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  4. Blackmagic eGPU review: Too much frustration for too little benefit

With the correct wiring, I ran my tests and yet again saw exports that were either barely faster or somehow slower. I just wasn't seeing faster performance. Super annoyed, I combed Blackmagic's website and noticed there's no mention of faster graphics performance for any app but its own DaVinci Resolve video production software. Could it be that this eGPU is only good for one app? Because that would be really dumb. Besides, the description for the eGPU on Apple's website says otherwise:.

Enjoy supersmooth gaming, accelerate graphics-intensive pro app workflows, and enable VR experiences or content creation. Hmm, maybe it was something with High Sierra. I booted up another partition with the latest beta version of Mojave. Just when I thought things couldn't get worse, they did.

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Premiere CC on Mojave just wouldn't work. It kept crashing and I never was able to export a single video at any resolution. About to lose my mind, I contacted Blackmagic to see if I could get to the bottom of all of these problems I was experiencing. At the same time, I was told the eGPU any one from any company "should not slow any app down. Really wanting to smash the eGPU to bits physical abuse is never the answer, but just goddamnit , I switched back to High Sierra and ran my Premiere exports again.

I went back to Google to find out if there was a way to force apps to use the eGPU.

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I found out on High Sierra, that's not possible. But, on Mojave, there is a way to force apps to use the eGPU on an app-by-app basis. I cursed both Apple and Blackmagic. Everything seemed to work until I hit the export button. The app crashed again.

Even more frustrated than before, I decided to try something else. I loaded up Fortnite on the default "High" settings to see how playable the game would be.

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Not very. Not at High settings. On High settings on just the MacBook Pro, the game recorded between fps. With the eGPU, the game's framerate jumped up to fps. Both were below fps, which is considered to be the optimal framerate for smooth gameplay by many players. The game wasn't unplayable at High settings with the eGPU, but there was still quite a bit of noticeable latency as I panned the camera around or shot at other players. The framerate took a bigger hit when there were multiple players onscreen. Even crazier was that it took longer to boot the game up with the eGPU compared to without: Dropping Fortnite's settings down to Medium increased the framerate, but the graphics became so low-res, I would have been better off just playing it on iPhone.

It looks clean, but wait until you connect power, a monitor, and accessories to the back and it becomes a mess of cables. I was all ready to give up on the eGPU until I reached out to Apple to see if I could make a last-ditch effort to troubleshoot my problems.


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After chatting with an Apple hardware engineer I learned a few new things that again aren't included in the instructions manual and is valuable for anyone who buys this eGPU. Never mirror your Mac to the external display. It uses up some of the eGPU in order to do so and as a result will slow performance down. If you're using a MacBook like I did, make sure the lid is closed. Apple told me you don't need to have the lid closed, but there's a chance that it won't tap the eGPU if you don't.

Most apps will not support hot-plugging with the eGPU, which is the ability for the computer to recognize changes when an accessory is plugged in or removed. In other words, if you want to use the eGPU with, say, Premiere Pro CC, you need to quit the game and launch it again after you hook it up. I'm told only two known apps are hot-pluggable, one of them being Cinema 4D.

Blackmagic eGPU

With all this in mind, I ran the same 4K and p export tests. As with the earlier tests, all times are the average of three trials each. For good measure, I also took the same 4K video project and exported it to a downscaled p resolution. The leap in performance is much more drastic for rendering:. However, exporting video in Premiere Pro CC is way faster. I've been fascinated by eGPUs for as long as they've been around. The idea that you can soup up a thin and light computer designed for portability but not performance and transform it into a desktop-class beast for graphics-intensive tasks like video editing or gaming when you're at home or at work is super appealing.

I was genuinely excited that, maybe — just maybe — Blackmagic had made an eGPU that any regular ol' joe could easily set up and enjoy the benefits of. The thing is garbage too, makes more sense to get a Nvidia which consumes less power and runs faster. MacRumors attracts a broad audience of both consumers and professionals interested in the latest technologies and products.

We also boast an active community focused on purchasing decisions and technical aspects of the iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Mac platforms. Got a tip for us?

Blackmagic eGPU review: Too much frustration for too little benefit

Let us know a. Send us an email b. Anonymous form close x. According to TechCrunch , the unit's appearance exclusively on Apple's website comes in the wake of a partnership between the two companies as Apple aims to widen the eGPU market after launching support for eGPUs this past spring.

A Thunderbolt 3 cable also comes in the box. With external GPUs, users can take advantage of smoother gaming experiences, boost graphics-intensive app workflows, enable virtual reality experiences, and even build VR content. Order pickup is also available at nearby Apple retail stores. Related Roundup: MacBook Pro. Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro Caution. Top Rated Comments View all. I wonder if it works under bootcamp for gaming Not according to Blackmagics website. Look there first, it answers all of the billion questions you had in this thread.

I'm positive I don't need this to surf the net on my mac but I want one. Ok, now make one with nVidia so I can use cuda like a normal modern person uses. I think this refers to USB power Fewer dongles with an iMac as well Either way, still sitting here impatiently waiting for this new Mac Pro. This enclosure is actually pretty incredible because it looks like they've routed some DisplayPort lines to the Thunderbolt 3 ports on the hub, meaning that, for the first time, users can easily accelerate 5k USB-C displays like the LG Ultrafine via eGPU.

This is huge. You can plug it right into your MBP without the use of an external monitor. Yes it does.

One issue after another

The maximum wattage for the enclosure is W which is enough for a Nope, Nvidia is terrible at Mac drivers. AMD shines. Cuda is still widely popular but only works with Nvidia. Radeon is retaking the market, strategically has better mid and mid-high range, better eGPU support, better Linux and macOS support. Blame Nvidia for terrible metal and macOS drivers. And useless. D You are just trolling. Power, dedicated GPU, connectivity with one cable. I get 6x performance thanks to eGPU.

It runs quite similar ut has better performance in Metal and OpenCL. Also macOS drivers are very good, compared to Nvidia.