With the release of the Razer Core in April 2016, customers are using this external graphics card enclosure (eGPU) to boost their laptops graphics processing power, allowing them to play more graphics demanding PC games, future proof their laptop for emerging technologies such as virtual reality (VR), and most importantly allow them to run all of these features on a portable system rather than having a laptop and a separate desktop gaming PC with the equivalent GPU.
1. Razer Blade
The Razer Blade is the slightly bigger, more powerful brother to the portable Blade Stealth ultrabook. This is one of the best gaming laptops on the market that don’t look and feel like a brick, but houses the latest hardware to rival even the top-end gaming notebooks in 2016. The standout features of the new Razer Blade include:
- The Razer Blade is fully compatible with the Razer Core, out-of-the-box
- Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor (6th Gen)
- 6GB VRAM from a GeForce GTX 970M
- 16gb DDR4 2133MHz
- 256GB PCIe SSD (upgradeable up to 512GB SSD)
- 3200 x 1800 (262PPI) QHD+ Touchscreen Display
- A tiny 0.71” thin in size
- Razer Chroma allows keyboard color customization of up to 16.8 million colors per key!
Our experience using the Razer Blade:
- When not connected to the Razer Core, the Razer blade is a very impressive gaming machine, with many games such as DOTA2 running buttery smooth, with very little FPS drop and vibrant colors.
- The fan noise of the Razer Blade is not noticeable when running basic applications, but can get quite loud when gaming on high settings.
- The screen of the Blade is extremely bright and looks fantastic. The resolution is good enough that most games and applications will play seamlessly without any resolution issues.
- Sound quality of the Razer Blade is great, the sound is not at all tinny, and is surprisingly very loud. This is great for anyone wanting to casually listen to music or watch movies.
- The built-in web cam has clear image quality and the built-in mic picks up audio well, too.
The Razer Blade is a great option for someone looking for a high-performance gaming machine without sacrificing portability. It has more power than the Blade Stealth but is also slightly larger, it is by far one of the greatest gaming notebooks in 2016, and made even better that it is fully compatible with the Razer Core eGPU out-of-the-box, meaning if you wanted to you could hook your Blade up to a GeForce Titan X GPU!
(You can hook up a Razer Blade or Blade Stealth to the GeForce Titan X for 12Gb of the pure ultra-gaming performance!)
2. Razer Blade Stealth
The Blade Stealth is Razer’s answer to a high-performance, ultra-thin notebook that has plenty of portability. Don’t be fooled by the size of this laptop, at only 0.52” thin and built from a CNC aluminum chassis, the Razer Core manages to pack in masses of firepower, including:
- Intel Core i7-6500HQ processor (6th Gen)
- Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU
- 8Gb DDR3 SDRAM
- 256GB PCIe SSD (upgradeable up to 512GB SSD)
- 3840 x 2160 4K Touchscreen Display
Aside from the hardware features of the Blade Stealth, we particularly loved a bunch of other things about the Stealth.
Our Experience with the Blade Stealth Ultrabook:
- The Stealth feels incredibly light and looks extremely thin.
- The Blade Stealth works seamlessly with the Razer Core eGPU.
- The touchscreen is not completely useless, it can make the browsing experience a little bit more convenient when laying in bed or chilling on the sofa.
- The finish of the Blade Stealth has a really premium feel to it, and feels extremely durable too.
- The Stealth’s inbuilt speakers are punchy and produce a great sound for all audiophiles out there.
One of our only drawbacks of the Razer Blade Stealth is that it is very prone to scratches due to its aluminum finish, as well as the 128GB SSD option on the Stealth ultrabook is definitely too small for a HDD, we would recommend to go for at least for the 256 or 512GB SSD option on the Blade Stealth.
One of the best features of the Razer Blade Stealth the inclusion of Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and USB-C technology, meaning it is built for seamless use with the Razer Core, along with all the correct BIOS and compatible Drivers that many non-Razer laptops do not yet have with the Razer Core.
Razer Blade vs Blade Stealth
Out of the Blade and the Blade Stealth, if we were in the market for a laptop for use with the Core eGPU, we would go for the Blade Stealth for its extra portability, great looks and slightly lower price compared to the blade. But if you are looking for fantastic gaming performance even when not hooked up to the Razer Core, go for the Razer Blade. The Blade Stealth will make a great laptop for that gamer who is about to go to college and needs the portability and having one system that can do everything.
Given all the shaky support of the Razer Core for non-Razer laptops, right now the best laptops to use in 2016 with the Razer Core are hands down the Razer Blade notebook and Razer Blade Stealth ultrabook.
Can you run a MacBook on the Razer Core?
We have received many questions regarding the compatibility of MacBooks with the Razer Core. In short, unfortunately (at the moment) it is not possible to run a Razer Core with the MacBook out-of-the-box. However we have seen many run simple modifications/hacks to get their Razer Core to work with a MacBook which has a Thunderbolt connection. For example, since current generation MacBooks run Thunderbolt 2 but the Razer Core has Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, a Thunderbolt 3-to-Thunderbolt 2 adaptor would be required. The most popular Thunderbolt3-2 adaptor is this one here. In addition to having an thunderbolt adaptor, you would need to workaround the lack of driver support, however we do expect in the near future for support to become available for non-Razer systems.
If you are looking to hook up an eGPU to your MacBook, why not read our guide on the best eGPU for Mac?