Apple and Blackmagic team up for the eGPU Pro

Blackmagic Design has announced the Blackmagic eGPU Pro, a new external graphics processor featuring the AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics processor. It’s the follow-up to the Blackmagic eGPU that was introduced in July. 

Like it’s predecessor, it’s non-upgradeable. Unlike it’s predecessor, it cost $1,199 (the “non-pro” model is $699). And, sorry folks, if you bought the first version you can’t trade it in for a discount on the new model.

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Designed in collaboration with Apple, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro purportedly delivers nearly twice the performance of the original Blackmagic eGPU model and up to 22x faster performance than the built-in graphics on a 13-inch MacBook Pro. It will be available in November.

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. Plus, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro features a DisplayPort connection that can drive a 5K display.

It boasts 8GB of HBM2 RAM, a 2048-bit memory interface with 410 gigabyte per second bandwidth, and 56 discreet compute units for up to 10.5 teraflops of processing power. The AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 can fill 94 billion textured pixels per second. In addition, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro supports Metal graphics technology from Apple. Metal is a core graphics technology that gives apps near-direct access to the GPU [graphics processing unit]. This means faster and more efficient rendering performance across the system.

The textured finish of the Blackmagic eGPU Pro 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, according to Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty. The cooling system also enables extremely quiet operation, which is vital for those working in video production and audio engineering environments, he adds.

In addition to graphics and computational acceleration, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro serves as a docking hub for connecting devices such as keyboards, mice, Thunderbolt monitors, big screen HDMI televisions, 5K displays, VR headsets, high speed storage and more. It features two 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 connections, a built-in 4-port USB hub, DisplayPort and HDMI. 

When it comes to power, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro has a 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.