MSI Pulse GL66 (2022): One minute review
The MSI Pulse GL66 (2022) is a nice gaming laptop that lets you play the latest games, stream movies and get your work done.
Whether you want to test your patience with Elden Ring or get freaky in CyberPunk 2077, the MSI Pulse GL66 will do the job with ease. The model we tested had a 12th Gen Intel Core i7, but the latest GL66 models can include the latest 12th Gen Core i9 CPU for amazing processing power.
The laptop features NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3000 Series GPUs, which utilize NVIDIA’s 2nd Gen RTX architecture with exceptional ray tracing capabilities and NVIDIA’s DLSS resolution upscaling technology to provide super-fast frame rates, albeit at a lesser rate than the more powerful graphics cards. in the best gaming PCs.
The Pulse GL66 has a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080p, and while it’s not the sharpest resolution available, it’s pretty much the gaming standard for the best budget gaming laptops to the higher-midrange gaming laptops right now.
The Pulse GL66 features Hi-Res Audio reproduction capabilities in combination with Nahimic’s “in-game 3D surround sound”, according to MSI. The Pulse GL66 reproduces audio with excellent quality if you listen with your headset or connected to an external audio system. The headset’s audio output quality is fantastic, but the laptop’s built-in speaker quality is average at best, although they’re fine for things like video conferencing and the like.
Overall, the MSI Pulse GL66 (2022) is a good value for a gaming laptop. It has strong processing capabilities and easily accepts peripherals such as monitors, gaming mice and speakers. It can get a bit noisy when gaming when the cooling fans kick in, and it’s a bit heavy to carry when you’re out and about, but a slim form factor on a gaming laptop is a very premium feature these days, so this is an unavoidable trade-off for a valuable item. We wish the battery was better, but the Pulse GL66 is still a solid device, especially for those on a tighter budget.
MSI Pulse GL66 (2022): Price and Availability
- How much is it? Starting at $1,599 (about £1,360 / AU$2,300),
- When is it out? It’s available now
- Where can you get it? Available in US, UK and Australia
MSI Pulse GL66 (2022) Key specs:
Here is the MSI pulse GL66 (2022) configuration sent to Ditching for review:
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-12700H
Graphic: Nvidia RTX 3070
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Screen: 15.6″ FHD 1920 x 1080p, 144hz
Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
Ports: 2 x USB-A 3.2, 1 x USB-A 2.0, 1 x USB-C, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x RJ45 Ethernet, 1 x 3.5mm audio
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Camera: 720p HD
Weight: 4.96 pounds | 2.25 kg
Dimension (W x D x H): 14.13 x 10.20 x 0.94 in | 359 x 259 x 29mm
The MSI Pulse GL66 is a good gaming laptop for the money and performed well on our performance benchmarks. However, it has some issues worth considering. With a starting price of $1,599, it’s a good choice for gaming, but there may be better choices on the market if you have the cash to spare.
But at the current price you’re looking at some pretty solid value with the Pulse GL66, something we’re happy to see MSI correct from the model in our MSI Pulse GL66 review from last year.
You could wait for the prices of the best 4K laptops to drop if you’re looking for the best mobile workstations for content creation, but if you need to play the latest games right now, the Pulse GL66 should definitely be on your shortlist. .
MSI Pulse GL66 (2022): Design
- Decent number of ports, except for just one video port
- Single Zone RGB Lighting
Featuring a plastic/aluminium chassis designed by renowned Belgian artist Maarten Verhoeven, the MSI Pulse GL66 gaming laptop is generally pleasing to the eye while all components are very well housed. There is ample ventilation through the vents on the left, back and bottom of the laptop.
There’s a nearly full keyboard built into the Pulse GL66, and the keyboard has single-zone RGB lighting incorporated into the keyboard, so this is great in low-light environments. There will be people who will grumble about the “softness” of the keys, but we haven’t had a problem. There isn’t a noticeable “bump” that some people would like, but the keys are soft, quiet and work great.
The screen measures 15.6 inches with a maximum refresh rate of 144 Hz and the thin bezels of the screen ensure a good screen-to-body ratio.
Weighing in at around five pounds, the Pulse GL66 is somewhat cumbersome to carry around, but it’s not the heaviest laptop.
The Pulse GL66 comes with the MSI Center application that allows you to program the RGB lighting of the keyboard and turn off the RGB lighting. If you like RGB lighting, you can choose the color of your keyboard and choose different effects. While RGB lighting looks great, it’s a significant drain on battery life, and battery life for the Pulse 66 isn’t great (more on that later), so controlling this feature is important.
The Pulse GL66 comes with three USB-A (2-USB 3.0 / 1-USB 2.0) ports, one USB-C port, an HDMI port, and an RJ-45 Ethernet port. This means you don’t have to succumb to the torture of finding dongles when you go out, but the downside is that the USB-C port doesn’t support power transfer or video. The only video port is the HDMI, but it can still power a 4K display at 60fps.
The Pulse 66 comes with the MSI Center and MSI APP Player applications pre-installed, but otherwise has fairly minimal bloatware. The laptop sports a slim 150W power supply to round out the package. In general, your default options are all included.
MSI Pulse GL66 (2022): Performance
- Solid gaming/audio performance
- Only one video port
- Some fan noise/heat issues
Here’s how the MSI pulse GL66 (2022) performed in our series of benchmark tests:
Cinebench R23 Multicore: 14,883
3DMark fire attack: 22.257; Night robbery: 25,573
Geek Bench 5: 1,758 (single wire); 10,927 (multicore)
Battery life (Slice Mag movie test): 3:26
Total War: Warhammer III: 203 fps (1080p, low); 75 fps (1080p, ultra)
Cyberpunk 2077: 115 fps (1080p, low); 66 fps (1080p, ultra)
dirty 5: 141 fps (1080p, low); 70 fps (1080p, ultra)
The MSI Pulse GL66 Gaming Laptop is a good laptop for gaming. There are a few issues that seem puzzling. The display’s 1080p resolution works fine and the HDMI port displays 4K@60fps, but it would have been nice if MSI had upgraded the USB-C port to a true Thunderbolt port or at least video support on had enabled the USB-C port.
The model we tested had a single USB-C port that didn’t support video. Since users often use a video port to display the desktop on a larger screen, the lack of a second video port is definitely noticeable. It wouldn’t have been that hard to include a Thunderbolt port given the size of the laptop.
The Hi-Res Audio performs admirably when you’re gaming on a gaming headset or using speakers. The Nahimic program offers flexibility, including “3D audio” in your audio options. You can really feel the difference when you’re gaming.
The computer performs well in most conditions. The GPU powers the best PC games at high frame rates and the benchmark scores are solid. The bloatware is minimal and computing is mostly quiet, at least when you’re not gaming. If you are, you’ll hear the fans roar outright and the computer can get hot, but the noise and heat are usually within expectations of even the best gaming laptops.
MSI Pulse GL66 (2022): Battery Life
- [Is the battery life better or worse than rivals in its class?]
- [How fast does the laptop charge to full from a dead battery?]
The MSI Pulse 66 has some really cool features, but the battery life is mediocre. In addition to the hefty, power-guzzling hardware, the Cooler Boost 5 mechanisms and RGB lighting drain the battery pretty quickly.
You can extend battery life by turning off RGB lighting in the MSI Center application, but with RGB lighting enabled, we had a battery benchmark test run of 3 hours 26 minutes on a full charge.
Should you buy an MSI Pulse GL66 (2022)?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
MSI Pulse GL66 (2022): Report Card
|Where the||The MSI Pulse GL66 is a decent value for the specs, but there may be better options out there, especially if you’re willing to pay a little more.||3.5 / 5|
|Design||Its sleek design and RGB lighting give it a fantastic aesthetic appeal.||4 / 5|
|Performance||The processing power enables the latest games with ray tracing and Hi-Res audio. The screen resolution could be better, but the graphics look great.||4 / 5|
|Battery life||The battery life is definitely average for a gaming laptop.||3 / 5|
|Total||While not without compromises, the Pulse GL66 (2022) is a great value if you’re looking for gaming on a smaller budget.||3.7 / 5|
- First reviewed in September 2022
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