RX5700XT EGPU with Mac Mini 2018 on Catalina 10.15.1
 
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RX5700XT EGPU with Mac Mini 2018 on Catalina 10.15.1  

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Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Honorable Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

I picked up a PowerColor AXRX 5700 XT 8GBD6-3DH and a PowerColor Gaming Station TB3 enclosure for my 2018 Mini.

Rear
Front
5700XT

I'm very happy with the card and enclosure. They're a very quiet combination. They pair nicely with the Mini, and run perfectly under Mac OS Catalina 10.15.1.

So, I'd say during the holidays you might want to keep an eye on the sale prices and, especially, the open box items available at Microcenter retail stores. I grabbed the RX 5700 XT (dual-fan, non-reference, 1605 mHz base clock model) for $306. the Gaming Station enclosure was $184. These were open box items with a 30 day return policy. Good times.

Also, in case you’re hesitant to run the Catalina update, I can relay that going from OS 10.14.6 to 10.15.1 went smoothly for me. 

Really, Catalina didn't take long to download and install - even on a Saturday afternoon with everyone and their dog clogging the internet with their online shopping efforts. 

I'm happy to say my new 5700 XT card and Gaming Station enclosure are truly plug-and-play in Mac OS 10.15.1. They just work. Now I appreciate that phrase a bit more.

That's it. That's all. So, no need to read further. Unless, you know, its 2:30am and you can't sleep...

Wait...did I just hear you mumble something about "Bootcamp"...? Nooo! Stop!

Ok, you do know that eGPU's are not supported in Bootcamp, right? You did read the Apple guide to using eGPU's with your Mac, right?

While I make money using Mac software, I do have a couple silly Windows-only programs I launch occasionally. Neither of which require or benefit from GPU acceleration.

But, since you are unhealthily obsessed with Bootcamp (and you're an insomniac) - here's some info: I did install Radeon Adrenaline 2019 software and a 5700 XT driver from AMD's website on my Mini's Bootcamp partition.

So you really can't sleep, huh? Ok, then I'll just say that from within Catalina, I can restart my Mini+eGPU into Bootcamp, and run a Windows session as long as needed. There's no trouble involved doing this on my Mini+eGPU.

But, I have the vintage Windows 10 (version 1809) - aka "The Good Windows".

And you don't. You are running some iteration of Windows versions "Hangry", "Stub Your Toe", or "Poke You In The Eye". 

Even with "The Good Windows" (which you don't have) I still encounter a hiccup getting out of Windows and back into Catalina.

Re-booting my Mini+eGPU from Catalina into Windows works fine. Windows to Catalina doesn't unless I first disconnect my Samsung X5 Thunderbolt external storage drive from the Mini's other Thunderbolt bus.

And the need for that workaround arose when running "The Good Windows".

So, God help you. Because you're running "Parked Your Car In A Loading Zone" Windows.

Gulp. 

 

 

2018 Mac Mini i5 / 6-core 3.0-4.1 Ghz / 32GB / 256GB / Intel UHD 630 / PowerColor Gaming Station / PowerColor dual-fan RX 5700 XT / Mac OS 10.15.6 Catalina / Windows 2004 😏 / Dual LG 27" 4K displays


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Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Honorable Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

(Mac OS 10.15.1) Benchmarks:

Geekbench 5.0.4 

Geekbench Metal Results
Geekbench compute

Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0 - 1080P 8xAA - Fullscreen mode

Unigine Valley 1080p

2018 Mac Mini i5 / 6-core 3.0-4.1 Ghz / 32GB / 256GB / Intel UHD 630 / PowerColor Gaming Station / PowerColor dual-fan RX 5700 XT / Mac OS 10.15.6 Catalina / Windows 2004 😏 / Dual LG 27" 4K displays


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Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Honorable Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

I re-ran the Mac Geekbench 5.0 Compute benchmark tool. This time with my display plugged directly into my Mac Mini (not the eGPU)

The results came back higher.

Geekbench Compute for Mac - Display plugged into eGPU:

Metal: 27,488

OpenCL: 35,967

Geekbench Compute for Mac - Display plugged into Mac Mini:

Metal: 34,431 (20% increase)

OpenCL: 42,760 (16% increase)

 

 

2018 Mac Mini i5 / 6-core 3.0-4.1 Ghz / 32GB / 256GB / Intel UHD 630 / PowerColor Gaming Station / PowerColor dual-fan RX 5700 XT / Mac OS 10.15.6 Catalina / Windows 2004 😏 / Dual LG 27" 4K displays


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@mini-i5

Geekbench is inconsistent and best to avoid for now (I’ve gotten immensely varying scores on Geekbench GPU tests too). Luxmark will give consistent results. 

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Honorable Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Ah, thanks! Here are (OpenCL) results from running the Mac LuxMark 3.1 GPU benchmark tool: 

Mac LuxMark 3.1 Lux Ball
Mac LuxMark 3.1 Mic
Mac LuxMark 3.1 Hotel

I guess we'll keep waiting for a reliable Metal benchmarking tool.

2018 Mac Mini i5 / 6-core 3.0-4.1 Ghz / 32GB / 256GB / Intel UHD 630 / PowerColor Gaming Station / PowerColor dual-fan RX 5700 XT / Mac OS 10.15.6 Catalina / Windows 2004 😏 / Dual LG 27" 4K displays


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@mini-i5

Those results looks right. I believe I got similar numbers in my tests. 

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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Koncept_Zero
(@koncept_zero)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 months ago
 

With my TB2 iMac, I got a score of 32,782 with the 5700 XT. It was also worse than the internal gpu when rendering davinci resolve.

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 [build link]  

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Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Honorable Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

@koncept_zero

Thanks for the comparison data.

Yep. Navi is in that awkwardly-meeting-the-fam-for-the-first-time stage.

Radeon VII / Vega II will reign as King of compute (and keep people warm at night) for the foreseeable future.   

2018 Mac Mini i5 / 6-core 3.0-4.1 Ghz / 32GB / 256GB / Intel UHD 630 / PowerColor Gaming Station / PowerColor dual-fan RX 5700 XT / Mac OS 10.15.6 Catalina / Windows 2004 😏 / Dual LG 27" 4K displays


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Koncept_Zero
(@koncept_zero)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 months ago
 
Posted by: @mini-i5

@koncept_zero

Thanks for the comparison data.

Yep. Navi is in that awkwardly-meeting-the-fam-for-the-first-time stage.

Radeon VII / Vega II will reign as King of compute (and keep people warm at night) for the foreseeable future.   

I really really hope this happens. I'd like to pick up a 16gb Navi card one day 🙁

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 [build link]  

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frankle
(@frankle)
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Is the network port supported on macOS? The one on my Razer Core X Chroma isn't great as it keep dropping out ...

MacBook Pro Retina 15” 2015, Catalina 10.15.1
Razer Core X Chroma, Sapphire Pulse RX 5700 XT


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