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Even worse, when it's connected and not working, there's absolutely no way to tell unless you're looking at the Activity Monitor or doing rigorous testing like me. It still lights up, and you still get the menu-bar icon. My first order of business was to test video exporting with and without the eGPU.

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With the help of Mashable video producer Ray White we created several test projects to export. We did a p export project, but to keep things simple we'll focus on my 4K trials because p performance was the same with and without the eGPU. We exported the video at native resolution and framerate in H.

Here's what we got:. So I did what anyone would do. I went to Google and found a shocking answer: This is because only one GPU can drive a Mac's built-in screen and that's the one already inside of it. The proper way to use the eGPU: What could be wrong now? More Googling and I find out graphics performance is only better if the monitor is plugged into the eGPU, which is then plugged into your Mac. With the correct wiring, I ran my tests and yet again saw exports that were either barely faster or somehow slower. I just wasn't seeing faster performance.

Super annoyed, I combed Blackmagic's website and noticed there's no mention of faster graphics performance for any app but its own DaVinci Resolve video production software. Could it be that this eGPU is only good for one app?

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Because that would be really dumb. Besides, the description for the eGPU on Apple's website says otherwise:. Enjoy supersmooth gaming, accelerate graphics-intensive pro app workflows, and enable VR experiences or content creation. Hmm, maybe it was something with High Sierra.

I booted up another partition with the latest beta version of Mojave.

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Just when I thought things couldn't get worse, they did. Premiere CC on Mojave just wouldn't work. It kept crashing and I never was able to export a single video at any resolution. About to lose my mind, I contacted Blackmagic to see if I could get to the bottom of all of these problems I was experiencing. At the same time, I was told the eGPU any one from any company "should not slow any app down.

Really wanting to smash the eGPU to bits physical abuse is never the answer, but just goddamnit , I switched back to High Sierra and ran my Premiere exports again. I went back to Google to find out if there was a way to force apps to use the eGPU. I found out on High Sierra, that's not possible. But, on Mojave, there is a way to force apps to use the eGPU on an app-by-app basis. I cursed both Apple and Blackmagic.

Everything seemed to work until I hit the export button. The app crashed again. Even more frustrated than before, I decided to try something else. I loaded up Fortnite on the default "High" settings to see how playable the game would be. Not very.

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Not at High settings. On High settings on just the MacBook Pro, the game recorded between fps. With the eGPU, the game's framerate jumped up to fps. Both were below fps, which is considered to be the optimal framerate for smooth gameplay by many players. The game wasn't unplayable at High settings with the eGPU, but there was still quite a bit of noticeable latency as I panned the camera around or shot at other players. The framerate took a bigger hit when there were multiple players onscreen.

Even crazier was that it took longer to boot the game up with the eGPU compared to without: Dropping Fortnite's settings down to Medium increased the framerate, but the graphics became so low-res, I would have been better off just playing it on iPhone. It looks clean, but wait until you connect power, a monitor, and accessories to the back and it becomes a mess of cables.

I was all ready to give up on the eGPU until I reached out to Apple to see if I could make a last-ditch effort to troubleshoot my problems. After chatting with an Apple hardware engineer I learned a few new things that again aren't included in the instructions manual and is valuable for anyone who buys this eGPU. Never mirror your Mac to the external display. It uses up some of the eGPU in order to do so and as a result will slow performance down.

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