MSI GF63 Thin (12VE-066US) Review
The MSI GF63 Thin 12VE-066US is affordable and packs an RTX 4050 GPU to handle everyday eSports and mainstream games at mid-range settings.
- Powerful Intel Core i7 CPU
- Decent performance for the price
- Solid build quality
- Average battery life
- Screen would be brighter
Similar Deals Today
The latest model of our favorite MSI GF63 Thin 12VE-066US is finally here, and I won’t hesitate: the new model looks gorgeous, and is certainly, one of the best budget laptops you’re going to buy this year. For around one grand, you’re getting yourself a machine that plays modern titles at 1080p fluently and it won’t dent your bank account, and it effortlessly packages itself in a durable chassis that feels more premium than it costs.
Packing an Intel Core i7 processor (though it’s a 12th Gen, not one of the fancy new 13th-Gen Raptor Lake chips), but the GPU is an RTX 4050 – part of Nvidia’s latest GeForce 40 Series based on the Ada Lovelace architecture and feature hardware-accelerated raytracing. The RTX 4050 is the base GPU in this series, but it packs a punch over its predecessor the RTX 3050. The RTX 3050 is already a fast, entry-level GPU, but its successor seems to be pushing speeds higher.
The MSI GF63 series has been around for a little while, with previous models boasting GPUs such as the GTX 1660 and 1650, last year’s model had an RTX 3050, but this step forward into RTX 40 series territory is a game changer. Right now, Nvidia’s budget GPUs pack a punch than ever before, and that makes them an excellent choice for gaming laptops that won’t cost an arm and a leg.
MSI GF63 Thin Specs
Here is the MSI GF63 Thin configuration in this review:
- CPU: Intel Core i7-12650H
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 (8G GDDR6)
- RAM: 16GB (8G*2) DDR4 3200MHz
- Screen: 15.6-inch 1920×1080 IPS-level, 144Hz
- Storage: 512GB PCIe Gen3 SSD
- Ports: 3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 1x HDMI 2.1, RJ-45 Ethernet, 3.5mm mic in, 3.5mm headphone out
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
- Camera: 720p webcam
- Weight: 4.1 pounds
- Size: 14.13 x 9.99 x 0.85 inches
Design & Features
MSI’s latest rig sports a premium aesthetic and design than it costs: the brushed metal casing looks chic, and the red keyboard and edging plus the logos give the 12VE-066US some consistency from its predecessors. It looks more refined than the military-inspired Asus TUF Gaming A15 and more polished than the Acer Nitro 5. At this price range, only the Dell G5 15 Gaming looks sleeker, but it packs previous-gen components.
Weighing 4.1 pounds, the MSI GF63 Thin is very portable, and the 0.85-inch-thick body is great, too – competitors typically weigh more than 5 pounds and are at least an inch thick.
However, with the slim design, you lose on sturdiness. The metal above the keyboard flexes, the plastic on the base moves a little too much, and the display isn’t that solid. If you’ll be using the GF63 Thin at home, that won’t be an issue, but you’ll need a protective sleeve for your daily commute.
Port selection is decent but within the standard threshold of most gaming laptops. On the left edge, there’s a single full-size USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, while the right-hand side holds a USB-C port and an additional full-size USB connection alongside Gigabit Ethernet. There’s an HDMI 2.0 socket on the rear, and on the inside, there’s dual-band Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.
On the top bezel, there’s a 720p webcam, but it doesn’t support Windows Hello. Also, the laptop doesn’t have a card reader or Thunderbolt. While those connections make a laptop more future-proof, for daily gaming, they’re not very necessary. The TUF Gaming A15 arrives with two USB-C ports, while the Nitro 5 gets faster USB connectivity, and the Dell G5 15 comes with a fingerprint reader and HDMI 2.1.
Screen & Keyboard
Given the asking price, the screen here is bright and colorful; MSI uses a 1080p IPS panel with 227 nits peak brightness and offers good color reproduction. Granted its blacks aren’t as sharp as those seen on more expensive laptops like the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18, but the overall image quality is great. Our review unit, the 12VE-066US comes with a 144Hz refresh rate – making it a good choice for esports games.
The keyboard, on the other hand, is a pretty standard offering with keys that have decent travel and distance. The plastic frame means there’s some amount of flex in the center of the keyboard when pressed firmly, but most users won’t notice this effect during regular use. It doesn’t have a number pad and comes with a single-zone backlight rather than RGB LEDs.
The trackpad is equally an oddity, with a raised lip surrounding the edges of the rectangle, creating immediate tactile feedback when your finger hits the edge of the touchpad. I like it but a USB mouse would transform your gameplay even if you spend ten dollars or pounds.
The Nvidia RTX 4050 laptop graphics card inside this MSI GF63 Thin isn’t going to compete with more expensive GPUs in this series at resolutions above 1080p, but it’s not trying to. If you’re happy with frame rates that stay above 60fps, you can play most games at 1080p with your graphics settings set to Ultra, which is fantastic.
If you’re willing to drop your settings a little, maintaining 75 frames per second shouldn’t be a challenge. In The Witcher 3 benchmark, the GF63 Thin averages 59 fps at Ultra and was able to get 72 fps by dropping the graphics preset to high and dialing a handful of settings down to Medium. The game will still look great, thanks to the bright colors of the Asus GF63 Thin’s display.
The good performance is repeated on Doom Eternal, which runs between 136 to 147 frames per second at both medium and high settings. Thanks to the fluid frame rate and fast 144Hz refresh rate, you’ll not have issues navigating the expansive landscapes and killing anything during gameplay. Cyberpunk 2077 also runs like a dream at 49 to 72 frames per second, depending on your settings.
- POWER UP YOUR PLAY - Draw more frames and win more games with Windows 11, a 13th Gen Intel...
- BLAZING FAST MEMORY AND STORAGE – Multitask swiftly with 16GB of DDR5-4800MHz memory and...
- ROG INTELLIGENT COOLING – To put this amount of power in a gaming laptop, you need an...
Keep in mind, the built-in MSI Center application automatically sets the laptop to “Extreme Performance” immediately after you launch a game. This frees up system memory to enhance gaming performance. You’ll see an increase of about 5 to 10 fps with Extreme Performance turned on, which is still great if you want to squeeze every possible frame rate out of the game.
Ray-tracing isn’t particularly an option with lower-end RTX cards, so don’t get your hopes high with that feature on the RTX 4050. Enabling it in Cyberpunk 2077 completely tanks the frame rate even at lower settings, and since already at 1080p Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling tech isn’t the most effective way to boost ray-traced performance. Nonetheless, ray tracing is quite a niche feature that most users don’t offer, so it’s still a minor complaint here.
Productivity performance is generally decent here; the 12th-Gen Intel Core i7-12650H paired with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage make for a solid everyday use machine. Performance in CPU-bound tasks like media creation and editing is great, and the addition of an RTX 4050 graphics card makes this a productivity powerhouse for content creators. Given the price tag, I’m thoroughly impressed with the overall gaming and productivity performance here.
With a 51Whr battery, the 2023 MSI GF63 Thin offers a little more than previous models, but it’s still very average. The thin chassis means there’s simply not enough room to pack a larger battery, and while you might expect the lower-end internal components to use less power, the GF63 Thin can’t manage more than 5 hours of use at 50% brightness.
It’s not worse, but it’s not amazing either. Lasting around five hours of use for general tasks like web browsing is fine, but the Thin 12VE-066US won’t last over three hours in most games even in power-efficiency mode. Ultimately, as with most gaming laptops, the GF63 is designed to be used for gaming while plugged into a wall outlet.
The MSI GF63 Thin is about as cheap as gaming laptops get, and for the price you get a capable machine that’ll handle some important scenarios. It handles everyday esports and has the processing power for everyday computing. The keyboard is decent, and the latest MSI is lighter than any competitor out there.
Elsewhere though, the MSI GF63 struggles. Other laptops offer more gaming and processing power. If you’re happy to spend a little more, the Asus ROG Strix G16 offers the latest hardware (Intel Core i7-13650HX, RTX 4060 GPU), a bolder screen, better battery life, and a more robust, feature-packed enclosure.
Overall, the MSI GF63 Thin is slim, light, and handles 1080p gaming fine – and it isn’t very expensive. It’ll do the job if you’re looking for a laptop for a combination of work and play without going far from a power source. Ultimately, the latest MSI GF63 Thin 12VE-066US is a step up from entry-level rigs, and it won’t leave you with any regrets.
Last update on 2023-06-03 at 19:38 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Prices Today
MSI Thin GF63 15.6" 144Hz Gaming Laptop: Intel Core i7-12650H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050, 16GB DDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, Type-C, Cooler Boost 5, Win11 Home: Black 12VE-066US
1 used from $1,119.00