Razer launched the Core v2 eGFX enclosure in Q4 2017. It came with a unique industrial design and dual Thunderbolt 3 controllers that justified its price premium over other eGFX enclosures. Today, coinciding with the introduction of the Razer Blade 15.6, Razer is launching the Core X eGFX enclosure.

The Razer Core X does away with the bells and whistles of the Core v2 - the chassis is more economical to manufacture, thanks to a simpler industrial design. The second Thunderbolt 3 controller is gone, as are the I/O extension ports - the Core X serves as a eGFX enclosure and supports only a PCIe 3.0 x4 peripheral. That said, the Core X supports larger graphics cards compared to the Core v2. The internal power supply is also an ATX 650W one (compared to the 500W Flex-ATX PSU in the Core v2). This allows the Thunderbolt 3 port to support power delivery up to 100W (compared to the 65W in the Core v2). The Core X also uses the Alpine Ridge C-stepping, unlike the Core v2 which used an older stepping of the controller. The Core X doesn't support Razer Chroma (the RGB lighting feature common across various Razer peripherals). All these changes allow Razer to price the Core X at $299 compared to the Core v2's $499.

The Core X launch also brings Mac support to Razer's family of eGFX enclosures (Core v2 and Core X only). Similar to the Core v2, the Core X is designed with open vents to support adequate airflow for the installed GPUs and aid in optimal thermal performance. Razer also touts easy installation of GPUs - a rear panel that slides out and a thumb-screw that allows for tool-less installation - as a major selling point for the Core X. macOS compatibility is advertised only with AMD GPUs. On the Windows side, a wide variety of GPUs ranging from the NVIDIA GTX 750 to the GTX 1080 Ti and GTX Titan XP. NVIDIA Quadro GPUs are also supported. On the AMD front, all XConnect GPUs are supported.

The table below presents the specifications of various eGFX enclosures currently announced / available in the market.

Comparison of eGFX Enclosures
Aspect Razer Core X
Chassis Dimensions 14.72" x 6.61" x 9.06" 14.72" x 6.61" x 9.06"
Max. GPU Dimensions 12.99" x 2.36" x 6.29" 12.99" x 2.36" x 6.29"
Max. GPU Power 500W 500W
Cooling Fans 1x 120mm (Chassis)
? (PSU)
1x 120mm (Chassis)
? (PSU)
Connectivity 1x Thunderbolt 3 (to host) 1x Thunderbolt 3 (to host)
Power Delivery 100W 100W
Shipping Date May 2018 May 2018
Price (in USD, at launch) $299 $299

A look at the table above shows that the Core X presents a unique value proposition for users dealing with bulky GPUs. There are other eGFX enclosures supporting similar-sized GPUs, but, they come with a much higher price tag. Those around the Core X's price point tend to support only smaller GPUs, or, not support more than 15W on the power delivery side. From that perspective, the Core X complements the premium nature of the Core v2, and allows Razer to target different segments of the eGFX enclosure market.

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  • nevcairiel - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - link

    The concept of keeping both the GPU and the PSU user-replaceable is really limiting their design choices. If they were to build something with a NVIDIA Max-Q module and a custom PSU, it could be tiny, but of course you can't pick your GPU as easily then.
  • ionuts - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - link

    There are other options - namely the Gigabyte gaming box that comes with an mITX-sized GPU that is user replaceable.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - link

    To get a small size they really need to move to an external power brick. There're a few 300W+ bricks around for 18.6" luggable gaming laptops that'd be a reasonable fit in in terms of power delivered; but they end up significantly more expensive than a commodity ATX unit because of much lower volume.

    A more compact design could be had by putting the PSU and card inline instead of back to back; but combined with support for oversized cards that ends up creating a really long enclosure. Something like 18x5x3"
  • Manch - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - link

    Dual slim line PS? They could create custom FF PS but that would increase costs too much.
  • nevcairiel - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - link

    The way I see it, using a big external power brick doesn't really save size, it just moves it. Now you have two bricks, one for power and one for the graphics.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - link

    Yes it does, putting the PSU behind the card takes up 3 or 4 PSUs worth of space because of the empty area between the PSU and the box.
  • peterfares - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - link

    Then put the PSU in line with the card, opposite side of the video outputs.
  • WinterCharm - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - link

    This approach is better, as you can buy the damn thing and upgrade it as needed in the future.
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - link

    Could've used an off-the-shelf server power supply that's thin and long.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - link

    40mm fans at 9000 RPM are obscenely loud and no go's in consumer hardware. Something like that might be an option in a 100-150W model; but that restricts you to mid range GPUs and precludes powering the laptop through the same cable.

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