Mac mini 2018 + RX5700 XT + Razer Core X (kind of nightmare combo)
I just want to share my experience setting up my mini (i5, 8GB RAM) with Sapphire RX5700 XT Nitro+ .
First, let me clarify that I had flawlessly working setup with RX580. That was pretty easy even it took me some time as this was my first experience with eGPU and famous error12. I have installed win10 1903, disabled updates, disabled PCIe x16 in device manager;
safe mode > run DDU, boot up, turn eGPU on, error12, adrenalin drivers installed finished with an error;
boot Catalina, replaced EFI loader by apple_set_os loader v0.5 (secure boot has been disabled). shutdown, power off egpu;
power on the mini, during the EFI prompt powered the eGPU on and that's it. It worked like a charm. Even reboots, eGPU was not necessary to power on during the EFI prompt, it could be turned on prior to the mac itself.
And then the awaited RX 5700 came into the razer enclosure.. 🙁 Error12 every single time regardless I was trying to power the eGPU in different booting stages.
I was pretty depressed.. Should have buy some Nvidia instead.. I spend a hours and days trying to fix this without success. Finally I managed to get rid of Error12 but it is not that straightforward. I don't know what combination is causing this behaviour but once the 5700 is running fine I can do hot plus and there's no error12. But it always requires specific procedure to boot it up.
Well what have I done. I decided to make clean install of win 1903 and update Windows to the very latest version - windows 10 insider 20H2. Other settings like disable PCIe x16 modify EFI are the same as previously. One additional step was disabling the iGPU in device manager. Please note I have attached mini via hdmi to my monitor.
And now the procedure: power on mini, during the EFI prompt power on eGPU, once booted up, the RX5700 is reporting Error 43 (drivers problem). If there is Error 43 I know I'm good. I just turn off eGPU, turn on and all good! no error43, no error12. It seems to be working, drivers utility can see the GPU and all perf stats, etc.
BUT there is one more thing. As I have connected the monitor dorectly to mini, I need to have AMD XConnect for loopback. And I assume this is the case - and reason for Error43. XConnect is not loaded. So I tried to enable iGPU and BANG. XConnect immediately started up. And eGPU really works.
I know this is quite torture process but for now I have no other choice how to run RX5700 so far..
One more thing - the RX5700 is not getting detected by Windows every time. usisally I have to try to cold boot to Windows once or twice until it gets detected.. Reboot is not working, usually it freezes before the boot loader is started. I didn't have such problems detecting the GPU with RX580.
Would be the automate-eGPU EFI worth try to replace the apple_set_os loader v0.5 regarding the initialisation problem?
@enakki, The modified apple_set_os v0.5 is the better EFI loader for Apple T2 Macs. What I would recommend is to stay with 1903 V1 so that hot-plug of Radeon eGPU can work. That way you can simplify the process in Windows to use the eGPU. Did you run DDU prior to swapping from RX 580 to RX 5700 XT? Everytime you switch a component, it's best to redo the drivers and PCIe port association.
Thanks confirming the correct EFI loader.
@enakki I actually have the following setup:
- Mac mini 2020 with Core i7
- Sapphire NITRO+ RX 5700 XT SE
- Boot Camp running latest Windows 10 20H2 build
All is working fine without any custom EFI or other modifications! I just disabled Secure Boot (and allowed boot from external media) through Recovery.
There’s a few things to do to get it to work:
Shut down both eGPU and Mac mini. Connect HDMI directly to Mac mini. Boot Mac mini with eGPU off. Install all Windows and Boot Camp updates. Run DDU and remove all AMD drivers. Shut down Mac mini. Turn on Mac mini (HDMI still connected) and when you see the Windows boot logo, turn on the eGPU. Install latest AMD Radeon drivers. Don’t worry if you see error 12 at this time; also you can ignore the warning after driver has been installed that Windows has detected an issue. Shut down Mac mini. Disconnect onboard HDMI, connect display to eGPU. Turn on power switch of eGPU. Turn on Mac mini and wait until you see the login screen. In my case, booting macOS with the eGPU on works but only if I connect just one display to the eGPU. After login screen is shown, I can turn on the second display. Booting into Windows with both displays on works. Onboard HDMI should be left disconnected. In both macOS and Windows, the boot logo is not shown when booting with eGPU connected, but the displays come on as soon as the login screens are displayed.