Gaming Performance

The Razer Blade is first and foremost a gaming laptop, and the GTX 870M inside is a substantial upgrade over the previous Blade’s GTX 765M. With 1344 CUDA cores, 3GB of GDDR5, 941 MHz clock, and a 192-bit memory bus, the 870M packs a punch, but with four times the number of pixels to drive in this year’s Blade, will it be enough?

To test this, we will run it through our normal suite of benchmarks to see where it stands. As our benchmarks top out at 1920x1080, I will also run it through a couple of the games at 3200x1800.

Bioshock Infinite - Enthusiast

GRID 2 - Enthusiast

Metro: Last Light - Enthusiast

Sleeping Dogs - Enthusiast

Tomb Raider - Enthusiast

This is marketed and sold as a gaming system, and there are no complaints here. The step up to the GTX 870M over the last model’s GTX 765M means a massive increase in performance. The Razer Blade obviously cannot keep up with the likes of the Alienware 18 with its two GTX 780M cards in SLI, but that laptop is also a 12 pound behemoth. In fact, the Razer Blade outperforms all of the 15.6 inch laptops currently in Mobile Bench, and only loses to the 17 inch gaming machines.

However the obvious point has to be made that while the GTX 870M is much more powerful, it also has to drive four times the number of pixels as on the previous version of the Razer Blade. If you are looking at buying one of these, it is very likely you would want to game at the native resolution of the panel. In order to find out what the gaming experience would be for gaming at the native resolution, I used the GeForce Experience to customize the game settings for 3200x1800. If you are curious as to the number of options you can enable for 3200x1800, it is fairly impressive. Here's what GFE ended up recommending for two games:

3200x1800 Gaming Performance

So, yes, you can game at the native panel resolution. You may not be able to enable every feature, but with GeForce Experience, you can custom tailor the settings quickly to get reasonable performance. GeForce Experience also has a slider where you can opt for more performance if you find the frame rate too low for your liking. By default, the slider is almost completely over to the Quality setting.

System Performance and WiFi Display
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  • tekeffect - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    Hopefully they don't wait a whole year before updating to a 970m and 16gb ram
  • nathanddrews - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    Seems like a missed opportunity. Unless you have an immediate need or have the money to upgrade in four months, it seems better to wait for a Broadwell + 16GB + 970M combination or at least 16GB + 970M. Also, the markup going from 128GB to 512GB is more expensive than MSRP on a 1TB SSD... I expect some margin in the price when buying pre-built, but that's just excessive to me. Otherwise, it's a great looking machine!
  • hammer256 - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    This. The timing is a tad strange, frankly.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    Technically our review was delayed, as the updated Blade launched a few months back. Razer hasn't announced a 970M release yet, but I expect that will come soon enough.
  • nathanddrews - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    Funny, I didn't even realize. I just assume that everything you folks review is brand new. Looks like it came out in June/July, so that makes more sense then. Let me restate my above comment as though it were July 1:

    Wow, this notebook is amazing! I can't wait to buy one! ;-)
  • spencer_richter - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    As for gaming, it is nowhere close to the ASUS ROG G750JM-DS71 (I recommend seeing for example).
  • eanazag - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    I think the next Razer should be a Broadwell + 970M + 16 GB RAM. It should have a bare minimum 256GB drive for gaming.

    I love this thing and was considering this last tax season against a rMBP and the Dell XPS15 with the high res display. A 750M was just too weak for me for gaming anything but Blizzard games. I ended up with an AMD R290 gpu for my desktop upgrade, which was a more sensible choice when discussing the non-sensible cost of gaming products.
  • Morawka - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    this laptop they are reviewing is almost a year old. It came out 8 months ago. Razer will no doubt release a 2015 model in feb
  • Samus - Saturday, October 11, 2014 - link

    You either can't count or you are trolling, because this laptop is 5 months old and didn't even retail until June 15th.

    We will probably be able to pick these up at a huge price cut after the Maxwell model is released, a lot like how GTX 770's were going for $350 before Maxwell and are now selling for <$200 on eBay (used)

    I've always though this was a beautiful machine, and the Maxwell edition will be an amazing boon to battery life and cooling...but that doesn't make this unit irrelevant.
  • Connoisseur - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    Love mine so far. Wishlist for the 2015 model would be a 970m, 16GB of RAM, DisplayPort and/or HDMI 2.0. If they throw in a Broadwell CPU in there too, I can't imagine that this wouldn't be the perfect laptop for 95% of use case scenarios.

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