MSI DELTA 15 – AMD ADVANTAGE Edition Gaming Laptop tested

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The MSI Delta 15 is the first gaming laptop that comes equipped with the Radeon RX 6700M, a mobile version of the desktop graphics card that we recently reviewed. That being said, MSI is the only brand that made their AMD ADVANTAGE Edition laptop available in the Philippine market as other brands didn’t have stock or didn’t plan to have it on stock locally at the time of writing. We are very interested to see what AMD has done to their brand partners that will make their ADVANTAGE Edition Gaming laptops stand out from the plethora of available gaming laptop systems in 2021.

SPECIFICATIONS

Our MSI Delta 15 is a retail unit available in MSI’s authorized retailers and it has an 8-core Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, 16gigs of memory, and a 15.6″ 1080p 240hz screen.

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
GPURadeon RX 6700M 10GB
Display15.6″ FHD 240hz
Memory2x8GB DDR4 3200mhz
Storage1TB PCIe Gen3 M.2 SSD
Battery4 cell, 82Whr

A closer look

The laptop comes in an all-aluminum body in a grey metal finish with smooth edges. It is a very thin gaming laptop that felt solid during normal use. The keyboard it uses has per-key RGB lighting and MSI ditched the SteelSeries software on this one in favor of their own MSI Center app which is a unified application that allows you to install individual modules that you require, in this case for controlling the RGB, MSI Mystic Light.

Weighing at only less than 2kg, but around 2.8kg with its 240watt power brick, we can definitely say that the MSI Delta 15 will be a comfortable carry-on gaming laptop whenever you’re on the go.

This particular of the MSI Delta 15 that is available in the Philippines has a 1080p 240hz screen with FreeSync. As validated by other reviewers, the screen has a decent color gamut and pretty average brightness being able to get above 300 nits at maximum brightness. My personal experience with this screen, however, is more than satisfactory as we are able to have a fluid gaming experience especially with first-person shooter games on our tests.

Above the screen, you will be able to find a 720p camera, but without Windows Hello support. It’s pretty average and quality is useable for normal video conferencing needs.

For the I/O, the left side has the laptop’s power input, USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C port, USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A port, Audio combo jack, and charging indicator. On the right side, you have a second USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A Port, USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C port with DisplayPort output capability, HDMI 2.0 output, and a Kensington lock.

Left side of the chassis
Right side of the chassis
Chassis thickness in a nutshell

This laptop has a good selection of ports and having a dual display output (via HDMI and USB-C) is a huge plus especially for those thinking of having a desktop-style laptop setup at home. The only downside that I see in this I/O selection is the lack of LAN/Ethernet port but the internal Wifi6E card is good enough if your internet network can maximize it. Its thin profile is also a huge plus since it will be easy to carry around in a backpack without effort if you have to lug your machine around.

AMD ADVANTAGE Edition features

Being an AMD ADVANTAGE Edition gaming laptop, the MSI Delta 15 enjoys the plethora of features that exclusively comes with and AMD CPU + Radeon GPU systems. In the performance testing that comes in the latter part of this review, we’ll find that the laptop is fast in every task. We also experienced more than satisfactory gaming performance while keeping the hardware temperatures low. AMD ADVANTAGE promises a few things: Amplified Performance in gaming and other tasks, fluid, and vibrant displays, and a desktop experience that can be at par with Intel + NVIDIA systems.

Because this is an AMD Ryzen + Radeon GPU system, MSI was able to implement AMD Smartshift on this laptop that dynamically shifts power between the CPU and GPU to help boost gaming or content creation performance. This is done automatically and works out of the box so users won’t have to tinker with settings on their own.

AMD Smart Access Memory is also available and can be taken advantage by the games that support them. Select game titles will have more performance boost in DirectX Ray Tracing and Variable Rate Shading as the Ryzen 5900HX can have full access to the Radeon RX 6700M GPU’s onboard memory.

Cooling System

The MSI Delta 15 uses the same type of cooling system as other flagship laptops of MSI. The brand has been well known for their exceptional thermal performance and the newly redesigned Cooler Boost 5 with thinner Heatpipe walls maximizes thermal dissipation.

Performance Testing

The Laptop was tested using the EXTREME Preset in MSI Center that will allow our CPU and GPU to push high clock speeds with a higher power limit. Cooler Boost was also turned on to give the best-case scenario in our performance testing.

3DMark Time Spy

Kicking off our performance testing, we decided to use an automated benchmark from 3DMark, Time Spy. This is a DX12 test that simulates a gaming load that both saturates GPU and CPU in their respective benchmark runs. We use this test to see the frequency response and temperatures of the hardware being evaluated. This will also provide comparison data with other hardware that’s been tested with Time Spy.

In this synthetic benchmark, the MSI Delta 15 was able to achieve a good average score which puts it up in the same league as similarly spec’d out laptops. Giving a closer look at the results of the benchmark though, we are able to see how each hardware responded in this simulated gaming test.

The Ryzen 9 5900HX clock speeds were able to peak at around 4.3-4.4ghz but topped off at a toasty 96.38°C. It may be alarming to some users but generally, laptops tend to get hotter than their desktop counterparts but here we can see the effectiveness of the Cooler Boost 5 system of the MSI Delta 15. The CPU clock speeds didn’t see any thermal throttling and were able to maintain a steady 4.3ghz throughout the CPU-focused renders.

The Radeon RX 6700M on the other hand was able to maintain its sub 2.0ghz clock speeds topping off at 1950mhz while maintaining an 80-81°C temperature. This is pretty good given that the RX 6700M shows it’s 7nm architecture advantage in terms of efficiency.

Cinebench R23

In Cinebench R23, the Ryzen 9 5900HX gave out a pretty impressive multi-core score at around 12749 points which put it in the same league as the desktop 8-core Ryzen processors. Single-core points however are still in the middle-of-the-pack performance as it barely beat out the quad-core Intel laptop offerings at 1494 points.

Gaming Tests

In Rainbow Six Siege (Vulkan), a popular esports title where frame performance could improve your competitive advantage, we were able to get an average of 233 FPS and a max of 295 FPS using the Ultra Settings. This is a very good result as this is one of the games that can take advantage of the MSI Delta 15’s fast 240hz screen. The gaming experience is extremely satisfying and this is one of the few gaming laptops that give us above 200 FPS fluid experience and excellent response times thanks to the FreeSync panel.

FSR Testing

Far Cry 6 is one of the few games in the market right now that utilizes AMD’s upscaling technology FSR, which boosts game frame rates without sacrificing image quality.

Here we can see a healthy FPS boost in Ultra Graphics settings with FSR set on Quality mode.

Far Cry 6 – FSR OFF
Far Cry 6 – FSR ON

STORAGE PERFORMANCE

The SSD that comes with this laptop is a Micron 2210 QLC SSD with 1TB of storage. It is a PCIe Gen 3 SSD that gives around 2200mb/s read performance and around 1900mb/s write. Honestly, this choice of SSD given it’s read/write performance is somewhat mediocre. MSI could’ve topped off this performance test with a PCIe Gen 4 SSD but we think this is a corner-cutting move to keep the laptop’s price reasonable. To some users, this will be a non-issue but we feel that they could’ve at least put a faster storage drive in this laptop.

Final thoughts

One of the things I didn’t like is that it has a flipped motherboard which makes upgrading the laptop’s ram and storage on your own difficult. Another thing is that it only comes with a PCIe Gen 3 SSD which was a missed opportunity here. But Having a PCIe Gen 4 SSD could’ve made the laptop pricier. The screen is pretty decent and you get an enthusiast gaming experience with its 240hz screen. The fast memory out of the box also helps the Ryzen processor boost its performance. There is not much to dislike about this gaming laptop and in fact, if I were to buy a laptop right now, this is definitely going to be one of my top choices for gaming purposes and it’s worthy of our Editor’s Choice award.

PROS

  • Fast Ryzen CPU and Radeon GPU
  • Decent thermal system, no thermal throttling introduced even in intensive gaming
  • Snappy 240hz screen
  • Decent Battery life
  • Fairly portable thanks to it’s low weight and slim form factor
  • No bloatware

CONS

  • No LAN/Ethernet Port
  • Flipped motherboard which will make upgrading/teardown much more difficult
  • Comes with PCIe Gen 3 SSD storage. Could’ve been PCIe Gen 4.

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