Black Magic eGPU pro

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by inmnbob, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. inmnbob macrumors regular

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    #1
    Thought I would start a thread to see how many of us are going to buy the eGPU Pro from Apple when it is released. I was a little disappointed that it was delayed because I wanted to try the entire configuration (Mac Mini and eGPU) together before my return window closed. I believe the previous Mac Mini and BM eGPU had problems together and was at least a cause for some of the kernel crashes.

    i also think it is interesting when you look at the Apple site that the non pro version only shows pictures with the Macbook Pro and the iMac but the new Pro eGPU has a picture of the Mac Mini with it. It could be just a web page error or it could be some changes that would allow the Mac Mini to work through some of the single monitor issues we are facing today where we have to turn off FileVault or have disconnect plugs before and after the boot.

    I think the pro version has a better price/value that the non-pro. I am interested in this compared to a competitive solution because of how quiet the device runs and hopefully better integration to MacOs.
     
  2. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    What's clear is that Apple has devoted no resources to making an eGPU work with their computers. If you use an eGPU you are on your own like building a Hackintosh. The one they sell at an insane markup has the same issues as a much cheaper box you buy and put your own card in.

    A really despicable outcome from a company that just raised the Apple Tax across everything they sell.
     
  3. KennethS macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I have a Razer Core X with a Vega 64 attached to my 2018 mini (i7/8GB/512) and it is working fine, with FileVault encryption turned on. It is basically plug and play. I have to presume the BlackMagic will be equally simple to plug in and use (actually easier since no need to install a GPU inside the eGPU box).
     
  4. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    What is the Razor eGPU plugged into (monitor type)? There are active threads here with many people saying they can't get a login screen on a monitor plugged into the eGPU. They have to have a monitor plugged into the Mini which is using the on board graphics.
     
  5. KennethS, Dec 1, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018

    KennethS macrumors 6502

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    #5
    LG 27UK850. I connected Vega 64 to LG with a Display Port cable that came with the monitor and Core X to mini with the USB C/TB3 cable that came with the Core X. I do have the mini connected directly to the LG using the USB C cable that came with the monitor (it was connected that way before I installed the eGPU and I left that, but I thought it needs to be connected in order to use the USB ports on the back of the monitor). If at bootup I need to switch to the onboard graphics, I suppose that will make it a simple process by changing input on the monitor menu).

    EDIT-My sincere apologies. Having just rebooted my mini to test this, it does seem I may need to swap to the direct mini to display connection (ie, use the onboard graphics card) in order to login before switching to the DP connection to use the eGPU. I will do some more testing over the coming days...
     
  6. Apples Apples Everywhere macrumors newbie

    Apples Apples Everywhere

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    #6
    Yes I agree. Having an eGPU is very much like having a Hackintosh! You have to experiment and tolerate certain things not working.

    Generally I find that my eGPU stays awake or wakes up while the Mac mini is sleeping. I’ve tried disabling powernap, as well as another GPU and eGPU. Ultimately I now shutdown each day overnight. It’s annoying.

    I also disabled FileVault after I realized using the eGPU makes the password prompt during boot invisible.
     
  7. inmnbob, Dec 1, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018

    inmnbob thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    when I had my Black Magic eGPU it stayed on and prohibited the monitor from sleeping as well which was annoying as my monitor would try to sleep and then light up again.
     
  8. Rockies, Dec 1, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018

    Rockies macrumors 6502

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  9. F-Train, Dec 2, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018

    F-Train macrumors 65816

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    #9
    I wasn't going to comment on this thread, but I think that it is important that people who are thinking of purchasing an external GPU, and come across this thread, have an alternate perspective on Blackmagic's products that is not thus far reflected.

    My view on the Blackmagic Pro is here: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/external-gpu-egpu-resources.2154653/page-9#post-26867256

    To put the key points in brief, bullet terms...

    Blackmagic, which makes and sells the eGPU Pro, does not in fact have a single photograph of a Mac mini on its web page, and it wouldn't mean anything if it did.

    The pricing of the Blackmagic Pro amounts to $750 to $800 for the enclosure and $450 to $400 for the GPU.

    In my view, only someone who has no understanding of the pricing of GPU enclosures and GPU cards would pay this.

    Contrary to what @inmnbob suggests, the price/value of Blackmagic's eGPU Pro is demonstrably, as a matter of simple arithmetic, significantly worse than for its standard eGPU. The standard eGPU sells for $700. The RX 580 GPU sells for $200 to $230, which means that the enclosure costs $470 to $500. That is hundreds of dollars less than the Pro enclosure, and they are essentially the same enclosure, if not identical. Indeed, according to Blackmagic's own diagrams and specs, which are shown on its web site, the two enclosures are the same width and height.

    Blackmagic's marketing for this product does not include a single statement suggesting that its enclosures benefit from special integration with Mac OS.

    Blackmagic does not in fact claim that its external GPUs are quieter than those of competitors; and indeed there is no reason to believe, starting with the fact that Blackmagic doesn't make such a claim, that they are.

    The purchase of this product precludes one from upgrading one's GPU to the new line of GPUs that AMD is launching over the next year, and to a Nvidia GPU if Apple and Nvidia resolve their current disagreement.

    Blackmagic launched its first eGPU in the midst of a cryptocurrency mining craze that sent the price of GPUs into orbit. From that perspective, the price of Blackmagic's original eGPU could at least be defended. The craze is now collapsing, the price of GPUs is coming back to earth, and in my respectful view, what remains in outer space is Blackmagic's prices for its eGPU products.

    People who want to know the original launch dates and prices of the AMD GPUs that are being used in external enclosures should see this post: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/external-gpu-egpu-resources.2154653/page-8#post-26850507
     
  10. Spectrum, Dec 3, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018

    Spectrum macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Yep! Agreed F-train. It may be worth adding that the only, tangible, benefit of the black magic are the direct TB3 output (in order to drive a 5K LG display). But of course that should not add $150-400 to the price tag of the enclosure!

    And for those that do what to drive 5K, it does look like some monitors are being launched, in this case with dual DislayPort inputs: https://www.novatech.co.uk/products...MIlquJ3KKD3wIVjM13Ch1l1A_LEAQYASABEgK1l_D_BwE
     
  11. inmnbob thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Just for the just for the record I also said that I was hoping for better Mac integration with the pro that could improve the cost difference. Examples would include being able to boot with one monitor and eGPU sleeping or another annoyances
     
  12. Rockies macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I purchased the Black Magic a few days ago and really impressed so far with the aesthetics, quietness, size, and graphics power, however as inmnbob indicated, there has to be better Mac Mini integration. Will wait until the Black Magic Pro gets released to see if Apple has made any changes, if not, my whole setup is going back and will wait for Imac refresh or Mac Pro.
     
  13. inmnbob thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    If you look at the apple site eGPU pro shows that Mac Mini picture where the eGPU doesn’t. I don’t know if that is a marketing web miss or a tip to better integration. Hope to find out soon
     
  14. F-Train, Dec 3, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018

    F-Train macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Neither Blackmagic nor Apple have made a single claim about integration.

    Also, this whole idea seems to be based on the premise that Apple will write code in Mojave that prefers Blackmagic’s external GPU enclosure over other manufacturers’ enclosures.

    It doesn’t make any sense that Apple would do that. For one thing, Blackmagic’s Davinci Resolve is in direct competition with Apple’s Final Cut Pro. For another, all hell will break loose if Apple uses its operating system to give preferential treatment to a Blackmagic product. Lord knows why Apple would even bother. In the scheme of things, these GPU enclosures are not exactly wildly significant products to begin with.

    The Blackmagic Pro is priced to sell to people who know nothing about GPU pricing or enclosure pricing.
     
  15. smirking macrumors 68020

    smirking

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    #15
    If you have a monitor that you need to drive over Thunderbolt 3, the BlackMagic eGPUs are the only game in town. Your choice is simple. Get it or don't get anything at all.

    If you don't need to drive a display over Thunderbolt 3, only consider the BlackMagic eGPU if you want something that's nearly silent, doubles as a hub, and/or looks very very slick on your desk.

    It's priced at a premium and there's a healthy markup for sure, but anyone who tells you that it's a $600 product being priced at $1200 is either being hysterical or has not actually tried one in person.

    It's a lot to pay for a single use enclosure, but not an exorbitant amount to pay for a very sleek and premium enclosure/hub. If you don't think you're ever going to upgrade your enclosure before the lifespan of a current day enclosure runs out, it's an ok buy if you need it for its unique features.
     
  16. Spectrum, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018

    Spectrum macrumors 65816

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    #16
    The Asus enclosure is as nice (or not) to look at as the BlackMagic. So...if Asus added TB3-out then, logically, they could also sell it with a Vega56 card for $1200. That's an enormous markup ($600 Edit: $400-500) just for a TB3-out port...
     
  17. smirking, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018

    smirking macrumors 68020

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    #17
    The BlackMagic's TB3 ports are not ordinary TB3 ports. They're TB3 ports that will drive a 5K display. No other enclosure has this. You can get a Razer Core X with dual TB3 ports... but they're useless for driving a 5K display. The eGPU is unable to use them.

    Similarly, you can add those TB3 ports to the ASUS enclosure and as it stands today, it'll be just as useless as the Razer Core X's ports for driving a 5K monitor.

    Besides that, I think you need to check your numbers. The ASUS XG Station PRO is well over $300 and the ASUS ROG XG STATION 2 is nearly $600.
     
  18. Spectrum macrumors 65816

    Spectrum

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    #18
  19. F-Train, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018

    F-Train macrumors 65816

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    #19
    I don't understand why you are defending this product.

    Here is the conclusion of the review of the Blackmagic RX 580 that you linked:

    The Blackmagic eGPU achieves its goal of providing a singular solution to the problem Apple created. US$699 is overpriced when compared to other similarly performing solutions on the market, but it’s better than no choice at all if you have an [5K] UltraFine Display. Also noteworthy is that it’s the first eGPU with the Titan Ridge controller. Ultimately a non-upgradable, outdated graphics card is a huge disappointment and will be the undoing of this eGFX.
    The Blackmagic Pro contains a Vega 56, whose MSRP is US$170 more than the RX 580. But Blackmagic is demanding an additional $500 for what is, apparently, the same enclosure.

    The bottom line is that Blackmagic is charging monopoly pricing to a very small group of monitor owners. Why on earth would anyone who doesn't own that monitor, which happens to include the person who started this thread, go along with this?

    Re your post #15...

    Nobody in this discussion said, or even suggested, that the Blackmagic Pro eGPU is a $600 product. For one thing, the GPU itself has an MSRP of $400. Creating straw men from thin air doesn’t help your argument.

    Blackmagic does not claim that its eGPU is quieter than competing products. Its eGPU is not the only one that operates as a hub. Its aesthetics are a matter of taste.

    I don’t understand the point that you are trying to make here:

    “If you don’t think you’re ever going to upgrade your enclosure before the lifespan of a current day enclosure runs out, it’s an ok buy...”​

    What I do understand is that AMD’s roadmap calls for the replacement of the entire Polaris series of GPUs over the next year, that the future of the Vega GPUs is unclear, and that it is possible that people will be able to use Nvidia GPUs in the foreseeable future.

    I also understand that the purchaser of the RX 580 enclosure might want to replace the RX 580 with the new RX 590 or a Vega 56.(There's a question about whether the Blackmagic enclosure could support a Vega 64.)

    This is a monopoly-priced product designed to preclude replacement of the original GPU with any other GPU.
     
  20. smirking macrumors 68020

    smirking

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    #20
    Yeah, the link was in my reply, but hard to see.
    https://egpu.io/blackmagic-egpu-review-apples-ultrafine-curse/

    I don't know the answer to that, but nobody else is putting out any dual TB3 enclosures that qualify for eGFX classification:
    https://thunderbolttechnology.net/blog/the-difference-between-egfx-and-egpu
     
  21. jrholt macrumors newbie

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    #21
    That's my understanding as well. It took me awhile to figure that out as this fact gets buried in a lot of these eGPU posts (and rightly so because the majority of people are probably not limited to this circumstance). Still - it's an important point to make as I think it is likely the biggest use case for where this product makes sense. If you have a monitor that you need to drive over Thunderbolt 3 (i.e. the LG Ultrafine), then the BlackMagic eGPU is the only game in town. I'd love to be corrected if wrong.

    Just a point of clarification but I think there is no such product. This also confused me for awhile but the Blackmagic eGPU contains a Radeon Pro 580, not an RX 580. It's also my understanding that the Radeon Pro 580 is a slightly inferior product to the RX 580, which makes your argument even stronger!
     
  22. F-Train macrumors 65816

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    #22
    The Asus, which I have and which is one of the more expensive enclosures available, is US$330. The Vega 56 MSRP is $400, and it has sold at that price, and as much as $60 below it, in the last two weeks. That results in a total cost of $670 to $730.

    The Blackmagic Pro is $1200.
     
  23. smirking macrumors 68020

    smirking

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    #23
    See the part where I said this:
    @Spectrum just did exactly this. Anyway, in the other eGPU threads, lots of people have pitchforks out over the obscene "$600 markup".

    What I meant is that if you expect to be upgrading your GPU within the lifespan of your enclosure, then the BlackMagic is a terrible choice, but in making that determination, take into account the possibility that the lifespan of your enclosure isn't infinite. If you're unlikely to buy a new graphics card within 4 years, any enclosure you buy might end up being a single use enclosure anyway.

    That was the conclusion I came to for myself so I discounted the lack of upgradability as a drawback. I had the RX580 version briefly but returned it because it didn't work for what I needed it most for. Even though it was actually counterproductive for my purposes, I was really taken by how silent it was and how sleek it looked. I found myself wanting to find a way to justify keeping it.

    It really is gorgeous and the silence is amazing, but in the end I'm not the kind of person who's going to blow money on a desk sculpture no matter how much I like the look.
     
  24. F-Train, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018

    F-Train macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I not only saw I, I responded to it.

    In other words, after several posts trying to defend this thing, it turns out that you bought it and returned it because "I'm not the kind of person who's going to blow money on a desk sculpture".

    And that wasn't even the new, super-duper $1200 version that costs $470 to $530 more than the Asus.
     
  25. smirking macrumors 68020

    smirking

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    #25
    It doesn't drive a 5K. That's the biggest selling point of the BlackMagic. It's a niche product for a niche market. There's no point in comparing them to an ASUS enclosure until there are eGFX certified ASUS enclosures with dual TB3.

    Then I don't understand what you're bothered by. I laid out a specific use case for where the BlackMagic eGPU makes sense. It only makes sense to a niche market of LG 5K owners (or people who just have money to burn).

    It was a desk sculpture because it didn't work for the programs I needed it for. Had it worked and saved me 15 minutes a day, it would have been worth it to me at an even higher price.
     

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61 December 1, 2018