Help Me, Laptop: I Want an eGPU for My MacBook Pro

As part of a recent update of macOS High Sierra, Apple has enabled the use of certain eGPUs with their MacBooks. And the reader sivagray wrote when asking how they can make you work with yours. Specifically, they planned to pair it with an AMD Radeon RX 580.


" I have a MacBook Pro in early 2011 with the following specifications, ," wrote sivagray. And then I did not need to read the specifications, because I already knew the problem.

Although they are in the correct version of macOS, High Sierra OS 10.13.4, our reader can not use an eGPU with their MacBook Pro. Support for eGPUs requires a Thunderbolt 3 port, which was not started in MacBook Pros until 2016 That means you need a MacBook Pro 2016 or 2017 (or, if you have a desktop computer, an iMac 2017 4K or 5K or iMac Pro).

So there's problem number one. They will need a new MacBook Pro. Now, if sivagray had a compatible laptop, the RX 580 should work. It is on the list of supported cards, all of which are currently AMD. Here we recapitulate the list of compatible cards and chassis options.

MORE: Which GPU is right for you?

We have reviewed a series of eGPU cabinets here.

And if you sivagray or if someone else intends to use a compatible MacBook to play with an eGPU, you may have to buy more, like a monitor. Apple's own reference page indicates that it can play games "when an external monitor is directly connected to the eGPU." To use the integrated screen of your Mac, you must have the application developers to update your applications.

As nice as it would be to simply plug any eGPU into any Mac and make it work, you need the right ports and the right tools. In this case, the user does not, so it may be time for them to update. They want to see our review of the latest MacBook Pro.

Credit: Laptop Mag

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      Andrew E. Freedman

    Andrew E. Freedman,
    Andrew joined Laptopmag.com in 2015, reviewing computers and keeping up with the latest news. He has an M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. Lover of everything related to games and technology, his previous work has appeared in Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter @FreedmanAE.
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