Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Hey, how's it going, Dave 2D here. So I've always considered myself an enthusiast, or, at the very least a fan of external GPUs. And this video was originally going to be kind of like a showcase of some external GPU enclosures that worked with High Sierra, the new upcoming Mac OS, but, as I tested things and I got into the thick of it, the video kind of changed course. Okay, High Sierra, this is the upcoming version of Mac OS, it's in Beta right now, but external GPU support is really solid. The Razor Core is one of the more popular Thunderbolt 3 enclosures, this is running the TI 82 controller, this does not work in Mac OS High Sierra. So, there were workarounds for this kind of stuff in Sierra But that doesn't work in High Sierra. The enclosure that I used to test most of this video was this thing, the Mantas Venus. Now I'm actually running new firmware from Intel to get 2200 megabytes per second of PCIE Bandwidth, the older firmware had potential limitations because of the ports. Okay, inside the Venus, there's a big enough power supply in here to power ,and charge even the 15-inch Macbook Pro It can feed 87 watts I think, to whatever it's connected to, and there's actually a connection in here for a SATA drive so, off of a single Thunderbolt 3 cable, you get power to your Macbook, you get external GPU capabilities, and you get a drive in here for backup, or storage, or whatever you want to do. So I'm going to jump right into the thick of it. External GPU support in High Sierra is basically plug and play. It's running very early drivers on a Beta OS, but everything works really nice. The 10 series Nvidia GPUs run decent, the AMD GPUs like the Rx 480 and Rx 580 are really reliable, but like any external Thunderbolt 3 GPU, you automatically lose about 10 to 15 percent of the performance just by nature of the connection. The other thing is that I highly recommend running this thing with an external display. You can connect it using like a ghost connector to run it on to the internal display, but I really don't recommend it It's a 15 to 20 percent hit. So here are some native Mac games running on a 1080p external monitor, and if you look at these numbers, it doesn't look bad, right? It's way better than anything you'd get from a stock Macbook GPU, and as long as you're putting a powerful graphics card into the enclosure, you can get some strong frame rates for games. But then when you compare this Mac setup to a Window's setup, the difference is substantial. You need to get a significantly more powerful GPU for the Mac just to keep up. And that's my whole issue. Even with great support, good drivers, and expensive hardware, performance isn't great in Mac OS. the only way to get good external GPU performance here, is to run Boot Camp Windows. And I noticed the same thing in Adobe Premiere. The external GPU helps a lot, I mean, it's so much better than the Radeon Pro, but the same external GPU gets better performance in Windows. And it's been like half a year since I've benchmarked external GPUs on Macs. They've become much easier to setup There's no more scripts, and the whole thing is just a lot more reliable, but performance is exactly the same, and I'm convinced at this point that this is as good as performance is going to get for these cards, which quite frankly, sucks. So one of the biggest issues With external GPUs is pricing. The enclosures themselves aren't cheap, and then the GPUs you need to put in them are pricey as well especially with all the crypto mining happening, so you're looking at four or five hundred dollars for the enclosure, and then at least three, maybe four hundred dollars for the GPU inside there. I mean, you could go lower, but then the whole thing isn't really worth your time. Then you need an external monitor, and those are a couple hundred, maybe a little bit more, and if you want to go something higher-end, like, you're pushing six, seven hundred dollars. At the end, this whole set up, just for the external GPU stuff, can easily break eleven or twelve hundred dollars, and at that price you can build a gaming PC, or you can get a solid gaming laptop for the money. See, if you're investing in an external GPU set up, but you're forced to run Boot Camp Windows for performance, I feel like you should spend that money on a dedicated Windows setup instead. External GPUs have always been very expensive already for windows laptops, but then on Macs, that price to performance ratio is just even worse. And it's not Apple's fault. None of this is Apple's hardware, it's just that many games and applications are optimized for Windows and just perform better there. Now maybe the next generation of GPUs will make this better, like maybe Volta or Vega will just make this somehow more cost-effective, or maybe enclosures will come down a lot in price, but there's something inherently wrong with this whole Thunderbolt 3 connection, maybe we need Thunderbolt 4, maybe we need more bandwidth available so that you're not losing so much performance when you're piping it through. I'm not sure what it is, but right now, for Macbook users, unless you absolutely need this thing in your workflow, like you need something for work to make this happen this, mm-hmm, it's just not cost-effective.