1. Join Date
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    652
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    #1

    BitterMelon's "Chip" build: GA-Z77N-WIFI - i5-3570K - HD 6870



    BitterMelon's Compact Gaming Hybrid - Core i5-3570K - GA-Z77N-WIFI - HD 6870


    "Chip"


    Components

    Mac OS X version 10.8.2 Lion
    Mac App Store - OS X Mountain Lion

    GIGABYTE GA-Z77N-WIFI LGA 1155 Intel Z77 mini-ITX Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128568

    GIGABYTE GV-R687SO-1GD Radeon HD 6870 1GB Super Overclock (link is GV-R687OC-1GD)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125357

    Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116504

    Antec Kuhler H2O 620 Liquid Cooling System
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835209049

    CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233186

    BitFenix Prodigy Arctic White / White Steel / Plastic Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811345017

    BitFenix Spectre Pro All Black 230mm Case Fan
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835345032

    Zalman Fan Mate 2 Fan RPM controller
    http://www.amazon.com/Zalman-Fan-Mate-RPM-controller/dp/B0007W8D3M/

    Chieftec Nitro Series BPS-650C 650W 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=Chieftec+BPS-650C
    (Overkill, I know, but I got it 50% off!)

    DELL DW1515 Dual band 2.4Ghz 5Ghz Half-height Mini-PCIe Wireless Card
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=DW1515

    Belkin F8T016 Mini Bluetooth Laptop Adapter
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA07R08U5947

    LG IPS277L 27" IPS widescreen monitor (LED, VGA, HDMI, 5ms)
    http://www.amazon.de/LG-IPS277L-TFT-Monitor-Reaktionszeit-mattschwarz/dp/B008968O0U/ref=sr_1_1

    2 x Samsung 840 Series 2.5" 250GB SATA III SSD
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147189

    Already Owned

    2 x Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320 GB SATA
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=7200.10+320

    (Replaced by Samsung SSDs)

    Bluetooth USB Adapter BT-1300Tp
    http://www.trust.com/products/product.aspx?artnr=14377

    (Replaced by Belkin F8T016.)


    Background:

    Today my main machine is a "late 2009" iMac, the low end 21.5" model. It's ok for most desktop work, but when I occasionally want to play a game, it's mostly a pain. Lowest settings, lowest usable resolution and still lagging like crazy. Plus, I can't install an SSD in it (at least not without disassembling the whole computer into molecules). I wanted something that could do both.

    This is my first from-scratch build as a Hackintosh. My last build was my old P4 back in the Tiger days. It worked pretty well, but you had to treat it right. This time I have spent a lot of time here to select the right parts for the build.


    Component choices:

    When I first saw the Bitfenix Prodigy, I immediately knew I had to build a Hackintosh in it. That ment ITX, and since I wanted to build an Ivy Bridge machine with a Gigabyte motherboard, all I needed to do to wait for Gigabyte to release their Ivy Bridge ITX motherboards. I had to wait several months.

    This started out slightly lower performing (and cheaper!) than it ended up. At first I was looking at the i5-3450, a Radeon 6850 and a 430W PSU. But seeing as the 6850 might have some problems during the install (according to the forum), I decided it was best to get a HD4000-equipped CPU, just in case. I then switched (wrongly) to the i5-3550, only to realize at the last moment that it was only HD2500, forcing me to get the more expensive i5-3570k. I was initially going with the H77N motherboard as well, but since I had to get the i5-3570k I thought I might as well get the Z77N instead. I'm not aiming to over-clock, but I didn't want to paint myself into a corner if I ever changed my mind. Then I found the PSU deal (50% off), giving me a Chieftec 650W modular PSU for the same price as the 430W I first considered. I couldn't resist it. I now had a PSU that could offer two 6-pin PCIe connectors instead of one. That meant that I could get a Radeon 6870 instead of a 6850, with just a small premium.

    As for choosing Radeon over nVidia, I compared benchmarks of several models and concluded that a Radeon 6850 or 6870 gave me the most bang-for-buck in my price segment. The nVidias were either less performing, or more expensive.

    Noise-wise, I wanted the computer to be as quiet as possible. The possibility of putting a huge 230 mm fan in front of the Prodigy appealed to me (bigger fan => more air for less noise), so I decided to go for that. The fan turned out to be quite noisy though, especially with the slightly choked airflow from the white Prodigy's front. Adding a Zalman Fanmate and turning it down as low as possible resulted in a quiet fan that still pushes a lot of air.

    Picking a CPU cooler (better than the stock one) is a bit tricky though, as the Z77N only allows for 50 mm between the center of the CPU and the PCI-e slot. That means that a CPU-centered heatsink needs to me no more than 100 mm wide. This rules out all 120 mm fan coolers I've seen so far. In the end, I decided to go for the Antec 620 sealed water cooing system, as that was the only way to fit a bigger fan. Plus it was pretty much the same price as many air coolers. The fan included in the 620 is said to be noisy, so I just replaced it with one of the case fans included in the Prodigy.

    I decided to get the Gigabyte Radeon 6870 because of the cooling solution, which should be much more quiet than the reference design. When it comes to case fans I decided to got for just the 230 mm fan in the front. The positive pressure from that fan should be enough. I may have to construct some ducting for to optimize the airflow if temps start wandering upwards under load.

    The cheapest part of the build was the WiFi-card. The standard WiFi-card on the Z77N does include Bluetooth, but is sadly not supported by OS X at all. So I found a nice Atheros 9280-based card (Dell DW1515) on eBay instead. $10, including shipping from China is a pretty good price for dual band 300 Mbps N-WiFi. The 9380-based (450 Mbps) cards were much more expensive, plus they seem to require three antennas. The Z77N only comes with two.

    The Belkin F8T106 Bluetooth adapter seems to work really well. It works out of the box in OS X and Windows 7, it works in BIOS/uEFI and in the Chameleon boot loader (thanks to HID Proxy), and I haven't seen any strange dropouts or hangs that I had with the old adapter.

    The computer is used for both OS X and Windows, using Windows only for games. I will play in OS X if possible, but the number of supported games is a bit small. So, it's dual-booted.

    I chose the Seagate disks simply because I had them lying around. I really want an SSD, but I'm hoping for the prices to drop a little more soon. OS X will have the SSD on its own, Windows will still sit on a normal HDD.
    Well, prices didn't drop, and I got impatient (those HDDs are slooow). So I bought two 250GB Samsung 840s. Migration was pretty straight forward.

    * I migrated the Windows drive using Samsungs software. Very easy.
    * The OS X drive was copied using CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner). After that, I had to reboot from the USB stick and re-run Multibeast to reinstall Chameleon. No other drivers needed reinstalling.

    The computer is now blazing fast, both in OS X and Windows. It's almost too fast, now it launches the applications before it has time to reconnect to the WiFi, giving me network errors. First World Problems, ey?

    Also, there is no ODD in the build. I decided I don't need it, I get the games off Steam anyway, and anything else can be put on a USB stick these days.


    Installation process:

    1. Build the machine. Leave the Radeon 6870 out.
    2. Connect the OS X drive and plug in the Unibeast USB stick (in one of the USB 2.0 ports!).
    3. Set up BIOS. I really didn't have to change anything here.
    4. Install OS X.
    5. Launch Multibeast (which I put on the same memory stick). Select the following options:

    Multibeast installation

    6. Reboot. The shut down again.
    7. Install the Radeon 6870.
    8. Everything should work.

    If you want Windows:
    9. Unplug the OS X drive and only leave the Windows drive connected.
    10. Install Windows.
    11. Reconnect the OS X drive and make sure that that is the boot drive. Windows should show up in the boot loader.
    12. In order for Windows not to reset the system clock wrong you need to follow this guide.






    Features checklist:

    Works! Doesn't work Sort of works

    Analog audio (front and back)
    Airplay Video
    Airplay Audio
    Bluetooth (onboard)
    Bluetooth (dongle) (works in BIOS and Chameleon!)
    Custom "About this Mac" (Guide)
    Hardware monitoring
    Sleep
    Autosleep (screen and disks sleep, not the whole computer)
    Speedstep
    USB 3.0 for USB 2.0 storage devices
    USB 3.0 for USB 2.0 non-storage devices (keyboards, mice, etc.)
    USB 3.0 @ USB 3.0 speeds
    WiFi (with replaced card)


    Comments:

    Graphics
    I have a strange problem when using the HD4000 chip for my display (HDMI). When I boot into OS X, the graphics are completely broken, looks like when you set a too high scanning frequency back in the old days. Restarting the screen (!!) resets it to normal. I'm not sure if it's the board, OS X och just the screen that breaks it. It's not a problem since I'm using the Radeon 8670 instead.
    Update: Buckeyes1995 provides a solution further down.

    USB 3.0
    USB 2.0 storage devices (USB memories, USB harddisks) do not work in the USB 3.0 ports. Other devices, such as keyboards and mice (including wireless dongles for wireless keyboards and mice) seem to work well. USB 3.0 storage devices work as they should in the USB 3.0 ports.
    Update: kocias confirms that USB 3.0 speeds work later in the thread.

    Autosleep
    OOB only the display and HDDs go to sleep via autosleep. If you want to get around this, you should use PleaseSleep.

    Hardware monitoring
    Just installing FakeSMC plus motherboard and Radeon plugins causes kernel panic. You have to install them, and then remove the OemSMBIOS.kext plugin before rebooting.

    1. Install Multibeast with these items selected:

    FakeSMC installation

    2. DO NOT REBOOT!
    3. Open upp the Terminal app (found in Utilities) and type the following: (You will be asked for your password.)
    Code:
    sudo rm -r /System/Library/Extensions/FakeSMC.kext/Contents/PlugIns/OemSMBIOS.kext
    4. Reboot. Start HWMonitor to check that everything works.


    Todo:
    • Check more features



    Edits:
    2012-10-05: Airplay Audio works OOB. Video does not.
    2012-10-05: Fixed dual boot.
    2012-10-06: Clarified USB 3.0 situation.
    2012-10-07: Added contributed confirmations of USB 3.0 and fix for HD4000-problem.
    2012-10-08: Added hardware monitoring.
    2012-10-09: Tested USB 3.0 memory; Works!
    2012-10-13: Small update and clarifications
    2012-10-15: Received WiFi card. Installed it and added USB Bluetooth dongle.
    2012-11-10: Received and installed 230 mm fan and fan controller.
    2012-12-23: Replaced Bluetooth dongle.
    2013-01-05: Replaced HDDs with SSDs.

    Build pictures:





  2.   
    Join Date
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    #2

    BitterMelon's "Chip" build: GA-Z77N-WIFI - i5-3570K - HD 6870


    Great build!

  3. Join Date
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    #3

    BitterMelon's "Chip" build: GA-Z77N-WIFI - i5-3570K - HD 6870


    Wow I think this has convinced me to return my apex mi-008 Mini itx case for my Z77N for this bitfenix which looks perfect in every way.

  4. Join Date
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    k1rk is offline
    #4

    BitterMelon's "Chip" build: GA-Z77N-WIFI - i5-3570K - HD 6870


    Grats!

    Thanks for sharing your build with us.
    Unfortunately its a no-go for me if Autosleep and USB 3 are not working.
    Post updates if you are able to fix that

  5. Join Date
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    #5

    BitterMelon's "Chip" build: GA-Z77N-WIFI - i5-3570K - HD 6870


    Quote Originally Posted by k1rk View Post
    Grats!

    Thanks for sharing your build with us.
    Unfortunately its a no-go for me if Autosleep and USB 3 are not working.
    Post updates if you are able to fix that
    Actually, USB 3.0 might be working. It shows up in System Profiler as USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Bus (plus a USB 3.0 High-speed Bus) using the AppleUSBXHCI driver. So far so good. But none of the USB sticks I've tried so far show up in OS X. But then again, since they are all USB 2.0, this might be normal behavior according to the discussions on this forum. I don't have any USB 3.0 devices to test with. I will try to get hold of one.

  6. Join Date
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    #6

    BitterMelon's "Chip" build: GA-Z77N-WIFI - i5-3570K - HD 6870


    I would certainly test it with a USB 3.0 device, you may find it, that it will work, i have read about this smiler issue on other posts,

  7. Join Date
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    #7

    BitterMelon's "Chip" build: GA-Z77N-WIFI - i5-3570K - HD 6870


    Hi BitterMelon,

    I am thinking of building my first hackintosh, using the same build parts as you have, would you recommend this for video editing, how good is this machine with that Gigabyte GPU you have?

    your advise would be grateful.


    Thanks
    Hitesh

  8. Join Date
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    #8

    BitterMelon's "Chip" build: GA-Z77N-WIFI - i5-3570K - HD 6870


    Quote Originally Posted by nash007 View Post
    I am thinking of building my first hackintosh, using the same build parts as you have, would you recommend this for video editing, how good is this machine with that Gigabyte GPU you have?
    Well, that depends, could your video editing software take advantage of any hardware acceleration from the Radeon card? I don't know myself.

    Also, for video editing I think you'd want some scratch disks and such. There are a few video editing build, go have a look at them. Maybe they can help with the GPU question as well.

  9. Join Date
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    #9

    BitterMelon's "Chip" build: GA-Z77N-WIFI - i5-3570K - HD 6870


    I will start a similar build soon...parts have already arrived. Now I have to find some time (the bigger issue...)

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  10. Join Date
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    #10

    BitterMelon's "Chip" build: GA-Z77N-WIFI - i5-3570K - HD 6870


    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeyes1995 View Post
    I had the same problem on my ASRock Z77e ITX. Try this:

    In chameleon.org.Boot.plist, add the following:

    <key>device-properties</key>
    <string>7f0000000100000001000000730000000200000002 010c00d041030a000000000101060000027fff04002c000000 4100410050004c002c00690067002d0070006c006100740066 006f0072006d002d0069006400000008000000050062011400 00006800640061002d0067006600780000000d0000006f6e62 6f6172642d31</string>
    <key>Graphics Mode</key>
    <string>1920x1080x32</string> [adjust to your resolution obviously]


    This fixed the garbled graphics for me. The chameleon Bootloader's EFI injection doesn't seem to work for my board, sounds like the same issue you have.
    Wouldn't that just affect Chameleon? Chameleon works fine for me, it's the login screen in OS X that is garbled. Or is that what you mean too?

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