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

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Apr 12, 2001
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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.


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.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Razer. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Article Link: Hands-On With Razer's New Core X Chroma eGPU
 
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keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,471
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Incompatible with thunderbolt 3 display is a problem. Using all these eGPU except BlackMagic prevent you from using the LG UltraFine 5K.
That’s not a negative! Read the article. People don’t use external GPUs with monitors. They just plug them in so they can customise the colour scheme.

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.
/s if you didn’t get it
 

Tucom

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2006
1,175
247
Is an eGPU enclosure without a GPU still an eGPU? ;)
Is this supposed to sound clever? The answer is yes: It's an "enclosure" - like you literally just said.

EDIT: Ah, never mind, I see where this is coming from. Yeah title may be misleading for those living under a rock, my mistake.
 

kyjaotkb

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2009
626
232
London, UK
You need to change your title, dear Macrumors. That’s an enclosure, not an eGPU. ‘Dongle’ would even be appropriate, I would say.

Oh and the fact that it doesn’t work with the market’s most popular gaming cards on the latest versions of macOS, or that it won’t work with a 5K display make it not much more than a a very very niche one...
 

Tucom

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2006
1,175
247
You need to change your title, dear Macrumors. That’s an enclosure, not an eGPU. ‘Dongle’ would even be appropriate, I would say.

Oh and the fact that it doesn’t work with the market’s most popular gaming cards on the latest versions of macOS, or that it won’t work with a 5K display make it not much more than a a very very niche one...
Typical semitism. Be happy we have options, and it works JUST fine with any AMD GPU. Get over yourself.
 
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CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
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Oh and the fact that it doesn’t work with the market’s most popular gaming cards on the latest versions of macOS, or that it won’t work with a 5K display make it not much more than a a very very niche one...
The most popular games don't run on macOS, so... :p

(And I am not saying that to be an arse - I finally just decided to buy a dedicated nVidia Windows Gaming PC and have it share the monitor I use as a secondary with my 2017 iMac 5K. That way I have "the best of both worlds" for my productivity and my gaming.)
 
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archer75

macrumors 68030
Jan 26, 2005
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Oh and the fact that it doesn’t work with the market’s most popular gaming cards on the latest versions of macOS, or that it won’t work with a 5K display make it not much more than a a very very niche one...
It does technically work with NVidia cards. In windows. Though wouldn't AMD cards be the most popular seeing as all the consoles use their GPUs?
And it would work in MacOS as well if apple would sign the drivers NVidia submitted long ago. That's on apple. And it won't work with ONE display on the market? I call it a non issue as it works with all the rest.
 
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Plutonius

macrumors 604
Feb 22, 2003
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New Hampshire, USA
The most popular games don't run on macOS, so... :p
I guess it's which games people consider popular ?

To me, all my favorite games run on both MacOS and Windows with only a small handful requiring bootcamp.

If you want to run cutting edge games, neither macOS or Windows will cut it and you need a console.
 
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Pezboy

macrumors member
Nov 23, 2015
58
112
These eGPU’s are confusing to me. Sure having a laptop that you can game on would be cool, and sure a laptop that you can do more heavy editing on would be cool as well. But at what point should we just get a desktop? eGPU IS $400 (if I understand correctly that is not including the actual GPU...) another $300-400 for a great GPU a decent screen that is another $500. That almost $1,500. Seems crazy to me. Maybe I’m missing something?
 

archer75

macrumors 68030
Jan 26, 2005
2,700
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Oregon
These eGPU’s are confusing to me. Sure having a laptop that you can game on would be cool, and sure a laptop that you can do more heavy editing on would be cool as well. But at what point should we just get a desktop? eGPU IS $400 (if I understand correctly that is not including the actual GPU...) another $300-400 for a great GPU a decent screen that is another $500. That almost $1,500. Seems crazy to me. Maybe I’m missing something?
Great for a mac mini which I have. Or a laptop that doesn't have a great GPU. And then you can use a large monitor with the laptop. Though you can use a egpu with a laptop and still use the laptop screen.
Sure, I have PC's. I've built many over the years. But I prefer my mac so an egpu would be great for me. I also have several monitors.
 
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MAcNIAC

macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2006
226
40
Australia
can you guys advise,

What is the best GPU that can be put in this that runs in mojave?
What is the best GPU that can be put in this that runs via boot camp?

Thanks
 

Eric5h5

macrumors 68020
Dec 9, 2004
2,406
357
If you want to run cutting edge games, neither macOS or Windows will cut it and you need a console.
Er, no, consoles are not at all "cutting edge". Console hardware is a few years behind PC hardware. There's a brief window immediately after the release of a new generation where they're sort of competitive, but even then they're hampered by the fact that they need to be cheap, and you don't get cutting edge hardware by being cheap. Especially these days when consoles use mostly off-the-shelf components and are no longer highly customized like they used to be. They're basically locked-down, low-end PCs.

--Eric