Since macOS High Sierra (10.13.4) Mac users have had support for external graphics cards running through Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and requisite hardware.
Razer Core X eGPU for Mac
The new MacBook Pro laptops, in particular, make fine machines for the utilization of the Razer’s new Mac-compatible eGPU which sells for just $299.USD. Core X is the first eGPU by Razer to feature Mac support and sits below the Core V2, which is also now supported for Mac use.
A single Thunderbolt 3 capable with USB-C connector links the Core X eGPU to the host machine (Mac), with support for PCIe graphics cards such as NVIDIA GeForce and NVIDIA Quadro workstation-class cards. AMD Radeon and Radeon Pro cards are also supported.
This opens up a world of possibilities for Mac users who need more powerful GPUs than the ones shipping in today’s Macs.
Details of Core X
The Core X promises “plug-and-play” integration for Windows 10 and macOS High Sierra laptops. There is no need to reboot your MacBook Pro machine everytime you connect to the external graphics system. Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) delivers communication speeds of up to 40Gbps while offering standard connections for various systems (such as power).
Inside the Core X features a 650W power supply, more than the typical 500W units, leaving additional power for other systems. This promo video may get you excited.
Core X’s inner capacity includes room for three slots for cards measuring up to 330mm in length and 160mm in height. Popular cards that may want to be utilized include GeForce GTX 1080 Ti architecture cards and the GeForce GTX Titan X.
Razer Core X is available now for $299.USD. Markets include the US, UK, Canada, China, France and Germany. It will also be available soon in other markets like Japan, Australia and the Nordics.
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Architosh Commentary and Analysis
Mac professionals are painfully experienced in the history of GPU limitations, no thanks to Apple’s hardware design philosophies and support policies. While the Mac community imagines potential new directions in these philosophies and policies in the context of Apple’s pre-announced future modular Mac Pro, they have today some exciting new options for GPU support via High Sierra’s support of third-party external GPU enclosures.
We first wrote about Razer’s eGPUs nearly two years ago (see: Architosh, “Could Apple Release One Of These—External GPU Enclosure Anybody?” 29 June 2016) noting that Apple’s penchant for designing around compressed thermal enclosures (in its quest for ever-thinner computers) naturally had an impact on GPU options for Macs. Putting beasty and power-hungry GPUs outside Macs could be a smart idea. While we speculated in that article that Apple could make a eGPU box, it is super exciting to see a top-tier company like Razer adding plug-and-play support for Macs with their eGPU boxes. This adds to the existing list of eGPU makers for Mac.
To run the Razer Core X you need macOS High Sierra (10.13.4 or higher) and a 2016 or higher MacBook Pro, iMac introduced in 2017 or later or the new iMac Pro. Not only can you accelerate OpenGL, OpenCL and Metal based apps, you can drive additional displays and drive VR headsets plugged into the eGPU.
While Razer now has two macOS supported eGPU boxes, there are several other companies making products Apple recommends, including Sonnet, PowerColor, OWC, etc.
You can learn more about eGPU support at Apple’s dedicated page about it here.
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