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2014 Mac Mini [4th,2C,U] + GTX 1070 Ti @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) +...
 

2014 Mac Mini [4th,2C,U] + GTX 1070 Ti @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + macOS 10.13.6 & Win10 [omardesu]  

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omardesu
(@omardesu)
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Joined: 10 months ago
 

System specs

  • 2014 Mac mini
  • Core i5-4278U, Dual Core @ 2.6GHz, Turbo Boost to 3.1GHz
  • 16GB LPDDR3 SDRAM
  • 1TB SATA HDD

 

eGPU hardware

xgstationpro 1070ti off
xgstationpro 1070ti on

 

Installation steps - OS X 10.13.6
(This was a few days ago, and I'm going off of memory.  I'll probably do a clean install again ensure accuracy).

  1. Shutdown
  2. Hold Cmd+R 
  3. Utilities -> Terminal -> csrutil disable
  4. Reboot
  5. Install and run purge-wrangler (choose option 2: NVIDIA eGPUs and also install web drivers)
  6. Install CUDA drivers from Nvidia
  7. Reboot and good you should be to go.

I can keep my eGPU plugged in through reboots into 10.13.6 (even in 10.14.3) and the system recognizes it.

 

Installation steps - OS X 10.14.3
(You can get the eGPU and GPU to show up, but it doesn't work sadly)

  1. It's the same as above for 10.13.6 except for step 6 as there are no CUDA drivers for Mojave.

Some of my observations:

  • The eGPU will be recognized and the 1070 Ti will be recognized; however, there is NO EGPU FUNCTIONALITY FOR MOJAVE w/nVIDIA CARDS.
  • It's funny that iStat Menus actually show it saying it's using the nVidia card, but it actually isn't.
  • Also, when I plug the HDMI cable into the eGPU, it just ends up being a black screen; however, the display is recognized but without any video output (will attach some screenshots when I go boot back into Mojave).


Installation steps - Windows 10 (bootcamp) build 1803
(this is an excerpt from OliverB's build as it's the only way it works for me.  Thanks OliverB, your insight has been helpful the last few days)


1) Boot without eGPU Plugged in (It's actually not possible boot with it plugged)
2) Press ALT for the Bootloader
3) Select Windows and wait for the dots appear cycling "plug-ready"
4 When the first reach the upper part of the cycle, plug in the eGPU (This is the only difficult thing here, this is a matter of timing).
5) After Windwos is loaded check for "Display Adapter"s under "Device Manager", if there is a Microsoft Basic Device Adapter (Error 31).
6) If it is not there or something else went wrong (BlueScreen, Didn't Boot at all, etc..) Repeat from 1)
7) Install latest nVidia Driver
8) Hot plug n play the eGPU as you wish.

It works very well, but when you reboot/start the system you have always to hotplug the eGPU at the beginning (Step 4). Once the system is running, you can hotplug and hot-unplug again and again. This solution is best, if you work mostly with Windows. Ok can let it running.


Benchmarks

MacOS Heaven and Valley (OpenGL)

win10 1070ti heaven dx11
10.13.6 1070ti valley opengl

Win10 Heaven and Valley (OpenGL)

win10 1070ti heaven opengl
win10 1070ti valley opengl

Win10 Heaven. and Valley (DirectX11, for comparison with OpenGL)

win10 1070ti heaven dx11
win10 1070ti valley dx11

Win10 AIDA64 GPGPU

win10 1070ti gpgpu

Comments

  • Not too bad of setup.  The hotplug for Win10 at boot is kind of a bummer, but I can live with it.
  • Also couldn't get ASUS AURA RGB software working.  Every time I start the SW, it just says "non-AURA" and won't let me get into the application.
  • Fortnite has been much more playable and has a slight edge over the Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 which I will be returning soon (it's a nice unit which is fully compatible in Mojave with a nice form factor, but I like the expandability of the XG Station Pro and if I really need to be on Mojave, I could always swap in an AMD card).
This topic was modified 7 months ago

1070 Ti: 2014 Mac mini / 2016 MBP 15"
Mini ITX Build in Dan A4 Case


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

The Apple Thunderbolt 3/USB-C to Thunderbolt adapter only provides Thunderbolt passthrough in Windows. Therefore ASUS AURA RGB doesn’t work because it relies on USB data. It would work through a native Thunderbolt 3 connection.

This post was modified 8 months ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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omardesu
(@omardesu)
Trusted Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 
Posted by: itsage

The Apple Thunderbolt 3/USB-C to Thunderbolt adapter only provides Thunderbolt passthrough in Windows. Therefore ASUS AURA RGB doesn't work because it relies on USB data. It would work through a native Thunderbolt 3 connection.

Thanks @itsage.  That makes sense.  So when I get my 2016 15" MBP back from Apple (repair), I'll be able to control it (seems inline with all the things I have read on here).

This post was modified 8 months ago

1070 Ti: 2014 Mac mini / 2016 MBP 15"
Mini ITX Build in Dan A4 Case


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itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Yes, you can set the RGB light strip with the 2016 15″ MacBook Pro in Windows then it will stay that way even when you switch to using the XG Station Pro with 2014 Mac mini.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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omardesu
(@omardesu)
Trusted Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

Adding some screenshots from what I observed in Mojave 10.14.3.
(I actually had to record the screen to see what was going on because the screen will go black when I connect the display to the eGPU)

With the display CONNECTED to Mac mini:
1070 Ti is recognized no problem and the display is running off of integrated graphics

10.14.3 iris info
10.14.3 iris system info
10.14.3 iris display connected


With the display
DISCONNECTED:
Surprisingly, the without anything attached to the Mac mini, it's choosing the 1070 Ti

10.14.3 1070ti display disconnected


With the display CONNECTED to the eGPU:
The display is detected from eGPU, and the display is getting a signal from 1070 Ti but no video is output (black screen)

10.14.3 1070ti display connected

This post was modified 8 months ago

1070 Ti: 2014 Mac mini / 2016 MBP 15"
Mini ITX Build in Dan A4 Case


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omardesu
(@omardesu)
Trusted Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

@OliverB I actually have issues hot plugging after the eGPU has been working in Windows.  I use the nVidia app to disconnect the GPU.  When I disconnect the TB2 cable, Windows makes that device removed sound.  But when I try to plug it back in, Windows won't recognize it.

Any ideas?  How do you do your hot plugs?

1070 Ti: 2014 Mac mini / 2016 MBP 15"
Mini ITX Build in Dan A4 Case


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
Noble Member
Joined: 11 months ago
 
Posted by: omardesu

@OliverB I actually have issues hot plugging after the eGPU has been working in Windows.  I use the nVidia app to disconnect the GPU.  When I disconnect the TB2 cable, Windows makes that device removed sound.  But when I try to plug it back in, Windows won't recognize it.

Any ideas?  How do you do your hot plugs?

Unfortunately under Windows only the first hot-plug works with certainty.

I usually don't have problems with reconnecting the eGPU itself, but I cannot use the USB-C Port after disconnecting once. This is an annoyance. Sometimes the reconnect of the eGPU doesn't work and once it didn't work, it never will again until reboot.

Under MacOSX it's much safer- This is for AMD cards, because with nVidia eGPUs you cannot disconnect at all.  This not ideal either.

This post was modified 8 months ago

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


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