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Over the last decade or so, Razer has gone from being a relatively niche gaming hardware manufacturer to one of the real “movers and shakers” in the world of PC gaming.
Beloved by many for their innovation but derided by some as “stealing from Apple” when it comes to their design language and minimalist approach to gaming hardware, Razer can be a bit of a controversial organization.
Even still, when you’re looking at the kind of top-tier hardware they put out – especially in their peripherals and their gaming laptops – it’s impossible to argue that they aren’t passionate about taking the world of PC gaming places that no other company has (or has plans to).
Amazingly enough, Razer has never introduced a dedicated gaming PC in a desktop format before.
They made huge splashes with their super slim (and superpowerful) gaming laptops – some of the best gaming laptops on the planet today, not only from a hardware standpoint but from a design standpoint and aesthetic as well – but it wasn’t until CES 2020 that they unveiled a project that had only before been whispered about.
We are talking about the brand-new Razer Tomahawk, a 100% modular approach to changing the way that desktop gaming PCs are built from here on out.
Radical New Design Is Par for the Course with Razer
The very first thing that’s going to shine a spotlight on how obviously this is a Razer project is the overall design language that this new system takes advantage of.
Super slim, super minimalist, and almost blunt in a way, the new Razer Tomahawk is supposedly only going to take up 10 leaders of volume in a tiny little cube that features the matte black finish so many other top-tier Razer products feature as well.
At the Vegas show (held between January 7 and January 10, 2020) Razer was one of the PC gaming companies making a lot of waves, with people literally lining up to have a look at everything that the new Tomahawk PC had to offer.
Industry reporters were jumping on Twitter with snapshots of this new machine which only fueled the height, and people couldn’t wait to get their hands on this ridiculously small and slim looking gaming PC that promised to change the way that people build gaming PCs from here on out.
No, it isn’t necessarily swapping out any of the traditional hardware components that PC gamers depend on to build rigs powerful enough to run the latest AAA and indie titles at the highest resolutions.
Instead it takes a completely modular design that transforms individual components that require dedicated wiring and connections to a traditional motherboard into a much more “plug and play” kind of experience.
You won’t find the traditional motherboard or desktop CPU located inside of the Razer Tomahawk. Instead it has been replaced completely by the brand-new Intel NUC Element modular computer (another big fan favorite at the CES 2020 show).
This modular computer component provides up to a 45 W Intel Core i9-9980 HK CPU, integrated cooling fans and cooling systems, and dedicated slots for your RAM as well as onboard storage. You also get a next-generation Wi-Fi six radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and almost overwhelming amount of connectivity ports (including Thunderbolt and USB 3.0/USB C) and access to more headers than we have ever seen on a traditional motherboard in the gaming world.
Turnkey or DIY Options Available
Every single one of the new Razer Tomahawk computers are going to start from this “base build” with the ability to choose and design their own custom enclosure, add a dedicated power supply and SSD for storage, and then pick the right graphics card, cooling set up, and RAM choice for their specific needs and budget.
Because of the new plug and play nature of all these different system components you are going to have an opportunity to build the PC of your dreams without having to worry about needing an engineering degree to cobble together the disparate parts that get a new PC up and running.
Instead anyone (literally anyone) without any technical know-how or experience building gaming PCs before will be able to plug and play different components, different elements, and different hardware options directly into the NUC “foundation” of the system – swapping them out as their budget allows or their needs change down the line, too – in a way that isn’t all that effortless with traditional gaming PC builds.
Razer themselves are offering a 100% turnkey package complete with their own custom enclosure (that black metal case with tempered glass on both sides that we highlighted earlier, the one on full display at CES 2020).
They haven’t released full pricing on this turnkey option just yet, but experts believe that Razer is angling for an all in price tag that would sit at just about $2000.
If Razer is to go in that direction it’s likely that they will offer a Core i7 processor calling all the shots versus the Core i9. It’s also likely that we’ll see 16 GB of RAM (DD4), at least a 512 GB SSD for baseline storage, and probably one of the latest generation Ryzen graphics cards from the folks at AMD.
This would give Razer plenty of wiggle room to offer a more premium option for slightly more (say $2400 or so) that featured the Core i9 we highlighted earlier as well as up to 64 GB of RAM and maybe even a top-of-the-line Nvidia graphics card like the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER, for example.
This Was a Long Time Coming
Razer has been hinting at putting together a ridiculously modular gaming PC ever since early 2014, with industry insiders believing that it was “right around the corner” for about six years now.
No one knows exactly why Razer decided to shelve the project until just now, but it’s likely that at least some of the decision was made because of the new Intel NUC Element options that are rolling out today – options that simply weren’t available until just recently.
At the end of the day, this new modular Razer Tomahawk isn’t quite an identical 1:1 of the concept that was first unveiled back in 2014. It’s definitely a different look with more streamlined elements and a more simplified aesthetic, but the odds are pretty good that people are going to go crazy over everything the Tomahawk has to offer as soon as it is officially released later on this year.
If you’re new to the world of PC gaming and want a top-tier piece of technology to run the latest and greatest games from AAA developers at high settings and with high frame rates but don’t necessarily want to have to build your own system from scratch the odds are pretty good that the Razer Tomahawk is the way to go for you.
Plenty of people are going to snap this up just for the gorgeous new enclosure and top-of-the-line “guts” the system is running, and selling based on style AND performance is something that Razer has always done well! Keep your eyes peeled during the first quarter of 2020 when this modular gaming PC is expected to release.