The Best External GPU for a MacBook Pro

The mind of an external graphics card ( eGPU ) was once the spill the beans of illusion, but that ‘s no long the case. Thanks to Thunderbolt 3 and its high-bandwidth 40Gbps transplant rate, external enclosures can now accommodate high-end graphics cards .
That means you can nowadays supercharge the graphics performance of your Mac computer, even if it ‘s a laptop. There are some caveats to doing this. You ‘ll need a Mac with an Intel central processing unit and an AMD graphics wag.

That said, hera are the best external GPUs for a MacBook Pro .

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1. Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck RX 5500 XT

8.40

/ 10

Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck RX 5500 XT Pro Display XDR

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Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck RX 5500 XT Pro Display XDR
Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck RX 5500 XT Ports
Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck RX 5500 XT
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Sonnet is no stranger to offering the best external GPUs for Mac. Its Thunderbolt 3 eGPUs were the first to be recommended by Apple, and the new eGPU Breakaway Puck RX 5500 XT is no exception. It ‘s a thunderbolt 3 all-in-one eGPU sporting an AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics card with 4GB of GDDR6 video memory.

You ‘re getting good power for professional creative workflows, including edit, rendition, and animating. But the best separate is that you get an actual GPU, which is a adult gain since it ‘s becoming increasingly difficult to secure one due to the global chip deficit and cryptocurrency miners.

In accession to the HDMI and DisplayPort connections, the irregular Thunderbolt 3 port besides supports external displays, including the 6K Apple Pro Display XDR. There are extra ports for you to connect USB accessories and expand the functionality of your Mac. You besides get 60W of office to charge your MacBook Pro .
Key Features

  • Features Radeon RX 5500 XT GPU
  • Supports up to three 4K displays
  • Supports 6K displays and 49-inch 5120×1440 Dual QHD monitors
  • 60W laptop charging power

Specifications

  • Brand: Sonnet
  • GPU Included: AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT
  • GPU Max Power: Not provided
  • GPU Max Size: Up to 2-slot card
  • External Power Required: Yes
  • Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 3, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.0, 2x USB 3.2 Type-A

Pros

  • Compact and portable
  • Powerful Radeon RX 5500 XT GPU
  • Many video connectivity options
  • Charges your MacBook

Cons

  • No GPU upgrade options
  • Large power brick

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Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck RX 5500 XT Pro Display XDR
Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck RX 5500 crosstalk

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Editors choice

2. Razer Core X

8.60

/ 10

Razer Core X Design

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Razer Core X Design
Razer Core X Setup
Razer Core X eGPU
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The Razer Core X is well-suited for high-powered graphics cards, such as the AMD Radeon Pro cards and the latest Radeon RX 6000 Series cards. It ‘s easy to see why. This eGPU enclosure delivers up to 500W of power to the GPU and 100W to charge your Mac, ideal for consumption with the 15-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models.

The enclosure sports a authoritative tool-less slide and interlock blueprint, so you do n’t need any tools to upgrade or replace your GPU. It ‘s optimized for cooling, thanks to the assailable vents and aluminum consistency for increase inflame waste. The Core X besides runs pretty quietly, even when pushed to the soap. You can safely use it in your office or any work set.

Another excellent foreground of the Core X is that you get enough of options for choosing a GPU. The enclosure can fit up to three-slot across-the-board, full-length PCIe background graphics cards and has adequate juice to power about every AMD batting order in the market .
Key Features

  • One PCIe 3.0 x16 slot
  • Built-in 650W power supply
  • 100W laptop power delivery
  • Tool-less design

Specifications

  • Brand: Razer
  • GPU Included: No
  • GPU Max Power: 500W
  • GPU Max Size: Up to 3-slot card
  • External Power Required: Yes
  • Ports: 1x Thunderbolt 3

Pros

  • Support for workstation GPUs
  • Plug and play on Mac
  • Charges your MacBook
  • Tool-less, easy upgradeable design

Cons

  • Lacks USB 3.0 ports

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Razer Core X Design
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Best respect

3. Mantiz MZ-03 Saturn Pro V2

8.00

/ 10

Mantiz MZ-03 Saturn Pro EGPU (V2)

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Mantiz MZ-03 Saturn Pro EGPU (V2)
Mantiz MZ-03 Saturn Pro EGPU
Mantiz MZ-03 Saturn Pro EGPU (V2) Design
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The Mantiz MZ-03 Saturn Pro V2 is the best budget external GPU enclosure for MacBook Pro. It is cheaper than the Razer Core X despite supplying a sock 550W of baron to the GPU and 97W laptop charging baron. It besides offers five USB ports, a Gigabit Ethernet fireplug, and a SATA III port for an extra storage drive.

It ‘s a great option if you do n’t want to spend a set on an eGPU enclosure and still want the ability to run herculean graphics cards. The MZ-03 Saturn Pro V2 uses classify Thunderbolt 3 controllers for the GPU and I/O, meaning you ‘ll get maximum operation from your tease even with multiple USB accessories connected.

The only downside with this enclosure is that it supports up to 2.75-slot cards, while the Razer X supports bigger 3-slot cards. It can besides get noisy when running graphics-intensive operations. But if those things do n’t matter, you ‘re going to get excellent performance and features for a lot less .
Key Features

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 controllers (for GPU and I/O)
  • Built-in 750W power supply
  • 97W laptop charging power
  • SATA III port for SSD/HDD

Specifications

  • Brand: Mantiz
  • GPU Included: No
  • GPU Max Power: 550W
  • GPU Max Size: Up to 2.75-slot card
  • External Power Required: Yes
  • Ports: 1x Thunderbolt 3, 5x USB 3.0, 1x SD Card reader, Gigabit Ethernet

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Support for high-powered GPUs
  • Premium design
  • Great selection of ports

Cons

  • Noisy fan

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Mantiz MZ-03 Saturn Pro EGPU (V2)
Mantiz MZ-03 Saturn Pro V2

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4. Razer Core X Chroma

8.60

/ 10

Razer Core X Chroma Ports

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Razer Core X Chroma with a Laptop
Razer Core X Chroma
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The Razer Core X Chroma has about the lapp invention as the Core ten with aluminum construction, open vents for extra cooling system, and a tool-less slide and lock mechanism for easy access to the internals. Razer added its signature Chroma RGB lighting, which is great for gaming or adding a dainty atmosphere to your space.

The Core X Chroma besides features a larger 700W exponent provide, enabling it to handle demanding graphics cards that require up to 500W. If you run a batch of graphics-intensive tasks for prolong periods, this is the kind an eGPU enclosure you need for your MacBook Pro. It ‘s stable under pressure and runs fabulously calm.

Additionally, the 100W power delivery can charge a 16-inch MacBook Pro while running full strangle. You ‘ll find four USB 3.1 ports and a Gigabit Ethernet plug on the rear of the enclosure .
Key Features

  • Built-in 700W power supply
  • 100W laptop power delivery
  • RGB lighting powered by Razer Chroma
  • Four USB ports and Ethernet plug

Specifications

  • Brand: Razer
  • GPU Included: No
  • GPU Max Power: 500W
  • GPU Max Size: Up to 3-slot card
  • External Power Required: Yes
  • Ports: 1x Thunderbolt 3, 4x USB 3.1, Gigabit Ethernet

Pros

  • More power to support workstation GPUs
  • Solid build quality and good looks
  • Additional ports
  • Simple tool-less setup
  • Runs silently

Cons

  • RGB lighting not customizable on Mac

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Razer Core X Chroma Ports
Razer Core X Chroma

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5. Cooler Master MasterCase EG200

10.00

/ 10

Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 Built-In Laptop Stand

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Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 Built-In Laptop Stand
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 Ports
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200
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The Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 is an expensive choice but well worth the investment if you ‘re tight on distance. It combines an eGPU enclosure, docking place, and a laptop stand in one compact 9.7L human body.

The built-in vertical laptop stand is the best highlight, allowing you to store your MacBook when not in use and clear some valuable desk space when using an external monitor—a commodious way to leverage the clamshell mode in a MacBook.

Along with the Thunderbolt 3 port, three USB 3.2 Gen1 ports, and a SATA III port, add obliterable repositing to your MacBook Pro. The USB hub and drive use a branch connection to your laptop through a USB Micro-B to Type-A cable ( USB-C adapter included ). The enclosure entirely uses the Thunderbolt 3 grapevine for graphics to ensure maximum operation .
Key Features

  • Built-in vertical laptop stand
  • Built-in 550W power supply
  • Hot-swappable hard drive bay
  • Dedicated USB connection to allow GPU leverage the full Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth

Specifications

  • Brand: Cooler Master
  • GPU Included: No
  • GPU Max Power: 375W
  • GPU Max Size: Up to 2.5-slot card
  • External Power Required: Yes
  • Ports: 1x Thunderbolt 3, 3x USB 3.2 Gen1, 1x USB Micro-B 3.2 Gen1

Pros

  • Space-saving design
  • Separate USB and PCIe circuitry for maximum graphics performance
  • Incredibly quiet
  • Additional ports and SATA drive bay

Cons

  • Expensive

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Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 Built-In Laptop Stand
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200

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6. Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750

7.80

/ 10

Sonnet EGPU Breakaway Box 750 PSU

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Sonnet EGPU Breakaway Box 750
Sonnet EGPU Breakaway Box 750 with a MacBook
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Apple used a Sonnet Breakaway Box to introduce the external GPU engineering rear at the 2017 WWDC. Sonnet has since added two newfangled members to the Breakaway Box family, including the eGPU Breakaway Box 750, which replaces the discontinue eGFX Breakaway Box 550. It ‘s the cheapest eGPU enclosure you can buy for your MacBook Pro.

The eGPU Breakaway Box 750 houses a 750W office supply ideal for high-powered and high-performance graphics cards. It supplies 375W of continuous world power to the GPU and up to 475W during the most graphics-intensive operations such as 3D rendering.

In addition, there is 100W might delivery to support full charging speeds in the demanding 15-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. This eGPU enclosure is AMD-approved for most of the air-cooled Radeon Pro and RX GPU versions. It besides comes with loose life technical school support for total peace of mind .
Key Features

  • Built-in 750W power supply
  • 100W laptop charging power
  • AMD approved
  • Quiet temperature-controlled fan

Specifications

  • Brand: Sonnet
  • GPU Included: No
  • GPU Max Power: 475W
  • GPU Max Size: Up to 2-slot card
  • External Power Required: Yes
  • Ports: 1x Thunderbolt 3

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Supports workstation GPUs
  • Charges your MacBook
  • Excellent compatibility with Mac and AMD GPUs

Cons

  • No USB ports

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Sonnet EGPU Breakaway Box 750 PSU
Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750

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7. Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex

6.60

/ 10

Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex

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Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex
Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex with an iMac
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The Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex replaced the discontinued eGFX Breakaway Box 650W, one of the top Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosures recommended by Apple. Sonnet switched to a 750W office supply to handle the latest power-hungry cards and added extra USB ports and an Ethernet plug.

While it still offers the same 375W of continuous power and up to 475W of acme might to the GPU, the eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex is static, silent, and cooler on heavy operations than the previous model. The Thunderbolt 3 port provides 85W to your MacBook Pro for charging.

There are some downsides to this eGPU enclosure. It can alone fit up to a 2-slot wide graphics card, so it ‘s not compatible with 2.5 or 3-slot wide GPUs. however, with the right GPU, the eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex is one of the best thunderbolt 3 external GPU enclosures for the MacBook Pro in terms of compatibility and support .
Key Features

  • Built-in 750W power supply
  • 85W laptop charging power
  • AMD approved
  • Quiet temperature-controlled fan

Specifications

  • Brand: Sonnet
  • GPU Included: No
  • GPU Max Power: 475W
  • GPU Max Size: Up to 2-slot card
  • External Power Required: Yes
  • Ports: 1x Thunderbolt 3, 4x USB 3.2 Gen1, 1x Gigabit Ethernet

Pros

  • Highly compatible with Mac and AMD GPUs
  • Supports workstation GPUs
  • Additional ports
  • Charges your MacBook

Cons

  • Does not fit large 3-slot cards

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Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex
Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex

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FAQ

Q: Can You Use an External GPU With a MacBook Pro?

Any MacBook Pro with an Intel central processing unit and Thunderbolt 3 ports can use an external GPU. Apple introduced the eGPU engineering at the 2017 WWDC, making it easier to accelerate the graphics performance of your MacBook Pro without upgrading to a raw one. however, the latest macintosh with an Apple M1 chip do not yet support external GPUs .

Q: Is an External GPU Worth It?

If your work flow requires apps that use Metal, OpenGL, and OpenCL, or you want to enable new gambling and VR experiences, an external GPU is decidedly worth the investment.

An eGPU can besides help you connect extra monitors to your MacBook Pro, charge your Mac, add more ports, and use your MacBook while its display is closed ( clamshell manner ).

The graphics operation boost you get with an eGPU can not be understated, specially for the 13-inch MacBook Pro models with integrate graphics.

And the best character is that you can unplug the eGPU and carry your MacBook with you to work or merely about anywhere, something you ca n’t do with a desktop personal computer .

Q: Which Graphics Card Is My MacBook Pro Using?

If you want to check which graphics card your MacBook Pro is presently using, go to the Apple menu on your Mac and select About this Mac. The active agent GPU will appear following to the Graphics .

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About The Author

Elvis Shida
( 39 Articles Published )

Elvis is a Buyer ‘s Guides writer at MakeUseOf, covering everything related to PC, hardware, and bet on. He has a BS in Information Technology and over three years of master write know .
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