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MSI GS63VR Stealth review: A game-changing amount of performance in a laptop

Gordon Mah Ung | Nov. 1, 2016
Finally, a gaming laptop portable enough that you might actually bring it somewhere.

The results basically mirror that of 3DMark FireStorm Extreme’s overall scores, with the GTX 1060 a step behind the GTX 980 in the Acer Predator 17X. Our tests were run at 1920x1080, which is the most common gaming resolution right now.

hp omen 17 gtx1070 tomb raider ultimate 19x10

Tomb Raider is about three years old at this point, but scales well with graphics and CPU performance.

Middle-earth: Shadows of Mordor

I also ran a newer game, Middle-earth: Shadows of Mordor, on the Ultra setting at 1920x1080, and found the Stealth to be exceptional. The Stealth’s GTX 1060 proves to be just as fast here as the larger and heavier Predator 17X’s once-mighty GTX 980. And no, this isn’t because the GTX 1060 has 6GB of memory versus the standard 4GB frame buffer of GTX 980 desktop cards. Like most big gaming laptops, the Predator 17X packs the 8GB version of the card.

This is all Pascal at work here, and it’s a good showing for the Stealth and GeForce GTX 1060 card.

hp omen 17 gtx1070 shadows of mordor 4k textures 19x10

You won’t be wanting for frame rates with the GeForce GTX 1060 in the MSI Stealth.

4K performance

Naturally, you're probably wondering about 4K performance, what with the Stealth's 4K panel. But as awesome as the GeForce GTX 1060 is, it can’t handle 4K gaming on the highest settings.

You can see this in the results for Shadows of Mordor at 4K resolution. I don’t have results for the Razer Blade at this resolution nor the Acer Predator 17, but I think it’s okay to excuse both the GeForce GTX 970M and GeForce GTX 980M from the room because gaming at 4K is only for real GPUs.

Looking at the chart, you may think the GeForce GTX 1060 and GTX 960 can join the 970M and 980M for early recess too, since it’s clear neither are up to the task without turning down knobs. The good news for the Stealth is that the GTX 1060 runs just about dead even with the GTX 980. When you remember that the GTX 980 was the top dog in gaming laptops just a few months ago, that’s a hell of an accomplishment.

hp omen 17 gtx1070 shadows of mordor 4k textures 4k resolution
I’d say that expecting 4K gaming from the GTX 1060 is too much.

Rise of the Tomb Raider performance

One last gaming test comes from the fairly new Rise of the Tomb Raider game. 

I ran it on the Very High setting, at 1920x1080. (I also have 4K results, but like Shadows of Mordor, it’s not pretty.) Here, the GTX 1060 lags much more significantly behind the GTX 980 in the Acer Predator 17X. Why? Looking back at the green comparison chart up top, I’d surmise that it's due to the GTX 980's massive CUDA core advantage. Even though Nvidia says the CUDA cores in the newer Pascal chips are 135 percent more efficient, it may not be enough to out-muscle sheer numbers.


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