Will Apple support ThunderBolt 3 External GPUs?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ZapNZs, Feb 15, 2017.


Will Apple support external GPUs for Thunderbolt 3 laptops within the next 12-18 months?

  1. Yes

    4 vote(s)
  2. No - but they will eventually support it

    1 vote(s)
  3. No - they will NEVER support it

    2 vote(s)
  4. No - NEVER, AND, they will take explicit actions to complicate/prevent the use of external GPUs

    4 vote(s)
  5. Unsure

    1 vote(s)
  1. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    Any investment of $2,500-$4,500 often leaves the individual consumer contemplating the long-term relevancy of that purchase. After all, that higher purchase price for a premium product often means that product will be used for a longer period than a budget alternative. The MacBook Pro is no exception. With a high investment price, a Buyer may like having options for the future. The ability to use an external GPU could be just that: an option to meet future needs without having to replace the entire computer (much like an external hard drive.)

    In theory, this process could be super simple...practically plug-and-play with specific GPUs. But right now, it appears the process is nowhere near that easy, and this is an area where macOS arguably loses to Windows.

    Apple has promoted the new MacBook Pro for gaming, and adopted ports that are fast enough. They have advertised the MacBook Pro for usage with 5k displays. However, even Apple can't put a desktop GPU inside of a super compact laptop and that could impose limits on some heavily GPU-dependent tasks. An external GPU could offer a solution (even if it is an expensive one.)

    So what do you think? Within the next 12-18 months, will Apple support external GPUs so one can use macOS + an external GPU without having to heavily modify the system? Why or why not?
  2. Queen6 macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2008
    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    I belive Apple will, however only if an Apple product, anything else Apple will look to close the door, up to and including firmware updates to kill same functionality in Windows, that's how Apple rolls...

    If I go down the path of eGPU I wont choose Apple as the weapon of choice, as I simply don't trust Apple not to cut me off with a simple firmware update, rendering several $K of hardware useless.

  3. DblHelix macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2009
    It works now just need an older 9 series nvidia or any Radeon. Once the 10 series nvidia drivers are out you'll be set

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