2012 MacMini / OS 10.13 – planning on adding a eGPU enclosure.
 
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2012 MacMini / OS 10.13 – planning on adding a eGPU enclosure.  

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MacBowtie
(@macbowtie)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Hi,

I have a 2012 MacMini (Quadcore 2.3GHz i7) and would like to add some more life to it, by adding an eGPU. Ultimately (maybe next year), I'll probably upgrade to a 2018 MacMini.
Currently, I'm running Mac OS 10.13.4 – though ideally, I'd like to move on to 10.14 Mojave at some point.

I mainly use the MacMini for editing/retouching (Lightroom and Photoshop), and also some 3d rendering in Cinema 4d (using Maxwell Render – which I believe only supports nVidia cards at the moment).
Ideally, I'd like to connect a 4k display – and maybe a secondary lower resolution display (though that's not that important at the moment)

I'm new to the world of eGPU's, but have some research the past few days. It seems like the Sonnet Breakaway 550 would be a good enclosure (I don't mind its size – I want something 'futureproof' if there is such a thing).

Also, I had a look at this build:
https://egpu.io/forums/builds/macmini-late2012-rx-58010gbps-tb2/

Do you think this would work? I guess going from a Sonnet 350 to a 550 shouldn't make much of a difference, right?
As long as I stick with OSX 10.13: Can I use an nVidia card instead of the RX580? (So it'd work with Maxwell Render). In the hope that there'll be an OSX 10.14 solution for nVidia at some point...

Also: Since I'd be using Thunderbolt 1: is it worthwhile spending money on a fast card? Or are there cheaper/slower cards that would be able to max out a TB1 connection? (After all, by the time I upgrade to a 2018 MacMini, there'll probably be better cards out again anyway).

Many thanks for your help!

This topic was modified 1 year ago

2018 MacMini i7 / Mac OS Mojave / 4k iiyama screen


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@macbowtie The RX 580 is a good card with well optimized drivers in macOS. Since you don't plan on using a laptop, Power Delivery feature is not necessary. Therefore a Sonnet Breakaway 350 is a good choice. Nvidia eGPU is possible with 10.13 and older but not something I'd recommend anymore. Not until Apple and Nvidia resolve their conflict to provide drivers on latest macOS version.

 

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MacBowtie
(@macbowtie)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Thanks for your answer @itsage
When you say "Nvidia eGPU is possible with 10.13": Will the setup be as straight-forward as with AMD under OS 10.13? Or would I need to tweak the system/install kexts etc...
What would be a good NVidia card to go with (something similar to the RX580 in terms of speed/driver compatibility under 10.13)

I hear what you're saying about Apple/Nvidia. Right now it doesn't seem future-proof.
But: The reason why I'd like to go with Nvidia for now is because it'd give me more options for Cinema 4d render engines (Octane, Arnold, Maxwell just to name a few). Right now, that's more important to me than upgrading to OS 10.14.

2018 MacMini i7 / Mac OS Mojave / 4k iiyama screen


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