Mac eGPU Support Guide for macOS 10.13.4

Official Mac eGPU support just arrived with macOS 10.13.4! Yes, you can now add an eGPU (external graphics processor) to your Mac, greatly accelerating its performance and turning it into a gaming machine. Get the full details on the Mac eGPU support you can expect!

Mac eGPU Support In macOS High Sierra 10.13.4

 

New Mac eGPU Support

eGPUs have been in the market for a number of years now, but this is the first time Apple has added official support for them. The new official Mac eGPU support is limited to :

  • MacBook Pro notebooks released in 2016 or later,
  • iMac computers released in 2017 or later, and
  • the iMac Pro

Mac eGPU Support Guide for macOS 10.13.4

Once you have macOS 10.13.4 installed, you will be able to :

  • Accelerate applications that use Metal, OpenGL, and OpenCL
  • Connect additional external monitors and displays
  • Use virtual reality headsets plugged into the eGPU
  • Charge your MacBook Pro while using the eGPU
  • Use an eGPU with your MacBook Pro while its built-in display is closed
  • Connect an eGPU while a user is logged in
  • Connect more than one eGPU using the multiple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports on your Mac2
  • Use the menu bar item  to safely disconnect the eGPU
  • View the activity levels of built-in and external GPUs. Open Activity Monitor, then choose Window > GPU History.

 

Mac eGPU Support In Applications

The new Mac eGPU support is designed to accelerate Metal, OpenGL and OpenCL applications. In general, installing an eGPU will accelerate these kinds of applications :

  • Professional applications designed to utilise multiple GPUs
  • 3D games, when an external monitor is attached directly to the eGPU
  • VR applications, when a VR headset is attached directly to the eGPU
  • Professional applications and 3D games that can accelerate the built-in display

For the best results, you should set the display attached to the eGPU as the primary display :

  1. Go to System Preferences > Displays
  2. Select the Arrangement tab
  3. Drag the white menu bar to the box that represents the display attached to the eGPU

Note : The eGPU support  won’t run in Windows using Boot Camp, or when your Mac is in the macOS Recovery mode, or while installing system updates.

 

Recommended Mac eGPU Configurations

If you are looking for a pre-configured all-in-one Thunderbolt 3 eGPU package, this was recommended by Apple :

  • Sonnet Radeon RX 570 eGFX Breakaway Puck : $599

Here is a list of recommended graphics cards :

  • AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition : $929
  • AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100 : $1,749
  • AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100 : $626
  • Sapphire Radeon RX Vega 64 : Price Check
  • XFX Radeon RX Vega 64 : $1,349
  • Sapphire Radeon RX Vega 56 : $799
  • XFX Radeon RX Vega 56 : Price Check

And these are the recommended Mac eGPU Thunderbolt 3 chassis for the recommended graphics cards :

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 / Frontier Edition / Radeon Pro WX 9100

  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W ($449, $1,299 with Vega 64)

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56

  • OWC Mercury Helios FX ($319)
  • PowerColor Devil Box
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550W ($329, $729 with RX 580)
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W ($449, $1,299 with Vega 64)

AMD Radeon RX 570 / 580 / Radeon Pro WX 7100

  • OWC Mercury Helios FX ($319)
  • PowerColor Devil Box
  • Sapphire Gear Box
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350W ($249, $649 with RX 580)
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550W ($329, $729 with RX 580)
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W ($449, $1,299 with Vega 64)

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