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Razer Cortex review

Can Razer Cortex help improve your gaming rig’s performance?

Razer Cortex
(Image: © Razer)

TechRadar Verdict

Razer Cortex is a suitable tool to squeeze out a few more frames per second (FPS) for gaming on your PC. However, it’s not a magic tool that can make a low-spec PC suddenly perform like a high-spec one. It helps position your PC for a better gaming experience, but it’s not a one-shot tool for this function.

Pros

  • +

    Completely free

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    Boosts performance significantly

  • +

    User-friendly interface

  • +

    Allows scheduled scans

Cons

  • -

    Scan results lack details

  • -

    No real-time monitoring

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    Limited features

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    Inadequate customer support

Anyone who’s a gamer would likely recognize the Razer name. It’s a premium brand known for its high-tech gaming PCs and accessories. The company developed Razer Cortex (opens in new tab) as a free add-on tool to help familiarize people with its brand. 

Razer Cortex is a system optimization tool (opens in new tab) for Windows-powered PCs. We’ll review it based on specific criteria, including features, compatibility, customer support, ease of use, etc. 

Razer Cortex review

Razer Cortex is a free download from Razer (Image credit: Razer Cortex)

Plans and pricing

Razer Cortex is entirely free, unlike most tools with similar functionality. There are no ads or constant pushes to get you to upgrade to a premium version. 

Razer offers Cortex as a free add-on to get people attached to its brand. It makes up for the cost with sales from its hardware and other software. 

Given Razer Cortex is free, it’s a system optimization tool we recommend most gamers to try out.

Razer Cortex review

You can choose which services and background tasks to disable in Boost Mode (Image credit: Razer Cortex)

Features

Game Booster

Game Booster is Razer Cortex’s primary feature. It works to improve your gaming experience by freeing up computing resources and memory when you launch games directly from Steam, Origin, or your desktop. After opening a game, it closes all the unnecessary apps running on your PC so that it’ll utilize the free space for your game.

System Booster

System Booster is similar to Game Booster, but it works for other applications on your computer outside games. It speeds up performance primarily by finding and letting you delete junk files taking up valuable space on your computer. It can also defragment files used by your games, disable unused Windows services, and optimize your disk caches.

Booster Prime

This advanced feature uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI (opens in new tab)) algorithms to determine the best PC settings for playing competitive games. Timing and speed are critical when playing competitive games, so it’s necessary to play under optimized settings that best serve you.

Razer Cortex review

Razer Cortex also includes giveaways, bundles, and special offers on games (Image credit: Razer Cortex)

Game Deals

Razer Cortex comes with a price comparison engine to find the best gaming deals on the market. You can also create your Wishlist and get instant notifications of game releases and price drops.

Razer Cortex review

You can even launch your games from within Razer Cortex (Image credit: Razer Cortex)

Interface and in use

Downloading and installing Razer Cortex was pretty straightforward on our end. Just head to Razer’s official website, and you can download the setup file right away. Remember that Razer Cortex is free, so there’s no payment involved.

After downloading the setup file, run it, and installation begins. The installation file (247 MB) was quite large compared to most similar software programs. After installing, you’ll need to sign up for a Razer account and get a specific Razer ID to start using Cortex. It has a dashboard that’s easy to understand and navigate through.

Support

Razer doesn't offer live support for Razer Cortex but there are some self-help options on its website (Image credit: Razer)

Support

Unfortunately, there’s no live support for Razer Cortex. It’s a free product, so we know why. Support is limited to a basic FAQ page published on Razer’s website. There’s also a Razer Cortex section on the official community forum where users interact and help solve each other’s problems. 

The competition

Common Razer Cortex alternatives include Nvidia GeForce Experience (opens in new tab), Nurgo GameLibBooster (opens in new tab), and AVG TuneUp (opens in new tab). Let’s draw a quick pricing comparison table:

Razer CortexGeForce ExperienceGameLibBoosterAVG TuneUP
Minimum priceFreeFree$20$60/year

We’ve tested out all of the alternatives above and we observe that they have more extensive system optimization features than Razer Cortex.

Final verdict

Indeed, Razer Cortex is an ideal tool to help improve your gaming experience, but it’s not very versatile. You can do many other things to enhance your experience even as you run Razer Cortex. Though, being entirely free is a good perk.

We've also highlighted the best system utilities and repair software for business PCs (opens in new tab)

Richard brings over 20 years of website development, SEO, and marketing to the table. A graduate in Computer Science, Richard has lectured in Java programming and has built software for companies including Samsung and ASDA. Now, he writes for TechRadar, Tom's Guide, PC Gamer, and Creative Bloq.