eGPU Overview Updated January 25, 2018

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13 'eGPU' stories

January 2017 - January 2018


An eGPU is primarily designed to allow smaller notebook computers to benefit from the power of a full-sized graphics card via a high speed bandwidth connection.

Modern eGPUs utilize high speed bandwidth provided by technologies like Thunderbolt 3 to provide faster access to a card’s resources.

One popular eGPU option is the Razer Core, which Razer labels as an External Graphics Dock. This eGPU is primarily designed for Razer PCs but can be used with other computers as well. For Macs, the Akitio Node is gaining in popularity, but its availability is still quite limited.

eGPU Stories January 25

Good news for those of you who already use or have been considering an external GPU for your Mac: Apple has enhanced support for eGPU setups in macOS 10.13.4 beta.

Ahead of Apple’s promise to bring better eGPU support to the Mac by spring 2018, the initial beta release for 10.13.4 brings several noticeable changes and enhancements to the fore. expand full story

eGPU Stories January 8

The original Akitio Node was the first external graphics box that came with a Mac-compatible Thunderbolt 3 chipset. Hence, it was recognized by macOS without needing to rely on hacks like previous eGPU boxes. Needless to say, the Akitio Node was and continues to be popular among Mac enthusiasts looking to drive external graphics.

Recently, Akitio launched the latest product in its external graphics Node line — the Akitio Node Pro (currently sold out on Amazon). The result is a more refined external graphics box with a built-in DisplayPort connection, and a second Thunderbolt 3 port for daisy-chaining to other Thunderbolt 3-enabled devices. Watch our hands-on video for a first look the at $360 Node Pro. expand full story

eGPU Stories November 27, 2017

When Apple announced that it would lend official support to eGPU setups via Thunderbolt 3, I was extremely happy with the news. It means adding more graphical power on demand to Thunderbolt 3-enabled Macs like the MacBook Pro.

That said, eGPU support is still being fleshed out in macOS High Sierra, and Apple has stated that the situation will be further addressed in the spring of 2018. In the meantime, progress has been made on the eGPU front, albeit slowly.

Just for the fun of it I decided to test the Sapphire Radeon RX Vega 64 inside of a Mantiz Venus external graphics box connected to a 2017 13-inch MacBook Pro. Although official driver support isn’t yet there, I can report that when running the latest macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, the RX Vega 64 does work to some degree. Here’s a hands-on video look at what I found.

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eGPU Stories November 21, 2017

Apple launched its External Graphics Development Kit during WWDC 2017 as a way to assist developers with demanding graphics-intensive apps and VR content creation. The unit included the developer edition of Sonnet’s external eGFX GPU chassis, along with Sapphire’s AMD RX 580 8GB graphics card, and Belkin’s USB-C to 4-port USB-A hub.

Apple priced the External Graphics Development Kit at $599, which was reasonable considering that the Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8GB still goes for around $279, and demanded a higher price during the kit’s launch. The External Graphics Development Kit has been on sale for several months, but now all stock appears to be exhausted.

As a part of its Cyber Week Sale, Sonnet is offering the eGFX Breakaway Box – Developer Edition — the same unit included in Apple’s kit, sans Belkin USB hub, for $499. That’s a $100 price difference from what Apple was charging, and the developer edition of the eGFX units are available to all users, not just developers. expand full story

eGPU Stories November 10, 2017

When Apple unveiled its plans to officially support external graphics over Thunderbolt 3, it provided developers with an opportunity to purchase its $599 External Graphics Development Kit. The kit included, among other things, Sonnet Technologies’ eGFX Breakaway Box Developer Edition, providing users with a 350W power supply, one 8-pin (6+2 pin) power connector, support for cards up to 225W, and 60W of power delivery capable of recharging a 13-inch MacBook Pro at full speed.

The $269 consumer version of the same box is similar to the one earmarked for developers, except it provides an 8-pin (6+2 pin) plus one 6-pin power connector, is capable of supporting cards up to 300W, but only supplies 15W of power for laptop charging.

On Tuesday, Sonnet announced the availability of its most powerful eGPU offering yet — the $349 eGFX Breakaway Box 550. This unit provides dual 8-pin (6+2pin) power connectors, support for cards up to 375W, and 87W of power delivery. In other words, the eGFX Breakaway Box 550 is the unit for you if you plan on driving graphics cards like Nvidia’s Titan Xp or AMD’s RX Vega 56, while requiring full speed charging for your 15-inch MacBook Pro. expand full story

eGPU Stories June 8, 2017

Now that macOS supports native eGPU support in the beta version of High Sierra, it’s possible to drive external graphics using a MacBook Pro or iMac via Thunderbolt 3. To support development needs, Apple is selling a special $599 External Graphics Development Kit directly to developers.

Josh Farkas, CEO of Cubicle Ninjas, received an External Graphics Development Kit and subsequently tweeted his unboxing. The kit includes a Sonnet eGPU box, an AMD Radeon RX 580 and a Belkin USB hub. expand full story

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