Razer Blade 15 "Base" Model - Just Received AMA

Discussion in 'Razer' started by TheCloudX, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. TheCloudX

    TheCloudX Notebook Enthusiast

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    If this belongs in the owners lounge, please feel free to move it or I can start a new reply there.

    I went ahead and ordered the "base" model after doing as much research as I could. Appreciate the help from this community in that process. I ordered it Monday and Razer overnighted it from China to my house in NC. Very impressed at the speed of shipping.

    First, price: I paid $1,529 at the Razer Online store. This breaks down to: $1,599 - 5% student discount and $10 additional rush processing. I only paid the $10 extra as I'm going out of town Friday - Monday and didn't want it to get caught in the attempted delivery loop.

    Initial thoughts: I haven't owned a Razer Blade before, but have spent a good bit of time putting my hands on one at my local Best Buy and Microsoft Store. The build quality is identical from what I can tell. Very solid in your hands, but not to heavy. The "base" model is a bit thicker, as expected, but 3mm if not mistaken - so hardly noticeable. Everything on the laptop feels premium as compared to a base model. The keyboard is very nice and the secondary function keys are backlit on this model!

    The screen: Per HWInfo64, the screen is a BOE0747. It is fairly bright and the colors pop out of the box, very vivid. Showed my partner a youtube video running at 1080x60 and even she was impressed (she can care less about picture quality). So far, I'm very impressed with it out the box. There is no backlight bleed from what I can tell.

    Upgrade-ability: Pics below with back panel removed. I had a spare WD 500gb SSD m.2 drive and WD 1tb 2.5" ssd, so I swapped the factory drives. Before doing so, I did create a generic profile on the factory drives and checked for firmware/bios updates. There were none. Everything was up to date from the factory. There are 10 T5 screws holding the back panel. Very easy to remove and very, very small. This seems to match the teardowns I've watched of the "advanced" model or previous RB15. The back comes off easy, you do not need anything to help pry it off. Getting to the drives is just as easy as the previous RB15. It took about 10 minutes to swap drives. I then installed a fresh copy of Windows 10 Pro, which was painless.

    Performance: So far, I have only installed Windows 10, all the drivers, basic apps, Steam, Blizzard Client, couple of games and Office. I did Windows and drivers separately. No issues. Then I purposefully installed the others simultaneously over WiFi. Steam was downloading a 30gb game with an average of 15mb/s, WoW was downloading at about 17mb/s. The rest I didn't measure. I also loaded up some music streaming. Temps were in the high 50's and low 60's during this. The computer never hesitated or lagged during that. It's a fairly easy workload, but still a lot of activity. Temps seem a bit high to me, but nothing alarming.

    That's about all for now. I plan to try some gaming later tonight. Probably FFXV and WoW to check performance. I'll update this as I go. However, I've used this CPU/GPU combo before and expect good results.

    Ending thoughts: For $1599, I think this is a bargain IF under the right circumstance. I'm in my 30s, travel for work fairly often, have a family, and doing grad school online. I had previously had a Thinkpad Yoga, but the Nvidia 940 wasn't cutting it anymore. My partner and I play games online together when I travel (she's a MMO fan, met her playing FFXIV :) ), so needed something that can play games and still travel well. I originally was going to buy the XPS 15, but felt the 1050 TI max-q just wasn't enough to last the next 2-3 years and also was worried about throttling. After going back and forth on what laptop to get (shout out to Bob from BobOfAllTrades and Stephen from OwnOrDisown - best reviewers out there!) I decided on thin and light. I was going to go with the Aero, but wife-aggro was real. She didn't like me spending $2300 on a secondary computer right before Christmas (we have 6 nieces and nephews to buy gifts for... man kids are expensive). I was debating on the original RB15 1060 with 256 model as it was $1700 with student discount at the Microsoft Store. Then they announced this. So far, I'm very pleased. I do think this model caters more to the content creators and professionals, like those who are looking at a XPS 15, than gamers. For me, it's perfect. But the hardcore gamers may benefit from the 144hz panel and 1070 max-q.

    I'll update this as I go, but I really do believe this was a good move on Razer's part.

    Lastly, as mentioned I bought this from the Razer store. It was painless. Best Buy is supposed to get it on 10/24 and Microsoft Store is unknown. I did speak to Donald at HIDevolution. He is very nice and I almost went with him, but at the end of the day, he was $250 more (not a direct fair comparison as that price included mods). I couldn't justify well enough spending the extra money. If this were to be a daily driver or my main PC, I wouldn't hesitate to go with Donald/HIDevolution. Very nice guy and very patient with all my questions. Again, wife-aggro :) I do plan to get this warrantied through the Microsoft Store ($130 for two years, covers accidents).


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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
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  2. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    Wow, Razer decided to cool the PCH in the "high end" RB15, and decided to again, leave it completely uncooled in the "base" RB15. I cannot believe this, I would return this unit ASAP, it is designed to fail. If you MUST keep it, immediately apply some thermal pads to the PCH, stack them up until they contact the bottom plate to act like a passive heatsink. Are there any thermal pads on the bottom plate other than where it contacts the hard drive and NVMe SSD?
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
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  3. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Prophet

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    Can the built-in screen be overclocked at all?
     
  4. TheCloudX

    TheCloudX Notebook Enthusiast

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    Not that I have seen. I did check, but doesn't look like it's able. Although admittedly, I didn't try to hard as I've heard doing so can void warranty and it's fine the way it is for me - so didn't want to risk it.
     
  5. bigdaniel

    bigdaniel Newbie

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    @Raidriar The TDP of an PCH MH370 is 3W you don't need too cool it active. On desktop motherboards it is only a design element to look cool.

    Furthermore for the vapor chamber version it could be bad that the PCH is covered by it.
    The reason is simple: Without a heatsink the temp of an PCH will be ~40°C. Under heavy load the vapor chamber will be hotter than ~40°C so it will heat up the PCH and not cool it down ;)


    Topic:
    I am very interested in heat and clocks under heavy load.
     
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  6. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    Doesn't matter. PCH can get very hot, as demonstrated by Alienware 13 R3, where it is also left uncooled:

    [​IMG]

    Does temperature of 89 C seem safe to you? Razer blades already are a hot mess from the factory, they ALL need cooling improvements. They only started adding thermal pads to the NVMe SSD from the factory after users added them aftermarket to control NVMe temperatures. Razer KNOWS this is a problem with the PCH, they fixed it for their high end model, and left it broken for the low end. Shameful.

    Every high end Alienware in my signature, has ALWAYS had a thermalpad + screwed on heatsink for PCH to keep it cool.
     
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  7. TheCloudX

    TheCloudX Notebook Enthusiast

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    While I don't disagree with you, I'm keeping it for now as I love the form factor and screen. Will be doing a test run over the weekend as I'm travelling to make my final decision. But, for school work and research, the form factor and screen make it ideal. The gaming piece is secondary to that when in use.

    Installing about 10 games via Steam, it was averaging 70c. Pretty hot there for just downloading games to a SSD. The ssd itself hovered in the high 30s. I loaded up FFXV for a bit and within two minutes the fans were on high and the deck above the keyboard was extremely warm (similar to reviews from the earlier models). I had CPUID HWINFO running in the background. After a bit of playing, peak temp was 90, suspect it throttled then. While browsing online, temps are about 45-55c. I have noticed it randomly going to about 70c while sitting beside not in use and then climbing back down to 45c. Not sure what's causing that at the moment.

    This is probably going to need an undervolt and repaste, maybe even LM. Haven't decided on that, yet.

    To answer your question, no. What you see is what's on there. The backplate did have pads on the drives as you mentioned, but no other location.
     
  8. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    Make sure you purchase high quality thermal pads, cut to size and fit until they contact the bottom plate.

    For comparison, my RBP 7700HQ/1060 120hz does not exceed 70 degrees on cpu or GPU after liquid metal and undervolt playing ffxv, even after hours on end. Never get jet engine noise.
     
  9. bigdaniel

    bigdaniel Newbie

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    Do you work for Razer or where does these info comes from? TjMax for the PCH is 108°C
    BTW: For the vapor version the PCH is on the same metal stripe as the GPU VRM. This part has no vapor chamber over it (it ends on the GPU RAM). VRMs will get very hot so I can't belive this is good. But if you give me screen shots AIDA temps Razer Blade 15 vapor vs. heatpipe version then I will trust you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
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  10. Joikansai

    Joikansai Notebook Evangelist

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    How about keyboard lightning? Is it all key chroma individual or area lightning, the functions key are now lighted right?
    Waiting to see Temperature on FFXV, some benchmarks like 3Dmark would be nice.
    Most unlikely like previous 60Hz Blade screen.
     
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