Many MacBooks come with integrated graphics processors to handle video, graphics, and animation work. An integrated graphics processor is a tiny chip that is a component of the MacBook’s CPU.
These computers don’t have a GPU (graphics processing unit)—a dedicated, standalone graphics card that works with the central processing unit to optimize graphics performance. Acknowledging that lack of a dedicated GPU, and inability to expand the internal graphics capabilities, Apple introduced support for external graphics processing cards (eGPUs). eGPUs ensure that you get the best experience during your graphics-dependant tasks.
The latest MacBook models come with fast Thunderbolt 3 ports, as well. If your Mac has Thunderbolt 3 and runs on High Sierra (or the latest macOS Mojave version), you can connect your computer to an eGPU. The addition allows you a more efficient external graphics card.
Benefits of Adding eGPU to Your MacBook
An eGPU is an excellent way to improve your MacBook’s visual performance for professional apps, VR content creation, and playing on SA Gaming while enjoying amazing graphics.
Here are some of the many tasks you can accomplish with an eGPU on your MacBook:
- Connect secondary monitors and displays
- Accelerate apps that use OpenGL, OpenCL, and Metal
- Use VR headsets connected to the eGPU
- Connect several eGPUs with the multiple Thunderbolt 3 ports on your computer
- Employ an eGPU with MacBook Pro while its internal display is closed
- Charge your MacBook Pro while using the external graphics card
- Connect the external graphics card while a user is logged in
- View the activity levels of internal graphics and eGPUs.
Another remarkable benefit of using eGPUs is that you can have a slimline laptop that you carry on-the-go and then connect it to the eGPU when you’re in the office or at home. You can instantly transform your lightweight laptop into a high-performance computer, running heavyweight graphics software and the latest 3D games.
Limitations of eGPUs on MacBooks
Not all apps on your MacBook will benefit from your eGPU, however. At times, you’ll have to connect an external display unit directly into the eGPU enclosure to notice any benefits. Many VR applications and 3D games require this procedure. Some high-end software is designed to benefit from multiple GPUs, so it will often deliver the expected performance. It includes video editors and 3D modeling apps, but it’s crucial to find out whether your app will benefit from an eGPU before purchasing one. Games and apps usually include patches that allow you to accelerate your MacBook’s built-in display. However, developers should enable this capability on their end. It’s an essential consideration if you’re looking to use an eGPU primarily to accelerate your computer’s internal display.
If you’re considering getting an eGPU for your MacBook, you should first understand its benefits to your current graphic situation. As a final tip, if you decide to get an eGPU, make sure your computer has a compatible Thunderbolt 3 chassis. The combination will ensure the graphics card gets enough power to run efficiently.