Unofficial NVIDIA eGPU Support Enabled on MacOS
Ron Perillo / 7 months ago
Gaming on a Mac
The words “gaming” and “MacOS” are not exactly the kind of words you would often see in the same sentence, if at all. With the release of macOS 10.13.4, it appears that Apple is finally embracing gaming and has enabled eGPUs (External GPUs) for the first time. Unfortunately, NVIDIA driver support is not available and no GeForce cards are included in Apple’s official support list. So that means those who want to attach a GeForce discrete graphics card via Thunderbolt 3 to their Mac will not be able to use it.
That is until now that the good folks over at eGPU.io have developed a workaround which enables driver installation. This is the work of an enthusiastic community, including well-known eGPU community staples like fr34k and goalque. Obviously, this is sans NVIDIA’s blessing, but if it works, it works. And judging by the performance benchmarks at 9to5mac, boy does it work. They have even made a video showing the setup in action:
How Well Does it Perform?
The performance gains are quite impressive with the GTX 1050 Ti outperforming the RX 580 eGPU in OpenGL in Heaven and Valley benchmarks. The OpenCL benchmarks are a different story, with the GTX 1050 Ti not performing as well.
However, it does show that the script written by eGPU.io works fairly well. Furthermore, it does not just trick NVIDIA driver installation, it has many options available to customize eGPU intallation as well. It even lets users with older Thunderbolt 2 eGPUs be able to use it on their setup. Even those with older TI82 chipsets, which have never been recognized by Mac.
As always, since this is an unnofficial workaround, your mileage may vary, and proper precautions must be taken prior to running.