2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 1809...
 
Notifications
Clear all

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 1809 [imtorn]  

 of  2
  RSS

ImTorn
(@imtorn)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

System specs:

2018 Mac mini - i7-8700b/UHD Graphics 630 iGPU/64GB RAM/2TB SSD
LG UltraFine 5K - 0.5m Thunderbolt 3 cable
HP Z27 4K - 1.5m DisplayPort cable

 

eGPU hardware:

Razer Core X + RTX 2080 Ti (MSI Sea Hawk X - hybrid cooling) + 1.5m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

IMG 1919
IMG 1923
IMG 1920
IMG 1921
IMG 1924
IMG 1925
IMG 1927
IMG 1928

 

Installation steps:

 

I bought this setup to support machine learning work.

The hardware installation was fairly straightforward - I opened the Razer Core X and removed the fan+bracket, to make room for the MSI card's fan+radiator.  I found I had to remove the power supply (which involves removing the motherboard too) to re-arrange the cables so that the motherboard power cable could run flush to the bottom, allowing it to run underneath the MSI fan.  At the moment, I've used a velcro strip to fasten the fan+radiator to the inner carrier - it leans outward very slightly (no more than 1mm) but I've not (yet) found a way to anchor the top...  The water-pipes are flexible plastic and I'm nervous about applying too much pressure on them with cable-ties; however, even so, the inner carrier slides into the outer case without any trouble (I just had to reach in to keep the radiator straight until it was half-way in.  The radiator is recessed slightly and has a sturdy frame so it's not going to get damaged, even if the top is resting on the inside of the case.

Having finished the hardware side, I then started to follow @itsage's similar build guide (here) but, due to the fact that I'm not plugging a display into the eGPU, had to deviate a little.  I got @goalque's eGPU EFI Boot Manager working, though it obviously wasn't detecting the eGPU as I have to plug that in after Windows boots.  I've since found that I don't seem to need the EFI Boot Manager at all, as long as I hot-plug-in the eGPU after the Mac Mini has booted into Windows (if I boot into Windows with the eGPU connected, the iGPU is disabled, as expected, but then I can't see anything as I don't have a second monitor).  Hot-plugging-in and -out both work fine.

The nVidia video drivers installed without issue, as did CUDA 10.

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3

 

Benchmarks

To follow - I'm not sure what ones I can run without a screen plugged into the eGPU…?

 

Comments

Unfortunately, the ML framework I've been using has a bug with the 2080 Ti so I'm none-the-wiser about how it improves performance until it's resolved.  Soon, hopefully...!  It does recognise that I have a suitable GPU, however, so the setup is working in principle.

I have noticed that, occasionally, after leaving it all running for some time (with eGPU plugged-in) the screen fails to "wake up".  I'm not actually sure whether the Mac Mini is asleep or not - I suspect the iGPU goes to sleep, after which it won't wake up (i.e. as if I had booted with the eGPU connected).  A hard reset works but isn't ideal(!) so I'm going to play with some settings / alternative wake-up approaches to see if I can find a solution.  I really need to determine first whether the Mac Mini is going to sleep, the iGPU is going to sleep or both... 

This topic was modified 2 years ago

- Mac Mini (2018)
- MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Sea Hawk X (hybrid cooling)
- Razer Core X
- LG Ultrafine 5K
- HP Z27 4K

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 1809 [build link]  


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

@imtorn Thank you for sharing this build guide. Can you tell us more details on the LG UltraFine 5K monitor behavior in this setup? To which Thunderbolt 3 ports are the monitor and eGPU connected? I know the VirtualLink in RTX cards are not Thunderbolt 3 so it won't provide 5K resolution but have you tried connecting your UltraFine 5K to it? I'm thinking if it gets you 4K and functional USB controls without screen wake-up issue, that's a decent compromise. Also worth checking is the Intel Graphics settings. Make sure to set Energy-related settings to performance mode rather default or power saving mode.

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

 
2013 Mac Pro (FP D500 x2) [3rd,12C,E] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 11 [build link]  


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

Verrrrrrry interested in this build! Would love to see some pics too. I’d love to see the reaction of the PCmaster race if you posted this on r/battlestations.

Oh and subbing.

This post was modified 2 years ago

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]  


ImTorn and itsage liked
ReplyQuote
joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: itsage

I know the VirtualLink in RTX cards are not Thunderbolt 3 so it won't provide 5K resolution but have you tried connecting your UltraFine 5K to it? I'm thinking if it gets you 4K and functional USB controls without screen wake-up issue, that's a decent compromise. Also worth checking is the Intel Graphics settings. Make sure to set Energy-related settings to performance mode rather default or power saving mode.

The UltraFine 5K uses an Alpine Ridge Thunderbolt controller so it is unable to receive DisplayPort alt mode over USB-C from the RTX.

A display that uses a Titan Ridge Thunderbolt controller should work with either a Thunderbolt or USB-C signal. Thunderbolt allows for approximately 33% more DisplayPort bandwidth than USB-C (dual DisplayPort 1.2 for Thunderbolt vs single DisplayPort 1.4 for Thunderbolt or USB-C - ignoring Display Stream Compression DSC that DisplayPort 1.4 could allow).

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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

@joevt3 thats super interesting! So actually promising... if/when Apple unveils their pro display and it's TB3 only so long as its a newer controller it will be able to plug it directly into an RTX card or similar.

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]  


ReplyQuote
ImTorn
(@imtorn)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Thanks @joevt - glad you posted this!  I've been trying in vain to get any sort of signal from the RTX to the 5K and now I know why (and can stop trying)  🙂 

Looks like I need to get myself another display if I want to output from the RTX - not it's intended purpose but I'm tempted anyway.

- Mac Mini (2018)
- MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Sea Hawk X (hybrid cooling)
- Razer Core X
- LG Ultrafine 5K
- HP Z27 4K

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 1809 [build link]  


ReplyQuote
ImTorn
(@imtorn)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@itsage - more details...

Booting into W10 with Core X unplugged works as usual - only the Intel graphics settings are present when I right-click on the desktop.  When I plug in the Core X, its fans whir up loudly for a second (assuming this is the PSU fan, based on volume and your review) and then it's essentially silent.  The LG display remains on throughout - it does flick off an on but we're talking milliseconds - and the NVIDIA control panel option is then present when I right-click the desktop.  Also perhaps worth mentioning that I lose connection to the bluetooth keyboard and mouse - presumably it causes the controler to reset or something - but they reconnect again in the usual way.  All things being equal, it then continues to work as normal, using the iGPU to drive the 5K (except for the screen sleep issue I mentioned above).

So far, I've been plugging the 5K into the USB-C port nearest the ethernet port and the Core X into the port next to that.  If you think it would be worth trying other ports, let me know.  On a related note, how do I tell what the connection speed to the Core X is?  Are there any benchmarks I can run in the config I have at the moment?

- Mac Mini (2018)
- MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Sea Hawk X (hybrid cooling)
- Razer Core X
- LG Ultrafine 5K
- HP Z27 4K

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 1809 [build link]  


ReplyQuote
joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: ImTorn

Thanks @joevt - glad you posted this!  I've been trying in vain to get any sort of signal from the RTX to the 5K and now I know why (and can stop trying)  🙂 

Looks like I need to get myself another display if I want to output from the RTX - not it's intended purpose but I'm tempted anyway.

Did you try the method described by @itsage in the Late 2018 Mac mini + WX 9100@32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + Thunderbolt 3 Monitor Output + macOS 10.14.1 [itsage] thread?

The LG UltraFine 5K can only be connected to a Thunderbolt port. 5K resolution requires two DisplayPort 1.2 signals to the Thunderbolt controller. Some computers only have one DisplayPort 1.2 connection to the Thunderbolt controller and therefore can only support 4K over Thunderbolt to the Thunderbolt display.

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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

@joevt3 Thank you for your always-valuable input. Learn something new (and limitation) on the UltraFine 5K everyday!

@imtorn For CUDA task, not having the monitor directly off the eGPU may not hinder performance that much. Please download and run CUDA-Z and post Performance tab showing max bandwidth of the eGPU the way you have it connected. Next is to try the eGPU connected the same way but the UltraFine 5K monitor connected to the port next to HDMI port on the Mac mini.

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

 
2013 Mac Pro (FP D500 x2) [3rd,12C,E] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 11 [build link]  


ImTorn liked
ReplyQuote
ImTorn
(@imtorn)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@itsage Since trying the cables in different ports, I've started to get various Windows blue screen errors (requiring hard restart).  We need a port numbering system to avoid getting too verbose so I'm going to suggest 1-4 from left to right from the perspective of the Mac Mini's front facing toward you; i.e. 1 is the port nearest the HDMI and 4 is nearest the ethernet.

[EDIT: the port numbers in this post from this point forward are revised according to @itsage's response below - the ports are reversed, so 1 is the port nearest the ethernet and 4 is nearest the HDMI.]

My original setup (5K in port 1, RTX in port 2), which was solid and repeatable, will now not work at all - I get a blue screen error (sometimes but not always KERNEL_SECURITY_CHECK_FAILURE) as soon as I hot-plug the RTX cable.

If I plug the 5K into port 4, I can't get any video output, which is very strange.

I have managed to get the following to work: 5K in port 1, RTX in port 4.  The screenshot of CUDA-Z is as follows:

CUDA Z Perf   RTX1 LG4

Any thoughts on how to avoid blue screen errors would be much appreciated...

This post was modified 2 years ago

- Mac Mini (2018)
- MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Sea Hawk X (hybrid cooling)
- Razer Core X
- LG Ultrafine 5K
- HP Z27 4K

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 1809 [build link]  


itsage liked
ReplyQuote
 of  2