Do You Really Need Apple’s New Blackmagic eGPU?

Apple is known for holding off on features until the tech is mature enough to apply on their devices. The Touch ID, for example, did not see the light of day until the company deemed it worthy for the iPhone years after everyone else had already implemented it on their handsets. This makes the Blackmagic eGPU an interesting proposition on the Apple Store.
Does this mean Apple thinks that eGPUs are going mainstream now?
The answer is a bit more complicated than just a simple yes or no. Apple’s eGPU offering definitely signifies that the tech is here to stay but it doesn’t mean that mainstream users are going to jump on the bandwagon just yet. It’s still going to be pretty much a fringe user’s device who applies it for graphics intensive programs and peripherals at the bleeding edge of technology.

Who Needs It Anyway?

For one thing, using an external monitor for a laptop isn’t even a mainstream thing to do as most people are perfectly fine working on the built-in monitor that the current generation MacBook comes with. However, for those of us who spend most of our waking hours staring at computer screens, an external display may be an absolute necessity in order to prevent stiff neck and eye strain.
The ultra-crisp 5k LG ultrafine external display monitors that it’s designed to work with still don't have a lot of utility for the average user because right now, it is still the age of 4k. Not a lot of content creators render their videos in a higher resolution, therefore, there wouldn't be much content to consume through the accelerated 5k display using the Blackmagic eGPU. For professionals who depend on color accuracy, image clarity, and overall visual quality though, having those extra pixels might just be what it takes to get that high-value contract you’ve been working on for the longest time.
Other applications are even more on the fringe like working a VR headset, high-res video editing, and 3D rendering. Hooking up even the freshly launched 13 inch MacBook Pro to the Blackmagic eGPU boosts graphics performance by up to 6-7 times. This means significant savings in work hours for video and 3D professionals.
Of course, gaming is also one reason to buy the Blackmagic eGPU. The graphics boost lets you play even triple-A titles on your MacBook without a sweat. But, nobody really buys a MacBook for its gaming chops. It is an added bonus to the overall package of this Apple upgrade.


Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports
One of the differentiating factors of the Blackmagic eGPU is that it is the only enclosure in the market that has two Thunderbolt 3 ports. This means that you can power two external monitors through the eGPU for a more immersive gaming experience or a highly efficient streamlined approach to multiple-display productivity.

The HDMI port can also power another external monitor raising the total monitor count.

Radeon Pro 580 Graphics Processor
It was once a top-of-the-line AMD GPU that can still power the latest current gen games and probably even some of the ones coming in the near future. It greatly raises the graphics capacity of any Apple computer currently out in the market for faster graphics rendering and gaming performance.

One Device for All Your Needs

The value proposition for buying an eGPU, any eGPU, in the first place is the ability to have just one computer for whatever purpose you may have for it whether it is gaming, video editing, or whatever else you want to do on a MacBook. It eliminates the need to transfer files from one computer to another just because our needs change. Quite frankly, its sole purpose in your tech life is to make your MacBook more versatile than it already is.
The Blackmagic is an easy device to work with on your Apple computers versus configuring a 3rd party enclosure. Its design lets you literally just plug and play your Apple laptop and begin work or play right away with no configuration or tweaking needed whatever your activity might be. Whether you need the graphics boost to power external monitors, play games, power your VR headset, or create content, the Blackmagic is just going to do what Apple does best – just work.

Why You Might Want to Skip on Purchasing

The number one reason for passing on this product is because you can no longer upgrade the graphics card that it comes with. Noting that it’s already a year old upon the eGPUs release, this might turn off buyers who are looking to future-proof their old MacBook.


So, is it a mature product that can be used reliably by the masses? The answer is both yes and no. While it’s truly optimized for Apple computers, its use case for the masses is still a bit limited.
Overall, the Blackmagic eGPU is a compelling package that greatly enhances your experience with Apple computers that are not generally known as great graphics devices, to begin with. For professionals and absolute Apple fans, this device might be worth it for the immediate enhancements to your computing experience. It just plainly takes the lack of graphical prowess of Apple computers and puts it on its head by supercharging them with one the best AMD cards out there in order to make a well-rounded rig.
However, its upgradeability limitations might be a deal breaker for some buyers looking to future-proof their device because it basically eliminates the upside of having an eGPU in the first place.