Home Laptop Reviews Razer Blade Pro 17 (2019) Gaming Laptop Review

Razer Blade Pro 17 (2019) Gaming Laptop Review

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Razer Blade Pro 17 (2019) Gaming Laptop Review

The new Razer Blade Pro 17 is a thin and powerful gaming laptop, however these things usually come in at a higher price point, so let’s see what’s on offer and find out in this detailed review if this is a laptop you should consider buying.

Starting with the specs my unit has an Intel i7-9750H CPU, Nvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics which can run up to 100 watts, and 16gb of memory running in dual channel. I’ve got a 512gb NVMe SSD in one of the two M.

2 slots and there’s a 17.3” 1080p 144Hz screen. For network connectivity it’s got 2.5 gigabit ethernet, 802.11ax WiFi and Bluetooth 5. There are a few different configurations available, such as with RTX 2060 or 2080 Max-Q graphics, you can find updated prices linked in the description.

Like previous Razer Blade laptops, it’s a solid block of aluminium with a matte black anodized finish. The whole thing feels extremely well built and premium, and while the edges weren’t too rounded they didn’t feel sharp.

The weight is listed at 2.75kg on the Razer website and mine was pretty close to this. With the 230 watt power brick and cables for charging included the total rises above 3.5kg. The dimensions of the laptop are 39.

5cm in width, 26cm in depth, and just under 2cm in height, so on the thinner side for a 17” laptop. The smaller footprint gives us around 7mm side bezels based on my own measurements. The 17.3” 1080p 144Hz IPS screen has a matte finish and good viewing angles, no G-Sync available here though.

I’ve measured the colour gamut using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my results returned 96% of sRGB, 67% of NTSC and 72% of AdobeRGB. At 100% brightness in the center I measured 307 nits with a 1050:1 contrast ratio, so overall pretty average for a higher end gaming laptop with perhaps a bit better contrast.

When it came to backlight bleed though, my unit was pretty bad, and this was occasionally noticeable while viewing darker content, but this will vary between laptops and panels. There was only a small amount of screen flex, it felt very sturdy as it’s solid metal while the hinge runs along most of the base.

Absolutely no problems at all opening it up with one finger, it felt quite well balanced and no problems using it on my lap. Despite the top bezel being on the thinner side Razer have still managed to fit the 720p camera with Windows Hello support here.

The webcam and microphone are both about average, nothing special but they work alright. The keyboard has individual key backlighting and even all of the secondary functions get lit up. It’s right in the center as there’s no numpad, while I had no issues with the key layout I found the presses shallow feeling and it took some getting used to.

Here’s how typing sounds to give you an idea of what to expect. There was only minimal keyboard flex while pushing down hard, overall the metal body was quite sturdy. The two speakers are found on either side of the keyboard, they sounded pretty good, still clear at higher volumes though minimal bass.

Here’s what we’re looking at while playing music at maximum volume, and the Latencymon results weren’t excellent. The massive glass touchpad has precision drivers, was very smooth to the touch and worked well.

It clicks down anywhere, though as usual less so at the top, and it supports all the usual gestures. Fingerprints show up extremely easily all over, but as a smooth surface they were easy to clean. On the left from the back there’s the reversible power input, 2.

5 gigabit ethernet port, and I prefer it this way as you don’t have to lift the machine to remove the ethernet cable, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port and 3.5mm audio combo jack.

On the right from the front there’s a UHS-III SD slot, second USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, and this one has Thunderbolt 3 with 4 lanes of PCIe, third USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, HDMI 2.0b output and Kensington lock.

There’s nothing at all on the back, while the front is also just clean metal with a groove for getting your finger into and a single status LED towards the right. On the matte black aluminium lid is the Razer logo in the center, it lights up green and you can either make it fade in and out or turn it off through the Synapse software.

Underneath there are air intakes over the four fans, and the rear rubber foot is a bit thicker than the front one which helps raise the back up to allow air flow. This also seems to prevent the rear exhaust air from getting sucked straight back in.

The bottom panel can be easily removed by taking out 12 TR5 screws which are all the same length. Inside from left to right we’ve got a spare M.2 slot, two memory slots which support up to 64gb of memory, second M.

2 slot, our WiFi 6 card and the battery down the bottom, which is split due to the fans in the middle. Powering the laptop is a 70.5 Watt hour battery. I’ve tested it with the screen brightness at 50%, background apps disabled, and all RGB lighting off.

While just watching YouTube videos it lasted for 4 hours and 36 minutes, and it was using the Intel integrated graphics due to Nvidia Optimus. While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidia’s battery boost set to 30 FPS the battery lasted for 1 hour and 21 minutes in total and was stable at 30 FPS the whole way.

The battery life is a little behind what we usually see from Razer laptops, that’s mostly because the battery here is basically cut in half and we’ve got two extra fans for cooling in the middle of what would usually be battery space.

When you unplug the laptop from the power you won’t be able to use the higher performance modes. The 230 watt power brick included by Razer with the Blade Pro 17 seems to be adequate, while running in custom mode, so with a higher CPU power limit and graphics overclocked, the battery did drain to around 95% but I didn’t see it drop below this, pretty standard.

Let’s move onto the thermal testing, I’ll just cover the highlights here, if you want full details on thermal performance check the card in the top right. By default Razer has actually undervolted the laptop by -0.

1v which is great to see, so we are expecting above average results compared to the competition at stock. In Razer’s Synapse software we can either set balanced mode and optionally set fan speed to maximum, or instead select custom.

I’ve tested with both, but while testing custom I’ve set both CPU and GPU to high. Unfortunately it does appear we’re limited here in that we can’t manually set the fan speed to maximum like we could in balanced mode, which seems a bit strange, these custom higher performance options are where we would want higher fan speed.

Thermal testing was completed in an ambient room temperature of 21 degrees Celsius, so expect different results in different environments. I’ve tested idle down the bottom, and it was on the warmer side, not really an issue though and this is because the fans were completely silent.

The rest of the results are from combined CPU and GPU workloads and are meant to represent worst case scenarios as I ran them for extended periods of time. The gaming results towards the upper half of the graph were tested by playing Watch Dogs 2, while the stress test results shown on the lower half of the graph are from running the Aida64 CPU stress test with only the stress CPU option checked, and the Heaven GPU benchmark at max settings at the same time to fully load the system.

Let’s start with the stress test results in balanced mode, so keep in mind this still has the default -0.1v undervolt on the CPU, and temperature wise this looks fine. When we enable the custom mode with the CPU and GPU set to high we see an increase in CPU temperature, as this raises the power limit of the CPU, and more power equals more heat but better performance.

The GPU drops back a degree as this also raises the fan speed, as you’ll hear soon, and this is despite the GPU overclocks that this is applying. By undervolting the CPU a little further it was possible to lower the temperatures a bit more, and then with the cooling pad it was possible to get a slight improvement.

The gaming results saw a similar pattern, however the temperatures of the CPU were a bit cooler in this particular game compared to the stress tests, but results will always vary by game. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests just shown.

With balanced mode we’re seeing lower levels of CPU performance due to the lower power limit it sets. With the stress tests running simply enabling the custom settings to boost the CPU power limit is enough to get us 700MHz extra on all 6 cores, it didn’t go further due to power limit throttling.

This is why in the next result when the CPU undervolt is pushed further we’re now able to hit the full 4GHz all core turbo boost speed of the i7-9750H. As thermals were already under control by this point the cooling pad makes no real change.

The gaming tests on the other hand were pretty similar, though we saw more of an increase to GPU clock speed here, as the GPU was constantly power limit throttling during the stress test, which seems to be why the clock speed didn’t raise even with the overclocks applied from the custom settings, but that’s honestly quite normal with RTX laptops.

These are the average CPU TDP values during these same tests, and we can see why balanced mode was behind, it’s setting PL1 to 35 watts, while custom mode limits the CPU TDP to 55 watts. Here’s the performance we’re looking at in Cinebench R20, showing that we are able to boost performance a bit by further pushing the undervolt higher to -0.

15v. As for the external temperatures where you’ll actually be putting your hands, at idle it was a bit warmer than usual, probably due to the warm internals combined with the metal body. While gaming in custom mode, which was running the fans at maximum, the keyboard and wrist rest were fine, just a little warm.

Similar results with the stress tests running, though hotter up the back, however you shouldn’t be touching there. This is the same test with the fans at maximum now but also higher levels of performance.

We can see the air exhausting out the back below the screen, partially heating the screen, so it will be interesting to see how that holds up long term. As for the fan noise produced by the laptop, I’ll let you have a listen to some of these tests.

At idle the fans were completely silent, which explains the warmer idle temperatures, that’ll always be a trade off, but you could manually raise them. In balanced mode it was noticeably quieter compared to most other gaming laptops I’ve tested, it won’t perform as good as custom mode but you do have the option of running it quieter.

Under stress test with either balanced mode and the fan manually maxed out or in custom mode it was running at the same level, and this was now pretty similar to most other machines I’ve tested under this same workload.

Overall I was quite happy with these results from the Razer Blade Pro 17. It was warmer than usual at idle, but to be fair the fans were stopped, not really an issue idling a little warm anyway. Balanced mode offered a good way for us to limit performance if we want to stick to lower fan speeds, while custom mode gave us nice performance improvements.

While gaming at all times I didn’t consider the temperatures hot, as it didn’t even get to 90c, at least in the specific game I test with. This did happen with the stress tests once the custom settings were enabled, however as we saw it was possible to improve thermals with further undervolting or by using a cooling pad.

It’s worth keeping in mind that both the CPU and GPU are allowed to run above spec, up to 55 watts on the CPU and 100 watts on the GPU, so while this will give us extra performance it also results in extra heat, but despite these higher limits it seems to be handling it alright.

Next let’s take a look at some gaming benchmarks. I’ve tested these with custom mode enabled, so CPU and GPU set to high for best performance. As a reminder this does overclock the graphics by 100MHz on the core and 400MHz on the memory, while also boosting the CPU power limit to 55 watts, which is undervolted by default, so we’re expecting good performance.

Battlefield 5 was tested in campaign mode and not in multiplayer mode. Maxed out at ultra settings was only just below 100 FPS with RTX off, shown by the purple bars, one of the best results I’ve ever seen from a laptop.

The RTX on results weren’t too bad either, higher than most other machines and still pretty playable at high settings. Apex Legends was tested with either all settings at maximum, or all settings on the lowest possible values, as it doesn’t have predefined setting presets.

It still played great at max settings with 100 FPS, however we could boost average FPS by 42% with minimum settings. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built in benchmark, the results from this test were looking excellent even with higher settings, while the lower frame rates were above average too, likely due to that out of the box CPU undervolt, but we’ll compare this title against other laptops shortly.

Far Cry New Dawn was also tested with the built in benchmark. This game seems to be fairly CPU heavy, so with our default CPU undervolt we’re actually seeing higher levels of performance than many others with higher tier 2080 Max-Q graphics.

Fortnite was tested with the replay feature. This game runs on basically anything, so we’re seeing very high frame rates even with epic settings, while low settings is giving us 1% lows higher than the refresh rate of the display.

Overwatch is another well optimized game and was tested in the practice range. The 300 FPS frame cap was being hit at low settings, otherwise even maxed out at epic we were still hitting 180 averages with high 1% lows so it was running very smoothly.

CS:GO was tested using the Ulletical FPS benchmark, and as a game that is pretty CPU bound the average FPS results here are above average compared to most other gaming laptops I’ve looked at lately, with still over 250 FPS averages with all settings at maximum.

Rainbow Six Siege was tested with the built in benchmark, and is a game I’ve found to benefit from Nvidia’s new turing architecture. Even with maximum ultra settings we’re getting great performance, with 160 FPS averages and above 120 for the 1% low.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was tested with the built in benchmark, and from my experience seems to be a fairly CPU heavy game. The results here are looking great, again due to that CPU undervolt we’re getting better performance out of the box compared to most other gaming laptops.

Dota 2 was tested playing in the middle lane with an average amount of action going on, and is yet another game that I’ve found to prefer higher CPU power, so the results are once more very impressive for this game, with almost 200 FPS averages at low settings, though not much different with higher settings while also looking much nicer.

Watch Dogs 2 loves eating up all the resources it can get a hold of, but we’ve got a lot to feed it, so even at ultra settings above 60 FPS averages were possible and it was running very well for a game that I think you can get away with a stable 30 FPS.

The Witcher 3 was playing great with hairworks disabled. I’ve found this to be somewhat more GPU demanding at higher settings, so we’re seeing great frame rates with our overclocked graphics, with up to 110 FPS averages even maxed out at ultra.

If you’re after more gaming benchmarks check the card in the top right corner where I’ve tested 20 games in total. Let’s also take a look at how this config of the new Razer Blade Pro 17 compares with other laptops to see how it stacks up, use these results as a rough guide only as they were tested at different times with different drivers.

In Battlefield 5 I’ve got the Razer Blade Pro 17 highlighted in red, and we can see straight away that compared to the others it’s performing extremely well. The 1% low result is putting it in 4th place out of these machines, likely due to that CPU undervolt out of the box.

The average frame rate is also second here, beating out two of the 2080 Max-Q machines, probably due to the GPU overclocks and higher 100 watt power limit. Here are the results from Far Cry 5 with ultra settings in the built in benchmark.

In this test the Razer Blade Pro 17 was in first place, both in terms of 1% low and average frame rate. Again the CPU undervolt will be helping out in this CPU driven title, however it is still very impressive that it was able to beat the ASUS GX701, as that was tested with G-Sync which gives it an edge in performance, and not to mention its higher tier 2080 Max-Q.

These are the results from Shadow of the Tomb raider with the built in benchmark at highest settings. In this test the average frame rate put the Blade Pro 17 in at third place, only just slightly behind the 2080 Max-Q variants of the GS75 and GX701, but was still ahead of the razer blade 15 with 2080 Max-Q and our 2070 laptops, honestly impressive stuff for a 2070 Max-Q machine.

To be fair, the other machines could also be overclocked and undervolted, but Razer is doing this out of the box which will be beneficial for the majority of people that aren’t going to tweak those settings.

Now for the benchmarking tools, I’ve tested Heaven, Valley, and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike, Timespy, Port Royal and VRMark from 3DMark, just pause the video if you want a detailed look at these results.

As we saw earlier we’ve got the option of making some changes to improve performance, so let’s see how these performance boosts actually translate into games. I’ve tested Far Cry 5 with the built in benchmark at 1080p, and the red bar is with my extra CPU undervolt, so -0.

15v on both the core and cache, while stock is just -0.1v to the core only which is the default. There’s not really a difference here, in fact my changes are actually slightly worse in all cases, so it looks like the defaults are probably pretty dialed in.

I’ve also tested balanced mode out in the green bar, and as we saw earlier this mode does run warmer, but it’s not actually performing all that far behind, and just to confirm the default undervolt still applies in this mode.

I’ve used Crystal Disk Mark to test the storage, and the 512gb NVMe M.2 SSD was performing quite well. Despite the SD slot being UHS-III I was seeing lower writes than expected from my v90 rated card.

For updated pricing check the links in the description, as prices will change over time. At the time of recording in the US the Razer Blade Pro 17 gaming laptop with these specs is going for around $2800 USD, while here in Australia we’re looking at $4800 AUD.

While not cheap it is worth remembering that in many cases we’re getting 2080 Max-Q performance here due to the modifications Razer have put in place, so I’d be expecting even higher levels of performance with the 2080 model, and of course thin and powerful always equals higher cost when it comes to laptops.

So to conclude, the new Razer Blade Pro 17 laptop is offering some nice performance for the specs that it’s got inside. This is a result of increased power limits, something you can do when you’ve got decent cooling, and the four fans seem to be doing a fair job here considering the higher power limits which result in more heat.

The stock out of the box undervolt on the CPU further helps here, and is something I hope we see more of in the future. As usual Razer are offering a solid black metal chassis that feels incredibly well built.

While the keyboard looks nice I wasn’t personally a fan of the shallow presses, and at this price point I think it would have been great to give us the option of enabling G-Sync for even higher levels of performance.

The battery life was alright, but lower than it could have been due to the smaller battery which has literally been split in two to accommodate the extra two fans near the front. It’s still alright and the trade off is improved cooling which is likely needed for the higher power limits and improved performance.

There was an excellent selection of I/O here, including 2.5 gigabit ethernet, all USB ports being the faster Gen 2, Thunderbolt 3, and UHS-III SD card reader. While the screen looks decent under normal conditions, it had some of the worst bleed or glow I’ve seen from basically every corner, however that will vary by machine, I did find this strange though as from memory the Razer Laptops I’ve had have generally been pretty good in that regard.

Personally I’d still lean towards the smaller 15 inch version but that’s because I need maximum portability. The pro 17 is offering more over the 15 inch counterpart, and gaming on a 17 inch screen was honestly better.

With all that in mind, let me know what you thought of the Razer Blade Pro 17 gaming laptop down in the comments, and if you’re new to the channel consider getting subscribed for future tech videos like this one.

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