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drewbugdad

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 27, 2018
3
2
I have a 2019 Mac Mini i5 with 16 GB RAM and 6 core i5 with 2 LG Ultrafine 4k displays and when using Microsoft Teams will hear the fan spin up, in most cases 20 - 30 minutes into my meeting. I am a complete novice when it comes to graphics cards but was wondering if the Blackmagic eGPU would help prevent that from happening. I am not a gamer and use no (other?) graphics intensive software. Obviously they aren't available through Apple at this time so I would have to get one from eBay but it's a lot of money to shell out if it won't make much, if any, difference. Thanks!
 

Alexis Noel

macrumors regular
Apr 27, 2020
112
105
Houston
The problem isn't with your iGPU.

Issue here is that Microsoft Teams is not fully optimized with MacOS, thus using more resources than need by pulling a high amount of your CPU, GPU, and RAM to run it. Several people have had this issue and it has not been confirmed as to whether or not Microsoft is working on resolving this.

An eGPU will not resolve this, as the more you have, the more it will pull. (In some cases, it will not even offload from your eGPU, rendering it as redundant.)
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
24,692
9,925
Re the BlackMagic GPU...
Didn't I read a few days' back that it was just discontinued?
 

Wowmail

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2017
119
71
San Diego, California
What ever one you choose, Try to get a Vega 56 or higher, The older cards have boot issues. Also you can use an 3rd Party enclosure like a Sonnett.
Here is a great site to peruse.


This is Sonnett

The Mac Mini with a good EGPU performs like an iMac Pro. It is night and day.


I hope this helps.
 
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shaown

macrumors regular
Mar 24, 2011
132
35
As far as I know the only EGPU compatible with the LG Ultrafines is the Blackmagic?
-Shaown

What ever one you choose, Try to get a Vega 56 or higher, The older cards have boot issues. Also you can use an 3rd Party enclosure like a Sonnett.
 
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- rob -

macrumors 6502a
Apr 18, 2012
868
559
Oakland, CA
I’ve been using the blackmagic w a 2018 mini for the better part of a year. It’s awesome.

You don’t need a Vega to get a huge benefit. The standard 580 is still a massive increase in graphics power. Compare the benchmarks.

There are some high cpu things I do that sometimes cause the mini fan to still come on but not many.

I don’t know about MS teams but I would not be surprised that they wouldn’t make use of an eGPU
 
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WP31

macrumors member
Feb 11, 2020
70
41
2018 (2020) MacMini w/BMeGPU driving a LG5k, and a separate LG Ultrawide driven by the MM iGPU. I love it, it works great. I use all forms of video-teleconference all day long and Teams seems to be fine. I haven't run explicit tests but compared to most other VTC softwares Teams doesn't appear to be a problem for me. Chrome/Google Meet is the CPU/GPU killer. My MM starts to levitate from the fans running 100% after ~20-30 min of Meet.
 
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Billiejoe87

macrumors member
Apr 23, 2020
86
107
Another vote for not needing the BlackMagic Pro eGPU. The base one is fine unless you are a hardcore gamer counting every frame rate.

I've attached it to my Macbook Pro and LG Ultrafine 4K and the performance increase and plug and play setup is worth every cent to me (Even though it is very expensive considering there are other options).
 

Billiejoe87

macrumors member
Apr 23, 2020
86
107
Has anyone here been successful using an LG Ultrafine 4K display connected to the Blackmagic when using Bootcamp? Only my Macbook Pro internal screen works unless I connect the monitor directly to the Mac.
 

- rob -

macrumors 6502a
Apr 18, 2012
868
559
Oakland, CA
The problem with the Black Magic is you can’t change out the card in future when the inevitable upping is display cards!
This common refrain fails to consider that one can just sell the whole thing and upgrade. Just as you do with iPhone.

The blackmagic has a bundled hub, is preassembled (turn key), silent and stable.

Part of the reason they are so stable and likely to continue to be is Apple was involved in their design.

The option of assembly of an eGPU and card also carries the risk of the enclosure itself losing value. Most of the enclosures in the eGPU.io top ten came out in 2019.

So after three years of use you probably will also be wondering if there’s a quieter, or otherwise better enclosure to go with your brand new card you want to buy.

If you end up wanting to upgrade you’ve just done the same thing as if you had bought a Blackmagic in the first place.

Finally, read the most recent reviews on Amazon about what it’s like to use the current number one eGPU enclosure Razer X. They are not good for either Mac or Windows users.
 

Billiejoe87

macrumors member
Apr 23, 2020
86
107
This common refrain fails to consider that one can just sell the whole thing and upgrade. Just as you do with iPhone.

The blackmagic has a bundled hub, is preassembled (turn key), silent and stable.

Part of the reason they are so stable and likely to continue to be is Apple was involved in their design.

The option of assembly of an eGPU and card also carries the risk of the enclosure itself losing value. Most of the enclosures in the eGPU.io top ten came out in 2019.

So after three years of use you probably will also be wondering if there’s a quieter, or otherwise better enclosure to go with your brand new card you want to buy.

If you end up wanting to upgrade you’ve just done the same thing as if you had bought a Blackmagic in the first place.

Finally, read the most recent reviews on Amazon about what it’s like to use the current number one eGPU enclosure Razer X. They are not good for either Mac or Windows users.

I could not agree with you more.

Obviously there are more powerful options than the Blackmagic. There are more powerful versions of virtually everything Apple related. People buy Apple and it's accessories for the refinement and how well it comes together with the user experience.

With the Blackmagic I get a really good looking unit which compliments my mac, is virtually silent, requires no configuration or setup to work in mac os (Literally plug and play), works great with the LG Ultrafines apple sells, and also gives a great dock as well with a great amount of ports.

I don't know what the cost is elsewhere, but in Australia it really isn't that much more expensive than competing enclosures. I picked it up for about $1,000 through an employee program. The cheapest I could find a Razer Core X enclosure on it's own over here was $549. The Radeon RX580 8GB card then costs about $369. That takes me to $100 less than what I paid for the Blackmagic.

The one major benefit of the Razer Core X is obviously that you can purchase a much more powerful graphics card and upgrade cards. That is a really good benefit, however if any of us based our purchasing decisions on upgradeability we would not be purchasing Apple products at all and would buy PC's. In most apple users case, when we upgrade we sell our previous model and buy a new one.

My biggest issue is I want all these eGPU's to work in bootcamp. I'm hoping this becomes a reality soon without needing a degree in computer science.
 

jagooch

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2009
682
181
Denver, co
I could not agree with you more.

Obviously there are more powerful options than the Blackmagic. There are more powerful versions of virtually everything Apple related. People buy Apple and it's accessories for the refinement and how well it comes together with the user experience.

With the Blackmagic I get a really good looking unit which compliments my mac, is virtually silent, requires no configuration or setup to work in mac os (Literally plug and play), works great with the LG Ultrafines apple sells, and also gives a great dock as well with a great amount of ports.

I don't know what the cost is elsewhere, but in Australia it really isn't that much more expensive than competing enclosures. I picked it up for about $1,000 through an employee program. The cheapest I could find a Razer Core X enclosure on it's own over here was $549. The Radeon RX580 8GB card then costs about $369. That takes me to $100 less than what I paid for the Blackmagic.

The one major benefit of the Razer Core X is obviously that you can purchase a much more powerful graphics card and upgrade cards. That is a really good benefit, however if any of us based our purchasing decisions on upgradeability we would not be purchasing Apple products at all and would buy PC's. In most apple users case, when we upgrade we sell our previous model and buy a new one.

My biggest issue is I want all these eGPU's to work in bootcamp. I'm hoping this becomes a reality soon without needing a degree in computer science.

Great points. I did a lot of research before ordering a Blackmagic GPU this morning. According to Apple’s shipping estimate, In 10-12 weeks I’ll able to share my experience with it.

I wanted to do faster video editing on Mac Mini while in MacOS, and able to play games like Left 4 Dead 2 while in Windows, without having fans make jet engine noise levels.

The ease of use and low noise level led me to the BlackMagic. The cost and lack of upgrades made me consider the Razer Core X . I weigh noise level pretty heavily against other considerations, and so the BM won.

Now if I could only time travel to the time it arrives at my home.. sigh. I also have 2 ultrafine monitors and several logitech peripherals all on backorder.

One day, I’m going to have a killer setup :)
 
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- rob -

macrumors 6502a
Apr 18, 2012
868
559
Oakland, CA
Great points. I did a lot of research before ordering a Blackmagic GPU this morning. According to Apple’s shipping estimate, In 10-12 weeks I’ll able to share my experience with it.
Congrats I think you will be happy with it though I am curious to hear your experience. Particularly in using it with windows.
Please follow up in this thread when you’ve had time to use it.
 

BigMcGuire

macrumors G3
Jan 10, 2012
8,403
10,378
the Alpha Quadrant
I am not sure where to ask this so I figured I'd ask this here.

I have used a Sonnet EGPU with an RX 580 and an RX 5700 XT. The EGPU was not bad, but it crashed a lot, would refuse to start sometimes, and StarCraft would cause a system crash every game. The 5700 XT was a little better but still managed to cause complete system restarts every few days.

Does the Blackmagic EGPU have this same problem?
 

MevetS

Cancelled
Dec 27, 2018
374
302
I am not sure where to ask this so I figured I'd ask this here.

I have used a Sonnet EGPU with an RX 580 and an RX 5700 XT. The EGPU was not bad, but it crashed a lot, would refuse to start sometimes, and StarCraft would cause a system crash every game. The 5700 XT was a little better but still managed to cause complete system restarts every few days.

Does the Blackmagic EGPU have this same problem?
Curious. I have a Razor Core X and a Sapphire Pulse RX 580 and how no such issues. I’m running the latest version of Catalina.

I realize this doesn’t answer your question about Blackmagic, but you shouldn’t be having such issues.
 
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BigMcGuire

macrumors G3
Jan 10, 2012
8,403
10,378
the Alpha Quadrant
Curious. I have a Razor Core X and a Sapphire Pulse RX 580 and how no such issues. I’m running the latest version of Catalina.

I realize this doesn’t answer your question about Blackmagic, but you shouldn’t be having such issues.
How interesting. My wife and I both have Sonnet EGPUs and have similar experiences - though hers crashes a lot less often than mine did. Though we're running a 2017 and 2020 MBP 13' - not Mac minis - not sure if that matters. :p

Thanks for the info! :)
 

Colstan

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2020
227
471
Does the Blackmagic EGPU have this same problem?
I have a Blackmagic RX 580 that I got off of ebay for a good price. I've been using it for the past two months and have tested it with six different games, many of which I play for 5-6 hours at a time on the regular. I've never had a single crash or visual artifacts while using it. Obviously, I'm only a single data point, but that's been my experience.
 
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iAssimilated

Contributor
Apr 29, 2018
956
3,742
the PNW
I am not sure where to ask this so I figured I'd ask this here.

I have used a Sonnet EGPU with an RX 580 and an RX 5700 XT. The EGPU was not bad, but it crashed a lot, would refuse to start sometimes, and StarCraft would cause a system crash every game. The 5700 XT was a little better but still managed to cause complete system restarts every few days.

Does the Blackmagic EGPU have this same problem?

I've used an ASUS XG Station Pro eGPU with an RX 580 and an RX Vega 56 as well as a Razor Core X eGPU with the RX Vega 56. I have only experienced three crashes where the eGPU either turned itself off or took down the whole system (all with the ASUS and the Vega 56). Once was when playing Star Trek Online and the other two were when running GFX Metal tests. The consensus was the Vega 56 was drawing too much power for the 330W power supply to handle, thus why I now have the Razor Core X.

There was a few people having similar issues you are experiencing with their eGPUs a couple of years ago (I will post the thread if I can find it) and it was determined that it was the quality of the provided Thunderbolt 3 cable. A majority of them (including myself for good measure) replaced that cable with Apple's TB3 cable and it resolved their issues.

The manufacturer of the video card has been found to cause issues as well. Sapphire is the most reliable (from what I've seen), but after that your results can swing wildly from good to awful. What brand of card(s) are you using?

I assume you are using the MBP's screen (ie no external monitor) which requires the signal to go from the MBP to the eGPU and then back again, which is twice the throughput I need, since my signal goes from my mini to the eGPU to my monitor. That means you want a good quality cable (see above).

Also, what macOS version are you using? Mojave's support for eGPUs was okay (mostly livable), Catalina's was better (depending on your needs), but Big Sur (at least for me) has been really good (and much better than both Mojave and Catalina, but YMMV).
 
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BigMcGuire

macrumors G3
Jan 10, 2012
8,403
10,378
the Alpha Quadrant
I've used an ASUS XG Station Pro eGPU with an RX 580 and an RX Vega 56 as well as a Razor Core X eGPU with the RX Vega 56. I have only experienced three crashes where the eGPU either turned itself off or took down the whole system (all with the ASUS and the Vega 56). Once was when playing Star Trek Online and the other two were when running GFX Metal tests. The consensus was the Vega 56 was drawing too much power for the 330W power supply to handle, thus why I now have the Razor Core X.

There was a few people having similar issues you are experiencing with their eGPUs a couple of years ago (I will post the thread if I can find it) and it was determined that it was the quality of the provided Thunderbolt 3 cable. A majority of them (including myself for good measure) replaced that cable with Apple's TB3 cable and it resolved their issues.

The manufacturer of the video card has been found to cause issues as well. Sapphire is the most reliable (from what I've seen), but after that your results can swing wildly from good to awful. What brand of card(s) are you using?

I assume you are using the MBP's screen (ie no external monitor) which requires the signal to go from the MBP to the eGPU and then back again, which is twice the throughput I need, since my signal goes from my mini to the eGPU to my monitor. That means you want a good quality cable (see above).

Also, what macOS version are you using? Mojave's support for eGPUs was okay (mostly livable), Catalina's was better (depending on your needs), but Big Sur (at least for me) has been really good (and much better than both Mojave and Catalina, but YMMV).

Latest Mac OS always - And yeah, the Sapphire RX 580. There are days where I have no problems and other days that just moving my mouse causes the system to freeze and reboot multiple times in one day. My wife has a lot less issues with her EGPU (same one). But she runs 100% in clamshell mode.

I never thought to think it was the thunderbolt cable. The one Sonnet includes with the EGPU is flimsy and imo not great.

I will give this a try. I'm very happy to hear it is just me. :D I am going to try to get my Sonnet EGPU back - and put in orders for Apple's TB3 cable.

Thank you.
 
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iAssimilated

Contributor
Apr 29, 2018
956
3,742
the PNW
Latest Mac OS always - And yeah, the Sapphire RX 580. There are days where I have no problems and other days that just moving my mouse causes the system to freeze and reboot multiple times in one day. My wife has a lot less issues with her EGPU (same one). But she runs 100% in clamshell mode.

I never thought to think it was the thunderbolt cable. The one Sonnet includes with the EGPU is flimsy and imo not great.

I will give this a try. I'm very happy to hear it is just me. :D I am going to try to get my Sonnet EGPU back - and put in orders for Apple's TB3 cable.

Thank you.

Still looking for that thread (some of the eGPU discussions here have been long winded), but some people found just touching the TB3 cable (not moving it around or anything) would cause the eGPU to flake out.
 
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BigMcGuire

macrumors G3
Jan 10, 2012
8,403
10,378
the Alpha Quadrant
Still looking for that thread (some of the eGPU discussions here have been long winded), but some people found just touching the TB3 cable (not moving it around or anything) would cause the eGPU to flake out.
I believe it. That cable feels horrible (on the Sonnet).

I just ordered 2 Apple cables and found out that I can get back my EGPU. I had sent mine to a relative to try to eBay (even if just the graphics card) - they hadn't gotten around to it yet. Woo hoo. :)


Sorry for taking over a Blackmagic thread. I almost bought one. lol.
 
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BigMcGuire

macrumors G3
Jan 10, 2012
8,403
10,378
the Alpha Quadrant
Still looking for that thread (some of the eGPU discussions here have been long winded), but some people found just touching the TB3 cable (not moving it around or anything) would cause the eGPU to flake out.
The cable was it!!! Just installed the Apple USB C Thunderbolt 3 cable.

I did several things that would crash the EGPU to my external 4k in the past - and no problems. In fact, a lot of the lag that was there before is now gone. Thanks for the suggestion! My wife and I look forward to a far more stable experience from today on! :)
 

BigMcGuire

macrumors G3
Jan 10, 2012
8,403
10,378
the Alpha Quadrant
Update on the cable situation. It fixed ... everything. No crashing in Blizzard games anymore. No lag in Blizzard games (used to have a .5 second input lag). My wife can put her Mac to sleep with a video on a tab without the EGPU crashing now. This is a night and day difference. My Parallels W10 instance runs much better now.

Shame on Sonnet for having such cheap Thunderbolt 3 cables I guess.

Happy Thanksgiving all!
 
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