Gaming Performance

What struck me while testing the Razer Blade 14-inch in gaming was just how fast it actually was. The  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M is an unusually powerful part for this class, and in circumstances where it isn't limited by its 128-bit memory bus, it's actually capable of performing faster than last generation's GeForce GTX 580M. Getting the performance equivalent of a GTX 580M (or desktop GeForce GTX 560) in a 14-inch notebook is remarkable.

We're also benefitting from NVIDIA's GPU Boost 2.0; while the nominal clock of the GTX 765M is 797MHz, I monitored GPU clocks with GPU-Z during gaming and found that the core never dropped below 901MHz. The thermal design of the Blade also proved itself, with the GPU running at a remarkably low 74C.

Bioshock Infinite - Value

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Value

GRID 2 - Value

Metro: Last Light - Value

Sleeping Dogs - Value

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Value

Tomb Raider - Value

Obviously with a dedicated gaming system there's very little reason to run at our "Value" settings, but this is more to create a frame of reference for the "Mainstream" and "Enthusiast" settings. It's interesting to see the 765M sort of "dance around" the Value charts.

Bioshock Infinite - Mainstream

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Mainstream

GRID 2 - Mainstream

Metro: Last Light - Mainstream

Sleeping Dogs - Mainstream

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Mainstream

Tomb Raider - Mainstream

Get to our mainstream settings and it's easy to see the places where the 765M is starting to buckle. It provides playable performance in every game, but certain ones seem to be hitting up against the limited memory bandwidth.

Bioshock Infinite - Enthusiast

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Enthusiast

GRID 2 - Enthusiast

Metro: Last Light - Enthusiast

Sleeping Dogs - Enthusiast

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Enthusiast

Tomb Raider - Enthusiast

Unsurprisingly, bumping the resolution and adding anti-aliasing murders performance. At this point the memory subsystem is definitely overloaded and can't handle the demands being made upon it. 1080p gaming should be possible in most titles on the 765M if you're willing to cut anti-aliasing and reduce some settings, though.

System and Futuremark Performance Display, Battery, Noise, and Heat
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  • bji - Friday, July 5, 2013 - link

    I've read comments not too infrequently about people wishing for reviews that didn't happen because the manufacturer didn't send a sample. And also I've heard people lament about wanting to read reviews of hardware several weeks or months past its release time.

    Obviously you don't have to buy any of the hardware that you already get before release or otherwise directly from the manufacturer, and augmenting those reviews with some self-purchased hardware wouldn't change that.

    I am sorry to hear though that the reviewer compensation is so meager; I would consider 20 - 40 hours to write a review to be worth thousands of dollars of my time and if I was investing that much time I wouldn't care much about eating a couple hundred on resale losses. If you're only getting paid $400 for 20 - 40 hours of time spent writing a review then you must be doing it to some extent for hobby purposes in addition to the income, because obviously it's no way to make a living. With that in mind, I don't mind spending hundreds every month on my hobby, if I were a reviewer I'd probably just look at the resale losses as funding my hobby, and I'd spend my time reviewing what I liked to and wanted to, not what manufacturers decided to send to me.

    There must be something to this review business though; I've seen pictures of Anand's house from some of the articles on here and it looks pretty nice :)
  • n13L5 - Friday, July 5, 2013 - link

    Its not that bad, as long as you don't have to work with a crummy CMS to actually publish it and waste more hours...

    But really, stop talking about "buying" stuff to review, there are specialized rental agencies who send you the stuff for 2 weeks to review and pick it back up when done.
  • Sushisamurai - Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - link

    I like anandtech. Please don't change. The formats fine. I'd rather have your in depth reviews, and more of them, rather than more shallow reviews. I've been a reader for the last 3 years. If I had any criticism, you should have a 'to-buy' section, where you recommend hardware (summarized), we buy, you get a referral fee.

    Anandtech's transparency is by far the best I've seen (eg, look at apple insider, cnet, etc)
  • Sushisamurai - Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - link

    Sorta like how appleinsider has that macmall and a few other companies with price comparisons and sometimes promos. AT could do something similar, but for other resellers and special/discount pricing for certain products, like... Motherboards.. Ram... GPU etc
  • burgertime - Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - link

    Can't you start your own hardware review website?
  • chizow - Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - link

    Valid points all around, but I would think if AT reached out to Lenovo, there wouldn't be too much trouble in procuring a review sample.

    Seems to me this is more of a case of that model flying under the radar. It's pretty obvious why parts like this from Razer cost a ton more...they spend a lot more on marketing.

    That being said I think this is way too expensive for any kind of laptop, but then again I don't game on these kinds of mobile platforms. Lack of gigabit Ethernet as mentioned in the article is a non-starter for me.
  • n13L5 - Friday, July 5, 2013 - link

    They don't have to have a budget to "buy" hardware to review. There are agencies specializing on loaning gear to review sites. Tech rags can rent the stuff for 2 weeks or 3 weeks or whatever time they think they need. At the end, it gets picked up by a courier.
  • dsumanik - Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - link

    Dustin I'd encourage you to read anands current "best Mac laptops June 2013" article.

    It is shameless, biased, direct marketing for apple.

    As a decade-long supporter of this site I'd like to see that article deleted and an apology issued.

    Yeah it's no big deal and relatively minor, but the deeper issue is credibility.... Like wtf. Is happening to you guys?
  • krumme - Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - link

    Yes, but Dustin says what needs to be said, and is quite frank about the situaiton. He is by far one of the reviewers with most credit in my book.
  • Pfffman - Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - link

    In Anand's defence, there are people that actually don't consider anything apart from Apple so it is actually helpful in that respect. Since customers have their own biases and preferences, and in the case mentioned a very particular one, it is still providing analysis based on what Anand is trying to say is the most benefit based on your usage model. It would be a lot more alarming if it was a "best laptops June 2013" and it only listed Apple.

    I personally don't and have never managed to use OSX properly.

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