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Razer Blade 15 Base Model (i7-8750H, GTX 1060 Max-Q) Laptop Review

Bigger but just as sharp. Perhaps surprisingly, the new Blade 15 Base Model does a few things better than the original Advanced Model while retailing for hundreds of dollars less. Find out here how Razer managed to switch things up in all the right places to create the most affordable 15-inch Blade laptop yet.

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Blade 15 GTX 1070 Max-Q Advanced Model (left) vs. Blade 15 Base Model (right)
Blade 15 GTX 1070 Max-Q Advanced Model (left) vs. Blade 15 Base Model (right)

Unveiled just a couple of weeks ago as the Dual Storage Blade 15, the system was conceived as a new less expensive configuration for the existing Blade 15 series released earlier this year. Razer is now referring to the new model as the Blade 15 Base Model while retroactively renaming the two original Blade 15 SKUs as the Advanced Model to better contrast the configurations.

The Base Model omits a number of features while introducing a few new ones for a lower price of entry. Razer has done a pretty good job summarizing all the main differences between the Base Model and Advanced Model Blade 15 configurations through the table below and on the official product page. The most notable changes are the slight increase in thickness, lack of per-key RGB lighting, addition of a 2.5-inch SATA III bay, and more limited number of display and GPU options. The end result is a system that starts at just $1600 USD compared to the whopping $2200 USD for the original Blade 15 Advanced Model.

Aside from the differences above, the core specifications and visual design are identical between the Base Model and Advanced Model including the Core i7-8750H CPU, GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU, and dual-channel RAM. Our review here will dive deeper into their differences to uncover what users will be missing and gaining when considering the Blade 15 Base Model. We highly recommend checking out our existing reviews on the original Blade 15 GTX 1060 Max-Q and GTX 1070 Max-Q Advanced Models since the Base Model is nearly identical.

Direct competitors in the narrow-bezel 15.6-inch gaming space have only risen in number since the launch of the original Blade 15 Advanced Model. Alternatives to the Blade 15 include the HP Omen 15, HP Pavilion Gaming 15, MSI GS65, Gigabyte Aero 15X v8, Schenker XMG Neo, and the recently released Dell Alienware m15.

More Razer reviews:

(Source: Razer)
(Source: Razer)
Razer Blade 15 Base Model (Blade Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q - 6144 MB, Core: 1265 MHz, Memory: 8008 MHz, GDDR5, 416.34, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2666, 19-19-19-43, Dual-Channel
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, BOE NV156FHM-N61, IPS, BOE0747, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM370
Storage
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ, 256 GB 
, Secondary: 2 TB Seagate ST2000LM015-2E8174
Soundcard
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S - cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech)
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Wireless-AC 9260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19.9 x 355 x 235 ( = 0.78 x 13.98 x 9.25 in)
Battery
65 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Razer Central, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.03 kg ( = 71.61 oz / 4.48 pounds), Power Supply: 547 g ( = 19.29 oz / 1.21 pounds)
Price
1600 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

With both the Base Model and Advanced Model in hand, we can say with certainty that the Base Model feels just as strong and rigid as its Advanced Model counterpart and all of our original comments on case quality still apply here for the Base Model. In fact, it's quite difficult to even feel the minute differences in thickness between the two SKUs. The edges and corners of the bottom plate are rounder this time around, but this is still the same aluminum chassis that we're already familiar with. Users who want the Base Model instead of the Advanced Model can rest easy knowing that they are not getting the short end of the stick in terms of chassis quality.

The Base Model is 2.6 mm and 3.1 mm thicker than the GTX 1070 Max-Q and GTX 1060 Max-Q Advanced Models, respectively, while length and width remain intact. The MSI GS65 is thinner by almost 2 mm, but it is still the larger system by volume.

The new Blade 15 is marginally lighter than its Advanced Model siblings despite its thicker profile because of the smaller battery and new cooling solution. Vapor chamber cooling in the Advanced Models is notorious for being very heavy when compared to traditional copper heat pipes.

Why make the Base Model thicker in the first place? Razer says the extra volume afforded allows for a 2.5-inch SATA bay that is missing in the Advanced Models.

Advanced Model (left) vs. Base Model (right)
Advanced Model (left) vs. Base Model (right)
Interestingly, the lid on the Base Model (right) is slightly thinner than the lid on the Advanced model (left)
Interestingly, the lid on the Base Model (right) is slightly thinner than the lid on the Advanced model (left)
Base Model (left) vs. Advanced Model (right)
Base Model (left) vs. Advanced Model (right)
Advanced Model (left) vs. Base Model (right)
Advanced Model (left) vs. Base Model (right)
Blade 15 Advanced Model at maximum lid angle
Blade 15 Advanced Model at maximum lid angle
Blade 15 Base Model at maximum lid angle. The new hinges allow the display to open a bit wider
Blade 15 Base Model at maximum lid angle. The new hinges allow the display to open a bit wider

Connectivity

An easy way to distinguish the Blade 15 Base Model from the Advanced Model is to look at the available ports. Namely, the Base Model includes an Ethernet port whereas the Advanced Model does not. The AC port has also changed to signify that the AC adapters are not interchangeable between the models.

An option that continues to be missing across the Blade family is the SD card reader. Razer says it is aware that Blade laptops are beginning to appeal to content creators who are more likely to use the SD card slot when compared to core gamers. In other words, Razer will consider the SD card slot for future models, but users will have to make do without one for now. Users who want an integrated card reader should consider the Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 or Schenker XMG Neo 15.

Our images below show the Base Model on bottom and the Advanced Model on top for reference.

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Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Left: AC adapter, Gigabit RJ-45, 2x USB 3.1 Type-A, 3.5 mm combo audio
Left: AC adapter, Gigabit RJ-45, 2x USB 3.1 Type-A, 3.5 mm combo audio
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity
Right: Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Type-A, HDMI 2.0, mDP 1.4, Kensington Lock
Right: Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Type-A, HDMI 2.0, mDP 1.4, Kensington Lock

Communication

WLAN has not changed. Note that the Intel 9260 is capable of transfer rates of up to 1.73 Gbps even though our test results below are much slower because our server is limited by a 1 Gbps line. There are no Killer WiFi options as commonly found on the Dell and Alienware series.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Razer Blade 15 2018
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
681 MBit/s ∼100% +2%
HP Pavilion Gaming 15t-cx0000
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
677 MBit/s ∼99% +2%
MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE-051US
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
666 MBit/s ∼98% 0%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
666 MBit/s ∼98%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
653 MBit/s ∼100%
Razer Blade 15 2018
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
643 MBit/s ∼98% -2%
MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE-051US
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
633 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
HP Pavilion Gaming 15t-cx0000
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
630 MBit/s ∼96% -4%

Maintenance

Serviceability is easy and requires only a T5 Torx wrench. Once inside, users have direct access to both storage bays, both DDR4 SODIMM slots, both system fans, M.2 WLAN module, and the battery.

There are a couple of major internal differences between the Base Model and Advanced Model as shown by our comparison pictures below. Firstly, the battery has been truncated to make room for the 2.5-inch SATA III bay similar to the XPS 15 single storage and XPS 15 dual storage SKUs. Secondly, the cooling solution has been revamped from vapor chamber to traditional copper heat pipes. The motherboard layout between both configurations are otherwise very nearly the same.

Blade 15 Base Model
Blade 15 Base Model
Blade 15 Advanced Model
Blade 15 Advanced Model

Accessories and Warranty

Included extras are a small velvet cleaning cloth, Quick Start guide, Razer logo stickers, and a warranty card. We would've preferred a larger cleaning cloth like what MSI includes for its G series of gaming laptops.

Warranty is the usual one-year period. In contrast, the baseline warranty for Aorus laptops or the EVGA SC15 is two years each.

Input Devices

Keyboard and Touchpad

There have been no changes made to the keyboard or trackpad in terms of size, travel, and feedback. Per-key RGB lighting is gone in favor of single-zone RGB lighting, but this is completely superficial. We weren't huge fans of the keyboard feedback on the Advanced Model because the keys are shallow in travel and very light when compared to the GS65 or XPS 15, so we're a bit disappointed to not see any improvements in this regard. Ultrabook users will feel right at home while desktop gamers will take some time to get used to.

Same keyboard layout as the Advanced Model
Same keyboard layout as the Advanced Model
Key travel and feedback are weaker than on competing laptops
Key travel and feedback are weaker than on competing laptops

Display

Razer has swapped out the 144 Hz LG panel on the Advanced Model for a 60 Hz AU Optronics panel on the Base Model. While pixel count, clarity, and even contrast remain the same, the reduction in refresh rate and slower black-white and gray-gray response times are noticeable when gaming. Users won't get that super-smooth and almost ghost-free experience that the Advanced Models have to offer. It's a sacrifice that Base Model owners will have to make.

It's worth noting that the same AU Optronics NV156FHM-N61 panel on the Razer Base Model can also be found on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme and Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro. Consequently, all three laptops share similar display properties and color profiles. This is still an excellent panel for gaming and by no means a budget display.

Backlight bleeding has improved over the our GTX 1060 Max-Q Advanced Model. Whereas our latter unit suffers from moderate bleeding along the bottom edge, the Base Model is very even throughout.

An interesting find is that the Base Model is slightly dimmer than the Advanced Model and that its backlight exhibits pulse-width modulation on almost all brightness levels. Most users will not likely notice the flickering, though it is present nonetheless unlike on the Advanced Model.

Blade Model. No major uneven backlight bleeding issues
Blade Model. No major uneven backlight bleeding issues
Advanced Model for comparison
Advanced Model for comparison
Same 4.9 mm bezels as the Advanced Model
Same 4.9 mm bezels as the Advanced Model
Subpixel array (141 PPI)
Subpixel array (141 PPI)
251.6
cd/m²
265.4
cd/m²
259.2
cd/m²
250.9
cd/m²
273.6
cd/m²
259.6
cd/m²
250.5
cd/m²
291.3
cd/m²
260.1
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 291.3 cd/m² Average: 262.5 cd/m² Minimum: 13.84 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 273.6 cd/m²
Contrast: 912:1 (Black: 0.3 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.22 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2, calibrated: 4.1
ΔE Greyscale 1.4 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
86.2% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 56.4% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.24
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
BOE NV156FHM-N61, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
LGD05C0, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
HP Pavilion Gaming 15t-cx0000
AU Optronics AUO82ED, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE-051US
AUO80ED, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
LGD05C0, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
APPA040, IPS, 15.4, 2880x1800
Response Times
66%
62%
58%
63%
151%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
39.2 (19.6, 19.6)
13.6 (7.6, 6)
65%
17.6 (9.2, 8.4)
55%
20 (10, 10)
49%
16.8 (8.4, 8.4)
57%
43.2 (20.4, 22.8)
-10%
Response Time Black / White *
35.2 (20.4, 14.8)
12 (7.6, 4.4)
66%
11.2 (6, 5.2)
68%
12 (6.8, 5.2)
66%
11.2 (6, 5.2)
68%
31.2 (16.4, 14.8)
11%
PWM Frequency
21190 (99)
117000 (75, 150)
452%
Screen
11%
-8%
-12%
21%
42%
Brightness middle
273.6
304.3
11%
357.5
31%
250.9
-8%
313
14%
520
90%
Brightness
262
293
12%
351
34%
257
-2%
300
15%
492
88%
Brightness Distribution
86
80
-7%
85
-1%
83
-3%
78
-9%
88
2%
Black Level *
0.3
0.38
-27%
0.36
-20%
0.32
-7%
0.33
-10%
0.39
-30%
Contrast
912
801
-12%
993
9%
784
-14%
948
4%
1333
46%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.22
1.79
44%
4.19
-30%
2.77
14%
1.29
60%
1.2
63%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.61
3.69
52%
6.97
8%
5.89
23%
2.04
73%
2.3
70%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.1
3.2
22%
2.5
39%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.4
1.1
21%
3.5
-150%
4
-186%
0.69
51%
1.3
7%
Gamma
2.24 98%
2.27 97%
2.324 95%
2.27 97%
2.43 91%
2.18 101%
CCT
6636 98%
6665 98%
7028 92%
6901 94%
6550 99%
6738 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
56.4
59.8
6%
60
6%
60
6%
60
6%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
86.2
92.8
8%
91
6%
92
7%
94
9%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
39% / 20%
27% / 3%
23% / -1%
42% / 28%
97% / 72%

* ... smaller is better

Color space is slightly narrower than the 144 Hz panels on the Advanced Model for a sRGB coverage of about 86 percent. For gaming purposes, however, this should be of no concern. Users who want full sRGB or AdobeRGB coverage should consider the larger Blade Pro where such options are available.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB

Further measurements with a X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal very accurate grayscale and colors out of the box. Our attempts to calibrate the display even further were futile as shown by our CalMAN results below. Note that pure colors are represented less accurately than colors of lower saturation since sRGB coverage is imperfect.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
35.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20.4 ms rise
↘ 14.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 91 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
39.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19.6 ms rise
↘ 19.6 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 42 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 21190 Hz ≤ 99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 21190 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 99 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 21190 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8933 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility remains unchanged. While the matte panel helps in reducing glare, the backlight was not designed to overcome sunlight. Viewing angles are otherwise very wide with no major color shifts or contrast changes.

Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

Advanced Model buyers have the option of a GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q or GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU with a FHD or 4K UHD display. Base Model buyers are limited to the GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU and 60 Hz 1080p panel. The expandable DDR4 RAM and i7-8750H CPU are otherwise identical between all configurations.

Nvidia Optimus is included for automatic switching to the UHD Graphics 630 GPU.

Processor

CineBench R15
CineBench R15

The Core i7-8750H in the Base Model performs almost identically to the same CPU in the Advanced Model. We say "almost" because it is actually slightly slower by a few percentage points according to CineBench R15. Nonetheless, the difference is so minimal that users are unlikely to notice in practice. Raw multi-thread performance is about 30 percent faster than the i7-7700HQ in last year's Razer Blade Pro and even 20 percent faster than the i7-7820HK.

Running CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop is a good way to test performance sustainability. For the Base Model, its initial score of 927 points drops to 862 points by the second loop to represent a performance dip of only 7 percent. Similar drops can also be observed on the Advanced Model SKUs as shown by the comparison graph below.

See our dedicated page on the Core i7-8750H for more technical information and benchmarks.

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Razer Blade 15 Base Model GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø864 (856.88-926.63)
Razer Blade 15 2018 GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø898 (891.76-964.04)
Razer Blade Pro 2017 GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SSD PM951 MZVLV256HCHP (RAID 0); CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø764 (757.32-768.68)
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060 GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø924 (911.97-1007.8)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
Intel Core i9-8950HK
205 Points ∼94% +17%
Eurocom Sky X9C
Intel Core i7-8700K
190 Points ∼87% +9%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼80%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H
  (163 - 177, n=52)
173 Points ∼79% -1%
Razer Blade 15 2018
Intel Core i7-8750H
172 Points ∼79% -2%
MSI GF63 8RC
Intel Core i5-8300H
170 Points ∼78% -3%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
164 Points ∼75% -6%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼73% -9%
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
149 Points ∼68% -15%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1378 Points ∼31% +49%
Eurocom Sky X9C
Intel Core i7-8700K
1334 Points ∼30% +45%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H
  (863 - 1251, n=55)
1107 Points ∼25% +20%
Razer Blade 15 2018
Intel Core i7-8750H
983 Points ∼22% +7%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
Intel Core i7-8750H
923 Points ∼21%
MSI GF63 8RC
Intel Core i5-8300H
777 Points ∼18% -16%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
733 Points ∼17% -21%
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
678 Points ∼15% -27%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
521 Points ∼12% -44%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
175 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
923 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
117.39 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks rank our Blade 15 Base Model within single-digit percentage points from the Advanced Models. In other words, day-to-day performance for browsing, streaming, and office-type productivity work are not any slower on the Base Model. We experienced no software issues during our time with the test unit.

PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 10 - Score
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK, 2x Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP (RAID 0)
6558 Points ∼84% +34%
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5184 Points ∼67% +6%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5059 Points ∼65% +3%
Razer Blade 15 2018
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5046 Points ∼65% +3%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
  (4724 - 5285, n=4)
5022 Points ∼65% +3%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
4896 Points ∼63%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK, 2x Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP (RAID 0)
5801 Points ∼89% +8%
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5705 Points ∼88% +6%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5676 Points ∼87% +5%
Razer Blade 15 2018
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5637 Points ∼87% +4%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
  (5308 - 5705, n=4)
5455 Points ∼84% +1%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5395 Points ∼83%
Razer Blade 14 2015
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
4074 Points ∼63% -24%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Razer Blade 14 2015
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
4606 Points ∼48%
Home Score Accelerated v2
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK, 2x Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP (RAID 0)
5720 Points ∼94% +29%
Razer Blade 15 2018
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4658 Points ∼76% +5%
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4650 Points ∼76% +5%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
4504 Points ∼74% +2%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
4425 Points ∼73%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
  (3968 - 4650, n=4)
4412 Points ∼72% 0%
Razer Blade 14 2015
GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
3309 Points ∼54% -25%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4425 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5395 points
Help

Storage Devices

New 2.5-inch SATA bay sits adjacent to the M.2 slot. The paste on top of the M.2 SSD prevents it from heating the bottom of the notebook
New 2.5-inch SATA bay sits adjacent to the M.2 slot. The paste on top of the M.2 SSD prevents it from heating the bottom of the notebook

The Base Model gets a secondary 2.5-inch SATA III bay in addition to the M.2 2280 PCIe x4 slot of the Advanced Model for dual storage capabilities. Our specific test unit is equipped with a 256 GB Samsung PM981 M.2 NVMe SSD and a secondary 5400 RPM 2 TB Seagate HDD. Gamers with a large library of games can expand storage space much more cheaply on the Base Model when compared to the Advanced Model. Note that the 2.5-inch SATA bay is designed to accept 7 mm drives and not 9.5 mm.

The lowest-end SKU includes a 128 GB SATA III M.2 SSD that will likely top out at just 500 MB/s for sequential read and write. We're unsure if these will also be Samsung SSDs, but SATA III speeds are more than sufficient for mainstream gaming purposes.

See our table of HDDs and SSDs for more benchmark comparisons.

AS SSD
AS SSD
HD Tune
HD Tune
CDM 5.5 (SSD)
CDM 5.5 (SSD)
CDM 5.5 (HDD)
CDM 5.5 (HDD)
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
Razer Blade 15 2018
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
HP Pavilion Gaming 15t-cx0000
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE-051US
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
Apple SSD AP0512
AS SSD
25%
24%
-14%
-12%
-35%
Copy Game MB/s
1069.77
Copy Program MB/s
495.54
Copy ISO MB/s
1891.98
Score Total
2952
3806
29%
4113
39%
2039
-31%
2536
-14%
2119
-28%
Score Write
1499
1450
-3%
2087
39%
802
-46%
939
-37%
347
-77%
Score Read
970
1584
63%
1319
36%
815
-16%
1092
13%
1199
24%
Access Time Write *
0.04
0.038
5%
0.038
5%
0.045
-13%
0.046
-15%
Access Time Read *
0.113
0.051
55%
0.051
55%
0.071
37%
0.119
-5%
0.225
-99%
4K-64 Write
1269.69
1203.91
-5%
1808.44
42%
570.49
-55%
742.09
-42%
163.46
-87%
4K-64 Read
748.68
1299.71
74%
1160.14
55%
610.88
-18%
847.34
13%
965.14
29%
4K Write
92.98
93.55
1%
95.91
3%
83.83
-10%
80.44
-13%
18.78
-80%
4K Read
40.75
46.45
14%
35.03
-14%
43.09
6%
23.36
-43%
9.46
-77%
Seq Write
1366.97
1520.94
11%
1829.47
34%
1474.76
8%
1163.11
-15%
1643.8
20%
Seq Read
1802.55
2375.98
32%
1234.66
-32%
1612.2
-11%
2212.97
23%
2239.35
24%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3272 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 1451 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 406.9 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 356.1 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1392 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1450 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 43.09 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 112.5 MB/s

GPU Performance

Nvidia Max-Q is designed to be slightly slower than the standard non Max-Q counterpart as exemplified by the GTX 1070 Max-Q and GTX 1080 Max-Q when compared to the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080, respectively. Nonetheless, we've already proven that the GTX 1060 Max-Q is only within 10 percent of the performance of a base GTX 1060 for laptops. The Blade 15 Base Model is essentially just as powerful as the GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU in the Advanced Model and even the 2017 Blade Pro according to 3DMark benchmarks.

A "proper" desktop GTX 1060 6 GB is still about 15 percent faster while the GTX 1050 Ti is about 30 percent slower than our Base Model Razer. Users who want to upgrade to the GTX 1070 Max-Q Advanced Model will see a raw graphics boost of about 40 percent.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK
21422 Points ∼53% +88%
Razer Blade Pro 2017
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
18879 Points ∼46% +66%
Razer Blade 15 2018
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
15748 Points ∼39% +39%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
12984 Points ∼32% +14%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
11366 Points ∼28%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
11049 Points ∼27% -3%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
  (9992 - 11366, n=10)
10659 Points ∼26% -6%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H
7860 Points ∼19% -31%
Razer Blade 14 2015
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
7321 Points ∼18% -36%
MSI GF63 8RC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H
6069 Points ∼15% -47%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
AMD Radeon Pro 560X, 8850H
5699 Points ∼14% -50%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK
140768 Points ∼76% +72%
Razer Blade Pro 2017
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
107110 Points ∼58% +31%
Razer Blade 15 2018
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
98051 Points ∼53% +20%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
81720 Points ∼44%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
80879 Points ∼44% -1%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
77354 Points ∼42% -5%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
  (42781 - 81720, n=10)
71376 Points ∼39% -13%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H
50732 Points ∼27% -38%
MSI GF63 8RC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H
38928 Points ∼21% -52%
Razer Blade 14 2015
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
38777 Points ∼21% -53%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
AMD Radeon Pro 560X, 8850H
32449 Points ∼18% -60%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK
14080 Points ∼78% +44%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
11160 Points ∼62% +14%
Razer Blade Pro 2017
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
10129 Points ∼56% +3%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
9792 Points ∼54%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
  (6212 - 11735, n=10)
8931 Points ∼49% -9%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
8830 Points ∼49% -10%
Razer Blade 15 2018
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
8685 Points ∼48% -11%
Razer Blade 14 2015
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
7787 Points ∼43% -20%
MSI GF63 8RC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H
7264 Points ∼40% -26%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
AMD Radeon Pro 560X, 8850H
7155 Points ∼39% -27%
1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK
28918 Points ∼57% +102%
Razer Blade Pro 2017
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
24868 Points ∼49% +73%
Razer Blade 15 2018
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
19969 Points ∼39% +39%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
17401 Points ∼34% +21%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
14351 Points ∼28%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
13668 Points ∼27% -5%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
  (12970 - 14487, n=10)
13581 Points ∼27% -5%
Razer Blade 14 2015
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4720HQ
9571 Points ∼19% -33%
MSI GF63 8RC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H
7611 Points ∼15% -47%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
AMD Radeon Pro 560X, 8850H
7590 Points ∼15% -47%
3DMark 11 Performance
12856 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
25931 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
9851 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Real-world gaming performance is nearly identical to the standard GTX 1060 for laptops minus up to 10 percent. All current titles should be able to run at 1080p and at frame rates above 30 FPS. More demanding titles like Witcher 3 or Monster Hunter World will require more settings to be tuned down for faster frame rates.

See our page on the GTX 1060 Max-Q for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 288224213.4112fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 204.9134.771.438.5fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 183.7133.373.366.4fps

Stress Test

We stress the system with synthetic loads to identify for any potential throttling or stability issues. When subjected to Prime95 stress, we can observe the CPU operating at 2.6 GHz for the first few seconds before hitting 71 C. Once this threshold is reached, clock rates drops to 2.1 GHz to 2.2 GHz for a cooler core temperature of 61 C as shown by our screenshot below. The GTX 1060 Max-Q Advanced Model with the same i7-8750H CPU is able to run faster at up to 2.9 GHz to explain why its CineBench R15 scores are consistently higher than the Base Model. When under maximum stress (Prime95+FurMark), CPU and GPU temperatures stabilize in the low 70 C range each whereas the same processors in the GTX 1060 Max-Q Advanced Model become slightly warmer in the high 70 C range. Thus, the Base Model runs a bit cooler than its Advanced Model counterpart.

Running Witcher 3 is more representative of real-world gaming stress. The Base Model is again cooler with a stable GPU temperature of 71 C compared to 79 C on the equivalent Advanced Model. Performance is also steady with no degradation or recurring drops over time.

Running on battery power will limit FPS to 30 when gaming even after setting Windows to Maximum Performance and the GPU to 'Prefer maximum performance' with V-Sync disabled. Annoyingly, the simplest way to disable this is to download and login to GeForce Experience to toggle the 30 FPS limiter.

System idle
System idle
Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Witcher 3 stress
Witcher 3 stress
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