CES 2016: Razer Blade Stealth Has External GPU Dock

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 6, 2016 - 12:59 AM |
Tagged: razer, CES 2016, CES, blade stealth, blade

I've been seeing a handful of Razer laptops in my day-to-day life. They are known to pay attention to details, including the precise shade of green that their USB ports are colored. This seems to translate well to designing ultrabooks. Once again, they announced a new line of Razer Blade PCs. The headlining feature is the Razer Core external graphics enclosure, but I'm more interested in the display.

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First, the graphics. Instead of integrating a discrete, mobile GPU, Razer is using the Intel HD 520 graphics on their chosen Core i7-6500U Skylake processor. This is not a powerhouse. It can barely play Rainbow Six: Siege and Star Wars Battlefront on low settings. It is power efficient though, and it will handle just about any professional, media, or light gaming task you throw at it. If you want to use it for high-performance graphics, then you will need to connect their optional Razer Core GPU dock by Thunderbolt 3. Pricing and availability are not yet available for that, which can be a deal-breaker quite easily. The other problem is that the Skylake processor is dual-core (four threads). Even with a good GPU, some games might be riding the line on the CPU side. It allows you to dock whatever graphics card you like, though. It's worth considering once we get the rest of the details.

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But back to the laptop. As I mentioned before, the screen is possibly more interesting than the graphics situation. The panel is based on IGZO technology, which fights with IPS in terms of picture quality. You have two choices in resolution: 2560x1440 with 70% Adobe RGB, or 4K with 100% Adobe RGB. That doesn't seem like much, but Adobe RGB is actually a very wide color space, designed to cover both video and print color spaces. Even the professional grade Dell monitors do not claim 100% Adobe RGB, although they've come within 3% for years now. Having full coverage of Adobe RGB could be very appealing to professionals, especially magazine publishers and similar jobs.

The Razer Blade Stealth is available now, starting at $999.

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PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

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Source: Razer

January 6, 2016 | 06:24 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

a 1000 bucks for a laptop that can barely run rainbow six siege, or battlefront on "LOW" Settings?....*claps hands* Razer...not only is this a criminal act, but its a damn good one at that, at least alienware and MSi's laptops that came with Docks could handle a bit more without the Dock.

January 6, 2016 | 07:30 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Still waiting for the day when when we get 17" IPS laptops with JUST a CPU and SSD;

... but with a cover on the sides that hides a full PCIE16 slot, for ... purposes.

January 6, 2016 | 08:27 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Time to ditch that crappy IPS/IGZO crap and get on board with OLED!

January 6, 2016 | 10:53 AM - Posted by funandjam

Who cares if the laptop is over priced and underperforms. There will be other laptops that have similar specs, or even better specs, for lower prices. What matters most here is that Razer's eGPU box has a TB3 connector and not some proprietary BS which only works on Razer products.

January 6, 2016 | 02:52 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It underperforms for games that are using Dx11 and maybe for DX12/Vulkan more of the non-graphics gaming compute will be accelerated on the GPU/s so the gaming results on the newer DX12/Vulkan graphics APIs will be different. DX12 and Vulkan are going to make things better for those that do not have the quad core SKUs in their laptops, with more acceleration of compute on the GPUs, and hopefully that multi-adaptor technology will have both integrated and discrete GPUs able to be used for gaming graphics/gaming compute in the future for better gaming performance on laptops/PCs with weaker CPUs!

January 6, 2016 | 11:06 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Does Windows 10 handle external GPUs better than Windows 7 and 8?

January 6, 2016 | 02:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

As long as there are drivers to support TB3 controller chips for the device that will work with win 10, 8, or 7 provided by the OEM/Intel, then it should work with any make of TB3 based external GPU box! Any PCI protocol signals tunneled/sent via TB#/TB3 is going to look to the device's OS like any other PCI based card plugged into motherboard, as the TB# controller hardware/drivers will hide the fact that it's external.

TB/whatever version is just what is known as a tunneling protocol with whatever PCI, USB, DP, Ethernet(new under TB3), etc. protocols packets encapsulated inside TB# packets and transported over the TB# cables to a TB# controller on the external device/s where the various encapsulated signals are DE-encapsulated and sent to the GPU/whatever other card/s plugged into the external TB#/TB3 to PCI/other enclosure's slots.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4194/intels-codename-lightpeak-launches-as...

http://www.anandtech.com/show/9331/intel-announces-thunderbolt-3

January 6, 2016 | 02:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

P.S. That Ethernet connectivity is for actual 10Gb Ethernet networking over TB3 only, for LANing up more than one computer. TB3 will also be supporting Active Optical cables sometime in 2016(this year) for runs up to 60 meters. TB3 allows for use of passive copper cables but at the cost of half of TB3's 40Gbs bandwidth, so only passive at 20Gbs for passive copper cables instead of the more expensive active TB cables.

January 6, 2016 | 03:05 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

One more thing! in addition to the information on the posts that reply to yours, you are going to have to wait for more DX12 and Vulkan API enabled games before it can be determined if windows 10 will use the GPU/s better than 7 or 8. Vulkan should allow for those using 7, 8.1, and Linux to have the same or better performance than DX12, so since windows 10 is the only OS that will have DX12 available it's going to take some time to answer your question. External GPUs should perform fine on any OS provided the drivers are good for the hardware supplied, and that is more to do with the devices' ODMs/OEMs and even more so the new graphics APIs like DX12/Vulkan and the games/gaming engine makers.

March 16, 2016 | 07:05 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Special drivers are a problem down the road. Gaming needs updates and OS changes are all too real every other year.

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