Apple and Blackmagic Design Collaborated on New External GPU

Alongside the recently-refreshed MacBook Pros launched Thursday, Apple is also preparing a new external GPU (eGPU) developed alongside cinema company Blackmagic.

Apple first announced eGPU support at last year’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference and rolled out support for the feature earlier this year in March. Since that date, a number of manufacturers have brought Thunderbolt 3 functionality, including Razer.

Now, the Cupertino company is lending its approval to a new eGPU system from famed cinema company Blackmagic Design — the Blackmagic eGPU. While not a frequent occurrence, Apple does give a seal of approval to products from different manufacturers from time to time, with the LG UltraFine 5K Display being a notable example.

“The Blackmagic eGPU is a high-performance graphics accelerator for professional software such as DaVinci Resolve, 3D games, and VR,” reads a press release from Blackmagic. “Featuring a built-in Radeon Pro 580, the Blackmagic eGPU connects to your computer via Thunderbolt 3, gives you an HDMI output, 85W of power, another Thunderbolt 3 connection as well as four USB 3.1 connections, all in an integrated design that’s optimized for performance and quiet operation! Now you can accelerate your DaVinci Resolve workflow and make 3D games and VR look more realistic than ever. The Blackmagic eGPU brings high-end desktop graphics processing to your laptop!”

The unit, which comes in at an $899 CAD price point, features an AMD Radeon Pro 580 graphics card and 8GB of DDR5 RAM. The eGPU features an HDMI port, four USB 3.1 ports, and three Thunderbolt 3 ports. According to Blackmagic, the onboard cooling system runs fairly quietly, which is a nice little touch in the world of jet engine eGPUs.

The product is an all-in-one eGPU, unlike many other chassis-style designs that require users to supply their own card. While this makes the Blackmagic eGPU less flexible and upgradable than other options, it does allow for a more integrated, quieter design with a smaller footprint. This will be the simplest way to convert your MacBook Pro into a rig capable of VR development, for example.

The Blackmagic eGPU is available now for $899 CAD only from Apple.