AMD Radeon RX 6900 and RX 6800 GPUs get support in macOS Big Sur beta

AMD Radeon RX 6800
(Image credit: Future)

AMD’s Radeon RX 6900 XT, RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 graphics cards are now supported as of the latest macOS Big Sur beta (11.4).

In its version 11.4 release notes, Apple confirmed: “You can now use graphics cards based on the AMD Navi RDNA2 architecture.”

What does that mean for Mac owners exactly? If you have a Mac Pro, you’re now able to slot in one of these Big Navi GPUs and feel the benefit, as some owners have already done (reporting, for example, some pretty nippy performance levels with Octane X, a rendering suite).

That’s the only Apple computer that can be internally fitted with one of these AMD GPUs, but remember that other Mac owners might use an external GPU (eGPU), a box containing a graphics card which hooks up via a fast Thunderbolt 3 connection to provide much better performance. And now you’ll be able to use these Big Navi cards in an eGPU, which could be a major boon for gamers.

Early days

For now, if you want to give it a whirl, you’ll need to install the Big Sur beta, with all the usual caveats that running beta software might entail (things could go wrong, of course, with any pre-release code). Version 11.4 of Big Sur is still in the very early stages, and indeed version 11.3 of the OS still hasn’t been released – but should be imminently.

Note that the new Macs with Apple’s own M1 chip do not support eGPUs, at least not yet, though that situation may change in the future (or indeed, it may not, as there are certainly folks out there who are skeptical that this will ever happen).

Via Tom’s Hardware

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).