Razer's Second-Generation Blade Notebook Review: Focusing On The Z

Hitman: Absolution, DiRT, And Arkham City

Hitman: Absolution

Hitman: Absolution places a heavy load on a system’s CPU and GPU. In the case on the Blade’s GeForce GTX 660M, frame rates are limited by the graphics processor. In comparison, MSI's GX60 is almost certainly being held back by its A10 APU. While the benchmark presents a low average frame rate, the game should still be fairly playable at 1366x768 using the Ultra preset.

Dropping to High settings yields some relief for the Nvidia modules. Unfortunately, the Trinity-based machine is still processor-limited to 22 FPS.

Taking the details down to Medium yields an average frame rate bump on the Blade R2 and both comparison machines. Because the 1366x768 and 1680x1050 results are so similar, though, we suspect that turning the graphics down this low is exposing platform- or aspect ratio-oriented bottlenecks.

DiRT: Showdown

With settings maxed-out and resolution set to 1920x1080, the Blade R2 generates a marginal 21 frames per second on average. Both higher-end cards are twice as fast, helping with fluidity. It's worth noting that the Blade still seemed playable, though you may want to lower the settings a bit (even less detail still looks really good).

Bumping the quality settings down to the High preset yields a significant speed-up that we'd be inclined to recommend. Because it proves to be platform-limited, the AMD-based system's Radeon HD 7970M only gets a small performance bump.

Going to the Medium yields yet another jump on average frame rates.

Batman: Arkham City

Due to its heinous DRM, Batman: Arkham City has already been phased out in our graphics card reviews. Even when we unregister our test machines, we continue running out of available activations. It's still a fairly demanding benchmark though, which recently enjoyed an infusion of new content. We'll dust it off once more to test the Blade.

The Ultra quality benchmark reflects our experience playing the game. The GeForce GTX 680M and Radeon HD 7970M are naturally quite a bit faster, but it's still possible to play the game on Razer's Blade. 

Taking the quality down to High improves frame rates a bit, though this preset is difficult to distinguish from the Ultra setting. 

Medium quality again yields a small speed-up. This chart is more for comparing to older, slower graphics cards.

  • ShadyHamster
    Having all the I/O on the left isn't such a bad idea, keeps the right side clear so cables don't get in the way if you use a mouse close to your laptop like i do.
  • mayankleoboy1
    Wow, this is a very thorough review! Great work!

    This notebook has looked into almost every possible detail. I was particularly impressed that in the heat run, the "WASD" key area was cooler than the rest. This bespeaks extreme attention to details.
  • Chairman Ray
    This is an amazing system. Great job by Razer! I won't be buying it due to the steep price tag, but definitely going to recommend it to those who are willing to pay for the best.
  • xpeh
    While the price is steep, this laptop is definitely one of the best looking gaming laptops I've ever seen.
  • g-unit1111
    I very badly need to get a new laptop but this one is way too rich for my blood. I would definitely consider this if it were about $1K less.
  • Pyree
    g-unit1111I very badly need to get a new laptop but this one is way too rich for my blood. I would definitely consider this if it were about $1K less.Lenovo Y580/Y500 GT650m SLI
  • slomo4sho
    xpehWhile the price is steep, this laptop is definitely one of the best looking gaming laptops I've ever seen.IMO having a $1000 gaming desktop and spending $500-600 on a laptop when Haswell comes out is probably much more economical for the occasional gaming on a laptop paired with a sold desktop to enjoy the higher quality graphics. Even at $2500, this laptop can't even keep up with the $500 budget gaming build from last month.
  • de5_Roy
    nice review. :)
    my real amusement came from the apu-powered laptop's performance, though. it bottlenecked the discreet gpu so badly.... :D
  • corvak
    Gaming laptops have never been priced in a range that makes them worth buying for me. They don't really have enough battery life to really take advantage of portability, and the price/performance is in a whole other league if you compare it to any desktop build.

    Even buying a cheap laptop for travel use alongside a gaming desktop is likely to come in cheaper than many of these.
  • Goose_Nipples
    ARMY'S KA-Bar?!?!?!?! Hooooooold up my friend. Devil dog here who's jimmies have most assuredly been rustled.