• 2.0 out of 5 stars

    No deep learning support for eGPU in MacOS

    • Written by Michael B from San Francisco

    When will Apple consider ML a "pro" use case? I should have read up on this first.

    To train an image classifier in any reasonable amount of time for an iOS app, I have to train a tensorflow model on my Linux machine (with AMD GPU using ROCm), serialize the model to CoreML format in python, and then copy that serialized CoreML model back over to my MBP for CoreML model compilation and integration into the iOS app.

    Proper eGPU support would greatly simplify my workflow, and make the iOS development process a lot less frustrating. If anyone at Apple is listening, please fix this soon.

    6 of 8 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Below mediocre performance for rendering and 3D

    • Written by Sergey B from Vancouver

    Very disappointed and very surprised Apple still doesn't want to support nvidia cards that are the defacto standards for 3D artists

    2 of 2 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Freezes constantly.

    • Written by David B from North Las Vegas

    I've been using the BlackMagic Design eGPU for a few months now and I'm pleased with the performance boost, but incredibly disappointed by the number of times this thing freezes up, locks up my Mac, and forces me to unplug it, and reconnect it. It's disappointing that visiting a video heavy site (like reddit) causes this thing so much grief. Great concept... beautiful design and quiet as a mouse, but I hate being hesitant to, say, switch to full screen in iTunes in fear that it's going to lock up my computer.

    13 of 13 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    It works but.....

    • Written by Mark R from Spalding

    I bought this to go with a new i7 Mac Mini linked up to a 4k 32" 4K monitor.
    Whilst most of my use is general web browsing, I do sometimes spend time with applications like Lightroom for photos and Resolve for Video so the addition of the eGPU meant I had a much needed boost on the odd occasions I needed better graphics performance than offered out of the box with the Mac Mini. apps like iMovie with 4K video did run just fine with the built in graphics BTW so if your needs are simple video taken with your iPhone at 4K, don't be put off by the internal Intel HD630 graphics.
    So I have run various tests with various applications and there is no question, this makes a huge difference when a GPU is needed to accomplish various tasks so it really does do what it claims.
    I did also look at the roll your own solutions buying a Sonnet enclosure and fitting a graphics card inside. The argument for that is you can upgrade the GPU later.
    The problem here is that you can't just but the base spec enclosure as it would not have a big enough PSU to run say a Vega64 later on if you did upgrade so buying an enclosure with a big enough PSU for future upgrades and a Radeon 580 today costs A LOT more than the Black Magic device on day one. On top of that, the other external GPUs have many many fans on them and are very noisy. The Black Magic is silent at all times. In my nice quiet office, this matters.
    So I therefore have an eGPU that is cheaper than an upgradable and quiet. Sure I can't just swap out the graphics card at a later date but I am sure many iMac users will tell you they don't loose sleep on that count either (think about it). If you want a machine you can upgrade each year as new games come out, perhaps a Mac isn't the right machine for you in the first place.
    So why only 4 stars?
    I wanted to place the Black Magic eGPU inline between my Mac Mini and monitor. In MACOS you can configure individual applications to use the eGPU but you have to do each one individually. If the eGPU is inline with the primary then everything uses it plus traffic doesn't have to leave the mac, go to the eGPU, travel back to the Mac and then output on a different port (HDMI or ThunderBolt).
    THIS CONFIGURATION IS NOT SUPPORTED ON THE MAC MINI! This titbit of info is buried on a support page deep on the Apple website.
    Because of the T2 chip, you can't have the eGPU inline at boot. It gets locked out.
    The solution from Apple is to either switch off File Vault (hard drive encryption) on the Mac OR boot the Mac with the monitor plugged straight into the back and then unplug the display from the Mac and plug it into the eGPU instead once you are logged in which means reaching behind the machines every time you boot the Mac and swapping the cable. A total pain and when I tried this, the output often maxed out at 4K 30Hz not the 4K 60Hz I normally get. With the eGPU inline the performance is even better but in real life, that is not a convenient setup and Apple is all about convenience isn't it? I don't want to be messing around swapping cables after every reboot.
    So in conclusion (because this is a very long review now), this thing does what it claims, is no more expensive than other solutions and makes a big difference to "some" applications but could be even better is Apple sorted out a couple of niggles.

    16 of 16 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    The Potential is there but its not quite ready, crashes and lockups blight

    • Written by Michael S from Canvey Island

    Having sold my MacPro 5,1 and bought a 2018 13" Macbook I was reasonably happy, although I missed the additional drives etc, (a Caldigit TB3+ dock sorted that out), but the integrated graphics felt a bit slow after the GTX1080 in my MP, so after reading about the EGPU, I determined to buy one, popping into the Regent Street Store to pick it up.
    The Good news, is it plugs in and works (Mojave 10.14.3), and using iStatmenus I can see what its doing, strangely it is almost always using 80-90% of the 8GB Memory on the card? Which seems odd.
    Performance is more sprightly when plugged directly from EGPU into a 4K display, (BTW TB3 to Displayport cables do work with it!)
    Games are accelerated and the general system feels a bit less laggy. BUT, it crashes, it locks up and it does it at the worst possible times, mainly after I have left the Mac with the screensaver running (if I switch the display off as I walk away 100% it will have crashed when I come back). I get around 1 crash or lockup every 12-18 hours.
    The slight performance benefits are not at this time worth the cost, so it will be returned, I am gutted, as I hoped it would be so much more stable, so much better.

    8 of 9 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Didn't see a benefit.

    • Written by Jason D from Chicago

    First off, the Thunderbolt 3 cable it comes with is 1 foot. If you are using a Mac Mini and more than one display it might be an odd set up. A longer cable is $39.

    Secondly this item did nothing to improve my mouse lag in Photoshop CS6 or CC.

    It's just not for me, so I will be returning this item.

    14 of 19 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Designed for Non-Radeon MacBooks

    • Written by Damyion M from San Lorenzo

    Running two LG 5K displays from Macbook TB 15 2017. If you own this setup, then the internal GPU is almost as good as the Blackmagic. I cannot run fluid full-resolution video at max resolution, from any app with, or without, Blackmagic. If i run the Macbook at low resolution, (apple calls it large text) then i see subtle video lag on the blackmagic and a tiny bit worse running straight from Macbook. The Mackbook 13 TB 2017 i understand does not have the same internal GPU as the 15, so this Blackmagic eGPU was probably designed for that specific setup. Radeon Mackbook owners patiently waiting for the Vega Blackmagic Pro model.

    4 of 6 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Nearly Perfect

    • Written by Oliver F from Douglas

    I've used it to play Fortnite at a full 60fps in High quality settings on the internal display, it remains completely silent under heavy workloads, just like Mac users want, it has the specs to run the Oculus Rift under bootcamp, although my one complaint is it doesn't have official drivers installed with bootcamp, you have to find and manually install them. The Blackmagic eGPU and Vega 20 graphics will run the Oculus Rift, or any games, but the Blackmagic eGPU remains silent, the Vega 20 does not, it runs at full fan noise, so if you want a good GPU which doesn't have to be built in, go for the Blackmagic eGPU. It has great support within MacOS, it also gives my USB C macbook an extra HDMI port, 4 USB ports, another display port and a USB C port to supplement for the one it takes to connect to the eGPU.

    When Apple adds Blackmagic eGPU and Vega 20 graphics drivers to the Bootcamp installer, I will rate it 5 star

    9 of 13 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Questionable compatibility with UltraFine 4K

    • Written by Bojan N from London

    Nothing but frustration with this one - two monitors will never work together. LG UltraFine 4K will work on its own (connected over Thunderbolt 3 port on the Egpu), and my other monitor works fine connected over HDMI. But put them on together and the hdmi connected monitor will just keep flickering to no end. Impossible to tell who is to blame, but beware of UltraFine monitors in combination with this Egpu. The rest of the features are as advertised, but it's of little use to me as is. Goes a long way of describing current levels of quality assurance and hardware testing from Apple.

    5 of 7 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Useless.

    • Written by Adam A from Boise

    I'm an apple hard die fan and I'll ever be, and I think Apple makes the best products period, but this one misses the mark so badly, to the point where it's painful.

    First and for most, DON"T BUY THIS IF YOU'RE USING FINAL CUT PRO!!!
    Because the software is optimized, and you won't notice a huge difference.
    *Test Results;
    19GB 4K File with the MacBook took 5min + 31 seconds to render (background render off).
    The same file using the eGPU to render with the same settings it took 5min + 11 seconds.

    Now the big question is?
    Does 20 seconds improvement worth $700+?
    I assure you, it's NOT!

    Model used;
    Macbook Pro 16GB Ram - i5 Dual Core - 256GB NVMe SSD (2017 Model)

    Test run; 7 Times with eGPU - 7 Times Without eGPU
    *I was that desperate to convince myself it's a purchase worthwhile, but it's too late.

    Random Thoughts;
    - I didn't see any noticeable improvements while working with the timeline, the software is doing great with the internal GPU.
    - I did test it with other machines to make sure that my CPU is not bottlenecking the eGPU, (the eGPU is taking a hit of %10 for performance, but it's minor and not a huge deal)

    Overall;
    Not worth it at all, and the power consumption is high as well for a product that is not cheap since the first place.
    I don't mind paying 1000+, but at least it would make me go wow, that was worth it.

    22 of 26 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Totally useless for final cut pro x

    • Written by Massimo F from Woburn Sands

    I spent some time with apple care to figure out if it would improve performance with my set up and I was told we don't know it should which I believe is interesting.
    I bought this product hoping to process my Panasonic GH5 files without conversion to prores and it stutters in 4K worse or same than the integrated GPU of my macmini 2018.
    Final cut pro uses the GPU that looks maxed out but there is no performance improvement despite the 8 GB VRAM vs the 1.5 GB allocated to the integrated GPU.
    It may be that final cut is not using the GPU at the best (it is definitely using it) but this product is to avoid for pure apple users. It may work with blackmagic software but then apple should not even bother advertising it.

    22 of 34 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Mac mini and Blackmagic eGPU no video

    • Written by Bob P from Lindstrom

    I have the new Mac mini and the Blackmagic eGPU but can’t get the video to display on the monitor when I connect the Mac mini to the eGPU and then the eGPU to the monitor. On boot up the monitor stays dark so I can’t boot .

    The same monitor and cables however works when I connect my MacBook Pro to the eGPU and the eGPU to the monitor which is the preferred setup. Unfortunately no one can give me direction. I read somewhere that the Mac Mini can’t boot into the eGPU so I don’t know how to set this up the most effective way.

    30 of 38 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Extreme performance enhancement for Thunderbolt 3 macbook but flawed

    • Written by steve M from Helper

    I am not sure if this has to do with using an eGPU or not, but when using the eGPU and external 4k display connected to the eGPU, high bitrate 4k video playback tops-out the eGPU's utilization and occasionally stutters. Even 4k youtube playback in chrome tops-out the eGPU. When plugging the same monitor straight into the macbook with a displayport adapter, video playback is great no matter what kind of file or youtube 4k videos I play back. Using a quadcore 2018 13" Macbook Pro with Mojave 10.14.1.

    17 of 18 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Mediocre, expensive product with poor support.

    • Written by Mike M from La Crescenta

    Honestly, it's bad. The eGPU does provide a boost, but the power you get for the money isn't good. It looks good, and it's quiet, so that's nice. But, like many people, my unit has hardware issued and Blackmagic isn't helpful at all. In fact, they expect you to purchase a shipping box and pay for shipping to return the product in order to facilitate a warranty claim.

    Do yourself a favor and skip this one. It's a C- product from an F company.

    48 of 58 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    A story about a lack of information.

    • Written by Keith D from Los Angeles

    Provenance:
    Dyed-in-the-wool, experienced NYC freelancer (shoot/edit/PrEditor)
    60% travel, 40% local


    Build:
    Macbook Pro 15-inch, 2016
    16 GB 2133Mhz DDR3 512 SSD
    Mojave 10.14
    
LaCie T3 8tb twin RAID 0
    Blackmagic EGPU with factory T3 cable

    No External Monitor

    Apps:
    Adobe AE 2017 - "Prefer External GPU" selected using [Option-I]
    AE Render Engine 2017 - ditto
    Adobe Pr 2017 – ditto
    
DaVinci Resolve – ditto
    
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - ditto
    Element 3d V2 - No option to select preferred GPU, probably not necessary

    
Typical project:
    
4K footage from disparate cameras/codecs, Finished in AE or Resolve.



    The set-up:
    Frustrated for lack of a detailed analysis from a power-user with build/requirements similar to mine, not to mention all those painfully verbose YouTube videos with no payoff, I had to find out for myself whether or not it's worth gambling 1/3 rent on a shiny new thing that promises to improve the quality of my life.

    What I think:

    The best thing about this EGPU is the beautifully-written product description on Apple’s website. A story of empowerment noted for its elegance and brevity, it sends the reader into a dream in which a Mac user dressed in space-gray extruded aluminum splendor, challenges a bulky, clunky, GTX1080 to a ¼ mile race and gives it a run for its money, to the dismay of NVidia fanboys and somehow you become fascinating to persons of extreme hotness.


    Alas, it was all but a dream.

    

But for me, being able to preview 4K video and AE timelines, even at their lowest resolution, is a huge improvement. Rendering times/Exports are also decreased (+/- 10-25%). The build has been engineered very, very well, and seems tough enough to travel. Save for crossing to the dark side, it seems to be the only game in town.

    

That last paragraph was written with great sadness.


 



    49 of 58 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Only useful in a very small number of people

    • Written by Zac T from Windsor

    Tried this with a Mac Book Pro 13" and an Ultrafine 5K display as I found resizing windows and some applications to be choppy and hoped that a more beefy GPU would improve things. Unfortunately not.

    When I tried it I could see it was using the EGPU instead of the integrated graphics, but if anything the desktop experience was worse and the GPU usage was way higher. Window resizing or movement would send the GPU to 100% utilization.

    As far as I can tell this may be useful for people wanting to play Fortnite on their 13" MBP, or people using Blackmagic software, but I would imagine people needing to do video work would more likely use a 15" MBP or iMac.

    11 of 16 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Dead as a door nail.

    • Written by Oliver M from Boulder

    I purchased this almost a month ago and it seems that it has totally died and now violently crashes my computer complete with black screen of foreign language death if I plug it in. I’m not sure what the issue is but I’m very disappointed, prior to this crash thing happening it was working very well under 10.14 and made a significant improvement to even photoshop on my 15 MacBook Pro. I hope it has a warranty and that it has not serious damage to my computer.

    28 of 41 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    macOS Mojave = BIG improvement for Black Magic eGPU

    • Written by Steven K from Erie

    I was frustrated with the Final Cut Pro render performance with macOS High Sierra because it did not seem to touch the eGPU. Now I can tell you it definitely uses the eGPU during rendering, and I have noticed a huge improvement!

    There is a new setting that you need to make in Mojave that causes your MacBook to favor the eGPU. Here is how to set it up.

    1- Make sure you are connected to your eGPU
    2 - Go to finder
    3 - Go to Applications folder
    4 - Right mouse button on the application and select "Get Info"
    5 - Select the box next to "Favor eGPU"

    and that is it, you will notice a render improvement and can watch the GPU performance in your activity window to confirm.

    I have also noticed a nice improvement with Lightroom, it just seems much smoother to me.

    I have not tried gaming yet with Mojave but it wasn't that great of a performance improvement using High Sierra, hoping it's better now.

    All in all, I am happy with my purchase.

    50 of 56 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    It just works

    • Written by Russell F B from East Brisbane

    It’s great. Hooked between 2017 MBP pro 13 with touchable and LG ultrafine 5K monitor. Rendering is smooth. Multiple windows open running multiple graphic intensive tasks. I love it. Super quiet. No fuss.

    3 of 3 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Maybe it will be good one day but not right now

    • Written by Austin B from Toronto

    This thing reduced the performance of my maxed out late 2016 15" MBP with a 27" LG 5k. I monitored the GPU usage in the activity monitor GPU history window constantly and it was always incredibly confused with which gpu to use. FCPX was incredibly buggy with this unit and actually made my laptop run hotter then it did without it, not to mention increasing render times of almost all things including simple color grades. Most tasks felt like they were putting more strain on the laptop not less. I tried running a 1080 monitor in conjunction with the 5k and the egpu could not handle it with big chunky blocks showing up in the image constantly due to a lack of bandwidth I'm guessing. I can't possibly imagine you could run the 5k and a 4k simultaneously. The only reason I'm giving it 2 stars is because it is beautifully built, and I can't speak for how it will perform in the future once apple does some serious work on the programming of OSX to work properly with this 9 lb paperweight.

    1 of 2 people found this useful