REVIEW: Blackmagic eGPU Pro connected to the iMac Pro
October 23rd, 2019 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
The Blackmagic eGPU Pro comes with the AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 GPU. We connected it to an iMac Pro to see what advantages it provides.
Blackmagic eGPU Pro = Blackmagic eGPU Pro with pre-installed Radeon RX Vega 56 (8GB HBM2 memory)
Pro Vega 64 = iMac Pro's built-in Radeon Pro Vega 64 (16GB HBM2 memory)
TEST DETAILS: The 2017 iMac Pro 3.2GHz 8-core Xeon, 32GB of memory, 1TB flash storage, running macOS Mojave 10.14.6.
DaVinci Resolve Single Node of Noise Reduction
Using the 1080p Candle Project, we applied the "1NR" preset and started playback. (HIGHER Frames per Second = FASTER)
DaVinci Resolve Triple Nodes of Noise Reduction
(HIGHER Frames per Second = FASTER)
Final Cut Pro X 10.4.7
Exported the BruceX sample 5K project to ProRes 4444 XQ. (LOWER Time in Seconds = FASTER)
Performed a Render RAM Preview on the 600 frame Atmospheric-Open sample project. (LOWER Time in Seconds = FASTER)
TW: Three Kingdoms
Used the built-in Battle benchmark. (HIGHER Frames per Second = FASTER)
TW: Warhammer II
Used the built-in Skaven benchmark. (HIGHER Frames per Second = FASTER)
WHAT DID WE LEARN?
The Blackmagic eGPU Pro (with pre-installed Radeon RX Vega 56) improved the performance of DaVinci Resolve's noise reduction rendering during looping playback whether specified as the only GPU or specified in concert with the iMac Pro's built-in Radeon Pro Vega 64.
On the other hand, the iMac Pro's internal Radeon Pro Vega 64 handled the Final Cut Pro X and Motion tasks faster than the external Blackmagic eGPU Pro with Radeon RX Vega 56. (Using both GPUs simultaneously is NOT an option with the Apple apps running on the iMac Pro.)
In case gamers are curious, we tested to see if the eGPU Pro improved game performance. The two Metal based games we benchmarked 'liked' the iMac Pro's internal Radeon Pro Vega 64 better.
The Blackmagic eGPU Pro is best targeted for Macs with 'lesser' GPUs -- such as iMacs, MacBook Pros, and Mac minis with 'lesser' GPUs.
It runs very quiet. The enclosure design reminds us of the 2013 Mac Pro cylinder with a large, quiet, low RPM upper exhaust fan which provides efficient convection cooling. The eGPU Pro is a sealed unit so upgrading the GPU is not an option. The dual DisplayPorts support 5K displays.
CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW THE BLACKMAGIC EGPU PRO CAN BOOST THE GRAPHICS PERFORMANCE OF A 13-INCH MACBOOK PRO.
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copyright 2019 Rob Art Morgan
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