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Update | Not created equal — Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q is 10 to 15 percent faster than the Gigabyte Aero 15 X9

Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU is 10 to 15 percent faster than on the Gigabyte Aero 15 X9
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU is 10 to 15 percent faster than on the Gigabyte Aero 15 X9
The GPU in the Razer laptop has a 22 percent faster base clock rate than the same GPU on the Gigabyte Aero 15 X9. The result? Consistently faster gaming performance on the Razer Blade 15 by 10 to 15 percent.

When Gigabyte announced the Aero 15 with Core i9 CPU and RTX 2080 GPU options, we expressed our suspicion about potential throttling issues because of the thin form factor. Now that we have both the Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 and Razer Blade 15 with the same RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU between them, we can compare the two to see if there are any differences in GPU power.

Right off the bat, we can see that the Gigabyte system is running its RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU at an 18 percent slower base clock rate than on the Razer Blade 15 (885 MHz vs. 1080 MHz) as shown by their respective GPU-Z screenshots below. The ramifications are observable through the 3DMark benchmarks below where the Blade 15 is able to outscore the Aero 15 X9 by double-digit percentage points in every single test including ray tracing.

Does this mean that Gigabyte is underclocking its GPU? Not necessarily, because the official Nvidia spec sheet for the RTX 2070 Max-Q lists a base clock rate of only 885 MHz — the same as what we've discovered on the Aero 15 X9. Instead, it's more like Razer has overclocked the GPU to give its Blade 15 that slight edge over the competition.

(February 11, 2019 update: We want to clarify that the Aero 15 X9 is not yet shipping to retailers while the Blade 15 has been available since late last month. Our specific Gigabyte unit is still running on beta drivers in contrast to our retail Razer unit. As such, we will revisit this comparison once the Aero 15 X9 comes to market with the appropriate public Nvidia drivers.)

(March 4, 2019 update: A more detailed and updated performance comparison between the Aero 15 X9 and the Razer Blade 15 can be found here.)

3DMark
2560x1440 Port Royal Graphics
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
3679 Points ∼62%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  (3240 - 3679, n=5)
3443 Points ∼58%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Dual Channel)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
3240 Points ∼55%
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
6728 Points ∼47%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  (5948 - 6728, n=7)
6377 Points ∼45%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Dual Channel)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
5948 Points ∼42%
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Graphics
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
4124 Points ∼41%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  (3894 - 4124, n=5)
3997 Points ∼40%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
18153 Points ∼45%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  (16490 - 18153, n=7)
17092 Points ∼42%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Dual Channel)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
16533 Points ∼41%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU-Z
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU-Z
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU-Z. Note the lower base clock rate and slower fillrates
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU-Z. Note the lower base clock rate and slower fillrates
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 02 > Not created equal — Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q is 10 to 15 percent faster than the Gigabyte Aero 15 X9
Allen Ngo, 2019-02-11 (Update: 2019-03- 4)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.