2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 5500 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Pro) + macOS 10....
 
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2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 5500 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Pro) + macOS 10.15 & Win10 1809  

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kelos-01
(@kelos-01)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

System specs 

Model Name: Mac mini
Model Identifier: Macmini8,1
Processor Name: 6-Core Intel Core i5
Processor Speed: 3 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Memory: 8 GB

Radeon RX 5500 XT:

Chipset Model: Radeon RX 5500 XT
Type: External GPU
Bus: PCIe
PCIe Lane Width: x4
VRAM (Total): 4 GB
Vendor: AMD (0x1002)
Device ID: 0x7340
Revision ID: 0x00c5
ROM Revision: 113-55X46MSD2-X03
Metal: Supported, feature set macOS GPUFamily2 v1
GPU is Removable: Yes

Displays:

LG ULTRAWIDE:
Resolution: 2560x1080 (UW-UXGA - Ultra Wide - Ultra Extended Graphics Array)
UI Looks like: 2560 x 1080 @ 60 Hz
Framebuffer Depth: 30-Bit Colour (ARGB2101010)
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Rotation: Supported
Automatically Adjust Brightness: No

eGPU hardware

AKiTiO Node Pro + XFX Radeon RX 5500 XT 4 GB + .8m Apple Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures 

 

IMG 0740
IMG 0738
IMG 0737
IMG 0739
IMG 0140

 

Installation steps 

Relatively simple with the Node/GFX installation; plug in done.

For MacOS it's plug and play it does do a "system update" but those are the drivers it's fetching from apple servers..

Windows BootCamp interestingly also plug and play. Xconnect installed automatically with the latest AMD Radeon drivers.

Warning!!! Windows Version 2004 breaks the drivers for some reason (reload req). It works fine on 1809. I had to disable/set feature updates to like max in windows (it simply black screens & then you have to use built in HDMI) and device manager gives an exclamation mark next to the device 5500 XT [triangle].

Another thing to note is that reboots into MacOS or Windows (ViseVersa/VersaVicea); sometimes the screen does not come on, it just remains black; this is always when the egpu is powered on & plugged in. (Just have to hard power off the Mac & then back on) it's annoying & fineky.

Benchmarks 

MacOS Unigine Heaven 4.0:

Screenshot 2020 07 20 at 22.13.04

I wasn't really bothered by MacOS benchmarks (even though I originally bought the egpu setup to play on MacOS :P) this was after learning that Windows is better overall for gaming*.

 

Windows 10

Unigine Heaven 4.0

[Like for like (Can see the OS difference)]
Capture3

Ultra

Capture4

AIDA64

gpgpu

3D Mark 

Capture

3D Mark Overclocked (amd software)

Capture1

 

Comments

So the only game I ever play on this Mac is Eve Online. This was the only reason for the egpu; 1 game. With the XFX 5500XT I have all graphics settings in eve at max incl interval set to immediate. I get roughly 100 - 140 FPS on average nothing under 60. The VRAM never goes over 3GB on the 4GB card. So far I'm happy with the performance & glad I didn't spend the extra on the 8GB. The card is dead silent as well which was a factor in the purchase as the enclosure sits on the desk. I was worried that the ram of the mac would be an issue but oddly it's fine. Will upgrade it later but doesn't seem to be a factor. 

Final thoughts: It's expensive [egpusetup] but I won't be replacing the Mac anytime soon; it's a solid machine even without the Egpu.

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 5500 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Pro) + macOS 10.15 & Win10 1809 [build link]  

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