Razer upgraded its external GPU box with a bigger PSU and RGB lighting, costs $399

There seems to be an unwritten rule that everything related to the PC has to have RGB lighting these days, so it's no surprise that Razer updated its external graphics box with multi-colored "Chroma" LEDs. Razer also took the opportunity to install a beefier power supply unit.

The result is an eGPU enclosure that costs $100 more than its predecessor, the non-Chroma Core X. In addition to the fancy new lighting and a 700W power supply (up from 650W in the regular Core X), the new box adds some new connectivity options as well, namely a gigabit Ethernet port and four USB 3.1 Type-A ports. It connects to a PC via Thunderbolt 3.

These types of enclosures exist so that users can supercharge their ultrabook (or any type of laptop) with faster graphics. In this case, the Core X Chroma can fit up to a three-slot graphics card, with support for up to a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti or Radeon RX Vega VII on Windows 10 PCs. It also supports macOS systems running High Sierra 10.13.4 or later, though only with a small selection of AMD graphics cards (Radeon RX 470 to a Radeon RX Vega 64).

Some performance gets lost to overhead, compared to plugging a graphics card directly into a PC's PCI Express port. However, these boxes still can potentially provide a generous leap in performance over integrated graphics. Obviously this comes at the expensive of portability, though the pitch is that a productivity PC can be transformed into a powerful gaming system at home.

This sort of thing is not as attractive as before relatively thin and light gaming laptops emerged, particularly ones powered by Nvidia's Max-Q GPUs. But for those who prefer a more standard ultrabook for the road, eGPU boxes are way to add gaming muscle to an otherwise lethargic laptop. It's not cheap, though.

The Core X Chroma is available now for $399.99 (€429.99). That's the price for the box alone (with the PSU inside). You'll still need to bring your own graphics card. And for another $79.99, Razer will bundle in an extended Thunderbolt 3 active cable.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).