How Stable are eGPU's

WrightBrain

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 30, 2009
132
165
I was thinking about buying a Mac Mini and adding an eGPU to boost the graphics. However in a few reviews, I saw they were kind of finicky and actually performed worse than an internal card. The one I saw had the i7 Mac Mini with an 16GB eGPU going against a 27" iMac 4.2 i7 with 8GB GPU and the iMac performed better.

Does anyone have any experience using an eGPU? How reliable are they? I wouldn't want to have one konk out on me in the middle of a project and then have to rely on the Mini's paltry onboard graphics.

Thanks!
 

whoisyourdaddy

Suspended
Oct 2, 2018
217
83
I wouldn't want to have one konk out on me in the middle of a project and then have to rely on the Mini's paltry onboard graphics.
That seems to be a benefit in comparison to an iMac GPU "konking" out; wouldn't you say? It's much easier and cheaper to replace a failed eGPU than an iMac internal GPU. As long as, you research the proper hardware then supported eGPUs on macOS 10.14.x are fine.
egpu.io
 

WrightBrain

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 30, 2009
132
165
That seems to be a benefit in comparison to an iMac GPU "konking" out; wouldn't you say? It's much easier and cheaper to replace a failed eGPU than an iMac internal GPU. As long as, you research the proper hardware then supported eGPUs on macOS 10.14.x are fine.
egpu.io
That's a good point. Of course a Mini could flatline and I'd still be up a creek unless I had AppleCare (which I would buy anyway).
ABBU - Always Be Backing Up

A bigger issue is it seems Adobe Photoshop will work well with an eGPU, but Illustrator will not. So I'd still benefit from a larger internal GPU.
 

whoisyourdaddy

Suspended
Oct 2, 2018
217
83
Can't attest to every single application. As far as I'm aware, if the Mac Mini on macOS 10.14.x is connected to the eGPU, and it is connected to your primary display, then all graphics rendering to the display is performed by the eGPU. Connecting the display to the Apple computer separately from the eGPU could cause graphics rendering switching to occur. Check the forums and information at the site link I posted.
 

mmomega

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2009
3,292
1,466
DFW, TX
I was thinking about buying a Mac Mini and adding an eGPU to boost the graphics. However in a few reviews, I saw they were kind of finicky and actually performed worse than an internal card. The one I saw had the i7 Mac Mini with an 16GB eGPU going against a 27" iMac 4.2 i7 with 8GB GPU and the iMac performed better.

Does anyone have any experience using an eGPU? How reliable are they? I wouldn't want to have one konk out on me in the middle of a project and then have to rely on the Mini's paltry onboard graphics.

Thanks!
I have 2 setups with eGPU's at the moment.

The new Mac mini i7 with a Sonnet BreakAway box with a Vega64 LC with a 32" 4K monitor. It has been my daily at work since the new Mac mini was released. Prior to that it was the 2013 Mac Pro with that same eGPU setup because the Vega64 was more powerful.

At home is my MacBook Pro connected to an Akitio Node with a Vega56 Strix with 2 - 4K 32" monitors. Which I have been using since I bought the MacBook because I didn't want to stomach that laptop plus a desktop system at the moment and it has not been finicky at all.

I have been in the eGPU world for almost 4 years when it was a 2015 iMac and a 980Ti and you had to do a bit of tom foolery to get it to work reliably after restarts.
Now it is fairly plug and play for me.