Blackmagic Design Announces eGPU Pro, Professional Version of Its Blackmagic eGPU, 22x Faster Performance Than Previous Model

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Blackmagic Design has announced the Blackmagic eGPU Pro, a GPU power-boosted pro-level version of its recently released Blackmagic eGPU, with a Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics processor instead of the earlier model’s Radeon Pro 580 graphics card. 

As a result Blackmagic Design is claiming an up-to 22 times speed boost for graphics-intensive tasks such as photography and video editing with non-linear editing suites such as Blackmagic Design’s own DaVinci Resolve in both versions and Apple’s Final Cut Pro X. 

The Blackmagic eGPU Pro requires either a Thunderbolt 3-equipped MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, new Mac mini or an iMac or, presumably, an iMac Pro, all running macOS 10.14 Mojave for its updated support for external graphics processing units. 

The Blackmagic eGPU Pro provides two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3 ports, 85 watt power delivery and an HDMI 2.0 port as well as a DisplayPort 1.4 port to support up to two 5K monitors.

I began looking into eGPUs some time before the previous version of macOS supported it due to the demands on my late 2014 iMac Retina 5K 27-inch being made by increasingly larger stills and video files produced by ever-larger sensors and ever-growing quality capabilities of video files in particular.

Later today I will be attending a preview of Fujifilm’s GFX 50R rangefinder-style medium format camera and the 100 megapixel version of Fujifilm’s GFX 50S DSLR-style camera will be released in 2019.

A reasonable rule of thumb is that an average raw file from a 50 megapixel camera will weigh in at 100 megabytes before processing and an average raw file from a 100 megapixel camera will weigh in at 200 megabytes before raw conversion and image editing involving extra layers.

Blackmagic eGPU Pro

Such files not only add to demands on storage space; they also increase the draw on your computer’s internal graphics processing unit compared to, say, the 16 megapixel and 20 megapixel image files of my Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras and the 24 megapixel image files of my Fujifilm APS-C camera.

Medium format is attractive due to its larger sensors producing image quality that enlarges well to gallery exhibition print dimensions.

Then there is the question of the superb video footage produced by cameras like the Fujifilm X-T3, using settings like DCI 4K, 10-bit-4:2:2, All-Intra, 400 megabits per second and HEVC H.265.

Our iMac does not have native Thunderbolt 3 output but it may be able to make use of eGPUs with some sort of software hack and a Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt adapter.

The ‘Untitled’ home studio is well overdue for an upgrade to its portable computer capabilities, though, and a maxed-out version of the coming internal GPU-boosted MacBook Pro 15-inch series may be just the ticket.

If ever-bigger video and stills files continue to make serious demands on such machines’ internal GPUs, then eGPUs like the Blackmagic eGPU Pro are worth serious consideration.

I have yet to try out any eGPU, given none of our local Apple stores have one out of the box and set up in a working configuration, but the numbers in Blackmagic Design’s product page look encouraging.

Highlights, Blackmagic eGPU Pro

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Blackmagic Design Blackmagic eGPU Pro, I/O connectivity and power.
  • Compatible with any Thunderbolt 3–enabled Mac
  • Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics processor with 8GB of HBM2 memory
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Four USB 3 ports
  • HDMI 2.0 port
  • DisplayPort 1.4 port
  • 85W power delivery

Press Release

BLACKMAGIC DESIGNANNOUNCES BLACKMAGIC EGPU PRO

New model features blazingly fast AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 for up to 22x faster performance!

Fremont, CA – October 30, 2018 – Blackmagic Design today announced the Blackmagic eGPU Pro, an external graphics processor featuring the blazingly fast AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics processor. Designed to accelerate pro creative software such as DaVinci Resolve, 3D games and VR, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro 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.

The Blackmagic eGPU Pro features a built-in AMD Radeon RX Vega 56, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a new DisplayPort for connecting 5K displays, HDMI 2.0, 85W of charging power and four USB 3.1 connections. Designed in collaboration with Apple, the integrated design brings cutting-edge workstation-class graphics processing and computational acceleration to customers working in professional video, playing 3D games or using the latest virtual reality software.

The Blackmagic eGPU Pro will be available in November for only US$1,199 from apple.com.

The Blackmagic eGPU Pro features 8GB of HBM2 RAM, a massive 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, which provides near-direct access to the GPU for maximizing graphics and compute performance with games and applications.

With nearly 2x faster performance than the previous eGPU model, customers running DaVinci Resolve will get more realtime effects and color correction than ever before. That means they can spend more time exploring creative options and less time waiting. Customers running DaVinci Resolve on a 13-inch MacBook Pro will find that GPU-intensive operations, such as noise reduction, are up to 22x faster with the Blackmagic eGPU Pro. DaVinci Resolve 15 also supports multiple GPUs as well as Metal, so it’s the best way to get the full benefit of the Blackmagic eGPU Pro. Customers can download DaVinci Resolve 15 now free of charge from the Blackmagic Design website for the best editing, color correction, audio post and visual effects solution available.

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 for truly immersive experiences, even on a laptop computer. Plus, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro features a DisplayPort connection that can drive a 5K display.

The elegant, 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. The cooling system also enables extremely quiet operation, which is vital for those working in video production and audio engineering environments.

In addition to graphics and computational acceleration, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro is also the perfect 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. Plus, the connections are ergonomically spaced, making it easy to connect and disconnect peripherals.

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.

“The new Blackmagic eGPU Pro is exciting because it delivers nearly twice the performance of the original model of the Blackmagic eGPU,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “Whether you’re editing and color grading professional video with DaVinci Resolve, playing 3D games or working in VR, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro gives you the latest cutting edge graphics performance and computational acceleration available. It simply makes everything faster and makes everything look better!”

AVAILABILITY AND PRICE

The Blackmagic eGPU Pro will be available in Novemeber for only US$1,199 from apple.com.

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