Apple sells out of External Graphics Development Kit allotment, Sonnet offers eGFX Box + GPU at reduced cost

Apple launched its External Graphics Development Kit during WWDC 2017 as a way to assist developers with demanding graphics-intensive apps and VR content creation. The unit included the developer edition of Sonnet’s external eGFX GPU chassis, along with Sapphire’s AMD RX 580 8GB graphics card, and Belkin’s USB-C to 4-port USB-A hub.

Apple priced the External Graphics Development Kit at $599, which was reasonable considering that the Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8GB still goes for around $279, and demanded a higher price during the kit’s launch. The External Graphics Development Kit has been on sale for several months, but now all stock appears to be exhausted.

As a part of its Cyber Week Sale, Sonnet is offering the eGFX Breakaway Box – Developer Edition — the same unit included in Apple’s kit, sans Belkin USB hub, for $499. That’s a $100 price difference from what Apple was charging, and the developer edition of the eGFX units are available to all users, not just developers.

Under macOS 10.13.1, all Thunderbolt 3 Macs, which include the latest MacBook Pro and iMac models, are compatible with the eGFX Breakaway (Developer Edition). That includes the following models:

  • iMac 2017 models 18,1-18,3
  • MacBook Pro 2016 models 13,1-13,3
  • MacBook Pro 2017 models 14,1-14,3

With this deal, you’re essentially able to score a solid eGPU box that works with macOS for a little over $200. Granted, eGPU support in macOS is still not fully baked; we can expect further enhancements in the spring of 2018.

  • Includes Sapphire PULSE Radeon® RX 580 8GB Graphics card
  • Includes 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 cable
  • Thunderbolt 3 Interface (one Thunderbolt 3 [USB-C] port)
  • Provides laptop charging up to 60W
  • Quiet, Temperature-Controlled Fan
  • 1-Year Warranty

Sonnet is also selling the consumer version of its eGFX Breakaway Box 350 for $224. That unit features one 8-pin (6+2 pin) plus one 6-pin power connector, but only provides 15W of power to a MacBook Pro.

In addition, the Irvine, CA-based company recently launched its eGFX Breakaway Box 550, which is compatible with a wider range of high-end GPUs that require additional power. The higher-powered unit also supports 87W of power delivery, which is enough to charge a 15-inch MacBook Pro at full speed.

Image credit: Josh Farkas

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