Razer's Blade represents a much better value the second time around, costing $300 less while receiving a significant boost from the new GTX 660M GPU.
Portable gaming laptops are gradually becoming thinner and lighter, but none has surpassed Razer's Blade in this regard. Even at 17 inches, the narrow 0.88-inch profile and meager weight of 6.6 pounds puts Razer's design miles ahead of the competition. The first model shipped with a modest CPU/GPU combo that, in light of the retail price of $2,800, left much to be desired from a performance standpoint. Thankfully, things are much better this time around. The lower price point of $2,500, with the increase in power, makes the Blade a much more accessible gaming machine.
The most notable change to the Blade's internals is the new Kepler-based GPU, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M with 2GB of DDR5. The new system also uses Intel's latest HM77 chipset, featuring a third-generation IvyBridge Core i7-3632QM CPU, clocked at 2.2GHz (3.2GHz turbo). Razer replaced the 256GB SSD with a hybrid solution, composed of a 500GB 7200rpm physical drive, coupled with a 64GB SSD utilized as a cache drive.
These specs aren't unique among gaming laptops, but the fact that the same hardware exists within the diminutive Blade is reason for Razer to celebrate. True, other manufactures like Alienware and Origin PC cram similar power into larger chassis for around $2,000, but you obviously lose out on portability. Razer has cornered the market for high-end, portable gaming, but it's only a matter of time until other manufacturers come up with rival hardware in a similar form factor. The Blade was never intended to be the one gaming laptop to rule them all, at least in terms of raw power, but you can count on it to run any modern game in a reasonable fashion. Realistically, most games will have to scale back antialiasing and DirectX 11 effects. Metro 2033 is a perfect example. Benchmarking the game on the highest possible settings didn't achieve desirable frame rates.
Metro 2033 - Very High, DirectX 11
Settings: Resolution: 1920x1080; DirectX: DirectX 11; Quality: Very High; Antialiasing: MSAA 4X; Texture Filtering: AF 16X; Advanced PhysX: Enabled; Tesselation: Enabled; DOF: Enabled
- Total Frames: 521, Total Time: 59.58s
- Average Frame Rate: 8.85
- Max. Frame Rate: 70.72
- Min. Frame Rate: 1.83
In order to get the demanding Metro 2033 to achieve decent results, we had to scale down the resolution to 1600x900, ditch DirectX 11 in favor of DirectX 9, and scale back the settings to "medium," rather than "very high."
Metro 2033 - Medium, DirectX 9
Settings: Resolution: 1600x900; DirectX: DirectX 9; Quality: Medium; Antialiasing: AAA; Texture Filtering: AF 4X; Advanced PhysX: Disabled; Tesselation: Not Supported; DOF: Not Supported
- Total Frames: 2587, Total Time: 59.55s
- Average Frame Rate: 43.54
- Max. Frame Rate: 97.34
- Min. Frame Rate: 6.61
Far Cry 2, on the other hand, performed very well with settings on Ultra.
Far Cry 2 - Ultra, DirectX 10
Settings: Demo (Ranch Small), 1920x1080 (60Hz), D3D10, Fixed Time Step (Yes), Disable Artificial Intelligence (No), Full Screen, Antialiasing (8x), VSync (No), Overall Quality (Ultra High), Vegetation (Very High), Shading (Ultra High), Terrain (Ultra High), Geometry (Ultra High), Post FX (High), Texture (Ultra High), Shadow (Ultra High), Ambient (High), Hdr (Yes), Bloom (Yes), Fire (Very High), Physics (Very High), RealTrees (Very High)
- Total Frames: 2243, Total Time: 51.00s
- Average Frame Rate: 43.98
- Max. Frame Rate: 63.51
- Min. Frame Rate: 35.19
The 17.3-inch screen's resolution maxes out at 1920x1080 and features outstanding contrast, producing bright whites and deep blacks. It thankfully comes in a matte finish, so glare shouldn't be too much of an issue unless you are in direct sunlight.
The biggest downside of investing in any gaming laptop is the limited viability as a gaming machine, primarily due to the lack of upgrade possibilities. At some point, your gaming potential will hit its limit. The Blade may not be able to run contemporary games with max settings, but it's more than capable of achieving decent frame rates with modest graphical settings. The GTX 660M is leaps and bounds better than the GTX 555M included in the original model, but it is possible to purchase a laptop equipped with the 680M (thus extending the performance/life span of the laptop) for $2,500 from other manufacturers.
Honestly, i dont get the "Oh you dont get the point" or "This is for serious Lan gamers"... If you THAT serious about lan gaming, lugging your powerhouse Desktop from LAN party to LAN party should'nt be an issue..... just like lugging all their instruments to the practise room on a week/daily basis isn't an issue to a SERIOUS band.
If pro gamers wern't sponsored and supplyed with their gear... i wonder if they would use some shitty branded "gaming" laptop, or their power house that they use at home...?
@blakeney I got my lan case, monitor, kb, mouse, headphones down to a science - all will fit in a large duffel bag if filled right.
Has nobody here heard of Clevo based laptops like Sager, XoticPC or Prostar. Super powerful custom laptops in simple extremely well built chassis.... seriously
sure it wieghs two pounds more, but who cares
@jallu2 Probably one of the ugliest modern laptops I've ever seen. Not that it really matters from a practical standpoint.
If you read an article about an expensive gaming laptop and then proceed to tell tales about how much better it would be to get a desktop, you are a simpleton.
It has to look and feel great for lan parties. Still, I use my MacBook Pro for CG with Maya, MudBox, Zbrush, Final Cut Studio and exclusive plugins even from Adobe. My Wacom work's better with the Mac platform but still games are better on the Windows platform and has better support. 3 thousand for it but it feeds be everyday. But for a real and only gaming portable rig like this one it's just a matter of time.
I'm waiting for Steam to release the client for the Linux platform and see price drops on purchases from manufacturers since they won't have to pay nothing to Microsoft.This Razer beast should deserve a better version later with a more higher processor and a Linux distro Like Ubuntu and get rid of the licensing terms from Microsoft. Looking forward to it.
Someday everyone will understand and every platform serves for each purpose especially, don't look searching for jobs in the Computer Animation or Filming World if you don't know how to use a Macintosh computer because you'll fail has well with Network Administration because if one thing is true it's that Linux dominates in that area.
The real world where IT like myself live on.
( I remember those day when 3Dfx used to rule with those Voodoo GPU's)
This is like Macs but for gaming, seriously overpriced. I feel bad for people that pay so much for brands instead of actual superior power.
@Daian I was about to ask why you would feel sorry for someone who gets something they want, but then I realized you're lying. You don't feel sorry for them, you feel superior to them. Sometimes I'm slow.
@Tremblay343 1. Who cares if they wasted their money? It's theirs to spend how they please. 2. If you're buying something for its name shouldn't it be a name the average person knows? 3. I didn't imply you couldn't find cheaper and better, so way to make a non-point. 4. I don't think paying less for more grants people a feeling of superiority either. I think condescending to feel sorry for others based on their consumer choices shows that they feel superior, as opposed to their intended veil of magnanimity.
Maybe someday I will be able to justify spending that much on a laptop. Mobile gaming just is not for me right now.
The benchmarks suck for the price. No thanks, I think I'll stick with my PC that cost less than 1000 and can play Metro on max.
To hell with custom laptop makers. Look at this: http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:category.details?current-catalog-id=12F0696583E04D86B9B79B0FEC01C087¤t-category-id=AC523278A4F13F27A84F5F5622D1AC7A
Also GTX 660M, 3rd Gen i7, 8gb DDR1600, option for 1080p screen, under $1000.
Sure, it doesn't have the bells and whistles, but seriously, $2500?
For $2,500 I'd either buy an Alienware M17x or a good gaming desktop. Either way for a few extra pounds and that price I'd go with something more powerful. This is a super luxury item because its usage is so specific lightweight mobile hardcore gaming isn't really needed in the marketplace. Believe me if I had the money I'd have one. But I'd also have a Falcon NW Tiki, Sony HX850 HDTV, Alienware M17x, and a DigitalStorm Online desktop first.
@shivR I have an MSi GT70 gaming laptop with GTX675m 4gb VRAM, 16bg of ram, i7-3610QM, 2 raided 64gb SSDs (120gb) and a 750gb hard drive. The thing plays Metro 2033 on High settings with 30-40 fps. Big upgrade from my 2010 macbook. I am beyond pleased. Never had a PC or anything as fast as this.
I don't have the money for this, and I don't think I'll ever have the money for this. Ever. Convert $2,500 to the currency in my country, and it'll turn out to be more than PhP100,000. I'd have to rob banks just to get that kind of money. But, dang, I want it.
Very nice. If I had the money I'd buy it in a heartbeat. I'd be worried about that GTX 660 down the road, but as it stands, it's a damn good gaming laptop with portability. You can't beat that!
Also, nice article, Peter!
@dono14 there is no laptop with this price has GTX 680m
Unless if you are talking about the graphic card piece : p
@LucasArts- Yes there is. The MSI GT60 0NE is $1900 and comes with the GTX 680m, I own it. You can also get a barebones version of the GT60 for under 1600 that also comes with the GTX 680m
Please people, leave that "a desktop is more affordable and better than laptop". We know, we get it. Desktop is always performs better but not all people game at their home all the time and don't have the time to upgrade their motherboard every 2 or 3 years, so they can upgrade their CPU or GPU. There are affordable decent gaming laptop if you know where to look. I bought a Dell XPS 17 for $1300, second gen i7 2.2Ghz - 8gb ram, GeForce Gt 555M, 1 TB physical drive (PC elites are probably laughing), and I still get to run most games around high to ultra settings with range of 40fps - 120fps. Thats decent enough for me plus I get to take it with me where ever I go and when I'm home, I plug my HDMI to my monitor and plug my external keyboard to it and viola, I get a desktop-laptop hybrid. Remember, you can't compare gaming laptops to gaming desktops, just as you can't compare handheld gaming to console gaming.
while i agree with you, all gaming laptops are messed up by one thing.
heat, these laptops overheat in no time. coolingpad is a must
@CreMax90I agree with you.
@CreMax90 I'm in agreement with you here. I live in Edmonton, AB, but do a lot of work north in the oil sands, most of the time while staying in camps. Personally, I'm an ASUS GXX faithful, and with the exception of the G73 I bought several years back with the thermal paste issue (major piss off), I've never had any issues. They tend to run any game I throw at them at decent frame rates at full or near full graphics. However, what this article is trying to show is more the size of the rig, not that it's the king of the proverbial gaming hill. Couple it's size and weight and it makes it much more portable for everyday use than something like what I've got. Hell, my backpack when loaded up with my G74, two externals, power bar, etc., weighs in at roughly 30 - 35 lbs.
Lenovo offers the same GPU in laptops priced under 1k. The RB is hardly value priced as it cost more than my Alienware with a 680m and 3D screen.
The point is that this is for people who like to game on the go as well as/ instead of a gaming rig which would be too big to take over to friends houses, going away on business etc.
Besides aren't Macs like the same sort of price? And doesn't this have better specs for gaming?
I find these gaming laptops a very valuable piece for when i work away, which is most of the year staying in motel rooms and such, id rather cart around a laptop than a desktop pc. I own an alienware laptop and although very pricy, pays off in the end because it keeps me away from pubs hahaha
Not at all worth 2,500$.I would rather purchase a desktop and upgrade it with around 1TB harddisc and 6 or 8gB RAM and a graphic card (either NVidia or ATI) of 3GB.I,am sure it will cost much less when compared to this.The Dell XPS 17z has around 6GB of RAM, an i7 processor ,around 600 GB of harddisc and an NVidia graphic drive of 2GB and it costs around 945$.The only advantage Razor Blade has is lighter weight and the touch pad.
I bought ASUS G75VW caust me $1900 from Malaysia
Graphic card : NVIDIAŽ GeForceŽ GTX 670M with 2GB/3GB GDDR5 VRAM ( BETTER )
Processor : Intel 3rd generation Core? i7 3720QM Processor ( also BETTER )
Display : 17.3" HD with EWV (1366 x 768) / FHD 3D LED Backlight ( I prefer bigger screens for gaming )
multi touchpad , 3D Glasses I just love it .. i'm playing SWTOR , Batman Arkham City on the highest graphics
$2800 too expensive and ASUS is better and so much cheaper !!! is it just because of the BRAND name !!!!
wasn't razer publishing a 300$ headset... And now a 2500$ laptop that's 50% more expensive because it has the Razer sign on it.. this is bullshit
If you thinks the price is ridiculous then obviously your not the target market for this... As the title of the article implies-- its really a luxury item. The Desktop arguments are just silly; your paying for mobility not "getting from A to B" (ie. Playing the same games at good settings)