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Working laptop .... for a gamer


Ok, so i’ve been reading teh interwebz trying to decide which laptop to buy … ended up with a choice of two:

  • Aero 15x v8
  • GS65

MSI currently has the lead because it is supposed have better build quality and better and quieter thermal solution but it has an important drawback for me, which is flipped mobo as i tend to clean vents 2-4 times per year and i like it if it takes less than 10 min to do it. (i can clean and repaste my current Aorus X3 in about 7 min).

I have my laptops on Linux (Manjaro) for work related development most of the time and only switch to Windblows a few times a week to scratch my gaming itch. I plan to try kvm with looking-glass for gaming but i can live with dual boot.

So my question is are there any other issues with these two laptops i should be aware of in terms of linux incompatibility and performance issues?

If anyone is running any of these two systems with looking glass for gaming i would appreciate the feedback.
If anyone has an alternative suggestion for a laptop, criteria is:

  • 15.6 or less
  • FHD (whoever thought 4k on a laptop is a good idea needs a mental checkup)
  • 8th gen intel (EDIT: no ryzen as it conflicts with thunderbolt 10x @TheOtherDave)
  • m2 nvme
  • iGPU+dGPU
  • thunderbolt
  • decent thermal solution (preferably less noise than an airplane takeoff)
    Bonus round:
  • second m2 (can be sata)
  • easy to take apart
  • physical RJ45


and be gentle … it’s my first time … posting on L1Tech that is :smiley:


If Thunderbolt is a requirement and you want to buy now, none of the AMD-based systems currently on the market have it (AFAIK, anyway).

If you’re willing to wait and find a Ryzen-based laptop that you otherwise like, it might be worth calling/emailing the manufacturer and asking if they have plans to add support for it in that model’s next refresh because…

Technically speaking, @wendell solved the issues of Thunderbolt 3 on some (all? I think just some) AMD desktop motherboards, proving that there aren’t any fundamental incompatibilities between the Ryzen CPUs/chipsets and Thunderbolt 3. His solution involved a PCIe card, though, so I don’t think there’s a way to duplicate it in a laptop. Legally speaking, Intel stopped charging licensing/royalty fees for Thunderbolt 3 last year, so there aren’t any legal reasons to not support it anymore.

Anyway, that’s a lot of text just to say it’s not impossible that the next round of AMD-based systems could have Thunderbolt 3 support if manufacturers think there’s enough demand. And unfortunately I do mean the next round; there’s extra hardware in a Thunderbolt port that isn’t present in USB-C ports; a simple firmware update can’t add the functionality to existing systems.


Graphics passthrough is hard or impossible to get working on most laptops. Expect to dual boot.


I can deal with hard … so i just want to weed out the ones where it’s impossible


See github repo below for how to set it up on a mux laptop-

Muxless laptops are even harder, and I have only seen people get muxless laptops with older (gtx 700-800) nvidia graphics working in passthrough. See-

I think that both laptops you are looking at are muxless.


so … back to the main part of the question … any linux related issues i should be aware related to those two models or any other suggestions?


i’m guessing this is EOF on comments …

I think i’ll go for GS65, frankly just because it has an ArchWiki page … better WiFi chip, better cooling and spacier keyboard were also considered.

In the end i can maintain it even with a flipped mobo and 2400 RAM as long as it’s dual channel is not that much of an issue for my needs.

As for virtualisation i think i’ll stick to dual booting or maybe try runing games in Proton as that is the only reason why i even have Windblows installed.