The gaming industry has continuously risen over the years, and with it, a demand for high-performance gaming laptops like the Razer Blade 14. The Razer Blade series is famous for its sleek design, powerful performance, and superb gaming experience. With the latest model, Razer Blade 14 2023, many gamers are curious to know if it lives up to the hype. Therefore, this review seeks to provide you with an in-depth analysis of the Razer Blade 14 2023
Overview of Razer Blade 14 2023 – A Powerful Gaming Laptop
The screen size of a laptop significantly determines its product positioning. Laptops with 15.6-inch screens are primarily gaming laptops, whereas those with 13.3-inch screens are mainly ultra-portable thin, and light laptops. In between these two, the 14-inch laptops strike a balance between portability and high performance. It makes them an all-rounder suitable for most users. If a 14-inch laptop is equipped with a high-end graphics card, it can be considered a perfect all-rounder. The Razer Blade 14 series has a good reputation in this niche market of high-end all-rounders. With the new release of AMD’s Ryzen 7040HS series mobile processors, Razer has also introduced an upgraded version of the Blade 14.
The Razer Blade 14 is more than just a laptop! It’s a powerful gaming machine that strikes an ideal balance between performance and portability. This top-of-the-line device, equipped with the AMD Ryzen 7040HS processor, caters to a broad spectrum of users, ranging from gamers and designers to professionals who require a reliable workhorse. Let’s know more features about it!
Razer Blade 14 2023 Product Specifications:
Operating System: Windows 11 (64-bit)
Display: 14-inch IPS screen (2560×1600, 240Hz, 100% DCI-P3)
Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS (8 cores, 16 threads, up to 5.2GHz)
Memory: 16GB DDR5 5600 Dual Channel
Storage: 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Laptop GPU (8GB GDDR6, up to 140W)
Dimensions: 310.7mm (length) x 228mm (width) x 17.99mm (thickness)
Weight: Approximately 1.84kg (excluding power adapter)
Reference Price: Nearly $2800
Unveiling the New Razer Blade 14: A Blend of Elegance and Power
Design: Sleek and Sophisticated
The new Razer Blade 14 boasts a clean and simple design. Its body is made from matte black aluminum chassis that exudes a sense of sophistication, carved out using a CNC process for a refined finish. The Razer Blade 14’s design is undeniably sleek, embodying the signature aesthetic that Razer is known for. It measures 310.7mm in length, 228mm in width, and 17.99mm in thickness. It’s compact and lightweight, the bare machine weighs about 1.84kg. What’s more, the laptop’s exterior has undergone anodization and is covered with an anti-fingerprint coating. This ensures that it remains free of smudges during regular use. Perfect for on-the-go use.
Display: Immersive Visual Experience, High Refresh Rate, and Color Accuracy
Razer Blade 14 laptop features a 14-inch high-spec IPS screen. It has a resolution of 2560×1600 and a maximum brightness of 500 units. The narrow bezel design provides an immersive visual experience. The screen offers a refresh rate of up to 240Hz and a response time as low as 3ms, ensuring smooth and tear-free gaming visuals. It also covers 100% sRGB color space and has high coverage of AdobeRGB 89% and 98% DCI-P3 color space for excellent color accuracy. ( Tested by Datacolor Spyder5 Pro).
Keyboard: Comfort with a Touch of Personalization
The Razer Blade 14 is equipped with a full-sized keyboard. The keyboard rebound force is light, and the typing experience is comfortable. Its keyboard supports single-key Razer Chroma RGB lighting effects. And players can create personalized keyboard lighting effects through the Razer Synapse console.
Connectivity: A Variety of Ports
The laptop comes with a variety of ports including two USB4 Type-C ports, two USB-A 3.2 Gen2 ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, a power port, and an HDMI 2.1 port. Such an interface design can meet the requirements whether it is external multiple monitors, expansion docks, or external mice and keyboards. However, it lacks an RJ-45 Ethernet port. Despite the absence of an Ethernet port, the Razer Blade 14 supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, ensuring excellent wireless connectivity.
Best Cooling System Design
The laptop’s design extends beyond aesthetics. It features a precision-crafted vapor chamber cooling system, which effectively dissipates heat during intensive gaming sessions or heavy workload operations. This ensures that the laptop remains cool to the touch, providing an optimal user experience.
The Power Behind the Razer Blade 14: Ryzen 7040HS Series Mobile Processors
Meeting High-Load Requirements with Efficiency
14-inch laptops like the Razer Blade 14, equipped with dedicated graphics cards, aim to be thin, light, and versatile. They need to deliver powerful performance for demanding tasks like running AAA games or creative design software while being portable and having a long battery life. Achieving this balance requires the most energy-efficient processors, graphics cards, and other core hardware. Such as the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor and RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU, which are used in the 2022 Blade 14.
The New Ryzen 7040HS Series
This year, AMD introduced its new Ryzen 7040HS series mobile processors. These processors have made significant strides in all areas compared to their predecessors, the Ryzen 6000 series. Key improvements include architectural upgrades, process enhancements, and frequency increases, which result in higher performance and better energy efficiency.
Architectural Upgrades and Process Improvements
Specifically, the Ryzen 7040HS series mobile processors utilize the latest Zen 4 architecture and the most advanced 4nm production process in the current laptop processor market. The Zen 4 architecture offers several enhancements over Zen 3, including a larger cache and new AVX-512 computing capabilities for machine learning and AI workloads. The IPC performance of the Zen 4 architecture has also improved by 13%, significantly enhancing the energy efficiency ratio.
Frequency Increases and Enhanced Single-Core Performance
The Ryzen 7040HS series mobile processors also boast a higher main frequency. The Ryzen 9 7940HS processor can reach a maximum turbo frequency of 5.2GHz, compared to the Ryzen 9 6900HS’ peak of 4.9GHz. This higher frequency implies more robust single-core performance, improving system smoothness when running daily software.
Advanced Integrated Graphics
Additionally, the Ryzen 7040HS series mobile processors feature upgraded integrated graphics, the AMD Radeon 700M series. Equipped with the RDNA 3 architecture and up to 12 compute units, it supports real-time ray tracing, AV1 codec, AMD RSR, and other intelligent technologies. AMD claims that the Radeon 700M series is the most potent integrated graphics in the current x86 processor and can smoothly run the most popular AAA titles at 1080p resolution with low-quality settings.
Dedicated AI Engine: Ryzen AI
The Ryzen 7040HS series mobile processors introduce a dedicated AI engine – Ryzen AI. Based on the AMD XDNA architecture, Ryzen AI brings a processor-based local AI experience to laptop users. We will provide detailed experience in the following text.
The New Razer Blade 14: A Perfect Blend of High Performance and Slim Design
The new Razer Blade 14, a laptop product that seeks both high performance and thinness, comes equipped with the AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS processor. It features a built-in RDNA 3 architecture and 12 compute units of Radeon 780M integrated graphics. As such, it enjoys all the benefits of the Ryzen 7040HS series mobile processors, including high performance, high frequency, high energy efficiency, and a Ryzen AI engine.
Comprehensive Performance Test of the Razer Blade 14 2023
Memory and Storage: Excellent Speed and Upgrade Possibilities
The Razer Blade 14 we tested is equipped with 16GB DDR5 5600 dual-channel memory (Hynix HMCG66AGBSA095N 8GB×2) and a 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD (Samsung PM9A1). The memory read speed reached 61330MB/s, the write speed was 78177MB/s, and the delay was just 88.9ns, delivering excellent performance.
According to CrystalDiskMark 8.0.4 software, the SSD’s continuous read speed hit 6694.9MB/s, with a write speed of 4936.59MB/s. This performance effectively leverages the advantages of the PCIe 4.0 channel, ensuring swift data handling during regular use, be it copying creative materials or loading game files. It’s worth noting that this machine has dual DDR5 memory slots and a single M.2 SSD slot. Users can upgrade the memory to up to 64GB and the SSD to up to 4TB.
CPU Performance: A Significant Leap Forward
Setting the machine to the highest performance mode in the “Razer Synapse” control software, we ran several tests. In CINEBENCH R23, it scored 16457pts in multi-threaded performance and 1799pts in single-threaded performance. Compared with similar 14-inch laptops, the Ryzen 9 7940HS processor outperformed the previous generation Ryzen 9 6900HS by about 17% in multi-threading and about 16% in single-threading. Against the Core i9-13900H, the Ryzen 9 7940HS processor had higher multi-threaded scores.
Rendering Performance: Leading the Pack
In the V-RAY processor rendering performance test, this machine scored over 10,000 points, reaching 10872 points, which is about 10% ahead of the Ryzen 9 6900HS model.
Other Performance Metrics: Strong All-Round Performance
The machine scored a total of 101.942GIPS in the 7-Zip compression and decompression performance test, achieved 55.96fps in the x265 Benchmark, and scored 56.28 points in the Blender 3.5.0 rendering performance test in the classroom project. These results confirm that the Razer Blade 14 equipped with the Ryzen 9 7940HS processor delivers robust processor performance, easily handling tasks such as 3D rendering, video encoding/decoding, and compression/decompression.
Exploring the Ryzen AI Engine Experience on Razer Blade 14 2023
What is Ryzen AI Technology？
In 2019, Intel first introduced several AI technologies in its 10th generation Core mobile processors, such as intelligent noise elimination and background blur. However, these AI technologies were mainly implemented through new instruction sets or Intel GNA, which, compared to dedicated standalone AI processors, had shortcomings in performance, functionality, and power consumption.
In 2020, Apple integrated a neural engine for machine learning in its M1 chip, heralding a new era of laptop AI, but this was limited to the Mac camp.
Fast forward to 2023, AMD brought the Ryzen AI engine to its Ryzen 7040 series mobile processors. Based on the AMD XDNA architecture, this engine made the Ryzen 7040 series the first processor in the x86 camp with an integrated AI engine.
Feature of Ryzen AI Engine
The core of this architecture is multiple independent AIE units, plus multiple independent memory voltage units and Corresponding memory controllers and independent high-speed interconnection channels. They enable the XDNA AI architecture to be separated from cloud dependencies and directly process different AI neural networks locally. Like CNN (Convolutional Neural Network), RNN (Recurrent Neural Network), LSTM (Long Short Term Memory), etc. At the same time, the XDNA architecture also supports advanced data types such as Int8/16/32 and BFloat16, and it also has ultra-high energy efficiency, and supports 4 concurrent spatial streams, with a peak computing power of up to 10TOPS.
Benefits of Ryzen AI Engine
Compared to handling AI tasks traditionally through processors and graphics cards, integrating a standalone Ryzen AI engine in the CPU significantly improves performance, efficiency, and energy efficiency when processing AI tasks. Developers can even customize it to find a processing method that best suits specific loads, maximizing efficiency.
AI Performance Comparison
We used the Windows machine learning AI test in UL Procyon software to compare the AI performance difference between the Ryzen 9 7940HS processor and the Core i9-13900H and Core i9-12900H. The Ryzen 9 7940HS processor in the Razer Blade 14 scored a total of 184 in the AI test, while the Core i9-13900H and Core i9-12900H models scored 131 and 91, respectively. The Ryzen 9 7940HS, with the added boost from the Ryzen AI engine, led the Core i9-13900H by approximately 40% and the Core i9-12900H by about 102% in AI performance.
Practical Applications of AI Performance
With powerful AI performance, the current phase mainly reflects image and video enhancement. AMD has already partnered with Microsoft to improve camera experiences in the Windows system using Windows Studio Effects. For instance, on the Razer Blade 14, we can directly activate automatic framing, eye contact correction, advanced background blur, and other features in the Windows system settings. The Ryzen AI engine efficiently handles these features, and activating them doesn’t noticeably increase CPU usage.
Future Developments of Ryzen AI
It’s worth noting that Ryzen AI is still in the early stages of development for laptops. According to AMD, the future will see Ryzen AI playing a role in more areas. These include content creation partnerships with software like Premiere Pro, bringing a personal AI assistant to help users create PPTs and speeches, and creating an AI life assistant to help users quickly organize photos or enhance games.
Razer Blade 14 2023: Harnessing the Power of RTX 4070 Laptop GPU
The Razer Blade 14 we tested is equipped with an RTX 4070 Laptop GPU. This GPU features the new Ada Lovelace architecture and uses TSMC’s 4N custom process. This brings a dual improvement in performance and power efficiency. Specifically, the RTX 4070 Laptop GPU on this machine adopts a full-power design of 140W. What’s more, it features 4608 CUDA cores and 8GB GDDR6 memory. It has a base frequency of 1605MHz and a Boost frequency of 1980MHz. Additionally, this machine supports Direct Graphics Card Connection (switchable in BIOS). It can further enhance game frame rates.
Benchmark Performance: A Leader in its Class
In the highest performance mode, this machine scored 12180 in the 3DMark Time Spy graphics card test, leading the 110W RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU (which scored 11071) by about 10%. In the DX11-based 3DMark Fire Strike scenario at 1080p resolution, this machine scored 30859, approximately 8% higher than the 110W RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU (which scored 28601). It’s worth noting that the Razer Blade 14 is merely a 14-inch thin and light notebook, so achieving such high scores is impressive.
Gaming Performance: Excellent Frame Rates
In pursuit of more exquisite graphics quality, we set all games to the highest quality during testing and enabled ray tracing and DLSS (balanced). The Razer Blade 14 2023 handled these AAA titles with ease at 1080p resolution. Its average frame rate stayed above 84fps. And in most games, the average frame rate was over 100fps. At the native resolution of 2560×1600, with other settings remaining the same, the Blade 14 maintained an average frame rate above 72fps in all the aforementioned games. It provides a smooth overall visual experience without any lag to us. This demonstrates that the Blade 14 possesses formidable graphics performance, capable of smoothly running most popular AAA games.
Thermal and Battery Life Test
The Blade 14 employs a vacuum chamber even-heat plate cooling solution, equipped with dual fans and dual exhaust ports inside the body. So how does it perform under high load? We carried out a double-bake test on it in a 23.6℃ environment using AIDA64 and Furmark.
Heat Dissipation Performance
After 30 minutes of double-baking, we observed through the FLIR thermal imager that the highest temperature on the front exterior of the machine was 54.3℃. It is located at the exhaust port of the pivot. Looking at the thermal image, the temperature at the exhaust port of this machine’s pivot is relatively high. Both sides reach over 50℃. The central area of the keyboard has a temperature of 46℃, giving a slightly warm sensation. However, this is under a double-bake environment! During regular usage, it rarely reaches such extreme scenarios. Moreover, for a 14-inch lightweight performance notebook, this is already quite impressive. After 30 minutes of double-baking, the temperature at the palm rest position is lower. It remains around 33℃ to 35℃.
Battery Life Performance
The Razer Blade 14 has a decent battery life compared to other gaming laptops. It has a 68.1 Wh battery capacity that can last up to 7 hours under normal use and 3-4 hours under intense gaming, which is not bad for its class. And we tested it!
- First, we activated the NVIDIA Optimus mode.
- Then, set it to “best efficiency” and balanced performance mode.
- Next, turned on 50% screen brightness and flight mode, and tested it through the “Modern Office” scenario of PCMark 10.
- In the end, this machine achieved a battery life score of 7 hours and 25 minutes.
It should be noted that the system does not completely shield the discrete graphics under NVIDIA Optimus mode. In actual use, if the discrete graphics are completely shielded, the battery life will be even longer.
In conclusion, when it comes to high-performance gaming laptops, Razer Blade 14 leads the pack. As a gamer, I know that the right system can make or break my experience while gaming. After stumbling across the Razer Blade 14, I was left awestruck by its slim design, impressive hardware, and performance capacity.
If you’re looking for a gaming laptop that delivers, then look no further than the Razer Blade 14 2023.