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November 17, 2016

MSI GS63VR 6RF Stealth Pro Gaming Notebook Review


Gaming notebooks can be a great alternative for gamers who is always on the move, but most of the real deal gaming powerhouse like the GT80 Titan SLI and GT72 Dominator Pro that we've seen in the past were all heavy and bulky due to the size of heat sink and cooling fans that keeps both CPU and GPU of these system cool. The lower-end models that offers better mobility however, were packed with GTX960M or lower that has a limited performance which weren't able to handle most AAA titles as well as the higher-end GTX980M and GTX970M.

Thanks to the new power efficient Pascal architecture GPU from NVIDIA, the GTX 10 series, the AIB partners can now upgrade the lower-end model with the GTX1060, which according to NVIDIA, is as capable as a GTX980. In order to verify the claim, we have the MSI GS63VR 6RF Stealth Pro gaming notebook here at Tech Critter's lab this time, and special thanks to MSI Malaysia Notebook for the provision of the review unit!

(The MSI GS63VR 6RF Stealth Pro gaming notebook is retailed at RM8999)


Specifications


Overview

The GS63VR 6RF Stealth Pro is MSI's latest gaming notebook for gamers on the go that prefers a lightweight, yet powerful gaming notebook to suit their needs. 


While the brushed metal texture and the glowing MSI Gaming Dragon logo on the lid might be an added point to the aesthetics, its also a fingerprint and grease magnet, which can be annoying for the clean freaks. 


Its hinge design allows you to put the GS63VR completely flat on any work space without having to worry about breaking the hinge.


As usual, the keyboard is prepared by the renown gaming peripherals manufacturer, Steelseries, which now comes with an improved gaming optimized key matrix to support more than the 6 KRO limit (not incl modifiers) on the previous generation design. 


The click pad doesn't comes with any form of lighting like the keyboard, but its smooth surface and the crisp of its click is something worth the praise.


Apart of being an ultra-thin gaming notebook equipped with an Intel 6th-Gen Core i7 CPU and NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics, the GS63VR too, is equipped with all the necessities for a gamer. On the left, you'll find 3 x USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, an RJ45 Ethernet port and audio jacks for headphones and microphones for your gaming and daily usage needs. 

Mini-DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI port for external display can be found on the right, in case if you need a bigger screen to improve your gaming experience with the GS63VR. A USB Type-C port and USB 2.0 port too, can be found on the right of the GS63VR for removable storage device and external pointing device/ keyboard if you've used up all the USB 3.0 ports on the left. The only thing that annoys us here is none other than the power button, which is prone to accidental shutdown during relocation.


At the bottom of the GS63VR, you'll find a large piece of cloth like material which we assume, act as a protective later for easier handling in case of high temperature. The ventilation grill doesn't looks that airy though, but it'll still suffice for most of the time if it's handled properly - sufficient space between the bottom of the GS63VR and the working surface.


According to MSI, the GS63VR adopts a strong lightweight Magnesium-Lithium alloy in its design that is 44% stiffer than the traditional aluminum-only chassis, which allows it to weigh only 1.89kg and 17.7mm thin.

MSI Dragon Center

The pre-installed MSI Dragon Center is something similar to the MSI Dragon Gaming Center software that we've seen on the previous generation MSI gaming notebook, a handy tool that allows user to monitor the system status, customize the keyboard lighting and LED color, toggle system performance and more - Aside of the new look, the user interface much more organized and intuitive now! 

Gaming Test
The GS63VR packs the latest NVIDIA GTX 10 series graphics, the GTX 1060 with a slightly reduced performance for gaming notebooks. In our controlled test, We've gone through some selected titles in our library separately, with the GTX 1060 on stock clock and overclocked ( 126MHz on the GPU Clock and 210MHz on the memory clock).

Do note that the listed FPS above is the result of the selected titles on its highest settings

Key Rollover Test
As we have mentioned earlier that the key rollover feature has been greatly improved this time, here's a preview of the keys registered via the Aqua Key Test tool from OTD.kr: 


The key matrix are now optimized to support better, games that requires more keys to be registered at the same time.



And let's not forget the test for the commonly used key combination for rhythm games, which of course, passed with flying colors.


Battery Life

The battery life for the GS63VR didn't last too long under heavy usage as it only managed to sustain for approximately 56 minutes after a heavy gaming session under high-performance mode before it decided to turn itself off. While running under power saver mode for lightweight usage i.e document processing, reading, web browsing, the GS63VR manage to last for approximately 3 hours and 17 minutes.

Verdict
If portability and performance are the things that you care the most when it comes to selecting a gaming notebook, the GS63VR Stealth Pro is one that fits the description. The gaming performance totally deserves a thumbs up, as we manage to get some pretty impressive numbers from the AAA titles in our test list at the highest possible settings, which is something you don't get to see on a gaming notebooks of the same tier in the past. 

The GS63VR might be a pretty awesome portable gaming powerhouse you own, but you'll still need to accept the fact that the portability and performance of the GS63VR does comes with a priceof short battery life and less impressive default cooling performance while under heavy load. These issue can be overcome easily, but you'll be sacrificing both the acoustic performance and flexibility to relocate whenever you want with the cooler boost enable, and being stuck nearby the wall socket. Just so you now. 


Price wise, the MSI MSI GS63VR 6RF Stealth Pro is definitely not the kind of budget-friendly gaming notebook for those who is limited by budget. Retailed at the price of RM8999, this gaming notebook is enough to get you a really kick-ass gaming desktop that performs way much better, and of course, heavier. 


Still, if you are one of those gamers who is always on the move and prefer a lightweight, yet powerful gaming notebook and of course, have some extra budget to spend on, the MSI GS63VR 6RF Stealth Pro is the gaming notebook that are seriously worth of your consideration.

Pros
  • Extremely portable
  • Very decent graphics performance
  • Good overclocking headroom for GPU
  • Improved gaming optimized key matrix
  • Generous amount of USB 3.0 ports
  • Consider future proof with USB Type-C MSI SuperPort (Thunderbolt 3) port
Cons
  • Costly
  • Not so strategic position for the power button 
  • Limited cooling performance without cooler boost enabled
  • Limited battery life


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