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BigClue's Tower: GA-Z170XP-SLI - i7-7700K - GTX-1070

Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
12
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z170
CPU
i7-7700K
Graphics
GTX 1070
Mac
MacBook Pro, Mac mini, Mac Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
BigClue's Tower:
GA-Z170XP-SLI - i7-7700K - GTX-1070


Components

Gigabyte GA-Z170XP-SLI Motherboard
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012AQGL4A/?tag=tonymacx86com-20

Ballistix Sport LT 32GB Kit (16GBx2) DDR4 2400 MT/s (PC4-19200) DIMM 288-Pin BLS2K16G4D240FSC (White)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AG9EZ6E/?tag=tonymacx86com-20

Intel i7-7700K Processor (BX80677I77700K)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MXSI216/?tag=tonymacx86com-20

Corsair Hydro Series H55 Quiet Edition Liquid CPU Cooler
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009VV56TY/?tag=tonymacx86com-20

Corsair Force Series MP510 1920GB NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 SSD
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HR5PN9Q/?tag=tonymacx86com-20

QNINE NVMe PCIe Adapter, M.2 NVMe SSD to PCI Express 3.0 [Note: does NOT work for SATA M.2 modules]
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075MDH28Y/?tag=tonymacx86com-20

EVGA GTX 1070 SC GAMING ACX 3.0 Black Edition, 08G-P4-5173-KR, 8GB GDDR5
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814487265
[Note: This is an expensive card, and I'm not sure much software uses it. Could go less expensive.]
[Note: DOES NOT WORK AFTER HIGH SIERRA. For Mojave and later, use an AMD card].

LG Electronics 14x SATA Blu-ray Internal Rewriter without Software, Black (WH14NS40)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007VPGL5U/?tag=tonymacx86com-20

UGREEN USB Audio Adapter External Stereo Sound Card
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N905VOY/?tag=tonymacx86com-20

Corsair RM650x, 650W, Fully Modular, 80+ Gold Certified Power Supply
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015YEIBJ8/?tag=tonymacx86com-20

Corsair Carbide Series 330R Blackout Edition Ultra-Silent Mid-Tower Case Case[/B]
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R0ZHWC2/?tag=tonymacx86com-20

Dell Ultra HD 4k Monitor P2715Q 27-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PC9HFO8/?tag=tonymacx86com-20



Comments

The Build
My old Apple PowerMac was starting to show its age, and I wanted to be able to do video editing, archive and organize my photos and home movies, and use the latest software. I needed a Mac that could hold 8TB of storage, was fast, and was under $3K (including monitor). Apple doesn't offer that.

I honestly would have bought a Mac from Apple if they would have offered a "regular" computer. By that, I mean:
- You can put several hard drives in it.
- You can update the RAM if you want.
- You can put a faster GPU in it if you want.

But no, their only offerings were all unacceptable:
- Mac Mini: Uses tiny laptop hard drives and RAM. No expandability. Underpowered.
- iMac: Can't put any hard drives inside. Beautiful monitor that you have to discard when you upgrade the computer. Glossy screen (I want matte)
- PowerMac: Can't put any hard drives inside. Tiny. Very expensive. Technology is several years behind.
- New PowerMac tower: STILL can't put any hard drives inside. Way too expensive.

I miss when Apple offered Macs like the IIci or even the PowerMac towers, which let you access the innards of your own computer and upgrade to your heart's content.

SO, in order to build a "serious" computer, my goals were:
- Lots of hard drive bays. External drives always seem problematic, so I want them internal. So I chose a mid-sized tower and 650W power supply.
- Plenty of RAM. 32GB wasn't too expensive, and was plenty.
- Really fast hard drive. That means "NVMe" M.2 SSD on a chip for 3000MB/sec+ speed. 50x as fast as my spinning hard drives.
- Quiet. This machine sits in my bedroom, and I'd like it to be quiet over there in its corner. So I chose quiet fans, a case with sound proofing, and a "quiet edition" CPU cooler.
- Fast video editing, so I wanted a decent GPU. (I'm not positive my software knows how to use it, however...)
- Under $2K for the computer.

I will say that I originally didn't realize that the M.2 SSDs came in both SATA and NVMe versions, and that the first is only 600MB/sec while the latter is 3600MB/sec, so I eventually upgraded to the NVMe module listed above. In case you want two such drives, I also found that this PCIe M.2 NVMe adapter card ($11) worked fine with the above NVMe SSD module in it, which left the motherboard M.2 slot available for another drive.

Assembly
Most things went right together with no problem (especially once I remembered to plug the CPU's power plug into the power supply). I did need to make a few decisions, though:
1. It wasn't obvious which way to make the fans blow. I positioned them to draw air in from the front and blow out the back. I left the top cover in place, but you could add more fans to draw air in (or blow it out) there, too, if you end up needing more cooling.
2. I plugged the fans directly into the motherboard instead of into the manually-set speed control, so that the computer could control their speed.

I also found that the on-board audio made electronic noise, so I bought a $9 USB Audio adapter (listed above), which worked great.


Installation
I followed the build instructions, but here are some notes I jotted down of things that took me some time to figure out:

1. Create UniBeast install (no video injection. Not legacy stuff)

2. Boot holding down "DEL" to edit BIOS:
-Peripherals->Super IO Configuration->Disable Serial Port 1

3. In Clover->Options (Not Clover Options):
- Check "USB Ownership" (or can't get past apple logo)​
- Select Disk Utility: Format NVMe drive to APFS (Apple File System)​
- Then install (will reboot a time or two)​
- Go through Mac setup (iCloud, etc.)​
- Don't transfer info right now​
- Not connected to Internet (yet)​
- Run MultiBeast (so Mac will boot, etc.)​
- Quickstart -> UEFI Boot Mode​
- Drivers​
- Audio: ALC1150​
- Misc: FakeSMC Plugins, FakeSMC HWMonitor Application​
- Network: IntelMausiEthernet v2,1.0 (or else ethernet not recognized)​
- USB: Increase Max Port Limit 200 Series​
- Bootloaders:​
- CLover UEFI Boot Mode + Emulated NVRAM (so NVIDIA web drivers can work)​
- Customize:​
- Graphics Configuration:​
- Nvidia Graphics Fixup​
- Nvidia Web Drivers Boot Flag (or else "Use NVidia Web drivers" won't stick)​
- System Definitions: iMac 18,3 (iMac with i7-7700K)​
- Install​
- Don't reboot yet​
- Install NVidia drivers​
- WebDriver-378.10.10.10.25.102.pkg (or maybe 103...earliest one that supports OS X 10.13.2 17C88)​
- Then reboot again.​

Took a couple days, but it worked!! Love it.[/u][/b]

Update: Eventually I upgraded to Mojave, and realized that the NVIDIA GPU is not supported there or later, so I sold that card and got an AMD Sapphire Radeon 580 GPU (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06ZZ6FMF8/?tag=tonymacx86com-20).
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 16, 2017
Messages
90
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z170XP-SLI
CPU
i5-6600K
Graphics
GTX 1050 Ti
Mac
MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
I'm trying to install macOS Catalina on my new Samsung 970 EVO Plus.

I have your same MOBO. Did you have problems installing?
It does not start the installation when I select the SSD.
I'll tie you a video to show you the problem.
 

Attachments

Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
12
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z170
CPU
i7-7700K
Graphics
GTX 1070
Mac
MacBook Pro, Mac mini, Mac Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
I didn't have major issues installing. I watched the video, but I've only really done this once, so I don't know what the problem is. Sorry. :/
 
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