Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Puck?

Cruciarius

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 18, 2013
84
12
Massachusetts
So I saw this:

https://www.apple.com/shop/product/HMT22ZM/A/sonnet-egfx-breakaway-puck-radeon-rx-560-external-gpu

Cult of Mac article about it:

https://www.cultofmac.com/617638/sonnets-new-egpu-adds-extra-muscle-to-your-mac-on-the-cheap/

Obviously not as powerful as a Vega 64, but at about half the cost. Vega 64 being about $500 for the card and then almost $300 for a Razor Core X case. The Breakaway Puck is $400.

I'm wondering if this would be a better option for me. Use my Mac for:

• Web browsing
• Watching live streams on Twitch. Anywhere from 1-5 at a time (obviously mute some & focus on others).
• Photoshop
• Clip Studio with a Wacom touch tablet

So I don't do video editing. I don't really game anything big, although I'd love to get back into playing Ark, which has been unplayable on my iMac for years now. Curious if I should stick with saving for the Vega 64 or if this would be plenty for what I do.
 

adamk77

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2008
510
149
So I saw this:

https://www.apple.com/shop/product/HMT22ZM/A/sonnet-egfx-breakaway-puck-radeon-rx-560-external-gpu

Cult of Mac article about it:

https://www.cultofmac.com/617638/sonnets-new-egpu-adds-extra-muscle-to-your-mac-on-the-cheap/

Obviously not as powerful as a Vega 64, but at about half the cost. Vega 64 being about $500 for the card and then almost $300 for a Razor Core X case. The Breakaway Puck is $400.

I'm wondering if this would be a better option for me. Use my Mac for:

• Web browsing
• Watching live streams on Twitch. Anywhere from 1-5 at a time (obviously mute some & focus on others).
• Photoshop
• Clip Studio with a Wacom touch tablet

So I don't do video editing. I don't really game anything big, although I'd love to get back into playing Ark, which has been unplayable on my iMac for years now. Curious if I should stick with saving for the Vega 64 or if this would be plenty for what I do.
Hmm, I'm wondering why you wouldn't instead go with https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072L9QTZT/ref=twister_B076MHSRMM?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 instead with a RX 580?

It costs the same for a more powerful GPU.
 

F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
1,457
997
NYC & Newfoundland
I think that this is very poor value for money unless you have a laptop and really want a small eGPU/power supply to carry around with it.

As far as I know, this eGPU cannot be upgraded with a new card (AMD has a new line coming), the card has only 4GB of VRAM and personally I would not go with less than an RX 580 with 8GB of VRAM.

On price, you should be comparing an RX 580, not a Vega 64. There is a very large price difference, although even then you can purchase a Vega 64 at the moment for $400, not $500. There are also less expensive enclosures on the market.

There’s also a basic question here, which is what your actual needs are. What are you using Photoshop for? Unfortunately, I don’t know what Clip Studio is. Nor do I know what Ark is or what its graphics demands are. From what you are saying, an RX 560 may be sub-optimal for it.

I’d like to suggest that you have a look at the following thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/external-gpu-egpu-resources.2154653/
 
Last edited:

Cruciarius

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 18, 2013
84
12
Massachusetts
I think that this is very poor value for money unless you have a laptop and really want a small eGPU/power supply to carry around with it.

As far as I know, this eGPU cannot be upgraded with a new card (AMD has a new line coming), the card has only 4GB of VRAM and personally I would not go with less than an RX 580 with 8GB of VRAM.

On price, you should be comparing an RX 580, not a Vega 64. There is a very large price difference. There are also less expensive enclosures on the market.

There’s also a basic question here, which is what your actual needs are. What are you using Photoshop for? Unfortunately, I don’t know what Clip Studio is. Nor do I know what Ark is or what its graphics demands are. From what you are saying, an RX 560 may be sub-optimal for it.

I’d like to suggest that you have a look at the following thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/external-gpu-egpu-resources.2154653/
After posting this, I looked into benchmarks of the Vega 64 vs the RX 560. Vega 64 is obviously far better. The RX 560 can run Ark at 30 fps, but that was back in 2017. Who knows if it can still do that now, after patches.

Ark is a 3D world survival game.
Clip Studio is one of the best, if not the best, app for drawing.

I'll look into the RX 580 + enclosure instead.
 
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F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
1,457
997
NYC & Newfoundland
Good, I really think that the Sonnet unit is a poor idea if you are using a mini. Even for a laptop, you’d be giving up a lot for the portability.

Have a look at the thread that I provided a link for. There’s a wealth of information in it.

Cheers
[doublepost=1554504849][/doublepost]Re games...

As I said, I don’t know anything about Ark. However, I can tell you that for X-Plane, which I should stress is graphics intensive, there is a significant performance improvement going from an RX 580 to a Vega 56 or 64. For strategy games like Civilisation VI, I think that an RX 580 is probably sufficient.

Also, note that using a video card in an external enclosure results in a 10% - 15% performance hit. There’s more on considerations of this kind in the thread that I suggested.
 

Spectrum

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2005
1,353
706
Never quite sure
I think I'm correct in stating that the output from the puck cannot drove a 5K correct?
For that, either A TB3 output or a higher rated DP output is needed I think. Yes?
It's good to get these things clear because at some point in the future I likely will be adding a moderate eGPU in order to drive a smooth 5K (or greater) desktop, so it's useful to know what will and won't work.
I don't need 3D GPU. It's purely an desktop machine.