Sonnet Puck 5500 XT with Mac Mini 2018: Crashes and flickering
 
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Sonnet Puck 5500 XT with Mac Mini 2018: Crashes and flickering  

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Nitya
(@nitya)
New Member
Joined: 5 months ago
 

Hi, I recently got the Sonnet 5500 XT and I am using it with a Mac mini 2018 running Catalina 10.15.7. The Display is a LG Ultrafine 5k on the ePGU and an older Samsung on the Mac mini's HDMI.

When it works, it works really well and provides a nice speed up for Blender, Games, Studio One, DaVinci Resolve etc.

However, I occasionally (~ 2-3 timers per day, but can work for hours without problems too) experience either flickering in the upper third of the screen (basically a blinking rectangle) or complete freezes of the computer which require a hard reboot. When the computer freezes, the screen connected to the eGPU might go blank or freeze with whatever it is showing right now. Sometime I can still "work" with the other screen, in other cases the computer halts completely. A few times, I have also seen completely broken, glitchy output to the eGPU connected screen ("random colour blocks" across the whole screen).

The issues occurred most often while using Studio One (which uses the eGPU for UI rendering), but that is also the software I am just using most of the time. I also had crashes when there was no software running that would put considerable load on the GPU and I was just browsing the web.

The problems occur while working with the computer. Thus it shouldn't be related to sleep mode.

Thus, I am wondering if something in my setup is problematic or if the GPU might be malfunctioning. I already tried swapping the cables (using the short cable that came with the GPU between display and eGPU and another cable between ePGU and Mac and the other way around), but this doesn't seem to make a difference.

Due to software compatibility issues, I cannot yet upgrade to BigSur.

I am considering to send back the unit to get a new one and I will test the eGPU on a different mac, as well as try another Thunderbolt-3 cable. Anything else? I checked the Mac Troubleshooting guide already, but couldn't find anything that would help.

Could a DisplayPort to Thunderbolt cable work with the LG Ultrafine 5k and would that be worth a try? I found somewhere that this might be more reliable than a normal Thunderbolt cable.

Do you have any recommendations for things to try out to fix the problem? Thanks!

This topic was modified 5 months ago

Sonnet 5500 XT, Mac Mini 2018, Catalina 10.15.7, LG Ultrafine 5K


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Susurs
(@susurs)
Estimable Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

Hmm...I use Puck 5700 with Catalina 10.5.7 on MM 2018 and have not encountered / noticed similar issues with flickering.

Well, I have different monitor (single monitor setup) and use simple HDMI or USB-C to HDMI  cable, but this might look as something could be wrong with the GPU itself / GPU memory.

If you can check with another mac it would clarify the issue probably. Have you contacted Sonnet’s support regarding the issue as well?

P.S. I am not 100% sure but I think I red somewhere on the forums here about another Puck which did not even last few days / week at all unfortunately (Different issues but anyway).

P.S.2. Found the topic: https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/sonnet-breakaway-puck-5500-xt-5700-portable-thunderbolt-3-egpu-enclosure/paged/4/#post-92665 ...Quite annoying if those devices are failing like that.

This post was modified 5 months ago

|| Mac mini 2018, i7, 32GB || macOS 10.15.7 || Bootcamp W10 20H2 || Sonnet Puck RX 5700 eGPU ||


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Nitya
(@nitya)
New Member
Joined: 5 months ago
 

I've had little luck with this so far:

 

- Sonnet support couldn't help yet (they only provide very generic advice, often don't answer my questions and point in various directions, mostly FAQs)

- the issue also occurs with a macbook

- the issue also occurs when using a different TB port on the computer for the display (not connecting it to the eGPU directly)

- the issue also occurs in single monitor setups

- the issue also occurs with a new TB cable (maybe less frequently, hard to tell because it isn't easily reproducible)

 

Is there a way for me to check the GPU for problems? e.g. scan for broken RAM etc.?

Sonnet 5500 XT, Mac Mini 2018, Catalina 10.15.7, LG Ultrafine 5K


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Susurs
(@susurs)
Estimable Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

Well, if you have checked the eGPU with 2 different computers (as I understood - MM and laptop) and the same issue is there when using eGPU, it could probably not mean good news for the eGPU...

P.S. Yes, unfortunately, Sonnet’s support is like this. I have encountered the same behaviour from them and heard from other people the same as well... 🙁

It’s still most probably covered by the warranty in any case, right?

 

This post was modified 4 months ago

|| Mac mini 2018, i7, 32GB || macOS 10.15.7 || Bootcamp W10 20H2 || Sonnet Puck RX 5700 eGPU ||


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Nitya
(@nitya)
New Member
Joined: 5 months ago
 

I returned the original Puck and got a replacement unit. The new one seems to be doing fine and I guess the first one was just defective.

Sonnet 5500 XT, Mac Mini 2018, Catalina 10.15.7, LG Ultrafine 5K


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Susurs
(@susurs)
Estimable Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

@nitya, Great news and good to hear that everything is ok! Enjoy your new gpu! : )

 

This post was modified 4 months ago

|| Mac mini 2018, i7, 32GB || macOS 10.15.7 || Bootcamp W10 20H2 || Sonnet Puck RX 5700 eGPU ||


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Ironman Pablo
(@ironman_pablo)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Hello

I encountered exactly the same issues. Please read this

My eGPU switches off suddenly. Please help

I believe this is related to MacOs.

Thanks for commenting

iMac Pro 2017 running Radeon Pro Vega 56 8 GB & 32 GB 2666 MHz DDR4


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Nitya
(@nitya)
New Member
Joined: 5 months ago
 

Ironman, I had a look at your post and it doesn't sound like the same issue that I had. My device didn't shut off on its own for example.

Since I got a replacement unit, everything works absolutely fine here. So for me it clearly seems to have been caused by a defective unit.

Sonnet 5500 XT, Mac Mini 2018, Catalina 10.15.7, LG Ultrafine 5K


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