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Topics - Akira.MSI

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GAMING Notebooks / [REVIEW] MSI Alpha 15 Review: Phoenix Rising?
« on: January 07, 2020, 02:45:18 PM »
Check out this MSI Alpha 15 Review by UNBOX PH

Team Red All the Way

If youve been paying attention to PC World lately, then you know that AMD has bounced back and has made a killing this year by providing a great price to performance ratio with their Ryzen and Navi products.

Its been a while since Ive tested out gear from Team Red so when MSI asked if I wanted to test out one of their newest releases thats armed with a Ryzen CPU and their 7nm Radeon RX GPUs the Alpha 15 I had to jump on the chance to check out myself to see if it was worth all the hype it was getting.

All the ports youll ever need
Great keyboard with per-key RGB
120Hz Display with FreeSync2

Speakers dont give the advertised Giant feel

Shes a THICC girl

One of the first things I noticed about the MSI Alpha 15 is they arent using the usual dragon emblem on the lid. Theyve nixed the usual weve come to associate with the brand and replaced it with a Phoenix. According to the brand, its a way of distinguishing their fully AMD notebooks from their G series offerings. I do have to warn you that the decal they used did start to peel off after just a week of taking it in and out of my backpack.

The second thing was that the notebook is thick; thicker than a 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Huawei Mate 30 Pro on top of it. Thankfully though, its much lighter than it appears to be and thats because the chassis of the Alpha 15 is primarily made out of plastic; save for the lid.

This also means that this laptop doesnt leave you wanting when it comes to its I/O ports; complete with illuminated USB ports and an SD card slot thats not always available on gaming notebooks. This is something that creators like myself appreciate since it means that I dont have to worry about forgetting to bring my card reader.

By the way, the placement of the USB ports on the right side is closer to the bottom of the notebook and can be a bit bothersome if you have a smaller table to work on. It can also be a bit of an eyesore if you value cable management.

Great Display, Audio Is a Let-Down

The Alpha 15 is equipped with a 15.6-inch Full HD 120Hz display that supports FreeSync2. It certainly gets the job done if you watch videos on your laptop and the refresh rate should definitely help out with some of the more popular eSports titles.

One thing that MSI advertises as one of the key specs of the Alpha 15 is the Giant Speakers and, while they were pretty large, the sound quality wasnt worth writing home about. Youll most likely be using a pair of gaming cans anyway but I was expecting a lot more out of them.

A Keyboard for Higher End Laptops

One thing that the folks over at MSI were proud to highlight was their continued partnership with SteelSeries and being able to deliver per-key RGB lighting for that little bit of gamer flex. This is a feature that they usually reserve for their G series notebooks so its good to see it make its way on this notebook.

Of course, none of that matters if the typing experience isnt good. Thankfully though they came through and I quite enjoyed typing away on the Alpha 15. The keys are spaced out just right, with the right amount of travel in case you have to bust out a quick report or two.

Sadly, the same cannot be said about the trackpad on this laptop. It is a little lackluster but youre most likely going to have a mouse on hand anyway.

The First 7nm Technology Gaming Laptop

The main draw for the Alpha 15 is definitely the fact that theyve gone all-in with AMD for this notebook.

Youve got a Ryzen 7 3750H at the heart of it with an AMD Radeon RX 5500M that utilizes 7nm tech. This is rounded out with 16GB of DDR4 RAM (base model comes with 8GB) and a 512GB NvME SSD for the review unit that they sent out to us. I was very eager to see what the performance would be like on this device so I tested it on a couple of games that have been on my backlog.

As you can with the charts above, gaming performance was OK. I was honestly expecting a little bit more oomph but I reminded myself that MSI was positioning this as an entry-level to mid-tier offering. Its still pretty decent though and, if youre mostly into eSports titles, I can definitely see the Alpha 15 crushing those games easily.

Temps were pretty good though with the GPU hovering at around the mid-80s. Admittedly, I wasnt able to check out the temps if the laptop wasnt sitting flat on the desk but, given that you have a lot of mesh on the bottom, I can see it do wonders for airflow if you have a stand.

Battery Life is as Expected

Lets face it. Gaming notebooks arent meant to go the distance but you are getting a fair amount of juice with the Alpha 15. I did a video loop test to see how long it took for the notebook to go from 100% to 20% and I got a solid 4 hours and 35 minutes with Airplane Mode enabled, the display at 50%, and the volume at 50% as well.

With heavier tasks such as typing up articles, responding to email, and watching a couple of YouTube videos, I got about 3 hours out of this laptop.

Verdict: Ride the AMD Wave

Theres a lot that MSI got right with the Alpha 15 and they definitely have a good amount of checks on the plus column.

Youve got a healthy selection of I/O that doesnt leave you wanting, a great keyboard with even better RGB (if thats your thing), and a display that puts it at par with other notebooks in its price bracket. Youre also getting decent performance out of the hardware in terms of gaming. You will have to keep within Medium presets for the most part, which is a bit of a bummer since weve seen other configurations slightly edge out this purely Team Red build.

I do have to give props to MSI for outing a fully AMD configured laptop thats the first to utilize the 7nm Radeon RX GPUs as well. If you like what theyve been doing so far, you might want to ride the wave and put this on your list of notebooks to consider if youre in the market.

The MSI Alpha 15 is priced at Php 62,995 for the base configuration that comes with 8GB of RAM. It also comes with the AMD gaming bundle with each purchase that allows you to choose from games like Borderlands 3 and The Outer Worlds.

MSI Alpha 15 Specs
  • AMD Ryzen 7 3750H
  • 15.6-inch 120Hz IPS Display with FreeSync 2 support
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM (64GB Max.)
  • 512GB NVMe PCIe Gen3x2 SSD
  • 7nm AMD Radeon RX 5500M, 4GB GDDR6
  • Killer LAND E2600/802.11ac WLAN
  • 1x USB 3.2 Type C Gen 1, 3x USB 3.2 Type-A Gen 1, HDMI 2.0, Mini DisplayPort, Mic-In, Headphone Out, SD Card Reader, Ethernet Port
  • 180W/6-cell battery

CES 2020 is upon us and we have an Australian YouTuber Jarrod's Tech showing us the latest MSI Gaming laptops on the show floor! This is some exciting stuff!


The MSI GS75 Stealth challenges that old PC laptop proverb that says you can have high performance, and you can have a 17-inch screen, and you can have light weightbut you can only pick two. Sure, at five pounds GS75 is hardly light. But along with its 17.3-inch display it packs an 8th-generation 6-core CPU and Nvidias brand-spanking new GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics inside. The MSI GS75 is one of the first laptops to debut with Nvidias RTX graphics for laptops, announced in January at CES. As youll see in our benchmarks, the MSI GS75 is a (relatively) lightweight laptop with a heavweight wallop. The initial signs seem to point toward a lighter, faster future for mobile PC gaming.

read the full review here


Local tech reviewer Junkyard Summit tells us his thoughts about the MSI GL63 8SE-408PH. Equipped with an 8th Gen Core i7 processor and an RTX 2060, this laptop can go beyond high frame rates  in gaming. He also emphasizes the importance of the MSI Dragon Center with the different shift modes and pre-overclock settings. He also said that one of the strong points of this laptop is MSI's Cooler Boost 5 which can keep this gaming beast cool during long fragging sessions. As the PC master race quote goes: "May your FPS be high, and your temperatures low!" 

GAMING Notebooks / [REVIEW] MSI PS63 Modern. Perfect notebook for Creators
« on: December 13, 2019, 04:47:58 PM »

The MSI PS63 Modern isn't a headline-grabbing notebook but it packs a decent Whiskey Lake processor and a discrete GTX 1050 Max-Q GPU.  That combination gives it some of the best battery life we've seen in a 15" ultra portable laptop and pretty reasonable performance too.  But there are some areas that are cause for concern and do those prevent this from becoming the ultimate notebook for on-the-go creators?


Will this be something you're interested in purchasing if ever it hits PH stores?

MSI Optix MAG161V's lightweight of 0.9kg and ultra-slim profile of 5.1mm allow you to bring it outdoor without effort. The accessorized leather case helps you easily stand up the monitor everywhere. 
The multiple I/O of mini HDMI and Type-C will support all your devices such as laptops, smartphones, cameras, etc. You will enjoy the amazing viewing experiences through Full HD resolution with IPS grade panel. Dual-monitor experience is not restricted to your workplace or at home. Optix MAG161V is suitable for various uses: you can present to your customers in the cafeteria; you can have fun with your friends while gaming with a larger screen; you can watch the video on your way home after a long working day. Optix MAG161V is an extremely light and portable monitor that only weights 0.9 kg. Bring it anywhere you want without any strain or pressure. No longer constrained to your work or at home, make the dual monitor viewing experience available everywhere and anywhere you want. Monitors are typically thought to be stationary and confining. However, with a sleek 5.1mm profile, the Optix MAG161V is the slimmest portable monitor in the world. This design wont occupy much of your backpack space and will allow you to bring it everywhere with minimum effort. The full HD resolution makes even better visual details available while playing the latest games or watching your favorite TV shows. The Optix MAG161V offers you the most amazing viewing experience there is. You can start to use your Optix MAG161V through a single USB Type C cable. USB Type C, distinguished by its two-fold rotationally-symmetrical connector design, allows you to connect the latest devices more conveniently and with less trouble. HDMI is one of the most capable video/audio transmitting interfaces in the world. With mini HDMI I/O, you can connect Optix MAG161V to any kind of device such as set-top box, projector, PC, laptop, console, camera, etc


One of the main advantages of MSI Gaming laptops is that there are no compromise when it comes to expandability and connectivity. Here we'll take a look at the MSI GS75 hooked up to dual monitors through the HDMI, Thunderbolt, and DispayPort connections. 


The GT76 Titan is one of the most powerful laptops that you can buy in the market right now. Here, Jarrod's Tech takes us into a deep dive on what makes the GT76 a no compromise gaming machine. 

Now that the MSI Alpha 15 has reached Philippine shores, there are so many reasons why we should be excited about it. Here's a video by BrenProTV just focusing on the AMD / AMD Ryzen and Radeon-powered Alpha 15, and why you should look out for it!

MSI Promotions & Activities / [PROMO] MSI Alpha 15 is now in PH!
« on: November 25, 2019, 04:17:51 PM »
First seen at ESGS 2019, MSIs newest gaming laptop powered by AMDs Navi GPU is now available in PH via authorized MSI dealers, AMD and MSI concept stores.

MSI Alpha 15 is priced at PhP62,995 and comes with a game bundle. Be one of the first 5 to purchase from the AMD Concept Store and youll also get free AMD Merchandise (umbrella, AMD shirt, and cap).

GAMING Notebooks / Valve unveils new VR game! Half-Life: Alyx
« on: November 22, 2019, 11:36:33 AM »

I think this is something to be excited about since it's been  along time since Valve released a new game. And this time around, it's taking the Half-Life series into a different level. I also think that it's actually good to have a full-featured game in VR since a lot of the VR games available right now are so linear. What do you guys think?

Half-Life: Alyx will be released on March 2020 but no recommended system specs have been released yet. But for sure our VR capable MSI laptops will be able to handle it just fine.

MSI Promotions & Activities / [PROMO ALERT] MSI's End of Year Sale is here!
« on: November 21, 2019, 11:16:04 AM »

2019 has been a year of milestones for a lot of PC Gamers and Creators with the ever-increasing popularity of game streaming and content creation. Everyone is taking their skills to another level in terms of gaming, photo and video editing, 3D, and music production. This means that some of us could use an upgrade by the end of 2019, right?
That is why at the end of this year, MSI wants you to have the best laptop deals so you can experience #TrueGaming. If you are a Creator looking for something that can significantly improve your mobility in your creative work without compromise on performance, MSI has something for you too! We want to emphasize that here at MSI, we are for Gamers and Creators.
At this End of Year Sale, you can save up to Php30,000 on MSI laptops with a wide range of models that we have to offer in every price range. Choosing a laptop within your budget has never been this easy as MSI has curated discounts on select models and categorized them according to their price range, and some freebies too!
Gamers and content creators can avail of this promotion in any MSI authorized dealers and MSI Concept store locations. More information is also available on the official MSI Philippines Facebook page such as price lists, the full catalog of products, and a list of authorized dealers all over the country.

You can go to any MSI Consultants and Authorized Resellers to avail MSI End of Year Sale Promo. Their salesperson will be happy to assist you to find the best gaming laptop that suits your need.

Promo runs from November 16, 2019 to January 19, 2020 only.
*terms and conditions may apply

GAMING Notebooks / MSI Gaming Laptop Naming Explained
« on: November 14, 2019, 10:24:43 AM »

Starting with the Series
A good first step is to start from the broad. The wide range of selections can actually be simplified into 6 series, or further, to 3 aspects.

GT Titan series _ Top-of-the-Line Crazy Flagships
GT series is the extreme flagship designed to overkill and break any performance status quo. This usually means overclockable processors, top-of-the-line graphics, and cutting-edge features. The series also takes advantage of its beefier form factor to maximize cooling, hence the limitless performance.

GS Stealth series _ Ultra-Portability with Sleek Style
GS series is the combination between mobility, performance, and style. The goal is to pack premium performance within the most thin and light footprint, and a low-profile premium chassis. The extended battery life also adds to the portability aspect, making a great companion on-the-go.

GE Raider series _ For the Enthusiasts
GE series is born with enthusiastic gamers in mind. Aside from delivering maximum performance, from the first series to feature RGB lighting to anodized diamond cut cover, the GE series continuously brings gamers the most bling to show off their spirit.

GP Leopard / GL series _ Perfect Value for Everyone
GP & GL series offers the core gaming features from the high-end models, but now available across a wide range of configurations. Every gamer can sure find the level of performance theyre looking for.

GF Thin _ Mobility & Style Become Accessible
GF series brings mobility and aesthetics more accessible than ever before with its thin and light design. Gamers no longer have to make trade-off between value and looks.

Digging into the Names
Now that we know the story behind each series, lets take a deeper look into what the numbers and characters stand for in the model names.

Which Model(s) to Look Out For
If the above information has just made deciding even harder, here are a few recommendations from each series:

GT series - GT76 Titan
The GT76 Titan is pushing the boundaries on what a gaming laptop can be.
 To satisfy even the most extreme gamers, the latest GT76 Titan sets new performance standards by pairing Intel Core i9-9900K desktop processor, overclocked to 5.0GHz across all 8 cores, and top-of-the-line RTX 2080 graphics.
 All this ultimate power is kept cool with MSI exclusive Cooler Boost Titan, the 4-fan and 11-pipe cooling design, for extreme gaming power.

 GS series - GS75 Stealth / GS65 Stealth
Both 17" and 15" version now come with the new gold-trim aesthetics and sub-20mm chassis.
 While the top-tier performance is undoubtedly AAA-title-capable, the extended battery life is also enough to last throughout most of the day as a daily driver.

 GE series - GE65 Raider
The GE65 is pretty self-explanatory with its aggressive look and top-of-the-line specs.
 The first among the series to feature ultra-fast 240Hz IPS-level display, flashy RGB, red anodized diamond cut trim, what better ways to prove a true gamer?

 GF series - GF75 Thin / GF63 Thin
The GF75 and GF63 have bring thin and light gaming to the mainstream.
 The series come with thin bezel, thin chassis, but never thin out on the performance.
GP / GL series - GP75 Leopard
The brand new GP75 is the first within its series to feature thin bezel display.
 With configurations ranging from top-tier RTX graphics to the popular GTX graphics, the GP75 offers a variety of performance for gamers to choose from.

The following article is provided by Notebookcheck.
Feast for the eyes. Selecting a laptop with a good LCD panel is essential for an enjoyable viewing experience. In this article, we will look into several factors that determine an ideal LCD panel for a laptop, including display size, resolution, refresh rate, and other characteristics that gamers should be looking at for a gaming experience that is both immersive and offers a competitive edge at the same time. We take the implementation of LCD displays in MSI laptops as examples to explain the basics. (Sponsored article.)

 A high refresh rate display with good response times is of paramount importance for any gamer.
Choosing the best specs for your next gaming laptop purchase is only half the job done. The laptop's display is the main component that you will interface with on a regular basis so it is imperative to focus on the display characteristics as well before committing to a purchase.
Display technology seems to be pretty straightforward at first sight just decide on the resolution and you'll be good to go, right? Wrong. A lot of stuff goes on behind the scenes to ensure vivid visuals for an enhanced viewing experience. Modern laptop displays have come a long way and bring increased complexities that need to be properly evaluated to ensure that you're getting your money's worth. Factors such as screen size, resolution, refresh rates, response times, color gamut coverage, and panel choice and quality are all variables that can make or mar the viewing experience. That is the reason Notebookcheck tests out each of these parameters in all our laptop reviews.
In this article, we will take a look at how these parameters are factored in while deciding on a laptop display for gamers. We will restrict our discussion to LCD panels since OLED displays are still yet to mature enough to be used as gaming displays. We illustrate some of the concepts by showing examples from MSI gaming notebooks such as the MSI GT76 9SG.
We also encourage you to check out our previous Laptops 101 topics below:

LCD screen size
The LCD panel size (measured diagonally) directly influences the laptop's chassis. The general LCD panel sizes used in MSI laptops include 14, 15.6, and 17.3-inches. Thin and light laptops usually use 14-inch and 15.6-inch screens while desktop replacements can go up to 17.3-inches. A screen size that aids your workflow is very important as is the display resolution, which we will come to shortly. Designers, photo and video editors, and workstation users would do best with larger displays whereas internet surfers and document writers can make do with the smaller ones as well. Gaming and entertainment can also benefit from bigger screen sizes for a more immersive viewing experience.

Resolution is another important aspect of a laptop's purchase that must be considered along with screen size. Put simply, resolution refers to the number of horizontal and vertical pixels on a display screen. Pixels are the fundamental units of a display and each pixel in turn has a sub-pixel arrangement of Red (R), Blue (B), and Green (G) primary colors. Different proportions of RGB give the various colors we see on the display.
RGB sub-pixel arrangement in the MSI GT76 9SG.
RGB sub-pixel arrangement in the MSI GT76 9SG.
Most laptops today feature displays with at least a 1920x1080 resolution, i.e. the display has 1920 horizontal pixels and 1080 vertical pixels. This is also commonly referred to as Full High Definition (FHD). These pixels are arranged in a definite density. For example, a 15.6-inch FHD display has a pixel density the number of pixels per inch of 141.2 with a dot pitch of 0.18 mm. A dot pitch is the distance between adjacent pixels. Higher display resolutions include 2560x1440 (QHD) and 3840x2160 (UHD, or sometimes called 4K). The higher the resolution, the higher is the pixel density; and the smaller is the dot pitch, consequently, the sharper is the image.
Gamers generally prefer an FHD display with a high refresh rate. We'll get to the concept of refresh rate in just a bit, but an FHD display is less taxing on the GPU as it needs to draw only 2.07 million pixels compared to say 8 million pixels required to produce a 4K image. Thus, FHD displays are easier on a laptop's battery and can also be refreshed at a higher rate much more easily compared to 4K displays.
Originally, 4K displays were primarily used by graphic designers and video editors as they could make do with the standard 60 Hz refresh rate found in most monitors. These days, with the availability of powerful GPUs for laptops such as the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 or RTX 2080, it is very much possible to drive even 4K displays at high refresh rates without having to worry about artifacts or screen tearing issues. Thus, even competitive gamers can now reap the benefits of fast high-resolution screens.

Fast refresh rate
Refresh rates have a direct impact on the overall viewing experience. Basically, refresh rate denotes the number of times an LCD panel can refresh its image data. A display with a refresh rate of 60 Hz can refresh its on-screen content 60 times a second. Most laptop displays today offer a default 60 Hz refresh rate with some panels even offering up to 144 Hz. Higher refresh rates result in a smooth viewing experience without any perceivable lag in gaming or even while interacting with GUI elements in general.
While everyone benefits from high refresh rates, gamers are usually the primary target for such displays. Modern GPUs can output many more frames than a conventional display can handle. For example, the RTX 2080 can offer frame rates in excess of 100 fps at ultra settings in most modern AAA titles. If the display is only capable of refreshing 60 times per second, it cannot keep up with the high frame output of the GPU. This results in blurring or screen tearing artifacts, which not only ruin the viewing experience but also put you in a competitive disadvantage.
While everyone benefits from high refresh rates, gamers are usually the primary target for such displays. Modern GPUs can output many more frames than a conventional display can handle. For example, the RTX 2080 can offer frame rates in excess of 100 fps at ultra settings in most modern AAA titles. If the display is only capable of refreshing 60 times per second, it cannot keep up with the high frame output of the GPU. This results in blurring or screen tearing artifacts, which not only ruin the viewing experience but also put you in a competitive disadvantage.
The advantage of using a high refresh rate display is immediately apparent. (Image source: MSI)

While 144 Hz is a high-enough refresh rate, this year, MSI's laptops have upped the ante by offering 240 Hz panels as well. This eliminates any instance of screen tearing and enables competitive gameplay in fast-paced titles where every single frame can mean the difference between winning and losing.

Low response time
Response time is another important factor that is to be considered alongside the refresh rate of the display. Response time, measured in milliseconds, is the time taken by the display to shift from one color to another. Generally, this is measured as the time taken to shift from complete black to complete white and then to black again. Along with black-to-white, gray-to-gray response times (one shade of gray to another) are also taken into account. Another way of measuring response time is to determine the Moving Picture Response Time (MPRT). While gray-to-gray response time measures the time taken by a pixel to change from one color to the other, MPRT indicates how long a pixel is continuously visible on the screen (persistence).
Visit this link to see the effect of MPRT and gray-to-gray response times in action on your current display.
The lower the response time, the better it is for gaming as it helps eliminate ghosting and motion blur. The response time is a very important metric for professional gamers where every millisecond can mean the difference between winning and losing.
Below is an example of black-to-white and gray-to-gray response time measurements in the MSI GT76 9SG gaming notebook. As you can see, the GT76 has some of the lowest response times, making it an ideal choice for competitive gaming.
Display Response Times
Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.

Color gamut
The human eye can discern a wide range of colors and shades, but an LCD monitor can only reproduce a limited part of the visible color spectrum. The range of colors that can be reproduced by an LCD display constitutes its color gamut. Support for a wide color gamut means that the LCD panel can deliver more accurate color.
Color gamut is a tricky metric as most buyers tend to believe that a wide color gamut automatically implies a higher image quality. This is not always true. Color gamut is just one of the many specifications that go into determining the quality of the image. Essentially, the perceived quality of the image can vary from eye to eye. For example, a highly saturated image of a landscape might seem very appealing to the average user but inaccurate to the eyes of a designer. For this reason, there are color gamut standards that help determine whether a particular display's color profile can actually suit your workflow or not.
Modern LCD panels usually refer to coverage of a certain color gamut standard to convey to the buyer a sense of what to expect from the display's color reproduction abilities. Commonly used standards include sRGB, NTSC, and Adobe RGB. We will discuss more about color gamut standards and color accuracy in our upcoming article on laptop LCD displays for content creators.
sRGB is the commonly used color gamut standard across LCD monitors, printers, and most digital cameras. However, the overall color range of sRGB is very limited and does not include highly saturated colors. Adobe RGB overcomes this limitation, and displays supporting this color gamut standard can display a much more vivid color profile, especially when considering the greens. The image below illustrates this nicely.

 Adobe RGB can display more saturated colors than sRGB. (Source: ViewSonic)
If you are a gamer though, most displays in high-end gaming laptops cover the sRGB color space quite adequately so color gamut need not really be a primary concern, unless you are also using the display for productivity that requires wide color reproduction.

LCD panel technology
The choice of LCD panel influences all the factors listed above. Commonly used laptop LCD panels fall into three categories: Twisted Nematic (TN), In-Plane Switching (IPS), and Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO) panels. Let's have a brief look at each of them.

TN panels
In a typical TN panel, the TN liquid crystal (each crystal molecule corresponds to a pixel) is sandwiched between two electrodes and polarizers oriented in perpendicular phases to each other. So in an uncharged state, i.e. when current is not passed, light cannot pass from one polarizer to the other as it gets effectively blocked. When current is applied, the TN liquid crystal molecules bend or "twist" the light coming from the first polarizer by 90 degrees so that it can now pass through the second polarizer. Before getting through to the second polarizer, the light passes through color filters for red, blue, and green.
This simple arrangement allows TN panels to offer very low response times. TN panels still constitute the majority of laptop displays as they can be configured to offer response times as low as 1 ms (gray-to-gray) and true 120+ Hz displays on a restricted budget making them an ideal choice for gaming displays. However, TN panels have narrow viewing angles and can only use 6 bits per RGB color, requiring the use of workarounds such as dithering to produce 16.7 million colors.
Schematic of a Twisted Nematic LCD display. (Source: PC World)Schematic of a Twisted Nematic LCD display. (Source: PC World)

IPS panels
IPS displays are similar to TN displays for the most part except for the orientation of the liquid crystals. Unlike in TN panels, there is no helical twisting of crystals involved. Rather, the IPS liquid crystal molecules rotate by 90 degrees "in-plane", i.e. horizontally, to allow light to pass through and they are aligned to the display plane at all times. Both the electrodes are placed on the first polarizer so less light from the source can pass through compared to TN, requiring the use of much brighter light sources.
Compared to TN panels, IPS panels offer excellent color reproduction and wide viewing angles but are generally more expensive to produce. IPS panels make an excellent choice for graphics professionals who value color accuracy above anything else. IPS panels generally offer a standard 60 Hz refresh rate, but higher refresh rate options are also available nowadays. A point to be noted is that all IPS panels suffer inherently from some sort of IPS backlight bleeding (IPS glow). IPS glow cannot be avoided, but proper choice of panels during quality control can minimize its effects considerably.

 Comparison of liquid crystal arrangement between IPS and TN panels. (Source: J-Display)
IGZO panels
Unlike the difference between IPS and TN panels, IGZO refers to the type of transistor used and not the liquid crystal orientation. IGZO transistors can be used in all kinds of LCD panels including TN, IPS, and even OLED.
All displays use thin-film transistors (TFTs) to control the on-off states of each pixel. These TFTs are typically made of amorphous silicon (a-Si). a-Si transistors aren't really transparent, but manufacturers make them thin enough so that some light can pass through. Despite being difficult to crystallize, IGZO crystals are inherently transparent and therefore use much less power, as a high-intensity backlight is not needed.
Another advantage with IGZO is high electron mobility (20 to 50x more) compared to a-Si, which means better conductivity of current with much smaller transistor size. Although IGZO panels are expensive to produce, they have high refresh rates, higher pixel densities compared to typical a-Si TFT panels and significantly lower leakage current, making them an excellent choice for gamers. A still image displayed on an IGZO-TFT panel consumes way less power as the pixels remain charged without the need for continuous transistor refresh.

 IGZO offers many advantages over traditional a-Si TFTs. (Source: Sharp)

MSI not only offers high quality TN panels with fast refresh rates for gamers but also has 240 Hz IGZO options available in premium gaming laptops such as the GT76, GE65, and the GS65.

In this article, we have provided a brief overview into what goes into the design and selection of LCD panels for gaming notebooks. Although you can hook up your laptop to an external desktop monitor for enhanced multitasking, the primary display quality is very much essential when you go mobile. The factors to be prioritized depend on the target audience. For gamers, the primary considerations include low response times and high refresh rates, while professional users place emphasis on color accuracy and higher resolutions. For creatives who also game, it is essential to choose a panel that caters to both work and play. We will be looking into laptop LCD display choices for creative professionals in a subsequent article, so stay tuned for that.
We hope this primer on LCD panel selection for gamers was helpful in offering a high-level know-how into this important aspect of laptop purchase. Watch this space for more upcoming laptop 101 articles, including LCD panel design for creative workflows, touchpad design and more.
Besides this careful component matching it's ensured that the latest GeForce RTX Turing graphics are at the centre of MSI laptops. Whether playing blockbuster games like Battlefield V with ray tracing for the very best image quality or working with creative apps like Autodesk 3DS Max, Adobe Premiere Pro and Lightroom or DaVinci Resolve, RTX Laptops are true "workhorses" for professionals, students, and gamers alike. They are perfect for combining leisure and work.


MSI, the international tech firm, a leading giant of laptop has upheld craftsmanship spirit to produce a full product line of laptops that are specifically designed for creators and takes the lead in embracing the era of content creation. MSI has created laptops that distinguish between these different needs to form a complete product line: Creator/Prestige/Modern series. The Creator series aims to arouse the professional creators artistic cell; the Prestige series guides the prosumers to achieve timeless success, while the lightweight, Modern series aimed to provide all-around entertainments for users to create wonderful moments. The meticulous laptop craftsmanship creates the perfect balance between lightweight design and high performance, matching these polarized elements is actually what MSI expertise focuses on. The birth of a laptop took approximately six months, from design to production. The design team underwent countless discussion and researches to actualize all the concept, eventually developed the best full-line content creation laptops for the creative soul.

Low-key design with high quality: To bring out the best in users

The original design was inspired from the users perspective, portraying the craftsmanship determination of MSI to make laptops specifically for creators. As we find ourselves in the era of aesthetics, consumers are focusing on how the brand spirit is interpreted into laptop designs. MSI content creation series is designed to embody those emotions and manifests into tangible laptop features. MSI uncompromisingly tackled the challenge of condensing the high-performance components into Prestige 14, an A4-sized thin and light laptop. The reason behind this determination is to keep the A4-sized golden ratio for creators; while the simplistic single-color casing is a symbol for the origin of inspiration, as if a piece of blank paper to be filled with artist's infinite creativity.

A laptop designed for creators shall not only be able to ignite the aspiration of creativity, but more importantly, be able to integrate into and enrich the users life and to express the attitude of creators. With this mindset, the MSIs design team conducted extensive data research and analysis on craftsmanship and color material trends for setting production directions.
MSI not only observes the megatrends but various industries related to everyday life. For instance, fashion, entertainment, household and automatic industries, are all the areas that MSI are paying attention to. The design team then selected the most representative and popular colors from these industries and input MSIs tonality to define an exclusive color plan.

n view of this, the MSI content creations series return to low-key. The designers simplify the case design by removing excess trimmings. The minimalistic gray and white not only look professional and stylish but also reflect tranquillity and elegance. The seemingly simple design is the product of careful creation. Premium features are displayed within the details. For example, the achromatic colors are festooned with golden trimmings and diamond-cutting. These understated designs proudly portray MSI's goal of pursuing high quality. Another surprise can be found on the bottom of the Prestige 14's chassis, the irregularly-shaped vents resembling musical waves can be seen at the bottom, encouraging users to think out of the box.

In the golden age of we are all creators, MSI endeavors to always be practical and evolve inconveniences into innovation. The design team conducted extensive analysis of consumer habits, identified the most relevant problems and, in an unprecedented way, offered perfect solutions for laptop design. The importance of observing users needs, this ingenuity is often overseen, but can actually contribute significantly to the improvement of user experiences.

  "Those who can solve the difficulties in the creative process will satisfy the creators." concluded by designer Chungbi Lee. MSI will keep observing the megatrend of the industry and always incorporate the new invention and the needs of end-users into design elements while continuing inventing remarkable and surprising designs for creators. Just like the Golden Circle theory formed by Simon Sinek, MSI believes that People dont buy what you do; they buy why you do it and uphold the faith of Design for creators to keep producing the best laptops and greatest beneficial creative device for content creation.

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