Nvidia 1080ti with new drivers in external enclosure quadruples MacBook Pro native performance

“Enthusiasts have wasted no time in testing the new Nvidia Pascal video card drivers, and have found external GPU performance nearly four times that of the Radeon Pro 450 in the 15-inch MacBook Pro,” Mike Wuerthele reports for AppleInsider.

“External GPU enthusiast site egpu.io has affixed a GTX 1080 Ti to an AKiTiO Note and Mantiz Venus enclosure,” Wuerthele reports. “While the cards may be hamstrung slightly by the Thunderbolt 3 interface not being as fast as a 16x PCI-E slot, the results are nonetheless impressive.”

“In a best-case scenario utilizing benchmarks, the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Radeon Pro 450 scores 5822 on the Luxmark 3.1 benchmark, with the Radeon Pro 460 scoring 6056,” Wuerthele reports. “An external GPU feeding video back to the screen of the same MacBook scores 22,673 with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti, and 23,172 with the newly enabled 1080 Ti.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wait until they test the Titan Xp beast.

Nvidia releases macOS driver with support for Titan Xp and GeForce GTX 1000 Series – April 12, 2017
NVIDIA to release Pascal drivers for macOS – April 7, 2017


  1. I’ll be very interested to see benchmarks for dual 1080 Xp cards in a 2012 Mac Pro (maybe even with upgraded CPUs). I’m considering putting a couple 2012 Mac Pros into that configuration for some brute force work.

  2. ” “While the cards may be hamstrung slightly by the Thunderbolt 3 interface not being as fast as a 16x PCI-E slot…”

    This is why a new Mac Pro must have PCIe 16X (or higher when possible) slots, not just TB3. Technologically Apple needs to realize many of us pros are not content to tread water for 3-4 years at a time.

  3. It’s pretty cool that Nvidia has seen fit to keep upgrading drivers for the Mac for these new cards, though it seems odd that you need to update the drivers it seems every OS tweak or release.. Specially if you have a PC version of Nvidia Card that works fine, but you don’t have EFI, you have to futz around by installing a Mac video card to get them installed all the time..

    1. Not necessarily true, I have a PC Nvidia card installed right now on my MacPro, and I never need to swap cards to update the driver. The issue that you are having only happens when native OS X drivers don’t support your card. For example, a GTX 780 Ti is the last card supported natively by OS X. In other words, you don’t need to swap cards. Also, you can remote login from a network Mac and install the driver with out having to swap cards, in case you have something newer than a GTX 780 Ti.

        1. You don’t need a site. You do it through Screen Sharing. Go to control panels and enable screen sharing on the Mac with the PC video card. Control that Mac through the remote one to do the patch for the video driver.

    1. Yes, and no. Yes, it will run, but your 2014 iMac does not have TB3, so you will get even less performance. My brother has a GTX 980 Ti running on his 2012 iMac, he is not getting the full performance of that card, because of a similar issue you would face. He spend a lot of money when he would have gotten a older GPU and still gotten the same results.

  4. I’d sure like to know who is responsible for hamstringing Macs for all this time. Seriously, what the heck were they thinking? I can understand iMacs being weak because Apple seems to place form over function. For some strange reason, Apple thinks consumers have some sort of passion for thin computers. Of course, there’s always the likelihood of Apple trying to save on materials and operating power. There’s no sense in building all iMacs suitable for power-users. I’m sure nearly 95% of the high-end iMacs are quite suitable for end users. I suppose if you really want to game you probably should just buy or build a Windows gaming PC.

    However, the MacPro is a different story. Apple had a wonderful computer design back in 2012 and then they decided to go in a completely different direction by using proprietary components. I’m not sure whose decision that was but at least they found out it wasn’t the best decision. Any company is allowed to make mistakes as long as they work hard to correct them. Let’s all hope for a better future for Apple’s next MacPro. I’m just happy to hear some Macs can use NVidia GPUs at all. Apple really left power-users out in the cold for reasons I don’t even care to venture.

    1. The story of the new Mac Pro of 2013 is a story of hubris, of smug designers gambling on a future of computing that didn’t pan out, and which they were too slow to acknowledge. Their technical reasons for introducing a novel heat dissipation scheme were sound, but as they had to admit in their recent round table discussion, the industry went in a different direction.

      Really, the only amazing thing is how long it took Apple to admit this. That’s why I say it is a story of hubris, of bald-headed designers shying away from their mirrors and avoiding the public, until they were forced to defend their vision before the Board of Directors and failed to do so. According to sources who declined to be identified.

      1. The ironic part of it is that Apple is hellbent in stifling nVidia CUDA. But they have little to no influence in it’s outcome. If instead, they would embrace it, we would have seen the Mac Pro 2013 blossom. Lets face it, developers love CUDA, it makes coding for GPU processing a lot easier and it’s adoption has been phenomenal. But since it’s not an Apple technology, they have little to no control over it. So they attempted to brute force developers into CUDA alternatives and now we see how that turned out.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.