2015 13" Macbook Pro Retina
2.7Ghz Intel i5-5257U
iGPU Intel Iris 6100
Windows 10 1909
MacOS on El captain, but not using it with eGPU
Apple TB3 to TB2 adapter
Apple 0.5m Thunderbolt 2 cable
Started with an old Windows 10 1607 installation
Updated all bootcamp drivers
Installed all pending windows updates (now on 1909, build 18363.720)
At this point I could hotplug the eGPU and it would be detected, but would not work due to code/error 12. It turns out this issue started after a certain 1903 build and isn't fixed in 1909.
Disabled Windows updates (This is to prevent windows downloading drivers automatically)
Downloaded and ran DDU in Safemode to remove all AMD graphics drivers
Took ownership of pci.sys, rename to pci.sys.bak, then put older version (1903 V1) in its place
Hotplug the eGPU and wait for it to be detected. Then installed the latest official AMD drivers (March 5 2020). It ended in an error, but the drivers were still installed.
Restarted, and found that pci.sys was replaced with the a new version, so I redid the step earlier and replaced with older pci.sys
Restarted again and tried hotpugging eGPU but it didn't get detected
Restarted while holding option key. hotplugged eGPU then chose Windows/Bootcamp
Now it works if I start it up this way
This isn't everything I tried to get it working, but these were the steps that seemed to actually be effective in my case. There is a lot of info scattered all over the forums, but the key takeaway is that Windows 10 1909 will NOT work with the eGPU no matter what other tricks you try because of the pci.sys file. There are other posts out there that have a more detailed guide on replacing that file. I had some BSODs along the way as well but keep trying and it should eventually work.
Extra: For those interested in the PowerColor Mini Pro/VisionTek Mini eGFX, I found the included fan to be quite annoying over time. Its not super loud, but it runs at an annoying pitch. I went on Ebay and found a $5 replacement fan that is 0.03A lower power draw(Original is 12V 0.18A), sleeve bearing instead of double ball bearing, and its much better now in my opinion. The fan dimensions are 80x80x10mm.
I am glad that we have another member in the "PowerColor Mini Pro community".
Can you please provide us with more information about the fan, because some weeks ago I could not find a suitable fan replacement. Although the Mini Pro works fine without the back fan, I would like to try.
I've also tried running without the fan at all, and it seemed fine, but did get quite hot over time. I'm just a bit paranoid something will overheat(TB controller?) when there is no airflow at low load.
Unfortunately the fan I ordered got louder over time and has an almost grinding but not quite sound. Could be a bad one I got, but I wouldn't exactly recommend it anymore.
Another maybe better option would be to just add a resistor to the stock fan to lower the voltage and have it spin slower.
I've also thought of maybe retro-fitting a Noctua 40mm fan to the top of the case instead since I know they have good quality silent fans.
THX for your response.
I do not think your concerns about overheating are needed. I will not go for any work around related the heat any more.
However, I agree the Mini Pro is getting sometimes a little hot. But so what, it works.
Concerning the pci.sys work around I gave up. It is not that important for me to get the Mini Pro running with my Mac Mini 2014 and Windows.
Yeah, trying to get it all working definitely tested my patience.
You may be right about the heat. It could be that Powercolor/Visiontek just added the fan to lower the enclosure temperature so people wont burn their hands from touching it, and has nothing to do with component temperature.
In another post itsage made this comment:
".... I believe the back fan is there to satisfy Thunderbolt 3 eGFX certification of needing a cooling fan for the enclosure. I never used it with my ITX RX 480 and there's no issues. ..."
I think so too and fully agree to itsage's opinion.
I tinkered a little with the high pitch sound of the back fan and found a possibility to get rid of it. Could you please check if this solution works also with your Mini Pro? However, I am not sure what consequences the redirected airflow has for the temperature. THX
Hey there. I too realized that the fan noise was not really the fan itself, but from the turbulence caused by the fan trying to suck too much air from the small space. I really wish PowerColor just used a lower speed fan, or even a smaller 40mm one so this wouldnt be an issue.
However I've stopped tinkering with the enclosure fan and just left it disconnected from the power. My main concern was that there was absolutely zero airflow when the GPU was idle running under ~55 degrees. This temperature is fine for the GPU die, but the heat would soak into the board, RAM, enclosure, and everything else.
Instead, I've now set through the AMD control center to have the GPU fan always running on low speed, and ramp up faster than the default setting. This is 90% quieter than having the enclosure fan running. So far I have had no issues with this, and the enclosure stays relatively cool under idle use.
I also noticed in one of your pictures that you soldered a switch to the fan. Another way to lower the noise and keep the original fan/design would be to solder a resistor onto the wire that would drop the voltage to ~8v. This should be enough to start the fan and keep it running at low speed. Noctua fans often come with these resistor adapters, but unfortunately they don't have one for the plug in this enclosure.
due to the fact, that I am never using the possibility to put on the back fan,
it seems to me that your suggestion (with the resistor) is the more practical workaround for lowering the high pitch sound in a professional way.
I do have Noctua Low-Noise and Ultra-Low-Noise Adapters and could try to use them. However, they do have different connection plugs which means
I have to tinker / solder again - which I do not like to do yet. May be I will do it later.
Anyway - good suggestion.