Is the $300 Razer Core X the Best eGPU for Mac?

More and more video editors using the latest Apple laptops for video editing, seem to be tempted by the extra processing power provided by external graphics processing units. While the development of eGPUs has been around for quite some time, many folks still find it difficult to get their hand on an affordable and reliable eGPU enclosure.

Luckily, Razer had recently announced the Core X eGPU that’s available for a relatively cost-effective price point of $300, normally associated with lower-end eGPUs. However, the Razer Core X is anything but a low-end eGPU. Next video produced by Jeff Benjamin of 9to5Mac highlights some of the main features of the Razer Core X which turns out to be one of the best Thunderbolt 3 external graphics solutions you can currently get.

Specs-wise, the Razer Core X sports a 650W ATX power supply that provides 500W GPU power support and can also charge USB-C laptops with up to 100W power delivery. The unit supports the latest Thunderbolt 3 interface and is also Mac and Windows compatible.

The enclosure comes insides of a large, discretely branded box that packs the eGPU itself, an instruction manual, power cable, and a Thunderbolt 3 cable. While the box includes everything you need to get started right off the bat, you may want to consider buying a longer Thunderbolt 3 cable since the one included seems to be rather short.

To use your graphics card with the Razer Core X, all you need to do is lift the handle on the back of the eGPU, which also acts as a quick-release mechanism. This extremely convenient and well-thought-out solution allows you to quickly gain access to the inside of the Razer Core X without needing to rely on tools or screws. Next, you’ll have to simply slide out the eGPU from the enclosure and take out the handy styrofoam GPU guide which can indicate whether or not your graphics card will fit in.

Finally, you’ll need to place your graphics card into the PCIe slot and score the card in. Inside of the enclosure, there is more than enough space for your graphics card and power cables, so you’re most likely not going to have to worry about this aspect of the assembling process whatsoever.

The graphics card that Jeff Benjamin opted for is the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 since it’s currently one of the most powerful GPUs that is officially supported by Apple. But, if you’re planning on using a different model or brand, ensure that your selection is compatible with the combo before you make the purchase.

To test out the eGPU and graphics card, Jeff tethered the eGPU to a 2017 MacBook Pro 13” with no touch bar which only has Intel’s integrated graphics processor. The setup was then outputting signal to a 4K monitor via the Razer Core. For testing, Unigine Heaven, Cinebench, and Valley were used as benchmarks. The tests clearly showed that the use of the RX Vega 64 completely outperformed the much slower integrated Intel Iris Plus 650 Graphics.

This smooth performance of the suggested setup can easily translate to increased timeline performance in NLEs like Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve where many effects can take advantage of GPU-acceleration features.

Razer Core X Specifications

  • Thunderbolt 3 eGPU
  • Compatible with PCI-Express graphics cards
  • Up to 3-Slot wide, full-length, PCI-Express x16 graphics card
  • Plug and play
  • 650W ATX power supply
  • 500W GPU power support
  • Charges USB-C laptops with up to 100W Power Delivery
  • Mac and Windows compatible
  • Tool-less design with quick release lever
  • Includes power cable and Thunderbolt 3 cable
  • Price: $299.99

So, if you’re a video editor who is currently using a lower-end Mac laptop, investing in an eGPU like the Razer Core X has the potential to drastically increase your editing performance.

This is especially true when it comes to working with GPU-accelerated effects and program tasks, not to mention the fact that for the price of just $299, the Core X provides all the processing power you’ll ever need to supercharge your video editing workflow in the studio or on the go. To learn more about the latest Razer offering, make sure to check out Jeff Benjamin’s in-depth review of the product on the 9to5mac blog.


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