Thunderbolt 3 eGPU

Mostly posting this so others will be aware. I recently purchased all of the same equipment that Apple is selling as their eGPU VR Developer Kit. A Sonnet eGFX breakaway box and AMD RX580 GPU. I have hooked these up to my 2016 MacBook Pro and they work as expected. Nearly anything run from the external monitor hooked into the eGPU directly is accelerated by the eGPU and not the internal.

I bought this as a test unit (I knew that it wasn’t officially supported) to see if I could offload the GPU work from mimoLive to the eGPU to reduce internal (to the laptop) heat load to prevent thermal throttling after long stream sessions and possibly to get a little performance boost as well since the RX580 is significantly more powerful than the internal Radeon Pro 460. Unfortunately, at this time mimoLive does not appear to be offloading the GPU work load to the eGPU even after tinkering with various setups and settings in the Debug menu, running mimoLive from the external monitor, and setting the external monitor as the primary display.

I will attempt to keep this space updated as I work through this with the Boinx devs.

Thanks for trying and posting this, I’ll keep an eye on it as it might be something I’d like to try in the future.

Bump Up. Hoping mimolive will be able to take advantage of eGPU

Yes, mimoLive takes advantage of an eGPU. However, the amount of improvement depends on what you actually do with mimoLive and what GPU your Mac already has. If your Mac already has a recent discreet GPU like in the iMac 27" then improvements will not be as big.

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Also, if I recall correctly, you have to tell MacOS to prefer eGPU by right clicking on the app > Get Info window.

I have the Blackmagic eGPU attached to the 6-core Mac mini for my studio and it works beautifully.

You can (as Bastien said above) bind an application to use the externalGPU. It looks like this in the Get Info box for the application.

Additionally, there is a shell script available that lets you modify preferences for the eGPU across all apps, or specified apps:

mimoLive works really well with the Blackmagic eGPU in my experience.

It is not a very high-performance GPU though (Radeon Pro 580), so your mileage may vary. It’s certainly better than the low-end integrated systems.


Hello @wibbly, thanks for sharing your experience.

Just these days, I’m considering what equipment to buy to stream from my MacBook Pro 13" (2020). Since it only has an integrated graphics card, I’m thinking of pairing it with an eGPU.

Could you please share a bit more details about the improvements you got adding the Blackmagic eGPU to your Mac mini? Is mimoLive intensively using the eGPU?