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2018 Mac Mini for eGPU
 

2018 Mac Mini for eGPU  

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Phoenix2063
(@phoenix2063)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 

What do people think of the 2018 Mac Mini? Seems like a great affordable option for a desktop egpu setup given it's:

-six core and unlike a laptop should be easier to apply new thermal paste to help maintain boost clocks and potentially overclock?? (do we know which i5 & i7 chips they are exactly?)
-user upgradable ram (what the deuce?!)
-loads of ports so won't loose bandwidth through plugging gin extra devices into a egpu
-10 gigabit ethernet 
-lowest entry price into OSX

Obviously for the same money you could just 'build a gaming machine' and save some cash but if you're looking for a OSX machine, this is certainly worth looking at when paired up with an eGPU.  

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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drax392
(@dieseldrax)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I don't see one of these yet so here we go.

Anyone one planning on ordering/buying one and testing with an eGPU?

If you are, please post your planned config.

- Mac Mini specs
- eGPU enclosure
- GPU
- Windows 10/Bootcamp testing (yes or no)?

I'm extremely tempted to sell my NUC and replace it with a 6-core i7 Mac Mini but that's a lot of money for a box that could potentially not fully support an eGPU, such as in Bootcamp/Win10.  If eGPU is broken/disabled there then there's no reason for me to do it, so hopefully some folks will be able to add some of their own plans and experiences to this thread.

Thanks!

Intel Skull Canyon NUC (NUC6i7KYK) - 1TB Samsung 960 EVO NMVe SSD, 32GB memory
Apple Mac Pro 2013 - Deca-core 3GHz Xeon, 32GB memory, 1TB Apple SSD, D700 dGPU, eGPU shared with above NUC.
AKiTiO Node - EVGA GTX 1080Ti SC2 Gaming, Corsair SF600 PSU, Cougar Vortex HDB 120 case fan
2013 17" ASUS G750JS (TB2) + [email protected] (AKiTiO Node via Apple TB3->TB adapter) + Win10


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zmyslony
(@zmyslony)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 

I was a little pissed because the new mac mini is perfect! All of those USB ports, USB-C, ethernet, HDMI and headphones jack. PERFECT
Probably in near future after some minor CPU and price upgrade I will buy one and use it for gaming purposes. 

For new eGPU users it might be super cool to work on their existing gear: display, keyboard, mouse, egpu case, gpu. 
For every other, it might be much cheaper to just buy a PC or MacBook. 

But beware: I am pretty sure nothing will be upgradeable in the new Mac Mini, and the cheapest version is also a little disappointment. i3 CPU, 8GB of RAM and 128GB SSD? C'Mon it's 2018 not 2008

13" MacBook Pro + MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Duke (Razer Core X)


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padams35
(@padams35)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

It is a very nice little machine for anyone who (a) already is using an eGPU or (b) doesn't care about the GPU.

I was saving up for a new iMac, but I might just buy the i5 6-core mini instead. My old RX-460 eGPU should be good enough in the short run, and I could then later upgrade to a proper official eGPU after AMD gets around to releasing Navi.

The only sticky bit is I was kinda looking forward to a Retina display upgrade. Do I just buy a small 4K monitor to run at a scaled resolution and call that good enough? Will sound work through an eGPU or should I plan on buying standalone speakers?

2011 iMac w/ Sierra, 2015 MacBook Air w/ HS, 2018 Mac Mini w/ Mojave
One eGPU for them all: AKiTiO Thunder 2 w/ RX 460 + 120W PSU


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ICULikeMac
(@iculikemac)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

I want one! Do we know for sure how upgradable it will be? Any firm info on whether we can upgrade RAM? SSD?

2019 13" MacBook Pro (i7 & 16GB RAM) - MacOS + Win10
Late 2012 Mac Mini - MacOS + Win10
Asus XG Station Pro (RX570 8GB + RTX 2080)


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Angrypeanut
(@angrypeanut)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

from what I watched this morning you can upgrade the RAM but looked like the SSD was on the board. 

I am keen to see how well it works with an EGPU in Boot Camp. For example I run my 2016 13 Macbook Pro with Touch and a Gigabyte RX580 EGPU in OSX I get roughly 30fps in Fortnite but if I boot into Boot Camp and only use the iGPU I get the same Frame rate. I have tried to get eGPU working in boot camp and on my Macbook but only once it worked with the Error 12 Issue. I was about to build a PC for my daughter and I to game on but how awesome would it be to have a new mac mini with eGPU for accelerated final cut exports then be able to Boot Camp to play games with my kids. 

Fingers Crossed

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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ICULikeMac
(@iculikemac)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Thanks @angrypeanut I hope RAM upgrades are possible. I know fortnite performance in OSX is appalling! It should be a really viable option. Have a look at error 12 removal with all the info on the forum, you should be able to get the rx580 working in bootcamp - with that you should easily get 60FPS + at native res.

2019 13" MacBook Pro (i7 & 16GB RAM) - MacOS + Win10
Late 2012 Mac Mini - MacOS + Win10
Asus XG Station Pro (RX570 8GB + RTX 2080)


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Angrypeanut
(@angrypeanut)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Thank you.

I have tried heaps of the ideas to get rid of the Error 12 and it worked once but I could never get it to work again :'(

 

Fingers crossed the 2028 Mac Mini will save the day!!!

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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DanHC
(@danhc)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 

I have a MacBook Pro 2013 (With 750M) that worked well with my Vega FE setup on a Sonnet Breakaway Box 650  (Thunderbolt 3 <-> 2 Adapter).

My MacBook Pro was broken down, now I am left with a Vega FE eGPU, I so wanted to buy the new Mac mini, but am scared of Error 12 on a AMD vega card.
My concern is that on MacBook Pro there is at least something we could disable to free up resources, in Mac Mini, there is none.

Might just wait until someone do it first.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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Angrypeanut
(@angrypeanut)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 

Oh I am the same DANHC,

If someone buys one and it works with rfiend or a you just disable of a controller or a port I will be getting a high end new 2018 Mac Mini and selling my 2012 i7. If it is a hit and miss setup I will make a Hackintosh. 

Fingers crossed the 2018 is fully or semi Boot Camp friendly. Bring on Nov 7 and this awesome community testing it out. 

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

In the same boat. I have an i7 Mac mini in my basket. I’m not sure I’d buy it if I didn’t already have a green and egpu, but that’s a did question...

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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rvyne
(@rvyne)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I wondering how do you activate the eGPU on this tiny little machine?  I always hot plug on my MBP do you actualy use internal display on this?

instead of eGPU  -> DP/HDMI -> monitor?

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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goalque
(@goalque)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: rvyne

I wondering how do you activate the eGPU on this tiny little machine?  I always hot plug on my MBP do you actualy use internal display on this?

instead of eGPU  -> DP/HDMI -> monitor?

With 2014 Mac mini on Windows, both the eGPU and internal display interface (HDMI) needed to be connected to get an AMD card working (don’t remember if UEFI or legacy mode).

UEFI boot screen would be great.

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
--
2018 13" MacBook Pro + Radeon [email protected] + Win10 1809


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

I never even considered things might be easier with AMD cards and Mac minis... I'm going to hold off purchasing and see how the dust settles - I imagine someone here will give one a test, not sure I am brave enough.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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zmyslony
(@zmyslony)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

@angrypeanut Error 12 was fixed with the final version of Mojave, try updating your OSX and it should work just fine.

@eightarmedpet We should wait and see the first reviews. I wonder if Apple will add some more CPU upgrade options. 
It is super cool that Mac Mini has standard desktop CPU, not a mobile version, so even i3 or i5 versions might be much better than our current builds. Also I hope that cooling will be much better than on MacBook Pro

Mac Mini is probably the biggest surprise of this year.

13" MacBook Pro + MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Duke (Razer Core X)


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

100% agree but then I’m beginning to question an egpu set up with a desktop - why not just a proper desktop? I like the portability or a laptop coupled with egpu power, with the mini for only have the latter. Hmmm...

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

This is Apple’s new pricing strategy. Even though the base price is $799, the configuration most would want is now at least $999. There’s pent up demand in the first year but eventually sales will dwindle. Apple will then have reasons to axe the Mac mini. If they wanted it around long terms the Mac mini would have a complete redesign.

External graphics card has great appeal amongst laptop users. I’m not so sure about full-time desktop use. NUC-type systems are great candidates but when they cost as much as a proper desktop the value proposition is no longer there. 

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Interesting opinion on Apples strategy, to be fair its a full on redesign, just in the same case, not that what you say doesnt make sense... 

I'm torn... the part of a computer that dates the quickest is the GPU so having it separate still makes sense, but not as much sense as a normal tower... I wonder what the Pro will bring? I worry only Xeon options - for me the Mac mini with an i7 or even i5 is all I need + a GPU.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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bluetech
(@bluetech)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Hello egpu.io-Forum,

i am bluetech from Germany.

I hope that it is possible to use other eGPU-Builds, than the blackmagic eGpu.

I do not know how eGPU works, but these new T2-Secure-Chip sounds bad for nice cheats.

Best regards,
Bluetech

HexaMacMini/32Gb/512gb/10Gbit/s
...is waiting for [email protected]


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itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@bluetech The 2018 Mac mini will work with other eGFX enclosures just fine.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Angrypeanut
(@angrypeanut)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Thank you for the info @zmyslony but I m running ,Mojave and even tried the automated EFI method yesterday and still get error 12

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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idontbyte
(@idontbyte)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

I am very tempted by the Mac mini 2018 as I'm currently running an i7 MacBook Pro 13 with a Vega 64 Strix, however when I close the lid of my MacBook and only use the display through the EGPU I drop about 30% performance so I can only presume this will be the case with the Mac mini 24/7.

I may have to wait and see what the benchmarks show..

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@idontbyte That’s not normal. Can you share additional information of your setup? Is the external monitor set as Primary display?

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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idontbyte
(@idontbyte)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 
Posted by: itsage

@idontbyte That's not normal. Can you share additional information of your setup? Is the external monitor set as Primary display?

Hi, my build here -  https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2016-i7-13-macbook-pro-2016-with-vega-64-strix/

In Windows I can only run with laptop screen open otherwise system crashes. In OSX performance reduces when I use clamshell mode in all 3d applications, I assume to make clamshell + eGPU work in OSX they had to implement something slow.. I hope this doesn't affect non-laptops but I have no idea.

External display is my primary monitor in all cases.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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Coded Games
(@coded-games)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

I thought the Mac mini was pretty interesting. I currently have a 6 core 2013 Mac Pro with a Vega 56 eGPU and briefly thought about getting one. I would be interested in seeing how well a 6 core Mac mini with a Vega 56 eGPU would compare to my current setup.

I'd like to upgrade to something with Thunderbolt 3 eventually but I think I'll just give it another year. Hopefully the next Mac Pro will be released by then.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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(@sunshinedw)
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

I have the ultrafine 5k monitors and will buy mac mini. But, I'm seriously thinking about selling 5k monitors, because there are not exist to connect 5k and eGPU.
I want to use the eGPU in windows gaming.

How do I connect 5k with MacMini?
1. 5k - (TB3) - MacMini - (TB3) - eGPU? 
2. MacMini - (TB3) - eGPU - (TB3) - 5k?
In the method 2, As I know, There is only one option(BlackMagic eGPU).

If the method 1 is possible and there are not loss in bandwidth or performance, I will buy that immediately.
If not, I will sell 5k of damned and buy another monitor with dp port. 😡

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Check my builds - link in signature, for my experience with using the 5k in windows for gaming. 

Long story short - it’s fine.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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(@sunshinedw)
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 
Posted by: Eightarmedpet

Check my builds - link in signature, for my experience with using the 5k in windows for gaming. 

Long story short - it’s fine.

OS : Windows 10 only
Connection : eGPU - (TB3) - MacMini - (TB3) - 5K
It is fine without performance loss.

Did I understand correctly?

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

There is prob some performance loss, would need someone smarter than me to run the numbers, but it works fine for me.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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DanHC
(@danhc)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 
Posted by: idontbyte
Posted by: Eightarmedpet

There is prob some performance loss, would need someone smarter than me to run the numbers, but it works fine for me.

Theoretically at 5K the GPU will be sending back 19 GBPS for display so your GPU will be throttled to just slightly over Thunderbolt 2 speeds which should give you a good idea (check benchmarks) what your performance will be like.


If the 5k display signal generated by the eGPU is being pass through DP channel of TB3 to the Mac then pass on to the 5K display by another thunderbolt controller (ruling out Mac with only one TB controller (e.g. Macbook Pro 13) , then what you have said would be true. 

However, looking at the implementation of TB3, 22Gbps is the maximum bandwidth of pci-e lanes (please see the above image).
I am guessing that the 5k display image generated by the eGPU is going to get sent back through thunderbolt's pci-e bandwidth (the same 22Gbps), not a separate DP channel that could utilize the remaining 10Gbps; Which means 22Gbps minus around 19Gbps, making not much bandwidth left (3Gbps) for the operation of eGPU.

Of course, the above is worst-case scenario, when it comes to pci-e communication, the display driver might implement some sort of compression to minimize bandwidth use when sending video back.

Could someone confirms my above theory please, I am positive but not 100% sure. Thanks

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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Clueless_and_Skilled
(@clueless_and_skilled)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: zmyslony

@angrypeanut Error 12 was fixed with the final version of Mojave, try updating your OSX and it should work just fine.

@eightarmedpet We should wait and see the first reviews. I wonder if Apple will add some more CPU upgrade options. 
It is super cool that Mac Mini has standard desktop CPU, not a mobile version, so even i3 or i5 versions might be much better than our current builds. Also I hope that cooling will be much better than on MacBook Pro

Mac Mini is probably the biggest surprise of this year.

@zmyslony I have a late 2017 iambic 21.5" with 560 dgpu and Gigabyte RX580 eGPU. I still get error 12 and did a fresh install of bootcamp after upgrades. Sometimes I just get a block screen on boot regardless of if I have a screen connected to eGPU. Tried Refind with the flag and it did not help at all. Curious where you fond this info as I would love to dig more to attempt to fix the error. So far nothing else has worked included my failed attempts at DSDT  table manipulation (I think that is what the memory modification thing was called). 

Thanks!

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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joevt
(@joevt)
Honorable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: DanHC

If the 5k display signal generated by the eGPU is being pass through DP channel of TB3 to the Mac then pass on to the 5K display by another thunderbolt controller (ruling out Mac with only one TB controller (e.g. Macbook Pro 13) , then what you have said would be true. 

I'm not sure why you make the distinction between using one and two Thunderbolt controllers. With a single Thunderbolt controller, can't you connect an eGPU to one port and the display to the other port? The theoretical DP channel may be more efficient in this case, by not having to exit the single Thunderbolt controller but the bandwidth used would be similar. I think we both agree that this DP channel idea is too magical to be the method used for transferring graphics from the eGPU to the display.

Posted by: DanHC

However, looking at the implementation of TB3, 22Gbps is the maximum bandwidth of pci-e lanes (please see the above image).
I am guessing that the 5k display image generated by the eGPU is going to get sent back through thunderbolt's pci-e bandwidth (the same 22Gbps), not a separate DP channel that could utilize the remaining 10Gbps; Which means 22Gbps minus around 19Gbps, making not much bandwidth left (3Gbps) for the operation of eGPU.

Of course, the above is worst-case scenario, when it comes to pci-e communication, the display driver might implement some sort of compression to minimize bandwidth use when sending video back.

Could someone confirms my above theory please, I am positive but not 100% sure. Thanks

I have speculated about this method at So, why are we calling it "10Gbps-TB1"?

Are DisplayPort and PCIe the only kind of packets used by Thunderbolt? How does Thunderbolt networking work? How does Apple's Thunderbolt Target Display Mode and Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode work? Some clues are given at https://lwn.net/Articles/735235/

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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expensivefruit
(@expensivefruit)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

This news prompted me to make an account on here as I am finally considering upgrading my system and the mac mini seems to be a perfect solution for me.

I have reservations, however, about whether this will work properly with bootcamp having done some preliminary research. I also find the idea of troubleshooting problems (such as error 12) to be quite daunting as someone who has no kind of IT or coding background. Am I right in understanding that, because the mac mini has no dGPU, it should be relatively straightforward and that this mac mini should, in theory, work like a charm? In other words, will it be very much a plug and play situation, or will I have to troubleshoot problems such as error 12? Thanking you in advance!

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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bootz
(@bootz)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: expensivefruit

This news prompted me to make an account on here as I am finally considering upgrading my system and the mac mini seems to be a perfect solution for me.

I have reservations, however, about whether this will work properly with bootcamp having done some preliminary research. I also find the idea of troubleshooting problems (such as error 12) to be quite daunting as someone who has no kind of IT or coding background. Am I right in understanding that, because the mac mini has no dGPU, it should be relatively straightforward and that this mac mini should, in theory, work like a charm? In other words, will it be very much a plug and play situation, or will I have to troubleshoot problems such as error 12? Thanking you in advance!

In theory, yes. But in real world use, there is no guarantee. I thought the same thing when I bought an Aorus 1070 Gaming Box for a late 2015 4k iGPU-only iMac. I knew it would not be plug and play with OS X, but it was even incompatible with Bootcamp, at first. The only thing that saved me was Microsoft's addition of GPU switching at the OS level in the 1083 Spring Creators Update. This solution isn't perfect, as the graphics switching only works with newer DX applications. Also, I have no access to Nvidia Control Panel or Nvidia Geforce Experience.

After lots of research, I think the issue in my case is the fact that the CPU/iGPU in my machine is not compatible with Nvidia Optimus. Intel published a list of compatible/incompatible Intel CPUs as it relates to Nvidia Optimus. 

To be fair, this all has to do with using the internal display. When I hooked up an external display, it worked fine. I wouldn't be surprised if you have to connect both the Mac Mini display out as well as the eGPU to the monitor to get it to work.

So the TL;DR is: wait for someone else to test it 🙂

iMac 4k 2015 - 21.5" (iGPU only)
i5-5675R @ 3.10 GHz
8 GB RAM
Aorus Gaming Box 1070 via TB3 > TB2 adapter
Windows 10.0.17134


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itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Hard to say if eGPU will be plug-and-play for the 2018 Mac mini in Boot Camp. Take the pairing of RX 580 eGPU + 2018 13″ MacBook Pro for example. Even though this Mac laptop has iGPU only, the AMD eGPU results in error 12 when you hot-plug in Windows 10. The one instance it works plug-and-play is at the Windows logo spinning circle screen via hot-plug. Windows prioritizes the AMD eGPU and deactivates the Intel iGPU (black internal display).

I’m hoping the two Thunderbolt 3 controllers for the four TB3 ports are attached to the CPU. This way we can disable one controller to free up resources if needed. Also promising is the fact the Mac mini is a headless system. It doesn’t matter if the eGPU disable the iGPU during Windows bootup. As long as you have the monitor connected to the eGPU it may work fine.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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expensivefruit
(@expensivefruit)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 
Posted by: bootz
Posted by: expensivefruit

This news prompted me to make an account on here as I am finally considering upgrading my system and the mac mini seems to be a perfect solution for me.

I have reservations, however, about whether this will work properly with bootcamp having done some preliminary research. I also find the idea of troubleshooting problems (such as error 12) to be quite daunting as someone who has no kind of IT or coding background. Am I right in understanding that, because the mac mini has no dGPU, it should be relatively straightforward and that this mac mini should, in theory, work like a charm? In other words, will it be very much a plug and play situation, or will I have to troubleshoot problems such as error 12? Thanking you in advance!

In theory, yes. But in real world use, there is no guarantee. I thought the same thing when I bought an Aorus 1070 Gaming Box for a late 2015 4k iGPU-only iMac. I knew it would not be plug and play with OS X, but it was even incompatible with Bootcamp, at first. The only thing that saved me was Microsoft's addition of GPU switching at the OS level in the 1083 Spring Creators Update. This solution isn't perfect, as the graphics switching only works with newer DX applications. Also, I have no access to Nvidia Control Panel or Nvidia Geforce Experience.

After lots of research, I think the issue in my case is the fact that the CPU/iGPU in my machine is not compatible with Nvidia Optimus. Intel published a list of compatible/incompatible Intel CPUs as it relates to Nvidia Optimus. 

To be fair, this all has to do with using the internal display. When I hooked up an external display, it worked fine. I wouldn't be surprised if you have to connect both the Mac Mini display out as well as the eGPU to the monitor to get it to work.

So the TL;DR is: wait for someone else to test it 🙂

Thank you bootz for the swift reply.

Could you please clarify what you mean in your final paragraph? Specifically: "I wouldn't be surprised if you have to connect both the Mac Mini display out as well as the eGPU to the monitor to get it work". Obviously, the mac mini doesn't have an internal display. Does this mean that I should connect whatever display I plan on using with the mac mini to the eGPU first, then connect the eGPU to the mac mini?

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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