The rapid growth of cryptocurrency mining in recent years has made navigating the high-end graphics card market a veritable nightmare. The rise of mining has created a global shortage of graphics cards, with AMD Radeon Vega 56 and 64 cards and Nvidia’s GTX 1080 Ti line regularly selling well above their $1,000 recommended retail price.
Nvidia even stated earlier this year that it was not happy with rising prices and said gamers were its priority, not cryptocurrency miners. “For NVIDIA, gamers come first,” the company told German website Computerbase.de.
But, for those gamers lucky enough to get hold of a powerful graphics card, and who want to keep their thin and light laptop and a powerful gaming machine for use at home, an external Graphics Processing Unit – or eGPU – is an intriguing option.
Essentially, eGPUs are enclosures in which you can install a powerful graphics card and through the magic of USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3, harness that graphics processing power for your portable computer.
A simple plug and play system can overhaul an average personal computer and help it to perform like a specialised gaming system.
Among the frontrunners of this technology is Razer – among the world’s most recognisable gaming brands and long considered a pioneer of e-sports. They lead the way with their newest eGPU – the $499 Razer Core v2.
Razer touts the enclosure as “…the world’s first dual Thunderbolt 3 design providing dedicated lanes for both graphics and I/O ensuring fluid gameplay. Connect to the future with the most advanced and versatile eGPU solution available.”
It features plug and play support with compatible graphics cards, meaning gamers will not need to reboot their system every time they connect to the eGPU and among the changes from series one is the inclusion of a dedicated Thunderbolt 3 controller.
Out of the box the Razer Core v2 is compatible with NVIDIA GeForce 10 series graphics cards and the AMD Radeon 500 series with XConnect Technology – which must be purchased separately – if you can track them down.