Apr 19, 2017 12:13 PM EDT
NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti Beats AMD Radeon Pro in MacBook Pro External GPU Performance [VIDEO]
Series of benchmarks show that NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti is four times faster than AMD Radeon Pro when used as an external GPU to 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. For this reason, Apple might end up supporting external GPUs in a plug-and-play manner to start the era of eGPU.
For the very first time, MacBook Pro uses a Pascal-based 10xx GPU which produces an impressive result when series of benchmarks show that NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti is four times faster than AMD Radeon Pro. In Luxmark 3.1 benchmark, Radeon 450 scores 5,822 and Radeon 460 scores 6,056 whereas, NVIDIA GTX 980 scores 22,673 and 1080 Ti 23172, Apple Insider reported.
In the Valley 1.0 benchmarks, results show that AMD Radeon Pro scores 706 while NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti scores 2,353 on internal display and 3,031 on external. Lastly, in Heaven 4.0 test, AMD Radeon Pro scores 360 whereas, NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti scores 1,422 and 2,460 for internal and external display, respectively.
On the other hand, the people from eGPU.io has discovered that the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has Thunderbolt 3 that is attached to PCH-H controller which means, the available bandwidth has the high probability to be constrained by the components connected in the controller; case in point, the computer's flash storage.
In addition to that, the group has also discovered that the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has a Thunderbolt 3 directly connected to CPU which is an advantage over other laptops. Accordingly, since the connector is directly connected to the CPU, the bandwidth will not be routed through the PCH unlike the case of the 13-inch model, The Verge reported.
To sum it all, the latest discovery could also lead to enhanced macOS support for external GPU that could be a plug-and-play in the future. Although an eGPU usually comes expensive as quality enclosure costs $500 and NVIDIA GTX 1080 TI costs $700, nevertheless, it can improve the user's workflow.