• 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Great plug-and-play eGPU for LG Ultrafine 5k Display

    • Written by Joshua W from Studio City

    I've considered and examined various eGPU options for my 2016 Macbook Pro for some time, as even the highest-end option (Radeon Pro 460 at the time) is simply not sufficient to run the two 5k TB3 displays without a quite noticeable slowdown on the GUI and associated tasks. However, until last week, all options for eGPU acceleration of TB3 displays were limited, since the displays still had to be connected directly to the computer.

    This eGPU finally solves this problem by offering a direct connection to the TB3 display, sitting between the computer and monitor! Finally a product that again lives up to the old Apple motto of "just works" -- no additional drivers or software needed, and the internal USB3.1 hub is an added bonus.

    And, while the Radeon Pro 580 is admittedly not a top-of-the-line card compared to some other options currently available, for the price it's a reasonable deal (eGPU enclosures start at $300 without a card), especially considering the unique TB3 connectivity option for the display itself -- this is, quite simply, the *only* functional option for those using a macbook pro and the LG Ultrafine 5k.

    The eGPU (Radeon Pro 580) reliably runs the primary display, and the internal discrete card (Radeon 460) is dedicated to the secondary one.

    My only gripe is that the included cable is so short, it should almost be called a dongle. For $699 they could have at least included something closer to the 0.8m length.

    Overall, very satisfied with my purchase.

    286 of 365 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.

    54 of 60 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    This should have an Apple logo on it.

    • Written by Paul K from Pelican Waters

    Truly Amazing.

    My first ever eGPU and my entry into the eGPU world.

    First of all I would like to say, for those that are getting this just for gaming, don't expect your going to run all your games in max settings. This is not a gaming solution this is a VIDEO EDITORS SOLUTION for better performance in DAVINCI RESOLVE 14 and 15.

    From a video editors point of view and a LG 5K ultrafine thunderbolt monitor point of view this in a word, is brilliant!!

    Any thunderbolt monitor can just plug in directly now and just work, with maximum graphics performance, render times are insanely fast now in davinci resolve on my macbook pro 15 inch 2016 model.

    The laptop will also run a lot quieter with out it over heating at all!! the egpu really does take off the edge and its so quiet the egpu you can't even tell its on!!

    My setup consists of 2 monitors connected to the blackmagic GPU
    1 LG 5k monitor via thunderbolt 3
    1 samsung 4k monitor via HDMI

    Works great no issues.

    If you want to run final cut X please be aware it will not use your egpu for rendering you need a set-egpu script for that to work.
    Also compressor ignores egpus even with the script it still does.

    Thats not an eGPU fault though thats a software support fault Apple needs to update there software to work better with eGPUs.

    Ok now thats out of the way games in Mac OS.
    - rocket league will work at Max settings at 2560x1440 res really smoothly on your 5k display if you have one of those.
    - CS: Global offensive will also run maxed out setting at the same res.

    I haven't really been testing games but I thought I would give people some context.

    Boot camp you might want to wait on that one, it does some funny things. currently no driver support in windows for this card it seems. So Apple or blackmagic or AMD please come out with windows drivers for this egpu!!

    Other than that this is built for professionals, and not for home users that like to play games.

    This is non up-gradable eGPU so keep that in mind before buying.

    If you have a 15 inch 2016 macbook pro that has radeon pro 455 with 2gb vram or less you will really notice a boost with the 8gb vram and higher clock speeds.

    My biggest issue is the bootcamp stuff as I user premier in a windows environment because it runs better in windows, I hope Apple can address the driver issue or this will not be 100% useful to me in the future if I can't use premier.

    If your a gamer that likes to run PC games do not buy this eGPU, because it will not appeal to you and its not built for people that like to game at maxed out settings. Its build for the video professional that like to travel, with a laptop and have a desktop experience at home without buying a desktop computer.

    I do wish blackmagic gave us more video card options eg one with a vega 56 and one with a vega 64. But other than that this card is worth it to me.

    12 of 14 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

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    A good investment

    • Written by Eliot H from Parkdale

    I purchased this device for editing movies in Final Cut Pro X on my 13" MacBook Pro which is driving my ultra-wide Dell U3818DW display (and an additional smaller display). It took seconds to setup and I really like how the USB-C connector powers my MacBook Pro. I can see a significant performance benefit when playback, rendering and exporting movies in FCP. I'm delighted with this investment. Sure, it's a little pricey, but its a quality product that truly leverages the architecture of OpenCL and Metal.

    2 of 2 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Top quality.

    • Written by Michael S from Sydney

    The hardware of this eGPU is amazing, its sturdy and is the only eGPU box that you can proudly boast on your desk with its design.

    Its plug'n'play on the Mac and worked well with my gaming (I played League of Legends & WoW at 5K 60FPS) perfectly fine in MacOS without having to bootcamp into Windows. The best part is that it supports the LG Ultrafine series which are hands down the best monitors for the Mac.

    Pair this with the Ultrafine Monitor & you have your self an iMac Pro workstation at home whenever you dock your Mac.

    3 of 4 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    THE ONLY DOCK YOU’LL EVER NEED

    • Written by Lee H from CHIPPENHAM

    I had been looking for a robust dock solution for my 2018 MacBook Pro for some time. I had tried the Belkin unit and several others, but none provided all the functionality I was after. That was until I tried the Blackmagic eGPU. The improvement in graphics performance was significant - better than I expected. What surprised me is the connectivity and, therefore, value for money of the unit. It really is the only dock I use and it affords video, photos and games vast performance improvements. Highly recommended.

    16 of 30 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.


 



    52 of 61 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

    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

    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

    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

  • 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

    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

  • 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.

    21 of 23 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.

    7 of 9 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Mediocre for Gaming

    • Written by Alec H from FRUIT HEIGHTS

    I bought this to use with my 2017 15" MacBook Pro to play fortnite with. It can run Fortnite on medium/low settings at about 50 FPS but honestly not worth $700. I definitely do not believe that it creates "super smooth gaming" like advertised. Im very sad, I was hoping that Apple finally created a gaming solution to their computers!

    601 of 832 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Returning mine today

    • Written by Perry K from Bainbridge Island

    Adobe apps don't recognize this all. While the 'disconnect' feature with the LG 5K is a good start, any open apps will freak out during the 30-second+ process and throw errors. Compared the the LG w/out the eGPU where you can just unplug the cable and grab your MacBook, it's not ideal. I'd be willing to deal with the disconnect if it was a little faster and didn't require me to quit every app first.

    It is quiet, very quiet, which is amazing, and they've gotten a lot closer to the Apple aesthetic than LG did, but until the bugs are worked out and your app of preference supports eGPUs, it might be worth waiting.

    46 of 54 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.

    28 of 28 people found this useful

  • 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.

    30 of 33 people found this useful