Integrated graphics cards have come a long way over the years, as have mobile graphics cards, but neither of them can compete with a full-on dedicated graphics card when it comes to gaming, which is why gaming on a desktop has always been superior to gaming on a laptop. However, Razer revealed a potential solution to this problem at CES 2016 back in January, and laptop gamers will be able to get their hands on it next month. Known as the Razer Core, this case allows you to slip in a compatible graphics card and then hook it up to your laptop to give it desktop-level gaming capabilities. The only problem is, the Core costs $500, which is as much as a high-end graphics card, meaning you could be paying an extra $650 to $1000 to boost your laptop, but if portability is that important to you, then maybe it’s worth it.
Revealed a couple months back at CES 2016, Razer’s Core is a plug and play way to add an external graphics card to the company’s line of skinny notebooks. Now it has a $499 price tag, and April release date and both major GPU makers’ blessing. Similar to products like Alienware’s Graphics Amplifier, the Core houses and powers desktop graphics card, allowing (currently) the Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook and the latest Razer Blade access to greater graphics capability as well as four USB 3.0 and a gigabit ethernet port. Unlike offerings like Alienware’s, which use a proprietary cable and require the attached laptop be rebooted in order to access the extra power, the Core uses a Thunderbolt 3 connection, allowing for a plug and play connection between system and box. Just plug the cable into the laptop, and you’ve got access to the graphics card. It’s a very interesting piece of hardware, and both AMD and NVIDIA seem to agree. Both companies are supporting the Core with a range of cards at launch. “We believe powerful external GPUs are thrilling for gamers that have longed to connect serious gaming performance to an ultrathin notebook,” said Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD via official announcement today. “With the advent of AMD XConnect technology, that dream is a simple and intuitive reality. Together, the Razer Core and AMD XConnect for Radeon graphics are the ultimate intersection of performance, simplicity and design.”