Apple's new M1 Macs won't work with external GPUs

The new Apple Silicon powered MacBook Pro can't use an eGPU, and maxes out at 16GB of RAM.

Apple / LG

Today Apple showed off the first Macs powered by its new M1 CPU, with a new Mac mini, MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. It touted impressive performance marks for the new machines and promised excellent battery life, however they won’t come without any compromises. As Paul Gerhardt mentioned in a tweet, tech spec pages for the new machines reveal that none of them are compatible with external GPUs that connect via Thunderbolt. According to Apple Insider, it has confirmed none of the machines will support eGPUs.

Only some people would require add-on oomph in any case, but Apple’s support for external graphics cards gave it some extra gaming cachet and informed creative professionals their needs would continue to be met. Now, they’ll have to wait and see if things change for higher-end models as Apple Silicon spreads throughout the company’s PC lineup.

There’s also been some focus on the fact that the 13-inch MacBook Pro M1 models only include two USB-C ports onboard instead of four, but whether or not you think that’s enough ports, it’s consistent with the cheaper Intel models it replaces. A more striking limitation is the one we’ve already noted, that the MBP is limited to 16GB of RAM — if you think you’ll need 32GB then you’ll have to opt for an Intel-powered model.

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