Creator laptops and desktops have become a popular new market segment for many PC makers. This new segment finally addresses the content creators’ needs and gives us something more than a gaming setup to choose from. The MSI P65 Creator Intel 8th-gen isn’t the latest MSI creator laptop, but it’s still worthy of taking a look at.
For years, content creators have had to either custom build a PC for content creation or buy a gaming PC with capable specifications. Laptops like the MSI P65 Creator give creators a more professional aesthetic with the power of a gaming rig that can handle intensive programs. Read on for the full review of the MSI P65 Creator Intel 8th gen.
It is important to note that the P65 we have here is an earlier edition and there are newer versions. We decided to review this version because it is still relevant and very capable for content creators.
The MSI P65 Creator has the following features and specifications:
- Manufacturer Part#: P65441
- Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
- CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H
- CPU Speed: 2.2 – 4.1GHz
- Chipset: HM370
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1070 (Max-Q) | 8G GDDR5
- RAM: 32GB DDR4 2666MHz
- Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
- (1)USB 3.1 Gen2
- (2) USB 3.1 Gen1
- (1) Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C
- (1) HDMI (supports 4K@60hz), mDP v1.2*1
- (1) AUX port
- (1) Ethernet port
- (1) MiniDisplay port
- (1) Barrell power port
- Color: White with Gold Diamond Cut
- Display: 15.6″ FHD, Anti-Glare Wide View Angle 144Hz 7ms 72%NTSC | 1920×1080 (16:9)
- Keyboard: White backlight keyboard (84 Key)
- Audio/Speakers: Nahimic Audio | 2W * 2
- Webcam: 720p HD Webcam
- Dimensions: 14.08″x9.75″x0.69″
- Weight: 4.14 lbs
What’s In The Box
- MSI P65 Creator Intel 8th-gen
- Power Supply
- MSI branded laptop sleeve
- Manuals and Documentation
One of the biggest gripes many creators have had with gaming laptops is their aesthetic look. Gamers are very much into RGB lighting, interesting design languages, mechanical keyboards, and anything that blings. Most creators prefer a minimal and more elegant design language and that’s what the MSI P65 Creator offers.
The entire design is a departure from MSI’s gaming line but still retains some of MSI’s character. Our review unit came in the white with a gold diamond cut. The white color is featured throughout the chassis except for the bottom portion of the chassis which is a slightly different color white than the lid and sides.
The entire laptop is made of high-quality aluminum and the bottom is removable with the ability to upgrade some components. The laptop weighs just over 4 lbs and is fairly easy to move around, throw in a bag, and use it on the go. It’s not the lightest thing out there but it is packing in a lot of components and power.
On the bottom of the MSI P65 Creator you’ll find some really nice meaty rubber feet. There are two very long ones that are at the front and rear. The one on the rear is unique in that it is notched out to allow for airflow. There are three more rubber feet that are much smaller at the left-of-center, right-center, and center. This really gives the P65 a solid footing. It never once slid around on me. There is also a long venting area for cooling on the bottom as well as the speakers.
On the top of the MSI P65 Creator, you’ll find MSI’s dragon logo and nothing more, which is great. The logo is gold and very simple, not flashy like their gaming laptops. This is what creators love, minimal and elegant design that looks clean and professional. All along the edge of the lid, you’ll find that diamond cut which looks really nice and is a great touch. I will say, my unit didn’t look like gold, it looked silver.
The back spine of the MSI P65 Creator has a nice large venting system that looks great and serves a purpose. The front spine has an LED light to indicate the battery level as well as a small tab for helping to lift the lid.
Along the right side of the MSI P65 Creator you’ll find a nice array of ports that include:
- USB 3.1 Gen1
- Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C
- Mini DisplayPort
- HDMI port
- Barrel Port for power
Along the left side of the P65 are the rest of your ports which include:
- Headphone Jack
- Mic Input
- USB 3.1 Gen1
- USB 3.1 Gen2
- Ethernet port
- Kensington Lock
Opening up the MSI P65 Creator, you are greeted with the 15.6″ FHD display with thin bezels at the top and sides. The bottom bezel is much larger and is branded with MSI. The webcam is centered at the top bezel, much better than a bottom bezel webcam.
The keyboard is full size but no number pad on this. The keyboard is backlit and can be adjusted using the fn key in conjunction with the page up/down keys. The keyboard has a good feel to it and reminds me of the old generation of MacBook Pros. It’s comfortable with a decent travel. I’m not super fond of the font they use on the keys, though.
The trackpad below the keyboard is pretty nice and after some fiddling in Windows Settings I was able to find a sweet spot for it. The trackpad is a bit offset and I wish it was centered. A lot PC makers do this. The fingerprint sensor is located on the trackpad at the top left. I wish it were mounted top right but it is what it is. The fingerprint works flawlessly, I never had a problem getting in quickly.
Overall, the MSI P65 Creator is designed with content creators in mind. The overall look and build quality of the P65 is outstanding and is one of the best looking creator laptops I’ve seen.
Our MSI P65 Creator unit came with an FHD display and I think that is the only option. I do wish they had a 2K option that works a bit better for photo and video editing. FHD still works well and is better on the battery than higher resolutions but it would have been nice to have a few extra pixels.
That being said, this display is still very very nice. The anti-glare coating offers up some very nice viewing angles and the 15.6″ size is industry standard.
The display reaches nearly 100% sRGB color gamut and has a 144 Hz refresh rate. With MSI’s True Color Technology you can select from different modes to tune the color of the panel for your use case. Here are the modes you can choose from:
- sRGB Mode
- Designer Mode
- Office Mode
- Movie Mode
- Anti-Blue Mode
- Gamer Mode
You can even extend your display coverage with up to 3 external monitors using the HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, and USB Type-C ports. These ports also support 4K resolution should you need a higher resolution display. They also have an external one that is 4K, which you can also use.
Overall, the display is really nice. I do wish it were a 2K resolution but overall, I was very happy with this display.
Windows 10 Pro is installed on the MSI P65 Creator and there’s not much to say about Windows. It works, it does it’s job, and it can have issues creep up when updating. Nothing we don’t already know. The Windows ecosystem is pretty standard and most people should know how to use it. Overall, nothing groundbreaking here, just standard issue fare.
The MSI P65 Creator houses an Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2 – 4.1GHz CPU. The GPU sitting in our unit is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1070 (Max-Q) with 8G GDDR5 RAM. As for RAM, our P65 is using 32GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM. The CPU here is the 8th-gen so it’s not the latest but you can get newer CPU’s from MSI.
With these specifications, it’s not surprising that the P65 just breezes through the basics of laptop use. Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint all work without issue, without stutter or lag, and without issue. Web browsing and email are also quick and responsive without issue.
Scrolling, pinch to zoom, and gestures are all smooth and responsive. Using slightly more intensive programs like maps, YouTube, Netflix, and streaming video/audio all work without any interruption or hiccups.
That’s all well and good, there was little doubt that the MSI P65 Creator could handle these basic tasks. What about even more intensive programs? Programs like Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, ON1 Photo, and DaVinci Resolve. Yes, I switched from Adobe apps to these but they’re basically the same in many ways, including how intensive they are.
Editing in Affinity and ON1 is quick and responsive. I could have multiple tabs open working on multiple files in these photo programs. There was no lag and switching tabs was fast and easy.
DaVinci Resolve was just as good. Editing 4K video on this laptop is a breeze and I never once experienced any lag or freezing. Exporting 4K video was quick for projects in the 5-10 minute mark. Longer videos took slightly longer but not by much. Of course, performance of rendering video is going to vary by how many elements you have in your video.
The MSI P65 Creator laptop is made for creators to use these heavier programs that do both video and photo and it performs really well. Having that NVIDIA GPU, 32GB of RAM, and the Intel i7 really pushes this laptop to a top performer. This laptop should handle gaming as well, if you happen to want to use it for that.
Overall, the P65 performs like a champ. There is more than enough power here for most creators. I suppose if you’re rendering 4K videos that are hours long, you may need a bit more RAM, maybe 64GB. But really, the MSI P65 Creator is built right for creators and most creators are going to smile when they use this for the first time.
MSI says the P65 has Nahimic Audio that plays through 2 2-watt speakers that are located on the bottom. There is a large grill on the top of the laptop which I initially thought was where the speakers were housed. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
The speakers are on the bottom and they’re really not all that great. They sound tinny, weak, and thin, and even worse when you place the laptop on your lap.
Laptop speakers are generally bad. The P65’s are slightly better than other laptops but not nearly as good as others in this price point. Weak speakers aren’t really a pain point for me. I use headphones for video editing anyway and would never rely on laptop speakers.
Overall, I’d say use headphones or an external speaker system to get the best sound. These speakers are fine for YouTube and podcasts but not much more.
The 720p webcam is pretty basic and standard issue. There’s really nothing spectacular about it. It does what a webcam is supposed to do and that’s about it. I do wish more manufacturers would give a little love to the webcam and make it 1080p instead of 720p but that’s been a gripe of mine for years.
MSI claims up to 8-hours of on-the-go battery life on the P65, and, honestly, this is really going to depend on how you’re using it. I did not get that sort of battery life using video and photo editing tools but those programs are very intensive, especially during rendering.
I think you could get 8-hours easily if you used the MSI P65 Creator for just the basics. But throwing in video and photo editing and streaming will affect battery life.
Overall, I think the battery is good here. I don’t see any laptop out there that will render video and photo without chewing up a good portion of battery life.
The MSI P65 Creator isn’t cheap, this 8th-gen version is older and can probably be had with some deals, but the MSRP is US$3,999. That being said, the value is here. This does compete with Apple’s offerings along with other PC offerings. You get the best of two worlds here with the creator side as well as the potential to use the P65 for gaming.
The MSI P65 Creator is one of the best creator laptops I’ve personally used. I love the design aesthetic, there are plenty of ports to use, and the performance is top-notch. I would recommend this laptop to any creator looking for good power for video/photo editing. I’d say shop around to find the best deals on the 8th-gen as you may be able to find it for less.
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Last Updated on February 3, 2021.