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RoboTECT

Considering eGPU to Remedy 3D Spinning Wheel

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PROBLEM

I have 2018 Mac mini with 16GB RAM  — Intel UHD Graphic 630 — Two 1080 27" Dell monitors.  I just purchased Home Designer 2021 Architecture.

With such weak graphics card, it is not uncommon for the Spinning Wheel to appear when working in 3D.   After some research from several Graphic Card websites, there are several solutions I am considering:

1.  Purchase an iMac with 16GB Ram — Radeon Pro 560x w/ 4GB GDDR5 memory = $1800

2.  BlackMagic eGPU:  Radeon Pro 580 = $700

3.  BlackMagic eGPU Pro:  Radeon RX Vega 56 = $1200

 

CONCLUSION

Option 1:  Most expensive, and not practical since my Mac mini handles everything else very well. And performance is subpar to Options 2 and 3.

Option 2:  Performance Improvement is over 500% better compared my current internal GPU.

Option 3:  Improvement is over 1000% better.

 

QUESTIONS

1. Would an eGPU be beneficial in solving my 3D rendering issues?  

2. Would the BlackMagic eGPU be sufficient improvement vs the BlackMagic Pro?

 

Thank you for any feedback.

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On 4/11/2020 at 3:23 PM, RoboTECT said:

PROBLEM

I have 2018 Mac mini with 16GB RAM  — Intel UHD Graphic 630 — Two 1080 27" Dell monitors.  I just purchased Home Designer 2021 Architecture.

With such weak graphics card, it is not uncommon for the Spinning Wheel to appear when working in 3D.   After some research from several Graphic Card websites, there are several solutions I am considering:

1.  Purchase an iMac with 16GB Ram — Radeon Pro 560x w/ 4GB GDDR5 memory = $1800

2.  BlackMagic eGPU:  Radeon Pro 580 = $700

3.  BlackMagic eGPU Pro:  Radeon RX Vega 56 = $1200

 

CONCLUSION

Option 1:  Most expensive, and not practical since my Mac mini handles everything else very well. And performance is subpar to Options 2 and 3.

Option 2:  Performance Improvement is over 500% better compared my current internal GPU.

Option 3:  Improvement is over 1000% better.

 

QUESTIONS

1. Would an eGPU be beneficial in solving my 3D rendering issues?  

2. Would the BlackMagic eGPU be sufficient improvement vs the BlackMagic Pro?

 

Thank you for any feedback.

HDPro is a lighter weight program for 3d than chief so you may get better inforation on the hometalk forum (for hdpro).  

 

But here is my experience previously using a mbpro 13" with the same graphic chip as your mini.  I had the Black Magic e-GPU Breakaway Puck with a Radeon Pro 560 w/ 4gb ram for around $500 (now they are down to $300 if you buy it direct from sonnet).  It was not a high end gpu by any means but it worked quite well.  I used that as my work machine for about 9 months before I upgraded my desktop to a Mac Pro 6.1 (old garbage can model of the pro.) which has dual gpus and works amazingly!  I continued to use my mbpro 13 for travel as i tend to travel alot and still work while doing so.  I would bring my BM e-gpu with and although the unit itself was small the power brick was HUGE on it and in my opinion it should not be considered for travel.  But it did the job and recently while in Mexico there was a power issue where it sparked and stopped working 100%.  Sonnet replaced the bad unit with a new one after nearly a year of heavy use.  In the meantime my 13" mbpro started having the screen issue that they are known to have and I ended up upgrading to the new 2019 16" MBPro with the 5300m with 4gb memory which flies as well.  I ended up selling that Black Magic puck e-gpu on ebay for $300 and an insurance claim resulted in a full refund for the mbpro 13 due to the coronavirus issue shutting down their tech facility.  So overall I actually came out ahead on the deal financially with getting 2.5 years of work out of the computer... :)

 

My two cents:  Go with the Sonnet Black Magic Puck for your mac mini, or step up to the 16" MBPro and resell your Mini.  But really the mini with an e-gpu should run HDPro just fine.  

 

Hope this long diatribe helps in your decision making.

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