New Mac mini. Bootcamp, eGPU, Thunderbolt Ports, Oh My!

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Spankey, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Spankey macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Well that was a bit daunting. Ok, frustrating but in the end, doable. Might be worth sharing some experiences.

    Setting up Bootcamp
    • Windows setup would not restart and complete the installation with anything plugged into Thunderbolt Ports. Took everything out and used keyboard and mouse wired into USB ports. Used HDMI to monitor instead of TB3. Voila!
    • Magic Keyboard and Trackpad not detected by Windows until plugged in with lightning cable.
    eGPU - TB ports work a lot like MBP.
    • Boot to on board graphics. HDMI in. Bootcamp must be default Startup Disk
    • Plug TB3 cable connected to eGPU with displayport to monitor and Windows will detect. (Furthest right port when facing Mini)
    • Download and install latest drivers from bootcamp drivers.com and run setup.
    • With nothing else plugged into TB3 ports you should be able to boot.
    • Using adjacent TB3 port will crash Windows. Try your luck. After a few freezes I went from left to right plugging in TB devices. Have still not used TB3 port adjacent to eGPU cable.
    That is vague, but it works. Typing this in Windows now.
     
  2. Zackmd1 macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    So eGPU support is there but still pretty finicky... Thanks for the report! Mind if I ask what GPU you are using?
     
  3. Spankey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    RX Vega 56
     
  4. StellarVixen, Nov 7, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018

    StellarVixen macrumors 68000

    StellarVixen

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    #4
    That’s probably what I will use, too.

    Tell me, once you pass the initial hassle of setting it up, everything works, OK, right? Does GPU work flawlessly in Mac OS?

    I have no fear of tinkering with software. But once I make it work, I want it to work.
     
  5. Spankey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Having some issues now. Pretty much flawlessly in Mac OS. It's Windows handling the TB ports that is a bear.
     
  6. PJivan macrumors 6502

    PJivan

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    #6
    what are the performance losses comparing to an imac pro with same gpu in terms of gpu power? There is no driver from nvidia for Mac OS yet right?
     
  7. Spankey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Can’t tell ya as I don’t have an iMac Pro. Nothing for Nvidia yet as Apple hasn’t approved the drivers.

    I did do a reinstall last night as I had some issues. Reinstalled with the October Update (1809) iso of Windows. Now running pretty flawlessly. One caveat. Have to set the Bootdisk when I want to switch OS. Holding option key doesn’t seem work for me yet. Otherwise all is well.
     
  8. PJivan macrumors 6502

    PJivan

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    #8
    Not sure if you are a gamer, but if that is the case, would you post some benchmark?
     
  9. Spankey, Nov 8, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018

    Spankey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Did a quick Unigine Heaven benchmark last night. At 1440p and ultra settings FPS was mid to high 80’s. 86 FPS final average.

    I gamed comfortably on my MBP regularly. This should be a beast.
     
  10. expensivefruit macrumors newbie

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    Nov 8, 2018
    #10
    Long time lurker, first time posting now that I'm about to bite the bullet and buy my own Mac mini.

    Spankey, thank you for sharing your experience. To clarify, when you say "furthest right port when facing mini", do you mean when facing the front of the mini or the back of it where all the ports are? Secondly, did you check your thermal scores to see if you got any throttling? I've discovered that other users have been experiencing throttling issues already (up to 98 C) and this could be a dealbreaker for me as someone who looking to leave the MacBook Pro ecosystem.
     
  11. Spankey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Facing the front of the mini looking towards the back.

    Haven't checked for throttling yet. Will probably start downloading a bunch of games to external drive tonight, do the memory upgrade on the weekend and see how it goes.

    The biggest pain, so far, has been getting the drivers installed for the eGPU before Windows has time to install drivers. Could always just disable automatic updates in Windows.
     
  12. expensivefruit macrumors newbie

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    Nov 8, 2018
    #12
    Thank you for clarification, so that would be the furthest on the left if looking at it from the back. Is there a particular reason why downloading the Windows drivers before the eGPU ones is bad? I'm also leaning towards getting an AMD graphics card so I'd be curious to know how you get on.
     
  13. Spankey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    When you plug the card in Windows does recognize it. To run AMD graphics download the drivers from bootcampdrivers.com They are packaged with uninstaller to remove all Windows drivers so you can install the AMD drivers.
     
  14. monkeysixtysix_ macrumors newbie

    monkeysixtysix_

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    #14
    Hey Spankey,

    Thanks for the info. Two questions if you don't mind...

    1. What enclosure are you using?
    2. Why the need for bootcamp.com drivers? Since you are using a "regular" Vega 56 (as opposed to the modified AMD cards in the iMac, MBP, etc) couldn't you just use AMD's regular drivers?

    Thanks.
     
  15. Spankey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I wasn't able to install the AMD Drivers under Bootcamp. Only way was to use bootcampdrivers.com

    Using a Mantiz Venus.
     
  16. Spankey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I have to say that the mini is a great Windows machine right now. Absolutely loving it.
     

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15 November 7, 2018