Laptop announced date: 28th June 2019
Last reviewed: 26th February 2020
If you are looking for the best priced gaming laptop and was wondering how well the MSI GF65 Thin i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB 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 GF65 Thin i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB 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 GF65 Thin i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Ok
Processor - Our laptop’s Core i5-9300H 4-Core 2.4GHz processor is just about OK as a gamers processor. However, in a year or so this bit of hardware will start to show its age and performance when up against modern game requirements. This CPU has 4 cores, which is a good number for avoiding bottlenecked processes in modern AAA games.
Graphics Card - This laptop comes with a good choice of graphics card capable of running lots of 2020 AAA games. This GPU has 6GB VRAM, which is a good amount for AAA gaming but you could find other modern GPU’s that provide more.
System Memory - This laptop system memory is capable of meeting the latest game requirements of 2020, making it a step closer to being a good laptop for gamers.
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. We would normally be aiming for 17 inch panels for a good gaming laptop dimension. However, they are heavier and bigger, so it really depends on how portable you want your laptop.
Refresh Rate - Refresh rates can be hard to see, when the laptop reseller doesn't make it clear. Assume 60Hz if this is the case. Ideally for a gaming laptop you want 120Hz. This means the games you run can get up to 120 frames per second, assuming the hardware inside them is powerful enough to deliver that FPS. The refresh rate caps a games deliverable FPS even if the hardware can deliver more FPS than the Hz. Refresh rates are tied to the laptop’s screen. This laptop has an ok refresh rate for modern gaming but at 60Hz it could restrict FPS if the laptop was capable of delivering more than the refresh rate.
One of the most important components to a gamer for this laptop is getting it’s graphics card right. We will be taking a look at the sort of price to performance ratio the laptop hardware has and in particular help us know if how well the graphics card can run Cyberpunk 2077 at 1080p ultra settings. A first point of reference is seeing how many the mobile gpu, a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Mobile found in this laptop, can run of today's 500 most demanding games. In particular it would seem that it can currently run 352 at recommended graphics requirements and then 492 games at their min specs.
When we factor in all variations of hardware and prices that the GF65 Thin laptop comes with, it gets very difficult to understand what value each permutation of this laptop will offer. To help us compare laptops based on their direct gaming value and capabilities, we defined a price to performance rating and allocated it to every laptop we review. Because as you have no doubt discovered during your research, it is very difficult to compare laptops for value against all other laptops. Even within their own model range. As soon as you adjust a single component and the laptop price shifts, what has that done to the gaming value of your laptop and is it still ok value for money? So we use a P2P rating to standardise the way we can look at all laptops. Of course laptops have tonnes of other values that are breathed into them when they are designed and they are not just about price to performance. But this is certainly a good way for us to help see the bigger picture, especially for a gaming laptop.
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 8.9 for P2P out of 10. With these hardware components the MSI GF65 Thin i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop is placed at 6th position within the GF65 Thin range, when put into the price to performance order. Those laptops closer to the number 1 position of this list are the better value propositions today.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i5-9300H 4-Core 2.4GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Mobile|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 2666MHz|
15.6" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 60Hz
MSI GF65 Thin i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$1,049.00||44%|
|i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$1,169.99||29%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$1,199.00||29%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 8GB RAM 512GB M.2||$1,129.00||7%|
|i5-9300H RTX 2060 Mobile 8GB RAM 512GB M.2||$997.00||3%|
|i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB M.2||$999.00||0%|
|i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 512GB M.2||Price Unknown|
|i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB M.2||Price Unknown|
It's good to see how this GF65 Thin 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 72% worse performance difference when comparing its price to performance rating. That top laptop currently has a listed price of $986.99. The next best model is Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, which costs $858.54. Our GF65 Thin review laptop is 60% worse when comparing Price/Performance against the next top P2P laptop. Again this is purely a value for performance comparison, and many things go into helping us choose the right laptop for us. This is a good indicator but it's certainly then worth looking through the range for other configurations of a laptop you are interested in to find the right price point for you.
Now we will see if our laptop compares favourably against the top CPU performance focused mobile PC that is currently available. For processor focused performance we choose the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 1440p laptop for today’s comparison. This top end CPU laptop comes with a Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz processor in it that performs 131% better if we put it against our review laptop’s Core i5-9300H 4-Core 2.4GHz processor.
Today there are 0 games recommended system requirements that are worse than our CPU’s performance capability, this is when we look at the top 500 most demanding games right now. This figure becomes 425 games, when we look at the 500 demanding games for minimum processor system requirements.
But the real test is seeing how well the laptop CPU performs against today's popular games. Our Core i5-9300H 4-Core 2.4GHz compared against recommended processor requirements for Cyberpunk 2077 delivers 22% worse performance while against Watch Dogs Legion it’s 22% worse and finally compared to Assassins Creed: Valhalla it has a performance difference : 22% worse.
Shall we see if our review laptop holds out favourably against a top GPU performance focused laptop PC that is currently available. We have the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K as one of today’s best graphics crunching laptop. It comes with a GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB video card in it, which currently has 67% better performance compared to our laptop’s GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Mobile.
Today’s performance comparison for all games shows our laptop GPU can currently meet or beat 352 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 492 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 10% better and then looking at Watch Dogs Legion our laptop GPU is 10% better and finally compared to Assassins Creed: Valhalla it has a performance difference : 10% better.
The MSI GF65 Thin i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB 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? A 4K laptops will likely run with 60Hz screen refresh rate, so should the laptop’s hardware be able to get good frame rates at 4K resolution and due to the refresh rate the laptop would max out at 60 frames per second as its screen would not be capable of delivering any higher. Modern games in Ultra graphics settings are also normally too demanding for a 4K resolution anyway. This particular laptop refresh rate options are 60Hz.
So a quick lowering of a AAA game’s screen resolution, from a native 4K laptop panel down to either 1080p or perhaps 1440p would increase the frame rate. And thus improve the stability of your gameplay. But a laptop display panel has a fixed number of pixels. Moving away from that exact number of pixels in a game lowers the definition quality of the graphics in the game. Making the experience sub par and if you do this often, then this seriously puts into question your choice for a 4K gaming laptop. A 1080p laptop can still have some powerful gaming hardware in it and if it is good enough to run AAA games at larger resolutions like 4K or 1440p then attach it to a desktop monitor while you are at home and stationary. If the desktop monitor is pretty good then it wont have a 60Hz refresh rate limiting its FPS count in game. And is likely to be a whole lot more enjoyable playing on a 24 inch or larger monitor than the more standard 15 or 17inch screen normally found on gaming laptops.
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?
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.
Today’s well priced 1440p desktop monitor we have found is a ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS that has a 75Hz refresh rate and priced at $294.99. The suggested 1440p monitor price tracker recorded on 5th Aug 2020, where it reached the low cost price of $272.99.
Here is a 4K monitor to compliment any laptop - Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz. We watch a handful and it is currently the best priced at $829.99. It has a 144Hz refresh rate as well. During these past 2 weeks, this 4K monitor’s price has gone up by $799. 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]
The primary 4K use would most likely be streaming movie and TV content at that resolution, assuming you have access to these services in 4K. At which point perhaps its enough of a selling point for you to consider a 4K laptop..
As you can probably gather from the information above, it's probably not worth the extra cash for a 4K laptop if gaming is your Laptop purpose. 1080p is likely plenty and has enough alternative gaming options for when you want better resolution. It feels like you might not get what you were after if you picked up a shiny new 4K laptop, then was needing to lower game resolution, while getting blurry in-game experience and achieving a max 60FPS when you could push the hardware into better frame rates.
Of our regular price tracked gaming mice the best value mouse today is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons. With its a current price of $11.99 it should work well with this MSI GF65 Thin i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop. 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. Reviewing all our records the lowest tracked price we have for this mouse was recorded on 15th Aug 2020, where it was priced at $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|
A good value gaming headset available at the moment, one that should go well with the MSI GF65 Thin i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 is, HyperX Cloud Stinger with a price of $47.14. The lowest price recorded by us so far for the headset is $25.98 recorded at 12th Mar 2020.