The Razer Blade Pro 17 is a figurative heavyweight – and literal – in the stakes of high performance laptops. We compared the gaming laptop to Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro to determine which one is best for professionals.
Razer’s range of notebooks is, at first glance, a gamer’s dream notebook. Offering high performance for on-the-go gameplay, the Blade range also offers subtleties that players appreciate, such as RGB lighting, as well as combining a high-end GPU with a fast processor.
It is this last element of performance that also makes the Razer Blade range a good choice for professional users who need this processing power. With a refresh of the lineup in May, the Razer lineup is even more tempting for potential users, thanks to its use of the latest generation Intel Core processors and GeForce RTX GPUs.
The intersection of the needs of players and professionals means that, despite the Razer brand and marketing, the Blade range has its uses in both potential markets, and makes it a serious competitor of the MacBook Pro despite its appearance.
- Razer Blade Pro 17 vs. 16-inch MacBook Pro – Screens
- Razer Blade Pro 17 vs. 16-inch MacBook Pro – Size and Weight
- Razer Blade Pro 17 vs. 16-inch MacBook Pro – Processors and memory
- Razer Blade Pro 17 vs. 16-inch MacBook Pro – Graphics
- Razer Blade Pro 17 vs. 16-inch MacBook Pro – Connectivity
- Razer Blade Pro 17 vs. 16-inch MacBook Pro – Storage and Scalability
- Razer Blade Pro 17 vs 16-inch MacBook Pro – Other specifications
- Razer Blade Pro 17 vs. 16-inch MacBook Pro – Price
- Powerful but not portable
MacBook Pro Razer Blade Pro 1716 inch (2019) Starting price $ 1,999.99 $ 2,399
Dimensions (inches) 0.78 x 15.55 x 10.240.61 x 11.97 x 8.36 Weight (lbs) 6.063.1 9th generation 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 processor,
8 GHz 2.3 GHz 8th Core i7 Intel 6th Generation 2.6 GHz 6th Core
9th Generation 2.3GHz 8-core Intel Core i9
9th Generation 2.4GHz 8-core Intel Core i9Graphics Intel Core i9
Intel UHD graphics
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-QIntel Graphics UHD 630
AMD Radeon Pro 5300M 4 GB
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 4 GB
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8GBRAM16GB, upgradeable to 64GB16GB, 32GB, 64NetworkingWi-Fi 6
2.5 GB Ethernet 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5.0 Storage 512 GB or 1 TB, expandable 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB or 8 TB 17.3 inch display 1920 × 1080 144 Hz, 240 Hz, 300 Hz,
17.3 inch touch screen 3840 × 2160 120 Hz
16 inch LCD 3072 × 1920 60Hz with IPS and True Tone
Ports Thunderbolt 3
USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
Three USB 3.1 Type A ports
UHS-III SD card reader
3.5mm headphone jack Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
3.5mm headphone jack Biometry Windows HelloTouch IDTouch Bar No Yes Battery 70.5Wh, charger 230W100Wh, charger USB-C 96W
Razer Blade Pro 17 vs. 16-inch MacBook Pro – Screens
As the names suggest, there is a difference in terms of screen size: Apple opts for a 16-inch screen while Razer uses a 17.3-inch version.
In the case of Apple, the 16-inch MacBook Pro has a resolution of 3,072 by 1,920, a pixel density of 226 pixels per inch, the ability to express 500 nits of brightness and is equipped with Wide Color support (P3). On the most exotic end of things, the screen also has True Tone, Apple’s technology to automatically adjust screen colors to be warmer or cooler, depending on changes in the environment. .
On the Razer side, there are many variations available, depending on the model and resolution selected. To start, two resolutions are available: Full HD and 4K.
For the Full HD model, there is a basic resolution of 1920 x 1080, which gives it a low pixel density of 127 ppi. While it offers 100% sRGB color support, it is also disappointed with the reduced brightness of only 300 nits.
Where the display excels is that Razer offers three versions of the Full HD model with different refresh rates, all higher than Apple’s display. The standard operates at 144 Hz, with other options, including 240 Hz and 300 Hz.
The Razer Blade Pro 17 4K and Full HD screens have the same dimensions.
The 4K resolution screen is higher than the MacBook Pro at 3840 by 2160, which gives it a pixel density of 254ppi. It also works at a higher refresh rate of 120 Hz, and it is a touch screen, giving something that Apple does not offer in a laptop before equipping an iPad Pro with a keyboard.
But even the 4K screen has its drawbacks, that it only offers 400 nits of brightness. It’s better than the Full HD screen, but still far from the MacBook Pro.
Apple also opts for a slightly different aspect ratio, using 16:10 compared to the conventional 16: 9 of the Razer. This means that Apple offers proportionately more vertical space than the Blade, which is probably better for working.
Razer Blade Pro 17 vs. 16-inch MacBook Pro – Size and Weight
The 16-inch MacBook Pro is a much more portable laptop than the Razer Blade Pro 17, and for several reasons.
For starters, the larger size of the Razer screen means the blade is longer and wider, at 15.55 inches by 10.24 inches for older generations and 13.98 by 9.25 inches on versions more recent, compared to 11.97 inches by 8.36 inches of the MacBook Pro. Apple also has the thinnest device at 0.61 inches versus 0.78 inches.
Of course, the blade is thicker by a small amount, which is relatively negligible, while the larger overall footprint on a desktop is a byproduct of having a much larger screen. Razer has done its part by using 6mm bezels on the sides of the screen to help reduce the extra mass, but there is not much you can do to prevent the size from sliding when the screen itself is physically larger.
The most overwhelming thing in physical terms is the weight difference. The MacBook Pro weighs just 3.1 pounds, while Razer’s Blade 17 is almost double the weight at 6.06 pounds.
For average users, the heavy size of the Razer Blade Pro 17 makes it a tough sale for anyone who needs to carry it around, and it seems more like a desktop replacement than a portable workstation.
Razer Blade Pro 17 vs. 16-inch MacBook Pro – Processors and memory
Apple has a choice of three processors available for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. At the bottom end is a 2.6 GHz six-core Core i7-9750H with a maximum clock speed of 4.5 GHz under Turbo Boost.
The average choice is a 2.3 GHz eight-core Core i9-9880H with a 4.8 GHz turbo clock speed, while the high-end option is the 2-core eight-core Core i9-9980HK, 4 GHz, with a maximum clock speed of 5 GHz.
All of the chips offered by Apple are ninth generation Intel processors, which, given the existence of 10th generation versions in other laptops, may undergo a similar upgrade at some point.
The Razer Blade Pro 17 can be used for professional purposes, not just for gaming.
Razer offers two processors with its Blade Pro 17, depending on other configuration options. The lower option is the 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7, the same ninth generation chip that Apple uses in its models with the lowest specifications, so it is comparable in terms of performance, macOS and Windows apart .
The alternative is a tenth generation 2.3 GHz Core i7-10875H, an eight-core chip that can reach clock speeds of up to 5.1 GHz. It is the fastest processor in the comparison and will only be beaten by the MacBook Pro if Apple updates the processor lineup in the future.
Memory is also a factor for laptop performance, and there is a slight variation between Razer and Apple in options.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro can be equipped with 16 gigabytes, 32 gigabytes, or 64 gigabytes of DDR4 memory at 2666 MHz. However, customers cannot upgrade memory after purchase, leaving them stuck with the selected RAM until they acquire a new model.
On the Razer side, the Blade Pro is equipped with a single memory option: 16 gigabytes of DDR4 at 2,933 MHz. Unlike Apple and Razer Blade Stealth 13, the Blade Pro 17 has the option to be upgraded after purchase, and it supports up to 64 gigabytes.
Razer Blade Pro 17 vs. 16-inch MacBook Pro – Graphics
Apple uses Intel UHD Graphics 630 in the 16-inch MacBook Pro as an integrated graphics option, but it does so alongside a discrete GPU. Typically, the integrated graphics will be used for normal activities to save battery power, with the discrete GPU used when additional graphics performance is required.
Currently, the selection consists of the Radeon Pro 5300M 4 GB, 5500M 4 GB and 5500M 8 GB.
For the Blade Pro, the processor at lower level than Intel UHD Graphics 630, and the higher processor at Intel UHD Graphics, which is better despite the name.
On the list of discrete GPUs, Razer starts with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 with 6 GB of GDDR6 VRAM, the first upgrade being the GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q with 8 GB of GDDR6. The top of the range is the GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q with 8 GB of GDDR6, and a new option from the same GPU but with a Super Max-Q design and the same 8 GB of GDDR6.
A search for PassMark Software’s GPU benchmarks for G3D Mark places the Radeon Pro 5300M at 5,984 and the 5500 M at 6,945 points. The benchmark does not distinguish between the 4 GB and 8 GB variants of the 5500M in its results.
For GeForce RTX cards, the RTX 2060 reaches 11,460, the RTX 2070 Max-Q reaches 12,386, the RTX 2080 Max-Q reaches 14,326 and the Super Max-Q increases to 15,417.
In short, the performance of the discrete GPUs used by Razer in the Blade Pro is considerably better than that used in the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Again, Apple could catch up by upgrading the GPUs in a future MacBook Pro update.
There is always the option for users to follow the path of acquiring an external GPU and acquiring a better graphics card. This may sound like a good idea, although it is an incredible sacrifice in terms of portability.
Razer Blade Pro 17 vs. 16-inch MacBook Pro – Connectivity
On the wireless front, Razer is slightly ahead of Apple, as it offers Wi-FI 6 802.11ax renamed compared to 802.11ac. This is a relatively limited advantage, as it requires the use of support network equipment to take full advantage of the additional speed.
Sticking to networking, Razer includes an Ethernet port, allowing connection to a physical network, which the MacBook Pro cannot do without an additional dongle. In addition, the Blade Pro can also communicate over 2.5 GB Ethernet, which is again practical if the physical network supports it.
Both also offer Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity as standard.
Even the ports of the Razer Blade Pro 17 are tinted in Razer green.
In terms of ports, Apple continues to include four Thunderbolt 3 ports on the 16-inch MacBook Pro, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Blade Pro offers a Thunderbolt 3 port, but it also has a variety of other connection options, including a USB-C connection, three USB 3.1 Type A ports, the aforementioned Ethernet, HDMI 2.0b, a UHS SD card reader -III and a headphone jack.
While some may see the inclusion of a separate power port as potentially wasteful on the Blade Pro, it still frees up all ports, while unless you are using a powered dock, you must use one of the four ports to charge on the MacBook Pro.
Razer Blade Pro 17 vs. 16-inch MacBook Pro – Storage and Scalability
The storage capacity options that Apple offers are extensive, ranging from 512 GB to 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB and even 8 TB to the high end. Depending on the initial configuration, users will be equipped with 512 GB or 1 TB, but will have the full range of capacity options to work with.
On the Razer side, it is limited to 512 GB or 1 TB, the latter only being available with an upgrade to the 4K touch screen.
This is only partially an issue for the Blade Pro, as it benefits from allowing users to upgrade their storage, with the M.2 slot capable of supporting up to 2 terabytes. This is also completely user-friendly, using standard M.2 components, although still far from the configurable capabilities of the MacBook Pro at the top end.
The MacBook Pro, meanwhile, offers no way to upgrade storage after purchase, with users stuck with what they ordered until they upgrade to a newer model. There are workarounds, such as using an external Thunderbolt 3 drive, but that means there’s something else to carry around, which isn’t necessarily desirable.
As mentioned earlier, it is also possible to replace memory with better components in the Blade Pro, again giving users options to improve performance later. It is also something that is not available on a MacBook Pro, and there is not even an alternative like this to increase storage.
The Razer Blade Pro 17 offers more options after purchase to extend its useful life than the MacBook Pro. While it may not be able to beat what Apple provides in terms of components, the option to replace the parts is still nice to have.
Razer Blade Pro 17 vs 16-inch MacBook Pro – Other specifications
Both laptops have 720p webcams, which, at a time when videoconferencing is relatively important, seem to be a disappointing resolution.
The Blade Pro also includes support for Windows Hello in the webcam via the addition of infrared, but only on new models. The MacBook Pro manages biometric security using Touch ID on the keyboard’s touch bar.
The Razer Blade Pro 17’s keyboard has individually illuminated RGB keys.
The MacBook Pro uses the Magic Keyboard, which uses the new scissor switch mechanism, and provides basic backlighting. Razer’s keyboard is a low profile mechanical version with anti-ghost firmware to ensure accurate keystrokes are recorded.
As you would expect from Razer’s legacy of gaming, the Blade Pro’s keyboard features RGB keyed lighting powered by Razer Chroma, allowing each key to be lit differently from a selection of 16.8 billions of colors, with lighting effects and animations.
Apple uses a six-speaker system with force canceling woofers in the 16-inch MacBook Pro, offering wide stereo sound and Dolby Atmos support. For recording, it includes a matrix of three studio-quality microphones with a high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming.
The Blade Pro has stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support and a matrix microphone. When used with the HDMI port, it can produce 7.1 channel sound.
The battery life of the MacBook Pro would provide up to 11 hours of use, via its built-in 100 watt-hour lithium-polymer battery. Razer opts for a 70.5 watt-hour lithium polymer battery, but does not advise how long it will last under normal use conditions.
Despite the smaller battery, Razer includes a 230-watt power adapter, which could easily surpass Apple’s 96-watt USB-C charger to charge their respective laptops.
Razer Blade Pro 17 vs. 16-inch MacBook Pro – Price
Apple offers two basic versions of the MacBook Pro. The 2.6 GHz Core i7 with 16 GB of memory, 512 GB of storage and Radeon Pro 5300M is offered at $ 2,399, while the 2.3 GHz Core i9 with 16 GB of RAM, 1 TB of storage and the Radeon Pro 5500M cost $ 2,799.
In both cases, an upgrade to the Core i9 5 GHz is available at $ 300 or $ 200, depending on the initial configuration, with memory upgrades priced at $ 400 for 32 GB and $ 800 for 64 Go. Upgrading to the next level of the GPU costs an additional $ 100 per level.
Storage upgrades also increase in predictable steps, from 512 GB to 1 TB for $ 200, then $ 400 from 1 TB to 2 TB, $ 600 from 2 TB to 4 TB, and finally $ 1,200 to spend from 4 TB to 8 TB.
On the Razer side, the configuration is largely dictated by only a few factors, namely the GPU and the type of display used. Depending on what is chosen, storage and processor can potentially change, with relatively few configuration options available.
For the base GeForce RTX 2060 version with the ninth generation processor, Full HD 144 Hz display and 512 GB of storage, Razer offered it for $ 1999.99. There is no option to change the display.
The RTX 2070 Max-Q is offered with 512 GB of storage and Full HD 144 Hz, 2040 Hz and 300 Hz display options for $ 2,299.99, $ 2,399.99 and $ 2,599.99 respectively. It should be noted that the processor of the 144 Hz and 240 Hz versions is ninth generation, while the 300 Hz benefits from the 10th generation variant.
Moving to the RTX 2080 Max-Q, Razer offers two versions. The Full HD 240Hz variant has 512 GB of memory and costs $ 2,799.99, while the 4K Touch version has 1 TB of storage and costs $ 3,699.99. Both models use the ninth generation processor.
Finally, the RTX 2020 Super Max-Q variant has the same display options with storage increases as the non-super version, but with 10th generation processors in both models. It costs $ 3,199.99 for the Full HD 300 Hz model, $ 3,799.99 for the 4K Touch version.
Unlike the Razer Blade Stealth, the Blade Pro does not hide that it is a Razer product.
Given the differences in GPUs and Razer’s decisions regarding the specs it offers in its lineup, it is relatively difficult to compare the two directly to the price for the most part.
In terms of closest equivalents, the entry-level MacBook Pro with the fastest GPU upgrade costs $ 600 more than the entry-level Razer, which boasts a much faster GPU but is affected by the low resolution display, while having the same processor, RAM and storage.
Looking at Blade Pro 17 models with 4K for a more comparable display resolution, the cheapest model is the $ 3,699.99 version with 1 TB of storage and the RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU, as well as the processor. ninth generation. Using the same processor on the MacBook Pro as well as upgrading the GPU to the highest model and adding the same amount of storage, the MacBook Pro is considerably cheaper at $ 2,799.
Powerful but not portable
Choosing a winner in this comparison is possible, but the result is somewhat nuanced. More specifically, it depends on the needs of the end user as to the direction to follow for their purchase.
The Razer Blade Pro 17 is, in most cases, a powerhouse. From its use of high-end tenth generation Intel processors to discrete GPUs that far surpass what Apple uses in the 16-inch MacBook Pro, it’s hard to deny that Razer built a laptop that can handle virtually any tasks entrusted to it. .
The ability to upgrade memory and storage is also a big plus for Razer, as unlike the MacBook Pro, it is not limited to everything that was selected to be installed at the time of purchase.
In defense of Apple, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is still a high-performance laptop, offering more performance than most users will ever really need. It’s only marginal users with tasks that require more processing power or a beefier GPU that will opt for the Blade Pro as an obvious decision, but even then, these same people will still consider using a eGPU.
Apple also offers many more configuration options at the time of purchase, and in the case of storage, can provide more than you could even upgrade the Blade Pro if you try. For those who invest according to their anticipated future needs, it is entirely possible to ignore the problem of scalability by spending more on the MacBook Pro from the start.
Finally, of the two, the MacBook Pro is by far the more portable option. Smaller, thinner and almost half the weight of its Razer counterpart, it’s the best choice for anyone who needs to get things done while on the go.
The sheer weight of the Blade Pro 17 certainly makes it a desktop replacement, but given the cost of purchasing it at higher levels, a suitable desk can always be a better option.