In this article, we have enlisted the best MSI gaming laptops for 2021 that will be able to fuel your endeavors without breaking into a sweat.
So, should you choose an MSI gaming laptop for your next big-ticket purchase? What merits does it have over its competitors? Will it be worth its salt, considering that the average MSI gamer comes in at over $1000?
In this feature, we have examined MSI gaming laptops in-depth to give you an overview of the broad landscape.
The gaming landscape is fiercely competitive, and so is the world of gaming computer manufacturers.
As the demand for laptops that support gameplay has risen, more and more laptop makers have jumped onto the bandwagon. One of the top slots in the competition goes to MSI or Micro-Star International, a Taiwanese major.
MSI, a tech company that initially became popular because of its motherboards and graphics cards, is now a leading provider of gaming laptops. In fact, MSI is considered one of the top brands favored by gamers.
In the world of gaming laptops, MSI has established a wonderful—and well-deserved—reputation.
The products under its umbrella are known for being powerful, robust and reliable—exactly what you demand in a gaming companion. Such is the finesse with which MSI designs its products that the company has managed to hold its own in a fiercely competitive landscape.
But what’s even better is that besides being dependable, MSI gamers also deliver on display, audio and connectivity.
You can frequently find new-age features even in relatively cost-effective laptops, such as Nahimic 3 audio, surround sound, ergonomic design and per-key backlighting.
This contributes to a wholesome gaming experience which appeals to both professional gamers and hobbyists.
Within the brand umbrella are computers of various sizes and competencies, designed to cater not only to players but also multimedia enthusiasts and creative professionals.
- Gaming Essentials: Minimum Features to Look For
- Our Picks: Top 10 MSI Gaming Laptops 2021
- 1. MSI GP66 Leopard 11UG Gaming Laptop
- 2. MSI GE66 Raider (i7-11800H + RTX 3070)
- 3. MSI GS66 Stealth (i9-11900H + RTX 3080)
- 4. MSI GE76 Dragon TIAMAT (i9-11980HK)
- 5. MSI GS76 Stealth 11UH Gaming Laptop
- 6. MSI GE76 Raider 360Hz Gaming Laptop
- 7. MSI GP76 Leopard 11UG Gaming Laptop
- 8. MSI Crosshair 15 RTX 3050 Gaming Laptop
- 9. MSI Crosshair 17 (i7-11800H + RTX 3050Ti)
- 10. MSI GF63 Thin Cheap Gaming Laptop
- Pros and Cons of MSI Gaming Laptops
- MSI Gaming Laptop Line-Ups: How to Choose
- Special Features in MSI Gaming Laptops
- Final Words
Gaming Essentials: Minimum Features to Look For
Before checking out our list of the best MSI gaming laptops, take note of the minimum configuration you should look out for. While several MSI computers are highly customizable, ensuring that they meet these basic criteria will help you settle for a good deal.
- Processing prowess: Gaming is a CPU-intensive exercise. Look for a laptop that offers at least an Intel Core i5 or above, along with 16GB RAM and plentiful storage space to store all your gaming paraphernalia. For instance, many MSI gaming machines are driven by 10th gen. Intel Core i7 CPUs and offer SSD storage to the tune of 512GB.
- GPU: A dedicated graphics processor is essential to deliver a competent A/V experience for your game. MSI laptops offer NVIDIA GTX and RTX cards that can support most modern games fluently.
- Display: What fun would a game be without the colors, effects and visual details? MSI equips its gaming laptops with splendid displays, wide color spectrums, IPS support, and optimal screen resolutions.
- Sound: To get the most out of gameplay, you need good audio output that does not miss out on detail. With MSI, you can get excellent sound systems, contemporary speaker design, and distortion-free audio.
- Heat Dissipation: An efficient cooling mechanism is crucial for sustainable, long-lasting gameplay. MSI is famous for its top-of-the-rung heat dissipation systems that ensure nothing comes in the way of uninterrupted gaming.
- Build: This will depend partly on what matters the most to you: performance or portability. But fortunately, MSI also has several mid-rung gaming laptops that are high on performance minus the bulk. If you need a travel-friendly machine, look for a sleek computer in the range of 4–5 lbs.
- Battery Life: Again, this one matters primarily if you intend to run your gaming laptop unplugged for a considerable period. It is unusual for powerful gaming computers to offer long battery life and not unsurprisingly so. However, you can find MSI gamers that support unplugged usage for 7–8 hours.
Note: Another crucial choice that will be involved in your purchase decision is the screen size. MSI’s offerings are abundant in both the 15 Inch and the 17 Inch sizes. The latter definitely has an edge in display and available real estate to dive into an alternate world.
But the 15” size can be a good choice as well to strike a balance between visual splendor and practicality. Plus, MSI employs a thin-bezel design which ensures you get the maximum bang for your buck.
Our Picks: Top 10 MSI Gaming Laptops 2021
MSI has got a brilliant spread when it comes to gaming computers. In the list below, you will find MSI gaming laptops that cater to different needs, such as no-holds-barred performance, portability and excellent visuals.
In this article, we have prepared an assorted list of some of the very best MSI has to offer. You can choose from different line-ups based on your needs, budget and priorities such as portability and battery life.
Best MSI Gaming Laptop – Recommended Specs
|Processor||11th Generation Intel Core i7-11800H|
6-Core Processor (Up to 4.9 GHz)
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070|
8GB dedicated GDDR6 VRAM
|Memory||16GB DDR4 2933MHz Memory|
|Storage||512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD|
|Display||15.6″ 144Hz Full HD (1920 x 1080)|
|Weight||Under 6 lbs.|
|Battery||Up to 8 Hours|
|Keyboard||4-Zone RGB Backlit Keyboard|
|OS||Windows 10 Home 64-bit|
1. MSI GP66 Leopard 11UG Gaming Laptop
A good, cost-effective gaming laptop from the MSI family is the 15.6” MSI GP66 Leopard. It has great specs for a price under $2000: an Intel Core i7-11800H processor, 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics.
This is adequate for most modern AAA games, providing fast and competent performance. Note that you can upgrade the memory to 64GB, depending upon your requirements.
The FHD monitor, which comes with an IPS panel, delivers a refresh rate of 144Hz, making this laptop suitable for games with multiple transitions and effects.
Plus, you get a fantastic color gamut of 100% sRGB, a quick response time of 3ms, and Nahimic 3 audio with two GIANT speakers.
At 5.25lbs, this is also a lightweight device that can travel with you comfortably. The thickness is about one inch, which makes it possible to slide the laptop into a backpack and get going.
2. MSI GE66 Raider (i7-11800H + RTX 3070)
Sample this: a 240Hz display, up to 64GB RAM, and excellent cooling brought about by as many as seven heat pipes.
The 15.6” MSI GE66 Raider 11UG is one of the finest gaming laptops money can buy.
It makes the most of speedy Intel Core i7-11800H processing by employing effective cooling solutions such as metal meshing on the bottom. This ensures optimal thermals and high performance, even during intensive gaming.
This computer is equipped with a narrow-bezel QHD monitor, an anti-glare panel, and a color gamut close to 100% sRGB.
It uses an NVIDIA RTX 3070 graphics card, which means you can enjoy real-time ray tracing and meticulous imagery. The audio system complements the display well, thanks to Nahimic 3 and the Dynaudio Speaker System (five times larger than a generic sound system).
This 5.25lbs laptop also sports a backlit keyboard that provides real-time in-game status. If you are into online gaming, you will appreciate the Killer Wi-Fi 6 that ensures consistency and speed.
3. MSI GS66 Stealth (i9-11900H + RTX 3080)
The Stealth series by MSI is one of the frontrunners in the gaming space, renowned for durable performance.
The 15.6” MSI GS66 Stealth 11UH is a smart choice for various multimedia pursuits. It is fueled by an Intel Core i9-11900H CPU, 32GB RAM, a 1TB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics.
The FHD screen has an anti-glare panel and a refresh rate of 300Hz. (Note that the response time is rather high at 8ms.)
With this purchase, you can also enjoy Nahimic Surround Sound virtualization, which makes it especially charming for lovers of excellent audio. MSI also gets brownie points for keeping this laptop very portable—4.63 lbs, 0.71”.
4. MSI GE76 Dragon TIAMAT (i9-11980HK)
For a 17.3″ gaming Laptop, the MSI GE76 Dragon TIAMAT offers a great mix of performance and portability.
Driven by an Intel Core i9-11980HK CPU and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics, this laptop can run unplugged for over six hours.
It offers 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD—ample for standard gaming endeavors on moderate settings.
The FHD monitor boasts of a splendid sRGB color gamut along with a large screen-to-body ratio. If you fancy immersive gaming with limited external interference, the thin-bezel design ensures it. On the sound front, things are pretty sorted with Nahimic 3.
Build-wise, MSI has bestowed this 6.39lbs laptop with a brushed-aluminum Look. The ventilation design is stylish and effective for guaranteeing sustainability.
Things can get challenging on the arena, and this laptop helps you be prepared with a gaming-friendly keyboard. The crimson-red backlighting is eye-catching as well as useful for outdoor pursuits. The keyboard also offers anti-ghosting to ensure accuracy.
5. MSI GS76 Stealth 11UH Gaming Laptop
Looking for a 17.3″ MSI gaming laptop that is both portable and high-performing? You should consider the MSI GS76 Stealth 11UH—a powerhouse run by an Intel Core i9-11900H CPU, 32GB RAM, a 2TB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics.
It has a 360Hz monitor designed as per a thin-bezel construct, so your gaming experience is both engaging and rewarding.
This is a great-looking computer: matte black with gold diamond cuts. The keyboard has a premium glass touchpad that has designed to have a larger surface area for more comfortable usage. Plus, since the laptop weighs as little as 5.40 lbs, you can lug it along without much effort.
MSI is known to be committed to excellent sound. Here too, you can find Nahimic 3 audio and Dynaudio speakers, both of which combine for terrific acoustics. This is helpful whether you are an avid gamer who doesn’t want to miss out on any details or a content creator/editor.
6. MSI GE76 Raider 360Hz Gaming Laptop
Looking for an exceptional speaker system to complement your gaming experience? The 17” MSI GE76 Raider comes with the Dynaudio GIANT speaker system that delivers fantastic sound.
This laptop is a great all-rounder, with its Intel Core i7-11800H processor, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics.
The narrow-bezel screen has a refresh rate of 360Hz and a response time of 3ms—both optimal for gaming.
The color gamut, too, is inspiring: 100% sRGB and 72% NTSC. Although this is a 17” laptop, it manages to be reasonably lightweight at 6.39 lbs. This makes it a great pick for anyone who wants a larger-than-life experience without being tethered to a spot.
7. MSI GP76 Leopard 11UG Gaming Laptop
The MSI Leopard series also offers a 17” gaming laptop that exudes immense power and style while weighing only 6.39 lbs.
Like its sibling in #6, this laptop is also powered by an Intel Core i7-11800H processor, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD.
It is fitted with an NVIDIA RTX 3070 graphics card and a screen to match (refresh rate of 240Hz, a response time of 3ms).
Here too, you will be able to enjoy stellar sound, thanks to upgraded speakers that are five times as big as in older models.
The laptop also offers exclusive gaming modes and an MSI App Player to let you enjoy fluid gameplay as you switch from your computer to your mobile.
8. MSI Crosshair 15 RTX 3050 Gaming Laptop
It can be difficult to find a worthwhile gaming laptop in less than $1200, but the 15.6″ MSI Crosshair 15 presents a good option.
This affordable computer is fueled by an Intel Core i7-11800H processor, 8GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics. This configuration can comfortably support intensive gaming and other multimedia pursuits.
It also has an immersive, thin-bezel display with a satisfying screen-to-body ratio. Nahimic 3 audio ensures that no compromises happen on the sound front.
A lightweight device, this laptop weighs only 5.07 lbs—ultra-comfortable for travel, outdoor gaming events, etc. It also has a long-lasting battery that can run for over seven hours, granting you liberty of use. The keyboard is backlit (single) and offers anti-ghosting for smooth gaming.
9. MSI Crosshair 17 (i7-11800H + RTX 3050Ti)
A good all-rounder gaming machine that balances performance with audio-visual excellence is the 17.3″ MSI Crosshair 17.
Inside the processing compartment is an Intel Core i7-11800H CPU, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD. This is a fantastic configuration for anyone seeking to enjoy AAA games at moderate to high settings.
The FHD display, which delivers a refresh rate of 144Hz, employs a thin-bezel design to limit external interference.
You also get an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti graphics card, complete with real-time ray tracing and artificial intelligence at work. This helps create engaging multimedia experiences for both gamers and creative professionals.
Add to that a response time of 3ms and a color gamut of 72%NTSC (and 100%sRGB), and you have visual nirvana. Nahimic 3 audio and GIANT speakers steer the sound department.
On the downside, this is a rather heavy computer at 2.6 kg and 0.95”. But it offers an array of connections to keep you sorted on the move, including a Type-C port and an HDMI.
10. MSI GF63 Thin Cheap Gaming Laptop
Priced at under $1000, the 15.6” MSI GF63 Thin is a budget-friendly pick that nonetheless delivers a competent performance.
This gaming machine is powered by an Intel Core i7-10750H processor, 8GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics.
Its thin-bezel monitor is fitted with an IPS-level panel and has a refresh rate of 144Hz.
You can enjoy distortion-free imagery from various angles. While the color gamut is on the lower side at 45% NTSC, the experience is quite immersive.
Portability is important to this stylish gaming laptop, and it delivers a great mix of unplugged usage (over seven hours) and lightweight build (4.1lbs, 0.8”).
That kind of battery backup is rare in mighty gaming devices; it makes it possible for you to indulge on the run. The aluminum cover and crimson-red backlighting contribute toward building a trendy appeal.
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Pros and Cons of MSI Gaming Laptops
MSI is known for their rugged and durable laptops. The gaming laptops from this brand are pretty amazing, not just in terms of the build quality but also the overall functionalities and performance.
In comparison to the other leading brands in the market, this one is likely one of the best. It is not the most affordable brand but you get what you pay for.
In case you do plan on buying a gaming laptop from MSI, we have a few options that you can take a look at.
- The gaming laptops from MSI come with a sustainable, durable and a very rugged in terms of the build and design.
- All the gaming laptops from MSI are programmed with the latest features and processors, allowing you to enjoy some of the best gaming experience without any issues at all.
- The coolerboost cooling feature in the MSI gaming laptops provide with instant cooling, enabling better performance of the device in no time at all.
- The gaming devices from MSI is pretty expensive, except for a few models.
- They don’t come programmed with pre-installed Linux which can be a little downer for some.
MSI Gaming Laptop Line-Ups: How to Choose
Now, coming to the million-dollar question: which MSI line-up should you consider for your requirements? The gaming product portfolio is quite extensive and variably priced, which means you need to align your choice carefully with your requirements. Broadly, you can explore the following:
This is the best performer of the bunch. These machines come with overclockable processors, impressive graphics, and top-notch cooling systems. It is almost a desktop-replacement line-up.
Naturally, it is designed only for those who see gaming as second nature and don’t want to make any compromises at all with performance. Also, this is not really a portable series.
So, if you are looking for a supremely powerful laptop to fuel your gaming sessions at home, this one fits the description to a T.
Not nearly as powerful as the Titan series but magnificent nevertheless is the Stealth line-up. It is a neat combination of power and portability.
These laptops are much lighter. Some of them even have considerable battery life, which further adds to their overall mobility.
Bring on the razzmatazz! This MSI gaming line-up is stylish and slick, featuring anodized diamond cut covers and keyboards with RGB back-lighting. It also offers decent performance and good resilience.
The package makes it perfect for gamers who are fond of the enthusiasm and glamour associated with the arena.
This one is a highly customizable series. Some Leopard laptops offer high-end configurations for extreme performance while some others cut several corners to provide better prices, portability, etc.
Simply put, this is one series that you can tailor to your requirements and find exactly what you want.
A beautiful line-up, the GF Thin blends performance with aesthetics to offer total dazzle to gamers. As the name suggests, this series is best known for its thin profile and overall slim design.
This is a recently launched series intended to cater to contemporary, fashion-oriented audiences. Within this are two sub-series: PX for high-end performance and PE for a smoother balance between form and function.
Now that you know the highlights of various MSI gaming laptops, go ahead and make your choice based on what matters the most to you.
We would recommend the Titan only for really passionate gamers who are willing to pay a premium for unparalleled performance and graphics.
The Stealth and the Raider series are both perfectly competent without being bulky and are a sensible option for street-smart gamers.
If standing out in a crowd is what floats your boat, you can go with the GF Thin series or the newly launched Prestige.
The Leopard is an excellent choice for anyone who wishes to customize the specifications of his/her gaming machine finely.
Special Features in MSI Gaming Laptops
First, let us understand what MSI has going for itself when it comes to its gaming offerings.
- Powerful, up-to-date CPU and GPU: MSI has always been highly performance-oriented when it comes to gaming machines. Nothing inferior or passable goes; you will find only the latest processors and graphics cards to run the show.
For instance, several MSI gaming laptops are powered by Intel i9 CPUs and are fitted with NVIDIA RTX cards. The latter comes with enthralling features such as real-time ray tracing and images enhanced by artificial intelligence.
Let us just say this: the difference to gameplay is tremendous. Another major plus of going with a manufacturer who believes in staying updated is that you get great forward compatibility and future-readiness.
Note: Some MSI laptops tread on the side of bulky. But unless traveling is a key part of your lifestyle, this is a small price to pay for extreme performance.
- Efficient heat dissipation systems for long-lasting performance: For any gaming laptop with promise, an effective cooling mechanism is essential. MSI understands this and how. The Cooler Trinity system is not only efficient at warding off heat, but it also ensures that your computer will be by your side for a good long time. A neat assortment of fans and heat pipes works towards consistently cooling both the CPU and the GPU.
- Blazing fast refresh rates: Some MSI gaming machines come with refresh rates as high as 240Hz, while the industry standard remains 144Hz. A high refresh rate directly impacts your overall gaming experience, especially when you play titles that involve numerous transitions.
Frequently, MSI gaming laptops also boast of terrific response times to the tune of 3ms. You will not miss out on any detail—something that makes an enormous difference during competition on the arena.
- Mechanical keyboards with per-key lighting: MSI keyboards are among the best you will find in the industry. The mechanical keyboard by SteelSeries, for instance, is not only comfortable to use and durable, but also offers per-key backlighting. The color options are numerous—almost 16 million! This goes beyond a cosmetic win, as a keyboard as dazzling as this can elevate any gaming session to brilliant.
- Excellent audio and speaker systems: MSI gaming laptops are renowned for providing exceptional audio. Many come with the Dynaudio system, while others offer Nahimic 3 for audio immersion and GIANT speakers for louder, clearer sound. Good-quality sound output can make or break your game, which makes this a significant win for MSI.
- Improved experience for streaming and online gaming: Lovers of competitive gaming, rejoice! MSI has equipped several of its offerings with Killer Ethernet and 802.11ax Wi-Fi. While the former prioritizes your game to improve the overall experience, the latter ensures reliable and high-speed connectivity.
- Good-looking, robust construction: Traditionally, MSI laptops used to be big and black, better suited to workstation use than being carried around in backpacks. However, with time, MSI has focused on functional but sleek design, and this is apparent in its present-day line-up.
The dragon logo is the highlight and lends the laptop a powerful, ahead-of-the-curve aura. New lines like the Stealth series have also been making significant triumphs as far as the thinness of the profile goes.
Part of this is courtesy of the thin-bezel design of the monitors. It is a double victory: minimal external interference during gameplay and extra glamour to your favorite AAA titles.
- Relatively long unplugged usage/battery life: Why is this relative? Well, gaming laptops are not typically known for their battery backup. All that power comes at a cost, after all. But MSI has been successful at producing laptops that can blend performance with unplugged usage.
Some MSI gaming computers can run on a single charge for 7–8 hours, depending on your usage. This is great not only for gamers, but also for multimedia users or creative professionals who need the laptop for A/V projects.
So, did you find an MSI gaming laptop that suits your needs? For passionate gamers, MSI is a treasure-house. It blends performance with form and delivers well-built, resilient laptops that support long hours of gaming.
With time, MSI has also mastered the art of design and many of its products are great-looking, sleek, and sustainable. In recent times, the manufacturer has also invested heavily in portable construction, keeping in mind the needs of the modern-day audience that is forever on the run.
Depending upon your priority, you can choose extreme power or long battery life, splendid graphics or comfortable mobility. For instance, the MSI GE66 Raider gaming computer (#2) supplies great audio and is a smart choice for consistent internet connectivity.
Likewise, the MSI GS66 Stealth laptop (#3) is a good pick if you need a high degree of portability.
The MSI family tree also provides gaming laptops that prioritize immersive experiences, durability, and seamless usage across various devices.
The trick to zero down on your ideal gaming companion lies in narrowing your list of considerations. Decide which trade-offs you are willing to experiment with and freeze which requirements you cannot go without.
Choose well, and get gaming!