MSI Prestige PS63 Modern 8RC - Skinny, but magically strong - Stuff

MSI Prestige PS63 Modern 8RC – Skinny, but magically strong

Laying hands on the MSI Prestige PS63 Modern is like bumping into a friend from high school who has completely reinvented themselves. The same person is in front of you, but they’re almost unrecognisable. Hopefully in a good way, like the PS63’s aesthetic makeover. A coarse-textured casing in carbon grey and blue? Teeny bezels and a bright, clear display? Hello there, familiar stranger.

Designed for design

MSI’s primarily known for its gaming machines so the Prestige PS63’s mere existence is noteworthy. The light 1.6kg frame puts this machine in Mac-bothering territory, and the generous specifications make its advertised functions – high-end video and image editing – a breeze, resource-wise. You’re gonna have to supply your own skills, though. The PS63’s design is also perfect for plonking down on a coffee shop table while you get your beret just so – which isn’t something you can say about MSI’s other neon-infused product lines.

Words can’t convey just how light and tough this 15in notebook actually is. Numbers probably can (see: 1.6kg weight). The chassis is stronger than you’d guess from a notebook like this, and most of the other design choices are spot-on. There’s a satisfying low-profile keyboard that’ll let you get your type on, and the large trackpad is also a welcome addition. Though, if you’re a designer or an editor, you may have a preferred human interface device. The trackpad doesn’t want to replace your real dad, it’s just happy that you’re willing to interact with it as well.

MSI’s typical focus on strong hardware design, high-end chassis materials and even port layout is present throughout. We may spend too much time around too many notebook computers. Moving on…

Is this thing on?

It’s the internals that are (always) the star of the show. A Core i7-8565U drove our review model, along with 16GB of RAM and a GTX 1050 GPU. Those specs will take your video or image editing to new heights, but they also give this setup some undercover gaming chops. Ever wanted to rock some Fortnite or Rocket League during the weekly meeting? The Prestige can help. Just don’t get caught, yeah? Like design ability, knowing how to stealth-game during a staff meeting is something you have to supply yourself.

Peer even closer at the innards and you’ll see a few more gaming fruits than you’d expect. MSI’s Cooler Boost 3 Tech has been repurposed here, as has its overclocking software. The result is a great grey Creator Center for software tweaks on the fly (including profiles for the best in editing software — in much the same way the overclocking suite features gaming profiles) and some of the quietest operation you’ll ever encounter. There’s a heat-spot in the keyboard vicinity but fan noise? Nada. Which is actually a little disconcerting at first but it suited us just fine by the end of the test phase.

(Micro)Star Performance

Though there’s a price to pay for silence. We ran MSI’s PS63 through a collection of gaming tests and never once managed to get intrusive fan noise from the machine. Noise control is top-notch, but it does mean that the Prestige actually is far more an office machine.

The extra cooling systems that would allow for higher-end game performance aren’t present. Nor is the GPU, if we’re being technical. There’s a significant heat-spot above the keyboard, where much of the cooling happens, but you’ll hardly notice. Warmth never reaches down as far as the trackpad and only heats up the upper row of keys when the machine’s under heavy load. It’ll be fine, though. You won’t worry about your new office machine melting at any point.

And that’s because the GTX 1050 is an entry-level gaming card. Not exactly the powerlifter of the graphics family, that one is. You should be able to run the greatest hits of the past four or five years, though you’ll have to drop graphics levels to get to a playable frame rate. We’re counting 24fps as playable — which, before you argue, isn’t ideal but you can’t expect to run much at 60fps. Maybe Skyrim (without mods) for the umpteenth time, or other lower-resource titles. But if you’re hoping for high-end Battlefield V or Call of Duty: Black Ops IV on this little wonder, you’re out of luck. Which is fine. It’s an office machine. It just happens to play games as well.

MSI Prestige PS63 Modern 8RC Verdict

It’s tough to describe any notebook as an all-rounder, but MSI’s Prestige PS63 might just make the cut. It’s light, fast, game-capable, versatile (in spheres beyond gaming and media consumption), and stylish. It’ll make it for a few hours away from a wall socket (longer if you’re not playing games), and the standby time is great as well. Not that you’ll keep your hands off this one for long enough for standby time to be a factor. And it’s cheaper than a MacBook, by a fair margin. Build quality is rugged enough that it’ll last some time in your possession — unless your idea of fun is to drown computers. Don’t do that. You really should be nicer to MSI’s contender for your next office notebook.

TECH SPECS (MSI Prestige PS63 8RC)
Display 15.6in Full HD IPS
CPU Intel Core i7-8565U
RAM 16GB DDR4
GPU Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 4GB
Storage 512GB NVME SSD
OS Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Battery 83Wh
Connectivity 3x USB-A, 1x USB-C, 3.5mm audio out
Dimensions 356.8 x 233.7 x 15.9mm

Good

  • Looks mighty stylish for an MSI notebook
  • Light as a 1.6kg feather
  • Still gaming-capable
  • How quiet is this thing? Super.

Bad

  • Heat might be concerning for some
  • Not quite the all-rounder we'd like
  • Prioritises noise reduction over performance
8.8

Great

Stuff South Africa's online editor and print assistant editor, Brett Venter has churned out more words on more titles than most journalists will in a career. He's kind of shy.

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