MSI PRESTIGE 15

Msi prestige 15 review – 10th gen laptops are here!

The MSI Prestige 15 is a new thin and light laptop from MSI featuring the Intel’s latest 10th gen CPUs.

Let’s check it out in this detailed MSI PRESTIGE 15 review and help you decide if MSI prestige 15 is a laptop you should consider. 

Msi Prestige 15 SPECS

  • CPU :- 10th Gen Intel Core i7.
  • Ram :- DDR4 64GB Max Capacity.
  • Display :- 15.6″ UHD (3840×2160), IPS-Level.
  • Graphics :- 4 GB DDR5 NVIDIA GTX 1650.
  • Webcam :- HD type ([email protected]).
  • Ports :- 2x Type-C, 2x Type-A, USB 3.2 Gen2, 1x Micro SD, 1x (4K @ 60Hz) HDMI.
  • Battery :- Li-Polymer Battery (Type), 82 Battery (Whr)
  • Speakers :- 2x 2W Speakers.
  • DIMENSION (WXDXH) :- 356.8 x 233.7 x 15.9 mm
  • Weight :- 1.6 kg

Msi prestige 15 DESIGN

 Design wise it looks a little similar to MSI’s PS63.

Overall the build quality felt very nice for a slimmer machine, thanks for that all metal build.

The weight is listed at 1.6kg, though mine was approaching 1.7kg when measured.

MSI PRESTIGE 15 DESIGN
MSI PRESTIGE 15 DESIGN

The total weight increases to 2.1kg with the 90 watt power brick and cables for charging included.

It’s quite a portable 15 inch machine, at 35.7cm in width, 23.4cm in depth, and just 1.6cm thick.

This allows the screen to have thin bezels at 7.5mm on the sides. The display on this msi device.

MSI Prestige 15 DISPLAY

The 15.6” 1080p 60Hz IPS-level screen has a matte finish and viewing angles were fine.

I’ve measured the panel with the Spyder 5 and got 95% of sRGB, 68% of NTSC, and 73% of AdobeRGB, fair results.

MSI PRESTIGE 15 DISPLAY
MSI PRESTIGE 15 DISPLAY

At 100% brightness I measured the panel at 291 nits in the center with an 840:1 contrast ratio, again fair results but nothing really impressive.

Expect much better results with the 4K panel option, as MSI claim that it’s got 100% AdobeRGB coverage.

There was some minor backlight bleed in this worst case test.

but I never actually noticed this while viewing darker content, but this will vary between laptops and panels.

There was some screen flex, though less than expected considering its thinness due to the metal exterior.

MSI PRESTIGE 15

The hinges felt sturdy enough, and the screen can bend all the way back.

The F12 key is a shortcut to flip the screen, this is meant to allow you to quickly push the screen back and flip it to show things to someone in front of you.

It was easy to open up with one finger, the weight felt well balanced and no issues at all using it on my lap.

Despite the thin screen bezels the 720p camera is located above the display in the center.

 The camera and microphone on this laptop are above average.

But not great though and the sounds when we set the fan speed to maximum is hearable. 

So, you can still hear me over the fan. 

KEYBOARD AND TOUCHPAD

The keyboard has white backlighting which illuminates all keys and secondary key functions.

Key brightness can be adjusted between 3 levels or turned off by using the F8 key.

MSI PRESTIGE 15
KEYBOARD

There’s no numpad, but I don’t personally use it anyway.

Overall I really liked typing with the keyboard, however the keys were a little shallow feeling to press.

With a good typing sound so expected.

There was minor keyboard flex while pushing down hard, likely due to the metal body, and I found letter keys needed 56g of force to actuate and it’s got 1.5mm of key travel.

The touchpad uses precision drivers, and like many of MSI’s other recent laptops it’s stretched out and is quite wide.

MSI PRESTIGE 15
KEYBOARD

In general I enjoyed the extra space, and I never had any problems with it getting in the way while typing.

The times that I did touch it while typing nothing happened so the palm rejection seemed decent.

There’s also a fingerprint scanner in the top left corner of the touchpad, and I found this to work quite fast for unlocking the laptop. 

Msi Prestige 15 PORTS  

On the left from the back there are two USB-3 ,2 Gen 2 Type-C ports, both can be used to charge the machine.

Support Thunderbolt 3 and DisplayPort, followed by an HDMI 2.0 output and 3.5mm audio combo jack.

MSI PRESTIGE 15 PORTS

On the right from the front there’s a UHS-II Micro SD slot and two USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A ports.

On the back there are just air exhaust vents towards the left and right corners.

While the front just has a subtle indentation for you to get your finger in to open the lid.

MSI PRESTIGE 15

The base of the machine is more of that matte blue colour and the bottom panel is also metal.

There are some holes for air intake towards the back, and the two speakers are found near the front.

Msi prestige 15 SPEAKERS

The speakers are ok, maybe a little below average.

There was a little vibration in the palm rest at max volume, but it seemed to get loud enough, and the latency on results looked alright.

INTERNALS

 The bottom panel was easily removed by taking out 11 Phillips head screws.

Once inside we’ve on the left we’ve got the WiFi 6 card, two M.2 slots just above the battery on the left, and two memory slots near the center.

INTERNALS OF LAPTOP
INTERNALS

The laptop is powered by a 4 cell 82 watt hour battery, and I’ve tested it with the screen brightness at 50%, keyboard lighting off and background apps disabled.

BATTERY LIFE

 The battery was one of the best I’ve ever tested.

These sorts of thin and light ultrabook machines typically last a lot longer than the gaming laptops.

I usually test due to having lower powered specs, though the Msi Prestige 15 does still have discrete graphics available.

BATTERY LIFE
BATTERY LIFE

I was getting over 9 hours just watching YouTube, and 2 hours while playing the Witcher 3 at medium settings capped to 30 FPS with Nvidia’s battery boost.

It also charges using either of the two Type-C ports on the left hand side with the small 90 watt adapter included.

The laptop comes with MSI’s Creator Center software installed which is basically the control panel to manage it.

MSI CREATOR CENTRE

 By enabling creator mode we can configure the amount of resources and priority of specific applications to try and optimize performance for them.

MSI CREATOR CENTRE
CREATOR CENTRE

We can use this to swap between three performance modes, which from lowest to highest are ECO, Comfort and Sport.

We’ve also got the option of leaving fans on auto speed or enabling cooler boost for max speed. Let’s take a look at thermals next. 

THERMALS

Air is pulled in underneath the machine through the holes towards the back, it then gets exhausted through the vents below the screen.

Inside there are a couple of fans, and a single heatpipe is shared between processor and graphics.

THERMALS

Thermal testing was completed in an ambient room temperature of 21 degrees Celsius.

So expect different results in different environments. At idle both the CPU and GPU were looking fine.

The rest of the results are from combined CPU and GPU workloads, and are meant to represent worst case scenarios as I ran them for extended periods of time.

MSI PRESTIGE 15 PERFORMANCE  

 The gaming results towards the upper half of the graph were tested by playing Watch Dogs 2, as I find it to use a good combination of processor and graphics.

The stress test results shown on the lower half of the graph are from running the Aida64 CPU stress test with only the stress CPU option checked.

The Heaven GPU benchmark at max settings at the same time to fully load the system.

AIDA64

Whether gaming or under combined CPU and GPU stress test, thermals were the lowest with ECO mode enabled, as this caps the power limits and performance.

When actually playing this game in ECO mode it wasn’t very playable due to the limits.

We’ll see some FPS benchmarks soon.

This is why temperatures rise when we step up to comfort mode, and then again to the highest performance mode, sport mode.

By simply setting the fan to max speed from automatic the CPU temperature lowers by 10 degrees, a nice improvement.

 Applying an undervolt to the CPU didn’t change thermals in the stress test, but it did help slightly with particular game.

ECO mode had the lowest performance due to the power limit caps in place, again comfort mode stepped up the performance, then sport mode offered the best experience.

Although we saw the CPU temperature drops by 10 degrees in the last with the fan at maximum, there wasn’t actually any clock speed difference as there was no thermal throttling taking place, the limitation was power.

This is why undervolting helped improve clock speed, however it still wasn’t possible to reach the full 3.9GHz all core turbo speed of the i7 chip in either of these workloads.

In most cases the GPU was hitting its max 35 watt limit, and the CPU seemed to be doing well considering this is a 15 watt chip.

however the laptop manufacturer does have the option of configuring a higher 25 watt TDP.

HW Info reported total system power draw with the stress tests running at 86 watts, and using an external power meter showed the laptop was consuming 88.7 watts from the wall. 

The MSI Prestige 15 comes with a 90 watt power brick, so under these worst case combined CPU and GPU loads.

It seems that we’re hitting the limits of the power brick, and this is why the 3.9GHz all core turbo boost wasn’t being hit.

Both thermal and power limits of the actual machine were fine, but the power brick just couldn’t give it any more.

There was also some slow battery drain, but I never saw it drop below 90%.

The results are higher as the Nvidia graphics are now idle, so there’s more power available and less heat.

Sport mode allowed us to hit the full 3.9GHz all core turbo speed with this workload.

We can see that the temperature dropped back 11 degrees by undervolting the CPU, despite no difference in actual performance in this workload.

When in a CPU only workload like this the average TDP was actually sitting on 36 watts sustained, quite impressive for a U series chip and well above the 15 watt base spec.

To demonstrate how this translates into performance.

I’ve got some Cinebench CPU benchmarks from these different modes.

CINEBENCH

 The results were quite surprising, in sport mode the multi core score is actually in line with the i7-9750H, due to that higher power limit that’s possible in CPU only workloads.

Due to these results I’ll compare this 10th gen chip with the 9750H in a future. Make sure you subscribe.

Given this is meant to be a content creators laptop I’ve also compared Adobe Premiere video exporting performance against the 9750H, and like Cinebench, with both chips running at the same 45 watt power limit the 10th gen chip was exporting the same 4K video file 8% faster.

So how do these different changes actually affect game performance? I’ve tested a couple of games to find out.

 Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built in benchmark at highest settings.

As this test tends to be more GPU bound, especially at max settings, undervolting the CPU changed nothing, comfort mode performed a little behind, with a larger difference seen in ECO mode.

FAR CRY 5
FAR CRY 5

Far Cry 5 was tested with the built in benchmark at ultra settings.

There wasn’t much difference between comfort and sport, a little boost to 1% low mostly, and then a bit extra to 1% low once undervolted.

ECO mode meanwhile was significantly lower.

Heat

As for the external temperatures where you’ll actually be putting your hands, at idle it was quite cool, around the typical 30 degrees I usually see. 

With the stress tests in ECO mode it’s a bit warm in the center around the mid 40s towards the back.

In comfort mode it’s now a bit warmer, despite the fan speed increasing the internals are now hotter.

Here’s the highest option, sport mode, which gets to the 50s in the center, and mid 50s up the back which was hot to the touch, granted you won’t be touching there.

Msi prestige 15 review - 10th gen laptops are here!

When playing an actual game it was similar, the WASD keys and wrist rest was fine but the middle was quite warm.

By setting the fans to max speed the temperatures drop a fair bit. The fans sound like above average during these different tests.

FAN NOISE

At idle in ECO mode it was completely silent, no fan noise or coil whine at all. With the stress tests going in ECO mode it was still fairly quiet.

Playing games in this mode was hit or miss, some worked ok while others were unplayable.

 Comfort mode only rose fan speed a bit, and then they rose further in sport mode.

In sport mode the fan speed did gradually change between 44 and 47 decibels despite the same consistent workload.

With the fan at max speed it was quite loud, or at least it sounded higher pitch than usual.

INTERNALS
INTERNALS

Next let’s take a look at gaming performance. Although this is not designed as a gaming laptop.

We should still be able to do some light gaming on the Nvidia 1650 Max-Q graphics. 

Msi prestige 15 GAMING

Let’s start out with Dota 2, as it’s not a particularly resource heavy title.

Generally this is a CPU bound test, and at low to medium settings the performance is close to what we’d see with a much higher speced gaming laptop.

MSI PRESTIGE 15 GAMING
GAMING

Although performance does dip a bit comparatively at ultra, these are still good results and the game plays no problem maxed out.

Fortnite was tested with the replay feature, and low to medium settings was again able to provide some high levels of performance.

Although the frame rates drop down at higher settings levels a fair bit, we’re still running with 60 FPS averages at epic settings.

Overwatch was tested in the practice range, and it was still working perfectly fine at epic settings, the 1% low performance maxed out is higher than the refresh rate of the screen, and much higher frame rates were achieved at lower settings.

CS GO
CS GO

 CS GO was tested with the Ulletical FPS benchmark, and this is another CPU bound test.

So the average frame rates at lower settings aren’t too far off other higher specced gaming laptops.

The 1% lows are down a bit though, but in the end 150 FPS at max settings is still quite good.

Rainbow Six Siege was tested with the built-in benchmark, and over 60 FPS was still averaged at ultra settings in this test, with 100 FPS being hit at medium settings and below.

Apex legends was tested with either all settings at minimum or maximum, as it doesn’t have built in presets.

It was playing very nicely with everything set to minimum, but there was a large hit to performance with everything maxed out, though you could find a nice middle ground by tweaking the settings more.

BATTLE FIELD 5

 Let’s also check out some more demanding games.

Battlefield 5 was tested in Campaign mode, and it played well enough at low and medium settings, high wasn’t bad, but ultra was noticeably stuttery.

Control was tested walking through the start of the gamel.

I don’t have much experience playing this game yet, but it played ok at low settings, started slowing down a bit at medium, then was chugging at ultra.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested using the game’s built in benchmark, and given this seems to be fairly GPU heavy it’s no surprise that the results are on the lower side at higher settings.

Msi prestige 15 review - 10th gen laptops are here!

Borderlands 3 was also tested with the built in benchmark, and 60 FPS averages and above were still reached at low settings.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint was also tested with the built in benchmark, and I was only seeing higher than 60 FPS averages at low settings in this test, again not surprising as it’s somewhat resource heavy.

Next let’s also take a look at how this config of the Prestige 15 compares with other laptops, use these results as a rough guide only as they were tested at different times with different drivers.

In Battlefield 5 I’ve got the MSI Prestige 15 highlighted in red, and due to it having one of the lowest GPUs I’ve tested it’s down the bottom of the graph.

Msi prestige 15 review - 10th gen laptops are here!

Again this isn’t a gaming laptop, and it can run the game just fine at lower settings.

These are the results from Shadow of the Tomb raider with the built in benchmark at highest settings.

This time it wasn’t quite as far behind the other machines with higher powered graphics.

These are the results from Far Cry 5 with ultra settings in the built in benchmark.

This time it’s actually beating the L340 despite it having a better GPU, probably as this is a CPU heavy test and the L340 has a quad core with single channel memory.

 As the MSI Prestige 15 has two Thunderbolt 3 ports it should be possible to attach an external GPU enclosure to improve gaming performance, but I’ll test this out in the future.

MSI PRESTIGE 15
MSI PRESTIGE 15

Now for the benchmarking tools, I’ve tested Heaven, Valley, and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike and Timespy from 3DMarK.

I’ve used Crystal Disk Mark to test the 512gb NVMe M.2 SSD and the speeds were quite fair.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to test the Micro SD slot as I don’t have cards that size.

For updated pricing check the AMAZON LINKS provided as prices will change over time.

At the time in the US the MSI Prestige 15 with these same specs is going for $1400 USD.

In Australia it’s going for $2300 AUD, though it’s currently on sale.

There are of course cheaper and more powerful gaming laptops available, but they’re typically larger, heavier, and have much worse battery life.

MSI PRESTIGE 15
MSI PRESTIGE 15

With all of that in mind let’s conclude by looking at the good and bad aspects of the MSI Prestige 15 laptop. 

MSI Prestige 15 Pros

  • Lightweight, attractive chassis
  • Vivid, luminous 4K display
  • Solid performance
  • Good battery life

MSI Prestige 15 Cons

  • Grainy webcam
  • Mediocre speakers

CONCLUSION

The biggest issue of note was that when under heavy combined CPU and GPU load the 90 watt power brick didn’t seem to be adequate.

This does at least mean the power brick is on the smaller size for travel.

Msi prestige 15 review - 10th gen laptops are here!
MSI PRESTIGE 15

Full performance wasn’t too far off and this was only when fully loading up both processor and graphics together, though undervolting did help out a bit.

The power and thermal limits of the machine weren’t actually being reached.

but it did get hot with the fans in auto mode, however by raising these temperatures dropped back substantially.

In CPU only workloads like Cinebench, the i7-10710U was quite impressive compared to an i7-9750H, look out for my upcoming comparison video between these two.

In terms of GPU performance such as gaming, the limitation here was the 35 watt 1650 max-q, though it was still capable of light gaming with lower settings, and should be enough to accelerate various creator specific tasks like video editing.

MSI PRESTIGE 15
MSI PRESTIGE 15

Despite being on the thinner and lighter side it’s still got two M.2 slots and both memory slots are user upgradeable.

I liked typing on the keyboard, though the presses felt a little shallow, and I had no problems using the wider touchpad which had good palm rejection and a fast acting fingerprint scanner.

For the most part the MSI Prestige 15 is a good portable laptop for content creators with a solid metal build.

It’s got two Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 support, micro SD card slot, though personally I would have preferred full size, excellent battery life and a decent screen all in a thinner and lighter package.

MSI PRESTIGE 15
MSI PRESTIGE 15

The 1080p screen was about average, though the optional 4K panel should be much better.

If you’re planning on doing pro level photo or video editing I’d probably go for that one for the better colour gamut and accuracy.

Let me know what you thought about the MSI Prestige 15 laptop down in the comments, and if you’re new to this blog consider getting subscribed for future laptop reviews and tech like this one.

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