msi gl63, MSI GL63 8SE Review, Gadget Pilipinas

MSI GL63 8SE Specifications

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MSI GL63 8SE sports a design that values functionality and thermal efficiency. We found minimal flexes on its display panel and body, which is a good indication of its robust and well-built design. We are a big fan of MSI, and for what it’s worth – they have, overtime, proven to be among the masters of designing laptops.

msi gl63, MSI GL63 8SE Review, Gadget PilipinasThe laptop does not boast any fancy looking features, but it definitely shows what it can do from the get-go. The material they used is a huge smudge magnet as you can see in this video, and unfortunately – the only way to get rid of this is to wipe using microfiber cloth. You may have to do this often, so we recommend that you always keep your wiping cloth all the time.

msi gl63, MSI GL63 8SE Review, Gadget PilipinasThe MSI GL63 8SE we reviewed features a Full-Size SteelSeries red backlit keyboard. According to MSI, every detail of the keyboard is calculated and designed with 1.9mm key travel for better responsive and tactile feedback, optimum WASD zone, mechanical-level shielding, and support of anti-ghosting for up to 45 keys. We can fully attest to this and we find it among the best ones we have tried in ages. It isn’t perfect, however, as it lacks another Window-key beside the left Function key; plus the directions keys are pretty cramped up between the right-CTRL and number keys. This may be subjective, so we encourage you test it if you’re planning to buy one. We reached out to MSI to give us their comment on this. They replied, “MSI do this purposely since most of gaming using left side of the keyboard as action operation area. If put windows key at left side, it is easily to trigger windows menu by mistake and thus affect game play. This is the design we do for gamers. Therefore, unlike other gaming laptop, this is the reason why we are true gaming and beloved by many gamers because we care the details.”

I’ve got some mixed feelings with the trackpad located below the keyboard. I’ve got big hands, and sometimes I find myself accidentally placing a portion of my palm on the trackpad that inadvertently moves the cursor to a new position. This is never an issue when playing games (because you don’t you usually use trackpads when gaming), but it’s a major one when typing. In this regard, I recommend that you use a mouse and disable the trackpad when playing games or typing.

msi gl63, MSI GL63 8SE Review, Gadget PilipinasOn top of the keyboard, you will find 3 physical switches: Fan Mode, shortcut to Dragon Center and Sleep/Wake. The position of these switches are pretty convenient and quite distant from the keyboard. Fan Mode switch is very handy as it you can easily switch the fans to your heart’s content.

msi gl63, MSI GL63 8SE Review, Gadget PilipinasThe laptop has two adjacent fans – each fan revolves around 5,300 to 5,600 per minute when Cooler Boost is enabled; and one fan works and revolves around 2400 per minute in normal mode. While I may be getting ahead of myself here, our experience – when Cooler Boost is enabled – drastically cools both CPU and GPU by around 20%, which we find very outstanding. While playing Triple A games like Battlefield V, The Division 2 or even Shadow of the Tomb Raider, we noticed how Cooler Boost cools the GPU from 77 degrees to 57 degrees; and the CPU from 95 degrees to 81 degrees.

msi gl63, MSI GL63 8SE Review, Gadget PilipinasOne of the nicest things about the new laptops by MSI is Dragon Center. The new and revamped version of Dragon Center focuses more on empowering and putting the control to the user. From performance down to battery master, it is obvious that MSI wants to let the user customize their MSI Gaming experience. And if you don’t want to mess things up, you can easily call Lucky, the MSI Dragon, to help you in setting everything up by answering some questions.

Now, let’s talk about I/O: MSI knows that you need your laptop to help you become productive. From using other peripherals to using external storage devices like hard drives or even micro SD card, MSI GL638SE got you covered. Like most of the MSI Gaming laptops that we have tried before, we appreciate MSI’s effort of always including the important ones that gamers and content creators like we do need. It houses this collection of ports: a Killer E2400 Gigabit Ethernet, an HDMI port, a MiniDisplay port, a USB-C port without Thunderbolt 3, Audio-in and Audio-out ports and three USB-As. In terms of connectivity, the laptop has Intel 9560 Wifi AC internal adapter and Bluetooth 5 compatibility.

msi gl63, MSI GL63 8SE Review, Gadget PilipinasAnd now, let’s talk about gaming performance. We performed basic benchmarking results by recording min, max and average fps of our gameplay in varying settings.

As one of your affordable gateways to enjoying games with raytracing support in a laptop, MSI LG63 8SE performed considerably well by our standards. Take a look at the results of our gaming benchmarks.

MSI GL63 8SE proved itself to be a viable laptop for gaming with or without ray tracing feature enabled.

Battlefield V

  • Ultra Settings, DX12, 1920×1080, DXR and DLSS Enabled, VSYNC Off, TAA High, HBAO
  • High Settings, DX12, 1920×1080, DXR and DLSS Disabled, VSYNC Off, TAA High, HBAO
Min Average Max
·        Ultra Settings, DX12, 1920×1080, DXR and DLSS Enabled, VSYNC Off, TAA High, HBAO 8.8 24.8 42.5
·        High Settings, DX12, 1920×1080, DXR and DLSS Disabled, VSYNC Off, TAA High, HBAO 15.6 30.5 53.1

 

As one of the first triple-A games that showcases and features DXR and DLSS, Battlefield V excels in various fields. Given the right settings, ray tracing on Battlefield V using MSI GL63 8SE give the game lifelike graphics and surreal gameplay experience.

NVIDIA, using its proprietary application for automatic optimization – GeForce Experience, suggested that we enable DXR Raytrace and set it to medium with MSI GL63 8SE.  While this was the case, we pushed the GPU further and set it to both Ultra Settings and High Settings respectively. This way, we would know the extent of playability of the game at the highest possible settings with DXR and DLSS enabled. At maximum settings, Battlefield V was barely playable with an average fps of 24.8 fps. With optimized settings enabled, with DXR and DLSS disabled, the game is playable with an average fps of 30.5 fps.

 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

  • Custom, Normal Texture, 1920×1080, DXR, RTX and DLSS Enabled, Ray Traced Shadow Medium, VSYNC Off
  • Custom, Normal Texture, 1920×1080, DXR, RTX and DLSS Disabled, VSYNC Off
Min Average Max
·        Custom, Normal Texture, 1920×1080, DXR, RTX and DLSS Enabled, Ray Traced Shadow Medium, 8X AF, HBAO+, VSYNC Off 61 83 146
·        Custom, Normal Texture, 1920×1080, DXR, RTX and DLSS Disabled, Shadow Quality Normal, 8X AF, SMAA, HBAO+, VSYNC Off 82 98 201

 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider gave the series a whole new perspective and experience. With DLSS and raytraced shadows enabled, the game looked fantastic and beautiful. With DLSS enabled, performance bump was significant even with raytraced shadows are enabled. If you’re paying attention to details, the difference between RTX disabled and RTX enabled is like day and night in terms of rendering shadows. While the implementation is currently limited to it, the future of raytracing is bright. Nevertheless, whether you’re going to play this game with RTX enabled, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is playable.

Division 2

  • Custom High Settings, DX12, 1920×1080, VSYNC Off, 8X AF
  • Custom Medium Settings, DX12, 1920×1080, VSYNC Off, 8X AF
Min Average Max
·        Custom High Settings, DX12, 1920×1080, VSYNC Off, 8X AF 38.3 61.7 94.9
·        Custom Medium Settings, DX12, 1920×1080, VSYNC Off, 8X AF 27.5 61.7 96.1

 

As one of this year’s most anticipated looter-shooter, Division 2 promises rich gaming experience with heavy emphasis on looting, PVE, PVP and story.  We played more than 135 hours of this game, and spent around 12 hours of our time playing it using MSI GL63 8SE.

Division 2 is one of the most optimized third-person shooter games we have recently played and MSI GL63 8SE handled this pretty well even at maximum settings. We experienced a few issues with DX12 enabled like random stutters and crashes, but we recon that it’s because of the 2 concurrent applications we’re running in the background to monitor the GPU’s performance: Fraps and MSI Afterburner. We never had issues while playing the game with DX11.

Anthem (NVDIA DLSS Limited to 2560×1440 or 3840×2160)

  • Ultra Settings, 1920×1080, HBAO, DOF On, VSYNC Off
  • High Settings, 1920×1080, HBAO, DOF On, VSYNC Off
Min Average Max
·        Ultra Settings, 1920×1080, HBAO, DOF On, VSYNC Off 11.5 32.2 45.5
·        High Settings, 1920×1080, HBAO, DOF On, VSYNC Off 23.2 33.9 45.8

 

As one of the disappointing game releases this year, Anthem’s success was marred with poor storytelling, poor game mechanics and bad optimization issues. The world of Anthem is beautiful, especially at ultra graphics settings; but DXR and DLSS are not fully implemented in the game. In fact, there is no way to enable DLSS at 1920 x 1080 resolution.

The performance was pretty okay, but it could have performed better if Anthem had good optimization features. The game is crawling at 32-34 fps at either high and ultra settings.

Our Verdict

So, is the MSI GL63 8SE a good purchase? Definitely yes. With a considerable price of PhP99,995 or around $1914, this is among the most affordable you’d get with the same caliber at the time of this review: RTX 2060, 8th Gen processor and 1TB 7200 rpm hard drive.

The device isn’t perfect as we noticed several things that you should know. The device only offers a 60hz TN panel, which can be an issue if you don’t want to see washed out colors and viewing angles. Battery life was also a little disappointing at 2.3 hours from full charge.

MSI GL63 8SE is now available for PhP99,995. If you buy one, you get a free MSI Loot box ,mouse and 128GB SSD at MSI concept stores and authorized resellers. Buy one at the following stores nationwide:

  • MSI Concept Stores
  • Complink
  • Villman
  • Silicon Valley
  • PC Corner
  • Thinking Tools/PC Quickbuys
  • PC Express
msi gl63, MSI GL63 8SE Review, Gadget Pilipinas
MSI GL63 8SE Review
Our Verdict
What's Good
Good thermals
Justifiable price
Impressive performance for its price
What's Not
Has bad viewing angle due to TN panel used
60Hz panel limits hardware performance
Keyboard layout requires some relearning
4.1
Author

Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of GadgetPilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.

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