APPLE HAS STARTED OFFERING an external GPU (eGPU) created in partnership with Blackmagic to accompany its newly-upgraded MacBook Pros.
Apple first announced eGPU support at last year's WWDC and rolled out support for the functionality back in March. While other OEMs have since brought support for Thunderbolt 3 to their units, Apple this week started selling its own solution - the Blackmagic eGPU.
The eGPU, which Apple claims will bring "desktop-class graphics performance" to its MacBook Pro lineup, features an AMD Radeon Pro 580 graphics card, 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, 256-bit memory bandwidth and 36 discrete compute units for a total of 5.5 teraflops of processing power.
If the official blurb is to be believed, the eGPU will offer 2.8x faster graphics performance on the 15in MacBook Pro and 8x faster performance on the 13in model.
The Blackmagic eGPU also comes kitted out with an HDMI port, four USB 3.1 ports and three Thunderbolt 3 connectors. It's apparently the first eGPU to support Thunderbolt 3 displays like LG's Apple-approved 5K Monitor.
Apple swoons: "The Blackmagic eGPU is built to make any Mac with Thunderbolt 3 ports a graphics powerhouse. Enjoy super-smooth gaming, accelerate graphics-intensive pro app workflows, and enable VR experiences or content creation."
"Built-in I/O connections drive a Thunderbolt 3 display, support multiple accessories and charge your MacBook Pro at the same time."
However, unlike most eGPU units, you will not be able to upgrade the card inside, so you will be stuck with the Radeon Pro 580 for the life of the product. This is because Apple and Blackmagic specially designed the enclosure with a single piece of aluminium and a special cooling system, which means the eGPU runs quietly at just 18 dB.
The BlackMagic eGPU supports the MacBook Pro 2016 or later, iMac 2017 or later, and iMac Pro 2017 or later, and is available to buy exclusively from Apple for £599, with delivery promised for 17 July. µ
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