Apple’s 2018 MacBook Pro i9 with eGPU versus the iMac Pro

“If you add an eGPU Box with a Vega Frontier to a 2018 MacBook Pro 15 inch 2.9GHz 6-core i9, will it bring the performance even with the 8-core iMac Pro?” Rob Art Morgan writes for Bare Feats,

“So, does an eGPU transform a 2018 MacBook Pro into a ‘fire breathing’ iMac Pro?” Morgan writes. “Yes — and No.”

“The Radeon Vega Frontier Edition GPU in an eGPU box can supercharge the 15in MacBook Pro 2.9GHz 6-core i9, bringing its performance of GPU intensive tasks close to (or faster than) the iMac Pro (which was sporting the optional Radeon Pro Vega 64 GPU),” Morgan writes. “However, the GPU is just one subsystem. Look what happens when you try to playback a RED 5K video clip…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good to know.


  1. More than a victory for the Mac Book Pro this shows the iMac Pro weakness. And wait next year when octa-cores become even more common and cheaper. It will be harder to justify an iMac Pro unless Apple offers a 10-12 core entry option. I hope Apple understands where all this is pushing high-end users and offer a solid Mac Pro ecosystem and future path.

    1. Apple says 80% of their Pro’s already use MacBook Pro’s. There’s only a SLIVER of folks that need the power of the iMac Pro. And, for that sliver, the only justification needed is “will having the iMac Pro make me more money OR give me more free time (because regular tasks will be sufficiently quicker)”

      It’s not like there’s any other macOS option.

  2. the problem with these so called ‘pro devices’ is that they are hard or impossible to upgrade.

    With my cheese-grater Mac Pros (of which i still have three running) i could upgrade the CPU as well as the GPUs. I could add various cards , switch drives like optical to HDs to SSDs etc. These increased the life of the Mac and justified the high initial ‘pro’ investment.
    I really hope the new MP would be more inline with the cheese-grater than the trash can.

    (btw it’s too bad Apple and nVidia can’t play nice, as recent tests show nVidia cards still beat Radeons in many areas. we should have a choice. now Mac updates are problematic for nVidia cards — you sometimes get the black screen of death)

    1. We can hope that Apple will return to sanity and release an updated cheese-grater Mac Pro. But, I have no faith that Apple will make such a sensible decision and give professionals what they want and need. I fully expect more of the same form over function, spit in the eye, kick in the nuts, from Apple.

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