Laptop with RTX 3060 for the price of a graphics card

MSI GF65 Thin Overview 22 / 02 / 20 William Hunter Visitors: 705 Rating: ★★★★★

Laptop with RTX 3060 for the price of a graphics card
The MSI GF65 Thin is not an office gadget. Its sturdy 22mm thickness and red backlit keyboard hints at its gamer's roots. However, the designers didn't go too far - there's no futuristic curves or aggressive ventilation holes.

The laptop is light enough in relation to its size: its weight is only 1.9 kg. Most of the device is plastic, made of metal surface around the keyboard and the top panel, which is quickly covered with prints. The assembly is of high quality, there were no noticeable gaps or bends in the tested sample. The only complaint is about the sharp front edge: when using the touchpad the metal edge sticks into your hand a little.
The hinges are sturdy - the screen is fixed securely at any distance up to the maximum available 160 degrees. The laptop can be opened with one hand without holding the base.

The keyboard is comfortable, though not everyone will like it too smooth. The black and red engraving of letters looks attractive in advertising pictures, but in daily life it's not the most practical solution. The colours blur, and when the backlight is off, you have to peer into the keys during the day to understand which letters are on them. The touchpad is fast and responsive, supporting all standard Windows gestures.

I'm also happy that there are plenty of ports.

There are two USB-A 3.2, a pair of USB-C 3.2, a wired network input and a hybrid headset mini-jack. All of these are positioned on the right-hand edge, while the left-hand edge has power and external display connection via HDMI 2.0.
Gone are the days of trying to reduce notebook prices by using cheap TN motherboards. The MSI GF65 Thin sports a 15.6-inch IPS display with a thin bezel, 1920x1080 pixels and a refresh rate of 144Hz. The panel gets 180-degree viewing angles and a matte surface that saves you from glare. The high hertz factor makes animations look very smooth. Going back to 60Hz is not at all desirable.
However, there were some compromises: for the quick response time of the matrix you have to pay with low colour fidelity: sRGB coverage is 50%, although you will not see problems in the browser or on YouTube. A maximum brightness level of just 250 nits is enough to work indoors, but outdoors... Do you often sit outside on a cafe's veranda with a gaming laptop? That's just it.
It's not difficult to get access to the inside of the device - you just need to unscrew a few screws from the bottom. Having done that you can get to the RAM and NVMe sockets. Only one SSD is occupied, so it's easy to upgrade the capacity. By default, the laptop has 512GB and 16GB of RAM, but upgrading allows you to double that.
The unit under test is powered by a six-core Intel Core i7-10750H processor and a GeForce RTX 3060 notebook graphics card. The GPU is weaker than the desktop version - the video memory is reduced to 6GB GDDR6 and the thermal power is 75W.

Despite this, it has outstanding performance with low power consumption.

With Full HD resolution, the laptop runs any modern hits at high graphics settings. Even the infamous rays don't collapse performance into slideshow mode: you can play Cyberpunk 2077 at maximum presets with RTX at 40 fps. And in online shooters the framerate goes over a hundred - enough power to reveal all the advantages of a 144Hz screen.
In addition to decent hardware, the novelty is pleasant and moderate operating temperature: the notebook does not overheat and does not lose frequency, and its case does not turn into a red-hot frying pan. A cooling system with six heat pipes and separate thermomodules for the CPU and GPU does the job perfectly. The fans, however, are quite noisy. But it is a standard practice for a gaming model.


The stereo speakers sound quite good.

For games, online video and video calls they are enough. Audio is loud, with clearly distinguishable mid and high frequencies.
Like many gaming laptops, the Thin GF65 doesn't boast battery life. It has a large 144Hz display and a discrete graphics card that consumes a lot of power. The battery, on the other hand, is only 51Wh, which isn't much. Browsing and typing works for around four hours, and you can watch videos for around three hours at a medium brightness level.
It's better not to play games unplugged - the battery lasts for about 30 minutes of gaming. The included charger is impressive: it weighs almost 300 grams and has a power of 180W. The device consumes so much power under heavy load that the power adapter barely fills the battery but only keeps it charged.
The MSI GF65 Thin is a lifesaver for gamers. You can play the latest releases at maximum viewing settings and it's reasonably priced. However, it does not do without compromises: the case materials are cheap, the peak brightness of the display is low, the battery life is weak. However, you can ignore all of this because the RTX 3060 graphics card has an excellent performance margin. Not to mention a high clocking screen and the ability to upgrade the memory.


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