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.

External GPU support has been available for Windows for a while, which is why companies including Lenovo, Asus, HP, Gigabyte, Razer, and Zotac have already introduced models.

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.

via MacRumors


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One reply on “Now you can use an external graphics dock with a Mac”

  1. The Windows issue is probably solvable by just installing the drivers for the GPU & enclosure on the Windows partition-Apple handles all the Bootcamp drivers themselves, but it’s 1)just the hardware you have in your Mac for obvious reasons and 2) you can do whatever you want on the Windows partition.

    That being said, coverage of this across the net at large has been a mess. A lot of sites just went “hey EGPUs!” when High Sierra launched, which wasn’t the case, and thanks for keeping things clear here.

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