Best gaming laptop

Razer Blade 15

Razer Blade 15

Immense power

Razer Blade 14

Razer Blade 14

The Razer Blade 15 is the best gaming laptop you can buy and not even the arrival of its smaller sibling can change that. This is still the complete package.

From $1,800 at Razer

Pros

  • More configurations
  • Lower starting price
  • Optional 4K display w/ touch
  • Thunderbolt 4
  • RTX 30 series graphics

Cons

  • Slightly weaker CPU
  • A little bigger

The Razer Blade 14 is a truly mind-blowing laptop that's only really let down compared to its larger stablemate by some AMD-related performance issues when using it on battery.

From $1,800 at Razer

Pros

  • Incredible CPU performance
  • High refresh rate displays
  • Compact size
  • RTX 30 series graphics

Cons

  • No Thunderbolt
  • Performance issues on battery
  • More expensive entry model

From the outside, these two laptops look very similar but its underneath where the differences lie. For the most part, the Blade 15 is still the best gaming laptop. The Blade 14 is insanely powerful, but it has some quirks you simply don't get on the Intel-powered Blade 15 and a higher base asking price.

Razer Blade 15 vs. Razer Blade 14: Tech specs

Razer Blade 14 2021Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

Razer Blade 15 Razer Blade 14
Graphics NVIDIA RTX 3060 6GB
NVIDIA RTX 3070 8GB
NVIDIA RTX 3080 8GB
NVIDIA RTX 3070 8GB
NVIDIA RTX 3080 8GB
Processor Intel Core i7-11800H
Intel Core i9-11900H
Intel Core i7-10875H
Intel Core i7-10750H
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
8-core, 16-thread
3.3GHz (4.6GHz boost)
RAM 16GB or 32GB DDR4 3200MHz 16GB DDR4 3200MHz (fixed onboard)
Storage Up to 1TB PCIe SSD
Additional vacant m.2 SSD slot
1TB PCIe 3.0 SSD
Display 15.6-inch Full HD 144Hz/360Hz (non-touch)
165Hz/240Hz QHD (non-touch)
4K OLED 100% DCI-P3 (touch)
14-inch FHD 144Hz
14-inch 1440p 165Hz
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
Bluetooth 5.1
Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax)
Bluetooth 5.2
Ports USB 3.2
USB-C 3.2
Thunderbolt 3/4
HDMI 2.1
3.5mm audio
SD card reader
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A Ports, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C with Power Delivery and DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.1
Dimensions 0.78 x 9.25 x 13.98 inches (19.9mm x 235mm x 355mm) 0.66 x 8.66 x 12.59 inches (16.8mm x 220mm x 319.7mm)
Weight 4.6 pounds (2.09kg) 3.92 pounds (1.78kg)
Battery 65 Wh/80Wh 61.6Wh
230W Power adapter

Both laptops offer powerful CPUs and GPUs paired with fast storage, RAM, and great displays. But besides the size, the biggest difference is the AMD CPU in the Razer Blade 14. And that makes more difference than you might expect.

Razer Blade 15 vs. Razer Blade 14: Performance

Razer Blade 15 Logo 2021 LidSource: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

Ultimately the exact performance differences will come down to which GPU option you go for. The Razer Blade 14 is limited to the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080, while the Blade 15 has a broader choice beginning with the RTX 3060. But for a gaming laptop, this is no slouch. Going up to the higher end you have the choice of an RTX 3070 or RTX 3080 in each, up to 1TB of PCIe SSD storage and 3200MHz RAM.

RAM is limited to 16GB in the Blade 14 on account of its smaller size — the memory is soldered to the motherboard. 16GB is plenty though for gaming, even other heavy workloads, just know there's no upgrade path.

It's the CPU really that makes the difference. As you can see in these benchmark charts, the Intel-powered Blade 15 is on par or slightly in front in two tests, but the AMD Ryzen 9 absolutely destroys any other laptop chip in the Cinebench R23 benchmark. The 10-minute, multi-core render test shows just how much CPU power is on tap in the Blade 14.

When it comes to gaming, the two are evenly matched. In most titles, you're going to be GPU not CPU bound, and while Intel traditionally does a little better than AMD, it's not going to be anything significant between the two.

The problems lie with the Blade 14 on battery power, and this one could end up being a make-or-break decision. AMD implements a number of restrictions on a system level when on battery, even to the point of slowing down the SSD by about half. All in the name of extending battery life as much as possible.

As such it makes it a harder recommendation to anyone who will be working away from a power outlet. You'll never notice during gaming, as without being powered you won't be able to max out performance regardless, but as a work tool or for something like editing photos and videos on the go, it becomes less attractive.

The good news is you don't get any of these artificial slowdowns on the Razer Blade 15. Intel systems are generally very good at power management, and it makes this the one to get for folks who will be going truly mobile.

Razer Blade 15

Razer Blade 15

The one to get for most

The Razer Blade 15 is still the absolute best gaming laptop you can buy and for most people, it's the better choice compared to its smaller sibling.

Razer Blade 14

Razer Blade 14

Mind-boggling performance

A ridiculously powerful laptop AMD fans can be proud to own as will anyone looking for a true 14-inch gaming laptop, but it has enough quirks to keep it behind the Blade 15.

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