New macOS Version Will Support External Graphics Cards
Apple will be adding support for external graphics cards via Thunderbolt 3 in the latest version of MacOS. The feature is supported in the 10.13.4 release and only works with Mac devices with a Thunderbolt 3 port.
Aside from the regular release changelog which mostly features security updates, the company has also detailed more information about the possibility to add an external GPU. Users of 2016 MacBook Pro’s or newer are supported, as well as iMacs and iMac Pro devices released in 2017 or later.
As of right now, Apple has revealed a list of ‘recommended’ GPU’s, although it’s unclear whether or not other external graphics cards work well with MacOS too. The AMD Radeon RX 570, RX 580, RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64 are part of that list, and Nvidia is nowhere to be found. There’s also a list of recommended external graphics card enclosures with enough power for the GPU and charging a MacBook Pro at the same time. According to Apple, you’ll also be able to connect multiple GPU’s at the same time thanks to the Thunderbolt chain linking technology.
It’s important to note, however, that not all applications in MacOS can benefit from the extra graphical horsepower. The company states that an external GPU can benefit in applications using Metal, OpenGL, and OpenCL. Notably, the external graphics card functionality also does not work in Windows under Bootcamp.