With the constant buzz around Fortnite and other hot titles, gaming laptops are very popular. The MSI GF63 8RB is priced at $699 and is meant for people who want to play games but do not want to spend a fortune to do so. You get a reliable performance from its Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia graphics. A weak display and a too low battery life mean that the laptop does not stand taller in the queue. With that in mind, the GF63 is more suitable for a novice gamer than an aspiring competitor of Esports. Here is our MSI GF63 8RB Review.
MSI GF63 8RB Review – Design
Keep a microfibre cloth on hand; the MSI GF63 collects fingerprints as a detective who investigates a crime. The plastic lid and the deck of the laptop were covered with sweeping by the time I first placed it on my desk. The cleaning of those prints reveals a fiery red MSI dragon logo in contrast to an inconspicuous black, brushed-aluminum finish. The same aesthetics continues on the deck where you will find a black keyboard with a red border around each key. Sorry, RGB fans, the GF63 keys only support red backlighting.
A pentagonal outline in the upper right corner of the deck acts as an on / off button. The rest of the laptop – the sides, the hinge, the edge, and the bottom – are made of rough, dotted plastic that detracts from an otherwise searching machine. The MSI GF63 has numerous USB ports that allow you to connect all your peripherals. On the left is a USB 3.1 Type-A port next to central power input. The right side of the GF63 has two USB 3.1 ports and a USB Type-C port (unfortunately no Thunderbolt 3).
There is also an Ethernet port for a stable Internet connection and separate microphone and headphone connections if you want to connect a professional microphone. At the back of the laptop, there is a single HDMI input for connection to a monitor. MSI has trimmed the edges of the GF63’s screens to 4.9 millimeters thick, keeping the overall footprint of this 15.6-inch gaming machine to a minimum. With 14.1 x 10 x 0.85 inches, the MSI GF63 8RB is significantly slimmer than the Dell G5 15 (15.32 x 10.8 x 1.0 inch) and the Lenovo Legion Y730 (14.4 x 10.2 x 1 inch).
Keyboard and TouchPad
Casual gamers will have no complaints about the island-like keyboard of the GF63, but more dedicated players will want to connect a mechanical keyboard. Fans of RGB lighting will also have to rely on an external solution because the keyboard of the GF63 only glows red. At 1.4 millimeters travel, the keys are a bit superficial, but there is a nice crunchiness in which the overall typing experience is reasonably comfortable.
And thanks to the 71 grams of actuation power of the keyboard, I could tap 105 words per minute with a 93 percent accuracy on the 10FastFingers.com type test, which is only slightly less than my usual 110 wpm with a 5 percent error rate. The 4.1 x 2.6-inch touchpad on the GF63 is large and responds quickly. The surface reacted quickly to my gestures, including pinching to zoom and three-finger swipes to switch between apps. The enclosed left and right-click buttons are snappy and do not feel stiff.
MSI GF63 8RB Review – Display
Although the 15.6-inch 1080p screen of the GF63 is detailed, I would like it to be brighter and more colorful. The muscular suit of Peter Parker did not have the vibrant red and blue tones that I expected in the trailer for the long-awaited film, Spider-Man: Far From Home. The screen made the picturesque islands of Venice look dull, and details were difficult to distinguish in dark scenes, such as when Nick Fury makes a surprise visit to the Parker apartment. On a positive note, the photo looked sharp and clear when our friendly superhero neighborhood fights the bad guys in a besieged London.
I then picked up an Xbox controller and played Rise of the Tomb Raider. Again, the lack of contrast and a rather weak display made it difficult for me to distinguish objects because my character walked through a dark forest in search of necessities. Luckily I could still enjoy the beautiful wilderness in one of the most beautiful games of the year thanks to the detailed photo of the GF63.
The panel of the GF63 does surprisingly cover only 73 percent of the sRGB color gamut. The screen on the G5 15 (58 percent) is even less attractive, but that is no excuse for the GF63, which is well below the mainstream gaming average (107 percent) and the lively panel of the Legion Y730 (135 percent).
To make matters worse, the display of the GF63 8RB is pretty dim, with a peak of only 246 nits of brightness. Again the G5 15 (219 nits) collapsed, while the Legion Y730 (302 nits) excelled above the category average (273 nits).
The dual bottom-firing speakers on the MSI GF63 8RB are not the most powerful, and the sound they produce is somewhat overloaded. When I listened to the new song “Almost (Sweet Music)” by Hozier, the electric instruments were poorly defined, and the vocal lines of the lead singer sounded a bit muddy. The GF63 did much better when I played the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse song “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee. Although the bass notes were severely lacking, the emotional vocal parts in this sweet song were crispy.
MSI GF63 8RB Review – Graphics and Gaming
The Nvidia GeForce 1050 Ti GPU, housed in the GF63, can play the most modern games at low settings, but you will be disappointed once you have increased the graphics quality. The GF63 kept about 23 frames per second, below our threshold of 30 fps, when I played Shadow of the Tomb Raider at the highest settings. Although that result did not provide the smoothest gameplay, I could still swing through treacherous jungle and hunt wildly with my deadly bow. I have experienced some hitches, so I turned the graphics to a lower level, where the GF63 had between 29 and 31 fps.
The GF63 performed about as well in our Rise of the Tomb Raider test as with the latest release in the franchise, which made the older game run 27 frames per second. That comes both on top of the G5 15 (25 fps) and the Legion Y730 (24 fps) – both of which use the same GTX 1050 Ti GPU – but does not score close to the category average (34 fps).
Grand The ft Auto V played with a smooth 35 fps on the GF63, which again surpasses the G5 15 (32 fps) and Legion Y730 (33 fps) with a small margin but can not compete with the mainstream gaming laptop average (35 fps )
With a constant 44 fps, the GF63 turned to Middle-earth: Shadow of War with a reassuring frame-rate buffer. The Legion Y730 (45 fps) did better on this benchmark, while the G5 15 (36 fps) struggled to keep pace. The GF63 does not have the same graphical power as the average mainstream gaming laptop (58 fps).
MSI GF63 8RB Review – Performance
Our MSI GF63 8RB review unit came with some serious power. The source of its excellent performance is an Intel Core i7-8750H CPU and 16GB RAM. Thanks to those advanced components, the GF63 did not sweat when I loaded 25 Microsoft Edge browser tabs, four of which played 1080p YouTube videos while two streamed HD Twitch streams.
The gaming laptop scored 21,811 on the Geekbench 4.1 overall performance benchmark, which crushes the competition, including the G5 15 (Intel Core i7-8750H, 16,751), the Legion Y730 (Intel Core i7-8750H, 18,531) and the regular gaming laptop mean (20.402).
That fast execution was taken to our Excel macro test, with the GF63 65,000 names corresponding to their corresponding addresses in just 41 seconds, faster than the G5 15 (0:43), and the regular game average (0:45) in a photo finish. The Legion Y730 lagged far behind this test (1:20).
Even the 256GB M.2 SSD and secondary 1TB 5400-rpm hard drive in the GF63 outperformed the competition. It took the GF63 only 16 seconds to duplicate 4.97GB of mixed media files for a speed of 318 megabytes per second. That is more than three times faster than the G5 15 cost (128 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD, 102 MBps). The result of the GS63 surpasses both the Legion Y730 (128 GB PCIe SSD, 1 TB HDD, 282 MBps) and the average of the average gaming laptop (300 MBps).
The GF63 stayed pretty cool when we played a 15-minute HD video on the full screen, but things started to warm up after I played Shadow of the Tomb Raider. In our video test, only the bottom of the laptop has exceeded our 95-degree comfort threshold and reached 99 degrees Fahrenheit. The touchpad (77 degrees) and the center of the keyboard (86 degrees) remained well below that mark. My fingers started to get hot when I spent about 15 minutes, escaping dangerous caves in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The keyboard of the GF63 reached 107 degrees, while the top of the deck, in the vicinity of the hinge, reached 114 degrees. Do not dare to put this machine on your lap, since the bottom warmed up to a scorching 123 degrees.
MSI GF63 8RB Review – Battery Life
Gaming laptops usually do not last for long on a charge, and unfortunately, the GF63 is not in that trend. The machine was shut down for only 3 hours and 30 minutes after running our battery test, which requires continuous Wi-Fi internet access with 150 nits of brightness. The average running time for a regular gaming laptop (4:26) is one hour better, and the G5 15 (6:17) has been running more than 2.5 hours longer than the GF63. That said, we have tested other laptops that have done worse, such as Legion Y730 (2:47).
MSI GF63 8RB Review – Conclusion
The GF63 is a reliable laptop that offers excellent performance at a reasonable price. However, the display is disappointing, and gamers who want to play the latest games with high graphics settings have to spend a little more on a laptop with a more powerful GPU than a 1050Ti. If the battery life is not a problem, the Legion Y730 is a good option if you want to spend about $1000 on a gaming rig. It has similar specifications as the GF63, but it has a better display and a premium design.
All in all, the GF63 is a decent laptop for anyone who wants strong performance and a particular GPU for casual gaming, but there are better alternatives that serve the same purpose.
MSI's GF63 gaming laptop offers a strong performance for the price, but a disappointing screen and plastic chassis are hard to overlook.
- Relatively slim and lightweight
- Fast performance
- Decent Price
- Dim, dull display
- Below-average battery life