Razer Core gets an official price tag and release date

Razer officially gave its Core external graphics enclosure a $500 price tag this evening. The dock will cost $100 less when it's purchased with a Razer Blade Stealth or 2016 Razer Blade notebook. The Core is available for pre-order now, and it'll begin shipping April 15. The dock connects to compatible devices using a Thunderbolt 3 port.

Blade owners who want to pair their notebooks with a Core will need to bring their own graphics cards to the table. Those cards can't be any longer than 12.2" (310 mm) or consume more than 375W. The Core also adds four USB 3.0 ports and a Gigabit Ethernet jack to the connected PC. Intel's just-announced Skull Canyon NUC can hook up to the Core, as well.

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    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Wait, the question at the back of my mind is, how exactly do you use this? So after you plug this in, you plug a display at the back of the card? So you would need an external monitor? Wouldn’t that be kinda awkward, using your laptop’s keyboard for input (with the lid open of course) while staring at an external display? Or is there a way to route the display output of your external card back to your laptop’s display?

    • moose17145
    • 4 years ago

    I like the idea of this and would actually be interested… but I am not 500 dollars interested…

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Are people really that desperate to add a proper graphics card to a laptop? Coz if I want real graphics firepower I’ll build a real desktop with a kickass graphics card in it. $500 gets you a GTX 980.

      • cygnus1
      • 4 years ago

      I’m not $500 desperate, no. But, we’ve gotten to a point where the CPU’s going into ultrabooks are powerful enough to game, but if you put a good enough GPU in the system you end up killing battery and have to bulk it up for cooling. I don’t really need mobile gaming so I don’t need a dGPU in a laptop but I do like to game when I’m at home. This is definitely paying a premium for the convenience of not having to have a separate PC for gaming at home.

      One aspect I’m going to be curious about is the actual logistics of using this for gaming and specifically the storage for games in this exGPU scenario. Can’t fit too many games plus all your normal stuff in the 128GB and 256GB SSDs that are most common on these laptops. So, you’re likely going to install most or all of your games to a USB hard drive. I’m sure some people won’t care, but for performance reasons you probably don’t want the storage device for the games eating up any of the 4 PCIe lanes on the Thunderbolt port the exGPU is using. I think the performance minded users are going to end up actually plugging in two devices instead of just the dock. They’re going to need a fairly high speed USB drive in addition to the dock and it’s going to need to be on a completely separate USB port/root to ensure it doesn’t compete for bandwidth with the exGPU.

      • 223 Fan
      • 4 years ago

      My use case is never having to buy an ATX or micro ATX case ever again. Something along the form factor of a Mac Mini / NUC plus an external GPU enclosure would be my ideal. Your mileage will vary.

      At $500 for the enclosure they should have named it the Krogoth.

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        At $500 it’s too expensive.

          • torquer
          • 4 years ago

          For you. For others it may be a bargain if it solves a problem for them.

          Thankfully we live in a free market society where products like this will succeed or fail based on their merits and ability to solve a real problem for enough people.

          If you have a decently fast laptop (say a MacBook Pro with Boot Camp) and just want to add graphics to it, this would be a great solution. Think of the people out there who don’t have the space for a desktop, don’t want one, or don’t want to fork out $1500 for a decent gaming rig when they already have a laptop that provides everything they need save for a graphics card. Keep in mind also that while GPUs may become obsolete, this won’t and can continue to be reused to long as Thunderbolt still exists and graphics cards keep using PCI-E connectors.

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            There may be some folks who’d want this, but I wonder how much this thing really costs to make. I imagine the profit margin is big enough to compensate for low expected sales volume. Still, it hurts knowing you’re paying not for the value of the product itself but to cover low sales volume.

            • torquer
            • 4 years ago

            You’re also paying for R&D costs, marketing, etc.

            If the volume is high enough other competitors will make competing products. That being said, I doubt you’ll see it get much cheaper. At a glance, it appears to have all the benefits of a thunderbolt dock with a very nice GPU enclosure. I can’t imagine they’ll ever be cheaper than $200 and that would be a stretch.

            That being said, I’m not a buyer since I don’t have a use for it but I’ll be very interested to read the eventual reviews.

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            R&D costs probably aren’t that high. It’s basically just an enclosure with Thunderbolt. Tooling costs… Probably not that high either. Certainly not high enough to justify the $500 asking price. I bet it’s more due to Razer being a boutique brand and pricing high because Razer knows people who would want it don’t have any other choice. They can probably sell it for $150 and still eke out a profit.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 4 years ago

      Wonderful notion, problem being that its not better for many people to have separate dedicated machines. A gaming rig is typically going to run over a grand in my experience, maybe 800 if your recycling some stuff. This expense will simplify usage for many.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Well, $500 for an enclosure. Can’t be that bad especially next to that ugly thing MSI is charging $4000 for.

    • Zizy
    • 4 years ago

    Hum, so the choice is whether you want to buy a whole mini PC with i5 + say R9 380/960 for 700-ish, or get this with the same GPU for the same price.
    Desktop has clear (dis)advantage of being a standalone machine.

    • torquer
    • 4 years ago

    Its refreshing that the tech community of commenters is finally able to see beyond their own noses and realize that there are use cases and justification for products beyond their own individual and specific needs.

    /sarcasm.

      • slowriot
      • 4 years ago

      Dude, people here keep suggesting second PCs as an alternative to a device made primarily so you only need one PC, a laptop. It’s maddening.

        • torquer
        • 4 years ago

        Its indicative of a serious and longstanding problem with the tech community.

        People seem to think that whatever makes sense for them and works for them is the only solution anyone should ever consider.

        I personally like Nvidia and Intel. I have both Macs and PCs. Every piece of tech I have serves a very specific purpose and use case, but I also realize those are MY specific use cases and they don’t work for everyone. Not everyone can afford to have a PC that literally exists only for gaming and nothing else, therefore I don’t dump on someone who is trying to build a multipurpose computer within a certain budget.

        What the tech community should do is embrace great technologies for their merit. Let the consumer and the wider market decide what products succeed or fail. I may never use this particular product but I still see its validity and use cases for it.

        • [+Duracell-]
        • 4 years ago

        I agree! I actually got rid of my gaming desktop setup in anticipation of a Blade Stealth + Core setup after the CES announcement. I’ve been pondering getting a laptop for a long time as a tablet wasn’t cutting it for my portability needs, but I didn’t want to maintain two primary PCs.

      • southrncomfortjm
      • 4 years ago

      I totally accept that this is a good product for someone, I just don’t know who that someone is. We can identify who is in that niche (ultrabook owners, etc), but no one has come out and said “This is exactly what I need and this is a fair price.” I want to talk to that person.

    • vargis14
    • 4 years ago

    I have to agree at 500 bucks plus a graphics card your getting into the stand alone whole desktop region. Also with 14-16nm GPUs coming out up and coming Laptops with the 14-16nm Gpus will be plenty without the need for a huge graphics card dock that seems awfully big to carry around. Plus if ya do carry it around, God forbid if you drop it. The weight of the Gpu will probably snap the board in it.

    We needed this 3-5 years ago not now. iMHO

    • Deanjo
    • 4 years ago

    /me rolls eyes at “expensive” comments as he remembers people taking out multi year loans to get personal computers as the cost of them used to amount to 1/4 – 1/3 of their yearly wages

      • derFunkenstein
      • 4 years ago

      well you can keep on living in the 80s

        • Deanjo
        • 4 years ago

        Lol, for someone that owns a Mac Pro you really shouldn’t be griping about price. And BTW, people taking out loans lasted well into the new millennium.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 4 years ago

          The Mac Pro pays for itself in productivity. This is a toy, albeit a very expensive one. :p

            • Deanjo
            • 4 years ago

            It could also be used for productivity as well. Nothing preventing you from slapping in a Quadro for example.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 4 years ago

            Well, the lack of need for GPU compute stops me. 😆

            • Deanjo
            • 4 years ago

            It’s not just GPU compute, if you are running pro apps such as CAD, Photoshop, etc you will be able to take advantage of the advanced features that the workstation class cards offer on such software which would not be available on the built in consumer class gpu on the notebook.

            • anotherengineer
            • 4 years ago

            You can use a quadro or firegl for CAD and other productivity stuff also 😉

            • Deanjo
            • 4 years ago

            BTW, what specific feature on the Mac Pro makes it more suitable to your productivity (say over an iMac)?

            ECC?
            Xeon specific features?
            Advanced rendering features of workstation class graphics?

            What is your use case that justified those extra features?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 4 years ago

            I didn’t pick it out, but I think the driving factor was memory capacity. In August of last year I got picked out of a pool of applicants to work on something new and fun (which I don’t want to talk about since my real name is associated with the site and I don’t want to be viewed as a spokesperson for my employer). In September I got an email from my boss saying “hey we bought this for you”.

            A 27″ iMac would have been fine, since it has the required memory capacity. He wanted to make sure I had enough memory for the handful of VMs I use, though, so I have a base 4-core Mac Pro with 32GB of memory and 512GB of SSD.

            All told, I’m kind of glad it was the Mac Pro and not a 27″ iMac, since I can use my existing display and a KVM to switch between the Mac and my PC.

            • anotherengineer
            • 4 years ago

            A new ski-doo that is 10k is a very expensive toy 😉

            This is enough money, but I have seen a few PC cases with no PSU that are that much money.

            [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&N=100007583%20600006304%20600545969[/url<]

    • southrncomfortjm
    • 4 years ago

    I really want to meet the people that look at this and say “Yep, that’s *exactly* what I need and that’s a reasonable price.” Who are they? What are they like? These questions must be answered.

    This is obviously a massively expensive and niche luxury item for the enthusiast that I’ve yet to meet.

    My real issue with this is that it’s really built for laptops, which just don’t cut it for high end gaming for me anymore. I’m normally playing Smite and other games on my desktop connected to a Predator X34 (an item that is massively expensive and a niche luxury item). I get a large, high resolution picture and extra peripheral vision due to it being an ultrawide monitor. Since I’m on the road at the moment, I’m playing games on my 15.6in Dell Inspiron. A perfectly capable gaming machine, but I can’t help but miss my X34. I almost feel hampered in my Smite matches due to the smaller screen.

    Anyways, point is, I feel like I’m better off spending my money on a really great desktop system to maximize my gaming experience in the place I am more likely to play, rather than try to make an okay gaming experience better for the small amount of time I’ll be playing using it. And I’m saying that as someone that can readily afford this thing and the GPU that goes in it.

      • Buzzard44
      • 4 years ago

      Seems like the target consumer fits the following specifications:
      1- Doesn’t want to have a desktop
      2- Does need a very high end GPU
      3- Doesn’t need much mobility when they need the GPU
      4- Has a sizable budget

      Um, maybe someone who travels a lot and games, but only games when they’re not traveling, is fairly well off, and is opposed to maintaining multiple computers? Seems like an awfully contrived use case, but I honestly can’t think of a simpler or more common one…

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 4 years ago

    This is so key! Gosh laptops have been needing this forever! No joke this is a game changer for mobile power users. Its also a bit of a blow to tower users… but it was inevitable that towers would fade to being only for high end.

    Only way this would be any better is if it somehow worked with Mac books… ever since apple stopped putting dedicated graphics in anything under 2 grand their offerings have become drastically under-powered for the target user market.

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 4 years ago

    For $500 you can build a pretty nice gaming machine, sans GPU – Skylake Core i5, 16 GB RAM, 480 GB SSD, and so forth. Would make a lot more sense than this thing. Is Intel charging out the nose for thunderbolt licensing or something?

      • Kurotetsu
      • 4 years ago

      >> Gaming machine
      >> No GPU

      That’s…not really a gaming machine.

        • Kretschmer
        • 4 years ago

        That’s the point.

        Why pay $500 to add a desktop GPU to your laptop when you can just build a complete desktop? (I know that there are use cases that favor the former; just restating DC’s question.)

          • slowriot
          • 4 years ago

          Because that’s a second PC. Do you people not understand the entire damn point of this device is to eliminate the need for having more than one PC? If you don’t care about that, cool. I get it. But the constant suggestion of things which are entirely counter to the damn point of the device is crazy. It’s a shit argument that the Core is too expensive, because another PC is the exact opposite of what perspective Core buyer wants.

        • albundy
        • 4 years ago

        Neither is this Razr product. You’re just buying a $1 shell with a $499 pcie/TB adapter.

        >>fully spec’ed machine with no gpu except for the APU
        vs
        >> an empty Razor box with a pci-e/TB adapter

        In the end, this is just a niche product that has potential to span into other brands at lower prices. it’s definitely not bad, but hardly worth considering at this pricepoint.

    • Flapdrol
    • 4 years ago

    You can build a decent desktop without gpu for this kind of money.

    Makes it kind of pointless.

      • Kurotetsu
      • 4 years ago

      A desktop without a gpu is kind of pointless for people who need a gpu but not a desktop.

        • southrncomfortjm
        • 4 years ago

        He’s saying that for $500, you can build a desktop without gpu, so you may as well since you need to buy a GPU either way since the Core doesn’t come with one. Basically, the price of a desktop with gpu and a Core with gpu are about the same.

    • JalaleenRumi
    • 4 years ago

    If only it came with a Graphics Card inside……

    Hmmm….

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 4 years ago

    I’ll be looking forward to the day when I can mount external GPUs with business laptops that are light and have long battery life. There are a few business laptops that even come with quad-core CPUs.

    Not much point in pairing external GPUs with gaming laptops that are either heavy or have poor battery life (both hamper the laptop’s mobility). Especially if they already have a mid-range mobile GPU, unless if you really want to try to run a very unsymmetrical dual-GPU setup over a x4 PCI-E link (or triple-GPU setup if the laptop already has dual mobile GPUs).

      • Kretschmer
      • 4 years ago

      I agree. Especially as most firm’s think “gaming” means “garish”.

    • brucethemoose
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<] $500 [/quote<] O_O I don't know what I was expecting, but the price of, say, a whole PS4 + HDTV wasn't it.

      • kalelovil
      • 4 years ago

      Early adopter premium + excessive 500W power supply .

        • Firestarter
        • 4 years ago

        a 500W power supply isn’t that expensive

          • brucethemoose
          • 4 years ago

          The early adopter premium, on the other hand…

            • tipoo
            • 4 years ago

            A large part of this is actually the port replicator, dedicated versions of the same thing are only a hundred and change off from the full price of this thing. So I could imagine TB3 boxes could get down to maybe 250 optimistically without it.

    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    “The dock connects to compatible devices using a Thunderbolt 3 port.”

    I wonder what a “compatible” device is?

    and

    I wonder how much a laptop costs that actually has a Thunderbolt 3 port?

    edit 500 X 1.31 to cnd = 655, but price is $700 cnd, then 13% tax = 791 for an enclosure. I can see CND sales now………………………..about zero.
    [url<]http://www.razerzone.com/ca-en/store/razer-core[/url<]

      • cygnus1
      • 4 years ago

      Well, so far, the Intel NUC and 2 Razer laptops mentioned above. I’m fairly sure that’s going to mean that pretty much anything with an Alpine ridge controller and appropriate firmware will work with it. And I think that bodes well for other manufacturers to release similar socks that are hopefully less expensive.

        • nico1982
        • 4 years ago

        The Acer external Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 dock with a GTX960M and a price tag of 350 euro (incl. taxes). The GPU is included. It is not the same thing, obviously, but that Razer price is a joke.

          • cygnus1
          • 4 years ago

          Yeah, it’s definitely price inflation for being first to market with their exact feature set

    • Voldenuit
    • 4 years ago

    NEWP. NEEEEWP.

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