Firmware update upgrades Razer laptop to USB4, quadruples speed to 40Gbps

Razer Blade 14 gaming laptop
(Image credit: Future)
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Recently bought a Razer Blade 14 (2022) (opens in new tab)? Then we have good news. Razer has released a firmware update upgrading the gaming laptop's two USB Type-C ports from 3.2 spec to full USB4, quadrupling performance from 10Gbps to fully 40Gbps. It's a significant upgrade and begs the question of how wide the implications might be for similar software-powered improvements on other PC platforms.

Razer says the Blade 14 was already hardware compliant with USB4, creating the opportunity for the upgrade once AMD released USB4 drivers for its Ryzen 6000 Series mobile CPUs, also known as Rembrant (via PC World (opens in new tab)).

Since the update includes a full upgrade to 40Gbps spec, the Razer 14 also becomes fully Thunderbolt compliant, enabling all that docking goodness and support for multiple 4K displays, fast external SSDs and all that high-speed jazz.

Normally, software or firmware upgrades to the specification of a USB port isn't possible. So, the question is how broadly this kind of updating could now become. AMD's support for USB4 on the desktop is currently limited to two ports on the X670E chipset exclusively. The X670, B650 and B650E do not have USB4 support. At least, they don't right now.

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(Image credit: Future)

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It seems unlikely that a firmware or BIOS update could suddenly transform desktop motherboard USB Type-C ports from 10Gbps sockets into 40Gbps monsters. But that's exactly what has happened with the Razer 14. So watch this space.

In related news, the Razer Blade 14 firmware update also switches on the Microsoft Pluton security core in the Ryzen 6000 chip, a feature that's also used to enhance security in the Xbox Series consoles. Pluton is reportedly highly effective in preventing hacking on Xbox, so its move into the PC is very welcome. Just note that, for now, Pluton has only been adopted by AMD hardware. It's not inside Intel CPUs.

Existing Blade 14 (2022) owners can head over to the Razer website to access the update (opens in new tab).

Jeremy Laird
Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.