MSI GL65 Leopard Review: A Gaming Monster

8.7Expert Score

The MSI GL65 Leopard is a gaming laptop you will not get tired of using any time soon. This laptop comes with a powerful processor and multiple GPU options. However, the laptop is somewhat chunky and pretty pricey.

Design, Display, Ports, And Connectivity

8

Processor (CPU) Performance

9

Memory (RAM) Performance

9

Storage Options And Performance

9

Graphics Card Performance

9

Battery Life And Performance

8

PROS

  • 1. A powerful CPU
  • 2. Excellent keyboard
  • 3. Multiple GPU options

CONS

  • 1. Chunky and heavy
  • 2. Pricey
MSI GL65 Leopard 10S

$1,149.00

Tired of changing your gaming laptop severally? This MSI GL65 Leopard review showcases a laptop you won’t be changing anytime soon when bought.

In this review, you will find out everything about the specifications and features of the MSI GL65 Leopard. Thus, we will be discussing the laptop’s design, CPU, RAM, storage, GPU, and battery performance.

Moreover, in various sections of this review article, I will compare this laptop with some of its close rivals. Also, I will be rating the gaming laptop based on a scale of one to ten according to its performance and my personal opinion.

That’s not all, the laptop’s benchmark test results will also be discussed in various sections of this review. Thus, let this review help you to make an informed purchase decision by reading it thoroughly.

MSI GL65 Leopard Review: My Initial Thoughts

MSI GL65 Leopard 10S Review My Initial Thoughts

Recently, we published a review of the MSI GS63 Stealth-010, which is a gaming laptop with awesome performance. Hence, in this review article, we will be focusing on another gaming laptop from the same brand – MSI.

Clearly, the laptop I am referring to is the MSI GL65 Leopard, which was released in 2020. This laptop, as with most MSI gaming laptops, offers nothing short of optimal gaming and overall performance.

Also as with most MSI gaming laptops, the MSI GL65 Leopard is pretty expensive. To be more specific, as of the time of publishing this review article in June 2022, the gaming laptop had a starting price of $1,149.

With such an expensive price tag, will the MSI GL65 Leopard offer enough features and performance to justify its price? Without wasting any more of our time, let us move to the other sections below to find out.

MSI GL65 Leopard Design, Display, Ports, And Connectivity Review

The appearance of the MSI GL65 Leopard commands respect from every onlooker. As a matter of fact, you dare not look down on this laptop after seeing its design.

To give more details, its body is made of matte-black plastic that leaves you with a feeling of pride for owning such a luxury. This plastic body feels smooth and sturdy to the touch, which guarantees durability.

Looking at the laptop’s lid, two solid perpendicular lines run vertically on the left and right sides of the lid. Also, MSI’s red dragon logo lies in between these two lines, at the top-center of the lid.

Impressively, this logo glows when the laptop is running. However, there’s no “MSi” lettering or inscription on the lid, as seen in most models.

When you look towards the downside of the lid, you’ll see two small but firm-looking hinges. These hinges hold the lid sturdily in place when you flip it open.

On opening the lid, your first point of attraction might be the extremely narrow bezels surrounding the laptop’s display. However, the bottom bezel is somewhat wide and feature an “MSi” inscription at the center.

Meanwhile, the top bezel houses an HD webcam at its center. Performance-wise, the picture quality of this webcam is not its major highlight but its video capture speed.

To be more specific, the webcam records video at 30 frames per second (fps). Appreciably, this speed is faster than the standard frame rate of 24 fps for movies and TV shows.

Away from the bezels and webcam, the MSI GL65 Leopard’s display is a 15.6-inch display with an FHD (1920 x 1080) resolution. Let me tell you one important thing about this display – it is an IPS-Level display, not IPS precisely.

To make this clearer, IPS displays have wide viewing angles but a slow response time (a downside in gaming). However, an IPS-Level display is more like a TN display (which usually has a fast response time) that operates at the same level as an IPS display.

Hence, while an IPS-Level display changes colors swiftly due to its fast response time, it also offers wide viewing angles. Interestingly, the MSI GL65 Leopard’s display has a 144 Hz refresh rate.

In brief, refresh rate is the number of times per second a display is able to draw or update new images. Hence, due to its 144 Hz refresh rate, this laptop’s display will be able to draw new images 144 times per second.

Thus, there will be little to no blur trails when the display is rendering fast-moving content like racing video games. In doing so, improving the overall gaming capabilities and experience of the MSI GL65 Leopard.

Having said these about the laptop’s display, let us move on to another alluring feature of the laptop. Particularly, I am talking about the keyboard.

Frankly, the MSI GL65 Leopard’s keyboard is one of the most feature-rich keyboards out there. It is a full-sized chiclet-style keyboard with a dedicated number pad and backlight.

Impressively, this keyboard’s backlight supports per-key RGB color customization. Therefore, you will be able to set a different backlight color for an individual key on the laptop’s keyboard.

It doesn’t end there, the keys on the MSI GL65 Leopard’s keyboard have moderate key travel. As a result, the laptop should offer a comfortable typing experience.

You must be wondering what is key travel. Well, it is the distance between the rest position of a key to when it hits rock bottom.

That aside, above the laptop’s keyboard, you’ll find a button for launching the MSI Dragon Center. Alongside this button are the power button and another button for toggling the fan speed.

Moving on, there is a wide and smooth-looking touchpad below the MSI GL65 Leopard’s keyboard. This touchpad has two dedicated click buttons that make some sounds when you press them.

Nevertheless, the touchpad is responsive and supports multi-touch gestures such as pinch-to-zoom. Away from all that, checking the sides of the MSI GL65 Leopard reveals its ports.

Specifically, on the left side, there’s an Ethernet port, an HDMI port (4K compatible), a MiniDisplay port, and one USB 3.2 Type-A port. That isn’t all, there is also one USB 3.2 Type-C port and a headphone jack on the laptop’s left side.

Turning to the right side, you’ll see two more USB 3.2 Type-A ports, a 2-in-1 card reader, and a charging port. Meanwhile, the MSI GL65 Leopard offers Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) for wireless connectivity.

Away from the sides, the laptop’s bottom has a lot of air vents. These air vents push hot air and heat out of the laptop during intense gaming sessions, keeping the laptop cool and functional.

For dimension and weight, the MSI GL65 Leopard measures 357 x 248 x 27.5 mm (W x D x H) and weighs 2300 g. With this dimension and weight, it is quite obvious that the laptop is chunky and heavy.

In fact, compared to most of its competitors, it is chunkier and heavier. For example, the ASUS Vivobook S15 measures 361.4 x 243.5 x 18 mm (W x D x H) and weighs just 1800 g.

Also, the Lenovo ThinkBook 15p measures 364 x 245 x 18.9 mm (W x D x H) and weighs 1850.7 g. Therefore, I will rate the MSI GL65 Leopard an eight out of ten in this design review section.

MSI GL65 Leopard Processor (CPU) Performance Review

MSI GL65 Leopard 10S Processor (CPU) Performance Review

The MSI GL65 Leopard has a 6-core Intel Core i7-10750H CPU that features 12 MB cache memory. Actually, the laptop can come with a different CPU, but this Intel Core i7 processor is the highest configuration you’ll get.

Besides, the processor hails from Intel’s 10th generation Comet Lake-H CPU architecture that was launched in April 2020. Hence, this processor is a high-end processor and supports hyperthreading.

For better understanding, hyperthreading is an innovation by Intel that allows every CPU’s cores to run multiple tasks simultaneously. Thus, with its 6 cores, the Intel Core i7-10750H CPU will be able to process tasks faster and run multiple background tasks without difficulties.

As for speed, this processor has a base frequency of 2.60 GHz and a whopping boost frequency of 5.00 GHz. Considering all these specs and features of the processor, the MSI GL65 Leopard should be able to handle most computing tasks.

Also, the laptop will play most high-end games with ease. Not just that, but it should also be able to handle intensive tasks like architectural design, 3D modeling, programming, and video editing.

However, if you still have any doubt about that, let me clear your doubt using the CPU’s Cinebench R15 test result. The Cinebench R15 is a benchmark test that works by using one or all of a CPU’s cores to run intensive workloads.

In doing so, the test estimates how quickly the CPU is able to complete the workload and its overall performance. Thus, the test produces the single-core score and multi-core score of the processor in numerical value.

Moreover, the higher the score value on the test, the better the processor’s performance. So, based on the test result, the MSI GL65 Leopard delivered a single-core score of 197 points.

Also, the laptop delivered a multi-core score of 1303.5 points. Honestly, these scores are among the best in the laptop’s category.

As a matter of fact, the laptop surpassed most of its competitors. For example, the ASUS Vivobook S15 with the Intel Core i7-8550U CPU delivered a Cinebench R15 single-core score of 172 points.

In addition to that, the laptop recorded a multi-core score of 729 points. Another example is the Lenovo ThinkBook 15p, which delivered a 197 points single-core score and 1208 points multi-core score.

By the way, this Lenovo ThinkBook laptop features an Intel Core i7-10750H processor.

Considering all these, I will rate the MSI GL65 Leopard a nine out of ten in this processor review section.

MSI GL65 Leopard Memory (RAM) Performance Review

The MSI GL65 Leopard comes with two SO-DIMM RAM slots and a standard memory of 16 GB DDR4 2666 MHz. No doubt, 16 GB RAM is enough for the laptop to run most high-end games.

Nevertheless, the laptop supports a maximum memory of 64 GB. Thus, with its available RAM slots, you can upgrade the MSI GL65 Leopard’s memory up to 64 GB.

However, this review focuses on the MSI GL65 Leopard with the standard memory of 16 GB. Performance-wise, with this amount of memory, the laptop can play Battlefield V at max graphics settings with a dozen Chrome tabs opened in the background.

While this might sound impressive, I know you will be more impressed when you find out the laptop’s result on the PCMark 10 test. If you are curious, PCMark 10 is a benchmark test that evaluates the ability of a computer’s memory to handle everyday computing operations.

Additionally, as with most benchmark tests, a high score on the PCMark 10 test equates to good performance. With that in mind, the MSI GL65 Leopard scored 4570 points on the test.

Compared with most of its competitors, this MSI gaming laptop performed significantly better. For instance, the Lenovo ThinkBook 15p and ASUS Vivobook S15 scored 4136 points and 3711 points, respectively on the PCMark 10 test.

Hence, I will rate the MSI GL65 Leopard a nine out of ten in this memory review section.

MSI GL65 Leopard Storage Options And Performance Review

MSI GL65 Leopard 10S Storage Options And Performance Review

The MSI GL65 Leopard is sold with either an NVMe PCIe SSD or a SATA HDD. The SSD storage option supports a maximum storage capacity of 2 TB.

Meanwhile, the HDD storage option supports a maximum storage capacity of 1 TB. Besides, the laptop also offers an SD (XC/HC) card reader that allows for storage expansion.

In my opinion, I suggest you opt for the MSI GL65 Leopard with the SSD storage option. This is because it offers a larger max storage capacity than the HDD storage option.

Also, SSDs are usually faster than HDDs and don’t make noise during operations. Thankfully, this review is based on the MSI GL65 Leopard with the SSD storage option.

Thus, to find out the storage performance of this laptop, let us consider its result on the CrystalDiskMark test. This test is an app-based benchmark test that estimates the read and write speed of a device’s storage drive.

For the curious ones, read speed is how fast a storage drive is able to open a file. Write speed, on the other hand, is how fast the storage drive is able to save a file.

Moreover, on the CrystalDiskMark test, a high “MB/s” value equates to a fast read and write speed. On that note, the MSI GL65 Leopard delivered a read speed of 3400 MB/s and a write speed of 2400 MB/s.

In comparison, the Lenovo ThinkBook 15p delivered a read speed of 2366 MB/s and a write speed of 2846 MB/s. Hence, the MSI GL65 Leopard should open files faster than this laptop but save files slower than it.

All in all, I will rate the MSI GL65 Leopard a nine out of ten in this storage review section.

MSI GL65 Leopard Graphics Card Performance Review

The graphics card is another aspect of the MSI GL65 Leopard that gives it a big name in the gaming laptop market. Basically, the laptop offers various dedicated graphics card options.

These graphics card options are NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER. The first GPU option features a base frequency of 1365 MHz and a boost frequency of 1680 MHz.

Also, as a dedicated graphics card, it features a dedicated VRAM of 6 GB GDDR6. The second graphics card option, however, features a dedicated VRAM of 8 GB GDDR6.

It also has a base frequency of 1410 MHz and a boost frequency of 1710 MHz. Lastly, the third graphics card option has a base frequency of 1605 MHz and a boost frequency of 1770 MHz.

Additionally, it has a dedicated VRAM of 8 GB GDDR6, just like the second graphics card option. Performance-wise, with any of these graphics card options, the MSI GL65 Leopard should be able to easily run most graphics-demanding apps.

Also, the laptop will be able to play most title AAA games. However, this review is based on the MSI GL65 Leopard with the first graphics card option, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060.

With this GPU, this MSI gaming laptop should deliver about 80 fps while playing Battlefield V. Also, the laptop should deliver an average of 94 fps while playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

With that being said, let us talk about the MSI GL65 Leopard’s result on a 3DMark test to further evaluate its graphics performance. In brief, 3DMark is a benchmark test that measures how well a computer’s GPU is able to render 3D graphics.

Moreover, just like the other tests discussed in this review, a high score on the 3DMark test indicates good performance. With that in our minds, the MSI GL65 Leopard delivered a score of 21261.5 points on the test.

In comparison, the Lenovo ThinkBook 15p, which uses an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU scored 13343 points on the same test. Hence, the MSI GL65 Leopard has a better graphics performance than this Lenovo laptop.

Therefore, I will rate the MSI GL65 Leopard a nine out of ten in this graphics card review section.

MSI GL65 Leopard Battery Life And Performance Review

MSI GL65 Leopard 10S Battery Life And Performance Review

The MSI GL65 Leopard runs on a 6-cell 51 Whr Li-Ion battery. However, MSI did not state how long the laptop can last with this battery.

Well, to find out the laptop’s battery life, we will consider its result on a Wi-Fi web surfing test. Clearly, this test involves continuously surfing the internet on the laptop via a Wi-Fi network till it dies.

At the conclusion of this test, the MSI GL65 Leopard delivered a battery life of 6 hours and 13 minutes. Comparatively, this gaming laptop has a longer battery life than the ASUS GL502VS.

Specifically, according to the same Wi-Fi web surfing test, the ASUS GL502VS delivered a battery life of 3 hours and 16 minutes.

Thus, I will rate the MSI GL65 Leopard an eight out of ten in this battery life review section.

MSI GL65 Leopard Review: Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Heavy Is The MSI GL65 Leopard?

The MSI GL65 Leopard is pretty heavy – it weighs about 2300 g.

2. What Graphics Card Does The MSI GL65 Leopard Use?

MSI markets the GL65 Leopard with three powerful GPU options. These options includes NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER.

3. Does The MSI GL65 Leopard Have A Thunderbolt Port?

Sadly, the MSI GL65 Leopard lacks a Thunderbolt port

4. Does The MSI GL65 Leopard Have A Touchscreen?

No, the MSI GL65 Leopard does not have a touchscreen.

5. How Much Is The MSI GL65 Leopard?

As of the time of writing this review (June 2022), the MSI GL65 Leopard had a starting price tag of $1,149.

MSI GL65 Leopard Review: My Final Thoughts

MSI GL65 Leopard 10S Review My Final Thoughts

Now I know why the manufacturer (MSI) named the MSI GL65 Leopard after a strong animal – Leopard. Essentially, the laptop delivers a fierce gaming performance and excellent specifications.

Besides, the laptop offers multiple graphics cards and storage options. That’s not all, the MSI GL65 Leopard comes with a good number of ports and an FHD display that is well-suited for a premium gaming experience.

Honestly, apart from its chunky build, this gaming laptop is actually almost flawless. Thus, if you need a strong and powerful laptop for intensive gaming, the MSI GL65 Leopard is one for the job.

MSI GL65 Leopard 10S

$1,149.00

I hope you found this MSI GL65 Leopard review helpful? If you found the review helpful, click Yes to “Was this post Helpful?” below.

You could also review this product with the “Leave a Reply” form found at the end of this page.

Finally, for more gaming laptop reviews, visit our Gaming Laptop Reviews page. You may also find our Laptop Specs page very helpful.

References And Further Reading

  1. top2gadget.com – MSI GL65 Leopard vs MSI GS66 Stealth: Gaming Laptop
  2. pcsreport.com – MSI GL65 Leopard 10SFK-062 RTX 2070 Laptop
  3. pcverge.com – MSI GL65 Leopard 10SFK-062 Review
  4. nextbookusa.com – MSI GL65 Leopard Review
  5. laptopmedia.com – MSI GL65 10Sx review – looks a bit more evil, but packs a bit more power



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