Sonnet Announces New eGPU Docks With AMD Radeon RX 5000 Series GPUs and Support for Pro Display XDR

Sonnet has today announced the eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT and eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5700 docks for Intel-based Macs, featuring increased performance, two USB ports, and support for the Apple Pro Display XDR.

Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck 

eGPUs can significantly boost a computer's graphics performance by providing a more powerful graphics processor over a fast wired connection, and are often used when a computer's graphics performance is insufficient for demanding tasks such as video editing or gaming.

The eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT and eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5700 are the newest additions to Sonnet's popular series of portable all-in-one Thunderbolt 3 external graphics processing systems, some of which have been sold by the Apple Store in the past.

The two new models replace the now-discontinued eGFX Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 560 and Radeon RX 570 eGPUs, yet they retain the same form factor while delivering up to 300 percent more performance.

Each dock now includes two USB ports for connecting other devices and a second Thunderbolt 3 port to fully support Thunderbolt displays, including Apple's Pro Display XDR and the LG UltraFine 5K Display. Both eGPU Breakaway Puck models support up to three 4K, 60 Hz displays or one 6K and two 4K displays at the same time.

Sonnet says that its new eGPU docks are designed for professionals who need to run graphics-intensive applications on their Mac, with a focus on portability and external display connectivity, as well as quiet, reliable operation.

The eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT and eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5700 are available now from Sonnet for $599.99 and $899.99.

Apple's latest M1-based MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini do not support eGPUs.

Tags: Sonnet, eGPU

Top Rated Comments

Spock Avatar
18 months ago
Seems like a lot of money for an almost two year old card..
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macsound1 Avatar
18 months ago
Ugliest Bluetooth speaker ever ?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fenderbass146 Avatar
18 months ago

Presumably they wouldn't have bothered if Apple was going to end eGPU support in the next few months... I would imagine that they have some degree of insider knowledge...
That’s a big assumption. The ARM Transition is still likely going to take a couple years and Intel Machines will be in use for a lot longer.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joevt Avatar
18 months ago

Why buy this when you can get Razer Core X + other AMD card and be able to upgrade in the future?
Because these are the only eGPUs (besides the Blackmagic eGPUs) that allow direct connection of Thunderbolt displays (either a single LG UltraFine 5K or Apple Pro Display XDR, or up to two LG UltraFine 4K) where the Thunderbolt display is controlled by the GPU in the eGPU instead of the GPU in the Mac. Other methods of connecting older Thunderbolt displays (those that don't also support USB-C) to eGPUs are expensive, and may not allow all the features of the display to work.

Since the GPUs support DSC, it may be possible to connect two Apple Pro Display XDR displays using a Thunderbolt 4 hub or dock that has more than one downstream Thunderbolt 4 port. I haven't seen any reviews of the OWC Thunderbolt 4 Hub or Dock connected after another Thunderbolt 3 device though.

The reason these new eGPUs only have one downstream Thunderbolt 3 port is because the JHL8440 doesn't have any DisplayPort inputs. The JHL8540 and older Thunderbolt controllers have two DisplayPort inputs, but only two Thunderbolt ports (if the JHL8540 can be used in a peripheral, then one Thunderbolt port would be for upstream leaving only one Thunderbolt port for downstream). I'm guessing the size of the JHL8540 and JHL8440 means that you can either have two DisplayPort inputs or two Downstream Thunderbolt ports but not both. So the way to make an eGPU with multiple downstream Thunderbolt ports for multiple Thunderbolt displays is to connect two or three Thunderbolt 3 controllers internally to a JHL8440. Each Thunderbolt 3 controller has two DisplayPort inputs so you only need two controllers if the GPUs only support 4 DisplayPort outputs. If you want to add a DisplayPort or HDMI port then you could add a DisplayPort mux to switch the DisplayPort outputs of the GPU between a Thunderbolt controller input and the output port. The mux would be controlled by the hot plug detect pin of the output ports. There already exists multiple eGPUs that use two Thunderbolt controllers chained together (one for the GPU and the other for USB devices) so this would be a Thunderbolt 4 extension of that.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
weaztek Avatar
18 months ago
I have a Sonnet Breakaway Puck RX570 and it works like a champ. Let's hope Apple adds eGPU support on the new M1s and beyond! Because the M1 graphics performance is good but not great.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
UltimaKilo Avatar
18 months ago
Who would pay that for such a terrible and old GPU in 2021? ?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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