Good news for gamers and video editors.

 

Back in June, Apple announced that they would add support for external GPUs to the macOS. And now, in just under a year later, the official support has arrived. 

With the latest update to macOS High Sierra, you’ll be able to connect a number of different graphic cards to your Mac through the Thunderbolt 3 port and then use that extra juice to speed up the more power intensive work that you do everyday like for games or video editing.

 

Apple has also talked a great deal about its use for VR (Virtual Reality) both for rendering and gaming.

 

 

 

There are a number of limitations to this.

Because it’s Apple and since it is Apple that we’re talking about here, there are a number of limitations around what you can actually do with the external GPUs that you connect to your Mac. 

 

1.  Surprise! Apple is only supporting some of AMD’s Radeon Cards.

First and foremost, only a select few models are officially supported. Which includes, as you may have already expected, the AMD Radeon cards which are already included in some of the Macs. 

You can find everything from which cards that are supported to how you can setup it up over here:

This doesn’t mean the GeForce card that you regularly use won’t work or if Apple finds out you’re cheating with another graphic card they will just ban you for life. No. You still can get it to work as many others have done while this feature was still in its beta phase but there’s a high possibility whether or not it’ll continue to work.

 

 

2.  You shall not use External GPUs on Windows through your Boot Camp.

The second limitation you have is that you won’t be able to use external GPUs on Windows through Boot Camp.

 

 

3.  Developers will need to enable support for it. 

Just because you have an external GPU plugged into your computer and you try to run macOS doesn’t mean it’s going to do anything. 

Developers will have to prepare and enable support for it using the External Graphics Development Kit in the coming days. 

 

 

4.  Lastly, You kinda need a new enough Mac to get this support. 

The last limitation that Apple imposes on you is that you’ll need a new enough Mac, since external GPUs rely on super fast speeds, which in Apple’s case, can only be provided by the Thunderbolt 3.

Thunderbolt 3 is available on both the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pros, 2017 iMac, and the iMac Pro. 

If you don’t see your Mac in the list, then you’ll need to break open your wallet and dish out on a new Mac to get the external GPU support.

 

 

In the right direction. 

As much as it is a surprising one from Apple, if you have a newer machine and the apps to support it, then this is a great feature addition to your macOS  arsenal which can benefit from the extra power that you can get from external GPUs.

External GPUs have been popularized throughout the gaming community for a while now but it has been always remained non-existent on the Mac which steers away people who were looking for more powerful machines.

One of the best parts of including Thunderbolt 3 ports is allowing this kind of powerful flexibility and speed. And now, if you’re willing to spend that several hundred extra dollars, then you can get an even more powerful computer than what you had already bought.

In a way, it’s great and particularly useful for people with MacBook Pros but who want a lighter package whilst they’re on the go and more power when they plug in at home or at the office.

 

 

Do you find yourself using an external GPU for your Mac?

 

 

 

Resources.

Here’s a great simple website and community on how you can setup an external GPU for your Mac (or even your PC):

There’s also a eGPU (external GPU) subreddit which you can follow to ask questions and learn more about it.

 

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