System Performance

The Razer Blade continues to utilize the Intel Core i7-4702HQ CPU due to the timing of the launch. There are a couple of different choices at this time (i.e. i7-4710HQ) that were not around when the Razer Blade was refreshed. Compared to an Ultrabook, the Razer Blade is a full quad-core part with eight threads, so performance should be significantly better than the Haswell U series parts, but of course that is at the expense of power consumption, with the i7-4702HQ CPU rated at 37 watts. Coupled to this is an SSD in the Samsung PM851 and 8GB of DDR3L-1600 memory, which should provide excellent performance for day to day tasks.

PCMark 8 - Home

PCMark 8 - Creative

PCMark 8 - Work

PCMark 8 - Storage

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD 5.x

x264 HD 5.x

With the 37 watt CPU, the Razer Blade falls right where you would expect. Overall, there is more performance than the Ultrabook class machines such as the Yoga 2 Pro and the Surface Pro 3, but other gaming laptops with higher wattage CPUs are a bit faster. Still, for the Razer Blade’s intended use scenario, system performance is great. The M.2 SSD in the Razer Blade performs very well in the PCMark 8 Storage test, scoring very close to the rest of the SSD pack.


The new Razer Blade has updated the WiFi card from the previous version that used a Killer Wireless-N 1202 dual-band 2x2 802.11a/b/g/n solution. The new Blade now features the Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 7260, which adds support for 802.11ac. This wireless card is a 2x2:2 card offering connection speeds up to 866 Mbps on an 802.11ac connection.

WiFi Performance - TCP

With around 400 Mbps sustained transfer speeds, the Intel wireless card does pretty well with the router close by, but in other tests Ganesh has found that the Broadcom BCM4352 card performs better, especially with some drywall between you and the router. With the Razer Blade 30’ from the router in another room, the wireless speeds dropped to around 270 Mbps, which is still a reasonable result. Still, the Blade has 802.11ac and therefore supports both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz, so there is not too much to complain about here. The Intel card also performs the Bluetooth 4.0 functions.

Design and Chassis Gaming Performance
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  • isa - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    Brett, thanks for the review. I love their form factor and hope they have more models in the pipeline. It would be great if you could update this review with some info on how they obviously must switch to 970 or 980 extremely soon, since 870 was formally discontinued when 9xx was released. It would also be great if you could get their thoughts on adding models that are more directly competitive with the rMBA line: provide models with more memory and CPU and a bit less graphics capability. In other words, a more general purpose desktop replacement in a similar form factor to their current models. Thanks for considering these suggestions!
  • Fox5 - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    When you're priced at the top of the market, you shouldn't have any compromises. Only 8GB of ram and no Maxwell GPU is ridiculous for a laptop at this price point.
  • Gigaplex - Saturday, October 11, 2014 - link

    As has been stated multiple times already, this laptop came out months before the Maxwell mobile GPUs came out. 8GB on the other hand, you have a point.
  • Solandri - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    You really should be comparing this with the Gigabyte P34G v2. 14", 3.85 lbs, i7-4710HQ, 860m, mSATA + HDD, ~$1450 base. They just announced a 970m version (P34W v3) as well for $1650. The build quality is not as good, but for $800 less...
  • Brett Howse - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    I did mention the P34G v2 but we have not had one to review so I couldn't use the numbers from it.
  • madwolfa - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    Now make it 1080p IPS with Maxwell and we will talk.
  • Wolfpup - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    I'm glad these exist for people with feeble arms and who want a Macbook Air that's made for games...but I'd still never pick one over an Alienware. They're priced like, or even more expensive than, Alienware systems with far better cooling, far better GPUs, user replaceable storage and dual drive bays.

    My M17x-R4 is just as portable as a Macbook Air. It's irrelevant that one is twice as thick and heavy when either way they just go in my bag. I'm not giving up a ton of power and user accessible drives just for alleged "style".
  • Connoisseur - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    I read these kinds of comments a lot regarding the thin + light form factor. Here's the thing: I have never seen an adult over the age of 21 carry around an Alienware/DTR Rig in public. Never. Not in a coffee shop, not on airplanes, trains or hotels. It's meant to sit in one place and occasionally be moved if you're moving houses/apartments or going to a LAN party (who the hell does that anymore?). It's great if you have limited space in your apartment/dorm and don't want a full desktop. Things that it's NOT great for:
    1) Carrying around on casual trips
    2) Watching videos/internet surfing for more than 2 hours on battery
    3) Solving back pain. 9LB weight PLUS Giant Power Brick

    Now I understand I'm generalizing and I'm sure there are some that don't care about how they look in public but I contend that these are also many people who don't care about the brand or fit of clothes they wear as long as they're cheap, stay on and keep them warm. Apples to Oranges comparison.

    You making condescending remarks about what people should and shouldn't be buying based on your likes doesn't really make sense. Some people like the Alienware because it has the most powerful internals you can squeeze into something that's "portable" and it's comparably affordable, appearances be damned. Some people like Razers because they're actually portable, have a great build quality, can still play a ton of games, and wouldn't be out of place in a gathering of post-college humans.
  • isa - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    You nailed it. Lots of married gamers with good jobs would NEVER be caught using an Alienware laptop because of its immature looks. Razer and Apple have a lock on the market for gaming laptops for grownups until Alienware grows up in their design department.
  • XabanakFanatik - Sunday, October 12, 2014 - link

    There's one point missing - The (not really) comparably sized alienware 14 will throttle under some conditions, while I have yet to be able to cause my RB14 to throttle no matter how hard I try. Thickness does not mean cooling efficiency.

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