Blackmagic's Mac-friendly eGPU Pro adds Vega 56 power for $1,199

The eGPU Pro promises a more noticeable speed boost.

Blackmagic's first Apple-oriented external GPU was helpful for pros who needed more graphics power for their MacBooks, but it was a tough sell when you were paying $700 for strictly middling Radeon Pro 580 graphics. However, the company is back a few months later with a somewhat better value. Its newly launched Blackmagic eGPU Pro melds the familiar Thunderbolt 3 enclosure with much faster Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics. It's nearly twice as fast as the original, the company said, and promises up to a 22X performance boost over the 13-inch MacBook Pro's Intel-based video. That's a huge deal for GPU-aware creative apps, and might even make it a viable choice for more intensive games (what intensive games exist on the platform, anyway).

Like many eGPUs, this model also doubles as a hub with Thunderbolt 3 daisy chaining, four USB-A ports, HDMI and a 5K-capable DisplayPort connection.

Just be ready to swallow the cost. The eGPU Pro will be available in late November for a daunting $1,199 -- that's more expensive than an internal Vega 64 card, let alone the less powerful Vega 56. The enclosure and Thunderbolt 3 technology explain at least some of the premium, but there's little doubt that this is meant primarily for pro media editing tasks where an eGPU might pay for itself through faster rendering.

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