Laptop announced date: 2nd April 2020
Last reviewed: 28th August 2020
There are so many variables influencing gaming laptop prices. The hardware they have in them can be adjusted and as soon as we change it it becomes hard to know how one laptop compares to another. This laptop review will take a look at how well the MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 can run today’s latest games and what sort of frame rates this MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 might achieve. Then we will look at its release price and summarise how good its price in regards to its gaming performance. From there you can compare this laptop and get a good idea of whether this is a good value choice for your gaming needs today and into the future.
Is the MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - This Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz processor in the laptop is an excellent gaming CPU choice for 2020 gaming. Games are beginning to lean on more CPU cores for extra processing. Fortunately this CPU has 8 cores, making it an excellent gamers processor choice.
Graphics Card - This graphics card is considered an excellent 2020 choice for modern AAA games. Loaded up with a huge amount of VRAM, this GPU has 8GB, which makes it excellent for AAA gaming.
System Memory - Today’s AAA 2020 gaming is easily covered by the 32GB RAM in this machine, making this an excellent gaming laptop choice.
Screen Size - This laptop screen (15.6") in 2020 offers up a good amount of gaming screen real estate for gamers on the move, while keeping the physical laptop footprint portable. In games the physical size of the screen can help with being able to read in game menus without squinting. You could go larger, of course, but then the larger you go the less portable a laptop becomes. For gaming laptops that are still portable, we would go for 17 inch gaming laptops.
Refresh Rate - The higher the screen panel refresh rate, the better for gaming laptops. The refresh rate is the number of times a second the screen is capable of refreshing the game’s image. If a laptop can deliver 100 frames per second (FPS) in a game and your laptop has a 60Hz refresh rate, then you will only get a max of 60 frames per second. The higher the refresh rate and the game’s FPS the smoother the sharpness is as the screen view moves around in game. The top refresh rate for this laptop is 300Hz which is excellent for gaming. Get a panel with over 60Hz refresh rate would certainly 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. Lets compare the GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q found in this laptop to today’s top 500 most demanding games. Of those games, this laptops GPU can run 494 at their minimum system requirements and then 390 games when looking at their recommended system specs.
We really want to see how the MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 will compare across all permutations of the GS66 Stealth model range. This will give us a good sense of how well it sits in terms of cost to performance within its own lineup, and will better help us decide if this laptop represents good value to us today.
Our price and performance review leads us to allocate all laptops a P2P rating out of 10, which is relative to all laptops for comparison purposes and gets adjusted over time as the prices for hardware adjust and new more capable hardware is created. This laptop is currently given a 7.2 for P2P out of 10. As not all laptops and their prices are of course valued equally we can see that this version of the GS66 Stealth laptop is in 3rd position on the best Price to Performance value rating. Those closer to 1st place are simply better gaming laptop options regarding the gaming performance they deliver for their price.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q|
|RAM||32GB DDR4 2666MHz|
15.6" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 300Hz
MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2070 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||29%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2070 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$2,249.00||6%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2||$2,449.00||0%|
|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||17%|
How about we compare our MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop to the laptop with the leading P2P rating out of all laptops and see how it compares. Today's best gaming laptop for Price to Performance is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 ($986.99) and our laptop is 141% worse if we directly compare the price to performance rating against that best hardware performance to value laptop. Again only comparing against Price to Performance we can see that the second best model in today’s P2P ranking list is the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop, and our laptop is 123% worse when compared against this price to performance rating. The price of the 2nd best laptop is listed as $858.54.
As one of the key focuses of any computer is the CPU we will want to know how well our GS66 Stealth laptop performs in this area. A good way of gauging this is to put it in a comparison with the best priced CPU focused laptop available today, and then check out its relative performance against that top CPU laptop. This top tier processor focused laptop is currently the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 1440p. With a Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz CPU in it that performs 23% better compared to our laptop’s Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz.
Today’s performance comparison for all games shows our laptop CPU can currently meet or beat 496 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 in a 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 processor requirements, our laptop CPU performs as follows - Cyberpunk 2077 our laptop CPU is 35% better and then looking at Watch Dogs Legion our laptop CPU is 35% better and finally compared to Assassins Creed: Valhalla it has a performance difference : 35% better.
One of the most important focuses of a gaming PC is the graphics card and our review laptop is certainly no different. As such we will want to know how well our GS66 Stealth laptop performs in the graphical visuals area compared to what is available on the current laptop market. A great way to consider this is by putting it into a comparison against a well priced laptop that has the most powerful laptop GPU around at the moment, and then we can review its performance against that top graphics card laptop. We have chosen this next laptop for its GPU power, which is the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K, and comes packing a GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB video card. That graphics card performs 40% better when compared to our review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q.
Today there are 390 games recommended system requirements that are worse than our GPU’s performance capability, this is when we look at the top 500 most demanding games right now. This figure becomes 494 games, when we look at the 500 demanding games for minimum Graphics Card system requirements.
A game’s listed recommended GPU requirements are a good way to compare the performance of our laptop graphics card. Lets see today's popular titles up against our laptop graphics. First off let's look at Watch Dogs Legion which shows our laptop video card has 31% better performance than it. How about Assassins Creed: Valhalla, where we see our GPU is 31% better. Then there is 31% better performance when compared against today’s most popular title, Cyberpunk 2077.
The MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 has a physical 15.6" screen size and a fixed number of pixels in that screen of 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall, or 1080p resolution. So is it ok to go for a 1080p laptop like this one or should I be considering a 4K screen resolution laptop instead of this? 4K laptops would likely come with a 60 FPS cap on games, set by the laptop screen’s 60Hz refresh rate. So regardless of what the hardware is capable of in the 4K laptop they couldn't push their FPS beyond that screen refresh rate. Now AAA games today when played at Ultra graphics settings and a 4K resolution likely don't have hardware capable of 60 FPS anyway. This review laptop has 300Hz refresh rate versions available.
To get back some of those missing FPS on a AAA game we lower the game’s displayed screen resolution and get some stability in the game’s performance. This is usually a last resort for gamers though and not the sort of action taken by someone who has just shelled out for a new 4K laptop. Lowering down from a native 4K resolution, perhaps to 1080p or 1440p ups the game’s FPS but veering from the native 4K resolution leaves a game looking blurry. Definition of graphics drops and surely this puts forward the need to question someone’s choice for a 4K gaming laptop. The laptop has got 4K capable hardware? Well when you are not on the move, plug the laptop into a 144Hz or better desktop monitor that’s 28inches and comes with a 1440p or 4K resolution to enjoy modern gaming without FPS or size limits.
4K streaming could be a viable reason to consider 4K over 1080p laptop panels.
At the moment our advice would be, stick to the 1080p laptop panels for now. Your laptop remains portable and 4K laptop’s just aren't quite there yet. The 4K needs to be a no brainer but at the moment you will still have to lower resolution in game to get playable but sub par visuals that still can't raise above 60FPS.
If you wanted a desktop monitor to go with the MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2070 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. Our cheapest tracked price for the desktop 1440p monitor was $272.99, which we recorded on 5th Aug 2020.
Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz is a good value, high performing desktop display that might work well with this laptop. It's currently priced up at $829.99 and also has a 144Hz refresh rate. 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. Reviewing tracked prices for our suggested 4k monitor, its lowest price was recorded on 11th Aug 2020, where we spotted it for $797.05.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
Possibly a suitable purpose for a 4K laptop would be if you were keen to watch 4K streaming services like Netflix. At which point perhaps it's enough of a selling point for you to consider a 4K laptop?
Perhaps in the future the 4K gaming laptop would make sense but for now certainly move forward on the 1080p laptop over the 4K options. This way your new laptop remains, well mobile and built for purpose. Picking up a 4K laptop for gaming should be a great choice but at the moment you would sadly be turning down the display quality by dropping resolution or game settings to get the game to deliver more FPS, and even then the 4K panel will likely be capped at 60FPS due to the hertz refresh rate it often comes with.
You could pick up a mouse to go with the MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2. In our spotlight at the moment is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons, which today is $11.99. 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 our regular price tracked gaming headset the best value headset today is the HyperX Cloud Stinger. With its a current price of $47.14 it should work well with this MSI GS66 Stealth i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop. Checking our records our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 12th Mar 2020 which had it priced at $25.98.