graphics cards

Top excellent external graphics cards (eGPUs) for Mac

graphics cards

Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box

2 Akitio Node Lite

3 Razer Core V2

4. Mantis Venus (MZ-02)

We have prepared a complete guide to the EGPP graphics card for Mac, where we want to explain the benefits of using an EGPU besides giving you a full offer, which you can find around Apple’s Mac computers.

A lot has been said about rumors in recent months that Apple is developing some types of helmets or specs that will bring virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) into Mac and iOS devices. They are important ecosystems for the company, as we have seen in a large number of applications available for iOS and macOS.

Apple updates made by your ARKit software strengthened this idea. Apple has also come to display the MacBook Pro using an external graphics processing unit eGPU.

And it is true that the iPhone and iPad are well-suited for augmented reality, because the popularity of the game in the mobile environment nurtures the graphic capability of these devices for titles such as Pokémon Go, such as superposing graphics on real-world images .

But there is no doubt that in general, apple platform platform games are never the power of the company, compared to CPU, other manufacturers, mainly implementing graphics chips and accelerators from AMD and NVIDIA, which use their own Does it

The software demands a lot of graphics power to run VR 3D games, and many high end Mac models still rely on integrated graphics (a small chip that relies on a dedicated card rather than the main chip) Are.

The advantage provided by a dedicated graphics card is that they usually release CPU’s workload with processing units or GPUs, which have nothing to envy to the computer’s main processor.

However, there are no internal expansion slots in any Mac in the current range, which allow you to install a more powerful GPU inside, so that you can provide more graphic power to your computer.

This is because of the reason that, if you want more graphics power, then you have to resort to solutions like shown here: External graphics (EGPP) that connect to one of Mac’s ports, mainly Thunderbolt 3

Budget and update

Last year, Apple launched the iMac Pro, which focuses on Content Developers and Virtual Reality Projects. However, the most economical version costs € 5,499, which is a bit expensive for most mortals’ wallets.

The good news is that, with this release, Apple announced supporting Mac OS High Sierra versions, supporting external graphics cards known as eGPUs. This support became a reality with the advent of MacOS 10.13.4.

What is an eGPU?

As its name suggests an eGPU is a form of graphics accelerator that gives the Mac an increase in performance in the section of 3D graphics. To be precise, an eGPU consists of two components that you must purchase separately.

The first is the graphics card itself, also known as the GPU. Current Mac models do not have internal expansion slots, so we only have the possibility to connect the eGPU through its ports.

Being an external GPU, we have to have an appropriate box on which to connect the card and feed it with its own power source. These boxes usually have one or several PCIe expansion slots in order to be able to connect several in parallel.

Finally, this box is connected to the Mac through one of the ports Thunderbolt 3 taking advantage of the high speeds that can guarantee, up to 40 Gbps, the fastest connection that can currently support a computer or laptop connector.

Thunderbolt 3 has become, also on Windows PCs, in a standard port, so that many of the eGPU solutions that we will discuss below support both Windows and Mac PCs.

What are the advantages of an eGPU?

One of the great benefits that you can continue to work with its normal MacBook or MacBook Pro, you can take it away from home, and when you come back to your home or office, a full graphics station Connect to eGPU solution to convert into

However, you should keep in mind that most ECGPU solutions are sold as empty boxes, in which one or more graphic cards should be added in additional form. This is an analogy for NAS storage devices, an external box in which you add a hard drive.

You should also keep in mind if you are considering buying a monitor for these environments, that Apple has shown its pro display XDR monitor who will go on sale next fall.

What graphics cards are compatible with eGPUs?

As was predicted, you will first need a high Sierra operating system version 10.13.4 or later.

The choice of graphics card can also be complicated. Most EGPP boxes have a standard Thunderbolt 3 interface, which ensures connection to any Mac or Next Generation PC.

The PCI expansion slot between the makers of the motherboard, in which the external box is also quite standard, so you will not have any problem finding the graphic of the brand AMD or Nvidia, which dominate the market.

Unfortunately, while writing this article, High Sierra 10.13.4 only works with limited selection of AMD graphics cards, the list that we offer below, which are recommended by Apple.

  • AMD Radeon RX 470 and RX 570
  • AMD Radeon RX 480 and RX580
  • AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
  • AMD Vega Frontier Edition Air
  • AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100

At this point, you should keep in mind that there are high end graphics cards such as Radeon Pro and Vega models, which require powerful power supply. The manufacturer of the outer box usually indicates the values, for which we should pay special attention.

Some well-known manufacturers like HP and Lenovo already set up their own eGPU solutions with graphics already inside. You can also personalize your solution and buy boxes and graphics separately.

The technology is still new for Mac, so it is to be expected that in the near future the development of drivers and the support to use Nvidia’s graphics will come, a brand in which Apple has traditionally also placed confidence for its graphics.

Meanwhile, below you can find a summary of the best eGPU external graphics solutions with which you can turn your Mac into a real graphics station capable of running high-end graphics software or 3D games

Top excellent external graphics cards (eGPUs) for Mac

Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box

Power supply: 375 W

graphics cards

Sonnet’s EGFX breakaway box while applying a beta development program for Macnet High Sierra was Apple’s official ePPU, so it is no wonder that this is one of the most popular products among the Mac community.

The manufacturer also has a long history of building products for Apple Computer, so it stands as a trusted solution with professional support for Mac users.

Breakaway box prices of eGPU starts on the basis of the power of the selected configuration of the box and the power supplied by the power supply, and think of using one or several graphic cards associated with each other.

Inside, you have a single PCI slot to keep an AMD or Nvidia full-size graphics card (though the guidelines of the applets are only for use AMD). If you use the MacBook, it connects through the Thunderbolt 3 port with the possibility of charging at the same time.

Razer Core V2

Power supply: 500 W

graphics cards

Core V2 solution is designed primarily to use with the range of razor-branded Windows-based notebooks, but the current V2 model uses a standard Thunderbolt 3 port that will also work with Mac.

To do this, you should consider getting it with a compatible AMD graphic. Company experience in games This product is clearly finished in terms of cooling and quiet operation.

If you are also thinking about using eGPU for a gaming environment with your Mac, then Razer Core V2 becomes the most suitable solution. Its metal box has finished to ensure the cooling of the components.

You can also play with some visualization and lighting effects, you can connect them with your mouse or keyboard for razor games, many of which are compatible with Mac.

Its 500-watt power supply is powerful enough to hold most of the graphics cards, regardless of their length or power. It also includes the USB 3 and Ethernet port to work as a hub or hub.

Akitio Node Lite

Power supply: 400 W

graphics cards

Core V2 solution is designed primarily to use with the range of razor-branded Windows-based notebooks, but the current V2 model uses a standard Thunderbolt 3 port that will also work with Mac.

To do this, you should consider getting it with a compatible AMD graphic. Company experience in games This product is clearly finished in terms of cooling and quiet operation.

If you are also thinking about using eGPU for a gaming environment with your Mac, then Razer Core V2 becomes the most suitable solution. Its metal box has finished to ensure the cooling of the components.

You can also play with some visualization and lighting effects, you can connect them with your mouse or keyboard for razor games, many of which are compatible with Mac.

Its 500-watt power supply is powerful enough to hold most of the graphics cards, regardless of their length or power. It also includes the USB 3 and Ethernet port to work as a hub or hub.

4. Mantis Venus (MZ-02)

  • RRP: $ 389

graphics cards

Power supply: 500 W

This brand that sells its products directly on its website, at the moment you will not be able to acquire your equipment through Amazon. So, if you find it interesting, you should know that you will have to acquire it directly in your onlinestore .

Physically, the box is rather voluminous but you have to positively assess the fact that you can get to install up to 3 graphics cards connected to each other, what AMD calls in CrossFire mode to work in parallel. Imagine the performance you can achieve.

The commented Mantus Venus box also features a SATA connector so you can add a hard drive or SSD to complement the storage offered by your Mac.

Already in the connectivity part, the Venus Mantix is ​​very versatile with a Thunderbolt 3 port and five other USB 3 ports (two on the front and three on the back) along with an Ethernet port to facilitate connection to different systems or platforms PC or Mac.


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