Radeon Pro VII

Radeon Pro VII is an upcoming graphics card just announced by AMD (Advanced Micro Devices Inc.) for computers with appropriate PCIe slots, featuring six DisplayPort 1.4 outputs, a 7nm Vega20 GPU and 16 GB of HBM2 memory. Its PCIe 4.0 x16 double-slot card is full height and 10.5″ long, with external power connectors, 250W TBP and a fan.

Other features include “up to 6.5 TFLOPS (FP64) of double precision performance” and Infinity Fabric Link support for combining two of the cards at “up to 5.25x PCIe 3.0 x16 bandwidth with a communication speed of up to 168 GB/s peer-to-peer between GPUs.”

AMD’s Radeon Pro VII $1899 price and availability are described as follows by the company:

The AMD Radeon Pro VII graphics card is expected to be available from major etailers/retailers beginning mid-June, 2020 for an SEP of $1899 USD. AMD Radeon Pro VII-equipped workstations are expected to be available in the second half of 2020 from leading OEM partners.

Akitio Node Titan

Akitio Node Titan is a Thunderbolt 3 expansion box from OWC (MacSales.com) that accomodates graphics cards for eGPU (external GPU) configurations, as well as other types of PCIe cards. Features include a single Thunderbolt 3 port, space for double-wide, full-length, full-height PCIe cards, PCIe x4 bandwidth (x16 mechanical), a 650W power supply (with 85W notebook charging and dual 8-pin auxilliary power connectors), a retractable carrying handle, toolless (thumb-screw) setup, and a temperature-controlled fan.

Akitio Node Titan is priced at $334.75 sans PCIe card, $549.99 with a Radeon RX 580, or $749.99 with a Radeon RX 5700 XT. It works with Thunderbolt 3-equipped Macs running macOS 10.13 and later with compatible cards or with Windows systems (which are compatible with Nvidia cards not supported by Apple).

GraphicConverter

GraphicConverter is a popular and well-supported graphics utility from Thorsten Lemke (Lemke Software GmbH) that can view, convert, filter and manipulate images, with import and export of many formats, batch conversion, slideshows, GPS/geotagging, face detection, Apple Live Photo conversion to animated GIF, support for Finder tags, and AppleScript support among its many features. (See GraphicConverter manual for full details.)

GraphicConverter 11.1.3 is priced at $39.95 for OS X 10.9 and up with a free trial available for downloading. Upgrade, family and volume licenses also are available, and Older versions support earlier Macs.

Version 11 version was a major update, while the latest release adds a few more features, updates, and bug fixes.

New features

  • convert & modify: function rasterize PDF
  • preferences convert/export IPTC
  • preferences open/dds
  • native 64 bit PCD import without usage of a helper application
  • copy video dates to matching videos in destination folder
  • batch action: add/remove margin with percentage
  • browser: export of summary as CSV
  • menu edit / copy / copy GPS as plus code
  • menu file / new / items to create a new image from Exif preview, FLIR data and depth data (if that data exists)

Discussions

Linux discussion includes Chromebook conversion issues, better alternatives (new and used), issues with a new Dell Inspiron, and Linux workarounds with MacBook Pro graphics failures.

MacInTouch Community updates also discuss the following topics (among others):

Blackmagic eGPU

Blackmagic eGPU is an external graphics accelerator from Blackmagic Design Pty. Ltd. for Thunderbolt 3-equipped Macs, available in either a standard or “pro” version. Features include a stylish aluminum enclosure, dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, 85W Power Delivery, a 4K HDMI port, four USB 3.1 connectors, and a quiet, variable-speed fan. The standard version includes an AMD Radeon Pro 580 GPU with 8 GB of memory, while the Pro version adds a DisplayPort 1.4 connector (supporting up to 5K at 60Hz) and upgrades to a Radeon RX Vega 56 with 8 GB of high-speed HBM2 RAM.

Blackmagic eGPU is priced at $699, sold via Apple, for Macs with Thunderbolt 3 ports running macOS 10.14 and later, while the Blackmagic eGPU Pro sells for $1,199. The latest update even supports Apple’s high-end Pro Display XDR at 6K resolution:

Set up and use Apple Pro Display XDR
… Pro Display XDR requires a Mac with a Thunderbolt 3 port and macOS Catalina 10.15.2. … Pro Display XDR supports a resolution of 6016 x 3384 with 10bpc on these Mac models:

  • Mac Pro introduced in 2019
  • 16-inch MacBook Pro introduced in 2019
  • 15-inch MacBook Pro introduced in 2018 or later
  • iMac introduced in 2019
  • Mac computers with Thunderbolt 3 ports connected to Blackmagic eGPU or Blackmagic eGPU Pro

Mercury Helios FX 650

Mercury Helios FX 650 is a large Thunderbolt 3 graphics card enclosure from Other World Computing, Inc., featuring a 650-watt power supply to accomodate modern, power-hungry graphics cards, such as the Radeon Pro WX 7100, Radeon RX Vega 56, Radeon RX 580 Gaming 8G, etc. (or cards for Windows systems, e.g. from Nvidia). Features include “a large variable speed, temperature-controlled fan” and “up to 100W of power to a connected notebook computer.”

Mercury Helios FX 650 is priced at $378.75 (not including the price of a graphics card) for Thunderbolt 3-equipped Macs and Windows computers.

eGFX Breakaway Boxes

eGFX Breakaway is a set of “eGPU” (external GPU) boxes from Sonnet Technologies Inc. that host high-powered graphics cards and connect via Thunderbolt 3 to Macs (or PCs) equipped with that high-speed connector. Features include a built-in, variable-speed, temperature-controlled (“quiet”) fan, support for liquid coolers, a choice of power supplies and Power Delivery capabilities, and compatibility with “the latest CPU cards”, including AMD Radeon R9, RX, RX Vega, and Pro WX models, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 9 and 10 series, TITAN X, Xp, V, and Quadro models, as well as supporting other PCIe cards – full-length, full-height, single- or double-width – such as the Avid Pro Tools|HDX(4) and Red Rocket-X.  (See compatibility info.)

  • eGFX Breakaway Box 550 is priced at $249.99 with a 550W power supply and 87 Watts of laptop power delivery.
  • eGFX Breakaway Box 650 is priced at $348.99 with a 650W power supply and 87 Watts of laptop power delivery, approved for “air-cooled editions of the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64, Vega Frontier Edition, and Radeon Pro WX 9100” and “overclocked NVIDIA cards with high peak power requirements.”
  • eGFX Breakaway Puck RX 560, priced at $399, is a compact version with Radeon RX 560 GPU built in, 45W Power Delivery, three DisplayPorts and one HDMI port.
  • eGFX Breakaway Puck RX 570 is priced at $499 with more powerful Radeon RX 570 graphics.
  • PuckCuff” is an optional VESA mounting bracket kit for the Breakaway Pucks, priced at $49.99.

Akitio Node eGPUs/PCIe boxes

Akitio Node is a Thunderbolt 3 expansion box that accomodates graphics cards for eGPU (external GPU) configurations, as well as other types of PCIe cards. Features include a 4-lane, x16 PCI Express 3.0 slot with 75W power, a 400W power supply with additional 6+2-pin power connectors, and space for full-length, full-height, double-width cards. Akitio Node is list-priced at $299.99 (sold via Amazon and other resellers) for a Mac with a Thunderbolt 3 port and a compatible graphics card (or other PCIe card).

Akitio Node Pro adds additional features to the enclosure: a second Thunderbolt 3 port, a DisplayPort 1.2 connector, and 60W Power Delivery for laptop charging, with a built-in 500W power supply, with separate fans for enclosure and power supply. Akitio Node Pro is list-priced at $369.99 (sold via Amazon and other resellers) for a Mac with a Thunderbolt 3 port and a compatible graphics/other PCIe card.

Akitio Node Lite is a smaller Thunderbolt 3 expansion box that accomodates a half-length PCIe card – not a graphics card, but various storage and networking cards, for example. This version also offers a DisplayPort 1.2 monitor connection (up to 4K at 60 Hz) and a second Thunderbolt 3 port. Akitio Node Lite is list-priced at $219.99 (sold via Amazon and other resellers) for a Mac with a Thunderbolt 3 port and a compatible PCIe card.

Akitio Node Duo is a Thunderbolt 3 expansion box that holds two half-length PCIe cards (2 PCI lanes each), while also providing 60W power delivery for laptop charging, a DisplayPort 1.2 monitor connection, and a second Thunderbolt 3 port. Akitio Node Duo is list-priced at $429.99 (sold via Amazon and other resellers) for a Mac with a Thunderbolt 3 port and a compatible PCIe card.

2019 Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR debut

Apple’s new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR are finally available for ordering today, having been announced way back in June at far more extravagent price levels than prior products. Apple had neglected both its display and modular/expandable computer product lines for years and years prior to these updates.

Stripped to its very barest, lowest minimums, the new computer/display combo costs $10,998 plus tax and shipping. Getting a stand to hold up the display costs another $999, while the screen’s special anti-glare glass treatment adds another $1000 on top of that. Moving from a tiny 256GB SSD to 2TB adds another $800 to the Mac Pro price. Wheels cost an extra $400. A Radeon Pro Vega II graphics card adds $2,400, and Apple’s Afterburner card costs an extra $2000. The top processor adds $7,000, while maximum memory adds $25,000, and a top-level package hits $59,597 plus taxes, etc.