Digital Storm Veloce: The Quick And The Cheap
Gaming Performance, Conclusion
I decided to do two passes on the Veloce: one using the native 1920×1080 resolution, and another at 1600×900. The latter will give us a better idea of how the Veloce stacks up against the Razer Blade, since both use the same Intel CPU and Nvidia GPU.
It’s no surprise that the Veloce is going to take a hit when gaming at 1920×1080, and the results show a 25 percent drop across the board (closer to 30% with Battlefield 3) when compared to the 1600×900 Veloce results. The 1080p results are attractive, however, as every game we ran except for Bioshock Infinite stayed at or above the 30 fps mark.
When the in-game resolution is dropped to 1600×900, the Veloce and the Razer Blade are expectedly neck-and-neck. The Veloce does edge the Blade in every game, but I think this is due to driver and software updates — some level of optimization, both on the game side as well as the Nvidia hardware side, has occurred between these two reviews.
The Digital Storm Veloce is the yang to the Razer Blade’s yin. The Blade has nearly-untouchable design, build quality, and style — areas where the uninspired Clevo platform employed by Digital Storm simply cannot keep up. And because the Blade is designed in-house, Razer has made some refinements between its Blade iterations, like better speakers and improved battery life, that Digital Storm cannot easily do with an ODM product.
The Veloce does have some fantastic counters to the Blade’s aesthetic, including a more diverse price range, which means that the Veloce will appeal to a wider audience; the Veloce starts at $1,284, a price that includes the same Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M GPU, an Intel Core i7-4700QM, and a 500 GB hard drive. The Veloce also sports a killer display, an area where the Blade falls seriously short, and it sports considerably more I/O — one extra USB port, Ethernet, VGA, and two audio ports as opposed to one. Lastly, the Veloce benefits from being a Digital Storm machine, too, as it’s paired with top-notch customer service from one of best and longest-tenured boutique PC manufacturers in the business.
If Razer is aiming to be the Apple of the gaming laptop world, they have succeeded in cultivating that image — the Blade is an impressive machine, without a doubt. But that doesn’t mean Digital Storm and others using the Clevo W230ST ODM platform can’t file in right below Razer. I think the Veloce employs a better storage strategy — pairing a smaller SSD for the operating system with a large hard drive for games — compared to the pricey SSD-only option from Razer.
If you can get beyond the looks, sounds, and lackluster battery life, the Digital Storm Veloce is an admirable choice in the portable gaming laptop space. The Blade 14 is still King, but the Veloce comes in as a Duke.