MSI Creator 15 Review – The GS66 For Content Creators!
. My model has an 8 core Intel processor with Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics. But there are quite a few different configuration options. You can check updated prices in the description., Its got a matte carbon grey, exterior both on top bottom and for the interior.. The aluminum build feels pretty good, only minor keyboard and lid flex, when going out of my way to look for it and like the GS66. This has MSIs new and improved hinge. Design. The weight distribution felt good, allowing for one finger opening.. The screen goes, the full 180 degrees back and the F12 key has a shortcut for flipping. The screen for sharing. MSI lists the weight as 2.1kg or 4.6lb, though mine was heavier than this., Were looking at 2.8kg or about 6.2lb with the 180 watt power brick and cables included. Its not too big for a 15 laptop and is under 2cm thick making it Fairly portable. My unit has a 15.6 1080p 60Hz touchscreen, though there is also a 4K option with higher colour gamut and both of these arent options with the GS66 gaming laptop, which makes sense. Given these are more creator orientated features. Ive tested the screen with the Spyder 5 and got 97 of sRGB 70 of NTSC 75 of AdobeRGB and 76 of DCI P3, so fair for content creation, but theres the 4K option with 100 AdobeRGB. If you need better., My panel got bright enough at around 364 nits at max brightness, though the 8001 contrast ratio, wasnt impressive.
, I had no problems with backlight bleed, though this will vary between laptops.. The touchscreen worked alright. For me, though, this means its got a glossy finish, so fingerprints will show up. Theres a 720p camera above the display and its got IR for Windows, Hello support which worked well.. This is what the camera and microphone look and sound like on the Creator. 15. Heres. What it sounds like to type on the keyboard – and this is what it sounds like if we set the fan to full speed its pretty loud, but you can still hear me. Ok over the fans., The keyboard has a single zone of white backlighting, which illuminates all keys and secondary key functions.. There are 3 levels of key brightness or you can turn it off with the F8 key.. The precision touchpad is extra wide and works. Well, though, my right hand would press down on it while typing, but the palm rejection was good and this never caused any problems. It just felt strange. Its got 1.5mm of key travel and was ok for typing heres. How it sounds to give you an idea of what to expect. Theres, also a fingerprint scanner in the top left corner of the touchpad. It worked alright, but wasnt as fast as some others Ive used.. The power button is part of the keyboard, but by default pressing, it doesnt put it to sleep unless you hold it down, and there are some air vents above the keyboard.
. There are two 2w front facing speakers on either sides down the front. They sound alright with some bass but werent too clear at higher volumes. They sounded loud maxed out as theyre facing you and the latencymon results. Looked good. Fingerprints and dirt dont show up too easily and the smooth finish is easy to clean with a microfiber cloth.. The left has an air exhaust vent, the power input, USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C, Thunderbolt 3 port with DisplayPort output, and it can also be used to charge the device HDMI 2.0 output and USB 3.2 Gen2 Type. A port.. The right has a 3.5mm audio combo jack. Another USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C port, no thunderbolt, display output or charging on this side, though followed by UHS III SD card slot, something the GS66 gamer model is missing and a gigabit ethernet port facing the preferred way easy to remove. Without lifting the machine, though, the location might get in the way of right handed mouse users., Both the HDMI and Type C ports on the left, connect directly to the Nvidia graphics, bypassing optimus.. The back has air exhaust vents towards the corners. While the front is clean. With glossy plastic trim. Underneath has air ventilation holes on the back, half. Getting inside involves taking out 9 phillips head screws and the one down the front in the middle is shorter than the rest.. Once inside weve got the large battery down the front two M.2 storage slots above it both do NVMe PCIe, while only one also does SATA WiFi 6 card to the left of those and two memory slots near the center towards the right.
. Its worth noting that MSI are using slower, DDR4 2666 memory here, despite Intel 10th gen supporting faster.. The Creator 15 is powered by a 4 Cell 99.9Wh battery. Ive tested it with keyboard lighting off background apps, disabled and screen at 50 brightness.. It lasted for more than 10 hours in the YouTube playback test, an amazing result considering the specs inside and it lasted for just under 2 and a half hours in the gaming test, a new record out of the machines Ive tested.. You can also set the charge threshold in software, though, even with this set to 100 after hours of running stress tests, mine did dip down to 87 charge. Lets check out thermals next. The MSI Creator Center software lets. You pick between three main performance modes which, from lowest to highest, are silent, balanced and high performance.. None of these apply any GPU overclock. They just modify power limits and fan speed. High performance mode also lets you set the fan to advanced, which gives you some customization or coolerboost, which sets the fan to full speed. Undervolting is disabled by default, but if you boot into the BIOS and press MSIs, epic, Cheat code to access the advanced BIOS you can enable it under the overclocking performance menu., The temps are fine at idle with a 21 degree celsius. Ambient room temperature., The rest of the results are worst case. Stress tests with Aida64 and only stress, cpu only checked and the Heaven GPU benchmark run at the same time.
. There was some thermal throttling present on the CPU in high performance mode, enabling cooler boost didnt, remove the throttle, but the GPU lowered by 10 degrees, then adding a cooling pad was able to remove the throttle and undervolting the processor further assisted.. These are the clock speeds during the same tests.. The GPU speeds in green were very low in silent mode, so probably not useful for gaming or doing graphically intensive tasks, then they improve as cooling improves.. Cpu speeds also improve as we step up through the different modes.. Although coolerboost previously made no difference to the CPU temperature were seeing a decent clock, speed increase as the faster fan speeds, make us throttle less. With the cooling pad and undervolt its possible to maintain the full 4.3GHz. All core turbo boost speed of the 10875H.. The 2060 seems to be capped to 35 watts in silent mode, which is why the performance is so bad. Otherwise, in any of the other modes, it had no problem running to the full 80 watt limit.. The CPU power limit is also looking good better than others. That are capped to the intel spec of 45 watts anyway. Heres. How CPU only performance looks in Cinebench with the GPU now idle, so it is possible to get a reasonable improvement by making some simple tweaks with the result at the top, where Ive raised the power limit and undervolted with Intel XTU. Its stacking up fairly well compared To others, with the tweaks in place well for an Intel option anyway, far ahead of the Blade 15 Advanced with the same processor as its capped to a low power limit, but also not as good as cheaper Ryzen based options.
. When idling the keyboard is below the 30 degrees, or so I usually so so quite cool.. It gets to the mid 40s. With the CPU plus GPU stress tests running then balanced mode is in the low 50s as its now performing better. High performance mode was around the same. Getting to the mid 50s in the middle, then, with the fans maxed out in cooler boost mode, its around 5 degrees, cooler worst case, but lets have a listen to the fan. Noise.. The fans were still audible when idling in silent mode, which helps explain the cool temps noted earlier., With the stress tests its still on the quieter side, though, if you recall, the GPU is capped to 35 watts here, so GPU heavy tasks wont run well. High performance Mode with the fans on auto mode was similar to balanced mode and is quieter compared to most gaming laptops tested, then coolerboost is way louder.. I look at this as a good thing, though, as we saw higher fan speeds boost performance by lowering thermal throttling under heavy workloads and, as there is user customizable fan, control youve at least got the option of tuning it. How you like to get a mixture of noise and performance. Lets check out some content creator workloads. You know the thing this machine is actually made. For. Ive used Adobe Premiere to export one of my laptop review. Videos at 4K. In this test. A lower time is better and the Creator 15 was the fastest out of the 2060 laptops, though it does have that 8 core Intel processor and that offers an advantage of quicksync here.
Ive also tested Premiere, but with the Puget systems benchmark. In these tests a higher Score is better the ASUS G14, with Max Q version of the 2060 and Ryzen processor was ahead and a few other Ryzen based machines were scoring higher here. In Adobe Photoshop, though the Creator 15 was one of the best scoring laptops tested close to the top of The stack. This one seems to favour CPU power and, as we saw earlier, the 8 core processor has a fair power. Limit. DaVinci Resolve is more GPU heavy than the last test and the score puts it around many of the other 80 watt GPU options, but it still gets beaten by lower 1660 Ti plus Ryzen options. Ive also tested SPECviewperf, which tests out various professional 3D workloads. Ive Used Crystal disk mark to test storage and the 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD was doing great for both read and writes.. The SD card slot was also doing well, basically maxing out my v90 rated card and the card clicks in and sits most of the way into the machine., Although not a gaming laptop with these specs, its definitely capable of playing games well, so lets see how it Stacks up. Ive tested Battlefield 5 in campaign mode at ultra settings and the Creator 15 is highlighted in red. Its not that far behind higher wattage 2060 laptops like the RP 15, but only slightly ahead of most of the 1660 Ti laptops that have the same 80 Watt power limit.
: These are the results from Far Cry 5 with ultra settings in the built in benchmark.. This tends to be more of a CPU heavier test, which probably explains why the result is more inline with other 8 core processors, despite in many cases those having higher GPU power. Limits. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was also tested with the games benchmark tool with the highest setting preset., As were back to being GPU dependent. The Creator 15 drops down a couple of positions and the higher wattage 2060s are ahead as expected, not counting the older, 8th, gen Triton 500 result. Heres. What were looking at in terms of 3DMark benchmark results. For updated prices, check the links in the description as prices will change over time. At the time of recording in the US, its available for around 1800 USD for the same specs Ive tested here.. Meanwhile, here in Australia were looking at 4000 AUD for the configuration Ive tested, but there are both lower and higher spec options for less or more money.. Lets summarise to help you decide if the Creator 15 is worth considering.. The build quality is pretty good and similar to MSIs GS66, but with some extras for creators, including full size, SD card slot and touch screen.. The screen was decent, but the optional 4K panel offers better colour gamut. Should you need it.? The performance was good, especially in content creator workloads due to the high CPU power limit, though the trade off of that is always going to be higher temperatures.
However, as shown, it was possible to lower temperatures by increasing fans undervolting or using a cooling pad to get even better performance.. The battery life was amazing, one of the best laptops Ive ever tested in that regard. Despite the good specs., The IO is decent theres Thunderbolt and the advanced BIOS gives us lots of control.. The only things I didnt personally, like was typing, sometimes felt a bit strange when your right hand presses the touchpad down it wasnt an issue in a practical sense. It just felt a bit weird to me with my larger hands.. The memory is DDR4 2666, so upgrading that could result in a little speed boost, and it would have been good for MSI to offer that out of the box for a premium machine like this. Other than that with the 4K panel. The Creator 15 looks like a good option for content creators and is a machine I wouldnt mind using myself..