2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B]+ RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.7...
 
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2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B]+ RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.7 & Win10 2004  

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Łukasz Łazarecki
(@lukasz_lazarecki)
New Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 
System specs:
2018 Mac Mini (2020) 8th Gen i7 3.2 Ghz, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD
Windows 10 (2004 OS Build 19041.572)
 
eGPU hardware:
MSI Radeon Rx 5700 XT Gaming X 8G
0.5 Meter Thunderbolt 3 cable (bought at Apple retailer)
 
Installation steps:
 
macOS:
It just works, no special steps needed except right clicking on a given app, selecting Get Info and checking "Use external GPU" box (or whatever it's called).
 
Win 10:
I wanted to keep it as straightforward as possible, so nothing fancy. All of the below steps are done with monitor connected via USB-C to my Mini, unless noted differently.
1. With GPU disconnected I installed Win 10 (latest 64bit) with Bootcamp. Rebooted, downloaded updates, activated, rebooted again, etc.
2. I disable automatic updates at this point. I'm not going to update this Win 10 install ever Smile

3. After that I created a restore point.
4. Downloaded the most recent AMD drivers for Radeon RX 5700 XT (not the 50th anniversary edition ones, I have no idea what those are). I selected the "Auto-Detect and Install" package, since I had no idea which ones I needed Smile I did NOT use DDU to remove the Bootcamp AMD drivers.
5. Plugged in the eGPU and installed the drivers. It reported an error first time I tried it, so I rebooted and run the downloaded installer again. After it asked to reboot, I powered down the eGPU, rebooted, powered the eGPU back up when I saw the login screen, logged in and installation process continued automatically. And reported an error again right after it looked like it completed Smile so I assumed I can ignore that.
6. Now I rebooted, disconnected the USB-C and tried to use eGPU only. It didn't work. I checked in the device manager, Code 12 was displayed next to the AMD card. I this point I think I tried a couple more times with no success.
7. I finally decided to open device manager again, disable the Intel integrated graphics (double-click on the Intel card in device manager, select disable) and reboot with USB-C disconnected, using eGPU. And it worked Smile

8. Once everything was working fine, I created another restore point.
 
Comments:
It wasn't completely pain free with Windows, but once it started working it looks like things are fine. Didn't have a single crash, everything seems stable, performance seem OK.
 
Benchmarks:
 
macOS:
Unigine Heaven (preset extreme changed to 1080p)
image

Unigine Valley (preset extreme HD)

image

Win 10:

Unigine Heaven (preset extreme changed to 1080p)

Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0

FPS:
94.0
Score:
2368
Min FPS:
28.7
Max FPS:
177.2

System

Platform:
Windows NT 6.2 (build 9200) 64bit
CPU model:
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8700B CPU @ 3.20GHz (3191MHz) x6
GPU model:
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 27.20.12029.1000 (4095MB) x1

Settings

Render:
Direct3D11
Mode:
1920x1080 8xAA fullscreen
Preset
Custom
Quality
Ultra
Tessellation:
Extreme
 
Unigine Valley (preset Extreme HD)
 

Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0

FPS:
79.1
Score:
3308
Min FPS:
29.4
Max FPS:
177.8

System

Platform:
Windows 8 (build 9200) 64bit
CPU model:
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8700B CPU @ 3.20GHz (3191MHz) x6
GPU model:
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 27.20.12029.1000 (4095MB) x1

Settings

Render:
Direct3D11
Mode:
1920x1080 8xAA fullscreen
Preset
Extreme HD

Unigine Superposition (Extreme 1080p, but for some reason it run at 4K)

image
This topic was modified 4 months ago
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B]+ RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.7 & Win10 2004 [build link]  

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TychoAI
(@tychoai)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

I've joined simply to post here and confirm. I've lurked since Dec '19/January '20 when I was trying to set up the new Mac Mini to be an occasional Windows gaming machine. At the time I failed no matter what I tried (EFI Boot loader, switching TB3 ports, extracting pci.sys file from 1903, installing 1903 etc) and I gave up, convinced that the only issue it wasn't working was Windows support. Now that there's been a couple of Windows major releases, I decided to try it again.

 

Mac OS function always was flawless and without any pain.

I only have (and want to use) one monitor (I know it's weird to you kids today). Windows setup was always going to involve changing input sources from Mac Mini Integrated Intel 630 graphics on HDMI port, and eGPU DisplayPort. In the end, this worked fine. Really, the only trick at the end was to disable on-board video once everything was installed. Thanks for the idea @lukasz_lazarecki.

 

1. Installed Bootcamp on the main Mac Mini SSD drive, using the latest Windows 10 20H2 iso from Microsoft. This forces you to disconnect all other mounted external volumes, of which I have many.

2. With display connected to Mac Mini HDMI, keep eGPU turned off. Boot into Windows and proceed with Windows Setup. Display will remain connected to Mac Mini HDMI port until the end.

3. Download official AMD Radeon Drivers (I got the latest version "optimized for Cyberpunk")

4. Restart and wait at the Login screen. Power on eGPU. When eGPU is powered up (Windows might ding to notify detecting new hardware) login.

5. Start AMD Radeon driver installation...it will just do the first part and ask you to restart. When you restart, power off the eGPU again.

6. Wait at the Login screen. Power on eGPU. When eGPU is powered up (Windows might ding to notify detecting new hardware) login.

7. Complete AMD Radeon installation. At this point Device Manager will likely show eGPU present, but yellow sign and Error 12.

8. Right-click on Intel on-board video and disable (yes, while still connected to it, it won't turn you off).

9. Shut down Windows. Turn on eGPU, connect display to eGPU (change input on your display).

10. Start Windows. You will likely not get boot screen, and it will likely take "longer" than normal and go through a weird cycle where the eGPU signal goes off, then on again, but after a little bit you will get to your Windows login.

11. There's no step 11...it all worked properly from here, going back and forth between Mac OS and Windows without having to do anything with display input...just permanently connected to DisplayPort of the eGPU.

 

I've reconnected _all_ my other USB, TB3 devices since then, and there are no problems so far. My Bootcamp partition is small, so all I've been able to try out so far is The Witcher 2, but I have an external SSD primed to load with The Witcher 3 and Wasteland 3 when they go sale...I anticipate I'll run them just fine. The Witcher 2 runs very well, even on "Ultra" at 1920x1080. No, I don't have benchmarks, because I'm old.

 

 

This post was modified 3 months ago

2018 Mac Mini i7 32GB RAM, Gigabyte Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming OC 8GB, Sonnet Breakaway Box 550, Mac OS 10.15.7, Windows 10 20H2


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Susurs
(@susurs)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

What happens if you disable PCIe 16x instead of iGPU in device manager?

Is there any method to keep internal HDMI port ‘alive’ / connected without error 12?

|| Mac mini 2018, i7, 32GB || macOS 10.15.7 || Bootcamp W10 20H2 || Sonnet Puck RX 5700 eGPU ||


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TychoAI
(@tychoai)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

@susurs, I'm not entirely certain what that would affect. I worry it would disable/change my ability to use my external USB-C/Thunderbolt drive which is what I use for my game storage as the built-in OS partition for bootcamp is small. Of course, I also worry of "messing up a good thing" by fiddling with it before I "finish" The Witcher 3 haha

 

2018 Mac Mini i7 32GB RAM, Gigabyte Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming OC 8GB, Sonnet Breakaway Box 550, Mac OS 10.15.7, Windows 10 20H2


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

@susurs, The PCIe x16 connection is for Mac mini configured with the 10GbE port. If your Mac mini doesn't have this Ethernet port, you can definitely disable it. In order to keep the iGPU activated (for HDMI port monitor output) you'd need to use an EFI boot loader. I'd recommend the modified apple_set_os v0.5 for Apple T2 Macs.

 

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

 
2021 15" ASUS TUF Dash F15 [11th,4C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 // my 3rd RTX 3080 build [build link]  


Susurs liked
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Susurs
(@susurs)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

Have you tried 20.4.2 driver with the Superposition benchmark? 

 

I get different scores with older drivers (This is 5700 non XT version, just reported as XT for some reason):

Extreme

|| Mac mini 2018, i7, 32GB || macOS 10.15.7 || Bootcamp W10 20H2 || Sonnet Puck RX 5700 eGPU ||


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