System Performance

The upgraded CPU in the 2015 Blade has made a big improvement in processing power. The outgoing model was no slouch, but 400 MHz of both base and boost clocks, and ten more watts of TDP available, the Core i7-4720HQ performs very well. Some may be wondering where the new Intel Broadwell CPUs are, since they have been available since last year. The launch of Broadwell has been very staggered, with the Core M launch at the end of 2014, which are 4.5 watt CPUs, and then the 15 watt dual-core Broadwell U series was launched at CES in January 2015. The higher wattage quad-core parts on the new 14 nm process will not be out for a few months yet. Razer could have stuck with the old 4702HQ model until then, so it was nice to see them offer a speed bump to the 4720HQ at the same price as last year’s model.

So with the speed increase, let us see how the new model performs compared to last year’s model and some other similar notebooks. If you would like to compare the 2015 Razer Blade to any other laptops we have tested, please check out our online comparison tool, Bench.

PCMark 8 - HomePCMark 8 - CreativePCMark 8 - WorkPCMark 8 - StoragePCMark 7 (2013)Cinebench R15 - Single-Threaded BenchmarkCinebench R15 - Multi-Threaded BenchmarkTouchXPRT 2014 Overall ScoreTouchXPRT 2014 Beautify PhotosTouchXPRT 2014 Blend PhotosTouchXPRT 2014 Convert Videos for SharingTouchXPRT 2014 Create Music PodcastTouchXPRT 2014 Create Slideshow from PhotosCinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded BenchmarkCinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmarkx264 HD 5.xx264 HD 5.x

The new CPU and SSD combination make a good improvement here over the 2014 model. All of the system benchmarks have gone up quite a bit with the increase in CPU speed. The 2014 model was good, and the 2015 model is better. The move to a 47 watt CPU has improved all aspects of the Blade. The LiteOn SSD also squeaks past the Samsung model which was in our review unit last year.

Wi-Fi

The Wi-Fi card in the 2015 Blade carries over from last year. This laptop features the Intel Wireless AC-7260 wireless adapter, which is a 2x2:2 card offering a maximum connection speed of 866 Mbps on 802.11ac.

WiFi Performance - TCP

While the card is the same, there have been a couple of driver updates since our last look at the Razer Blade, so the new model scores slightly higher. Wi-Fi performance is good, assuming you have invested in an 802.11ac router. In addition, the Intel card also does double duty as the Bluetooth adapter.

Design and Chassis Gaming Performance
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  • geniekid - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    Good review - it answered most of the questions I had about this laptop. Hopefully when you guys get the 1080p version you will run it through the same benchmarks so we get comparable results. Reply
  • close - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    No Europe again, huh? Also worth mentioning that the FHD one only has 8GB of ram, so it's not just the SSD and screen like the pricing in the table above suggests. Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    Assuming the RAM is upgradeable here, so that wouldn't be a problem. 8GB of RAM is like $50. Reply
  • Brett Howse - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    It's not upgradable unfortunately, unless you are really good with the soldering iron. Reply
  • Dusk_Star - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    For the batter boost battery life comparison, was the 2015 test done with the same settings as the 2014 Blade, or with the settings that GForce Experience picked this year? Because I imagine that the higher the frame rate before battery boost, the greater the difference in battery life, and it might be more fair to run a 2015 battery test at 2014 settings. Reply
  • Brett Howse - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    The 2014 settings were used. The only difference was post processing enabled/disabled, but that has a big impact on framerate. Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    Is the key travel better than the 15" rMBP? That's what bugs me most about the design of my machine. Not enough keyboard feedback leading to a lot of missed strokes.

    I was pretty torn between the two systems, even though they're pretty different in intended use case. But selling my rMBP and getting this for around the same price would allow much more mobile gaming, which would be nice. Just not sure if I'd trade off the rest of what makes the MBP better for that.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    Huh, didn't expect it to weigh less with all the added specs either. 4.19 pounds vs 4.46. Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    Never mind, that's the 14". So, when is that edit button coming along? :P Reply
  • fokka - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    as you already noticed, the blade is one inch smaller and the rmbp also comes with a 47w CPU, if i'm not mistaken. plus it has some serious battery capacity, so it's not all that surprising that the macbook is heavier. Reply

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