MSI P65 Creator – The Laptop For Creators?
, Starting with the specs Ive, got the 8RF Model so theres an Intel i7 8750H CPU Nvidia, GTX 1070, Max Q, graphics, 16gb of memory in single channel 15.6, 1080p 144Hz screen and a 512gb M.2 NVMe SSD. For network connectivity, its got gigabit ethernet 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5. Im covering the older, 8th gen model. Here, however, Ill note: the differences between it and the newer 9th gen models, as we go. The 8RF model Ive got here – is the limited edition version which comes in white and in a wooden box. Otherwise, the 8RD and 8RE with lower graphics, come in silver and you can find examples and updated prices linked in the description.. The P65 is very similar to MSIs GS65 gaming laptop its basically using the same design and chassis with a few differences. On the matte white metal. Lid weve got the MSI logo in the center near the top, while the inside is also a matte white metal., There were no sharp corners or edges anywhere and the machine felt fairly well built. MSI list the weight at 1.88kg and mine was a little under this.. Once we add the 180 watt power, brick and cables, the total rises above 2.3kg, so quite lightweight for the specs.. The dimensions of the laptop are 35.7cm in width 24.7cm in depth and 1.8cm in height. So, on the smaller side for a 15 laptop., The smaller footprint gives us very thin, bezels MSI list them at 4.
9mm. However, from edge to the actual screen, I measured them at 7mm.. The 15.6 1080p 144Hz IPS level screen has a matte finish and good viewing angles, and it goes all the way back if thats important to you. MSI note, the panel is close to 100 sRGB. Ive, measured the colour gamut with the Spyder 5 Pro and got 97 Of sRGB, 67 of NTSC and 73 of AdobeRGB. At 100 brightness, I measured the panel at 297 nits in the center and with an 810 to 1 contrast ratio, so decent results, but pretty close to most other 144Hz gaming laptops, Ive tested.. Unfortunately, theres no 4K option with the 8th gen model something Id like to see as an option for a creator laptop. However, the newer 9th gen model does have that available, though neither have the new OLED panel as an option. Backlight bleed wasnt too bad here. Just some minor imperfections that I wasnt actually able to notice while viewing darker content, but this will vary between laptop and panel. Screen. Flex was around average. The metal panel felt fairly solid and the hinges being out towards the far corners help with stability.. Absolutely no problems at all opening it up with one finger. It felt quite well balanced and no problems using it. On my lap., There were magnets on the sides that help keep the lid closed as well, though they were hardly strong enough to notice this while opening.. Despite the screen bezels being on the thinner side, MSI were still able to fit the 720p camera up.
The top., The webcam looks about average and it sounds ok. Here's. What typing sounds like so a little clicky and here's what it sounds like when we set the fan speed to maximum., So you can hear it pretty easily, but you can still also hear me over the fans as well.. The keyboard has no numpad and white backlighting, which lights up all keys and even secondary key functions.. The white lighting can be adjusted between four levels or turned off using the function and page up or down keys., While the lighting looked fine in a dark room. In a well lit room, it looked a bit uneven and just not very good, at least compared to the GS65. Key presses were a little shallow feeling, but have a sort of click to them. Heres. How typing sounds to give you an idea of what to expect.? There was some keyboard flex while pushing down hard. However, it felt fine, while actually using it normally day to day. The precision. Touchpad was smooth to the touch and worked quite well.. It clicks down almost anywhere just not the top left corner which is unusable as a touchpad. Due to the fingerprint scanner., I found the fingerprint scanner to work. Well, though, it was fast enough. Due to the white finish: fingerprints, werent really viewable. However, as this isnt a new machine, I can see dirt on it thats built up over time and was harder to clean off.
On the left from the back theres, a kensington, lock air exhaust vent ethernet port, and I prefer it being this way. So you can unplug without lifting the machine two USB 3.1 Gen1 Type, A ports and 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks. On the right from the front theres a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type, A port USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port, with both DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 3 support mini Displayport and HDMI 2.0 output power input and another air exhaust vent. In total. All of these display outputs allow you to run three external monitors at once.. Its worth noting this is with the 8RF in white. Only the silver, 8RE and 8RD models are limited to two external screens, as they do not have the Type C port. So no additional, DisplayPort or Thunderbolt there. Its a bit odd that it differs, however, with the newer, 9th gen models. All variants have the Thunderbolt port.. The back just has some air exhaust vents. While the front has a battery status LED towards the right.. Underneath there are just air intake holes towards the back half of the machine.. The bottom panel can be removed by taking out 15 Phillips head screws. Then, once inside we can see that the motherboard is upside down, just like the GS65.. All we get access to here is the WiFi card and battery. Access to the memory and two M.2 slots requires removal of the motherboard, which is an annoying process and likely necessary for this machine.
Given it came with single channel memory, so ideally youd want to upgrade that.. The two speakers are found towards the front left and right corners. They sound, ok, a little above average for a laptop, though minimal bass and a bit tinny sounding.. They get loud enough at maximum volume and the Latencymon results. Didnt look great. Powering the laptop is a 4 cell 82 watt hour, battery. Ive tested it with the screen brightness at 50 background apps, disabled and all lighting off., While just watching YouTube videos. It lasted for 5 hours and 40 minutes a pretty good result for this test and it was using the Intel, integrated graphics due to Nvidia Optimus., While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidias battery boost set to 30 FPS. The battery lasted for a massive 2 hours and 12 minutes. However, after the first hour and 30 minutes with 27 charge left the frame rate dipped down to 12 FPS still 90 minutes is a good result for this. Test. Lets move onto the thermal testing. MSI note that the 8th gen P65 uses 4 heatpipes and 3 fans, though its worth noting the newer 9th gen model, has an improved cooling design with 6 heatpipes. So we can probably expect better temperatures from the newer, 9th gen model, which is great, considering that one also goes up to an 8 core i9 CPU., Like MSIs gaming laptops the Dragon Center software suite is installed to allow you to manage the system.
However, there are less options available, here., For example, while we can set the fan speed to maximum at least theres no turbo mode, like the gaming laptops have to boost performance.. Thermal testing was completed in an ambient room. Temperature of 21 degrees Celsius so expect different results. In different environments. At idle, the temperatures were looking fine.. The rest of the results are from running combined CPU and GPU workloads at the same time for extended periods of time and are meant to represent worst case results.. The gaming results towards the upper half of the graph were tested by playing Watch Dogs 2, as I find it to use a good combination of processor and graphics.. The stress test results shown on the lower half of the graph are from running the Aida64 CPU stress test, with only the stress, CPU option checked and the Heaven GPU benchmark at max settings at the same time to fully load the system. Straight away. I want to note that any time the CPU shown by the blue bar is at 90 degrees Celsius, its thermal throttling, and we can see this was happening in pretty much all tests.. This doesnt change, regardless of if we set the fans to maximum speed using cooler, boost mode undervolt, the CPU or use a cooling pad. While gaming, the averages do, drop a tiny bit once undervolted, but it was still spiking into thermal throttling territory.. The GPU temperatures, on the other hand, drop quite a lot once we set the fan speed to maximum.
. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests, just shown. Theres, no real difference to the GPU clock speeds. Regardless of these changes, however, we can see changes to the CPU., As thermal throttling is always happening on the CPU. We are seeing an increase in performance by setting the fan speed to maximum. By undervolting. The CPU were able to gain additional performance and with the cooling pad, while under stress test. This helps out a little more, but it made no difference while playing this particular game. As the undervolt removed most of the thermal throttling., These are the average TDP values reported by hardware info during these same tests.. Basically, we can see lower than expected CPU power limits being hit due to the thermal throttling that prevents it raising higher., As for CPU, only performance heres. What were seeing with Cinebench. By applying the same undervolt as before it was possible to achieve a 14 higher multicore score in this test, as this helped reduce the thermal throttling that was still taking place, even under this CPU. Only workload.. As for the external temperatures, where youll actually be putting your hands at idle, it was in the low 30s in the center about average., While gaming with the fan on auto, it gets to the low 40s in the center and mid 45s on the back side., While Under stress test its similar on the keyboard, but hotter on the back left side. With the fan at maximum, it does drop back a few degrees, despite the CPU temperatures being unchanged.
. As for the fan noise produced by the laptop Ill, let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle. It was completely silent, then, with the fan set to automatic, it was on the quieter side compared to most other machines, Ive tested. So you do have the option of limiting how loud it gets. However, as we saw, thermal throttling was capping performance earlier, so lower levels of performance are expected like this.. Maximum fan, on the other hand, is significantly louder in comparison.. Overall, the P65 was running hot, mainly on the CPU. Its worth, considering that this is a thinner machine, so higher thermals. Under these worst case, workloads are kind of expected, and, as mentioned, the newer 9th gen version does appear to have improved cooling, so Id be expecting higher clock speeds with that model. As a result, in these particular tests, where thermal throttling is the limit. Keep in mind, these are worst case: multicore, CPU and GPU tests, though a creator would expect similar results while say exporting a video, as that hits both CPU and GPU in Adobe. Premiere.. Next lets take a look at some gaming benchmarks., While not explicitly advertised as a gaming laptop given its got a standard, i7 CPU and GTX 1070 Max Q, graphics, its definitely going to be capable of playing modern games. If you want to so lets, see what its capable of. Battlefield 5 was tested in campaign mode. Overall performance is down due to our single channel configuration and well see this throughout all upcoming game tests.
So, keep in mind that performance could be improved significantly with that upgrade. Ive got a video linked in the description showing how much of an improvement this can make. Anyway, in this configuration were still able to reach 60 FPS averages at ultra. Shadow of the Tomb Raider Was tested with the built in benchmark again, the results are down significantly for this hardware configuration due to single channel memory. However, 60 FPS averages were still possible at max. Settings. CSGO was tested using the Ulletical FPS benchmark and, while were still seeing high frame rates. Here were around 100 FPS lower at max settings compared to most other dual channel. Laptops. Assassins Creed Odyssey was tested with the built in benchmark and, from my experience, seems to be a fairly CPU heavy game.. Once more, the frame rates were down significantly due to the single channel memory, though, as a game that doesnt need super high FPS to play. It should still work well, enough.. The Witcher 3 tends to be more of a GPU heavy game and in this title, ultra settings still played alright with around 70 FPS average, but higher possible at lower. Settings. Lets also take a look at how this config of the MSI P65 compares with other laptops to see how it stacks up use these results as a rough guide only as they were tested at different times with different drivers. In Battlefield, 5 Ive got the P65 Highlighted in red near similarly specced machines.
, Its coming in at last place out of the machines Ive recently tested. Simply due to the memory configuration all others on. This graph were tested with dual channel., Its not actually that far behind the Alienware m15 with same specs. As that one thermal throttles, however, we see a larger difference in 1. Low performance, which is exactly where were going to see the biggest hit with single channel memory. Here, are the results from Far Cry 5 with ultra settings in the built in benchmark. As a CPU heavy test. The lack of dual channel memory is going to be an issue here in particular, which is why it's so much behind all other machines as they were tested with dual channel memory. Its a similar story in Shadow of the Tomb Raider at highest settings with the built In benchmark, though, still 60 FPS at max settings, isnt exactly terrible, just notably lower compared to other machines., While the P65 was playing games, just fine as weve seen its performing worse compared to other lower specced machines, simply because theres only one stick of memory installed, which Is why I havent bothered testing as many games as usual. Youd definitely want to consider upgrading to two sticks for dual channel for significant performance improvements, and that applies outside of gaming too.. Given the machine is targeted towards creators, Ive also tested Adobe Premiere, video exporting., While the P65 has the same CPU and GPU as my Aero 15x, we can see its taking a fair bit longer to export the exact same video project, which seems to be a result Of both the CPU thermal throttling covered earlier, but also due to my P65 having single channel memory.
, Mostly the single channel memory, would be my guess. Given the Aero thermal throttles too., If youre able to buy it with two sticks in dual channel or otherwise upgrade it yourself, keeping in mind that upside down motherboard, then Id expect more comparable. Performance. Ive used Crystal Disk Mark to test the storage and the 512gb NVMe M.2 SSD was performing alright, alright read and write speeds. For updated pricing check the links in the description as prices will change over time. At the time of recording in the US, the MSI P65 Creator laptop with similar specs, is going for 2300 USD, though this one does have double the memory. Just for comparison. The GS65 gaming laptop with same specs is available for a fair bit less money.. All you really seem to be missing is the fingerprint scanner and limited edition white colour, while youre also getting the RGB keyboard with the GS65. Im guessing the 8RF costs more as its the limited edition model.. That said, if you dont need that much GPU power and are happy with the silver colour, the lower priced, 8RD and 8RC are options. Too. Here in Australia, Ive only been able to find the P65 8RE with 1060, which is around 2100 AUD, while the newer, 9th gen models seem to start at 3000 AUD. With all of that in mind, lets conclude by looking at the good and bad aspects of the P65. Overall I'll say that I did like the laptop.
The build quality seemed fair for a thinner machine and its on the smaller side for a 15 inch device and isnt too heavy something. I can definitely appreciate as someone that travels with a laptop and uses it for content creation.. The battery life was quite good. Theres. A decent selection of IO, including Thunderbolt 3 support and the screen looked nice.. The main issue I have with the P65 Creator laptop is just that for a machine thats got creator in the name. It doesnt really seem to differ too much from the GS65 gaming laptop.. When it comes down to it, weve got a white GS65. Thats, not necessarily a bad thing. I know a lot of people like having white options, but for a machine thats meant to be for creators. Personally, I was hoping for some extra features that werent present in the GS65, including an SD card slot and better screen options.. I havent been able to find out if MSI will be adding the new 15 OLED screen to the P65 lineup in future, but that would make it stand out more by having that as an option.. The fingerprint scanner was a nice addition and you do have the option of a higher quality 4K panel with 100 AdobeRGB coverage in the newer, 9th gen model, something which would probably be enough alone for me to look at the newer offerings compared to the 8th gen Model Ive tested here. That newer, 9th gen model should, in theory, have better cooling too, and also the option of more powerful graphics and 8 core CPUs as well, which, depending on youre doing, are things that will be useful for creator.
Workloads such as video editing. MSI also have the WS65, which is basically their workstation version of this machine so again, very similar chassis, but with Quadro graphics. So, if youre after the next level in terms of specs thats going to be it. Back to the P65, while nothing groundbreaking, if nothing else its nice to have a white model available without the flashing RGB lighting of the GS65. For those that want a more subtle look. In terms of performance, despite both the CPU and GPU in my model, now being last gen, they both still perform quite well.. I actually use the exact same combination in my Aero 15x to edit 4K video, while Im travelling with Adobe Premiere and it works quite well.. The only issue with my specific configuration of P65 is that it came to me with single channel memory, and while you can upgrade this yourself for improved performance, the process is made more difficult due to the upside down motherboard.. Otherwise, the only other thing I didnt personally like was the patchy white backlighting on the keyboard overall, its a decent machine, despite it missing some creator, specific features Id personally be after.. Let me know what you thought about MSIs P65 Creator laptop down in the comments. If you create content, is this a machine youd be interested in? Why or why not? Or would you just get it as a replacement to the GS65 for the different colour options? Let me know, and if youre new to the channel, consider getting subscribed for future laptop reviews and tech.