November 23, 2020

1786 words 9 mins read

Razers First Modular PC The Tomahawk: A Fully Custom NUC 9 Extreme

Razers First Modular PC The Tomahawk: A Fully Custom NUC 9 Extreme

Razer, a company that styles itself as by gamers, for gamers,has today unveiled its latest product, a modular NUC dubbed the Tomahawk. Available as both a barebones package and a high-tier gaming solution, the Razer Tomahawk looks to offer a cutting edge mixture of functionality, performance, and graphics card compatibility, all within a NUC inspired chassis. Some of the key specifications include

an Intel 9th generation Core i9 processor, with a 512 GB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD, 2 TB of HDD storage, 16 GB of DDR4-2667 memory, and an optional RTX 3080.

The term NUC (Next Unit of Computing) gets thrown around a lot when it comes to super small form factor desktop computers, even when NUC is technically an Intel term. Going all the way back to2014, when Razers CEO unveiled a conceptual design for a modular PC dubbed Project Christine, Intel looked to have taken the idea a step forward with what it called Element. Weve seen many Intel NUCshit the market this year, including the NUC 9 Extreme (NUC9i9QNX), which we reviewed back in April. Razer being Razer has gone one step further on this idea and created its own version of the NUC, with the Razer Tomahawk.

What sets the Razer Tomahawk apart from other NUCs on the market is its full-scale capability to install a full-sized graphics card with a maximum length of up to 320 mm, with a maximum height of 140 mm. This moves away from common small form factor systems, which generally have to opt for smaller alternatives such as the NVIDIA GTX 1650. The Razer Tomahawk features a tool-less sled that allows users access to the system, which could be to upgrade the storage or even install a new graphics card.

While this is a modular system, it is essentially a PCIe backplane with two PCIe slots. In one slot goes the graphics card, and in the other is the rest of the PC. That rest of the PC includes a 45 W overclockable mobile processor (unupgradable), memory (upgradeable), and storage (upgradeable). Despite there being a barebones option, Razer pre-populates all models with a 512 GB NVMe SSD, a 2 TB HDD, and 16 GB of DDR4-2667 (Razer doesnt say if this is 1x16 or 2x8). On both models there is a spare M.2 NVMe slot, and the barebones simply lacks the discrete GPU, but the integrated GPU can be used if there is not a discrete GPU present.

It wouldnt be a Razer product if it didnt have RGB LEDs. It includes an illuminated green Razer logo on the front panel, with addressable RGB LEDs on the underneath of the chassis to provide a bit of flair. Focusing on the size, the Tomahawk chassis is 19.23 x 24.15 x 1.60 inches (HxWxD), so it is svelte, and it also weighs in at 16.2 lbs. In terms of volume, the chassis itself is 10 L, which is big enough to fit all of the components in when designed efficiently.

        Razer Tomahawk Gaming NUC Desktop
        Full System
        Intel Core i9-9980HK (Coffee Lake)
        8 Core / 16 Thread
        2.4 GHz Base
        5.0 GHz Turbo
        45 W TDP
        (Intel UHD 630 if none)
        NVIDIA RTX 3080 Founders Edition
        1.71 GHz Boost
        10 GB GDDR6X
        16 GB DDR4-2667
        512 GB NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4
        2 TB 5400 RPM Hard Drive
        1 x M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 (open)
        2 x Gigabit LAN
        Intel AX200 (Wi-Fi 6/BT 5.0)
        2 x USB 3.2 G2 Type-C (Thunderbolt 3)
        4 x USB 3.2 G2 Type-A
        1 x 3.5 mm audio jack
        2 x Gigabit RJ45
        1 x HDMI 2.0a
        3.5 mm TOSLINK combo port
        750 W SFX Power Supply
        19.23 x 24.15 x 1.60 inches (HxWxD)
        16.2 lb/7.35 kg
        18.3 lb/8.3 kg

Given the nature of the hardware installed, Razer has opted to cool the processor actively and includes two top-mounted 120 mm chassis fans, with ventilation on both side panels and the top panel. Powering the Tomahawk is a preinstalled 750W SFX power supply, although Razer hasnt specified the exact model.

In terms of connectivity, the Tomahawk includes four USB 3.2 G2 Type-A ports, with two Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C ports, and a single HDMI 2.0a video output. Users opting for the full package, including an NVIDIA RTX 3080 Founders Edition graphics card, adds three DisplayPort 1.4b and a single HDMI 2.1 video output. Networking includes two Gigabit Ethernet ports driven by unspecified controllers, while theres also an Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 interface, which includes support for BT 5.0 devices. Nestled in between the motherboard and graphics, I/O is a single 3.5mm audio jack that can accommodate speakers or act as a TOSLINK combo port.

A few possible use case scenarios for those withbottomless pockets or shallow desks could find this an idealsystem to take to LAN, to and from work, or even for an on the go content creator. While Razer did unveil its own chassis called the Tomahawk Eliteback at CES 2019, the Tomahawk Gaming System is a higher-grade and RGB infused versionof Intels NUC 9 Extreme.

As previously mentioned, the Razer Tomahawk gaming desktop will be available as barebones without a graphics card for a base price of $2400, while the full model equipped with an RTX 3080 Founders Edition will cost $3200. Its not a cheap outlay, especially for an Intel system featuring an RTX 3080, but the latter hasnt been easy to source of late.

Gallery: Razer Gaming NUC - To Edit Title

Related Reading

ASRock Brings Zen 2 NUC: 4X4 BOX-4800U Renoir Mini-PC Reviewed
Intel Ghost Canyon NUC9i9QNX Review: NUC 9 Extreme Realizes the SFF Dream
Kontron Releases KBox B-202 CFL Mini-ITX PC: SFF Desktop For Commercial Use
CES 2020: ZOTACs Inspire Studio SFF PCs for Creators w / 8-Core CPU and GeForce RTX
Razers Project Christine: A Modular PC Prototype

Author: Gavin Bonshor

Date: 2020-12-03


Intel Launches Xe-LP Server GPU: First Product Is H3C’s Quad GPU XG310 For Cloud Gaming (2020-11-11) Following the formal launch of Intels first discrete GPU in over a generation the DG1 this morning Intel is launching the server counterpart to that chip the very plainly named Intel Server GPU Previously referred to as SG1 the Intel Server GPU is based on the same Xe-LP architecture design as the DG1 but aimed at the server market And like the consumer DG1 Intel is planning on taking an interesti..
Highpoint Updates NVMe RAID Cards For PCIe 4.0, Up To 8 M.2 SSDs (2020-11-12) HighPoint Technologies has updated their NVMe RAID solutions with PCIe 40 support and adapter cards supporting up to eight NVMe drives The new HighPoint SSD7500 series adapter cards are the PCIe 40 successors to the SSD7100 and SSD7200 series products These cards are primarily aimed at the workstation market as the server market has largely moved on from traditional RAID arrays especially when usi..
Best Android Phones: November 2020 (2020-11-23) As winter is approaching and were a few days away from Thanksgiving we havent seen too much news in the smartphone space in these latter months of the year What has changed however are pricings of several popular models weve been recommending lately with some notable price drops that do change the competitive landscape in terms of the value of your purchases
Best Consumer Hard Drives: November 2020 (2020-11-18) Data storage requirements have kept increasing over the last several years While SSDs have taken over the role of the primary drive in most computing systems hard drives continue to be the storage media of choice in areas dealing with large amount of relatively cold data Hard drives are also suitable for workloads that are largely sequential and not performance sensitive The $/GB metric for SSDs p..
Launching This Week: NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3070; 1440p Gaming For $499 (2020-10-27) Its a couple of weeks later than originally planned but this week NVIDIA is finally amping up the last of its high-end video card lineup with the release of the GeForce RTX 3070 Based on the Ampere architecture first launched back in September for the GeForce RTX 3080 the RTX 3070 is NVIDIAs $500 take on a next-gen video card incorporating a leaner Ampere GPU and otherwise shrinking Ampere down to..
Intel’s DG1 GPU Coming to Discrete Desktop Cards Next Year; OEM-Only (2020-10-31) Alongside todays launch of Intels DG1-based Iris Xe MAX graphics for laptops the company is also quietly confirming that DG1 will be coming to desktop video cards as well albeit in a roundabout way Though still in the early stages a hereto unnamed third party has reached an agreement with Intel to produce DG1-based desktop cards These cards in turn will be going into OEM desktop systems and they a..
Best CPUs for Workstations: December 2020 (2020-12-01) Sometimes choosing a CPU is hard So weve got you covered In our CPU Guides we give you our pick of some of the best processors available supplying data from our reviews Our Best CPUs for Workstations guide mostly covers workstation processors available to consumers although some server products cover both segments As we have moved through 2020 there havent been many new releases for the high-end d..
The SilverStone FX500 Flex-ATX 500W PSU Review: Small Power Supply With a Big Bark (2020-11-12) Today we are taking a look at the SilverStone FX500 one of the very few Flex-ATX PSUs in the market It boasts a magnificent 500 Watt maximum output at a quarter of the volume a typical ATX unit requires and is 80Plus Gold certified making it practically the best-engineered Flex-ATX unit available today But channeling 500 Watts through such a small PSU also brings some noticable cooling challenges
Intel’s New NUC Laptop Kit: Whitebook Tiger Lake For All (2020-11-19) The Next Unit of Computing branding known as NUC pronounced nu-ck has long been associated with Intels small form factor desktop designs featuring mobile-class processors Last year Intel broke that design philosophy with the introduction of the NUC 9 Pro known as Quartz Canyon which allowed for a PCIe graphics card in a unified box Intel today is announcing the next step on the NUC journey with a ..
Sabrent Rocket Nano Rugged IP67 Portable SSD Review: NVMe in a M.2 2242 Enclosure (2020-10-30) Portable bus-powered SSDs are a growing segment of the direct-attached storage market The ongoing glut in flash memory and the growing confidence of flash vendors in QLC has brought down the price of these drives Sabrent a computer peripherals and accessories manufacturer has made a name for itself in the space by catering to niche segments such as ultra-high capacity and compact SSDs The company ..