Last Updated on August 4, 2021 by paularo
The Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT might be what you just need in order to increase the level of performance on your mac. The PCle external enclosure can be the difference in terms of how fast you finish your work. We have a compact form factor and it packs the power of external PCIe enclosures that come in bigger. The enclosure will beautify your works space because it doesn’t take up much space. the breakaway puck is small enough to be hidden on a desk or behind the monitor. People will not even observe that the Puck is there unless they look. It comes with the Radeon RX 5700 and it also has power delivery. It has some versatile ports that we are going to talk much about later in this review. We have two versions of the eGPU that include the Radeon 5500 variant, and the variant with Radeon 5700 variant. we will put them side by side in this review to make things clearer.
In this comprehensive review, we will provide you with all the information you need to evaluate the Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT eGPU as the best eGPU for you. read on for its key features as well as pointers for selecting the best eGPU for your laptop.
Why you need the for your laptop
Using a MacBook without a dedicated graphics card can have a negative impact on performance. If you do some graphic intensive work with then you need an eGPU or a laptop with dedicated graphics. A MacBook that lacks dedicated graphics will not allow you to edit or play games smoothly. A laptop using an integrated graphics card is usually limited and cannot be removed or upgraded. This type of laptops doesn’t come with any cooling feature since they were built for casual and basic tasks. If the laptop has thunder bolt 3 ports then you can use the Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT to boost the performance of a MacBook that lacks the power to carry out intensive tasks. The eGPU is going to serve as the power house that will push the MacBook to its limits. An eGPU has all the components and cooling system needed to make sure you get a decent performance on a MacBook that doesn’t have dedicated graphics. Let’s say the graphics card on your MacBook is not performing decently because its outdated an eGPU can help improve the performance.
Selecting the Best eGPU for your laptop
The Breakaway Puck is one of the smallest and portable all in one eGPU dock. The moment you set your eyes on the enclosure you will know how small it is. when it comes to footprint it is smaller than the Mac mini and its not even much taller. The power adapter is a hefty power brick, moving the bulk of power related electronics out of the main body. The size of the power brick is 3 inches by 6.1 inches long and 1.2 inches thick. It is quite huge in size compared to the device it powers. We have a lengthy power cable in use, the brick can be hidden out of the way to minimize the overall appearance. It can be behind the desk because it can be less premium on the desk. We have an aluminum build here and it is compact there is an opening at the top and beneath the opening we have the fan. it helps with passing out air from inside the enclosure while its in use. The enclosure has extra connectivity options which is good to see. We have two thunderbolt 3 ports one is mainly for powering your mac while the other one can be used for other peripheral connection. there are two USB 3.2 type a port with support for data transfer at the rate of 5Gbps. We have 60W power delivery over thunderbolt 3 support that can charge your MacBook. There is a DisplayPort 1.4 and an HDMI 2.0b port at the back. the power port is also situated at the back and that’s all for the ports on the enclosure. The thunderbolt 3 ports can support up to 6k resolution screen at 60Hz when using a thunderbolt 3 compatible display. According to Sonnet the thunderbolt 3 connection supports two 4K displays at 60Hz when using its thunderbolt 3 to dual display port or dual HDMI 2.0 adapters.
Here are 6 key points for selecting the Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT for your laptop
The enclosure has a small form factor that won’t take up much space on your desk. It can even be hidden at the back of your monitor. The eGPU is powerful yet it comes in at a size that allows you to carry it with one hand. It can be easily packed into a bag or backpack because of its size.
Compatible with MacOS
The Puck Breakaway is one of the best companions for your MacBook. The enclosure has what it takes to deliver a significant boost in performance for your MacBook. It will work perfectly on your intel CPU MacBook and macOS 10.15.7 and higher. It is not compatible with an Apple M1 mac or thunderbolt 1 or 2 MacBook. It is also not suitable for Windows laptops.
The eGPU has 60W power support that you can use to charge your MacBook while it is in use. it helps you with cable management because there is no need to connect your charging cable after connecting to the enclosure. Some enclosures that come in at a higher price lacks the power delivery feature. You can decide to depend on the thunderbolt 3 connection for charging instead of the laptops charging cable.
Plug and Play
The moment you connect your laptop to the eGPU it starts working automatically no need to reload your laptop. it makes using the enclosure very easy and fun not having to restart your laptop when you power the enclosure will make you hit the ground running with work. Plug and play is very important and I am glad Sonnet added the feature on this enclosure.
Support For thunderbolt 3 Display
The enclosure supports up to three displays and it can show 6k resolution at 60Hz refresh rate on a single display. If you are connecting three displays it can play at 4k resolution on the three displays. This is very important because there are people that need all the extra displays for their workflow.
MacBook Pro Apps Acceleration
MacBook applications like DaVinci resolve and adobe premier pro were much faster when using the Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500. The rendering was faster than the normal speed you get and sometimes unnecessary delays. The enclosure will improve the speed of your MacBook laptop and save you time.
A closer look at the Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT
The breakaway puck works with Intel based Macs that have thunderbolt 3 ports apple is still yet to provide eGPU support on its M1 based Apple Silicon MacBook’s. you can use the enclosure under macOS Catalina 10.15.7 or later it is also compatible to MacOS Big Sur. This are some of the limitations that come with using the Breakaway Puck. The enclosure does not support windows which might be a deal breaker because there are a number of other options that work well on both MacOS and Windows. There are two variants of the breakaway puck. We have one that is powered by the Radeon 5700 and it is powerful than the variant we are talking about here. The 5700 variant cost $899 while the variant that comes with RX 5500 cost $650. You can still decide to buy the enclosure without any of the GPU inside but it’s a no brainer. Because the enclosure is not upgradable beyond the 5700 or 5500 by Radeon. Lack off upgrade might be another reason why people wouldn’t pay attention to the Breakaway Puck. There are some larger enclosures like the Core X that can be upgraded and will fit in larger GPUs. some enclosure also gives you options to try out various types of external graphics cards but the option is limited with the Breakaway Puck. If you prioritize space management rather than utility then you will find the Breakaway puck useful. The release of M1 MacBook’s has made future of eGPUs uncertain because at the moment they don’t support eGPU technology. If you have an intel mac then this might be the best option of you want slightly better performance. one thing you should know is that performance on the 5500 model is decent but the 5700 is ahead.
About Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT manufacturers
Sonnet have pioneered and brought to the market many innovative and award-winning products that enhance the performance of Mac, and Windows, and other industry standard computers. They are the leading providers of thunderbolt 3 to PCIe card expansion system. we manufacture products like External graphics (eGPU), pro media readers, docks and adapters, network, storage and more.
Product Specifications and Features
Dimension – 6 x 5.1 x 2 inches
Weight – 0.7 pounds
Power Delivery – 60W
Operating System – MacOS
Color Options – Black
Input & Output – Thunderbolt 3 Via type C
Description of the Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT
The Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT is a powerful mini PCIe expansion box is capable of transforming the performance of your Intel MacBook. It has a number of important ports that can be used to connect to monitors and other peripherals. We have two thunderbolt 3 ports on the enclosure. It is capable 6K resolution display on a single monitor that supports thunderbolt 3. You can also connect 3 displays at the same time if they support thunderbolt 3. It has a small compact form factor and it can be hidden behind a monitor.
Pros of the Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT
Versatile Ports – the enclosure has a number of ports that are very useful. There is a second thunderbolt port that is very important for connecting extra peripherals. You can use the enclosure to connect up to three monitors that support thunderbolt 3. There is a HDMI port, display port, and two extra USB type A 3.1 ports.
Compact Form factor – the enclosure comes in at a compact and small size and it will beautify your setup or you might decide to hide the eGPU behind your monitor. Some enclosures are large and they tend to take up space on your desk. The form factor is its strength and weakness at the same time because you don’t have the options to upgrade the GPU inside.
Easy to Use – the enclosure is easy to use the moment you plug it to your MacBook it starts working instantly. There is no need to reboot your laptop after connecting to the eGPU. Plug and play is an important feature to always look out for when buying an external enclosure.
Cons of the Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT
Not compatible with Windows – the external enclosure is not compatible with windows laptops. and within the price its selling for there are other eGPUs that work well on both MacOS and windows laptops.
Not Upgradable – if you buy this external enclosure you are left with no choice than to use the installed RX 5500 or RX 5700 that comes inside the enclosure. This is a major problem because GPUs are always updated from time to time. Games and software’s also get updated and become more demanding. You can also use the Breakaway puck for two or three years before needing to upgrade.
Large Power Brick – the enclosure has a large power brick and it takes up space. it is almost half the size of the enclosure and its thick. I feel it’s a problem and the charging brick should have been smaller.
Does the enclosure come with a GPU?
Yes, it comes with the Radeon RX 5500 or Radeon RX 5700. They are the only two graphics cards that you will find inside the Breakaway Puck.
Does it come with a thunderbolt 3 cable?
Yes, you get a thunderbolt 3 cable inside the box of the enclosure. But you might want to buy a third-party thunderbolt 3 cable with higher quality.
Does the enclosure work with Windows?
No, it doesn’t work with windows operating system it is solely made for MacBook’s and at the moment it doesn’t even work with M1 MacBook’s.
The enclosure is decent enough and it has what it takes to power your MacBook and increase the level of its performance. the form factor is one of the best things I love about the breakaway Puck because it can be hidden at the back of a monitor. There is a little caveat about enclosure but it dosent get in the way of performance. you might end up saving money if you by the Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT because there wont be the need to go shopping around for a GPU.