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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  • lmcd - Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - link

    I still think this should use the Samsung-style 3200x1800 display and halve that res for gaming. Might as well at this price point, and compete head-on with the Macbooks.
  • Bob Todd - Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - link

    Bingo! Well this one is off the list. I was a little worried about the resolution but I could deal with it. Horrible panel, not so much. There were 4 different laptops on my list as candidates to buy this fall. This one, the Alienware 14, then at the opposite end of the spectrum of "I'm more portable but can only play games at medium quality at 720p...maybe", I've got the Zenbook Infinity and the 13 rMBP with the 28 watt Iris parts. I love the fact that the Alienware 14 has 2 mSATA slots AND a full height 2.5" drive, but now I'm really leaning toward the more portable barely gaming capable choices. The Alienware config I'm interested in is the $1750 one (1080p IPS/GTX 765m/AC/16GB), and I'm sure my wallet will take an equal or larger beating with a 512GB storage option on the Infinity or the rMBP. Storage is where you get raped on anything thin :(.
  • ananduser - Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - link

    The new revamped Alienwares are all aluminium. There are also no compromises regarding temperature as there is ample room for cooling. This Razer unit is full of compromises due to portability and design constrains. Alienware is really the only choice right now.
  • Razorbak86 - Monday, July 8, 2013 - link

    Sager and Clevo beg to differ.
  • zach1 - Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - link

    Is the display only horrible for the price range or will a $900 laptop beat it.
  • purrcatian - Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - link

    You can get an IPS screen in laptops under $900.
  • wrkingclass_hero - Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - link

    I actually yelled out "oh no!" when I saw the ratio, and murmured "oh goodness..." when I saw the black levels. That is a terrible display all around, gamut, viewing angles... they fouled up the whole product with that one piece.
  • Sushisamurai - Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - link

    Damn, another PC gaming notebook bites the dust... The panel was truly shocking... But then I thought... Why not plug in a display... ...Herms.....
  • Bob Todd - Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - link

    Because if the display is bad enough that you'd want to use an external monitor all the time, you might as well be using a desktop ;). Somewhat joking, but really if you can afford to drop ~$2K on a laptop, then spending a quarter to half that for a much more capable gaming desktop (in addition to a laptop) probably isn't that big of a deal.
  • arnavvdesai - Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - link

    I was actually planning to buy this laptop and develop on it but not with that fucked up panel. Just look at Asus or Lenovo or others to get the best panels on the Windows side of the world. Heck even Dell has upped their game here. Jeez, talk about a royal fu to their users.

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