eGPU Overview Updated November 21, 2017

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12 'eGPU' stories

January 2017 - November 2017


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 November 21

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

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

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

eGPU Stories June 7

One of the more exciting macOS-centric features announced at Monday’s WWDC 2017 keynote was native support for external GPUs within macOS High Sierra.

As a big fan of the eGPU concept, and as someone who’s taken quite a few eGPU boxes for a spin on older versions of macOS, I was excited to try out the native functionality baked inside of High Sierra. expand full story

eGPU Stories May 2

Mantiz’s Venus is an upcoming eGPU box and docking station for Thunderbolt 3-enabled laptops like the 2016 MacBook Pro. The Taiwanese-based company is working on bringing two eGPU boxes to market — the eccentric-looking Saturn, and the more subdued-looking Venus.

The friendly folks at Mantiz agreed to send over a Venus eGPU/docking station, allowing me to take it for a quick test drive when paired together with my 13-inch 2016 MacBook Pro. Featuring an all-aluminum outer shell with classic Mac Pro cheese grater-inspired perforated design, the Venus is one of the more attractive eGPU solutions that I’ve seen thus far. Have a look at our hands on video walkthrough inside for more details. expand full story

eGPU Stories April 20

Nvidia releases updated Pascal Web Driver to fix Night Shift issues on macOS Sierra 10.12.4

An updated version of the Nvidia Pascal Web Driver for macOS has been released. Version 378.05.05.05f02, which supersedes the previous 378.05.05.05f01 release, includes a fix for those experiencing issues with Night Shift on macOS Sierra 10.12.4.

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