[Unboxing] Razer Core V2 Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Enclosure  

 

theitsage
(@itsage)
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December 16, 2017 4:40 am  

I’ve been impatiently waiting for the Razer Core V2 since the announcement almost two months ago. It finally came in today! Here are some unboxing pictures and my first impressions.

The retail box is similar to the Razer laptop’s packaging, light brown corrugated cardboard with black print displaying the essentials.

“Welcome to the cult of Razer” message as soon as you open the box. A smaller black box contains the manuals, power cable, and Thunderbolt 3 cable.

The Razer Core V2 is snuggly padded and wrapped with a thick plastic film that feels very nice to the touch.

Here is the enclosure by itself. There’s a foam block that shows you how big of a graphics card you can fit inside the Razer Core V2.

There are two lighting zones, one at the front of the base and the other on the PCIe slot side.

One of the many subtle refinements is the PCIe slot release. There’s a handle extending to the other side for easy of reach when removing the GPU.

Another change is the lighter weight of the enclosure. I have not put it on a scale but could tell it is lighter than the first gen Razer Core.

The ports are the same. So is the PCIe mounting thumb screw.

There’s plenty of room inside to accommodate many more GPUs than the first Core. I mounted the Vega FE, Chihuahua for scale.  😀 

I will be doing tests for a full review of the Razer Core V2. Please let me know if I left out any information you’d like to know. 

Edited: 2 months  ago

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Flint Ironstag
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December 16, 2017 7:01 am  

What a tidy package!  I have a sole selfish request, as I’m shopping around for a personal setup.  World of Warcraft please!

MP 6,1 | 4c | d700
MP 6,1 | 6c | d500


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juniordiscart
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December 16, 2017 2:20 pm  

Nice, looking forward to the review!
A (quick) question though: is there any quick-and-easy distinction externally to the V1? It would be great to see a distinguishing feature as to detect whether Amazon.de is selling the V2 instead of the V1.


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theitsage
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December 17, 2017 12:39 am  

I checked over power delivery and Thunderbolt firmware. The Razer Core V2 provides 65W PD, up from 45W in the first version. The firmware is 26,1. This is the newest one I’ve seen. Perhaps, this is a new version for eGPU enclosure with dual TB3 controllers.

@juniordiscart The outer enclosure is identical on the Razer Core vs. Razer Core V2. The only way to distinguish one from another is to look at the rear. Here’s a picture of them side by side [V2 on the left]. A quick way to tell whether it’s the Razer Core V2 is the Thunderbolt port below power plug.

Edited: 2 months  ago

Numerous implementation guides


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irev210
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December 17, 2017 12:43 am  

A few questions

  • Can you do some game testing? Specifically, destiny 2?  Does it shut down on you?
  • Can you test with the bios switch in both positions?
  • What drivers do you plan to use? The Fe let’s you use latest Radeon drivers, so I recommend that

The Vega 64 worked fine at all stock settings but the FE would crash my core v2 unless I undervolted.

 

I’d love additional feedback on if you experience any stability issues.  The power routing is different than the v1 as it goes from the GPU to the mailboard back to the PSU.  Given that there are very rapid changes in power demand with Vega, it seems something is up.

 

You can load furmark and pull 375w all day and it seems fine but the 150 to 375w jumps seem really tough for the PSU.  I really would love to know if I have a defective PSU or if you see the same issues.

68EE0EFB 852E 4C5C A786 F8687B229E39

Edited: 2 months  ago

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theitsage
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December 17, 2017 1:32 am  

@irev210 the PSU in this Razer Core V2 is not able to handle the Vega FE. I ran a few basic benchmarks and laptop display went black. The only Vega card AMD XConnect team certified for eGPU use is the RX Vega 56. 

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irev210
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December 17, 2017 1:36 am  
Posted by: theitsage

@irev210 the PSU in this Razer Core V2 is not able to handle the Vega FE. I ran a few basic benchmarks and laptop display went black. The only Vega card AMD XConnect team certified for eGPU use is the RX Vega 56. 

The 64 was fine unless overclocked for me.  You can undervolt the Fe bit and it will be fine.  Hours of testing on the 64 without issue.

That PSU has 41 amps on the 12v so something is up… I think it is power limited by the main board and the slightly higher power needs puts it over the top.

 

 


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theitsage
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December 17, 2017 2:09 am  

Sonnet tested the Breakaway Box 550W extensively and could only certify it for the RX Vega 56. The Mantiz Venus shares the same 550W PSU (single rail 45A) and struggles with RX Vega 64. The Razer Core V2 with a 500W PSU is unfortunately not sufficient either.

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Sky11
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December 17, 2017 3:49 pm  

Undervolting GPU may help, but your mileage will vary – not all boards will be able to work stable with lower voltages. If you running a game or a benchmark, and suddenly the eGPU driven screen does dark (along with the eGPU box), that means the power supply’s over-current protection has kicked in.

Possible workaround for Vega64:  open Radeon Settings -> Wattman:   https://www.pcworld.com/article/3094984/components-graphics/how-to-use-amds-wattman-the-powerful-new-overclocking-tool-for-radeon-graphics-cards.html

Now try to set State 7 to equal value (both MHz and voltage) to Stage 6. Don’t forget to click on “Apply” in top right corner (personally I keep forgetting that :)). In some cases it will help with PSU overload; positive side effect is that your GPU will run cooler, with more steady clocks. If this is not enough, you can try to set both Stage7 and Stage6 equal to Stage5.

My concern with those power supplies in Razer and others that those PSUs have too much capacity on 3.3V and 5.5V rails. That 130W will never gets used in eGPU. Instead, I would prefer if the PSU could re-route most of its power to +12V rail – that’s where the GPU load is, and that extra capacity on 12V rail would definitely help.


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irev210
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December 17, 2017 4:35 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

Sonnet tested the Breakaway Box 550W extensively and could only certify it for the RX Vega 56. The Mantiz Venus shares the same 550W PSU (single rail 45A) and struggles with RX Vega 64. The Razer Core V2 with a 500W PSU is unfortunately not sufficient either.

I am just telling you the Radeon Vega 64 worked fine for me unless overclocked.  It also worked fine on the HP OMEN box (lite-on PSU).

So, the Razer Core v2 with a 500W PSU is sufficient, per my testing.  I don’t think you can compare a FSP PSU to a Enhance PSU anyway – different design.

The issues here are cross load and transient response times – given the difficulty of what we are asking PSUs to do here, I kindly request that eGPU.io starts looking at PSU design/testing.

From what I gather, eGPUs compete heavily on price so one thing that OEMs are looking at is how cheap of a PSU they can buy.  They are stuffing 550W FSP power supplies in eGPUs because they are cheap and do the job for the majority of GPUs but in reality can’t handle much past 350w.

It’s fine, but we need to know the limitations of each eGPU – saying 550W is meaningless if it can’t cross load or handle the transient response times (that’s my suspected issue with Enhance PSU)

Anyway, just my thoughts/experiences – hope you guys look into this more.

 


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anaglich
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December 18, 2017 8:21 pm  

I also received my Razer Core v2 the other day. Mine is working pretty well with both MacOS High Sierra and Windows 10. I can confirm the 65W PD with my new Apple-made 40/100 Thunderbolt cable. 

My only complaint is that the USB ports are for some reason not able to support my Oculus Rift and sensors. I suspect the TB3 connection is the bottleneck – but then why would they add the USB ports???

Of note, I have a 2017 15″ MBP and EVGA 1070.

Edited: 2 months  ago

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theitsage
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December 19, 2017 4:47 pm  

@anaglich can you elaborate on the Oculus Rift sensor issues? Did the sensors not show up at all during the Rift setup process?

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anaglich
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December 19, 2017 4:58 pm  

The Rift and sensors show up as connected, but while they are used during the setup process they give disconnection or latency errors. I’ve been able to get into an experience a couple of times after skipping parts of the setup, but tracking becomes weak or freezes. 

Of note, before updating the USB drivers for the sensors I was consistently getting the Windows connection/ disconnection chime. 

I contacted Razer and got a long list of things to try and fix it – but I’m not optimistic.

It seems like those with the Core v1 had to resort to using a powered USB hub. I have one arriving today.


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theitsage
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December 19, 2017 5:05 pm  

The Rift sensors have a tendency to compete with one another if they are connected through the same USB hub. One sensor can use the USB port on the Razer Core fine, but more than one and they act up.

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irev210
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December 19, 2017 5:23 pm  
Posted by: anaglich

The Rift and sensors show up as connected, but while they are used during the setup process they give disconnection or latency errors. I’ve been able to get into an experience a couple of times after skipping parts of the setup, but tracking becomes weak or freezes. 

Of note, before updating the USB drivers for the sensors I was consistently getting the Windows connection/ disconnection chime. 

I contacted Razer and got a long list of things to try and fix it – but I’m not optimistic.

It seems like those with the Core v1 had to resort to using a powered USB hub. I have one arriving today.

Please keep us in the loop.  Did you try different usb ports or spreading them out since it is two usb ports per usb 3.0 hub?

 


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theitsage
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December 26, 2017 4:23 pm  
Posted by: irev210

A few questions

  • Can you do some game testing? Specifically, destiny 2?  Does it shut down on you?
  • Can you test with the bios switch in both positions?
  • What drivers do you plan to use? The Fe let’s you use latest Radeon drivers, so I recommend that

The Vega 64 worked fine at all stock settings but the FE would crash my core v2 unless I undervolted.

 

I’d love additional feedback on if you experience any stability issues.  The power routing is different than the v1 as it goes from the GPU to the mailboard back to the PSU.  Given that there are very rapid changes in power demand with Vega, it seems something is up.

 

You can load furmark and pull 375w all day and it seems fine but the 150 to 375w jumps seem really tough for the PSU.  I really would love to know if I have a defective PSU or if you see the same issues.

68EE0EFB 852E 4C5C A786 F8687B229E39

@irev210 I’m taking the Core V2 apart and notice the PCIe power cables routing to main board may have something to do with the increased power delivery. The power supply is the same as the original Razer Core, Enhance ENH-2350. An idea to test is to plug the original power adapter to your laptop while using the Razer Core V2 to make sure the eGPU can use most of the juice from the PSU.

Numerous implementation guides


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Flint Ironstag
(@flint-ironstag)
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Posts: 146
December 26, 2017 5:02 pm  

Slightly off topic, but has anyone tried the v1 on a Mac since the latest High Sierra beta?  I have someone offering me a Core v1 for $200.  If it works now…

MP 6,1 | 4c | d700
MP 6,1 | 6c | d500


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irev210
(@irev210)
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Posts: 43
December 27, 2017 1:39 am  
Posted by: theitsage
Posted by: irev210

A few questions

  • Can you do some game testing? Specifically, destiny 2?  Does it shut down on you?
  • Can you test with the bios switch in both positions?
  • What drivers do you plan to use? The Fe let’s you use latest Radeon drivers, so I recommend that

The Vega 64 worked fine at all stock settings but the FE would crash my core v2 unless I undervolted.

 

I’d love additional feedback on if you experience any stability issues.  The power routing is different than the v1 as it goes from the GPU to the mailboard back to the PSU.  Given that there are very rapid changes in power demand with Vega, it seems something is up.

 

You can load furmark and pull 375w all day and it seems fine but the 150 to 375w jumps seem really tough for the PSU.  I really would love to know if I have a defective PSU or if you see the same issues.

68EE0EFB 852E 4C5C A786 F8687B229E39

@irev210 I’m taking the Core V2 apart and notice the PCIe power cables routing to main board may have something to do with the increased power delivery. The power supply is the same as the original Razer Core, Enhance ENH-2350. An idea to test is to plug the original power adapter to your laptop while using the Razer Core V2 to make sure the eGPU can use most of the juice from the PSU.

I used intel skull canyon nuc (pictured) so no power draw over the cable, so that doesn’t  seem to be it.

The best I can gather is that it is just really big ramps up/down are causing issues over ~350w.  I am going to  mess around with this and see if I can  smooth out some of that 12V with some caps.

I can’t wait to see more detailed photos of v1 vs v2 and we can  dig in a bit more on why they decided to route the pci-e cables thru the mainboard.

 


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