Unofficial Nvidia eGPU support on macOS arrives with impressive results for gamers

“Unofficial Nvidia eGPU support is now a reality for Mac users,” Jeff Benjamin writes for 9to5Mac. “It’s all thanks to the developers and researchers that congregate over at, a community for eGPU coverage and support across Mac, Windows, and other platforms.”

“While not perfect, the results of my testing look very promising. Let me preface this post by saying that Nvidia eGPU support for macOS is still not officially supported by Apple, and the workaround script used to provide support is still in its alpha stages,” Benjamin writes. “Even so, I’ve been impressed by the script’s ease of use, and the performance that I’ve seen thus far.”

“It means that macOS users can now enjoy eGPU setups with cards from Nvidia’s Pascal lineup, including the GTX 1070, 1080, and venerable 1080 Ti. And it’s not just for Thunderbolt 3 Mac users, either,” Benjamin writes. “The script allows Mac owners to work around restrictions that eliminated support for Thunderbolt 2 eGPUs as well, allowing more users to join in on the graphics-accelerated fun. Watch our video for a hands-on look.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Impressive graphics performance!

NVIDIA Pascal GPU in eGPU now runs under macOS High Sierra – October 19, 2017
NVIDIA to release Pascal drivers for macOS – April 7, 2017


  1. The script allows Mac owners to work around restrictions that eliminated support for Thunderbolt 2 eGPUs as well, allowing more users to join in on the graphics-accelerated fun.

    I see major fun ahead. 😀

  2. Just curious since I only drive MacPros, but I don’t work under the hood. For years and years I’ve read Macs are not serious enough for gamers and we know not the fastest at all things. Why with a market cap of $932 billion are they not blowing the competition clearly out of the water???

      1. In the space where they care, the iOS space, they are, and by a huge margin. In fact, it quite unlikely that anyone will even be able to threaten them in that area for quite awhile.

        It’s important to note that THAT is where the future “high dollar” market battles will be fought. A large number of folks spending over $1000 are increasingly interested in “powerful and light” systems. 50 million were sold in 2016, 59 million were sold last year and they’re expected to reach sales of 81 million in 2019.

        The company that can offer the most power in the lightest form factor will be able to grab a big chunk of the future “over $1000, ultramobile” market. Any company paying attention to Gartner (just about all of them) is focusing a good amount of research on light and powerful.

    1. According to The Secret History of Mac Gaming (2018), the Mac was once dominant, from the Mac Plus all the way through the PowerPC era. Even after that, the cheese graters were serious gaming machines, and I burned up a few GPUs in them (running either macOS or Windows under Boot Camp). The machine’s entire enclosure acted as a heat sink, and the air-cooled machine gun design, with its roaring fans, added to the excitement, a feeling of living on the edge, of flying on a wing and a prayer, of goosing the Millenium Falcon to its extreme limits. Steve Jobs embraced gaming for a brief period of time but seemed to give up after Microsoft made Bungie an offer they couldn’t refuse and stole away Halo. There is much more to the story of how Apple lost their mojo in gaming. As usual, there is no single villain in the story, but a complex of political and economic factors, to be tortuously unravelled by historians. But also as usual, there is a single scapegoat—and it’s always the guy in charge, unless he’s our guy, in which case it’s the previous guy in charge.

      1. Thanks for taking the time and treating us to a nice slice of Apple history. 🥧

        “There is much more to the story of how Apple lost their mojo in gaming. As usual, there is no single villain in the story, but a complex of political and economic factors, to be tortuously unravelled by historians.”

        No doubt. I like to boil everything down to simple essence. History, disappointment and politics aside — there is absolutely no reason Apple does not DOMINATE this space! …

        1. You are spot on, GoeB. The simple truth is that Apple, under the leadership of Tim Cook, has swerved out of the fast lane. They like to take their time. They care not what others think. They are sure they can catch up and overtake the others. But they are wrong to think that. Computing technology lives and dies in the fast lane.

          Apple’s best machines today aren’t best in class for gaming, as they were years ago, and that is a serious annoyance. They have never shown that they understood how gaming is not just a pastime for slackers — but is a portal to the evolution of the social sciences, even the physical sciences according to Stephen Wolfram, and to secure systems and more. The news media don’t get it either because they are brain-dead.

          Bottom line — the richest company on the planet needs to be helmed by people smart enough, and daring enough, to drop-forge the future directly, as they once did; before they became grannies counting their bingo winnings, on their way to a managed-care facility.

          1. Beautifully stated in wonderful prose, as always, Herself.

            Yup, Timid Tim and Clueless Cook are one in the same. He seriously dropped the ball distracted by bling fashionista gadgets, skeuomorphism animated emojis and SJW pursuits.

            By Steve’s STANDARDS he would be seriously reprimanded, if not fired, for surrending the DUAL CROWN of gaming and pro machine dominance.

            Absolutely depressing we have this bean counter liberal appeaser in the wake of losing a tour de force industry leading computer champion.

            Agree totally with your call to arms and replace this guy with a visionary leader that at the very LEAST, refreshes ALL MACS on a yearly basis.

            Also like your “brain-dead” media comment. They totally lost it decades ago starting with pushing political correctness and defending serial wife cheater Clinton. Apple leadership and the media just plain sucks, sad … 🙁

            1. Whoever succeeds Cook as CEO would be wise to consider putting Cook back as COO where he excelled.

              Steve Jobs anointed Cook as CEO. I’ve said from the beginning it should have been genius engineer Forstall instead of Cook, but Jobs was fearful of repercussions like his bud Jony Ive resigning in protest. Jobs wasn’t all that sharp in his waning days, reflecting on his legacy perhaps more than was good for the company — to stay relevant, a company needs flexibility and room to grow with the emergence of new technologies and their transformative effects on society and the market economy — things that Jobs realised but Cook has trouble with. Jobs would not have left consumers twisting slowly in the wind, as Cook has done with advanced users. He would have made snap decisions. What’s more, he would just as suddenly change his mind after absorbing new market intel that proved him wrong. Cook doesn’t do any of that; he has a long horizon, a strategic view of the battlefield. Jobs was a master tactician like Napoleon.. and who could have successfully followed in either man’s unpredictable footsteps?

            2. TOTALLY agree on both counts, Herself. Keep Cook as COO and hire genius Scott as CEO.

              Hmmm, seem to detect some bad blood may exist between Scott and Jony? Creative rival pride may be the culprit, but I’m just speculating without hard evidence.

              What I do know is Scott and Steve gave us the beautiful eye candy Skeuomorphism visual interface. And shortly after Scott’s departure, flat Jony gave us the childlike crayon outlines in iOS7.

              Wish Jony would pay more attention to making the best MAC COMPUTERS OF ALL TIME than obsessing over door handles, ghosted inks and flat abstract icon design.

              Bottom line: We have a dysfunctional fat and happy Apple because of poor leadership, Eddy and others, and more importantly — lost FOCUS. Playing company SJW politics is also an unwanted and needless distraction. With all that money, success, dominance, spaceship digs they can’t get the basics right or update a handful of products on a regular basis?

              Sadly, I am resigned to losing faith in the company by the day. Apple owner since my Lisa …

            3. Many men, perhaps most, would not retain or rehire an employee they’d humiliated in the past, and I expect Cook is no exception (with respect to Scott Forstall). But Cook serves at the pleasure of the Apple Board of Directors. I haven’t parsed their personal loyalties lately, but they promoted Cook mainly at the insistence of Steve Jobs, and their deference to the former chief surely has declined in the years since he died. The pile-up of slowdowns, glitches and unforced PR errors since then has got to have board members thinking about a change at the top. The main thing protecting Cook’s tenure is profit share. That metric is the key to Apple. If it begins to decline, and there are tenuous signs that it might if the pipeline collapses, the Board will seriously consider new leadership.. leadership more focussed on the “next great thing,” something that leapfrogs the value proposition and creates new product categories, leaving the competition scrambling to copy them. Cook and company have tried that with things like the Apple Watch, but it’s clear they – and the pundits – are still fixated on iPhone, to an alarming extent, almost oblivious to other goings-on.

            4. Right, Cook probably won’t bring himself to rehire Scott Forstall. Also right, the Apple Board of Directors would need to make this switch for as you say, “the pile-up of slowdowns, glitches and unforced PR errors since then has got to have board members thinking about a change at the top.”

              “The main thing protecting Cook’s tenure is profit share.” Yes, unfortunately that metric is most important to them rather than trifle with numerous incidents of Mac and software neglect.

              Seriously doubt the “next great thing” can happen under the current leadership — they fail to get the basics right, upgrade all product lines on a regular basis, launch products on time and seem more interested in killing off products and software they don’t know how to deal with or repurpose.

              The mindless pack media goes with the big numbers sold, money most made and what is most popular. Hopefully Apple will change faster than them …

        2. “there is absolutely no reason”
          You should change that to “there is absolutely no reason that I will accept…”

          Because, there’s a few good reasons. You may not like or agree with them, but they ARE reasons that, suspiciously enough, align very well with the actual reality that Apple is focusing on mobile and all but ignoring “big iron”.

      2. The Mac has never been dominate in the gaming space, it’s always lagged behind PC gaming by a large margin, and before the PC took the lead the Amiga had them all beat as a pure gaming computer.

        It what it is, Apple has set the pace in so many other ways, and they have a massive mobile market that brings in a lot of games revenue.

        1. “The Mac has never been dominate in the gaming space, it’s always lagged behind PC gaming by a large margin”

          Really? And why is that? I thought Macs were always better at FPU math over Integer math. That said, what to they need to do to slay this dragon once and for all? …

        2. You know, that’s been my read, too. I mean, it’s possible I haven’t read the right articles, but looking at available game software in the past, the Mac section was always minuscule compared to the PC section.

  3. So for general development, paper writing and creating documents I’ll use a Mac. For high performance computing, data analytics and machine learning a Linux box – either a dell or with Nvidia GPUs..

    I would of loved to keep it all homogenous and use a Mac across both paper writing and development unfortunately they overpriced and limited there developers in well fell swoop. Pretty hard to do but they did it with their pro trash can design.

    1. Linux may make sense for some, but my 3D CAD must run only in Windows 10 at this point.

      That means I either keep my Dell off the Internet (given the CPU microcode flaws, which have now expanded beyond the Meltdown/Spectre flaws, or run in Boot Camp w/o internet access, which unfortunately might affect the Mac OS, too.

      The OS world is “messy” right now.

      1. It really does pain me that Apple is not thinking about their high end customers. I don’t have the latest iPhone or iPads – but I am a developer that wants a high end machine – and the lack of expandability now bugs me.

        I use an Mac mini to remotely connect into a 64 Core machine with 128 GB of ram – and I use all the cores and all the memory with multiple GPU’s – that just doesn’t exist in the Apple ecosystem and driving developers to other alternatives..

        Its just a shame what Apple is doing.. I will still purchase there computers for general computing – but for high end development relunctantly – Dell, or HP…

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  5. No external GPU will ever be as good as one hooked internally directly to the mother board. This is a bandaid to cover up Apple’s now famous unending GPU fuckups. Nothing made by Apple today deserves a Pro label, especially not a box that requires kludges like this.

    1. ANY external GPU is better than any internal laptop GPU. The MAIN reason? Because you can upgrade an external GPU. In fact, for anything without internal slots, the external GPU you can buy in a year will be way better than what shipped in your device today.

    2. MacUser, that’s far from being right. The only slight bottleneck is connection bandwidth. You can always upgrade the external eGPU to the latest cutting edge one and, even using Thunderbolt2, you will see the overall graphical performance double or triple, mainly if you are using a Notebook. Be aware that some software, like Blender, Agisoft photoscan and so on, can use all the available hardware. Is this case, if you have 1 or 2 eGPU, you will see and impressive performance increase. In my case I have a MacPro Trashcan with two internal ADM FirePro 500 and two external NVidia GTX 1080Ti. While using Photoscan (that is able to make processing statistics) the eGPUs make 86% of the overall processing and the AMD’s only make 12% while the processor itself takes account for the missing 2%. This will give you an idea how eGPU’s can be a huge advantage. That’s why Apple presented the MacPro as a processing HUB in 2013 but was not able to deliver a decent eGPU support until now.

  6. No doubt Angie and Ivy are patting themselves on the back seeing an Apple retail shop with nothing more than the thickness of a crepe. It’s obvious they’ve never been to any messy real world computing environment. Nice as it is to plug on stuff temporarily when you need it, with ports on the front, it’s always strongly preferred to have all the daily necessities built inside and user repairable. When will Apple get a clue?

    1. Good point; made me think. It’s quite hard to imagine the current A-Retail mixed with offerings for “real” pro users. Kind of like MMA mixed with the espresso/wine crew. I can see Bob Mansfield heading up the new Octagon Retail Pro, but it’d be way too uncouth for Ms. Burberry.

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