Laptop announced date: 28th June 2019
Last reviewed: 26th February 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 GF65 Thin i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 can run today’s latest games and what sort of frame rates this MSI GF65 Thin i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB 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 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. CPU cores in modern gaming are being utilised more and more by the AAA releases. This CPU has 4 cores, which is certainly a good number of cores.
Graphics Card - The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Mobile is certainly a good gaming graphics card for a 2020 laptop. This GPU has 6GB VRAM, which is certainly a good amount for most modern games.
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 - By our standards our review laptop’s 15.6" panel is considered good for modern 2020 gaming. There are larger laptops but with this laptop you will get a good balance between portability and gaming viewability. The screen size provides a gamer with larger menus, whereas the resolution of the panel provides definition. Exploring for a suitable gaming laptop, we look at 17 inches for the better viewing size, 15 inches is always a good size if portability is more your focus, but in our minds we want the largest screen size while still being portable, so we can more clearly see the games.
Refresh Rate - Gaming laptops might well be capable of getting high frames per second nowadays, but sometimes the laptop comes with a 60Hz refresh rate. This refresh rate is the number of times an image can be displayed by the screen. So if your graphics card and processor can get 100 FPS in most games, it will only ever be displayed by the laptop as 60FPS because of the refresh rate of 60Hz. Look for 120Hz on a good gaming laptop, or 144Hz on an excellent gaming laptop The top refresh rate we have seen for this laptop is 120Hz. Making this laptop screen a good gamer choice. There are some better options out there but this is certainly good enough for today’s gaming.
The big one in any gaming PC is making sure the graphics card is up to the task of modern gaming. And this is of course the same for choosing the right gaming laptop as well. Therefore we will be considering this laptop’s hardware in relation to its overall price and how well it could run modern demanding or popular games like Cyberpunk 2077, Watch Dogs Legion and Assassins Creed: Valhalla. This is done in relation to its native 1080p resolution at Ultra video settings to give us something to compare against other laptops. We find a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Mobile mobile graphics card in this laptop, which is currently capable of playing 492 games, if you consider their minimum graphics system requirements as the playable level to beat. However, today the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Mobile is also capable of running 352 games at their recommended specs, this is when compared to the top 500 most demanding games.
Now let us compare the MSI GF65 Thin i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop to other gaming laptops, with regards to the performance ability it delivers and when considering the price of the laptop. Obviously there are many things that go into a quality laptop build, but at this point we want a standardised system to compare across laptops just on that criteria. It will consider $ of the laptop with regards to its key hardware capability in running modern games performance delivered by this laptop’s hardware.
With a P2P rating currently of 0 out of 10 for the MSI GF65 Thin i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB M.2. This relative value will change as hardware costs and their performance change over time for laptops. As not all laptops and their prices are of course valued equally we can see that this version of the GF65 Thin laptop is in 8th 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 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: 120Hz
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||100%|
|i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$1,169.99||100%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$1,199.00||100%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 8GB RAM 512GB M.2||$1,129.00||100%|
|i5-9300H RTX 2060 Mobile 8GB RAM 512GB M.2||$997.00||100%|
|i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB M.2||$999.00||100%|
|i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 512GB M.2||Price Unknown|
|i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB M.2||Price Unknown|
Looking outside of the GF65 Thin laptop range we can compare our review laptop to today’s leading Price to Performance laptop, the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, which has a recorded price of $986.99. Our laptop has 100% worse rating when comparing on just price to performance against that best bang-for-your-buck laptop. Right, now let's look at one more of the top placed Price to Performance models today. Comparing our GF65 Thin laptop against the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 shows us that our laptop gets 100% worse rating against it for price to performance. The other laptop does currently have a listed price of $858.54 to consider.
Now the processing power is one of the primary areas that we will pay for in any PC and so let's see how our GF65 Thin laptop is when compared against CPU performance with a top CPU focused laptop thats available today. 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 131% better compared to our laptop’s Core i5-9300H 4-Core 2.4GHz.
Interestingly we can see 0 games recommended system requirements are lower in performance than our laptop’s CPU performance capability. This is when we look at the top 500 most demanding games around today. For minimum system requirements in this same area the number is 425 games are worse than our cpu performance, again looking at the top 500 most demanding minimum system requirements.
When compared to the recommended processor requirements of the most popular games today, like Cyberpunk 2077 our laptop CPU is 22% worse in performance. Compared to Watch Dogs Legion our laptop processor is 22% worse.
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. Lets grab a graphics focused laptop for comparison then. We have chosen the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K laptop for its graphical performance. This big hitting GPU laptop comes with a GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB video card in it that performs 67% better if we bench it against our laptop’s GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Mobile graphics hardware.
Currently 352 games of the top 500 most demanding games today (recommended graphics requirements) can run on the review laptop’s GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Mobile. Or 492 games of the top 500 most demanding for minimum GPU specs can run on it.
When compared to the recommended graphics requirements of the most popular games today, like Cyberpunk 2077 our laptop GPU is 10% better in performance. Compared to Watch Dogs Legion our laptop graphics performance is 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? Today’s 4K laptops normally have a 60Hz screen refresh rate which would mean that should the laptop’s hardware be capable of running a 4K game, it would be restricted to a cap of 60 frames per second. As game system requirements continue to push for more powerful hardware, the components in a laptop, and many desktops as well, are simply not capable of delivering playable frame rates at Ultra graphics settings and a 4K resolution. With higher the better refresh rates for your laptop monitor, this particular MSI GF65 Thin i5-9300H GTX 1660 Ti 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop is available in 120Hz variety.
Drop the 4K screen resolution on your AAA games to 1080p to increase the games frame rate to something more playable, and in doing so will make a game look blurry as it wouldn't be displayed in the 4K laptop’s native resolution. And so is there a point in getting a 4K screen laptop at the moment? If your laptop has hardware to deliver 4K you dont need the laptop to have a 4K display to enjoy modern gaming in this way. Just plug your laptop into a 4K desktop monitor, that will likely not have the 60Hz of most 4K laptop panels.
If you stream 4K content, films, services like Netflix then perhaps the quality of 4K resolution on a 17inch panel would be better than the 1080p alternative that the majority of laptops provide.
As you can probably gather from the information above, its 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.
Incidentally our research shows the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS as our best priced 1440p monitor today. This monitor has a 75Hz refresh rate and a price tag at the moment of $294.99. To help you get a bit more insight into the pricing trends of this 1440p monitor, we have price tracked this monitor and saw its lowest price recorded at $272.99, which was taken on 5th Aug 2020.
Why not grab a monitor like the Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz 4K screen. It is currently coming in with the best price tag in the 4K range of monitors that we are watching, at $829.99 and has a 144Hz refresh rate. We price track a number of carefully chosen laptop peripherals and during these past couple of weeks we saw that this 4k monitor has seen a slight price increase, but despite that it is still better quality to value compared to our other favourite monitors. Its recent price increased by $799, so perhaps it can be found a little cheaper elsewhere at the moment To give a bit more info about this monitor we saw it cost its lowest of $797.05, which we recorded on 11th Aug 2020.
[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..
Hold that 4K gaming laptop cash for perhaps a more powerful GPU or fancy mouse or headset. That's our usual advice. Otherwise it might be a bit disheartening to pay for a 4K gaming laptop, and then be forced to turn the resolution down on modern games to get them to run smoothly.
We price track a number of good value gaming mice and the one that currently stands out is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons, which is currently available for $11.99. Price watching this mouse shows that it has had a price drop by $19 during the past couple of weeks, which gives us more reason to select it to go with today’s laptop. Another point of interest was that we saw this mouse priced at $11.99, which we tracked on 15th Aug 2020.
|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|
We price track a number of good value gaming headset and the one that currently stands out is the HyperX Cloud Stinger, which is currently available for $47.14. Checking our records our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 12th Mar 2020, which had it priced at $25.98.