Accessory Razer Core Pricing Revealed... Is it worth it?

PlayfulPhoenix

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Nope. That's $500 without a GPU. To compliment it with a graphics card that exceeds what's available in mobile (for that price), you'd have to spend over a grand.

You could basically build a entire computer without a discrete GPU for $500. So save for those for whom money is no object, the pricing of this just doesn't make any sense.

I'm sure Razer is making a killing on each one, though.
 

Ceros_X

King of Cable Management
Mar 8, 2016
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Too pricey for me, but early adopters always pay the price premium. The important part is that it's been done, now we just have to wait for someone else to copy it and the free market to do its competition thing,
 

iFreilicht

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Feb 28, 2015
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Yeah sorry, that's too much. We will get less pricy eGPU docks in the future, I'm convinced of it. It also seems to not contain any sort of docking-station functionality for keyboards or mice (can't look at the store page for some reason), so that makes it even less practical.

I would've expected two Type-C cables, one for Thunderbolt, the other for charging and USB connectivity. That sounds like a good product.
 

Phuncz

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I concur with the general sentiment this is way too expensive, they've choosen to throw everything and the kitchen sink at this product, with LED lighting, high-end aluminium housing, power supply, USB 3.1 ports and ethernet.

I expect something which basically is no more than an aluminium case with a TB3 to PCIe adapter to be profitable below 100$, which could then be used in combination with a $70 SFX PSU. Razer's notebook lineup is also priced high in Alienware territory, so I didn't expect this to be cheap. 500$ is just absurd.
 

Tek Everything

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Dec 25, 2015
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I agree that the core is priced higher then I would personally be willing to pay. However, you can get a Blade Stealth with the Core for $1399. Thats not a terrible deal if you think about it. Especially when you consider that even the base Stealth has solid specs.
 

Josh | NFC

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I don't think it is overpriced or absurd. It is rather expensive, but comparing it to the competition it is right on target, and offers MORE than the competition at that price.

I've been working in the broadcast hardware industry for some time and external PCIE expansion has been around for a while. Magma is one example of a popular company in the industry that sells external PCIE expansion docks, and DuroPC is another. The Razer core looks like a great alternative for gamers.

Once the gaming industry goes nuts and produces tons of them and we see a $150 dock from Rosewill, then yeah, it will be overpriced. But even at $500 I don't think it is crazy. You have a very expensive translator board, a 500w PSU, and low volume tooling for it. Yeah, it is REALLY expensive for your average gamer, but again, I don't think it is mispriced.

My 2c
 
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PlayfulPhoenix

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Yeah, it is REALLY expensive for your average gamer, but again, I don't think it is mispriced.

Here's the problem:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($196.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H110M-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard ($69.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($87.98 @ Amazon)
Case: Silverstone Sugo SG13B Mini ITX Tower Case ($42.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Silverstone 450W 80+ Bronze Certified SFX Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $522.92
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-03-18 12:49 EDT-0400


I made that build in under five minutes, not even trying to find good deals. And as you can see, for the same price as the dock, I can build a whole system. And it's not a crappy system by any means - that's a speedy quad-core Skylake part that won't meaningfully bottleneck gaming performance, 16GB of high quality Mushkin DDR4 memory, and 256GB of high quality Samsung solid state storage. Furthermore, the performance of this is going to meet or beat that of any laptop that's not approaching $2500+, let alone the aforementioned low-end Blades.

(Note that I still need an OS for the above, but ask @Tek Everything about how to get a copy for $20 ;) Change the storage or memory to make up the difference, perhaps, or knock the CPU down, or even just spend some time and buy more thriftily.)

In any case, my point is: why would I want a laptop and a dock that only works with the laptop, when I can have a laptop and a desktop that provides more performance every which way? (And that I can upgrade down the line, too! And use when I don't have my laptop. And get way more I/O. And is expandable. And and and...)

In other words, this is ridiculously overpriced. And the utility from it, to me, is basically limited to people who already have a Razer Blade and don't have an external monitor.

You have a very expensive translator board, a 500w PSU, and low volume tooling for it. Yeah, it is REALLY expensive for your average gamer, but again, I don't think it is mispriced.

You're greatly over-estimating the cost of those things, not just in general, but for Razer. I would be stunned if they weren't making an absolute killing - to the tune of around 150-200% profit margin - on these. This product isn't complicated.
 

Josh | NFC

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I respect where you are coming from, PlayfulPhoenix--but I think you are missing the mark.

This solves a pain point that is not being addressed at the consumer level. Magma has a successful product line that is designed to alleviate the pain point of expanding I/O. What you are proposing is replacing I/O.

Replacing I/O might be fine and dandy for casual use and for strictly gaming, but those of us who have to travel and have software or output that does not lend itself to being replicated easily to transfer from system to system would like to be able to have enhanced abilities without being separated from our day to day tools.

For someone to make the claim that this product is overpriced, I challenge that and say you have to compare it to a less expensive product that does the same job. Your solution is messy and complicated and does nothing for me who spent 6 hours setting up a show on my laptop in studio and wants to work on it at home. If you work in 3D you know how long it takes to setup a program to suit your workflow, let alone the scores of plugins and settings that you require and media assets you can use for a project. No way do I have time to mess with that one TWO computers when I just need one to be beefier for certain tasks. My friend who manages networks for a major airline has to travel constantly and desires a super sleek, easy to transport, laptop at any cost. He could build a couple new PCs for his offices and home, but how much more complicated is that then purchasing an I/O expander (or two) and having the days work at his fingertips but have the muscle he needs for his 4k monitor setup.

We would all love to have these products cheaper, that is coming, but compared to the industry this is not overpriced. It is actually competitive. Apples to apples. As for me overestimating the cost of production--I'm thinking more about entire cost to market. Alienware spent "millions" of dollars developing it's Triad chassis--why, I don't know...but I do know there is a huge difference in cost between putting a product on the shelf and building a one off in your garage.

If you want to compare apples to oranges, I could just tell you to buy an Xbox bundle instead. Or throw away your watch because you have a cellphone in your pocket. XD

Peace!
 
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PlayfulPhoenix

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This solves a pain point that is not being addressed at the consumer level. Magma has a successful product line that is designed to alleviate the pain point of expanding I/O.

The Razer Core is not designed to expand I/O. It's designed to improve graphics performance on laptops, and more specifically it's designed to improve gaming performance. Nobody's putting anything other than a graphics card in this, the markets are different (Magma for pros vs Core for consumers), etc.

Also, your own use cases are hardly "consumer"-oriented, but I'll get to that in a moment.

Replacing I/O might be fine and dandy for casual use and for strictly gaming (emphasis mine), but those of us who have to travel and have software or output that does not lend itself to being replicated easily to transfer from system to system would like to be able to have enhanced abilities without being separated from our day to day tools.

Sure. That's why I said this:

...the utility from it, to me, is basically limited to people who already have a Razer Blade and don't have an external monitor.

So we aren't disagreeing there. If all you care about is exclusively using a laptop, and specifically don't want multiple systems, and specifically want to maximize performance only when at your desk, and you're specifically targeting a professional use case that isn't gaming, and you specifically are willing to pay any price... then this is probably your only real choice. But that's a subgroup of a subgroup of a subgroup of a subgroup of a subgroup of people.

Most people who see this will exist outside of that group. Most people will just want better gaming performance. Most people fall under that broad "casual use and gaming" bucket you called out. And, thus, my point is that most people are better served by building a desktop.

For someone to make the claim that this product is overpriced, I challenge that and say you have to compare it to a less expensive product that does the same job.

No, I don't have to do that. I just have to demonstrate that I can create a substitute that does the same or better job, for as much or for less money. Outside of the highly specific exception I stated above, I have demonstrated that people who want to use the Core to improve gaming performance (which is what the preponderance of Razer's own promotion specifically calls out) are financially better off just building an entirely new system - which, you'd agree, provides exceptionally more utility for that majority of use cases than the Core.

Put it this way: I live in Boston, and although you can't "directly compare" the T (our subway system) to a sedan, guess what - the T is better at what the car does for the majority of people. To that majority, the car is overpriced for what it provides.

Your solution is messy and complicated and does nothing for me who spent 6 hours setting up a show on my laptop in studio and wants to work on it at home. If you work in 3D you know how long it takes to setup a program to suit your workflow, let alone the scores of plugins and settings that you require and media assets you can use for a project. No way do I have time to mess with that one TWO computers when I just need one to be beefier for certain tasks. My friend who manages networks for a major airline has to travel constantly and desires a super sleek, easy to transport, laptop at any cost. He could build a couple new PCs for his offices and home, but how much more complicated is that then purchasing several I/O expanders and having the days work at his fingertips but have the muscle he needs for his 4k monitor setups.

I think you're overstating the effort of setting up software - which you should only ever have to do once, I'd imagine? - but we can just agree to disagree there. I don't have experience in 3D modeling/rendering, either, so I won't claim that I know that struggle :p

Still, anything is arguable with the caveat of "at any cost", so that's not really a good argument in support of doing something. At that point, the discussion is no longer about value, because you've removed the constraint of cost, and that's all that I'm talking about here - that, for the vast majority of enthusiasts, this product is a terrible value. Most people considering this would be better off building a system.

We would all love to have these products cheaper, that is coming, but compared to the industry this is not overpriced. It is actually competitive.

By that logic, a $500 rock isn't overpriced in a market that only has $2500 rocks. That's just silly.

Something is overpriced not as a function of other prices for the same thing, but as a function of the utility it delivers in comparison to a reasonable substitute. For most people, an entirely new system is a reasonable substitute, and the Core compares terribly to that.

Maybe that doesn't include you, but we're not talking about you, we're talking about the "consumer" - your average enthusiast. Who can't afford things "at any cost", and isn't doing 3D modeling, and mostly wants to have the best gaming performance possible for the money.

...Anyways, for the most part, I don't think we really disagree. This can be a fantastic value for you, given your needs and workflow, and that's all that matters for you. All I was trying to say - though I probably wasn't direct or clear enough - is that I feel that this is a terrible value for almost anyone else, and especially for the population that Razer itself is targeting, which is laptop-toting gamers.
 

PNP

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Oct 10, 2015
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Well, Razer's only competition are jerry-rigged contraptions that don't look as pretty and aren't RGB enough. So until the ASUS ROG XG2 comes out, Razer can charge whatever they think their focus group will pay. We like to think that consumers are all rational and are good at making utility calculations, but it that were true, economists would be perceived as wizards.

I would've expected two Type-C cables, one for Thunderbolt, the other for charging and USB connectivity. That sounds like a good product.

This. This right here. Why does the Core crowd the TB3 PCIe lanes with things that should have been on the laptop it's connected to?
 

PNP

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Oct 10, 2015
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A part of me fears they did it to break into the Macbook Air demographic. Less ports = more thin.

And here I am just waiting for a T-series Thinkpad with TB3.
 

iFreilicht

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A part of me fears they did it to break into the Macbook Air demographic. Less ports = more thin.

Maybe to make it work with Macbook Air users that don't mind hacking around?

The main problem is that it hurts performance. At 4x, you're only losing 1%, but if they cut of another two lanes, you get in dodgy territory.
So the big shiny GPU you put in there is worth even less after you've already payed double the money to use it.
 

Phuncz

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I feel this should have been an SFF enclosure instead of just a GPU enclosure at a small increase in size.
The build quality looks top-notch, although they could have done more with the cabling.
 

QinX

Master of Cramming
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Mar 2, 2015
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Judging by the GPU you can say see that the DAN A4-SFX is going to be smaller and house the same GPU+PSU AND there rest of the parts.
They messed up by using a SFX powersupply. In this case I would have rather seen a FlexATX PSU/Custom solution.
500W 80+ Titanium FlexATX PSU with special ducting to a Front 120mm fan that cools the PSU and the GPU.
 

Phuncz

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I was under the impression that the Core has a FlexATX PSU, it seemed to thin for an SFX.
 

QinX

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Mar 2, 2015
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Hmmm, looks like you're right , they mention it's 500W so you'd think it's that FSP 500W FlexATX PSU but it seems they found someone else.
Seems it has a Enhance PSU inside
Right below the PSU you can see a colorfull wiring harness, so it looks like it is a regular ATX spec PSU.
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
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Feb 22, 2015
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Looks like FlexATX PSU to me, but Enhance doesn't have a 500W unit on their website so it must be custom.