As GPU’s and CPU’s became more efficient with each generation, obviously together with delivering more performance, we gradually saw a rise of high-end gaming laptops, such as this one, Razer’s new 2021 Blade 15, but most importantly they stopped being ultra-bulky, but rather ultra-portable. This of course has its own caveats, more on it later on.
Currently, I do not have a need for a laptop, but If I would, I would probably go for something along of this, Razer’s latest and greatest Blade 15 2021, or a really capable ultralight notebook, with enough RAM and CPU power, combined with an external GPU.
Since many reviewers already covered this model to its full extend me doing that again would not bring you any additional value by repeating all of that, but I’m instead trying to work from a different angle. That of course being doing some sim racing with it, because why not? By that I’m not thinking of having it only for that, but rather as a workhorse who would power your sim racing rig when you come home from your daily job with it.
Desktop like power in Razer Blade 15 2021
Speaking of power, try to guess how long does a battery lasts on a single charge when playing like this? Go on, try to guess, leave your answer in the comments? Done, good – 30 minutes straight. That would be even less if I want to use a laptop screen instead of this one.
Yup, I was not expecting much honestly, it has a fairly small battery capacity for what it is, 80 Wh, while some of its main competitors are pushing closer to 100 Wh, which is the limit you can carry on a plane with you. This is why I got it hooked up to its 230W power brick, which also secured me maximal performance potential. I say potential because it depends on the cooling, which, yeah, when everything is cracked to the max and loaded, can and is loud, but nothing I wouldn’t expect or haven’t already seen from a gaming laptop.
Speaking of specs, this one is topped off with Intel’s 10th gen Core i7 – 10875H 8 core CPU, RTX 3070 dedicated graphics, laptop version of it that is, so fewer CUDA cores and lower clocks, plus this one is on the lower side with TGP at 95W’s, 16 GB’s of DDR4 2933 MHz RAM, 1 TB of SSD and a 15,6” 1440p 240 Hz display! 240 Hz, yes, you know what else has a 240 Hz, this 240 Hz G9 monitor! Wait, this – Samsung Odyssey G9! So, except for hooking up my CSL Elite wheelbase and CSL LC pedals, another thing that was also hooked up to it is this giant display.
Pairing the Razer Blade 15 2021 with Samsung’s G9
There was one problem though, since this Blade 15 only has HDMI output, I’ve decided to find a solution so I can push a high refresh rate signal to the monitor, and that was to get 3D Club USB-C to DisplayPort 1.4 cable. I got to tell you, this cable is a rare find, I was lucky to find one so quickly, but there was one small issue with it, and that is that I was only able to push 120 HZ on G9’s 5120×1440 resolution, so not it’s full. But you know what, I don’t, plus this is a unicorn situation in a way all things considered.
Anyhow, although this RTX 3070 is far from being able to represent its desktop counterpart, it’s still able to push well above 100 FPS in popular sim racing titles at G9’s resolution. We’re also probably missing anywhere from 15 to 30% of extra performance since this GPU also doesn’t operate at the upper 130W TGP limit, some of the notebooks with the better cooling solution do have it configured like that. Chances are that you’re going to use this notebook to hook it up to at least a 1080p or 1440p high-refresh-rate monitor, maybe even stretch to 4K or VR setup, but to use for a triple monitors setup, it’s borderline impossible with a laptop like this when it comes to configuration everything, plus the fact that it lacks raw power, especially when it comes to 120 or 240 Hz refresh rate.
In that case, you are better off with a desktop PC, but I will not dwell too much on it because it depends on many things, personal preferences, and so on; I just wanted to try out its practicality in a setup like this one. Of course, there is also the option of a dedicated external GPU, you can then have it already hooked up to a multimonitor setup, plus it provides you with more power since it’s a full-blown desktop version of a GPU.
Is sim racing with a laptop doable then?
What bothered me the most about this setup is the noise of it, of the laptop but that is something you can’t avoid when talking about gaming laptops, although yeah, a lot of sim racing drivers with these kinds of setups do wear headsets, so that’s not a problem for them.
Considering that this was something that just came about, I was actually really thankful that I got a chance to try this out, a proof of concept if you will, because it’s definitely not a usual scenario, even more so since this kind of sim racing setup is a rare find, to begin with, and it’s usually paired with full-blown PC configuration, but this will maybe give some of you out there food for thought.
That’s it for this time, thanks for checking out this sim racing Razer Blade 15 2021 combo, if you have any questions feel free to hit me in the comments section of my YouTube video listed above, you can contact me via my social media channels!