Sonnet unveils new eGPU bundles featuring AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT – AppleInsider

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Sonnet Technologies has announced a number of eGPU product bundles featuring AMD’s flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card that can bring the card’s capabilities to the Mac.
First announced back in October 2020, the Radeon RX 6900 XT is a high-end card that features the company’s RDNA 2 architecture, 80 computer units, 128MB of AMD Infinity Cache, and 16GB of dedicated memory. AMD cards are the only PCI-E cards supported by Apple’s Mac lineup, either in a Mac Pro or via eGPU on a MacBook Pro or other device.
To that end, Sonnet has unveiled a number of eGPU bundles, including models in its DuoModo and eGPU Breakaway Box lines. For Mac users, they can take advantage of the Radeon RX 6900 XT via Thunderbolt.
The DuoModo xMac mini/eGPU Desktop bundle, for example, includes an RX 6900 XT and a preconfigured DuoModo expansion system that includes a module to hold a Mac mini. Users can also opt for a 2U rackmount enclosure.
AMD’s DuoModo eGPU Module includes the Radeon RX 6900 XT and a DuoModo eGPU module that allow users to build their own DuoModo system, though enclosures are sold separately. This particular bundle is suited for Mac devices with Thunderbolt ports, and is also available in a rackmount configuration. The module starts at $1,249.99.
Finally, AMD announced a pair of eGPU Breakaway box bundles that feature the flagship RX 6000. The Thunderbolt to GPU PCI-E systems feature a built-in connection hub for USB devices and Ethernet connectivity, and can connect to a Mac via Thunderbolt. The boxes start at $299.99 for the 750 unit and $349.99 for the 750ex unit.
No matter which bundle or enclosure a user chooses, the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Graphics Card retails for $1,799.99 on Sonnet’s website.
The eGPU bundles are only compatible with Intel-based Macs as this point, since Apple’s M1 models don’t currently support GPU solutions.
More information about the eGPU options can be found at Sonnet’s website.

> includes a module to hold a Mac mini

Odd that anyone would be releasing hardware that only works with Intel Macs at this point. Unless Sonnet knows something the rest of us don’t… :smiley: 

Eric_WVGG said:
> includes a module to hold a Mac mini

Odd that anyone would be releasing hardware that only works with Intel Macs at this point. Unless Sonnet knows something the rest of us don’t… :smiley: 

It’s not odd at all.  Anybody who needs a powerful GPU isn’t going to be buying a M Mac any time soon, if ever.

Also:

“Compatible with macOS 11 | Windows 11 & 10”

Eric_WVGG said:
> includes a module to hold a Mac mini

Odd that anyone would be releasing hardware that only works with Intel Macs at this point. Unless Sonnet knows something the rest of us don’t… :smiley: 

I’d like to think that the Apple Silicon eGPU restriction is temporary, or maybe confined to the M1. What is more true is that the total market of Windows and existing Intel Macs is still quite large.

But the cost/benefit calculation of an eGPU has completely gone underwater since the pandemic-driven chip shortage causing GPU prices to skyrocket. I am currently still using an eGPU with my Intel 13” MacBook Pro (integrated graphics only of course) while I wait for the better-than-M1 Macs to come out, and I am sure glad I bought when I did (2018). The popular Radeon RX580, while outdated now, still meets my needs and cost me less than $200. You can’t find it that cheap today. But here’s the kicker…while the RX 6900 XT being pushed by Sonnet for use in the article benchmarks 3 to 4 times faster than my RX580, it’s retailing for ten times the price!

If the next gen Apple Silicon M1x or whatever comes with a GPU that perform in the range of 50-60% of the GPU performance of an RX 6900XT, most users will not find it worth it to get an eGPU. Because while the technology would exist to beat it in an eGPU, the total cost of the eGPU enclosure plus fast enough graphics card would be punitive. The Sonnet combo of the lower-end Breakaway Box plus 6900 XT is $2100 retail.

That is why, even though I use an eGPU today, I will not be heartbroken if Apple Silicon never supports it. I feel like future Apple Silicon will be capable of enough GPU performance that adding an eGPU will not add enough performance for the staggering additional price, especially considering the bandwidth limit of Thunderbolt 3/4. The only way an eGPU will be economical again is if conditions change enough that GPUs can flood the market and lower prices considerably.

I’d like to think that the Apple Silicon eGPU restriction is temporary, or maybe confined to the M1. What is more true is that the total market of Windows and existing Intel Macs is still quite large.

But the cost/benefit calculation of an eGPU has completely gone underwater since the pandemic-driven chip shortage causing GPU prices to skyrocket. I am currently still using an eGPU with my Intel 13” MacBook Pro (integrated graphics only of course) while I wait for the better-than-M1 Macs to come out, and I am sure glad I bought when I did (2018). The popular Radeon RX580, while outdated now, still meets my needs and cost me less than $200. You can’t find it that cheap today. But here’s the kicker…while the RX 6900 XT being pushed by Sonnet for use in the article benchmarks 3 to 4 times faster than my RX580, it’s retailing for ten times the price!

If the next gen Apple Silicon M1x or whatever comes with a GPU that perform in the range of 50-60% of the GPU performance of an RX 6900XT, most users will not find it worth it to get an eGPU. Because while the technology would exist to beat it in an eGPU, the total cost of the eGPU enclosure plus fast enough graphics card would be punitive. The Sonnet combo of the lower-end Breakaway Box plus 6900 XT is $2100 retail.

That is why, even though I use an eGPU today, I will not be heartbroken if Apple Silicon never supports it. I feel like future Apple Silicon will be capable of enough GPU performance that adding an eGPU will not add enough performance for the staggering additional price, especially considering the bandwidth limit of Thunderbolt 3/4. The only way an eGPU will be economical again is if conditions change enough that GPUs can flood the market and lower prices considerably.
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