2018 Mini - iGPU vs Memory Upgrade

phoenix-mac-user

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 21, 2016
29
16
I just got the base i5 from Best Buy with 8GB ram and am debating whether to upgrade. I bought Apple Care so I am a little concerned about messing up the warranty, but not overly concerned. I upgraded to SSDs in my 2014 and am pretty good with hardware.

That being said, upgrading to an eGPU would do nothing to my warranty.

So my question is this: would I see a performance increase going the eGPU route and forgoing a memory upgrade for now? Is there some overlap with what the extra video memory would do vs internal memory (I understand internal memory is probably ideal).

I mostly do iMovie and some video editing using the free version of Avid.
 

gusping

macrumors 6502a
Mar 12, 2012
619
138
London, UK
Going from 8GB to 16GB ram has a huge benefit for the iGPU, as it can more often use the full 1.5GB of VRAM. I'd probably upgrade ram to at least 16GB, and then see if you need an eGPU. With like video editing, an eGPU may be overkill, especially if 1080p.
 

F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
1,457
999
NYC & Newfoundland
Here's my view having used both an i5 and i7 mini, both with 8GB of RAM, for basic editing in Final Cut and for the aviation simulator/game X-Plane.

The i5/8GB RAM mini is perfectly capable of basic 1080p and 2160p video editing. Adding RAM and/or an external video card can speed things up if you are doing things like complex colour correction. I don't believe that there is any serious argument that someone using iMovie needs either.

Both the i5/8GB RAM and the i7/8GB RAM minis struggle with a graphics-intensive simulator/game like X-Plane. Adding an external video card makes a big difference. I've tried both an AMD RX 590 and an AMD RX Vega 56. With the RX 590, performance becomes reasonably acceptable, but not great. With a Vega 56, there is a significant improvement over the RX 590. With an i7/8GB RAM mini and a Vega 56, X-Plane runs well. Adding RAM results in additional improvement. Note that as games go, X-Plane is particularly demanding.

My signature shows my current configuration.

I would suggest that you try video editing and exporting with your current configuration and just decide whether it is, or is not, too slow for the editing that you are doing.
[doublepost=1553542585][/doublepost]Apple has a support page that specifies what an eGPU will do for you. Here's the link: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208544

If you use Lightroom or Photoshop, Adobe has equivalent pages for those applications.
 
Last edited:

adamk77

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2008
510
149
I just got the base i5 from Best Buy with 8GB ram and am debating whether to upgrade. I bought Apple Care so I am a little concerned about messing up the warranty, but not overly concerned. I upgraded to SSDs in my 2014 and am pretty good with hardware.

That being said, upgrading to an eGPU would do nothing to my warranty.

So my question is this: would I see a performance increase going the eGPU route and forgoing a memory upgrade for now? Is there some overlap with what the extra video memory would do vs internal memory (I understand internal memory is probably ideal).

I mostly do iMovie and some video editing using the free version of Avid.
If you're ok with hardware, I think you should easily be able to upgrade the RAM. You should keep the original 8 GB from the Mac Mini. If you end up needing the warranty, just place the original RAM back in there. More info here: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/enthusiasts-detail-ram-upgrade-process-for-the-2018-mac-mini.2153273/