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jjjoseph

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 16, 2013
503
643
I was about to buy an intel 13" MacBook Pro, but the M1 does look so cool, the battery and performance are really great selling points... I work in a very technical side of media and film, One day my job is programming, IT, Data management.. The other is more like digital color correction and post producing. I would buy the M1 for just coding and software, as well as having a laptop with a great battery life... But But But, not being able to use an eGPU and do more high end film and graphics in Resolve, is a huge bummer. I will at times have to process large RAW files .CR2, .ARRI, .MXF wrapped to OpenEXR or DPX, both require a decent GPU, way beyond what an iGPU can do.

I can not figure out if the eGPU is END OF DAYS, Apple black hole like NVIDIA laptops or it is just in development...

Does anyone know if eGPU's are coming?
egpu.io makes it seem like it is just a driver issue, AMD just had not compiled to ARM, but they are hackers not Apple employees.


Also what about RAM?
The ARM seems like a legit processor, I would buy 32gb of ram to get the most out of the laptop as possible, but I could get away with 16gb.. just not ideal.

Thanks!!
 

torncanvas

macrumors regular
Feb 14, 2006
120
72
So far, Resolve sessions of 4K video work that last a couple hours show that 16GB is sufficient. However, I saw a 6k test and it chugged a little.

With regards to eGPU, yes the hardware is absolutely capable of working with it, and like before Thunderbolt is wired directly to the CPU rather than going through a PCH. So latency will be minimal, and in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if these are even better at eGPU usage than before.

However, I’ve heard no word as to why there’s no eGPU support. Given the CPU speed being so capable for multimedia, it seems like a great use case. My hope is that it’s indeed a driver issue, which is why the models were added to the Blackmagic compatibility list and then removed later. But it could also be that Apple decided to abandon those for some reason. I’ve yet to see an official statement on that, nor any leak type info even.
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,450
913
Cascadia
Nope, confirmed by multiple outlets that M1 does not support eGPUs.

I would wager that M1 will only ever be in these three products, and that M2 will be a *MUCH* more robust product.

Even if M2 isn't significantly faster on the CPU end, I would bet it will support far more memory, external GPUs, more Thunderbolt buses, more display, etc, etc, etc. Because as it stands, this chip simply could not be used in any actual-Pro system. (I'm kind of aghast that they put it in even the low-end 13" MBP. Resurrect the "MacBook" name and make that the fanless one, and keep the fan in the Air to make it the "slightly higher end" one - don't switch a "Pro" until it's actually at that level...)
 

torncanvas

macrumors regular
Feb 14, 2006
120
72
Yeah good call. Still, though, there’s no hardware-based reason to not support eGPUs since the connection is a data one, as opposed to there definitely being a hardware-based reason to support only two displays, since the connection is DisplayPort.
 

jjjoseph

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 16, 2013
503
643
I just read through some M1 TB3 literature, there are some subtle differences between past TB3 ports and the new M1 based USB4/TB3 port.

I might be wrong but I think the controller is different and not based on what Apple previously did with intel.

The actual GPU might just be drivers, but the external GPU case might need to be updated with new chips and controllers.

If that is the case people will make these new eGPU cases as soon as apple lets developers do it.

That is my hope at least!
 

leman

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2008
14,434
10,605
I consider it very unlikely that Apple Silicon Macs will ever support eGPUs as they break Apples programming model and GPU performance expectations. Also, they are very “expensive” to support, as someone has to write and maintain the drivers. For the first time ever, we have streamlined, high-performance, well-described GPUs on Macs that come with strong guarantees. There are just not enough users with eGPUs for Apple to seriously consider compromising all this.

Besides, I very much doubt that a fast eGPU will end up giving you more performance in video editing. Data transfer overhead will most likely eat up all the benefits of the faster processing speed.
 

joevt

Contributor
Jun 21, 2012
3,705
1,787
I just read through some M1 TB3 literature, there are some subtle differences between past TB3 ports and the new M1 based USB4/TB3 port.

I might be wrong but I think the controller is different and not based on what Apple previously did with intel.

The actual GPU might just be drivers, but the external GPU case might need to be updated with new chips and controllers.

If that is the case people will make these new eGPU cases as soon as apple lets developers do it.

That is my hope at least!
A GPU is just a PCIe device. If you can connect other PCIe devices, then a GPU should also work (except a GPU has large BAR sizes?)
Currently the AMD GPU drivers are only compiled for Intel.

It may be that Apple has completely altered the graphics sub system of the M1 Macs (for example, the AGDCDiagnose command doesn't do anything), so that recompiling the AMD drivers will be insufficient.
 

ArPe

Suspended
May 31, 2020
1,282
3,304
Normally you get a GPU driver only when Apple is going to ship that family of graphics card in a Mac. If a Radeon isn’t going to be in an Apple Silicon Mac then developing the driver for ARM isn’t high priority. The x86 driver for Radeon is another story. You will have to be patient and see what unfolds.
 

torncanvas

macrumors regular
Feb 14, 2006
120
72
Besides, I very much doubt that a fast eGPU will end up giving you more performance in video editing. Data transfer overhead will most likely eat up all the benefits of the faster processing speed.
In practice, it doesn’t eat up all the benefits. An eGPU drastically speeds up video and 3D rendering, by multiple times. That, machine learning, and simulation-type tasks are the perfect use cases for them, since the architecture of a GPU fits those tasks very well and bandwidth usage is proportionally lower.

If you were using it for editing, like scrubbing back and forth on a timeline, that is taxing on the bandwidth, yes. Gaming is similarly very taxing. But even that doesn’t stop you from getting significantly more performance.

For rendering or other heavy number-crunching tasks, it’s common to get 2x-10x the previous speed. It’s like a really fancy docking station, and the cost isn’t much more than Thinkpad docking stations used to cost.
 
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Roxy.music

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2019
803
85
uk
A lot of people will be selling there eGPU s as the new M1 Mac.s don,t support them.
Besides base modal M1 Mac,s are so good ,the the IMAC M1,s are going to be even better they will be out of this world.The price of eGPU,s well go down,who will want to buy one when the other Mac.s upgrade to the new chip.
 

ArPe

Suspended
May 31, 2020
1,282
3,304
A lot of people will be selling there eGPU s as the new M1 Mac.s don,t support them.
Besides base modal M1 Mac,s are so good ,the the IMAC M1,s are going to be even better they will be out of this world.The price of eGPU,s well go down,who will want to buy one when the other Mac.s upgrade to the new chip.

I am indeed going to sell the 5700 XT from my eGPU box because the M1 is handling external displays fine and the M2 will be superb no doubt.

But I am keeping the external box. I can put very fast NVME drives in the PCIE slot and the USB ports work too.
 

Roxy.music

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2019
803
85
uk
I am indeed going to sell the 5700 XT from my eGPU box because the M1 is handling external displays fine and the M2 will be superb no doubt.

But I am keeping the external box. I can put very fast NVME drives in the PCIE slot and the USB ports work too.
Good thing to do.
 

Zahni

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2019
108
41
Someone has to write new drivers for M1. I think, this is the main problem.
 
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