Mac mini+eGPU, decent gaming setup?

The_Joker13

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 9, 2016
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150
Florida
I mostly game on console, but there are some games not on console I’d like to play but have zero interest in owning a windows machine. Don’t care about having the greatest and best, just something serviceable.
 

Shaddix-be

macrumors newbie
Nov 2, 2018
19
11
I'm in the same situation. There's a good video off Snazzy Labs on YouTube that covers gaming with Bootcamp + eGPU.
 

StellarVixen

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Mar 1, 2018
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Go to the egpu.io forum, and see people's experiences with the Mac Mini with eGPU.

Consensus is that is is performing pretty good, it gets better performance than laptops with eGPU, but some people find that it is running too hot. While people here say that temperatures in upper 90s are OK. Dunno...

Oh, and get the Radeon, if you want your GPU to be usable in Mac OS. I do not know why Apple and Nvidia have such bad relationship, but it looks bad, and who knows if that will ever improve.
 
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koyoot

macrumors 603
Jun 5, 2012
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HAHAHAHAHA.

ONLY on Apple forum you can read that temperature in the upper 90s Celsius is OK.

ONLY here.

Nobody in their right mind would assume something like this is correct.
 
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ilikewhey

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2014
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most games are not cpu intensive, so your not stressing your cpu much.

i game with my 15inch mbp with 4 core with mantiz venus egpu and the mbp is whisper quiet,
 

PJivan

macrumors 6502
Aug 19, 2015
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HAHAHAHAHA.

ONLY on Apple forum you can read that temperature in the upper 90s Celsius is OK.

ONLY here.

Nobody in their right mind would assume something like this is correct.
Actually Is intel who certify safe temperatures up to 100degrees after that it will cut automatically, as per intel its basically impossible to damage a modern cpu because of that, I have an old dell inspiron with an i7 3700 and stock cooler used to render maya with arnold engine, so it stay often around 98 for 3-4 day of rendering time, still works, not to mention all the macs I have.

I also never heard of damaged cpu due to temperature either mac or any intel running on cheap stock cooler. Yes I know gamers believe otherwise, they can buy a led 90 dollars coolers I’m fine with that.

Xeon are rated even higher, lots of datacenter are now moving from 20-22 degrees to 28-30 degrees room temperature as it save huge ammount of money. Don’t trust me just because I worked in datacenter but have a read on intel thermal sheets.

P.S. Please don’t reply with some youtube video or blog article I will stick with intel official answer and the facts that millions of machines out there are running hot with no consequences.
 
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StellarVixen

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Mar 1, 2018
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Actually Is intel who certify safe temperatures up to 100degrees after that it will cut automatically, as per intel its basically impossible to damage a modern cpu because of that, I have an old dell inspiron with an i7 3700 and stock cooler used to render maya with arnold engine, so it stay often around 98 for 3-4 day of rendering time, still works, not to mention all the macs I have.

I also never heard of damaged cpu due to temperature either mac or any intel running on cheap stock cooler. Yes I know gamers believe otherwise, they can buy a led 90 dollars coolers I’m fine with that.

Xeon are rated even higher, lots of datacenter are now moving from 20-22 degrees to 28-30 degrees room temperature as it save huge ammount of money. Don’t trust me just because I worked in datacenter but have a read on intel thermal sheets.

P.S. Please don’t reply with some youtube video or blog article I will stick with intel official answer and the facts that millions of machines out there are running hot with no consequences.
Intel is stupid and wrong. Apple is, too.

Gamers are right. If Apple added RGB fan to Mini, it would drop temperatures to sub zero values.

Apple thinks that because Intel calls their processors Coffee Lake, that they must be hot as coffee. Wrong!
 
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WillemSleegers

macrumors member
May 2, 2016
47
6
I mostly game on console, but there are some games not on console I’d like to play but have zero interest in owning a windows machine. Don’t care about having the greatest and best, just something serviceable.
I tried the Mac mini + eGPU setup but I found it very disappointing. You're paying quite a lot for not that much performance. On top of that, the eGPUs are quite noisy.

I'm going to wait for the next iMac (and I'm even entertaining the idea of a gaming PC, despite me really not wanting a windows machine).
 
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Shaddix-be

macrumors newbie
Nov 2, 2018
19
11
I tried the Mac mini + eGPU setup but I found it very disappointing. You're paying quite a lot for not that much performance. On top of that, the eGPUs are quite noisy.

I'm going to wait for the next iMac (and I'm even entertaining the idea of a gaming PC, despite me really not wanting a windows machine).
Are you talking about performance in Mac OS or Bootcamp?
 

inmnbob

macrumors regular
Aug 6, 2014
230
82
Chicago and Twin Cities
I tried the Mac mini + eGPU setup but I found it very disappointing. You're paying quite a lot for not that much performance. On top of that, the eGPUs are quite noisy.

I'm going to wait for the next iMac (and I'm even entertaining the idea of a gaming PC, despite me really not wanting a windows machine).
i couldn't get the Blackmagic to work with the mini
 

Acronyc

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2011
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I have an eGPU with my 2012 mini and it has worked great for most of the PC games I want to play in Windows and macOS. I didn't use Bootcamp but rather run Windows off an external SSD. I don't care about getting 100 FPS in games, but for the games I am playing right now (SOMA, Dishonored 2) I get a solid 40-60FPS with high settings.

I have a 2018 mini on the way and am looking forward to testing it out with my eGPU.
 
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Machspeed007

macrumors newbie
Nov 8, 2018
16
17
Romania
I have a powerful Windows machine for gaming but I would rather have a quiet Mac+occasional egpu usage at this point.
Or maybe I'll move the PC somewhere so I can't hear it and use something like Parsec or Steam Streaming on the mac to access it.
 
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Acronyc

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2011
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Yeah, I don't game enough anymore to justify having an additional, dedicated PC for gaming. It would only get a few hours of use a week and just take up space. This is why an eGPU is perfect for my needs.
 
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crsh1976

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2011
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Mini + Apple's pricey storage upgrade + eGPU setup makes no sense at all; it's not just from a money standpoint, it's a cumbersome setup that doesn't rival a cheaper dedicated gaming box.
 

Acronyc

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2011
739
241
Mini + Apple's pricey storage upgrade + eGPU setup makes no sense at all; it's not just from a money standpoint, it's a cumbersome setup that doesn't rival a cheaper dedicated gaming box.
All valid points. But I guess it depends on what you want to do. If you want to stay all Apple and/or not have an extra PC to deal with, regardless of money, it's an option. The eGPU will be less cumbersome than having an entirely different PC with possibly additional keyboard, mouse, and monitor for that PC and external storage is cheap.

I already had a mini for years after I decided to add the eGPU into my setup. It works for me and I don't game enough to want or need another PC in my setup. The eGPU takes up less space than the PC does, is quiet, upgradeable, cheaper, and works with my mini or MBP when I need some extra GPU power on either machine.
 

LeeW

macrumors 65816
Feb 5, 2017
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Glasgow, Scotland
Mini + Apple's pricey storage upgrade + eGPU setup makes no sense at all; it's not just from a money standpoint, it's a cumbersome setup that doesn't rival a cheaper dedicated gaming box.
It really comes down to needs though, like some have already said, myself included, having to run two different systems is overkill when one will meet your needs just fine even if that means an eGPU and external storage.

That precise setup of a Mac Mini with eGPU and where needed some external storage is not cumbersome, at least no more cumbersome that having two systems.

The only real reason I have a PC these days is for some casual gaming, all of which is actually available for the most part on macOS without needing Windows. Although I appreciate other will have more demanding gaming needs that will justify a PC.

In fact for those who have a need to operate both Mac and Windows systems an eGPU may still be a better option, that way you can use one unit to power both.
 
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Machspeed007

macrumors newbie
Nov 8, 2018
16
17
Romania
Mini + Apple's pricey storage upgrade + eGPU setup makes no sense at all; it's not just from a money standpoint, it's a cumbersome setup that doesn't rival a cheaper dedicated gaming box.
External storage isn't a problem with TB3 ports.

The dedicated gaming box could be cheaper but I think I'm ready for a silent CPU box plus eGPU when needed. Upgrading the CPU in a dedicated gaming box has always meant upgrading the motherboard and memory too, at least in my experience. Having all that separate in a neat silent box seems good to me, I'll replace it anyway in a few years.
 
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LeeW

macrumors 65816
Feb 5, 2017
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ONLY on Apple forum you can read that temperature in the upper 90s Celsius is OK.

ONLY here.

Nobody in their right mind would assume something like this is correct.
Over the years I have heard this all the time, that is to run your CPU at close to it's rated temp limit is bad. Now perhaps there is some truth in it, however, that said I can attest to doing exactly that on several devices for very long periods of time with no ill-effect. And many have done the same with no adverse results.

Not saying there are no long term effects but I will go with the lack of any real information of CPU's failing in numbers due to being run at high temps over the constant claims from people that say it's bad.
 

crsh1976

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2011
971
698
External storage isn't a problem with TB3 ports.

The dedicated gaming box could be cheaper but I think I'm ready for a silent CPU box plus eGPU when needed. Upgrading the CPU in a dedicated gaming box has always meant upgrading the motherboard and memory too, at least in my experience. Having all that separate in a neat silent box seems good to me, I'll replace it anyway in a few years.
I don't get the reasoning then, the central unit, an eGPU breakout box and external storage drives.. we've saved what in terms of space here, lots of smaller parts are more practical than a single bigger case that contains them all.

Yes it definitely comes down to personal preference, being able to use OSX when you need it or want to is an advantage that a gaming PC doesn't offer (unless you go the hackintosh way, which is an entirely different debate).
 

Shaddix-be

macrumors newbie
Nov 2, 2018
19
11
Mini + Apple's pricey storage upgrade + eGPU setup makes no sense at all; it's not just from a money standpoint, it's a cumbersome setup that doesn't rival a cheaper dedicated gaming box.
What's not sensible from a money standpoint?
Mac Mini + eGPU = buy an eGPU case and GPU.
Mac Mini + eGPU = buy a PC containing a GPU, processor, power suply, memory, motherboard, ...
I don't see how the Mac Mini + eGPU solution is more expensive? A separate PC costs more than an eGPU case.
 

zandorf

macrumors member
Oct 24, 2013
39
44
My plan is to eventually share an eGPU with my Mac Mini and a real (TBD) PC. Swapping TB cable should be easier than rebooting into BootCamp... (I need both types of computer).
 

StellarVixen

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2018
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Mini + Apple's pricey storage upgrade + eGPU setup makes no sense at all; it's not just from a money standpoint, it's a cumbersome setup that doesn't rival a cheaper dedicated gaming box.
Having separate PC just for gaming doesn’t even make more sense.

For us that want a Mac and want to game, other then trying to build Hackintosh, eGPU is the cheapest option.
 

QuietGamer

macrumors member
Nov 23, 2014
75
21
US
The first Q that needs to be assessed is what resolution monitor do you want to use in this setup. If 4 or 5 k monitor is desired its a non starter out of the gate. Current eGPU offerings (AMD) are not capable of driving those res at high graphical settings @ 60 FPS + for a satisfactory experience. 1440 or 1080p is a different story tho.

A KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) switch allows you to share those between the 2 PCs for less clutter.

If/when AMD releases a GPU capable of driving those res I will be the first in line to set up a dual boot Mini with a eGPU for a combo DD and gaming machine with no Win tower.
 
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