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Blackmagic eGPU Pro - Radeon RX Vega 56  

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detunedradios
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October 30, 2018 3:35 pm  

Looks like Blackmagic and Apple stealth-launched a new version of their eGPU enclosure, with a RX Vega 56. Priced at $1199. The Radeon Pro 580 model is still around at $699. Neither is a particularly great deal, but if you need an eGPU to drive a TB3 display, now you can at least get a Vega.

2016 15" MacBook Pro - 2.7GHz Core i7, Radeon Pro 460 4GB, 1TB SSD
Sonnet Breakaway Box 350, modded with 650W PSU, with Radeon RX Vega 64


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Eightarmedpet
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theitsage
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October 30, 2018 3:57 pm  

@detunedradios Thank you for sharing. In my review of the Blackmagic eGPU, I noticed the PSU has enough juice for a Vega 56. Glad to see they made it but the price is too damn high.

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joevt
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October 30, 2018 7:52 pm  

Two ports are connected to the Titan Ridge Thunderbolt controller. One port for HDMI 2.0. One port for DisplayPort 1.4. That's four ports which means the BlackMagic eGPU Pro is only waisting two ports instead of the BlackMagic eGPU's three waisted ports.

In contrast, the Gigabyte - Radeon RX VEGA 56 8GB video card has six ports.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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DanHC
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October 31, 2018 4:51 am  

The original Blackmagic eGPU is a Radeon Pro 580, which is essentially a RX 580 on performance but has "Radeon Pro" Pro driver certification in case we need to use special softwares that do not even start with non workstation GPUs.

Now that the Vega 56 on the new Blackmagic is NOT a Pro Vega 56, there is nothing special about it, I can just build it myself.
By the way I picked Vega FE instead of Vega 64 because it can do anything a Pro Vega 64 can do and has 16 GB of VRAM instead of 8GB.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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Zipski
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October 31, 2018 6:26 am  

According to this screen [email protected] new egpu much faster with mbp13 then with mbp15. This is looks very weird  cause 15 models have more powerful cpus. Can someone confirm this who has the experience with any egpu used in mbp13 and mbp15?

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Eightarmedpet
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October 31, 2018 7:59 am  

You can't build it yourself really... this enclosure is custom built with a custom (layout wise) GPU to run silent and directly power the LG Ultrafine displays, I'm not saying its not worth building your own for 99% of people, but whatever you will build, for far less money, will not be the same as this.

I wonder if Bootcamp set up will be easier if this is a standard Vega ID?

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3) + Win10
2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway Box) + Win10

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + GTX1070 (debating 2070 upgrade) @32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V1) + Win10

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + Vega 56 @32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V1) + Win10 & macOS 10.14+

---
LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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theitsage
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October 31, 2018 2:45 pm  

Blackmagic Design confuses me with their naming scheme for these eGPU solutions. The lower tier Blackmagic eGPU has a Radeon Pro 580 while the higher tier Blackmagic eGPU Pro has a Radeon RX Vega 56. In other words, the non-pro eGFX uses a Pro GPU and the pro eGFX uses a non-pro GPU.

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joevt
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October 31, 2018 5:06 pm  
Posted by: Zipski

According to this screen [email protected] new egpu much faster with mbp13 then with mbp15. This is looks very weird  cause 15 models have more powerful cpus. Can someone confirm this who has the experience with any egpu used in mbp13 and mbp15?

The speed multiplier is comparing the speed of the eGPU with the speed of the particular mbp. 100% on the mbp15 is faster than 100% on the mbp13. Therefore the mbp15 will see less performance increase from an eGPU than the mbp13.

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DanHC
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October 31, 2018 6:30 pm  
Posted by: Zipski

According to this screen [email protected] new egpu much faster with mbp13 then with mbp15. This is looks very weird  cause 15 models have more powerful cpus. Can someone confirm this who has the experience with any egpu used in mbp13 and mbp15?

The chart refers to relative performance gain.

mbp15 is more powerful than the mbp13, so the gain in terms of multiplier in using an eGPU with it is relatively less.

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mac_editor
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October 31, 2018 6:47 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

Blackmagic Design confuses me with their naming scheme for these eGPU solutions. The lower tier Blackmagic eGPU has a Radeon Pro 580 while the higher tier Blackmagic eGPU Pro has a Radeon RX Vega 56. In other words, the non-pro eGFX uses a Pro GPU and the pro eGFX uses a non-pro GPU.

I Lol'd at this. Anything GPU related to Apple can be so frustrating.

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misterwiggles
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October 31, 2018 10:44 pm  
Posted by: Eightarmedpet

You can't build it yourself really... this enclosure is custom built with a custom (layout wise) GPU to run silent and directly power the LG Ultrafine displays, I'm not saying its not worth building your own for 99% of people, but whatever you will build, for far less money, will not be the same as this.

I wonder if Bootcamp set up will be easier if this is a standard Vega ID?

I'm considering buying a 2018 Mac Mini with an eGPU+Vega graphics. I already own a LG Ultrafine 5K and would like to use that in my setup rather than have to buy a new monitor. Do I HAVE to go with the Blackmagic Pro to make this work? I've done some research and it is unclear to me that I can use the LG with anything else. I'd rather have a solution that is upgradable over time and less expensive. Noise is also a concern as this would be on my desk with the MM.

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joevt
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November 1, 2018 12:21 am  
Posted by: misterwiggles

I'm considering buying a 2018 Mac Mini with an eGPU+Vega graphics. I already own a LG Ultrafine 5K and would like to use that in my setup rather than have to buy a new monitor. Do I HAVE to go with the Blackmagic Pro to make this work? I've done some research and it is unclear to me that I can use the LG with anything else. I'd rather have a solution that is upgradable over time and less expensive. Noise is also a concern as this would be on my desk with the MM.

Either the Blackmagic eGPU or the Blackmagic eGPU Pro will work. Or you can go without an eGPU. If you try a different eGPU then you also need a Thunderbolt AIC to convert dual DisplayPort to Thunderbolt but then you won't be able to use the camera, speakers, USB ports or brightness control.

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detunedradios
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November 1, 2018 1:55 am  
Posted by: misterwiggles
Posted by: Eightarmedpet

You can't build it yourself really... this enclosure is custom built with a custom (layout wise) GPU to run silent and directly power the LG Ultrafine displays, I'm not saying its not worth building your own for 99% of people, but whatever you will build, for far less money, will not be the same as this.

I wonder if Bootcamp set up will be easier if this is a standard Vega ID?

I'm considering buying a 2018 Mac Mini with an eGPU+Vega graphics. I already own a LG Ultrafine 5K and would like to use that in my setup rather than have to buy a new monitor. Do I HAVE to go with the Blackmagic Pro to make this work? I've done some research and it is unclear to me that I can use the LG with anything else. I'd rather have a solution that is upgradable over time and less expensive. Noise is also a concern as this would be on my desk with the MM.

The BlackMagic eGPUs are sadly the only eGPUs that are fully compatible with the Ultrafine 5K. You could use any eGPU and then hook up the display directly to the Mac mini, using macOS Mojave's new option to force eGPU acceleration for all apps, but then you're going to take a performance hit compared to a monitor plugged directly into the eGPU.

A shame there's not better third-party 5K display options.

2016 15" MacBook Pro - 2.7GHz Core i7, Radeon Pro 460 4GB, 1TB SSD
Sonnet Breakaway Box 350, modded with 650W PSU, with Radeon RX Vega 64


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Eightarmedpet
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November 1, 2018 7:23 am  

Depends on your use case... I, like most, would not recommend the Blackmagic eGPU's as they are very expensive for what they are (or maybe not that bad actually, a decent Vega 56 + A Razer Core V2 would be near £900 but it would have the usual trade offs).
No one knows how these Minis work in bootcamp yet, or the Vega 56's, but the 580 Pro eGPU was a nightmare in Bootcamp.
Both macOS and W10 now have features that allow you to select which GPU to use regardless of how things are connected.
I use a 5K in Windows with an eGPU with no monitor attached and it runs great.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3) + Win10
2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway Box) + Win10

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + GTX1070 (debating 2070 upgrade) @32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V1) + Win10

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + Vega 56 @32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V1) + Win10 & macOS 10.14+

---
LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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misterwiggles
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November 2, 2018 5:46 pm  
Posted by: Eightarmedpet

Depends on your use case... I, like most, would not recommend the Blackmagic eGPU's as they are very expensive for what they are (or maybe not that bad actually, a decent Vega 56 + A Razer Core V2 would be near £900 but it would have the usual trade offs).
No one knows how these Minis work in bootcamp yet, or the Vega 56's, but the 580 Pro eGPU was a nightmare in Bootcamp.
Both macOS and W10 now have features that allow you to select which GPU to use regardless of how things are connected.
I use a 5K in Windows with an eGPU with no monitor attached and it runs great.

Except for the part about there being NO OTHER eGPU option other than BM that will drive a LG Ultrafine 5K display. So that's the wrinkle in all this. If I am wrong about that then please advise. Thanks.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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Eightarmedpet
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November 2, 2018 6:39 pm  

@misterwiggles Yeah, you missed my penultimate sentence... 
"Both macOS and W10 now have features that allow you to select which GPU to use regardless of how things are connected."
There is some performance loss though.
And you are correct - no other eGPU or GPU (including 20xx) can directly power the 5K's.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3) + Win10
2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway Box) + Win10

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + GTX1070 (debating 2070 upgrade) @32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V1) + Win10

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + Vega 56 @32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V1) + Win10 & macOS 10.14+

---
LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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nuozek
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November 2, 2018 7:31 pm  

A real shame there isn't currently other viable options out there for driving the LG 5k monitors, I wonder how long it'll be until we see more solutions emerging on the market. The new Black Magic Vega 56 is tempting, but would be frustrating to invest in that and then see an upgradable solution emerge shortly after. 

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theitsage
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November 6, 2018 2:01 pm  

Apple and Blackmagic made a big deal about Acoustic Performance ≈ 18 dB when they announced the Blackmagic eGPU [Radeon Pro 580]. They did a quiet launch of the Blackmagic eGPU Pro [Radeon RX Vega 56] and there's no mention of Acoustic Performance anywhere. Let the enclosure speak for itself, eh?  😛

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foliage
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November 23, 2018 3:20 pm  

Does anyone know/suspect that the Blackmagic eGPU +/- pro can allow Thunderbolt 3 monitor output eg to the LG Ultrafine 5K for Thunderbolt 1 or 2 macs, using the Purge-Wrangler script?

This could be a very interesting usage scenario for the Blackmagic eGPU to bring this monitor to pre-Thunderbolt 3 capable macs

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OliverB
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November 23, 2018 10:04 pm  
Posted by: Eightarmedpet

Depends on your use case... I, like most, would not recommend the Blackmagic eGPU's as they are very expensive for what they are (or maybe not that bad actually, a decent Vega 56 + A Razer Core V2 would be near £900 but it would have the usual trade offs).
No one knows how these Minis work in bootcamp yet, or the Vega 56's, but the 580 Pro eGPU was a nightmare in Bootcamp.
Both macOS and W10 now have features that allow you to select which GPU to use regardless of how things are connected.
I use a 5K in Windows with an eGPU with no monitor attached and it runs great.

I had both enclosures, a Razer Core X and a Blackmagic and to be honest: The Blackmagic wins easily for two important reasons:
1) Silence
2) Ports

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


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theitsage
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December 3, 2018 4:14 pm  

Blackmagic has delayed shipping out the Pro version. If you have an RX Vega 56 eGPU working in macOS Mojave, make sure to run performance benchmarks prior to and post 10.14.2 launch. One of the few selling points for this eGFX is the stated 18dB, silent operation for the Radeon Pro 580. There's no disclosure whether this is the case for the RX Vega 56 inside this same enclosure. My guess is Apple is fine-tuning macOS drivers in 10.14.2 to make sure the Blackmagic eGPU Pro doesn't scream. We certainly hope this doesn't mean performance degradation for other RX Vega 56 eGPUs in macOS.

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macbookprouser19
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December 3, 2018 6:04 pm  

I have a feeling that the Blackmagic Pro will outperform my Razer Core X with the Vega 64. (Mainly due to the Loopback issue, since I use a USB-C monitor and can't connect it directly to Vega 64)

In sum, Blackmagic is still the best EGPU for USB-C monitor users. I plan to order and test and will share findings hopefully they launch this month.

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theitsage
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December 3, 2018 6:17 pm  

@macbookprouser19 Please share your findings once the Blackmagic eGPU Pro arrives. I will put together an RX Vega 56 eGPU with Thunderbolt 3 monitor output and run some baseline benchmarks in both 10.14.1 and 10.14.2.

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ikir
 ikir
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December 3, 2018 9:11 pm  

The price is too high but that thing is very cool, I would love to buy one with a Mac mini 2018!

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raybanner
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December 9, 2018 10:01 pm  
Posted by: macbookprouser19

I have a feeling that the Blackmagic Pro will outperform my Razer Core X with the Vega 64. (Mainly due to the Loopback issue, since I use a USB-C monitor and can't connect it directly to Vega 64)

In sum, Blackmagic is still the best EGPU for USB-C monitor users. I plan to order and test and will share findings hopefully they launch this month.

I have the Razer Core X running a Vega 64. I dont get why the BM Pro with Vega56 can outperform my current setup but I would also love to see your results.

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joevt
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December 9, 2018 10:59 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

@macbookprouser19 Please share your findings once the Blackmagic eGPU Pro arrives. I will put together an RX Vega 56 eGPU with Thunderbolt 3 monitor output and run some baseline benchmarks in both 10.14.1 and 10.14.2.

A follow-up to this at https://egpu.io/forums/builds/late-2018-mac-mini-wx-910032gbps-tb3-mantiz-venus-thunderbolt-3-monitor-output-macos-10-14-1-theitsage/
It's not a RX Vega 56 but it shows how to connect a Thunderbolt 3 display to the GPU of an eGPU.

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theitsage
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December 13, 2018 5:07 pm  

One of the few people who had access to the Blackmagic Pro to review was Michael Kammes of 5thingsseries.com. He published an article earlier this week. It seems like Apple didn't like his review and told him to take it down.

https://twitter.com/michaelkammes/status/1073260698354966528

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california
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December 22, 2018 7:07 am  

For anyone who was waiting, the BlackMagic Pro is now available on the apple store, estimated to ship in mid-January:   https://www.apple.com/shop/product/HMQT2VC/A/blackmagic-egpu-pro

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theitsage
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January 11, 2019 9:11 pm  

A user report on Twitter said the Blackmagic eGPU Pro is not silent. It has a constant coil whine.

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OliverB
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January 12, 2019 1:46 am  
Posted by: theitsage

A user report on Twitter said the Blackmagic eGPU Pro is not silent. It has a constant coil whine.

The coil whine comes from the GPU only. So this was a "unfortunate" Vega56, next one won't have coil whine or a lesser one.

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


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joevt
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January 17, 2019 1:53 pm  
Posted by: OliverB

The coil whine comes from the GPU only. So this was a "unfortunate" Vega56, next one won't have coil whine or a lesser one.

The GPU is on a custom PCB. How does coil whine come from the GPU only? Do you mean that the GPU is more powerful now and runs hotter, so the components that support the GPU (power supply, etc.) have to be different and a coil whine is the result?

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BenSea123
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February 3, 2019 10:44 am  

I'm holding off pulling the trigger on buying the eGPU Pro as I'm hopeful someone will find a workaround for LG 5k2K output from a more cost effective DIY housing...

But if my patience gets the better of me, does the eGPU Pro work well with Bootcamp?

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OliverB
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February 3, 2019 11:20 am  
Posted by: BenSea123

I'm holding off pulling the trigger on buying the eGPU Pro as I'm hopeful someone will find a workaround for LG 5k2K output from a more cost effective DIY housing...

But if my patience gets the better of me, does the eGPU Pro work well with Bootcamp?

Why don't you buy it and send it back. if it doesn't work? Just a tip 😉

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2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


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