Razer's latest external GPU adds all the features that didn't make the cut for last year's Core X, like Chroma lighting support and an Ethernet jack.
Lori GruninSenior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
ExpertisePhotography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
Core X Chroma brings back the features which the company dropped from its sleeker Core V2 external GPU when it launched the "affordable" Core X line about a year ago: The USB hub, Ethernet connection and support for two-zone Chroma lighting (one zone on the side, one in the front.)
It's priced like the V2 at $399, sans graphics card (last year's Core X is $299) and is available now in the US. It will subsequently ship in other regions, including the UK and Australia. We don't have those prices, but the US price converts directly to about £305 and AU$560.
The Core X Chroma is beefier than it siblings, supporting up to three slot-wide cards, with a power supply to match: 700 watts, compared to the Core X's 650 watts. It includes four USB-A ports, gigabit Ethernet and a single USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 connection to your laptop. Like the Core X, the Core X Chroma uses a clever pull-out tray to make swapping cards easier.
Razer says the box actually has two Thunderbolt controllers to maintain the stability of the single connection since it's handling both data and video signals. You can also charge most laptops -- up to 100 watts -- through it.
An eGPU is the only way to bring a MacBook Pro up to workstation-class specs or to turn a potato Windows laptop, albeit one new enough to have a USB-C/Thunderbolt connection, into a ray-tracing wunderkind. (Well, it takes a lot more than a new GPU to do that, but you get the point.)
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