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2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + Radeon VII @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T-Plus) + macOS ...
 

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + Radeon VII @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T-Plus) + macOS 10.15 [itsage]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

With macOS 10.15 Catalina set to release later this month, I’m testing different eGPU configurations. Multi-eGPU is one that some Mac mini users would be interested in. The good news is you can load all four Thunderbolt 3 ports with an eGPU each.

 

System specs:

Late 2018 Mac mini – i5-8500B/UHD Graphics 630 iGPU/16GB RAM/256GB SSD

 

eGPU hardware:

NetStor HL23T-Plus + Radeon VII
Gigabyte Gaming Box + RX Vega Nano
VisionTek mini eGFX + R9 Nano
AKiTiO Node + GTX 780

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

While Radeon VII and RX Vega Nano work plug and play in macOS Catalina, GTX 780 and R9 Nano require workarounds. The latest version of Purge-Wrangler works great in 10.15 Beta to enable TI82 enclosures, older Radeon cards, and Nvidia cards which have native macOS drivers. Once installed these older cards work the same way as natively supported cards.

 

Benchmarks:

I ran Luxmark 3.1 through each eGPU then all four together to see how they scale. The Radeon VII is the loudest of the bunch. Its OpenCL performance is also the strongest by a long shot.

GTX 780 R9 Nano RX Vega Nano Radeon VII All 4 eGPUs

 

Comments:

Apple must have realized many users cannot afford the upcoming Mac Pro. Therefore they gave the 2018 Mac mini Boot Screen support through the eGPU since dev beta 5. This is a much welcome improvement for a headless Mac. You can now switch between macOS and Boot Camp with ease.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


Flint Ironstag, jefniro, Juan C. Yunis and 6 people liked
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Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
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Joined: 3 weeks ago
 

Yep, the 2018 Mac Mini is stealthy in a pretty great way. I love seeing the essential proof of concept here. One Mini can utilize a couple Radeon VII eGPUs (and even potentially four of them!). With graphics performance scaling quite usefully.

Adding a powerful dual-eGPU set up to the Mini is a nice looking avenue. Creating the equivalent of a re-born $3,299 “Mac Pro” that way is appealing. Especially with Metal-specific multi-GPU optimized renderers coming to Catalina. Accelerated Octane and Redshift GPU-rendering could be within reach of us individual Mac users.

This post was modified 2 weeks ago

2018 Mac Mini i5 / 6-core 3.0-4.1 Ghz / 32GB / 256GB / Intel UHD 630


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joevt
(@joevt)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

Next test: 8 GPUs using Thunderbolt chaining...

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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itsage
(@itsage)
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@joevt I will try daisy-chain a couple more eGPUs to AKiTiO Node Pro and Node Duo soon. Let’s hope the entire setup won’t trip the circuit breaker. 😀 

 

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Juan C. Yunis
(@juan_c_yunis)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

@itsage the eGPU support at boot applies only to Catalina? also, does it work with file vault enabled macs?

2018 Mac Mini Core i7 8700B 32GB RAM 512GB SSD + Razer Core X + AMD Radeon VII


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itsage
(@itsage)
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@juan_c_yunis It’s only for the 2018 Mac mini firmware (since Catalina dev beta 5). I don’t use FileVault so I can’t confirm but my guess is it should work. Make sure to use DisplayPort cable to the monitor. I’ve seen reports and experience HDMI cable/connection causing issues.

This post was modified 2 weeks ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Posted by: @joevt

Next test: 8 GPUs using Thunderbolt chaining…

I tried 6x eGPUs today. Thanks to @Mac_editor‘s Purge-Wrangler script, I could use Razer Core (TI82) and R9 Fury cards. The mix were 1x R9 Fury, 1x R9 Nano, 1x RX 580, 1x Vega Frontier, 1x Vega Nano, and 1x Radeon VII. They were all recognized in macOS. Unfortunately only the first 4x could be used. The 5th and 6th were not found by any applications. System Information was confused and couldn’t load up. If I had it opened prior to connecting more than 4, it would stay open. This seems like a software limitation.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@itsage

Do 4 GPUs work when daisy-chaining instead of using all TB ports?

Edit: noticed in your image that one of the daisy-chained GPUs (Port 1, GPU 2) was working as expected, so that’s not the issue. It’s software limits as you surmise. They should increase this, and hopefully they do by the time Mac Pro lands. 

This post was modified 2 weeks 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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itsage
(@itsage)
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@mac_editor Port 1 and Port 3 were hosting two eGPUs through daisy-chaining. The R9 Nano was the 5th one recognized and Vega Frontier was the 6th one.

 

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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joevt
(@joevt)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

@itsage So chained GPUs do work, but you can't have more than four total. How long can a chain be? I think you have enough to make a chain of 3.

Does the system_profiler command also fail? use "system_profiler -listDataTypes" to get a list of data types that can be output. Then try each one separately like this: "system_profiler SPThunderboltDataType" and "system_profiler SPDisplaysDataType".

There was a thread about max GPUs in macOS:
https://egpu.io/forums/pro-applications/macos-max-number-of-gpus/

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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itsage
(@itsage)
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@joevt Terminal was able to produce Thunderbolt but errored out on Graphics/Displays. A chain of 3 worked too. I placed the Radeon VII at the end of the chain and OpenCL performance saw little loss. Everything worked fine and stable. Here are some screen caps.

Spoiler

system_profiler Terminal outputs
DESKTOP-CD3P9OR:~ itsage$ system_profiler SPThunderboltDataType
Thunderbolt:

    Thunderbolt Bus 1:

      Vendor Name: Apple Inc.
      Device Name: Mac mini
      UID: 0x00012674BD516501
      Route String: 0
      Firmware Version: 47.1
      Domain UUID: 716FFF90-1C00-175F-B7FD-C76D8C40B4CA
      Port:
          Status: Device connected
          Link Status: 0x2
          Speed: Up to 40 Gb/s x1
          Current Link Width: 0x2
          Receptacle: 4
          Link Controller Firmware Version: 1.34.0
      Port:
          Status: Device connected
          Link Status: 0x2
          Speed: Up to 40 Gb/s x1
          Current Link Width: 0x2
          Receptacle: 3
          Link Controller Firmware Version: 1.34.0

        GAMING BOX:

          Vendor Name: GIGABYTE
          Device Name: GAMING BOX
          Vendor ID: 0xED
          Device ID: 0xB009
          Device Revision: 0x1
          UID: 0x00ED5F31E4702100
          Route String: 1
          Firmware Version: 27.27
          Port (Upstream):
              Status: Device connected
              Link Status: 0x2
              Speed: Up to 40 Gb/s x1
              Current Link Width: 0x2
              Link Controller Firmware Version: 0.36.0

        Node Duo:

          Vendor Name: AKiTiO
          Device Name: Node Duo
          Vendor ID: 0x41
          Device ID: 0x311
          Device Revision: 0x1
          UID: 0x0041B7DE0051C400
          Route String: 3
          Firmware Version: 33.3
          Port (Upstream):
              Status: Device connected
              Link Status: 0x2
              Speed: Up to 40 Gb/s x1
              Current Link Width: 0x2
              Link Controller Firmware Version: 0.35.0
          Port:
              Status: Device connected
              Link Status: 0x2
              Speed: Up to 40 Gb/s x1
              Current Link Width: 0x2
              Link Controller Firmware Version: 0.35.0

            JHL6540F 15W:

              Vendor Name: TUL
              Device Name: JHL6540F 15W
              Vendor ID: 0x168
              Device ID: 0x500C
              Device Revision: 0x1
              UID: 0x016895EF5558D800
              Route String: 303
              Firmware Version: 33.1
              Port (Upstream):
                  Status: Device connected
                  Link Status: 0x2
                  Speed: Up to 40 Gb/s x1
                  Current Link Width: 0x2
                  Link Controller Firmware Version: 0.35.0
              Port:
                  Status: Device connected
                  Link Status: 0x2
                  Speed: Up to 40 Gb/s x1
                  Current Link Width: 0x2
                  Link Controller Firmware Version: 0.35.0

                JHL6540F LP:

                  Vendor Name: TUL
                  Device Name: JHL6540F LP
                  Vendor ID: 0x168
                  Device ID: 0x500B
                  Device Revision: 0x1
                  UID: 0x01683993C911AD00
                  Route String: 30303
                  Firmware Version: 14.1
                  Port (Upstream):
                      Status: Device connected
                      Link Status: 0x2
                      Speed: Up to 40 Gb/s x1
                      Current Link Width: 0x2
                      Link Controller Firmware Version: 0.28.0

    Thunderbolt Bus 0:

      Vendor Name: Apple Inc.
      Device Name: Mac mini
      UID: 0x00012674BD516500
      Route String: 0
      Firmware Version: 47.1
      Domain UUID: 858823C8-3B60-1F50-BD40-B21837ACDC82
      Port:
          Status: Device connected
          Link Status: 0x2
          Speed: Up to 40 Gb/s x1
          Current Link Width: 0x2
          Receptacle: 2
          Cable Firmware Version: 0.9.0
          Link Controller Firmware Version: 1.34.0
      Port:
          Status: Device connected
          Link Status: 0x2
          Speed: Up to 40 Gb/s x1
          Current Link Width: 0x2
          Receptacle: 1
          Cable Firmware Version: 0.9.0
          Link Controller Firmware Version: 1.34.0

        Core:

          Vendor Name: Razer
          Device Name: Core
          Vendor ID: 0x127
          Device ID: 0x215
          Device Revision: 0x1
          UID: 0x808642772480A910
          Route String: 1
          Firmware Version: 16.16
          Port (Upstream):
              Status: Device connected
              Link Status: 0x2
              Speed: Up to 40 Gb/s x1
              Current Link Width: 0x2
              Cable Firmware Version: 0.9.0
              Link Controller Firmware Version: 0.25.0
          Port:
              Status: No device connected
              Link Status: 0x7
              Speed: Up to 40 Gb/s x1
              Current Link Width: 0x1
              Link Controller Firmware Version: 0.25.0

        Node Pro:

          Vendor Name: AKiTiO
          Device Name: Node Pro
          Vendor ID: 0x41
          Device ID: 0x30C
          Device Revision: 0x1
          UID: 0x00418A0FBD986200
          Route String: 3
          Firmware Version: 23.1
          Port (Upstream):
              Status: Device connected
              Link Status: 0x2
              Speed: Up to 40 Gb/s x1
              Current Link Width: 0x2
              Cable Firmware Version: 0.9.0
              Link Controller Firmware Version: 0.26.0
          Port:
              Status: Device connected
              Link Status: 0x2
              Speed: Up to 40 Gb/s x1
              Current Link Width: 0x2
              Link Controller Firmware Version: 0.26.0

            HL23T-Plus:

              Vendor Name: NetStor
              Device Name: HL23T-Plus
              Vendor ID: 0x58
              Device ID: 0x23D
              Device Revision: 0x1
              UID: 0x005882348411CB00
              Route String: 303
              Firmware Version: 33.1
              Port (Upstream):
                  Status: Device connected
                  Link Status: 0x2
                  Speed: Up to 40 Gb/s x1
                  Current Link Width: 0x2
                  Link Controller Firmware Version: 0.35.0

DESKTOP-CD3P9OR:~ itsage$ system_profiler SPDisplaysDataType
2019-09-08 08:24:31.518 system_profiler[1346:124923] Non-zero termination status from '/usr/sbin/system_profiler -nospawn -xml SPDisplaysDataType -detailLevel full', termination status: 11
This post was modified 1 week ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Flint Ironstag
(@flint-ironstag)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Nice findings. So I went a different route for my production GPU needs a long time ago, but I still have a 6,1 and a 2012 Mac Mini sitting on my desk.  I can snag a cheap Razer Core v1 (TI82) and the Purge Wrangler script will enable it now?  Time to check Craigslist.

MP 6,1 | 4c | d700
MP 6,1 | 6c | d500


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jltawil
(@jltawil)
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Joined: 7 days ago
 

Hello. I just hooked up my 2018 Mac Mini to a Razer Core X Chrome with a Radeon VII and I am having the "fans during sleep" problem. Do you know how to fix this issue?

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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ttamnogard
(@ttamnogard)
Active Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
 

@jltawil

what adrenalin software are you running? you should be running the direct download from AMD and not the bootcamp drivers.

2019 MBP 9th i9 8C and a Vega Pro 20 running eGPU Razer Core X with Radeon vii
2018 Mac mini running Radeon vii


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jltawil
(@jltawil)
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Joined: 7 days ago
 

This is in Mac OS X Mojave 10.14.6 I am not running windows on the machine other than a VMWARE W10 clone for menial tasks. After reading about everyone's woes with the R7 I've pretty much given up...

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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ttamnogard
(@ttamnogard)
Active Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
 

It’s an OS X thing. Someone explained that it sleeps (the machine) but forgets to tell the eGPU to sleep so the fans go all on.

2019 MBP 9th i9 8C and a Vega Pro 20 running eGPU Razer Core X with Radeon vii
2018 Mac mini running Radeon vii


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@flint-ironstag Yes the Purge-Wrangler script handles both TI82 controller patching and eGPU on Thunderbolt 2. It’s a very smooth and quick process thanks to the continuous improvements @mac_editor has done. It’s down to choosing a GPU that fits the Razer Core V1 power envelope.

@jltawil The Radeon VII wasn’t optimized by AMD for eGPU use. Its firmware is missing the ability to detect the enclosure USB-C controller power state. Without this functional communication the enclosure would go to sleep and cut off power to the slot but the Radeon VII has no idea then runs its fans full blast. There are some variations of sleep mode in different Thunderbolt 3 enclosures. To date I only found the NetStor HL23T-Plus to be the one with proper sleep mode for the Radeon VII.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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ttamnogard
(@ttamnogard)
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Joined: 4 weeks ago
 

@itsage

Shutdown from Win10 doesn't have the issue... Shutdown and Sleep in Mac OS does still. I love my Radeon VII but I wish I had spent the extra cash to go to Nvidia's 2080 Ti... but that is for another day.

2019 MBP 9th i9 8C and a Vega Pro 20 running eGPU Razer Core X with Radeon vii
2018 Mac mini running Radeon vii


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jltawil
(@jltawil)
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Joined: 7 days ago
 

@itsage

I ended up returning the Radeon VII back to the retailer. I already own the Razer Chroma X and I really did not want to deal with having to return that and get a different enclosure. I ended up ordering a PowerColor AMD Radeon RX VEGA 64 8GB HBM2 HDMI/3DisplayPort PCI-Express Video Card to go with my Mac Mini.

So my next question is this - how do we output to the Ultrafine 4k Displays with the EGPU?

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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