October 30, 2018

Blackmagic Adds a "Pro" eGPU

Only a few short months after its first eGPU, Blackmagic has added a new "eGPU Pro."

We are fans of the Blackmagic eGPU. No, it doesn't speed up every task, and some tasks that are CPU-heavy will run at precisely the same speed with or without the extra hardware, but for GPU intensive tasks (which includes a lot of popular filmmaking tasks such as rendering certain codecs, many plugins, and noise correction), it is a huge boon. It also, let's not forget, offers HDMI and USB output ports and the ability to charge your laptop, letting it serve effectively as a breakout box and cutting down the list of items you might need to bring to set.

The new Pro is very similar to the original, though it upgrades from a Radeon 580 to an RX 56 card. Both cards feature 8GB of RAM, but user benchmarks report that many users are getting up to a 50% speed bump out of the RX 56. This could be really exciting (who wouldn't want a 60-minute render to happen in 40 minutes instead?), but of course, extensive testing will be needed to see if the same results folks get in gaming also apply to filmmakers. 

The price also bumps quite a bit, from $699 to $1199, meaning that the original will remain an attractive option for many users who want a power increase for less cost.

The timing of the release is no accident, as Apple also released three new hardware devices today that all have some appeal to pros. Particularly interesting is the idea of combining an affordable (and function key enabled!) MacBook Air with the eGPU pro. You have a lightweight, "I can write anywhere" laptop that turns into a pretty powerful desktop workstation by plugging in a single cable. Apple clearly believes this might be a use case for some and included a slide with the Air and an eGPU paired together at the press event.

Frustratingly, the HDMI output still seems to only extend the desktop and it doesn't offer "mini monitor" style functionality with a clean video output for monitoring or an SDI port. That truly would have made this a "pro" device.

Coming in late November from Apple.com for $1199.

Tech Specs:

  • Compatible with any Thunderbolt 3–enabled Mac
  • Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics processor with 8GB of HBM2 memory
  • 2x Thunderbolt 3 ports, 4x USB 3 ports
  • HDMI 2.0 port (desktop extension only, does not work as color grading preview)
  • 85W power delivery for charging, will power Macbook Pro 15" Retina
  • Height: 11.59 inches (29.44 cm), Length: 6.96 inches (17.68 cm), Width: 6.96 inches (17.68 cm)
  • Weight: 9.92 pounds (4.5 kg)

Your Comment


How about making one of this with a CUDA compatible card so it can be used successfully with the Adobe CC apps??

October 30, 2018 at 4:12PM

Matteo Bava
Video Producer & Marketing Manager

Just get a Sonnet eGFX box with the right power level and put whatever card you want in it. Also, note that most Adobe apps support both OpenCL (AMD/Radeon) and CUDA acceleration. CUDA tends to be a touch faster, but the AMD cards that use OpenCL aren't far off for most uses and in many cases are cheaper.

October 30, 2018 at 7:15PM, Edited October 30, 7:28PM


Ini peralatan yang joss

November 1, 2018 at 2:18AM

Jasa Gambar Rumah Semarang

This is a fantastic device, and I really like the idea of working in the field on my Macbook, coming home, and working at full resolution and high speed at home with my 4k monitor. What I don’t like is that price tag. Of course it’s lovely, but do I need it? Nope. I’ll stick to my Akito Thunder 2 external box and Nvidia 1050ti for now. There are a lot of cheaper options on the market, but if you have the cash and a large enough production company, this is a no brainer, turnkey system bound to please. Plus it will impress clients and make readers on nofilmschool.com jealous.

November 1, 2018 at 9:43PM

Noah Leon
Videographer editor