The Blade, by gaming notebook standards, isn’t a graphical powerhouse, but its GT 555M definitely doesn’t count as slow. There’s a number of different GT 555M SKUs using a variety of GPU cores. The Blade’s GT555M has a 144-core GF116 clocked at 675MHz, with 2GB of 128-bit GDDR5 vRAM at a frequency of 2500MHz. It’s one of the highest spec, highest clocked GT 555Ms out there, but compared to the GTX 560M (192 cores, 775MHz reference core clock, 192-bit GDDR5 clocked at 2.5GHz), it’s not nearly as powerful. And the gaming results reflect that—the Blade is solidly 35% slower across the board than the GTX 560M-based ASUS G74SX.

Again, we're still working on fleshing out our gaming charts with the updated gaming suite, but we're now at five laptops. Based on our previous gaming tests, we can extrapolate that the Blade is roughly 10-15% faster than the M14x, which runs a variant of GT 555M using the older GF106 core.

Razer Blade, Value Settings

Batman: Arkham City—Value

Battlefield 3—Value

Civilization V—Value

DiRT 3—Value

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim—Value

Portal 2—Value

Total War: Shogun 2—Value

Razer Blade, Mainstream Settings

Batman: Arkham City—Mainstream

Battlefield 3—Mainstream

Civilization V—Mainstream

DiRT 3—Mainstream

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim—Mainstream

Portal 2—Mainstream

Total War: Shogun 2—Mainstream

In our standard Value and Mainstream tests, the Blade fares pretty well. Medium settings at 768p are dead easy, and high settings at 900p are mostly okay, with only BF3 and Civ5 falling below the 30fps mark. At 1080p, the results are pretty mixed. At medium (Value) settings, the Blade is generally fine, with everything being basically playable. Move the settings to high (Mainstream), and it gets a little tougher; of the seven tests we run, the Blade topped 30fps in four.

Razer Blade - Switchblade Razer Blade - Gaming Performance (Enthusiast)
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  • geniekid - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    I will echo the general sentiment that this thing is both overpriced and inadequate for gaming, but at the same time it's nice to see a company really try and increase the overall build quality of a laptop.

    The problem is when you take big risks like this you have to get it right the first time, or you have to have enough resources in reserve (and enough faith from the powers on high) to iteratively improve the product until it's good enough. I hope Razer gets into the latter category and succeeds.
    Reply
  • kenyee - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Cost unfortunately is too high. And what's with only 2 memory slots on a giant 17" laptop?
    The rest actually looks pretty cool. If Apple released something like this, their fanboys would be all over it, despite the price ;-)

    Hopefully high res displays will drop in price and ivy bridge/kepler will make this a lot more interesting...
    Reply
  • Felix_Ram - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    I can't help but think that Razer is out too early on the market, and that they have the wrong cpu company in their machine. Their concept is good, it's just not competitive enough.

    If they were launched with the coming AMD APU, the topline trinity, and they at the same time managed to crossfire the APU with an AMD GPU, without changing the machines design, they might have a much more competitive product on their hand.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    No way. Trinity very likely won't even be as fast as Sandy Bridge for CPU tasks, the APU graphics won't be as fast as a GT 555M by a long shot (about 33% slower I'd wager, though I could be wrong), and AMD's switchable graphics and dual graphics still has serious driver issues in my experience. You don't spend basically $1500 on the industrial design and build quality only to ship it with a slower CPU and GPU. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    Agree with the "too early to market", disagree with everything else. If they had waited a couple of months, this could have Ivy Bridge and Kepler, and they could have used the extra month or two to fix some of the more pressing stability issues that plagued Switchblade at launch. It's a bit of a pity that they didn't, actually. Reply
  • tonyn84 - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    I really, really like the form factor of this, I think moving the trackpad to the right side is brilliant (sorry lefties) and really hope to see this in future gaming laptops. The price though, I can't even get close to justifying for the performance. With any luck though they'll be able to have a couple different models at some point after ivy bridge is available. If they can get is closer to $1500 I'd seriously consider it, even with slightly less bells and whistles. Reply
  • Bees - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    What I'd like to know is why the facts that the keyboard and touchpad can both go unresponsive on their own wasn't treated in this review like the showstopping bugs they are. I've seen it firsthand with someone else's Blade, it's ridiculous that something so widespread (according to the support staff on the phone) made it past QC on such an expensive piece of tech. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    I don't know if Vivek ever had this happen, but I certainly didn't encounter that problem in the several days of testing I did. Most likely it is a QC bug and your friend got bit, or else something else is going on. That said, I do not like the keyboard or touchpad at all. Vivek had more time to adapt so I left that to him to discuss, but I found the touchpad to be an expensive gimmick. Reply
  • IKeelU - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Finally a company willing to invest in portability, good design and quality, that isn't called Apple. I would buy this without even thinking of it as a gaming laptop, if only they could reduce the noise level.

    Considering how many actually spend 2k+ on Macbooks, I'm astonished that it took a peripheral company to invent such a desirable high-end laptop. I hope this sells well, and I hope Dell, HP et al. take note.
    Reply
  • FormulaRedline - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    This product is an early April fools joke, right? I saw "Gaming" and "1080p" followed shortly by "555m" and basically stopped reading. That is until I saw the almost $3k price tag...then I had to post.

    You can pretend Marketing screwed this up by claiming it to be a top of the line gaming product when it's really more a 17" ultrbook/MPB -like machine, but Razer is SUPPOSED to be high end gaming. 555m's belong in sub-$1000 machines that can do some gaming on the side at lower resolutions.

    Meanwhile, it's got a great processor. Oh good, now we can bottleneck the @#*$ out of it. Has anyone at Razer ever even built a computer?
    Reply

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