Finding The Best MSI Gaming Laptops

Last Updated: December 10, 2016 by

MSI-buying-guide

Welcome to our guide to the best MSI gaming laptops based on raw hardware performance, critic and user reviews, design and general pure gaming pedigree.

When it comes to gaming laptops there are only a few name brands that are fighting for the top spot in this highly competitive market. One of these super contenders is the Taiwanese power house MSI, who are known for their behemoth laptops which are always packed with the latest and most powerful hardware. But they have also created some of the sleekest and lightest gaming laptops available on the market, along with a few mid-ranged laptops for budget conscious gamers. MSI has always been about the gaming experience and they have made sure that their products offer some of the best displays, killer sound and keyboards that are purposely designed for gaming.
Rest assured that if you see their signature red and black color scheme that you are getting a high-quality gaming rig.
To get an idea of how all the different processors and graphics cards stack up against each other head over to our gaming laptops guide for 2015/2016. While this article is focused more on the high-end spectrum of MSI’s gaming laptop offering, there are a few great budget MSI laptops in our mid-tier gaming laptops under $1000 guide. These mid-tier gaming laptops from MSI feature mid-level hardware that will easily cope with everyday tasks and will handle most recent gaming titles on low to medium settings.

Best Premium Laptops >> Best Laptops Under $2000 >> Best Laptops Under $1500 >> Best Laptops Under $1000 >>

line-break

Best MSI Laptops under $1000

MSI GL62 6QF-628 15.6-inchMSI GL62 6QF-628 15.6-inch

MSI are known for their behemoth laptops that pack the most powerful hardware available, but they also cater for the budget conscious gamer who is after the rugged and reliability of a MSI gaming rig. MSI has added their signature SteelSeries keyboard to the MSI GL62 6QF-628, which has been specifically designed for gaming, but unlike the higher end models from MSI the GL62’s keyboard is not backlit. The MSI GL62 6QF-628 is packed with a Skylake Quad-core Intel Core i5-6300HQ processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB 5400rpm hard drive, which will make light work of any day to day tasks. MSI has only used one of the RAM slots, which means that upgrading to 16GB of RAM is a quick and easy process. The 5400rpm hard drive is slow for gaming standards and upgrading to a Hybrid SSHD or a SSD drive is recommended to boost performance. An NVIDIA GeForce GTX960M with 2GB of dedicated video memory will allow older games to run on higher graphics, but newer titles will have to run on medium settings to allow for higher frame rates. The 15.6-inch Full-HD display offers great viewing angles, vivid colors and a maximum resolution of 1920×1080. MSI has added their “Shift” technology to the GL62, which allows for the laptop to push the hardware to its limit while minimizing the noise and the temperature. Reviewers have had mixed results when it comes to the effectiveness of the Shift software and have reported higher noise levels under load. Additional features include two USB 3.0 ports, USB Type-C, HDMI, VGA, Mini-Display port and a Super Multi DVD burner.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 2.5 hours battery life
  • 5.29 lbs

Pros

  • Full-HD display
  • USB Type-C
  • NVIDIA GTX960M
  • Extra m.2 slot

Cons

  • 5400rpm hard drive
  • Only 8GB of RAM
  • Bulky size

Summary

The MSI GL62 6QF-628 offers great performance for its price, the biggest factor holding back its true potential is the 5400rpm hard drive, which is easily upgraded.

MSI GL62 6QF-628 15.6-inch
from $899.00 $659.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Newegg.com
(as of 27-11-2016 11:29 UTC) Details

MSI GL62 6QF-405 17.3-inchMSI GL62 6QF-405 17.3-inch

MSI is known for their behemoth laptops that pack the most powerful hardware available, but they also cater to the budget conscious gamer who is after the reliability of a MSI gaming rig. MSI has added their signature SteelSeries keyboard to the MSI GL62 6QF-405, which has been specifically designed for gaming, but unlike the higher end models from MSI the GL62’s keyboard is not backlit. The MSI GL62 6QF-405 is packed with a Skylake Quad-core Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB 5400rpm hard drive, which will make light work of any day-to-day tasks. MSI has only used one of the RAM slots, which means that upgrading to 16GB of RAM is a quick and easy process. The 7200rpm hard drive is faster than the standard 5400rpm drives and MSI has added an m.2 slot for an SSD module to be installed. An NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M with 2GB of dedicated video memory will allow older games to run on higher graphics, but newer titles will have to run on medium settings to allow for higher frame rates. The 17.3-inch Full-HD display offers great viewing angles, vivid colors and a maximum resolution of 1920×1080. MSI has added their “Shift” technology to the GL62, which allows for the laptop to push the hardware to its limit while minimizing the noise and the temperature. Reviewers have had mixed results when it comes to the effectiveness of the Shift software and have reported higher fan noise levels under load. Additional features include two USB 3.0 ports, USB Type-C, HDMI, VGA, Mini-Display port and a Super Multi DVD burner.

Specs

  • 17.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 2.75 hours battery life
  • 5.95 lbs

Pros

  • Full HD display
  • USB Type-C
  • NVIDIA GTX960M
  • Extra m.2 slot

Cons

  • Bulky size
  • Only 8GB of RAM

Summary

The MSI GL62 6QF-405 offers great performance for budget conscious gamers who are after a 17-inch laptop with dedicated graphics and a Full-HD display.

MSI GL62 6QF-405 17.3-inch
from $1,049.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:36 UTC) Details

MSI CX62 6QD-047US 15.6-inchMSI CX62 6QD-047US 15.6-inch

One of the most modest laptops to be released from MSI, the MSI CX62 6QD-047US is an all-purpose laptop that can be used for gaming thanks to its dedicated NVIDIA graphics card and a 6th generation Skylake processor. MSI has packed the CX62 with quite a few features that are usually only found on higher end laptops, such as a dedicated graphics card, USB Type-C and a 7200rpm hard drive. The 15.6-inch display offers average viewing angles with very average colors and a maximum resolution of 166×768, but it does support 4K via the HDMI and Mini-Display ports. The MSI CX62 boasts a Skylake Intel Quad-core i5-6300HQ processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB 7200rpm hard drive, which will handle any day-to-day tasks. For gaming, MSI has added a NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card with 2GB of dedicated GDDR3 video memory, which shows a slight performance increase from the standard 940M card. This is one of NVIDIA’s mid-range graphics cards and will run most newer titles on low to medium graphics in order to retain a +30fps, older titles will run fine on higher graphics settings. Due to its price, MSI has not used their SteelSeries keyboard for the CX62 and have rather gone for a more cost effective alternative which still ensures a comfortable and responsive typing experience. MSI has added their “Shift” technology to the CX62, which allows the laptop to push the hardware to its limit while minimizing the noise and the temperature. Reviewers have had mixed results when it comes to the effectiveness of the Shift software and have reported higher fan noise levels under load.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 2.25 hours battery life
  • 5.28 lbs

Pros

  • NVIDIA 940MX graphics
  • Great sound
  • USB Type-C
  • 7200rpm hard drive

Cons

  • Average viewing angles and colors
  • No Full HD display
  • No SteelSeries keyboard
  • Fan noise while gaming

Summary

With its lower price point and higher end hardware, the CX62 is a winner for the gamer on a budget. Some of the MSI’s flashy design features are missing, but it is all MSI under the hood.

MSI CX62 6QD-047US 15.6-inch
from $699.00 $674.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:36 UTC) Details


line-break

Best MSI Laptops under $1500

MSI GT72 Dominator G-831 17.3-inchMSI GT72 Dominator G-831 17.3-inch

Designed for gaming, the GT range is MSI’s top of the line range with most of their GT line costing over $2000. But the MSI GT72 Dominator G-831 is an exception to the rule and packs a punch with powerful hardware at a lower price point. It is powered by a Skylake Quad-core Intel i7-6700HQ processor, backed by 16GB of DDR4 RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX970M with 3GB of dedicated video memory, which will deliver superior gameplay performance with the latest generation of games. MSI has decided to include a 128GB SSD and a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive, which combined will give you plenty of speed and storage for all your media needs. The 17.3-inch Full-HD IPS display offers wide viewing angles, rich colors and a maximum resolution of 1920×1080. The SteelSeries full color backlit keyboard has been specifically designed for gaming, making your key strokes fast and responsive for gaming and word processing. MSI has addressed the cooling issue that plagued the earlier Dominator laptops by adding their Shift technology and by redesigning its port ventilation for its cooling system. This allows the laptop to push the hardware to its limit while minimizing the noise and the temperature build up. Additional features include six USB 3.0 ports, USB Type-C, HDMI, a Mini-Display port and a Super Multi DVD burner.

Specs

  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.60GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M 3GB GDDR5 [View Framerates]
  • 16GB DDR4 2133 RAM
  • 1024GB 7200 RPM HDD / 128GB SSD
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 8.4 lbs

Pros

  • Powerful hardware
  • Great sound
  • USB Type-C

Cons

  • Price
  • Poor battery life
  • No UHD display
  • Bulky

Summary

One of MSI’s best value for money GT range laptops, but the bulky design and poor battery life make it destined to be a desktop replacement.

MSI GT72 Dominator G-831 17.3-inch
from $1,399.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 27-11-2016 12:22 UTC) Details

MSI GS72 Stealth-042 17.3-inchMSI GS72 Stealth-042 17.3-inch

Gaming laptops have always been a bit bulky, but the MSI GS72 Stealth-42 proves that powerful hardware can be packed into a thin and sleek design. Powered by an Intel Core i7-6700HQ and backed by 16GB of DDR4 RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX965M that will deliver superior gameplay performance with up to 20% better framerates than the GTX 960M. MSI included a 128GB SSD and a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive, which combined will give you plenty of speed and storage for all your media needs. The SteelSeries full color backlit keyboard has been specifically designed for gaming, making your key strokes fast and responsive for gaming and word processing. The 17.3-inch Full-HD IPS display has a maximum resolution of 1920×1080, so once again no 4K on this model of the Stealth. But the display does offer great wide viewing angles and rich colors. All of this hardware is crammed into a 0.78-inch frame that weighs in at 5.7lbs, making it far thinner and lighter than most 17.3-inch gaming laptops on the market. Additional features include two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 3.1 ports (unfortunately no USB Type-C), HDMI, a Mini-Display port and a Super Multi DVD burner.

Specs

  • 17.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 3 hours battery life
  • 5.7 lbs

Pros

  • Powerful hardware
  • Thin and light
  • USB 3.1

Cons

  • No USB Type-C
  • Poor battery life
  • No UHD display
  • No optical drive

Summary

Light and thin, the MSI GS72 Stealth-42 offers a desktop gaming experience in a highly mobile design. The only thing holding it back its mobility is its poor battery life.

MSI GS72 Stealth-042 17.3-inch
Price Currently Unavailable Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:36 UTC) Details

MSI GE72VR Apache Pro-009 17.3-inchMSI GE72VR Apache Pro-009 17.3-inch

MSI are known for their hardcore gaming laptops. The MSI GE72VR Apache Pro-009 is a new addition to their list of pedigree gaming laptops and is ready for the next generation of games. Its full metal design and aggressive looks are everything that you would expect from a high-end MSI laptop. A high-end 6th generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor and 16GB of DDR4 2133 MHz RAM power the MSI GE72VR Apache Pro-009 and allow for effortless multitasking and lag free gaming. To make the MSI GE72VR Apache Pro-009 more future proof, MSI have gone with a next generation graphics card, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060. The GTX 1060 offers notably more processing power than its predecessor and you can expect to play Overwatch on ultra settings with a frame rate over 100 fps. To ensure that the graphics look crisp and clear, the MSI GE72VR Apache Pro-009 features a large 17.3-inch Full-HD IPS display. The display offers bright and vivid colors, and great viewing angles thanks to its In-plane switching technology. To insure that you have ample storage space the MSI GE72VR Apache Pro-009 features both a 256GB solid state drive and a 1TB 7200rpm mechanical hard drive. The M.2 SSD allows the laptop to boot up in seconds and offers lightning fast performance while gaming. But with the size of games such as The Witcher and Battlefield 4, you will have to be selective which games you will install on your SSD. But like all gaming laptops, the battery life is poor meaning the MSI GE72VR Apache Pro-009 is more suited as being a desktop replacement.

Specs

  • 17.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5.95 lbs

Pros

  • GTX 1060 graphics card
  • Intel Skylake processor
  • USB 3.1 Type-C
  • M.2 SSD
  • Steel Series backlit keyboard

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Only 3 USB ports
  • Battery life
  • Price

Summary

The MSI GE72VR Apache Pro-009 is a high-end gaming laptop that offers powerful hardware, next generation connectivity and aggressive gaming looks. But the battery life is poor and it’s bulky for an everyday carry.

MSI GE72VR Apache Pro-009 17.3-inch
from $1,599.00 $1,473.97 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:45 UTC) Details

MSI Ghost 2MSI GS60 Ghost Pro-002 15.6-inch

If playing the latest games on ultra settings at 1080p sounds good to you, the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro-002 may just be your next gaming rig. The Ghost is powered by Intel’s latest generation Skylake Core i7-6700HQ 2.6GHz with TurboBoost up to 3.50GHz and a whopping 6mb of level 3 cache. The mighty NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M with 3GHz of GDDR5 video memory ensures gaming is smooth and lag free while 16GB of DDR4 RAM running at 2133MHz provides support. For storage, a NVMe M.2 SSD with read/write speeds up to 2200MB/s ensures lightning fast boot-up and load times and a 1TB 7200RPM hard disk drive ensures plenty of storage space for media and games. The 1080p IPS display is LED backlit and delivers great viewing angles while the Dynaudio 2 sound delivers rich and powerful 360 degree audio. The SteelSeries full color backlit keyboard has been specifically designed for gaming, making your key strokes fast and responsive. As is the case with most gaming laptops, the non-removable battery offers poor performance with the GS60 Ghost Pro-002 clocking in at just over two and a half hours of moderate use. While this laptop may be priced slightly higher than its competitors it definitely delivers unrivalled gaming performance in its class. With the newer generation of hardware some of the heat build-up and noise issues have been addressed, but for more intensive processes and for gaming the fan noise will still be an issue.

Specs

  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M 3GB GDDR5 [View Framerates]
  • 16GB DDR3 2133MHz RAM
  • 128GB SSD / 1024GB 7200 RPM HDD
  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 2.5 hours battery life
  • 4.2 lbs

Pros

  • Superior gaming performance
  • Lightweight and thin
  • Excellent display
  • Great sound
  • Full-color backlight SteelSeries keyboard

Cons

  • Low battery life
  • Premium price

Summary

One of the best performing gaming laptops available but at a high price with a short battery life.

MSI GS60 Ghost Pro-002 15.6-inch
from $1,487.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 27-11-2016 12:07 UTC) Details

line-break

Best MSI Laptops under $2000

MSI GT72VR 6RD Dominator-071 17.3-inchMSI GT72VR 6RD Dominator-071 17.3-inch

Built for gaming, the MSI GT72VR 6RD Dominator-071 is another great gaming laptop from the powerhouse company that is MSI. The new Dominator for 2016 now features NVIDIA’s 10-series graphics card for even more gaming performance. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 offers far better performance than its predecessor and this will make all the difference when it comes to those AAA gaming titles. The Pascal architecture has been developed for the next generation of VR gaming and will give you the edge over laptops running the older GTX 960M graphics card. A sixth generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ and 12GB of DDR4 RAM will allow you to run the latest AAA gaming titles with no lag and will even run hardware intensive design apps. However the 12GB of RAM can easily be upgraded to 16GB or even 32GB for better performance. While the 1TB mechanical hard drive offers ample storage space for older games and multimedia files, the 128GB SSD is slightly small with some modern games requiring at least 40GB or more. Luckily this superfast M.2 solid state drive can easily be replaced with a Samsung 960 EVO 500GB SSD for superior storage space. Much like most of the higher-end MSI laptops, you get a Full-HD display. But despite the lack of a 4K display, you still get a display that offers rich colors and great viewing angles. The display also features G-SYNC which matches the display panel’s refresh rate to the frame rate of the graphics card for an impressive gaming experience. Overall the GT72VR 6RD Dominator-071 offers great hardware specs and luckily the tiny SSD can easily be replaced.

Specs

  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.60GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop) 6GB GDDR5 [View Framerates]
  • 12GB DDR4 2133MHz RAM
  • 128GB SSD / 1024GB 7200 RPM HDD
  • 17.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 8.3 lbs

Pros

  • NVIDIA GTX 1060
  • Full-HD display with G-SYNC
  • Powerful i7 CPU
  • VR ready
  • Good keyboard

Cons

  • Battery life
  • Bulky and heavy
  • Odd amount of RAM
  • Tiny SSD

Summary

The MSI GT72VR 6RD Dominator-071 offers powerful hardware for the hardcore gamer, but the tiny 128GB SSD will fill up almost instantly with the size of modern apps and games.

MSI GT72VR 6RD Dominator-071 17.3-inch
from $1,599.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:46 UTC) Details

line-break

Best Premium Laptops

MSI WT72 6QM-423US 17.3-inchMSI WT72 6QM-423US 17.3-inch

The MSI WT72 6QM-423US is a purposely built workstation that has been designed for processor intensive rendering programs, but this behemoth can also run the latest gaming titles on the highest of settings. Designed off of one of MSI’s gaming chassis, the WT72 has aggressive gaming looks and a brushed metal finish. A powerful Skylake Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5 processor (supports ECC RAM) is backed by 32GB of DDR4 RAM and the graphics are powered by an NVIDIA Quadro M5000M rendering card. Designed primarily for animation and multimedia rendering, the NVIDIA Quadro M5000M will handle almost any modern title with high frame rates. Storage is fast and plentifully with two 128GB SSD’s and a 1TB 7200rpm mechanical hard drive. The 17.3-inch IPS display offers wide viewing angles, a maximum resolution of 1920×1080 and rich colors, but for a workstation it could offer better coverage of professional color spaces. The MSI WT72 6QM-423US does come with a massive price tag, but for a purposely built workstation laptop it is justifiable. The cooling system works well and even under load only peaks to about 50dB, but even when the laptop is idle the cooling system will be audible. The battery life is poor and when under load it will get just over an hour of use. Additional features include; six USB 3.0 ports, one USB Type-C port, HDMI, S/PDIF and a Mini-Display port.

Specs

  • 17.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • 2 hours battery life
  • 8.4 lbs

Pros

  • Purpose built workstation
  • Xeon processor
  • Quadro graphics card
  • USB Type-C

Cons

  • Huge price
  • No UHD display
  • Poor battery life

Summary

Being purpose built for rendering, the MSI WT72 6QM-423US is a great solution for those after a mobile workstation, but the huge price tag limits it to a very select clientele.

MSI WT72 6QM-423US 17.3-inch
from $4,499.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 27-11-2016 12:40 UTC) Details