macOS Catalina + Sonnet 550w = Black Screen - Should I upgrade to 5700XT?
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macOS Catalina + Sonnet 550w = Black Screen - Should I upgrade to 5700XT?  


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Joined: 1 year ago

The Mac mini only has 4 PCIE channels per thunderbolt controller (I keep the eGPU with Time Machine on one controller and everything else on the other so the eGPU get's maximum throughput). I have a Sapphire AMD 580 Nitro+ currently but am thinking about upgrading to a 5700 XT. Will I see much difference? Youtube videos seem to point to about a 40% increase in overall performance. I do play some games that are a bit graphics intensive like GuildWars2 (probably because it isn't optimized for Mac), Divinity: Original Sin2, Pathfinder: Kingmaker, as well as FCPX, Affinity, ON1, and VMWare Fusion for it's Metal support (macOS, Windows and Linux Server mainly). I really push my mini (which is maxed out hardware wise). So really I don't really want to, but the issues are so annoying (see below if you like).

Why I'm considering this whole thing...

Many people with AMD 5** series GPUs on Mac mini 2018 are having black screens after upgrading to Catalina. This is a known issue and Apple doesn't seem to have an answer except to attach an HDMI cable from the mini to the screen as well as a USB-C from the box and switch after booting. With the last update now I get a black screen after the screen goes to sleep. It's just getting worse with each update. It seems to be linked to updates to the firmware and the security chip.

People tell me this isn't an issue with the newest AMD 5700 XT cards so I was thinking of upgrading. Looks like prices have gone WAY up. My current 580 is actually $100 more than when i purchased it and the 5700 XT is like $400. That's pretty steep cost even if I managed to sell my current one for $100. I know "value" is in the eye of the beholder and his wallet, but yeah. That's what my issues are at the moment. Could use some advice.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.