Apple’s newest macOS Catalina upgrade has been causing all kinds of havoc for some Mac users. One issue seems to be killing certain eGPU setups — especially for those with a Mac mini.
Big software updates like Catalina, which brings countless improvements and new features, rarely arrive free of frustrating hiccups. That’s why we’ve advised some not to upgrade yet.
Catalina kills support for 32-bit apps (intentionally). It has also created big headaches for DJs and introduced compatibility issues for Photoshop and Lightroom (unintentionally).
Sadly, the problems don’t stop there.
Catalina kills some eGPU setups
Some users are reporting that their eGPU no longer works with their Mac after updating to Catalina. It seems specific combinations of video cards and eGPU enclosures won’t work with certain machines.
A thread on the eGPU.io forum highlights issues with AMD Radeon 570 and Radeon 580 series cards on Mac mini, in particular. Even the Sonnet eGPU supplied with Apple’s own developer kit is affected.
It seems, however, that AMD Vega GPUs are working just fine.
Symptoms of this issue include the inability to boot a Mac with an external display connected via an eGPU, constant restarts, and intermittent freezing.
A fix is required
Lots of video cards are not compatible with eGPUs on macOS, but those mentioned above are still supported, according to Apple’s official list. This appears to be little more than a bug.
There is no way to fix the issue yourself, however. We’ll have to wait until Apple rolls out another Catalina update to eliminate the problem.
We’ve contacted Apple to ask if it is aware of any eGPU issues in Catalina and we’ll update this post if we get a response.