Tag Archives: External graphics card

Mac eGPU Support Guide for macOS 10.13.4

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!

 

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

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

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  • 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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Here Is The NVIDIA External GPU For Artists and Designers

SINGAPORE — August 1, 2017 — NVIDIA today announced the NVIDIA external GPU that will allow 25 million artists and designers to easily upgrade the capability of their notebooks to support new workflows such as video editing, interactive rendering, VR content creation, AI development and more.

 

The NVIDIA External GPU For Artists and Designers

Creative professionals with underpowered graphics can now harness the power of NVIDIA TITAN X or NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards through an external GPU (eGPU) chassis and dramatically boost the performance of their applications.

“While more computer power than ever is needed for VR, photoreal rendering and AI workflows, mobile systems are getting thinner and lighter, with limited performance and memory,” says Bob Pette, vice president, Professional Visualisation, NVIDIA. “Our eGPUs can now solve this problem, enabling creatives to plug into our most capable GPUs so they can do their best work on the most graphically demanding applications.”

NVIDIA Quadro graphics will be available through qualified eGPU partners for those who use high-end content creation applications for animation, colour grading and rendering as well as CAD and simulation apps. The qualification process ensures users of compatibility, reliability and performance of their Quadro eGPU solution.

To ensure prosumers enjoy great performance with applications such as Autodesk Maya and Adobe Premier Pro, NVIDIA is also releasing a new performance driver for NVIDIA TITAN X to make it faster than ever before.

Available starting in September, Quadro eGPU solutions will be available through qualified partners such as Bizon, One Stop Systems/Magma and Sonnet with more to come.

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AMD XConnect Technology Revealed

March 10, 2016 – AMD today announced the AMD XConnect Technology. What is the AMD XConnect Technology? It is basically an external graphics card solution for notebooks. It allows you to pair a desktop-class AMD Radeon graphics card with a compatible notebook using Thunderbolt 3. Let’s take a look!

 

The Problem

Traditionally, PC gamers have to choose between gaming performance or portability, sacrificing one for the other. Never having their cake and eating it too.

The AMD XConnect Technology aims to bridge that gap, offering the best of both worlds. Who wouldn’t want to work with an ultra-thin, ultra-light notebook, but go back to desktop gaming with the same notebook?

With AMD XConnect Technology, that is now possible.

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Introducing AMD XConnect Technology

The AMD XConnect Technology allows a compatible notebook, or even a 2-in-1 device, with Thunderbolt 3 connect to an external GPU enclosure configured with AMD Radeon R9 300 or AMD Radeon R9 Fury series GPUs. It’s a simple plug and play experience – you can connect and disconnect from the external graphics card enclosure at any time.

“AMD XConnect technology is representative of the Radeon Technologies Group’s on-going commitment to gamers. With the introduction of our user-friendly plug-and-play external GPU solution, gamers no longer need to sacrifice portability for powerful performance in notebook gaming,” said Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD. “As innovators paving the way with an ingenious external GPU solution for notebooks, we look forward to creating a thriving ecosystem of notebooks enabled with AMD XConnect technology in collaboration with leading manufacturers.”

The AMD XConnect Technology is a collaboration between the AMD Radeon Technologies Group, Razer and the Intel Thunderbolt group.

Next Page > The First Compatible Notebook, Performance, Additional Information

 

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The First Notebook Ready For AMD XConnect

AMD also revealed the first ultra-thin notebook to support AMD XConnect – the new Razer Blade Stealth, together with the Razer Core external GPU enclosure. The Razer Core can be equipped with a Radeon R9 300 series GPU to allow gamers to enjoy desktop-like gaming performance on their ultra-thin Razer Blade Stealth notebook!

“The Razer Blade Stealth was developed as the ultimate Ultrabook™ for work on-the-go, additionally capable of transforming into a desktop gaming environment when connected to Razer Core, thanks in part to remarkable contributions from AMD,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer CEO and cofounder. “The collaboration and development between Razer and AMD for users with Radeon R9 300 Series graphics in the Razer Core helped us realize the world’s first Thunderbolt 3 plug-and-play external graphics solution. A single Thunderbolt 3 connection now provides power and data between the Blade Stealth and Core, and other peripherals can connect to the Razer Core’s USB ports to provide a desktop-class gaming experience.”

To unleash the AMD XConnect Technology, the Razer Blade Stealth must be connected to the Razer Core eGFX enclosure using Intel Thunderbolt 3, and use an AMD XConnect-compatible driver (Radeon Software 16.2.2 or better). You can game directly on the Razer Blade Stealth’s high-resolution IGZO screen, or connect to an external monitor.

 

“Thunderbolt™ 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C at speeds up to 40Gb/s, creating one compact port that does it all,” said Jason Ziller, Director of Thunderbolt Marketing, Intel. “Thanks to technical collaboration with the Radeon Technologies group at AMD, desktop Radeon™ graphics cards are now validated for use with Thunderbolt™ 3. AMD’s new XConnect™ technology brings effortless plug-and-play support and a convenient management interface to notebooks and 2-in-1s with the Thunderbolt™ 3 external graphics solution configured with a powerful Radeon™ R9 300 Series GPU.”

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Performance Level : Desktop

Here is AMD’s showcase benchmark – based on a Razer Core powered by the AMD Radeon R9 Nano graphics card.

This allows the Razer Blade Stealth to deliver frame rates (at 1440p resolution) in excess of  70 fps! This is nothing special for a desktop gaming PC, but it is phenomenal on a notebook.

 

Additional Information

The eGFX enclosure must be powered by an AMD Radeon graphics card that supports AMD XConnect. AMD plans to expand the list of Radeon GPUs that can support the AMD XConnect Technology. This will enable gamers to upgrade their eGFX enclosures beyond the Radeon R9 300 series GPUs.

Not all notebooks or 2-in-1s support AMD XConnect technology, and not all external graphics (eGFX) enclosures are compatible with AMD XConnect. The base system’s software package and BIOS must be configured to support AMD XConnect. Both the system and eGFX enclosure must have a Thunderbolt 3 port.

 

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