MSI GS77 Stealth assessment: Do not let the title idiot you

Do not let the title idiot you – there’s nothing hidden about this gadget.

The MSI GS77 Stealth has lengthy been the transportable selection amongst MSI’s gaming elite, and whereas that reality has held dubiously true with final yr’s 5.4-pound GS76 Stealth, this yr’s 0.79-inch, 6.17-pound GS77 launched that concept in a nutshell. Energetic within the solar. This laptop computer is large, thick and hulking, and whereas it lacks the sunshine bars and LED grilles that different flashy gaming laptops boast, its RGB keyboard nonetheless makes it clear that it is for gaming above all else.

This is not essentially an enormous blow to the gadget—the GS76 was too gentle for what it was, and the GS77 introduced the Stealth collection again in step with the remainder of the 17-inch market. It now weighs barely greater than Razer’s Blade 17 and Asus Zevirus S17. And it is about the identical weight as MSI’s extra highly effective GE76 Raider.

One can see why MSI needed to extend it as a result of the chips inside have been frying almost each chassis it touches this yr. The mannequin we despatched features a Twelfth-generation Core i7-12900H processor — one of the crucial highly effective cell chipsets in Intel’s historical past — paired with Nvidia’s RTX 3070 Ti, 32GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and it is all working With a QHD display of 240 Hz.

However the brand new match removes a giant benefit the GS77 used to have on these fashions: the GS77 Stealth seems to have misplaced a few of what made it so fascinating as a “transportable” buy. The keyboard is on the flat aspect, the touchpad is uncomfortably stiff, the battery life is not good, and the gadget is simply too large and heavy to carry anyplace reliably. What we’re left with is a PC that calls for lots of the identical compromises as essentially the most highly effective gaming laptops available on the market with out providing the identical distinctive body charges.

For extra details about our scores, see How will we classify?.

The principle benefit Stealth now has is its value. My take a look at unit is presently listed for $2,899. For this GPU in a GE76 Raider (which has a greater Core i9 processor plus fancier design) it will be $100 morewhereas a QHD Razer Blade 17 with 3070 Ti The entire shall be $3,399.99. I’ve additionally been capable of finding GS77 fashions for As low as $1,799 (for a 144Hz 1080p show, an RTX 3060, and 16GB of RAM), whereas the Cheapest blade on Razer It is $2,799 and begins the Twelfth technology rider Priced at $2,299. Nevertheless, $2,899 is hardly a finances value, and it is value realizing the compromises you make for that low price.

The MSI GS77 Stealth is seen from the top half open on a green fabric seat.

The duvet is considerably fingerprint-free.

Rear left corner of the MSI GS77 Stealth.

This can be a massive a part of the keyboard deck.

First, the side of the GS77 that’s an unquestionable enchancment over final yr: construct high quality. It is grabbed the MSI chassis previously, however the GS77’s base and canopy are sturdy and steady. The trackpad collected some fingerprints pretty simply, however the remainder of the chassis was not very engaging to them. It is a good trying pc, and it did not decide up any dents or dents after hitting it in a bag for a couple of days.

Different perks of the earlier fashions stay. There’s a good choice of ports together with two USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, a headphone jack, HDMI, ethernet, and an SD card reader. (SD Reader is oddly slower than it was final yr, nonetheless, As noted by other reviewers.) QHD display makes video games look nice. There are six enormous audio system inside, and whereas they do not ship the perfect 17-inch sound available on the market, my video games nonetheless sound fairly good. I have not had any points with the microphones, which assist AI noise cancellation, and the webcam has a bodily kill change on the aspect for peace of thoughts.

The surface of the MSI GS77 Stealth keyboard is seen from above on a yellow fabric seat.  The screen displays The Verge home page.

However the touchpad is one other story.

Nevertheless, I am unable to actually see myself utilizing this gadget as a day by day driver for 2 essential causes: the keyboard and the touchpad. The keyboard is properly lit, however it’s very skinny to sort on, with a extra squishy than clicking really feel. And whereas there’s a quantity pad, the keys are all a bit cramped in consequence. The arrow keys, particularly, look small.

And the touchpad is actually the place I am having hassle. It is large however it was a tricky one faucet as I attempted it on my touchpad. (And it is fairly loud too.) I felt like I actually needed to slide my finger all the way down to get a faucet taped. I used to be about to plug in a mouse (one thing I do not do once I’m testing productiveness use circumstances, as a basic coverage) as a result of I hate navigating with it. These aren’t remarkable compromises in terms of 17-inch gaming laptops, however they underscore how little I would suggest doubling this up as a day by day driver.

The MSI GS77 Stealth is closed to a yellow fabric seat seen from above.

The dragon remains to be there, however it’s defeated.

In the case of body charges, how do these specs stack up? With all of the sliders reaching their restrict, Pink Lifeless Redemption 2 It ran at 60 fps at native decision (technically 59.3, however we will name it 60). That jumped to 65 at 1080p. on me Shadow of the Tomb Raider At 1080p we noticed a mean of 83fps with ray tracing on Extremely (its most setting) and 121 with the characteristic turned off. At native decision, it is translated to 58 fps (one other quantity we will loosely name 60) and 86, respectively. All in all, greater than enjoying.

The GS77 400 FPS put absurdity on a heavy CPU CS: GO 1080p and nonetheless very excessive 286 at 1440p. The one title that brought about any hassle to the sport is Cyberpunk 2077, Which — at native decision, at most settings, with ray tracing as much as “Psycho” — ran at 19 fps (however it hit 33 at these settings at 1080p).

General, that is undoubtedly an enchancment over the outcomes from final yr’s mannequin, and reveals you should not have an issue working most fashionable video games at QHD decision, though it is decrease than what you may get from the worth tag of Core i9 and RTX 3080 machines. A disappointing omission. For the hopes, although: The GS77 would not have a MUX change. This part (which each Raider and Blade have) permits laptops to assist adaptive options like G-Sync and also can make an enormous distinction in efficiency. It is form of bizarre to be neglected at this value level, and one thing that I think about many individuals keen to pay $2900 would not be keen to surrender.

The ports are on the left side of the MSI GS77 Stealth.

See this little shift? That is for the webcam.

When it got here to different workloads, Stealth was extra aggressive. You accomplished the Adobe Premiere Professional 4K video export take a look at of 5 minutes and 33 seconds in 2 minutes and 15 seconds. Ryder beat this time, clocking in at 1 minute 56 seconds, however he is one in all only a few laptops to ever accomplish that. Final yr’s 3070 GS76 was 12 seconds slower. (These comparisons usually are not meant to be apples-to-apples comparisons, as completely different variations of Premiere can change over time; they need to offer you an concept of ​​how lengthy the export may take.)

The GS77 additionally beat the GS76, together with the Blade and different artistic workstations just like the Gigabyte Aero 16, within the Puget Programs benchmark for Premiere Professional, which assessments reside playback and export efficiency in 4K and 8K. (I misplaced to the Commandos loads.) This is not a laptop computer I would suggest folks use for workplace workloads, so the GS77’s good efficiency right here is not its largest level.

The ports are on the right side of the MSI GS77 Stealth.

Two USB-C and SD are on the correct.

The keyboard deck of the MSI GS77 Stealth is seen from above.

The charging port, HDMI, and ethernet are on the again.

MSI’s software program actually is not as complicated because it has been previously few years, which is an encouraging signal. I had no downside setting fan profiles with the pre-installed software program. I had one glitch the place the display began turning off once I tried to play video games (an issue with a gaming laptop computer). MSI despatched me a substitute unit, which didn’t present this downside. Nevertheless, it isn’t the sort we prefer to see on $2,900 value of merchandise.

Then we get to what I see as the most important compromise right here: battery life. I used to be averaging solely 2 hours and 16 minutes of steady use of this factor, with some trials lasting even lower than 2 hours. This needs to be near the worst battery run I’ve ever gotten from a gaming laptop computer. Whereas it is usually understood that cheaper laptops may have much less highly effective chipsets in them, having to surrender battery life in addition to that energy (the Raider took me two hours longer with the identical workload) is a tough tablet to swallow.

Should you’re completely in search of body charges on paper, this laptop computer is an effective purchase. It will probably play every kind of video games in QHD with out burning the basement.

However the Stealth title, and the way in which the streak has been traditionally laid out, may counsel to some those that this gadget is an effective selection for extra than simply gaming. it isn’t; MSI’s modifications to the Stealth line made this Stealth extra highly effective on the expense of different options that made it effectively disguised. It is too large and heavy to hold round in a bag or backpack, the battery life is unusable for on a regular basis work away from an outlet, and the keyboard and touchpad would not be my selection for daily use. That is not actually a conveyable various to Raider. It is simply an inexpensive model of Raider.

Which is an effective factor, if that is what you are in search of. However with the Raider providing extra highly effective specs, higher battery life, extra RGB, and a MUX change for a couple of hundred additional {dollars}, I feel it supplies a greater general expertise that is effectively definitely worth the cash for folks purchasing in that vary.

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