New Mac Mini and eGPU

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Hugh Antonio

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New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostTue Oct 30, 2018 8:48 pm

Checking out the specs of the new Mac Mini. I'm half inclined to invest in the i7 model and the eGPU as it gives me better specs that a MacBook pro. What say you?
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Jack Fairley

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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostTue Oct 30, 2018 9:01 pm

Depends what you want to do with it. I think these will probably be popular as dedicate ProRes encoding machines, but with those integrated graphics, you're looking at a fat price tag to make it usable otherwise.
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Chris Chiasson

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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostTue Oct 30, 2018 10:41 pm

Ya, I’d love the Mac Mini... Until I noticed no dedicated GPU, and just the integrated graphics. I went from excited to disappointed. Guess they expect you to go the external GPU route, and thus launched it with the Pro GPU. Still cheaper then an iMac Pro if you don’t care for the 5k monitor.
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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostWed Oct 31, 2018 11:23 am

You can get that same GPU as in the eGPU in an iMac (non-Pro).
But if you already have a good screen, the Mac Mini should work OK with an eGPU, now that it has TB-3 too.
I tested my wifes MBP 13" (which only has Intel graphics) with the eGPU. If the CPU is sufficient completely depends on your source material, but you can go pretty high with the Mini if you want.
Might get a bit noisy under full load…
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rick.lang

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New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostWed Oct 31, 2018 3:16 pm

I’m sure the new Mac Mini designers intentionally kept the built-in graphics processing capability modest know the higher end Pro Vega 64 update was coming to the Blackmagic eGPU. Sure didn’t take long for the BMD eGPU to get a big boost.

Edit
Pro Vega 56, not Vega 64. Sniff, sniff.

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Last edited by rick.lang on Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Chris Chiasson

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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostWed Oct 31, 2018 11:36 pm

Still debating if I should get a Mac Mini, or continue my wait for the new Mac Pro that’s rumoured for 2019. Also, seems the 15 inch MacBook Pros are getting another last minute update to Vega GPUs in Nov. Might consider getting that instead if those new iPad Pros weren’t so awesome.
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rick.lang

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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostThu Nov 01, 2018 5:16 am

Decisions, so many options.


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Hugh Antonio

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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostThu Nov 01, 2018 7:06 am

Chris Chiasson wrote:Still debating if I should get a Mac Mini, or continue my wait for the new Mac Pro that’s rumoured for 2019. Also, seems the 15 inch MacBook Pros are getting another last minute update to Vega GPUs in Nov. Might consider getting that instead if those new iPad Pros weren’t so awesome.


I’ve just realised that the MacBook Pro will have the new Vega graphics card come later this month. If there’s not much of a price difference then I may just go down that route
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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostThu Nov 01, 2018 10:41 am

Uli Plank wrote:Might get a bit noisy under full load…


It'll be interesting to see user reports about noise. I've had my refurbished i5 2014 Mini for two years now and have yet to hear the fan, even when rendering videos in Resolve or doing processor-intensive sound work in Izotope RX. The i7 may require more cooling, though; I saw that they put a larger fan in the new Mini.
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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostFri Nov 02, 2018 1:22 am

I have a hard time even considering the eGPU. Vega 56 for $1200. That's the price of a 2080 ti.
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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostSun Nov 04, 2018 10:03 pm

Jack Fairley wrote:I think these will probably be popular as dedicate ProRes encoding machines, but with those integrated graphics, you're looking at a fat price tag to make it usable otherwise.
ProRes, ScopeBox and a kickass PostgreSQL/file server with the 10 gigabit ethernet option. 8-)
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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostSat Nov 24, 2018 9:59 am

Update: Have bought the Mac Mini i7 version with 32gb of Ram, upgraded myself saving $400 and got a saving of 10% on the mini as one of the kids is a student. Also bought the Egpu, not the Vega version. So total spend was about £1800. Which I think is quite reasonable and the specs are better than the MacBook Pro. All in all it’s serving it’s purpose pretty well. I’ll test 4K RAW soon to see how it fairs. But I’m happy with it.


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Uli Plank

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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostSun Nov 25, 2018 2:21 am

That's exactly the combination I would be considering for price/performance and I'm sure it's better than that of any MBP.
Could you kindly test it with CL!ing by Bart Vanhaeren and post the numbers?

And I'm really looking forward to reading about the RAW and/or Braw performance you'll get.
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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostTue Nov 27, 2018 12:18 am

How well does the Mac mini handle Blackmagic Footage? I'm sure it edits Prores fine. But what about Raw?
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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostTue Nov 27, 2018 12:47 am

roger.magnusson wrote:
Jack Fairley wrote:I think these will probably be popular as dedicate ProRes encoding machines, but with those integrated graphics, you're looking at a fat price tag to make it usable otherwise.
ProRes, ScopeBox and a kickass PostgreSQL/file server with the 10 gigabit ethernet option. 8-)


Ya, the price for that one is overkill. I'm hoping when Blackmagic start selling it outside the Apple store (which they claim will happen eventually), we'll start seeing price drops and refurbished models. Because Apple sadly never has deals with their online stores, and doesn't sell refurbished non-apple products (which really sucks when it comes to the LG UltraFine display).
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Uli Plank

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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostTue Nov 27, 2018 2:59 am

Now that eGPUs are supported you won’t need hacks for cheaper boxes any more.
But beware of NVIDIA cards: no support for Mojave and recent cards (yet?).
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Chris Chiasson

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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostTue Nov 27, 2018 5:40 am

Uli Plank wrote:Now that eGPUs are supported you won’t need hacks for cheaper boxes any more.
But beware of NVIDIA cards: no support for Mojave and recent cards (yet?).


Tell me about it. It’s High Sierra all over again where my MacBook Pro doesn’t recognizes the Nvidea GPU in it. Oddly it runs better... well, except rendering is slower.
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Erik Wittbusch

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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostTue Nov 27, 2018 8:02 am

There are still no Nvidia Web Drivers for Mojave available.
Mojave is a no-go for Nvidia users!

Hopefully, this will change one day.
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Uli Plank

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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostTue Nov 27, 2018 9:25 am

Even worse: no drivers at all for recent cards.
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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostThu Nov 29, 2018 12:34 am

Chris Chiasson wrote:How well does the Mac mini handle Blackmagic Footage? I'm sure it edits Prores fine. But what about Raw?


I bought the i5 version for ProRes rendering and PostgreSQL. My thinking was that the i7 looks like it suffers more from thermal throttling and I'm not too concerned with the lack of hyper-threading on the i5.

Anyway, it cuts HD Blackmagic RAW like butter, but forget about grading without an eGPU. 4.6K Blackmagic RAW playback reaches 18-19 fps in an HD timeline (14 fps in a UHD timeline) before the Intel GPU is maxed out. At that point the CPU is at about 35%. Tested with Resolve Performance Mode set to Automatic.

I'll probably get an eGPU at some point just for the heck of it. I've quickly become addicted to doing lighter work on this silent machine without the soul crushing fan noise of my large workstation.
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Uli Plank

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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostFri Nov 30, 2018 6:40 am

I was able to grade 4.6K BMraw in an HD timeline on the MBP of my wife, which only has Intel graphics too, with the help of an eGPU (the 580). I have no doubts that a Mini can do it that way.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostSun Dec 02, 2018 7:02 am

Chris Chiasson wrote:Still debating if I should get a Mac Mini, or continue my wait for the new Mac Pro that’s rumoured for 2019.

Not a rumor. Here's an official quote from senior director of Mac hardware marketing Tom Boger:

"We want to be transparent and communicate openly with our pro community so we want them to know that the Mac Pro is a 2019 product. It's not something for this year."

https://www.macworld.co.uk/news/mac/new ... o-3536364/

So it will be coming out, my guess right around the WWDC in June 2019. My fear is that it will suck. My hope is that it'll be as good as an HP z8: powerful, expandable, reliable, and starting at around $5000 (and going up to $20K with options).
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Uli Plank

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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostSun Dec 02, 2018 8:59 am

I think that's a pretty good guess, Marc.

Now, if anybody needs a new Mac before that date, I'd say the Mini with an eGPU is not the worst choice, looking at the recent Barefeats results.
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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostMon Dec 03, 2018 2:03 am

Marc Wielage wrote:
Chris Chiasson wrote:Still debating if I should get a Mac Mini, or continue my wait for the new Mac Pro that’s rumoured for 2019.

Not a rumor. Here's an official quote from senior director of Mac hardware marketing Tom Boger:

"We want to be transparent and communicate openly with our pro community so we want them to know that the Mac Pro is a 2019 product. It's not something for this year."

https://www.macworld.co.uk/news/mac/new ... o-3536364/

So it will be coming out, my guess right around the WWDC in June 2019. My fear is that it will suck. My hope is that it'll be as good as an HP z8: powerful, expandable, reliable, and starting at around $5000 (and going up to $20K with options).


Yeah, I read that before. Still, they might delay it. You never know.

But ya, I’m worried it’s gonna be something not worth the wait, like the 2013 Mac Pro. I had an old iMac that I wanted to replace with a Mac Pro so I can swap parts instead of buying a new one every 3 years. But the tower Macs didn’t have Thunderbolt ports and old USB speeds. So I waited for the refresh. Didn’t happen that year, and didn’t happen the year after. Then it finally happened, and it was a $3000 trash can with low flash memory, an unswappable GPU, and no 4K Thunderbolt Display (they sold a $5000 Sharp display instead). They didn’t even make keyboards or mouses to color match with it. Figured maybe the next version would be better. Got a MacBook Pro instead.

5 years later... they never updated it.

My worries are that the new one is gonna be $5000 for the base model (and that’s without their new display), and though you can swap parts, they’re gonna be a catch.

So I’m debating just getting the i7 Mac Mini, and hook it to my Thunderbolt Display until their new display comes out. And if the Mac Pro is something I want, then sell the Mini and get it.
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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostMon Dec 03, 2018 8:30 am

You can hook the LG UltraFine 5K to the eGPU and it's the same panel that you'd have in the iMac 27".
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Marc Wielage

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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostMon Dec 03, 2018 12:43 pm

Chris Chiasson wrote:My worries are that the new one is gonna be $5000 for the base model (and that’s without their new display), and though you can swap parts, they’re gonna be a catch. So I’m debating just getting the i7 Mac Mini, and hook it to my Thunderbolt Display until their new display comes out. And if the Mac Pro is something I want, then sell the Mini and get it.

The rumor is some are calling the new 2019 Mac Pro the "Modular Mac Pro," so it may be possible that we'll see a series of boxes that combine to add options to the machine to give it more power. The bad part of that is that I don't think TB3 is a viable GPU interface for power users because the bus speeds are too slow. If they have a PCI breakout bus that directly connects to the motherboard, then it will work just fine.

The LA Creative Pro User Group (LACPUG) had a meeting the other day demonstrating the new Mac Mini with the new BMD eGPU, and the overall impression was positive. I'll post a link when their video coverage of the demo is up. My impression is that it's no worse than an iMac Pro, so this may work for some users.
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Chris Chiasson

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Re: New Mac Mini and eGPU

PostMon Dec 03, 2018 1:13 pm

Uli Plank wrote:You can hook the LG UltraFine 5K to the eGPU and it's the same panel that you'd have in the iMac 27".


Ya, but Apple is launching their own display in 2019 with the Mac Pro. Waiting for that.

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