| || |This is the rest of my review... Part 1 can be found here. submitted by TastyBananaPeppers to GamingLaptops
https://preview.redd.it/ryi6mrwliwv51.jpg?width=1191&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=f2d9992039f07e77f0f16476516a6438af805d25 Bottom Panel and Feet
Removing the bottom panel
- MSI has additional open vents on its bottom panel. The angular feets may cause issues with certain laptop stands.
- Lenovo only has two open vents for the CPU and GPU fans. Lenovo decided to put a questionable el-cheapo dust filter over the heatpipe area. The quality of this filter can be found on very cheap PC cases that comes with a dust filter. This filter is permanently stamped into the bottom panel and cannot be removed. The Legion 7i doesn't have this filter in place.
- Winner: MSI because if you use a laptop cooler, you can also cool your RAM, M.2 slots, and 2.5" drive bay.
- MSI requires you to break its virginity seal (Factory Seal) in order to get access to a screw underneath it. This sticker is razer thin and cannot be carefully peeled up without damaging it. Opening the bottom panel is hard the first time. You just need a screw driver and plastic prying tool. The second time you do it, it will be a lot easier because there are plastic tabs around the edge of the bottom panel that will break off. It will make it really easy to pull off the bottom panel the next time you do it. Unplugging the battery is very easy.
- Recommended to start on the side with the headphone/mic jacks to lift the panel off of these jacks first then all other sides will be easy to separate. You also need to insert the panel starting on this side too when putting it back together.
- Lenovo is a lot harder to remove because the vent area is where I had the most problems with. It can be difficult to remove because I had to force my prying tool under the vent in order to release it from the tabs. These tabs don't break off like with the MSI GE75. The second and third time I took off the bottom panel, it was as hard as the first time.
- Winner: MSI
https://preview.redd.it/qqup9oxoiwv51.jpg?width=1186&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=896a1b4cedba917cf6be165ca3ba066e79c11bf7 Upgrading laptop parts:
Repasting Thermal Compound:
- MSI has all user-upgradable parts:
- [Storage #1] M.2 NVME or SATA SSD + two thermal pads underneath M.2 NVME SSD
- [Storage #2] 1x M.2 NVME SSD
- Screw is included but no extra thermal pads.
- [Storage #3] 1x 2.5" HDD/SSD
- Up to 64 GB DDR4 2666 MHZ DDR4 ram in Dual Channel
- Network card
- Battery - easy to remove
- Lenovo has all user-upgradable parts:
- [Storage #1] 1x M.2 NVME SSD
- [Storage #2] 1x 2.5" HDD/SSD or 2nd M.2 NVME SSD
- You can only have a M.2 SSD or 2.5" storage drive. You have to remove the 2.5" drive in order to reuse the special standoff bracket in order to mount your M.2 SSD to it. This bracket can be adjusted for full length (M.2 2240) and half-length (M.2 2242).
- There is also a screw hole stand-off near the insertion port of the 2nd M.2 SSD slot. This might interfere with M.2 SSDs with NAND chips on bottom side of the PCB. You might be limited to 1 or 2 TB SSD. 4 and 8 TB SSD might have thicker NAND chips on the bottom of the PCB that may cause it not to fit. I also don't know if this is removable.
- Up to 64 GB DDR4 2933MHz ram in Dual channel
- Network card
- Battery - requires tweezers to remove the tiny connector that is tightly plugged in.
- Winner: MSI gives you 3x storage options! I don't know who designed and approved the internal layout of the Legion 5i 17", this entire group of people need to get a pay cut. This is the worst internal layout management I've seen in a 17" chassis. If Lenovo ditched the 2.5" drive bay, they could have added a 3rd NVME slot or a subwoofer. Next up is the Asus ROG Strix 17" but at least this laptop gives you 3x M.2 slots, and they could have fit a subwoofer in the empty corner.
- Download to see Lenovo's Chassis Space pictures.zip (32 mb)
- MSI uses thermal paste on the chokes, VRMs, CPU, and GPU. There are some thermal pads on some components. They use K5 Pro non-conductive thermal paste on the chokes or VRMs. This will require extra work to clean. For warranty purposes, you might have to buy and use the same paste and use any other paste your CPU and GPU. This based on watching YouTube videos. If you decide to use thermal pads, it will be a trial and error process.
- Lenovo uses thermal pads instead of a thermal paste on the VRMs and chokes. This will make it a lot easier to repaste.
- Winner: Lenovo
Coil whine issue:
- MSI Dragon Center is controls your fans, allows you to overclock your GPU, and change laptop modes. You can set your laptop to stop charging at 60%. It has a battery calibration tool you can use once every 3 months to keep your battery in good health. You can enable/disable the webcam, USB LEDs, on-screen crosshairs and switch the Fn and Windows Key. There's other stuff in here that caters to a gamer.
- Lenovo Vantage allows you to turn laptop features on and off. There's a built-in hardware diagnostic scan to see if your laptop is working or not. There's no manual fan control. There are tutorials and more company marketing material. No one gives a shit about this. You can also stop the battery from charging and disable the webcam.
- Winner: Tie because they both work.
- Download to see Lenovo Vantage.zip (54 Mb) or MSI Dragon Center.zip (12 Mb)
- MSI has coil whine. The first laptop I bought had it. This third laptop I'm using right now has it too. To me, it sounds like a beeping sound. It doesn't bother me because I have a lot of background noise like HVAC (air conditioner), planes flying by, kids running and playing outside, and people blasting loud music from their cars.
- This can be fixed by disabling C-Step under the Advance tab in the BIOS. This will effect your battery life because it will prevent the CPU from dropping below its base clock speed. I always use my laptop plugged in, so it's not a big deal to me.
- Lenovo has no coil whine because they put some sort of metal cover on their RAM, network card, and NVME SSD. This maybe provides some EMF shielding. On the other hand, I was probably lucky.
- Winner: Tie This all depends on whether or not you can hear the frequencies of the coil whine. Some people cannot hear coil whine even though it's happening in their laptop. Some people are sensitive and to them it's a high pitch whine that drives them crazy.
https://preview.redd.it/9ig40hpriwv51.jpg?width=1478&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c5ef3221e2e322e8a9daa31c3d3b9604653658ce Fan Noise
- Silent and Balanced - is a mixture of silent (no fan noise) between quiet (low fan noise). The left edge of the keyboard chassis can get warm to hot, but this isn't an area I touch unless you rest your pinky and ring fingers there.
- Extreme Performance - Quiet to Loud (maximum fan noise) depending on what you do.
- For do basic tasks, it's 75% silent and 25% quiet. The fans are working, but it's not loud. It's safe to use this in your work, school, or library.
- For gaming, the fans will become loud no matter if you use Silent or Balanced. Since this laptop gives you manual fan control, you can reduce the fan noise by setting your own fan curve.
- Office and Balanced - is a mixture of silent (no fan noise) between quiet (low fan noise).
- Extreme Performance - Quiet to Loud (maximum fan noise) depending on what you do.
- For do basic tasks, it's silent 99% of the time but the fans can ramp up once in awhile if you open 5+ tabs all at once or do file compression/decompression. It's safe to use this in your work, school, or library.
- For gaming, the fans will become loud no matter if you use Office or Balanced. No manual fan control through the Vantage application or BIOS.
- Winner: MSI because it has manual fan control in the Dragon Center. You can adjust the fan curve, so you could play some games in a library or at work. Keep in mind, if you use a custom fan curve, the GPU is capped at 90-100 watts.
- 65% fan speed is acceptable fan noise with CPU and GPU averaging 75C and the keyboard area including WASD may become hot.
- If you want 100% silent, I set it maximum of 25% fan speed (1500 rpm) for CPU only. The GPU never turns on. This is only recommended for basic tasks. Laptop idles around 45C to 65C depending on what I do. The keyboard is cool to the touch but may become slightly warm in the middle.
Performance time MSI
Lenovo Gaming Performance with an RTX 2060 6 GB
I used both laptops flat on my desk without a cooling pad or laptop stand to raise the laptop up. I also do not undervolt or disable Turbo Boost. I keep them stock.
Lenovo on Performance mode with boost to 90W
- MSI on Extreme Performance mode with boost to 115W
- COD: Modern Warfare on high settings with no motion blur and no ray tracing: 90 to 130 fps
- Just Cause 3 on Ultra settings: 80 to 120 fps
- Killing Floor 2 on ultra settings with no motion blur: 100 to 120 fps
- CPU will hit 95C and will thermal throttle while GPU stays around 80C.
- Disabling Turbo Boost will drop temperatures to around 70C for CPU and GPU, but the fan noise will stay the same unless you create a custom fan curve.
- COD: Modern Warfare on high settings with no motion blur and no ray tracing: 80 to 110 fps
- Just Cause 3 on ultra settings: 80 to 100 fps.
- Killing Floor 2 on ultra settings with no motion blur: 80 to 90 fps.
- CPU will can hit 95C but will not thermal throttle but the GPU stays around 80C.
- Disabling Turbo Boost will drop temperatures to around 70C for CPU and GPU, but the fan noise will stay the same.
- Fan noise is loud during gaming, and there is no way to reduce fan speeds.
- Winner: MSI GE75 hands down, won. MSI gives you a 115W GPU with the ability to overclock it for extra performance. If you disable Turbo Boost (a short cut to undervolting), the GPU will drop to 80 to 90W. You can apply an overclock to bring the GPU back up at 115W. Now your CPU is around 70C and GPU is around 80C. Using stock settings, MSI applies a 100 Mhz core and 150 Mhz memory overclock to the GPU in Dragon Center. Without undervolting or disabling Turbo Boost, the can GPU can boost close to 120w.
- MSI allows you go unlock the Advance BIOS under the Advanced Tab by pressing all four buttons at the same time: Left ALT + F2 + Right CTRL + Right Shift. This make take several tries. You can enable overclocking and overclock or undervolt through the BIOS, but this requires a guide. You'll be better off using XTU to undervolt.
- I was going to take pictures of each settings in the Advance BIOS, but there is way too many. Everything is in there. I really think it's for experts because you're not getting a manual book that explains in depth what each setting does. Each setting gives you the basic idea of what it does.
- Lenovo just has a basic BIOS only. You cannot unlock the Advance Bios in the Legion 5i without flashing a modified unofficial BIOS.
- Winner: MSI
- Download to see MSI Basic Bios.zip (19 Mb) and MSI Advance Bios.zip (110 Mb) or Lenovo Bios (24 Mb)
- MSI like many other manufacturers use a compact box that is pack inside of another cardboard box. There's a lot more protection for the laptop.
- Lenovo comes in this big ass box that offers little protection for side impacts. This box is as big as a prebuilt Dell/HP micro-ATX PC. It's a poor design. I guess they wanted you to flex when you walk out of the retail store or UPS store to show everyone you got a Lenovo Legion box. It's more like "LOL, you got a small laptop. Well, look at me with my big ass box."
- Winner: MSI
- MSI gives you a full keyboard deck micro fiber cloth. You can cover the keyboard deck to keep the screen from pressing on the keyboard. A full suite of Cyberlink Photo, Audio, and Video editing application that aren't a free trial. MSI App Player (Android emulator) integrated into the laptop.
- Lenovo gives you nothing else inside of your big ass box.
- Winner: MSI
- MSI has questionable bloatware that will depend on you if you use the included applications or decide to uninstall them. It comes with Norton (or McAfee) anti-virus, Cyberlink Photo, Audio, and Video applications, MSI App Player (Android emulator), MSI True Color, and around 8 Microsoft Office 365 language packs. The most annoying to uninstall is the Office 365 language packs with each taking about 5 minutes to uninstall.
- If you do a clean install of Windows 10, you can download everything again except for the Cyberlink Photo, Audio, and Video Editing Suite and whatever anti-virus that came pre-installed.
- Lenovo just comes with McAfee anti-virus.
- Winner: Lenovo
Conclusion with total points:
- MSI GE75
- They includes this piece of paper if you write a review, you get a free headset. It's almost like a paid review to get you to write a 4 or 5 star review without any negatives. Since I bought this laptop the first time, I was able to get the free headset. This was around May to July.
- This promotion has already ended. The headset sucks ass. It works, but it's one of those headsets where if the cord rubs against you or on the table, the noise transfers to the ear cups.
- Lenovo Legion 5i
- Lenovo inflates their prices and gives massive discounts to trick you into buying the laptop thinking you're getting a big discount when you really aren't. They slowly raise the price before there is a sale. Sometimes you can really get a big discount, so I guess you'll have to wait for the right time for it.
- Lenovo has a confusing prebuilt vs. customization order. You get better customization with the 15.6" Premium model than with the 17.3" Premium model. You get to choose a Windows 10 Pro, 4-zone RGB, and 500 nits screen with the 15.6" Premium model. For the 17.3" Premium model, you get the option to choose Windows 10 Pro, and there's no option for RGB keyboard or 500 nits screen. If you customize your order, it costs more than the prebuilt option and also takes forever to ship it to you. Since I bought prebuilt, it shipped from North Carolina, USA. If you buy customized, it will come from China, which takes about a month or more.
- Lenovo deleted my review even though I was being fair and professional with the review. I used the same name on Reddit as "TastyBananaPeppers," and I cannot find my 4 out of 5 stair review after receiving an email telling me it went live. I talked about everything I like about the laptop and the three things they need to work on which are macro support, better packaging, and adding a subwoofer into the Legion 5i 17.3" model.
- Lenovo has poor internal space management in their 17.3" chassis. Go from the 15.6" chassis to a 17.3" chassis offers little improvements other than getting bigger screen and a USB 3.0 SD card reader. They are reusing the 15.6" laptop motherboard in the 17" laptop and stretching out the heatsink to better fit the 17" laptop. There are tons of space inside the laptop where they could have added more ports, subwoofer, and/or 3rd M.2 SSD slot.
- Lenovo makes it a little hard to return the laptop. I called the customer service line from the website and seems like the custom service rep was totally clueless. It turns out I had to call the Legion Gaming line to start a return with them. Once I had the case number then I can talk to customer service to get my RMA #. I told them I wanted to return the laptop for a full refund because my screen got a minor damage along with a dead hard drive. They offer me to get it fixed, but I declined. They tried to bribe me with some Lenovo Reward points and to have it fixed, but I declined. I insisted a full refund. They offered a full refund in Lenovo Reward points, but I declined again. By the way, Lenovo Reward points can expire. Finally, I told them I was going to buy it at a Best Buy for an easy exchange then he allowed me to get a full refund. It took close to 3 weeks to get a full refund for the amount I paid with sales tax. I spent an hour on the phone.
- Lenovo uses Uyghur Muslims in China to build their laptops for free. China is against Islam the religion, so they imprison them and force them into factory labor. See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8077205/Chinas-Uighurs-trapped-factory-toiling-tech-titans.html
- Winner: Despite MSI with their questionable or unethical sales practice, MSI wins this one.
- MSI GE75: 17
- Lenovo Legion 5i: 6
- Tie: 6
The Lenovo Legion 5i 17"
is for students or working professionals who need a laptop that has good battery life in a gaming laptop. This laptop is for people who are always on the go and need more than 3 hours of battery life. This laptop has quick charging from 0 to 50% in 30 minutes and with a full charge in about 2-3 hours. You can also use your laptop to charge your phone while the laptop is off. The laptop design doesn't make you look like a gamer, and you can also game with your laptop too. The one thing I really don't like
about this Lenovo laptop is the RTX 2060 that is capped at 90 watts and 100 watts for the AMD 17". This is like buying a sports car, but the manufacturer secretly tuned the car to prevent it from driving over 90 miles per hour. You decide to to benchmark your car with the Dyno machine and discover it's well capable of reaching 180 miles per hour. Then, you drop the biggest WTF out loud. When I ran the Time Spy benchmark, it said I had a Refreshed RTX 2060. This is the same GPU that is in the MSI GE75 Raider laptop. Then, there's the different wattage between Legion models with RTX 2060.
- Intel Legion 5i with 15.6" + webcam = 90w
- Intel Legion 5i with 17.3" + webcam = 90w
- Intel Legion 5i P (or 5Pi) with 15.6" but no webcam = 100 or 115w
- Intel Legion 7i with 15.6" + webcam = 105w
- AMD Legion 5 with 15.6" + webcam = 115w
- This one currently appears to be the best one to buy as of November 5th.
- AMD Legion 5 with 17.3" + webcam = 100w
- AMD Legion 5 P with 15.6" but no webcam = 115w
The MSI GE75 Raider 17"
is for gamers, enthusiasts, or people who want the best features in a laptop. This is almost like a desktop replacement laptop. You get a lot of features in this laptop that you might use or not use at all. It's better to have them than not to have them at all. The one the thing I really don't like
about the MSI laptop is the ergonomics of the keyboard and keyboard's metal deck. This is the first laptop I bought after not using a laptop for over seven years. I decided to buy a laptop to replace my 10 year old Clevo laptop that still runs perfectly fine except it's too slow to handle FireFox with one tab. It's a combination of the placement of F1 to F4, unnescessarily big console key (Counter Strike/Half-Life reference), and the keyboard rubberdome switch thing. I feel like these keys require a lot more force to press down than using a external mechanical keyboard (Logitech G610 Cherry MX Brown). If I attempt to play for a few hours using the laptop's keyboard, my hand will hurt for 1-2 weeks. I tested it a couple of times and got the same results. In order for MSI GE75 to get the 5 star rating:
Other thoughts: What laptop stand are you using? Would I considered a Lenovo laptop in the future?
- Get SteelSeries to make a standard size for the "Console" key.
- Include a USB 3.0 Card Reader instead of USB 2.0.
- Fix the Speaking popping issue
Will I switch to a different laptop?
- At this moment, the answer is no because I paid for a full 115 refreshed RTX 2060, but Lenovo won't give it to you unless you give them more money to buy the "5 P" model without a webcam. Here with Lenovo, you're getting the same 115w in all 7 of their Legion models. I read on their Legion Forums section, one of the Lenovo specialists said it was to increase reliability of their laptops. You can flash a vBIOS to unlock the 115w limit, but you shouldn't have to do it when you already got it. This process might void warranty or brick the laptop. I don't understand this Lenovo bs.
- Costco has a 90-day return policy on computers. It's super easy to return your laptop as long as it has no physical damage and no missing screws. The workers just do a basic visual check. I bring the laptop back to my local Costco and my money appears in my back within 2-3 days. They don't charge restocking fees. If I buy a laptop somewhere else, the return policy is 15 or 30 days with the possibly of paying restocking fees.
- If Costco has a new Alienware m17 R3 laptop, I would try it if it's around $1800 with sales tax.
These are links to pictures and screenshots of both of these laptops: