Hackintosh Mini Build: Core i7-3770T - Intel DH77DF - 16GB RAM - HD4000 & HD5450
Flavio's Mini Build: Core i7-3770T - Intel DH77DF - 16GB RAM - HD4000 & HD5450
CASE: Streacom FC8 EVO Black
POWER SUPPLY: Mini-box picoPSU 160-XT
POWER ADAPTER: DC 12V 100W
MOTHERBOARD: Intel DH77DF
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770T 2.5GHz Tray
MEMORY: Corsair Vengeance CML16GX3M2A1600C10 2x8GB PC3-12800 CL10 DDR3 RAM
SSD: Samsung 830 256GB
HDD: Western Digital Green WD20NPVT 8MB 5400rpm 2TB
HDD: Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000BEVT 8MB 5400rpm 500GB
HDD COOLER: Scythe Himuro Mini
DVD: Sony Optiarc AD-7690H
VIDEO: Club 3D Radeon HD5450 Noiseless Edition LP
DISPLAYS: 2x Dell U2713HM 27"
MOUSE: Logitech MX Revolution Muis
KEYBOARD: Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard Mac Edition Black
VARIOUS: Sandisk Cruzer 16GB USB Stick
OS: Apple OS X Mountain Lion
This is my third Hackintosh. I started a few years ago with a big Antec P183 case and last year I switched to a Silverstone Fortess FT03 (with a Sandy Bridge system) because I liked the look of the case. A couple of months ago it started itching again and I began thinking about a smaller and silent Hackintosh. I also considered a Mac Mini at the time but the Mac Mini was pretty old spec and I wanted an Ivy Bridge system with integrated graphics.
I considered a lot of cases but in the end I decided to get the Streacom FC8 EVO Mini-ITX case. This is a case with integrated heatpipe cooling for the CPU and is therefore completely silent. It also had some decent room for extra drives and a low profile PCI-E card. The Streacom case needs a picoPSU and I chose the biggest I could find, the Mini-box picoPSU 160W.
My first motherboard was an Asrock H77M-ITX but one of the SATA-600 ports was not working so I returned it and got an Intel DH77DF motherboard instead. This was chosen because some forum members already had success with this. One other factor I had to consider was the layout of the board because the CPU heatpipes run close to the Northbridge heatsink and this had to be low enough. The original Intel BIOS was old fashioned DOS style but the latest BIOS has a nice GUI interface.
My first CPU was the Intel Core i5-3570K (77W) but I wasn't happy with the system temperature so I returned it and got me an Intel Core i7-3770T (45W) which had just come out. More expensive but my system temperature dropped about 10 degrees.
Memory was not exciting, I just chose the cheapest 2x8GB I could find at the time.
I had a OCZ Vertex 3 from the old system but I sold that and bought a Samsung 830 256SSD based on the reviews I had read.
I would have preferred an mSATA SSD but the Intel board mSATA port is only SATA-300. With an mSATA SSD I could put the WD backup HDD on the tray and clean the case up quite a bit.
I also wanted an HDD in the case itself and started with a 3TB Seagate 3.5-inch HDD. That made too much noise however so I switched to a 2GB Western Digital Green 2.5-inch drive which had just come out. I have fitted this inside a Scythe Himuro Mini HDD cooler to make the drive completely inaudible. As a backup drive I use a 500GB WD HDD that is not permanentlt screwed inside the case but I have wrapped the HDD in plastic and it sits between the motherboard and the front of the case.
I have used my existing Sony slimline DVD drive that was also required for my previous Silverstone case.
I started out with two HP ZR24W 1920x1200 monitors but I wanted more resolution. First I bought a second hand Dell U2711 that was connected to the Displayport of the integrated HD4000 graphics. The HD4000 only supports 2560x1440 resolution through the DisplayPort and the HDMI port only outputs 1920x1200.
A few weeks ago I decided I had to have two 27" monitors and I decided I would try a low profile VGA card to see if my system temperature would not get too high. I chose an EVGA GeForce 210 card but I was not able to get that working so I returned it and got a Club 3D Radeon HD5450 card (passively cooled of course). This worked without problems and the system temperature is not affected and I now have two Dell U2713HM monitors!
I have been faithful to the Logitech MX Revolution mouse which I have had for years and I have not found a better mouse yet. I also upgraded my keyboard to a Logitech K750 Mac Edition in black.
All in all it turned out to be a pretty expensive system. With the money from selling the old system components I spent an extra of around €950. More than €500 of that was spent on the two Dell 27" monitors however.
Installation of OSX was pretty simple. I started out with a copy of the SSD from the old Sandy Bridge system and managed to get that working with a few tweaks. I used a no DSDT MultiBeast installation with Audio and Network kexts as the basic. Upgrading to Mountain Lion was done with UniBeast and that worked flawlessly.
These are my MultiBeast settings:
Screenshot of the iStat Menus temperatures. The Northbridge 1 temperature is clearly getting a wrong value.
Here are some pics of the internals:
Top view with DVD/SSD tray in place
The Scythe Himuro Mini HDD Cooler
Top view with the DVD/SSD tray removed
Circuit board for the front USB ports and picoPSU power supply
You can see the rightmost heatpipe just fits over the picoPSU
The leftmost heatpipe runs close to the North Bridge heatsink.
Cabling is pretty messy. I used a couple of short SATA cables but I haven't found the short power cables and power splitter I need to tidy it up.
The heatsink of the HD5450 card has plenty of room. Not all passively cooled cards would fit however, some have quite high heatsinks (e.g. ASUS)
Another close up
Here are some pics of my 'About This Mac'.