• 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.

    26 of 26 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

    11 of 18 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.


 



    53 of 62 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Excellent EGPU, but needs to support Vega 56/64

    • Written by Aman T from Brooklyn

    This is one of the best quality EGPU's on the market, I would give it 5 stars, but the fact that this does not come to support higher end cards like the Vega 56 or 64 I gave it 4.

    It is quieter, better looking than everything on the market. It also supports my LG UltraFine display.

    Get this if you have an LG UltraFine monitor it is a good mid range graphics card.

    Downside is that if you want something with more performance, you will be out of luck. They should make the same thing with Vega 56 or 64

    22 of 28 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Four stars...your milage may vary.

    • Written by Rod C from Newport

    Connecting to a 2018 13" MBP and a Samsung 4K TV over HDMI. Set up is very easy. Not had too long to tweak the display settings but it scales well. (Not quite as good as Win 10 but that was after a lot of messing around. I'm sure with more time I'll have it spot on.) The thing is silent. At first I thought it was noisy but I then realised that was another device...turned that off and there wasn't even a whisper from the eGPU. It's Space Gray but not an exact match. It's close enough but doesn't look identical. Games aren't great. Tried Left 4 Dead on max settings at 1920 x 1080 and it still occasionally dipped below 60FPS. More modern games or higher res are probably not options but a bit of light gaming to take a break is possible. If you're not aiming for high spec gaming though this functions brilliantly as a light gaming machine, a charger to power my MBP, a hub to connect up my external drives for data and media on the TV and allow a full size keyboard and mouse for when working at home. It does exactly what I want it to do without additional devices and allows some gaming. For all of that it's a reasonable price.

    36 of 40 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Awesome EGPU

    • Written by David M from Panorama city

    This black magic Egpu is awesomeness I use this thing with my MacBook Pro 2017 full max out and with my iPad Pro 12.9 2 Gen and I have my iPad Pro direct connected to my black magic egpu. and I am runny duet app on my MacBook Pro and this thing charger's my macbook pro and it charger's my iPad Pro with ease, and be for it was a little bit slow because I have two drives plug in and I have FCPX on my main screen and all of the web tabs and videos on the iPad Pro. And now with this EGPU its work lot better. Money well spend.
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    19 of 35 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Great plug and play solution

    • Written by Gordon B from Marrickville

    Happy with this eGPU, definitely boosts performance to my LG Ultrafine 5K Display and acts as a great device hub. I would echo some concerns that a more powerful card would have future proofed it for longer as the card can't be upgraded but overall happy and great for what I need.

    I would definitely call out that the Thunderbolt 3 cable included isn't fit for purpose and pretty much unusable due to the length. A bit of a cheap move for a premium product as I had to go back and buy another 0.8m cable to be able to use it.

    6 of 7 people found this useful