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Great laptop for not just gaming: the MSI GF63 15.6’ (packing an i5-10300H and GTX 1650) (2024)

My thoughts on the MSI GF63 laptop: performance, design, battery life, storage, value and upgrades.
Marty Barrios

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


January 6, 2024


I recently got my hands on the MSI GF63, an affordable gaming laptop which has gotten good reviews for balancing cost and performance. I generally look for a middle ground between high-end gaming rigs and entry-level options, which this laptop suits quite well. It packs a dedicated graphics card, a quad-core processor, and is lightweight. More on all this below.


Property Value Property Value
Brand MSI Model Name GF63 Thin
Screen Size 15.6 Inches Color Black
Hard Disk Size 256 GB CPU Model Unknown
Ram Memory Installed Size 8 GB Operating System Windows 10
Special Feature Anti Glare Coating Graphics Card Description Dedicated


Performance and Gaming Capabilities

A close-up of the keyboard with the red backlight glowing against a dark backdrop highlighting the gaming aesthetic

When it comes to performance and gaming capabilities, the MSI GF63 Thin strikes an intriguing balance. Bundled with a 15.6-inch IPS display and a sharp 1920 x 1080 resolution, this laptop delivers crisp and vivid visuals that are a treat for the eyes during gaming sessions. The heart of this machine, an Intel Core i5-10300H processor, keeps up with the demands of most games I’ve thrown at it.

Here’s a quick pros and cons list based on my gaming experience:


  • Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics card with 4.1GB video memory enhances gaming visuals.

  • Quad-Core processing ensures decent performance across multiple gaming titles.

  • Lightweight design makes it perfect for gaming on the go.

  • Red backlit keyboard not only looks cool but also aids in playing in dim settings.


  • 8GB of RAM might hold you back in memory-intensive tasks.

  • Limited storage capacity with a base 256GB SSD, impacting the game library.

  • Non-upgradeable GPU limits the potential to play more demanding games in the future.

Running games like Roblox or Apex Legends on high settings is a breeze, and I was pleasantly surprised with the performance in Sons of The Forest. The graphics are fluid, displaying a commendable amount of detail, delivering a satisfying gaming experience while on a budget. However, when I tried resource-heavy games like Call of Duty: Warzone, the limitations of the GTX 1650 started to show – a reminder that while this laptop performs well, it’s not cut out for the highest-end gaming scenarios.

Perhaps the laptop’s performance sweet spot lies in the mid-range titles or those optimized for variable hardware. Imagine playing The Isle on max settings: smooth and responsive gameplay without a struggle. But keep in mind, you might need to tweak some settings down the line as more demanding games hit the market.

For those considering this laptop for the first time, rest assured, the machine feels solid and runs fast, but the clickpad might not be everyone’s favorite. Also, while the gaming prowess of the MSI GF63 is commendable given its price bracket, the built-in storage might leave you wanting more. Acquiring an external drive seems like a wise investment, giving you elbow room for an extended game library.

While the MSI GF63 doesn’t quite reach the heights of a premium gaming rig or rival the new generation consoles, it certainly holds its own ground. It’s proof that you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy a wide variety of games, making it a suitable companion for both casual gamers and those with collegiate obligations.

Design and Build Quality

A sleek angle of the msi gf63 showing the texture and build of the casing with a clear focus on the msi logo

When I first got my hands on the MSI GF63 Thin, I was immediately taken by the sleek design and solid build quality that MSI is known for. Here’s a quick rundown of what stood out to me:

  • Black color finish gives it a classic, professional look.

  • 15.6-inch IPS display with anti-glare coating is kind on the eyes during long gaming sessions.

  • Light in weight, making it easily portable for a gaming laptop.

  • Red backlit keyboard not only looks cool but is also practical in low-light environments.

Despite being impressed by its appearance, I couldn’t help but notice a few aspects that might matter down the line. The cooling system, while quiet, can be a bit underwhelming, as the laptop tends to get warm and sometimes even noisy under heavy use, especially when the storage is near full capacity. This tells me the internal layout is compact, as expected in thinner models, which can affect heat dissipation.

The casing feels durable and sturdy, which makes me less worried about the occasional travel bump. Although the screen is vibrant and clear for most games and videos, it can struggle with visibility at extreme angles – although, for personal gaming and work, it’s not something that hinders the experience much.

A big part of a laptop’s design that I care about is its ports and expandability. MSI didn’t disappoint here – enough USB ports for my accessories, and while it comes with just a 256GB SSD, an upgrade is possible. It’s reassuring to know I can bump up the storage with an M.2 drive if I need to.

The underside access panels are pretty standard, not very intimidating if I want to perform upgrades myself. The keyboard, on the other hand, feels robust, and the red lighting adds to the overall gaming aesthetic, which I personally find pretty cool. On the con side, the battery life doesn’t make the cut for intense unplugged gaming sessions, but then again, most gaming laptops need to be plugged in for the best experience.

In terms of durability, given MSI’s reputation and the sturdy feel of the GF63 Thin, I’m optimistic. It doesn’t feel flimsy or fragile, which can be a concern with thinner laptops. Even so, I plan to be cautious with the hinge over time – that’s usually the first thing to go on heavily used laptops.

Overall, I feel the MSI GF63 Thin has a design that strikes a balance between aesthetics, practicality, and build quality. It’s a well-considered laptop that looks and feels like it should cost more, with the minor drawback of being just a tad limited in thermals and out-of-the-box storage.

Battery Life and Storage Considerations

An open laptop next to a plugged-in charger and a clock showing a lap of time to represent the battery life

When talking about the MSI GF63 Thin, two significant factors come into play: battery life and storage. From personal experience, these aspects can be the deal-breakers for many potential users, especially those who need mobility and extended usage times without a power source.

  • Battery Life: Unfortunately, the GF63 Thin doesn’t shine here as I’d hoped. Even with power-saving settings enabled and screen brightness dimmed, the battery life lasts around 2 to 4 hours. For gaming sessions, keeping it plugged in is essential, which can be restrictive.

  • Storage Capacity: With a base of 256GB SSD, space is tight. Games, applications, and media quickly eat up storage, leaving you with the tricky decision of what stays and what goes. A simple solution to this is investing in an external drive or upgrading, as there’s support for an M.2 SSD upgrade, which can significantly expand storage space.

Despite these shortcomings, there are practical workarounds. For someone primarily using the laptop plugged in and not overly concerned about mobility, the battery issue becomes less critical. As for the storage, the laptop’s easy upgradeability is a relief. I’ve personally added an additional SSD to mitigate the low storage capacity, which works wonders.

The cooling system deserves praise, as it efficiently keeps the laptop from overheating even during intensive tasks. Yes, when the storage nears capacity, the fans can get loud, and the laptop might feel warmer, but that’s an inherent trade-off with high-performance machines.

Build quality is solid – the laptop feels sturdy, and there’s no compromise in the overall feel. I do mostly plug it in for intensive use, but when I’m on the go, I manage the screen settings and tasks to optimise battery usage. The screen brightness, too, has room for manual adjustment, which is typical for gaming laptops right out of the box.

In short, if you’re like me and prioritize performance and portability without the constant need for unplugged usage, the MSI GF63 Thin manages to deliver on all other fronts rather well. For the price point, it’s a reliable companion for both work and play, as long as you’re prepared to handle its battery quirks and ready for a possible storage upgrade.

Value for Money and Upgrade Potential

Stacks of coins next to the laptop with parts like ram and an ssd to illustrate the cost versus upgrade potential

When assessing the value for money and upgrade potential of the MSI GF63 Thin, I find it holds its ground pretty well as a budget gaming machine, particularly for those who are cost-conscious but still want a device that can handle a decent gaming workload. However, despite its affordability, I wasn’t blind to some of the limitations that came with it, so here’s a quick rundown:


  • Surprisingly quiet operation even under stress.

  • Keyboard illumination adds a nice touch for low-light conditions.

  • The lightweight build makes it ideal for on-the-go gaming.

  • Decent graphics performance for casual gaming and several AAA titles.


  • Battery life leaves much to be desired—I’m often tethered to a power outlet.

  • Limited storage capacity right out of the box, which can be a bottleneck for game libraries.

From personal experience, gaming laptops often compromise on battery life and storage to hit a lower price point, and the GF63 Thin is no exception. The 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD are acceptable for starters, but as someone who likes to push their hardware to its limits, it’s evident that upgrades might be necessary down the line.

What’s particularly appreciated is its upgrade potential — it’s compatible with M.2 SSDs and I can easily increase the RAM. This makes the laptop a long-term contender, as I can improve its performance to keep up with more demanding games or multitasking needs. Given that the processor and dedicated graphics card are quite competent, these upgrades can substantially boost the laptop’s capabilities.

The primary grumble I have is with the battery life, which seems to be a common pain point across consumer feedback. Gaming laptops aren’t known for their longevity on battery power, and that’s the trade-off I’ve accepted with the GF63 Thin.

I also noticed that the laptop tends to get a bit noisy and hot when the SSD is nearing its capacity. It’s a clear indicator that regular maintenance and storage management are crucial, but expanding storage should alleviate this problem to some degree.

Despite these drawbacks, the GF63 Thin offers an exceptional balance between cost and performance, particularly for college needs and less-demanding games. Even when the temptation of next-gen consoles looms, getting a capable gaming laptop at under $600 feels like a steal.

If you’re considering this as a purchase, it’s important to factor in the potential cost of upgrades. Solid-state drives and additional memory will bump up the price, but these enhancements can dramatically improve your experience. Overall, it’s a solid pick for entry-level gaming and everyday tasks, and a great stepping stone to the gaming world for someone like me, who appreciates good value as much as performance.