2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 580 x2 @ 16Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Duo) + macOS 10....
 
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2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 580 x2 @ 16Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Duo) + macOS 10.14.1 & Win10 1803 [itsage]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

In my previous build using the Breakaway Puck 560 eGPU, the 2018 Mac mini booted into Windows with no error 12 but Intel iGPU was deactivated.  I wanted to test different configurations as well as keeping the iGPU activated while there's an eGPU connected. It's possible to do so with the use of eGPU EFI Boot Manager.

 

System specs:

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

 

eGPU hardware:

AKiTiO Node Duo + 2x Radeon RX 580s + .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable
Enermax Revolution SFX 650W PSU + 2x Y splitter PCIe power adapters

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

The AKiTiO Node Duo comes with a 150W external power adapter. It cannot run two graphics cards. I used a 650W SFX PSU and two Y splitter PCIe power cables to run this dual eGPU setup. It was plug-and-play in macOS 10.14.1.

Windows Boot Camp needed @goalque's eGPU EFI Boot Manager and disabling of a few PCIe components at boot. These are the basic steps I took to get this setup going:

  • Install Windows 10 ISO through Bootcamp Assistant [in macOS].
  • Download and copy @goalque's automate-eGPU EFI to USB thumb drive [in macOS].
  • Hold OPTION at boot to select EFI drive and hit Q to access automate-eGPU EFI [boot selection].
  • Select View by Connection in Device Manager then locate and disable PCIe Root Port #1 - A338 and PCIe Root Port #2 - A339 [in Windows].
  • Shut Mac mini down then connect eGPU to Thunderbolt 3 port closest to the HDMI port.
  • Boot into Windows using automate-eGPU EFI [boot selection].
  • Confirm two Microsoft Basic Display Adapters in Device Manager then install Radeon drivers [in Windows].

Most likely one of the two AMD eGPUs would work. The other one would encounter error 12. I tried booting into Windows about a dozen times but only one occasion when both were working. The Intel iGPU should remain activated. This setup procedure is beneficial for those who need monitor output from the Mac mini's Intel iGPU.

 

Benchmarks:

This dual RX 580 eGPU setup is ideal for people that use their Mac for work in macOS and occasionally game in Windows. The two AMD cards runs through x2 PCIe slots but they can scale very well in computing tasks. Here we see Luxmark scores with the Intel iGPU, single RX 580, and dual RX 580s. I tried BruceX in FCPX 10.4.3 and it took the Intel iGPU more than 90 seconds to complete. The AKiTiO Node DUO + 2x RX 580s did it in sub 20s.

Below are Unigine benchmark numbers through the LG 4K monitor (connected to eGPU's DisplayPort).

Intel 630 iGPU FHD RX 580 eGPU FHD RX 580 eGPU QHD RX 580 eGPU 4K

Comments:

The 2x PCIe slot doesn't cut performance in half when the monitor output is through the eGPU directly. In the case of the RX 580, its performance is very close to other pairings I ran. It's nice to see there's just enough room for the Mac mini on top of the Node Duo. This looks like a mini Mac Pro tower, doesn't it? The second slot can host other cards rather than a GPU. Due to how much Apple wants for the Mac mini's internal storage upgrade ($200/256GB), it's not a bad idea to add a large capacity M.2 drive inside the Node Duo.

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

 
2020 15" HP Spectre X360 [11th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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steve500
(@steve500)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Excellent post ! Great info.

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)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

I changed the 2nd RX 580 eGPU out for a SSD. The drive is HP EX920 NVMe 1TB mounted on an M.2 PCIe adapter. Total cost of the 1TB drive and adapter is $172. This is a significant saving when compared to $800 Apple wants for an upgrade to 1TB internal drive.

Each PCIe slot in the Node Duo is x2 so they limit the drive to roughly 1,5xxMB/s. This is not bad at all for an external hard drive. Here's the Mac mini's internal flash drive vs. external SSD.

The RX 480 4GB eGPU didn't suffer much in this dual-slot configuration. I ran FCPX BruceX to write onto the external drive and the eGPU completed this task in 32 seconds. The iGPU took more than 90 seconds for reference.

Last but not least are Unigine benchmarks through both loop-back mode via the Mac mini's HDMI port and directly through the eGPU.

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

 
2020 15" HP Spectre X360 [11th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Interesting results with loop back, which align with my brief experience of connecting a normal display to my egpu. 
While the FPS “high” is a lot higher the actual average isn’t much higher. I found the loop backed FPS lower but less variable.

Edit: For typos, My typing on mobile is awful and auto correct is way too keen sometimes.

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

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

I was testing the AKiTiO Node Duo with a Dell DA-2 220W power brick and they worked together with the current RX 580 GPU + 1TB NVMe SSD configuration. I left the Mac mini asleep in Windows 10 while connected to the Node Duo this past weekend. It was able to wake up and everything resumed working.

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

 
2020 15" HP Spectre X360 [11th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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VisualStim
(@visualstim)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

does the duo gpu work in FCPX?

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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OliverB
(@oliverb)
Noble Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: itsage

Most likely one of the two AMD eGPUs would work. The other one would encounter error 12. I tried booting into Windows about a dozen times but only one occasion when both were working.

Very well, if you have a look at Setup with 3 eGPUs, you can see that I could not get two eGPUs running at the same thunderbolt bus (macbook-site) in Bootcamp. Those are the same issues like a Dual-GPU und in this case the AKiTiO Node Duo.
Bootcamp doesn't look to support it.

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680

 
2018 15" MacBook Pro (RP560X) [8th,6C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + Win10 & macOS 10.15.4 [build link]  


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adamk77
(@adamk77)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Would you mind sharing the brand of the RX 580 you're using?  The spec sheet states that the max width the enclosure can support is 8.66 inches.  Isn't the 580 10"+ ?

 2018 Mac Mini i7, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 10Gbit ethernet
 Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350W with Sapphire Vega 56 Pulse

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX Vega 56 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 350) + macOS 10.14.1 & Win10 1803 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@adamk77 One of RX 580s was an HP OEM card that came out of a Desktop tower. The other was from the Gigabyte RX 580 Gaming Box. They are both mini-ITX graphics cards. I don't believe there was any retail ITX RX 580 available. You may find the Sapphire RX 570 Pulse ITX a suitable option.

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

 
2020 15" HP Spectre X360 [11th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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hornedfrog
(@hornedfrog)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: itsage

@adamk77 One of RX 580s was an HP OEM card that came out of a Desktop tower. The other was from the Gigabyte RX 580 Gaming Box. They are both mini-ITX graphics cards. I don't believe there was any retail ITX RX 580 available. You may find the Sapphire RX 570 Pulse ITX a suitable option.

I love it! How is it performing?  Thanks.

Mac mini 2018/i7/1TB/32GB RAM
Sonnet Breakaway Box 650W. Sapphire Vega 64 - (21275-03-20G card)
OWC Thunderbolt 3 14 port hub
AKiTiO Node Duo, 1 x Patriot Scorch M.2 512G SSD PCI-E 3.0 x 2 drive.


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