Blackmagic Design announces the eGPU Pro with Radeon RX Vega 56

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Today, Blackmagic Design has announced the new eGPU Pro, a Thunderbolt 3 equipped external GPU powered by a Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics processor. The original eGPU was only just released in July which uses the Radeon Pro 580 graphics card.

 

 

Blackmagic Design eGPU Pro

Externally, the Pro model uses the same aluminium design with a thermal grill for cooling and efficient heat dissipation. The back of the unit also features the same port expansion with Two Thunderbolt 3 ports, Four USB 3 ports, HDMI 2.0 port but also adds a DisplayPort 1.4 port that can support 5K monitors. The standard eGPU can only support 4K monitors via the HDMI output. It also supports 85w power delivery to charge a Macbook/Macbook Pro.

Do I need the Pro?

Whether you need an external GPU depends on your type of work. It also depends on what software you are using as not every application can support and harness the extra power of the external GPUs. Being a Blackmagic Design product designed in collaboration with Apple, Davinci Resolve automatically recognises the eGPU and supports it, offering increased performance.

  • Customers running DaVinci Resolve will get more real-time effects and color correction than ever before. That means they can spend more time exploring creative options and less time waiting. Customers running DaVinci Resolve on a 13-inch MacBook Pro will find that GPU-intensive operations, such as noise reduction, are up to 22x faster with the Blackmagic eGPU Pro. DaVinci Resolve 15 also supports multiple GPUs as well as Metal, so it’s the best way to get the full benefit of the Blackmagic eGPU Pro.
  • For gamers and customers using VR software and headsets, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro delivers higher resolution images, higher frame rate gameplay, better lighting and more detailed textures for truly immersive experiences, even on a laptop computer. Plus, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro features a DisplayPort connection that can drive a 5K display.
Performance benchmarks using the eGPU Pro
Performance benchmarks using the eGPU

The eGPU Pro retails for $1,199 USD, and will be available in November. Comparatively, the standard eGPU retails for $699 USD.

What about FCP X?

With the recent macOS Mojave update, Apple recently published a support document on using Final Cut Pro with external GPUs. Previously, you had to use a script to enable eGPU support.

The improved performances include:

  • Improved playback of projects with color correction and video effects.
  • Improved performance when working with 3D titles.
  • Faster analysis for effects including stabilization and optical flow retiming.
  • Faster rendering of complex project timelines.
  • Faster export of complex project timelines.

To get this improved performance, turn on Prefer External GPU for Final Cut Pro X in the Finder:

  1. Quit Final Cut Pro X if it’s open.
  2. In the Finder, choose Go > Applications, or press Shift-Command-A.
  3. In the Applications folder, click Final Cut Pro to select it, then choose File > Get Info, or press Command-I.
  4. In the General section of the Info window, select Prefer External GPU. You won’t see this option if an eGPU isn’t connected or if your Mac isn’t running macOS Mojave.
  5. You can now use Final Cut Pro with eGPU support.

Have you been using the Blackmagic Design eGPU? how have you found the increase in performance and would you have chosen the new eGPU Pro over the standard BMD eGPU?

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