System Performance

Although we saw the announcement of some 11th generation Intel Core “H-Series” processors at CES 2021 based on their newest Tiger Lake platform, Intel has yet to roll out those chips. So the Comet Lake platform remains Intel's leading platform for high-end laptops, which Razer is leveraging here in the Razer Blade 15.

On the CPU side, Razer offers only two options. The Base model, which we are reviewing today, features the Core i7-10750H processor, which is six cores, twelve threads, and a peak boost turbo of 5.0 GHz. The Advanced model steps up to the Core i7-10875H, which is eight cores, sixteen threads, and a slightly higher maximum boost of 5.1 GHz. Some will likely lament the lack of an AMD offering, but that would require a complete re-engineering of the product, which would be a significant undertaking, especially since the device leverages NVIDIA’s Optimus technology. Never say never of course.

Razer offers dual-channel memory with 16 GB and 32 GB options depending on if you go Basic or Advanced, and the system can support up to 64 GB of DDR4 if you want to add memory. Storage is all M.2 NVMe, with 512 GB or 1 TB options, and both the Basic and Advanced models have an open M.2 slot if you want to add more storage.

To see how the Razer Blade 15 performs, it was run through our laptop system test suite. For comparison systems, most of the other systems are dGPU based as well, with the exception of the MSI Prestige 14 Evo, which will showcase Tiger Lake vs Comet Lake.

PCMark 10

PCMark 10 - Essentials

PCMark 10 - Productivity

PCMark 10 - Digital Content Creation

PCMark 10 - Overall

UL’s PCMark 10 is a full-system benchmarking suite, with different sub-test categories testing different aspects of the system. CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage all play a part in the overall score. The Razer Blade 15 nestles in about mid-pack in this configuration. The higher core counts of some of the other systems allow them to win the day.

Cinebench

Cinebench R20 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R20 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench, as a pure CPU test, really highlights how much the Skylake architecture at the heart of the Core i7-10750H is showing its age. In the single-core test, it slots in about where expected, but is demolished by the newer Willow Cove core found in the MSI Prestige, and even in multi-threaded, the Tiger Lake platform with just four cores can still slightly edge the hex-core i7 in the Razer Blade. Of course, the Advanced model of the Razer Blade 15 comes with an eight-core processor which would boost this result up a tier, but there is no denying that Comet Lake is not as competitive as it once was.

7-Zip

7-Zip Compression

7-Zip Decompression

The open-source file compression and decompression tool 7-Zip includes a built-in benchmark to show how capable a system is doing a very basic, yet necessary, task. As a newer test in our suite, we don’t have quite the back-data of all of the systems, but unlike Cinebench, the extra cores do help propel the Razer Blade ahead of the Tiger Lake based MSI Prestige.

Handbrake

Handbrake Transcoding (Software)

Handbrake Transcoding (Hardware)

Transcoding video is a task that is very demanding, and although Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA all provide fixed-function hardware to accelerate this task, software encoding tends to provide the best results. The hex-core i7-10750H has a strong showing in software transcoding, almost matching the Renoir Ryzen 5, but not quite. On the hardware side, NVIDIA’s RTX 3070 provides plenty of grunt to push past the Pascal GPUs.

Web Performance

Although a critical feature of any system, web performance is arguably the least reliable to test, as the browser itself plays such a key in performance, and yet the browsers are constantly upgraded, with some upgrades bringing better performance, while others may improve reliability at the cost of performance. For our web tests, we are using the now-default Microsoft Edge based on Chromium. The systems which have results for Speedometer 2.0 were tested with the new Chromium Edge, while the others were tested on the EdgeHTML version, so the WebXPRT 3 scores somewhat showcase the performance discrepancy with different browser scripting engines.

Speedometer 2.0

WebXPRT 3

Unlike some of the more processor-intensive scores, the Intel Core i7-10750H, which can hit a maximum turbo of 5.0 GHz, is able to outclass the AMD Ryzen in the Acer Nitro 5, but Tiger Lake is well ahead here.

Storage Performance

In an effort to showcase more real-world storage results, we have moved to using UL’s PCMark 10 suite with its new storage tests, which use actual traces from common applications, booting, and more. On the storage side, Comet Lake does not support PCIe 4.0, unlike Intel’s latest Tiger Lake, but Razer has outfitted the Razer Blade we received with Samsung's PM981 drive.

PCMark 10 System Drive Benchmark Average Access Time

PCMark 10 System Drive Benchmark Bandwidth

PCMark 10 System Drive Benchmark Score

For a PCIe 3.0 setup, the PM981 performs very well in this 512 GB configuration. Other than the PCIe 4.0 drive, it is ahead in all aspects compared to any other laptop we’ve tested with this new suite.

As always, storage is somewhat of a commodity now, so there is no guarantee that any laptop will ship with the same storage, but the Razer laptops we have tested tend to come with Samsung drives, and the PM981 with its 3D TLC NAND is a strong performer.

Introduction & Design Graphics Performance – Razer Goes Ampere
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  • Spunjji - Sunday, March 14, 2021 - link

    Nice! Genuinely a solid choice for the task, too bad that it'll be great for games too 😁 Reply
  • oRAirwolf - Friday, March 12, 2021 - link

    I will never forget the time I was playing rainbow six with my friend and his razer blade started shooting sparks out the side of the laptop. After he sent it in for repairs, they wanted about $1,800 to fix it. Once again reaffirming my opinion that razer should be avoided at all costs. They just make junk computers and peripherals and have bad after sales support. At my recommendation, my friend got an Alienware gaming laptop and is extremely happy with it. He can also rest easy knowing that while Dell support sucks, it is still a hell of a lot better and most of the Taiwanese companies. He can also have a tech sent to his house to fix his laptop and can easily extend the warranty so he doesn't end up like he did with razer. Reply
  • Spunjji - Sunday, March 14, 2021 - link

    I've not dealt with a single IT-related company with good support. Dell are, at least, consistent. Reply
  • Eric_WVGG - Friday, March 12, 2021 - link

    and apparently quite the fingerprint magnet. Maybe wipe it off before taking photos next time? Reply
  • plsbugmenot - Saturday, March 13, 2021 - link

    This is clearly an advertorial. It purposefully ignores the many and glaring flaws of the product and overstates the strengths. Razer has notorious unreliability and poor quality control, the GPUs inside are severely power limited, the CPUs are ancient technology and the battery life is ridiculously low. The screen and good looks are the saving graces but in a market where a competitor like ASUS offers similar quality screens, an equally good (or better) lighter magnesium construction, better performance and battery life at nearly only 65% of the price of a razer you'd have to have been paid to write this flurry of lies about this product. How low has Anandtech fallen, it also explains why Ian has started his own schtick, it's only a matter of time before he gets pressed to sell his integrity and when that happens I very much believe he'll leave. Shame on Ryan for letting this fluff garbage be published!!! Reply
  • Brett Howse - Saturday, March 13, 2021 - link

    This was not sponsored by Razer but great try. Reply
  • Spunjji - Sunday, March 14, 2021 - link

    It really isn't. Most of the criticisms I have of it (relative lack of detail in some areas, lack of appropriate comparison devices) are explicable by the general lack of notebook reviews done on this site. Advertorials don't need this many pages - and I certainly wasn't persuaded to buy anything 😅 Reply
  • Spikke - Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - link

    Not sure where you are looking, but you can get the 2020 base model Blade with the 2070 Max-Q for cheaper than the Zephyrus of similar specs. I just bought a Blade last week and was looking at the Zephyrus, but it was $400 more for comparable specs. The Blade was a hair under $1500 and the Zephyrus was over $1900. Reply
  • Ewout - Sunday, March 14, 2021 - link

    What is the contrast ratio? When picture says 871 and the orther 1001;1. And what about this nits? I’ve seen some reviews say it’s about 330. Looking for a laptop to do some photo editing and gaming. Reply
  • Brett Howse - Sunday, March 14, 2021 - link

    881:1 is at max brightness. The one at 200 nits was tested with the spectrophotometer and it is not accurate at low brightness levels due to the amount of noise which is why it's not referenced. Sorry for the confusion Reply

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