Apple Finally Embraces Virtual Reality
The new macOS High Sierra is bringing Virtual Reality support to the Mac by enabling the use of powerful external graphics processors for the first time ever.
MacOS Brings Support for VR and HTC Vive
Apple is releasing an ‘External Graphics Development Kit’ that allows developers to create and test any kind of graphics-intensive applications on any Mac with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, and that includes 3D and Virtual Reality content.
The external GPU developer kit is already available, it is actually an external GPU, and specifically, a Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box powered with an 8GB VRAM AMD Radeon RX 580 GPU inside, which is powerful enough power to run VR. The kit also includes a Belkin USB-C to 4-port USB-A hub.
“Apps that use Metal, OpenCL, and OpenGL can now take advantage of the increased performance that external graphics processors can bring. The External Graphics Development Kit includes everything you need to start optimizing advanced VR and 3D apps on external graphics processors with macOS High Sierra.
- Sonnet external GPU chassis with Thunderbolt 3 and 350W power supply
- AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB graphics card
- Belkin USB-C to 4-port USB-A hub
- Promo code for $100 towards the purchase of HTC Vive VR headset”
The kit is priced $599, a bit expensive considering the GPU alone is actually under $300, but coming from Apple it isn’t actually a surprise. On the good side things, the kit actually comes with a $100 discount for an HTC Vive headset, quite useful and VR-ready.