Mac Mini + EGPU + Lg Ultrafine 4k:Possible?
 
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Mac Mini + EGPU + Lg Ultrafine 4k:Possible?  

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Johnsavv
(@johnsavv)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Does anyone know if this will work or have an alternative idea?  I have a LG Ultrafine 21.5” 4K monitor, and plan on getting the Mac mini.  My concern now is that I don’t want to spend the funds on a Blackmagic box and wanted to use something like the Razer Core X.  
Since the Mac Mini doesn’t natively have it’s own internal display, would it work if I plugged the egpu in the Mac mini and than connected the monitor to another thunderbolt port and still get the benefit of the egpu.
Thank You for any put

Mac Mini late 2018, i7, 512gb ssd, 32gb ram, Sonnet egfx 550w, amd Vega 56


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Johnsavv
(@johnsavv)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Also had another idea and wondering if it would work, I have s sunix udp2018 in my gaming pc to allow me to use my Lg Ultrafine. It’s a card that you plug display port from you gpu to that card and than are able to output it to the USB-C via alt mode. Even though card is in pc could I plug the egpu display port into the PC Card (egpu at this point would be hooked to Mac mini and than from pc usb card hook my Lg Ultrafine to the PC Card, would the care Work as pass through like that even though it’s running in the pc!
the pc and Mac mini will be right smack on top of one another so the cables would reach etc...
Thoughts?

Mac Mini late 2018, i7, 512gb ssd, 32gb ram, Sonnet egfx 550w, amd Vega 56


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 5 years ago
 

@johnsavv You can use the LG UltraFine 4K off one USB-C port and the eGPU off another port. There's some performance loss depending on the tasks. Having the eGPU power the monitor directly would be the best case scenario. The Sunix UDP2018 off the gaming PC is a good workaround if you place them close together. The Sunix card only needs power and an DisplayPort input to function. I put together a build yesterday using a portable USB-C monitor off the Mac mini USB-C port. The RX Vega 56 eGPU can accelerate it through a loop-back. Newer graphics cards such as the RTX series can connect to the LG UltraFine directly through their USB-C port. They can likely allow USB peripheral passthrough and controls on the monitor too.

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joevt
(@joevt)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

Connecting the LG to the Mac mini will work - it will have a performance drop similar to an internal display (if the internal display was the same resolution as the LG which is slightly larger than standard 4K).

Connecting the LG to the Sunix UPD2018 will have the best performance but the USB functions will be available only on the PC. You could put the Sunix UPD2018 in an external Thunderbolt enclosure to enable USB functions on the Mac mini. The Sunix UPD2018 has a low profile option, so it can fit in the Sonnet Echo Express SEL.

RTX cards have a USB-C port and a built-in USB controller, but they don't have macOS drivers yet. I wonder if the USB controller works (without graphics) with just the macOS standard USB XHC driver? There's a separate post about the USB-C port on the RTX.

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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Johnsavv
(@johnsavv)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Well I ordered the sonnet 550w box and a Vega 56 today, will test all this out soon and let everyone know my findings of what worked and what didn’t

Mac Mini late 2018, i7, 512gb ssd, 32gb ram, Sonnet egfx 550w, amd Vega 56


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Johnsavv
(@johnsavv)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Did you see a performance drop in the egpu doing it the way you described? I’m going to try it both ways, as my mini will literally be right next to my pc... I’ll run benchmarks trying to hook it both ways, if both ways work.
thanks for your input!!!

Mac Mini late 2018, i7, 512gb ssd, 32gb ram, Sonnet egfx 550w, amd Vega 56


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Johnsavv
(@johnsavv)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Do you mean the usb functions of the monitor? If so than that’s ok as I won’t be connecting anything to them anyways... the sonnet box seems cost prohibitive even at $200 for the TB2 one. I’m going to see what the difference in connecting to the udp2018 and the Mac mini directly... I mean I just want mostly to have a better GUI on Mac OS and for it perform better than the discreet intel graphics chip on board... if I want to pc game I can just swap cable from egpu and back to the pc gpu... should be sufficient work around for now... maybe sunix will make a external udp2018 if there was a market for it which I am sure there is...

Mac Mini late 2018, i7, 512gb ssd, 32gb ram, Sonnet egfx 550w, amd Vega 56


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joevt
(@joevt)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 
Posted by: Johnsavv

Do you mean the usb functions of the monitor? If so than that’s ok as I won’t be connecting anything to them anyways... the sonnet box seems cost prohibitive even at $200 for the TB2 one. I’m going to see what the difference in connecting to the udp2018 and the Mac mini directly... I mean I just want mostly to have a better GUI on Mac OS and for it perform better than the discreet intel graphics chip on board... if I want to pc game I can just swap cable from egpu and back to the pc gpu... should be sufficient work around for now... maybe sunix will make a external udp2018 if there was a market for it which I am sure there is...

I mean everything that requires USB on the monitor: USB ports, audio (speakers), and brightness control.

I don't think anyone will make an external upd2018. The cheapest solution is a upd2018 with a powered riser. The smallest riser is a M.2 to PCIe x4 adapter. Add a power supply and put it in a box. But that won't get you USB. There's an expensive dev kit with USB input. Maybe a GC-TITAN RIDGE with a USB connection will work (because the GC-TITAN RIDGE gets its USB 2.0 from elsewhere). Read about all this at  https://hardforum.com/threads/use-usb-c-monitor-without-usb-c.1911817

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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nav1998
(@nav1998)
New Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

It would definitely work on macOS for AMD card but not sure about Nvidia just yet. If you partition your drive and add bootcamp windows, you will have to hotplug the egpu on boot but both cards will work (only tested with Nvidia but confident AMD cards will work the same).

MBP 13" 2016 w/ Touch Bar, Akitio Node enclosure, Nvidia 1080ti. Running macOS 10.14.1 and Bootcamp Windows.


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Chippy McChipset
(@chippy-mcchipset)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

Can't speak to that particular display but I've tested the 2018 mini and the 500 / 650 eGPUs from Sonnet with a couple different 4K displays over DP and they work fine. (A bunch of different AMD cards were tested.)

The new 2018 MacBook Airs work as well. Basically, any AMD GPU for which Apple supplies a driver (and that's almost all of them from the last 2-3 years) with any of the 2017-2018 Thunderbolt 3 Macs, will work fine without any special setup. That's 10.13.4 or later including 10.14.x

The only exceptions I've seen are the RX 560 family and some of the consumer grade cards, and the super high-end cards like the SSG. Everything else: most of the RX series, most of the WX series, the Vega 56 / 64 series, all work straight out of the box with 2018 Macs. At least with the Sonnet boxes. Not sure if the same thing is true with AKiTiO's boxes or other brands, but it should be. They all get certified by the same group at Intel so stands to reason if it's for sale, they passed certification / should work similarly on compatible Macs and OS versions.

Bring peace to your computing life: stop trying to understand Apple.


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