Appls has rolled out an updated version of macOS and, among other things, it adds support for external graphics cards.
That means you should be able to connect a graphics dock to just about any Mac with a Thunderbolt 3 port. The most obvious reason to do that is so you can use a desktop-class graphics card with a laptop. But external GPU (eGPU) support could also make it easier to upgrade desktops or switch between different graphics cards.
Dell sells an Alienware graphics amplifier too, but uses a proprietary connector rather than Thunderbolt 3, so it only works with Dell machines.
A graphics dock is just a dock though. You still need to equip it with an actual graphics card, and while apple says macOS 10.13.4 brings support for a number of recent AMD-powered graphics cards, it looks like there’s no official support for NVIDIA graphics cards, at least for now.
Here’s a list of GPUs that you can use:
- AMD Radeon RX 570
- AMD Radeon RX 580
- AMD Radeon PRo WX 7100
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
- AMD Vega Frontier Edition Air
- AMD Radeon Pro WX
The company recommends several different graphics docks from OWC, PowerColor, Sapphire, and Sonnet although it’s possible others may work.
Apple says Mac users can connect multiple eGPUs with each connected to a different Thunderbolt 3 port. You can safely remove an eGPU by clicking a menu item to get a disconnect option. And you can use an eGPU dock to connect extra external monitors, headsets, and other accessories.
It’s also worth noting that MacOS 10.13.4 does not support using an external GPU in Windows when using boot camp. So if you were hoping to use a MacBook Pro for coding by day and Windows gaming by night, this might not be the solution you’re looking for.