Notebookcheck

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

Razor-sharp. After offering 13-inch, 14-inch, and 17-inch Blade laptops for years, it's about time Razer launch a 15-inch model to complete the series. This GTX 1060 Max-Q SKU is every bit as impressive as the GTX 1070 Max-Q configuration from top to bottom. Assuming, of course, that the asking price of $1900 USD hasn't turned you away.

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We've seen what the new Razer Blade 15 GTX 1070 Max-Q SKU can do, but what about the Blade 15 GTX 1060 Max-Q?

For this review, we'll be focusing on what the Blade 15 1060 Max-Q can offer and how it may differ from the Blade 15 1070 Max-Q in performance, battery life, temperatures, and noise. We recommend checking out our original review on the Blade 15 1070 Max-Q for more information on chassis features and quality since both configurations share the same design.

As the very handy table below shows, the Blade 15 1060 Max-Q SKU can be configured with either 256 GB of storage and a 60 Hz 1080p display for $1900 USD or 512 GB of storage and a 144 Hz 1080p display for $2200 USD. This is Razer's first 15-inch gaming laptop to compete directly with other 15-inch alternatives like the MSI GS65, Gigabyte Aero 15X, HP Pavilion Gaming, Asus Zephyrus M, Aorus X5, Lenovo Legion Y530, and the Eurocom Q5. The price range of the new Razer is also comparable to 15-inch multimedia flagships like the Dell XPS 15, HP Spectre x360 15, Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580, and the MacBook Pro 15.

More Razer reviews:

(Source: Razer)
(Source: Razer)
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060 (Blade Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q - 6144 MB, Core: 1265 MHz, Memory: 8008 MHz, GDDR5, 397.93, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, Samsung DDR4, PC4-21300, 1333.3 MHz, 19-19-19-43, Dual-Channel
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, LGD05C0, IPS, 144 Hz, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM370
Storage
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, 512 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S - cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech)
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo
Networking
Intel Wireless-AC 9260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 16.8 x 355 x 235 ( = 0.66 x 13.98 x 9.25 in)
Battery
80 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 1 MP (720p)
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo (Dolby Atmos 2.0), Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Cleaning cloth, manual, Razer Central, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.07 kg ( = 73.02 oz / 4.56 pounds), Power Supply: 680 g ( = 23.99 oz / 1.5 pounds)
Price
2200 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Much like how the Razer Blade Pro GTX 1060 is slightly different from the Razer Blade Pro GTX 1080, expect the Blade 15 GTX 1060 Max-Q to have some small changes when compared to the Blade 15 GTX 1070 Max-Q. This includes the following:

  • The GTX 1060 Max-Q SKU is slightly thinner (16.8 mm vs. 17.3 mm) and lighter (2.07 kg vs. 2.1 kg) due to internal alterations
  • A less powerful 200 W AC adapter is included in the packaging whereas the GTX 1070 Max-Q SKU uses a 230 W adapter
  • The system lacks a 4K UHD panel which is reserved only for the GTX 1070 Max-Q configuration

Otherwise, the all-aluminum matte surfaces, connectivity features, and build quality remain identical including the maximum lid angle of 140 degrees.

Communication

The Intel 8260 is capable of theoretical transfer rates of up to 1.73 Gbps. Our current test conditions are limited to 1 Gbps and so the system can be even faster than what we've recorded below. This is particularly important for the Blade 15 compared to most other gaming laptops since it lacks a traditional RJ-45 port.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
682 MBit/s ∼100%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
660 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
542 MBit/s ∼79% -21%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
662 MBit/s ∼100% +3%
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
642 MBit/s ∼97%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
539 MBit/s ∼81% -16%

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Maintenance

Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060 Max-Q
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060 Max-Q
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1070 Max-Q

Input Devices

The RGB key backlight exhibits PWM even when on maximum brightness
The RGB key backlight exhibits PWM even when on maximum brightness

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keys on the Blade 15 offer shorter travel and lighter feedback when compared to the keys on the MSI GS65, XPS 15, or Asus Zephyrus GM501. Ultrabook users will feel right at home with the Chroma keyboard, but desktop gamers will likely need some time to adjust to these softer keys.

The per-key RGB lighting from the Blade 14 and Blade Pro has carried over to the Blade 15 series. Owners must login to Razer Central or Synapse to take full advantage of its features. The lighting can be very bright at maximum setting, but it unfortunately does not light up the secondary symbols (i.e., !, @, #, $, etc.) or multimedia shortcuts printed onto some keys.

It's worth noting that the RGB lighting exhibits pulse-width modulation at a frequency of about 335 Hz. Users sensitive to onscreen flickering may want to adjust the RGB brightness level accordingly when gaming.

Meanwhile, the large (13 x 8 cm) trackpad is smooth in glide with excellent multi-touch responsiveness. The integrated mouse clicks are shallow and quiet and could have benefited from being a bit firmer.

Display

Our GTX 1060 Max-Q configuration utilizes the same matte 1080p 144 Hz panel as on our GTX 1070 Max-Q unit and so we refer to our existing review for more information. The two other panel options include the less expensive 1080p 60 Hz panel and the pricier 4K UHD 60 Hz glossy touchscreen. These panels will likely exhibit different contrast ratios, gamuts, response times, and even brightness levels between them. Thus, our measurements below reflect only the 1080p 144 Hz configuration.

Note that the Blade 15 utilizes the same LGD05C0 1080p 144 Hz panel from LG as does the competing Gigabyte Aero 15X. Both systems share very similar display qualities as a result.

Our GTX 1070 Max-Q unit exhibited uneven backlight bleeding and we can unfortunately observe the same on today's GTX 1060 Max-Q system. The bleeding around the edges and corners is noticeable when gaming or during video playback where darkened scenes can be common.

Moderate uneven backlight bleeding
Moderate uneven backlight bleeding
RGB subpixel array
RGB subpixel array
286.7
cd/m²
303.9
cd/m²
312
cd/m²
275.8
cd/m²
304.3
cd/m²
319
cd/m²
255.2
cd/m²
278.8
cd/m²
299.9
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 319 cd/m² Average: 292.8 cd/m² Minimum: 15.04 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 80 %
Center on Battery: 304.3 cd/m²
Contrast: 801:1 (Black: 0.38 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.79 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 1.1 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
92.8% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 59.8% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.27
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
LGD05C0, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Razer Blade 15 2018
LGD05C0, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
AU Optronics B156HAN08.0 (AUO80ED), IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
LGD05C0, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.9 GHz, 560)
15.4, 2880x1800
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Sharp SHP149A LQ156M1, LED IGZO IPS InfinityEdge, 15.6, 1920x1080
Response Times
-13%
-18%
-9%
-173%
-205%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
13.6 (7.6, 6)
17.2 (8.8, 8.4)
-26%
17.6 (9.2, 8.4)
-29%
16.8 (8.4, 8.4)
-24%
42.4 (20.4, 22)
-212%
49 (25, 40)
-260%
Response Time Black / White *
12 (7.6, 4.4)
12 (6.8, 5.2)
-0%
12.8 (7.6, 5.2)
-7%
11.2 (6, 5.2)
7%
28 (14.8, 13.2)
-133%
30 (16, 14)
-150%
PWM Frequency
961 (10)
Screen
-21%
-4%
15%
20%
0%
Brightness middle
304.3
290
-5%
254
-17%
313
3%
534
75%
413
36%
Brightness
293
281
-4%
262
-11%
300
2%
502
71%
378
29%
Brightness Distribution
80
82
3%
89
11%
78
-2%
86
8%
86
8%
Black Level *
0.38
0.3
21%
0.22
42%
0.33
13%
0.31
18%
0.29
24%
Contrast
801
967
21%
1155
44%
948
18%
1723
115%
1424
78%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.79
2.85
-59%
2.37
-32%
1.29
28%
1.8
-1%
2.44
-36%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
3.69
6.27
-70%
4.71
-28%
2.04
45%
3.8
-3%
4.46
-21%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.1
2.4
-118%
1.58
-44%
0.69
37%
2.4
-118%
2.48
-125%
Gamma
2.27 97%
2.34 94%
2.48 89%
2.43 91%
2.27 97%
2.43 91%
CCT
6665 98%
6718 97%
6785 96%
6550 99%
6563 99%
7006 93%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
59.8
60
0%
60
0%
60
0%
77.92
30%
62
4%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
92.8
94
1%
92
-1%
94
1%
99.94
8%
96
3%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.39
1.84
2.48
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-17% / -20%
-11% / -6%
3% / 11%
-77% / -12%
-103% / -34%

* ... smaller is better

Color space is approximately 93 percent and 60 percent of the sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, respectively. This is unsurprisingly similar to our results from the Blade 15 GTX 1070 Max-Q unit and Aero 15X. Graphics artists can get near-complete sRGB coverage from the Razer while the MacBook Pro 15 has an even wider gamut that encompasses more of AdobeRGB.

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

Razer promises "Custom calibrated" displays at factory for every Razer 15 unit similar to how Gigabyte promises Pantone-certified calibration for every Aero 15X v8 unit. Our independent spectrophotometer results do indeed show very accurate grayscale and colors across all saturation levels. Unlike other flagships like the XPS 15 or Spectre x360 15, owners need not perform any additional calibration to get the most accurate colors possible from the Razer. In fact, our own attempts to calibrate the already-calibrated display resulted in slightly worse colors and grays.

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
12 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7.6 ms rise
↘ 4.4 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 9 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
13.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7.6 ms rise
↘ 6 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 6 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than 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 not detected

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8781 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is average for a gaming notebook. The system is certainly easier to carry around compared to other gaming laptops, but Ultrabooks with brighter displays exist if visibility is of utmost importance. The XPS 15, MacBook Pro 15, and Samsung NP900X5N are popular examples with brighter screens.

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

Performance

All current Razer Blade 15 SKUs come with the same hexa-core Core i7-8750H CPU and 16 GB of expandable DDR4 2667 MHz RAM. Nvidia Optimus is included across the lineup which sadly means no G-Sync technology to make better use of the high panel refresh rate.

 

Processor

CineBench R15
CineBench R15

CPU performance is on par with the average Core i7-8750H in our database. Users can expect a 25 to 30 percent raw performance boost when moving up from the i5-8300H or common i7-7700HQ. The Core i7-8550U in the Blade Stealth and most newer Ultrabooks is roughly 40 percent slower than the Blade 15 in multi-threaded workloads.

Performance sustainability, however, is a different story. Running CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop results in a notable drop in score from 1051 points to 915 points to represent a deficit of 13 percent. The drop occurs immediately after the first loop to suggest that CPU Turbo Boost is very short-lived on the Blade 15 even when the High Performance and Gaming profiles are selected. While this does not significantly impact gaming potential, it shows that a small CPU performance hit was likely necessary given the small form factor.

See our CPU page on the Core i7-8750H for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Asus Chimera G703GI
Intel Core i9-8950HK
206 Points ∼97% +17%
Eurocom Sky X4C
Intel Core i7-8700K
192 Points ∼90% +9%
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
Intel Core i7-8750H
176 Points ∼83%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H
  (163 - 177, n=47)
173 Points ∼81% -2%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Intel Core i5-8300H
167 Points ∼78% -5%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
164 Points ∼77% -7%
HP Omen X 17-ap0xx
Intel Core i7-7820HK
162 Points ∼76% -8%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
Intel Core i5-8305G
157 Points ∼74% -11%
Asus FX503VM-EH73
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
156 Points ∼73% -11%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBA-80WY001VGE
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
147 Points ∼69% -16%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R6J9
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
141 Points ∼66% -20%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Eurocom Sky X4C
Intel Core i7-8700K
1359 Points ∼44% +49%
Asus Chimera G703GI
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1312 Points ∼42% +43%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H
  (863 - 1251, n=50)
1103 Points ∼35% +21%
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
Intel Core i7-8750H
915 Points ∼29%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Intel Core i5-8300H
840 Points ∼27% -8%
HP Omen X 17-ap0xx
Intel Core i7-7820HK
770 Points ∼25% -16%
Asus FX503VM-EH73
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
733 Points ∼24% -20%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
Intel Core i5-8305G
681 Points ∼22% -26%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R6J9
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
530 Points ∼17% -42%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
521 Points ∼17% -43%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBA-80WY001VGE
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
501 Points ∼16% -45%
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
118.45 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
915 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
176 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks are essentially identical to the GTX 1070 Max-Q configuration despite the GPU performance differences.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 - Score
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5184 Points ∼67%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5095 Points ∼66% -2%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5059 Points ∼65% -2%
Razer Blade 15 2018
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5046 Points ∼65% -3%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
4479 Points ∼58% -14%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5705 Points ∼88%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5676 Points ∼87% -1%
Razer Blade 15 2018
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5637 Points ∼87% -1%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5621 Points ∼86% -1%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
5271 Points ∼81% -8%
Home Score Accelerated v2
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4665 Points ∼77% 0%
Razer Blade 15 2018
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4658 Points ∼76% 0%
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4650 Points ∼76%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
4504 Points ∼74% -3%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
4030 Points ∼66% -13%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4650 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5705 points
Help

Storage Devices

Whereas our GTX 1070 Max-Q configuration utilizes a 512 GB Samsung PM961 M.2 NVMe SSD, our GTX 1060 Max-Q configuration utilizes the newer 512 GB Samsung PM981 with faster theoretical sequential write rates (1800 MB/s vs. 1150 MB/s). We're not sure how Razer decides which SKUs or regions will have which SSD, but consider yourself lucky if your unit ships with the faster PM981 NVMe SSD. This exact same SSD can also be found on the competing MSI GS65.

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

CDM 5
CDM 5
AS SSD
AS SSD
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Razer Blade 15 2018
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.9 GHz, 560)
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-2%
0%
-9%
-19%
18%
Write 4K
97.93
94.15
-4%
95.3
-3%
94.43
-4%
118.3
21%
142.5
46%
Read 4K
41.32
39.23
-5%
40.13
-3%
37.65
-9%
26.93
-35%
29.32
-29%
Write Seq
1594
1483
-7%
1883
18%
1335
-16%
350.2
-78%
2078
30%
Read Seq
1353
1371
1%
1322
-2%
1404
4%
2125
57%
1309
-3%
Write 4K Q32T1
305.6
296.2
-3%
309.9
1%
268.6
-12%
243.4
-20%
362.6
19%
Read 4K Q32T1
354.1
342.5
-3%
353.7
0%
332.8
-6%
275.8
-22%
472.8
34%
Write Seq Q32T1
2033
1527
-25%
1919
-6%
1375
-32%
349
-83%
2208
9%
Read Seq Q32T1
2543
3280
29%
2466
-3%
2627
3%
2732
7%
3474
37%
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 2543 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 2033 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 354.1 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 305.6 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1353 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1594 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 41.32 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 97.93 MB/s

GPU Performance

Raw graphics performance is about 15 percent and nearly 30 percent slower than the GTX 980M and GTX 1070 Max-Q, respectively. Thus, the graphics leap from the Blade 15 1060 Max-Q to the Blade 15 1070 Max-Q is significant for gaming purposes. Gamers who want to make the most out of the 144 Hz panel may want to consider the faster GTX 1070 Max-Q SKU while the GTX 1060 Max-Q should suffice for targeting 1080p60. Newer and more demanding titles, however, will have a difficult time maintaining 1080p60 on very high settings since the GTX 1060 Max-Q is about 10 to 15 percent slower than our desktop GTX 1060 reference.

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

3Dmark 11
3Dmark 11
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
11160 Points ∼62% +25%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H
11115 Points ∼61% +24%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, 8809G
10391 Points ∼57% +16%
Razer Blade Pro 2017
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
10129 Points ∼56% +13%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
9017 Points ∼50% +1%
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
8935 Points ∼49%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
  (6212 - 11735, n=10)
8931 Points ∼49% 0%
Razer Blade 15 2018
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
8685 Points ∼48% -3%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H
7607 Points ∼42% -15%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
5560 Points ∼31% -38%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
4296 Points ∼24% -52%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Razer Blade Pro 2017
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
24868 Points ∼49% +75%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H
23261 Points ∼46% +64%
Razer Blade 15 2018
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
19969 Points ∼39% +41%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
17401 Points ∼34% +23%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
16946 Points ∼33% +20%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, 8809G
14302 Points ∼28% +1%
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
14180 Points ∼28%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
  (12970 - 14487, n=10)
13581 Points ∼27% -4%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H
7790 Points ∼15% -45%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
5397 Points ∼11% -62%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
4708 Points ∼9% -67%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Razer Blade Pro 2017
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
18879 Points ∼46% +67%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H
17980 Points ∼44% +59%
Razer Blade 15 2018
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
15748 Points ∼39% +39%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
13018 Points ∼32% +15%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
12984 Points ∼32% +15%
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
11315 Points ∼28%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
  (9992 - 11366, n=10)
10659 Points ∼26% -6%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, 8809G
10248 Points ∼25% -9%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H
6216 Points ∼15% -45%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
4390 Points ∼11% -61%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
3622 Points ∼9% -68%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Razer Blade Pro 2017
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
107110 Points ∼58% +33%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H
100073 Points ∼54% +24%
Razer Blade 15 2018
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
98051 Points ∼53% +21%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
80879 Points ∼44% 0%
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
80748 Points ∼44%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
  (42781 - 81720, n=10)
71376 Points ∼39% -12%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
70557 Points ∼38% -13%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, 8809G
59162 Points ∼32% -27%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H
39896 Points ∼22% -51%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
28541 Points ∼15% -65%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
19900 Points ∼11% -75%
3DMark 11 Performance
12756 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
23642 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
9861 points
Help
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 274.4226.1211.6109.8fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 210.7133.274.237fps
Overwatch (2016) 299.2266.2165107.3fps

Stress Test

We stress the notebook to identify for any potential throttling or stability issues. When subjected to Prime95 load, the CPU can be observed running at 2.9 GHz for the first few seconds before falling and stabilizing at 2.2 or 2.3 GHz. Since the base clock rate of the i7-8750H is 2.2 GHz, this means that Turbo Boost is unsustainable when under extreme stress. In return, core temperature is quite cool for a laptop under heavy CPU load at just 65 C. Running both Prime95 and FurMark to stress the CPU and GPU simultaneously will cause temperatures to rise up to the high 70 C range each. Meanwhile, the GTX 1070 Max-Q SKU can run even warmer at up to 83 C and 88 C for the GPU and CPU, respectively, when subjected to similar extreme loads.

Running Witcher 3 is more representative of real-world gaming load. The CPU and GPU can be observed running stably at 4.0 GHz and 1620 MHz, respectively, with core temperatures again reaching high 70s. Temperatures when gaming are actually very similar to the GTX 1070 Max-Q SKU.

Performance is throttled when on battery power especially for the CPU. 3DMark 11 Physics and Graphics scores on batteries are at 5580 and 13132 points, respectively, compared to 10484 and 14180 points when on mains.

System idle
System idle
Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Witcher 3 stress
Witcher 3 stress
01234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 2.3 -- 65 --
FurMark Stress -- 1152 -- 73
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 1.9 - 2.0 1164 77 79
Witcher 3 Stress 4.0 1620 77 79

Emissions

System Noise

Fan noise is notably quieter than on the GTX 1070 Max-Q SKU when under load. Running Witcher 3, for example, will induce a steady fan noise of about 45 dB(A) compared to 49 dB(A) on the more powerful Blade 15 configuration. Fans will remain silent for low processing loads when on the Power Saver profile with only infrequent pulsing.

Unfortunately, our test unit suffers from light coil whine or electronic noise that is noticeable when idling on desktop. It's not loud enough to overcome typical ambient conditions, but it's disappointing nonetheless considering the asking price of the system.

Same twin 50 mm fans and vapor chamber cooler as GTX 1070 Max-Q SKU
Same twin 50 mm fans and vapor chamber cooler as GTX 1070 Max-Q SKU
Since the cooling solution is so large, more of the notebook surface will become warm under load
Since the cooling solution is so large, more of the notebook surface will become warm under load

Noise Level

Idle
28.1 / 33 / 33.5 dB(A)
Load
42.2 / 45.7 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.1 dB(A)
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Razer Blade 15 2018
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
Razer Blade Pro 2017
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SSD PM951 MZVLV256HCHP (RAID 0)
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Noise
-4%
0%
-8%
-8%
-6%
off / environment *
28.1
29
-3%
30
-7%
29
-3%
30
-7%
29
-3%
Idle Minimum *
28.1
29
-3%
30
-7%
30
-7%
30
-7%
30
-7%
Idle Average *
33
30
9%
31
6%
31
6%
31
6%
31
6%
Idle Maximum *
33.5
38
-13%
34
-1%
35
-4%
33
1%
33
1%
Load Average *
42.2
46
-9%
43
-2%
49
-16%
43
-2%
49
-16%
Witcher 3 ultra *
45.3
49
-8%
42
7%
51
-13%
55
-21%
50
-10%
Load Maximum *
45.7
46
-1%
44
4%
54
-18%
58
-27%
52
-14%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Rear exhaust during high load
Rear exhaust during high load

Are surface temperatures any cooler when compared to the more powerful GTX 1070 Max-Q SKU? Their differences are marginal at best when idling, video streaming, or word processing. Higher loads like gaming, however, will indeed run slightly cooler on the GTX 1060 Max-Q SKU. The palm rests and center keyboard keys in particular are notably cooler albeit still a bit too warm for our liking when compared to thicker gaming laptops like the MSI GT63 or Asus Strix GL503. A flat desk is definitely recommend when gaming because the bottom hot spot can reach over 50 C quite quickly.

While much of the notebook surface is warm, the important WASD keys remain comparatively cooler no matter the load as shown by the temperature maps below. The system fan underneath draws cool air directly through these keys to prevent gamers' fingers from sweating.

System idle (top)
System idle (top)
System idle (bottom)
System idle (bottom)
Witcher 3 stress (top)
Witcher 3 stress (top)
Witcher 3 stress (bottom)
Witcher 3 stress (bottom)
Maximum stress (top)
Maximum stress (top)
Maximum stress (bottom)
Maximum stress (bottom)
Max. Load
 43.8 °C
111 F
51.2 °C
124 F
45.6 °C
114 F
 
 35.8 °C
96 F
45.6 °C
114 F
34.4 °C
94 F
 
 36.2 °C
97 F
33.4 °C
92 F
35.8 °C
96 F
 
Maximum: 51.2 °C = 124 F
Average: 40.2 °C = 104 F
43 °C
109 F
55.2 °C
131 F
44 °C
111 F
41.2 °C
106 F
51.8 °C
125 F
41.8 °C
107 F
37.4 °C
99 F
42.2 °C
108 F
39.2 °C
103 F
Maximum: 55.2 °C = 131 F
Average: 44 °C = 111 F
Power Supply (max.)  55 °C = 131 F | Room Temperature 22.8 °C = 73 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 40.2 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 32.9 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 51.2 °C / 124 F, compared to the average of 39.2 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 55.2 °C / 131 F, compared to the average of 41.6 °C / 107 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29.7 °C / 85 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(-) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 39.2 °C / 103 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 36.2 °C / 97.2 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.7 °C / 83.7 F (-7.5 °C / -13.5 F).

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Power consumption when idling is about 15 W to 19 W depending on the screen brightness and power profile. Results are similar to the GTX 1070 Max-Q configuration despite having the slower GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU. Differences begin to show when the two systems are subjected to higher levels of stress. When running Witcher 3, for example, the GTX 1060 Max-Q SKU draws about 15 percent less power and this delta increases even further up to 35 percent when running extreme loads like Prime95 and FurMark. Perhaps not coincidentally, the GTX 1070 Max-Q is also about 30 to 35 percent faster than the GTX 1060 Max-Q according to 3DMark benchmarks.

The medium-sized (~15.5 x 6.5 x 2.5 cm) 200 W adapter is more than enough for the Blade 15 as the maximum draw we can record is only 162 W when the system is under extreme stress.

Maximum brightness initiated at 20s mark. Expect a consumption difference of about 4 W between minimum and maximum brightness settings
Maximum brightness initiated at 20s mark. Expect a consumption difference of about 4 W between minimum and maximum brightness settings
Prime95 initiated at 20s mark. Consumption is highest only for the first few seconds of the benchmark
Prime95 initiated at 20s mark. Consumption is highest only for the first few seconds of the benchmark
Prime95+FurMark initiated at 20s mark
Prime95+FurMark initiated at 20s mark
Consistent performance and consumption when running Witcher 3
Consistent performance and consumption when running Witcher 3
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.03 / 0.81 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 14.9 / 17.5 / 19.2 Watt
Load midlight 103.2 / 132.7 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Razer Blade 15 2018
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
8705G, Vega M GL / 870, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Power Consumption
-7%
8%
-8%
-25%
33%
Idle Minimum *
14.9
14
6%
7
53%
14
6%
16
-7%
6.2
58%
Idle Average *
17.5
17
3%
11
37%
18
-3%
19
-9%
12.9
26%
Idle Maximum *
19.2
21
-9%
20
-4%
22
-15%
26
-35%
13.6
29%
Load Average *
103.2
95
8%
98
5%
91
12%
103
-0%
76.1
26%
Load Maximum *
132.7
179
-35%
182
-37%
173
-30%
223
-68%
99.4
25%
Witcher 3 ultra *
123.1
141
-15%
132
-7%
142
-15%
164
-33%
84.3
32%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Runtimes from our GTX 1060 Max-Q unit is notably longer than on our GTX 1070 Max-Q unit. WLAN loads will last over 6.5 hours compared to 5 to 5.5 hours on the faster Blade 15 configuration. Results are comparable to the GS65 albeit still a couple of hours shorter than the Aero 15X and MacBook Pro 15 when subjected to similar conditions.

Charging from near empty to full capacity will take just under 1.5 hours.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
6h 42min
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 80 Wh
Razer Blade 15 2018
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 80 Wh
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 82 Wh
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 94.24 Wh
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.9 GHz, 560)
7820HQ, Radeon Pro 560,  Wh
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
8300H, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 97 Wh
Battery Runtime
-20%
-10%
28%
68%
134%
Reader / Idle
382
507
762
WiFi v1.3
402
322
-20%
362
-10%
513
28%
677
68%
942
134%
Load
72
81
156
67
114
Witcher 3 ultra
76
62

Pros

+ easy serviceability; upgradeable SSD, RAM
+ crisp matte display with minimal ghosting
+ Thunderbolt 3 w/ Razer Core support
+ cool WASD keys when under load
+ easy-to-use Synapse software
+ excellent gaming performance
+ Optimus graphics switching
+ strong and rigid design
+ per-key RGB backlight
+ fast Intel 9260 WiFi
+ large trackpad

Cons

- unable to sustain CPU Turbo Boost for extended periods
- Chroma color control requires account creation
- slight-moderate uneven backlight bleeding
- keyboard keys could be firmer and deeper
- no integrated RJ-45 or SD card reader
- no power button fingerprint reader
- no internal secondary storage
- battery life could be better
- RGB backlight utilizes PWM
- could be cooler under load
- average sound quality
- slight electronic noise
- loud under load
- no G-Sync

Verdict

In review: Razer Blade 15 RZ09-02385. Test model provided by Razer US
In review: Razer Blade 15 RZ09-02385. Test model provided by Razer US

At the end of the day, the Blade 15 GTX 1060 Max-Q SKU is about 30 percent slower in GPU power than the Blade 15 1070 Max-Q SKU. The result is a configuration that actually runs longer, cooler, and quieter by noticeable margins. It is therefore arguable that the GTX 1060 Max-Q SKU offers a more balanced experience for mainstream gamers and on-the-go students while the powerful GTX 1070 Max-Q SKU can be seen as the "performance at all cost" enthusiast option.

The elephant in the room is the asking price of the Blade 15 GTX 1060 Max-Q SKU. Users are paying a premium for the design, brand, aesthetics, and features of the chassis. Because of this, even the smallest nitpicks can be disappointing. Our particular unit suffers from both moderate backlight bleeding and electronic noise which we feel should have no place on a notebook in this price range. The use of PWM for its per-key RGB backlight and the limited CPU Turbo Boost are other minor setbacks enthusiasts might lament. Other than that, it's hard not to be impressed by the rigidity of the minimalist chassis especially when compared to the MSI GS65 or Aorus X5 series.

Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060 - 07/08/2018 v6
Allen Ngo

Chassis
90 / 98 → 91%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
88%
Connectivity
65 / 81 → 80%
Weight
63 / 10-66 → 94%
Battery
88%
Display
88%
Games Performance
93%
Application Performance
97%
Temperature
80 / 95 → 84%
Noise
81 / 90 → 90%
Audio
68%
Average
82%
87%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Razer Blade 15 (i7-8750H, GTX 1060 Max-Q, FHD) Laptop Review
Allen Ngo, 2018-07-10 (Update: 2018-07-14)
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.