macOS High Sierra gains compatibility with eGPUs; check out apple recommendations

macOS High Sierra gains compatibility with eGPUs; check out apple recommendations

As we have already covered here in , Apple now supports External GPUs at the macOS High Sierra. The thing, however, was only officialized now, with the release of the macOS 10.13.4. Along with it, Apple has published a supporting document covering all aspects of this news.

For some, the feature may sound unhelpful or unimportant. But the truth is, this is great news for gamers, professional video editors, and virtual reality developers, who can now improve the graphics performance of their computers by using an external graphics card by plugging it into their Mac with a simple cable. It's good to be clear that for optimal performance, eGPUs should be connected directly to your Mac and not daisy chained through another device or hub Thunderbolt

Apple External Graphics Development Kit for Virtual Reality (VR)

The news can also help extend the life of older computers if you are unwilling to invest good money in a new one even though these eGPUs are costing a lot of money today due to the cryptocurrency mining market.

Your Thunderbolt 3-equipped Mac running macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 may have access to additional graphics performance by connecting to an external graphics processor (also known as eGPU).

According to Apple's document, eGPUs are supported on MacBooks Pro 2016 or later, iMacs 2017 or later, and iMac Pro. The commonality of these computers that all offer at least one Thunderbolt 3 port, of course. that they need to be running macOS 10.13.4.

Also according to the company, with an eGPU users can:

  • Speed ‚Äč‚Äčup applications using Metal, OpenGL and OpenCL
  • Connect additional external monitors
  • Use headsets eGPU connected virtual reality
  • Recharging Your MacBook Pro While Using eGPU
  • Use eGPU with your MacBook Pro while it is closed
  • Connect to eGPU while a user is logged in
  • Connect more than one eGPU using the multiple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports on your Mac (if it has one)
  • Easily and safely disconnect an eGPU from the menu bar
  • View internal and external GPU activity levels (open Activity Monitor and choose GPU Historical Window)

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In the document, Apple states that it is important to use an eGPU with a recommended graphics card and a Thunderbolt 3 chassis. If you are using a MacBook Pro, the eGPU Thunderbolt 3 chassis needs to provide enough power to run the graphics card while it charges the computer. Then you need to check with the chassis manufacturer to find out how much power it provides, making sure that it has enough power to recharge the 61W connected MacBook Pro for the 13 ″ model (87W for the 15 ″).

Apple, of course, made a list of recommended graphics cards that include AMD eGPUs only:

  • Radeon RX 570
  • Radeon RX 580
  • Radeon Pro WX 7100
  • Radeon RX Vega 56
  • Radeon RX Vega 64
  • Vega Frontier Edition Air
  • Radeon Pro WX 9100

J the chassis recommended by the company are:

  • OWC Mercury Helios FX (85W, enough to reload 15 ‚Ä≥ MBP)
  • PowerColor Devil Box
  • Sapphire Gear Box
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350W
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550W (85W, enough to recharge 15 ‚Ä≥ MBP)
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W (85W, enough to recharge 15 ‚Ä≥ MBP)

Sonnet also offers an eGPU all-in-one (the Sonnet Radeon RX 570 eGFX Breakaway Puck), capable of providing enough power for the 15 ″ MacBook Pro.

Not all flowers, of course; macOS High Sierra does not support eGPUs in some cases. They are: on Windows (using Boot Camp), when Mac is on macOS Recovery or when installing system updates.

A large absence was, as we commented above, NVIDIA. Maybe we'll see updates from drivers company boards for macOS to make them work on Ma's new system.

Other than that, while eGPU support is at a very early stage, the news is very encouraging and very welcome for Mac users around the world.

via 9to5Mac