Blackmagic External GPU for MacBook Pro
Blackmagic eGPU for the MacBook Pro. Image obtained with thanks from Blackmagic Design.

Apple has collaborated with the Australian video firm Blackmagic Design to offer an external GPU (eGPU) for MacBook computers. This is useful if you are looking for the portability of a MacBook Pro, but still want an immensely powerful GPU.

Thin and powerful often don’t coincide, especially if you want the 8GB of GDDR5 memory offered by the Blackmagic eGPU. Videographers can benefit from this newfound ability to plug high-end desktop graphics into their MacBook Pro (for video rendering, for example) and then just plug it out when they need to go run errands.

Blackmagic‘s eGPU is powered by an AMD Radeon Pro 580 GPU and can connect to Macs with Thunderbolt 3 ports and has four standard USB ports on the front, which may be an excuse to stop using those external USB-C adapters for your peripherals!

The built-in Radeon Pro 580 GPU has a peak FP32 performance of 5.5 Tflops and 217 GB/s memory bandwidth. The implementation of an external GPU is a smart move by Apple, as Macs are commonly used for video production activities. This could cement Apple’s position as ‘the’ brand to buy for video production studios.

The Blackmagic eGPU is priced at $699.