eGPU Overview Updated April 19, 2018

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19 'eGPU' stories

January 2017 - April 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.

Apple officially rolled out eGPU support in macOS with the release of macOS 10.13.4. eGPUs require a Thunderbolt 3 connection to work with Macs, meaning only Thunderbolt 3-enabled Macs are eligible.

macOS only supports AMD GPUs, like the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64. Several eGPU chassis/card combinations are officially recommended by Apple, including Sonnet’s eGFX Breakaway Box 650W.

eGPU Stories April 19

Even though Final Cut Pro X curiously doesn’t support external GPUs yet, DaVinci Resolve is another popular NLE that already works with eGPUs on macOS. In fact, the $299 Studio edition supports multiple GPUs, which can have a noticeable effect on both timeline and render/export performance.

I’ve been super impressed with the relentlessness that Blackmagic Design, the creators behind DaVinci Resolve, has displayed while iterating on its hardware and software products. For example, DaVinci Resolve has progressed from what was primarily viewed as a colorist’s tool that you’d use and round trip back to your primary NLE, to a competent standalone NLE. The upcoming version 15, now in beta, even sports a motion graphics platform called Fusion that’s baked right in.

As I recently traversed the show floor in Las Vegas at NAB 2018, there was a noticeable buzz about DaVinci Resolve — several popular vendors specifically named-dropped Resolve in reference to its eGPU support, and noted the impressive performance gains made possible by this feature.

In this hands-on video walkthrough, I showcase using DaVinci Resolve with multiple eGPUs. As you’ll see, an eGPU can turn a MacBook Pro — a machine that may struggle editing in DaVinci Resolve on its own — into a capable editing machine. expand full story

eGPU Stories April 17

Now that macOS 10.13.4 is out, Apple is now officially supporting certain eGPU configurations for eligible Macs. As I outlined in a recent state of eGPU post, all currently released Thunderbolt 3-enabled Macs are eGPU compatible, including the 4K and 5K iMac, the iMac Pro, and the 2016/2017 MacBook Pro.

With this in mind, we recently got our hands on the Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W to unbox and document some first impressions. If you’re looking for the best overall Apple-recommended external GPU chassis for your Thunderbolt 3-enabled MacBook Pro or iMac, then look no further. Sonnet’s eGFX Breakaway Box is an eGPU enclosure that can power the most powerful Mac-compatible GPU — the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 — while providing enough power to charge a 15-inch MacBook Pro at full speed. Watch our video walkthrough for more hands-on details and benchmarks. expand full story

eGPU Stories April 16

We noted in our latest Back to the Mac feature the mixed state of play when it comes to the official external GPU (eGPU) support added in macOS 10.13.4.

But new benchmark tests show that, while there are still plenty of issues to be resolved, the gains available from a high-end eGPU are substantial …

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eGPU Stories April 4

With last week’s launch of macOS 10.13.4, Apple officially rolled out external GPU support as it promised at WWDC. As we noted last week, Apple has released updated documentation highlighting the details of eGPU implementation.

It also provided updated documentation to better help developers with targeting external GPUs in their applications. On this week’s episode of Back to the Mac, we discuss eGPU support in macOS 10.13.4, including some of the finer details about external vs internal display support, GPU monitoring, and more.

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eGPU Stories March 29

Today Apple released macOS 10.13.4 to the public, bringing official external graphics support to the Mac. Apple has published a new document to help users navigate the ins and outs of eGPU support, including a list of eligible Mac hardware, external graphics enclosures, and GPUs. If you’re considering adopting an external graphics setup, then you definitely want to be familiar with Apple’s published requirements. expand full story

eGPU Stories March 14

As Apple gets closer to its self-imposed spring 2018 deadline for officially adding external GPU support to macOS, each beta seems to increase the stability of external GPU connections. We recently put the fifth and latest version of the macOS 10.13.4 beta to the test. Using a Mantiz Venus external GPU box plus a Radeon RX Vega 64, we performed the usual round of benchmark tests and general usage to see how things are shaping up. expand full story

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