MSI GS60 Ghost-007

Extremely Thin and Light 15-inch Gaming Laptop With Great Performance

MSI GS60 Ghost
MSI GS60 Ghost. ©MSI

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The Bottom Line

Aug 27 2014 - Those that want some solid gaming performance in a laptop that weight under five pounds will have a hard time finding a value as good as the MSI GS60 Ghost. Even with its light weight, the system offers some solid performance for a smooth gaming experience and a fantastic display. Of course, there are some smaller issues that you will have to deal with including some high temperatures, a trackpad that is terrible for gaming and battery life that is lower than some of the other options on the market.

Pros

  • Excellent Display
  • Strong Performance For Gaming
  • Very Thin and Light

Cons

  • Runs Very Hot When Under Heavy Workloads Like Gaming
  • Poor Trackpad
  • Limited Battery Life

Description

  • Intel Core i7-4700HQ Quad Core Mobile Processor
  • 12GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
  • 128GB Solid State Drive and 750GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 15.6" WUXGA (1920x1080) Display With 720p Webcam
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M 2GB GDDR5 Graphics
  • Giabit Ethernet, 802.11ac, Bluetooth
  • Three USB 3.0, mini-DisplayPort, HDMI, SD Card Slot
  • 15.35" x 10.47" x .78" @ 4.36 lbs.
  • Windows 8.1

Review - MSI GS60 Ghost-007

Aug 27 2014 - MSI's GS series of laptops is about providing gaming performance but in a compact and lightweight design. The GS60 Ghost keeps to these goals by featuring a very thin .78-inch thick profile and a very light four and a third pound weight. Even with its small size and low weight, the system offers some very solid design thanks to the brushed aluminum and magnesium chassis that provides a very elegant look without being too over the top like past gaming laptops.

There is the customizable colored lighting to the keyboard though if you want to have a bit of flair.

Powering the GS60 Ghost is the Intel Core i7-4700HQ quad core processor. While there are some slightly faster version of the Core i7 processor, this CPU still offers more than enough performance when it comes to gaming or demanding tasks like desktop video editing work.

The one downside here is that the laptop can get extremely hot when it is running for a length of time under heavy loads such as gaming. The processor is matched up with a somewhat odd 12GB of DDR3 memory. This is halfway between 8 and 16GB of memory and does not have that much of a performance benefit over the typical 8GB but the experience with Windows is smooth overall.

Storage is very fast thanks to a 128GB solid state drive that is used as the primary boot and application drive. While this isn't a huge amount of space, it is sufficient to hold most applications. To supplement the SSD for extra storage, there is also a 750GB hard drive for your data and media files. It can also be used to hold some of your less critical applications if necessary. This combination provides the system with very fast performance and a decent level of storage. if you need more space, there are three USB 3.0 ports available for use with high speed external storage. Now in order to keep the system as thin and light as possible, there is no DVD burner included but this is not a major problem as most games are distributed digitally now.

Now MSI does offer a version of the GS60 Ghost with a very high resolution 3K display.

This version however uses a 15.6-inch display that has a more standard 1920x1080 native resolution. This is actually a good thing as most laptops have a hard time trying to render games beyond a 1080p resolution. In addition, Windows still has scaling problems with fonts and buttons at higher resolutions that can make them difficult to read and use. In terms of color, contrast, brightness and viewing angles, this is a very impressive screen and it is helped by the anti-glare coating so it should work great outdoors. In terms of the graphics, they are handled by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M graphics processor.

This is not the fastest of the graphics processors available but it handles most games just fine up to the panel's 1080p resolution with acceptable frame rates. Some games can even have some filtering enabled.

The keyboard for the MSI GS60 Ghost is a fairly typical isolated design that includes a numeric keypad albeit with slightly smaller keys than the rest of them. The layout is fairly nice with large size control, shift, tab, enter and backspace keys. The feel of the keys is decent for gaming and acceptable for typing. What is really unique is the keyboard lighting that is highly customizable with the SteelSense software. The keys can also be reprogrammed with macros for which can be useful for gamers. The trackpad of the system is a bit disappointing. While it is fairly large in size, it uses an integrated clickpad design. This makes the right click detection very poor and nearly unusable for gaming. Of course, most gamers will probably be using an external mouse anyways.

MSI does not disclose the battery capacity for the GS60 Ghost unit which is disappointing. Gaming laptops are notoriously limited in running time because of their high power consuming components. With the thinner size, the battery likely is smaller than your typical gaming laptop. In digital video playback testing, the system was able to run for just three and a half hours before going into standby mode. This is well below the average for a 15-inch laptop and means that those looking to use it for gaming will need to be near a power outlet.

Pricing for this version of the MSI GS60 Ghost is around $1600. This puts it in the middle of the pack when it comes to pricing. Lenovo's new Y50 is a more affordable and offers some very competitive performance but it is almost a pound heavier than the MSI and has some glare issues from its glossy touchscreen display. It also uses a solid state hybrid drive rather than SSD and hard drive for slightly lower storage performance. The Gigabyte P35W v2 is more expensive and offers some stronger graphics performance from a GTX 870M processor but it once again weighs almost a pound more but it does provide a Blu-ray drive.

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