Reviews

MSI GS76 Stealth Review (i9-11900H, RTX 3080)

MSI is a gaming laptop brand that considers all types and manner of consumers. This company acknowledges that there is a group of people who are ardent gamers but also in the business class. This group of people usually look for something light that they can easily carry about but it should also be powerful enough to handle all sorts of games. For this class of people, MSI has the GS Stealth series.

The MSI GS Stealth series is very distinctive and its major selling point is the thin and light business-class appearance with a gaming level performance. Consumers who need a balance between hardcore games and business (work) find the Stealth series very attractive. One of the most recent gaming laptops in the GS Stealth series is the MSI GS76 Stealth. This laptop comes with a new generation of CPU and GPU and the company also updates the large screen of the new MSI GS76 Stealth.

At the launch of this gaming laptop, the company unveiled two models. The top-of-the-line MSI GS76 Stealth as well as the watered-down MSI GS66 Stealth. While the latter costs a little above $2000, the former is selling for about $4,250. Today, we have the flagship MSI GS76 Stealth for review and you can find the basic configuration information in the table below

MSI GS76 Stealth Specifications

Screen 17.3″ UHD (3840 x 2160), 120Hz, 100% Adobe RGB, IPS, 500nits, B173ZAN06.1
Processor Intel® Core™ Intel Core i9-11900H Processor
Wireless Connection Killer E3100 LAN (Up to 2.5G)
Killer WiFi 6E AX1675 (2×2 ) + Bluetooth v5.2
Graphics card NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3080 16GB GDDR6. Up to 1365MHz Boost Clock, 95W Maximum Graphics Power with Dynamic Boost.
Memory 16GB DDR4-3200 Memory, 2 x SO-DIMM Slot, Max 64GB
Storage 512GB, 2x M.2 SSD slots
Camera IR HD type (30fps@720p)
Ports 1x Type-C (USB / DP / Thunderbolt™ 4) with PD charging
1x Type-C (USB3.2 Gen2 / DP)
2x Type-A USB3.2 Gen2
1x RJ45
1x SD (XC/HC)
1x (8K @ 60Hz / 4K @ 120Hz) HDMI
Battery 99.9Whr Battery
OS Windows 10 Home
Weight 2.45 kg

MSI GS76 Stealth: Design and Appearance

The first thing you will probably notice about the MSI GS76 Stealth is its portable size. However, one interesting part of this device is that it has a huge 17.3-inch large screen. However, it assumes the size of an average 15.6-inch gaming notebook with its 396.1mm x 259.4mm x 20.25mm dimension. As a top-of-the-line gaming notebook, one will expect this device to be very heavy. However, this is not the case as this ultra-thin notebook with flagship hardware weighs only 2.45kg. While this is not the lightest gaming notebook in the industry, considering its high-end hardware and massive cooling system, this weight is “light”.

MSI GS76 Stealth
Image credit: MSI

The body design of the MSI GS76 Stealth is also very low-key but attractive. This device uses an all-metal design and its all mid-night black appearance makes it look like an ornament when placed on the office table.

On the display cover of this notebook, it has MSI’s classic “Dragon Shield” logo and the entire cover uses a matte black color. However, on the side of the cover, there is a U-shaped silver lining (on the left and right sides) which is an indication of its gaming capacity.

The display of the GS76 Stealth can be opened with one hand. The maximum opening angle is about 130° which is the regular opening angle in the industry. The display design is also another attractive aspect of this device. It uses ultra-thin bezels on all sides especially the sides. The top and bottom frames are thicker than the sides. While the top frame holds the webcam which supports Windows Hello face recognition, the bottom bezel has the “MSI” inscription. The Windows Hello and infrared camera help users to log in faster and it also aids in unlocking this notebook with just a glance even in a very dark environment. The thin bezels of this device make it possible for this 17.3-inch notebook to use the body of an average 15-inch notebook. The screen-to-body ratio is very high and it supports 4K resolution and a high refresh rate of 120Hz. The display design is designed for both business (work) and e-sports.

msi gs76 stealth
Image credit: MSI

The keyboard surface which also hosts the touchpad also uses an all-black design. There is absolutely no non-black area on this surface and it doesn’t have stickers to show the processor and GPU. Furthermore, this gaming notebook uses a full-keyboard with a large touchpad which is made of glass. The palm rest area on both sides of the touchpad is quite large which makes it more comfortable for typing. The glass touchpad is wide and smooth and this will be a plus for folks who love the smooth touchpad. Another interesting aspect of the keyboard area is two openings on the left and right sides of the touchpad. These openings are for its multi flagship gaming audio system which we will discuss later.

On the bottom of this device, we have proper perforations which aid the solid-state drive to dissipate heat. The bottom also uses an all-metal build material just like the rest of the device. In order to reduce the thickness of the notebook, the studs at the bottom are not very high. This will not support heat dissipation but it will offer a good appearance especially in terms of thinness.

MSI GS76 Stealth: Display & Audio

Just like other MSI gaming laptops, the MSI GS76 Stealth comes with a tailor-made and highly optimized display for gamers. We observed that the high refresh rate (120Hz) reflects in the everyday usage of this device and it also offers very smooth visuals.

MSI GS76 Stealth Screen
Image credit: MSI

This notebook comes with a 17.3-inch display with model number B173ZAN06.1 that supports a 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution. Although the refresh rate of the unit we reviewed is 120Hz, other models of this notebook have up to 360Hz refresh rate which is massive. We can also observe that the bottom bezel is quite thick but this did not stop the huge 17.3-inch display from fitting in a 15-inch notebook body.

This display supports 99.9% sRGB color gamut, 98.9% DCI P3 color gamut, and up to about 500nit brightness. Since the color calibration is done at the factory, the average Delta E is only 0.24, and the maximum Delta E is only 1.01. Overall, this gaming laptop uses a high-quality screen that can take into account both gaming and work.

At the same time, MSI also provides an exclusive true color technology that offers multiple sets of color schemes for various usages. You can choose any of the color schemes depending on the scenario of usage. Furthermore, this display comes with five viewing modes (sRGB mode, Office mode, Movie mode, Anti-Blue Light mode, and Gamer mode) and we tested all of them.

This device has the sRGB mode allows users to browse the notebook or internet in the web-standard sRGB color space. I find this mode particularly interesting when surfing through colorful websites. The Office viewing mode is designed for productivity at workplaces while the Movie mode enhances the movie viewing experience. The MSI GS76 Stealth also comes with the Anti-Blue Light mode and the Gamer mode. While the Anti-Blue Light mode is designed for comfortable viewing when the user is on the laptop for long periods, the Gamer mode makes relevant adjustments to the display so that it will offer the best gaming experience.

Gaming notebooks are one class of notebook that requires top-quality audio. In fact, most manufacturers do not lay emphasis on the audio of their gaming notebooks. However, without good audio, gaming might not be as interesting as you will want it. In this regard, MSI GS76 Stealth significantly upgrades its audio department.

This notebook comes with three audio categories for different usage scenarios. This notebook has the Dynaudio, Nahimic, and the popular Hi-Res audio. If you want the sound to be very close to you like most gamers will want it, then you need to use the Dynaudio sound system which activates the front-firing speakers. The audio sensation is immersive as the front speakers offer a crisp and clean sound with deep bass. The new Nahimic audio mode delivers a 3D surround sound and it is more ideal for movies and conference calls. Like you may already know, the popular Hi-Res audio offers premium sound and we found this mode more ideal for music as it has a proper mix of all the sound qualities.

MSI GS76 Stealth: Keyboard

Like we said earlier, this notebook is a combination of business and gaming needs. The design and appearance as well as the display tilt more towards the business needs, however, the keyboard is obviously for gamers. It has a numeric keypad and a reasonable layout of the arrow keys. The response is quite quick when pressed and has a strong rebound. The tactile feedback of each key has a 1.99mm key travel which is quite fast.

MSI GS76 Stealth keyboard
Image credit: MSI

There is an independent RGB backlight under each button. The keyboard can edit the pattern you want through the software, and it can also display different lighting effects according to the needs of the user. These colors will reflect in real-time during gaming and it is a good way of receiving real-time in-game status. Furthermore, users can set these lights to change with respect to the beat (sound) from the speakers. It offers an overall [premium effect.

The software of the keyboard is customized for hundreds of games. The RGB works perfectly irrespective of the game. On the left and right sides of the keyboard are a pair of front image speakers that support NAHIMIC 3 audio software.

MSI GS76 Stealth: Ports, Wi-Fi

Just like every other gaming notebook, the MSI GS76 Stealth comes with a very rich connectivity option on both sides of the device to meet the needs of players and content creators. On the right side, we have the DC-in, RJ-45, two USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A, and an audio combo jack (3.5mm). On the left side, we have the USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C / DP port, an SD Card Reader, a Thunderbolt™ 4 (supports 100W PD charging), and an HDMI (8K@ 60Hz / 4K@ 120Hz).

The built-in network card of the MSI GS76 Stealth is an excellent “killer suit”. The wired network card is the killer 2.5G E3100G network card, and the wireless network card is the AX1675. Both are flagship gaming network cards and support the latest Wi-Fi 6E. At the same time, a big advantage of the killer network card is its easy-to-use flow control program.

The new up to 2.5GB killer LAN offers users a seamless connection during online gaming. This feature ensures that users never lose games due to lagging. Furthermore, it also protects and prioritizes networking traffic. With the user-friendly Killer Control Center, users can easily manage the bandwidth of each application.

MSI GS76 Stealth: CPU and GPU Performance

The MSI GS76 Stealth comes with the advanced Core i9-11900H + RTX 3080 graphics card combination. With this CPU and GPU collaboration, this notebook is one of the strongest current thin and light gaming notebooks. The i9-11900H is currently Intel’s flagship mobile processor. This chip uses an 8-core 16-thread specification and a maximum turbo frequency of 4.90 GHz.

However, it is the GPU that packs most of the attractive points of the hardware system. The NVIDIA RTX 3080 (16G) is currently the strongest gaming graphics card on Nvidia’s mobile terminal. The RTX 3080 GPU is a power-packed chip and the power setting of the GS76 Stealth is 80W. Nevertheless, with the Dynamic Boost 2.0 technology, users can dynamically adjust the power consumption of 15W. This means that the maximum power consumption of 95W.

Furthermore, this GPU comes with different modes for different scenarios. Users have the option of Discrete Graphics Mode or MSHybrid Graphics Mode (NVIDIA Optimus). These technologies are optimized for gaming so as to improve performance and efficiency. On the MSI Center, there is an overclock option with an adjustable GPU core clock as well as VRAM frequency, this will enable users to further elevate the graphic power.

The RTX 3080 comes with new RT Cores, Tensor Cores, and streaming multiprocessors and we tried out some of the GPU advanced features. We considered the resizable bar, ray tracing, NVIDIA DLSS, RTX On, and the Dynamic Boost 2.0 technology.

Although the MSI GS76 Stealth comes with a top-notch cooling system, in actual performance, can it handle the i9-11900H + RTX 3080 combination? We ran some tests to verify

We first used AIDA64 for the FPU test. After 15 minutes, the CPU temperature stabilized at 94°C. At this time, the power consumption reached 59W and the frequency stabilized at 3 GHz. The performance is not bad.

Then we use FurMark for the GPU test. With the Dynamic Boost 2.0 technology, the RTX 3080 of the GS76 Stealth is stable at 95W power and the temperature is stable at 66.5℃. The strength of the three fans appears to be very good.

Next, we run the above two software at the same time to simulate the maximum pressure and run the test for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, the CPU stabilized at 52W and 93°C, while the GPU stabilized at 81W and 74°C. Both the CPU and GPU can run above the baseline power consumption.

What is more surprising is that the MSI GS76 Stealths grill is still very quiet. When the three fans are running at the highest power simultaneously, the sound output is only 49.8 decibels. This is much lower than many gaming laptops in the market.

The GPU running score in 3DMark Time Spy reached 9365 points while its Firestrike score is 19988 points.

msi gs76 stealth 3DMARk

On CineBench R20, it scored 599 points for single-thread and 4498 points for multi-thread.

On CineBench R23, it scored 1569 points for the single-thread test and 11982 points for the multi-thread test. In general, the single-core performance of this notebook is top-notch.

msi gs76 stealth Cinebench

SSD

On the right side of the motherboard, there is an M.2 slot. The laptop actually has two M.2 slots, which can be upgraded. The built-in hard drive is a 2T Samsung PM9A1, which supports the latest PCIe 4.0 protocol and is currently the strongest consumer-grade drive.

We use AS SSD Benchmark to test its performance, the read speed is 5010MB/s, the write speed is 3820MB/s. This massively accelerates multimedia loading speed across varies programs and increases multitasking efficiency.

Under the hood, we have a 99.9Wh battery. This is actually the maximum battery capacity allowed by the Civil Aviation Administration. If you need extended battery life for complete day office use, then you have to switch to mixed mode. However, for all-round gaming, you can get up to 11 hours of gaming time. Furthermore, this battery supports PD charging, which greatly reduces the overall weight of the device.

Cooling system

Ordinarily, an efficient cooling system will require a large body. However, the MSI GS76 Stealth has a small body. So can its small body be able to hold down these two performance monsters (CPU and GPU)?

When you disassemble the notebook, you will see that the whole device is basically covered by a black electromagnetic shielding film. Under the film is a very rare 6 heat pipe with 3 fan Cooler Boost Trinity + heat dissipation module. In order to make the body thinner, this notebook uses an exclusive world’s thinnest 0.1mm fan blade. The cooler Boost Technology ensures that there is a perfect heat dissipation with enough airflow and this eventually guarantees a premium gaming experience. Thus, the gaming laptop cooling system with a thin fan blade produces enough air (15% increase relative to the previous generation) to cool the beastly performance of the core i9-11900H and RTX 3080.

Gaming Tests

In terms of theoretical performance, the i9-11900H + RTX 3080 combination on the MSI GS76 Stealth is excellent. Thus, we had to run some games to check its performance in practice. Since this notebook supports the 4K 120Hz screen, in the game test, we will test two resolutions of 4K (up to DLSS) and 1080P (off DLSS). For all tests, the picture quality is all turned on to the highest quality.

Note: This device supports the independent GPU direct connection function, which has a clear advantage in high frame rate games.

Game 1080P 4K
League of Legends >250 fps 250 fps
Rainbow Six: Siege 325 fps 139 fps
APEX Legend 139 fps 75 fps
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) 376 fps 235 fps
Death Stranding 133 fps 88 fps

From the above test, we can see that most e-sports games and 3A masterpieces that do not support light chase can run at more than 60 frames in the highest 4K picture quality. Thus, the overall gaming experience is very good.

So can it cope with the ray-tracing masterpieces of the past two years? Let’s test a couple of games to see how it performs

Game 1080P resolution 4K
Call of Duty: Black Ops CW > 90 fps 70 fps
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds 170 fps 65 fps
Battlefield 5 > 120 fps 50 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 64 fps 43 fps

Overall, the MSI GS76 Stealth maximizes efficiency in gameplay with its state-of-the-art Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 (ITBM 3.0). This brings a significant frequency boost for the fast cores to get the best from the processor thereby improving the gameplay.

Conclusion

Simply put, anyone with the MSI GS76 stealth has a gaming-business notebook combo on his hands. However, it is impossible to have a balance between thinness, performance, and price. This device costs about $4,000 and this could be the downside for many potential buyers. This17.3-inch large-screen gaming notebook has a thickness of about 2cm and weighs 2.45kg. Considering its hardware and performance, this is a plus for this device.

This device packs the latest hardware like the 11th Gen. Intel Core i9 processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card. It also uses the world’s highest 99.9WHr battery capacity and the latest Wi-Fi 6E.

Despite its thin and portable design, the heat dissipation system is top-notch. If you are an enthusiast with a sufficient budget and need a good screen and high performance, and at the same time have a certain demand for portability, then MSI GS76 Stealth is simply for you.

David Tian

David is the editor @ MyFixGuide. He loves technology, especially good at laptops and mobile phones. In his free time, he loves to take apart the latest mobile phones and laptops.

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