Laptops fall behind in GPU performance compared to their desktop brethren. That’s because their light and portable form factor cause limited cooling performance and power availability. So, even if they’re running the same-generation hardware, they tend to be slower than their desktop PC counterparts.
Nevertheless, there’s still demand for portable computers that deliver power when needed. That’s why manufacturers came up with eGPU docks. These external cases let you attach a discrete GPU to any Thunderbolt 3-equipped laptop, giving you more oomph when needed.
That’s why we’re looking at and comparing the two most powerful eGPU docks available today.
Razer Core X vs. Mantiz Saturn Pro V2
The Razer Core X is one of the most popular eGPUs you can buy. As Razer makes it, you can expect this eGPU to be heavily favored by gamers and PC enthusiasts. It’s also an evolution of proven Razer eGPUs—the Core and Core V2.
On the other hand, Mantiz makes one thing and one thing only—eGPUs. This hyperfocus allows them to innovate and offer excellent features while keeping their prices affordable.
Both devices have a $300 to $400 SRP, making them head-to-head competitors in this niche space. So, to help you choose between the two, we’ll compare key characteristics between them and pick out which one offers the better value.
PSU and GPU Power
The Razer eGPU includes a 650-watt internal ATX PSU, capable of putting out 500-watt max GPU power. It’s also Power Delivery-compatible, with 100-watt output. All this power means you can run the latest top-end GPUs, with both the RTX 3090 and RX Vega 64 known to consume at least 350 watts at full power.
This 500-watt max output gives you some headroom for future upgrades, especially with next-generation cards expected to hit 400-watt power requirements or more. Even if you reach the maximum GPU power in this enclosure, you can still power your computer via Power Delivery up to 100 watts and still have some leeway for system power.
Mantiz’s offering adds 100 more watts to its internal ATX PSU, delivering 750 watts from its gold-rated power supply. In addition, it has a 550-watt max GPU output, allowing you more headroom for upgrades compared to Razer’s offering. It also offers 100 watts of Power Delivery, enabling you to charge your laptop when plugged into the eGPU.
If you max out the 550-watt GPU output and 100-watt PD, you still have 100 watts to power the dock itself, plus its other components, like the SATA drive bay, SD Card reader, gigabit LAN, and more.
Winner: Mantiz Saturn Pro V2
Size and Portability
Graphics cards have grown in size recently, thus making it essential for the eGPU docks to grow larger as well. While the Razer Core X can accommodate GPUs up to 12.99 inches (33 cm) long and three slots wide, it also means that its physical dimensions had to expand as well.
The eGPU measures 14.72 x 6.61 x 9.06 inches (37.4 x 16.8 x 23 cm), totalling to about 14.45 liters of space. It also weighs 14.29 pounds (6.48 kg) without the graphics card. So, if you want to carry all that graphics power with you around, you have to be prepared to lug around this large and heavy device with you.
Mantiz’s Saturn Pro V2 size is almost similar to Razer’s offering. It has the same maximum GPU size limit has the following dimensions: 14.7 x 6.6 x 9.1 inches (37.4 x 16.8 x 23.2 cm), coming in at 14.57 liters. However, it does come in slightly lighter, at 12.54 pounds (5.70 kg).
Fans and Cooling
One of the main limiting factors laptops have is thermal performance, so it’s crucial to have an eGPU that can perform well thermally. The Razer Core X comes with a 60mm fan inside the PSU that blows air out the rear and a 120mm cooling fan near the enclosure’s front.
You can theoretically fit an AIO cooler with your graphics card in the eGPU, but you have to make some modifications to the fan’s bracket. Nevertheless, the ample space inside the eGPU ensures you can keep your GPU running at optimal temperatures, even when at max power.
The Mantiz Saturn Pro V2 one-ups the Core X by providing two 120mm fans—one on the PSU and one for the entire system. Both fans face one side of the eGPU, so you have to be careful where you place it. Nevertheless, the larger fans allow for better cooling.
However, the most significant advantage the Mantiz has is its stock compatibility with liquid cooling. You can screw the radiator onto the system fan enclosure, allowing you to install it with no major modifications.
Winner: Mantiz Saturn Pro V2
In exchange for portability, laptops usually have limited ports. That’s why you’d typically want to have a USB hub or two with you. If you have the Razer Core X, you’d still need a USB hub. That’s because this eGPU only does one thing—provide extra muscle for your laptop. While it does charge your device via Power Delivery, that’s about it.
On the other hand, the Mantiz Saturn Pro V2 includes several ports:
- An SD Card Reader
- 3x USB 3.0 ports upfront
- 2x USB 3.0 ports at the back
- 1x Gigabit LAN
- 1x Thunderbolt 3 connector
It also has a SATA3 slot for installing a 2.5-inch drive.
While this setup has caused GPU lag issues in the past, Mantiz solved this by installing two Thunderbolt 3 controllers—one for the GPU and the other for everything else.
Winner: Mantiz Saturn Pro V2
Ease of Installation
Razer’s ergonomic design makes it easy to pull out your eGPU. All you need to do is pull the handle sitting flush in the eGPU up and away from the enclosure. Then, once it stands 90 degrees from its locked position, you just need to slide out the carrier, and it will smoothly pull away from the base—no tools required.
On the other hand, Mantiz uses a single thumbscrew to secure the carrier to the enclosure. Once you’ve removed it, you can grab the two L-shaped grips at the rear, and the rest will slide out with it. While this design ensures that nothing blocks the rear of the eGPU, it’s a less elegant solution, and if you lose the thumbscrew, you won’t be able to secure the carrier to the case.
Winner: Razer Core X
Razer Core X vs. Mantiz Saturn Pro V2: Which Should You Buy?
The Mantiz Saturn Pro V2 is the no-brainer choice based on the results above. It has a higher watt capacity, better cooling, and more functionality. While the Razer Core X is more ergonomic when it comes to installation, you typically do this once, twice, or thrice in its lifetime until it’s time to upgrade your eGPU dock again.
In fairness to Razer, their eGPU launched all the way back in 2018, while Mantiz’s offering only came out in 2021. While Razer’s offering still performs up to par with today’s tech, it’s high time that Razer updates this popular eGPU dock. In the meantime, if you’re in the market for a capable eGPU dock, you won’t go wrong with the Mantiz Saturn Pro V2.
If you’re not getting enough gaming performance out of your laptop, you can try an external graphics card. But are they worth it?
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