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

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hans-st.
(@hans-st)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Although this is an unconventional build, I wanted to see how my (spare) EVGA Geforce GTX 1050Ti harmonizes with the PowerColor Mini Pro and my old Mac Mini 2014.

Hardware:

Mac Mini 2014 Dual Core i7-4578U CPU @ 3.00GHz 16GB LPDDR3 SDRAM

1x 250GB flash drive (Catalina 10.15.4),

1x 120GB SSD (Windows 10, 1803 build 17134.1)

20200410 IMG 0491

Monitor:

Dell P2415Q 3840x2160 16:9 24” Ultra HD 4K Monitor 185dpi

eGPU:

PowerColor Mini Pro 240 FU, back fan shut off, EVGA GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB, Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter

20200410 IMG 0488
20200410 IMG 0489

 

Connections:

Mac Mini 2014 to monitor HDMI to HDMI

Mac Mini to PowerColor Mini Pro TB2-TB3 apple adapter

PowerColor Mini Pro to monitor DisplayPort- miniDisplayPort

Prerequisites:

  1. Mini Pro power off or not attached
  2. Monitor settings on HDMI

Installation steps for Windows:

  1. Install Windows 1803 with Bootcamp from MacOS 10.14.4
  2. After final installation of Windows and Bootcamp drivers, disable update function of Windows
  3. Download and safe Nvidia driver package for GTX 1050Ti on SSD
  4. Open device manager for monitoring the installation process
  5. Extract GTX 1050Ti driver package
  6. After extraction, before the installer searches for an eGPU, power on attached Mini Pro
  7. eGPU will be detected and driver will be installed
  8. When done (take your time), power off Mini Pro
  9. Shut down Windows/Mac Mini 2014
  10. Power on Mac Mini 2014, Mini Pro is still off and monitor set still on HDMI
  11. After Windows finished boot up, connect (power on) Mini Pro
  12. Windows will activate GTX 1050Ti additionally to Intel Iris 5100, both graphics cards will be shown operational in the device manager
  13. Change screen settings in Windows set up to duplicate screen
  14. Change monitor setting to mini DisplayPort
  15. The system should work
  16. Starting procedures: Start the Mac Mini 2014 on HDMI mode, Mini Pro off!

  After final boot up of Windows and lock in, power on Mini Pro. Only hot plug in!

 

Benchmarks:

20200410 Heaven win Iris
20200410 Heaven Win GTX1050ti
20200410 Valley Win Iris
20200410 Valley Win GTX1050ti

 

Comments:

Updating Windows to 1903 and 1909 is not affecting the function of the eGPU, it still works flawlessly.

However, my favorite games, Civilization 5 and Battle Worlds are not working anymore with these updates. 

Consequently I downgraded the system again to Windows 1803 - and it works.

The interesting thing is, that the games are working under Windows 1909 and the described build, attached to my Mac Mini 2018.

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]  


itsage and nando4 liked
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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@hans-st, Thank you for sharing this fun build. Does your 2014 Mac mini has Fusion drive? If not you may still be able to get a flex adapter for PCIe SSD connection. That would allow for M.2 eGPU adapter which is a better performing connection. 

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX 5600 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (VisionTek mini eGFX) + macOS 11 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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hans-st.
(@hans-st)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@itsage

Thank you for your suggestion, it sounds interesting. 

However, I am using already a PCIe adapter in my Mac Mini 2014. Some years ago I added to the original 1 TB HDD a 250 GB flash drive via an I fix-it PCIe adapter and created a fusion-drive. Later I replaced the HDD with a 120 GB SSD.

Bildschirmfoto 2020 04 22 um 09.29.43

By the way, I set back the PowerColor Mini Pro to it's original set-up with the Radeon RX 570. It works under MacOS perfect with both Mac Mini's and very reliable under Windows 10 with the Mac Mini 2018. The only challenge is Windows 10 (1803, 1903, 1909) with the Mac Mini 2014. But this is for me not a need, only a challenge on which I tinker around from time to time - I have to admit, so far without success.

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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