And my next laptop is - MSI GS65/RTX2080 Max-Q

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by Thysanoptera, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. Thysanoptera, Feb 2, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019

    Thysanoptera macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I don't know how I missed that. Back in the days, when MSI first released the 'stealth' it was a hot mess. I never looked at it again, through all the consequent generations. But boy, apparently already last year it was good and they improved this year with additional heat pipes and stay on the low end of configurable TDP making it fairly quiet and cool. Dual, upgradable storage, upgradable RAM, matte IPS FHD screen (144 MHz 7ms a bonus for me), 5% larger and heavier than MBP. Only one TB3 though, but other than that checks all the boxes for me.

    Looking at various sources I came up with those numbers, comparing to MBP:

    ComponentMSI GS65 i7 8850MBP 2018 i9Relative to MBP
    GPURTX 2080 Max-QVega Pro 20
    GPU TDP 8050+60%
    FireStrike CPU166698777 +90%
    FireStrike GPU178939147+96%
    TimeSpy CPU68803961+74%
    TimeSpy GPU6821 2623+160%
    Noise at max rpm44* 47-6%
    footprint886 cm2841 cm2+5%
    weight1.9 kg1.83 kg+4%
    Thickness17.9 mm15.5 mm+15%
    Price (i7,32GB, 4TB)$4,106 (2x970 2TB)$6,749-36%
    *(from previous model review with 1070MQ which has 85W TDP)

    CPU looks about the same, but with repasting and undervolting it should smoke the MBP, even though MSI starts downclocking at 90C and MBP at 100C.

    I'm going to configure mine with 2TB 970 EVO and WD Blue 2TB SATA on m.2 to save on power consumption, total comes to $3876. I guess this is it, the only thing I don't like is the location of power socket and tb3, in the middle of the right side. And the gold accents. I can live with having to flip the motherboard to access SSD and RAM, at least you can replace them at all.

    EDIT: Nice review just popped up:

    https://www.theeverydayenthusiast.com/home/review-2019-msi-gs65

    Yeah, 1250 in cinebench, smokes the MBP also in CPU department.
     
  2. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    #2
    I believe the 2019 model has the RAM & SSD slots now on the bottom of the board so no need to remove like the 2018 model, and you'll likely be seeing more than 1250CB in CineBench :)

    Q-6
     
  3. Thysanoptera thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    It is still the same, just the revision number on motherboard changed but the layout is the same. I asked the reviewer about his CB number, because it was the same after undervolt as stock, and he said after undervolting it keeps 1250 steady on subsequent runs, while stock config drops to 1200. So it looks like power limit rather than thermal, this can of course be changed ;) but I don't think you can go much higher than that, it was already repasted and undervolted.
    I just need to choose a reseller.
     
  4. Queen6, Feb 2, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019

    Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    #4
    Yeah your right the board's the same as 2018, might have been a 2019 GS75 Raider I was looking at. Doubt it's the power limit as CineBench R15 is relatively short and my ROG with the 8750H completes before the PL-2 time limit of 28 seconds. You might be able to unlock the Turbo limits, equally I'd proceed with caution given the high wattage the 8th Gen hex core CPU's pull at max load (8750H 90W).

    Full bore the GL703GS can run at 3.9GHz, with the default 45W PL-2 limit enforced 3.6GHz, max temp around 85C with -140mV applied, stock paste. Can go deeper with the undervolt equally prefer to not be at the absolute edge as the gains are barely tangible.
    1279CB.jpg
    Full W10 Pro - 1809

    Kind of have my eye on the new ROG Zephyrus S GX701, equally outside the GPU not convinced it will be an upgrade over my current 17.3" Strix

    Q-6
     
  5. Thysanoptera thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    It sure looks nice, but I'm not sold on the keyboard placement, it moves the screen away from you and if laptop is at the edge of the desk you need to keep your hands in the air when typing. It would be really awkward to use on a plane or any confined space, most often I don't have a luxury of large empty desk when travelling.

    With the GS65, after reading through countless reviews of MSI resellers and comparing prices I'm just going to get the 2060 version from Best Buy (they don't carry 2080) and do all the upgrades myself. It is only 30% slower than this 2080 Max-q due to really low TDP that MSI uses and will save me 10W. At least I will have 30 days to return without any restocking fees if I don't like it.

    $2000 - laptop
    $300 - 32GB CL15 2666 RAM
    $350 - 2TB Evo 860 SATA m2

    I have already 2TB Evo 970 in Dell, so will use this and will spend only total of $2650. That seems like more reasonable route.
     
  6. Queen6 macrumors 604

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    #6
    I do like the ROG Zephyrus S GX701, however I'm not so happy with the odd RAM arrangement (24Gb 8+16) and no SD card reader. Build quality will be up a notch versus my 2018 Strix, possibly oddly less robust, nor is the Zephyrus S a much smaller package, but I do like it :p

    TBH the sweet spot for a thin & light 15" is likely to be the RTX 2060, the 2070/2080 is going to run hotter for sure and nosier. I did have an MSI GS65 Raider, with the 6Gb GTX 1060 and it was really noisy. For me I found that a 17.3" with 1070/2070 is the sweet spot as they tend to handle the thermals better and these days not much bigger than a classic 15.6" notebook.

    The Strix came with a single stick of 2666 RAM, so punching it to 32Gb was relatively cheap & easy. Has NVME SSD & SSHD which good for mass storage, for reliability will likely swap it out for an SSD, over all I'd prefer a pair of M.2 SSD's, as I like to segregate OS, work, media etc.

    I don't game a lot and sometimes I'll actively reduce the CPU/GPU TDP as I simply don't need the performance, equally if I want the performance for work purpose I just let it rip and it delivers :)

    Q-6
     
  7. Thysanoptera thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    On my way to the hotel today I stopped at Microcenter in Houston. They didn't have 17 inch, but the 15 inch was on display. And it is really nice, much smaller than imagined, the GX701 may be acceptable for me. The keyboard on the edge is intriguing, something different. I actually like it, need to find the big one somewhere in person to see. But in this case I would need to keep something smaller in the bag too, like the 13 inch Zenbook.

    There was no GS65, but other MSI laptops, GE Raiders etc. Holy bending batman, now I understand why the MSI forums were full of questions about structural improvement on 2019 model. The one thing on my mind was that I'm going to break it, crush it, if I grip it any stronger my fingers will puncture the palm rest. I'm still going to order it, but will do some reading on the GX701 in the meantime.
     
  8. Queen6, Feb 5, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019

    Queen6 macrumors 604

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    #8
    I looked at the MSI Stealth in 2018, but was wary of the very thin aluminium construction, now corrected, although I've yet to see one physically. I think both the Asus and MSI are pretty comparable as systems, although I tend to prefer Asus as I feel the build quality is a level above MSI.

    Be mindful with the Zephyrus s GX701 that it's limited to 24Gb RAM (8GB on the board, plus one slot) same as the MSI no SD Card. This is why I'm not sold on replacing my current GL703GS (32GB & SD Card Slot) and the footprint & weight savings are not significant. Build quality is nicer and also like the design. Once my local ROG Store has one in stock, I'll wheel round with my GL703GS and see how they both stack up.

    FWIW I work internationally and the GL703GS is an intrinsic aspect of that. To date it has held up with no issues. I wouldn't overly worry about flex unless your hobby is torqueing your notebooks :p These notebooks are manufactured from complex composites and designed to be resilient, more so than aluminium.

    MBP feels better in the hand, equally aluminium is far from ideal and brings it own issues. It simply presents a perception if durability, drop a MBP and a ThinkPad and the results will speak for themselves. I was little hesitant to try a gaming notebook, however not disappointed at all they are performant have plenty of options, scalable, generally uses the latest technology, displays are good, with some offering HiDPI options. I also found that a lot of independent professional's take the same route as they don't need the higher offerings of the Enterprise Workstations and need more than Apple can produce.

    I also travel with a 12" 2 in 1 for day to day meeting, and visits to the contractors, equally I would struggle to return to anything less than the GL03GS as it simply does exactly what want of a computer; it doesn't get in my way, it doesn't present problems, it doesn't baulk, choke or throttle no matter the load and to date it's been 100% stable & reliable.

    TBH I don't need the BS that's becoming default for the Mac, or the auto defence crowd...

    Q-6
     
  9. Thysanoptera thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    And I bought it at bestbuy during another grocery run. That's the one with RTX2060. It is pretty near the perfect little machine. Cinebench 1250 all day long, with stock paste and just -140mV undervolt. If you crank up the fans the CPU temp doesn't even go above 80C. GPU temps a little over 60C when running 3dmark, with fans on auto, like half speed. I'm surprised how cool and quiet it is.

    Bottom line - it holds max turbo of 3.9 GHz forever (once you remove power limit in BIOS - yes, you can do that, it has a full blown overclocking BIOS). That's the new definition of a CPU that doesn't throttle. @Queen6 - I'm getting low scores in Corona Renderer, just above 2700k rays/s, 2:58 time, like my MBP, which I don't understand because it holds 3.9 GHz across all cores for the duration of the render. But it has only a single stick of CL19 RAM, I'm wondering what's the RAM configuration in your Asus?
     
  10. Queen6, Mar 3, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019

    Queen6 macrumors 604

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    #10
    Duel channel 32GB CL19 @2666. it's passing 3000K Ray's at 2:41.39. You probably need to kill some background process, fastest guys are running a stripped down version of W10, mine is on full W10 Pro 1809 as it's my primary work notebook. First thing I did when I bought it was "pop the lid" and bump up the RAM, next another 2TB of SSD :)

    I like the GX701 a lot, although I think I would take a hit in performance as my GL703GS is a slightly stronger platform. Same I can unlock Turbo limits, although I mostly leave on default settings.

    Cinebench R15
    1279CB.jpg
    Would like to see it pass 1280CB on stock W10 Pro

    Max performance, CPU PL-1 set at 65W
    65W.jpg
    System is flagging throttle due to hitting the enforced 65W power limit (default 45W). I can increase far more, however it will then be limited thermally, well if you call this level of performance in a notebook limited :p FWIW the 8750H pulls around 86W at full tilt, MBP need not apply :p

    No we're getting silly Prime95 & Cinebench R15 running together CPU in the mid 70's and the GL703GS still scored over 1100CB :p Prime95_Cinebench_R15 in progress.jpg

    Like your take on shopping for grocery's, little like mine :p

    Q-6
     
  11. Thysanoptera, Mar 3, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019

    Thysanoptera thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    But how? On mine, with -140mV, it hovers around 65W at 3.9GHz. There are no power limits anymore, I have no more throttling indicators in Throttlestep. I can't go any higher without getting the 2.6 or i9, that's the max turbo on all cores for 8750H, this thing is now clock limited. But I've seen with my own eyes the 8750H pulling 80W I just can't replicate it now without power limits, it is almost like it was forgetting clock limits for short bursts.

    That allows me to smuggle new tech without my wife noticing :p. Although this MSI has gold accents, I may have to take a black sharpie to it to make it look like the others I already have. I was thinking about buying the silver Razer Blade, I've put a plan in action - started nonchalantly taking the Powerbook G4 to the kitchen every now and then. I figured it looks very similar to the Razer, I'll be able to just swap them without rising any suspicions. But then I saw the ribbon cable on the outside of the Razer and the plan was cancelled. Although right now my twins are almost 5 and already stole my Macbook Air and Gigabyte P34, so in a year or two I will have frequently totally legal excuses to upgrade multiple computers.

    Every now and then though, my wife would point to some device which I was certain she didn't see me bringing in, and say -"I know you bought it, just didn't want to spoil your fun". o_O
     
  12. Queen6 macrumors 604

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    #12
    Via ThrottleStop by raising the PL-1 power limit, although if your hitting 3.9GHz there's no point as it wont go any higher. Prime95 Small FFT will kick up the CPU seen it passing 85W.

    I mostly pick up a couple every 12-24 months, although switching Windows I went through a few untill I settled with the ASUS. Lot depends on the project and mobility need. As i'm based in Asia I can easily get a the new Xiao Mi Gaming Notebook, like it for no other reason than the superb build quality :)

    Likely I'll hold on until the 9th Gen CPU's are out with RTX as right now I wont see much benitift, although as my work dictates international travel the GX701 most definitely appeals as it's a little smaller than my GL703GS. Fortunely or unfortunately :p we have an ROG Store locally as that's a dangerous place to visit. See the new 17" Zephyrus S might just snap :p Want to have a look at the "Mothership" although I full expect pricing to be stratospheric o_O

    Q-6
     
  13. Thysanoptera thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    You're right, I've been always using the blend test (and this MSI doesn't break a sweat in it), but the small FFT kicked it right into 80's @ 3.9 GHz and had to throttle down to 3.4GHz and 65W due to temperature. I guess that's cache, I've read some paper long time ago with CPU power analysis, and back then cache could take 30% of the whole package power, looks like it is still the case.

    Well, I consider testing done, looks like it is fine on the thermal front. However, this MSI has annoying feature, crackling noise, getting worse the hotter the chassis gets. It is ... embarrassing ... Still some flex to the palm rests, not too bad though and slightly uneven feet, looks like a concave type bend in the chassis. And this is the 'improved' version form a year ago that's still comes at a whooping $2k. I have couple of weeks to evaluate, I should be able to get rid of the crackling with some modifications to the chassis but when I do that my return window will close. The screen lid is paper thin also and flexes easily, affecting the back light.
     
  14. Queen6 macrumors 604

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    #14
    I've still got a 2017 15" Raider and wasn't terribly impressed with the build quality or the way MSI implements it's own software, it'll be out the door soon as no use for it. Looked as the 2018 GS65, however felt wasn't durable enough so passed.

    My son uses my 2017 17" Acer Predator and that's a tank :p too heavy at near 10lb alone, equally it's near indestructible and never runs hot. This ROG GL703GS has been the best gaming notebook I've used for work purpose and the most powerful, presents a fair balance of performance & portability. As much as I like the Zephyrus S GX701 it does present some compromises in comparison for being a little smaller. Also think ROG screwed up on the RAM and should have opted for 16GB on the board, as 8GB limits to just 16GB for duel channel or an odd 24GB max and if your buying a Zephyrus S pricing unlikely to be an issue. Admittedly it's a gamer and 16GB is plenty for most users. I'd be weary of the cracking sounds with heat as that sounds like an expansion problem which may be an issue down the line.

    The Small FFT test is brutal, overly so if the hardware's not up to scratch...

    Q-6
     
  15. Thysanoptera thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Pretty much this, they've put a plastic hinge cover attached to aluminum chassis right on top of the heatsinks, and the plastic part is secured only by tabs, no screws or anything. Once it heats it gets more room to move and makes noise pressure is applied.

    Can't have it all I guess. I'll keep it, it is the only light 15 inch on the market with dual storage, RTX2060, large battery, TB3, good cooling, good keyboard and all the ports you need. I was a little harsh with the flex, the palmrest areas have similar flex to the X1 Carbon, I didn't even notice this on Lenovo because I wasn't actively looking for it. I fully expect the hinges to break fairly quickly, just looking at how this is build, but the spare parts are readily available and not that expensive, the back cover and new bezel are about $120 together. Same with LCD, plenty of sources to get it - here I think the screen will get scratched by keys due to flex on the LCD panel.

    I already ordered the 2TB Intel 660p ($220 @ B&H), 2x16 GB CL15 2666 RAM and a tube of Kryonaout, will get it done Wednesday.

    Funny thing, this rtx2060@70W is faster than Vega FE with 200W bios selected in eGPU enclosure. About half of a water cooled 1080Ti in desktop.
     
  16. Queen6, Mar 4, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019

    Queen6 macrumors 604

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    #16
    True the GS65/GS75 are well spec'd, just a PIA to upgrade. Duel drives are a God send :) I'm looking at a 2TB Evo or better if I can source an M.2 adapter. Mine came with a single 16Gb stick, so the upgrade was easier.

    These Nvidia mobile GPU's are not to be sniffed at, to this day I'm impressed by the GL703GS's GTX 1070. So far it has stood up very well, multiple international trips, rarely if ever shutdown, soaks up the abuse all day long. I'll likely settle with it until the 9th Gen CPU's are out as it's doing everything I want with ease and it came with an impressive 3 year warranty, although I'll no doubt upgrade before that point.

    No flex in normal use, however being a composite it's possible with force, TBH as long as they don't flex in use I don't care. Being a 17.3" I'm mindful to open and close from the centre as it's a big panel and bound to induce flex unless one of the real heavyweights.

    Q-6
     
  17. Thysanoptera thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Why M.2 adapter? For the 2.5 inch SATA slot? There is 2TB EVO in 2.5 form factor, I had one in my XPS, now is in external enclosure. The GS also came with one 16GB stick, but I figured I'll just grab a matching set of CL15s rather than looking the same CL19 module it came with. It was still only a little over half of what Apple charges for 32GB upgrade anyway.
     
  18. Queen6 macrumors 604

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    #18
    For no other reason than redeploying it in the future, likely I'll opt for the 2.5" 2TB Evo or WD Blue etc., if next notebook is M.2 only I'll follow suit like you and stick it in an external enclosure.

    Q-6
     
  19. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    #19
    Be interested to see how it performs once you've got it all settled down :)

    Q-6
     
  20. Thysanoptera thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    corona_after.jpg

    Looks like dual channel RAM has large effect on this benchmark, with single stick I was getting almost 3 minutes and 2700k rays/s. The best Cinebench is now 1261 and I have no idea how that can be improved any more.

    The repaste improved CPU somewhat, like a 4-5 degrees, but it also reduced the spread between the cores. Before you can see even and odd cores being way off. That's while running small FFT in primes.
    Before:
    before1_crop.jpg

    After:
    after1_crop.jpg

    Don't pay attention to 25W - the reported package power is offset by 32W so in reality that's about 57W, Dragon Center disables the power limit adjustment in Throttlestop - it was still getting down to 45W, offsetting the reported power was the only way to prevent power throttling. But I didn't want to go all the way in because this causes oscillation (at like 65W or so) making it hard to compare results and at 45W only it was too cold (tell that to MBP owners). The Corona is made with about 77W power limit but it just maxes out at 3.9 GHz.

    On the GPU side I should have used more TIM, my temps went up by 2C (I had 60C and now 62C after three runs) - although the Valley score went up 6% for some reason, wondering if the dual channel has something to do with it to and can explain the increased temp. I just don't feel like opening this up again, but I'll probably do anyway, it is not that hard. You have to use a lot of TIM, more than seems reasonable, but I'll wait until next week, some report that Kryonaout has some cure time. All those tests were made immediately after putting all back together, fans forced to max.

    So I have 32GB RAM and 4TB of NVMe SSD's, reusing my old Evo970 the total was $2460. Half of what I paid for the MBP and I have now machine with 4 times faster GPU, 20% faster CPU and double the storage. And it is a lot cooler. It stays, can't return it now anyway ;)
     
  21. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    #21
    Nice numbers :cool: This is exactly why independent professional's are dumping the Mac in droves. I'd be $4,250 in for each MBP and it wouldn't touch this GL703GS. I want reliability, performance, ports, scalability, think my fridge has the MBP beat :p
    1279CB.jpg
    Mac's are fast becoming a joke....

    I'll see what I can do with Corona ;) closest Mac, light years behind :oops: what a ****ing shame...

    Q-6
     
  22. Thysanoptera thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    The R20 Cinebench is out, I'm getting 2865 in it. My MBP scores 2581 on first run while still stone cold, then it drops to 2400 or so.
     
  23. Thysanoptera thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Got myself RTX 2080Ti this week at BestBuy, went to get price adjustment on the GS65 (it is on sale for $100 off now), and just thought, what the hell, I had $200 in rewards from buying the laptop, 10% off for getting BestBuy credit card, so just used all of that and got the 2080Ti price down to $895. Huge card, 3x wide, but still fits in my Razor Core X, just had to remove the bracket. Dead silent but will replace the PSU in the enclosure today, the one Razer uses is noisy and now with silent card it gets annoying. About twice as fast in complex DX12 as the internal rtx2060, the higher the framerate the lower the eGPU advantage. I'm getting rid of my 8700k desktop, it is not that much faster anymore.

    Only problem, I'm using Dell 34' ultra-wide with two USB inputs, I was using it as a sort of KVM where selecting display input was switching USB input also. This 2080Ti causes some interference with the USB hub in it and mouse pointer stutters from time to time, doesn't disconnect but freezes for a second or two. When connected directly to laptop no issues. I don't know why only 2080 does that, no problems with Vega FE, 1080 and 1080Ti in the same config. Maybe it is the latest Nvidia drivers, but can't downgrade to 417 and have Optimus and desktop 2080 support. Oh well, since the desktop is going away I don't really need the KVM functionality anymore.

    Also the drivers directly from Nvidia don't disable the dGPU when eGPU is active, and had couple of Nvidia driver crashes because of that - it just abruptly disconnects the eGPU. You have to manually disable dGPU in device manager. Not a big deal. But I got 56k score in Luxmark ball with both of them active ;)
     
  24. c0ppo macrumors 65816

    c0ppo

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    #24
    @Thysanoptera

    How does your device behave with just regular stuff, like surfing the internet, mail, youtube, some music? Does it get too hot or too noisy? There is a lot of power in that thin and light device.
     
  25. Thysanoptera thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Silent and fairly cool, they really did the homework since the first gen. Like right now I have a youtube video playing, outlook in the background and writing this post, CPU temp is around 50C, package power around 5W. I've set laptop fans to 2k rpm minimum (they're off by default at low temps), they're inaudible at this speed, right now they're at 2500 and you can hear them, but kind of have to look for the sound. At 3k they match the sound of my XPS15 at low power state also, which was never bothering me. The MSI is quieter but a little warmer than XPS 15 i5 quad in same low power conditions. With CPU at 50C the palmrests are cooler than skin, the area above the keyboard is warmer.

    If you don't like the fans you can create own custom curve with bundled software. I didn't even bother, just set the minimum to 2k rpm. They start getting audible at 2.5k, max rpm @45W package power is tolerable 4k (and 90C CPU temp) , and you can manually force them to go all the way to 6k in which case they are really load.
     

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68 February 2, 2019