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12-core X99 Hackintosh Pro build

Joined
Jan 19, 2015
Messages
94
Motherboard
Asus X99A-USB3
CPU
Intel Core i7-6850K
Graphics
Asus Strix 970
[SUCCESS] 12-core X99 Hackintosh Pro build

Concept


I need a new machine to do compilation and rendering jobs. But my 2014 rMBP is slow as a junk. I love the design of the Mac Pro, but it's too expensive and out-dated. So why not build a Hackintosh Pro with 12 cores myself?
This guide is written after 2 months I finished my build and I can confirm it's golden enough to use in production.


Warnings

  • I take no responsibilities for the consequences or outcomes of instructions and advice in this article. Take any actions at your own risks.
  • Try not to overclock your CPU by boosting base frequencies, which may leads to damages on your PCI devices like SSDs.
  • NVMe SSD like SM951, Intel 750 are not currently supported by OS X.
  • Disable auto system update in App Store, or it may break your X99 build.
  • Backup the whole volume before doing anything risky or you will cost hours to re-install.
  • If you are not so eager for multi-core performance, just stick to 5920K or 5930K, for it's much, much easier to install with these CPUs.
  • If you are confident about your overclocking skills, choose 5960X for better single-core benchmarks and real world performance.
  • If it's your first hack, don't try X99. Z97 is already good enough, and runs much better in Mac OS.

Build
540d.jpg


Installation

Making installation USB stick

Preparations:
  • Yosemite 10.10.5
  • USB stick x2
  • UniBeast
  • Kext Wizard
  • Clover
  • Clover Configurator
  • Format your first USB stick, choosing MBR and MacOS Extended Jorunaled format, with partition name USB.
  • Use UniBeast to make installation USB
  • Copy all files in attachment to the installer USB
  • Remove all kexts files in /Volumes/USB/Extra/Extensions
    Code:
      sudo rm -rf /Volumes/USB/Extra/Extensions/*
  • Replace stock kexts and install new kexts to /Volumes/USB/System/Library/Extensions using Kext Wizard
    • AppleACPIPlatform.kext, from Maverick
    • IOPCIFamily.kext, from Maverick
    • fakesmc.kext
    • VoodooTSCSync.kext
      • Should change the value of IOCPUNumber to Number of CPU cores - 1
  • Change bootflags in /Volumes/USB/Extra/org.chameleon.Boot.plist to kext-dev-mode=1 -v -f npci=0x2000 PCIRootUID=1 nv_disable=1 dart=0 debug=0x14e
  • Kernel patch by Stinga11 is no valid and Yosemeti 10.10.3+ requires no kernel patch at all


Running installer

  • Boot to USB installer we made. It should enter Mac OS installer.
  • Complete installation, with all default settings.
  • After first restart, boot into USB installer again, instead of newly installed system.
    • We have to replace kexts again:
      • Choose Utilities, Terminal in menu bar to show command line interface
      • (Supposing volume label of newly installed system is Hackintosh) remove two kexts in /Volumes/Hackintosh/System/Library/Extensions: IOPCIFamily.kext and AppleACPIPlatform.kext
        Code:
        rm -rf /Volumes/Hackintosh/System/Library/Extensions/IOPCIFamily.kext
        rm -rf /Volumes/Hackintosh/System/Library/Extensions/AppleACPIPlatform.kext
      • Install new kexts
        Code:
          cp -R /Volumes/USB/replaced_kexts/* /Volumes/Hackintosh/System/Library/Extensions/
      • Exit console by choosing Terminal, Quit Terminal in menu bar
    • Lastly , permissions repair is required * Choose Utilities, Disk Utility. Select the system volume and click Repair Permissions.
    • Wait for the repairing job, and then exit

Bootloader

OS X should be correctly installed on your system volume, but it cannot be loaded yet. A EFI boot loader , such as Clover, is required.
Make a bootable EFI USB loader
  • Format your second USB stick, choosing GUID and Mac OS Extended, Journaled
  • Run Clover installer to install clover boot loader to this USB
    • Customized setup according the screenshots below
    • Replace config.plist with the config_bootloader.plist in my attachment.
  • Copy FakeSMC.kext to /Volumes/EFI/EFI/CLOVER/kexts/10.10
  • Copy HFSPlus-64.efi to /Volumes/EFI/EFI/CLOVER/drivers64UEFI
  • Delete VBoxHfs-64.efi in /Volumes/EFI/EFI/CLOVER/drivers64UEFI

clover-install-1.pngclover-install-2.png


Install EFI to local disk

Run the same process above, but do choose your local disk as target. The config.plist will be edited later.


Post-installation

After installation, what is working:
  • 12 cores and 24 threads
  • Restart, suspend
  • BT + Wifi
  • SSDs and HDD

The final config.plist is in the attachment, but it cannot be directly applied to your system. You have to patch and edit config.plist step by step.


Graphics

GFX970 is easily handled by nVidia Web Driver. Just remember to remove nv_disable=1 and add nvda_drv=1 in bootflags.
Boot flag now, shoud be -v -f npci=0x2000 kext-dev-mode=1 PCIRootUID=1 nvda_drv=1 dart=0 debug=0x14e.


Audio

X99 audio can be enabled by the patch provided by toleda. Detailed documents:

My steps:
HDMI audio is enabled by HDMIAudio.kext. Just drop this kext to clover kext folder at /Volumes/EFI/CLOVER/kexts/10.10.


Trim support

Trim support can be enabled by kext patch. Edit config.plist in Clover Configurator, in KextPatch, adding:
  • Name: IOAHCIBlockStorage
  • Find: 4150504C452053534400
  • Replace: 00000000000000000000
  • Comment: Trim support


Performance Tuning

With no doubt, buyers of X99 platform want extreme performance. However, lack of native power management makes it hard for Haswell-E CPUs to show its best performance.
I've done a lot of reading and experimentation and finally settled done using NullPowerManagement.kext and disabling steepstep in BIOS.
And I noticed a lot logs about xhci and VMware is so slow that it's not usable anymore. Fixed by using using GenericUSBXHC.kext.
Geekbench in Yosemite 10.10.5 shows slight higher scores than in Windows 8.1. Overall performance is about 95% of the current 12-core MacPro.
If you are building something like Hackintosh Pro, I think Z97 platform is already powerful enough and much more compatible with Mac OS.

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 11.24.18 PM.png

Some optimistic opinions:
  • With future support of X99 platform, it should perform better the today and easily excell the current 12-core MacPro, which is the case in terms of raw CPU power.
  • X99 build is much more upgradable than MacPro. Think about graphic cards, RAID card, 10GBe, memory and SSDs.


Other fixes

  • Ethernet is enabled by AppleIntelE1000e.kext
  • My Wifi+BT card is working out-of-box with Hand-off, Airdrop enabled
  • I don't like iMessage on my workstation, so iMessage fix is not done


Backup

  • One backup is not always sufficient. My advice is to do regularly TimeMachine backup once a week and do a volume backup using Ghost or Partition Manager once a month and before any system update.
  • Use both offline and online backup
    • TimeMachine backup on a NAS or TimeCapsule is a good solution for online backup. But like any other system, TimeCapsule and NAS (even in RAID0) may fail and lose all backup data. This happened to more than once.
    • Do a whole disk dump to your archive disks and put these disks in a safe box in appropriate environment. These archive disks should not connected to any other systems unless it's doing a backup or restore operation.
 

Attachments

Joined
Jan 29, 2013
Messages
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Motherboard
GA-Z77N-Wifi
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i3-3225
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Thanks so much for this write-up. I bought the same exact CPU and didn't know if it would work for a Hackintosh or not. I read online that V3 CPUs were not yet supported so I lost a bit of hope until I found your thread. I will be trying it out this weekend with an asrock x99e-itx board, 2676 V3 CPU, 32 GB ECC 2133 and an SSD. Hope all works out!
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2015
Messages
94
Motherboard
Asus X99A-USB3
CPU
Intel Core i7-6850K
Graphics
Asus Strix 970
Thanks so much for this write-up. I bought the same exact CPU and didn't know if it would work for a Hackintosh or not. I read online that V3 CPUs were not yet supported so I lost a bit of hope until I found your thread. I will be trying it out this weekend with an asrock x99e-itx board, 2676 V3 CPU, 32 GB ECC 2133 and an SSD. Hope all works out!

If x99 itx board can use at least 4 rams, I would go for it.

And ECC mem is cool!
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2015
Messages
94
Motherboard
Asus X99A-USB3
CPU
Intel Core i7-6850K
Graphics
Asus Strix 970
I suppose you know that SLI is not supported by OSX and things like riser card may involve some modification to your PC case.

Have fun!
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2010
Messages
229
Motherboard
GA-Z97N-Gaming 5
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Core i7 4790K
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Nvidia GTX 760
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Mobile Phone
Hey,
I've got some questions about your build:

1. What is the max single core turbo and all core turbo for the E5-2676v3?


2. I noticed that you are not using the kernel patch, it's great that there is now native support for Haswell-E in the kernel. You've said that you need:

VoodooTSCSync.kext
AppleACPIPlatform.kext, from Mavericks
IOPCIFamily.kext, from Mavericks

However, there are new reports that for 4, 6, and 12 core v3 E5 Xeons you can just use the native kexts:
http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/to...830k-and-5820k-1010-10101-yosemite/?p=2168453

Have you tried booting without these? Does it improve anything if you do?



3. If you use NullPowerManagement.kext can you still sleep/wake the machine?
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2015
Messages
9
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Thanks so much for this write-up. I bought the same exact CPU and didn't know if it would work for a Hackintosh or not. I read online that V3 CPUs were not yet supported so I lost a bit of hope until I found your thread. I will be trying it out this weekend with an asrock x99e-itx board, 2676 V3 CPU, 32 GB ECC 2133 and an SSD. Hope all works out!
Were you able to get your Asrock build working? Did you do anything different? I've got an Asrock x99 but can't get it to boot from the USB Unibeast drive.
Thanks!
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2015
Messages
4
Motherboard
ASrock X99 ITX
CPU
Xeon E5-2676 V3
Graphics
MSI GTX 980 Ti
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
I'm curious as well. I've got the Asrock X99E-ITX, an E5-2676 and a GTX 980 Ti looking to do the same.

I'd love to get to El Cap, but probably should wait on that until we have reports of it working.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2015
Messages
4
Motherboard
ASrock X99 ITX
CPU
Xeon E5-2676 V3
Graphics
MSI GTX 980 Ti
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Well, I've got 10.10.5 running on my X99E/ITX on a second partition of my SSD. I've never done a Hackintosh before so I'm a little stumped when it comes to the end part of your instructions:

OS X should be correctly installed on your system volume, but it cannot be loaded yet. A EFI boot loader , such as Clover, is required.
Make a bootable EFI USB loader

  • Format your second USB stick, choosing GUID and Mac OS Extended, Journaled
  • Run Clover installer to install clover boot loader to this USB
    • Customized setup according the screenshots below
    • Replace config.plist with the config_bootloader.plist in my attachment.
  • Copy FakeSMC.kext to /Volumes/EFI/EFI/CLOVER/kexts/10.10
  • Copy HFSPlus-64.efi to /Volumes/EFI/EFI/CLOVER/drivers64UEFI
  • Delete VBoxHfs-64.efi in /Volumes/EFI/EFI/CLOVER/drivers64UEFI


Attachment 148048Attachment 148049


Install EFI to local disk

Run the same process above, but do choose your local disk as target. The config.plist will be edited later.
I just am not privy to what's going on and what to do once I have the EFI bootable USB drive. It seems like a bunch of steps are jumped in the process of "installing EFI to local disk" and/or I missed the point on why I need the EFI USB drive in the first place.

I think I have it working, although I need the USB plugged in to get it booted into OS X.

My GTX 980 Ti works with Nvidia web driver, but I cannot get audio, Wifi, or Bluetooth currently. Seems as if the included ASRock wifi/BT card isn't compatible, nor is the Intel 7260 that I have either. I'll have to order a compatible card and also try and tackle this audio situation later, but I do have one question:

I accidentally did a default, automatic install of Clover on the actual Mac disk - not the customized install. I wasn't really thinking and hit next a few times and boom it was installed. Will this screw me in the future?



Other than my ignorance, it recognizes all 12 cores/24 threads, 32GB RAM, 980 Ti + all 6GB VRAM and seems to be on its way to being a functional system. Even after all of this hacked together work, I feel that I am in for a less terrible Premiere Pro experience via Hackintosh because of all the issues I've had within the first days of using it on Windows. It doesn't want to take advantage of more than 10-13% CPU or GPU usage during exports and takes longer than my Macbook, CUDA randomly disappears, quicktime elements are 32 bit on W10, among other things, and gotta get that native magic trackpad support for navigating the timeline smoothly.
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2015
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When creating the USB boot drive, there is are EFI and Legacy options. Unibeast 6 won't let you skip this step, so one must be chosen. Which one should be used in this process?
Thanks!
 
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