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macOS 10.13.4, released to the public yesterday afternoon, introduces official support for eGPUs (external graphics processors) on Thunderbolt 3 Macs. Alongside the release, Apple has published a detailed support document that outlines how eGPU support works and provides graphic card and chassis recommendations for use with your Mac.

One or more eGPUs can be used with the 2016 MacBook Pro and later, the 2017 iMac and later, and the iMac Pro, so long as macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 is installed. Apple has added eGPU support for graphic-intensive operations like using VR headsets, 3D gaming, and developing VR apps.

sonnetbreakawaybox.jpg

Apple's support document outlines all supported eGPU configurations, with Apple recommending only AMD Radeon cards. There are no supported Nvidia cards.

It's also worth noting that Apple has eliminated support for some cards that were supported during the beta, such as the AMD RX 560.
It's important to use an eGPU with a recommended graphics card and Thunderbolt 3 chassis. And if you're using a MacBook Pro, the eGPU's Thunderbolt 3 chassis needs to provide sufficient power to run the graphics card while charging the computer.
Apple recommends AMD Polaris, Vega 56, and Vega 64 graphics cards, paired with a specific Thunderbolt 3 chassis. For the AMD Radeon RX 570, RX 580, and Radeon Pro WX 7100 cards (of which Apple recommends the Sapphire Pulse series and the AMD WX series), Apple recommends the following Thunderbolt 3 chassis:

[*]OWC Mercury Helios FX3
[*]PowerColor Devil Box
[*]Sapphire Gear Box
[*]Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350W
[*]Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550W
[*]Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W

For the AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 cards, Apple recommends the Sapphire Vega 56 and the XFX Vega 56 with the OWC Mercury Helios FX, PowerColor Devil Box, Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550W, or Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W.

The Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W is the only chassis recommended for AMD Radeon RX Vega 64, Vega Frontier Edition Air, and Radeon Pro WX 9100 graphics cards, while the only recommended all-in-one eGPU product is the Sonnet Radeon RX 570 eGFX Breakaway Puck.

For the MacBook Pro, eGPUs and accompanying TB3 chassis must be able to provide sufficient power to run the graphics card while also charging the computer. In the case of the 15-inch model, that means the chassis needs to support at least 85W of charging power.

Apple says eGPU support has been designed to accelerate Metal, OpenGL, and OpenCL apps that benefit from more graphics power, and not all apps will support eGPU acceleration. Apple says eGPUs will work with most of the following types of apps:

[*]Pro applications designed to utilize multiple GPUs
[*]3D games, when an external monitor is attached directly to the eGPU
[*]VR applications, when the VR headset is attached directly to the eGPU
[*]Pro applications and 3D games that accelerate the built-in display of an iMac or MacBook Pro. (This capability must be enabled by the application's developer.)

Multiple eGPUs can be used together, but Apple recommends users connect eGPUs directly to the Mac instead of daisy-chaining them through another Thunderbolt device or hub.

macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 does not support eGPUs in Windows using Boot Camp, when the Mac is in macOS Recovery, or when system updates are being installed.

Article Link: Apple Shares Recommended Graphics Cards and Chassis in New eGPU Support Document for macOS High Sierra 10.13.4
 
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mew-93

macrumors newbie
Jan 23, 2018
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3
Belize City, Belize
I wish Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron would put more resources in making more memory chip for GPUs. the shortage of memory is one reason why there is a scarcity in Graphic Cards. Only some blame should go to cyrpto miners.

I personally feel like Nvidia and AMD are holding chips back so that they can manufacture the newer generation of graphic cards.
 
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BaccaBossMC

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2016
206
731
NC, USA
AMD's current lineup of GPUs are pathetic compared to NVIDIA's. I know for a fact that some users have gotten the Razer Core V2 to work with NVIDIA GPUs such as the 1080 and 1080Ti on Mac. Apple's reasoning behind their partnership is beyond me, probably since there isn't any.
 

dspdoc

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2017
1,957
2,359
Does anyone know if having a eGPU gives any performance benefits to a brand new 5K iMac? I mean does the eGPU power the iMac screen at all?
 
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fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
2,486
2,589
Silicon Valley
Does this mean I could play some AAA games (Through Windows) with a GTX 1080ti using my 2016 matchbook pro?

Edit: NM...now Nvidia support :(
You can still use Nvidia GPUs externally in Windows, but might require a different enclosure.
[doublepost=1522433422][/doublepost]
AMD's current lineup of GPUs are pathetic compared to NVIDIA's. I know for a fact that some users have gotten the Razer Core V2 to work with NVIDIA GPUs such as the 1080 and 1080Ti on Mac. Apple's reasoning behind their partnership is beyond me, probably since there isn't any.
Might be because Nvidia has always hated / been a problem for the open source/standards community. But ignoring that, AMD is inferior for sure. Slower, and lack of CUDA makes it useless for research.
[doublepost=1522433590][/doublepost]
Yea... without Nvidia support, what's the point?

Why does Apple hate gamers so much?
If you're at the point where you care about Nvidia vs AMD for gaming purposes, you probably shouldn't use a Mac for that due to many other reasons.
 
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hajime

macrumors 604
Jul 23, 2007
7,859
1,291
The only possible reason for me to get this is to use Navidia GPU because Apple only uses AMD GPU in the MBP. After all these waiting, another disappointment from Apple.
 
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thomas040

macrumors regular
Jan 5, 2007
159
280
New York
Does this mean I could play some AAA games (Through Windows) with a GTX 1080ti using my 2016 matchbook pro?

Edit: NM...now Nvidia support :(
If you're doing it through Bootcamp, then I think you'll be fine as it would be using the Windows Drivers. Assuming that Apple is including the new eGPU drivers for their bootcamp software updates.
 
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ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,612
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"Not supported" and "not compatible" are completely different things.

Most common Nvidia cards are compatible with Mac, they just aren't supported by Apple. You have to download the drivers from Nvidia. Nvidia continues to provide MacOS display drivers and MacOS CUDA drivers for their cards.

There are many people using "not supported" 980, 1080, Titans, etc. just fine...either internally (PCIe Mac Pro) or externally in a Thunderbolt enclosure.

There are a couple of cards that have poor compatibility, so do your research first.
 
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VictorTango777

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2017
893
1,634
Does this newest OS version DisplayPort MST? Can we daisy chain DisplayPort MST monitors or use MST hubs? MST is part of the DisplayPort 1.2 standard and Apple claims to support DisplayPort.
 
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