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Razer’s first desktop gaming PC is the stunning modular Tomahawk

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It uses a swappable Intel NUC Element card instead of a standard CPU and motherboard

Razer sells plenty of gaming mice, keyboards, headsets, and an edgy gaming laptop called the Blade, but it’s never sold its own gaming desktop PC — unless you count a few collaborations with Lenovo and Maingear. But that’s changing this summer with an impressive-looking box that will be known as the Razer Tomahawk, a fully upgradable gaming desktop that takes up just 10 liters of volume.

While it might look like just an external GPU box at first glance — maybe a better-looking Razer Core? — there’s an important reason why this sleek aluminum and tempered glass box can seem so effortlessly small. It’s because there’s no traditional motherboard or desktop CPU inside, but rather an Intel NUC Element modular computer.

Intel’s NUC Element, containing most of the elements of a full desktop computer.
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

It’s effectively a swappable brain that contains up to a 45W Core i9-9980HK mobile CPU, cooling, slots for memory and storage, a Wi-Fi 6 radio, lots of ports, and all the headers a motherboard would normally need to power a desktop PC. This leaves Razer to simply design the enclosure, provide a power supply, graphics card, SSD, fans and RAM, load an operating system, and configure it for you.

The Tomahawk has a larger, standard SFX power supply compared to Intel’s NUC 9 Extreme.

Or Razer could just provide the enclosure by itself and let you do the rest — though we don’t have pricing for the case by itself quite yet. Intel will sell the NUC Element boards separately through retailers like Amazon and Newegg, so you can buy them elsewhere and slot them in.

The Tomahawk slides open with a locking handle, just like Razer’s eGPU boxes.

The company tells us the full turnkey system will ship this June. While pricing isn’t set yet, Razer’s targeting a starting price just over $2,000, including a Core i7, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of solid state storage and an undisclosed RTX 20-series GPU, and topping out at the Core i9 with 64GB of RAM and a GeForce RTX 2080 Super.

It’s not quite the modular gaming PC concept that Razer teased in 2014, but it seems far more realistic — assuming Intel keeps making the modules. Intel says it’s planning to offer upgrades for at least a couple years, and other partners are on board as well. Cooler Master, for instance, will also offer its own NUC Element enclosure and turnkey systems later this year.

Correction, 12:15 PM ET: Final pricing for the Razer Tomahawk hasn’t actually been set yet, but Razer tells us it should start closer to $2,000 than the $2,300 we originally suggested.