2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 6600 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 650) + macO...
 
Notifications
Clear all

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 6600 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 650) + macOS 12.1 & Win10 21H1  

 of  3
  RSS

Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Prominent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

System specs 

2018 Mac Mini, 3.0 GHz Hex-Core Intel i5, 32 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, iGPU : Intel UHD 630

Mac OS Monterey 12.1 and Windows 10 21H1

eGPU hardware

Sonnet Breakaway Box 650 + AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT (XFX Speedster Qick 308)

Display

Dell 27" 4K connected via Display Port cable

 

Comments

AMD's Radeon RX 6600 XT doesn't cost thousands, draws a moderate 165 watts of power, and easily fits inside that enclosure already perched on your desk.

(Unlike certain cards... cough, cough... RX 6900 XT

 

Hardware Pictures 

BB 650
6600 XT in BB
Ports XFX
6600XT

 

Installation steps 

The Speedster Qick 6600 XT, like most XFX gaming cards, is typically swole. Its appearance makes an impression (facts). But with the card being only 10.8 inches in length, the effort involved in installing the 6600 XT and re-assembling my Breakaway Box 650 was nothing but minimal.

 

MacOS Performance

(See post below)

 

Bootcamp Windows Setup

So I’ve been ride-or-die-ing alongside the latest version of Windows 10 21H1 for awhile now, and I’m pleased to report the Win 21H1 eGPU road trip continues to be a velvety-smooth, pothole-free, thoroughly enjoyable excursion.

In fact, this multi-month-long journey’s been going so well, now I even trust 21H1 to install all of those pesky, periodic Windows System Updates automatically.

Yep, that's right. Some serious Windows 21H1 Bootcamp staning is going on here.

To prep for my new RX 6600 XT, I booted into Windows 21H1 (with my eGPU powered off, and the Mini directly connected to my Display)

Win Ver

 

And downloaded the 6600 XT driver and Radeon Software from AMD

AMD driver page
AMD driver update

 

I ran the AMD software installer until it finished and displayed the "Oops!" message - as expected.

Installer Message

 

I closed the installer window, and Shut Down Windows from the Start menu.

I disconnected the HDMI cable between my Mini and my display. I connected the 6600 XT to my Display via DP cable.

I set the Sonnet BB power switch to ON. Then powered on the Mini.

I watched the Redmond-curated photo of your next island getaway appear on my display for a second or two. Then the display went black - meaning error 12 had taken root.

So, I powered off my Mini, and powered it back on again.

I repeated pressing the Mini's Off/On button until another island photo reappeared and remained on my display.

Each time I powered the Mini "On", I of course waited a couple minutes for Windows to boot up completely, before powering OFF. 

 

So, to TLDR, getting the 6600 XT running perfectly in Windows required restarting my Mini (5) times. 

That is a couple more on/off cycles than was needed before with a 5500 XT card, but relative to the kind of slogging Error 12 fosters on other Macs, it remains a very easy series of steps to accomplish.

Device Manager
Radeon software info

 

  

Windows Benchmarks

Performed at High Quality settings using DirectX and OpenCL.

 

Superposition

Unigine Superposition

4K DX11: 6,380 (47fps avg)

 

Basemark GPU

Basemark GPU

4K DX12: 7,636 (76fps avg)

 

Geekbench

Geekbench

OpenCL Compute: 65,572

 

Fire Strike 1440p

DX11 Fire Strike 1440p Graphics Score: 23,601

 

Fire Strike Ultra 4K

DX11 Fire Strike Ultra 4K Graphics Score: 6,333

 

Time Spy 1440p

DX12 Time Spy 1440p Graphics Score: 7,564

 

Time Spy Extreme 4K

DX12 Time Spy Extreme 4K Graphics Score: 3,775

 

Port Royale 1440p

Port Royale Raytracing 1440p: 3,556

 

Raytracing

Direct X Raytracing 4K: 11fps (cringing emoji level)

 

The Analytics-minded crowd would comment here how the 6600 XT is able to run neck-and-neck with last-gen's 5700 XT series, but the 6600 XT gets there while enjoying better energy-efficiency, thermals, and lower noise levels along the way.

I'll just say that the 6600 XT def passes the eye-test. This Navi 2 card is pretty good at smoothly moving a bunch of pixels across your screen. The 6600 XT is a fun card to have if your focus in Windows is pure entertainment and not something like super-aggro competition. I see the 6600 XT as primed for membership in the sought-after "if you know, you know..." club.

 

Windows Blender Rendering Performance  

Before taking a look at OpenCL compute rendering, a bit of fun comes from opening the Eevee Race Spaceship demo file - as this is a case of the actual reality matching Eevee's promised excellent real-time viewport performance. With the 6600 XT, rotating around the ship and zooming into fully-rendered details really couldn't feel any smoother.

Eevee Race Spaceship

Race Spaceship (artist: Alessandro Chiffi / ONdata Studio)

 

Now, here's some fresh OpenCL GPU luv from (Summer 2021's) 2.93 LTS for Windows using Blender's native Cycles rendering engine. (Sample quantity and light ray depth tweaks made for speed + image quality)

Italian flat

Italian Flat (artist: Flavio Della Tommasa)

Render time using Cycles OpenCL denoising and clamping: 2 mins 35 seconds 

 

Monster under the bed

Monster Under the Bed (artist: Metin Seven)

Render time using Cycles OpenCL denoising and clamping: 0 min 23 seconds

 

Car demo

BMW Car Demo (artist: Mike Pan)

Render time using Cycles OpenCL denoising and clamping: 1 min 27 seconds

 

Classroom

Classroom (artist: Christophe Seux)

Render time using Cycles OpenCL denoising and clamping: 1 min 24 seconds

 

Nishita Sky Demo

Nishita Sky (artist: Creative Commons CC0)

Render time using Cycles OpenCL denoising and clamping: 2 min 23 seconds

 

Windows Gaming

I'll highlight here for now that Star Wars Squadrons at 4K, and Control at 1440p are a blast (literally) to play on the 6600 XT. Yes, you could say… our friends, our dreams, we get inspired, blowing shit up with Homie. 

Hopefully I'll be able to go more into the FPS of it all at some point soon. One small bug with the current Radeon software, though - the FPS counter metric is ...uh, sorta error 404’d right now. So we’ll be waiting on a fix for that.

Radeon

 

Otherwise, Good times 😎

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 6600 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 650) + macOS 12.1 & Win10 21H1 [build link]  

cnon297, itsage, Boltoway and 1 people liked
ReplyQuote
Wizard_Stick
(@wizard_stick)
Active Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

@mini-i5, Is it now working in Monterey 12.1? I notice they seem to have removed support from the official changelog...

 

2019 16" MacBook Pro (RP5500M) [9th,8C,H] + RX480 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway) + macOS 12.1 & Win11
2012 Mac mini [3rd,2C,M] + RX480 @ 10Gbps-TB1>TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway) + macOS 10.14.6

 
2019 16" MacBook Pro (RP5500M) [9th,8C,H] + RX 480 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 350) + macOS 12.1 & Win11 [build link]  


ReplyQuote
Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Prominent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@wizard_stick, Yep-eroni 😎

12.1

 

Sys report

 

MacOS Benchmarks - Monterey 12.1

FCP

Final Cut Pro

Export 1-minute project of ProRes 422 HQ 4K 30fps video (from iPhone 13 Pro) to H.264 Better Quality codec.

Export time: 1 minute 45 seconds.

 

PR13 Chess

Octane X PR13

Render the Chess Set demo scene: 20 seconds

 

Affinity

Affinity Photo

Built-in Raster Benchmark (Multi GPU): 26,783

 

Sam
Metro

Metro Exodus (Metal)

Sam's Story chapter at 4K Ultra settings: 21(min)-27(max)fps 

 

STR
Shadow

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Metal)

Built-in Benchmark at 4K: 41fps (avg)

 

9799 Aztec Ruins
Aztec

GFXBench Metal

Aztec Ruins High Tier 1440p Offscreen: 248fps

 

Basemark 4K

Basemark GPU

4K Metal: 6,982 (70fps avg)

 

GB
GB5.4

Geekbench  

Metal Compute: 73,614

 

BM Speed

Blackmagic Raw Speed Test

Decoding speed of 12:1-bitrate 4K BRAW video (Metal): 108fps

 

Flat

Blender MacOS 2.93

Render the Italian Flat demo scene (artist: Flavio Della Tommasa)

Render time using Radeon Pro Render (Metal) with denoising and clamping: 1 mins 59 seconds 

 

Monster

Blender MacOS 2.93

Render the Monster Under the Bed demo scene (artist: Metin Seven)

Render time using Radeon Pro Render (Metal) with denoising and clamping: 35 seconds 

 

 

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 6600 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 650) + macOS 12.1 & Win10 21H1 [build link]  

ReplyQuote
Wizard_Stick
(@wizard_stick)
Active Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

@mini-i5, excellent! Scores not too much worse than Windows either. Now I have to hunt down a deal.

 

2019 16" MacBook Pro (RP5500M) [9th,8C,H] + RX480 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway) + macOS 12.1 & Win11
2012 Mac mini [3rd,2C,M] + RX480 @ 10Gbps-TB1>TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway) + macOS 10.14.6

 
2019 16" MacBook Pro (RP5500M) [9th,8C,H] + RX 480 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 350) + macOS 12.1 & Win11 [build link]  


Mini i5 liked
ReplyQuote
egpuk
(@egpuk)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

Managed to (mostly) successfully upgrade my RX 560 to an RX 6600 GT using this method (but with a Razer Core X in place of the Sonnet) but I'm having an issue I didn't have with the 560 where if I run completely off the Thunderbolt connection I can no longer get the macOS boot option screen when holding down Alt/Option during boot. Which means the only way to switch between macOS and Windows is to use Startup Disk every time (and the Windows disk doesn't even show up in macOS Startup Disk settings until I run Boot Camp Assistant alongside it and then it pops up) which is highly annoying.

Anyone else encountered this issue?

2018 Mac mini [8th,6C,B] + MSi AMD RX 6600 XT MECH 2x (Razer Core X) TB3 + macOS Monterey 12.1 + Windows 10 21H2


ReplyQuote
ahc23
(@ahc23)
Active Member
Joined: 7 months ago
 

@mini-i5, awesome description!!! Thanks a lot for sharing. Have you by chance tested this gpu with Redshift renderer? I have searched all over the web and can't find any post about it.
Thanks a lot!

 

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017) + GTX1080ti (Sonnet Breakaway 550) + macOS High Sierra


ReplyQuote
Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 6 years ago
 

@egpuk, my ability to access the boot selector by Alt when booting appears to depend on what day it is and which way the wind is blowing, so you are not alone...

 

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Lite) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


ReplyQuote
Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Prominent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@ahc23, Thanks - Redshift for Maya had some bugs when I tested it a few months ago (on a 5500XT). I will definitely look into it again though, and post an update.

Redshift comes with actual product support (unlike a certain Kiwi-flavored GPU-renderer for MacOS 😜 ), so I imagine Maxxon does have Redshift running on 6600 / XT series cards. 

 

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 6600 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 650) + macOS 12.1 & Win10 21H1 [build link]  

ReplyQuote
ahc23
(@ahc23)
Active Member
Joined: 7 months ago
 

@mini-i5, thanks a lot for the response and for trying that out! I really appreciate it.
I think that if OS Monterey supports the RX6600 xt, Redshift will work with that GPU, but I wanted to be sure before buying one!
If it does, I will also try to get the XFX Speedster Qick 308 too since it's working in your build.
I already have a Sonnet Breakaway 550. Do you think it's enough for this GPU? Sonnet website says they are compatible.
Thanks a lot again!

 

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017) + GTX1080ti (Sonnet Breakaway 550) + macOS High Sierra


ReplyQuote
Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Prominent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@ahc23, yep, the BB550 can handle the 6600 XT.

Be sure to post a build guide when you’re finished.

 

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 6600 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 650) + macOS 12.1 & Win10 21H1 [build link]  

ReplyQuote
 of  3