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[In-depth Comparison] MSI GS75 Stealth vs MSI GL75 – premium feel or gaming comfort?

Ah, the 17-inchers, some users love them because of the large screen space, while others don’t like the extended size, and yes, in most cases portability isn’t one of their key selling points. These big laptops are “your desk’s best friend” (if you know what we mean) and probably a lot of their owners just move them from one room to another.

There is one thing that is happening every year – most of the laptops are getting slimmer and slimmer. The same goes for the big gaming machines but unfortunately, sometimes this factor compromises the cooling capabilities of the particular machine. At least for now, it’s really hard to have the best of both worlds – super-thin cool and quiet gaming machine that has GPUs like the NVIDIA RTX 2080 under the hood. Maybe in the near future, we’ll see machines like the above-described.

That’s why for today’s comparison we’ve picked two MSI gaming laptops with 17.3″ screens – the MSI GS75 Stealth and the MSI GL75. The Stealth sibling is a premium device with a thin profile while the GL75 is a more traditional machine that isn’t that shiny but it still has a lot to offer.

It’ll be a thin high-end laptop vs bulky but still powerful notebook.

Read our in-depth reviews here:
MSI GS75 Stealth: Detailed review
MSI GL75: Detailed review

MSI GS75 Stealth configurations:

MSI GL75 configurations:

Contents


Design and construction

When sitting in front of these laptops they don’t look that similar but the truth is a bit different. The MSI GS75 Stealth describes very well what stands for a premium laptop. First of all, it definitely looks like a gaming machine but it lacks the annoying “in your face” aggressive design that some other machines have. It’s an all-aluminum device that has a really thin profile for a gaming machine that can house GPUs like the Max-Q versions of NVIDIA RTX 2080 and RTX 2070 – just 18.95 mm.

On top of that, the weight is on the low side too – 2.25 kg. This is a typical weight for a normal 15.6″ machine and it’s really good that we can see a 17.3″ device being that light. Let’s continue – the lid is easily openable with one hand without visible bends and strange sounds. The overall build quality is very good – premium materials, thin bezels, golden chamfered edges on the lid, and you can spot the presence of some gold elements.

Now, let’s have a look at the MSI GL75. Unlike its more expensive contender, this one has an aluminum lid and the rest is plastic. The good news is that the laptop looks and feels solid – its surface has a matte finish so we are happy to see the absence of the “shiny and glossy” plastic that feels too cheap in most cases. The thin bezels, the matte surface, and the aluminum lid add a bit of premium feel. For a medium-budget gaming machine, things are looking good, at least for now.

One of the things that we don’t like is the thick profile of the GL75 – 28mm is a bit too much but probably it’ll help the cooling solution with more air for breathing. The weight of this machine is somehow normal given the size of the screen – 2.50 kg. Sadly, you can’t open the lid with one hand because the hinges are extra tightened.

In terms of build quality and overall feel, the MSI GS75 Stealth is the clear winner in this category.

MSI GS75 Stealth
MSI GL75

When you look at the keyboards of both notebooks perhaps you’ll notice that the layouts are very similar. The MSI GS75 Stealth features a Steelseries fully customizable keyboard that has a per-key RGB backlight. On the right side is placed a NumberPad and we are glad to see full-sized arrow keys. This unit is very good for gaming.

The keyboard of MSI GL75 looks and feels almost the same but it’s lack the per-key RGB illumination, instead, it’s a single-color keyboard that glows in red. Still, that’s a good keyboard as well.

Some words regarding the touchpads. The MSI GS75 Stealth boasts a wide-screen TV-like touchpad that is very big, accurate, and comfortable for use. The MSI GL75 touchpad isn’t bad at all, it’s fast and precise too, but when compared to its more premium sibling unit, it looks a bit cheap-ish, although it has its own dedicated buttons.

MSI GS75 Stealth
MSI GL75

The disassembly of the MSI GS75 Stealth is not an easy job. There are 15 Phillips-head screws that are waiting to be unscrewed and after that, you’ll find that the motherboard is placed upside down. When you finally flip the mobo the right way up, you can see that the cooling solution looks capable with its 7 heat pipes that cool down the CPU, GPU, VRMs, and the video memory. Additionally, this thing has three M.2 slot – nice.

MSI GS75 Stealth
MSI GL75

Opening the MSI GL75 is a bit easier because the bottom plate is held up by 12 screws. After that, you’ll spot the cooling that features the same amount of heat pipes as the other contender and it cools both CPU and GPU. In addition, the radiator part of the cooling is definitely thicker than the one that we found in the MSI GS75 Stealth.

HeightWeight
MSI GS7518.95 mm (0.75″)2.25 kg (5.0 lbs)
MSI GL7528.0 mm (1.10″)2.50 kg (5.5 lbs)

It’s time to compare the ports selections of these two MSI machines.

On the left side of the MSI GS75 Stealth, we can see a power plug, an Ethernet connector, a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 2) port, a MicroSD card reader, and two 3.5mm jacks (for speakers and microphone). On the right – an HDMI connector, a Thunderbolt 3 port, two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 2) ports, and a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 1) port.

MSI GS75 Stealth

MSI GL75

The ports that are placed on the left side of MSI GL75 are the following – an RJ-45 Gigabit connector, an HDMI port, a Mini DisplayPort, a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) port, a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 2) port, and two audio jacks. The right side – a power plug, then two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) ports, and an SD card reader – overall a great setup for everyone.

Display

Both laptops are equipped with 1080p IPS panels. The MSI GS75 Stealth machine has a 240Hz display (option) with a model number AUO B173HAN05.0 (AUO509D) while the MSI GL75 comes with a 120Hz panel (optional as well) that has the following model number – AUO B173HAN04.7 (AUO479D). These panels are characterized by comfortable viewing angles and excellent contrast ratios – 1300:1 for the GS75 Stealth and 1360:1 for GL75.

MSI GS75 Stealth
MSI GL75

When it comes to sRGB color coverage, the MSI GS75 Stealth is definitely the better choice with 99% result which is a really good achievement. On the other hand, the panel of the MSI GL75 isn’t that good by any means – it’s able to cover just 51% of the sRGB color gamut. What a shame.

MSI GS75 Stealth
MSI GL75

Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work.

Below you can compare the score of the two panels – both with already applied “Gaming and Web design” profile. Thanks to our profile, the display of the MSI GS75 Stealth can be very color-accurate with an average dE score of just 0.7 – you can use it even in a printing house for example. Sadly, the display of its rival isn’t very good in this category even when our profile is already applied and the result is nothing that you’re going to write home about.

MSI GS75 Stealth
MSI GL75

One of the most important things about a display is its safety towards the user. Luckily, no matter the display, there are no signs of PWM usage so you can use them for prolonged periods of time (probably that includes long gaming sessions during night time).

MSI GS75 Stealth
MSI GL75

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa. We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time of 8.3 ms for the MSI GS75 Stealth panel and 24.4 ms for the MSI GL75 display. The results are like day and night, the display of the GS75 is fast and really good for gaming while its contender shows that the refresh rate isn’t the most important thing if it’s combined with a slow response time.

MSI GS75 Stealth
MSI GL75

Our display profiles

Here at LaptopMedia, we create a set of custom-tailored profiles for every notebook we review. They boost the productivity of display and reduce negative effects such as blue light emissions and PWM. You can read more about them here.

Buy our profiles from here:

17.3”, Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 240 Hz, IPS (AUO B173HAN05.0 AUO509D): Buy our profiles

17.3”, Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 120 Hz, IPS (AUO B173HAN04.7 AUO479D): Buy our profiles

Specs sheet comparison

More information about Intel Core i7-9750H and its position in our Top CPU Ranking you can find HERE.

More information about the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q and its place in our Top GPU Ranking you can find HERE.

More information about the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q and its place in our Top GPU Ranking you can find HERE.


Battery

The MSI GS75 Stealth has an 80Wh battery unit and because of the hefty capacity, the laptop is capable of more than 8 hours of Web browsing and watching videos on its own. This is a pretty decent result for a device with a 240Hz screen and powerful video card like the RTX 2070 Max-Q.

On the other side, the battery of the MSI GL75 doesn’t look that impressive with its 51Wh capacity and that’s why the results are nothing spectacular – a bit over 5 hours for both Web surfing and HD video playback.


Hardware and Gaming tests

Our two MSI contenders are equipped with the Intel Core i7-9750H. This is a well-known Coffee Lake processor that is widely used in a lot of gaming machines. It has 6 cores, 12 threads, a 45W TDP, 12MB cache size, and 2.60 GHz –  4.50 GHz base and boost frequencies.

GPU-wise, things are different. The two test devices that we have are equipped with different GPUs – an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q for the MSI GS75 Stealth and a GTX 1660 Ti for the MSI GL75. Since the video cards are different, you can take the gaming comparison for “RTX 2070 Max-Q vs GTX 1660 Ti” battle (the MSI GS75 Stealth can be configured with the GTX 1660 Ti as well).

Far Cry 5Full HD, Normal (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
MSI GS75 Stealth (RTX 2070 Max-Q)114 fps (+36%)105 fps (+30%)99 fps (+29%)
MSI GL75 (GTX 1660 TI)84 fps81 fps77 fps

rise-of-the-tomb-raider

 

Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, Very High (Check settings)Full HD, MAX (Check settings)
MSI GS75 Stealth (RTX 2070 Max-Q)138 fps (+36%)77 fps (+36%)51 fps (+36%)
MSI GL75 (GTX 1660 TI)107 fps65 fps42 fps

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon WildlandsFull HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Very High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
MSI GS75 Stealth (RTX 2070 Max-Q)90 fps (+29%)79 fps (+32%)52 fps (+16%)
MSI GL75 (GTX 1660 TI)66 fps60 fps45 fps

 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Highest (Check settings)
MSI GS75 Stealth (RTX 2070 Max-Q)95 fps (+30%)93 fps (+31%)60 fps (+20%)
MSI GL75 (GTX 1660 TI)73 fps71 fps50 fps

 

Temperatures

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i7-9750H (45W TDP)0:02 – 0:10 sec0:15 – 0:30 sec10:00 – 15:00 min
MSI GS75 Stealth3.56 GHz (B+37%)@ 95°C3.36 GHz (B+29%)@ 95°C3.20 GHz (B+23%)@ 95°C
MSI GL753.53 GHz (B+36%)@ 88°C3.53 GHz (B+36%)@ 95°C3.08 GHz (B+18%)@ 82°C

It’s clearly visible that the “fat boy” (MIS GL75) is the better machine when it comes to thermals. In short-to-medium loads, both machines are close in terms of frequencies but the GL75 is much cooler during long and heavy loads. Yes, ok, the CPU clock is 120Mhz down compared to the GS75 Stealth but the CPU is much better cooled than its rival –  a 13°C temperature difference is a serious gap.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-QGPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)GPU frequency/ Core temp (Turbo mode)
MSI GS75 Stealth1425 MHz @ 74°C1380 MHz @ 81°C
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 TiGPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)GPU frequency/ Core temp (max fans)
MSI GL751714 MHz @ 66°C1708 MHz @ 68°C1726 MHz @ 62°C

Gaming comfort

Unfortunately, both machines are loud under load but at least the MSI GL75 shell isn’t that hot – 46°C is a pretty respectable result for a shell temperature of a  gaming machine with fast CPU and decent GPU. The thin and premium machine – the MSI GS75 Stealth is hot and loud under load and the whole gaming experience suffers because of this. At least the hot spot is away from the WASD area but 52°C is too much for a premium and expensive machine like this one. Perhaps we can blame the thin profile for this result.

MSI GS75 Stealth
MSI GL75

Verdict

So, in short, we just compared two MSI gaming machines that have high refresh rate displays and decent gaming hardware under the hood. The MSI GS75 Stealth looks and feels great when you’re holding it in your hands – it’s a real premium device with an all-aluminum build, thin bezels, slim profile, and great keyboard that is good for gaming. A dream come true – a 17-incher that isn’t thick and has low weight too, and great hardware at the same time? Well, sorta. The whole experience isn’t perfect because the laptop is loud and too hot under load – a 95°C CPU temperature during stress and 52°C surface temperature is too much for a comfortable “existence” when you’re using it for games or other CPU-heavy tasks. You’re always going to sense the heat and hear the noise that comes from the fans.

On the bright side, the battery life is more than decent for a notebook that has strong hardware, the screen has a great sRGB coverage and fast response time, and wow – three NVMe slots. Last but not least – a Steelseries keyboard is always a welcomed featured because of the high level of customization.

The MSI GL75 has nothing to hide. It lacks the premium feel that its contender has but it doesn’t look bad at all – the bezels around the display are thin too, its keyboard is comfortable for gaming (despite not being a Steelseries unit) and it has a similar layout as the keyboard of the GS75 Stealth. The biggest advantage of this machine is the thermals during load – its CPU is much cooler during heavy stress when compared to its opponent and on top of that, the shell temperature is better too. So, the MSI GL75 is definitely more comfortable for gaming because it has a better cooling solution. Yes, it has a thicker profile but it’s more comfortable for gaming.

In addition, this device has its cons too – the display may have a high refresh rate but it’s a rather slow panel with a 24ms response time and the sRGB color coverage is really poor. Moreover, the laptop is thick and heavy but hey, in this case at least it leads to better temperatures. The battery life isn’t great but it is what it is – we’ve seen worst.

Read our in-depth reviews here:
MSI GS75 Stealth: Detailed review
MSI GL75: Detailed review



Why choose MSI GS75 Stealth?

  • Great build quality
  • Slim and light
  • Three NVMe slots
  • Steelseries keyboard




Why choose MSI GL75?

  • Good price / performance ratio
  • Better thermals under load


MSI GS75 Stealth configurations:

MSI GL75 configurations: