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tech consumer guide

Razer Blade 15 Vs MSI GS65 Stealth – Which One Should You Get?

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In this article, we compare the Razer Blade 15 and MSI GS65. Two popular thin and light gaming laptops. And to be honest, it is a difficult choice between the two. Here’s what you need to know about the Razer Blade 15 vs MSI GS65 before pulling the trigger.

Overview

 
Razer Blade 15
MSI GS65
Design (5)
4
5
Build Quality (5)
5
3
Upgradeability (5)
4
4
Display (5)
4 (Full HD)
4 (Full HD)
Thermals (5)
3
3
Performance (5)
5
5
Battery Life (5)
3
3
Total (35)
28
27

Razer Blade 15 – Pros & Cons

Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop 2019: Intel Core i7-9750H 6 Core, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti, 15.6' FHD 1080p 60Hz, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD + 1TB, CNC Aluminum, Chroma RGB Lighting, Thunderbolt 3

Pros

Excellent Performance

Slim & Lightweight

Easy To Upgrade

Great Build Quality

Cons

Higher Configurations Are Pricey

4K Display Reduces Battery Life

Runs Hot

MSI GS65 – Pros & Cons

MSI GS65 Stealth-006 15.6' 144Hz Ultra Thin and Light Gaming Laptop, Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA RTX 2060, 16GB DDR4, 512GB Nvme SSD, Win10

Pros

Excellent Performance

Slim & Lightweight

Beautiful Design

Cons

Flipped Motherboard Makes It Difficult To Upgrade

Runs Hot

Differences Between Razer Blade 15 And MSI GS65 Stealth

Configuration

The Razer Blade 15 has an Advanced and base model. Advanced models have RTX graphics whiles the Base model either has RTX 2060 or GTX 1660 Ti graphics. Both laptops have 9th Gen Intel Core i7 and can take up to 32GB RAM.

MSI GS65 belongs to the GS family which is mainly comprised of thin and light gaming laptops. The MSI GS65 has a 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, up to 32GB RAM and RTX 2080 Max-Q.

Design & Build Quality

The Razer Blade 15 is available in three colours – black, mercury white and pink quartz. Black is the most common out of the three.

The Razer Blade 15 is one of the cleanest gaming laptops out there. The only giveaway is the green Razer logo that lights up. And the ports, that has green accents. Aside from that, everything else is black. Overall, it looks like a black MacBook Pro.

Razer Blade 15 Review

When it comes to build quality, the Razer Blade is solid. Made from CNC milled aluminium. The Razer Blade has no flex and warping. The gaming laptop is one sturdy and rigid device. Unfortunately, it is a serious fingerprint and smudge magnet.

The Razer Blade 4.63 lbs (2.1 kg) and it’s 0.7 inches thick. A thin and light gaming laptop that you can easily carry anywhere.

The laptop also has a decent port selection including a Thunderbolt 3 port. This allows you to hook it up to high-resolution displays or the Razer Core X eGPU.

Overall, the Razer Blade 15 has a solid build quality and a clean design. One of the best out there.

The MSI GS65, on the other hand, has a decent build quality. For a premium gaming laptop, you would expect at least a solid build quality.

The MSI GS65 is made from aluminium alloy. Smooth to the touch and somewhat a fingerprint magnet (Razer Blade is worse). Compared, to the Razer Blade 15 the MSI GS65 has quite a bit of flex on the display lid. At its price point flex should be non-existent.

Fortunately, MSI makes it up in other areas. And that’s the design. The design tells you this is not your average gaming laptop. A gold dragon logo and accents tell you that MSI gave some thought to the design. It’s beautiful and at the same time not obnoxious.

MS GS65 Stealth Review

One of the main reasons why MSI GS65 is popular is because of its attractive design. Moreover, it is in the thin and light category. It weighs 4.35 lbs (1.9kg) and 0.7 inches thick. You can easily move around with it.

When it comes to the port selection, the MSI GS65 has similar ports to that of the Razer Blade including a Thunderbolt 3 port. Overall, the MSI GS65 has decent build quality but it is the design that takes your breath away.

Teardown/Disassembly/Upgradeability

Getting into the Razer Blade 15 is easy to do. Removing the few screws on the back will give you access to the internal components. Once inside, you can upgrade the RAM, SSD and WLAN card. The base model has an HDD bay but at the expense of a smaller battery.

For the MSI GS65, things get difficult once you remove the screws. The motherboard is flipped and so you have to completely disassemble the laptop to get access to the RAM and Wi-FI card.

The two M.2 SSD slot is the only component you can upgrade or replace without completely disassembling it. For inexperienced people, this might be a problem. Because if you do not know what you are doing you can easily damage the motherboard.

To sum it all up, the Razer Blade 15 is easier to disassemble and upgrade than the MSI GS65.

Thermals

The Razer Blade 15 employs a different cooling solution than the other gaming laptops. It makes use of a slim vapour cooling system and two fans.

First things first. Thin and light gaming laptops run hot. Only a few gaming laptops can run cool. Regrettably, the Razer Blade 15 and MSI GS65 are not part of them.

razer blade 15 teardown
Razer Blade 15 Teardown

Back to the Razer Blade. The slim vapour cooling system contains a coolant (air, gas or liquid). In this case, air for the Razer Blade. The air absorbs heat from the surrounding areas and moves towards the fans.

The fans then cool the air by getting rid of the heat and the process is repeated. Unfortunately, this process doesn’t do a great job at keeping the Razer Blade cool. It gets so hot that the CPU thermal throttles for temperatures to drop.

The MSI GS65 uses the traditional cooling system. i.e fans and heat pipes. The MSI GS65 has an asymmetrical cooling system. Three fans and four heat pipes. One heat pipe is shared between the CPU and GPU. Two extra fans cool the GPU whiles the remaining fan cools the CPU.

Unfortunately, the MSI GS65 runs at high temperatures and thermal throttles. The good news is that it doesn’t thermal throttle below base clocks.

msi gs65 teardown
MSI GS65 Teardown

Thin and light gaming laptops rarely run cool. That’s why undervolting and applying thermal paste is important. This will improve temperatures and improve the longevity of your laptop.

However, you will have a much more difficult applying the thermal paste on the MSI GS65 because of the flipped motherboard.

Display

The Razer Blade has more display options than the MSI GS65. For the display resolutions, you can choose between a Full HD (1920 x 1080), 4K (3840 x 2160) and 4K OLED. The 4K OLED has the highest colour accuracy, gamut, great viewing angles and brightness.

Everything about the display is superb. Second place is the 4K UHD and the last place is the FHD. The FHD display is decent and has above colour accuracy. However, it is dim and outdoor use will be quite difficult.

razer blade
Razer Blade 15

The good news is that it has the highest refresh rate options. You can choose between a 60Hz, 144Hz and 240Hz refresh rate. That means if your Razer Blade 15 can play games on high FPS. You won’t experience screen tearing, stuttering and ghosting.

The 4K and 4K OLED only have 60Hz refresh rate. On a side note, the 4K options are a touchscreen.

The MSI GS65 only has a single display resolution – Full HD. There are no options for 4K and 4K OLED. Also, the Full HD comes with a 144Hz or 240Hz refresh rate.

The MSI GS65’s display has a higher colour accuracy than the FHD Razer Blade. In addition to that, it has great viewing angles and sharpness. The brightness is the same as the FHD Razer Blade.

Overall, both laptops offer fast displays that are great for gaming. Unless you pick the 4K or 4K OLED Razer Blade 15. The MSI has the advantage in colour accuracy and gamut.

Keyboard & Touchpad

The Razer Blade 15 has a stiff keyboard. The keys are shallow and the tactile feedback is average. It is a full-size keyboard with no Numpad. The keys are RGB backlit which Razer calls Chroma. All in all, there is nothing special about the keyboard.

The trackpad, however, is great. It’s large, smooth and accurate thanks to Windows Precision drivers. It also supports Windows gestures.

The MSI GS65 has a slightly better keyboard than the Razer Blade 15. The key travel is decent and keys are spongy. Tactile feedback is also decent. The MSI GS65’s keyboard is also RGB backlit. The touchpad is Windows Precision and gestures enable. It also large and has a smooth finish.

Performance

The most important part – performance. Both gaming laptops are powerful. And you will be able to get high FPS on AAA title games. If both have the same configuration. The performance difference won’t be much.

Overall, performance especially gaming performance won’t be an issue here. Because both gaming laptops will tear through a lot of AAA title games and heavy loads.

Battery Life

The Razer Blade 15 has different battery capacities depending on the model. The base model packs a 56WHr because of the HDD bay. Battery life will be between 4-5 hours under consistent use with Wi-Fi on and medium brightness. The Advanced model has an 80WHr battery and it’s able to last 6-7 hours.

The MSI GS65 also has the same battery capacity as the Razer Blade 15 Advanced – 80WHr. It can also last 6-7 hours under normal use.

Both the Razer Blade Advanced and MSI GS65 have decent battery lives for a gaming laptop. Other gaming laptops can last 3-4 hours under consistent use.

Razer Blade 15 vs MSI GS65 – Which One To Get?

To be honest, choosing between the two gaming laptops is a difficult choice. Both are powerful, light, thin and have decent battery life. However, the Razer Blade 15 has the better build quality and it is easily upgradeable.

The MSI GS65, on the other end, has a better design, full HD display and keyboard.

The Razer Blade has more display options – 4K and 4K OLED. That is miles above the MSI GS65’s full HD display. Unfortunately, the power consumption is great and reduces battery life.

Overall, if you want an easily upgradeable gaming laptop with great build quality. Then the Razer Blade 15 is the better choice.

If you want a beautiful laptop with a slightly better Full HD display. Then the MSI GS65 will automatically become your favourite.

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