Hands-On With Razer’s New Core X Chroma eGPU

Razer last week announced the launch of its latest eGPU, the $400 Razer Core X Chroma, equipped with, as the name suggests, Razer's signature Chroma lighting.

Razer sent us one of the Core X Chroma eGPUs to check out, and we've gone hands-on with it in our latest YouTube video to see how well it works with Apple's Macs.

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The Core X Chroma looks similar to the previous-generation Core X eGPU, with a rather large all-aluminum enclosure that will support NVIDIA GeForce RTX, GeForce GTX, and Quadro cards along with AMD XConnect-enabled Radeon and Radeon Pro cards (note that there are no suitable modern NVIDIA drivers, so most Mac users who plan to use the eGPU for macOS will want to choose AMD).

Like the prior model, it's compatible with Apple's Thunderbolt 3 Macs and using it is as simple as plugging it into the USB-C port on a compatible machine. Adding in your graphics card can be done with just a few steps, no tools required. No graphics card comes with the Core X Chroma, of course, as it's just an enclosure.

Adding your own graphics card is going to give you access to desktop-class performance without sacrificing the portability of a notebook machine. We stuck a Radeon RX 570 in the eGPU, which more than doubled the graphics performance of the Radeon Pro 555X included in the 2018 MacBook Pro we tested it with.

Razer's equipped the Core X Chroma with 4 USB-A ports and a Gigabit Ethernet port, which is new, along with the standard single Thunderbolt 3 port. The Core X Chroma also has a 700W power supply so it supports more powerful graphics cards than the previous model. You can use the Core X Chroma to transform a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air into a desktop-class machine with a single cable, which is handy.

Aside from the addition of more ports and a better power supply, the Core X Chroma has RGB lighting included, something that looks great on or below your desk. Unfortunately, Razer's software for adjusting the lights on the Core X Chroma isn't available on Mac, which kind of limits the utility of the extra feature.

The lights will work on their own, but if you want to customize them, you need Razer's Windows-only Synapse software. That's a major negative for any Mac user considering the eGPU who doesn't plan to use it with Boot Camp.

Razer charges $300 for its standard Core X, and this upgraded version with Chroma lighting and more ports is $100 more expensive at $400. It's available from Razer's website if you're interested in purchasing one. What do you think of the Razer Core X Chroma? Let us know in the comments.

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This article, "Hands-On With Razer's New Core X Chroma eGPU" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Razer Launches New Core X External Graphics Enclosure, Adds Mac Support to Razer Core Lineup

Razer today announced the launch of its latest external graphics enclosure, the Core X, and alongside the debut of the new accessory, the company is also adding Mac support to its enclosure lineup.

Both the new Core X and the existing Core V2 and Core V1 external graphics enclosures are now compatible with all Macs that offer support for Thunderbolt 3, including the MacBook Pro, iMac, and iMac Pro.


The Razer Core X, which also works with Windows machines, has been designed based on customer feedback Razer received after releasing the Core V2. Users wanted a wider external graphics enclosure able to fit larger 3 slot PCIe graphics cards, which the Core X delivers along with better cooling capabilities.


Razer designed the Core X to be future proof with the aforementioned larger enclosure and a 650W power supply that offers enough power to support all graphics cards on the market today and those coming in the future. While this is larger than the Core V2, Razer still designed it with desktop use in mind, so it's relatively slim and compact.


For those unfamiliar with Razer's Core series, the enclosures are designed to add additional graphics power to a Mac or a PC for tasks like gaming and system intensive workflows. With an external graphics enclosure, a machine not normally capable of handling GPU-intensive tasks can be hooked up to a powerful GPU. You will, of course, need to purchase a GPU alongside the Razer Core accessories - these are just enclosures.


To use the Razer Core X with a Mac, the machine must be running macOS 10.13.4 or later, and the Razer Core X needs to be equipped with an AMD Radeon card. It is not compatible with NVIDIA cards when used with a Mac at this time.

Pairing the Core X to a Mac is as simple as plugging the accessory into the Thunderbolt port on a compatible machine, with no restarting or fussing with settings needed. 100W passthrough charging is supported, so even the 15-inch MacBook Pro can charge when plugged into the Core X.

Razer designed the Core X to be more affordable than the slimmer V2 enclosure, and it is priced at $299. It can be purchased directly from the Razer Store starting today. Razer is also continuing to sell the Core V2 for $499.

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CES 2018: Philips and Razer Team Up for Game-Activated Hue Lights

Philips and Razer today announced a new collaboration that allows Philips' Hue line of lights to integrate with Razer Chroma-enabled devices.

When using a device that features Razer Chroma, which includes everything from the Razer Blade line of laptops to Razer Chroma keyboards, gaming controllers, and mice, allowing your Philips Hue lights to react to whatever game you're playing.

You can choose to set each bulb to a preferred color or sync all of your lights with one touch using Razer's Synapse 3 hardware configuration software.

With Chroma Studio, you can also create different lighting effects across all Synapse-enabled devices that extend to Hue lights or use pre-configured effects like cascading waves or fire.

Razer says that its Razer Chroma devices and Hue lights are able to provide a fully immersive gaming experience, activating with game cues. When there's a flickering lamp, for example, the lights in the room will flicker, or when you score a kill, you'll be rewarded with a unique lighting scene.


Game developers can use Razer's Chroma SDK to built lighting effects that will impact Hue and Chroma devices, and many games have already adopted support, like Overwatch, Quake Champions, Factorio, Killing Floor 2, and more.


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Gaming Hardware Maker Razer Teases Smartphone Announcement Coming November 1

Razer this week has Tweeted a teaser image for what appears to be a handheld device, with speculation circling that the image hints at the company's announcement of its first smartphone. Razer said that the official debut of the product will happen on November 1, calling the device reveal its "biggest unveiling" yet (via 9to5Google).



The new teaser image emphasizes the word "Watch," and includes a collection of background screenshots of what appear to be clips from various video games. Razer is mostly known for its gaming laptops and PCs, but the company did launch a handheld product a few years back called the Razer Edge Pro that attempted to merge high-end PC gaming in the form of a portable tablet device.

Earlier this year Razer acquired smartphone company Nextbit, sparking the first rumors that the gaming hardware maker could be interested in building a dedicated smartphone for its users. A report by Bloomberg over the summer further cemented these rumors, stating that Razer was planning to develop a "mobile device tailored for its consumer base of hardcore gamers."

Razer invites those interested to visit its website and sign up for updates about the announcement ahead of the November 1 product unveiling.

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