Razer reveals the price, shipping date, and specifications of its Core external GPU enclosure

By midian182 ยท 11 replies
Mar 17, 2016
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  1. Razer has just announced the details of its Core external graphics enclosure which will let gamers bring the power of a desktop GPU to a laptop. Shipping in April and available for pre-order now, the Core will cost $499 if bought alone or $399 if purchased alongside a Razer Blade or Stealth. Any registered existing users of these laptops can get the Core at the lower price.

    While that amount does sound pretty steep, especially as you'll need a GPU and compatible laptop as well, Razer has pointed out that the Core is the world’s first plug-and-play Thunderbolt 3 external graphics enclosure. And, for those using it with a Stealth, it doesn’t just provide the laptop with a new level of graphical muscle, but it can also power the battery.

    The Core supports GPUs that draw a maximum of 375 W and are no larger than 12.20 inches x 5.98 inches x 1.73 inches. Inserting a card into the Core’s PCI-Express X16 slot is just like installing one in a regular PC motherboard, but no tools are required.

    While the Core is designed specifically for Razer’s Blade and Stealth, it should work with other laptops that feature a USB Type-C port equipped with Thunderbolt 3 - as long as manufacturers ensure that they’re compatible with AMD’s XConnect technology and the Core’s supported graphics cards.

    It’s this XConnect driver support and implementation that allows the Core’s seamless plug-and-play functions without needing to reboot the connected laptop. According to Extremetech, Radeon cards running software version 16.2.2 or later are capable of plug-and-play configuration with an external chassis.

    Nvidia’s cards will also be supported at launch (there’s a full list of all GPUs below), but they aren’t plug-and-play certified. Razer did say, however, that it is working to get all Core compatible cards to support the feature.

    Additionally, the Core also comes with four USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet connectivity, and two-zone lighting technology powered by Razer Chroma.

    Qualified AMD Radeon™ graphics cards (AMD XConnect™ supported with Blade Stealth):

    - AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury

    - AMD Radeon™ R9 Nano

    - AMD Radeon™ R9 300 Series

    - AMD Radeon™ R9 290X

    - AMD Radeon™ R9 290

    - AMD Radeon™ R9 280

    Supported NVIDIA® GeForce® graphics cards (at launch):

    - NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX Titan X

    - NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 980 Ti

    - NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 980

    - NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 970

    - NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 960

    - NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 950

    - NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 750 Ti

    - NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 750

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  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,681   +1,080

    So I'm guessing that it does not include a video card
  3. TitoBXNY

    TitoBXNY TS Addict Posts: 236   +50

    That is one expensive enclosure.
    Darth Shiv likes this.
  4. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 390   +668

    So you buy a $2,200 laptop. Then add a $400-500 GFX enclosure. Then pay for 1-2 top-end GFX cards on top required to power the laptop's 4K display? That's one hell of a "mobility" premium.

    I'm not sure I'm grasping who this product is aimed at. You're obviously not going to be using a laptop + this together exactly as you would just a gaming laptop (eg, on the train / sofa / in the garden) due to the large bulky external box (340mm x 218mm x 105mm) fed off a 500w PSU. It seems to be one of those semi-mobile "move from one fixed indoor location (eg, living room) to another" (eg, upstairs bedroom, friend's house or vacation cottage living room) rather than anything seriously "outdoorsy" like sitting in a park. At which point, how is this any better than building a far cheaper Mini-ITX box which you can plug into any 1080p TV (usually available at either end) and ends up no real bulkier / heavier than a laptop + this + extra power lead & cable combined, and with generally lower CPU temps and a much bigger screen than 14"?

    I also can't see how this is appealing giving the other regular irritation over gaming laptops : fan noise. 40mm laptop fan's = horribly whiny under constant load, made worse by 1. Sitting on a desk instead of under it and thus being 2-3x closer to your ears and 2. Having a higher and more irritating pitch than larger but slower spinning 80-120mm fans.

    Of course you may unplug this unit and leave it at home and take your gaming laptop out and about. But for $3,000-$3,500, you might as well build a desktop gaming rig + buy an 11" ultraport / 8-10" tablet, and simply use common sense and save the heavy AAA games for home on a screen far larger than 14", and play the many lighter games on your backlog when out and about, on a device that's far smaller & lighter to carry around...
    Reehahs and RebelFlag like this.
  5. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,000   +1,319

  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,701

    I'd think about it if it was $200 or less.
  7. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    Razer should be focusing on comedy; their pricing was always been a joke and out of reason. I will take a cheap case and a decent PSU -nothing Gold or Platinum fancy- for external GPU for less than $100 any day.
  8. SikSlayer

    SikSlayer TS Member

    $400-500 for a BOX that doesn't even come with a video card OR PSU? For what's essentially a Thunderbolt 3 HUB? Are they joking?
  9. SikSlayer

    SikSlayer TS Member

    Actually no wait, it may not need a PSU. It changes nothing tho.
  10. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    It's early days. The price will come down. But yeah... not sure there will be a lot of demand at this price point.
  11. mccartercar

    mccartercar TS Booster Posts: 140   +26

    This is just what the doctor ordered for Mobile VR (high end).
  12. Badelhas

    Badelhas TS Booster Posts: 74   +26


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