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recommended eGPU for macos

Joined
Jun 7, 2018
Messages
8
Location
Germany
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Lightroom Version
allways the latest ;) - actually Lightroom Classic 9.2
Operating System
macOS 10.15 Catalina
Hi *,

I'm using mainly Lightroom Classic on a 2014 Mac Mini, which works fine.
At some times, when I do CPU Intensive tasks, I would like to have some more power, so I thought to invest some money in an eGPU.
Has somebody experiences with a Thunderbolt 2 solution?

Thanks,
Frank
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
338
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
At some times, when I do CPU Intensive tasks, I would like to have some more power, so I thought to invest some money in an eGPU.
A GPU, external or internal, accelerates Lightroom Classic features that are GPU-accelerated. It does not accelerate everything. A GPU has no effect on features that use only the CPU. So you have to be careful about what you expect any GPU to accelerate in Lightroom Classic. If you want Develop module adjustments to be faster, a GPU should do that because those are GPU-accelerated in Lightroom Classic. But if you want faster preview generation, a faster Spot Removal tool, or faster exporting of many images, a GPU won’t help because those are not yet GPU-accelerated.

A 2014 Mac mini has almost no upgrade options, so just about the only thing you can do to speed it up is boot the system off an SSD. Internally, if it originally had a hard drive or Fusion Drive, you may be able to replace it with an internal SSD.

Has somebody experiences with a Thunderbolt 2 solution?
When Apple was developing eGPU support, Thunderbolt 2 was supported in the early prerelease versions. But after testing, Thunderbolt 2 was dropped, maybe because the limited bandwidth (half of Thunderbolt 3’s 40Gbps) caused problems. There are advanced Mac users who have hacked their way to Thunderbolt 2 eGPUs on older Macs, but it requires serious technical workarounds like modifying System files. And those modifications are becoming more difficult under the tighter System security in macOS 10.15 Catalina. If you want to try, there is some information at the website egpu.io, but if you run into any problems with a Thunderbolt 2 eGPU, support will not be available from Adobe or Apple.
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
338
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
I should mention that I did buy a Thunderbolt 3 eGPU, and I do use it with Lightroom Classic. Because GPU acceleration applies to just a few specific areas in Lightroom Classic, it wasn’t clear if an eGPU would be worth the cost for Lightroom Classic alone. But I also edit video, and all of the major video editing applications make extensive use of GPU acceleration…it really does save a lot of time over rendering CPU-only or through integrated graphics. I ended up justifying the cost of the eGPU knowing that I could get good use out of it not only in Lightroom Classic, but also in the video editing applications I use.
 
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