If you are looking for a gaming laptop with the RTX 3070 GPU for an affordable price, check out this MSI GL66 11UGK-001 gaming laptop. For the specification and price, it’s a great package. Especially in this global chip shortage.
Let’s see what this laptop packs under the hood quickly;
|Unit||MSI GL66 Gaming Laptop: 15.6" 144Hz FHD 1080p Display, Intel Core i7-11800H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 16GB, 512GB SSD, Win10, Black (11UGK-001)|
Full-HD 1920×1080 15.6″ IPS 144Hz, 3ms Display
|CPU/Processor||11th Gen of Intel Core i7-11800H (2.30 – 4.60 GHz clock speed)|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070|
|RAM||16GB (2x8GB) dual-channel DDR4 (3200MHz)|
|Storage||512GB NVMe SSD|
|I/O & Other features||1x Ethernet RJ-45 port, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 1x USB 2.0 Type-A, and a 3.5mm Audio combo jack, a 720p HD Webcam, Speakers 2W*2, built-in Microphone, Single-zone RGB backlit keyboard with Anti-Ghost key (99 Key), Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1|
|Pros & Cons||VIEW|
MSI equips this MSI GL66 11UGK-001 model with a top-tier 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H processor. This CPU is nicely manufactured with 10 nm Superfin rather than 12nm, meaning it is fast and more power-efficient. This Tiger Lake chip has 8-Core instead of only 6, and 16-Threads instead of 8.
The base CPU speed is at 2.30 GHz, and can perform up to 4.60 GHz when needed! Intel also installed a 24MB Cache with this chip, as well as the Hyper-Threading technology that makes this chip a capable CPU, commonly used in high-end gaming laptops. Intel registers the Thermal Design Power (TDP) at 45 W.
A Top-Tier 8GB GPU
For the GPU, this 15-inch MSI Pulse comes with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Graphics card onboard. It is a high-end GPU, a few steps above the RTX 2070, 3050 Ti, or even RTX 3060 which most laptops at this price range come with. For units that have older GPUs, you can check the GF75 version with the 1660Ti video card.
The RTX 3070 boasts 8 GB of GDDR6 Graphics memory rather than 6GB and comes with NVIDIA Ray-Tracing and Tensor cores (5888 CUDA cores). This graphics chip outperforms its last generation by 60%, this is significant when we talk about GPU’s performance.
The RTX 3070 laptop GPU has been the second fastest Ampere graphics card for laptops in early 2021Notebookcheck.net
This merge of capable CPU, and top-tier GPU help to make this laptop able to chew through your games, including games at 4k resolution! Intensive games like GTA V, CoD, Assasin’s Creed, and Flight Simulator 2020 can run flawlessly on this gaming laptop.
Other Specialties of MSI GL66 11UGK-001
In addition to its quality, sleekness, and outstanding performance, there are other specialties of this laptop that you will love. This would be the 16GB of RAM, keyboard, screen, a good webcam, and many more.
SSD & RAM
The MSI Pulse GL66 comes with a pre-installed Windows 10 operating system which is Windows 11-ready. This laptop is compatible with Windows 11 updates. The storage is a 512GB SSD rather than 256GB, surprisingly, a lot of gamer laptops come with only 256GB SSD. Compared to traditional hard drives, the SSD is more light, durable, and 3x faster in terms of performance. So we always encourage our users to get laptops with SSDs.
For the RAM, this unit has dual-channel 16GB of RAM out of the box. This is more than the recommended memory for gaming’s requirement which is the 8GB of RAM. It is a 3200MHz DDR4 SODIMM memory, which is faster than the previous generation with 2999MHz. Combined with the CPU and the GPU we have discussed above, this laptop becomes a powerhouse for gaming.
What is even better, both SSD and RAM are upgradable down the road if you feel you will need more. You can install your SSD up to a 2TB NVMe drive for the storage, and up to 64GB for the memory upgrade.
One of the pros of this MSI GL66 11UGK-001 is its keyboard. It is a single-zone RGB backlit keyboard and has excellent travel keys. The MSI center software is very helpful if you want to adjust the lighting of the keyboard and other settings, like cooling, or performance options.
The trackpad is decently large and feels smooth, and has Windows precision drivers that offer multiple gestures movement. The overall design of the keyboard is exactly what you would expect from MSI’s keyboards, which is one of the best keyboards on the laptop market. The keyboard is sleek and clean, not too flashy like in most gaming laptops, which we appreciate.
The RGB backlighting keys are helpful to type on in the low-light rooms, but they can be disabled and adjusted.
Screen & Webcam
There is a 15.6″ IPS panel mounted with this MSI GL66 11UGK-001. The screen is decently bright and clear with its 144Hz screen refresh rates and 3ms response time.
In short, it is well suited to the game, especially the 144Hz refresh rate.
The top bezel includes a 720p HD webcam at the center which has a really good quality and is useful for video conferences or chats.
The inclusion of a webcam seems to be a small matter, however, I cannot live without a webcam on my laptop. Imagine missing a webcam, you cannot do video chat whenever you want, either for work or for chatting with your friends. Getting an external webcam is most costly and could be troublesome to carry an extra webcam whenever you are on the go. So it is very convenient to have an integrated webcam on your notebook.
In case you need a 17-inch MSI gamer laptop, take this machine into your consideration.
What Ports Does it Have?
In terms of port, this MSI GL66 11UGK-001 comes with plenty of built-in ports that are not easy to find on a thin device.
On the right side, you get an Ethernet RJ-45 port, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, and a 3.5mm Audio combo jack.
The Ethernet port offers a stable internet network should you need to use your laptop in a location where the wireless network is not so great.
The USB-C is not Thunderbolt however it supports a fast transfer data rate.
Switching to the left side of the notebook, you will get 1x USB 2.0 Type-A, and another USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port.
Essentially, your new laptop has plenty of useful ports.
The battery life of the MSI Pulse GL66 RTX 3070 model is as expected for a beefy gaming machine. For lower-demand usage, you can get about 7-8 hours of battery life. When gaming, it can get about 3-4 hours, depending on what games and what other software you are running, which is again, gaming laptops cannot give you longer battery life as ultrabooks can.
With the MSI center though, you can tweak to squeeze more of the battery lifecycle.
In conclusion, if you want a quality gaming laptop, which an MSI device can offer, and a fat 11th Gen Intel i7 CPU, a strong RTX 3070 instead of those weaker GPUs, this unit is a good choice. The 16GB of RAM can also deliver better performance than the basic 8GB of RAM.
It is very hard to find the RTX 3070 MSI laptop these days (chips shortage everywhere), the CPU and GPU alone would cost about 800-ish. So although it is not the best in the gaming laptops category, with its smooth performance and many nice features it has, this MSI GL66 11UGK-001 is the best RTX 3070 gaming laptop in this price range.