Razer has announced its second external GPU enclosure, the Razer Core X, and it’s the company’s most affordable attempt yet.
External GPUs have always been one of those ideas that sound great on paper, but never work out quite as well in practise.
In theory, they’re the ultimate compromise between the power of a desktop PC and the portability of a laptop. By containing a graphics card in an enclosure that you can hook your laptop up to via USB, an e-GPU enclosure lets you benefit from the extra power when you’re at home, without sacrificing the portability of your laptop.
But in practise there just isn’t enough hardware out there that supports it, and what does exist is so expensive that you might as well just buy a high-powered laptop in the first place.
This isn’t Razer’s first attempt at cracking the e-GPU enclosure market. It’s first attempt, the Razer Core, was a no-holds-barred attempt that packed a USB and Ethernet hub in with Razer’s signature RGB lighting.
Stripped down to the bare essentials
In contrast, the Core X is a much more stripped down experience. It’s got no additional USB ports, no Ethernet, and definitely no RGB lighting. That said, it actually supports a wider range of cards than the original enclosure, thanks to the fact that 3-slot cards will now fit, and the maximum card dimensions have increased to 330 x 160 x 60 mm. The enclosure is powered by a 650W power supply, and cooled by a single fan.
What this means is that the Core X is going to cost just £269 ($299) compared to the original Core’s £469 ($499) price point.
It’s not going to overcome the bandwidth limitations of its Thunderbolt 3 interface (which means than an external enclosure can’t hope to reach the same levels of performance as internal graphics cards), but at this cheaper price point that feels like a much more acceptable compromise.
We look forward to putting the new Core X through its paces soon.
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