Mac users hoping to augment the graphics capabilities of their systems with the new Blackmagic eGPU Pro that Apple announced alongside the new Mac Mini and MacBook Air will have to wait just a little bit longer. While the new Blackmagic eGPU Pro was originally slated for a November release, 9to5 Mac reported that Apple had quietly updated its webpage to reflect a December ship date. Apple has not provided any explanation for the cause of the delay. An exact ship date was also not given.
Though the eGPU isn’t designed by Apple, the Mac-maker claimed that it worked closely with Blackmagic Design to create the product. “Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic eGPU brings accelerated pro app workflows, smoother gameplay, and true-to-life VR content creation to your Mac,” Apple said on its support site. The increased graphics power will help professionals and gamers get more performance out of their apps, bringing desktop-like graphics capabilities to laptops.
To take advantage of an eGPU, your Mac desktop or laptop needs to support a Thunderbolt 3 connector, so this leaves out the MacBook, which ships with a single USB-C port. Apple’s recent MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, iMac, and Mac Pro all come with support for the Thunderbolt 3 specifications on its USB-C connector, so these systems will be able to take advantage of the more powerful AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card on the Blackmagic eGPU Pro.
In addition to delivering stronger graphics support, the Blackmagic also comes with its own hub, bringing more ports to your device when it’s connected to your Mac. The Blackmagic eGPU comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, and a single DisplayPort 1.4 connector. By integrating a hub for additional connectors, the Blackmagic also serves as a desktop dock for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro users looking to connect additional accessories or peripherals.
If you don’t need the performance of AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 56 card, the standard Blackmagic eGPU features AMD Radeon Pro 580 graphics. The standard model is currently available to purchase at $699, while the Pro version is priced at $1,199 when it ships in December. However, be warned that unlike eGPUs designed for the PC market, like the Razer Core, Blackmagic’s design doesn’t allow for upgrades. This means that if you settle for the standard eGPU, you can’t upgrade the graphics card later.
“Blackmagic eGPUs combine the graphics processor, electronics, mechanical, cooling, power and extra connections all in a single unit,” the company said on its website, noting that upgrades aren’t possible.