2018 Mac Mini [8th,4C,B] + RX Vega 56 Nano @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + ...
 
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2018 Mac Mini [8th,4C,B] + RX Vega 56 Nano @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 12.0 & Win11 [itsage]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
 

If you live life on the edge, this eGPU build is for you. Both macOS 12 and Windows 11 are in their early beta releases and have plenty of glitches. Reading reports about TPM 2.0 as a requirement on Windows 11 made me curious about getting my Macs to run Win11 through Boot Camp. It turned out that wasn't much of a challenge at all. In fact, for many getting an AMD eGPU working in Windows Boot Camp is a lot more work. 

I have been using this 2018 Mac mini with an ITX-sized RX Vega 56 (Nano) inside a first generation Gigabyte Gaming Box for the past couple years. The setup works very well and reliable in both macOS and Windows 10. Through different testings, the modified apple_set_os.efi v0.5 boot loader works best in keeping the Intel iGPU activated for cold-boot with the eGPU connected. Using an ASUS USB-C monitor through the Mac mini's allows me to see the boot screen when there's a need to troubleshoot or changes in equipment.

 

System specs:

Late 2018 Mac mini – i5-8500B/UHD Graphics 630 iGPU/32GB RAM/256GB SSD

 

eGPU hardware:

Gigabyte Gaming Box + RX Vega 56 Nano ITX + .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable + ASUS 15" MB16C USB-C, Samsung 34" C34J79x DP, and LG 27" 27UD69P-W DP

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

In macOS 12 Beta [21A5268h], this eGPU setup worked plug-and-play. Intel UHD Graphics 630 iGPU powers the ASUS USB-C display while RX Vega 56 Nano eGPU powers the Samsung 34" and LG 27" monitors through DisplayPort. The Samsung monitor has two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C monitor inputs (85W & 15W PD). I currently use one DisplayPort to USB-C connection for the R9 Nano in the TB3 test PC (Gigabyte Z490 Vision D motherboard).

In order to install Windows 11, we first need a current version of Windows 10 and enrolled into Windows Insider Progrogram. Second step is to bypass the Win11 Installer system check for Secure Boot and TPM 2.0. Read the article, how to install Windows 11 on Mac in Boot Camp for step by step instructions. If you already have an eGPU set up and working, it will likely remains working after upgrading to Windows 11 Insider Preview 22000.51. Otherwise, you can review the instructions below for a clean setup of an AMD eGPU in Boot Camp.

  • Boot into Recovery mode to disable SIP through Terminal. Open Startup Security Utility to set Secure Boot to No Security and External Boot to Allow booting from external media [in Recovery]
  • Download and install Windows 10 ISO through Bootcamp Assistant/upgrade to Windows 11 [in macOS & Windows]
  • Run DDU with Admin privileges to disable Windows auto-installation of drivers [in Windows]
  • Hot-plug eGPU to Thunderbolt 3 port #1 closest to the Ethernet port [in Windows]
  • Confirm a new Microsoft Basic Display Adapter in Device Manager then install Radeon drivers [in Windows]
  • Download and run HackFlags 0x600 .REG file if counter error 12 [in Windows]

 

Benchmarks:

I installed the latest Adrenalin Software and drivers, version 21.6.2. The eGPU performance with these newer Radeon drivers is stable. I only have some Unigine screen captures from my previous build with these components a year ago to compare.

 

Windows 10 Windows 11

 

Comments:

There are visual glitches with Windows 11 in general so comparing eGPU performance between Win10 vs Win11 is not too useful at this stage. There are minor improvements in Graphics settings in that Windows 11 can auto detect the eGPU as High Performance device over dGPU. We can also assign GPU per application as before.

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2021 Gigabyte Z590i Vision D [11th,6C] + RTX 3060 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + Win11 [build link]  


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(@samir_aazami)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Hi There, 

I am looking to do something similar with my Macbook Pro (2020, i5, 8GB, 512GB) currently running Mac OS Big Sur and Windows 11 (Bootcamp) in Dual Boot. 

I am looking to buy an egpu in the near future to pair with it and use it in windows 11 for some casual gaming, I am just very confused on the instructions for setting up an AMD egpu. 

Just wanting some guidance 
Could you possibly expand on the instructions... 

 

  • Boot into Recovery mode to disable SIP through Terminal. Open Startup Security Utility to set Secure Boot to No Security and External Boot to Allow booting from external media [in Recovery]

"Boot into recovery mode", Mac OS recovery mode? "to disable SIP through Terminal" - Is this what happens when you boot into recovery mode or is there something I need to execute using terminal?

  • Download and install Windows 10 ISO through Bootcamp Assistant/upgrade to Windows 11 [in macOS & Windows]

I don't understand this line... I am currently already running windows 10 and then upgraded to windows 11. Do I skip this step?? Do I need the ISO for something?

  • Run  DDU  with Admin privileges to disable Windows auto-installation of drivers [in Windows]
  • Hot-plug eGPU to Thunderbolt 3 port #1 closest to the Ethernet port [in Windows]

"closest to the Ethernet port" My Macbook only has 2 USB-C ports located on the left side do I use the bottom or top one? 

  • Confirm a new Microsoft Basic Display Adapter in Device Manager then install  Radeon drivers  [in Windows]

Can you expand on "Confirm a new Microsoft Basic Display Adapter in Device Manager" and I am guessing you install radeon drivers relevant to which gpu is in the enclosure. 

 

Thanks, 
- S

 

This post was modified 1 year ago

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
 

@samir_aazami, Each Mac is different in how it works with eGPU in Boot Camp. I would recommend taking a look at out build guides and narrow your search to 2020 13-in Ice Lake MacBook Pro. It's one of the more challenging host laptops to set up and eGPU in Boot Camp. I have mine running Windows 10 1903 V1 because newer versions don't work. I have not tried Windows 11 on it to comment further.

 

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

 
2021 Gigabyte Z590i Vision D [11th,6C] + RTX 3060 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + Win11 [build link]  


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Step
 Step
(@step)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@itsage, I'm thinking of installing Windows 11 on a Mac Mini 2018 with a Razer Core X and a RX 6600 for my brother-in-law. Do you think you can install Win11 without upgrading from Win10?

Also having a Mac Mini 2018 i5 32GB 256GB.

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RX 6800 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 12.2.1 & Win10 1903 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
 

@step, It is possible with the right installer ISO. While I did not do a clean Win11 install on the 2018 Mac mini, I used a modified Win11 installer ISO on a 2020 13-in MacBook Pro. The installer essentially skip checking TPM status and went forward with Win11 installation.

 

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

 
2021 Gigabyte Z590i Vision D [11th,6C] + RTX 3060 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + Win11 [build link]  


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psm
 psm
(@psm)
Active Member
Joined: 5 years ago
 

Hi there,

Thanks for all of this. I have a 2018 Mac mini with a Razer Core X Chroma / MSI AMD RX 6600 XT. All of this works just fine on macOS running version 12.4.

For Windows, I was able to install directly the latest Windows 11 (22000) and I tried to follow your steps above. Is the disable SIP step mandatory for all to work? I don't really understand how this will help in any way the eGPU to be fully recognized.

Right now, I am stuck at the error code 12, even after using the HackFlags 0x600 .REG file. These are my steps that I did to get there:

  • Boot into Recovery mode to disable SIP through Terminal. Open Startup Security Utility to set Secure Boot to No Security and External Boot to Allow booting from external media [in Recovery] <- not done as I am not sure how this will help, but can definitely test
  • Download and install Windows 10 ISO through Bootcamp Assistant/upgrade to Windows 11 [in macOS & Windows] <- Direct install of Windows 11
  • Run  DDU  with Admin privileges to disable Windows auto-installation of drivers [in Windows] <- done
  • Hot-plug eGPU to Thunderbolt 3 port #1 closest to the Ethernet port [in Windows] <- done
  • Confirm a new Microsoft Basic Display Adapter in Device Manager then install  Radeon drivers [in Windows] <- done, only installing the drivers, but the installer ends with an error which is the code 12 one
  • Download and run HackFlags 0x600 .REG file if counter error 12 [in Windows] <- I applied the patch but still see the error code 12

All of this is done with my display (Dell U2718Q) connected via HDMI to the Mac mini.

I know the setup is different from yours, but also kind of similar. If you have ideas! thx

Mac mini 2018 - 3,2 GHz Intel Core i7 - 32 GB RAM running 10.15.3 (19D76) - Mantiz Venus eGPU with AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 8Gb, Dell U2718Q (4K) connected to the eGPU via DP.


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itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
 

@psm, Different builds of Windows 10/11 behaves differently in terms of resource allocation for PCIe devices. It's possible Hackflags workaround is no longer effective for the newer builds of Windows 11. My 2018 Mac mini is still working with this RX 580 Gaming Box in Windows 11. One change I made is to use a Boot Loader through apple_set_os V0.5 which helps many Mac systems with the T2 security chip.

 

LinkedIn | Youtube | Instagram
 
external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2021 Gigabyte Z590i Vision D [11th,6C] + RTX 3060 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + Win11 [build link]  


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psm
 psm
(@psm)
Active Member
Joined: 5 years ago
 

Ok thanks I will take a look !

Mac mini 2018 - 3,2 GHz Intel Core i7 - 32 GB RAM running 10.15.3 (19D76) - Mantiz Venus eGPU with AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 8Gb, Dell U2718Q (4K) connected to the eGPU via DP.


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