MSI’s Alpha 15 is AMD’s first Navi-powered gaming laptop

MSI's Alpha 15 is AMD's first Navi-powered gaming laptop

MSI’s Alpha 15 is AMD’s first Navi-powered gaming laptop

Alongside the reveal of AMD’s Radeon RX 5500 graphics card came the reveal of MSI’s Alpha 15 gaming notebook, the first gaming laptop to feature a Navi/RDNA-powered graphics cards, cementing AMD’s re-entry into the mobile graphics card market. 

MSI’s Alpha 15 is due to release this month starting at $999 and ship with an AMD Ryzen 7 3750H processor, up to 16GB of DDR4 2400MHz memory, a 15.6-inch full-HD FreeSync screen with a maximum refresh rate of either 120Hz or 144Hz (SKU dependent), up to 512GB of NVMe storage and a backlit keyboard. 

The $999 model is expected to ship with a single-zone backlit keyboard, a 120Hz display and 8GB of DRAM, while the Alpha 15’s higher-end $1099 model is due to release with a SteelSeries per-key RGB keyboard, 16GB of system memory and a 144Hz screen. Both models will feature WiFi 5 connectivity, Bluetooth 5.0 support and Killer Ethernet. 

AMD has claimed that their Radeon RX 5500M graphics card will offer 30% more performance than Nvidia’s GTX 1650 graphics card, delivering 60 FPS performance in most modern titles at 1080p. MSI has updated its cooling technology with “Cooler Boost 5”, utilising seven heatpipes in the Alpha 15 to deliver optimal cooling performance and minimal noise output.  

Having AMD enter the mobile GPU race with their RX 5500M will inject competition back into the mobile GPU market, a factor which will be great for competition. Until now, Nvidia has had a stranglehold on the mobile gaming market without any meaningful competition, but RDNA changes that. Hopefully, AMD’s increased graphics efficiency will enable true competition to re-enter this market and deliver consumers capable machines at lower prices. 

Having MSI ship a notebook with all-AMD hardware is a huge sign of confidence in AMD’s Ryzen Mobile and Radeon offerings, especially given MSI’s long history of using Intel CPUs and Nvidia graphics in their gaming systems. Only time will tell if this confidence is merited. 

MSI is the first notebook maker to reveal a system with both Ryzen Mobile and RDNA hardware, but they are unlikely to be the last. Expect other notebook makers to follow suit in the coming weeks and months. 

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