RAZER Blade 14 Ryzen (2021) Review

this is the razer blade 14 for 2021 with amd ryzen inside a first for razer putting amd inside and otherwise you could say everything old is new again because with razer it all started with a 14 inch size years ago of course this one is much more evolved it’s basically a smaller version 15 inch which is a good thing how’s the performance how are the thermals we’re going to look at it now so no doubt razer noticed last year that asus was really going to town with the rogue zephyrus g14 14-inch gaming laptop more performance than you usually see in a 14-inch laptop of course with the asus the price was pretty nice too razer being a little bit more boutique well it’s going to cost more it starts at 17.99 cost we call that 1800 and goes all the way up to 2 800 because you know this is like a little bmw m2 versus the cheaper big muscle cars out there that’s what they do you get that cnc aluminum chassis and the anodized black finish which means it won’t scratch off the black finish and of course the green snake on the lid which you can choose to turn the back lighting off on but it will still be a green snacky snack on the lid amd inside is an exciting thing and i think that’s what allowed them to make this in 14 inch size because ryzen is typically better with thermals and also with power consumption all that sort of thing and we’ve got nvidia rtx graphics inside basically the higher end of max q they’re all 100 watt you can get it with a 30 60 a 30 70 or an 8 gig 30 80 gpu inside and now a shout out to our sponsor flexispot and their sit-to-go fitness chair so what is this this is a combination of an exercise bike and an office chair it’s height adjustable it’s very sturdily built i was pretty impressed by this and has gravity wheels which means you can roll it around just fine put it where you want but once you sit on it compresses on the wheels so you don’t go slip sliding anywhere the height adjustment on this goes pretty high and it goes well with their standing desks from flexi spot but keep in mind this is a bent knee position desk as you can see so you’re not going to get a full leg extension on it it has the things you’d expect on an exercise bike like a resistance setting on it and you can even measure your fitness your calories your rpms and all that sort of thing on the digital display it has a mesh back that’s very breathable i do appreciate that for good posture and a nice cushy comfy seat as well so now you can go to boot camp while your pc boots up you don’t have to get off your bum to get fit be sure to visit the link in the description now back to our video now we’ve got vapor chamber cooling inside which certainly should help no liquid metal and i will talk about the cooling believe me and that vapor chamber is huge it covers much of the interior of the laptop’s motherboard wow you know but some of the pain points are making the smaller are only 16 gigs of ram and that ram is soldered on and for those who have become ram aficionados now that that’s a thing to focus on this is single rank ram not dual rank ram though at least the timings aren’t that bad we have an m.2 ssd inside and wi-fi 6e and now let’s talk about the ports a little bit we’ve got no thunderbolt here unlike other razer laptops with intel because thunderbolt intellectual property of intel yeah so you have usbc times two and that’s 3.2 gen2 and both of them support displayport 1.4 out and powered levy charging as well though really this needs more watts for charging than a usb-c charger would typically offer some there’s that but anyway a little helpful there for those who want to use external monitors and you just might want to do this because there is no mux switch here this seems to be so common this year for ryzen based laptops not all of them i mean lenovo legion 5 pro that we reviewed does have a mux switch on board but or advanced optimus also you know missing on this laptop so that means the internal paddle routes through the igpu the radeon vega midsole uses the the rtx gpu but you might see a little bit of a frame here but if you plug it into usbc and then route it through displayport then you’re going to get the dgpu direct connection there and g-sync as well on the internal panel you get free sync only not g-sync so there it is if you want to gain some frames that said i was when i was testing and i tested it with cyberpunk 2077 and i tested on the internal panel and on a qhd resolution lg gaming monitor and uh there’s about a five frames per second difference so it’s not a huge difference there if you can’t route directly through the d gpu all right end of that geeky moment there we also have hdmi 2.1 and that’s good new standard there so in theory you can do 4k at 120 hertz so i say in theory because you’re gonna have to make sure you get the right cable and a monitor that supports it if you’ve got a fancy pants old edtv that does that well more power to you then that will obviously work as well of course you’ve got a headphone jack as well on board so that’s your port selection oh and the two usb-a which are also 3.2 gen 2. no ethernet or any of those other sort of things so what about the display so there are two display options if you get the rtx 3060 gpu that comes with the full hd 144 hertz panel which is a 100 srgb coverage we have a rtx 3070 and the 30 70 the 30 and you are bundled with the qhd or 2k resolution with full p3 color gamut display 165 hertz refresh rate and around a 10 millisecond response time our tests say so that’s a very pretty display it’s very sharp it’s reasonably bright not as bright as some business ultrabooks or max but when it exceeds 300 nits so that’s pretty good colors on this are nice clarity looks good the contrast looks better than it actually measures so it’s very crispy looking display one thing i will say is it doesn’t like any kind of blue light to me because it has that kind of brightness that feels a little harsh on the eyes maybe a minor quibbling point and no pwm so that’s lovely stuff so what about the cooling and the performance on this this has the ryzen 9 5900 hx cpu so that’s a 45 watt cpu that’s eight cores that goes up against intel’s 11th gen eight core i7 cpu and it’s not that 5900 hs that we see asus using in the rogue zephyrus g14 and g15 fit and light gaming laptops so razer wants to say that this is the most powerful 14 inch gaming laptop in the world and you know i think they’re right so that means using the hx even though the hs cpu that’s 35 watts performs nearly as well and doesn’t get nearly as hot and i kind of wish they had gone with that but they did want to say they had the most powerful so we got the full monty more powerful one that you would find in something like a high-end lenovo legion gaming laptop or the asus rogue strix scar models okay and then we have our 80 to 100 watts under our boost rtx graphics inside again we have the 30 70. so that’s more wattage than you’re going to see on the zephyrus model so that’s nice to get a little more performance again yes this is the most powerful 14-inch gaming laptop the temperatures though despite the vapor chamber they do use conventional paste not liquid metal and uh i am tempted to try replacing this to see what’s going on here because our cpu temperatures were so very high which is kind of unusual for ryzen and the gpu temperatures were great gpu temperatures usually are better but in this case the difference was so extreme i found a little bit startling given the unified vapor chamber design anyway you could try something on liquid metal but given the fact that vapor chambers tend to be very thin and liquid metal kind of bonds and changes the substance of the heatsink i might be a little leery of doing that maybe a re-paste job if i do re-paste it and it runs cooler i’ll actually post another video about them anyway testing a variety of games now this is when you see our gaming footage we’re going for the the full monty here so we’re using directx 12 where available we’re using the highest possible settings in the games and we’re playing at qhd resolutions of 2560 by 1440. we’re not playing at 1080p we’re not slumming there so that explains the frame rates in some cases not being as high as you might expect we’re not running at 1080p uh but the temperatures here now we were running it at first on the most powerful profile which is the boost mode for the cpu and the highest power for the gpu using razer synapse software and the cpu was in the 90s and our ambient temperature is about 75 degrees fahrenheit get your calculator to convert that to centigrade sorry off the top of my head do not know anyway not too hot not too cold i don’t like those cpu temperatures much i’m not too happy with that the surface temperatures are great on this zone it is cooler than the rogue zephyrus g14 which really transfers heat to the casing so that part’s nice but cpu temperatures are high on our unit gpu temperatures were absolutely fine so i tried switching it to the balanced profile figuring okay it’s not pushing it so far it’s not boosting the cpu yada yada it still ran just as hot if not a little bit hotter i tried using the manual fan setting and setting it pretty high like at 4 800 rpm still ran pretty high so the cpu will just get toasty on this the noise is typical razor blade which is to say not loud really not loud a little on the high pitched side but not an annoying kind of high pitched and if you’re using it for productivity work the fans will run and the unit will always feel warm unless you live in the antarctic or something like that but pretty well controlled when you’re gaming still not really loud honestly even though the fans are going pretty high rpm and those are pretty beefy fans so the keyboard on this is per key razer chroma rgb backlit so you can go to town lighting effects up the wazoo and you can program each key if you want to do that and it feels exactly like a razer blade which is to say pretty short travel and not much tactility it’s not my favorite keyboard i would prefer the rogue zephyrus keyboards honestly and i’ve never been a fan of the razer keyboard it’s at best competent and that’s all there is for gaming you’re probably going to use an external keyboard or something like that then the usual microsoft precision glass track pad that’s very good so lastly there’s battery life we do not have a big battery in here either and to make that giant vapor chamber and all that sort of thing that’s another thing that took a hit 61.6 watt hour batteries so when you’re comparing that to something like the rogue zephyrus g14 that has a 76 watt hour battery or the g15 zephyrus that has a 90 watt hour battery well plus you got pretty performant hardware in here even if it does have switchable graphics and all that sort of thing we were getting about seven to eight hours 200 nits of brightness doing light productivity and streaming work obviously if you’re pushing it harder which you might since you’re buying such a powerful laptop you could get shorter runtimes if you’re pushing it with adobe premiere or something like that it comes with a 230 watt power supply which is more than adequate for what this machine needs so you shouldn’t see the battery discharging ever so for those of you who are thinking about this versus the asus zephyrus g14 its only other direct competitor well the asus is 300 cheaper however you can only get the asus with an rtx 3060. there’s no 30 70 or 30 80 options on board and it is a lower wattage gpu that does help thermals a bit though the surface temperatures are i’d say hotter on the g14 but the cpu temperatures are better thanks to the hs cpu and both of them are available with the same full hd and qhd display options and the qhdm both are wide gamut p3 but the refresh rate’s a little higher on the razer blade razer blade has per key keyboard the g14 is a single zone you can pick any color you want but it’s going to be only one color but the typing feel the tactile feel and key travel are better on the g14 likewise battery life since the g14 has a lower power processor in a bigger battery too battery life is going to be better on the g14 so it’s holding its own even it’s not necessarily going to be faster than the blade but the performance numbers are pretty darn close if you’re looking at 3060 versus 30 60. and for the zephyrus g15 well you’re going up in size but you gain ports like ethernet there as well with the option to get a 30 70 on board too disassembly is the same as other razors you just unscrew the torx t5 screws and lift up from the back it’s pretty easy to do and there’s our cover big grilles for the fan here are the two large fans and one very immense vapor chamber cooler here so yeah m.2 ssd 2280 pci e3 here that’s all that is supported with this ryzen platform and scored fast so i have no complaints our wi-fi 6e card is right here that is socketed so that’s upgradable no ram it’s soldered on like i said no ram slots i should say so even the g14 where people complain it only had one slot well here we have none so that’s all there is and other than that we have our speaker drivers which are up facing surrounding the keyboard this is the bottom side of them over here and the 61 watt hour battery pretty tight design you can see where they really couldn’t fit a bigger battery in here or ram slots let’s face it and as ever since the ram is soldered they only offer it with 16 gigs of ram probably didn’t have room to solder more so nothing to do about that and no matter which configuration you pick you do get a one terabyte ssd you could upgrade and put a higher capacity in yourself but they ship it with a one terabyte so the difference between the 30 60 30 70 and 3080 is pretty much just which gpu you get and well the base model has just the full hd display wall the 30 70 and the 38 you have the qhd display so that’s the razer blade 14 for 2021 with amd ryzen inside and indeed they’re not kidding this is currently the most powerful 14-inch gaming laptop and it as usual has that chill kind of look other than the green snake logo you could take the work you could say this is nice looking i would say much as the zephyrus units from mesos look cool this is still more premium looking the only thing that i’m not too thrilled with here are the cpu temperatures which are pretty darn high but at least it’s not too too hot to the touch nor too noisy and the performance is quite good

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Razer Blade 14 Ryzen (2021)