Apple’s New ARM-Based Macs Don’t Support External GPUs

Image: Apple

Apple impressed the computing world yesterday by unveiling its latest lineup of MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini products, which will go down in history as the first to leverage the company’s ARM-based M1 SoC. Some readers have already discovered a glaring oversight, however: they don’t support external GPUs.

As AppleInsider and social media users have discovered, M1 Macs will only be able to leverage their chip’s integrated graphics, which, while relatively impressive (eight cores, 2.6 teraflops of throughput), can’t compete with discrete solutions.

This makes the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini difficult pills to swallow for more demanding users, such as creative professionals who require increased graphics performance for video-editing applications such as Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve.

“Apple has only comparatively recently supported external GPUs,” AppleInsider noted. “At times, though, it has also seen failures in that support, with certain combinations of Mac and GPU card causing problems in macOS Catalina. And, Nvidia support is lacking in its entirety.”

The lack of external GPU support is effectively confirmed by Apple’s new supported accessories page, which no longer lists the Blackmagic eGPU – Apple’s preferred external GPU solution.

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