2018 Mac Mini for eGPU  

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Crofs
(@crofs)
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November 16, 2018 2:31 pm  

I cannot find a way to upload images on this site so i'll post it manually:

Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
FPS: 62.6
Score: 1576
Min FPS: 10.7
Max FPS: 126.1

Render: OpenGL
Mode: 1600x900 8xAA Windowed
Preset: Extreme

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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bluetech
(@bluetech)
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November 16, 2018 2:59 pm  

Pictures:  I use   www.abload.de 

Benchmark:  Thank you!
That is nearly 8 times faster than the internal Graphics. (8.1 fps avg)

How much load has the i5-hexacore, when the Vega64 is at 100% ?

X58/P67/X79-Overclocker and Mac-Newbie(i7mini2018)
...saveing $ for my first [email protected]


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Crofs
(@crofs)
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November 16, 2018 3:50 pm  

I have tried to upload images here:
It should show you the load of my CPU and Vega 64

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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bluetech
(@bluetech)
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November 16, 2018 5:41 pm  

Thank you very much!

Only 23% load at the i5-hexacore-cpu
with the Vega64 eGPU-Bundle at 100%,
that's awesome! ♥️ 

There is enough CPU-Power for eGPU-Updates in the future. 
Nice to know, because the internal gpu
is the only "brake" in the system. The Mac mini with an eGPU-Optional: Perfect 😍✔️

X58/P67/X79-Overclocker and Mac-Newbie(i7mini2018)
...saveing $ for my first [email protected]


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Crofs
(@crofs)
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November 16, 2018 7:55 pm  

Indeed it is 🙂 I'm enjoying this setup very much!! It's worth every penny!
Now i can play with both windows and MacOS, which is the dream for me 🙂

Let me know if there is anything else you want benchmarks for.. i'll post it gladly 😀

Kind regards Chris

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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bluetech
(@bluetech)
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November 17, 2018 10:59 am  

As student i have to save money for a eGPU-Setup like yours😍

After knowing that eGPU runs perfect and native at the mac mini with the Vega64 at Mojave & bootcamp✔️ :

@ eGPU.io - "Pros" ☺️:
Is it possible, and how much work is it, to get nVidia Cards running at both OS?

 

Benchmarks: The Performance with eGPU is very good, so normaly more benchmarks are not needed ......but, with pleasure 😜

Mac OS X Mojave: Cinebench 15, Geekbench 4
Win10-Bootcamp: Cinebench 11.5, 3DMark Time spy (to know the possible-fps's at a vega64 upgrade would be fine, scores are second-rate)💡

X58/P67/X79-Overclocker and Mac-Newbie(i7mini2018)
...saveing $ for my first [email protected]


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padams35
(@padams35)
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November 19, 2018 1:25 am  

Just got my mini and plugged it into my old Thunder 2 RX 460 eGPU... and it worked! Without any scripts! ...or at least without rerunning any new scripts on the mini.

It is possible all necessary tweaks previously script implemented on my MacBook Air simply followed me when I migrated user data, because AMDLegacySupport.kext was waiting for me and last I checked that was from you guys and not Apple.

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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theitsage
(@itsage)
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November 19, 2018 4:47 am  

@padams35 That's good to hear. What macOS version are you running on the Mac mini? The latest 10.14.1 build should have native RX 460/560 eGPU support. Apple blocks older Thunderbolt Macs not the enclosures so the AKiTiO Thunder2 should work natively as well.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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padams35
(@padams35)
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November 19, 2018 12:59 pm  

Running 10.14.1, for some reason I thought I thought the older enclosure was blocked because of T82 vs T83. It was a very pleasant surprise to discover that this time around I wouldn't need to disable SIP.

((And on a different tangent the mini speaker is bad, really bad. Anyone planning to use a Mac Mini with an eGPU should also plan on using their own speakers. I ended up digging out a spare JBL Creature III even before I got around to connecting the eGPU.))

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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(@ralf_nobbe)
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November 19, 2018 1:47 pm  

@johnjkle

The eGPU is now connected to the Thunderbolt port closest to the HDMI port on the Mac. 

Hi this sentence helped me solve my problem. Thank you .I wondered why my Omen always freeze Windows when started ( Could only boot Windows when Omen was disconnected on my mini)
Now i connect like you and all works fine. Just need to test a few things.
Still curious what is better HDMI or Display Port

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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johnjkle
(@johnjkle)
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November 19, 2018 2:45 pm  

@ralf_nobbe - nice to hear things are working for you. I've been following this thread and others seem to have more success with the port further from the HDMI port (and nearest to the ethernet port) it seems. In my case (like yours I guess), connecting the eGPU to that port didn't really work correctly and I was getting random BSODs. With the current setup, things are perfectly stable. I still can't tell why that's the case though and it seems to differ for some people... odd.

 

HDMI vs Displayport, you mean what's best to use from the eGPU? That largely depends on your monitor I'd say - Displayport is generally capable of higher resolution/refresh rate combinations at this point so if your monitor is capable of something like that, you'll probably want to use Displayport. For standard resolutions or refresh rates, HDMI would be much the same really.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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(@ralf_nobbe)
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November 19, 2018 3:24 pm  

@johnjkle
It looks really nice. 
At the moment i use HDMI but also curious to try Display port. Just want it optimized

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(@benroethig)
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November 19, 2018 4:14 pm  

Its great to hear about the native RX460/560 support in 10.14.1.  I already installed Purge Wrangler in advance the Node and the RX560 being delivered later this week, but its nice to nice I may have to do that on the next patch.

2018 Mac mini Core i5 6-core. Akitio Node with MSI Aero ITX Radeon RX 560. macOS 10.14.1 Mojave only.


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boethius
(@boethius)
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November 25, 2018 7:42 am  

Thanks for this information. Does  having 2 JHL7540 controllers  actually confirm and mean that all 4 TB3 ports on Mac Mini are confirmed to be 40gb/s?

Is the same confirmed for 2018 MacBook Pro 15" as well?

Lastly, I read somewhere that 8K displays could be driven by these ports if the graphics card can handle it.  Apparently prior to Vega on MacBook Pro 15" for late 2018, it looks like this hasn't been possible.  But I'm wondering if it is now possible with Vega 20 now available.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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joevt
(@joevt3)
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November 25, 2018 9:59 pm  
Posted by: boethius

Thanks for this information. Does  having 2 JHL7540 controllers  actually confirm and mean that all 4 TB3 ports on Mac Mini are confirmed to be 40gb/s?

All Thunderbolt 3 ports of all computers are capable of 40 Gb/s. The question is how much of that bandwidth can be used by PCIe traffic (the rest is used by DisplayPort traffic). A Thunderbolt 3 controller can have up to a PCIe 3.0 x4 connection to the computer (3938 MB/s without overhead). Some Thunderbolt 3 controllers may have a PCIe 3.0 x2 (1969 MB/s) connection or PCIe 2.0 x4 (2000 MB/s). In the case of PCIe 3.0 x4, PCIe traffic over a single Thunderbolt cable is limited to 22 Gb/s or 2750 MB/s.

The Thunderbolt controllers can be connected to the CPU lanes where there is usually at least 16 lanes available - this is where a graphics card would usually go. A graphics card can use all 16, or it can use 8 leaving 8 lanes for other devices. The Mac mini doesn't have a graphics card.

Another option is to have the Thunderbolt controllers connected to PCH lanes where there are a variable number of lanes, but the PCH is connected to the CPU using DMI which is similar to PCIe 3.0 x4 in the case of DMI 3.0 or it could be PCIe 2.0 x4 in the case of DMI 2.0. That is a bottleneck if you are using more than one device simultaneously.

Both controllers of the Mac mini 2018 have PCIe 3.0 x4 to the CPU, so they both have full performance. See the pcitree.sh script output at
https://egpu.io/forums/which-gear-should-i-buy/2018-mac-mini-for-egpu/paged/3/#post-47026
or the ioreg output at
https://egpu.io/forums/which-gear-should-i-buy/2018-mac-mini-for-egpu/paged/4/#post-47038

I was able to get 4857 MB/s from both controllers with a RAID setup. That's more than you could get through DMI 3.0. From two ports of a single controller I was only able to get 2852 MB/s where you would expect something over 3000 MB/s.

Posted by: boethius

Is the same confirmed for 2018 MacBook Pro 15" as well?

I'm not sure; probably. I guess it would use 8 lanes for AMD graphics, and the remaining 8 lanes for the two Thunderbolt 3 controllers? I would have to find an ioreg output for it.

Posted by: boethius

Lastly, I read somewhere that 8K displays could be driven by these ports if the graphics card can handle it.  Apparently prior to Vega on MacBook Pro 15" for late 2018, it looks like this hasn't been possible.  But I'm wondering if it is now possible with Vega 20 now available.

The Mac mini use Intel graphics which only supports DisplayPort 1.2 so only 4K can be used or 5K with dual link SST.

AMD (even prior to Vega 20) and Nvidia should be able to support DisplayPort 1.4 but I don't know if the macOS drivers support it.

8K 30Hz is possible without DSC (Display Stream Compression). I don't think the Dell UP3218K supports DSC - it uses dual link DisplayPort 1.4 SST for 8K 60Hz.

I don't know if Windows drivers support DSC.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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xcode
(@xcode)
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November 26, 2018 9:58 am  

The Mac mini use Intel graphics which only supports DisplayPort 1.2 so only 4K can be used or 5K with dual link SST

as far as I know Mac mini 2018 UHD 630 uses HDMI 1.4

Highpoint Rocketstor 6661A + Mac Mini 2018 + LG 43" 4k TV


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joevt
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November 27, 2018 10:51 pm  
Posted by: xcode

as far as I know Mac mini 2018 UHD 630 uses HDMI 1.4

The Apple specs say HDMI 2.0. I've tested this - SwitchResX shows 3840x2160 60Hz using 594 MHz pixel clock via HDMI cable to my Dell P2415Q (which has HDMI 2.0 enabled). I guess the Mac mini uses a DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 converter instead of the CPU's built-in DP++ (DisplayPort dual mode) which would allow only HDMI 1.4.

Actually, the iFixit teardown shows the Mac mini 2018 has a MegaChips MCDP2920A4 DisplayPort 1.4 to HDMI 2.0 converter.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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rnb2
 rnb2
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November 28, 2018 6:09 am  

So, I'm fortunate that my wife was in need of a "new" (to her) computer, as her (my old) late 2012 21.5" iMac was getting grumpy, so we did what we usually do: get a new machine for me, and hand my current machine (in this case, a mid-2017 3GHz i5 21.5" iMac 4k) down to her. Having spent time with 27" iMacs (both a late 2009 and a 2014 5k, both i7s), I've found that I don't really like working with them - something about their monolithic nature makes me dread sitting in front of them for long stretches of time. Since they didn't get updated this year, it was easy to eliminate non-Pro iMacs from consideration, and, while there are refurb  base iMac Pros available, I decided I'd much rather pick out my own display and put together a modular system based around the new Mac mini instead. I'm willing to take the performance hit vs. the iMac Pro in return for a setup that I feel genuine affection for.

So, I'm not a gamer, so Boot Camp isn't really a concern for me - maybe somewhere down the line, but not now. This is mainly a work machine (Lightroom and Final Cut Pro/Motion/DaVinci Resolve) with a bit of music and light Mac gaming on the side. I have the i7 Mac mini (16/256/10Gb for future use), 2TB of fast SSD storage in an OWC Express 4M2, a BenQ SW271 display, an OWC Mercury Helios FX eGPU enclosure (a rebranded Sonnet 550) that I got open box w/3-year warranty, and an ASRock Vega 56 (since it's cheap and the downsides for gamers don't really apply to my use case). The display is currently plugged into the HDMI port on the mini, and everything seems to be working well. But....

TL;DR: If I'm not going to do Boot Camp, is there a benefit to plugging the display into one of the GPU's DisplayPorts (or HDMI) instead? Would that force everything to use the eGPU, vs having to tell individual apps to use it as I've been doing? Any performance benefit? This site was a tremendous help as I was deciding what I needed to get a setup I'd be happy with, so I figured it was probably the best place to ask.

2018 i7 Mac mini - OWC Mercury Helios FX (Sonnet 550) - ASRock Vega 56 - BenQ SW271


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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November 28, 2018 6:14 am  

@rnb2 You will see performance benefits in some apps and especially games if a monitor is directly plugged in to the eGPU. For compute-only tasks, not so.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.sh
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
----
Multiple Build Guides


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rnb2
 rnb2
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November 28, 2018 6:23 pm  

@mac_editor Thanks! Is there any benefit to going with DisplayPort over the HDMI port on the GPU for my use case? I know that DisplayPort supports some things (resolutions/refresh rates) that HDMI doesn't, but don't know if that matters for what I do. I find myself with a couple DP/miniDP cables, but with no miniDP on the display or card, so would need to get a DP/DP cable if there's a compelling reason to go that route.

2018 i7 Mac mini - OWC Mercury Helios FX (Sonnet 550) - ASRock Vega 56 - BenQ SW271


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DefMini
(@defmini)
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November 29, 2018 1:04 am  

I am having a few issues with boot up and my Mac Mini boots up then just reboots itself as I am logging in... sometimes once, sometimes twice.
Trying to problem shoot the issue which is happening with the new Sonnet Breakaway Puck 570 (AMD Radeon RX 570).

Here's my setup:
2018 Mac Mini, 3.2 GHz i7
64 GB RAM
500 SSD
Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Puck 570
BenQ PD2710QC Display (2K)
edit: running Mojave 10.14.1

Mac Mini (HDMI) --> BenQ (HDMI)
Mac Mini (Mini DP) --> eGFX --> BenQ (Mini DP)

I am not using the Mini for gaming... it's for Music Production and some video editing so I am not worried about Bootcamp atm.
I seem to be having the issue with both HDMI and Mini DP plugged in at the same time.  I do use the HDMI so I can login... otherwise, my screen is blank until after I am signed in when it seems to connect to the eGFX card on Display Port.

I'll keep doing more reading and playing around with it... but hope there is something simple I am missing since I am a noob with eGPU.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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rnb2
 rnb2
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November 29, 2018 8:57 pm  
Posted by: rnb2

@mac_editor Thanks! Is there any benefit to going with DisplayPort over the HDMI port on the GPU for my use case? I know that DisplayPort supports some things (resolutions/refresh rates) that HDMI doesn't, but don't know if that matters for what I do. I find myself with a couple DP/miniDP cables, but with no miniDP on the display or card, so would need to get a DP/DP cable if there's a compelling reason to go that route.

Answering my own question: I moved the HDMI cable from the port on the Mac mini to the HDMI port on the GPU, and that obviates the need to tell individual apps to use the eGPU (they all just use it). I am getting a brief, purple version of my desktop when I wake the monitor up (the Mac isn't sleeping, just turning off signal to the display), so I may get a DisplayPort cable to see if that works without that glitch.

2018 i7 Mac mini - OWC Mercury Helios FX (Sonnet 550) - ASRock Vega 56 - BenQ SW271


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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November 29, 2018 9:34 pm  

@rnb2 In my experience DisplayPort has behaved better than HDMI on macOS, but I don't have conclusive evidence either way. What I can say is that on HDMI my monitor looked a little more washed out vs. DisplayPort. As long as things are working for you as intended, I think sticking with either would be ok. For higher resolutions (4K60) I recommend DisplayPort.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.sh
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
----
Multiple Build Guides


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joevt
(@joevt3)
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November 29, 2018 11:14 pm  
Posted by: padams35

Just got my mini and plugged it into my old Thunder 2 RX 460 eGPU... and it worked! Without any scripts! ...or at least without rerunning any new scripts on the mini.

It is possible all necessary tweaks previously script implemented on my MacBook Air simply followed me when I migrated user data, because AMDLegacySupport.kext was waiting for me and last I checked that was from you guys and not Apple.

AMDLegacySupport.kext is provided by Apple in HighSierra at /System/Library/Extensions but not in Mojave. purge_wrangler installs a version into /Library/Extensions. Does the one in /Library/Extensions override the one in /System/Library/Extensions? Does the one in /Library/Extensions affect/help Mojave?

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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November 30, 2018 12:01 am  

@joevt3 The AMDLegacySupport.kext used in purge-wrangler is not related to the one in High Sierra in any way. Thanks to you I realize it was bad naming on my part :p

The legacy support kext just enables unsupported AMD eGPUs and will last across software updates (version agnostic). Mojave 10.14.1 includes native support for RX460 though, so the kext can be useful for other cards (such as R9 Fury).

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.sh
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
----
Multiple Build Guides


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joevt
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November 30, 2018 1:25 am  
Posted by: mac_editor

@joevt3 The AMDLegacySupport.kext used in purge-wrangler is not related to the one in High Sierra in any way. Thanks to you I realize it was bad naming on my part :p

The legacy support kext just enables unsupported AMD eGPUs and will last across software updates (version agnostic). Mojave 10.14.1 includes native support for RX460 though, so the kext can be useful for other cards (such as R9 Fury).

Legacy support refers to using a graphics card as an eGPU. This only works if support exists for the graphics card as non-eGPU? For example, Mojave has no support for Radeon HD 4870 but High Sierra does so it can be used as an eGPU only in High Sierra?

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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