Apple is finally jumping to the VR bandwagon in a big way and is adding support for it with macOS High Sierra. To develop VR apps and games though, powerful GPUs are required which Apple’s existing MacBook and Mac lineup lacks.
To solve that issue and to encourage VR development on macOS, Apple is now offering an external GPU kit to developers. Apple says that the External Graphic Development Kit allows developers to develop and test graphics-intensive games, including VR content, on any Mac with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.
The external GPU talks to the Mac over Thunderbolt 3 which is why only Macs that offer Thunderbolt 3 connectivity are supported. The $599 Development Kit includes a Sonnet external GPU chassis with a 350W power supply. There’s also an AMD RX 580 GPU with 8GB of RAM and a Belkin USB-C to 4-port USB-A hub included in the package. Additionally, Apple is offering a $100 promo code towards the purchase of an HTC Vive VR headset. Only developers registered to Apple’s Developer and Enterprise program and living in a handful of countries are eligible to buy this VR development kit from the company.
While macOS 10.13 will bring support for external GPUs, it will be restricted only to developers as consumers will only be able to enjoy this feature from 2018. With external GPU support baked into the OS, one can easily buy an external GPU enclosure and a GPU of their choice for their graphical work or to solve their gaming hunger.
If you are interested in Apple’s external development kit, you can buy it from here.