2018 Mac mini + Nvidia RTX 2080 eGPU! Good for gamers?

The RTX 2080 makes for a potent Windows Boot Camp eGPU companion for the 2018 Mac mini with 6-core Intel i7 CPU..

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– EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 ( )
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50 Comments on 2018 Mac mini + Nvidia RTX 2080 eGPU! Good for gamers?

    • Because I didn’t buy a Mac mini to run Windows. I bought a Mac mini to run macOS. This is just icing on the cake.

    • Alex smith because when you prefer macOS but still want to game and don’t want excessive hardware! I’m definitely interested in this concept. Please don’t be insulting just because your not.

    • Your “proper gaming system” doesn’t run macOS. Jeff’s system does. This is a best-of-both-worlds solution that, while not cheap, is at least an option.

    • Yeah, but isn’t that the whole point? A super versatile machine that you can tailor to your own particular use case. That’s why I love the Mac Mini.

    • +Ben Norris I see no point of the mac mini in this case. Might as well get a MacBook Pro. You get the same capability, but you get a portable laptop too.

    • John Smith Not really. MacBook Pro is a lot more expensive than Mac Mini. Also if you are going to fork out for an eGPU and bypass the internal GPU, paying the extra for discrete graphics in the MacBook Pro is a waste of money. Both machines have their use cases – but for me I’d rather go with Mac Mini.

    • From what I understand, boot camp Windows eGPUs don’t work with Macs that have displays built-in. I think the 2018 Mac Mini is the first headless Mac with eGPU support over TB3.

    • +2nd_place Could be wrong, but I am almost certain that there may be an issue on the 13 inch MBP because of the lack of dedicated graphics on that.

    • +2nd_place I used a GTX 1080 on my 2017 MBP 15 inch for a year with no issues in bootcamp with a sonnet 550
      Nvidia’s bootcamp egpu drivers are pretty good but the Mac OS support is pretty bad from testing some mac version worked better but it was always a bit laggy and in newer versions it was bad

      Amd cards work great in Mac OS but Bootcamp drivers are a mess and the system starts with a black screen sometimes

      It really is a shame that neither major gpu maker works in both OSes well

      Maybe Intels gpus next year will deliver tho

    • Owain Harris for the cost of the 2080 and the performance loss you get from running it on an enclosure you are better off getting something like a 1070 and building or buying a pc with the cost difference and running a dual setup if you really need the Mac. You will get much better performance, be cheaper and not have to deal with the boot camp display cable hot swapping nonsense. Strange that windows has become the OS that just works.

  1. it’s pretty cool , but for the money you spent you could have bought an amazing Windows gaming machine and just Hackintosh’d it to run OSX , since OSX doesn’t work with the video card

  2. It’s enough to get a gtx1060 or 1070 since you’re limited by PCIe 4x bandwidth and CPU throttling. Just because you can afford rtx2080 doesn’t mean you should get it.

    • 100% agree with you. With current revision of thunderbolt, the better the GPU the higher the performance loss in percentage. something like a 1060 makes the most sense.

    • Apple has some magic with there thunderbolt 3 connection which allows you to use 2 or 3 ports bandwidth.

    • +Yasin Hasan The apple is better than a surface studio, which I believe features a 7th gen quadcore. But, I guess it depends on what you are planning on using it for.

    • +Yasin Hasan The surface studio 2 has a GTX 1070 when the GPU and a 4 core i7-7820HQ from Q1 2017 CPU(same as a 2017 MBP I think) as far as I can tell when maxed out. That CPU scores 16189 on multi-threads.
      This at the price of 4,199 USD.

      The Mac mini has a 2018 model CPU with 6 core I7-8700B, that scores 26062 in Geekbench. And you can also connect an eGPU to it, as they did in this case and get a GTX1080, RTX2080 GPU etc(90% ish performance I think).
      With an RTX 2080, the mac mini and a monitor that would be
      1k USD for the mac mini
      500 USD for a Razer Core v2
      1k USD ish for RTX 2080
      346 USD for a Samsung 27″ LED C27JG50
      that is 2,9k ish USD in cost.

      So in this case, both performance wise and price wise. It is cheaper to go for the mac mini. Assuming you are going for either a surface studio 2 or a mac mini for gaming.

      But buying either for just the purpose of gaming on them is silly.

      EDIT:
      If you go for a surface studio, you would also “need” a better monitor if you play FPS games. It’s just 60hz unless I’m mistaken.

  3. Guys, eGPU bandwidth is PCI-e x4, I don’t get point of having eGPU for that much amount of money, when you only get 25% of possible perfomance. IT IS PCI-E x4, NOT PCI-E x16, please get it, it is total BS!

    • Your comment is total BS. Current graphics cards cannot utilize all 16 pci-e lines anyways. So while there is a little loss of performance, you are getting way way more than 25% out of this RTX 2080.

  4. Thanks for the video clip, Jeff. One question.

    Can I use parallel 14 instead of boot camp to link up with eGPU using RTX 2080? Thanks.

    • If you are staying in MacOS use an AMD card since it is supported in the OS, you won’t see any real benefit in a MacOS visualization environment like Parallels with an Nvidia card but you will see a big improvement with AMD. The Vega cards work very well in MacOS. Have a great day.

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