Razer Blade 15 Advanced review (Core i7, RTX 2080 Max-Q)


  1. Esteban B

    March 2, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    Hi! Did you manage to notice any coil whine or annoying noise while using it?

    • Derek Sullivan

      March 2, 2019 at 11:15 pm

      Not on my unit. I'm admittedly not that sensitive to it though. There is a slight high pitch sound when the fan ramps up at certain speeds, but it's the fan, not coil whine. Other than that the laptop sounds pretty normal to me.

  2. MOFO

    March 3, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Would love to see the GPU overclocked and CPU undervolted gaming results.
    Would raising the back of the laptop a inch or so help with CPU temps or using a laptop cooler?

    • Derek Sullivan

      March 4, 2019 at 5:35 am

      I'll try to get some results posted soon. I'm also about to repaste as well.

      To answer your other question, it'll help sure, but only a couple degrees. The air flow is from the bottom so forced cooling is certainly a benefit. All my testing was on a lapdesk made of wood with holes on the bottom.

  3. John Doe

    March 3, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    "The last thing to note of is the lack of GSync support on this laptop. The panel supports it, but Razer has decided to keep it off for the battery savings. It’s probably for the best *since it’s really only useful for games that perform over the max refresh rate*, and 144Hz is tough to achieve on AAA titles anyway, even for a 2080."

    AFAIK, that's exactly the opposite of where it's useful at (i.e. when your average frame rates are *below* the max refresh rate). It has no effect in the usecase you described, that would be Fast Sync, I think.

    • Nils Nilsson

      March 25, 2019 at 2:28 am

      Yes, that is true, adaptive sync is only useful below the screens refresh rate. Also, I believe this entire statement is a bit off, AFAIK, the laptop does support GSync, but only via the mDP which is directly wired to the dGPU.

  4. Quantum Bells

    March 5, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    How is the gaming performance when you connect it with an external 2k or 4k display? I am really interested in knowing that. WoOuld you test that please?
    Also, why does one have to repaste on a $3000 laptop? Razer should do it as standard. I would void my warranty , not to mention I would be afraid to do it. Would you post any difference in performance after doing it to yours?
    Finally will opening the back panel and upgrading the RAM & SSD on our own void the warranty?

    • Derek Sullivan

      March 5, 2019 at 11:26 pm

      I only have an ultrawide monitor now so it's going to result in some subjective results for you. 2k displays should have the same results though. The laptop will probably even run cooler since the framerates will be capped at 60fps unless you have a fast monitor.

      Every laptop sold has a standard stamp paste job. It's done that way because these things are made in China and it produces similar results no matter how bad a job you do of applying it. It's the same with undervolting – Intel chooses a voltage that will work for all their CPUs. If you want a fine tuned laptop with a proper paste job, it'll cost more. If you're uncomfortable doing it yourself, I recommend purchasing a machine from a retailer that does so, such as HIDEvolution. They aren't that expensive and do a good job.

      I'll certainly post results when I'm done. Opening the cover doesn't void your warranty though, provided you don't damage anything while doing your upgrade. Repasting might but the 3rd party retailers claim it doesn't as long as they do it.

  5. Quantum Bells

    March 5, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Also, Thanks for an excellent and thorough review (please attend to my requests in the seperate comment).
    I am considering using something like this as my primary laptop for Windows Gaming & Linux coding.

  6. Scott Ludwig

    March 9, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Fantastic review!
    Would you say this laptop would be perfect for 3D Architectural Modeling? I don't play any games on my computer (XBox One S for that). I'm a BIM Manager at an architectural firm, using Autodesk Revit 95% of my time, working on large collaborative school project models of 100MB – 350MB (stored on network – no RJ45 kind of worries me). All renderings are exported through the Autodesk Render Cloud and rarely take more than 10 – 20 minutes for super high-quality photo-realistic images since they're off-loaded. I do orbit in 3D shaded views and model in 3D a lot.

    Outside of work, I run a custom Revit Content Development company where I create 100's of small, but sometimes complex (parametric), 3D Revit models for building product manufacturers.

    I am currently using an Alienware 17 R4 (i7-7820HK @ 2.9 GHz, 16 GB RAM, GTX 1080, 256 SSD + 1 TB HDD, Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, 1440p non-touch). Alienware has been super solid with minimal bugs, but I'm tired of lugging around the 9.75 lb. beast in a bag full of excessive peripherals. I'm ready to drop the weight in my daily carry significantly! But I need to know that performance will be equal or better to what I'm running now, as I also want to get into Lumion 9 for Rendering and Animations.

    These Razer Blade specs all out-rate the Alienware on Passmark (and out-rate the Dell Precision 7730 with Quadro GPU's for less money). The IT Manager wants to go with Dell 7730 due to having Quadro cards. But I think this is a better alternative since it's 3 lbs. lighter than the 17" Dell (4 lbs. less than the Alienware), costs less, and gets better Passmark scores, and the GeForce GTX card has proven to be very stable in the Revit environment. I connect to two external displays at work through HDMI and Mini-DP.

    I run Aptana Studio to write HTML 1.0 Strict to develop my website. I use Affinity Photo instead of Photoshop and and I use Adobe Premiere Elements (no subscription) for video editing, along with Camtasia Studio 7 for screen capture Revit Training Tutorials. I will also stream live piano recordings through Facebook Live with an audio interface through USB and OBS Studio, along with the Logitech C920. Think the Razer is the right choice?

    Would your next recommendation for something almost the same, but with RJ45, be the MSI GS65, or Acer Triton 500, or something else?

    Looking forward to your feedback.

    • Derek Sullivan

      March 9, 2019 at 6:40 am

      If you've been used to the AW17, this one will be just fine. Unless you've had compatibility issues, I don't think you need to go it and get a Quadro card or anything. GeForce cards take care of most cad softwares. If not the Razer blade, yes the GS65 is a good alternative. You might even consider the GS75 since you're already used to a 17" screen.

      • Scott Ludwig

        March 9, 2019 at 9:07 am

        Awesome – thanks very much! If I do go with the Razer Blade, I may hold out for that upcoming OLED display since I do Content Creation and not Gaming, and would surely skin it Matte Black. I can see that Up Arrow placement driving me bananas though, so I would certainly have to override that key as you have suggested. Keyboard layout and Ethernet may be the two reasons I go with the MSI instead, which after more and more research, looks like the way I'm leaning now. Decisions, decisions. Thanks again.

      • Michael

        November 3, 2019 at 12:25 pm

        "My biggest gripe with Razer’s Chroma in the past has been their neglect to add backlighting on the secondary functions of the top row of keys, making it near impossible to use the multimedia functions at night. This dates back to when the Razer Blade Stealth first came out a few years ago. I’m glad Razer finally came to their senses and finally made things right."

        I just bought an 2019 advanced model and the multimedia icons are never backlit. How on earth did you enable that? I didn't find anything in Razer Chroma Studio and could not believe it would not be possible. Your article gives me hope it can be set up the way anyone (but Razer?) expects it to work. Any hints?

      • Derek Sullivan

        November 3, 2019 at 2:14 pm

        Hi Michael,

        I'm afraid you might have a version with the older key caps that don't light up. I'm also reviewing the brand new optical switch Razer blade model and it's the same with that one. It appears that not all of their newest models have the correctly backlit keys. Terrible call on their part…

  7. Nader

    March 14, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    What an excellent review! Always high quality stuff. You guys and NoteBookCheck are super cool :). I had a couple of questions though. I'm trying to buy an ultraportable gaming laptop, and I'm between the Aero 15-X9 RTX 2070 Max-Q, Triton 500 2080 Max-Q, and the Razor Blade 2070 Max-Q. Contrary to what many seem to beleive, you can actually turn off G-Sync on the Triton 500 and enable Optimus (I think you guys mentioned that in an update to the review), which means it should have enough battery life to get me through the day. I plan on using the laptop for gaming and I will dock it to a TB3 station at home to get a "desktop" setup with an external monitor.
    Just trying to get some advice on what I should choose. The Triton 500 will have better graphics for only slightly more money, but slightly worse battery life (even with G-Sync disabled). I think the Razer has the best build quality, is more upgradable, and has Windows Hello, which is nice. Which of the two laptops have superior thermals? Mainly looking for a combo of GPU power, battery life, and best thermals.
    Also, on the Aero 15 – I heard it has crap thermals, which is why I'm straying away from that laptop more and more. I also kind of hate how it looks.

    Any advice?

    • Derek Sullivan

      March 15, 2019 at 3:30 am

      Tough call. If pricing is that close, I'd lean towards the Triton. The extra graphics and extra M.2 slot is pretty hard to pass up on. I haven't personally held that version of the Triton but if Andrei scored it that high, it's safe to say it's a good buy.

      • Nader Elsarrag

        March 15, 2019 at 3:51 am

        The Triton is going to be very difficult to upgrade, though. It would be really hard to access the internals and would require almost complete disassembly. I don't know why this is so hard for me to decide on. I guess something about the Razer just speaks to me. Maybe it's the more muted design or something but it just looks nicer. I'm so afraid of making the wrong decision lol. I know the Razer will still have superior battery life, even if I turn off G-Sync and enable Optimus on the Triton 500 RTX 2080 Max-Q (I think, any reason why this could be wrong?). Some of the features of the Razer I really like though: it seems to have superior build quality, looks nicer (IMO, especially with DBrand skin), Windows Hello, and is more upgradable. It also seems to have slightly better software and whatnot.
        I guess my question really boils down to: how much of a performance difference is there between the Triton's RTX 2080 Max-Q and the Razer's 2070 Max-Q? The difference is USD $100 ($2499 vs $2399). At the end of the day, I can get used to slightly worse graphics if I can get all of the features of the Razer Blade. Additionally: the battery life of the Triton 500 is pretty bad, will it increase by standards comparable to the Razer blade just by turning off G-Sync and turning on Optimus?
        Thanks man! <3

      • Derek Sullivan

        March 15, 2019 at 4:05 am

        Yeah those are all valid arguments. Sounds like you should go for the Razer Blade then. Honestly, you wouldn't regret it. I put a d-brand skin on mine and I'm perfectly happy with how it looks now. I take it in the office all the time.

      • Nader

        March 15, 2019 at 4:11 am

        But…that RTX 2080! Is it worth?

      • Andy

        March 25, 2019 at 6:31 am

        Probably my favorite all in one laptop! But how much battery life will I get when I editing in 8k on better battery mode?

        Nice review!

  8. Nils Nilsson

    March 25, 2019 at 2:32 am

    I believe that the laptop do support GSync, but only via the mDP which is directly connected to the dGPU. So, GSync for external monitors if true. Comments?

    • Derek Sullivan

      April 25, 2019 at 4:18 am

      Yes, Gsync is supported on Gsync monitors. This is true for all of the RTX graphics cards as far as I know.

  9. votehart407

    April 16, 2019 at 5:53 am

    Hi Derek,

    I have the RTX 2080 Blade. I tried two separate sets of 3200mhz 32gb RAM kits. The Kingston Hyper X and G-Skill Ripsaw models. Both show the 3200mhz in Windows and BIOS but every game freezes a few seconds after starting.

    I'm running a Memory Diagnostic now.

    I feel like I am missing a step or need to enable some setting. Any counsel is welcome.

    • Derek Sullivan

      April 25, 2019 at 4:15 am

      Sorry for the late reply – I've been on vacation the past week. Technically, 3200mhz ram isn't supported on this CPU so it may not even run at that speed even if you et it to work. Have you checked HWinfo to see how fast it's running?

      • Mike Hart

        April 27, 2019 at 1:00 am

        Razer has stated the specs at 3200mhz in the press release ans FAQ. The hwmonitor, bios, and internal monitor all show the upgrade at 3200mhz. However, when starting any game the entire system crashes/freezes.

        After contacting Razer I was told this is a known issue but have no timeline to resolution. A little frustrating after buying two kits, installing two kits, and returning 2 kits.

  10. Jim

    April 28, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    Are the cooling good enough? Will the cpu/gpu heat damage the internals? In the long run, would it make the rb15 less reliable and last for shorter period of time?

  11. Chad

    May 13, 2019 at 9:28 am

    Will you be writing a review for the new Razor Blade 15 Advanced OLED 4K Touch with the RTX 2080 Max-Q? I am eyeing this as my next laptop and am really curious as to the benefit of the touch screen, but it doesn't release until the end of May or early June, I've been told.

    • David Bryant

      June 3, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      I'd love to get their take on the 4K OLED Blade too, has anyone reviewed it yet yuu know of?

      • Derek Sullivan

        June 4, 2019 at 11:42 pm

        Haven't seen any reviews on it yet unfortunately. I'm interested as well.

  12. Nat

    June 3, 2019 at 8:55 am

    Hey, thanks for the awesome review. Can you please do a comparison for best laptop for music production? I'm thinking between the razer blade, dell xps 15 and Lenovo x1 extreme. Music production doesn't use much GPU and is only CPU intensive. I'd like to hear your thoughts on it.

  13. David Bryant

    June 7, 2019 at 10:28 am

    Great review, thanks. Is the Blade your top 15 inch 2080MQ laptop? What is your favourite 17 inch 2080MQ laptop? Do you prefer to game on a 15 or 17 inch screen, what are the pros and cons of both?

    • Derek Sullivan

      June 7, 2019 at 3:28 pm

      It's mine, yes, but there are some pretty good alternatives out there as well. I think if I were to go to 17", it would be a close call between the RB 17 and the GS75. I do prefer 17" gaming, however both those laptops have FHC screens and I'd prefer QHD at that size.

      • David Bryant

        June 7, 2019 at 9:11 pm

        Thanks. Great advice. What do you think the quietest 2080mq you guys have tested is?

      • Derek Sullivan

        June 9, 2019 at 11:26 pm

        I can't really say since I haven't used that many 2080mq devices in order to make a good comparison, sorry.

  14. Micah

    June 17, 2019 at 11:51 pm

    I'm looking to purchase a new laptop after I come back from deployment. I've been looking at the Zyphrus S and this Razer 15. Biggest thing for me is cooling, as I enjoy playing MMOs while traveling and have an issue with hot keyboards on my older laptops. Could you please provide more input on what laptop would run with lower temperatures? Which build quality would last longer due to the better cooling?

    Thank you for your assistance!

  15. DonGod

    September 3, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Thanks for the review !

    Purchased the mercury white version with the 2070maxq and i7 9750h.Razer took a very interesting route with regards to temperatures. They limit the CPU power consumption to 45w, no PL1 of 60w and no PL2 of 80w. My first problem was, that you can not see this in XTU. In the Futuremark stresstest the CPU was permanently boosting to 4.1 Ghz and than throttling due to reaching the powerlimit (not thermal limit). Razer undervolts by -100mV out of the box, I was able to increase this to -135mV on the core and added -50mV to the GPU. I set the maximum CPU multiplies to 33 for all cores and 36-34 for less cores. With these settings I am constantly below 80 degrees in stress tests (both CPU and GPU), the CPU runs permanently all cores at 3.3Ghz and the noise is surprisingly low for such a thin machine. For people that need maximum CPU power, this is not the best Laptop, it balances noise and gaming performance very well. The area above the keyboard gets hot under load.

    • Charles

      September 14, 2019 at 6:58 am

      I'm interested in this particular modell. It's delightful to know Razer tunes the lastest model quite well and and has better thermal by sacrificing performance to a lesser extent. During your daily usage, have you encountered BSOD, screen not responding, mouse cursor stuttering or any issues with reference to quality control? I saw these issues in a youtube review, and several BSOD reports from Reddit, Razer Insider, Notebookreview and Linus Tech Tips. Not sure if it's hardware issue or just bad software compatibility/optimization from Nvidia.

      • Derek Sullivan

        September 14, 2019 at 7:50 pm

        I was getting bsod occasionally but since I stopped undervolting it's been fine. I was probably pushing it too far. Haven't had one in months though since I stopped.

      • Charles

        September 14, 2019 at 8:51 pm

        Wow that's interesting. So I guess except that some BSODs are caused by Nvidia driver issues, the others could be because some CPUs are just not capable of undervolting 100mV.
        Thx for sharing.

  16. Lucas

    September 23, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Thanks for the reviews. It's the most helpful and detailed I have read so far. My question is: Is there a size limit to the NVMe ssd we put in that extra slot? (512gb, 1TB, etc.)
    Also, why do we have to replace both RAM sticks in order to upgrade?

    Thanks :)

    • Derek Sullivan

      September 23, 2019 at 1:19 pm

      I have a 2 tb nvme in right now. Works great.

      You should try and match your ram sticks to maximize performance and reduce errors. If you mismatch sticks, your ram will only run as fast as the slowest stick. There's a chance it won't even boot too.

      • Lucas

        September 24, 2019 at 12:14 am

        Thanks for the answer. From what I understand reading your reviews, this laptop doesn't have an extra nvme ssd slot, which means I have to take out the factory ssd that comes with it, right? When you did it, which method did you use for the data and windows os transfer? I'm also considering wiping the factory ssd and try to sell it. Did you do that too or is there a better way to use it?

        I'm grateful for your advice!

      • Derek Sullivan

        September 24, 2019 at 1:36 am

        I always do a fresh install.

  17. Amin

    October 24, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    On my unit there is no noticeable Coil Whine, but if I put my ears on the keyboard I can her a whistle. I know it sounds extreme but is that natural for a laptop this thin with the power it packs?

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