2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RP WX 9100 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14...
 
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2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RP WX 9100 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.1 [itsage]  

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

It's possible to produce Thunderbolt 3 monitor output with an add-in-card such as GC-ALPINE-RIDGE. I tested it with the AKiTiO Node Duo through its dual PCIe slots. What about single slot enclosure? The prerequisite is a second PCIe slot to power the AIC. Buying a second PCIe expansion enclosure is too expensive. I got a couple of $10 PCIe powered riser cards to test and it was a success.

 

System specs:

Late 2018 Mac mini – i5-8500B/UHD Graphics 630 iGPU/8GB RAM/256GB SSD

 

eGPU hardware:

Mantiz Venus + Radeon WX 9100 + .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable
HP Z27q 5K + Choetech Thunderbolt 3 to 2x DisplayPort adapter + PCIe powered riser card

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

The power supply of Mantiz Venus has a SATA power cable and a 4-pin Molex cable. I used these two cables to connect the PCIe powered riser card (through Molex plug and 6-pin power plug via SATA to PCIe adapter). It seems the riser card needs both 12V and 3.3V connectors plugged in. When I tried connecting only one of the two plugs the riser card didn't work.

I don't have a Thunderbolt 3 monitor so I used a Thundebolt 3 to dual DisplayPort adapter to verify. This mess of adapters and cables are fairly straight-forward. Two DisplayPort signals went from the WX 9100 eGPU to the AIC to produce Thunderbolt 3 monitor output. Then the Thunderbolt 3 adapter splits into two DisplayPorts for the HP Z27q monitor. It took a while for the monitor to initiate and come on using this method. I believe a native Thunderbolt 3 monitor such as LG UltraFine 5K wouldn't take as long.

The two PCIe powered riser cards I bought were PCE164P-N06 VER 008S and PCE164P-N08 VER 009S. Only the PCE164P-N08 VER 009S worked in this test. They both came from the same seller on Amazon and have good build quality. There's foam padding on the bottom of the card. It's small enough to be mounted inside the Mantiz Venus and most other eGPU enclosures.

 

Benchmarks:

I ran Unigine Valley and Heaven through the internal display and external monitor to check the performance difference.

Internal Display External Monitor

 

Comments:

If you need an eGPU with Thunderbolt 3 monitor output, the Blackmagic eGPU is not the only choice. The component cost is about $60 for the GC-ALPINE-RIDGE and PCIe powered riser adapter.

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]  


oo.viper.oo, Results45, QuietPower and 2 people liked
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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

Just ordered a Mac mini as I felt I wanted more CPU performance and I'm getting worried I'm cooking my MacBook Pro gaming in Windows. I'll do some hunting myself but is there a way to power those riser cards other than in the Mantiz (A modular PSU would work too I assume but that feels overkill).

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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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 
Posted by: Eightarmedpet

Just ordered a Mac mini as I felt I wanted more CPU performance and I'm getting worried I'm cooking my MacBook Pro gaming in Windows. I'll do some hunting myself but is there a way to power those riser cards other than in the Mantiz (A modular PSU would work too I assume but that feels overkill).

What config. did you go for?

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@eightarmedpet Sorry if my Mac mini builds seem to target your wallet.  😀

I got an i3 base configuration Mac mini yesterday for more testing and comparison. In the US, Best Buy is really aggressive with their Apple product pricing.

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)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@itsage the problem is I have very little will power and with an education discount it's almost like getting it for free (not at all, but, errrr... a couple of quid off). I don't even want to think about the hammering your wallet must take with all your set ups (any pics of EVERYTHING anywhere?).

@mac_editor I went for i7, 16GB ram and 500GB SSD in the end, not sure I really wanted to try and upgrade the ram myself as it looks easy to damage parts and I'm not always the most delicate.

Fingers crossed set up will be as simple as your guides...

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)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

I have gotten the i5 Mac mini to a point where I can swap eGPU without encountering error 12. The two PCIe roots left disabled permanently are Controller x16 - 1901 [10G Ethernet] and Port #2 - A339 [1G Ethernet]. Combined with @goalque's EFI Boot Manager, the iGPU stays activated for internal display mode. Once in a while the eGPU would not be detected. I would unplug then hot-plug to get detection. A quick restart and all should work.

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)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@itsage amazing, thanks for the info and those screen shots... I dont use Ethernet so will do exactly the same - I assume there were some issues if you didn't disable them? Are you booting with it plugged in? That would be my ideal situation, never having to unplug and being able to switch OS super easily. And I'm right in thinking the Bootcamp drivers have actually been updated so you can "reboot into macOS" because on my Macbook it can't (due to not being able to read my AFPS volume). 

Hoping for 25% higher frames in games with the stronger CPU and extra cores... (going on videos I have been watching thats within the realms of possibility).

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

The power supply of Mantiz Venus has a SATA power cable and a 4-pin Molex cable. I used these two cables to connect the PCIe powered riser card (through Molex plug and 6-pin power plug via SATA to PCIe adapter). It seems the riser card needs both 12V and 3.3V. When I tried connecting only one of the two plugs the riser card didn't work.

None of those plugs have 3.3 volt. Yellow is 12V. Red is 5V (probably not used either). SATA has an orange wire for 3.3 volt but your riser's SATA to 6-pin adapter doesn't include an orange wire because PCIe power only uses 12V.

Posted by: itsage

Then the Thunderbolt 3 adapter splits into two DisplayPorts for the HP Z27q monitor. It took a while for the monitor to initiate and come on using this method. I believe a native Thunderbolt 3 monitor such as LG UltraFine 5K wouldn't take as long.

The Dell UP2715K is also slow to power on, or wake from sleep. It takes about 5 seconds. These are the first 5K displays and therefore have the same slowness.

Posted by: itsage

The two PCIe powered riser cards I bought were PCE164P-N06 VER 008S and PCE164P-N08 VER 009S. Only the PCE164P-N08 VER 009S worked in this test.

It is strange how some risers work and some do not. One riser I tried didn't work but now it does? Maybe a power quality issue or there's some unknown property that changed. In your test, it only worked when you connected two power cables when only one is supposed to be used and in fact there should be no detectable difference...

Posted by: itsage

They both came from the same seller on Amazon and have good build quality. There's foam padding on the bottom of the card. It's small enough to be mounted inside the Mantiz Venus and most other eGPU enclosures.

A smaller option is an M.2 to PCIe adapter. I tested one successfully with a GC-ALPINE RIDGE. It didn't work with a GC-TITAN RIDGE.
Discussion here: #135

If you can't fit a GC-ALPINE RIDGE inside the eGPU then there are external enclosures. The IT-GO ADP-099-31 works well with either GC-ALPINE RIDGE or GC-TITAN RIDGE or both, is compact, and allows using two cards. It's more expensive than a riser by itself, but not as expensive as another Thunderbolt PCIe enclosure.

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


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

Cheers for that info and link @joevt ! I may grab one of those enclosures if I want a performance bump when my mini arrives, although it may not need it...

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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