2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 570 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (PowerColor Mini Pro) + macOS 10.15.3 & Win10 1909 [hans-st.]
Unfortunately my Akitio Node Lite had a loose connection in the power supply which I could not repair myself. Consequently I asked my dealer for a repair but she offered me a refund. Good customer support.
My initial plan was to make my old wish come true, replacing my Mac Mini 2014 with the newest model and attach a VisionTek Thunderbolt™ 3 Mini eGFX enclosure to it.
However, during some investigations on the PowerColor Mini Pro I was not convinced if this enclosure would be the right one. At this time my decision was: No!
So, I ordered a Razer Core X which is a solid, high quality eGPU, which worked extremely well with my EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB and the new Mac Mini 2018. However, it is a bulky brick which does not really fit to the nicely designed and tiny Mac Mini.
Windows 10 1909 Build 18363.628 Bootcamp (was already installed and used):
I did two hot plug-ins first, then two boots with attached Mini Pro, finally I loaded the AMD Adrenalin driver.
MacOS Catalina 10.15.3 (was also already installed and used):
The connection oft he Mini Pro was a plug and play thing. However, when I did the first benchmarking, the eGPU was weaker than the iGPU. I have no idea why. Yet, the enclosure works as depicted in the benchmarks.
I recognized that the back fan is running all the time, even when the eGPU is idling and cold. I will use the Mini Pro without the back fan, because it seems, it is not really needed. The temperature stays around 60 C when playing CV5 or 6.
Changing the graphics card of the Mini Pro is a kind of a challenge due to the narrow space inside the case. The first thing happened to me was the pull-out of the cream-colored fan socket. Consequently, I will not change the graphics card if there is no real need.
Although it was at the first time strange to see no start-up screen, I see no urgent need to install the rEFInd boot manager or the automate-eGPU EFI. However, I will see.
Sometimes, the device manager shows an unknown device - sometimes not. Even it does not hamper operations - investigations will follow.
Further Experiences / Updates
For booting to Windows it is important that the monitor is switched to mDP right from the beginning. My system does not work if the monitor is switched to HDMI. For booting to Catalina it doesn't matter if the selection is HDMI or mDP.
The unknown device in the Windows device manager is permanently gone. No idea why.
Black start-up screen
Today I tried to solve two issues which occur whilst booting Windows with attached eGPU:
1. Booting Windows whilst the monitor is set on HDMI (by mistake), the display shows weird green movements (Only a hard reset/reboot helps).
2. The black start-up screen whilst booting monitor set on mDP (both operating systems are affected).
I installed the modified apple_set_os.efi loader, however I did not a new installation of windows. The installation itself worked fine, however, I could not start windows with attached eGPU. Also a hot plug-in did not work. After trying for about one hour I gave up and uninstalled the loader. Everything works again as before. It seems to me that the Mac Mini 2018 is a little special in what it is accepting. In this configuration it is may be possible that the loader is not preventing the Mac Mini to switch off the HDMI port if an eGPU is attached.
The PowerColor Mini Pro is still up and running fine with Catalina 10.15.3 and yet - Windows 18363.720. Even without using the back fan.
Updated to Catalina 10.15.4 and Windows 18363.752 - system still up and running.
@hans-st Thank you for sharing this "mini" build! The mini eGFX is an excellent product. I have been using one at the office with my 13-in MacBook Pro for 8 months. It has been reliable and for the most part blends right in as a normal dock. 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. Enjoy your eGPU setup!
Concerning your statement about the "mini" build - I agree absolutely, it is a nice, tiny and powerful enclosure.
I wonder why not more eGPU users are using this mobil lightweight.
The major concern is upgradability. We count on external GPU enclosure to provide us the ability to upgrade components as we see fit. Unfortunately there are not that many ITX graphics cards that would work within the physical and power constraints of this mini eGFX. For Mac users, we are further limited by Apple's decision of no Nvidia cards.