Review Of MSI Katana GF66 11UE Laptop

Review Of MSI Katana GF66 11UE Laptop

With The Core I7-11800H Processor, RTX 3060 Graphics And 144Hz Display, The MSI Katana GF66 Laptop Is A Worthwhile Option In The Mid-Range Price Range.

MSI Katana GF66 11UE, The name MSI is intertwined with computer games; Many people know this brand with its giant gaming laptops, graphics cards and motherboards. MSI gaming laptops come in various models; Gamers looking for the best usually go for the costly GT Titan series, which incorporates the most potent components into its massive body. Those who want the lightest and slimmest get a model from the GS Stealth series.

The mid-range MSI gaming laptops, which offer powerful hardware at a relatively affordable price and do not weigh too much, include products such as the GE Raider or Katana. These laptops may not have some of the exciting features of the Titan series, such as the advanced four-fan cooling system or the slimness and lightness of the Stealth series. However, they can still be counted as laptops suitable for a variety of computer games.

The Katana GF66 11UE is one of the latest MSI products in the Katana series, featuring an 11th-generation Intel Core i7-11800H processor and Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics, with a 144Hz display. Can this laptop be an excellent option to buy in the price range of about 40 million tomans? Check out the Katana GF66 MSI laptop.

Design and build quality

Apart from the plastic on the laptop’s bottom and the edges around the screen, the rest of the Katana is metal. Unlike what we might expect from gaming laptops, the Katana has a minimalist, simple look and glows like RGB lighting. The new MSI laptop has a high build quality and a solid tablet body.

On the back of the MSI Katana GF66 11UE laptop

The Katana laptop door can open with one hand; Of course, this is due more to the lightweight of 2.25 kg of the device rather than to the optimality of the hinge. Katana hinges are located on both sides of the screen and have good strength. On the other hand, the screen itself has excellent resistance to bending and twisting due to its location inside the metal frame.

Multitasking with MSI Katana GF66 11UE laptop

The Katana Gaming Laptop uses a 15.6-inch display with only a 5mm bezel on the sides. MSI puts the image-to-body ratio at more than 81 per cent; Of course, due to the 16: 9 aspect ratio, the device’s bottom edge is a bit thick. MSI designers have placed the updated logo of the company on the top advantage of the CKThickness of MSI Katana GF66 11UE laptop

The black body of the Catana does not show many fingerprints and stains, and the combination of its colour with the red lighting of the keyboard gives a beautiful effect to the device. In the following, we will talk more about the keyboard, the arrangement of the keys and the trackpad. Under the laptop, honeycomb-like lattice vents appear, MSI‌ says. The design is inspired by Tsuba, a component of Japanese swords, and accelerates airflow from under the computer.

Under the MSI Katana GF66 11UE laptop

Under the Katana laptop, there are relatively thick bases that hold the device slightly above the table surface so that there is no problem with airflow and the cooling process of the parts.

Keyboards, trackpads and ports

The Katana Laptop Keyboard has keys with an island layout, convenient spacing and an excellent 1.7 mm depth of field. This keyboard even provides you with separate number keys. The keys have excellent feedback and give a satisfying typing experience. Perhaps the only downside to the key layout is the Enter key next to the right arrow key, which sometimes causes errors.

MSI Katana GF66 11UE laptop keyboard

As mentioned earlier in the design section, there is no RGB lighting on the Katana laptop. In addition to the design section, the same applies to the keyboard backlight. Allows you to change the light intensity.

The Katana laptop has a relatively large trackpad and, thanks to Microsoft Precision drivers, accurately tracks the user’s finger movement and supports Windows gestures. Finger movement is smooth on the trackpad’s surface, and the left / right click also has good feedback; However, users of gaming laptops rarely go to the trackpad!

The right ports of the MSI Katana GF66 11UE laptop

Left ports of MSI Katana GF66 11UE laptop

Katana offers the right set of ports: an RJ45 Ethernet port for wired and stable network connection, an HDMI port with 4K 60Hz signal support, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports with 5 Gbps bandwidth, one USB port 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, a USB 2.0 Type-A port and a headphone jack; Unfortunately, there is no memory card slot or Thunderbolt.

The new MSI gaming laptop supports Bluetooth 5.1, and thanks to the Intel AX201 module, it also offers a new Wi-Fi 6 connection. This laptop has a webcam with 720p video recording capability, which will hold online meetings.

Display and speaker

According to our reviews, the Katana laptop uses a 15.6-inch and 1,080 x 1,920-pixel AUOAF90 panel made by AU Optronics. This LCD panel is based on AHVA or Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle technology similar to IPS LCD panels. The screen’s Full-HD resolution delivers a pixel density of 141 pixels per inch, ideal for a 15.6-inch conference.

Play movies with MSI Katana GF66 11UE laptop

The most important thing about the 15.6-inch Katana display is its 144Hz refresh rate, which, combined with the laptop’s powerful hardware, allows the user to experience some of the games at a staggering 144 fps; Of course, there is no Nvidia G-SYNC standard for synchronising frame rate and refresh rate, and you can only choose the refresh rate between 60 and 144 Hz.

With a maximum brightness of 168 nits and 64% coverage of the traditional sRGB colour space, the Katana display has little to say in terms of image; Of course, the presentation of the device, thanks to its matte coating exposed to ambient light, has a good readability and also offers decent accuracy in displaying colours. On the other hand, colours have a balanced temperature without a tendency to be cold or hot.

MSI Katana GF66 Display Performance Compared to Other Laptops
Laptop / Test White image Black image Contrast ratio AdobeRGB sRGB DCI-P3
Maximum brightness Minimum brightness Average brightness Native Cover Average error Cover Average error Cover Average error
MSI GF66 Katana 168 nits 8.00 nits 1. 27 nits 132. 2 47.9 64 4.0 47.6
MSI GE66 Raider 181.7 nits 8. ن 11 intentions 1.16 intentions 156.1 73.1 99 3.6 75.4
Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel Pro 294. 6 nits 15.7 Nits 2.42 nits 121.7 100 2.5 143.4 5.4 92.9 3.6
Meathook D 14 191 intentions 3.65 nits 1.03 nits 185.4 47.8 64 4.8 47.5
Surface Go laptop 214.7 nits 0.63 nits 2.04 nits 105.2 73.3 97.7 1.9 74.7
MacBook Pro M1 436 intentions 0.00 nits 0.55 nits 855 76.4 99.9 2.3 78.3
Helios 300 319 nits 21.3 Nits 3.75 nits 85 70 6.1 91.5 5.5
Surface Book 3 15 inch 405 nits 3.4 intentions 0.53 nits 764 65 3.8 94 1.3 74 3.4
Acer Nitro 7 268 nits 18.8 nits 2.05 Nits 129.5 71.5 5.3 92.5 4
Matebook D15 213 intentions 4.3 intentions 1.54 nits 138 48 5.1 63 4.4
Surface Pro 7 394 nits 0.8 nits 0.6 nits 625 72.5 4.0 96 1.6

* All the numbers mentioned in the table above have been obtained in the laboratory.

MSI‌ says the Katana laptop stereo speakers can produce 24-bit Hi-Res sound at a sampling rate of 192 MHz. These speakers perform well in making medium and high-frequency sounds, but they are not very shocking at low frequencies. We consider the volume of a laptop to be sufficient for a small room. In any case, for a comprehensive gaming experience, we suggest that you get a pair of headphones next to the laptop.

Hardware, performance and battery

Currently, the Katana GF66 laptop is one of the few devices in the Iranian market with 11th generation Intel processors. MSI sells the computer in four models with Core i7-11800H and Core i5-11400H processors along with one of the four RTX 3060 and RTX 3050 Ti and RTX 3050 or GTX 1650 graphics. We had the most potent Katana configuration available for review.

Technical specifications of CPU and GPU of laptop MSI Katana GF66
CPU specifications
Processor name Intel Core i7-11800H
Architecture Eleventh generation Tigerlik with Willow Cove architecture
Lithography 10 nm SuperFin
Number of cores 8 cores / 16 crisp
Frequency 2.30 GHz base, 4.60 GHz turbo (2 cores)
Cache memory 24 MB
TDP 45 watts at the base frequency
Integrated graphics Intel Xe-LP with 32 operating units
eDRAM does not have
Integrated graphics frequency Base frequency 350 MHz, maximum frequency 1.45 GHz
Memory support DDR4-3200
DGPU specifications
GPU name NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
Lithography 8 nm Samsung
Architecture Amp
Number of Cuda cores 3840
Number of Tensor cores 120
Number of RT cores 30
Number of TMU 120
Number of ROPs 64
Graphic frequency Base: 1035 MHz – Maximum: 1485 MHz
Memory frequency 1750 MHz
Memory 6 GB GDDR6
Memory bass width 192 bits
Memory bandwidth 336 GB / s
Computational power FP32 7.9 Teraflops
Thermal design power 85 watts

The 11th generation Core i7-11800H chip is the most powerful member of the Intel family of mobile chips after the Core i9-11980HK and Core i9-11900H models. The 11th generation Tigerlik family is now the latest Intel chips to be used in portable devices.

The Core i7-11800H module is part of the 11th generation Tigerlik family, based on Intel’s more advanced 10nm SuperFin lithography, and uses the new Willow Cove architecture with eight cores / 16 crunches. The chip is available in two versions with a thermal design power of 35 or 45 watts and a base frequency of 1.9 or 2.3 GHz. MSI uses a 45-watt version of the Katana GF66; A chip that delivers 4.6 and 4.2 GHz turbo frequencies in 2- and 8-core processes.

Play with MSI Katana GF66 11UE laptop

Intel says its 11th-generation chips can support DDR4-3200-enhanced RAM. Using all the Core i7-11800H chip capabilities, MSI‌ also uses 16 GB of DDR4-3200 RAM in the Katana laptop and claims that this RAM offers 10% faster read speed and 35% more quickly write speed. Compared to the DDR4-2666 models…

The Core i7-11800 chip also has integrated Intel Xe-LP graphics with 32 executables; But the Taiwanese, as expected, have switched to separate RTX 3060 graphics in their gaming laptops. Nvidia offers RTX 3060 graphics in 11 different models with different frequencies and power consumption of 60 to 115 watts; MSI has chosen the Katana as one of the mid-range models with a power consumption of 85 watts. The FP32 computing power of these graphics is estimated at 7.9 teraflops, which puts it on paper slightly beyond the powerful RTX 2070 Supergraphics.

MSI provides MSI Center software to control laptop performance, component temperature monitoring, and graphics and CPU conflict levels. With this software, depending on the type of user, the version of the ingredients in different scenarios can be adjusted so that the laptop has optimal performance. MSI Center software also provides features such as selecting display colour profiles or checking and troubleshooting battery and memory.

Performance of MSI Katana GF66 compared to other laptops
Laptop / Benchmark Technical Specifications Daily performance Web browsing Game simulator Performance in graphics CPU performance in rendering CPU computing power GPU computing power
PCMark 10 Speedometer 2.0 GFXBench 3DMark CineBench R23 GeekBench 5 GeekBench 5
Aztec Ruins High Tier Time Spy Wild Life Night Raid Single
Multi
Single
Multi
OpenCL
DirectX 12 / Metal DirectX 12 Volcano / Metal DirectX 12 iGPU
GPU
Katana GF66 Core i7-11800H
RTX 3060 
6680 180.8 175.3 frames per second 7177 41945 39998 1499
10779
1554
7673
8407
98855
Raider GE66 Core i7-10875H
RTX 2070 Super
5882 150.0 209.1 frames per second 8393 48340 46702 1201
9633
1346
8106
6144
95733
ConceptD 7 Ezel Pro Core i7-10875H
Quadro RTX 3000
5173 164.0 133.39 fps 5753 21111 27600 1307
10513
1340
7904
6447
72866
MateBook D 14 Core i5-10210U
MX250
4403 31.89 fps 1179 7278 11449 1066
3585
1062
3774
5489
11605
MacBook Pro M1 Apple M1
Apple GPU
209 81.37 fps 18036 1512
7778
1729
7670
19194
Acer Helios 300 Core i7 – 10750H
1650Ti
5148 97.14 fps 3934 23698 28793 1238
6829
1239
4838
5583
41424
Surface Book 3 15 Core i7 – 1065G7
1660Ti Max-Q
4270 131.1 fps 4979 22182 1153
4475
1334
4347
10739
603116
Acer Nitro 7 Core i7 – 9750H
GTX 1650
5105 89.49 fps 1249
5324
5766
42206

* All benchmarks mentioned in this table have been implemented.

In the GeekBench 5 computational benchmark, the performance of the Core i7-11800H chip was 10% lower than that of the M1 chip, according to reviews. This chip is equivalent to the M1 in GeekBench 5 multitasking; But it is slightly weaker than the 10th generation Core i7-10875H chips; Because MSI‌ does not allow short-term power consumption of the chip to exceed 80 watts in the Katana laptop; While in the Raider GE66 laptop, power consumption increased up to 100 watts.

In most graphic benchmarks, the Katana laptop outperforms its Raider GE66 brother by about 15% with RTX 2070 Super graphics; The reason for this is more than anything else due to the difference in power consumption, the power consumption of Katana graphics is about 85 watts, and Raider is about 115 watts. The Katana laptop performed more than 80% better than the Helios 300 laptop with GTX 1650 Ti graphics.

The Katana GF66 with the Core i7-11800H chip in the CineBench R23 single-threaded and multi-threaded benchmark, which evaluates CPU performance in rendering, showed the best performance among all the laptops under review. Another noteworthy point is the very stable performance of the device in the CineBench benchmark. After 30 minutes of continuous testing, the performance of the device dropped by only 4%.

Like most laptops on the market, the Katana limits CPU and graphics performance when unplugged. The device performs 33% weaker in the CineBench benchmark and 88% weaker in Gears 5 when it relies on batteries.

Operation of MSI Katana GF66 laptop in power and battery mode
Laptop status Score in the first round of the CPU stress test Score after 30 minutes of CPU stress test Run Gears 5 with FHD‌ resolution and ultra graphics
Connected to electricity 10779 10305 81.8 fps
With battery 7174 7165 10.0 fps

* All benchmarks mentioned in this table have been implemented.

MSI says that by using two cooling fans and six tubes, it has developed a proprietary solution for the cooling system of GF سری series laptops, which results in 15% more airflow, 2 ° lower temperature and 33% reduction in the wall thickness of the cooling tubes.

To better demonstrate the behaviour of the Katana GF66, run the CineBench R23 multistage test continuously for 30 minutes and monitor parameters such as frequency, power consumption, and CPU temperature in both plug-in and unplugged modes.

The Core i7-11800H processor frequency never reaches the 4.2 GHz claimed by Intel; For short moments, the processor runs at 3.8 GHz and then steadily delivers around 3.1 to 3.2 GHz, which is more than 800 MH more than its base frequency of 2.3 GHz. If you unplug the Katana laptop, the processor will run at the base frequency at all times without the slightest drop.

The CPU power consumption in the stress test reaches about 75 watts for short moments; But the rest of the time, it stays in the 55-watt range. If you unplug the device, the power consumption will be much lower than the thermal design power of 45 watts and in the field of 25-28 watts. According to our measurements, the CPU temperature in Plugged and Unplugged modes was around 95 and 70 degrees Celsius, respectively.

We ran the 3DMark Time Spy test 20 times continuously on the Katana GF66 laptop to measure graphic behaviour. According to our studies, the difference in graphics performance between Plugged and Unplugged modes is enormous: the graphics start at 1500 MHz when connected to the power supply and then stabilise with a gradual decrease to around 1300 MHz; While disconnecting the device from the power, the graphics frequency from the 700 MHz neighbourhood is reduced to a stable value of 550 MHz.

According to our measurements, the power consumption of the graphics in the first minutes was about 85 watts; But then it got to about 75 to 78 watts. In Unplugged mode, the graphics power consumption of the Katana laptop was steadily in the 40-watt range. As you can see in the diagram, the temperature of the graphics in Plugged and Unplugged mode eventually reached slightly above 85 and 80 degrees Celsius, respectively.

The Katana GF66 laptop cooling system makes a relatively loud noise. Still, since gamers, as the primary audience of the Katana laptop, mainly use headphones, this will not be a problem for them.

The combination of high-powered RTX 3060 graphics and a 144Hz display show their full potential in gaming; Accordingly, we ran five popular and heavy games on the Katana laptop. As you can see, except for Immortals Fenix Rising and Bright Memory: Infinite, the rest of the games run in the best graphics settings at a rate of close to 80 frames per second; So if you lower the graphics settings a bit, you can achieve much better results.

MSI Katana GF66 performance in games
Game / Performance Graphic settings Average frame rate
GTA V Highest Quality 75.8 fps
Gears 5 Ultra Quality 81.8 fps
Immortals Fenix Rising Ultra Graphics 55 frames per second
FarCry 5 Ultra Quality 84 frames per second
Bright Memory: Infinite RTX Quality DLSS 43 frames per second

MSI‌ also offers App Player software for mobile game enthusiasts. The Taiwanese have partnered with BlueStacks to develop App Player software that allows users to run Android games at up to 240 frames per second with support for keyboards, mice and game controllers. Thanks to App Player software, MSI says its gaming laptops run games up to six times better than flagship smartphones.

The Katana GF66 also performs well in professional applications, rendering the BMW model with Blender software and converting video at 78 Mbps to FHD, with a difference of 27 to 32%, with its processor and a C60 reference system. It removes -10700 from the lead.

Performance of MSI Katana GF66 in professional applications
Computer / User Technical Specifications Render of BMW model with Full-HD resolution and Cuda platform Convert 4K HDR video to 1080p with H.264 hardware encoding
MSI Katana GF66 Core i7-11800H
RTX 3060
48.9 seconds 129 seconds
 reference system Core i7-10700
RTX 2060
72 seconds 178 seconds

According to  MSI GE66 Raider review, the laptop uses Kingston 512GB of storage with a 4-way NVMe PCIe 4x controller, with this laptop achieving sequential speeds of around 1985 and 963MB; outstanding results; But they are not among the best.

MSI Katana GF66 memory performance compared to other laptops
Models / Performance Sequential reading rate
(MB / s)
Sequential write rate
(MB / s)
MSI Katana GF66 1985. 92 963.08
MSI Raider GE66 3392. 40 3104. 13
Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel Pro 3562.87 3027. 22.
MateBook D 14 3415. 89 2985. 43
Surface Laptop Go 1671. 65 376. 64
MacBook Pro M1 2517. 17. 2330.9
Acer Predator Helios 300 1840. 58 2725. 48
Microsoft Surface Book 3 15 2077.87 805. 95
Acer Nitro 7 1792. 80 1550. 49
Surface Pro 7 2018. 35 812. 46

* All benchmarks mentioned in this table have been implemented.

The MSI on the Katana GF66 uses a not-so-large 52-watt-hour lithium-ion battery that, given its 25+ and 40-watt CPU and GPU in Unplugged mode, can not produce an exciting charge; Of course, it is unlikely that anyone would expect a gaming device to be a “laptop” in the true sense of the word.

MSI Katana GF66 battery performance compared to other laptops
Laptop / Test Display Battery  video PCMark 10 GFXBench Manhattan 3.1
Dimensions and resolution watt-hour Minutes: hours Minutes: hours Battery life
(minutes)
Lowest frame rate ( frames per
second)
MSI Katana GF66 15.6 inches
1080 × 1920 pixels
52 3:54 2:32 51. 2 97.8
MSI Raider GE66 15.6 inches
1080 × 1920 pixels
95 5:39 3:48 57.7 136.5
Acer Ezel Pro 15.6 inches
2160 × 3840 pixels
84 9:41 6:47 117.9 30.2
MateBook D 14 14 inches
1080 × 1920 pixels
57 11:34 9:00 p.m. 264.87 59. 79
Surface Laptop Go 12.45 inches 1024 x 1536 pixels 39.7 10:13 6:08 264.87 14.85
Apple MacBook Pro M1 13.3 inches
1600 × 2560 pixels
58.2 16:47 218. 84 60.01
Acer Predator Helios 300 15.6 inches
1080 × 1920 pixels
55 5:21 p.m. 3:24 56.55 139.9
Surface Book 3 15
Laptop Mode
15 inches
2160 × 3240 pixels
85 14:05 141. 257. 51. 25
Acer Nitro 7 2019 15.6 inches
1080 × 1920 pixels
57.5 6:27 120. 22. 3710.52
Surface Pro 7 12.3 inches
1824 ۷ 2736 pixels
43.2 10:00 123/79 22. 76

* All benchmarks mentioned in this table have been implemented.

In the tests, when the display brightness was at 200 nits (Brightness slider at 100%), all wireless connections disconnected, and the slider was in Better Performance mode. The Katana GF66 was capable of only 2 hours 32 minutes in Simulate every day and office uses. The charging time during video playback reached a disappointing 3 hours and 54 minutes by placing the slider on the Better Battery.

Conclusion

The Katana GF66 11UE MSI Laptop provides you with an efficient set of computer parts at a reasonable price tag. Core i7-11800H processor This laptop gives you very stable performance when plugged in and unplugged and in applications such as rendering. The chip also outperforms Apple’s powerful M1‌ chip. RTX 3060 graphics, on the other hand, run many heavy-duty games efficiently with the highest graphics settings and speeds above 60 frames per second.

Web browsing with MSI Katana GF66 11UE laptop

The 15.6-inch Katana GF66 display does not offer glamorous features such as covering large colour spaces or high brightness; But with its 144Hz refresh rate, it can provide gamers with a gaming experience at speeds above 60 frames per second. Perhaps one of the main weaknesses of the Katana laptop is the lack of colourful RGB lighting!

Positive points

  • Smooth execution of most games with maximum graphical settings
  • Eleventh generation processor with very stable performance
  • 144Hz screen refresh rate
  • Great variety of ports and connections

Cons

  • Shallow screen brightness
  • Relatively loud cooling system