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2012 Mac Mini [3rd,4C,Q] + RP 580 @ 10Gbps-TB1>TB3 (Blackmagic eGPU) + macOS 10...
 

2012 Mac Mini [3rd,4C,Q] + RP 580 @ 10Gbps-TB1>TB3 (Blackmagic eGPU) + macOS 10.14 [DavidMini]  

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DavidMini
(@davidmini)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

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

Running on: Mac Mini Late-2012 2.3GHz Core i7 4-core, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3, 2x 1TB SSD, AMD RX580 Blackmagic eGPU, Moshi TB3 to DP 5K/60Hz cable + Purge Wrangler + Mojave 10.14.5 + SwitchResX + 5K Iiyama XB2779QQS


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JSidewell
(@jsidewell)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

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

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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blackswan
(@blackswan)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

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.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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foliage
(@foliage)
Active Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

@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.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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DavidMini
(@davidmini)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

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.

Running on: Mac Mini Late-2012 2.3GHz Core i7 4-core, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3, 2x 1TB SSD, AMD RX580 Blackmagic eGPU, Moshi TB3 to DP 5K/60Hz cable + Purge Wrangler + Mojave 10.14.5 + SwitchResX + 5K Iiyama XB2779QQS


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DavidMini
(@davidmini)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

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

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

Running on: Mac Mini Late-2012 2.3GHz Core i7 4-core, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3, 2x 1TB SSD, AMD RX580 Blackmagic eGPU, Moshi TB3 to DP 5K/60Hz cable + Purge Wrangler + Mojave 10.14.5 + SwitchResX + 5K Iiyama XB2779QQS


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htdohk
(@htdohk)
New Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

How can you boot from Raid-0? HFS or APFS? You sure you are on Mojave?

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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DavidMini
(@davidmini)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

Update 06-2019: 1440p monitor replaced with 5K. Mac Mini i7 2012 + AMD RX580 Blackmagic eGPU + Moshi TB3 to DP 5K/60Hz cable + Purge Wrangler +  Mojave 10.14.5 + SwitchResX + Iiyama XB2779QQS = happy HiDPI user. @blackswan @foliage - no issues even with 5K.

I'm limited by TB1 throughput sometimes, surprisingly not when editing videos in FCPX, but mostly during working on complex documents in MS Word 2019. Limit of TB1 is reflected in the reduction of framerate, decreasing from 60Hz to some 15-20 frames per second when scrolling fast within pages when having overview of 8/10 consequent pages. Overall only one issue sometimes appear - when I boot up, my Mini can't detect my 5K monitor - but this can be easily solved by SwitchResX profiles. Till now, no reasons for 2018 Mini upgrade.

RAID0 explanation - @htdohk was right, I was not able to boot from RAID0 APFS, internal SSD's are set to 256GB APFS (BOOT only, 1st drive) + 256GB APFS (2nd drive, used for downloads) + 768GB RAID0 APFS for home folder, applications, FCPX cache and all other stuff. BlackMagic Disk Speed Test: 930 MB/s write, 994 MB/s read (SATA limitation).

This post was modified 2 months ago

Running on: Mac Mini Late-2012 2.3GHz Core i7 4-core, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3, 2x 1TB SSD, AMD RX580 Blackmagic eGPU, Moshi TB3 to DP 5K/60Hz cable + Purge Wrangler + Mojave 10.14.5 + SwitchResX + 5K Iiyama XB2779QQS


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DavidMini
(@davidmini)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

Few pictures:

OSversion
Monitors
DiscUtility

Running on: Mac Mini Late-2012 2.3GHz Core i7 4-core, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3, 2x 1TB SSD, AMD RX580 Blackmagic eGPU, Moshi TB3 to DP 5K/60Hz cable + Purge Wrangler + Mojave 10.14.5 + SwitchResX + 5K Iiyama XB2779QQS


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