Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook - Written are Given
Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook

Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook

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When we see a laptop with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card, it doesn’t require much ingenuity to realize that this is a gaming solution. When we find out that this is an MSI laptop, our guesses gain almost firm confidence, for it is gaming laptops that are the hobbyhorse and the foundation of the company's assortment. However, in this case, MSI managed to surprise us: the P65 Creator model is primarily intended for creativity - rendering 3D scenes, editing heavy video, processing photos and 2D illustrations, and everything else like that, which may require a 4K color display covering AdobeRGB, an 8-core Core i9 processor, a RAID array of very fast NVMe SSDs, three video outputs, including Thunderbolt 3, and much more. And the GeForce RTX 2070 is very useful for some tasks. In fact, it turns out a mobile workstation, and quite light and thin. How well is all this implemented and what will be the price to pay for this wealth? Let's see.


Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook

On the MSI international site, three modern modifications of the P65 Creator laptop are presented, based on the 9th generation Intel Core processors and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2000 series graphics cards. In Russia, only two of them have so far been announced on the official website, and the 9SF modification, which we tested, has just gone on sale. The table below lists possible differences, but in short we will say that the second modification (9SE) is noticeably simpler (less efficient processor and video card, less memory, only one SSD, Full HD screen, etc.), but also costs more humane 130-140 thousand rubles, while the hero of today's review is 230-240 thousand.



MSI P65 Creator 9SF
CPUIntel Core i9-9880H (8 cores / 16 threads, 2.3 / 4.8 GHz, 45 W)
can also be installed Core i7-9750H
RAM2 × 16 GB DDR4-2667 (Samsung M471A2K43CB1-CTD)
can also be installed 16 GB with two modules
Video subsystemNvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q (8 GB)
Intel UHD Graphics 630
as a discrete card, the GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q or GeForce RTX 2060 can be installed
Screen15.6 inches, 3840 × 2160, 60 Hz, IPS, semi-matt (AU Optronics B156ZAN04.1)
there is an option of a more modest display with Full HD resolution and lower colour gamut
Sound subsystemRealtek codec, 2 speakers
Storage device2 × 512 GB SSD in RAID0 1 TB (Samsung PM981, M.2, NVMe, PCIe x4)
only one 512 GB SSD can be installed
Optical driveno
Card readerno
Network interfacesWired networkQualcomm Atheros AR8171 / 8175 (Gigabit Ethernet)
Wi-Fi wireless networkIntel Wireless-AC 9560 160MHz (802.11ac, 2 × 2, channel width 160 MHz, CNVi)
BluetoothBluetooth 5.0
Interfaces & PortsUSB2 USB 3.0 Type-A + 1 USB 3.1 Type-A + 1 USB 3.1 Type-C
RJ-45there is
Video outputs1 HDMI (up to 4K @ 60 Hz), 1 Mini-DisplayPort, 1 USB Type-C, DP and Thunderbolt 3 compatible
Audio jacksheadphone output + microphone input (3.5 mm mini-jacks)
Input DevicesKeyboardbacklit
Touchpadclick ad
AdditionallyWindows Hello fingerprint scanner
IP telephonyWebcamthere is (720p)
Microphonethere is
Battery80 Wh
Dimensions358 × 250 × 22 mm (the thickness of the case itself without legs is 18 mm)
Weight without power supply2.05 kg
Power adapterChicony, 230 W (19.5 V 11.8 A)
operating systemWindows 10 Home
can also ship with Windows 10 Pro
The laptop comes in an elegant thin cardboard box without handles for carrying (of course, there is also a large shipping box of unpainted cardboard), a lot of waste paper is included, as well as a rather large 230-watt power adapter and a power cord.

Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook

Appearance and ergonomics

Most of the laptops we test are trying to create the impression of being more compact than they really are. The variable thickness of the case is used (the laptop’s edge is thinner at the front edge, sometimes it is almost pointed), the cunning shape of the side bevels, etc. Against this background, the MSI P65 Creator looks at least interesting: it has a case in the form of an almost honest parallelepiped, only with slightly rounded corners.

Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook

Taking this laptop in hand, the first thing you are struck off is its lightness: the form does not seem to hint at it, and inside, as you can see from the list of components, there should be a lot of metal at least in the cooling system, but the total weight barely exceeds 2 kg. And while the aluminium case, albeit not machined from a single disc! It is clear that aluminium panels are thin. Visually, it is something neutral: the surface is grey and matte, without any pattern, rather slippery to reliably hold the laptop with one hand in an upright position.

Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook
The legs scattered all over the bottom practically exclude the option when the laptop's ventilation holes on the bottom will be closed. At the same time, these legs raise above the surface the speakers located on the sides in front of the bottom.

Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook
The lid opens quite easily, but you can only pick it up by the protrusion in the front part, and this is not very convenient, it will not work to open the laptop with careless movement. The hinges are not stiff, the lid is very loose when you touch it with your finger. It is curious that in the closed position the lid is fixed by two magnets in the corners. You can open the lid almost 180 °.

Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook
There are no interface connectors on the rear panel of the case - only ventilation holes. The same holes are hidden behind a stylized grill on the sides of the case. All of them serve to release hot air. On the left side of the case, you can find a Kensington lock hole, a wired network connector (RJ-45), 2 USB 3.0 Type-A ports and 2 mini-jacks for connecting a microphone and headphones. On the right is a power connector for a round plug in the cross-section, HDMI and Mini-DisplayPort video outputs, as well as a USB 3.1 Type-C connector compatible with DP and Thunderbolt 3, and one USB 3.1 Type-A.

Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook
The laptop’s charge indicator is not located at the power connector, but at the front end of the case, it lights up in very bright white until the very end (before charging the battery by 100%), and when discharged to 5% it lights up in orange.

The screen on the lid is enclosed in a moderately thin plastic frame (its thickness is 7 mm left and right, 10 mm above and 30 mm from the bottom). At the same time, a webcam with a signal LED and two microphones were located on the upper part of the frame, and only the manufacturer’s logo on the bottom.

Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook

Far from the entire width of the working surface is given under the keyboard, so, of course, there is no need to talk about the ideal layout for printing. The "arrows" are not isolated (but they are at least full-sized), the other keys for moving the cursor are located in one row on the right, Delete and all function keys are small, the key under Esc ("ё" in the Russian layout) is generally represented by a stub. The Fn key is located on the right side of the bottom row, it is also on the keys at the right edge that the functions of adjusting the screen brightness and keyboard backlight, sound volume are hung, these combinations are convenient to press with one hand.

Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook
The keyboard has a membrane mechanism and an island arrangement of keys, the buttons are moderately large, comfortable: the distance between the centres of the keys in the same row is 19 mm, and between their edges - 3 mm. It is comfortable to type on the keyboard, keystrokes are clearly felt, there are practically no sounds when printing. Key travel - 1.2 mm. There is a three-level brightness white backlight (the fourth state is off), and the symbols on the keys and their sidewalls are highlighted.

keyboard

Above the keyboard is a very narrow power button, which, however, can be easily felt. The laptop status indicator next to this button lights up orange during operation when a discrete graphics card is enabled, lights up white if only the integrated graphics are used, and blinks white when the computer is asleep. The power button is separated from the keyboard by a number of ventilation holes, mainly the air through them is sucked in, but not very actively.

In a traditional place under the keyboard is a slightly recessed large touchpad measuring 140 × 65 mm. In this case, it does not have dedicated keys, pressing can be performed on almost the entire area of ​​the touch panel, but the unevenness is annoying: in the upper left corner it is not pressed at all, and the lower edge is pressed very easily. Kick pads have their fans, but the authors of the article are not among them, all these clicks without a fixed point of application are annoying, you can often move the cursor with your finger trying to find the pressure area. The classic way to simulate a right-click on a mouse (clicking on the lower right corner of the clickpad) is very difficult to complete here, and the cursor almost always shifts, so you have to relearn it by making a special gesture (two-finger pressing). At all, the touchpad supports a wide variety of gestures, including three and four fingers, for example, to quickly minimize all open application windows or to switch to the next application. The large size of the touchpad, in this case, is an advantage, it is convenient to work with it. If desired, the clickpad can be quickly disabled.

A fingerprint scanner is built into the touchpad pad. This is a very convenient solution, it is standardly supported by the built-in Hello function in Windows 10 and allows you to both quickly unlock your laptop and log in to various services. The scanner works very quickly and overall flawlessly.

Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook

To remove the bottom panel of the case, you need to unscrew a few screws under the Phillips screwdriver. After that, contrary to modern standards, you will only get access to coolers and a wireless network module. For everything else, a deeper disassembly is required (unscrew a few more screws, disconnect a few cables), which we did not do. MSI reports that the memory modules and SSDs on the back of the motherboard are installed in the corresponding slots, nothing is unsoldered, so you can quickly (including on your own, if you have the appropriate skills) replace these components.

Software



The laptop comes with an almost clean Windows 10 Home Edition. The proprietary True Color utility is responsible for adjusting the screen (choosing colour gamut, colour temperature, etc.), we will talk about its capabilities in the screen testing section.



The main proprietary utility, in this case, is called Creator Center, it allows you to configure some parameters of the laptop to increase productivity. Of the interesting things here, one can note the choice of the battery charging mode (see in the corresponding section), the output of some diagnostic information (load and temperature of the CPU and GPU, free memory and free disk space, fan speed), the ability to switch the operation mode of some buttons to keyboard (control system functions or their nominal function, the second set works by pressing Fn), disable the Win button, etc. Performance, energy consumption and cooling are controlled by switching 4 m between profiles. For each, you can set the screen brightness and keyboard backlight, silent operation of the fans is automatically regulated, and for the processor, you can only choose between economical modes, and in the profile of extreme energy-saving, only brightness control is available at all. It is here that you can choose the cooling mode Cooler Boost (MSI gaming laptops usually have a dedicated button on the case for its activation), which we will discuss in the corresponding section.

Another fun feature of the Creator Center utility is the inclusion of the so-called developer mode. In this case, this, apparently, is not a very successful Russian translation: I mean in general any professional employment that requires a powerful computer. One way or another, on a special tab, you can add any application to the list prepared by the manufacturer (it includes the packages Adobe, Corel, Magix, etc.), and for all applications of this list, the custom Affinity CPU profile is automatically applied at startup (binding to specific kernels, which is important, for example, if the program does not tolerate “virtual cores” of Hyper-Threading), the specified priority is set, some optimizations of the GPU and memory performance are performed. In general, all this can be done with “pens”, but here it is implemented clearly and conveniently.

Screen



The MSI P65 Creator 9SF laptop has a 15.6-inch IPS matrix AU Optronics B156ZAN04.1 (AUO41EB) with a resolution of 3840 × 2160 ( MonInfo report ).



The outer surface of the matrix is ​​hard black semi-matte. There are no special anti-reflective coatings or filters. When powered by mains or battery and with manual brightness control (there is no automatic adjustment by the light sensor), its maximum value was 502 cd / m² (in the centre of the screen on a white background). The maximum brightness is very high. As a result, at maximum brightness in the afternoon on the street, even under the direct rays of the sun, you can see something on the screen, and in a light shadow, it will already be more or less comfortable to work.

To assess the readability of the screen outdoors, we use the following criteria obtained when testing screens in real conditions:

Maximum brightness, cd / m²ConditionsReadability rating
Matte, semi-gloss and glossy screens without anti-reflective coating
150Direct sunlight (more than 20,000 lux)unreadable
Light shadow (approx. 10,000 lux)barely read
Light shadow and light cloud cover (no more than 7500 lux)work uncomfortably
300Direct sunlight (more than 20,000 lux)barely read
Light shadow (approx. 10,000 lux)work uncomfortably
Light shadow and light cloud cover (no more than 7500 lux)work comfortably
450Direct sunlight (more than 20,000 lux)work uncomfortably
Light shadow (approx. 10,000 lux)work comfortably
Light shadow and light cloud cover (no more than 7500 lux)work comfortably
These criteria are very arbitrary and may be revised as data accumulates. Note that there may be some improvement in readability if the matrix has some transflective properties (part of the light is reflected from the substrate, and the picture is visible even with the backlight turned off). Also, glossy matrices, even in direct sunlight, can sometimes be rotated so that something fairly dark and uniform is reflected in them (on a clear day, for example, the sky), which will improve readability, while matte matrices need to be fenced off to improve readability Sveta. In rooms with bright artificial light (about 500 lux), it is more or less comfortable to work even with a maximum screen brightness of 50 cd / m² and lower, that is, under these conditions, the maximum brightness is not an important quantity.

If the brightness setting is 0%, then the brightness decreases to 9 cd / m². Thus, in complete darkness, the screen brightness can be lowered to a comfortable level. At any brightness level, there is no significant modulation of the backlight, so there is no screen flicker. As proof, we present graphs of the dependence of brightness (vertical axis) on time (horizontal axis) for various brightness settings:

Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook
The MSI P65 Creator 9SF uses an IPS type matrix. Microphotographs show a typical IPS subpixel structure (black dots are dust on the camera’s matrix):

Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook

Focusing on the screen surface revealed randomly located surface micro defects that are responsible for the matte properties:

The grain of these defects is several times smaller than the size of the subpixels (the scale of these two photographs is approximately the same), therefore focusing on micro defects and “jumping” the focus on the subpixels are weakly expressed when changing the angle of view, because of this there is practically no “crystalline” effect, but a weak variation Sub-pixel brightness and hue are present.

We measured the brightness at 25 points on the screen, located in increments of 1/6 of the width and height of the screen (screen borders are not included). The contrast was calculated as the ratio of the field brightness at the measured points:

ParameterAverageDeviation from the mean
min.%max%
Black field brightness0.42 cd / m²−2240
White field brightness492 cd / m²−8.06.8
Contrast1200: 1−2821
If you step back from the edges, the uniformity of the white field is very good, and the black field and, as a consequence, the contrast is much worse. Contrast by modern standards for this type of matrix is ​​high. The photo below gives an idea of ​​the distribution of the brightness of the black field over the screen area:

Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook

It can be seen that in the main, closer to the edges, the black field is slightly highlighted in some places. However, the uneven illumination of black is visible only in very dark scenes and in almost complete darkness, it should not be considered a significant drawback. Note that although the lid is made of aluminium, its stiffness is low, it is slightly deformed at the slightest exertion, and the nature of black field illumination changes greatly from deformation.

The screen has good viewing angles without significant colour shift even with large deviations of the gaze from the perpendicular to the screen and without inverting colours. However, when the diagonal deviates blackly, the black field is very bright and acquires a light red-violet hue.

The response time for the black-white-black transition is 25.5 ms (13 ms on + 12.5 ms off), the transition between grey tones in total (from hue to hue and vice versa) takes 45 ms on average. The matrix is ​​not fast, there are no signs of acceleration in the form of characteristic bursts of brightness on the transition graphs between shades.

We determined the total delay in the output from switching the pages of the video buffer until the image is displayed on the screen (recall that it depends on the features of the Windows OS and video card, and not just on the display). At 60 Hz refresh rate, the delay is 22 ms. This is not a very long delay, it is absolutely not felt when working on a PC, but in games, it can lead to a decrease in performance. However, the laptop is not a specialized gaming one, therefore not the best speed indicators are quite acceptable.

Next, we measured the brightness of 256 shades of grey (from 0, 0, 0 to 255, 255, 255). The graph below shows the increase (not the absolute value!) Of brightness between adjacent halftones:
Review of the very powerful MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook
Using the Gamma setting in the True Color utility (see below), you can increase the black level, while the visibility of the shades in the shadows will improve, but already in the light, several of the lightest shades will merge with white. However, the blockage by one shade is absolutely not critical.

The approximation of the obtained gamma curve gave an indicator of 2.33, which is slightly higher than the standard value of 2.2, while the real gamma curve deviates slightly from the approximating power function:

MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook
As a result, the colours of ordinary images oriented to output on devices with sRGB coverage look unnaturally saturated. However, there is nothing wrong with this, since positioning this laptop as a professional one involves using the appropriate programs and the qualifications of a user who knows how to profile a monitor and use a colour management system.

Below is the spectrum for the white field (white line) superimposed on the spectra of red, green and blue fields (lines of the corresponding colours):

MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook
There is a proprietary utility True Color, with which you can change a number of screen settings. The availability of settings depends on the selected profile. The sRGB profile is selected by default.

However, coverage in this profile is not adjusted to sRGB boundaries. In the case of the Developer profile, there are more options available:

In this profile, you can select the predefined option Source, for which you can expect the absence of any interference with the original properties of the matrix. Also, this utility allows you to bind the profile to the application, facilitate the distribution of windows on the desktop and perform hardware calibration (our spectrophotometer is not supported).

By default (the sRGB profile is selected), the shade balance on the grayscale is good, since the colour temperature is not much higher than the standard 6500 K, and the deviation from the black body spectrum (ΔE) is below 10, which is considered an acceptable indicator for a consumer device. In this case, the colour temperature and ΔE vary little from shade to shade - this has a positive effect on the visual assessment of colour balance. (The darkest areas of the grayscale can be ignored, since there the colour balance does not matter much, and the error in measuring colour characteristics at low brightness is large.)

When you select the Source profile (see the graphs above), ΔE is higher. However, in this profile, there is less variation in parameters between shades. After manual correction (0 / −6 / −6 for R / G / B values), the colour temperature became closer to 6500 K, and ΔE on white decreased significantly. However, all this is not very important, since, in the case of professional use and practically mandatory screen profiling and the use of a colour management system, it is best to just select the Source profile, and give the colour rendering correction to this system.

The screen of this laptop supports HDR operation.

For testing in this mode, we used the official DisplayHDR test tool, which VESA offers to use to verify that display devices meet certification criteria. The result is excellent: a special test gradient showed the presence of 10-bit output (perhaps dynamic colour mixing is used). Both on the white field in full screen and in the test with the output of 10% white on a black background, we managed to get at least 510 cd / m². Thus, at least in terms of colour gamut, maximum brightness and the number of gradations of shades, this screen meets the criteria of DisplayHDR 500.

To summarize. The laptop screen MSI P65 Creator 9SF has a very high maximum brightness, so the device can be used on a clear day outdoors, and in light shade - even work with relative comfort. In complete darkness, brightness can be lowered to a comfortable level. The advantages of the screen also include wide colour gamut and support for HDR. The disadvantages are low black stability to deviation of gaze from the perpendicular to the plane of the screen and not very good black field uniformity. In general, and taking into account the orientation toward professional use, the screen quality can be considered high.

Sound



Traditionally, the laptop audio system is based on the Realtek codec. Sound is output through two speakers located on the bottom of the chassis next to the legs. The measurement of the maximum volume of the built-in speakers was carried out when playing a sound file with pink noise. The maximum volume is 83 dBA, this is the highest level that we have seen with laptops we have already tested using this method. According to subjective feelings, the speakers are really very loud and not wheezing even at maximum volume.

Battery operation



The laptop battery capacity is 80 Wh. To give an idea of ​​how these numbers correlate with the actual battery life, we test using our methodology using the Battery Benchmark v1.0 script. The screen brightness during testing is set to 100 cd / m² (in this case, it corresponds to about 52%), so laptops with relatively dim screens do not get the advantage.

Load scenarioWorking hours
Work with text7 hours 48 minutes
Watch video4 hours 27 minutes
The battery life of the laptop is quite long. In the "text" mode, it may well be enough for the whole working day - another thing is that it is unlikely that such laptops are purchased for daily carrying from home to office.

MSI approached the battery protection from frequent charging cycles very reasonably, the Creator Center utility offers three scenarios for typical use of a laptop, and the battery is charged in accordance with them: when working mainly from the network - only up to 60%, with mixed-mode - up to 80 %, and only if necessary, long battery life - up to 100%. You can quickly switch between scripts. The battery here is large, so it takes almost 2.5 hours (from a new laptop) to charge from zero to about 95%, and up to 100% in the region of 3 hours. Of course, if you do not need a full charge, you can disconnect the laptop from the network much earlier, the charging process noticeably slows down precisely at the last 10% -20%.

Work under load and heat


The laptop has two coolers, and one of them has two fans at once (they work synchronously). Apparently, the heat pipes of both coolers pass both through the platform on the CPU and through the platform on the GPU, so both coolers always participate in cooling, even if the video card is not used. Fans suck in cold air mainly through openings on the bottom of the case, and hot blowback and sideways (each in its own direction). The fan speed is quite high: about 3000 rpm under normal load and about 6000 rpm in maximum mode. In this case, the maximum cooling mode can only be selected by setting the current profile in the Creator Center proprietary utility, although usually, MSI gaming laptops have a dedicated button on the case to activate it.

 MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook


At maximum processor load, its cores first operate at a frequency of 2.8-2.9 GHz, processor consumption, according to the built-in sensor, is 55 W, the core temperature is close to critical, so trotting is turned on. After some time, the processor consumption is limited at the standard TDP level (45 W), while the core frequency is set at 2.6-2.7 GHz, the core temperature is below 90 degrees, there are no overheating and skipping cycles. In this mode, the laptop can, apparently, work indefinitely.

 MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook

MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook

With the simultaneous maximum load on the processor and GPU, the steady-state frequency of the processor cores is 2.5-2.6 GHz, its consumption is regular 45 W, but the core temperature is selected to 100 degrees, so the processor overheats, there is a miss of clock cycles. The GPU at the same time operates in the standard maximum mode (see above), without heating above 77 degrees.


MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook
 MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook
In this case, you have to resort to enhanced cooling of Cooler Boost, as a result of which the frequency of the key components of the laptop does not change, but their heating decreases, overheating and skipping processor cycles disappear. This is a balanced mode, as close to maximum performance is achieved, but there is no overheating.

Thus, the cooling system in the MSI P65 Creator is designed and tuned, in our opinion, optimally. With a more or less realistic high load, it does not allow overheating of components, those work with the declared performance, that is, the buyer receives exactly what he paid for. If you create a synthetic maximum possible load, then you can achieve overheating of the processor (but not the video card), and then the user will have to turn on the Cooler Boost enhanced cooling mode, which will eliminate the overheating.

Below are the thermal images obtained after long-term operation of the laptop under maximum load on the CPU and GPU:

MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook

Even under maximum load, working with the keyboard is comfortable, since the places under the wrists are practically not heated. The area behind the keyboard heats up noticeably, but this does not stop typing. But the bottom heating is high, in the heat of the laptop, it will be unpleasant to warm your knees. Worse, the user's legs may overlap areas of the grill through which air is drawn in, which can lead to even more heat on the laptop. In general, putting a laptop on your lap that requires high performance is not a good idea. The power supply is not very hot, it obviously has some kind of power reserve for higher consumption by the processor and video card, battery charging and power for not very powerful peripheral devices connected to the laptop.

We measure noise levels in a special soundproof and semi-muffled chamber. At the same time, the microphone of the sound level meter is located relative to the laptop in such a way as to simulate a typical position of the user's head: the screen is tilted back 45 degrees, the axis of the microphone coincides with the normal originating from the centre of the screen, the front end of the microphone is 50 cm from the plane of the screen, the microphone is aimed at the screen . The load is created using the PowerMac program, the screen brightness is set to maximum, the room temperature is maintained at 24 degrees, but the laptop is not especially blown, so in the immediate vicinity of it the air temperature may be higher. To estimate the real consumption, we also give (for some modes) the consumption from the network. The battery was previously charged up to 100%, in the settings of the proprietary utility, the operating mode of Auto or Cooler Boost coolers was selected. The steady-state values ​​are given after at least 15 minutes of operation in this mode:

Load scenarioNoise levelSubjective assessmentNetwork consumption
Auto Mode
Inaction21.7 dBAvery quiet26 watts
Maximum processor load36.4 dBAloud but tolerant97 watts
Maximum load on the graphics card39.8 dBAloud but tolerant109 watts
Maximum load on the processor and graphics card43.2 dBAvery loud160 watts
Cooler Boost Mode
Maximum load on the processor and graphics card48.7 dBAvery loud174 watts
If the laptop is not loaded at all, then its cooling system still works in active mode, but the noise is very low, absolutely acceptable for any conditions. In the case of a very high load on the processor or on the video card, the noise from the cooling system is in principle tolerable, but quite distinct. The maximum load makes the cooling system work very loudly, it is unlikely that the user will like to stay for a long time near the laptop without isolating headphones. When choosing the Cooler Boost mode, the noise increases noticeably, but the consumption in the case of maximum load is much higher than when choosing the Auto mode, which indirectly indicates higher performance. In general, as expected, the cooling efficiency is achieved due to the high noise level.

Regarding the subjective perception of noise from a laptop under load, the opinions of the authors of the material diverged. Objectively, the noise has the character of a whistle (no roar or hum), it turns on sharply when the load is applied, sometimes it seems that the laptop is taking off, warming up the engines. One of the authors was annoyed by such noise after while fatigue arose, and ears began to ache. The second author is inclined to believe that the nature of the noise does not cause much irritation.

For a subjective assessment of the noise level, we use the following scale:

Noise level, dBASubjective assessment
Less than 20conditionally silent
20-25very quiet
25-30quiet
30–35clearly audible
35-40loud but tolerant
Above 40very loud
From 40 dBA and above, the noise, in our opinion, is very high, long-term work with a laptop is difficult, from 35 to 40 dBA the noise level is high, but tolerable, from 30 to 35 dBA the noise is clearly audible, from 25 to 30 dBA the noise from the system cooling will not stand out against the background of typical sounds surrounding the user in an office with several employees and working computers, somewhere from 20 to 25 dBA the laptop can be called very quiet, and below 20 dBA - relatively quiet. The scale, of course, is very arbitrary and does not take into account the individual characteristics of the user and the nature of the sound.

Performance



The laptop uses an 8-core (16-thread) Intel Core i9-9880H processor with a base frequency of 2.3 GHz and a maximum frequency of 4.8 GHz. The characteristics are very impressive, it is one of the most productive mobile Intel processors to date. At the same time, the TDP of the processor is 45 W, and as we saw when testing under load, in the long term, its consumption is limited to this value. Thus, typical high-end desktop processors are still unattainable. The situation can be improved by a very fast system drive (speed in typical tasks is to a considerable extent determined by the operations of reading from and writing to disk), so let's first evaluate the performance of this component.



Recall, the terabyte drive in this modification of the laptop is a RAID array of two very fast Samsung PM981 512 GB SSDs. These are NVMe drives installed in M.2 slots and connected to internal PCIe x4 ports. Even a single such SSD with a margin exceeds the needs of an ordinary user, combined in RAID 0, they confidently claim the title of champion. Linear read and write speeds are very high, around 3 GB / s. Obviously, MSI is not joking, arguing that the laptop is addressed to professionals who need maximum performance. Another question is how much you can notice the difference "by eye", without the "pasture" of uncompressed video. Of course, it feels like all disk operations are performed at lightning speed.

MSI P65 Creator 9SF Notebook

TestReference resultMSI P65 Creator 9SFAsus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581G
AutoCooler boost
Video Conversion, pointsone hundred7767
HandBrake 1.0.7, c119155145 (+ 7%)179
Rendering pointsone hundred8270
POV-Ray 3.7, c799692 (+ 4%)117
Blender 2.79, c105139132 (+ 5%)155
Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 (3D rendering), c104120141
Creation of video content, pointsone hundred7767
Magix Vegas Pro 15, c172225266
Magix Movie Edit Pro 2017 Premium v.16.01.25, c337435489
Digital photo processing, pointsone hundred10188
Adobe Photoshop CC 2018, c832861855 (+ 1%)972
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC 2018, c149141166
Archiving, pointsone hundred10185
WinRAR 5.50 (64-bit), c323328329 (+ 0%)380
7-Zip 18, c288280280 (+ 0%)341
Scientific calculations, pointsone hundred8775
LAMMPS 64-bit, c255278262 (+ 6%)327
NAMD 2.11, c136168158 (+ 6%)196
Mathworks Matlab R2017b, c768685 (+ 1%)98
Integral result excluding drive, pointsone hundred8775
WinRAR 5.50 (Store), c862229th
Data copying speed, c438.511.5
Integrated Storage result, pointsone hundred444333
Integral performance result, pointsone hundred142117
First of all, we note that we tested the MSI laptop with automatic cooler operation. As our testing under load showed, this mode is absolutely adequate for real tasks, and for switching on Cooler Boost (just in case) you have to pay too high a noise level. However, it is always interesting to see how much performance grows if the system does not have to avoid overheating. As tests have shown, in this case, you can count on an increase of up to 5% -7% in intensive multi-threaded computational problems (but of course, in other tests the growth can be zero).

Now let's talk about the general level. As we already mentioned, even top-end mobile processors find it difficult to compete with desktop ones when they are limited by power consumption. And yet, in this case, the attempt is very worthy: the total performance of the MSI P65 Creator 9SF in conditional processor tasks is 87% of the performance of a powerful desktop system with a 6-core and 95-watt Core i7-8700K! Of course, this is one of the best results of mobile systems. For comparison, the recently tested Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581G with Core i7-9750H has a total processor test score of 75. So, here the MSI laptop fully complies with the declared professional positioning.

If we take into account the tests focused on drive performance, then the MSI P65 Creator 9SF (as previously Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581G) is just a cut above our reference desktop system with the “usual SSD”. Any tasks that require active work with data on the disk are a pleasure to solve here.

Game testing


Although MSI does not call the P65 Creator 9SF a gaming laptop, looking at the discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card installed in it, we can draw conclusions on our own. Just make a reservation: the Max-Q version of the accelerator is installed here, so the performance will still be noticeably lower than that of the desktop GeForce RTX 2070. Recall: the idea of ​​Max-Q versions is not to “castrate” the base accelerator, but reduce its frequency and voltage to a certain level at which the optimum performance ratio per watt is achieved. So in this case, the GeForce RTX 2070 performed by Max-Q has exactly the same number of functional blocks as the desktop version, but the GPU frequency is much lower (1185 MHz in boost versus 1620 MHz), and also uses a slightly slower GDDR6 memory (1500 MHz base frequency versus 1750 MHz). But the amount of memory (8 GB) and the width of the bus to it (256 bits) are the same. The power consumption clearly hints at the difference in performance: on the desktop GeForce RTX 2070 it is 175 watts, and on the GeForce RTX 2070 in the Max-Q version - 80 watts.

However, in order not to refer you to the specifications and ratings, we, of course, conducted practical testing in a set of games from the iXBT Game Benchmark 2018 methodology with three different graphics quality options. Note that the laptop screen does not support 2560 × 1440 resolution (and there are no other options with the correct aspect ratio between 3840 × 2160 and 1920 × 1080), so we decided to abandon the intermediate resolution.

A game1920 × 1080, maximum quality1920 × 1080, medium quality1920 × 1080, low quality
World of Tanks 1.0135288533
Final Fantasy XV6789112
Far cry 589103116
Total War: Warhammer II32119152
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlandsfifty86119
A game3840 × 2160, maximum quality3840 × 2160, medium quality3840 × 2160, low quality
World of Tanks 1.044118201
Final Fantasy XV283245
Far cry 5333843
Total War: Warhammer II104049
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands2335fifty
As we saw above, the video accelerator, in this case, works with the declared parameters without overheating, so there is no decrease in frequencies and speed. At the same time, we used the automatic operation mode of coolers, not Cooler Boost.

The overall performance rating is as follows: the laptop copes well with modern games in Full HD with maximum graphics quality, while in the native 4K screen resolution it will be necessary to significantly reduce the settings. And given the fact that we are talking about a 15.6-inch screen, the first option seems much more reasonable.

If we compare the test results with what we saw with the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581G notebook, then the GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card in the Max-Q performance was expected to be slightly faster than the mobile GeForce RTX 2060: in older modes - by a few fps, in younger ones - by a dozen. It all depends on the specific situation: you won’t turn 30 fps into 60, but sometimes only a few fps can separate a conditionally jerky picture from a conditionally smooth one.

Conclusion



Based on the results of testing, we can confirm all the declared characteristics of the considered laptop. It is important at the same time that powerful components are not simply assembled here - a well-designed cooling system allows them to work under normal conditions without overheating, in accordance with their standard parameters. And the result is impressive: the linear speeds of RAID 0 from fast SSDs (Samsung PM981) are just off scale, the performance in professional applications, determined by the processor (Intel Core i9-9880H), is only slightly inferior to what you can get from a very powerful desktop, and a discrete graphics card (Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 by Max-Q) helps in professional applications and provides excellent gaming capabilities at least 1920 × 1080 with maximum graphics quality. Truth,



The laptop is not striking in its appearance, it is not an aggressive gaming machine, but something calm. For such a filling, the case is not at all heavy and not large. Here is an excellent 4K-screen, rich options for connecting additional monitors. The keyboard and touchpad are not without flaws, but they have their advantages. The fingerprint scanner is very convenient in practice. The laptop has a fairly capacious battery; in the typewriter mode, it can last almost a whole working day. Very loud built-in acoustics will drown out the cooler noise with the roar of shots and explosions in games. In our opinion, for the successful use of top-end components, the laptop deserves an award:

At the time of preparing the review, the modification MSI P65 Creator 9SF tested by us cost retail from 200 to 250 thousand rubles. Of course, it is very expensive. Of course, having moderated your needs a little, you can easily throw off the price of one hundred thousand (in fact, such a model is in the same MSI P65 Creator series). On the other hand, probably true professionals who make a lot of money with their work on a laptop will be happy to buy a top-end configuration. At least that's how marketers at MSI and other laptop manufacturers imagine the situation. We can say that, according to Yandex. Market, there are no other laptops with a similar configuration in the Russian market now, and close configurations cost somewhere under 200 thousand rubles, and the closer they are to the MSI P65 Creator 9SF, the closer they are price.

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