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How to turn the 2016 MacBook Pro into a Windows gaming machine using the compact Akitio Thunder3 + GTX 1050 Ti [Video]
While they've existed before the most recent MacBook Pro, the surge of interest in external GPUs is largely thanks to the implementation of Thunderbolt 3 in the latest Mac hardware. As we've shown in a previous post, an eGPU can make a significant performance difference, turning an otherwise graphically pedestrian MacBook Pro into a competent gaming machine.
In our previous tutorial, we showed you how to wield an AMD RX 480 in macOS. While that solution yielded definite benefits, it was also hindered by difficulties caused by macOS itself.
It should come as no surprise that the setup process and support with Windows is, in some ways, quite a bit better than using an eGPU with macOS. That's not to say that you should run out and buy a Windows laptop if you want to play the latest games requiring a more powerful GPU. Instead, you can utilize a Boot Camp installation, and turn your MacBook Pro into a 1080p gaming machine.
The now-available $249 Akitio Thunder3 is much smaller than the larger Akitio Node, so it takes up a smaller footprint on your desk. The setup also lets you tap into the power of the GPU right from your MacBook Pro's built-in display, no external display required. Watch our full walkthrough, as we showcase this simple and compact eGPU solution on video.