At first it sounded like Apple integrated Thunderbolt 4 – but that’s not the case. In addition, external graphics cards (eGPU) can no longer be connected.
If the graphics performance of your Mac was too weak, you could attach a current graphics card to the device via Thunderbolt-3. That is over with the M1 Macs. TechCrunch reports this with reference to Apple. It is unclear which component exactly prohibits its use. The scene wonders whether the M1 itself is the reason for the incompatibility or another instance in the brand new M1 models Macbook Air, Macbook Pro 13 ”-inch and Mac Mini.
While the use of external graphics cards was already possible with Thunderbolt 2, it only made sense with the successor. The Mac manufacturer itself promoted the use from 2018 and released official support with macOS High Sierra (10.13.4). Apple itself worked with Blackmagic to offer an eGPU solution. In the case was a Radeon Pro 580 with 8 gigabytes of memory. As a result, many manufacturers released cases for a handful of supported (Radeon) cards. The performance gain was enormous.
Apple removed the Blackmagic eGPU from its list of compatible accessories with the release of the M1 Macs. Observers are astonished that Apple is canceling eGPU support. Especially after it became clear that the integrated graphics of the M1 are very good and probably also the best of their kind (Intel’s Xe offers 0.1 teraflops less performance), but is far from dedicated cards. In the cheapest version of the new Macbook Air, Apple apparently switches off a graphics core in the SoC so that only seven work.
“Thunderbolt / USB 4” doesn’t appear to be Thunderbolt 4
If you are familiar with it, you can already see it from the supported monitor resolutions: Apple still only uses Thunderbolt 3. The big brother supports an 8K display in contrast to the sibling. However, USB-4 can also do the latter – at 10-bit color depth and 60 Hertz. The maximum data transfer rates have not changed.
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