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DanHC
(@danhc)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@Joevt 

Thanks Joevt for all those information and numbers, really appreciate that, as well as correcting my error on the USB port speed of the Ultrafine 5K. As I have said, earlier, my research could be wrong and my appreciation to the people correcting it.

In my early response which I made distinction between having one controller or two, I am addressing the question of Sunshine, highlighted below, who was asking about the setup of
1. 5k - (TB3) - MacMini - (TB3) - eGPU? , which I believe that it would not be feasible / not as good in a single TB controller scenario. @Sunshine also asked if the (said setup) is possible and there are not loss in bandwidth or performance. Quote from below:-

Posted by: Sunshine

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. 😡

There was question of why I made the distinction between using one and two Thunderbolt controllers, and can't I connect an eGPU to one port and the display to the other port. The distinction was based on my assumption to my theory that there is a bandwidth limitation of a single TB controller on top of the bandwidth limitation of each TB port under it, and that controller bandwidth limitation is around the bandwidth limitation of the maximum speed of its port of its generation. 40Gbps for TB3, 20Gbps  for TB2. At least with TB2, I tested it out by connecting a 4K display and eGPU at the same time and the eGPU is close to inoperable.

Under that assumption, my theory is that @Sunshine 's 5k - (TB3) - MacMini - (TB3) - eGPU?  proposed setup:-
(1) it will not work or have "loss in performance" which is what @Sunshine asked, due to the bandwidth limitation of a single TB3 controller when the eGPU and 5K display are connect to the two ports of a single TB3 controller. 
(2) the loss of performance will not occur due to the bandwidth limitation of the TB controller if the 5K display and the eGPU are being connected to TB ports under two separate TB controller.

I am not particularly good at maths, thanks for the numbers at 

Posted by: joevt

The USB ports of the UltraFine 5K are USB 3.0 (5 Gbps). 5K is 26.54 Gbps. Of DisplayPort. The 22 Gbps limit is only for PCIe. So out of 40 Gbps, 13.5 remains for PCIe. Problems may arise if using a eGPU with a display not connected to the eGPU:

So let Bandwidth limitation of a TB controller = the Bandwidth limitation of the maximum speed of its TB port (40Gbps for TB3)

In a single controller scenario, 40Gbps - 26.54Gbps (Bandwidth loss for driving 5K monitor @ 60Hz, of DisplayPort ), only 13.5Gbps remaining bandwidth for communication with the eGPU over PCIe. In a double controller scenario, driving a 5K monitor under ports of one controller will not affect the maximum bandwidth allowed under the second controller communicating with the eGPU, meaning eGPU will operate at 22Gbps over PCI-e rather than 13.5Gbps.

In 5k - (TB3) - MacMini - (TB3) - eGPU setup, I believe 13.5Gbps and 22Gbps is a big deal, because say the eGPU is going to send 5K images back to the MacMini, 22Gbps might just be marginally enough if the driver could reduce the bandwidth it uses sending back video over PCI-e with some to spares for the operating of eGPU itself, where as 13.5 Gbps might be insufficient bandwidth to send video and have some to spare driving the eGPU all together.

 

Posted by: joevt

https://egpu.io/forums/which-gear-should-i-buy/2018-mac-mini-for-egpu/paged/2/ Test NVMe one per port / raid.

Posted by: DanHC

Just to be clear, what I am commenting is based on the feasibility of the above-mentioned setup of 

...

"Either way, the maximum bandwidth for that single controller, which is around 2750 MB/s, will be shared among the two devices."
"Yes, the two ports share the same bandwidth. The 2750 MB/s is the actual transfer rate you can expect.For example, if you run a benchmark on a NVMe SSD that can go fast enough, it will max out around 2750 MB/s. If you test two at the same time, I would expect around 1375 MB/s per drive.""

I don't believe this is true. A single port is limited to 22 Gbps (PCIe bandwidth) or 2750 MB/s but I was able to get up to 2815 MB/s by raiding two NVMe devices together, one per Thunderbolt port of a GC-TITAN RIDGE in a GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 motherboard's PCH slot. I don't know if there's throttling that could be disabled to allow > 3000 MB/s or if this is the physical limit of the chip. Individually, the NVMe drives can go up to 2645 MB/s so 2815 MB/s isn't all that great. And I don't know how adding DisplayPort signals would affect this. I'll retest this with the Mac mini when it arrives.

It says around 2750, so I would say 2815 (102.4%) is sort of around. I have not seen anyone who could operate two ports of TB3 under a single TB3 controller at the same time with their bandwidth combined exceeding the 40Gbps barrier all together. Of course I wouldn't surprise to see a little bit more than 40Gbps, as there should be some overhead for it.

You and the other brave pioneer and explorer who have decided to get the new Mac Mini before seeing a tear down have my most respect =D. I am too of a coward to buy any Mac products in the City I am living before a full review comes out. When I was living in the UK, I can return Apple products within 14 days. In Hong Kong, Apple does not allow return whatsoever, if a device break down on the 1st day, please book in on our genius bar (take around a week time to wait) for repair, Apple won't even replace a new unit for us. So if the device has some sort of a defect and I found it on the 1st day, they will replace that part with a refurbished part, making my machine a old machine on day one, assuming if they could arrange repair on day one. 

 

2013 15" MacBook Pro (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + RX Vega FE @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 650) + Win10 [build link]  

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DanHC
(@danhc)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@expensivefruit

Thanks for the analysis too. All I care is it comes out with two thunderbolt controller.

I never have thought of the OR clause, but then we might read it in a practical standpoint rather than a hardware capability standpoint.

So the statement before OR, i.e. "Connect up to two 4K displays — and even a third with HDMI 2.0 — or one 5K display" refers to its capability when run without an eGPU, that is to say the display Mac Mini could drive with its iGPU. But then when an eGPU is connected, the above mentioned statement shall not apply, because how many display the Mac Mini now can connect now depends on the capability of the eGPU. I would not put AND in replacement of OR there, or else it might lead to the people thinking it may still only connect up to three 4k displays when an eGPU is used, or eGPU is capable to deliver faster graphic even when the monitor is connected to the HDMI 2.0 port, which is not linked to the eGPU.

USB 3.0 has no Display Port Alt-mode capability, only in USB 3.1 (USB-C) like the Macbook could drive any display through Display Port Alt-mode.

Actually Apple has cannibalized many products in the past, how much does a Thunderbolt chip cost? the latest JHL7540 TB3 controller has a recommended price of $9.10 from Intel. The iMac 5K's Radeon Pro 580 can drive three 5K displays, but then Apple decided no... only one TB controller for you so you can only drive two 5K displays (including the internal one). Want triple 5K? Please get our iMac Pro that has dual TB controller.

The Error 12 thing, my card is a Vega FE, which had zero case of success in Windows 10 (apart from mine with Macbook Pro - Late 2013 (15-inch)), which was done in a leap of faith. I have subsequently tried pairing it with Macbook Pro Late 2013 (13-inch), Macbook Pro 2017 (13 inch with touch-bar), and disabled whatever could be disabled to free up resources, never manage to get it to work. Has something to disable is always a good thing... but does not mean after disabling error 12 will go away.

2013 15" MacBook Pro (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + RX Vega FE @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 650) + Win10 [build link]  

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

@danhc I never beat error 12 with AMD cards until I used the new EFI Bootloader... have you tried that method yet?

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

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 560 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Lite) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 [build link]  


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DanHC
(@danhc)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@Eightarmedpet

You mean apple_set_os.efi as in
https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/how-to-keep-mbps-irisiris-pro-activated-when-booting-into-windows-boot-camp/
?

I never used Refind but instead using the USB stick method.

2013 15" MacBook Pro (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + RX Vega FE @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 650) + Win10 [build link]  

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

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codices
(@codices)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: codices

I just purchased a 2018 Mac Mini with the 6 core, 12 thread i7 processor. I kept the storage and RAM base since I can add more storage and upgrade the RAM. I also just purchased a Sonnet eGFX box. This will be my first time using an eGPU. I will first be using it with the GTX 660 in my Windows desktop. Later on I will upgrade to an AMD GPU. Hopefully this setup works well with both Mojave and Windows.

An update to my previous post. I have received the Sonnet eGFX Breakway Box and also purchased an RX 580 to use with it. The Mac Mini is still listed as Preparing to Ship, with the earliest arrival date being the 9th. I've never used an eGPU before, so I may need some help getting it to work once it finally arrives.

2018 Mac mini i7. Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350w. XFX RX 580 8GB. Mac OS Catalina 10.15.1 Beta 2


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expensivefruit
(@expensivefruit)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@codices I assume you mean getting it to work with Windows? I really hope for your sake it is a plug and play situation as I am pretty much in the same boat. I haven't ordered it but am pretty much set on getting it by the end of the year. Given that the mac mini is headless and has no dGPU (and assuming there are 2 thunderbolt controllers) then we might just be in luck (from everything that I have read), but I'd love to know how you get on with it.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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codices
(@codices)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

The Mac Mini is listed as shipped today and scheduled to be delivered on Friday. I don't know anything about how eGPUs work with Mac and Windows, but I'm thinking it is like this.

                      
[Mac Mini] ---- (TB3) ---- [eGPU] --- [Monitor] ..............................................................................................................................
[Mac Mini] --- (HDMI) --------------- [Monitor]

I would like the monitor to be connected to both the integrated GPU and the eGPU, so that I can easily switch between them if the eGPU is not needed (to save power).

I plan on using the eGPU for gaming in both Mac OS and Windows. Is Windows 10 required for eGPU? I prefer Windows 7 but I'm not sure it is supported.

2018 Mac mini i7. Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350w. XFX RX 580 8GB. Mac OS Catalina 10.15.1 Beta 2


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

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DanHC
(@danhc)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@Eightarmedpet

Review coming out, now waiting for someone to actually open it to tell us there are two Titan Ridge Controller (Best Case Scenario), which I will buy it immediately.

2013 15" MacBook Pro (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + RX Vega FE @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 650) + Win10 [build link]  

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