YouTube + Safari freezes with eGPU
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YouTube + Safari freezes with eGPU  


Eminent Member
Joined: 1 year ago

I have a strange problem. Often when I watch a YouTube video, the desktop starts freezing:

  • The freezes start after watching the video for some time.
  • Initially the entire screen freezes for 1-2 seconds, then unfreezes, then freezes again, and so on, but after a while there freezing is final.
  • The mouse cursor and audio keeps working.
  • If I try to quit Safari during the initial freezes, then the freeze is instantenous.
  • If I unplug and replug the eGPU, everything works again (no need to reboot).

This only happens while watching YouTube videos in Safari using an eGPU. It does not happen with Chrome, Firefox or Edge (dev). Playing video with Quicktime or iTunes also works just fine. Safari+YouTube works using the iGPU. 

Anyone else has this problem?

My setup:

  • Mac Mini 2018 core i5
  • Radeon 570 4Gb eGPU + LG 4K display (connected to the eGPU)
  • MacOS 10.14.5

Apple Mac Mini 2018 + Zotac AMP Box Mini + Sapphire RX 570 ITX

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 570 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Zotac AMP Box Mini) + macOS 10.14.5 [build link]  

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Miro Dusík
New Member
Joined: 12 months ago

The same symptoms. I no longer use Safari. Chrome only.
If I need Safari I use Safari Technology Preview it is more stable IMHO.

MacMini, Late 2018, i7
RX580 + 27" benq sw271
eGFX Breakaway Sonnet
Latest MacOS

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


Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago

I had the exact same issue occur while I was half-way through upgrading my eGPU, except is was general web browsing with multiple tabs rather than a youtube video in particular and I never tried to unplug the eGPU.

2018 i5 Mini + RX 460 in Akitio Thunder2: Worked for nine months. A couple of clean crashes, but no freezes.
2018 i5 Mini + RX 460 in Sonnet Breakaway: Safari froze my system twice in two weeks.
2018 i5 Mini + RX 570 in Sonnet Breakaway: Two weeks and counting of flawless operation.

2011 iMac w/ Sierra, 2015 MacBook Air w/ HS, 2018 Mac Mini w/ Mojave
eGPU #1: AKiTiO Thunder 2 w/ RX 460-2GB + 120W PSU
eGPU #2: Sonnet Breakaway Box 350 + RX 570-4GB

2015 13" MacBook Air [5th,2C,U] + RX 460 @ 16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.13 [build link]  

Eminent Member
Joined: 1 year ago

Interesting. It might be a Mini 2018 specific issue. I am glad I am not alone with this. Smile

I also noticed that Safari sometimes uses the iGPU (even though my eGPU is permanently connected). This is not very obvious, since web browsing generally do not need too much graphics power except when using Google Maps or something similar + under Mojave you can't see the GPU usage of the individual apps in Activity Monitor. It might be that the unpredictability of the freezes are related to this. I will try to do more testing in the future.

Apple Mac Mini 2018 + Zotac AMP Box Mini + Sapphire RX 570 ITX

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 570 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Zotac AMP Box Mini) + macOS 10.14.5 [build link]  

Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago


Did you ever resolve this?  I have a 2018 Mac Mini with a 5700Xt and I’m experiencing the same issues. 

Note that, for whatever reason, I can also cause the problem to happen if I run CivVI on the eGPU and then hide it (either by hiding the app directly or by switching to a new desktop space). In this case, as soon as Civ VI is visible again, the freezes slow down in frequency and eventually stop. 

Mac Mini 2018 (64 GB, 1TB)
Asus XG Station Pro
Red Devil 5700XT

Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago

Same problem here. I'm on a MacBook Pro 15" 2018 with a Radeon RX 5700 XT eGPU. I upgraded the GPU just a couple of days ago from an RX Vega 56.

I first saw macOS freezing every second and then finally freezing for good when I was loading a Youtube page. But today even when just using another website in Safari it suddenly completely froze and then crashed.

Since this only started happening to me after I upgraded to the RX 5700 XT I immediately suspected that the graphics drivers for Navi are in rough shape maybe. But this seems unlikely now after reading the first post here.

MacBook Pro 15" 2018 - Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 5700 XT - Sonnet Breakaway Box 550