TweakTown

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review

Looking to buy a new 4K gaming laptop? MSI's new GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop should be on your consideration list.

@StevenBassiriTT
Steven Bassiri
Published Mon, May 15 2017 2:03 PM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: MSI

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 01 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 56 IMAGES

I have reviewed a fair number of gaming notebooks, the one thing they have in common is that they are monstrosities, at least most of the time. The issue with many of these notebooks is their size and weight, but with the latest Intel and NVIDIA mobile parts, it has become possible to build much stealthier notebooks.

MSI's newest generation of gaming notebooks is indeed stealthy as is made clear in its name; GS63VR Stealth Pro 4K. The notebook is also very sleek, and MSI's success in the gaming market have earned them a revered reputation. Let us see if the GS63VR Stealth Pro 4K lives up to that reputation.

Specifications

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 02 | TweakTown.com

The GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K uses the i7-7700HQ 4C/8T CPU with a 2.8GHz base and 3.8GHz Turbo Boost clock. The notebook uses a 15.6" 4K UHD eDP IPS-Level display, a GTX 1060 6G GDDR5, 16GB (2x8GB) of DDR4, a 512GB M.2 SSD, a 2TB HDD, Killer wired and wireless LAN, and even ThunderBolt 3.

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 03 | TweakTown.com

The notebook weighs 3.96lbs and has the dimensions 14.96"x9.8"x0.69" (LxWxH). It's lightweight for a 4K gaming notebook. The audio solution also uses an ESS Sabre HiFi DAC and features Nahimic audio software. The notebook has four speakers. If you want to use an external display you have HDMI 2.0 or mDP 1.2 as your options. The unit uses a 180W adapter and features a 3-cell 57Wh battery.

Pricing

The GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K costs $2,049.

Physical Overview

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 04 | TweakTown.comMSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 05 | TweakTown.com

MSI's box is simple, yet packaging secures the notebook in place in a secondary box.

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 06 | TweakTown.comMSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 07 | TweakTown.com

Accessories include AC/DC power adapter, AC power cord, driver DVD, recovery manual, and other manuals. The power adapter is rated 150W at 19v/7.7a.

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 08 | TweakTown.comMSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 09 | TweakTown.com

The top of the body consists of brushed aluminum with an MSI dragon logo in the center. The logo lights up when it is turned on. The bottom of the notebook features smooth felt, which feels soft to the touch. There are nine rubber feet to stabilize it on a glass or glossy surface.

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 10 | TweakTown.com

The front of the unit shows the status LEDs, the rear of the unit has exhaust vents. The left side of the unit features another vent, a Kensington lock port, RJ-45 LAN, SD slot, three USB 3.0 ports, headphone jack, and microphone jack. The right side of the unit features another exhaust vent, DC power jack, mini-DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, ThunderBolt 3, USB 2.0, and power button.

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 11 | TweakTown.com

The full QWERTY keyboard with number pad is lit by RGB LEDs. The keys are soft to the touch, and I really like their mechanism of action, even more than traditional mechanical keys. They are silent and obviously some dome key, but I cannot get over how much I like pressing the keys. The touchpad has an orange bezel around it, and you might need to tune TP-rejection, as it can be quite sensitive.

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 12 | TweakTown.comMSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 13 | TweakTown.com

There is a small LED under the vents under the MSI logo that illuminates to indicate the notebook is powered on. The notebook's display can rotate out 180 degrees, which was quite a surprise.

Physical Overview Continued

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 14 | TweakTown.com

The unit is easy to open, but you will void your warranty if you do so. There are three fans, a huge battery, the HDD, but not a way to swap out the M.2 drive or upgrade RAM if needed.

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 15 | TweakTown.comMSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 16 | TweakTown.com

A large heat sink and two blower fans cool down the GPU integrated into the notebook while a single fan cools down the integrated section. They ensured the fans are red, and you can actually get a glimpse of them through the vent holes on the rear of the notebook. What I really like about the heat sink and blower fans is that they exhaust out the rear and sides of the notebook, making use of the corners.

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 17 | TweakTown.comMSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 18 | TweakTown.com

You can replace the Killer Wireless AC 1535 card, but I don't see why you would want to since it's one of the better wireless AC cards out there. The software is questionable, but the hardware is solid, and you don't need to use the software. There are two speakers I can access by opening the unit, but MSI claims there are four, so the other two must be on the other side.

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 19 | TweakTown.comMSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 20 | TweakTown.com

The battery is a 5700mAh/65Wh unit. There are some ICs we can see to confirm a few things. The TPS65982 confirms that they are using Intel's specified configuration for their ThunderBolt 3 controller. The IC labeled 75DP159 is a DP++ to HDMI 2.0 re-timer, which makes the 4K/6Gbps HDMI 2.0 port on the side possible. The chip labeled bq24780S is a battery quick charger. The chip labeled APA2031 is a 2.6W audio amplifier with gain control. The chip labeled LVC601 is a SATA 6Gb/s re-driver, to ensure solid SATA performance.

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 21 | TweakTown.com

The WIFI antennas are routed to right below the display/lid assembly, bringing it out of the metal chassis and closer to the air for better signal reception.

Software and BIOS

Software

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 22 | TweakTown.com

MSI's product showcase is like a software pop-up ad, which you will need to disable. While it does highlight the product, it shouldn't pop-up every time you boot up or when you let the product sit idle for a few minutes, at least not by default.

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 23 | TweakTown.comMSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 24 | TweakTown.com

MSI has multiple software programs, one of them is the Dragon Center which houses other programs. MSI's True Color and SCM are two of those programs. Dragon Center also offers a System Tuner ability to increase performance and fan speed.

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 25 | TweakTown.comMSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 26 | TweakTown.com

You can control the RGB LED lighting in the keyboard and create cool effects. The program also offers tools and help to create recovery images or calibrate your battery.

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 27 | TweakTown.com

Killer's Control Center is installed by default, many people just want the hardware without the software, and the good news is you can uninstall the software and still use the great WIFI card and the wired NIC. Nahimic audio enhancer is included as is SteelSeries Engine.

BIOS

The BIOS is a UEFI, but it looks like a traditional BIOS. It offers little in the way of tuning or ability to make changes to the hardware, but then again you cannot overclock this notebook, and you also can't really upgrade it.

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 28 | TweakTown.comMSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 29 | TweakTown.com
MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 30 | TweakTown.comMSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 31 | TweakTown.com
MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 32 | TweakTown.comMSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 33 | TweakTown.com
MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 34 | TweakTown.comMSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 35 | TweakTown.com

System Performance Benchmarks

CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks

These benchmarks are run using default settings and configuration.

CINEBENCH 11.5

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 36 | TweakTown.com

wPrime

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 37 | TweakTown.com

AIDA64 AES and HASH

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 38 | TweakTown.com

AIDA64 Memory

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 39 | TweakTown.com

PCMark8 Home

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 40 | TweakTown.com

Handbrake 4K and 720P Transcoding

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 41 | TweakTown.com

WebXPRT 2015

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 42 | TweakTown.com

The new Kaby Lake 7700HQ is slightly faster than its predecessor is and teamed with the fast RAM and storage offers excellent CPU and system performance. It is one of the fastest notebooks I have tested so far, and that is surprising because it is super slim.

Gaming Performance Benchmarks

3DMark11

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 43 | TweakTown.com

UNIGINE Heaven 4.0

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 44 | TweakTown.com

ResidentEvil 6

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 45 | TweakTown.com

3DMark FireStrike

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 46 | TweakTown.com

3DMark Cloudgate

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 47 | TweakTown.com

Ashes of Singularity

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 48 | TweakTown.com

GTA:V

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 49 | TweakTown.com

While the notebook doesn't use an overclocked mobile processor or GPU, the matching of Pascal and Kaby Lake together is a match made in heaven. Gaming performance is fabulous and strong, and in many cases, the notebook is only bested by overclocked rigs that are twice as thick and 33% heavier.

The notebook is designed to be a daily gaming machine you can actually carry around, and it's apparent that through solid engineering MSI has squeezed out excellent gaming performance out of a notebook less than an inch thick.

System IO and Battery Performance

System IO Benchmarks

Internal Storage Read Test:

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 50 | TweakTown.com

Internal Storage Write Test:

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 51 | TweakTown.com

ixChariot Network Throughput:

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 52 | TweakTown.com

The single M.2 SSD is one of the fastest we have tested in a notebook, similar to a Samsung 960 Pro, and only bested by other drives in RAID 0. Networking performance is stellar, and part of that is thanks for the Killer Wireless AC 1535, which is one of the better wireless cards on the market.

Battery Tests

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 53 | TweakTown.com

The battery tests reveal one of the weaknesses of the notebook. When you go thin you typically also lose space for a larger battery, and that is what has happened here. The hardware is powerful, the display is 4K, and they will drain the battery in a few hours if you are gaming.

Thermal Performance

Thermal Imaging

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 54 | TweakTown.com

The notebook does get warm, perhaps a bit too warm to sit on your lap after a very long gaming sessions, but overall the fans do their best to keep things cool.

I was surprised that the notebook doesn't make a crazy amount of noise with the fans going full speed, and that is probably due to their size and inability to make a roar. It's almost like the roar of a lion cub compared to the roar of a full-grown lion mane.

What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts

Here are key points about the MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K.

What's Hot

Super Slim: The notebook is one of the slimmest gaming notebooks I have ever reviewed, and it's extremely impressive. The amount of power packed into a notebook of this size is almost unfathomable, a few years ago I would have never thought it would be possible.

Extremely Powerful: The notebook delivers a good amount of gaming horsepower. It will handle almost any game you throw at it and if not at 4K then at 2K or 1080P. There are only a few notebooks in the charts that are better for gaming and offer a better gaming experience. As I said earlier, Kaby Lake and Pascal are a match made in heaven for gaming notebooks, their power to performance ratios are much better than their predecessors.

Keyboard: I really enjoyed using the keyboard on this notebook, and that is a personal thing, but I think others will like it as well. While the keys are not mechanical, they offer a very enjoyable feedback feeling; it's soft to the touch but reactive at the same time. It is also silent, and I liked the backlit RGB LEDs.

ThunderBolt 3 and USB 3.0: Some notebooks lack a good amount of connectivity options, but not this one. You get many USB 3.0 ports, enough to not require a hub. You also get the best type-C port on the market; the ThunderBolt 3 port. ThunderBolt 3 is the epitome of type-C including USB 3.1, DisplayPort, and Power Delivery in a single port.

4K Display: Need a notebook that can stream 4K Netflix, and perhaps even output it? The notebook has you covered with Kaby Lake and a 4K display panel, and it has HDMI 2.0 which is a requirement to display the 4K content on an external display.

What's Not

Battery Life: You are giving up battery life for a slimmer machine, we can't have it all just yet, maybe a few years down the line we will get 8 hours of gaming on the go, but for now it's only a few.

Speakers: While the headphone jack is amplified and sounds excellent, the speakers don't.

You Can't Upgrade: You won't be able to upgrade the M.2 drive or RAM.

Final Thoughts

MSI worked their way into the US notebook market with a slow and steady approach. Around five years ago we started to see MSI enter the gaming notebook market, and they have become a very popular brand in the gaming notebook industry. The GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K is my first experience with an MSI gaming notebook, and I won't lie, I am very impressed.

MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K Gaming Laptop Review 55 | TweakTown.com

It's a powerful gaming notebook with a beautiful display, keyboard, and overall body. I also like the felt on the bottom of the notebook. I do want to say that you will not be able to play AAA titles at 4K, I think the 4K panel is more for older games or streaming Netflix in 4K. These days you need a desktop 7600K and a GTX 1070 to comfortably play the latest games in 4K, so that should not be a surprise. However, 1080P and 1440P gaming are possible with some AAA titles, and that is impressive for a notebook this thin.

If you are looking for a gaming notebook that is actually portable and delivers excellent performance, you should definitely check out the GS63VR Stealth Pro 4K.

TweakTown award
Performance97%
Quality93%
Features94%
Value90%
Overall94%

The Bottom Line: MSI's GS63VR STEALTH PRO 4K is a sleek, slim, powerful, and most of all portable high-end gaming notebook.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest tech stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription

Latest News

View More News

Latest Reviews

View More Reviews

Latest Articles

View More Articles