MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS review

The MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS brings power at a price

The MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS gaming laptop on a table
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS is a competent refresh, making good use of its high-end specs for consistently strong performance. However, thanks to a steep asking price and lengthy recharge times, it’s not an essential recommendation.


  • +

    Strong gaming performance

  • +

    Ergonomic design

  • +

    Comfortable to use

  • +

    High-spec hardware


  • -

    Extremely noisy fans

  • -

    The battery takes ages to charge

  • -

    Expensive, even for a gaming laptop

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 MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS: Two-Minute Review

The MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS marks another solid refresh from MSI. Retaining that sleek black metal design and slimline chassis seen in older Stealth models, the 12U series has undergone a substantial upgrade. but it comes at a cost. The 12UGS variant is an incredibly expensive choice for gaming laptops, though for sheer performance power, we rarely found ourselves wanting during this review. 

For starters, 12UGS  packs a stronger performance than its predecessors, which include the MSI GS66 Stealth and MSI Stealth 15M. MSI’s moved away from the previous Intel i7 processors, equipping each 12U model with an Intel Alder Lake i9 processor, 2TB of SSD storage, 32GB RAM and, for the 12UGS specifically, an Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti. Needless to say, it’s pretty beefy where gaming laptops are concerned.

There’s no denying you’ll find cheaper gaming laptops elsewhere, but the Stealth GS66 12UGS targets those seeking the highest performance from PC games. It’s pretty easy to carry around too, fitting these impressive specs into a compact package that never felt restrictive. The RGB keyboard was comfortable to use, there’s a nice wide trackpad, and ports are conveniently placed without going overboard. 

Just be warned, it gets loud, and after prolonged gaming sessions on higher settings, it started getting hot. Take care when using this but if you’ve got the money, you’ll get good use out of the 12UGS, especially if you're happy to plug in a headset if things get too noisy. Still, given the stronger battery life this laptop brings, anyone seeking a new portable gaming device should consider the MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS. 

 MSI Vector GP66: price and availability 

  • How much does it cost?  Starting at $2,499 (£3,099 / AU$3,459) 
  • When is it out?  MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS is available now 
  • Where is it available?  You can buy it in the US, and UK
Spec sheet

Here is the MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

CPU: Intel 12th Generation Core i9-12900H 2.90GHz
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 8GB GDDR6
RAM: 32GB (2x 16GB) DDR5-4800
Screen: 15.6" QHD (2560x1440) at 240Hz, FHD (1920x1080)
at 360Hz, 15.6" UHD (3840x2160) at 120Hz
Storage: 2TB NVMe PCIe Gen4x4 SSD
Optical drive: NA
Ports: 2x Type-C (USB3.2 Gen2 / DP), 1x Type-C (USB / DP /
Thunderbolt™ 4) with PD charging, 2x Type-A USB3.2 Gen2, 1x RJ45, 1x (8K @ 60Hz / 4K @ 120Hz) HDMI
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E / Bluetooth 5.2
Camera: IR HD type (30fps@720p)
Weight: 4.6 pounds (2.1 kg)
Size: 14.1 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches (35.83 x 24.8 x 1.98 cm ) 

The MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS is available in the US, UK, and other regions worldwide, costing $2,499 (£3,099 / AU$3,459). However, while MSI Stealth laptops are readily available, we couldn’t find this specific version being sold in Australia. 

Even by premium standards, that’s extremely pricey, yet less expensive than competitors like the Razer Blade 15 (2022) or Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021).

That’s not surprising given how expensive gaming laptops can be, but you do get plenty for your money here so we would hesitate to claim it's overpriced. This particular model comes equipped with an Intel Core i9-12900H 2.90GHz, an Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti GPU, 32GB of DDR5-4800 RAM, a UHD 4K display at 120Hz (with varying display options), and 2TB NVMe PCIe Gen4x4 SSD, after all. 

You can find MSI Stealth GS66 12UHS and 12UH models too, which respectively include an Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3080 GPU instead. But that’s the only real change between them, so pricing otherwise remains very similar. 

The MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS with it's display half open

The MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS has a compact design that folds away nicely (Image credit: Future)
  • Score: 3.5/5

MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS: Design 

  • Ergonomic design
  • Easy to carry around  
  • Plenty of ports 

For a gaming laptop packing this much power, the 12UGS’s elegant design served us well for day-to-day activities. Thanks to the smaller chassis and polished black metal design, the 12UGS has a solid build quality to it. 

It’s not too heavy or big, making it easy to carry around in a travel bag, and felt nice to hold. Admittedly, the RGB keyboard lighting doesn’t feel entirely necessary, but we appreciated the colorful splash this provided to an otherwise dark aesthetic. 

It doesn’t feel cheap in any sense, and the ports are well placed. On the right side, there’s an audio jack, a USB 3.0 port, two type-c cable ports, and an ethernet port. On the left, there’s another USB 3.0 and type-c port, alongside an HDMI port capable of outputting 8K at 60Hz, or 4K at 120Hz. 

It felt like enough options without going overboard, and there’s no ports round the back or in any awkward positions so if you’re planning on getting connected, the 12UGS will get the job done fine.

Thinking of that HDMI port, we tried hooking this up to a LG Nanocell 86 using a HDMI 2.1 cable, a TV that supports up to 120Hz refresh rate. We came away impressed by the output quality here. It helps give the 12UGS suitable flexibility you’d expect from a gaming laptop, should you ever want to play off a bigger screen.

Otherwise, the in-built display was suitably specced. The MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS can run UHD at 4K resolution with 120Hz, 1440p at 240Hz, or 1080p at 360Hz. You won’t find many games which currently hit 4k and 120fps, but the image quality looked pretty sharp.

Sadly, this laptop doesn’t support HDR outside video streaming, so games lack that finer depth in colors. It’s unfortunate but even without it, there’s still a strong display here, one that holds up nicely against direct sunlight.

Like many laptops, this one’s also packing a built-in webcam above the display, though there’s no privacy flap and, considering what the 12UGS offers elsewhere, it’s surprisingly low spec too. This webcam’s capable of hitting 30fps at 720p resolution, so it’s sufficient for standard video calls or conferencing but if you’re someone looking to stream on Twitch with this camera, you’d be better off picking up a dedicated webcam

The ports located on the right-hand side of the MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS

The MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS is packed with plenty of ports to help you stay connected (Image credit: Future)
  • Score: 4.5/5

 MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS: Performance 

  • Runs exceptionally well 
  • Gets especially loud and hot

Here’s how the MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Night Raid: 34609; Fire Strike: 22292; Time Spy: 9732; Port Royal: 5968.
Cinebench R23 single core: 1764 points
Cinebench R23 Multi-core: 14251 points
GeekBench 5: 1716 (single-core); 10770 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 7623 points
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 5 hours and 10 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 5 hours and 28 minutes
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra): 61fps; (1080p,
Low): 134 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra): 85 fps; (1080p, Low): 114 fps
Dirt 5 (1080p, Ultra): 75 fps; (1080p, Low): 124 fps 

Starting with the basics, this keyboard felt suitably comfortable to use when typing away. If all you’re searching for is a laptop for day-to-day admin, there isn’t much extra the MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS can offer here, unless you really like RGB lighting. At 14.5cm wide, a sizeable trackpad also works nicely, even if we ultimately preferred using a wireless mouse. 

For pure power, we tested this laptop between Dirt 5, Cyberpunk 2077, and Total War: Warhammer 3. Thankfully, the Stealth GS66 12UGS consistently hit over 60fps, even on ultra settings. It doesn’t always compare favorably to other competitors, hitting a lower FPS count on Warhammer III to the Razer Blade 15. But, if you’re after a high-quality machine for games like Cyberpunk, ultra graphical settings tested more favorably. 

Unfortunately, it consistently fared worse than Razer’s option during our 3DMark tests, despite those mixed benchmarks. While we didn’t test Port Royal on the other machine, Night Raid came in at 34609 even after multiple tests, a shocking 18k lower than the Blade 15. Firestrike was much closer, only 2k off at 22292, while Time Spy closed this gap even further, hitting 9732 for a nearly 1k difference. 

Both laptops are using the same Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti, but considering the Blade 15 uses an Intel i7 processor instead, this was surprising. Still, MSI’s latest is no slouch and it’s backed up by some high-quality speakers, which provided clear audio when playing games or just listening to Spotify. 

There is one major caveat, unfortunately - given the small space these components are packed into, the 12UGS fans get loud, and hot so try to ensure your location is well ventilated when in use. 

The side ports on the MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS

Plenty of ports for all your extras  (Image credit: Future)
  • Score: 3.5/5

MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS: Battery life 

  • Terrible battery life 
  • Slow charging 

For a powerful laptop, the MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS contains an appropriate 99.9Wh battery, the heftiest size MSI can legally get away with. Testing confirmed this battery holds up well, not as well as the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 admittedly, but well. Unfortunately, this comes with the unsurprising trade-off of a long charge time.

Upon carrying out our PCMark 10 battery life test, we found the MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS holds a significant charge, lasting 5 hours and 10 minutes. The movie test did slightly better, but not by much, lasting 5 hours and 28 minutes instead. 

It compares very favorably to the Razer Blade 15. That came in at nearly half the length on both benchmarks, despite both gaming laptops using 12th-gen Intel chips. Naturally, this won’t last nearly as long once you start gaming, especially on higher settings, so keep it plugged in if possible.

  • Score: 4/5

The keyboard of the MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Strong battery life  
You’ll need some time to charge it, but once the MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS is at 100%, this holds on for quite a while. It’ll be a good few hours before you need to plug it in again, perfect when traveling about. 

Strong performance when gaming
Across our benchmark testing, the MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS consistently achieved above 60 fps when playing on ultra settings. Mixed with the high display refresh rate, you’ve got a solid pick for competitive gaming 

Ergonomic design
Despite the high-end specs, MSI’s latest felt refined in its design. It’s not bulky, can easily be carried around, and feels adaptable. 

Don't buy it if...

You want a quieter machine
Given its specs, the MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS is an unsurprisingly loud laptop. Even when doing general tasks, it can occasionally sound like a plane taking off. You can always plug in some headphones, but it can become distracting. 

You need a more affordable laptop
You’ll only need a gaming laptop like this if nothing but the portable best will do. Such high performance is extremely costly, so unless you’re playing competitive multiplayer - and you’ve got a high budget - you can get away with cheaper options 

You want the full 4K experience
Despite boasting a 120Hz display for Ultra HD at a 4K resolution, the MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS’s HDR omission beyond video streaming is disappointing. There’s still a sharp display on offer, but games miss out on those richer colors. 

Also consider:


Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021)
The Gigabyte Aorus 17G comes in a little heavier than you might hope for a laptop, but that’s compensated for by powerful performance, a 300Hz refresh rate, and an impressive battery life.

Read the full Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021) review 


Razer Blade 15 (2022)
The Razer Blade 15 has plenty to offer against the MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS. Its classic Razer design and stylish MacBook-esque appearance are difficult to beat, provided you can stomach the price. 

Check out our Razer Blade 15 (2022) review 


Asus ROG Zephyrus G15
Not only is the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 stylish, it packs some strong specs, a high battery life and affordable pricing, hitting all the marks you could realistically hope for. 

Check out our Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 review 

First reviewed June 2022

Henry Stockdale

Henry is a freelance writer based in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. When he's not wandering in VR or burning through his RPG backlog, he's probably planning his next D&D session.