Mac Mini (2018): How's your eGPU experience?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by milbournosphere, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a

    milbournosphere

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #1
    I'm looking into replacement options for my long-in-the-tooth quad core Mac Pro 5,1.

    One option I'm considering is a Mac Mini with an eGPU setup housing an AMD card. However, one of my buddies who runs Windows at home has had a horrible experience with his thunderbolt eGPU housing due to driver issues and is trying to wave me off the idea. I was of the understanding that there was very good support for eGPU housings in Mojave, but am not sure about Bootcamp. For folks running this setup, how has your experience been, either in MacOS or over Bootcamp?

    Thanks for any feedback, it's super appreciated.
     
  2. djjclark macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #2
    I have a sonnet box with an AMD 580 in it. I have only run Mojave with it and find that it runs nearly flawlessly. My only problem is boot up where I have to make sure the power sequence is right (eGPU then mini within 3 seconds). I do have a general positioning problem as they don't stack and I am considering some kind of vertical stand for the mini.
     
  3. elfamosisimoJON macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2019
    #3
    Do you have your monitors connected to the eGPU directly, and other question, if so, can you confirm that the iGPU is disable when eGPU is connected that way?

    Thanks.
     
  4. padams35 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    #4
    Mostly positive with using MacOS. Most AMD cards are plug-and-play with TB3 macs running Mojave, including the old RX 460 in an Akitio Thunder 2 that I'm currently using while I wait for Navi.

    However there have been a few inconsistent quirks. Namely:

    a) Occasionally an application will not run faster with an eGPU. For example Guild Wars 2 seems to run the same with the RX 460 and HD 630. I don't know if some apps are hard coded for the internal or if some things really don't like the lower bandwidth for Thunderbolt.

    b) Wake-from-sleep has stability issues with maybe a 1 in 3 chance of an unexpected shutdown. I'd like to blame the T2 chip and Bridge OS but the 2015 MBA I originally used this eGPU with would also occasionally panic on wake-up.
     
  5. djjclark macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #5
    mini ->TB3 -> eGPU -> DP -> Monitor

    At times I will connect the same monitor to the mini through HDMI when I miss the booting through the eGPU and it shows a desktop quickly but tonight I can look and see if any resources are being used (i think not).
     
  6. elfamosisimoJON macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2019
    #6
    Yes please let me know, i already have a 580 Pulse and im waiting for my Sonnet 550w, i use a lot FCPX and i want to know if the igpu is disabled when the monitors are connected directly to the egpy the entire time so temps can be lower.
     
  7. djjclark macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #7
    So I ran fortnite for about 15 minutes and istat listed the cpu temp at 155 f and the rx580 at 135 f and no temp for the 630. The rx580 showed max gpu useage and 50% mem useage, the 630 showed 0 for those stats.
     
  8. jdasikainen macrumors 6502

    jdasikainen

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Location:
    Bald Knob Arkansas
    #8
    im considering this same setup tired of the headaches of hackintosh lol and dont really want to spend money on a 5,1 pro when theyr already not officially supported. thinking a I7 mini with a razer core x and a vega 56 is the direction im leaning plan to run both windows amd macOS majove
     
  9. milbournosphere thread starter macrumors 6502a

    milbournosphere

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #9
    Thanks for the MacOS feedback. I did some searching as well for Boot Camp related eGPU experiences and most of what I've found involves modifying the EFI to boot to Windows using the eGPU, or only plugging in the eGPU after a Windows boot.

    As far as I can find, eGPU setups are not officially supported when running in Boot Camp: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208544
     
  10. frou macrumors 6502

    frou

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    #10
    Maybe I have unusual standards in this respect* but noise can be an annoyance with an eGPU setup. With the Sonnet enclosure, which is apparently one of the quietest, the noise its PSU fan made at idle, I would not even consider acceptable at load.

    (* Never considered the classic cheesegrater Mac Pros to be quiet machines either)
     
  11. Synchro3, Jun 14, 2019 at 5:20 PM
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 5:25 PM

    Synchro3 macrumors 68000

    Synchro3

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #11
    Boot Camp Windows via eGPU RX 580 with installed official AMD drivers is running fine here. No plugging in after boot or modifying EFI etc.

    Only caveat is the deactivated iGPU 630 when running Windows with eGPU connected. That means the Mac Mini HDMI (or DisplayPort over USB-C) will not work. You must connect the monitor to the eGPU.
     
  12. apolloa macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    #12
    Could you not just get a mi it or with dual inputs and select the one you want to use? So switch between the EGPU input and the direct to Mac Mini input?
     

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11 June 13, 2019