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Are external GPUs for Macs viable in macOS 10.13.4? We tested to find out • Ars Technica
Samuel Axon:
<p>When software support is complete and everything works as intended, the performance gains we've seen here paint a rosy picture for the future of this technology as a way to augment laptops for games and creative applications. We recorded more playable frame rates in games and significantly improved benchmark scores over what we got with the internal GPU—and that's with one of the fastest discrete GPUs in Apple's laptops.

But even though the potential is vividly clear, the implementation is not yet complete. The experience is hit-and-miss depending on which software you're using. Further, we experienced several crashes and unexpected behaviors, and while Metal performance is greatly improved, the performance gap isn't as big for apps built for OpenGL—and unfortunately, many consumer Mac applications still are.

eGPUs might be publicly supported now, but they're still not ready for primetime. The experience is too unstable, support isn't robust enough, there are too many caveats and limitations, and Boot Camp support will be necessary for eGPUs to be attractive to many consumers.

That said, I see where Apple is going with this, and I'm convinced that it could be viable if the company expands support in the right ways. Apple clearly intends this to be the upgrade and expansion path for its iMac Pro and MacBook Pro computers, and if the software support falls into place, I believe that can work out as the company and its users hope. After all, video editors are already accustomed to connecting their machines to various other equipment in their edit bays.</p>


Once developers (including Apple, it seems: Final Cut Pro doesn't yet support eGPUs) update their software, it should get there. It's hoping for a lot that you could seamlessly add an external GPU. (There's a good discussion, if you have a couple of hours, about this <a href="https://daringfireball.net/thetalkshow/2018/04/11/ep-219">when Matthew Panzarino appeared on John Gruber's The Talk Show recently</a>.)
gpu  macos 
7 days ago by charlesarthur
Are external GPUs for Macs viable in macOS 10.13.4? We tested to find out | Ars Technica
Performance doesn’t disappoint, but lack of strong software support does.
gpu  macos  hardware 
8 days ago by philjr

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