Gaming laptops are An ever-expanding variety, especially in 2022, when machines with powerful graphics cards go far beyond the traditional heavyweights with flickering RGB you might expect in the field. Curiously, the MSI Katana GF66 has been more solid in the past, though not necessarily badly.
This is a laptop designed for PC gamers who don’t want to shine for the highest quality materials and design and top performance. So there are some compromises that are acceptable. Perhaps the hardest thing to accept is that while Katana presents itself as a value proposition, the overall high price and lack of low-end GPU options limit the appeal of this laptop.
The MSI Katana GF66 model I tested wasn’t the most wallet-friendly model, with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H chip, a low-to-mid-range Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, 1 TB SSD, and 16 GB of RAM — for $1,399 ($1,399 GBP). There’s a small but notable difference between the UK model I tested, which has a faster 240-Hz display, and the US model, which both has a 144-Hz panel. Both are 15.6 inches, the Katana GF76 is the 17-inch version of this machine. If you’re looking for the cheapest option in this range, you can venture out for a model as low as $1,100 and get the RTX 3050, 512 GB SSD, and 8 GB RAM.
The Katana GF66 is definitely a step up from the previous model, and the new 12th-gen Intel chips are the biggest changes.You can easily break the 60 frames per second mark in graphically demanding titles such as borderlands 3, even more than 100 fps Ghost Recon: Breakpoint— All at 1080p Ultra settings.For fps fanatics, tested around 110 fps Apex Legends on the same settings. To take full advantage of the 240-Hz display, you must apply a lower medium setting and reduce the resolution to 720p. The 144-Hz model available in the US should allow maximum frame rates at medium settings at 1080p.
Comparing these results to our favorite budget gaming laptops from last year, the Acer Nitro 5 (also with the RTX 3060) offered a 10% to 25% boost.Frame rate-centric titles saw the biggest difference, with top notch A similar frame is available at 1080p Ultra, which is available at the 1080p Low setting on comparable models.
There’s little to complain about in performance, as are some key performance neighbors. Even if this laptop does kick in, the fans aren’t overly intrusive, and it never overheats to the touch, though. Solid performance is matched by a powerful display. Okay, it doesn’t bring out terribly vibrant colors, but the 1080p resolution provides decent detail, and it’s fairly bright for a gaming laptop — it can handle most indoor conditions, but you won’t be using it outdoors — — and the 240-Hz panel for a pleasingly smooth gaming experience in all games.