Last Updated on July 1, 2021 by paularo
What is eGPU for mac is very important because many Mac OS systems rely on integrated graphics for graphic video and animation jobs. An integrated processor is a small graphics chip that is part of the main processor of a mac. Macs don’t have a dedicated graphics card or GPU.
What is eGPU for mac? eGPU for Mac is an external graphics card for Mac systems like the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac. The eGPU resides outside the Mac system. It’s used to increase the performance of a MacBook since it has limited built-in graphics capability. The eGPU is connected to the MacBook or iMac via a USB Type C Thunderbolt 3 port.
This is a separate graphics card that works with the CPU to give you a much better graphics performance. None of the current line up of macs has any internal expansion that will allow you to install a new GPU to upgrade your graphics performance.
That in itself is a shortcoming and to have much better GPU performance you need the Thunderbolt 3.0 port. you also need your mac to be running high sierra or the latest Mojave version of macOS. That way you can connect an external GPU that sits comfortably outside your mac.
As the name implies an eGPU is a type of graphics card that boosts the performance of your mac. It has two major components and you have to buy them separately they are the enclosure and the GPU. An enclosure is a case that houses the GPU and it has some ports that are used to connect it to the mac or an external monitor.
With an eGPU, you have the ability to use your Mac as a powerhouse you can run some high-end graphics works and play demanding games. The eGPU can be at home or in the office anytime you want to use it you just plug it in using the thunderbolt 3 port. it is not a portable gadget because of its size so it has to be kept in one place.
One problem with the enclosure is that it comes empty and you will have to spend around $300 for the best eGPUs in the market. After that, you have to also source for the GPU that will be installed inside the enclosure. The best recommend eGPU for the Mac system is the Razer Core X Chroma.
For mac users installing the GPU inside the enclosure can be a little bit difficult especially for those that don’t have any experience using a PC. Simply what the eGPU means is enclosure graphics processing unit.
What You Need to use eGPU for Mac
The first and most important thing you will need is to have a thunderbolt 3 port on your MacBook. Thunderbolt 3 uses a USB C connector and here are a few models that support the Thunderbolt 3.
They include MacBook Pro late 2016 newer, MacBook Air 2018 and newer. After that, your mac needs to be running on macOS High Sierra precisely version 10.13.4 and then your MacBook will be compatible with an eGPU.
After buying the Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosure you need to also get a graphics card that is compatible with macOS. You should be able to put the graphics card into the enclosure then plug the enclosure into your mac and witness a significant boost in performance. There are some limitations to using an eGPU and I will touch on that shortly.
Apple and NVIDIA don’t seem to work easily with one another these days and if you want to use an NVIDIA GPU you will face serious issues connecting and disconnecting your eGPU and your mac. Right now, AMD seems to be the go-to GPU that is compatible with eGPU.
Connectivity using an AMD eGPU is easy and seamless you can easily disconnect your mac and use it as a laptop and when you want to carry out the power-efficient task you can connect back. if you check Apple’s website they currently have some eGPUs listed and they are all from AMD. As you know AMD and NVIDIA are the two brands dominating the GPU business.
It is also important to also pay attention to the amount of power that the enclosure you want to buy can supply. This is because every graphics card has the amount of power that it needs to work efficiently. Most manufacturers list the specs of their enclosures on their websites. High-end Radeon and Vega Graphics cards require lots of power to work at their best.
NVIDIA graphics cards are off-limits for mac users right now and it’s surprising because they have some of the most popular GPU right now. Hopefully, we would see a change anytime soon. There are ways to tweak NVIDIA cards to work with macs but it is a very difficult process.
This technology is still new and we hope there will be more collaborations and developments. We have to patient for macs to work seamlessly with NVIDIA-based GPU.
The Limitations of eGPU for Mac
One of the major limitations of the eGPU on a mac is that not all applications you run will be able to take full advantage of the processing powers. You might need to plug in an external monitor directly into the eGPU enclosure to see the benefits. This happens with many 3D games and VR applications.
It is very important to know the level of benefit your everyday applications will get if you buy an eGPU. You won’t notice much improvement with normal video editing software and 3D modeling software. the real difference will be noticed if you are using pro-level software for designs and renders.
If you are buying the eGPU just to accelerate your built-in display. it is important that you note that not all software and games have received patches that allow you to accelerate the built-in display on your mac. Developers have to enable the built-in acceleration from their end.
What is the best eGPU for MacBook Pro 2020?
The Razer Core X Chroma is one of the best eGPU that is compatible with the MacBook Pro 2020. It is made of a black aluminum enclosure with some openings by the side. The eGPU has some lightning effects that illuminate the graphics card at the front and it can display up to 16 million colors.
It comes with a 700-watt power supply which is sufficient to power any graphics card with requirements of up to 500 watts. Power delivery is available also when connected to a MacBook Pro 2020 using the thunderbolt 3 connection and it goes up to 100 watts.
The enclosure also comes with gigabit ethernet connectivity and four USB 3.1 Type-A connections. All this at a selling price of $400.
How to use eGPU for MacBook?
To use an eGPU with your MacBook all you need is the enclosure with an GPU inserted inside. The enclosure comes with a thunderbolt 3 ports and using the port you can easily plug it in your MacBook. After that you will unlock the speed required to make your make perform better.