Razer's Notebook-Boosting Graphics Card Box Arrives In The US In April

Razer's Notebook-Boosting Graphics Card Box Arrives In April

Revealed a couple months back at CES 2016, Razer's Core is a plug and play way to add an external graphics card to the company's line of skinny notebooks. Now it has a $US499 ($669) price tag, an April release date and AMD's blessing. Similar to products like Alienware's Graphics Amplifier, the Core houses and powers desktop graphics card, allowing (currently) the Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook and the latest Razer Blade access to greater graphics capability as well as four USB 3.0 and a gigabit ethernet port.

Unlike offerings like Alienware's, which use a proprietary cable and require the attached laptop be rebooted in order to access the extra power, the Core uses a Thunderbolt 3 connection, allowing for a plug and play connection between system and box. Just plug the cable into the laptop, and you've got access to the graphics card.

Razer's Notebook-Boosting Graphics Card Box Arrives In April

Pictures of boxes are a bit more exciting when the boxes are open. It's a very cool piece of hardware, and AMD seems to agree, tossing in their hat so hard they knocked NVIDIA cards back to beta status.

"We believe powerful external GPUs are thrilling for gamers that have longed to connect serious gaming performance to an ultrathin notebook," said Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD via official announcement today. "With the advent of AMD XConnect technology, that dream is a simple and intuitive reality. Together, the Razer Core and AMD XConnect for Radeon graphics are the ultimate intersection of performance, simplicity and design."

Qualified AMD Radeon graphics cards (AMD XConnect supported with Blade Stealth):

  • AMD Radeon R9 Fury
  • AMD Radeon R9 Nano
  • AMD Radeon R9 300 Series
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X
  • AMD Radeon R9 290
  • AMD Radeon R9 280

Supported NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards (as part of beta program):

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750

It kind of feels to me like "beta program" should be in quotes here, and might not be there if there wasn't an AMD partnership happening here. Or maybe I'm just making the graphics card market battle more exciting in my head.

The coolest thing about the Core (aside from the two colour-changing lighted areas) is that with a non-proprietary connection, theoretically the box could wind up working on any notebook with a Thunderbolt 3 port. Just a thought.

The Razer Core is up for preorder in the US store today, with units shipping in April. The price is $US499 ($669) for the box alone or $US399 ($535) bundled with the Razer Blade Stealth ultrabook. Those who've already purchased the Stealth can score the discounted price as well. Unfortunately it hasn't hit the Australian store just yet, and Australian pricing has yet to be revealed.

Now I'm off to Photoshop the top image of this post into the chest of Decepticon Soundwave.


Comments

    So for the Stealth + Core + high end card it's $2500+...

      I recall once upon a time buying a $2500 laptop which had a good graphics card built into it - was a fantastic machine until it started having overheating problems due to the strain on the card. This would certainly fill an "office laptop by day, gaming laptop by night" niche - while opening the doors to upgrading the laptop/graphics card later on for a more reasonable price. I can definitely see this having a place in the market.

        I swear 90% of gaming laptops have god damn heating issues lol. Hence why I don't see the point in them

        I'm not saying there's no place in the market, I'm just blatantly pointing out the rough price for a total package that includes the Core, rather than an empty Core like the article has done.

    It's cool, but it's still $660 and then the price of the card. If you want to make that worth it you're talking bare minimum a 970, i.e. another $400.

    That's:

    $669 box
    $400 minimum GPU
    $2000 Razer Blade

    = $3069.

    At this kind of price point you could just buy a more powerful gaming laptop and deal with the compromises. Or you could buy an absolutely beastly Haswell-E + 980Ti desktop. Or a still very powerful Skylake + vanilla 980 desktop and a cheapo laptop for basic mobility, browsing, Word processing etc.

      Yes but there is a market this is aiming squarely at: people that buy a fully specced MacBook Pro. The highest end MacBook Pro 15" is exactly the price quoted and only comes with a 750 (or even a 740M) with no real upgrade path at all. I know plenty of people that would happily buy this combo or an equivalent one a year from now. Give it time and I see this being fantastic, in a year I bet the price will be closer to $400 Australian and there'll be an option to bundle it with a 970 equivalent for $750 with a new laptop.

    Would be way cooler if it had some drive mounts that accessible also via the thunderbolt connections. That can store games / programs, run backups and media library/NAS functionality.

    Taking a gaming laptop to work would be a bit more acceptable at work... if it didnt have the games on it :P

    "The price is $US499 ($669) for the box alone or $US399 ($535) bundled with the Razer Blade Stealth ultrabook."

    Wow, ok...

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