confused about mini + g-sync monitors

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ragamoffyn, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. ragamoffyn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    #1
    Hi. Will the new Mini work ok with an Asus ROG PG348Q? Or will that monitor's g-sync capabilities (which are something I don't entirely understand) somehow prevent it from playing nicely with the Mini?

    I ask because I've read stuff about Apple being friendly with AMD but not NVIDIA, and my rough understanding is that Macs don't support g-sync right now. I'm not sure if that means the monitor won't work with the Mini, or if I would just be losing out on g-syncing.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. rmdeluca macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2018
    #2
    I have one anecdote to share about the Mini and an Asus G-Sync monitor: one poster in these forums could not get the combination to work correctly, at all. My guess was that the G-Sync hardware was confusing the enumerator in the device driver for the Intel iGPU.

    Based on this single anecdote, I'd suggest:

    1) Bringing the monitor to a Mac store and plugging it in to a Mini to be sure it will work at all

    2) If it does work, the Mini's iGPU does not support g-sync, so:

    3) Yell at Apple and NVIDIA, like many of us are, to get Mojave drivers released so that we can use modern, G-Sync capable NVIDIA GPUs as an eGPU with our Minis
     
  3. Cashmonee, Nov 25, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018

    Cashmonee macrumors 65816

    Cashmonee

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    May 27, 2006
    #3
    G-Sync and FreeSync are Nvidia and AMD's kind of proprietary version of v. sync. If you have a 60hz monitor and your display is putting out 50 frames per second due to demand (games), the image can "tear". It looks like there is a literal tear in that particular frame. What FreeSync and G-Sync do is sync the framerate of the monitor to the framerate the computer is outputting, preventing the tear. Both systems work remarkably well from what I have seen. In order to work, the GPU and monitor both have to have support for the respective standard.

    I do not believe Apple supports either standard. And even if they did, it really is meant for gaming and not much else as far as I know. Further, there is a cost associated with FreeSync and especially G-Sync (G-Sync is a large premium), so you really do not want to pay for that feature if you will not use it. Having said that, it is mostly on gaming centric monitors which are unlikely to be the best choice to pair with a Mac. The monitor you reference is a gaming monitor. While it is a very highly regarded monitor for gaming, and I *think* pretty good monitor overall (it is an IPS panel), I don't think it would be my first choice unless I was gaming a lot and had an Nvidia GPU.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 25, 2018 ---
    I am pretty sure G-Sync does nothing at all if there is no G-Sync compatible GPU connected. I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that the feature is simply dormant without both ends (GPU and monitor).
     
  4. F-Train, Nov 25, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  5. ragamoffyn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    #5
    Ok, to sum up, the Asus monitor MAY work with the Mini, but even if it does, the g-sync feature would just be wasted?

    And putting an NVIDIA card in an eGPU and using that the bridge the Mini and the monitor won't work, because neither Apple nor NVIDIA are interested right now in supplying Mojave drivers?
     
  6. kamuix macrumors regular

    kamuix

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    california
    #6
    I have an Acer predator x34 working just fine as a second monitor with my Mac mini. The first one is an LG plugged through usb c and the other is through usb c -> display port.
    G-sync is an extra feature you're paying for to be used in PC's with Nvidia graphic cards. In my PC rig, I have duel 1080 tis and makes use of G-sync. (viewable in the display settings) It's mostly for gaming in order to smooth out graphics, mainly screen tearing. It also works well for monitors with higher refresh rates i.e 100 hz or higher.
    My predator is fine and currently at 100 hz as well. You are correct, using it for the Mac would be a waste of the tech. It's better to just get a regular monitor with freesync as that will save you a couple hundred of dollars. Probably get an HDR monitor.
    Also to the Nvidia card as an eGPU, there are currently no driver support. There are other methods to get it to work involving running particular scripts in terminal. I haven't dug enough to see if that allows G-sync to be utilized with that trick.
     
  7. rmdeluca macrumors regular

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    Oct 30, 2018
    #7
    Yep, in theory you are correct :p

    In practice though, specifications can be ambiguous or not always account for all corner cases :/
     
  8. Cashmonee macrumors 65816

    Cashmonee

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    May 27, 2006
    #8
    Correct. And this is also true of FreeSync. It is not supported by the macOS drivers either as far as I know. Again, it is mostly used in gaming with higher refresh rate monitors. Something that is not common to Macs.
     
  9. ragamoffyn thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 8, 2011
    #9
    Thanks for the help so far. A follow-up question: If you launch Windows via Bootcamp on the mini, and you have an eGPU with either an NVIDIA or AMD card, then will a monitor's g-sync / freesync capabilities be usable?


    Oh, so it wouldn't support freesync even via an eGPU? I didn't know that.
     
  10. rmdeluca macrumors regular

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    Oct 30, 2018
    #10
    When you’re booted into Windows the ordinary NVIDIA and AMD drivers work, including all of their specific variable refresh rate features.

    @Cashmonee was talking about the macOS driver stack, which currently doesn’t have any concept of variable refresh rates.
     
  11. ragamoffyn thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 8, 2011
    #11
     
  12. Cashmonee macrumors 65816

    Cashmonee

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    May 27, 2006
    #12
    That should work, yes. I have heard that Windows is not great with eGPUs, but nothing that I have looked into. I would research that part of it as well.
     
  13. rmdeluca macrumors regular

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    Oct 30, 2018
    #13
    It's working well enough for me that my wife is getting my gaming PC as soon as I get a new video card to replace the one I took out of it for eGPU :)
     
  14. ragamoffyn thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 8, 2011
    #14
    Wait, I just read something about MacOS not supporting the use of eGPUs when running Windows in Boot Camp. Does that mean an eGPU would not be recognized when running Windows on the Mini...?
     
  15. rmdeluca macrumors regular

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    Oct 30, 2018
    #15
    The post literally above your last one is about my positive experience running an eGPU in Windows under Boot Camp :p
     
  16. ragamoffyn thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 8, 2011
    #16
    Which added to my confusion upon reading about Boot Camp and eGPUs. I figured I was missing something, but I didn't know what...
     

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