Intel has announced. Thunderbolt 5 Connectivity will be available in 2024 based on Windows. PCsmost likely those who cover and Xeon processors instead of AMD’s Ryzen and Threadripper But the real winner in this announcement may be Apple.
It’s easy to forget that the iPhone maker is behind Thunderbolt, and that Thunderbolt has more ports. Mac Computer than any other platform.
Remember that Apple first introduced the original Thunderbolt in February 2011 and has been faithful to the technology ever since. All recent Apple computers have at least one Thunderbolt 4 port, with some – eg MacBook Air – Only sporting Thunderbolt ports.
One of the most interesting use cases introduced by Thunderbolt 5 is usability. External GPU (eGPU) thanks to 120Gbps bi-directional bandwidth available. Now while an external GPU can’t and won’t replace an internal one, it can complement it nicely.
We can’t predict what Apple’s next move is when it comes to eGPU support, but the new iteration of Thunderbolt gives the theory’s proponents extra ammunition. Nvidia and AMD continue to deliver new generations of GPUs every year, enabling Mac users to reach new levels of graphic performance.
There’s also the fact that eGPU support can encourage data scientists and developers to use GPU accelerators like Macs. Nvidia H100 either or AMD Instinct MI Series for AI Training and Inference.
But there is a catch.
It won’t be easy though. Current Apple silicon does not have native support for eGPUs. As Appleinsider pointed out. An excellent showcase in 2022, it lacks two main things: the cards lack Apple Silicon drivers, and the ability to address GPUs with a discrete memory pool simply isn’t there. macOS For Apple Silicon.
The first can be solved by vendors while the second is in Apple’s camp. If it fits into the company’s broader strategy, its engineers can do it. gave The latest Geekbench Metal benchmarkwhich looks at GPU performance on Apple’s platform, shows that the M2 Ultra has closed the gap with the AMD Radeon RX 6900XT, which was launched nearly three years ago.
The M3 Ultra will likely outpace this card as the fastest discrete GPU available on a Mac, but will it be enough to keep professionals happy? The jury is out there. As Matt Bach from Puget Systems told TechRadar Pro Back in June, Mac Pro Does not support additional GPUs and therefore the system cannot be upgraded to render faster, and may not benefit from having multiple GPUs in the same system.
Previous Intel-based Mac Pro systems allowed for multiple GPUs, giving artists ways to optimize their render times. This is unfortunate because many of these 3D applications are making great efforts to bring their renderers to OSX, but Apple has chosen to stay away from GPU support. Support for an external GPU on Apple’s fastest silicon could be a game changer for them.
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