Disclaimer: 9to5gadgets.com is a participant of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Any valid purchases made through clicking on the links on this site (when directed to Amazon) will garner us a commission.

[Review] MSI Pulse GL66 12UGKV-464: Superb!

MSI Pulse GL66 12UGKV-464 review
  • High-refresh-rate 144 Hz display
  • 12th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor
  • RGB backlit keyboard
  • Windows 11 Home preinstalled
  • No Thunderbolt support
  • Poor battery life
Upgraded with top-tier components, including brand-new 12th generation Intel Core processors and NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphic cards, MSI's Pulse GL66 new gaming laptops provide everything gamers could ask for in order to bring the gaming experience to a whole new level.

Today, in this review of the MSI Pulse GL66 12UGKV-464, we tackle everything there is to know about a high-end gaming laptop that has managed to rack up stellar reviews thanks to its balanced price point and state-of-the-art technology. 

Overall, it's an excellent choice for those looking for a solid laptop for both gaming and heavy-resourced tasks, as it packs a premium 144 Hz screen, an ergonomic RGB backlit keyboard with a number pad,  ultrafast SSD storage, a 14-core Intel Core i7 processor and top-notch GeForce GPU. Without further ado, let's dig deep and uncover everything there is to know about this gaming laptop.

Table of contents

 MSI Pulse GL66 12UGKV-464 Specifications

Tech Specs
Brand/ModelMSI Pulse GL66 12UGKV-464
Dimensions 14.13 x 10.20 x 0.94 inches
Weight 4.96 pounds
Display IPS-Level | Anti-glare | 15.6'' | 144 Hz
Resolution Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Processor11th-Gen Intel Core i7-12700H | 14 Cores
RAM 16 GB (DDR4)
GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 | 8 GB (GDDR6)
Storage 512 GB (SSD)
Battery 3-Cell | 53 Wh
Operating System Windows 11 Home
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.2
1x USB-A 2.0
2x USB-A 3.2
1x USB-C 3.2
1x Audio jack
HD Webcam

Design, Display, and Keyboard

MSI Pulse GL66 12UGKV-464 performance
The MSI Pulse GL66 12UGKV-464 boasts a modern look with a matte black aluminum lid, and a premium laser-etched shield logo on it, while the rest of the case is made out of solid plastic. Overall, it features a solid build quality well within what we've come to expect on a laptop of this caliber. 

In terms of weight, we've got 4.96 pounds and a thickness of 0.94 inches. It's not really the most portable model we've reviewed here. If portability is a deal breaker then you might want to consider the ASUS TUF Gaming F15 FX507ZM-ES74 which is more portable.

As for the cooling features, this model packs a powerful dual-fan system to optimize power and performance, especially while doing demanding tasks and playing hardcore gaming, although it can be noisy when the turbo fan mode is on. Again, nothing new under the sun for a gaming laptop.

Just looking at its stunning anti-glare 15.6-inch display, it's more than clear that you will enjoy your favorite AAA titles like never before, thanks to its high refresh rate (144 Hz), excellent resolution (1080p), reasonable color coverage, and wider viewing angles as it's an IPS screen. 

Many gaming laptops will often feature a TN (Twisted Neumatic) screen. These are good screens because they provide good color reproduction. However, they don't feature good viewing angles, unlike IPS displays.

Moreover, this model comes with a full-sized single-zone backlit RGB keyboard that assures a comfy typing and gaming experience, especially in dim environments while it can be customized via the MSI Center app. Also, the tactile feedback is very pleasing and it has a dedicated number pad on the right side.

We're not going to lie. We would have liked a keyboard that can be divided into different zones, as we've seen on other gaming notebooks. However, given the rest of the specs, we will give it a pass.

The MSI Pulse GL66 12UGKV-464 performs very well on most day-to-day scenarios, as it packs a monster processor (Intel Core i7-12700H) powered by 8 Efficient-cores and 6 Performance-cores, giving us a total of 14 cores. That's substantially more than what we are used to seeing.

Also, it has 20 threads, and a 24 MB SmartCache memory, while it can reach up to 4.70 GHz when working on demanding tasks. 

As for the RAM, it comes with 16 GB of DDR4 memory which can be upgraded up to 64 GB in case you need to do so. And we do encourage you to do so if you want to take full advantage of everything this laptop has to offer.

On a daily basis, this laptop delivers enough power to do video/photo editing, coding, 3D rendering, virtualization, creative work, web browsing, spreadsheet editing, video chatting, 4K streaming, and many other common tasks smoothly.

Essentially, there's pretty much nothing you can't get done with this set of specs.

Moving into gaming performance, the high-end 8 GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card allows you to play in high definition (1080p) most of the highly-anticipated AAA games of the season, including the racing title Need For Speed Unbound (83.5 fps), the first-person shooter Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (97 fps), and the survival horror The Callisto Protocol (78.4 fps).

As for the storage, we've got a 512 GB NVMe SSD unit which will save you a lot of time when running Windows and its applications, rendering projects, and transferring heavy data, thanks to its faster reading/writing speed (up to 3200 MB/s) when compared to the older HDD storage units.

Ultimately, while we do recommend upgrading the RAM to get the maximum out of the laptop. The MSI Pulse GL66 12UGKV-464 easily has some of the best set of specs we've seen on a gaming laptop within its price range and you'll be hard-pressed to find a similarly-priced laptop that delivers such a solid performance.

Connectivity and Extras

Regarding connectivity, this gaming laptop packs a decent port selection, including two USB-A 3.2 ports, a single USB-A 2.0 port, and a high-speed USB-C 3.2 port. Also, it comes with an HDMI output, an audio jack, and an HD webcam.

Wireless connectivity is completed with Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6 technologies, so you can enjoy faster speed when pairing your headphones, gamepads and other peripherals as well as up to 75% lower latency while browsing the web and streaming games when compared to the previous WiFi 5 protocol (802.11 b/g/n/ac).

However, if you need a gaming laptop with an Ethernet port, you might want to take a look at the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-54-760S, a Core i7 computer that has also managed to climb the ranks thanks to its high-end specs and competitive price point.

It should be noted that there's also no SD card reader, a trend that's fairly common these days. 

Battery Life

Like most gaming laptops, you can't expect impressive battery life on the MSI Pulse GL66 12UGKV-464 as the 53 Wh built-in battery only lasts up to 2 hours of light work, as some users have already expressed in their personal reviews.

This is not uncommon. However, there are a few gaming laptops that have managed to successfully challenge this "tradition". The popular Asus TUF Dash F15 ‎TUF516PE-AB73, for example, offers roughly 8 hours worth of battery life, while still boasting an i7 processor and 8 GB of upgradable RAM, amongst other features.

Another option we have seen in recent reviews is that some gaming laptops won't offer a good battery life right off the bat but will instead offer quick charge technology, offering up to a 50% charge in 45 minutes or so. 

Ultimately, the model at hand does not feature a great battery life. If you're planning on taking this laptop everywhere you go then this is definitely an issue. However, if you're buying this gaming laptop as a desktop replacement that won't leave your house, as many people do, then it might not even be an issue. 

Verdict: Is the MSI Pulse GL66 12UGKV-464 worth buying?

The MSI Pulse GL66 12UGKV-464 is recommended for those gamers and users looking for a powerful and not very portable machine packed with high-end components delivering smooth frame rates and fast load times when working on heavy tasks and playing the most anticipated games.

Also, it comes with a generous RAM that can be easily upgraded as well as a visually stunning 144 Hz display with FHD resolution, a customizable RGB keyboard, a balanced port selection and an efficient fan system that can be loud at times.

Overall, if you're looking to buy a gaming laptop that can play games like it's nobody's business then this is a great option that won't let you down.