Black­magic of­fers a new in­te­grated EGPU for Thun­der­bolt 3 Macbooks

Ex­ter­nal graph­ics pro­cess­ing unit can han­dle the heavy lift­ing and boost per­for­mance.

Macworld (USA) - - Contents - BY RO­MAN LOY­OLA

Black­magic in July re­leased a new ex­ter­nal graph­ics pro­cess­ing unit (EGPU) tar­geted at users look­ing for a sim­ple-to-in­te­grate de­vice over Thun­der­bolt 3. The new $699 de­vice was in­tro­duced to the me­dia dur­ing Ap­ple’s showcase of its new Macbook Pro lap­tops ( go.mac­world.com/mpcl).

The Black­magic EGPU ( go.mac­world. com/bmgp) houses an AMD Radeon Pro 580 graph­ics card with 8GB of GDDR mem­ory. The in­te­grated de­sign means that,

ac­cord­ing to a Black­magic rep­re­sen­ta­tive, the card in­side the de­vice is not up­grade­able. The EGPU can pro­vide a 2.8x in­crease in per­for­mance over the stock graph­ics in the new 15-inch Macbook Pro and its dis­crete Radeon graph­ics. With the new 13-inch Macbook Pro, the jump is more dra­matic: 8x over the in­te­grated In­tel Iris Pro.

The EGPU unit it­self mea­sures 7 by 7 by 12 inches, sim­i­lar to a Mac Pro but taller. 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 pro­vides 85 watts of power de­liv­ery.

If you use an Ap­ple Thun­der­bolt dis­play, you’re in luck—the Black­magic EGPU can run it, a fea­ture that’s not sup­ported in other EGPUS.

While the Black­magic EGPU is be­ing 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 the 2017 imac. Us­ing a Thun­der­bolt 3–to–thun­der­bolt 2 adapter to con­nect to a Thun­der­bolt 2 Mac is not rec­om­mended. The com­pany says that there are com­pat­i­ble is­sues with Win­dows that may af­fect the de­vice.

The Black­magic EGPU is avail­able at the on­line Ap­ple Store ( go.mac­world.com/ bybm). ■

The de­vice also acts as a con­nec­tiv­ity hub, equipped with two Thun­der­bolt 3 ports, four USB 3 ports, and an HDMI 2 jack.

Dur­ing a showcase for Ap­ple’s new Macbook Pro, Janet Iwasa, PHD, dis­cusses her work on the Molec­u­lar Flip­book, an open-source app for cre­at­ing bi­o­log­i­cal 3D an­i­ma­tions. She used the new Black­magic EGPU (the tower sit­ting be­tween the large screen and the Macbook Pro) to ren­der art­work

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