Budget option for Mac mini late 2012
 
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mt24
 mt24
(@mt24)
New Member
Joined: 1 week ago
 

Completely new to this... and looking for the cheapest way to be able to work with Topaz AI software (and improve performance of other photo apps).

I have seen working builds mentioned here using the Radeon RX580, but that's out of my reach.

Would an RX550 (or 560) work equally with this Mac and what would be the cheapest compatible enclosure I could use?

Much appreciated.

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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Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Prominent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@mt24

Welcome. 

For Topaz AI specifically - don’t know if an RX 560 or even RX 580 running over the 2012 model TB1 interface will even be fast enough. You would have to test it to find out. 

And sorry to say there are no graphics cards available at retail price. Anywhere. 

(Unless you can find a rare seller on Craigslist who is unaware of the worldwide GPU shortage)

Otherwise there is only the Sonnet Breakaway Puck 5500 and 5700 which include a small enclosure.

And the larger Blackmagic eGPU.

Not cheap at all.

But that’s everything available at retail price here in 2021. 
 

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX Vega 56 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 650) + macOS 11.1 & Win10 [build link]  

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mt24
 mt24
(@mt24)
New Member
Joined: 1 week ago
 

@mini-i5, Many thanks for the reply. I'm not sure I understand about the lack of availability at retail price. I live in Greece and see that I could get a PowerColor Radeon RX 550 4GB for €177, and if there was an enclosure that wasn't too dear, that might be within my budget. But as you say it's a bit unknown how it might fare with Topaz.

 

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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Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Prominent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@mt24

Maybe if you can still find a PowerColor Gaming Station or a Sonnet Breakaway Box 350. Those were priced a little lower. 

Newer enclosures are all priced around $300 USD, or above. 

 

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX Vega 56 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 650) + macOS 11.1 & Win10 [build link]  

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mt24
 mt24
(@mt24)
New Member
Joined: 1 week ago
 

@mini-i5

Thanks again for the pointers. I'll keep looking. The cheapest Sonnet box I have found so far is the 750 for €350. There might be some old stock out there somewhere hopefully!

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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