Does your MacBook Pro need more horsepower? Blackmagic has partnered with Apple to create this external GPU


posted Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 11:15 AM EST


Have you ever wished your MacBook Pro had more computing power? Or maybe you just wish that you could have your laptop be both your mobile and desktop machine, but it just doesn't pack the horses you need to be a dedicated office editing computer. Well, perhaps that now can change and without breaking the bank. Today, Blackmagic Design announced the Blackmagic eGPU, a high performance graphics processor for pro creative software made in tandem with Apple and designed to amplify the MacBook Pro. The Blackmagic eGPU features a built-in Radeon Pro 580, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, HDMI 2.0, 85W of charging power and four USB 3.1 connections. The unit will bring high-end desktop-class graphics processing to MacBook Pro for professional video workflows while also being the first to support Thunderbolt 3 displays.

What's more, the pricing is relatively modest, with only a $699 asking price exclusively on and in select Apple Retail stores.


The design features a textured finish design, and the Blackmagic eGPU is extruded from a single piece of aluminum and features a unique thermal cooling system that’s been designed to perfectly balance the airflow and dissipate heat more efficiently. The cooling system also enables extremely quiet operation as low as 18dB, vital for those working in video production and audio engineering environments.


The Blackmagic eGPU features a Radeon Pro 580 graphics processor that delivers improved graphics and incredible computational performance. You get 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, 256-bit memory bandwidth and 36 discreet compute units for up to 5.5 teraflops of processing power. The Radeon Pro 580 can fill an impressive 38.4 billion textured pixels per second. In addition, the Blackmagic eGPU supports Metal graphics technology from Apple, which provides near-direct access to the GPU for maximizing graphics and compute performance with games and applications. The device also has a massive built-in power supply that powers the GPU while also providing 85W of downstream power via Thunderbolt 3 for charging laptop computers and powering peripherals. The power supply works from 100V to 240V and features a standard IEC power connector so it can be used anywhere in the world.


Blackmagic says that their new external GPU is designed to allow folks like professional video editors to use a single machine for multiple tasks, even if that machine wasn't normally powerful enough to handle their more demanding workflows. They can still remain mobile and have everything on one computer, but when connected to the GPU they have all the power they need. The Blackmagic eGPU is incredibly flexible and simply plugs in via Thunderbolt 3, so those users can benefit from improved graphics performance and acceleration of computational tasks. It looks to be perfect for speeding up professional creative application workflows including editing, color correction and visual effects. Blackmagic emphasizes that it works really well with their program, DaVinci Resolve, as you can imagine. In fact, if you are running DaVinci Resolve 15 you can expect increased performance for editing with more real time effects, color corrections with more nodes and ResolveFX such as film grain, light rays, blurs and more. DaVinci Resolve 15 also fully supports multiple GPUs, as well as Metal. 

For more information, check out the product page on