Apple Begins Exclusively Selling 'Blackmagic eGPU' for $699, Aimed at New MacBook Pros
Blackmagic is far from the only company to provide users with inadequately short 0. A 2-meter active Thunderbolt 3 cable like this one from CalDigit review costs more, but provides so much more flexibility when it comes to chassis placement. The biggest advantage is that it can be customized specifically for the graphics card contained inside.
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This allows for thermal engineering that can eclipse do-it-yourself eGPU setups and results in much quieter operation. These users, more often than not, desire quiet work spaces.
The Blackmagic eGPU, because of its end-to-end design, is much quieter than typical enclosure setups where the user provides their own GPU. Along with this, Blackmagic did a great job of keeping the unit cool, with outer surfaces that remain cool to the touch during use. With the super-quiet Blackmagic eGPU handling the graphics load, it provided a quiet workspace, even with highly taxing computation work occurring before my eyes. Longer bars are better unless otherwise noted. Above is F1 , a very demanding Metal title that I had running at maxed out settings. A stronger card would do a lot better, though.
This is sure to be a disappointment to anyone who uses Final Cut and is considering an eGPU assisted workflow. The good news is that there is a rather simple-to-use workaround. With Set-eGPU enabled, the popular BruceX 5K benchmark yields somewhat modest benefits from the Radeon Pro , and a 4 minute and 30 second project with effects exported at 4K did as well.
Blackmagic eGPU - Apple
It was only after a long journey down Google search and seemingly endless back-and-forth emails with Blackmagic and a call with Apple that I was finally able to see faster and not slower graphics performance. The new MacBook Pro packs serious power, but only for a select few. But first, some basics. This non-upgradeability severely limits its usefulness if you want more power down the road. If you need even more graphics performance, you can also connect multiple Blackmagic eGPUs directly to each of your Mac's Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Don't daisy chain them, though, because that will overload the port, according to the company's FAQ. I didn't get to test multiple Blackmagic eGPUs I only had one to play with , but keep in mind that an app also needs to support multiple GPUs external or not in order for it to access the extra power. GPU choice aside, Blackmagic's eGPU is well built and won't easily be knocked over on desks the included inch Thunderbolt 3 cable is a tad short, though.
I wouldn't call it beautiful — the base is ugly in my opinion — but it blends in nicely with any space gray MacBook or iMac Pro. It kind of reminds me of the the trash can Mac Pro Apple helped design this thing after all and works similarly with air being sucked up from the bottom and released out through the top vent. Most impressive is how quiet it operates — it's barely audible. Around the eGPU's back is a healthy stable of ports for connecting accessories: Noticeably missing on the eGPU is a power button. The only way to know if the eGPU is on and connected properly is the white LED down below, which lights up when its in use.
Also, on your Mac, the eGPU symbol appears in the menu bar. My main beef with Blackmagic's eGPU isn't just that it's expensive or that the GPU is non-upgradeable, but that there are a whole lot checkboxes you need to tick off to get it to actually work. Even worse, when it's connected and not working, there's absolutely no way to tell unless you're looking at the Activity Monitor or doing rigorous testing like me.
It still lights up, and you still get the menu-bar icon. My first order of business was to test video exporting with and without the eGPU. With the help of Mashable video producer Ray White we created several test projects to export. We did a p export project, but to keep things simple we'll focus on my 4K trials because p performance was the same with and without the eGPU. We exported the video at native resolution and framerate in H.
Here's what we got:. So I did what anyone would do. I went to Google and found a shocking answer: This is because only one GPU can drive a Mac's built-in screen and that's the one already inside of it. The proper way to use the eGPU: What could be wrong now? More Googling and I find out graphics performance is only better if the monitor is plugged into the eGPU, which is then plugged into your Mac. 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?
Games are accelerated and the general system feels a bit less laggy. I get around 1 crash or lockup every hours. The slight performance benefits are not at this time worth the cost, so it will be returned, I am gutted, as I hoped it would be so much more stable, so much better. The Potential is there but its not quite ready, crashes and lockups blight. First off, the Thunderbolt 3 cable it comes with is 1 foot. If you are using a Mac Mini and more than one display it might be an odd set up.
It's just not for me, so I will be returning this item. Didn't see a benefit. If you own this setup, then the internal GPU is almost as good as the Blackmagic. I cannot run fluid full-resolution video at max resolution, from any app with, or without, Blackmagic. If i run the Macbook at low resolution, apple calls it large text then i see subtle video lag on the blackmagic and a tiny bit worse running straight from Macbook. Radeon Mackbook owners patiently waiting for the Vega Blackmagic Pro model.
Designed for Non-Radeon MacBooks. Answer now What are the box dimensions not physical dimension out of box of this product Blackmagic Egpu? Answer now can i use the blackmagic egpu on my older macbook pro retina A For Final Cut Pro, I noticed render times were dramatcially decreased I don't have exact numbers for you there, but my projects did go much more quickly The MBP modle has an issue with the eGPU as it will restart automatically on shut down with the unit attached. More Read full answer. Answer now Can anyone speak to real-world performance benefits? Browse all. Shop by Product.
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