Mac Mini 2018 + eGPU + Vega 64 + World Warcraft Feedback

Jenzbullets

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 4, 2018
15
9
My Mac Mini i7, 16Gb, 512gb is arriving Monday alongside a sapphire pulse vega 56 and a Razer Core X. The vega 56 was only £280 so I figured better price/performance to the £400 Vega 64. I’ll wait for Radeon 7 to come down or Navi if I need more.

Am currently struggling to decide which UltraWide monitor to go with eGPU.
 

seble

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2010
934
116
My Mac Mini i7, 16Gb, 512gb is arriving Monday alongside a sapphire pulse vega 56 and a Razer Core X. The vega 56 was only £280 so I figured better price/performance to the £400 Vega 64. I’ll wait for Radeon 7 to come down or Navi if I need more.

Am currently struggling to decide which UltraWide monitor to go with eGPU.
Where did you find such a steal for the Vega 56 in the UK?
 

Jenzbullets

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 4, 2018
15
9
So just an update.

I am successfully running WoW BFA on my 2018 Mac Mini (i7,16Gb, 512GB SSD) on settings 10, 2540x1440 and getting 60-100 FPS via my Razer Core X and Sapphire Pulse Vega 56. Razer Core gets a little loud 3 feet away from me but headphones cover it.

Am very pleased.
 

iToph

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2014
314
239
Seems like I’m doing something wrong. I have the baseline MBP 2018 15” and the razer core X + ASUS ROG Vega 64 since a couple of hours. I have my 4k 32” Samsung curved connected via DP I case this matters. Graphics set to recommended 5 (which is a bit low in my eyes) i get about 40-55 FPS in boralus.

Any ideas?
 
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Jenzbullets

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 4, 2018
15
9
What do you get in areas away from Boralus? That's a heavily CPU bound location.

Also are you running at 4k? My numbers are based on running 3440x1440 Ultrawide not 4k.
 
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obiit

macrumors newbie
Jan 26, 2019
12
9
Have you tried knocking the scaling down iToph? I just tried it at my native resolution of 2k and then scaled up to 4k and i lost 10fps. I am running a RX 580 in my cheese grater so yours should be better.
 
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iToph

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2014
314
239
What do you get in areas away from Boralus? That's a heavily CPU bound location.

Also are you running at 4k? My numbers are based on running 3440x1440 Ultrawide not 4k.
Outside boralus I hit steady 60fps (vsync on), raid or m+ can drop down fps in the mid 40s.

First thing I thought is, that the cpu is bottlenecking - but that’s not the case. It runs at 60-80% on 4 cores. The VEGA runs most of the time at 100%

Have you tried knocking the scaling down iToph? I just tried it at my native resolution of 2k and then scaled up to 4k and i lost 10fps. I am running a RX 580 in my cheese grater so yours should be better.
Turning down the scale has very little effect on my FPS. I tried to scale 1080p (looks awful on a 32” 4k) and got around 5 fps more average.
 

adamk77

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2008
515
151
Outside boralus I hit steady 60fps (vsync on), raid or m+ can drop down fps in the mid 40s.

First thing I thought is, that the cpu is bottlenecking - but that’s not the case. It runs at 60-80% on 4 cores. The VEGA runs most of the time at 100%



Turning down the scale has very little effect on my FPS. I tried to scale 1080p (looks awful on a 32” 4k) and got around 5 fps more average.
Frame rates with eGPUs are an interesting beast. You can be CPU bound, GPU bound, or bandwidth bound by Thunderbolt 3.

And even if your CPU isn't being utilized 100%, that doesn't necessarily mean that you're not CPU bound due to it being thermal throttled (my Mac Mini's CPU runs @ 90 C and above when gaming) or the game being poorly optimized for multi-core processors.

I play Rise of Tomb Raider and Division 2 in 2K resolution at near 60 FPS. I can play GTA V in 4K resolution at 60 FPS. But it doesn't matter what I do in Monster Hunter World, I cannot get consistent 60 FPS. I've even gone so far as to reduce the resolution to 640x480, but it doesn't have ANY effect on my frame rate. Those who play on a less powerful system than me with an internal PCIe GPU obtain consistent 60FPS in this game.

I asked a very similar question on eGPU.io and received a very thorough response. You may want to check it out here. It's the post near the end of the thread by a member named P-Mac.

https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/pcie-slot-dgpu-vs-thunderbolt-3-egpu-internal-display-test/paged/3/

He writes, "Display resolution (aka rendering resolution, for games with built-in scaling) is independent of texture resolution". I think that this is what's going on in my case with Monster Hunter World.

In addition to all that money, it's yet another price we pay for this compromise.
 
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obiit

macrumors newbie
Jan 26, 2019
12
9
@adamk77 Thanks for that link - very interesting reading. Think i will be sticking with my cheese grater for a while :)
 

avxkim

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2017
110
16
Kazakhstan
Frame rates with eGPUs are an interesting beast. You can be CPU bound, GPU bound, or bandwidth bound by Thunderbolt 3.

And even if your CPU isn't being utilized 100%, that doesn't necessarily mean that you're not CPU bound due to it being thermal throttled (my Mac Mini's CPU runs @ 90 C and above when gaming) or the game being poorly optimized for multi-core processors.

I play Rise of Tomb Raider and Division 2 in 2K resolution at near 60 FPS. I can play GTA V in 4K resolution at 60 FPS. But it doesn't matter what I do in Monster Hunter World, I cannot get consistent 60 FPS. I've even gone so far as to reduce the resolution to 640x480, but it doesn't have ANY effect on my frame rate. Those who play on a less powerful system than me with an internal PCIe GPU obtain consistent 60FPS in this game.

I asked a very similar question on eGPU.io and received a very thorough response. You may want to check it out here. It's the post near the end of the thread by a member named P-Mac.

https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/pcie-slot-dgpu-vs-thunderbolt-3-egpu-internal-display-test/paged/3/

He writes, "Display resolution (aka rendering resolution, for games with built-in scaling) is independent of texture resolution". I think that this is what's going on in my case with Monster Hunter World.

In addition to all that money, it's yet another price we pay for this compromise.
Sorry for the offtop, @adamk77 i just found, that you're using Sonnet 350w with Vega 56? How's that possible?
[doublepost=1556709330][/doublepost]
Outside boralus I hit steady 60fps (vsync on), raid or m+ can drop down fps in the mid 40s.

First thing I thought is, that the cpu is bottlenecking - but that’s not the case. It runs at 60-80% on 4 cores. The VEGA runs most of the time at 100%



Turning down the scale has very little effect on my FPS. I tried to scale 1080p (looks awful on a 32” 4k) and got around 5 fps more average.
Is yours 15" with 4 cores or 6? I guess mobile CPU not handling it.
 

adamk77

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2008
515
151

avxkim

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2017
110
16
Kazakhstan
The Sapphire Vega 56 that I have is rated at only 180W. The Sonnet 350W can support up to 300W. I just had to buy a cheap 6-pin to 8-pin adapter for the PCIe power connector.

You can check out the thread below for all the gory details:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/build-guide-2018-mac-mini-and-egpu.2177481/
Thanks, but you mention about PSU upgrade, if vega 56 works, then why did you upgrade? Ok, i read further, you thought it's PSU, but in fact 300w is enough, right? We also can undervolt vega 56. Maybe vega 64 could work with 300w psu with undervolt?

Also regards 6 to 8 pin adapter, would this one work: https://aliexpress.com/item/New-Arrival-PCI-Express-PCI-E-Black-Red-6-Pin-to-8-Pin-Graphic-Card-Power/32812053149.html?spm=a2g0v.10010108.1000016.1.290ac8c7C6WBwR&isOrigTitle=true ?
 
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adamk77

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2008
515
151
Thanks, but you mention about PSU upgrade, if vega 56 works, then why did you upgrade? Ok, i read further, you thought it's PSU, but in fact 300w is enough, right? We also can undervolt vega 56. Maybe vega 64 could work with 300w psu with undervolt?

Also regards 6 to 8 pin adapter, would this one work: https://aliexpress.com/item/New-Arrival-PCI-Express-PCI-E-Black-Red-6-Pin-to-8-Pin-Graphic-Card-Power/32812053149.html?spm=a2g0v.10010108.1000016.1.290ac8c7C6WBwR&isOrigTitle=true ?
Yup, that adapter will work. Right. 300W is enough for Vega 56.

Well, for an undervolted Vega 64 -- I don't own one and I haven't done the research so I don't know. I'm inclined to say that you should upgrade the PSU.
 

avxkim

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2017
110
16
Kazakhstan
Yup, that adapter will work. Right. 300W is enough for Vega 56.

Well, for an undervolted Vega 64 -- I don't own one and I haven't done the research so I don't know. I'm inclined to say that you should upgrade the PSU.
Your 650W PSU is a directly fitted in 350 box? Do you turn off your box nightly?
 

adamk77

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2008
515
151
Your 650W PSU is a directly fitted in 350 box? Do you turn off your box nightly?
Yeah, the 650W PSU is inside the 350 box. See https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/build-guide-2018-mac-mini-and-egpu.2177481/page-2#post-27290690 for details.

No, I don't turn it off. The eGPU goes into low power mode when the computer goes to sleep. Meaning, the blue light on the front goes off, none of the fans spin, etc. I believe the eGPU still draws power for the "power delivery" function.

Reply to me directly in the thread above if you have more questions. I don't want to hijack this thread.
 
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djgamble

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2006
792
269
I'm also considering an eGPU to play WOW, D3, HL2, etc. I was thinking about the RX 580 or RX 590 with the Razer Core X eGPU enclosure. I would get the Vega 56 but it's a little out of my budget at the moment.
Old thread but I just chose a second hand Vega 64 over an RX 580. My reasoning was that I'd already dropped twice the cost of an RX 580 on my Razer Core X, so might as well go the full monty.

I'm aware that the bandwidth issues relating to eGPUs kick in a lot more with a Vega 64 (so it's not necessarily THAT much faster than the RX 580). However, that's a decision I decided I'm comfortable with.

Total cost was about $850 Australian dollars ($580 USD? AUD's currently super low). This was in the context of the total build cost (including a factory refurbished Mini, 16GB RAM pulled from a Mini sourced second hand, 2nd hand 24" 144Hz freesync monitor, keyboard and mouse) being between that of a stock 21.5" iMac and a stock 27" iMac. On paper I got a 256GB SSD (standard in Minis but not iMacs), double the RAM, a better (upgradable) GPU, a more adjustable monitor (that's not 'too big' or 'too small' for me) and frankly, a more comfortable keyboard/mouse combo. I'm happy with the price and decision, noting that the build process enabled me to source cheaper parts (I don't need a 4K/5K monitor and doubt I'd play games at 5K res with a stock GPU on an iMac anyway).
 

Loa

macrumors 68000
May 5, 2003
1,596
45
Québec
Quick question: how does wow perform using the included 630 GPU on a 2018 Mac mini?