Budget conscious quiet system: Modified Razer Core X or Sonnet eGFX 550?
 
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Budget conscious quiet system: Modified Razer Core X or Sonnet eGFX 550?  

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ArtyGreg
(@artygreg)
Active Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
 

Looking to purchase a Sapphire Pulse RX580 ... as for the enclosure to fit it in ... hmm

Trying to figure out which way to jump - Sonnet eGFX 550 or Razer Core X.

* Important to me to have a silent system, especially when the Mac is on sleep mode or not in use.
* I have to keep it as affordable as possible up front.
* I'm after a reliable stable performer I can hopefully fit and forget.
* I don't mind simple modifications involving taking things apart screws/connectors such as replacing fans (possibly the PSU if safe)

Sonnet Breakaway 550: £336 on amazon / £286 elsewhere.
Razer Core X: £290 on amazon - £250 on Razer site

I'm leaning towards the Razer core x as it's the best price, seems overall that bit more stable / better performance and tbh I just like the solid style of it ...
Once I can confirm it solves the problem I'm buying an eGPU for, I can then justify spending more to fix any noise issues.
Replacing the 120mm fan seems super easy and affordable so could do that right away.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I want to go with the Razer but am second guessing myself as the Sonnet could be a much easier process and worth the extra up front?

Mac Mini (late 2012) / 2.3Ghz quad i7 / 16GB / Samsung 850Pro 256GB SSD (OS) + 1TB original HD (storage) / Intel HD 4000 1536 MB / Mac OS 10.12.6 Sierra / EIZO 27" 2560x1440 via display port


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Ron Skarvan
(@ron_skarvan)
Active Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

@artygreg, core x is nearly silent.  Most importantly, it works well with Catalina and has sufficient power to comfortably power any graphics card - very important.  Core X is better built.  Sonnet has an improper Thunderbolt socket.  

 

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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ArtyGreg
(@artygreg)
Active Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
 

Ok quick update,

I went ahead and ordered my eGPU build the other day and has now arrived!

Razer Core X enclosure
Official Apple thunderbolt 3 - 2 adapter
Official Apple thunderbolt 2m cable
Ivanky displayport (1.2) 2m cable
Sapphire Pulse RX580 8GB card

I'll be connecting it all up and testing it out over the next week or so - will let you all know how I get on!

Smile  

Mac Mini (late 2012) / 2.3Ghz quad i7 / 16GB / Samsung 850Pro 256GB SSD (OS) + 1TB original HD (storage) / Intel HD 4000 1536 MB / Mac OS 10.12.6 Sierra / EIZO 27" 2560x1440 via display port


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Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Reputable Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

@artygreg

Very cool. 

You can upgrade to Mojave here:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210190

And you’ll need to download and run purge-wrangler.

 

2018 Mac Mini i5 / 6-core 3.0-4.1 Ghz / 32GB / 256GB / Intel UHD 630 / PowerColor Gaming Station / PowerColor dual-fan RX5700 XT / Mac OS 10.15.6 Catalina / Windows 2004 😏 / Dual LG 27" 4K displays


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ArtyGreg
(@artygreg)
Active Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
 

@mini-i5,

Thanks!

I guess if I was a cool youth I'd say something like #excited

But as I'm not a cool youth we'll have to make do with nerdy pear!

Nerd

Mac Mini (late 2012) / 2.3Ghz quad i7 / 16GB / Samsung 850Pro 256GB SSD (OS) + 1TB original HD (storage) / Intel HD 4000 1536 MB / Mac OS 10.12.6 Sierra / EIZO 27" 2560x1440 via display port


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ArtyGreg
(@artygreg)
Active Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
 

Ok...

So all the parts arrived - lets do this!

First attempt was using my startup disk with Mojave installed on my standard 1TB HD in the Mac Mini:

 

• Made sure everything was up to date,
• Got my RX580 in the Core X, thunderbolt 3 adapter plugged into Core X to thunderbolt cable to mini's thunderbolt port,
• When installing the RX580 it showed a small switch to change from 'game mode' to 'compute mode'... have tried both and for me compute mode was more stable but I don't game on my mac.
• Connected Mac mini to monitor via hdmi and RX580 via display port to monitor as well - eGPU not powered on yet.

Started the Purge Wrangler process:

Restarted into Recovery Mode / Terminal and ran 'csrutil disable' ... no issues there...

Next apparently had to disable 'ART' but when I ran 'csrutil authenticated-root disable' ... gave me message that it was an invalid command...
No instruction in Purge Wrangler walk through for this situation so continued with installing Purge Wrangler and it installed so assume was ok?

Now my eGPU is showing in top bar... but for it to register as the GPU my system was using I seem to need to switch to display port and disconnect the hdmi.

Sadly no improvements to CS6 at all ... Photoshop CS6 has performance issues in Mojave and Illustrator has UI issues... Also mini running hotter than normal while eGPU connected.
So unless I messed up part of the process CS6 + Mojave + eGPU not giving me any reason to compromise from my solid setup in Sierra...

 

So decided to have a crack at using the eGPU with Sierra!

There is a walkthrough on this site for 10.12.6 using goalque's automateGPU script so thought why not!
Went smoothly - back on my main startup disk on fast SSD HD running Sierra - eGPU running and connected ... oddly the RX580 showed as an R9 xxx ?

Everything working as it usually does without the eGPU so sadly no difference noticed so far other than the mini again seems to run hot when connected to the eGPU where it normally is very cool to touch.

Hoping while this doesn't seem to be my answer that at least my process might help others.

 

whew...

Exhausted

 

So seems I need to start saving for a new machine after all ... if there are any obvious points where I've gone wrong do let me know...
...as while I'd love to keep the eGPU for use with my new mac... what I spent on this would go a long way towards the new machine!

Mac Mini (late 2012) / 2.3Ghz quad i7 / 16GB / Samsung 850Pro 256GB SSD (OS) + 1TB original HD (storage) / Intel HD 4000 1536 MB / Mac OS 10.12.6 Sierra / EIZO 27" 2560x1440 via display port


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ArtyGreg
(@artygreg)
Active Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
 

Realised I hadn't run any benchmarks!

Here is the difference between my normal setup and the eGPU on Sierra 10.12.6 using automateGPU script

RX580 bench
HD4000 bench

So at last I've been able to see that my setup is at least working! Shame no apparent improvement to CS6 but it was only ever a long shot.  The encouraging thing is I may be ok for most work I do with just the standard integrated GPU ...

Mac Mini (late 2012) / 2.3Ghz quad i7 / 16GB / Samsung 850Pro 256GB SSD (OS) + 1TB original HD (storage) / Intel HD 4000 1536 MB / Mac OS 10.12.6 Sierra / EIZO 27" 2560x1440 via display port


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