Connecting monitors to both eGPU and internal GPU OK? To avoid startup issues…
Are you short of ports? What connections are your monitors? May be worth investing in adapters
Avoid the direct connection at all costs
No, that is what I want to do, but you've missed the start of this thread. Only eGPU-connected displays is what I've always done. But I'd found that on reboot, the vast majority of the time I'd get blank displays, and have to play an annoying game of force shutting down, disconnecting eGPU, moving a display to iGPU, rebooting, reconnecting eGPU, which then sometimes gave a super weird split screen display, and back and forth until I finally was back on eGPU entirely and could actually see things. This thread started because I was trying to avoid that issue. @itsage had said:
@photojoseph, Apple is still sorting out the firmware on the 2018 Mac mini regarding eGPU. It's one of the only Macs that can produce boot screen through a supported eGPU. This is rather buggy atm and my guess is it has something to do with the symptom you have been experiencing.
As long as the Mac mini iGPU connected monitor is not primary, there's not much to worry about regarding performance. It's the same scenario as a 13-in MacBook Pro that has the built-in display wired to the iGPU all the time.
That made sense explaining why I was having this issue. So I tried using both iGPU and eGPU, and discovered the FCPX issue which is probably even more annoying, since I launch Final Cut way more often than I reboot my Mac.
Then you suggested shutting down instead of rebooting, and that's where I'm at now (all eGPU at the moment)
Another tip disable system and security updates as they are not supported with eGPU connected. They need to be done with a screen connected to the main unit as reboots may turn sour...
oh good to know. I had auto OS updates off, but not security. Noted and fixed, thanks.
Yes connect all to eGPU and do not reboot. Connecting a single screen to the Mini destroys Final Cut Pro acceleration and must be avoided
Only circumstance is temporary when updates are installed
@massimo_franzese, thank you for some great insights.
A related question I have, is: If I have a setup where one monitor is connected via the graphics card in the eGPU and then the Thunderbolt cable is connected to a MacBook, will check the "Prefer External GPU" option in apps then make the eGPU work twice as hard so to speak?
I know that the eGPU automatically boosts performance on any external monitor, but not built-in monitors unless you check that option. But if I work with an app on the "main" screen (the one connected to the graphics card), while also having the "Prefer External GPU" option checked, would this mean, that the eGPU will be forced to work twice that hard, or is this setting ignored when using directly connected screens?
@mfiorentino, the eGPU can't work "twice as hard", so that's not a concern. Now someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I've seen, if the monitor is directly connected to the eGPU, the the app should use the eGPU, if it can. But it can't hurt to enable the checkbox anyway.
Keep in mind not all apps will use eGPU, or even all functions within an app. For example I run FCPX and it has a dedicated preference setting on which GPU to use. Yet if I watch the Activity Monitor, I'll see both the eGPU and iGPU getting hit.
Check the box to be safe, at least on your critical apps, and you'll be good to go.