Apple & Blackmagic launch new eGPU to match updated MacBook Pros

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
Accompanying the refreshed MacBook Pros launched on Thursday, Apple is now also preparing an external GPU developed in cooperation with Blackmagic, which sports an AMD Radeon Pro 580 GPU with 8 gigabytes of memory.

Blackmagic eGPU


The unit should boost speeds by as much as 2.8 times on the 15-inch MacBook Pro, and up to 8 times on 13-inch systems, Apple said. The hardware has two Thunderbolt ports, four USB 3 connections, and an HDMI 2 port. Based on the documentation for the unit, it appears to be the first eGPU to support Thunderbolt 3 displays such as LG's 5K monitor.

The unit is an all-in-one design, which means that it is non-upgradable. The tradeoff, however, is that the unit is built to be quiet and have a smaller footprint than general-purpose eGPU enclosures.

While the Radeon Pro and Radeon RX GPUs are largely similar, built around the same chips and with comparable specifications, the Pro line is intended for use in workstations, rather than for gaming.

Blackmagic eGPU


The Blackmagic eGPU will launch in select Apple stores on July 13 for $699, and will be available from Apple.com as well.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    asciiascii Posts: 5,693member
    Does it accelerate graphics on the internal display?
  • Reply 2 of 23
    ascii said:
    Does it accelerate graphics on the internal display?
    Yes.
    asciiireland
  • Reply 3 of 23
    tipootipoo Posts: 874member
    The thought has to cross my mind if this is why there's almost no change to the GPUs internally, I was expecting Vega but the 555X and 560X are very minor clock bumps. 
  • Reply 4 of 23
    asciiascii Posts: 5,693member
    ascii said:
    Does it accelerate graphics on the internal display?
    Yes.
    That's good. Apple puts so much effort in to their screens, it's one thing to want upgraded graphics but quite another to want to use a third party monitor.
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 23
    The Radeon Pro 580 performs really poor compared to an nVidia GTX-1080:
    http://gpuboss.com/gpus/Radeon-Pro-580-vs-GeForce-GTX-1080#comments

    I wish Nvidia's products were used instead....
  • Reply 6 of 23
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,430member
    The Radeon Pro 580 performs really poor compared to an nVidia GTX-1080:
    http://gpuboss.com/gpus/Radeon-Pro-580-vs-GeForce-GTX-1080#comments

    I wish Nvidia's products were used instead....
    The site you've linked declared the AMD Radeon Pro 580 the winner?  Even though it didn't measure the gaming or graphics performance?

    Not the best site to link in order to prove your point, I feel.

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 23
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,862administrator
    ascii said:
    ascii said:
    Does it accelerate graphics on the internal display?
    Yes.
    That's good. Apple puts so much effort in to their screens, it's one thing to want upgraded graphics but quite another to want to use a third party monitor.
    There are caveats. Looping back to the internal display is a massive bandwidth pinch, and cuts way, way back on the speed boosts provided by the eGPU. Best performance is still provided with an external display.

    Blackmagic says that the LG 5K can be plugged in downstream of the eGPU, and will be accelerated. This is the first one that will do that.
    bloggerblogdysamoriaasciimuthuk_vanalingamAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 23
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,785member
    Modular designs.
    Close partnerships.
    Interesting times.

    jony0Alex1Nchasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 23
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,520member
    Pretty disappointed in this. While the 580 is a good GPU, it’s old, and really doesn’t compare to later ones. I rather see a product at double the price with three times the performance of this one.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 23
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 197member
    Cool design, good price point (esp compared to some hubs), quiet and fast. Impressed.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 23
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,430member
    melgross said:
    Pretty disappointed in this. While the 580 is a good GPU, it’s old, and really doesn’t compare to later ones. I rather see a product at double the price with three times the performance of this one.
    There's a good number of alternatives around.
  • Reply 12 of 23
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,720member
    Non-upgradable, yay. :-p This is the kind of device people will replace often for speed boosts, so, all the more for e-waste mountains if this catches on in professional workspaces.
    muthuk_vanalingamirelandAlex1N
  • Reply 13 of 23
    xsmixsmi Posts: 120member
    Where’s the MacBook Pro in the picture above? Could they be hinting that the Mac Pro will be upgraadeable through Thunderbolt 3 only? 
  • Reply 14 of 23
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,862administrator
    xsmi said:
    Where’s the MacBook Pro in the picture above? Could they be hinting that the Mac Pro will be upgraadeable through Thunderbolt 3 only? 
    We don't know yet, but that's not a giant stretch of the imagination.
    xsmiAlex1N
  • Reply 15 of 23
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,520member
    crowley said:
    melgross said:
    Pretty disappointed in this. While the 580 is a good GPU, it’s old, and really doesn’t compare to later ones. I rather see a product at double the price with three times the performance of this one.
    There's a good number of alternatives around.
    That’s not really the point.
  • Reply 16 of 23
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,520member

    xsmi said:
    Where’s the MacBook Pro in the picture above? Could they be hinting that the Mac Pro will be upgraadeable through Thunderbolt 3 only? 
    We don't know yet, but that's not a giant stretch of the imagination.
    I sure hope that’s not true for the new model coming in 2019, but on,y for the old one, still being made. The problem is that I get the shudders even thinking on what Apple is doing. More innovation like that, and I’m done.
  • Reply 17 of 23
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,346member
    dysamoria said:
    Non-upgradable, yay. :-p This is the kind of device people will replace often for speed boosts, so, all the more for e-waste mountains if this catches on in professional workspaces.
    The complaining has just gotten to be too much. Blocked.
    Rayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 23
    xsmi said:
    Where’s the MacBook Pro in the picture above? Could they be hinting that the Mac Pro will be upgraadeable through Thunderbolt 3 only? 
    On the Blackmagic website, there are more than a few pics of it being connected to a MBP:
    https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicegpu/
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 23
    The Sonnet eGFX breakout box bundles look like a better deal. The Sonnets are not as physically attractive, and are probably noisier too, but there are a lot more options.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    I like the asthetics and options on this but being non-upgradable is a no-go for me considering I'm spending $700+ on it.
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