Laptop announced date: 2nd April 2020
Last reviewed: 28th August 2020
If you are looking for the best priced gaming laptop and was wondering how well the MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 can run today’s latest games, then you are in the right place. We will be focusing this review on exploring how the MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 performs against the most demanding games around and really getting a better understanding of this laptop’s price to performance today.
Is the MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - An excellent CPU for running AAA game requirements, especially during the 2020 gaming year. It will be solid for some time to come as well. The processor in this laptop has 8 cores, which makes it excellent for modern gamers, minimising the risk of throttling game processes due to a lack of available cores.
Graphics Card - The graphics solution we find in this gaming laptop can run most modern AAA titles and is an excellent 2020 laptop gaming choice of GPU. The graphics solution in the laptop also has 8GB of VRAM. This is an excellent gamers amount of VRAM and plenty for today’s big games.
System Memory - Our review laptop here has an excellent quantity of RAM for 2020 AAA games. The 32GB of RAM will meet the game requirements of the foreseeable future as well.
Screen Size - Today’s 2020 games are well supported by the 15.6" panel found attached to this laptop. While you could find a portable laptop with more screen real estate, this is a good gamer laptop choice. Our gaming laptop screen size of choice would be a 17 inch. But that's because we focus on gaming over portability and the bigger you go, the less portable your laptop becomes. In our minds, whether you are carrying a smaller 1.5 or larger 3.5Kg laptop with you, it's always going to be a lump and we would rather see the games better when we arrive. But that choice is not going to be for everyone.
Refresh Rate - Look for higher refresh rate hertz for a gaming laptop. Ideally around 120Hz or more refresh rate on a gaming laptop screen. The laptop can only deliver FPS(frames per second) up to the listed refresh rate. So if you have hardware in your laptop that can turn out awesome frame rates on all the latest AAA titles, but a 60hz refresh rate, your laptop will be stuck at a maximum of 60FPS in all games. We can see this laptop can support high gaming refresh rates, with 300Hz screen panel built in. This is excellent refresh rates for gaming. More than 60Hz would still be suitable for gaming.
Getting a good price to performance gaming laptop is what we are all trying to do when looking for our next mobile machine. The key component in this is usually the graphics card. So we will of course be considering this hardware setup and how well it could run modern popular games like Cyberpunk 2077, Watch Dogs Legion and Assassins Creed: Valhalla to help us know if this graphics card and laptop is a good price to performance point. We do this by considering the gaming frame rates achieved at its native 1080p resolution while the games would be running at Ultra video settings. The GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q card that's powering the MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop, when compared to today’s top 500 most demanding games, can run 500 at min system specs and will run 490 games when comparing to their increased recommended system requirements.
As you have probably discovered during your research into buying your next gaming laptop, getting an up-to-date value assessment that enables you to compare a laptop’s hardware performance against today’s games is tricky. And especially so, when we factor in all variations of hardware and prices that the GS66 Stealth comes with. What we have done in this MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop review is give a price to performance rating to help standardise our comparisons.
P2P rating of 6 today the MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2. Our value to performance rating score will auto adjust as new hardware capability improves and prices drop. Today the MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop sits at 5th place compared to all the other permutations of the GS66 Stealth range. Laptops placed nearer to 1st place in the P2P list of the model range will be better value for your money when looking at gaming laptops in this range.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q|
|RAM||32GB DDR4 2666MHz|
15.6" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 300Hz
MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-10750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$1,699.00||50%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2070 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$2,249.00||23%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2||$2,449.00||17%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$2,699.00||8%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2||$2,999.00||0%|
It's good to see how this GS66 Stealth laptop compares to models outside of its own model range as well. If we look at the very best P2P laptop, the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, our laptop has 181% worse performance difference when comparing its price to performance rating. That top laptop currently has a listed price of $986.99. Another one to consider is the 2nd placed Price to Performance laptop, the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2. This one has a price listed as $858.54 and our laptop gets 161% worse against its price to performance rating.
One of the key components in a laptop is of course its CPU. So let's see if our GS66 Stealth laptop compares favourably when placed against the laptop that has one of the most powerful CPU’s around today. This comparison will at least help us know how this laptop performs against the top end CPU laptop and we can then see the amount of money we might have to pay to get that sort of laptop. The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 1440p is today’s best performer in the laptop CPU department. It has a Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz processor in it, which currently has 23% better performance than our laptop’s Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz.
Our laptop CPU beats 496 games recommended system requirements when looking at today’s top 500 most demanding games. This number changes to 500 games if we compare to the top 500 most demanding games for minimum system requirements.
Let's take a look and see how well our Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz compares against today’s most popular games. Against the recommended CPU specs for Cyberpunk 2077 our laptop is 35% better, and compared to Watch Dogs Legion it is 35% better , where as against Assassins Creed: Valhalla it delivers 35% better performance.
Wondering how strong this laptop is in the GPU department, then let's have a look at it compared to one of the current best GPU performing laptops available today and this should show us the relative graphics performance of our review model. A good laptop to compare against, that is GPU focused, would be the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K. This showcases one of the laptops for the current cheapest price, while still housing one of the most powerful laptop GPUs. It comes with a GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB graphics card slotted inside it, which can deliver 23% better performance when compared to our GPU, GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q from our review laptop.
Today’s performance comparison for all games shows our laptop GPU can currently meet or beat 490 game’s recommended system requirements when we put the 500 most demanding games into a list. With a list of 500 Minimum system specs put ina similar most demanding order this changes to it being able to run 500 games.
When compared to the most popular games around today, against their recommended graphics requirements, our laptop graphics card performs as follows - Cyberpunk 2077 our laptop video card is 50% better and then looking at Watch Dogs Legion our laptop GPU is 50% better and finally compared to Assassins Creed: Valhalla it has a performance difference : 50% better.
This laptop’s panel has a physical 15.6" screen that delivers 1920x1080 pixels natively. But should you consider moving from this 1080p laptop and searching for a 4K laptop instead, with the intention of getting better visuals for your games or movies? With 60Hz being the usual screen refresh rate on 4K laptop panels this would cap a game to run at no more than 60 frames per second, even if the 4K laptop hardware could deliver more. And then most AAA games require more powerful hardware than a laptop houses to play stable 4K Ultra graphics setting games, even at a passable but, some would consider, a bit low, 60FPS. You can find the MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 panel with 300Hz refresh rate variants.
So more likely, you will have to lower the screen resolution on your 4K laptop to 1080p or 1440p to run modern AAA games at a frame rate that doesnt stutter. By lowering the pixel count, your game will start to look blurry, as you move away from your laptop monitor’s native resolution in order to get more frames per second. Which immediately defeats the purpose of getting a 4K laptop monitor for gaming. If the new 4K laptop has the performance to play modern games at 4K resolution, then perhaps the laptop’s 15 or 17 inch screen isnt enough to fully enjoy the high pixel count? So if you have or can get a desktop monitor that delivers more than the 60Hz frame rate limiter, for that gaming experience then you can keep your laptop mobile and still enjoy high end gaming.
Maybe you are hoping to enjoy your 4K streamed movies and TV shows while on the move. And if you have access to this 4K content and it's your prime use for your new laptop then perhaps it's worth considering a 4K panel, rather than this 1080p.
We think don't spend your extra cash on getting a 4K laptop to game on, as it's likely to feel disappointing to buy a super shiny new 4K laptop, then have to lower the resolution while playing your games, delivering a blurry in-game experience, and only getting up to a maximum 60FPS due to the usual 60Hz 4K panel restriction.
If you wanted a desktop monitor to go with the MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop then this ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS would go well and has 75Hz and today’s price of $294.99. For extra price trend information on this desktop 1440p monitor, it reached its lowest tracked price on 5th Aug 2020, where it would cost $272.99.
A well priced 4K gaming monitor with 144Hz refresh rate is the Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz. It has a price today of $829.99 and should be a nice accompaniment to the MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop. During these recent weeks we have price tracked this 4k monitor and noticed that it has increased its price by $799, so keep an eye out for deals, as this great value monitor might still be found for cheaper. Helping us to round out our information for this 4k monitor we can see it reached a low price on 11th Aug 2020, we noted the low price at $797.05.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
If you are looking to view 4K streaming content, while keeping yourself mobile with your laptop, then maybe a 4K resolution panel would be a better experience than the normal 1080p. In general, we think it's probably not worth the extra money for any visual gains you might not spot, without a direct comparison, especially if you are thinking to game on your laptop as well.
Save your cash, don't grab a 4K laptop for gaming at the moment. A 1080p is certainly the best top end gaming laptop choice at the moment. There are not many 1440p monitors that we have seen. It could be a disappointing experience if you buy your new 4K laptop, and then for each modern game you pick up be faced with dropping resolution or graphics settings to achieve an ok FPS. Even then we will be seeing a max 60FPS because of the common 60Hz found on the 4K panel.
Incidentally our price track research shows us that a good gaming mouse is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons. Its price tag today is $11.99 and is topping our price tracking charts as a best value mouse. Today's best value and good quality mouse has enjoyed a price reduction of $19, and provides another reason for us to suggest it to compliment this laptop. Another point of reference for this mouse, is that our lowest recorded price for this mouse was on 15th Aug 2020 where it was costing $11.99.
|Quality||Mouse||Price (USD)||Check Regional Pricing|
|*||Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons||$11.99|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$16.99|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$44.99|
|***||Logitech G502 SE Hero||$55.99|
Of the headset we monitor and price track, today’s top headset is the HyperX Cloud Stinger, priced at $47.14. The lowest price recorded by us so far for the headset is $25.98 recorded at 12th Mar 2020.