2012 Mac Mini [3rd,4C,Q] + RX 460 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (Atto Thunderlink) + macOS 10.15....
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2012 Mac Mini [3rd,4C,Q] + RX 460 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (Atto Thunderlink) + macOS 10.15.4 [Mr.Bombastic]  


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Joined: 3 years ago

System specs

  • Mac mini (Late 2012/Server - BTO/CTO)
  • 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7-3720QM
  • 16GB Elpida RAM
  • Samsung 860 EVO SATA III 2.5inch SSD 250 GB

eGPU hardware

  • OEM HP Radeon RX 460 2GB (somehow came unlocked to 1024 shaders)
  • ATTO ThunderLink™ FC 1082 Desklink™ (as a Thunderbolt 1 enclosure)
  • Akyga Power Supply AK-ND-28 12V / 6.0A 72W 5.5 x 2.5 mm
  • Apple Thunderbolt Cable (2.0 m) - White
  • slight modifications to the ATTO case:
    - drilled new mounting holes for the PCB 20mm closer to the edge so there's actually room for GPU
    - cut 4 holes on the top and glued dust filter from the inside... as intakes for cold air - it was getting too hot inside the case

Hardware pictures

Installation steps


Not a fan of benchmarks ... and that's propably the first time I actually run one... but here you go:


Well it's definitely a plus having just 2 cables connected to the Mac mini (Thunderbolt and power cable) ... also there's now more "temperature/power room" for CPU as Intel HD4000 is completely in idle.

However there are some problems I need to solve ... e.g. Chrome not fully using the GPU (Hardware Protected Video Decode: Unavailable)

My monitors also have built-in speakers and they kinda do work over eGPU ... but the behavior is very strange. The sound has a unbearable distortion when both displays are connected.

This topic was modified 2 years ago
2012 Mac Mini [3rd,4C,Q] + RX 460 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (Atto Thunderlink) + macOS 10.15.4 [build link]  

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Joined: 4 years ago


I like your build - getting the best out of good basic devices with a lot of creativeness.

THX & Cheers

Now:    2018 Mac Mini (8th,6C,B) + RX 570 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (PowerColor Mini Pro) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 1909
Before: 2014 Mac Mini (4th,2C,U) + GTX 1050 Ti @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AKiTiO Node Lite) + Win10

2014 Mac Mini [4th,2C,U] + GTX 1050 Ti @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (PowerColor Mini Pro) + Win10 1803 [build link]  

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Joined: 2 years ago

Great guide, thank you for making this and for consolidating all the different sources of information!! One question for you however: Are you able to get this working in Bootcamp without issues? If so... do you know how?

Also, the eGPU crashed my 2012 mini Server with Catalina -- had to run purge-wrangler and reboot FIRST and then life was good!

Any tips on Bootcamp would be super duper awesome. 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.


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Joined: 3 years ago

@hans-st, thank you!

@network_noob534,  sorry for my late response ... I don't visit this forum very often

Well I had to re-run purge-wrangler after the first 10.15.4 update ... the second minor one didn't affect the script

It works under bootcamp but you have to be patient. Also the process of switching between macOS <-> Windows is not really convenient.

Once you have Windows installed and set-up (and possibly Bootcamp assistant and all updates installed) just plug in the eGPU (I don't remember if I've done that while the system was on or off ...). But the thing is you have to have a display connected in HDMI of the mini... so when the system is on and the eGPU is connected you have to run Windows update and scan for updates ... it should install graphics drivers. Then you restart the Windows (I don't remember if I've done that with display still connected directly to the mini - propably yes)... it should now start and switch to eGPU automatically since from what I've observed it's not able to run both HD 4000 and eGPU in bootcamp.
I have two displays so I just connected the second one to eGPU, rearranged those displays in display options in Windows... there were 3 displays shown as it remembered the one from mini's output .. so I just disabled that one.


2012 Mac Mini [3rd,4C,Q] + RX 460 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (Atto Thunderlink) + macOS 10.15.4 [build link]  

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Joined: 1 year ago



Thanks for the awesome guide.

I finally got around to trying it out for myself.

I've managed to pick up a faulty HP OEM HanSolo RX460 2GB, and repaired it.

Found a good deal on an Atto 1082, and machined the required alterations.



I think I may have a solution for your distorted sound issue:

I only have a single 4K HDR LG 43UJ630Y TV connected via HDMI, but was also experiencing distorted sound out of the TV's built in speakers.

Since they were working just fine from other sources, I started digging.

The distortion went away after I went into "Audio MIDI Setup" and changed the output format from 2Ch/24Bit to 2Ch/16Bit.



I'm on a Mac Mini late 2012 i5 with Catalina 10.15.7, btw.




To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.


Yukikaze and itsage liked
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Joined: 6 years ago

@mr-bombastic - I had the same issue with my 2012 Mac Mini and sound over HDMI out of my RX480. The sound over the HDMI would be all distorted out of my monitor speakers (or any speakers connected to the monitor's line out). I can confirm that the solution by @ohadlesh solves my issue as well!

Interestingly enough, setting it to any other bit depth (like 20) also solves the issue for the currently playing audio, but if you stop a song, for example, and load a new one, then it will be distorted again until you change bit depth again. Setting it to 16 solves the issue permanently.

@ohadlesh - Your solution helped me out, thanks!


Want to output 4K@60Hz out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."

2012 Mac Mini [3rd,4C,Q] + RX 480 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (Atto Thunderlink) + macOS 10.15.7 [build link]