I first learned about Sascha's 2013 Mac Pro replica from my friend Kirk. He emailed me a link to it and I immediately thought it was a cool idea. It just so happens that over Christmas holiday, my Mac Mini died. The logic board was cooked and I couldn't bring myself to order a replacement motherboard for it.
After a few weeks of thinking it over, I finally bit the bullet and purchased a significant number of the parts to build my own variation of of the 2013 Mac Pro. Searching the net turned up Sascha's build documented on TonyMac86.
I haven't set up a hackintosh since installing OSX on an old Dell GX270 years ago. Throughout the build, I had it in the back of my mind that if I couldn't make everything fit into the bin, or if I couldn't get OSX to run on it, it would still make a great windows setup. In the end, everything fit, and the instructions here made installing Mavericks a breeze!
I knew right away that I wanted to try and improve on Sascha's I/O panel, and that meant rotating the video card. It seemed like a simple solution until more accurate internal dimensions were posted. Space kept running out. I went through 3 PCIe extenders trying to get the best fit and most reliable solution. The cables from HK are cheep, but they are not shielded and likely to fail. A cable from Adex worked well, but was really difficult to make it fit the rotated GPU. Using it means leaving out one of the screws supporting the motherboard. Finally found a cable from 3M that solves all the problems. 3M figured out a way to go twice as far at PCI 3.0 speeds.
Power presented another problem. I wanted to keep the PSU internal, and I wanted to keep it intact. Every search I did pointed to the same PSU. The Silverstone 450 Watt SFF modular supply was a great choice, but it also meant I was screwed for space again. The answer was to get more space at the base by creating a 3D model of the Apple base. It provided another 30mm of space that was desperately needed. To keep air flowing upwards, the PSU was opened and the fan flipped over. The black and white power wires had to be zip-tied out of the way as they hit the fan blades on the flipped fan. A message to Silverstone support said that it should be fine operating that way, but of course I have voided my warrantee by opening it.
The GPU was an easy choice. MSI made the fastest ITX length nVidia card, so that was all there was to that. Now Asus is offering an identical card, but with different back panel connections. If performance wasn't a concern, there is an even shorter GTX 650. It might allow pushing components closer together vertically. The back bracket on the card needs to be removed so it will fit into case. Getting video out of the card needs a right angle video extension. Searching turned up the Planet Waves HDMI left angle extension.
The internal framing is a combination of glass epoxy sheets and MakerBeam aluminum V-slot extrusions. The V-slot rails make it easy to position parts vertically. When the rails were purchased, they were not pre-drilled on the ends. The new versions are drilled and threaded. I tried to drill into the ends of mine, but I don't have a drill press and got off center fast. In the end, #8 self tapping screws screwed sideways into the slots worked.
With everything bolted in place, nearly all space is used inside, leaving just enough space for the top fan to pull air around all components. The case just barely slides over the I/O panel on the motherboard, and that is only possible because the WIFI antenna bracket was removed. I have since moved that bracket so it bolts internally. I am waiting on new antennas to try out. Internal may just not work, but I am going to try! Also, the half-mini wifi card included with the motherboard was replaced with an Azurewave AW-CE123H.
Load optimized defaults
Set BIOS to Legacy (Installed Windows 8.1 to first partition)
Set XMP to Profile 1 (To enable RAM speeds over 1333)
Turn off VT-d (Only needed for CPUs that have it, K parts don't)
Turn off Wake-on-LAN (To prevent restarts right after shutdown)
Disable Intel Graphics (To prevent possible memory corruption by Maps.app)
Quick Start > DSDT Free
Drivers > Audio > Realtek ALCxxx > Without DSDT > ALC892
Drivers > Audio > Realtek ALCxxx > Without DSDT > HDAEnabler
Drivers > Disk > 3rd Party SATA
Drivers > Disk > TRIM Enabler > 10.9.x TRIM Patch (only if SSD, and it doesn't do garbage collection)
Drivers > Misc > FakeSMC v5.3.820
Drivers > Misc > FakeSMC v5.3.820 Plugins
Drivers > Misc > FakeSMC v5.3.820 HWMonitor Application
Drivers > Network > Atheros - Shailua's ALXEthernet v1.0.2
Drivers > Network > Intel - hnak's AppleIntelE1000e v2.4.14
Drivers > System > AppleRTC Patch for CMOS Reset
Bootloaders > Chimera v2.2.1
Customize > Boot Options > Basic Boot Options
Customize > Boot Options > Generate CPU States
Customize > Boot Options > Hibernate Mode - Desktop
Customize > Boot Options > Use KernelCache
Customize > Boot Options > DropSSDT=Yes (Used for the Haswell HDMI audio SSDT)
Customize > System Definitions > Mac Pro > iMac 14,2
Customize > Themes > tonymacx86 Black
What worked without patches:
GTX 760 "Just works"
Pstates appear to be working (8,34,36,37)
Sleep works, and even wakes up from BT.
What isn't working:
Intel HD 4000 graphics are turned off in BIOS because of issues with Maps. OK if you have monitor plugged into an onboard port (although top onboard HDMI port is flakey.)
Unknown if audio over HDMI works for on-board HDMI/DVI ports.
The WIFI/BT card that comes with the motherboard will not work for WIFI, and BT can be a problem. That is why it was replaced.
I am still working on the internal antennas. I'll post pictures of solution found.
The Dremel has a 1/8" routing bit in it. The Dremel routing attachment has a pinhole in the plate. I drilled a 3/32" hole in the center of the trash can, then put 2 CD's on top to fill the gap. Dropped a nail into the pivot point on the router attachment and slowly worked my way around.
I was afraid that getting near the end, the center panel would wobble and mess up the curve, but as I routed, the soft plastic filled the gap and made a week bond holding the center panel in place. Still, had to go slow!
I was about 1mm off center, but a little sanding with rough paper got it centered, and then smooth sandpaper (all by hand) to smooth it out.
I cut a top fan bracket out of glass epoxy. Essentially the same stuff used for circuit boards, but thicker.
Drilled a hole in the center to use as a pivot point and cut the outside radius with the Dremel in the router attachment. Used a 1/4" tungsten carbide "stuctured tooth" cutter bit. Don't use the router bit! Epoxy glass will destroy regular bits.
Then drilled a 1/4" hole just inside the 138mm radius, and used the Dremel again to cut the inside.
Make sure to cut the outside first... kinda need that hole in the center for the second cut ;-)
Outside radius: 173mm
Inside radius: 138mm
WARNING: This is glass fiber, take precautions
Wear eye protection.
Wear a face mask (I'm serious!)
When done cutting, wash your hands in cold water. Hot will open your pores and can make you itchy.
Feel free to substitute some other material. Something that doesn't flex. This piece doesn't need to be an insulator.
very cool. Maybe You can make the walls on Your "grill" a little bit thicker. The advantage is: You can use "Ceramic" material on shapeways, which is far cheaper (4 times) than strong & flexible plastic!
It would bei cool if You can do this and then provide a new stl-file ;-)
I'm planing of building a 2013 Mac Pro replica too, but with some diffent parts to get a very quiet but still fast computer. To use my Apple LED Cinema Display without an extra graphics card for the moment i'm thinking about the Zotac ITX board with buildin DP which also features as benifit an msata port for an SSD. As CPU i think about the i7-4770t with 45W TDP. The part i'm most unsure about right now is the powersupply. I first thought about to use an picopsu but lots of reviews were not as good as hoped. The usage of an SFX psu was my next thought but i'm unsure about thier loudness because of their 80mm fans. The Silverstone 300W psu looks nice because the fan only starts rotating at 50% load or 55°C temperature inside the psu but 18dB minimum loudness seams not very quiet for me. I'm using right now a bequiet psu with 13dB minimum and never heard anything of it. So now im looking for trash cans with an inner diameter of about 23cm to put an normal atx psu within it.
Could you say something about the loudness of your parts when running on your desk or maybe you also tried them running in the case ?