Unreliable performance in Catalina 10.15.6
 
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Unreliable performance in Catalina 10.15.6  

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Vigilante36
(@vigilante36)
New Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

I have a 2018 Mac Mini with an eGPU setup consisting of Akitio Node Titan and Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700XT all running the latest version of OSX Catalina 10.15.6, and I am very disappointed and frustrated with this setup because I am having constant problems.  For starters, my card seems to be underperforming when you compare my Geekbench 5 scores to others with the same card. 

Second, this card doesn't always work with my software, and when it does work, it only works in limited functionality. 

I have one application called World Creator 2 which is a 3D landscape generation software that uses the GPU for real time rendering and it DOES NOT like my setup at all!  It will either crash, stop responding, or work in limited functions when it does work, and this is driving me crazy.  I have tried: reinstalling the software, reinstalling Catalina, disconnecting stuff from my Mini that I don't need such as external drives, all to no avail.  The software is updated to the latest version and my correspondance with tech support is going nowhere as they insist there is something wrong with my graphics card (not enough shaders).  Also, the screen flickers when I am working in this software.  If I run activity monitor, it shows that the card is being used and I have set the software to "prefer external GPU" and it shows it as being connected in my menu bar up top.  So it is running off the card, just unreliable.  

Not sure if this matters, but I have a used Apple Thunderbolt display hooked up to the mini Thunderbolt 3 port  and the Node Titan connected to another TB3 port.  I have tried various ports and still have the same problem.

The whole point of buying an eGPU was so I could use this software along with others since the internal graphics chip of the Mini is a joke, but I am having problem after problem with my setup.  Did I buy the wrong card?  Wrong eGPU enclosure?  Wrong monitor?  Don't know what else to do at this point.

Catalina was supposed to have drivers updated so people could use cards like the 5700 XT, but it has given me nothing but headaches.  

2018 Mac Mini, Apple Thunderbolt display, Akitio Node TItan eGPU with Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700XT


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

@vigilante36

Well, you can do a quick test.

Borrow a different display with an HDMI cable (or you can use your TV).

Attach it directly to the eGPU using the HDMI cable (or a DP cable).

Disconnect the Thunderbolt Display from your Mini.

How does World Creator run on the temporary display?

By the way, Geekbench for Mac has been broken for a looooong time. That low score you are getting is not real. Pay no attention.

You will need to run a different benchmark - the Basemark Metal GPU benchmark for Mac to get an accurate score.

 

 

 

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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Vigilante36
(@vigilante36)
New Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 
Posted by: @mini-i5

@vigilante36

Well, you can do a quick test.

Borrow a different display with an HDMI cable (or you can use your TV).

Attach it directly to the eGPU using the HDMI cable (or a DP cable).

Disconnect the Thunderbolt Display from your Mini.

How does World Creator run on the temporary display?

By the way, Geekbench for Mac has been broken for a looooong time. That low score you are getting is not real. Pay no attention.

You will need to run a different benchmark - the Basemark Metal GPU benchmark for Mac to get an accurate score.

 

 

 

I did hook up an old flatscreen Samsung TV that had an HDMI port and connected it directly to the eGPU after I had Catalina running and tried to use the software as I normally do.  It made no difference and still crashed or hung up forcing me to close the app.  What is odd is that some aspects of the software do work with an ePGU, it just seems that more demanding tasks such as applying more complex filters is what is causing the program to crash.  So my guess is that it is a software issue, but I just want to rule everything else out first.

2018 Mac Mini, Apple Thunderbolt display, Akitio Node TItan eGPU with Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700XT


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

@vigilante36

Hmmm, it sounds like your card is not seated properly in the eGPU slot, or one of the power connectors is not fully connected. Or the PSU is not supplying consistent power.

When powered properly, your Sapphire card should achieve a similar sore to my non-overclocked 5700 XT (6512 and 65 FPS average) in Basemark’s Metal GPU test at 4K resolution. 

 

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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Vigilante36
(@vigilante36)
New Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 
Posted by: @mini-i5

@vigilante36

Hmmm, it sounds like your card is not seated properly in the eGPU slot, or one of the power connectors is not fully connected. Or the PSU is not supplying consistent power.

When powered properly, your Sapphire card should achieve a similar sore to my non-overclocked 5700 XT (6512 and 65 FPS average) in Basemark’s Metal GPU test at 4K resolution. 

 

I got 5221 score at average of 52 FPS.  

I have reinstalled the card ensuring that I feel it lock in and checked the power connections and all is well on that end.  Starting to think the enclosure is not optimized for this card because I see on here that people who run older cards such as the RX 580 have few problems if any.  Maybe the RX 5700 XT is not fully supported or has something to do with the fact that it is PCI 4.0 in a PCI 3.0 enclosure, although I would assume it is backwards compatible.  At any rate, I might just sell this and get a Razer Core X since everyone loves them and it seems the only issue with those pertains to the card installed rather than the enclosure itself.  Besides, I may want to run Windows through bootcamp in the future and it is not supported on the Node Titan at all.  

2018 Mac Mini, Apple Thunderbolt display, Akitio Node TItan eGPU with Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700XT


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