Wondering wither MSI or Gigabyte is the right choice for your next motherboard, GPU, laptop, etc? We can help with that!
It’s fairly common for brands to prioritize certain product types, effectively specializing in specific lines. That’s definitely the case with certain products from MSI and Gigabyte.
When it comes to choosing parts for your PC, brand name can mean quite a bit. This is particularly true if you are building a custom-made machine, precisely hand-picking the components that will perform best while cooperating with the rest of your system.
Both brands give you a myriad of options throughout their lineups, so let’s figure out what these two companies are all about. From general brand comparisons to motherboards, laptops, and GPUs, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know.
MSI was founded in the 80s in Taiwan and initially started off only producing motherboards. As the years went on, they began to diversify their products and today, they creating everything from laptops, to desktops, servers, material for cars and more. They also spread their wings into the eSports world by sponsoring several eSports teams.
When it comes to the gaming world, one of the first names that comes out of any search or conversation is without a doubt MSI. They are one of the most popular choices for computer builds these days and their products have an outstanding track record.
As far as product reputation goes, MSI is a strong performer. They have an great history of customer reviews and, if you are looking for the top products in just about any kind of category, you will always see the MSI name in the mix.
Now, while the reputation is mostly considered to be great, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t gripes, Such as occasional rumors that inferior, cheap parts are used to create certain products. That unfortunately, is not easy to prove or disprove and you have to take anything you hear online with a grain of salt anyway.
PC component manufacturers can often be a lightning rod for user disdain, but a glance across the internet will show far more instances of users singing MSI’s praises.
Customer service, as with most tech brands, can be hit-or-miss, but we’ll cover that more below.
Gigabyte is actually another Taiwanese company that happened to start the exact same year as MSI in 1986. Much like MSI, they focused on strictly motherboards and maintain that specialty today.
Gigabyte has followed a similar path to MSI, but now specialize in notebooks and graphics cards. They have a smaller product library than MSI, but they have partnered with big brands such as ASUS and Apple and their collaborations have been extremely lucrative.
Gigabyte has worked hard in recent years to ramp up its brand footprint. From partnerships with eSports groups and streamers to an increase in general marketing, their name can be seen all over the industry.
MSI vs Gigabyte: Motherboards
If you are building a PC from the ground up, you are going to be starting this creation with a motherboard. If we are talking about body parts of a computer, consider the motherboard the skeleton of your computer.
Everything you add on top of the skeleton fills out the creation, but the skeleton needs to be strong for the rest of the body to be an effective machine. Without the motherboard, none of your other fancy parts mean anything as they would have nothing to plug into.
Generally, MSI’s line of motherboards tends to be more diverse and more well-rounded. On the other hand, Gigabyte’s line of motherboards tends to have more options on the highest end and lowest end of price ranges. MSI motherboards do offer a much better, easier to use BIOS than Gigabyte boards.
If you’re looking to break the bank on the best rig possible, there’s unfortunately not an extremely cut-and-dry answer on which brand’s motherboard to choose. It would be far easier to declare a unanimous general winner, but that’s not the honest answer when it comes to expensive models from either brand. In this case, it is really about comparing a specific MSI board’s specs and a specific Gigabyte board’s specs side-by-side.
If you are looking to spend the least money possible in order to put more into your GPU, monitor, etc, we’d suggest leaning toward a Gigabyte board. They’ll typically offer some low-budget motherboards that are a bit cheaper than the cheapest MSI options.
MSI is toward the top of the mountain of motherboard makers for sure and, any time you are looking to building from the ground up, MSI is a fantastic way to start off.
Since starting their company as motherboard-building specialists, they have only improved that reputation. In recent years, they have ascended to one of the top overall names in computing, none the least because of their amazing motherboards.
MSI seems to take customer feedback and reviews seriously as they seek to improve their products. The software they work with, called RGB, is also considered top of the line, even though their updates sometimes take an extremely long time to come out. This means that although their actual products are great, especially in the motherboards department, they often do take an unusually long time to release.
Gigabyte on the other hand has been gaining quite bit of speed in recent years, even if their motherboards are not quite as highly regarded as MSI’s in the public’s eye. This might be surprising considering their massive partnerships and longevity, but their limited library means they are often a second choice in the motherboard conversation.
Our 2021 MSI & Gigabyte Motherboard Picks
MSI’s MEG GODLIKE motherboards are gaudy, chock-full of features, and downright expensive. Even though they are solid performers, they are really only an option if you demand the best, have a glass case to view it in action, and really just want to show off.
Very similar specs to the MSI MEG GODLIKE and targeted to a very similar user. Built to be overkill with all sorts of bells & whistles.
The MEG ACE line is one step below the MEG GODLIKE, but is the better choice for the vast majority of users. It’s got plenty of performance, plenty of room, and it’s hundreds of dollars cheaper.
One step down from the AORUS EXTREME, and (just like with the MSI MEG ACE), probably the better choice for most. It’s a very competitive board in its price range.
MSI’s MPG line of cards are an outstanding value and offer good performance for anyone looking to run two GPUs. This price range is also the sweet spot for X570 and XZ90 boards. If your budget drops below this, we’d recommend dropping down to another CPU range.
Another great value that covers all of the basics and covers them well. Plenty of slots and plenty of power.
Rather than sticking with the AMD X590 or Intel Z590 motherboards, budget options are going to be more optimal running an AMD B450 or an Intel Z390. The MSI PRO line is a great choice, no matter which chip you prefer.
You won’t be able to overclock with this board as much as you can with the higher-end Gigabyte motherboards we’ve listed above, but this is a very solid performer for a very low price.
MSI vs Gigabyte: GPUs
Although both companies specialize in making motherboards, their talents stretch far beyond that and they also offer extensive lines of GPUs. When dealing with GPUs, you are usually looking at multiple brands putting out their own versions of the same exact thing.
Basically, Nvidia or AMD are the designers of the GPU chip itself. For example, no matter whether you are buying from MSI, Gigabyte, Asus, EVGA, or anyone else, a 2080 graphics card is a 2080 graphics card. The actual brain of the card remains the same for all, so the end result will not be night-and-day different for comparable models.
What you really need to pay attention to when comparing MSI and Gigabyte GPUs should be cooling systems (and operating temperatures), factory overclocks (or overclocking potential), and any other model-specific features.
It’s difficult to make broad generalizations between these two brands in the GPU department. It’s absolutely going to come down to model specifics. Sometimes, you’ll find that a specific brand’s version of a GPU is innovating and exciting. Others times, you’ll find that it’s just a bland reskin.
Forced to make a definitive pick, we lean toward MSI GPUs over Gigabyte GPUs in most apples-to-apples comparisons. We have generally preferred their overclocks and cooling builds in recent years.
Our 2021 GPU Picks
MSI GeForce RTX 2080 GAMING X TRIO (Click to check current price on Amazon)
The MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming Trio is a massive GPU that takes up a ton of space (two-and-a-half slots). It comes with an aggressive factory overclock, an absolutely outstanding cooling system, and some cool RGB features.
GIGABYTE Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING OC (Click to check current price on Amazon)
The Gigabyte Radeon RX 6700 XT Gaming OC is a true competitor to the GeForce RTX 2080 in every way. It performs very well, runs at great temperatures, has good overclocking potential, and is very energy efficient.
GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2070 Super WINDFORCE OC (Click to check current price on Amazon)
The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 Super WINDFORCE OC is a really good 2070 with good build quality, good temps, and very solid performance.
MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Ventus OC (Click to check current price on Amazon)
The MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Ventus OC is a factory-overclocked GPU that is an excellent performer at 1080p or 1440p. It’s ready to go out of the box, but has the capability of being tuned to compete with more expensive 2060’s.
MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Click to check current price on Amazon)
The MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti can be picked up at a low price and is more than capable of solid performing in 1080p gaming. If you want a basic GPU that can handle less graphically demanding titles or older titles, this is a very solid choice that won’t break the bank.
MSI vs Gigabyte: Laptops
In the world of laptops, MSI and Gigabyte are very competitive and their laptop models are far more comparable performance-wise across the spectrum than their motherboards. Gigabyte usually comes out with more flexibility in terms of add-on’s, while MSI usually wins on raw power out of the box.
Gigabyte laptops are typically a step down in raw performance-enhancing features when compared to their MSI counterparts, but their budget options are some of the best you can find for the prices. The strong suit of Gigabyte machines is that they have wildly varying prices and quality of machines. Some models are around $1200, but others end up in the high $2000s and above and boast some seriously impressive technical stats.
Our 2021 Laptop Picks
Gigabyte AORUS 15-X9-RT4BD 15 (Click to check current price on Amazon)
Gigabyte boasts a wide variety of machines, but few will beat out the combination of value and performance of the AORUS 15-X9-RT4BD 15. For under $1,200, you get a machine that boasts an Nvidia GeForce 2070 graphics card and an Intel core i-7-8750H CPU with 16GB of RAM.
This is one of the highest end gaming PCs as you can find for the money and in terms of gaming, you can play just about any top games with high settings.
The AORUS 15-X9-RT4BD 15 gives you a well balanced machine some elite level graphics for a manageable price and would make a perfect first gaming laptop for someone new to the game.
MSI GL65 Leopard (Click to check current price on Amazon)
If your budget for a gaming laptop is around $1,500, we love the GL65 Leopard as a do-it-all workhorse. This an excellent choice for gamers who play a bit of everything.
The RTX 2070 inside is a mid-range dream of a performer that is plenty for achieving smooth FPS at 144hz in competitive games (if you’re unfamiliar with why this matters, check out our guide to The Pros & Cons of 144hz) at 1080p FHD on the IPS screen.
And for those who are worried about FHD vs QHD or UHD, we will always argue that those kinds of resolutions are not nearly as important when you’re on a laptop-sized screen (15.6″, in this case).
A Core i7-10750H processor, 16GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM, and 512GB NVMe SSD round out the arsenal to give you everything you need for gaming and work.
MSI GT76 Titan (Click to check current price on Amazon)
Are you ready to go overkill on laptop performance? If so (and you’re okay with paying a hefty sum of money) you’d be very hard-pressed to find a machine as powerful as the MSI GT76 Titan.
Where do we start with this monstrosity? If it isn’t the Intel core i9-9900k processor with speed that will rock your world. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU is going to allow ultra-settings on just about any top-of-the-line game and with the amazing screen with a 60 Hz refresh rate, it will look crystal clear as well. This is going to give you 4K gaming on the go with zero compromises and the 64 GB of RAM means that no matter how many programs you are running, you will find your system will be able to handle it.
If you want to get really crazy, there are models above the base model that offer even better GPUs and displays, but at the cost of nearly $5,000. This is definitely overkill for most folks (especially considering that the base model is already far from cheap at around $3,000).
MSI ain’t ever cheap, so you need to realize going in that when you see the MSI logo, it is going to cost a pretty penny, regardless of the model you go for.
MSI vs Gigabyte: Customer Service & Warranties
Typically, you can expect a little better customer service with MSI over Gigabyte. MSI’s track record in this area is fairly average for the industry, while Gigabyte’s is somewhat notorious for being subpar.
To be fair though, this is common with tons of PC part manufacturers. Even big names like Nvidia have, in our experience, some real issues with customer service.
Dealing with a warranty or RMA is a very real possibility when working with PC parts, so it’s always worthwhile to do your due diligence with that. MSI has an edge in this area too.
Here are the links to both brands’ detailed warranty information for each specific product type:
Gigabyte is known for being quite difficult to work with on anything that involves warranty, while MSI is decent. MSI will often satisfy warranties based on date of purchase rather than requiring concrete proof of purchase.
MSI and Gigabyte have a ton of crossover in their product lines and both of these companies have the capability of getting the job done.
If you are going for the best possible gaming experience and don’t need to worry about things like paying rent or eating food, the highest end of either an MSI or Gigabyte products will need to be compared side-by-side. It’s more about individual product specs here than it is about brand name.
With Gigabyte, you are going for the more affordable option (most of the time). Many of the lower-priced models in Gigabyte’s lineup are a great choice for the money and although you won’t be winning the award for the most frame rates per second with these products, they will be more than adequate for running most modern games at solid settings without issue.