Blackmagic released a new external graphics processing unit (eGPU) on Thursday for users looking for a simple device to integrate into Thunderbolt 3. The new $ 699 device was presented to the media during Apple’s presentation of its new MacBook Pro laptops.
The Blackmagic eGPU houses an AMD Radeon Pro 580 graphics card with 8 GB of GDDR memory. The integrated design means that, according to a Blackmagic representative, the card inside the device is not scalable. The eGPU can deliver a 2.8x increase in performance over the original graphics of the new 15-inch MacBook Pro and its discrete Radeon graphics. With the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, the jump is even more spectacular: 8x compared to the integrated Intel Iris Pro.
The eGPU unit itself measures 7 by 7 by 12 inches, similar to a Mac Pro but larger. The device also acts as a connectivity hub, equipped with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3 ports and an HDMI 2 jack. It also delivers 85 watts of power.
If you’re using an Apple Thunderbolt display, you’re in luck: the Blackmagic eGPU can run it, a feature that is not supported by other eGPUs.
While the Blackmagic eGPU is touted as a device for Apple’s Thunderbolt 3 laptops, any Mac with Thunderbolt 3 and macOS High Sierra can use it, including the iMac Pro and iMac 2017. L Using a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter to connect to a Thunderbolt 2 Mac is not recommended. The company claims that there are compatibility issues with Windows that can affect the device.