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Product Listing

Razer Blade (2018) review: Looking sharper than ever before

By Koh Wanzi - 27 Jun 2018
Launch SRP: S$3899

Performance benchmarks

Test setup and performance

Here’s a full list of the notebooks we’re looking at:

  • Razer Blade (2018)
  • Gigabyte Aero 15X (Core i7-8750H)
  • Gigabyte Aero 15X (Core i7-7700HQ)
  • Aftershock PRIME-15

The Gigabyte Aero 15X (Core i7-7700HQ) and Aftershock PRIME-15 were chosen because they share very similar specifications with the Razer Blade. With the exception of the processor, the notebooks are equipped with the same GPU and memory configuration, so this comparison should clearly highlight the performance boost you're getting from the new 8th-generation hexa-core chip. 

Test notebooks compared
  Razer Blade (2018) Gigabyte Aero 15X (2018) Gigabyte Aero 15X Aftershock PRIME-15 Max-Q
  Razer Blade (2018) Gigabyte Aero 15X (2018) Gigabyte Aero 15X Aftershock PRIME-15 Max-Q
Launch SRP
  • From S$3899
  • From S$3799
  • From S$3699
Processor and Chipset
  • Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz, 9MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz, 9MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ (2.8GHz, 6MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ (2.8GHz, 6MB L3 cache)
Operating System
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
System Memory
  • 16GB DDR4-2667 dual-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 single-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4 2,400MHz RAM
  • 16GB DDR4 2,400MHz RAM
Video & Display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS display
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel VA X-Rite Pantone-certified display
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 120Hz display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Max-Q
Storage
  • Samsung PM981 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Toshiba XG3 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Samsung 960 EVO 250GB SSD
  • Seagate FireCuda SSHD 1TB
Optical Drive
  • None
  • None
  • None
  • None
Connectivity
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9260
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel Wireless-AC 8265
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Wireless 802.11ac/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Wireless 802.11ac/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.2
Audio
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers
I/O Ports
  • 1x microphone-in, headphone-out jack
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x HDMI 2.0b
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1x audio combo jack
  • 1x SD card reader
  • 1x RJ-45
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 1)
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort
  • 1x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3
  • 1x audio combo jack
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port (Type-C)
  • 3x USB 3.0 ports (USB3.1 Gen1, 1 x powered USB port, AC/DC)
  • 2x Mini Display port 1.3
  • 1x HDMITM output port (with HDCP)
  • 1x 2-in-1 Audio jack (Headphone / S/PDIF Optical output)
  • 1x Microphone jack
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN port
Battery Type
  • 80Wh Li-ion polymer
  • 94.24Wh Li-ion polymer
  • 94.24Wh
  • 55Wh
Dimensions
  • 355 x 235 x 17.3mm
  • 356.4 x 250 x 18.9mm
  • 356.4 x 250 x 19.9mm
  • 380 x 249 x 18.6mm
Weight
  • 2.1 kg
  • 2.1kg
  • 2.1kg
  • 1.9kg
Miscellaneous
  • Per-key RGB illumination
  • Per-key RGB illumination
  • RGB illumination

We ran the notebooks through the following benchmarks:

  • PCMark 10
  • 3DMark
  • VRMark
  • Ashes of the Singularity
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division

 

PCMark 10 Extended

PCMark 10 Extended assesses the performance of systems in a variety of workloads, including basic computing tasks, productivity applications, digital content creation, and gaming. Compared to PCMark 8, it also adds in new test metrics, such as app startup times, which quantifies how long it takes to launch a variety of real-world apps, and a rendering and visualization workload to simulate professional graphics and engineering applications. In addition, existing workloads have been updated to reflect modern usage.

Unsurprisingly, the 6-core/12-thread Intel Core i7-8750H processor helped the Razer Blade push ahead here. However, the 8th-generation Intel processors don't actually represent that large of a performance upgrade in terms of basic productivity applications.

It was a mere 2 per cent faster than the Aftershock PRIME-15 and its 7th-generation Core i7-7700HQ chip, and a look at the score breakdown even shows it lagging behind in the Productivity tests. The greatest performance advantage manifested in the Gaming benchmarks, where the Razer Blade gained just under a 9 per cent lead over the Aftershock PRIME-15.

 

3DMark

3DMark is a more relevant assessment of gaming performance, and it puts the system through a range of graphics and computational performance tests at different resolutions, starting at 1080p and going all the way up to 4K.

The Razer Blade was roughly 8 per cent quicker than the notebooks equipped with the 7th-generation Intel processors across the board. That's a modest improvement, although not one that would necessarily justify an upgrade from a 7th-generation processor.

 

VRMark

Futuremark’s VRMark benchmark is designed to assess a PC’s ability to handle high-performance headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. If a PC passes the Orange Room test, it is ready for the latter two systems. The benchmark also has a target frame rate of 109FPS, and I've included the average FPS each notebook managed to provide a clearer measure of their respective performance. 

The way things look, VRMark still places a greater emphasis on higher single-core clock speeds and isn't quite able to fully utilize hexa-core Core i7-8750H. The latter has a 2.2GHz base clock and maximum turbo frequency of 4.1GHz, compared to the 2.8GHz base clock and 3.8GHz boost clock of the Core i7-7700HQ.

While the 8th-generation Coffee Lake processor has a higher turbo boost frequency, it seems like that couldn't make up for the considerably lower base clock.

While the Razer Blade still passed the test handily, it was still around 17 per cent slower than last year's Gigabyte Aero 15X.

 

Ashes of the Singularity

Ashes of the Singularity is a demanding real-time strategy game that puts thousands of units on screen, and it’s capable of pushing even the most powerful GPUs.

The hexa-core processor on the Razer Blade didn't help it here, and performance was virtually indistinguishable from the notebooks with the 7th-generation quad-core chips. 

 

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Mankind Divided is one of the most demanding titles to run today, but the Razer Blade is more than capable of delivering a playable experience. 

That said, the 8th-generation chip nets you only slightly better performance than its 7th-generation counterpart. In fact, the Razer Blade was a mere 3 per cent faster than the Aftershock PRIME-15 at High settings. 

 

Tom Clancy's The Division

The Division isn’t as demanding to run as Ashes of the Singularity or Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, but its Snowdrop engine can still stress cards with the use of dynamic lighting and the like.

The performance jump was similarly minuscule here, and the Razer Blade was just 2.5 per cent faster than the Core i7-7700HQ-equipped Gigabyte Aero 15X. 

8.5
  • Design 9
  • Features 8.5
  • Performance 8.5
  • Value 8
  • Mobility 8.5
The Good
Excellent 144Hz IPS panel
Gorgeous design and impeccable build quality
Compact, thin, and has great battery life
Trackpad is large, responsive, and precise
The Bad
Gets quite hot under load
Expensive
No SD card slot
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