Saturday, 22 Sep 2018

More details on external graphics on Apple hardware

Ars Technica comes with more details on the news that Apple brought out at WWDC concerning support for external graphics cards. Andrew Cunningham took a detailed picture and Ars offered a number of details and speculations.

Firstly, the developer kit that Apple offers, is nothing special and can be put together with off the shelf pieces. It’s simply a Sonnet external GPU box and an AMD Radeon RX 580 that you can buy anywhere, for example this MSI graphics card on Amazon.

Secondly, AnandTech notes that pretty much any graphics dock that passes Thunderbolt 3 certification should work. That would potentially mean a varied market for graphics docks could appear that not only supports PC laptops, but also the Mac platform.

Thirdly there’s the driver situation. When you hook up a graphics dock, is it enough that there’s an installed driver present on macOS? Or will Apple somehow whitelist certain graphics dock and video card combinations? If the former, then one could simply buy any graphics dock and throw in either an AMD or an Nvidia based graphics card.

Interesting times await!