late-2012 Mac Mini + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway 350 via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS 10.13.2 [Badger_ca]  

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Badger_ca
(@badger_ca)
New Member
Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 1
January 11, 2018 8:18 pm  

System specs

Mac Mini (Late 2012), quad i7 2.3 GHz, Intel 4000 iGPU, MacOS 10.13.1 and 10.13.2

 

eGPU hardware

Sonnet Breakaway Box 350, Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8GB, Apple TB3à TB2 adapter, Apple TB2 2m cable, generic Displayport cable.

Monitors that have been successfully used: Dell P2715Q (4K), NEC PA271W, Asus VA32AQ, other HDMI 1.4 television. Does not work: LG OLED65B7 (HDMI) television.

 

Hardware picture

After repeated failure trying to use a LG OLED65B7 television as the external display, it appears that the LG HDMI is not compatible with the Sapphire Pulse card. Both are spec’d as HDMI 2.0.

It helps to use the HDMI out on the Mac Mini for setup, otherwise no picture on the external GPU monitor makes it hard to diagnose problems since you are working blind.

 

Installation Steps

  1. Attach generic HDMI cable to Mac Mini and HDMI monitor.
  2. Boot the Mini as normal.
  3. Turn off the Sonnet Breakaway power switch.
  4. Cable up the external monitor to the Sapphire Pulse card outlet. Displayport and HDMI both work.
  5. Attach TB3 à TB2 adapter to TB3 Sonnet box input, TB2 cable to adapter, and TB2 cable to Mac Mini TB1 port.
  6. Turn on Sonnet Breakaway power.
  7. Two seconds later, message that eGPU detected and logout required will appear on the first monitor.
  8. Log out and log in as requested.
  9. External monitor will come to life as second display. Can confirm in the System Report under “About this Mac” that eGPU is AMD RX 580.
  10. Using System Preferences, change display resolutions and screen arrangement to desired settings. The External display should be the primary screen by dragging the Menu Bar to the external monitor,
  11. On restart or reboot, ensure that the eGPU and external monitor are turned on, then the display settings and arrangement will remain unchanged.

 

That's about as easy as it gets.

 

Valley Benchmark

 

Comments

All allowable screen resolutions and scaling under Display Preferences work. Multiple external monitors to the eGPU work in all combinations of HDMI/DP and screen resolution. This is as close to plug and play under Apple OS that you will get. I chose these hardware components based that the Apple Developer eGPU kit is identical, and Sonnet is selling them as a package. If anything should be supported going forward, then this hardware configuration should be good for future MacOS updates. The configuration works in both High Sierra public releases to date (December 2017). Note: this eGPU also works out of the box with a Macbook Pro (Late 2013) with Intel Iris Pro graphics.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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cvlk
 cvlk
(@cvlk)
New Member
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 2
August 17, 2018 8:54 pm  

hello there!

can you please confirm that your configuration STILL works with macOS high sierra 10.13.6?

i purchased a 550w Sonnet Breakaway ... along with an NVIDIA 980 Ti (that works on my Mac Pro 5,1 just fine) and the web drivers + CUDA installed.

the mac mini (2012) sees the breakaway box.  but no GPU.

i've been reading everywhere that high sierra no longer supports thunderbolt 1/2 GPUs for high sierra.

IS THIS TRUE?

thanks so much for your help!

chris

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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