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Razer releases entry-level eGPU $299 eGPU enclosure with macOS support


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#1 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 10:09 AM

Razer has announced the Core X, a new entry-level eGPU enclosure which is compatible with Macs with a Thunderbolt 3 port. It is available for purchase from their website.

Quote

Give your thin and light laptop the power of a full gaming rig. Whether you’re hunting down enemies in an apocalypse or designing your own 3D world, the Razer Core X delivers desktop-class graphics to your laptop instantly. Compatible with Thunderbolt 3 Windows 10 or Mac laptops …

Quick specs of the enclosure:
  • $299 USD price tag
  • 650 Watt power supply (large enough to power even the most power hungry cards such as a AMD Vega 64 or Nvidia Titan Xp)
  • Official support for both macOS and Windows 10
Review of the enclosure by eGPU.io

What makes this enclosure interesting is that I believe this is the first enclosure to natively support both macOS and Windows 10.
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#2 Spike

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 11:24 AM

Nice.

I wish reviewers would give idle and in use noise ratings as in decibels (dB) thats comparable. Quietness is a major feature for me.

#3 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 01:38 PM

I wonder when Nvidia is going to come out of the closet with some proper macOS support again.
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#4 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 01:48 PM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 22 May 2018 - 01:38 PM, said:

I wonder when Nvidia is going to come out of the closet with some proper macOS support again.

in the eGPU.io review they mention a script that they run in order to use Nvidia GPUs. They tested with a 1070 and it gave good performance.
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#5 devSin

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 02:04 PM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 22 May 2018 - 01:38 PM, said:

I wonder when Nvidia is going to come out of the closet with some proper macOS support again.
I mean, they're sort of stuck in a gray area.

For not actually having any business with Apple, they seem to be pretty decent. You can drop any reference Pascal card into a Mac Pro and have it basically just work.

I do wish Apple would just get over it and start using Nvidia chips again. I get it, they're a terrible partner, but for the sake of choice and variety on the platform (as well as just having a better product overall), I don't think the current stance of "never Nvidia" is really helpful.

#6 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 05:47 PM

If you are planning on going with RX 580 / 1060 or below then you don't really lose anything by being stuck on AMD. The 580 and 1060 are pretty much identical. Going much higher then that probably isn't very worth it on an eGPU due to the limited bandwidth, but I'm just speculating.
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#7 macdude22

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 07:19 PM

I don't get what everybody's circle jerk around nvidia is. GeForce Experience sucks. Force people to sign in to get drivers? lolwut. Their proprietary popsnizzle sucks. PhysX doesn't add anything to games. Best thing apple did was toss those honkeys off the free money apple tit.

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#8 Tetsuya

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 04:37 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 22 May 2018 - 07:19 PM, said:

I don't get what everybody's circle jerk around nvidia is. GeForce Experience sucks.

So dont use it.  You dont even have to install it.  Just unclick the little radio box next to "GeForce Experience".  Ive never installed it after i realized it was just a badly made optimization tool that i didn't need.  

Quote

Force people to sign in to get drivers? lolwut.

Wut?  I've never done any such thing.  Ever.  I have no nVidia account or anything like it.  And yet, i still have up-to-date drivers (just got new ones today, even).  

Quote

Their proprietary popsnizzle sucks.

G-sync is superior to Freesync in every conceivable way.  

Quote

PhysX doesn't add anything to games.

So dont use it.

Quote

Best thing apple did was toss those honkeys off the free money apple tit.

Posted Image

Yeah, boat-anchoring themselves to a company that cannot remotely compete at the high end, cant build a decent laptop capable card, and whose GPUs suck down power like a thirsty linebacker was a pro move.  (Some irony here, though, as the Skull Canyon NUC hybrid Intel i7/Vega 11 chips are seriously good...)

Or they could be shipping MBPs that have full-fat desktop GPUs in them for power users, and MaxQ enabled laptops for people who need battery-sipping efficiency.  

AMD is struggling to even stay relevant.  The -only- thing keeping them affloat in the GPU market right now is that they got Sony and Microsoft to pony up a huge pile of cash to have their consoles run on a cut-down RX-580 (for the PS4 Pro) and a full-fat 580 (For the Xbone X), and had them running on a cut-down RX460 for the vanilla models.  

Trust me, i rather wish AMD had anything remotely compelling to offer in the GPU market.  I'm not a fanboy.  I will alway buy the best bang for the buck, and that hasn't been AMD in about 6+ years, and isn't going to be AMD for the forseeable future.  Id like them to be more relevant just to create pressure on the market and lower prices if nothing else. (Unlike the CPU market, where Ryzen is making great inroads against Intel.  If they can break the 4-ish Ghz barrier with Zen 2, Intel is in real trouble).

View PostSneaky Snake, on 22 May 2018 - 05:47 PM, said:

If you are planning on going with RX 580 / 1060 or below then you don't really lose anything by being stuck on AMD. The 580 and 1060 are pretty much identical. Going much higher then that probably isn't very worth it on an eGPU due to the limited bandwidth, but I'm just speculating.

I'd have to look, but i know JayzTwoCents and LTT have both done videos with eGPUs all the way up to a 1080Ti.  It doesn't appear that there's a particular card that is not worth using - there's just a flat performance loss on anything much past a 1050Ti/RX 460.  So a 1080Ti will still outperform a 1080, etc.  It also depends on if you're using it attached to an external monitor or piping it back into the external display.  There's a MUCH bigger loss when piping back to the internal display (because it loses one of the channels so it can transmit both directions, cutting bandwidth in half, roughly).  

They weren't recent videos.. probably six-ish months old or more.

#9 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 05:34 PM

View PostTetsuya, on 24 May 2018 - 04:37 PM, said:

G-sync is superior to Freesync in every conceivable way.  

This was true back in 2014, but since then Freesync has gotten a lot better. Freesync just utilizes the VESA standard adaptive sync so manufacturers are free to release trash products or amazing products. If you compare Freesync vs Gsync with monitors that use the same panel from the same manufacturer then you'll find the difference is minimal, until you get to price - which is where Freesync is vastly superior.

Example: Asus MG279Q vs PG279Q. The MG is the Freesync monitor and the PQ is the Gsync monitor. Both use the same panel so color accuracy is identical. The only advantage that the Gsync one has is a slightly wider adaptive sync range (30-165). The Freesync version has a range of 35-90 out of the box but it can be changed to 35-110 or 57-144 using CRU. The MG279Q is currently $208 cheaper than the PG279Q on newegg.com ($511 vs $719). Whether or not that expanded range is worth $200 will come down to user preference, but I suspect for many people it will not be worth it.

You can do the exact same comparison for many other monitors. The Acer Predator XB271HK is a 27" 4K 60Hz Gsync monitor. The Acer H7 H277HK is the Freesync version with the same specs. The Freesync version is $407 vs $671 for the Gsync version - a savings of $264.

Nvidia does have a much more strict approval process for Gsync monitors, which I suppose is a positive if people just want to get a good gaming monitor without googling it first. However, if people are willing to put a little bit of effort into their purchase, they can get a Freesync monitor that is essentially identical to the Gsync one, for significantly less money.

To further add to that, Nvidia's Gsync displays on laptops are using the exact same technology that AMD Freesync uses. If the same tech that powers AMD Freesync is good enough for Nvidia to throw its Gsync badge on, then I think that proves the point that the two technologies are close enough in parity.

The relevant snippet from the linked article:

Quote

Interestingly, G-Sync for laptops makes use of the embedded DisplayPort (eDP) standard, a standardized interface for hooking up display panels directly to internal graphics cards. On the desktop, G-Sync can only be used with compatible monitors that contain Nvidia's G-Sync module.

According to Nvidia, the reason desktop displays need a G-Sync module is that it provides a much more controllable end-to-end solution for consistent performance. However, for G-Sync laptops, there's no module. Instead, the display is directly controlled by the GPU, which pulls double duty as both scaler and graphics card. G-Sync exploits this connection and the variable timing and panel self-refresh functionality built into eDP, effectively implementing G-Sync in software.

The more technically minded out there will note that this is very similar to how AMD's FreeSync works on the desktop, the tech being based DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync, which was in turn based on eDP.


All of that being said, I will grant that Gsync is the best solution from a technical perspective. I merely just don't think it is that much better then Freesync to warrant the significantly higher price tag. Gsync exists for the ultra high end gamer who wants the best possible experience on his $1000 GPU. Freesync can give you a similar experience that is nearly on par, but that isn't Freesync biggest strength. The biggest strength of Freesync is in the midrange. Someone with a budget gaming computer can buy an RX 580 GPU and then get a cheap 1080p 75Hz Freesync display. They will gain 25% more refresh rate compared to the standard 60Hz, but they will also gain the smooth feeling of adaptive refresh rate (cheap Freesync displays typically have around a 45-75Hz range). The gamer with the RX 580 + budget 75Hz Freesync display isn't paying any more than someone with a 1060 + budget 1080p display but the Freesync setup gains a lot of smoothness compared to the 1060 setup.
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#10 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 01:25 AM

Does it make sense to use a FreeSync monitor with a GeForce card? I've seen contradictory advice.

I wish gaming monitors had more connectivity: most have only a single DP and HDMI port, and rarely USB. My needs are: 1440p, VA or IPS panel, matte, at least two DP (or mDP), a few (2 to 4) USB 3 ports; a nice bonus would be portrait mode, but I seldom use it on my current display (because of all the cables, rotating it is a mess) so not imperative . AFAIK none exist with these requirements in Gsync, and I found a couple with FreeSync: AOC AGON AG322QCX (31" curved) and Asus MG279Q (27"). The former looks nice, but is huge and won't fit on my desk! I currently have a Dell U2713HM, which lacks Free/Gsync and whose bleeding in the dark is annoying, as well as lack of contrast (black isn't really black but rather heavy grey). I think VA panels (I had one before) are superior to IPS in this respect.

#11 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 02:18 AM

Wasn't this thread about an eGPU enclosure?

Anyway, I don't get the appeal of these for gaming on a Mac. For all the expense, you cannot even achieve maximal performance.

Why not spend the money on either a gaming laptop or desktop just for PC gaming instead? You get your Windows install included, whatever GPU you want and it really isn't that much more money is it?

This strikes me as a cool thing to do from a geek point of view just because you can rather than being all that practical or economical at this point.
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#12 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 04:41 AM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 25 May 2018 - 02:18 AM, said:

Wasn't this thread about an eGPU enclosure?
The mere presence of tBC as an admin on these boards, causes automatic derailment. It just goes slower when he isn't posting in the thread.

Quote

Anyway, I don't get the appeal of these for gaming on a Mac. For all the expense, you cannot even achieve maximal performance.

Why not spend the money on either a gaming laptop or desktop just for PC gaming instead? You get your Windows install included, whatever GPU you want and it really isn't that much more money is it?
But if money isn't an issue, but Windows is, what then? In many cases performance will be adequate on a Mac, and we don't have time to play all the AAAs anyway, so the Mac selection is likely fine.
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#13 ozzy

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 05:22 AM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 25 May 2018 - 02:18 AM, said:

Wasn't this thread about an eGPU enclosure?

Anyway, I don't get the appeal of these for gaming on a Mac. For all the expense, you cannot even achieve maximal performance.

Why not spend the money on either a gaming laptop or desktop just for PC gaming instead? You get your Windows install included, whatever GPU you want and it really isn't that much more money is it?

This strikes me as a cool thing to do from a geek point of view just because you can rather than being all that practical or economical at this point.

The appeal is I can now play any game that has come out on my almost 6 year old 2012 Retina MBP. Could I have spent $600 on a Desktop PC and been able to do that, maybe (I don’t keep track of component prices or build prices). But I don’t want a desktop PC. And I want to be able to use a Mac as my main computer and to game on too. Now I have a 6 year old Mac that does everything great except game, and by spending $600 it games 3x better than the newest $3000 MBP. That is a bigger appeal than almost anything that has happened gaming related to Mac since the switch to Intel 12 years ago

#14 macdude22

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 06:41 AM

According to everyone on this forum you are obligated to want a desktop PC ozzy and not space saving convenience. pls try again.
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#15 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 10:13 AM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 25 May 2018 - 02:18 AM, said:

Wasn't this thread about an eGPU enclosure?

Anyway, I don't get the appeal of these for gaming on a Mac. For all the expense, you cannot even achieve maximal performance.

Why not spend the money on either a gaming laptop or desktop just for PC gaming instead? You get your Windows install included, whatever GPU you want and it really isn't that much more money is it?

This strikes me as a cool thing to do from a geek point of view just because you can rather than being all that practical or economical at this point.

The appeal is that you can get WAY better performance on your Mac then you were previously getting. It is also decently cheaper and simpler than building a PC. Just buy an eGPU chassis for $300, graphics card for $300 and then everything is plug and play from there.
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#16 Frost

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 02:22 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 25 May 2018 - 10:13 AM, said:

The appeal is that you can get WAY better performance on your Mac then you were previously getting. It is also decently cheaper and simpler than building a PC. Just buy an eGPU chassis for $300, graphics card for $300 and then everything is plug and play from there.

Exactly. Going minimalist and having, say, just a MacBook Pro (if they would put keyboards that DON'T SUCK WORSE THAN A BLACK HOLE ON THEM), and an eGPU you can plug into when you're at home at your desk is cheaper than multiple computers, and also makes things nice and easy.

I don't know that it's a setup I'd really embrace as I'm invested on my own gaming PC I really like, but I could totally see the reasoning behind going that route and if I did not have a PC, might even do it myself.
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#17 macdude22

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 02:24 PM

Can confirm, keyboard deserves the class action. I process a minimum of 2 keyboard repairs a week on 2016/2017 MBPs (3 this week).
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#18 Frost

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 02:37 PM

Yeah, the sacrifices for each extra 0.5mm of thickness are getting worse with each MBP revision. Even if I got past my love of ports and easy serviceability, those keyboards I just flat out could not pay actual money for. IMO Apple reached the point of killer, wonderful to type on for hours laptop keyboards starting with the Titanium PowerBooks, and that design remained awesome clear up through the last non-unibody MBPs. Still my favorite laptop keyboard. The keyboards on the unibodies I did not and still do not love but neither are they uncomfortable to use so I just got used to them.

The new keyboards... no. No. No to the power of nope. I'm off the "wellll, maybe I'll upgrade this year" train till there's a change there. And by change I mean overhaul. Reliability issues aside, I've tried to like the butterfly keys but I can't come away from using them with anything but hate. When your work involves copious amounts of typing, the friendliness of the keyboard matters.
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#19 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 11:34 AM

Wow. I gladly stand corrected and see the light. You know why? Because this turns out to be about playing Mac games on Macs. What a great idea. I could actually get on board myself with this at a $600. price point to pair with the Mac Mini I want. In my case I would be happy to stick a supported AMD GPU in it too. I love stuff that just works.
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