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Mac mini specific guide  

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cgWerks
(@cgwerks)
Eminent Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

Hello, first... thanks so much for this excellent site and resource! I love the website and especially the forum software (and thanks for introducing me to wpForo, I might use it on one of my own sites).

I'm currently trying to setup a Mac mini (2018) with a Blackmagic eGPU in Bootcamp. I'm using the MacBook Pro guide as a reference, but I'm guessing a bunch of it doesn't apply, as I'm not dealing with some of the same port considerations or the integrated/discrete GPU issues of the MacBook Pro.

It would be great to have a new, similar section devoted to the new Mac mini, as I'm sure it will be a popular option for a system and eGPU.

Also, maybe a specific guide section dedicated to the Blackmagic eGPU, as while it isn't a 'build' per say, it would be nice to see it in the main section of eGPU options, along with a growing library of information pertaining to it.

Again, thanks so much! Regards,
-Steve

2018 Mac mini (i7, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD) - Blackmagic eGPU (RX580)


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itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Welcome aboard Steve! While there's no specific guide for the 2018 Mac mini, we have a few build guides available. I would say to start with the simplest approach. That would be something as followed:

If all goes well, you will see the Windows desktop on the monitor after 30-40 seconds. If you encounter error 12 during this step, you won't see anything through the monitor. Force shut down the Mac mini and look through the 2018 Mac mini build guides for further steps.

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cgWerks
(@cgwerks)
Eminent Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

Thanks so much for the steps to try!
Especially helpful are the ones about shutdown and when to switch the cable.

So far (pre-Bootcamp) I've been hot-plugging the eGPU. Is that a bad idea? (I know the tech-specs for HDMI say it can be hot-plugged, but it leaves me uneasy.) Or was that more just to make the drivers 'take' properly?

I also realized quite quickly that I didn't want File Vault running while working with an eGPU. 🙂

2018 Mac mini (i7, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD) - Blackmagic eGPU (RX580)


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cgWerks
(@cgwerks)
Eminent Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

So, I got it working, but I also don't think it is working correctly.

First, I missed the Win 10 1803 advice and used the default download of 1809. I'm not sure what impact that might have had.

Uninstalling (DDU) and re-installing drivers via BootCampDrivers didn't go smoothly, but I think I eventually got the uninstall done (had generic display device), but never got the re-install to go well.

That said, after a number of reboots (and a couple hard-shutdowns), Win 10 came up with mini -> Blackmagic -> display. What is odd, is that I'm not sure what I changed to finally make it work. Since that, though, it has been rock solid (ie: comes up every re-boot or switch between Mac and Windows).

However, the Radeon drivers don't seem to be properly installed. Windows complains on boot that, "No AMD graphics driver is installed, or the AMD driver is not functioning properly. Please install the AMD driver appropriate for your AMD hardware." I can't run the AMD utilities. And, the Blackmagic sometimes acts a bit odd (more on that later).

Despite the supposed lack of drivers, I'm certainly getting expected graphics acceleration though. It is scoring 158.52 fps on Cinebench. It is showing up to some apps as a Radeon GPU. It runs [email protected] GPU mode quickly.

The Blackmagic is impressive, though. Even when running 100% for extended periods of time (ie: [email protected]), it hangs out, typically, between 50 and 60 degrees, with a fan speed of just over 500 RPMs... which is barely audible (and even at that, just kind of a soft 'woosh' sound).

However, as mentioned above, it sometimes acts oddly, in that it just jumps up to 1600 RPMs (in which case it's clearly audible... sounds like a small furnace on my desk, or it might take off if the air flow were reversed and it weren't so heavy) and the temp lowers to 25 degrees, even at 100% load. The only way get it to slow down is a reboot, which immediately puts it back to a normal speed. I'm guessing this is due to driver issues?

At this point, I might just start over and try to more carefully document my steps... and I'm open to any recommendations. I'm having some trouble installing the main app I need to get going on (Autodesk Revit), but that might be due to a lack of storage space (the install gets down to 1 GB available, then the available space starts going back up, but it fails). So, I need to repartition anyway. (The Autodesk system requirements said 5GB, but it actually needs 19GB... so I made my partition too small.)

This post was modified 7 months ago

2018 Mac mini (i7, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD) - Blackmagic eGPU (RX580)


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itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

What does Device Manager in Windows 10 show for your Blackmagic eGPU? When I tested back in late July, there was no name for the Radeon Pro 580 in this unit. It was identified only by PCI ID [67DF:C0].

This post was modified 7 months ago

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cgWerks
(@cgwerks)
Eminent Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

Yes, it shows up in Win 10 device manger simply as 67DF:C0 and lots of other places as that as well under that 'name', though some apps seem to recognize it is an AMD 580 or such, and [email protected] sees it as an Ellesmere XT.

DeviceMngrBMeGPU

Also, I was reading the forums over at BootCampDrivers, and it seems the recommendation is to run the DDU utility twice without reboot and then a third time with reboot to fully clean out the registry. I don't think I had run it more than twice, and I think that is because the first time it didn't seem to work correctly. I might give that a try first.

This post was modified 7 months ago

2018 Mac mini (i7, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD) - Blackmagic eGPU (RX580)


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cgWerks
(@cgwerks)
Eminent Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

Just an update... finally got it all working correctly (ie: acceleration & drivers/software). Yay!

I should probably start a new thread with my build/instructions, right?

Here are the basics though:

Install Windows 1809
- Apple's Bootcamp stuff installed as part of the process
- ran all the updates, including a fairly big one from early Jan 2019 (not sure if this would matter or not... but I made sure it was fully up-to-date)
- set any settings (ie: don't turn off in 30 minutes! in power settings)

Get installer (18.12.3 v3 in my case) from BootCampDrivers.com
- Downloads -> Windows 10 -> For iMac 5k, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro & eGPU users -> Adrenalin 18.12.3
- run DDU to be sure it is current version (it was)

Run DDU from Safe Mode
- restart Windows with Shift key held down
- at blue screen: troubleshoot-> advanced options -> startup settings -> restart (button)
- pick option 4 "Enable Safe Mode" (ie. press the '4' key)
- you'll need your Windows account password here, as the PIN won't work
- my keyboard (Apple Magic Keyboard) didn't work either, so I used the on-screen one but a USB keyboard might be handy, too
- run DDU w/o restart 2x and then ‘clean and restart’

After the restart, you can switch back to using your PIN to log into Windows
- everything should boot back up
- Device Manager will still show the Intel 630

Hotplug Blackmagic eGPU (I used the TB3 port next to the HDMI. Note, keep the HDMI plugged into the Mac mini)

Install the drivers from BootCampDrivers.com manually
- Packages -> Drivers -> Display -> WT6A_INF -> right-click U0337288.inf (it will take a while and eventually you'll get a dialog asking if you'd like to install... then after a while again, you'll get a 'success' message, which might appear behind other windows if you leave them open)
- shutdown Windows (not restart)

Switch the HDMI cable to the Blackmagic eGPU.
- power on the Mac mini
- wait at least 5 minutes, but probably won’t work
- had to do a hard shutdown here after waiting
- might hear 'discovery noise' and brief screen flash w/ wallpaper
- had to repeat twice on one install (of two).... then it worked after several minutes (and clicking mouse, to wake up?)
- I was at the desktop and able to log in
- Device Manager now showed Radeon Pro 580 and that it was working properly, etc.

Install AMD Radeon software manually
- Packages -> Drivers -> Display -> WT6A_INF -> B337205 -> ccc2_install.exe
- Set any settings, but it all worked great on mine

Oh, I should mention that I also had issues getting back to macOS on the next couple reboots. The first reboot, it just seemed to hang-up, so I eventually had to hard-power-down and power-up. The second boot, it eventually came up, but into a screen asking me to reset my password (macOS), which I ignored and picked restart from the top menu bar. The third boot, it came up fine (ie: no need to reset the password... I guess it did that because of the hard power-down?)

I haven't had time to test out a bunch of software yet. I bought this (at least initially) to start doing Autodesk Revit work/classes, so we'll see how that install and operation goes next. The above mentioned issues with the Blackmagic eGPU ramping up to 1600+ RPMs has gone away (at least I'm pretty sure... I let it crank away at [email protected] for about 18 hours with no issues).

This post was modified 7 months ago

2018 Mac mini (i7, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD) - Blackmagic eGPU (RX580)


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mrfancypants
(@mrfancypants)
New Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

So glad I found this! I too have this same setup. 2018 mini with the blackmagic vega 56. The instructions above are super clear and I think I get the process, I just have one question though...
... I have an apple thunderbolt monitor. So normally my mac OS setup is mini TB to vega 56 TB to monitor... so does the setup described in the last post necessitate using the HDMI connection? Can I do the same with a TB monitor or should I get an adaptor? Also, in general for bootcamp/egpu setups should your monitor always be coming straight out of the machine or the egpu? or does it matter? Thanks for any info!

This post was modified 4 months ago

Mac mini i7 36gb 1tb - Apple thunderbolt display - Blackmagic Vega 56


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cgWerks
(@cgwerks)
Eminent Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 
Posted by: mrfancypants

So glad I found this! I too have this same setup. 2018 mini with the blackmagic vega 56. The instructions above are super clear and I think I get the process, I just have one question though...
... I have an apple thunderbolt monitor. So normally my mac OS setup is mini TB to vega 56 TB to monitor... so does the setup described in the last post necessitate using the HDMI connection? Can I do the same with a TB monitor or should I get an adaptor? Also, in general for bootcamp/egpu setups should your monitor always be coming straight out of the machine or the egpu? or does it matter? Thanks for any info!

Hmm, I don't know about TB vs HDMI for the display. I guess you'd just have to give it a try, unless someone else knows. Also, note that I have the 580 version, not the vega 56, which could also make a difference.

In general, you'd want to connect the monitor to the eGPU, as if you go back to the computer (for example, laptop, iMac) then you're reducing the bandwidth as it has to go both ways (out to the eGPU, then back in to the computer) and TB3 is already just barely enough.

2018 Mac mini (i7, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD) - Blackmagic eGPU (RX580)


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itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@cgwerks Have you tried the Adrenalin 19.3.3 drivers from bootcampdrivers.com? I'm curious if the identification of Blackmagic eGPU has been sorted out. A VisionTek mini eGFX RX 570 is en route to Mat HD so hopefully he can improve the drivers for eGPU users.

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cgWerks
(@cgwerks)
Eminent Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 
Posted by: itsage

@cgwerks Have you tried the Adrenalin 19.3.3 drivers from bootcampdrivers.com? I'm curious if the identification of Blackmagic eGPU has been sorted out. A VisionTek mini eGFX RX 570 is en route to Mat HD so hopefully he can improve the drivers for eGPU users.

Sorry, no I haven't. And, it might be a while as I'm currently using the system for some classes, and don't want to take the risk/time to reload until I finish.

2018 Mac mini (i7, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD) - Blackmagic eGPU (RX580)


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

@cgwerks Have you tried the Adrenalin 19.3.3 drivers from bootcampdrivers.com? I'm curious if the identification of Blackmagic eGPU has been sorted out. A VisionTek mini eGFX RX 570 is en route to Mat HD so hopefully he can improve the drivers for eGPU users.

This sounds super interesting! Is there anything specific he’s looking at in regards to eGPU users? Performance? Detection? 

Im hoping AMD set ups get easier, mine is great when it works but a bit temperamental.

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


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itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@eightarmedpet Nothing in specific. It's best to have him play with an eGPU and see what he can do in terms of Bootcamp community support.

This post was modified 4 months ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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mrfancypants
(@mrfancypants)
New Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

Thanks for the help everyone! It turns out you can only use thunderbolt to connect an apple thunderbolt display. So I'm gonna try cgWerks method above on my Blackmagic vega 56

fingers crossed...

Mac mini i7 36gb 1tb - Apple thunderbolt display - Blackmagic Vega 56


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cgWerks
(@cgwerks)
Eminent Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 
Posted by: mrfancypants

Thanks for the help everyone! It turns out you can only use thunderbolt to connect an apple thunderbolt display. So I'm gonna try cgWerks method above on my Blackmagic vega 56

fingers crossed...

I hope that goes well for you. Hopefully, it will go even more smoothly. From some forum comments I've read in various places, I have gotten the impression the situation has improved a bit since I wrote that post.

2018 Mac mini (i7, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD) - Blackmagic eGPU (RX580)


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@mrfancypants any update? Haven't read of anyone having any success getting a TB display plugged into the Black Magic eGPU... yet.

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


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Disco
(@disco)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

@mrfancypants For the thunderbolt display, the tb1 connection is also a mini display port, so connecting the DisplayPort output of the egpu to a dongle with mini display port and then to the monitor should work fine. Startec sell them for a good price. 
Using that dongle I regularly connect my old Cinema Display to a laptops full size display port connection, so connecting it to an egpu would, I assume, also work just as well.

This post was modified 3 months ago

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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