Razer Blade 15 Base Edition (2021)

Closer Look – the Inside

Opening the Razer Blade 15 Base Edition is easy using a torx-screwdriver.

Everything is easy to find and replace.  The NVMe-SSDs sit on the left lower corner. This is PCI-E 3.0 “only” but we haven’t seen any PCI-E 4.0-capable motherboard/chipsets in laptops yet so not surprising. It should have plenty of speed for the foreseeable future.  Both NVMe and SATA-SSDs are supported.

The NVMe-SSD included is a 512 GB Samsung MZVLB512HBJQ-00A00 which according to NovaBench has a read speed of 2500 MB/s and a write speed of 1700 MB/s.

The memory also is from Samsung and is two 8 GB PC4-3200 SODIMM-sticks. The memory however is listed as 16GB dual-channel DDR4-2933MHz on Razers website.

To the right you also can find the Intel AX201 WIFI/Bluetooth card.  This supports Wifi 6 and Bluethooth 5.1. If you want Wifi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 you will have to get the Advanced Edition which comes with the AX220. I’m guessing you should be able to upgrade it to the AX220 here to and I have actually ordered one but it might take a while to get it.

At the top we find the whole vapor-cooling system with 3 heat-pipes and two fans. There is also a large heatsink sitting over the entire area.

On the bottom-cover you can see the mesh net for the intake/exhaust as well as a few heat-conductive pads for getting heat away from the SSDs.

I installed a 1 TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus as I felt that 512 GB was on the small side when installing tons of games. As expected, the installation was easy and I was up and running in no time.

Software

The Razer Blade 15 Base Edition comes with Windows 10 Home. At start you get to set up everything including approving the various things that Microsoft wants to collect info on.

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The main program that Razer includes is Razer Synapse. This is where you can handle some of the settings for the laptop including the keyboard lightning, macros as well as connections to other Chroma-capable peripherals.

This is also the software that handles the performance settings. Currently you can only select from three pre-define settings when the laptop is plugged in: Balanced, Creator (give CPU more power) and Gaming (give GPU more power). On battery only the balanced settings is available. I have seen other Razer computers that have the option to create a custom setting but that is missing.

The laptop supports Nvidia Optimus which lets the computer choose to run the iGPU or the Nvidia dGPU. However, when I bought the laptop it had a nasty bug where as soon as you changed to dGPU and rebooted the laptop the screen was black. You had to change back in the bios to get an image again. This was a problem between the laptop and newer Nvidia drivers but now at the time of writing it all works fine again.

Unfortunately, there is another issue which is extremely annoying. If you choose Nvidia Optimus mode you are stuck at 60 Hz, both in Windows (on iGPU) and in games (with the Nvidia RTX 3070). If you change to dGPu then you can select 60 Hz or 165 Hz.

I’ve tested a MSI GE76 Raider with a RTX3080 and that had no issues allowing both the iGPU and the Nvdidia GPU to run at higher refresh-rate when in Optimus mode so I am not sure what the issue is here.

Another piece of software that is included is Razer Cortex.

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The software allows you to “boost” the computer before starting a game. This means turning on certains settings and turning off others to give the games as much resources as possible. You notice it working when starting a game as you see it clearing the memory before starting the game.

You can also let it store fps for a game as well as use it to boost a few selected games where you can decide what is important for you (quality versus performance).

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