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2014 Mac Mini [4th,2C,U] + RX 580 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macO...
 

2014 Mac Mini [4th,2C,U] + RX 580 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 10.14.2 & 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

 

Installation steps - OS X 10.14.2 (same as ivanosh's similar Mac mini build based on kubzero's MBP build, thanks to both!!)
Easy. Just disable SIP and run purge-wrangler script

  1. Shutdown
  2. Hold Cmd+R 
  3. Utilities -> Terminal -> csrutil disable
  4. Reboot
  5. Install and run purge-wrangler with single terminal command (here in Installation header: https://github.com/mayankk2308/purge-wrangler)
  6. and follow appeared menu.
  7. SIP can be enabled after you got working system


Installation steps - Windows 10 (bootcamp) build 1803
Didn't quite follow ivanosh's Win10 Install, but did similar steps as I was too lazy to find/download build 1511.  I had 1803 on a thumb drive already.  I wasted some time erasing my original bootcamp partition since I was reading that I would have needed to downgrade, but I ended up using the same 1803 build so that was a complete waste of a few hours.

  1. On OSX, run Boot Camp Assistant and Install Win10 (1803 can work)
  2. Complete Win10 installation
  3. Install all Boot Camp drivers after you finally get into Win10 operating system
  4. Download and install AMD Radeon GPU drivers.  Here's the link that I just used today: Radeon Software
  5. Follow goalque's procedure to create a USB stick (I wasted some time cause I kept forgetting the 'x' when renaming the .efi file to bootx64.efi.... doh!)
  6. Leave the USB stick plugged in the mini and reboot.  Hold the OPTION key once you hear the startup chime.
  7. Connect eGPU via the TB3->TB2 adapter and TB2 cable.  RX580 fan will start spinning and LED's will turn on.
  8. At the OS selection, select EFI Boot and let Windows boot up
  9. RX580 should show up in Device Manager at this point but with Error 12
  10. To get rid of the Error 12, I had Windows reallocate the Thunderbolt PCIe bridges by disabling Root port #5 in Device Manager as described in this post from nand04 (method 6)
  11. Re-Enable Root port #5 in Device manager and enable the RX580 card (if disabled for some reason)
  12. eGPU is now connected and RX580 is functional

I haven't tried to run DSDT override from nando4, but this will work for me at the moment.
Before shutting Windows down, I disable the RX580 in Device Manager.  When I start back up (from Step 6 above), I just go back into Device Manager and Enable the RX580 and it usually works.

I'm going to run a fresh install of Win10 again to check my steps for accuracy

 

Benchmarks

None yet

Comments

I'm currently playing Fortnite on my 2016 MBP 15" under Win10 bootcamp which can get me about 60fps with Epic view distance and everything else off.  I wanted to do the same thing for my stepson on the Mac mini, but with internal graphics under bootcamp, the game is barely playable with 720p resolution, 50% 3D render, and all low settings (it just looks horrible and could barely get 30fps).  But with the eGPU, I can run EPIC settings at 1080p and hit anywhere from 30-70 fps and obviously higher fps by lowering some settings.  I'm not sure if updating the eGPU firmware to maximize performance will help any, but that's something I may try after I get more comfortable.

Thanks for all those that have done the heavy lifting ahead of me.  This wasn't too bad of a setup to get my first eGPU going!  I will eventually do another build guide with this Gaming Box and my 2016 MBP which is getting fixed by Apple atm, so watch out for that.  I also have a EVGA 1070ti Blower which I'd like to try out either via the Gaming Box or another eGPU, so that may come down the line as well.

This topic 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)
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Joined: 10 months ago
 

Got some Unigine benchmarks done in OS X and Win10.
Does anybody know why there is such a big gap between them?

OS X

heaven mac
valley mac

Win10

heaven win
valley win

*edited since the pictures were out of order

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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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@omardesu Step 7 is incorrect. SIP cannot be enabled after the patch - please disable (it may work for one subsequent boot, but may not for more). This is mentioned in the Post-Install section of the script documentation.

About your Windows benches, they should have been much higher. Maybe eGPU is not used. Set GPU preferences in Windows.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
2018 MacBook Pro 15" RP560X + Vega 64 (Mantiz Venus MZ-02)


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omardesu
(@omardesu)
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Joined: 10 months ago
 

@mac_editor thanks for the input.  I actually haven't gotten around to re-enabling SIP.  As for the Win10 benchmarks, I will have to check the preferences as I actually never set anything as mentioned in the link you provided.  Gotta wait til I finish work to see if that's what's going on.

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


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
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Posted by: mac_editor

@omardesu Step 7 is incorrect. SIP cannot be enabled after the patch - please disable (it may work for one subsequent boot, but may not for more). This is mentioned in the Post-Install section of the script documentation.

About your Windows benches, they should have been much higher. Maybe eGPU is not used. Set GPU preferences in Windows.

This is unlikely as the scores looks high for the Iris 5100. And the scores for the RX580 a generally too low. Valley Extreme HD must be at least in the 1800ies.

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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omardesu
(@omardesu)
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I just ran the benchmarks again in Win10 without the eGPU attached, so it was only the integrated graphics of the Mac mini.

Heaven got 5-6 fps and Valley got 3-4 fps under the same settings as previous.

I tried checking the Graphics acceleration settings as mentioned by @mac_editor, but it seems like it doesn’t make any difference.

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


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Usually the same benchmark on Windows is 20+ FPS better vs. on macOS. Not sure what's up. Try monitoring the GPU clocks using GPU-Z and see what's going on in Windows during the benchmarks. I assume the setup is as follows: Mac -> eGPU -> Display and not eGPU -> Mac <- Display.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
2018 MacBook Pro 15" RP560X + Vega 64 (Mantiz Venus MZ-02)


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OliverB
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Posted by: mac_editor

Usually the same benchmark on Windows is 20+ FPS better vs. on macOS. Not sure what's up. Try monitoring the GPU clocks using GPU-Z and see what's going on in Windows during the benchmarks. I assume the setup is as follows: Mac -> eGPU -> Display and not eGPU -> Mac <- Display.

The main reason for the difference is that DirectX11 is better optimized than OpenGL. Anyway those Windows benchmarks are strange, way too low for RX580 and way too high fir Iris5100. 
@omardesu do you have some other benchmarks than Unigine?

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


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mac_editor
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@oliverb the OpenGL benchmark is also 15-20+ FPS better on Windows vs. macOS for AMD GPUs. DirectX11 is better.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
2018 MacBook Pro 15" RP560X + Vega 64 (Mantiz Venus MZ-02)


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OliverB
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Posted by: mac_editor

@oliverb the OpenGL benchmark is also 15-20+ FPS better on Windows vs. macOS for AMD GPUs. DirectX11 is better.

This is not always correct: If you look at this post, you see that there are cases when OpenGL windows is worse than OpenGL macs. 

Some OpenGL and DirectX Benchmarks for Unigine Valley

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


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omardesu
(@omardesu)
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I just ran a AIDA64 benchmark with GPU-Z running and it looks like there's a difference when that is running vs Heaven (and when I play Fortnite)

AIDA64 Benchmark results and GPU info

gpgpu
gpu z info

GPU-Z info during Heaven  (left) and AIDA64 (right)

gpu z heaven
gpu z aida


Then I did a side by side comparison

gpu z compare aida heaven

Some things not lining up:
- GPU Memory Clock
- Memory Controller Load

Is there a reason why there's a difference as such between different programs?

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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mac_editor
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@oliverb Thanks for the correction. IIRC on a 480, I got 15+ FPS vs. on macOS on OpenGL. Looks to me that perhaps the Windows drivers aren't up to snuff with respect to the Radeon Pro 560X. I'll test Vega when possible.

@omardesu Those memory clocks should have been high when doing Heaven. Weird. Try a different rendering benchmark and see what happens.

This post was modified 8 months ago

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
2018 MacBook Pro 15" RP560X + Vega 64 (Mantiz Venus MZ-02)


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omardesu
(@omardesu)
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Quick update:

Heaven, Valley, Fortnite now have the memory clock going up to 2000MHz when running.  The only thing that I did was uninstall AORUS RGB 2.0 app and doing a reboot.  When I tried running the benchmarks again, they were running pretty smoothly.  The benchmarks are slightly higher than what I originally had on OS X (I'll post the screenshots later).

Will keep monitoring to see what happens or if anything changes.

So currently, my status for Win10 is:

  1. Ok to leave eGPU plugged in during boot
  2. Still need to hold Option during boot to select EFI Boot
  3. RX580 is already connected when I get into Windows (no more Error 12 and haven't seen it recently)

It just works correctly at the moment.  Is there any way to get around #2?  eEFInd?  I don't want to have to rely on the USB thumb drive.

BTW.  A XG Station Pro should be arriving tonight, and I'll try to get my 1070ti up.  I'm curious to see the comparison between the 2 setups.

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


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mac_editor
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@omardesu Nice! The 1070ti will be far better for gaming on Windows.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
2018 MacBook Pro 15" RP560X + Vega 64 (Mantiz Venus MZ-02)


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OliverB
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Joined: 11 months ago
 
Posted by: mac_editor

@oliverb Thanks for the correction. IIRC on a 480, I got 15+ FPS vs. on macOS on OpenGL. Looks to me that perhaps the Windows drivers aren't up to snuff with respect to the Radeon Pro 560X. I'll test Vega when possible.

@mac_editor, this is not a correction at all. In most cases you are absolutely right. It is just an addition to some odd, but interesting things that are going on 🙂

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


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OliverB
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Joined: 11 months ago
 
Posted by: mac_editor

@omardesu Nice! The 1070ti will be far better for gaming on Windows.

@mac_editor, you may find my new post Analysis OpenGLvsMetal/DirectX interesting. For me this is more evidence, that OpenGL is the brake in those Unigine Tests on MacOSX. DirectX11 and Metal is much better.

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


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