Razer Core External GPU Enclosure Pricing and Availability Announced

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 16, 2016 - 09:29 PM |
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Razer has announced pricing and availability for their Core external GPU enclosure, which allows GPUs of up to 375W to run over Thunderbolt 3 with compatible devices.

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"The Razer Core is the world’s first true plug and play Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) external graphics enclosure, allowing you to transform your notebook into a desktop gaming experience. Featuring plug and play support with compatible graphics cards, you won’t need to reboot your system every time you connect your Razer Blade Stealth to Razer Core. Connect to the future with the most advanced and versatile external desktop graphics solution available."

The Razer Core will cost $499 alone, or $399 when purchased with a Razer laptop. It will be available in April.

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What's this? The new Core i7 Skull Canyon NUC connected to the Core eGPU??

An interesting addition to this announcement, the Razer Core is certified with the upcoming Core i7 Skull Canyon NUC, which features Thunderbolt 3. I don't know about you, but the idea of portable, external, upgradable graphics is awesome.

So what do you think? $499 as a standalone product for a user-upgradable external GPU solution with power supply? The $399 price is obviously more attractive, but you'd need to be in the market for a new laptop as well (and again, it would need to a Razer laptop to get that $100 discount). In any case, AMD's XConnect technology certainly makes the Core a compelling possibility.

Source: Razer

March 16, 2016 | 09:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

For the size I'd rather just have a dedicated mITX, but if it absolutely has to just be a laptop; there ya go.

March 16, 2016 | 09:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Too expensive for the enclosure alone $499. Plus what cost of video card you'll put in there. Funny thing that the NUC is a lot smaller than the Razer Core.

March 17, 2016 | 12:23 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Well, the NUC is also smaller than a graphics card you would put in the Core.

March 16, 2016 | 09:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Crazy expensive. Hopefully some competition comes and brings the price down. These are fairly silly though to begin with.

March 17, 2016 | 04:15 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Haters gonna hate. Although competition in this area would be good.

March 16, 2016 | 10:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So I can put in my unused 980Ti and upgrade my notebook if it has Thunderbolt 3 port.

March 17, 2016 | 11:18 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If your OEM provides the UEFI/BIOS update or your system is out of the box compatible with this technology. It's all up to your laptop's OEM.

March 16, 2016 | 10:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What do you guys expect? 499 is perfectly reasonable. This won't be the last thunderbolt solution, so we will see better prices in the future.

March 16, 2016 | 11:09 PM - Posted by Luthair

At 499 couldn't you just build a desktop PC that probably outperforms your laptop using a mobile CPU?

March 17, 2016 | 09:23 PM - Posted by wolfkabal (not verified)

Build me a $499 desktop with a Xeon 1505 3.4 Ghz, 32GB RAM, 512GB Nvme SSD, AND supports Thunderbolt 3, and yes I'll replace my laptop with that..

Not all laptops are built using mobile components.

March 18, 2016 | 09:09 AM - Posted by Luthair

The Xeon 1505M is a mobile CPU and is slower than mid-range CPUs from a few years ago.

March 16, 2016 | 11:11 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What Intel needs to add for TB4 is link TB link aggregation. Imagine haveing 2 latest version TB ports that could be link aggregated to share bandwidth!

March 16, 2016 | 11:35 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

it's gotta drop about half it's current price for people to even look at it
But I suppose for the niche market of laptop gamers (who are placed inside the niche market of PC gaming-enthusiasts) who drop $2-$3k on a new gaming laptop every year it might be sought after

March 16, 2016 | 11:36 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

*every 2-3 years
I should say

March 18, 2016 | 09:10 AM - Posted by Luthair

To me the point of something like this would be to not buy a gaming laptop. Why pay for and power a discrete GPU in your laptop when you have an external card at home?

Seems like you'd just want a powerful CPU and a decent chunk of ram.

March 17, 2016 | 12:05 AM - Posted by Polycrastinator (not verified)

Oof, that price. I was expecting $200-$300, and that would still be high IMO. At this price, as others have said, you could just roll your own Mini-ITX PC.

March 17, 2016 | 12:35 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

uh, for all of that cluster you could just build a dedicated desktop gaming PC.

So simple.

But the industry? LETS FIX THIS TILL ITS BROKE!

MAKE LAPTOP GREAT!

sorry guys

not going to happen.... so long...you tried, just stop.

March 17, 2016 | 11:46 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Building your own PC/Mini PC is always going to be the better option over laptops for gaming. And Maybe PC main board makers could add Laptop to PC gaming clustering ability to their motherboards/software and firmware and allow for both the laptop PC/GPU and say a mini-PC build to share gaming compute resources. That external expansion box could be made to be a stand alone PC that could via a TB3 networking connection offer the user the ability to run games with both the laptop's/PC's CPUs and GPUs taking part in running the game. Via TB3 the connected systems could be made to look to the OS like the system has more than one CPU if the drivers/OSs where configured and the connected hardware where abstracted properly.

What laptops really need the option for is more than one TB3 port with is own dedicated TB3 controller chip, and laptops have plenty of spare PCIe ability in the chip-sets it just takes the OEM to utilize them and allow for TB3 link aggregation, it will come at a cost though.

Creating a home gaming cluster with TB3 connected computers has a better chance of being implemented with Steam OS/Debian by some knowledgeable computing sciences students than the current proprietary OS systems, where the OEMs are more interested in selling new hardware to get any new feature sets. Networking over TB3 is not much different that networking over other protocol based methods like Ethernet etc.

March 17, 2016 | 02:40 AM - Posted by Pixy Misa (not verified)

The new Razer Blade and this would make a pretty good replacement for my current notebook and desktop.

Unfortunately, my current notebook and desktop both work just fine, so not this year...

March 17, 2016 | 04:40 AM - Posted by Pogostick (not verified)

Damn if only the surfacebook had TH3. I would buy it on release day.

March 17, 2016 | 08:41 AM - Posted by Polycrastinator (not verified)

Yeah, that lack of USB Type C/Thunderbolt is looking like a real mistake on the Surface Book now. Kind of a shame.

March 17, 2016 | 05:35 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Not sure about the exact size of the razer core but it seems like you can build a mini itx like corsair bulldog or something similar case design for the same size but it is a whole pc.

March 17, 2016 | 09:51 AM - Posted by funandjam

Despite the price, this is the best solution yet for external graphics cards since it is plug-n-play and not restricted to a specific brand of laptops. Just wonder how long it will be before Asus releases a different version of their eGPU box to be plug-n-play and not brand specific.

March 17, 2016 | 09:54 AM - Posted by nevzim (not verified)

Pointless, as expected.

March 17, 2016 | 11:25 AM - Posted by stryakr (not verified)

Hardly "pointless" it makes a lot of sense. But it's cost is too high now for it to be bought by most users wanting to switch.

March 17, 2016 | 09:26 PM - Posted by wolfkabal (not verified)

Considering most OEM docking stations are $100+ ($240 for the one on my Thinkpad) - this price point isn't too far out. And I can still unplug and do daily activity around the house, and plugin to game when I need to. I specifically bought a laptop with TB3 support exactly for this scenario. Yes, I have a gaming desktop, its aging though, and I get tired of shifting when I decide I don't want to sit at my desk anymore for non-gaming activities. THIS fits my needs perfectly.

March 18, 2016 | 02:23 PM - Posted by stryakr (not verified)

Same. I just got a new laptop with TB3, while my desktop isn't aging, ID like to consolidate devices.

March 17, 2016 | 11:56 AM - Posted by jcaf77 (not verified)

This is ridiculous. I rather continue upgrading separately. the most this kind of device should cost is 200 imho.

March 17, 2016 | 02:54 PM - Posted by funandjam

People always get bent out of shape when generation 1 of new tech is released and it's expensive. Just give it time and we'll see cheaper versions in all kinds of different varieties of designs and form factors.

March 17, 2016 | 08:33 PM - Posted by CB (not verified)

$499? Screw that.

Another overpriced piece of Razer crap. Screw those A-Holes.

This thing should be $250 tops.

PCI-E to Thunderbolt bridge: $40
350W PSU: $30
Simple Case with no ports needed $30
Cable: $5
Subtotal: $105
Markup for profit: $95-155
Total: $200-250

Razer didn't even to the R&D behind this. Thunderbolt provides the access to PCI-E. I'm betting Intel and AMD have done almost all the hard stuff.

March 17, 2016 | 09:28 PM - Posted by wolfkabal (not verified)

Please, by all means build out something comparable as you've listed, and start selling it. I'd love to see what you come up with, and I'll even buy one. $250 is your limit, and it needs to work with all qualified OEMs that this does.

March 18, 2016 | 09:37 AM - Posted by nevzim (not verified)

Somehow I do not expect it to work reliably.
PC gamin becomes a mess even without new hardware constraints (AC, GoW, Batman).

March 19, 2016 | 02:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Sure it would work with all hardware... its using SUPPORTED STANDERS.

do it yourself or not... it will work with everything.

March 19, 2016 | 05:52 PM - Posted by RyansBiggestFan (not verified)

Alienware Graphics Amplifier is only 200 brand new... Refurbished on eBay has the same warranty and is even lower...

March 20, 2016 | 11:32 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The enclosure only supports a gtx 950. I'm not going to get a $500 box just to put a $150 GPU in it. Makes no sense. If it supported a GTX 980 Ti then maybe it would have a chance. Nice try but no.

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