This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
All three new Macs with Apple's Silicon "M1" chip do not support eGPU (external GPUs), but it has been reported that they may be supported in the future.
After the announcement of the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini with the M1 chip, Apple has officially commented that all three models do not support eGPU. Even before that, support documents for developers emphasized the optimization of the M1's integrated GPUs, but it was suggested that support for eGPUs might be discontinued.
However, according to tests conducted by Mac4Ever, a French Apple-related blogging media, the enclosure (external GPU box) and the PCE-I card (for the graphics board) are still seen in the Big Sur of the M1-equipped Mac.
In fact, when connecting the Pro Display XDR to a Blackmagic eGPU connected to an M1-equipped MacBook Pro via the Thunderbolt 3 port, the enclosure was reportedly detected and recognized, the display communicated with the Mac itself, and video playback was possible.
AppleInsider also tested the Razer Core X and Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box (both eGPU boxes) and found that they identified the RX 590, Vega 64, and Radeon VII. However, none of the graphics boards used GPU acceleration.
The reason why eGPU is identified but not working is probably due to the lack of drivers, for one thing. It is also speculated that oddities in how Apple has implemented Thunderbolt or external PCI-E addressing may also be contributing factors.
The fact that eGPUs are identified on M1-powered Macs should lead to a possible return of support in the future, which may require an update on the part of macOS Big Sur or a new M-series chip, or both, but we'll have to wait and see.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.