parts of the game perform a fair bit better than this, so don’t takethese results as a good indication of what to expect throughout the entire game, it’smore of a worst case, but again like most other games tested, the results were notablyhigher due to the higher end specs in my GS66.
The Division 2 was also tested with the builtin benchmark, and the results here are quite good.
The 1% lows aren’t too different to manyothers, but the average FPS, especially at lower settings, was much increased which matcheswhat we saw in many other titles, again possibly a result of the 10th gen i9.
PUBG was tested using the replay feature, and ultra settings was still running well with above 100 FPS even for the 1% low, whilevery low settings was running smooth and easily passing 200 FPS for the average.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was tested withthe built in benchmark, interestingly at max settings the performance was close to theAero 17 I tested recently, it’s got the 8 core 10875H processor and 2070 Super Max-Qgraphics, however at lower settings the GS66 offered a nice lead, let me know if you’dbe interested in a comparison between the i7 and i9 in a dedicated video.
Far Cry New Dawn was also tested with thegames benchmark, and the results were also higher than what I usually see in this testdue to the increased CPU power, granted the improvements aren’t by a huge margin.
The Witcher 3 was playing great with max settings, it’s been a while since I’ve seen above 100 FPS from a laptop there, however it waseasy to boost the performance just by stepping down to high, where even the 1% low was nearthe averages of ultra.
F1 2019 was tested using the game’s benchmarktool, and although the average FPS was higher than the Aero 17 with slightly lower specsas expected, the 1% lows at higher settings were actually lower, perhaps an instance ofthe slower memory in the GS66 resulting in lower performance? Let’s also take a look at how this configof the MSI GS66 gaming laptop compares with other laptops, use these results as a roughguide only as they were tested at different times with different drivers.
In Battlefield 5 I’ve got the GS66 highlightedin red near similarly specced machines.
In this test the 1% low is one of the bestout of this selection of laptops, while the average FPS is second best here.
It’s very close to the Triton 500 just belowit though, and although that has the non Super 2080 Max-Q graphics, it does gain a benefitby being the 90 watt variant, the GS66 runs the GPU at 80 watts.
These are the results from Far Cry 5 withultra settings in the built in benchmark.
This time the average FPS is only a littlebehind the much more powerful 180 watt 2080 in the Triton 900 just above it, but interestinglyalso a little behind the 2080 Max-Q and i7 in the Triton 500.
The 1% lows are still higher when comparedto most other laptops tested, and either way this is still one of the best results outof the laptops I’ve covered.
These are the results from Shadow of the Tombraider with the built in benchmark at highest settings.
This time the GS66 was outperforming the higherwattage 2080 Max-Q in the Triton 500 once more, however it’s still about 10 FPS behindthe 180 watt 2080 in the Triton 900 above it, either way though still one of the bestresults for a gaming laptop I’ve tested in this game.
Overall the gaming performance from the MSIGS66 is quite impressive, especially when we consider that it’s got a lower powered80 watt RTX 2080 Super Max-Q rather than say the 90 watt limit that others will have.
Keep in mind that I’ve got the highest CPUand GPU options available in my GS66, so expect lower results with lower specced models, thisis kind of a best case.
That said, MSI told me all versions of theGS66 should allow you to disable optimus, so there will be a nice speed boost in manygames as a result of that.
It may be possible that upgrading to DDR4-2933memory from the default 2666 that MSI are shipping the GS66 with could offer furtherimprovement, let me know if you’d be interested in seeing a comparison, if so I could lookat redoing the testing with faster memory to see how much it matters.
Even with these killer specs, the GS66 isonly really able to take full advantage of that 300Hz panel in esports titles, but whenthose high frame rates were being hit, it did look super smooth.
I’ve seen a comparison of 240Hz and 300Hzside by side, and in games like CS:GO where you’re actually hitting high frame ratesit does make a difference you can actually see.
I’ll cover the thermals in depth in an upcomingvideo, and there’s still the full review yet to come, so if you’re new to the channelyou’ll definitely want to get subscribed for those.