Catalina & eGPU...

MacModMachine

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2009
2,267
150
Canada
You can run an eGPU, it just wasn't officially supported. I've used eGPU's since 10.11 personally, it wasn't as easy back then.


The wife's 2018 Mac Mini + Sonnet BB + Vega 56/64 is working.
2019 iMac + Razer Core + Radeon 7 working.
My office 2018 Mini + Sonnet BB + Vega64 WC working.

Also I only use Displayport cables on any eGPU monitor. I just don't care for HDMI cables.
I use a 18 mini with sonnet BB , I get a white screen when I boot OS X , I just re-plug the tb3 cable and I'm fine , however with windows I have to boot with HDMI in mini and switch to gpu when it boots.

kind of getting tired of this song and dance with apple not supporting or testing eGPU or their OS anymore for that matter.
 

defean

macrumors member
Jan 9, 2017
30
6
I updated to Catalina 10.15.3 beta 3 (public) tonight. The Boot Rom version changed again (1037.80.53.0.0 (iBridge: 17.16.13049.5.1,0)), but the behavior (black screens during boot/reboot) for my setup (Mac Mini 2018 / Blackmagic eGPU (RX580) / LG 5k) did unfortunately again *not* change/improve (in my case). :(
 
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nyskifan

macrumors newbie
Jun 17, 2008
11
5
I updated to Catalina 10.15.3 beta 3 (public) tonight. The Boot Rom version changed again (1037.80.53.0.0 (iBridge: 17.16.13049.5.1,0)), but the behavior (black screens during boot/reboot) for my setup (Mac Mini 2018 / Blackmagic eGPU (RX580) / LG 5k) did unfortunately again *not* change/improve (in my case). :(
Well, that is disappointing! ☹ Thanks for sharing though. Anyone try the new beta with Vega or Navi cars yet?
 

frou

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2009
687
757
What is it that they're endlessly tweaking in the Boot ROM that's apparently not related to this?
 
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nyskifan

macrumors newbie
Jun 17, 2008
11
5
What is it that they're endlessly tweaking in the Boot ROM that's apparently not related to this?
Seriously! Seems like they could just roll back to the mostly working boot ROM version shipped with 10.15.1 and people would be happier.
 

nyskifan

macrumors newbie
Jun 17, 2008
11
5
Config: 2018 i7 mini + Sonnet eGFX 550w breakaway box + Sapphire 5700xt nitro

So, I took the plunge and updated from 10.15.1 to 10.15.3. Unfortunately there remains an apparent regression in eGPU support. No boot screen anymore when monitors are connected directly to eGPU unit via display port. I had to disable Filevault. Eventually the login screen does show on cold boot but the system seems to freeze on reboots. So disappointing. I've seen mixed reports elsewhere so I'll troubleshoot further but wanted to share my experience so far.
 
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frou

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2009
687
757
The latest Mojave update (18G3020 - released a few days ago) brings the same Boot ROM (1037.80.53.0.0) as the latest Catalina.

I have a 2018 Mini + Sonnet 550W Enclosure + Vega64.

On a cold boot or reboot, my screen is activated but is simply a permanent all-black image. I have to forcibly shut down the Mini by holding down its power button and then turn it back on to try again.

After doing that dance maybe 3 or 4 times, the all-black image still happens, but instead of being permanent, goes away after about a minute, at which point the white loading bar shows and the OS boots.

I just upgraded to the latest Mojave and then to the latest Catalina and the above situation happens exactly the same with both. FWIW I've never used FileVault on this Mini.
 
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stillcrazyman

macrumors 68030
Oct 10, 2014
2,662
18,451
In Exile
I still have yet to update to 10.15.3 - no Filevault either.
My Mini with the Asus Vega56 and enclosure is attached via USB-C/TB. I also have the HDMI cable attached direct to the monitor. I usually leave the eGpu powered off until I've booted. It's a simple thing to unplug the HDMI cable. I don't like it, but it's not the end of the world.
 
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MarkAtl

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2019
105
74
I wonder where Apple is taking this. Perhaps their end goal is to ignore this and drive eGPU users to the new Mac Pro?

eGPU is a sanctioned approach, blessed by Apple and sold by Apple. If they can’t fix it - at a minimum for the eGPU models they sold - this is good cause for a lawsuit.
 

nyskifan

macrumors newbie
Jun 17, 2008
11
5
Anyone know how to give Apple meaningful feedback on the eGPU issues/regressions in 10.15.3? Clearly more than just a few folks are trying to get this running properly on Mac minis and other current model machines.
 

ssn5512

macrumors newbie
Dec 29, 2018
9
0
NJ
I have a Razer Core X connected via use c to Mac mini 2018. Both Display ports out of my Red Dragon Vega 56 going to 2 LG monitors boots perfectly. Once I use say display port and HDMI out I don't get a boot screen. The HDMI outs Catalina doesn't like....

Now if I use the HDMI out of my mini going to a third monitor that's off I can use any output on my card I want and I get the boot screen.

I did a bench mark score and I got as hi as 55,877 using Metal.

I was wondering if anyone has had any luck with the RX 5700 XT Red Dragon. I got the Vega 56 opened box at Micro Center and have 2 weeks to try it out but really wanted the 5700. Any comments would be awesome.


I tried booting my mini a few hours later and now its not working with both Display Ports... When I plug in my HDMI out of the mini both display ports work from my Vega 56
 
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BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
4,880
6,081
California
Catalina has made my Sonnet EGPU with AMD RX 580 work a LOT better with my monitor (4k Samsung). I did not have good luck trying to use the EGPU with my Mac mini 2014... so back in the closet it went (my own fault I think).

But my wife and I are using our Sonnet EGPUs with the RX 580 on our 2017 MBPs 13' TB on a daily basis. Wife outputs to 2 27' monitors and I have 1 4k monitor. I do Starcraft II and some WoW on it. Wife doesn't game much anymore but does do a lot of YouTube.

Both on Catalina.
 

narr

macrumors member
Sep 13, 2012
92
131
To everyone who has problems on Catalina with the Mac Mini and egpu (black screen on boot when connected to a single monitor) - here‘s a simple workaround that you could try:

- Turn off your egpu and Mac Mini (you don‘t need to turn off your monitor)

- Turn on Mac Mini and wait 30 - 60 secs, which is the amount of time it would need to get to the Login Screen

-Turn on your egpu - after some seconds you should see the login screen

Works fine for me. It‘s easier than switching cables (and you don‘t need to connect your monitor directly to your Mac via HDMI when booting, just leave your egpu connected to your monitor and your Mac Mini connected to the egpu).

Try it, hope it helps ...
 

MarkAtl

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2019
105
74
To everyone who has problems on Catalina with the Mac Mini and egpu (black screen on boot when connected to a single monitor) - here‘s a simple workaround that you could try:

- Turn off your egpu and Mac Mini (you don‘t need to turn off your monitor)

- Turn on Mac Mini and wait 30 - 60 secs, which is the amount of time it would need to get to the Login Screen

-Turn on your egpu - after some seconds you should see the login screen

Works fine for me. It‘s easier than switching cables (and you don‘t need to connect your monitor directly to your Mac via HDMI when booting, just leave your egpu connected to your monitor and your Mac Mini connected to the egpu).

Try it, hope it helps ...
The issue is if you leave your Mini on say overnight, there is one of those random T2-related reboots and then your eGPU goes full blast.

Really needs to be bulletproof with no workarounds required.
 

narr

macrumors member
Sep 13, 2012
92
131
Sure, no workaround should be required,
but till it (hopefully) gets fixed by Apple with a firmware update, it‘s a an OK solution. For now. :)
 

stevemr123

macrumors regular
May 27, 2010
152
49
Sadly the latest 10.15.4 beta does not fix the issue for me. There is some minor improvement (the screen is not white but black and at least the eGPU is not heating up), but my Mac (Mini 2018 + RX 570) still can't boot with the eGPU turned on. :(

But two users reported success booting at the Apple forums so the latest update may fix the issue for some.
 

IvanW

macrumors newbie
Nov 18, 2018
5
1
Sadly the latest 10.15.4 beta does not fix the issue for me. There is some minor improvement (the screen is not white but black and at least the eGPU is not heating up), but my Mac (Mini 2018 + RX 570) still can't boot with the eGPU turned on. :(

But two users reported success booting at the Apple forums so the latest update may fix the issue for some.
Do you use FileVault? Does narr's workaround (turning on eGPU later) for you?

As long as Mac mini still boots rather than stuck there I think I can manage it (CMD+F5 to user VoiceOver for the first login before turning on eGPU) though needing workaround itself is far from acceptable :(

This also makes me considering going back to MBP from the mini, headless Mac seems to be of lower priority to Apple, sad but understandable.

Thanks
Ivan.
 

stevemr123

macrumors regular
May 27, 2010
152
49
Do you use FileVault? Does narr's workaround (turning on eGPU later) for you?

As long as Mac mini still boots rather than stuck there I think I can manage it (CMD+F5 to user VoiceOver for the first login before turning on eGPU) though needing workaround itself is far from acceptable :(

This also makes me considering going back to MBP from the mini, headless Mac seems to be of lower priority to Apple, sad but understandable.

Thanks
Ivan.
No, I am not using filevault. I have to turn off the eGPU to boot, it won't boot with the eGPU turned on. Narr's workaround (turning on eGPU later) works, that's what I've been using since Catalina beta 5 as a workaround.
 
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defean

macrumors member
Jan 9, 2017
30
6
I updated to Catalina 10.15.4 beta 1 (public) tonight. The Boot Rom version changed again (1037.100.321.0.0 (iBridge: 17.16.14226.5.3,0)), but the behavior (black screens during boot/reboot) for my setup (Mac Mini 2018 / Blackmagic eGPU (RX580) / LG 5k) did unfortunately again *not* change/improve (in my case). ...same old, same old... 😒
 

Jeeg

macrumors member
Feb 12, 2010
67
11
I use the high end base model MacBook Pro 16" with Radeon 5700XT on a Razer Core X.

I noticed sometimes when I wake up from sleep, the external monitor would be stuck on 1024x768, there is no way to fix this unless I do a full restart on the Mac or unplug the ThunderBolt cable.

Also there is a 50/50 chance if I attach the eGPU on Mac when I boot, the Mac simply would not boot after entering my user login. I'll have to detach the eGPU, enter my details and wait for the loading bar to come out before I can attach the eGPU again.
 

DougTheImpaler

macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2006
559
49
Central Illinois
I have used the Feedback Assistant to report this issue to Apple and if you guys in this thread haven't done so, I recommend you doing the same.

I have a Sonnet eGPU enclosure with an Asus RX 5700XT attached to the Core i5 2018 Mac mini and it's a joke. I turned off automatic updates and automatic sleep to minimize the issue but that's not particularly good.