Asus Sabertooth X79 - Core i7-3820 @ 4.65 GHz - 16GB RAM - EVGA GTX650 - Mountain Lion - G5 Case

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Apr 7, 2011
Asrock Z370 Extreme4
GTX 960
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Classic Mac
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  1. iOS
Asus Sabertooth X79 - Core i7-3820 @ 4.5 GHz - 16GB RAM - EVGA GTX650 - Mountain Lion - G5 Case

erik's G5 Workstation: Core i7-3820 - Sabertooth X79 - 16GB RAM - GTX650



Apple OS X Mountain Lion @ Mac App Store

Asus Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Motherboard

Intel Core i7 3820 3.6GHz LGA 2011 Processor

EVGA GeForce GTX 650 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 Video Card - Model 01G-P4-2650-KR

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory - Model F3-12800CL9Q-16GBXL

SAMSUNG 830 Series 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - Model MZ-7PC128B/WW

IOGEAR Bluetooth 4.0 USB Micro Adapter (GBU521)

Arctic Cooling - MX-2 Thermal Compound

Noctua SecuFirm 2 LGA 2011 Mounting Bracket

Already Owned

Apple Power Mac G5 Case - modded

Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler

Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner - Model AD-7261S-0B (Discontinued)

OCZ Vertex 2 3.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive - Model OCZSSD3-2VTX120G
For Windows 8

File storage: Western Digital WD Black 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Model WD1002FAEX
For file storage

Backup storage: Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB 5900 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s - Model ST2000DL003
For backup

CORSAIR TX Series CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V Power Supply

Apple Wired Keyboard

Apple Magic Trackpad


I have installed 10.8.4 and it works fine. If you followed this guide, originally, however, to get sound working, you may need to take the following steps:

  1. Go in to /System/Library/Extensions
  2. Delete any AppleHDA files and HDAEnabler files you may have installed.
  3. Repair permissions. Restart. Assure that you have no working sound.
  4. Use Lion Multibeast (4.6.1). Click repair permissions, then go to Audio -> and select three things: Unified Device Injector -> ALC8xxHDA, AppleHDA Rollback, and Non-DSDT HDA Enabler -> ALC982 (see picture below)
  5. Restart

This got my busted sound working after it crapped out with the 10.8.4 update. Thank you to Mikhail for suggesting this solution. I have updated my guide to use this step.


My old GA-X58A-UD3R had been suffering the same symptoms as many with the board had over time: crashing, endless boot cycles among other strange boot behaviors, and general instability. When it was clear the board was no longer usable, I debated between finding a replacement on eBay or upgrading. Seeing that my old i7 960 had held its value pretty well on eBay (I sold it for as much the 3820 I bought new!), I decided to do an eBay selling spree to raise some cash to get some new parts. I was able to break even and I haven't sold the RMAd motherboard yet.

I first debated to whether to go for an LGA 1155 or LGA 2011 platform. LGA 1555 is a little cheaper, the 3770K is good bang for the buck, and it has some better OS X trappings like natively supported SpeedStep and power management. The standard brand advice for gamers was that the price premium for LGA 2011 wasn't worth it. I don't game, however -- my heaviest computing needs are for scientific software: geographic information systems, statistical modeling, and so forth. The LGA 2011 platform gets better marks on these types of (sometimes) multithreaded tasks. When I saw I could get an i7 3820 CPU at Micro Center for $230, it seemed like a no brainer. Even with the more expensive motherboard (over $300), the LGA 2011 platform with the 3820 costs the same as an LGA 1155 for similar performance and room for upgrades (there are hexacore CPUs available now if I need more power, I can put up to 64BGB of memory in the system, and Ivy Bridge-E will likely be LGA 2011). For me, knowing upgrades were possible was important. I love to tinker, and while it's nice to max out a system on the cheap, it's also nice knowing you can improve your build later without building what amounts to a whole new system. I'm anxiously awaiting the 3930K equivalent on Ivy Bridge-E!

Beyond the CPU/Mobo, choices were pretty easy. I never used 16GB memory up on any of the work I've done before, so I picked up 16 GB for $65 at NewEgg. During the same sale I was able to get a Samsung 830 128GB SSD for $70 and a GTX 650 for $95 ($85 after rebates). All great deals. I also picked up an IO Gear Bluetooth 4.0 adapter which works OOB on ML. Everything, including my G5 Case mod remained the same.

The Install

There were a handful of X79 guides floating around, but not nearly as many as for LGA 1155 platforms. However, a numer of people on this site and elsewhere had success with the Sabertooth X79 board, and being well-reviewed on PC review sites, I decided the X79 Board would be the easiest bet. Things went relatively smoothly, in particular thanks to helpful posts from Yo Mang, evilmonkey477, and mitchellk. I got a lot of info from various places on the web when I was troubleshooting -- too much to list.

The following basic process got me up and running.

What you'll need:

  1. Unibeast installer with latest Mountain Lion release from App Store. Earlier versions should work fine.
  2. VoodooTSCSync.kext modified for i7 3820 [CPU id change from 11 (3930k) to 7 (3820)]. This is necessary to get the CPU working correctly. (A slightly different version is necessary for the 3930K/3960K).
  3. Patched AppleHDA for X79 systems
  4. Multibeast 5.3 - Post installation tools.
  5. Multibeast 4.6 - Post installation tools.
  6. KextBeast - Install Kexts.

What I did:

  1. Update the Sabertooth X79 motherboard BIOS to version 3102 -- the most recent version as of November 2, 2012.
  2. Make Unibeast stick using ML 10.8.2 from the App Store.
  3. Enter BIOS again, set first boot device to the Unibeast USB stick.
  4. Boot using the Unibeast stick, and selection the Unibeast installation, and boot with the following flags:

    "-v GraphicsEnabler=no PCIRootUID=0 npci=0x3000 cpus=1"

    Only with this method could I get to the install screen. Explanation:
    • -v = Verbose. This will tell you the ifs/whens/and whats of any errors you may encounter.
    • GraphicsEnabler=No. GTX 6XX cards are natively compatible, so OS X does not need a graphics enabler. Don't let the "No" fool you: this is a good thing -- it's a more vanilla setting!
    • PCIRootUID=0 npci=0x3000. You can sometimes get away without these -- the message boards have mixed experiences. Include them to be sure.
    • CPUS=1. This basically tells OS X to use a single core. Don't worry -- this gets fixed later.
  5. Once in the installer, select Disk Utility, partition and format the SSD to be installed to. Set partition type to to GUID.
  6. Install ML and go through all the configuration steps.
  7. Reboot, still using Unibeast as a boot loader. Enter the same boot flags as above. Put the above DSDT on the Desktop.
  8. Run Multibeast with the settings below EXCEPT you can check custom DSDT instead of Easybeast. Otherwise, make adjustments as necessary for your particular hardware.

    Note: I included a pre-edited DSDT to enable audio. That's the only difference between the DSDT and Easybeast. If you are having trouble, use Easybeast, then follow the directions in the above link on how to enable audio.
  9. Edit /Extra/org.chameleon.boot.plist. Change boot flags to include npci=0x3000. You should no longer needed PCIRootUID.
  10. Reboot. Now, boot with the flags "-v cpus=1." Next up, enable all four course of our CPU.
  11. Boot VoodooTSCSync.kext on the desktop. Run Kextbeast. (You may need to go to system preferences -> security and enable installing/running apps from unsigned sources). Double check in /System/Library/Extensions that the kext installed.
  12. Reboot using no flags. Go into /S/L/E/ and delete any AppleHDA/HDAEnabler kexts.
  13. Load up Multibest for Lion (4.6). Click repair permissions, then go to Audio -> and select three things: Unified Device Injector -> ALC8xxHDA, AppleHDA Rollback, and Non-DSDT HDA Enabler -> ALC982 (see picture below)
  14. Reboot. At this point you should have a solid system ready to go with everything working, ready for multiple displays, and some pretty heavy over clocking.

Running at stock speeds, I scored 13,500 or so in Geekbench 64-bit using this configuration. In Windows 8, I scored 7.9 on CPU, 8.0 on memory, 7.2 on graphics, and 7.7 on disk write. Now it's time to customize and crank things up

MultiBeast Configuration for Mountain Lion

MultiBeast Configuration for Lion - Sound Fix

boot.plist Configuration



After watching this very helpful video from ASUS on how to over clock on the LGA 2011 platform, I played around with Overclock settings to find a stable, low temperature configuration.

With some tinkering, I was able to get to 4.8 GHz in OS X and survive Geekbench, Prime95 torture test for a short time, and Geekbench. This netted 17,500 geek bench points. However, the behavior was a little funny -- for example, OS X only recognized 14gb of memory. Plus, Windows could either not load or make it through the WEI tests. Using the below settings, however, I was still able to find an extra 1.05 GHz over stock to run at 4.65 Hz -- netting a Geekbench score of 17,000 and WEI scores over 8.0 for CPU and Memory. Not bad for a $230 processor with the fans all turned as low as they can go!!

  • BLCK freq: 129
  • Memory: 1720mhz (clocked up from 1600 -- see below)
  • Speedstep and Turbo: disabled (36x multiplier) -- 3820 is not fully unlocked, and OS X doesn't support speedstep and turbo on LGA 2011, so for the time being you'll have to do the over clocking through BLCK, which requires overclocking your memory. It works surprisingly well.
  • VCORE voltage: 1.43v
  • VCSSA voltage: 1.1
  • Load line calibration: High
  • 130% on current capability
  • Most other settings on auto.


UPDATE: I ran these settings for a day or two, including some runs with Prime95, and everything was fine. However, I did get a freeze running the Luxmark benchmark, which is GPU intensive. Not sure if that was CPU or GPU related, but either way I decided to clock down to 4.5 GHz by changing the BLCK from 129 to 125. I also lowered the VCore to 1.35v. This is a more straightforward OC and there are no noticeable performance differences in everyday use. Interestingly, despite dropping the VCore, the temperature remains the same. The resulting Geekbench is about 16,300 at 4.5.


Annoyingly, Mountain Lion will not recognize the CPU over 4.3 GHz in About This Computer window. Furthermore, due to the nature of OCing the 3820, OS X gets confused and reads the memory at 1333, not the 1720 which they were clocked at. This is cosmetic, but I changed the SMBios.plist in /Extra to inject the memory speed and CPU speed. The CPU speed only shows up in System Profiler.

SMBios.plist Configuration

System Information


The final results...



BlackMagic Disk Test

I'm really happy with this build. Very affordable, very fast, and a lot of room for more power. Feel free to ask any questions!

The Workstation

The User Builds forum section is for build descriptions and the discussion of the build description owners decision on component choices and how those choices affected the installation of Apple's OS X.

All questions on the actual case mod should be addressed in the build description owner's thread in The Workshop > Case Mod forum section. TIA.
The User Builds forum section is for build descriptions and the discussion of the build description owners decision on component choices and how those choices affected the installation of Apple's OS X.

All questions on the actual case mod should be addressed in the build description owner's thread in The Workshop > Case Mod forum section. TIA.

Thanks, Stork.

One update on the original build. I ran Luxmark and my machine froze. Not sure if it was the overclock settings or not. In any event, I clocked back down to 4.5 ghz (125BLCK), which also brings the memory down to 1666. I don't notice any difference and it's a simpler OC.

In Windows, where speedstep/turbo work, it's not too complex a process to get this chip up to 4.8-4.8 GHz using the Turbo ratio. However, until Mac supports turbo & speedstep (come on guys!) on the LGA 2011 platform, we're stuck with OCing with the BLCK. So I've opted to run daily, for now, at a lower clock rate. FYI, this drops the Geekbench to a mere 16,300 or so, instead of 17,000 :)
Hello Eric i Want to ask you I have Asus Sabertooth X79 - Core i7-3820 64GB memory and Graphics Card Gainward GTX-680 4GB can i a hackintosh with this system.install ML 10.8.2.It's easy to do why to don't know. Thanks
Hello Eric i Want to ask you I have Asus Sabertooth X79 - Core i7-3820 64GB memory and Graphics Card Gainward GTX-680 4GB can i a hackintosh with this system.install ML 10.8.2.It's easy to do why to don't know. Thanks

The main points from my too long post:

The GTX series cards are natively supported in Mac OS X. But you'll need to boot with GraphicsEnabler=No (which is a good thing -- it tells the OS that it doesn't need to do anything to make it work.)

You'll need the VoodooTSCSync.kext file to get booting with all four cores. Until then, you need the boot flag cpus=1.

You'll *probably* need to pass the following boot flags to get into OS X: "npci=0x3000 PCIRootUID=1." Your mileage may vary.

I suggest turning off turbo and speedstep in your BIOS, especially if you want to overclock.

Otherwise, the platform runs great. I get a pretty good overclock out of it too.

Best of luck!
hi erik .. i have the same mother board, Proceasor, RAM, but VGA IS AMD 6870
I tried the same steps but i end up with no installation screen.. iam sure that i didnt miss something.. what can i do more ??
Search for the Mountain Lion fix for AMD 6xxx graphics. You have to do graphicsenabler=no and you also need to edit the graphics kext for AMD cards. there's a number of posts on how to do this. Sorry for the slow response.
Buddy of mine happened to have built himself a pretty much identical PC configuration -- same board and processor -- and asked me to help him get ML on it when he found it could be done. Followed the steps but can't get audio working and I don't see the link to the pre-edited DSDT you mention.

Also installed VoodooTSCSync.kext and can successfully boot without flags, but after a while the machine will freeze up and need a hard reboot, after which it sometimes takes multiple tries to get it to boot again.

Any help would be appreciated. :)
I'm going to be building this tonight also and would like to get a hold of the DSDT file. Did Anyone Get it? I don't see that link anywhere in the post.

Also, Dorkman, Any luck with the audio?
I have a similar setup that I plan to use as my primary desktop and also do virtualization of multiple machines Oracle db and apps. This is my first hackintosh attempt. After 7 consistent days and nights and this excellent article and plenty of commitment I have a stable working 10.8.2 with sleep (power management?) working.

My config is i7 3820 with Asus Sabertooth X79 32GB quad channel (4DIMM) memory, Nvidia 620 2GB, 320GB WD SATA drive and 4TB Hitachi SATA drive. I use my 46" TV using HDMI for the display.

I might upgrade to SSD and add more memory later. Since I plan to use this for virtualization I wasn't sure if SSD might help with my performance of my VM stored on my SATA drive.

Current Issue 1: Currently my sound (over HDMI and the 5.1) do not work. I have tried the ALC892 - Output devices are listed but no sound.
The kext available in this article - KP during boot
VoodooHDA - Either KP during boot or the kext was ignored during boot, no output devices are listed in the system settings -> sound configuration.

Current Issue 2: My HDD is performing incredibly slow. It takes over 2 hours to copy a 100GB file from my 4TB SATA to the 320GB SATA.

Any recommendations welcomed for this newbie will be a helpful.

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