eGPU Screen Artifacts with Catalina

melvinlusk

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 11, 2019
35
4
Ponchatoula, LA
After upgrading to Catalina Beta 3 last night, I'm having a weird issue with black screen artifacts (see the circled area in the attached file). They tend to appear when opening new windows, and will go away once I move the window or do a refresh. It occurs with many different apps, the screen shot shows what it looks like in VMWare Fusion (it happens with Safari as well).

My machine is a late-2018 Mac Mini, with the 3.2 Ghz i7 and 32 GB of RAM. It has an AMD RX 580 eGPU inside an OWC Mercury Helios FX attached via Thunderbolt 3. Interestingly, I don't get the artifacts when using the integrated graphics. I'm not let to believe it's a problem with the RX 580, because I didn't have this problem just yesterday with Mojave.

My displays are two 27" LG HDR 4K's, one is attached via HDMI and the other via DisplayPort. The issue can happen on either display.

Has anyone else come across this?

Highlighted.jpg
 

Wowmail

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2017
96
32
San Diego, California
I have an almost identical setup, with the exception I am using a Sonnet 550 Box with a 580 GPU. I've had other issues ( Under Catalina , the Mac wont boot without internal GPU connected). I do know that the 580's had a big run with shoddy Display ports. Try to use the one closest to the bottom of the card , and see if that helps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hagjohn

melvinlusk

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 11, 2019
35
4
Ponchatoula, LA
I have an almost identical setup, with the exception I am using a Sonnet 550 Box with a 580 GPU. I've had other issues ( Under Catalina , the Mac wont boot without internal GPU connected). I do know that the 580's had a big run with shoddy Display ports. Try to use the one closest to the bottom of the card , and see if that helps.
Changing to the bottom DisplayPort made no difference (this didn't happen with Mojave, do I don't see how that could have been an issue). I am also having the same issue you are, with not being able to boot unless the integrated GPU is connected to a display.

IMG_0211.jpeg
 

Wowmail

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2017
96
32
San Diego, California
Sorry , Ill try to see if I can find out more about the artifacts. To get to the eGPU I have to boot the internal, then switch to the eGPU port and select it, Change the rez, it comes up. I only use one 4k monitor, so I Boot the Intel on HDMI, Then switch to the DP. Its a Hassle I did not have in Mojave. With Mojave, I simply Booted the Mac, and at login the Display would come on.. correct rez and all. It works the same way with Boot Camp. I did leave full feedback and bug report. Oh, I had also given a bug report about Drive Icons, on that one, they asked for more info .. and fixed it.
 

melvinlusk

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 11, 2019
35
4
Ponchatoula, LA
I'm going on a bit of a tangent here...

If I leave my displays connected to the built-in ports on the MacMini (HDMI and USB-C-to-DisplayPort), but also leave the RX 580 enclosure connected, would I still gain any benefit from the eGPU? Seems like this would be similar to the way it would work with a MacBook that has a built-in display...
 

Wowmail

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2017
96
32
San Diego, California
It does not appear to work that way, But I have only one 4k display. I'm a gamer, who loves Macs to tinker with and get real work done. Boot Camp performance is paramount for me. I have the TB3 cable to eGPU / DP on Video cad to DP on Monitor. I'm getting amazing performance in games. It blew my 21 year old super gamer Son away!

If I connect the Intel internal GPU , it tries to control the DP port image also.
 

melvinlusk

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 11, 2019
35
4
Ponchatoula, LA
It does not appear to work that way, But I have only one 4k display. I'm a gamer, who loves Macs to tinker with and get real work done. Boot Camp performance is paramount for me. I have the TB3 cable to eGPU / DP on Video cad to DP on Monitor. I'm getting amazing performance in games. It blew my 21 year old super gamer Son away!

If I connect the Intel internal GPU , it tries to control the DP port image also.
Yeah I'm not sure Windows would be able to handle that the same way OSX does, but I did submit a support ticket to OWC (makers of the Mercury Helios enclosure) asking them the same question about leaving the internal graphics connected. If I get a response I'll post it here.

I have a dedicated Windows machine to play my games....ironically, it also has an RX 580 connected to the same display setup, and has no display artifacts ;)
 

Wowmail

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2017
96
32
San Diego, California
I was thinking of throwing together a gaming machine, I may still do it. I was just pleasantly surprised when I installed Steam on my external SSD with Boot Camp. It's a tiny bit picky, with AMD updates, and Windows SNAFUS's' but its a cheap gamer. ( Cheap if you need the Mac.)
 

melvinlusk

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 11, 2019
35
4
Ponchatoula, LA
I was thinking of throwing together a gaming machine, I may still do it. I was just pleasantly surprised when I installed Steam on my external SSD with Boot Camp. It's a tiny bit picky, with AMD updates, and Windows SNAFUS's' but its a cheap gamer. ( Cheap if you need the Mac.)
What version of Windows are you running in BootCamp?
 

Wowmail

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2017
96
32
San Diego, California
New Beta is installed, laughably I can now edit all drive icons .. It still boot loops unless eGpu is unplugged , and plugged in after boot. It did connect immediately , and it does seem a lot more fluid. Ill do more testing.
 

hagjohn

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2006
613
473
Pennsylvania
New Beta is installed, laughably I can now edit all drive icons .. It still boot loops unless eGpu is unplugged , and plugged in after boot. It did connect immediately , and it does seem a lot more fluid. Ill do more testing.
The new beta on my Mini will give me the white screen when only the eGPU is plugged in but if I have both the Displayport (eGPU) and the HDMI (Intel 630) cable plugged in, it will boot to the eGPU okay.
 

melvinlusk

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 11, 2019
35
4
Ponchatoula, LA
The new beta on my Mini will give me the white screen when only the eGPU is plugged in but if I have both the Displayport (eGPU) and the HDMI (Intel 630) cable plugged in, it will boot to the eGPU okay.
Well I just installed the new beta, and now my eGPU won't work at all. I've tried disconnecting it, rebooting using the internal graphics, and then reconnecting it, but no dice.
 

Wowmail

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2017
96
32
San Diego, California
What I did was unplug the Thunderbolt cable from the Mac. Plug HDMI into the Mac, boot from cold. Log In, Plug in the TB cable, wait for the "ding" then switch over to DP . Hope this helps,
 

melvinlusk

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 11, 2019
35
4
Ponchatoula, LA
So you guys are gonna love this....

On a hunch, I took the identical RX 580 that I have in my Windows machine and put it into the eGPU enclosure attached to the Mac, and it started working.

Not only that, but the it looks like the issue with the screen artifacts are gone as well. So bizarre.

I'd like to think that there's a problem with the original RX 580 that was in the enclosure, but after putting it into the Windows box, it appears to be working fine. It's also fishy that this didn't happen until I upgraded to Catalina. That's a crazy coincidence....
[doublepost=1563312205][/doublepost]Take a look at this picture I took of the Windows box that has the original RX 580 in it....

IMG_0213.jpeg


I think this nails it.....It's definitely a problem with that card, because I'm having artifacts in Windows as well (in a completely different machine, connected to internal PCIe no less).

Thanks for everyone's help, this is a fantastic forum. Now if we can just get the eGPU booting to work
 

Wowmail

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2017
96
32
San Diego, California
Before you ditch the card , try every DP port, for some reason the 580 was notorious about having 2 bad, one good port. Same with HDMI. Also try turning off fresync . This is all I can think of for now. Well my custom drive icons are back ... lol Apple news still sucks on the Mac, works like a charm on the iPad... so much fun!
 

hagjohn

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2006
613
473
Pennsylvania
Well I just installed the new beta, and now my eGPU won't work at all. I've tried disconnecting it, rebooting using the internal graphics, and then reconnecting it, but no dice.
I’m back to the white screen upon boot, this morning, but it seems it recognizes my eGPU as primary because if I switch to HDMI and then back to eGPU (displayport) on my monitor, it will show the login screen.
 

Wowmail

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2017
96
32
San Diego, California
I’m back to the white screen upon boot, this morning, but it seems it recognizes my eGPU as primary because if I switch to HDMI and then back to eGPU (displayport) on my monitor, it will show the login screen.
I will give this a try. It is a bit of a pain re arranging drive lcons and wall paper on each login. Ill see if this is repeatable and log it as a bug. We are slowly getting back to zero lol
 

melvinlusk

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 11, 2019
35
4
Ponchatoula, LA
OWC had this to say about using the integrated graphics to connect the displays even though the Mercury Helios FX chassis is still connected via Thunderbolt:

"So, in regards to where to connect the display, I would recommend connecting it to the eGPU to best maximize the capabilities of the card. If you were to mount the display to the Mini, you'd still be able to get the eGPU's ability to assist programs and allow them to use it's VRAM instead of the Mini's native GPU, you just would not get the improved resolutions the eGPU may be able to offer. "
 

Installshield

macrumors member
Good morning gentlemen ! And if I tell you that after removing Catalina and redoing a clean installation of Mojave (using a Pendrive because Catalina also damaged the Internet Recovery giving an Error Code -9000F), it is still not possible to boot the Mac Mini 2018 with only the eGPU (Akitio Node + RX 580)

It seems to me that the installation of Catalina has updated something in the BIOS of the Mac Mini and this is damaging the Mojave that before was able to initialize only with the eGPU

I say this because after Catalina the Mac Mini shows the screen with the apple logo even boot only with eGPU (something that did not before, just giving video on the logon screen)

In addition to that in the boot the coolers of Akitio Node and RX 580 go to 100%
 
Last edited:

Wowmail

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2017
96
32
San Diego, California
I do believe you are right. When I boot to Boot Camp, it starts with a freaky colored apple screen, then goes black, then a clear , good , log in screen to Windows 10.

The Mac OS patrician is different, It will show the freaky Apple, then launch all the fans , then reboot, and repeat. I have to connect the internal Intel GPU in order to boot.
 

Installshield

macrumors member
Good Morning ! After testing Catalina Beta 4 here I noticed the following changes:

- The problems with Recovery are solved, both Offline ⌘ + R and Online ⌥ + Estão + R (only in Catalina, if returning to Mojave persists the -9000F problem, but patience right after all sooner or later we will all migrate to Catalina )

- The issue with the Startup Security Utility has also been resolved and individual protections can be enabled and disabled as needed.

- Now when using eGPU, it is still not possible to boot the system with the external video card just as it was in Mojave before testing this Beta, I found two situations ... (looking at Mac mini 2018 from behind)

If you connect the Thunderbolt 3 cable to one of the two ports on the right, the Apple logo screen with a loading bar appears below, but the screen remains static (the loading bar does not fill) and the monitor loses the signal. video.

2 And if I connect the Thunderbolt 3 cable to one of the two ports on the left, the Apple logo screen appears (without the loading bar below), but the screen remains static and the monitor loses the video signal.

After losing the video signal to work I have to take out the Thunderbolt 3 cable and plug it back in, then the login screen appears, no need to have an HDMI cable connected directly to the MAC. The fact that the Apple logo screen now appears when booting using eGPU is a sign that they are working on it (hopefully)
 

Wowmail

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2017
96
32
San Diego, California
Good Morning ! After testing Catalina Beta 4 here I noticed the following changes:

- The problems with Recovery are solved, both Offline ⌘ + R and Online ⌥ + Estão + R (only in Catalina, if returning to Mojave persists the -9000F problem, but patience right after all sooner or later we will all migrate to Catalina )

- The issue with the Startup Security Utility has also been resolved and individual protections can be enabled and disabled as needed.

- Now when using eGPU, it is still not possible to boot the system with the external video card just as it was in Mojave before testing this Beta, I found two situations ... (looking at Mac mini 2018 from behind)

If you connect the Thunderbolt 3 cable to one of the two ports on the right, the Apple logo screen with a loading bar appears below, but the screen remains static (the loading bar does not fill) and the monitor loses the signal. video.

2 And if I connect the Thunderbolt 3 cable to one of the two ports on the left, the Apple logo screen appears (without the loading bar below), but the screen remains static and the monitor loses the video signal.

After losing the video signal to work I have to take out the Thunderbolt 3 cable and plug it back in, then the login screen appears, no need to have an HDMI cable connected directly to the MAC. The fact that the Apple logo screen now appears when booting using eGPU is a sign that they are working on it (hopefully)
Excellent info. You said it a lot better than I could. Fingers crossed for next build. Windows 10 , build 1903 is stable so far.