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

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.

Tag: Razer

Top Rated Comments

Nunyabinez Avatar
26 months ago
You can physically put Nvidia cards in there, but you can't run Mojave properly.

I don't know what Apple's problem with Nvidia is, but it makes me have a problem with Apple.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
R3k Avatar
26 months ago
If you want to run cutting edge games, neither macOS or Windows will cut it and you need a console.
Waat? A decent Windows gaming pc will run rings around any console.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
26 months ago
Is an eGPU enclosure without a GPU still an eGPU? ;)
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kyjaotkb Avatar
26 months ago
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...
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
archer75 Avatar
26 months ago
Yay, a external GPU box so we can experience massive bottlenecks.

For the price of this $400 box, and the cost of a high end graphics card, you could just build a gaming PC with better performance..
[doublepost=1556065874][/doublepost]

Graphics card are pretty efficient and do not require that much power.
Not true. There are many that require over a 500w power supply. Enclosures are not only powering the GPU itself but also the board inside and the ports and what's connected to them. These enclosures also provide power to charge laptops. The powersupply in them is not dedicated entirely to the GPU.

And the only time you get a bottleneck is if you use a laptop with it without an external monitor. Then you'd take about a 30% performance hit. If you use an external monitor the performance hit is minor, if any at all.

And no, you aren't going to build a gaming PC with better performance for $400. The CPU in my mini is easily $300+ by itself. Then you'd still have to buy ram, motherboard, case, PSU, SSD or HDD, optical if needed, and of course that high end graphics card, etc. And it's still not a Mac which is what everyone here wants to use.
I have built many computers over the years. I have several here now. I prefer to use my Mac. It's not just about gaming but also media creation. My girls can take their MacBook air's and just plug it in and use an ultra wide screen monitor and game on it too. Or work on video edits. Everyone in the house can make use of it. It's really rather convenient.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
archer75 Avatar
26 months ago
How about "we have a huge lead in CUDA, especially with machine learning, but Apple won't buy our products, so let's drag our feet and kill their platform"?
Except that Nvidia isn't dragging their feet. They submitted Mojave drivers LONG ago. It's apple who's dragging their feet.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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