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MSI GS77 Stealth overview: do not let the title idiot you

Do not let the title idiot you – there is not anything stealthy about this tool.

The MSI GS77 Stealth has lengthy been the transportable possibility amongst MSI’s gaming elite, and whilst that truth held dubiously true with final 12 months’s 5.4-pound GS76 Stealth, this 12 months’s 0.79-inch-thick, 6.17-inch Pound GS77 successfully introduced this concept to marketplace solar. This computer is large, thick, and hulking, and whilst it lacks the sunshine strips and LED grilles that different flashy gaming laptops function, its RGB keyboard nonetheless makes it very transparent that it is essentially supposed for gaming.

This is not essentially an enormous knock in opposition to the tool – the GS76 was once slightly mild for what it was once, and the GS77 introduced the Stealth collection again in step with the remainder of the 17-inch marketplace. It now weighs quite greater than the Razer Blade 17 and Asus Zephyrus S17. And it is nearly the similar weight as MSI’s extra tough GE76 Raider.

You’ll be able to see why MSI would possibly wish to cross larger, because the chips inside of have fried just about each and every case they contact this 12 months. The fashion despatched to us includes a Twelfth-gen Core i7-12900H – one of the vital tough cell chips in Intel historical past – paired with Nvidia’s RTX 3070 Ti, 32GB of RAM and 1TB of garage, all of which recreation a 240Hz QHD display provide with electrical energy.

However the brand new scope takes away a big benefit the GS77 had over the ones fashions: The GS77 Stealth seems to have misplaced a few of what made it fascinating as a “transportable” acquire. The keyboard is at the flat facet, the touchpad is uncomfortably stiff, the battery existence is not nice, and the tool is simply too giant and heavy to reliably elevate any place. What we are left with is a pc that calls for lots of the identical compromises as essentially the most tough gaming laptops available on the market, with out handing over the similar remarkable body charges.

You’ll be able to in finding extra details about our scoring at how we price.

The principle benefit that the stealth has now’s its value. My overview unit is these days indexed for $2,899. Getting that GPU within the GE76 Raider (which has an much more tough Core i9 and a sleeker design) would value $100 extra, whilst a QHD Razer Blade 17 with the 3070 Ti would value a whopping $3,399.99. I used to be additionally in a position to search out GS77 fashions for as low as $1,799 (for a 144Hz 1080p display, an RTX 3060, and 16GB of RAM), whilst the most cost effective Blade on Razer’s site is $2,799 and the Season 12 Raider is $2,799 th era begins at $2,299. Nonetheless, $2,899 is rarely the cheap value, and it is price realizing what trade-offs you make for that lower price.

The MSI GS77 Stealth half open from above on a green fabric bench.

The lid is slightly fingerprint-free.

The rear left corner of the MSI GS77 Stealth.

So is way of the keyboard deck.

First, the facet of the GS77 that represents an plain growth over final 12 months: construct high quality. I have fretted over MSI’s case prior to now, however the GS77’s base and lid are each robust and unyielding. The trackpad amassed some fingerprints slightly simply, however the remainder of the case wasn’t an excessive amount of of a magnet for them. It is a great having a look pc and it hasn’t suffered any scratches or dents after being driven round in a suitcase for a couple of days.

Different advantages of earlier fashions stay. There is a just right vary of ports, together with two USB-C, two USB-A, a headphone jack, HDMI, Ethernet and an SD card reader. (The SD reader is oddly slower than final 12 months, on the other hand, as different reviewers have famous.) The QHD show makes video games glance nice. There are a whopping six audio system inside of, and whilst they do not ship the most efficient audio at the 17-inch marketplace, my video games nonetheless sounded lovely just right. I had no problems with the mics supporting AI noise aid and the webcam has a bodily shutter transfer at the facet for some quiet.

The MSI GS77 stealth keyboard deck from above on a yellow fabric bench.  The Verge home page will appear on the screen.

However the touchpad is a unique tale.

Then again, I in point of fact cannot consider the use of this tool as a day by day motive force for 2 essential causes: keyboard and touchpad. The keyboard has great lighting fixtures, however is slightly skinny for typing and feels spongy moderately than crisp. And whilst there is a quantity pad, it makes the keys all a little cramped. The arrow keys particularly really feel small.

And the touchpad is the place I in point of fact struggled. It is giant, however clicking was once tougher than I have ever skilled on a touchpad. (And it is lovely loud, too.) I felt like I in point of fact needed to press down with my finger to sign in a click on. I used to be about to plug in a mouse (one thing I do not do when trying out productiveness use circumstances, as a basic information) as a result of I hated navigating with it. Those are not exceptional compromises in terms of 17-inch gaming laptops, however they underscore how little I might suggest this as a day by day motive force.

The MSI GS77 Stealth closed on a yellow fabric bench seen from above.

The dragon continues to be there, however it is subdued.

How do those specifications stack up in relation to body charges? When all sliders are set to most, Pink Useless Redemption 2 ran at a median of 60 frames according to moment at local solution (technically 59.3, however we will be able to name it 60). That jumped to 65 at 1080p. On Shadow of the Tomb Raider At 1080p we noticed a median of 83 frames according to moment with ray tracing on Extremely (most environment) and 121 with the function disabled. At local solution, those translated to 58 frames according to moment (every other quantity we will be able to simply name 60) and 86, respectively. All in all greater than playable.

The GS77 delivered an absurd 400 frames according to moment at the CPU temper CS:GO in 1080p and nonetheless relatively top 286 at local 1440p. The one identify that brought about issues for the sport was once cyberpunk 2077, which – at local solution, at most settings, with ray tracing cranked as much as “Psycho” – ran at 19 frames according to moment (however hit 33 at those settings in 1080p).

All in all, those are for sure an growth over final 12 months’s fashion’s effects, and display that you should have no hassle operating most current video games at QHD solution, regardless of being under what you get with the pricier Core i9 and will succeed in RTX 3080 machines. There is one disappointing omission, regardless that: the GS77 does not improve MUX. This element (which each the Raider and Blade have) lets in laptops to improve adaptive options like G-Sync and too can lead to a vital distinction in efficiency. It is an bizarre factor to rule out at this value level, and I might consider many of us keen to shell out $2,900 would not wish to compromise.

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

See that little transfer? That is for the webcam.

On different workloads, the stealth was once extra aggressive. It finished our 5-minute, 33-second 4K Adobe Premiere Professional video export check in two mins and 15 seconds. The Raider beat it via a minute and 56 seconds this time, however it is one of the crucial few laptops to ever accomplish that. Ultimate 12 months’s 3070 GS76 was once 12 seconds slower. (Those don’t seem to be direct comparisons as other variations of Premiere can exchange through the years; they’re extra supposed to come up with an concept of ​​how lengthy an export would possibly take.)

The GS77 additionally beat the GS76, in addition to the Blade and different inventive workstations just like the Gigabyte Aero 16 within the Puget Techniques benchmark for Premiere Professional, which checks are living playback and export efficiency at 4K and 8K. (It misplaced so much in opposition to the Raider). This is not a computer I might suggest to other folks for workplace paintings, so the GS77’s just right efficiency is not its largest draw right here.

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

Two USB-C and one SD at the proper facet.

The top view of the MSI GS77 Stealth's keyboard deck.

The charging port, HDMI and Ethernet are at the again.

MSI’s tool is no doubt no longer as buggy as it’s been in recent times, which is an encouraging signal. With the pre-installed methods, I had no issues adjusting fan profiles and the like. I ran right into a malicious program the place the display would flip off when looking to run video games (an issue on a gaming computer). MSI despatched me a substitute tool that did not have this drawback. Nonetheless, it is not what we adore to peer on $2,900 merchandise.

After which we come to what I see as the most important compromise right here: battery existence. I have best used this factor ceaselessly for roughly two hours and 16 mins on moderate, with some makes an attempt even lasting lower than two hours. This needs to be the worst battery existence I have ever gotten out of a gaming computer. Whilst it is common wisdom that less expensive laptops pack much less tough chips, sacrificing battery existence on most sensible of that efficiency is a troublesome tablet (the Raider lasted me about two hours longer with the similar workload).

In case you are simply having a look on the body charges on paper, this computer is a great purchase. It might run a wide variety of video games in QHD solution with out burning down your basement.

However the Stealth nickname and the way in which the road has been traditionally situated would possibly imply to a few those that this tool is a great selection for extra than simply gaming. It isn’t; MSI’s adjustments to the Stealth line have made them extra tough on the expense of different options that made them Stealthy. It is too giant and heavy to repeatedly elevate round in a briefcase or backpack, the battery existence is not usable for day by day paintings clear of an outlet, and the keyboard and touchpad simply would not be my select for day by day use. This is not in point of fact a transportable selection to the Raider anymore. It is only a less expensive model of the Raider.

Which is ok if that is what you might be on the lookout for. However because the Raider gives higher-performing specifications, higher battery existence, extra RGB, and a MUX transfer for a couple of hundred greenbacks extra, I believe it gives an all-around higher enjoy that is neatly definitely worth the cash for other folks buying groceries on this lineup will likely be.

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