Apple’s 2021 MacBook Pro family does not offer the option to add an eGPU, despite Thunderbolt 4 connections. Failure to offer this is presumed to be a reliance on the improved graphics performance of the M1 Pro and M1 Max.

The Thunderbolt 4 ports of 2021 MacBook Pro models offer 40Gbps bandwidth, 2 times more than Thunderbolt 3. Despite the speed increase, eGPU support is not available for the latest portable Macs, and Apple has yet to make a statement about it. The company didn’t bring eGPU support to the M1 Macs last year either, and compared to the M1 Pro and M1 Max, the M1’s GPU performance isn’t anywhere near the latest custom chips.

While Apple doesn’t have an excuse to name eGPU support on M1 Macs in 2020, the tech giant may not have brought the same support this year due to the company’s confidence in the GPU of the M1 Pro and M1 Max. However, one should not expect the same GPU performance in all 2021 MacBook Pro models. The $2000 model has a 14-core GPU instead of 16 cores or 32 cores. So you will have to pay extra to get this performance boost. Another reason Apple doesn’t want to introduce eGPU support is probably because it wants to avoid the use of third-party hardware not developed by the company.

Looking at this latest development, it is highly unlikely that Apple will bring eGPU support to future MacBook Pro or MacBook Air models.

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Michael Lewis


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