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Apple MacBook Professional M3 Max vs. Razer Blade 16

I’m pitting the perfect gaming laptop computer towards the perfect productiveness laptop computer and seeing who comes out on high. It’s an actual sumo match of the big boys of the laptop world. No, not in bulk, however the highest-end Razer Blade 16 and MacBook Professionals with M3 Max invoice themselves as top-of-the-line laptops that thread the needle between portability and energy. One’s billed for gaming, the opposite for high-end productiveness, however each corporations declare their PCs go well with each.

Why evaluate a Home windows gaming PC to Apple’s strongest mainline laptop computer? These units are ultra-premium, ultra-expensive laptops that promise to develop into your principal technique of on-the-go computing for a few years after buy. The M3 Max MacBook Professional 16 in my possession prices $4,000. My Razer Blade 16 with the brand new OLED, 240 Hz show, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU goes for $4,200 MSRP. They’re each hardy, aluminum-hulled behemoths, and since November of final yr, they introduced the brand new M3 Macbook Professional. Each have an anodized black end that makes them proof against fingerprints.

The Blade 16 might name itself a gaming machine at the beginning. Nonetheless, it has sufficient under-the-hood efficiency to hold out some intensive rendering duties that will flip the heads of any 3D modeling or video-producing professionals. Then again, the MacBook with an M3 Max chip is a productivity-first design. Nonetheless, Apple has been expressly trying to court gamers with the newest model of macOS incorporating a “gaming mode” that will increase framerates by limiting background duties, just like settings that exist already on Home windows.

For those who want probably the most succesful work units for intensive rendering or a ride-or-die Apple fan seeking to burn money, you’ve probably already made your shopping for choice. Suppose you’re a capital “G” gamer who solely needs to fill their drive with as many titles on their Steam library as attainable. In that case, you’re fairly set on the Blade 16 or maybe different gaming laptops with the absolute best specs accessible in the present day.

However for individuals who are hanging on to a number of thousand {dollars} with the expectation they gained’t want to purchase one other laptop computer for a lot of, a few years on, and for individuals who need a PC that may deal with any duties that you simply throw at it earlier than popping it in your backpack and taking it on the go, this information might present allow you to keep away from you find yourself tossing your pockets into the fires of unhealthy buying choices.

Loads of high quality choices can be found for individuals who might make do with barely much less energy, most for lower than $2,000. These with a gaming fixation and restricted price range would possibly even strive just a few examples of the budget gaming laptops presently accessible for at or less than $1,000. If you need a productiveness laptop computer, would possibly we advise trying on the slim, light-weight MacBook Air line or more moderen PCs just like the MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO?

MacBook Professional Vs. Razer Blade 16 Show and Design

OLED Nonetheless Beats Liquid Retina

Picture: Kyle Barr / Gizmodo

Each screens on the MacBook and Razer are deep and delightful, however the Blade 16 takes the sting merely because of the deep distinction of OLED versus Apple’s shows. The brand new 2024 Blade sports activities a QHD+ decision, 240 Hz OLED that hits all of the marks of what I need from a contemporary, high-end display screen. There’s no beating across the bush; it’s only a good display screen. The one grievance is the utmost brightness of 400 nits in comparison with the MacBook Professional’s acknowledged 600 nits at SDR settings (and better with HDR).

Last year’s Blade 16 model with the twin decision and mini-LED show might value barely lower than the 2024 version, relying on the place you purchase it. Nonetheless, the slight worth bump could also be value it for what’s shortly turning into the brand new customary for high-quality shows, whether or not you’re a gamer or not.

Apple used the Liquid Retina XDR nomenclature to explain its screens, however in the long run, they’re nonetheless IPS LCDs. There’s nothing inherently improper with that, and it’s nonetheless a high quality show, however it misses out on the colour distinction of OLED. Its max refresh price is 120 Hz, which remains to be honest for many laptops, however some video games can profit from larger refresh charges. You probably have one mendacity round, the laptop computer can help 240 Hz on an exterior monitor.

It’s a must to have each laptops in hand to really feel how comparable the construct high quality is between Razer’s and Apple’s designs. They each use CNC aluminum, which at the least feels sturdy. Each ought to keep away from fingerprints and scratches, although I’ve discovered one blemish on my Razer that I think will need to have occurred throughout packaging. Nonetheless, what’s extra vital is the whole measurement of every machine. The Blade 16 weighs about 5.4 kilos in comparison with the MacBook Professional’s 4.8. If .6 kilos of distinction issues to you, you also needs to contemplate how the MacBook is a extra compact machine total. The MacBook Professional is .61 inches tall when folded up in comparison with the .86 Blade 16. Each nonetheless handle to slide properly right into a backpack’s laptop computer pouch, which, in the long run, ought to be the top all, be all with regards to total dimensions.

The aspect speaker programs on each units flank the low-profile keyboards and trackpad. The trackpad on the Blade is about .25 inches wider than Apple’s, although we’ll get into how they each really feel and performance within the “Usability” part. Whereas each have comparable measurement bezels across the display screen, the MacBook Professional nonetheless makes use of the rattling notch, which we nonetheless assume is a fairly poor use of that house, contemplating iPhones just like the iPhone 15 line now make use of the helpful Dynamic Island.

However what might put the Razer over the sting right here, past the display screen, after all, is the variety of ports on provide. The Razer has an HDMI 2.1, two USB-C (one Thunderbolt 4 and one other USB 3.2), and three separate USB 3.2 Gen 2 Sort-A alongside the complete SD-card slot. The MacBook has loads of USB-C connections however no USB-A. The Razer’s proprietary charging port is annoying since it could actually block off entry to some cables, relying on its orientation. Nonetheless, I might reasonably have extra choices to plug in a few of my different peripherals than scrounge for a USB-C to USB-A converter.

Winner: Razer Blade 16

MacBook Professional M3 Max Vs. Razer Blade 16 Efficiency and Gaming

Macs Nonetheless Aren’t the Place for Gaming

Image for article titled Apple MacBook Pro M3 Max vs. Razer Blade 16: Battle of the Heavyweight, Ultra-Expensive Laptops

Picture: Kyle Barr / Gizmodo

That is in all probability essentially the most difficult class to evaluate, and all of it has to do with Apple’s constrained ecosystem that also lacks entry to a few of the hottest titles of the final a number of years. The Cupertino, California tech large has made a number of passing guarantees to develop into a brand new haven for gaming, pushing titles like final yr’s Resident Evil 4 remake and Loss of life Stranding: Director’s Minimize at the beginning of this yr. And but, it’s nonetheless a ache within the posterior to play a number of Home windows-centric titles that these PC’s routinely take pleasure in.

The Blade 16 mannequin I primarily based my assessments on was the model that got here with 32 GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 cell GPU, and the usual 14th-Gen Intel Core i9-14900HX. That CPU is a 24-core (8 P and 16 E cores) at 5.80 GHz. It’s fairly a trouble to check that x86-based chip immediately with the ARM-based APU contained throughout the M3 Max. That’s a 16-core CPU (as much as 12 P cores with 4 E cores) with as much as 40 cores of GPU. This model of the MacBook additionally sports activities 48 GB of RAM, which could tip the scales on a pure benchmark-to-benchmark comparability.

The MacBook Professional with M3 Max has the sting concerning something CPU-related. In benchmarks like Geekbench 6 and Cinebench R24, the M3 Max chip beats the Intel Core i9, not by just a few dozen factors. The MacBook Professional, with essentially the most high-end specs, doubles Blender’s benchmarks over the Razer Blade 16 on each metric.

However when you break into precise software program, the Razer Blade exhibits how sturdy a devoted GPU may be. With comparable excessive settings throughout the MacBook M3 and Razer Blade 16, the Blade carried out excellent in comparison with its similarly-priced counterpart. I might break properly over 160 FPS in inside areas in Baldur’s Gate III and nonetheless beat 80 FPS in crowded, open settings with the Blade. To check, I might hit 130 FPS on excessive settings in wilderness settings and low 70s, and even decrease, when on the Baldurian streets throughout Act 3.

The M3 Max Mac will battle to hit excessive FPS on particular titles, whereas the Blade can push these to the restrict with few tradeoffs. It’s apparent what the actual use case of every laptop computer really is. Apple would love the MacBook Professional to be your gaming unit, however it merely can’t be, not when it lacks entry to many main video games of the previous few years. Nonetheless, it’s no slouch on efficiency for what’s there. Spin again to the Razer Blade 16, and you’ve got the alternative. It’s among the finest gaming laptops you should buy when it comes to uncooked energy, and whereas it’s no slouch for rendering duties, it’s not the perfect. For those who’re a generally 3D modeler and a full-time gamer, go along with the Razer. For those who’re the alternative, go along with the MacBook Professional.

Verdict: Like most preteen relationships, it’s difficult

Razer Blade 16 Vs. MacBook Professional 16 M3 Max Battery Life

Apple Has the Edge on Longevity

Image for article titled Apple MacBook Pro M3 Max vs. Razer Blade 16: Battle of the Heavyweight, Ultra-Expensive Laptops

Picture: Angel Fajardo / Gizmodo

On common, I might work 4 to 5 hours on the Razer Blade 16 unplugged, doing easy looking and work duties. You possibly can squeeze out an hour or two extra with low-power settings. That’s a little bit higher than many gaming laptops, however it’s not adequate for a complete workday with out a plug. The 330W charging unit that comes in-box isn’t as large as they arrive, however it’s nonetheless a chunky brick that may overwhelm anyone on the go. It’s thick sufficient, however I would like to pull alongside one thing smaller, like a 45W brick, and plug it in via USB-C.

The M3 MacBook Professional will do the job for much longer. I’ve spent 8 hours on the M3 Max doing common looking and work duties with out seeing it drop beneath 30%. The facility effectivity settings are adequate. You don’t should flip any switches to eke out just a few extra minutes of juice, although the excessive energy mode, finest for gaming settings, will sap the battery practically as quick because the Razer Blade.

Winner: MacBook Professional M3 Max

MacBook Professional M3 Max Vs. Razer Blade 16 Usability and Sound

The Razer Blade Wants a Higher Keyboard and Trackpad

Image for article titled Apple MacBook Pro M3 Max vs. Razer Blade 16: Battle of the Heavyweight, Ultra-Expensive Laptops

Picture: Artem Golub / Gizmodo

You don’t should hear onerous to listen to the distinction between MacBook Professional’s and the Blade’s sound high quality. When reviewing it earlier this month, I thought of the Blade’s audio system fairly sturdy, with bass that might fill a room and excuse the necessity for any sound bar or exterior speaker system. But, it doesn’t evaluate to the MacBook Professional’s six-speaker system and force-canceling woofers. There’s an amazingly clear high quality to the Professional’s sound, whether or not watching films on Netflix or streaming nonsense on YouTube.

Apple generally will get an excessive amount of credit score for its deal with usability, however on the very least, you already know you gained’t curse out the corporate over its keyboard. What’s most hanging about Razer’s final, tremendous high-end design is that the corporate has not put any thoughts towards people who will find yourself typing and scrolling on their $4,200 laptop computer. The keyboard is an easy chicklet design with flashy LEDs beneath. This may be adequate on a price range PC, however it’s not even that sturdy a selection for many avid gamers.

Worse, by far, is the trackpad. The Blade 16 has such an issue with palm rejection that should you’re the typist who rests his forearms on the entrance, you’ll find yourself routinely clicking the place you didn’t intend to whereas typing. I wrote half this evaluation on the Blade and half on the MacBook Professional, and I might a lot reasonably sort for any size of time on Apple’s high-end pc than attempt to wrestle with Razer’s terrible trackpad.

That’s to not say the MacBook is any dream to sort on. It’s actually the identical Magic Keyboard Apple’s used for the reason that entirely earned demise of the butterfly keyboard. The low-profile mechanical keys have a barely softer really feel to the Razer Blade’s design, however neither affords any “oomph” that provides a tactile really feel to your typing expertise. The MacBook trackpad isn’t some miracle of design both, however it has significantly better palm rejection. If the selection have been primarily based merely on the flexibility to sort in your laptop computer, the MacBook would win fingers down.

The Winner: MacBook Professional M3.

MacBook Professional M3 Max Vs. Razer Blade 16 Verdict

Decide Your Poison

Image for article titled Apple MacBook Pro M3 Max vs. Razer Blade 16: Battle of the Heavyweight, Ultra-Expensive Laptops

Picture: Kyle Barr / Gizmodo

If something, these assessments present there’s nonetheless no all-in-one machine that might be good for each sort of laptop computer energy person. The M3 Max MacBook Professional is essentially the most highly effective machine of this worth level I’ve used, although that solely accounts for non-gaming duties. The Razer Blade 16 is a good gaming laptop computer, maybe the epitome of excessive efficiency and worth. It might accomplish different duties however gained’t be as straightforward or pleasant as attainable.

Each units are splurges, however if in case you have a hankering to do something apart from gaming, the M3 Max MacBook Professional does the job. Its base management and sound high quality beat the Razer Blade 16 regardless of being practically equal in worth. It might nonetheless play some video games on excessive settings, however I want Apple might lastly verify its plans to succeed in throughout and drag extra builders onto its aspect of the walled backyard. You can hook up with the parents on the r/macgaming subreddit for just a few ideas and tips for getting some titles to work, however it’s a number of work since you’re paying upwards of $3,000 for a single pc.

The Razer Blade performs video games on excessive settings and a pleasant, stunning, quick display screen. It might run intensive applications higher than most, however its keyboard and trackpad go away so much to be desired. Take them for what they’re, as these are two very totally different units. It’s nonetheless too unhealthy there’s not one laptop computer that’s been in a position to maximize all the pieces, particularly when corporations count on you to pay 1000’s of {dollars} for them.

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