Razer has revealed a refreshed external graphics processor (eGPU) enclosure which has gone on sale in the US now, and will follow shortly in other territories including the UK and Australia.
The Razer Core X Chroma is the follow-up to the Core X eGPU enclosure released in 2018, and as you would expect, it makes a number of improvements, such as boosting the power supply to a 700W model (previously it was 650W).
Also, as the name suggests, another fresh introduction comes in the form of support for Razer's Chroma RGB lighting, with two lighting zones that can be fully customized (with 16.8 million possible colors on offer) via Razer’s Synapse 3 software. (You may recall that Chroma lighting was incorporated with the Razer Core V2 external GPU, which preceded the previous Core X model.)
- Pair this eGPU with one of the best Nvidia graphics cards
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As for connectivity, you get a Gigabit Ethernet port, along with four USB Type-A ports. You hook up the external GPU to your laptop via a Thunderbolt 3 port, and you can use the device to charge a USB-C capable laptop with up to 100W of power, a nifty additional benefit.
Note that the Core X Chroma is capable of fitting a three-slot-wide desktop graphics card, and installation of the GPU is a simple matter, and doesn’t require any tools – you just slide out the tray, insert the card and secure it with a thumbscrew.
Of course, the idea of these external GPU (eGPU) enclosures is to massively boost the power of your gaming laptop when you’re using it at home – as opposed to on the go – just by plugging it into the Core X Chroma on your desk. Even the most powerful mobile graphics solutions can’t deliver the same oomph as a full-fat desktop card.
As mentioned, your notebook will need a Thunderbolt 3 port with external graphics support, and with Windows 10, you must be running the latest update (October 2018 Update). The enclosure is compatible with Nvidia and AMD PCIe graphics cards.
However, sadly on the Mac, you can only use AMD Radeon GPUs (you also need to be running macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 or later).
The Razer Core X Chroma is now on sale in the US and Canada direct from Razer.com with an asking price of $399.99. That’s the bad news – this has been upped from $299, the asking price of the vanilla Core X, so you do pay for the lighting bells and whistles and slightly beefier PSU. And of course, there’s the cost of the graphics card to go inside on top of that.
Razer’s Core X Chroma will also be available ‘soon’ in the UK and Australia, as well as a number of other territories: France, Germany, Nordics, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. The European asking price is pegged at €429.99 (around £370, AU$680).
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).