MSI Stealth GS77 Review: A Light Yet Heavy Punch
On my desk right now is quite the large laptop, but yet still really thin. This is the MSI Stealth GS77, a 17-inch behemoth that packs quite a punch but still, relatively light. Let’s take a look at this.
It’s been a while since we’ve taken a look at MSI laptops and honestly, we’ve got to say that their designs have improved drastically. Now MSI is still primarily gaming focused but safe to say, their designs aren’t as outlandish as before. Which in our opinion, is so much better.
The new Stealth GS77 is now much more minimalistic and as its name suggests, much more stealthy in nature. You’re getting a clean, angular design that’s made entirely out of CNC aluminum and comes in at just about 20.8mm thin while weighing around 2.8 kilograms or about 6.2lbs. The only thing that would really stand out would be the MSI logo on the lid but that’s about it. Overall, a clean design and I like it quite a fair bit. As MSI puts it, this is a crossover laptop for both gaming and professional use and we can see that.
Open up the lid and you’ll get that huge 17.3-inch display.
There are mainly 3 different panels to choose from. Full HD 360Hz panel, Quad HD 240Hz and a 4K UHD 120Hz. We have the middle option here, so you’re getting a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 at 240Hz, it’s an IPS panel, covers 100% sRGB and hits a max brightness of about 350 nits or so.
Honestly, we’ve no qualms about this display and out of the three options available, we reckon this one, the Quad HD option is the best fit for a 17.3-inch display. For a start, you needn’t require too much graphics horsepower to run your games and secondly, it plays nice with Windows Scaling. You can use it at 100% Windows Scaling with no issues, making full use of the actual resolution, whereas on 4K, you would usually need to scale 125% or 150%. And in contrast to 1080p, it’s going to offer much better clarity while still being relatively fast at 240Hz.
All in all, it’s a great display to enjoy any kind of content on but especially more so for gaming where this laptop is best at.
Up top you will get a Full HD capable webcam that’s pretty decent. It’s going to do you fine for your meetings with your colleagues or gaming with friends and you’ll sound pretty okay as well. Though I would say the best feature would be the support for Windows Hello, which is nice.
There’s also a webcam lock switch located on the left side to disable the webcam for your privacy.
Now as for the keyboard, this was a little perplexing for me.
It is a great keyboard, no doubt about and as usual for MSI, this was in collaboration with Steelseries so you do get all the fancy RGB and customization and more. But what has me questioning is this one key right here. For some reason or another, MSI has decided to add another pipe key on the bottom row.
I don’t get this, I seriously don’t.
In addition, the font for the comma is a little ridiculous. It’s far too large and looks like an italic number 1. This is definitely more of a pet peeve however. The pipe key though, I still don’t get it. Perhaps you can think of a reason? Let me know in the comments down below.
In any case, it’s still a great keyboard and for those of you who require a numpad, it’s there too as well.
Trackpad wise, it’s fine. No qualms about it but it definitely isn’t the best I’ve tried. But it is of a good size for a 17.3-inch device.
As for speakers, there’s actually 6 speaker setup in this laptop, courtesy of Dynaudio. According to MSI, there are two pairs of dual force-canceling speakers and a pair of tweeters to make up the 6 speaker setup, all of which can be found in the two corners, firing up and down.
They do sound pretty great. Plenty of volume and vocals are clear and crisp. The mids are definitely the strong point and most music will be enjoyable to listen to. Bass is still a little lacking for sure, given the lack of depth in terms of actual physical space, but even so, this is definitely one of the better audio experiences that you can get from a laptop.
The best thing about this laptop however is probably that battery. This has a 99.9 WHr battery and if you didn’t know, that’s basically the absolute limit that you can bring on board a flight for a device with a built-in battery. Though with that said, don’t expect the best of battery life out there. For our testing with mixed usage on the balanced power profile, we got about 6 hour or so, which isn’t too far from other gaming laptops with smaller batteries.
Now for ports, there’s plenty to go around.
On the right, you’ll get Thunderbolt 4, a Type-C, and an SD Card Reader. On the left, you’ll get two standard USB 3.2 Gen2, a 3.5mm combo jack and that webcam lock switch.
Move to the rear and you’ll get your power input, HDMI 2.1 and surprisingly enough, a RJ45 Ethernet port.
Now let’s put all that aside and let’s talk about specs and performance.
There are many different configurations available for the Stealth GS77, being able to fit with up to an Intel Core i9 and GPUs ranging from the RTX 3060 all the way up to the RTX 3080Ti.
For our config, we have the Core i7-12700H, the RTX 3070Ti with 105 watts of power, 32GB of DDR5 RAM and 1TB of PCIe 4.0 SSD storage.
Now there are few different power profiles to choose from through MSI Center. Super Battery, Silent, Balanced and Extreme Performance. In addition, you can turn on Turbo for Extreme Performance which basically tunes the fans to maximum speed. For the creative workloads, we’ll focus on all of them except Super Battery.
So in Cinebench R23, we can safely say that the new 12th-Gen Core i7 performs admirably. Silent yields the lowest results as expected, but it really is silent and the fans did not spin up at all. In this mode, the CPU was capped around 30 watts, ran at about 2.1 GHz and temperatures averaged in the low 70 degrees celsius. Change it to Balance mode and performance hits over 10K in the multi-core. In this mode, the CPU is capped around 35 watts, the fans do spin and temperatures are still kept within the mid 70s. Change it up to Extreme Performance mode and you’re basically getting double the score of Silent Mode. The CPU is now capable of drawing a sustained 65 watts and temperatures will maintain in the mid 90 degrees celsius while running at 2.9Ghz sustained. If you tune this mode and enable Turbo, performance rises yet a little more, now nearing 14K thanks to an additional 5 watts of sustained power and clock speeds just above 3GHz. Temperatures however remained the same in the mid 90s despite the maximum fan speed.
For DaVinci Resolve, the results are as follows. Even on the Balanced power profile, the Core i7 in this machine still managed to render the 4K 10 minute project in basically real time while upping it to Extreme Performance or Turbo will make it faster than real time.
And then we talk about gaming. We tested on two main resolutions, 1080p and 1440 and here’s how it went.
At 1080p, with games like CS:GO or Valorant, you can expect frame rates above 300 which makes the experience buttery smooth and just a joy to play especially with this 240Hz display. Triple A titles like Halo Infinite and even more demanding eSports titles like Apex are really enjoyable as well. At 1440p, you can still expect really great performance and arguably, this resolution makes more use out of that Core i7 and RTX 3070Ti combo.
The same story applies for Ray-Traced titles. Thanks to DLSS 2.0 and with how games are much better optimized nowadays, you can definitely get a great experience of at least above 60 frames per second on either resolution.
Now when we talk about temperatures, both the CPU and GPU will general hover around the 80 degrees celsius range and the most common power draw from the GPU would be roughly 90 watts with the occasional boost to the max 105 watts.
At this point, you’ve seen the numbers and we’ve got the say that it is pretty impressive especially given the form factor of this laptop and a mere 105 watts for that RTX 3070Ti no less.
Not to mention that there are many configurations available for you to choose from, so there’s a price point that can appeal to all of you out there. Speaking of, let’s talk about price.
This particular configuration will set you back just under 5,000 Singapore Dollars (4,999 SGD) or just under 2700 US Dollars (2,699.99 USD) if you’re in the States.
I really envy you guys in the US right now.
Now it is going to quite the purchase, no two ways about it. But if you’re looking for a 17.3-inch gaming laptop that’s still pretty light, quite thin, has a variety of ports and a good display with a better than average sound system to boot, there’s nothing quite like the MSI Stealth GS77. The only suggestion I would have is to not use the Turbo mode, for it provides very little uplift in performance Now I do have some pet peeves especially with the keyboard, but overall, it’s a solid gaming laptop through and through.