Razer Macos

  1. Razer Macos
  2. Razer Macros
  3. Razer Mac Keyboard

To use an eGPU, a Mac with an Intel processor is required.

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An eGPU can give your Mac additional graphics performance for professional apps, 3D gaming, VR content creation, and more.

eGPUs are supported by any Mac with an Intel processor and Thunderbolt 3 ports1 running macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 or later. Learn how to update the software on your Mac.

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An eGPU lets you do all this on your Mac:

  • Accelerate apps that use Metal, OpenGL, and OpenCL
  • Connect additional external monitors and displays
  • Use virtual reality headsets plugged into the eGPU
  • Charge your MacBook Pro while using the eGPU
  • Use an eGPU with your MacBook Pro while its built-in display is closed
  • Connect an eGPU while a user is logged in
  • Connect more than one eGPU using the multiple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports on your Mac2
  • Use the menu bar item to safely disconnect the eGPU
  • View the activity levels of built-in and external GPUs (Open Activity Monitor, then choose Window > GPU History.)

eGPU support in apps

eGPU support in macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 and later is designed to accelerate Metal, OpenGL, and OpenCL apps that benefit from a powerful eGPU. Not all apps support eGPU acceleration; check with the app's developer to learn more.3

In general, an eGPU can accelerate performance in these types of apps:

  • Pro apps designed to utilize multiple GPUs
  • 3D games, when an external monitor is attached directly to the eGPU
  • VR apps, when the VR headset is attached directly to the eGPU
  • Pro apps and 3D games that accelerate the built-in display of iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro (This capability must be enabled by the app's developer.)

You can configure applications to use an eGPU with one of the following methods.

Use the Prefer External GPU option

Starting with macOS Mojave 10.14, you can turn on Prefer External GPU in a specific app's Get Info panel in the Finder. This option lets the eGPU accelerate apps on any display connected to the Mac—including displays built in to iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro:

  1. Quit the app if it's open.
  2. Select the app in the Finder. Most apps are in your Applications folder. If you open the app from an alias or launcher, Control-click the app's icon and choose Show Original from the pop-up menu. Then select the original app.
  3. Press Command-I to show the app's info window.
  4. Select the checkbox next to Prefer External GPU.
  5. Open the app to use it with the eGPU.

You won't see this option if an eGPU isn't connected, if your Mac isn't running macOS Mojave or later, or if the app self-manages its GPU selection. Some apps, such as Final Cut Pro, directly choose which graphics processors are used and will ignore the Prefer External GPU checkbox.

Set an external eGPU-connected display as the primary display

If you have an external display connected to your eGPU, you can choose it as the primary display for all apps. Since apps default to the GPU associated with the primary display, this option works with a variety of apps:

  1. Quit any open apps that you want the eGPU to accelerate on the primary display.
  2. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences. Select Displays, then select the Arrangement tab.
  3. Drag the white menu bar to the box that represents the display that's attached to the eGPU.
  4. Open the apps that you want to use with the eGPU.

If you disconnect the eGPU, your Mac defaults back to the internal graphics processors that drives the built-in display. When the eGPU is re-attached, it automatically sets the external display as the primary display.

About macOS GPU drivers

Mac hardware and GPU software drivers have always been deeply integrated into the system. This design fuels the visually rich and graphical macOS experience as well as many deeper platform compute and graphics features. These include accelerating the user interface, providing support for advanced display features, rendering 3D graphics for pro software and games, processing photos and videos, driving powerful GPU compute features, and accelerating machine learning tasks. This deep integration also enables optimal battery life while providing for greater system performance and stability.

Apple develops, integrates, and supports macOS GPU drivers to ensure there are consistent GPU capabilities across all Mac products, including rich APIs like Metal, Core Animation, Core Image, and Core ML. In order to deliver the best possible customer experience, GPU drivers need to be engineered, integrated, tested, and delivered with each version of macOS. Aftermarket GPU drivers delivered by third parties are not compatible with macOS.

The GPU drivers delivered with macOS are also designed to enable a high quality, high performance experience when using an eGPU, as described in the list of recommended eGPU chassis and graphics card configurations below. Because of this deep system integration, only graphics cards that use the same GPU architecture as those built into Mac products are supported in macOS.

Supported eGPU configurations

It's important to use an eGPU with a recommended graphics card and Thunderbolt 3 chassis. If you use an eGPU to also charge your MacBook Pro, the eGPU's chassis needs to provide enough power to run the graphics card and charge the computer. Check with the manufacturer of the chassis to find out if it provides enough power for your MacBook Pro.

Recommended graphics cards, along with chassis that can power them sufficiently, are listed below.

Thunderbolt 3 all-in-one eGPU products

These products contain a powerful built-in GPU and supply sufficient power to charge your MacBook Pro.

Recommended Thunderbolt 3 all-in-one eGPUs:

  • Blackmagic eGPU and Blackmagic eGPU Pro4
  • Gigabyte RX 580 Gaming Box4
  • Sonnet Radeon RX 570 eGFX Breakaway Puck
  • Sonnet Radeon RX 560 eGFX Breakaway Puck5

AMD Radeon RX 470, RX 480, RX 570, RX 580, and Radeon Pro WX 7100

These graphics cards are based on the AMD Polaris architecture. Recommended graphics cards include the Sapphire Pulse series and the AMD WX series.

Recommended Thunderbolt 3 chassis for these graphics cards:

  • OWC Mercury Helios FX4
  • PowerColor Devil Box
  • Sapphire Gear Box
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350W
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550W4
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W4
  • Razer Core X4
  • PowerColor Game Station4
  • HP Omen4
  • Akitio Node6

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56

These graphics cards are based on the AMD Vega 56 architecture. Recommended graphics cards include the Sapphire Vega 56.

Recommended Thunderbolt 3 chassis for these graphics cards:

  • OWC Mercury Helios FX4
  • PowerColor Devil Box
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550W4
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W4
  • Razer Core X4
  • PowerColor Game Station4

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64, Vega Frontier Edition Air, and Radeon Pro WX 9100

These graphics cards are based on the AMD Vega 64 architecture. Recommended graphics cards include the Sapphire Vega 64, AMD Frontier Edition air-cooled, and AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100.

Recommended Thunderbolt 3 chassis for these graphics cards:

  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W4
  • Razer Core X4

AMD Radeon RX 5700, 5700 XT, and 5700 XT 50th Anniversary

If you've installed macOS Catalina 10.15.1 or later, you can use these graphics cards that are based on the AMD Navi RDNA architecture. Recommended graphics cards include the AMD Radeon RX 5700, AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, and AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary.

Recommended Thunderbolt 3 chassis for these graphics cards:

  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W4
  • Razer Core X4

Learn more

  • Learn how to choose your GPU in Final Cut Pro 10.4.7 or later.
  • To ensure the best eGPU performance, use the Thunderbolt 3 cable that came with your eGPU or an Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) cable. Also make sure that the cable is connected directly to a Thunderbolt 3 port on your Mac, not daisy-chained through another Thunderbolt device or hub.
  • If you have questions about Thunderbolt 3 chassis or graphics cards, or about third-party app support and compatibility, contact the hardware or software provider.
  • Software developers can learn more about programming their apps to take advantage of macOS eGPU support.

1. If you have a Mac mini (2018) with FileVault turned on, make sure to connect your primary display directly to Mac mini during startup. After you log in and see the macOS Desktop, you can unplug the display from Mac mini and connect it to your eGPU.

2. If you're using a 13-inch MacBook Pro from 2016 or 2017, always plug eGPUs and other high-performance devices into the left-hand ports for maximum data throughput.

3. macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 and later don't support eGPUs in Windows using Boot Camp or when your Mac is in macOS Recovery or installing system updates.

4. These chassis provide at least 85 watts of charging power, making them ideal for use with 15-inch MacBook Pro models.

5. Playback of HDCP-protected content from iTunes and some streaming services is not supported on displays attached to Radeon 560-based eGPUs. You can play this content on the built-in display on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac.

6. If you use Akitio Node with a Mac notebook, you might need to connect your Mac to its power adapter to ensure proper charging.

How To

How do I change the Razer Chroma lighting on Razer Core X Chroma?

The lighting can be configured in Razer Synapse 3 software on Windows 10 systems. Razer Synapse 3 is not compatible with macOS.

Troubleshooting

What if my laptop blue screens when unplugging the Razer Core X Chroma?

Mac

Razer Macos

Synapse

Please ensure that you have the latest drivers and updates installed on your system including the latest Windows 10 RS5 or later. Some applications can have issues with hot removal. Similar to removing a flash drive, you should eject or disconnect the GPU from the NVIDIA and AMD drivers before unplugging the Thunderbolt 3 cable.

Why do two Core X Chroma units show in Thunderbolt software application?

To ensure stable performance under heavy load, the Razer Core X Chroma includes a unique Thunderbolt dual-chip design that effortlessly handles both graphics and peripheral data through the single Thunderbolt 3 cable. Please make sure to select “Always Connect” for both options.

Common Questions

Is the Razer Core X, which has a PCIe 3.0 slot, compatible with PCIe 4.0 graphics card?

A graphics card with PCIe 4.0 can be inserted into a PCIe 3.0 motherboard slot; however, the PCIe 4.0 card’s bandwidth would be bottlenecked by the PCIe 3.0 slot’s bandwidth due to hardware limitations.

Ethernet port on my Razer Core X Chroma does not work when connected to a Mac.

There is an issue with the current LAN driver in certain versions of macOS. Please contact our Support Team to have the Razer Core X Chroma repaired.

Do I need to reboot my laptop every time I connect the Razer Core X Chroma?

The Razer Core X Chroma is a true Plug-and-Play system. This means that as long as your laptop is compatible and has the necessary graphics card drivers, you don't need to reboot your laptop every time you connect to the Razer Core X Chroma.

Can I use the Razer Core X Chroma without installing a graphics card?

Yes, the I/O ports including the USB and Ethernet will continue to function without a graphics card installed.

Razer Macos

What minimum laptop requirements are required to work with Razer Core X Chroma?

The following table includes the requirements for Windows 10 and macOS systems with Thunderbolt 3.

Laptop Requirements (Laptop not included)

Connection to PC

  • Systems require a Thunderbolt™ 3 port with external graphics support. Check with your laptop manufacturer to confirm if your laptop supports Thunderbolt 3 external graphics.

  • Ensure that your laptop has the latest BIOS, firmware, Thunderbolt software, and other applicable updates before connecting to Razer Core X Chroma.

Mac OS

  • Requires Thunderbolt™ 3-equipped Macs running macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 or later.

  • Compatible AMD graphics card sold separately.

  • Razer Synapse 3 software not available on macOS.

Windows

  • Windows 10 64bit RS5 or above with Thunderbolt™ 3 port.

  • Compatible NVIDIA or AMD graphics card sold separately.

Is a Thunderbolt Cable included with the Razer Core X Chroma and how long is it?

Yes, a 0.7-meter Thunderbolt Cable is included with the Core X. A longer 2-meter / 6ft Thunderbolt cable is available and sold separately on the Razer Store. Please visit Thunderbolt 3 Active Cable for Razer Core.

In which countries are the Razer Core X Chroma available?

The Razer Core X Chroma is available in United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Nordics, China, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan.

What is the main difference between Razer Core X and the Razer Core X Chroma?

The Razer Core X Chroma now includes a 700W power supply, four USB 3.1 Type-A ports, Gigabit Ethernet ports, and Razer Chroma lighting to meet the needs of the most hardcore gamers and creators.

Is the Razer Core X Chroma supported by Synapse 3.0?

Yes, the Razer Core X Chroma is supported by Synapse 3.0.

Does the Razer Core X Chroma work with a Mac?

Yes. The Core X Chroma works with Mac running on macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 or later. However, since Synapse 3.0 is not available on Mac OS, additional features such as being able to customize the lighting effects will not be available.

Can I customize the Chroma lighting on macOS?

This feature is not available for macOS systems. The color effects of Core X Chroma will cycle through the standard color spectrum with no further customization available. Synapse 3 software is not available for macOS.

Hardware

Razer macos support

Can I use the quick release handle to carry the Razer Core X Chroma?

The quick-release handle is intended for opening the system only. This should not be used as a carrying handle. Instead, lift the Razer Core X Chroma from the bottom of the system when transporting the Razer Core X Chroma.

Can I connect a Razer Core X Chroma to my laptop with USB Type C port?

While the Thunderbolt data transfer is provided over a standard USB-C physical connection, not all systems with USB-C ports will contain a Thunderbolt controller. Please consult your system manufacturer for compatibility details.

What type of GPU can be inserted in the Core X Chroma?

Up to 3-Slot wide, full-length, PCI-Express x16 graphics card.

What type of GPU power pin is used in Core X Chroma?

Can the Razer Core X Chroma still function when the case is removed?

Yes, the Razer Core X Chroma will still work without the case but we do not recommend it as it will leave the internal parts vulnerable.

What PCIe version does Core X Chroma use?

What version of Thunderbolt 3 controller is being used in the Razer Core X and Razer Core X Chroma?

There are two current versions of the Thunderbolt 3 controller:

Razer Macros

  1. Alpine Ridge
  2. Titan Ridge

Both the Razer Core X and Razer Core X Chroma use the Alpine Ridge version which is technically the older controller version of the Thunderbolt 3. However, being the older controller does not make it any less. In fact, it has the same bandwidth with its newer kind, the Titan Ridge. Both versions feature a max speed of 40 Gbit/s.

Also, Alpine Ridge is what is recommended by the Intel’s Thunderbolt team to be used by OEMs in their eGPUs like the Razer Core.

Razer Mac Keyboard

Using the Titan Ridge will not give any benefit on Razer’s eGPUs, it is more likely for the host system (Laptop side) and other Thunderbolt devices.