Mac Mini 2012 ESXi and 10Gbps Ethernet NIC
Hello . I need to connect a 10Gbps Fiber ethernet nic to a mac mini 2012. I plan on using a dual port ConnectX-3 10GgE PCIe ethernet card but I also have a Broadcom/Qlogic BCM57810 Dual Port 10Gbe NIC too if by any chance the ConnectX 3 doesn't work but somehow Broadcom/Qlogic would.
I am looking at getting a Mantiz Venus MZ-2 eEGPU thunderbolt 3 enclosure or a Razer Core V1 enclosure. i understand that they are Thunderbolt 3 enclosures so I would need a TB3 to TB2 adapter. But other then that will this work? TB is basically just an external extension of the PCIe bus correct? These cards work fine on any other machine, including mac pros that have PCIe slots. Its just that ESXi has no official support for thunderbolt of any kind. Ive heard rumors that it will work... just wanted to check to see if anyone had done this successfully and any advice/tips/tricks i should know?
Thanks so much! Stay safe ya'll. Cheers! Ryan
@ryanisflying, the Mac mini 2012 has Thunderbolt 1. You can connect Thunderbolt 3 devices with the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter. The Builds list has examples of other people connecting Thunderbolt 3 eGPU boxes to the Mac mini 2012. If you're just connecting a network card, then you can get smaller Thunderbolt 3 PCIe expansion boxes (OWC or Sonnet or Netstor or whatever). I'm not sure what ethernet NICs macOS supports. If there's no built-in driver then you can go to the hackintosh community and find a driver there.
OWC and Sonnet have a 10 GbE Thunderbolt 3 device which is less expensive than an eGPU or their Thunderbolt 3 expansion box but they only have one port.
Thanks for your reply it’s very helpful. Do I have to use the Apple thunderbolt adapter? Or will a third-party one work? I’m looking at the mantis venus mz2 EGPU just for the enclosure part because I can get it for $175 off of Kijiji. LOL same with the razer core. See you saying they should both work with the thunderbolt adaptor I guess my question is will the third-party one Suffice? Thanks for your help
Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter is the least expensive and the only one that allows connecting Thunderbolt 3 devices to Thunderbolt 1/2 hosts.