MacBook Pro 16 vs Razer Blade 15: Which one should you get?
Apple recently unveiled the latest MacBook Pro models to be refreshed with Apple Silicon, the company’s in-house processor family. This is one of Apple’s best Macs, so it’s big news for a lot of users. The new MacBook Pro laptops come with the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets along with several other improvements. This is also the first time we saw the 16-inch MacBook Pro switch to Apple Silicon, and the first time it has received a major refresh in about two years. Because of that, it’s worth comparing Apple’s latest to its Windows competitors. In this article, we’re pitting the new MacBook Pro 16-inch versus the Razer Blade 15.
These are two powerful laptops, undoubtedly, but there are major differences between the two, and that can’t be understated. With Apple transitioning to its own processors, comparing it to Intel-based models is a bit trickier. Not only are the CPUs different, but the MacBook Pro also has whole new GPUs that aren’t the same as the NVIDIA or AMD offerings you find on Windows laptops. Let’s take a closer look, starting with the raw specs.
MacBook Pro 16 vs Razer Blade 15: Specs
|MacBook Pro 16||Razer Blade 15|
|Size (WxDxH)||14.01 x 9.77 x 0.66 in (355.7 x 248.1 x 16.8 mm)|
The operating system
The first big difference between these two laptops is, of course, the operating system, and that’s something most people will be aware of by now. The MacBook Pro runs macOS, specifically macOS Monterey. macOS is arguably more limiting in some ways because a lot of Windows apps don’t have counterparts on Mac, specifically games. However, some popular software is exclusive to macOS, including Final Cut Pro, a video editing tool that’s very highly regarded among Mac users.
On the other hand, the Razer Blade 15 runs Windows 10 out of the box, with a free upgrade to Windows 11 already available. Windows is more widely compatible with a lot of software, but some may consider it harder to learn compared to macOS. Conversely, it may give you more options to dive deep into more advanced settings.
MacBook Pro 16 vs Razer Blade 15: Performance
With the basic specs out of the way, let’s dive into the details, starting with performance. It’s not easy to make a clear comparison at this time because since Apple uses its own processors, we can’t verify its claims about the performance on the MacBook Pro 16-inch. However, we can take a look at its claims for the M1 Pro and M1 Max.
During its presentation, Apple actually compared the M1 Pro and M1 Max directly to the Intel Core i7-11800H, which is inside the Razer Blade 15. Apple touts 1.7x times the performance of Intel’s processor at the same power level, and it uses less power to get there. In fact, for the same level of performance, Apple claims its processor uses 70% less power. While we can’t validate Apple’s claims yet, we do know about the original Apple M1. Based on data from GeekBench, even the original Apple M1 already beat the Intel Core i7-11800H in single-core performance, and in multi-core scenarios, it wasn’t far behind. For reference, the Apple M1 obtained multi-core scores in the 7,400 range, while the Intel rival averages around 8,015. Considering the major upgrade compared to the M1, it seems believable that it’s much more powerful than that. Of course, the Razer Blade 15 also has a Core i9 model, which is faster than the Core i7, but not 1.7 times faster.
Then there’s the matter of the GPU, and again, we have to look closely at Apple’s words here. The Company says the Apple M1 Max with a 32-core GPU offers performance “comparable” to a high-end compact laptop. If you read the fingerprint, this actually refers specifically to the Razer Blade 15 Advanced with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080. Based on Apple’s graph, the M1 Max can reach a similar, and even slightly higher, level of power while using 40% less power. That is very impressive, and it means the MacBook Pro wins in this department too.
All of those claims also mean that the MacBook Pro 16-inch is going to have way better battery life than the Razer Blade 15. Apple touts up to 21 hours of battery life, and while Razer doesn’t offer its own metrics, you can take the above power consumption comparisons as a sign that it won’t last nearly as long on a charge.
The MacBok Pro has up to 64GB of unified memory, which is accssible to the GPU, compared to the 16GB of GPU memory you can get in the GeForce RTX 3080.
Aside from that, RAM and storage are also wins for the MacBook Pro 16-inch. It can be configured with up to 64GB of unified memory, while the Razer Blade 15 only comes with up to 32GB. The thing to note here is that the MacBook Pro’s memory is built into the processor, and it’s accessible to both the CPU and GPU. That means the MacBook Pro has way more GPU memory than any Windows laptop, but it also means the RAM can’t be replaced or upgraded. The Razer Blade 15 uses slotted memory you can upgrade later on. The MacBook Pro also comes with up to 8TB of storage out of the box, while the Razer Blade 15 only comes with 1TB, though you have a free M.2 slot and you can replace the included SSD to expand further.
MacBook Pro 16 vs Razer Blade 15: Display
As you’d probably expect from Razer, the Blade 15 is meant to be a gaming laptop, so in terms of the display, it’s better in some ways. In fact, the Razer Blade 15 definitely gives you many more options to choose what’s just right for you. It’s a 15.6-inch panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio but it has lots of different configurations.
The Base model comes with either a Full HD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz panel or a Quad HD (2560 x 1440) 165Hz version, but the Advanced model offers some crazier options – Full HD 360Hz for extremely fast response times, Quad HD at 240HZ for super-smooth gaming with better visual fidelity, or a 4K (3840 x 2160) OLED panel if you’re more of a content creator. That last option is an absolutely stunning display, with super high contrast ratios, true blacks, and vivid colors. Plus, it’s incredibly sharp.
Meanwhile. the MacBook Pro doesn’t give you any configuration options, but the one panel you get is absolutely fantastic. Apple is using a 16.2-inch display with a resolution of 3456 x 2234 in its typical 16:10 aspect ratio. That taller screen is ideal for productivity, and at this resolution, it’s also as sharp as you could want it to be.
The MacBook Pro has a mini-LED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and nearly 4K resolution.
But that’s not all because this is a Liquid Retina XDR display. It uses mini-LED technology to offer similar benefits to OLED, though not exactly on the same level. With mini-LED, not every pixel is individually backlit, but there are numerous dimming zones that make it possible to render black areas of the screen completely black. Additionally, this is a ProMotion display with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. so it’s also going to be very smooth, even if it’s on the level of high-end gaming displays.
A problem with the MacBook Pro 16-inch is that it has a notch in the display. In fairness to Apple, the notch makes way for a 1080p webcam and a larger sensor, so you’re bound to get great-looking images from it, but the Razer Blade 15 Advanced model also has a 1080p webcam without the need for a notch.
In short, the Razer Blade 15 definitely offers more options, and better ones for gaming, too. But the MacBook Pro includes a fantastic all-around display that’s sharp, vibrant, and smooth, and you get a great experience across the board, potentially excluding the notch for the webcam.
As for sound, the MacBook Pro continues to deliver one of the best experiences you can get on any laptop. It’s using a six-speaker setup for stereo sound, and Apple says it has improved both the woofers and tweeters for stronger bass and clearer highs. Meanwhile, the Razer Blade 15 uses a two-speaker stereo setup, which is likely going to be fine, but not as powerful as the MacBook Pro. Both laptops support Dolby Atmos, though.
Design and ports: The MacBook is Pro again
Now, in terms of design, these two laptops aren’t radically different from each other. The MacBook Pro comes in two color options, being Silver and Space Grey, which aren’t all too distinct, but at least they’ll fit nicely in any office space. The Razer Blade 15 only comes in black, and it’s a bit more flashy thanks to the backlit green Razer logo on the lid and an RGB backlit keyboard (with per-key lighting on the Advanced model). Neither laptop is particularly unique-looking, however.
And in terms of dimensions, the two laptops aren’t too far off from each other, either. The MacBook Pro is slightly wider and taller thanks to its larger display, but it’s slightly thinner than most variants of the Blade 15. However, it’s still heavier than the Razer Blade 15, likely due to those larger dimensions. Neither of these laptops is extremely portable, but they’re not too heavy to carry around every now and then, either.
Ports would have been an easy win for the Razer Blade 15 with previous MacBook Pro models, but this year, Apple brought back a lot of requested ports. The MacBook Pro 16-inch has three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI, an SD card reader, a MagSafe charging port, and a headphone jack. That means you can connect a ton of peripherals much more easily out of the box, and the Thunderbolt 4 ports can now drive up to four external displays, too. It’s also worth mentioning the return of MagSafe, a magnetic charging port that helps prevent your laptop from falling to the ground if you trip on its cable.
Apple has brought back MagSafe, HDMI, and an SD card reader to the MacBook Pro. However, there’s no USB Type-A, which the Razer Blade has.
The Razer Blade 15 also has a solid variety, with two Thunderbolt 4 ports, three USB Type-A ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, an SD card reader, and a proprietary charging port. The big advantage of the Razer Blade 15 here is the inclusion of USB Type-A, which many peripherals still use, but overall, both of these offer a solid selection of ports.
The bottom line
At the end of the day, which of these laptops is better? It’s hard to deny the MacBook Pro’s technical prowess. Based on Apple’s comparisons, the Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max are incredibly powerful chipsets, and the M1 Max specifically has a faster CPU and GPU compared to the Razer Blade 15, while using a lot less power. You have to admire that it’s both powerful and power-efficient, giving you great battery life by comparison, too.
The MacBook Pro also has a fantastic well-rounded display that does just about everything very well. It’s sharp, bright, it offers high contrast levels with mini-LED, and it runs at up to 120Hz.
But none of that is to say that the Razer Blade 15 is slow or bad in any way. The Intel processors and NVIDIA graphics inside this laptop are still very powerful, and unless you’re running very demanding workloads, you won’t really have a reason to complain. Arguably, the biggest drawback of the Razer Blade 15 is its battery life, which has traditionally been a weak point of powerful Intel-based laptops.
The Razer Blade 15 also gives you a few different options for the display, and all of them are great for different kinds of users. It’s clearly geared towards gamers, and because of that, you have very high refresh rate options, in addition to a 4K OLED variant for creators.
No matter which one you choose, you’ll be getting a very powerful laptop that can handle just about anything you can throw at it.
And that brings us to the price. The most expensive model of the Razer Blade 15, with an Intel Core i9, GeForce RTX 3080, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a 4K OLED display, costs $3,399.99. The MacBook Pro is slightly more expensive for a similar configuration – an M1 Max chipset along with the same RAM and storage costs $3,499. However, if you want to max it out with all the specs we’ve mentioned, it can go as high as $6,099.
No matter which one you choose, you’ll be getting a very powerful laptop that can handle just about anything you can throw at it. You can’t really go wrong with either one, and we’d say the decision will most likely come down to battery life and the operating system you already may prefer.
You can buy your preferred laptop using the links below. If you choose the MacBook Pro and you want to protect it, check out the best cases you can buy for it right now.