2012 Mac Mini + [email protected] (Blackmagic TB3 eGPU via TB3 to TB2 adapter) + MacOS 10.14 [DavidMini]  

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DavidMini
(@davidmini)
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Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 3
November 3, 2018 10:35 pm  

System specs
Mac Mini Late-2012 2.3GHz Core i7 4-core
16GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM
internal RAID0 SSD 2x 1TB + external 2x8TB RAID1 Lacie 2big Thunderbolt
Intel HD4000 iGPU
Mac OS Mojave 10.14

 eGPU hardware 
AMD RX580 Blackmagic eGPU
daisy chained with Lacie 2big Thunderbolt 
TB1 port from Mini connected to Lacie thru 0.5m Apple TB cable
second TB1 port on 2big Lacie connected to Apple TB2-TB3 adaptor thru Apple 2m TB cable
TB2-TB3 adaptor connected to Blackmagic eGPU

Monitors
Primary 2560x1440 monitor on Blackmagic HDMI port
Secondary Full-HD monitor on Mini embedded HDMI port 

Installation steps
1. Reboot into MacOS Recovery (hold Command+R on boot)
2. Disable system integrity protection (csrutil disable)
3. Reboot
4. Install purge-wrangeler (based on  https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/script-enable-egpu-on-tb1-2-macs-on-macos-10-13-4/ tutorial) 
5. Patch system with Purge-wrangler and "Enable AMD eGPUs"
6. Shut down
7. Install eGPU on secondary port of my Lacie, connect monitors
8. Boot & Login
9. eGPU works, no issues at all

Comments

Works as expected, FinalCutPro 10.4.3, Motion and Compressor works like a charm, Lightroom, Affinity Designer/Photo utilize eGPU also perfectly. Tried few games, no issues when playing. HW acceleration works even in VLC or KODI.

I know, it's expensive, non-upgradable eGPU, but it works, it's very quiet and at the end I'm very happy with this unit. Many thanks to purge-wrangler team! 

Benchmarks
Cinebench R15 OpenGL = 54.38 fps

Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0
FPS: 45.9
Score: 1921
Min FPS: 22.9
Max FPS: 81.4

Platform:
Darwin 18.0.0 x86_64
CPU model: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3615QM CPU @ 2.30GHz (2294MHz) x8
GPU model: Intel HD Graphics 4000/Radeon Pro 580 (256MB) x1

Render: OpenGL
Mode:  2560x1440 fullscreen
Preset Custom, Quality Low

Luxmark v3.1 benchmark, scene luxball

Internal Intel HD Graphics 4000: 1061 pts
AMD Radeon RX 580: 13.007 pts

Geekbench v4.3.0 benchmark, OpenCL API

Internal Intel HD Graphics 4000: 6.353 pts
AMD Radeon RX 580: 92.186 pts

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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JSidewell
(@jsidewell)
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Joined: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 2
November 16, 2018 3:47 pm  

Many thanks for such a clear write up, I'm intending doing similar with my mac mini 2012, albeit with a Razer Core X enclosure and Sapphire Pulse RX580.

I use FCPx as well, and was particularly interested in your experiences with that - thanks again

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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blackswan
(@blackswan)
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Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 1
November 18, 2018 4:49 pm  

Thanks for summary, DavidMini.  

I am considering something exactly similar to you, but wonder if I it will get me to a wide resolution of 3440 x 1440.  That's my current problem with my 2012 Mac Mini.

Thanks.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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foliage
(@foliage)
Active Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 5
November 23, 2018 1:51 pm  

@Davidmini Fantastic news for your project.

I wonder is there a way to see if the Blackmagic eGPU that you are using with a TB1/2 device would be able to output to a Thunderbolt 3 monitor such as the LG Ultrafine 5K?

This would open up this monitor to everyone using a pre-Thunderbolt 3 mac, which would be great news. I am currently using a late 2013 15' MBP.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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DavidMini
(@davidmini)
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Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 3
November 28, 2018 11:29 pm  

I've nothing with higher resolution than 2560x1440 at home, but there is no reason to get it not working 4K or even 5K when the monitor will be connected thru HDMI or TB3 output on Blackmagic eGPU. Maximum resolution is limitation of GPU and it's maximum memory throughput + maximum scanning frequency. I use 4K for my MacBook Pro late 2013 in my office, which is normally above it's specification because of limited bandwidth of integrated GPU, therefore I used SwitchResX  ( http://www.madrau.com) for getting 4K in 53Hz frame rate which is exactly top of the TB1/DP output of the Macbook. But if the "generator" will be your eGPU I do not expect any troubles. Of course - in theory 🙂

Additional information - limits of the TB1 are not affecting FCPX or any other GPU calculation based app, but some games are not working as expected with this configuration, for example DiRT rally runs 30-40 fps on high settings only. But it's still 20x more than with integrated GPU.

There is also one amazing effect of eGPU with Mac mini - users know the situation when Mini increases rpm of the fan due to high CPU usage. It can be very load. After adding eGPU I'm not facing overheating of my Mini. Reason? My eGPU handles also video decoding or browser rendering and everything runs much smoother. I enjoy my Mini now and recommend eGPU as perfect upgrade of your Mini.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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DavidMini
(@davidmini)
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Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 3
November 28, 2018 11:43 pm  

Check LongEz post:  https://egpu.io/forums/builds/macmini-late2012-rx-58010gbps-tb2/

He uses 4K monitor with 2012 Mini + eGPU, so it works.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


foliage liked
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