To eGPU or not to eGPU :)


macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 11, 2009
It seems there are so many more choices now!

I've been reliably using my iMac quad-core 27" for about 2 years and I recently started a new job where I have A LOT of down time where I could be using my computer to be doing much more at the workplace (I have a side hustle as a photographer, some light video). Also, I live in the country and my internet is terribly unreliable.

So, I'm considering going with one of the 2016+ Macbooks, 13 or 15". I always got the 15" in the past because I wanted the performance. But now that calculus is different.

Now I'm wondering if I should get a 13" dual-core and use an eGPU at home for times when I might be needing to do some serious processing (this eGPU could theoretically follow every upgrade down the road) or buy a 15" that's maxed out. What are people doing? The 13" is so much more portable, I have to say. And I'd probably be using an external monitor at home anyway, so the 15" might be lost on me there (for Lightroom, Adobe Premiere, etc). The one issue is the dual- versus quad-core difference. I don't think they make a 13" quad. Thanks for reading!


macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
Arguably there’s a new 13” coming this month.

I certainly wouldn’t consider the 13” until details of the new 13” are released.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2017
They do make a 13" quad, the 2018 touch bar models. Unfortunately they didn't upgrade the non touch bar ones.

I considered doing exactly that for similar reasons and bought the 2018 13" but I decided to return it and get myself a desktop. The 13" form factor is really nice but it comes at a price. Same with the eGPU, sounds good in theory but when you calculate the expense and compare with what you could get in a desktop I don't think it's worth it. Currently, I think that having a more powerful desktop and less powerful/cheaper laptop seems to be the way to go for me, YMMV.

In my case, it was either a 2,199.00 MBP + $699 eGPU vs a more powerful $1,250 desktop I'm building which leaves me up to $1650 to replace my old MBP for the same budget. An updated iMac would have been a good option too.
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