Mac mini 2018 + eGPU = Lower Temps

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by cloudnoize, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. cloudnoize macrumors member

    cloudnoize

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    #1
    I couldn't find any technical answers to this question so I hope you folks can help.

    I have 2 monitors (Sony 49" 4k via thunderbolt and a 27" HP via HDMI) plugged into a MM 2018 i7 6 Core, 32 GB ram. I run music production software.

    When running intense and pretty large Pro Tools music sessions, the Mac's temps easily run between 80° & 98° Celsius. Yes, quite high but not throttling. I'm very concerned about the Mac's "long term" high temps and I was wondering if I got a 580 card and eGPU enclosure, would this bring the temps down on the MM and by how much? At this point I would think the internal 630 card is probably working hard, bringing the temps up. I could be wrong... A positive would be a better card would also give me better graphics results.

    Thanks.
     
  2. seble macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    #2
    I mean, I can't confirm this for definite, but I'm a Logic User, and the majority of what you're doing is stressing out your CPU, not the graphics part of it. I mean, two 4K monitors probably aren't going to help things, and so it might bring the temperatures down a little bit.

    But I don't think you'll see drastic temperature changes if you go for an eGPU. I could be wrong though, and maybe ProTools also takes advantage of eGPUs.
     
  3. Synchro3 macrumors 68000

    Synchro3

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #3
    Yes, if a monitor is connected via eGPU, and no monitor connected to the Mac Mini, the iGPU is not used and CPU temps are significantly lower.
     
  4. cloudnoize thread starter macrumors member

    cloudnoize

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    #4
    Actually, I'm running one 4k monitor and the HP is a 1080p. I believe PT does take advantage of eGPU's and according to the Pro Tools forum, there seems to be much success. Thx.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 19, 2019 ---
    This is encouraging news. I like that! :) I know it's difficult to say but can you elaborate on what you mean by, significantly lower? I see you're running the same MM and I'm interested in the same eGPU card. Is everything running smoothly? Thx.
     
  5. Jorbanead macrumors regular

    Jorbanead

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2018
    #5
    Those temps shouldn't be anything to worry about. If your CPU is not throttling, you're fine. It's true Apple likes to run their CPU's hot, but it's pretty rare for a CPU to die from excessive heat. The CPU will throttle itself way before any harm, and in extreme cases, it'll shut itself off. Intel CPU's can easily last 10-15 years, and unless you're using your mini 24/7 at max loads, you shouldn't have to worry. Your SSD is more likely to fail.

    That being said, I totally get the peace of mind in having lower temps, and if you're using two monitors at higher resolutions, it may not be a bad idea anyways.
     
  6. cloudnoize thread starter macrumors member

    cloudnoize

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    #6
    Thanks for the info. I'm prolly in the clear as I don't use the Mini 24/7 but just knowing the temps are quite high during a 10 hour period kinda freaks me out. But as you say, Apple run their Macs hot and it should be fine.

    That said, I am running 2 monitors at high Res so I'll look into eGPU cards/enclosures.
     
  7. jinnyman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, IL
    #7
    I can confirm this. Mac Mini is definitely cooler when doing GPU intensive task , not only gaming but also very simple task like video playback.
     
  8. cloudnoize thread starter macrumors member

    cloudnoize

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    #8
    This is all very encouraging! I appreciate the feedback. Thx. So we've concluded that the mini will run cooler with an eGPU but I wonder by how much, percentage wise. Would this depend on the task or just an "overall"?
     
  9. MikeGS3 macrumors newbie

    MikeGS3

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2018
    Location:
    London, England
    #9
    Based on this, I assume the fans don’t kick up so much and are quieter more of the time?

    I’m using my MM to run Logic Pro and am finding the fans are noisier than expected, so I have been considering a eGPU.

    I’m running the i7 with a 500GB SSD and upgraded 32GB of RAM.
     
  10. seble macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    #10
    Always happy to be stood corrected and I’m glad if you have success with it! Bodes well for the longevity and flexibility of the machine :)

    Either way, I’ll be investing in an eGPU
     
  11. jinnyman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, IL
    #11
    Well theoretically, any task that put burden on iGPU is going to increase overall temperature in addition to what CPU is producing. So it depends on what task you are doing. If your task is mostly CPU intensive, then your mini is going to be hot no matter of iGPU or eGPU.

    However, mac mini with 4k display with retina setting at "looking like 2560*1440", the launchpad is stuttering, and anything above that resolution you can see your ui is laggy. This is effectively gone with eGPU so I can now use higher retina resolution without any problem with multiple monitors. I think this alone is enough for using eGPU.

    However, based on your writing, your music related tasks are mostly CPU intensive so I'm afraid whether eGPU is going to lower temperature for you or not. An inexpensive setup with basic graphic card is going to help you utilizing multiple monitors though.
     
  12. cloudnoize thread starter macrumors member

    cloudnoize

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    #12
    Thank you, jinnyman and point well taken. I'm afraid that most of what I do is probably CPU driven. For what I do, the 630 actually does the job. I've not seen any lag or anything else that I should worry about but as you said, if I want higher retina res, then a eGPU is the way to go.
     
  13. Leroy K macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2017
    #13
    I have a similar experience running Pro Tools 2018.12 on an early 2014 MacBook Air i7 8GB.

    Just opening a new session, with only one track, and a pair of plugins (Waves H-Eq and a focusrite compressor) drives my CPU up to 90C. It doesn't happen with Reaper.

    For the record, I also use an external 27" display.

    I have managed to turn it down by using the Turbo boost Switcher app, but it is just a temporal solution.

    Are you running mojave? There is a known issue with low latency settings and pro tools on it.
     
  14. cloudnoize thread starter macrumors member

    cloudnoize

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    #14
    Thanks for your input, Leroy. So the temps are pretty much up there for you too. My Pro Tools starter template consist of 30 Instrument tracks with VI's already instantiated on roughly 10 of them. Some have compressors, EQ's as well. Then I also use Vienna Ensemble Pro and that has 20 channel's and each channel consists of a VI as well. My temps pretty much hover around 90C just bringing up this template without even starting. Wish I could take this down some. I know about the low latency issue but I do all my work at 256. It's strange that you're not seeing this with Reaper.

    The Mac mini comes install with Mojave and I've had good results with it. Btw, is Turbo Boost Switcher worth trying? Why are you able to turn the temps down with it? Thx.
     
  15. Leroy K macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2017
    #15
    Unluckily at this moment Pro Tools is not supported on Mojave.

    However, I downgraded to High Sierra and the cpu temp situation is the same. Macs are known to run quite hot even when idling, but I even get CPU warnings on Pro Tools with very bare templates (one, two tracks). It is quite annoying. I mainly do voiceover (so getting no fan noise is critical) and simple film post projects and may have to switch back to reaper or another DAW.

    Check this thread at the avid forums: http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=398639

    Turbo boost switcher is an app which prevents the CPU to go into "full throttle" mode and seems to help with temps, but it is a trade off: you obviously get less CPU power.

    Try to play with the playback engine latency settings to see if it helps, also make sure you enable "dynamic plugin processing".
     
  16. cloudnoize thread starter macrumors member

    cloudnoize

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    #16
    I would agree that Macs are known to run hot and for you with voiceover work, I can understand how important this is, especially when the fan really kicks in. Funny think though. With the Mac mini 2018, even when the fans RPM reachers its peak, 4400, which only remains there for a couple seconds, you really don't hear it.

    Btw, when a PT session is up, the iStat Menus CPU frequency is at a constant 4.30 GHz. Could be 1 track or 60. Is this good, bad, or ...?

    Great read on the DUC. Thx. Let's hope the next build will help solve many of these issues.

    I'll give TBS a go and see what my results are but I'm not crazy about the trade off, lol. The PT settings are exactly as you mentioned.

    Thanks for chiming in again. Cheers!
     
  17. Leroy K macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2017
    #17
    I think there is something going on with the newer versions of Pro Tools and Macs with integrated GPUS (such as the mini) and/or external displays.

    Try to do the following: open a session, open the system stats window on Pro Tools, press play, and see the CPU usage meters.

    Then minimize the main Pro Tools window. In my case, my CPU usage drops as much as 40%-50%.

    I have opened a case with Avid.
     
  18. timidpimpin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2018
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #18
    The best thing to do is buy a eGPU from a place that accepts returns, and then see for yourself first hand how much it does or doesn't help you. If it isn't what you'd hoped for... then just return it for a refund.
     
  19. cloudnoize thread starter macrumors member

    cloudnoize

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    #19
    As far as I remember, I've not seen this issue on my end but I will try this again later in the day.

    I did try turning off Turbo Boost using Turbo Boost Switcher and I can't believe how much better everything runs. I seem to be getting less errors and the temps are at a constant 72C instead of 95. I may have lost less than 8% CPU power and my Pro Tools sessions are quite large and there seems to be very little trade off. (Big thumbs up) I'll continue with TB off and will report back in a few days. If this is my end result, I'll be very satisfied.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 23, 2019 ---
    Good advice. I do plan on giving this a try as well. Cheers.
     
  20. Hessel89 macrumors regular

    Hessel89

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2017
    Location:
    Arnhem
    #20
    That’s actually a great rationalization for getting an eGPU! Might actually use it to convince my wife! :D
     

Share This Page

19 April 19, 2019