Late 2018 Mac mini i3 + WX [email protected] (VisionTek mini eGFX) + macOS 10.14.2 & Win10 1809 [theitsage]
In the last couple of months, there are good deals on used AMD GPUs. One of the cards on my wishlist was the WX 4100. It's the Radeon Pro version of RX 460/560. These cards have native macOS eGPU support as of 10.14.1. Apple doesn't publish this information for some reasons. I found that out when I was testing the Sonnet Breakaway Puck 560 with a 2018 Mac mini i5.
The WX 4100 is a lot smaller than it looks in pictures. It's built very well with a blue metal shroud. Monitor outputs are four mini-DisplayPorts. I placed it next to the R9 Nano for scale. As seen in the hardware photos below, it took up barely any room inside the VisionTek mini eGFX enclosure. This graphics card drew power directly from the PCI slot.
Late 2018 Mac mini – i3-8100B/UHD Graphics 630 iGPU/32GB RAM/128GB SSD
VisionTek mini eGFX + Radeon Pro WX 4100 + .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable
This eGPU setup was plug-and-play in 10.14.2. I connected one 5K and two 4K monitors. All four monitor output ports were working through four mini-Displayport adapters (to three DisplayPort and one HDMI ports).
The 2018 Mac mini can work with an eGPU in Boot Camp plug-and-play. Some caveats are no boot screen through eGPU-connected monitor and deactivated iGPU when eGPU is present. There are a few workarounds available in our community to remedy these limitations. For this build I used rEFInd boot manager. These are the basic steps I took to get this setup going:
- Boot into Recovery mode to disable SIP through Terminal. Open Startup Security Utility to set Secure Boot to No Security and External Boot to Allow booting from external media [in Option Boot]
- Download and install Windows 10 ISO through Bootcamp Assistant [in macOS]
- Select View by Connection in Device Manager then locate and disable PCIe Root Port #2 - A339 and PCIe Controller (x16) - 1901 [in Windows]
- Complete Boot Camp driver installation then download Display Driver Uninstaller [in Windows]
- Run DDU with Admin privileges to remove both AMD and Nvidia drivers [in Windows]
- Download and install rEFInd then mount EFI partition to enable spoof_osx_version 10.9 [in macOS]
- Shut Mac mini down then connect eGPU to Thunderbolt 3 port closest to the HDMI port
- Boot into Windows via rEFInd Boot Manager [boot selection]
- Confirm a new Microsoft Basic Display Adapter in Device Manager then install Radeon drivers [in Windows]
I ran Unigine and Luxmark 3.1 on the Radeon Pro WX 4100 eGPU in macOS. It's roughly three times the performance of the Intel UHD Graphics 630 iGPU.
|UHD Graphics 630 iGPU||Radeon Pro WX 4100 eGPU|
Here are Unigine numbers in Windows 10.
The Radeon Pro WX 4100 doesn't provide enough performance boost relatively to the cost of TB3 eGPU imo. It might be worth it if you need a plug-and-play, four monitor output eGPU in macOS. It's a nice little card that can handle up to four 4K or two 5K monitors.